Saturday, 19 May 2018

Why I'm Changing My Instagram

You may have noticed that since the New Year I have started to switch up my Instagram. Even more so lately, when I started to incorporate fashion and lifestyle into the mix too. I've been on a rollercoaster of emotions as of late with regards to my blog and my feed, so I thought I'd give you a little bit of a run down of my thoughts, feeling and what's going to change to my grid this Summer. 

More Fashion Content | Who knew that I'd fall in love with fashion photography, but here we are. I've been getting Tom to take full length shots of me and taking selfies of myself too. I thought it would be the posing that I'd struggle with the most, but actually it's been the editing that has been the element I've needed to get used to. I've still got a long way to go, but I'm enjoying the different processes fashion content takes me through and I feel more inspired to get going. 

Playing Around With Cinegraphs and Styling | I have to thank Me and Orla for my burst of creativity because, I've loved thinking up new ideas for the Instagram. Whether that's playing around with flower tattoos or adding moving steam to a cup of tea, I just wanted to play around with my feed a bit more. 

Theme or No Theme | I've always struggled with themes as I've never been 100% sure about what colours I wanted to go for. At the moment I'm going with a warm, neutral feel as I feel like it embodies Spring, but I know that I'll be changing it as the weeks go on. At the moment I'm just embracing the change and going with the flow. 

Why I'm Changing | Over the past few months, especially the past four weeks, I've been feeling like blogging and Instagramming in general had started to become a bit of a chore and I was stuck in a creative rut of producing content that look near enough the same as the picture before. I thought giving myself new tasks to complete and going with the flow when my creativity strikes rather than forcing it would help me create content I was proud of - and it has! This sudden spate and desire to make cinegraphs, fashion content and play around with my photographs may not stick around forever, but for now I'm excited to see what direction my Instagram will go in. 

What are your thoughts on Instagram? Are you experimenting with anything at the moment? 

Friday, 18 May 2018

Skincare For Hay Fever

I've been suffering with dry skin and breakouts recently as illness, hay fever and allergies has come into play. I've stripped my skincare routine back down to the basics of what I know my skin loves and reacts to well, and in doing so I've dug out some old favourites to help soothe my complexion. Here are a few of my top picks: 

Eye cream is a must have around this time of year. I can't quite believe how irritated, cracked and itchy my eyes are - it's the worst they've ever been! The Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum* has been a favourite as it's lightweight, yet still nourishing and it's finally started to help how the skin around my eyes feel. 

If I do decide to wear makeup, I've found a good trio of products which prep my skin ready. I start off with the Clinique Turnaround Accelerated Skin Serum* and follow up with the Clinique Moisture Surge* which makes my skin feel hydrated and ultra-silky and soft. I then rekindled the love for my Glossier Priming Moisturiser and have been using that as the third step to make sure my skin looks healthy and plump. 

I have quite a few face masks to choose from, but the lightweight, nourishing offerings are my go-to, especially when it's warm outside. The Glow Recipe Watermelon Mask* and Origins Drink Up Intensive are two of my favourites when my skin needs a boost of hydration, yet has redness to calm down and blemishes to banish too. They're super easy to use and help my skin so much. 

My body, especially my inner arms, are in dire need of some TLC as hay fever and allergies aren't just affecting my face. The Nuxe Dry Body Oil* is one a few products I've been loving (see full line up here) and although it's thicker than other body care products I use during these seasons, I can't deny how much my body loves to drink this up. 

What skincare products do you like to use when you're suffering with hay fever? 

If a product is marked with a * it is a PR sample. This post contains affiliate links. 

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Living Room Tour

 When it comes to styling a living room, I want to create an airy, yet cosy space that I want to relax in, but that doesn't feel too overcrowded. Despite being in our house for over a year now I still haven't got it exactly how I want it, but I wanted to share with you a little tour of our space nevertheless. 

We're very lucky to have a fireplace and an exposed wall which pull everything together nicely. On one side I like to compile a selection of my favourite candles ready to light when I please, while on the other I have two prints resting up against the wall with a light (similar to this one) although it's originally from Clas Ohlson inside a cage. Unfortunately this is no longer available and I haven't found any dupes yet. 

