Friday, 28 February 2020

Insta Story Hacks - The Best Typography and Designs

Insta Story Hacks - The Best Typography and Designs
Insta Story Hacks - The Best Typography and Designs
Insta Story Hacks - The Best Typography and Designs
After the success of my previous Instagram story hacks post all about filters and GIFs, I thought it was time that I added to this series.  As I mentioned before I've been trying to improve my Insta stories (follow pintsizedphoto to never miss one!) over the last few months, I thought it was about time I shared my favourite typography hacks and how little design additions that can spruce up any photo. 

Typography tips | Although I love spontaneous Insta stories where you don't have to think about them too much, when I'm on a mission to make them better or I'm trying to put more effort in, typography is the first thing I add. After scouring Pinterest for ideas, I saw a few people doing a similar thing to the first image in this blog post and I just went from there. Here are a few other ways to up your typography game: 
  • Layer text up two or three times. I either use strong or classic to do this, changing the colours has I overlay the text with slight overlap. 
  • Use individual letters in different colours. This is similar to the second image in this blog post. Start by typing out the word, each letter at the time. This works best in classic font. 
  • Make your font multicoloured. This can be done by either highlighting a letter in a word and changing the colour each time or by highlighting the whole word, you can have one finger on the end of the highlighted text moving left/right and the other find on whatever colour gradient you would like. 
  • Layer up two different text fonts. Similar to the first image where I've layered up the strong font with spaces in-between followed by the same word in neon font over the top. 

Design hacks for Instagram | These probably won't come as a surprise to you as you've probably seen this featured on the likes of Pinterest and Tik Tok before, but here are a few examples of design hacks that could make your life more useful and they've come in handy for me several times when I want to spruce up my content. 
  • Swipe up to pick a photograph previously saved on your phone. Tap the 'write' in the top right hand corner. Choose a colour and hold your finger for a couple of seconds until the screen fills with that colour. Select the 'write' button again and press the erase icon on the far right hand side. Swirl or tap to reveal the photograph underneath. 
  • For a light colour overlay over a photograph. Tap the screen as if you're going to write something. Just select a full stop in classic font in the colour you'd like to select. Make the full stop bigger by pinching the screen, pulling your two fingers apart. You can change whether the colour is solid or semi-transparent by selecting the "A" icon on the top left hand side. Move the full stop around until you're happy with it's position, whether it's covering a corner like the last photograph in this blog post or covering the full photograph entirely. 

Do you have any Instagram stories typography or design hacks? 

Thursday, 27 February 2020

New Season Beauty Releases

Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks, Hourglass Palette, ABH Highlighter
- All links in this post are affiliate links. Head to my disclaimer for more info -

February is slowly coming to an end and after the 56 days in January, I think the start of March and hopefully the start of warmer weather is going to be welcomed with open arms. Over the last few weeks there's been some new releases in beauty and I've put together a selection of my favourite products that I want to (and I think you) check out! 

There's some great new releases when it comes to existing brands releasing skincare products. Milk Makeup are now doing their own Cleanser which I'm super excited to try as I'd love to know how it lives up to the hype of their makeup products. Huda Beauty are also now branching out and released their Wishful Yo Glow Enzyme Scrub which I'll be waiting for the reviews before picking up as I tend to be quite careful when it comes to exfoliators. 

We have to talk about Charlotte Tilbury's newest release and maybe their most exciting yet - the Pillow Talk collection! With the excitement around their new Instant Eye Palette and Luxury Palette of Pops, I think it's easy to overlook the Pillow Talk Beauty Light Wand, a product that has gone straight to the top of my wishlist as it looks super dreamy and I love the original one anyway. 

I've spent most of my time when researching new products looking at brands that I've never heard about before, but I feel like I've found some serious gems. The first has to be the Versed Baby Cheeks Hydrating Milk which looks like it'd be right up my street and I'm not sure if it's just the cute pale pink packaging that enticed me in, but I still think I need to give it a try anyway. Similarly, the other product reeled me in with their aesthetics as well and it's the Dear Dahlia Dual Palette which contains two blushers that I think would look beautiful on the cheeks throughout Spring and Summer. 

What beauty products are on your wishlist right now? 

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

An Early Spring Fashion Wishlist

Early Spring High Street Fashion
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Although the wind and rain says otherwise, Spring is rapidly approaching and that means that the shops are filling up with new season pieces. My wishlist is growing and that means only one thing; I've got to share my top early Spring fashion picks for you to save and buy in the upcoming months. 

Florals for Spring? Groundbreaking. It's not only the flower patterns that are getting a lot of love this year, but pastels are going to be huge as always. I've already started finding some dreamy items that duck egg blue, dusky pink and mint green to add a pop of colour to my wardrobe. This Nasty Gal Tie Waist Wrap Skirt looks perfect for this trend as I feel like I could dress it up and down, wearing it throughout Spring and into Summer too. This Miss Selfridge Blush Textured Mini Dress will definitely be high up on quite a few wishlists as it's absolutely gorgeous and I can see myself with a tan and a pair of sunglasses wearing this.  

Throughout Autumn, dark florals was a huge trend and I've got a couple of dresses that I will no doubt be taking into the warmer months too. That being said, I'm not at all sick of this trend, so will no doubt be purchasing a couple more in lighter shades as I tend to wear them to death for the next 6 months. This JDY Smock Dress looks like it'd be super comfortable and can be worn with a pair of trainers for an easy look, whilst this New Look Shirred Ditsy offering looks as if it'd be a great outfit with a pair of heeled sandals. 

Here are the other items on my saved list: 

Sunday, 23 February 2020

A Look In My Winter Makeup Bag

Winter Makeup Look
Winter Makeup Look
 - If a product is marked with a * it is a PR sample, but was sent under no obligation to review. All links in this post are affiliate links. -

If there's one season that isn't particularly inspiring when it comes to makeup, it's Winter. Christmas has red lips, Autumn has berry and throughout the warmer weather I opt for glowy skin, but during the first few months of the year it tends to fall flat. To inspire me I've dug out some of my old favourites in a quest to use up these products before Spring. 

First up is the Pixi Makeup Setting Spray*