On the wall above I have a hanging planter with a string of pearls plant in it and- oh my - I can't believe it's taken me this long to have a planter in my house, but now I want them everywhere! It's the perfect touch and, although it only takes up a small amount of space on the wall, I feel like it's filled a space which needed some colour. 
 When we moved in, one of the first things we did was put shelving in one of the alcoves as it was just a bare space that was begging to be made the most of. We kept to the style of our house with the fixtures we chose, but wanted to add books, plants and my beloved Crosley Record Player to make it our own. It's one that I love to switch around a lot with Diptyque candles under cloches and fresh flowers in vases to add colour and texture. 

Talking of shelves, I got ladder ones similar to these Habitat ones after searching for some time and they've been a great addition to my living room as I can stack books, add plants and other decorative accessories like this Hello Brass Object. It lives next to my sofa with an Ikea Lamp hanging over it at the perfect height. Our living room is quite long length-wise but not very wide, so I feel like the leaning ladder shelves makes for a good use of space. 

Behind the sofa there's a blank wall which I've ordered prints for, including this Anne-Dornan Smith offering which I think will look adorable up on the wall (don't worry a print wall post is coming!). I've got quite a few prints scattered around the place, but a few of the one's featured are soon to be replaced as I've had them for a fair few years and we took them from our old flat, so I think I've stared at them too long. I love using typography especially but I'm incorporating textures into prints too, including greens and pinks to make the brass accents in my house pop more. 
On the sofa, I have two cushions; a simple grey one and then a Bombay Duck one which is one of my favourite finds. Cushions are something that are interchangeable and I love finding budget ones from supermarkets to so I don't feel guilty when I want to switch from monochrome picks to adding a pop of colour. ASOS actually has been a great place to scour for homeware finds as they have some amazing pieces in there, including Spot and Eyes Cushion and Concrete Magnetic Planters

I've got an old runner rug from H&M underneath my Argos Coffee Table, but I feel like I'm in need of a new one as it's got a bit battered over the years so I've got my eyes open. I'm thinking something like this Pimkie Tassel Rug would work well in the space that I have. 

At the very end of my living room I have an Oliver Bonas Copper Wall Rack with two vinyls on top, a cactus and another stack of books. I feel like it's been the one thing I've never got bored of despite having it when I first moved out - It's a keeper!

What do you think of my living room tour? 

This post contains affiliate links. 

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

The Affordable Ruffle Wrap Dress

This is new isn't it? Creating fashion content is completely alien to me, but what I thought I'd struggle with - the posing- is actually the thing I feel most comfortable with and it's the editing and actual photography part that I'm struggling with. I think it's because I always have the exact image I want in my head, so please bear with me whilst I find my feet! I wanted to share my favourite ruffle wrap dress; an offering I'll be wearing all Summer no doubt. 

This Influence Ruffle Wrap Front Floral Dress is lightweight, flattering and comfortable to wear, I love it so much I'm contemplating getting the Midi version of it too. You'll be pleased to hear that you can see no underwear through it and at £16 in the sale (don't walk, run!) it's an absolute steal! The wrap part is one of the only dresses I've recently found that actually flatter my boobs and the tie around the waist can be cinched in as much as you like. I also get quite a lot of questions on these shoes whenever I show them, but unfortunately they're a few years old. I have seen some great alternatives around including these ASOS Fayla Tie Flat Sandals and Park Lane Suede Tie Sandals too. 

As someone who gets rather bored with sunglasses I never like to particularly invest in them, but these Quay Australia Cherry Bomb ones have changed my mind. They weren't extremely expensive, but it made me realise that I've found quite a few styles that actually suit me and I'd like to invest in some more pieces - Ray Ban maybe? 

I've got quite a few pieces on my wishlist at the moment as I really am trying to overhaul my wardrobe and get some variety in to it, as most of the stuff I've had for years is looking worse for wear or no longer fits me. Here are a few of the items I'm eyeing up: 

What is on your wardrobe wishlist for Summer? 

This post contains affiliate links. 

Sunday, 13 May 2018

What I've Been Reading, Watching and Doing Lately

April and May have been awash with rain, to a sudden spate of sunshine and then quickly went back to showers, so it hasn't done a lot for my productivity. With puppies to play with, books to read and the sun to make the most I can't complain too much. 

I've continued reading the Court Of Thorns and Roses trilogy, reading over 100 pages at a time and I've made my way through them at a record rate. Honestly, I'm absolutely smitten and although the story at times can be a little cringe, the characters have hooked me in and all I want to do is read more. Luckily her new book is out now and although it's not even 300 pages long, I can't wait to devour it in one sitting. 

As for what I've been up to in-between lots of work, our neighbours have a gorgeous puppy who comes to play every now and again. She's honestly such a dream and I've featured her on my Insta stories before, so you've probably seen her already. On top of that, we've finally booked our biking holiday for this year and we've got together quite a big group of us going so it should be fun, although we've got quite a few events near each other so it'll be a busy July for sure. I've been looking at places to go and activities to do over the next few months, so no doubt you'll see our adventures on the blog or Instagram soon. I also took an unexpectedly week off and it did me wonders; I felt like I had burnt myself out creatively and it was starting to affect my everyday life. Although I'm not 100% yet, I'm getting back into the swing of things and I feel like everything else is settling into place. 

I've found the Great British Bake Off back catalogue on Netflix and I've devoured a couple of series at a worryingly fast rate. It's usually my cosy programme, but I've found that it's really rekindled my love for baking too! Aside from that, we're patiently waiting for Deadpool 2 to come out mid-May, but we went to see the new Avengers film and it was so good. It was the perfect combination of funny, entertaining and sad, so definitely prepare yourself for a rollercoaster of emotions. 

Also on Netflix I've started rewatching Love Island ready for the new series (I'm shamefully excited to have six weeks of my life filled with it!). We're also half way through the series Safe, which is a crime thriller and it's so damn good - so gripping and it's very difficult not to just binge watch the lot in one go. 

What have you been reading, watching and doing lately? 

Friday, 11 May 2018

Prepping My Skin For Summer

The sudden spate of hot weather made me go into panic mode; shaving my legs, prepping my body and make sure my skin was in tip top condition. From hay fever to bare legs, here are a handful of products I've been using recently.

Starting from the bottom, I was kindly sent the Soap and Glory Heel Genius Foot Cream* with a pair of their Snooze Socks* to treat my feet to a bit of extra TLC. I used to use this foot cream in miniature form when I was younger, so rekindling the love has been a dream. After giving myself a pedicure and my feet a buff, I pop this lotion on for a couple of hours to make my feet feel super soft (which is a hard thing to do trust me!). I've still got a long way to go until I get them where I want them, but they definitely look a little less dehydrated. 

After sunning myself all bank holiday weekend, I was in dire need of my lotions and potions to avoid the dreaded dry, scaly look. The Nuxe After Sun Lotion* was one I reached for because it promised to prolong tanning and soothe the skin. It made my skin feel soft without being too heavy and it's so far done the job of keeping my tan intact. 

In the shower, I've been using the Glossier Body Hero Oil Wash again and it's been great for adding an extra boost of hydration when I needed it, especially when my skin is feeling sensitive due to hay fever. It's great when paired with the Herbivore Coco Rose Scrub too as it helps to make my body look good after being stuck under several layers all Winter. 

On to skincare and I only picked a few of my favourites for the Summertime as I'm planning a full line up post soon. The Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask* has been spoken about a few times on my blog, but it's antibacterial properties keep blemishes at bay- something that I struggle with when it comes to warmer weather. For hydration, it's been the Clinique Turnaround Accelerated Serum* that I've been reaching for; it goes underneath my moisturiser perfectly and makes it look healthy, supple and glowing. Hayfever is getting the better of me at the moment, so eye cream has been a must-have. I'm currently using a few different tubs, but it's the La Roche Posay Toleraine Ultra Eye Contour* I'm talking about today. It's lightweight whilst still being super hydrating and it goes underneath makeup without disturbing it too. 

What products have you been using lately in this warm weather? 

If a product is marked with a * it is a PR sample. This post contains affiliate links. 

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Mini Victoria Sponges

Mini Victoria Sponge Recipe
Mini victoria sponges have been something of a speciality of mine for many years now. They can be made in as large or small batches as you'd like - perfect for a small gathering or a birthday party. They're super easy to make and if you're more experienced in the art of cupcake making, but you find a huge cake a bit intimidating, these are a great place to start. 

Ingredients (Makes 12) 

For Sponge - 
2 Eggs
60g Granulated Sugar
60g Golden Caster Sugar
120g Butter (I use dairy free)
120g Self Raising Flower
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

For Icing -
Jam as desired 
300g Icing Sugar 
150g Butter (I use dairy free)


Preheat the oven to 170C. Cream together the butter and sugar until light. Add in the two eggs one by one, stirring as you go. Once mixed, add the vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of warm water and a pinch of salt (it brings out the flavour). Mix thoroughly. 

Next weigh out the flour, sift if needed and then gradually add the flour into the mixture. Keep stirring until the mixture is smooth and mixed. Divide the mixture between 12 and place in the oven 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. 

Let cool and then prepare your icing mixture. I start off with a small amount of icing sugar and butter first, adding in the ingredients gradually until I get the desired amount and texture. Cut the sponges into two horizontally, spooning the butter cream mixture on one side and the jam of the other. Place together and decorate. 

Will you be trying this recipe? 

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

MAC Top Picks

- This post is in collaboration with Debenhams - 

When you spend £60 or more on MAC cosmetics at Debenhams you receive a complimentary gift with your purchase, which includes some amazing miniatures (a foundation sample, a cleansing oil, mascara and primer) and a full sized contour brush with a MAC makeup bag too! This offer spurred me on to collate a post including my top 
 MAC products plus a few new picks on my wishlist too. 

MAC was one of the first ever high end makeup brands I owned; I remember quite clearly going into the Brighton branch on the look out for the Mineralise Skinfinish Natural and coming out with a powder foundation instead as I got confused half way round. Eight years later and the MSF has made it into my collection and has been here to stay ever since. For a pressed powder this has seen me through my oily days and drier skinned ones too. It blurs pores and imperfections without looking cakey or too lacklustre, making it one of my most reached for pressed powders. 

MAC's blushers used to be all the rage and I still feel like they deserve the hype. MAC's Mocha is hands down one of the most beloved shades in my collection, it's travelled through the mid teens to my early twenties with me and the natural mauve-pink blusher is great throughout the year. It's completely matte, which is exactly what I want sometimes when I'm wearing an illuminous base and excessive highlighter, as it stops me from looking like I've bathed in glitter. The hue compliments my skin tone both at it's palest and most tanned, making it not only one of my most used blushers, but my most used makeup items of all time. 

A lipstick just had to be featured in this round up as, although I've descaled my MAC lipstick collection quite a fair bit, I've still got a few of my favourites in there. Picking just one to talk about is hard because almost all of them have a little back story behind them. MAC Twig, I feel like was an underrated shade for quite some time, overshadowed by Brave and Velvet Teddy, the other much loved and raved about nude pink shades. Twig just compliments my skin tone perfectly and is so easy to wear daily and to touch up on the go. It sits comfortably, makes my lips look plump and healthy, so it's hard to fault it really! 

The new Prime and Prep Fix+ Sprays have definitely caught my eye, especially the rose one as my skin tends to drink it up, but the Pinklite Shimmer is just on another level (just look at that packaging!). The Strobe Cream has been on my wishlist for some time and, as I feel like I embrace the illuminated look a lot more recently, I think I need to finally give it a go. 

Will you be taking advantage of this great Debenhams deal with MAC? 
This post contains affiliate links. 

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Glossier Invisible Shield

With a sudden spate of hot weather in the UK over the past few weeks, I've finally been able to put the Glossier Invisible Shield to the test properly; making sure it protects my skin adequately, not just make my skin feel smooth and prepped for makeup. Here are my thoughts: 

Just like it's name, it offers invisible protection leaving no white cast on the face. It promises to be non-comedogenic which means it's made to not block the pores. This is something I always worry about when applying SPF to the face, because sometimes they can be a too thick and heavy on the skin. I've mentioned it before, but I really love the way this feels on the skin whereby it is silky and smooth without any silicone to be seen. When I apply foundation over the top, it looks flawless and doesn't interrupt the formula at all. 

You're supposed to reapply it every two hours, so thats a little impossible if you do decide to wear a base, and even if you don't anyway (the recent heat made me go bare faced!), applying it every two hours is slightly inconvenient, although not unheard of when it comes to SPF.

It's simple, smells slightly of oranges (so you may need to be extra careful if you're sensitive to scents) and I haven't had a burnt face since using it, so it's definitely doing it's job. I really rate it and it's definitely in the top SPF's I've tried for my face; in fact it's quite rare for me to remember to use protection everyday, but with this one it's a delight. 

Have you tried the Glossier Invisible Shield?

- For 10% off your first Glossier order you can use my link here

This post contains affiliate links. 

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Banish Acne Scars Starter Kit

- This post is in collaboration with Banish Acne Scars - 

Throughout my teenage years I always suffered with several spots at a time which, combined with some bad skincare advice, led me to have quite a few bits of scarring and redness on my face; especially around my nose, chin and in between my brows. I then was challenged by Banish Acne Scars to see if their Starter Kit could begin helping me with my problems, so I thought it was definitely worth a shot. 

Exfoliating face masks always react well with my skin, so I was looking forward to trying out the Pumpkin Enzyme Masque as it contains an array of skin loving ingredients including AHA's to exfoliate the skin, making it appear clearer and smoother. This smells like something you'd find around Autumn time, but it really works. After one use, my skin was glowing and, despite it drying down, it didn't make my skin feel tight. I've been using this before my makeup when I want it to go on more smoothly and it's been a dream. 

When I first opened up the Pore Smasher I think I might have squealed with excitement as I've wanted to try a contraption like this for some time now. It's big, so it covers a large area at a time and it's oh-so-cooling, which is perfect for warm days. As for the skin benefits, it certainly de-puffs the skin (to my surprise) and it really reduces redness, which is why I like to use it in the morning before makeup application. I've been using this every day and it's one of the first things I reach for. If I'm honest I thought the novelty would wear off after a while, but it's been amazing to use! 

The Activated Charcoal Clay Masque comes in a powder form and makes me feel like I'm mixing lotions and potions together. Although I've got dry skin and was skeptical that this would dry my skin out even more, I apply it where I get blemishes the most around my nose, chin and in-between my eyebrows and I've since seen an improvement in the way my skin looks (plus I've got a lot less blackheads on my nose - hurray!). This does bring a lot of impurities to the surface, which then makes my blemishes come out, but after a day or two they start to disappear and that's when you see the difference it's made. 

Vitamin C is one of my favourite ingredients to use on my skin, so I knew that the Vitamin C Beauty Elixir would be the product I'd want to get along with. Vitamin C has helped me calm my redness, brighten my lacklustre complexion and help with general smoothness and texture. The fact it comes in a spray bottle is something I haven't seen before or used, but the minty scent is so lovely as it's super refreshing. It's doesn't make the skin too 'soggy', but it has a slight tackiness to it, making it a great primer for the skin before makeup. I particularly like using this on days when I'm not wearing any makeup too, as it sinks in after a couple of minutes leaving the complexion feeling soft, smooth and radiant. 

I've never used anything like the Banisher Stamp or Roller before, in fact I've alway been slightly scared to try it out. It's supposed to reduce the appearance of acne scars- which is something I previously mentioned I suffer from on my chin and around my nose especially- so I was excited to start the process of reducing them. You're only supposed to use it every 2 weeks, but I did feel like these made a difference when using products and how my skin then absorbed them. The Banisher works by creating tiny micro wounds which trick the skin into thinking it needs repairing, thus boosting cell regeneration which helps with acne scars over time, working in a similar way to micro needling. I use it with the Banish Oil which is a thick oil that sinks into the skin beautifully, doesn't leave it feeling oily and makes my skin feel super smooth. 

As a side note Banish are vegan friendly (if you're wondering!), are made freshly using fresh ingredients and they now ship internationally from the US. For more about the backstory behind the brand you can read it here, but for a quick summary Banish was started by a girl called Daisy who had suffered with acne since school. Her dream job was to be a dermatologist and she set out to find a fix. Daisy started her own YouTube channel and upon discovering other people who suffered with acne, she started Banish with the ingredients and products she'd put together which had reduced hers and other people's acne. 

Have you tried Banish Acne Scars? 

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Summer Tanned Makeup

Summer Tanned Makeup
I'm probably getting ahead of myself for calling this a Summer tan makeup look, but with my recent new-found love for the Isle of Paradise Tanning Water, I've been sporting a more tanned look recently. I saw Jaye Rockett do a post about her makeup favourites, so I thought I'd share a few of my own too (plus I love them all when I'm pale anyway!).  

I'm naturally quite pale, so I've got to admit that most of my foundations are a little too light for me, therefore I've been relying on a variety of bronzers to warm up my complexion a little bit. The Glossier Dusk Cloud Paint is beautiful when applied all over the cheeks to compliment my Becca Sunlit Bronzer* and Charlotte Tilbury Contour Wand duo. The latter is a cream formula which blends into the skin effortlessly; great if you're wearing no makeup or have just tanned your face. 

If the Glossier pick isn't hitting the spot, the Benefit Gold Rush* blusher has been one I've reached for when I want a pop of natural colour to the cheeks. It's peachy in tone and looks great both when I'm pale and tanned too.  

Golden highlighters have been a go-to of mine as they work so well with my tanned cheekbones and can be blended out or built up depending on the intensity you want. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy* offering is perfect as it's super-buttery, blends into the skin naturally and looks gorgeous in all lighting. 

Normally when it's warm outside I don't wear much on my eyes, keeping it to a bare minimum, but I have a few products that I like to reach for when I want to spruce up a look. The Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen* in Rose Glow is a new addition, but one that looks amazing on date night. It's a brown, coppery colour that looks amazing along the lash line for a slightly smudged, golden look. 

For lips, I either like to go for a bold pop of colour or a subtle sheen. The Charlotte Tilbury The Queen Lipstick* is a bright pink option that looks amazing on tanned skin and I can see myself wearing this throughout the rest of Spring and all through Summer with minimal makeup and floaty evening dresses. The Pixi Cake Lip Icing* is the one I go for when I want a subtle finish as it goes over any nude lipstick for a healthy, plump look or on it's own for an everyday shimmer. 

What are your tanned makeup favourites?

If a product is marked with a * it is a PR sample. This post contains affiliate links.  

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

I've used the Real Technique Miracle Complexion Sponge on and off for many years now, whilst using the Beauty Blender a lot more, but reaching for the RT offering when I need something a little bit more affordable to replace it. I realised I haven't reviewed it before, so I thought I'd do so today. 

When I first started using makeup sponges I never got along with them (who remembers the Cosmopolitan sponge?) as I never knew that I needed to expand them with water. The Real Techniques one doesn't absorb as much water as the Beauty Blender. This means it isn't as bouncy which is something I look for, but on the plus side it doesn't absorb as much foundation, so that's a plus for less wastage. 

Because this doesn't go as bouncy as I would like, I feel like my foundation and concealer go on a lot more matte and there's a higher coverage, which is something some people may like. The finish cannot be faulted however as it always looks fully blended and the various surfaces means you can get into every corner of your face. The slightly harder surface takes a little while to get used to and I find it does take a little longer to blend than my beauty blender, which literally takes a few seconds. 

At under £5 it's hard not to mention the price as you can even buy multipacks of these if you know you're a fan to keep the price down even more. Just like every other sponge, I try to replace it every three months and this one washes nicely too. 

Have you tried this Real Technique Makeup Sponge? 

This post contains affiliate links. 

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

5 Things I've Added To My May To-Do List

I'm back! I took just over a week off from my blog in order to take some time out for myself as creatively I'd burnt myself out. I wanted to come back with a May to-do list first as I want to start the month off right. Here are five things I've added to this month's to-do list: 

Find Some Spring Appropriate Recipes | When the weather gets warmer, I tend to opt for lighter, easier recipes as I don't want to be huddled over the oven for too long. An array of olives, breads and dips are usually a dinner favourite in the Spring and Summer, but I want to explore Spanish omelette and haloumi salad combinations. 

Write, Write, Write | I'm not just talking about blog posts, but I want to plan more of the content I'm creating, plus as a way of reflecting whilst I had time off last week, I decided to write down all my thoughts, ideas and make a huge to-do list.

Shoot Some Outfits | I started to photograph my outfits when the weather started to get better, but now that the sun has disappeared I've turned to planning what I'm going to wear and where we're going to go in time for when it starts warming up. Fashion content is coming to my blog soon (I hope) and I've got lots of ideas in my head which I can't wait to put into play. 

Learn Something New | I've got the desire to learn something new, from doing a creative hobby, taking up some lessons of sign language or simply doing my own online research for an area I want to have some knowledge in. I've been itching to make my brain work in a different way, even going as far as re-learning some maths techniques I used to use - who knew! 

Sort out My Wardrobe | Having lost quite a fair bit of weight since last Summer, my wardrobe is looking in dire need of a sort out. Most of my older clothes no longer fit me, so I think they'll need to find a better home or to be thrown out. I've been picking up pieces here and there (these ASOS Soft Fluted Shorts are a recent addition) for my new warmer wardrobe, but I've still got a few areas that need some extra items. Here's what is on my wishlist at the moment:  

What's on your May to-do list?

This post contains affiliate links. 

Monday, 23 April 2018

Decluttering My Makeup Stash + A Wishlist

Decluttering and Organising My Makeup Storage
I'm not sure if it's because it's starting to feel like Spring, but I've got the decluttering bug again and I'm on a mission to sort out my makeup collection once more. I'm not being as drastic as I was last time, as I don't have a lot of makeup to throw out due to it being out of date, however I have quite a few bits to re-home, so I thought I'd share with you what my decluttering routine is and what products have made it onto my wishlist. 

I want to give everything another clean and a re-organise as I've slowly started to live out of makeup bags again, despite having Alex drawers and muji storage too. When I'm taking various different products out throughout the week, it can be hard to keep track of what you put back and what you should keep out. I want to stack my eyeshadow palettes, sort my lipsticks out by brand/colour and make sure that all my foundations are screwed on properly. 

With a complete lack of concealer all of a sudden, I rifled through my base drawer to find a few dregs of product left in several tubes and it made me 1. rediscover some real gems and 2. made me realise that I should bring out products to the front more. I like to have a makeup bag full to the brim of products I'm trialling, but I wanted to make sure I'm continuing to switch them around more. A nude blush one day, a peach pink the next for example. 

Any duplicates I've accumulated are going to be rehired, especially for products that I won't make my way through for a while. I'm very lucky to get sent lots of products and I'm never ungrateful, but bar a handful of duplicates (that I'm so happy I've got a back up of because I'm running low) the rest I'm going to give away to make others smitten with them too! 

Despite having an extensive makeup collection, it doesn't stop me from wanting new pieces to add to my stash. I've got a few things that I'm lusting after, but here are my current top wishlist picks - including some skincare items too: 

Do you enjoy decluttering your makeup? What's on your wishlist? 

This post contains affiliate links. 

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Spring Body Care

L'Occitane Body Care, Soap and Glory, Dove, Jo Malone, Isle of Paradise
- This post is in collaboration with L'Occitane - 

I feel like we've almost skipped Spring and went straight into Summer weather-wise, but I've been lapping it up nevertheless. As the legs are now out and the layers have come off, I've been giving my body some extra TLC, so today I am sharing with you some of my top body care picks. 

First up is the L'Occitane Shower Oil* which I've used for years now as you'll see from my 2015 favourites and hydration from head to toe post I did a while back. L'Occitane remains one of my favourite body care brands of all time, as their formulas work with my skin beautifully and they have an array of amazingly scented products that feel dreamy when applied. The shower oil in particular is a one of my favourites as it keeps my limbs feeling supple, smooth and hydrated without feeling greasy at all. It's great when you don't have a lot of time to prep your skin as you just use it in the shower without any fuss. Slather it on, massage it in and then wash off. I can't tell you how many times I've repurchased this because it's so amazing. The results are long lasting too so you're skin feels soft all day long, which is something I struggle with when it comes to shower oil as I find the effects wear off too quickly. I can't swoon about this product without mentioning the scent as it's so delicious; the almond fragrance isn't too overpowering and it lingers on the skin for hours. It is the reason why I had to try their complimenting Almond Milk Body Lotion* as it's great to layer up if your skin is feeling particularly parched. It sinks in quickly, makes my skin feel super smooth and is great post- shaving too, as it leaves a slight sheen to the legs, which makes them look instantly better; great for perking up my post-Winter skin. Try out their almond range and all their other body care if you're looking for luxe feeling, super nourishing picks for the upcoming Spring and Summer months. 

Next is a product I like to use before fake tanning and on stubborn dry areas; the Herbivore Coco Rose Body Polish. I didn't want to like this as much as I do, but it helps to scrub away dry areas without leaving them feeling a little dry like some other body scrubs can do. I use this the day before I fake tan with the Isle of Paradise Tanning Water (which I feel like I've not stopped talking about!) for an even, golden tan perfect that is for bare leg season. 

Baths aren't really the done thing for the warmer months, but sometimes I crave one and I want to unwind with a book. The Jo Malone Orange Blossom Bath Oil is great for this, as I just splash a bit under the running water and it lifts my mood with it's fruity fragrance instantly. It has great skin-loving properties too, which means you don't have to do much except enjoy the uplifting aroma and bathe. 

Every Spring I whip out the Dove DermaSpa Body Oil Goodness, it's been years but I can't get enough of the stuff. It's great to highlight the body without applying obvious shimmer. This glides on smoothly and works amazingly after a tan post-moisturise too. The Soap and Glory Spritz Me Quick* moisture mist is another firm favourite for easy body moisturiser application - I especially like using this on my back and those hard to reach places. It smells like their classic scent and can be easily mixed and matched with other body care products. 

What are your favourite Spring body care picks?

If a product is marked with a * it is a PR sample. This post contains affiliate links. 

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Picking The Right Moisturiser

I'm quite fussy when it comes to moisturisers as someone who has had a variety of skin types and whose skin can break out at random times, so it's a surprise that I've built up such a collection of them. I wanted to share a little insight into my collection, my top picks and my tips for picking the right one for you too (coming from someone who never used to use one!). 

Find One You'll Actually Use | You may be like "well obviously Lily.. no one wants to waste money", but trust me, I've felt forced into several purchases by pushy sales assistants or given into the hype of a product to then find out it's just not for me. I find one tell-tale sign is actually the scent. It can be full of goodness for your skin, but if it doesn't smell at all appetising then you're not going to want to use it on your face. If you want no scent at all then I'd 100% recommend the Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream - it's a firm favourite in my household. 

Seasons Change, So Might Your Moisturiser | It took me quite a long time to realise that actually one moisturiser doesn't always cut it (not always!), so I started to look into what works best for my skin in Winter vs what works best for it in Summer. During the warmer months I suffer with dry skin around my eyes and nose due to hayfever, similar to what I suffer with in Winter, however my skin all over tends to be in dire need of moisture when it comes to the bitter cold. Thickness, texture and feel are all things to consider when it comes to moisturiser. 

Pick One For Your Skin Type | This may sound simple, but looking into the ingredients and formulas of the moisturisers you want to try is good for your skin type. I'm no expert, so I would definitely say do your own research, but for me I love Hyaluronic Acid and Lactic Acid. Knowing what ingredients irritate you or the thickness of moisturiser which breaks you out is all good to know. Lightweight, water based formulas are good for oily skin, whilst dry skin suffers like myself may look for slightly thicker offerings. 

Here Are a Few Of My Recommendations | The Fresh Deep Hydration Face Cream* remains one of my go-to picks as it's so nourishing, whilst not being too heavy on the skin. The Drunk Elephant Lala Retro* is a new favourite; a thick cream that doesn't even move in the tub, but when applied to the face it doesn't feel too thick, instead intensely nourishes. For a lightweight, day time option I tend to go for the Origins GinZing Moisturiser or Clinique Moisture Surge* as they sit underneath makeup perfectly, the latter being one that offers a smooth, silky finish too; almost like a primer. 

What are your favourite moisturisers? 

If a product is marked with a * it is a PR sample. This post contains affiliate links. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Spring Makeup

Every time another new season comes around, I make it my mission to switch up my makeup. Although I find myself lusting after new releases, I've decided to try and use up a lot of the products in my collection instead; opting for old favourites daily instead of the odd splurge. Here are my top Spring makeup picks: 

For my base, I've rekindled my love for the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray* which was kindly sent to me. Every year when the weather gets better I seem to get back into using this, as there's nothing quite like it when you want a long lasting base. I spritz it on before my foundation, then after too if I need it to be sealed in completely. I've been using this even before this blog even existed, so it's a firm favourite. 

Foundation is a harder one to choose as I've been loving my Charlotte Tilbury and Too Faced duo for a flawless finish, but I have to give a quick mention to Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation. It's one that I've been unsure about it as I go from loving it one day to hating it the other. It's temperamental and it relies on my skin feeling a little more prone to oiliness for it to work for me, so I feel like Spring and Summer are the perfect months to wear it! 

After using up all of my concealers, I went rifling through my collection to see if I had any that needed using up and I rediscovered my Bourjois Radiance Reveal Concealer in the process. I have the lighest shade and it's perfect for brightening and concealing - it never looks cakey, but instead makes my undereye area look super smooth. 

The Benefit Gold Rush Blusher* is the epitome of a Springtime blush, as it's coral in tone and perks up my skin in just one sweep. It adds just the right amount of colour to the cheeks without being too overpowering, making it an easy option for an everyday look. 

I feel like the Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette* was made for this time of the year as it has an array of wearable shades that are warm in tone, but can be as full on or as subtle as you'd like. I think the fact that it smells of peaches is a plus too! You can see my full review of it here

Lastly, is the Charlotte Tilbury The Queen Lipstick* which is one of their new releases, a vivid pink hue that changed my opinion on these sorts of lipsticks. Don't get me wrong; for an everyday look I have been sticking to my The Duchess* offering, but this paired with a tan on a Spring evening would look amazing. It's a great alternative to the classic bold red and I'm all for it. 

What are your favourite Spring makeup products? 

If a product is marked with a * it is a PR sample. This post contains affiliate links. 
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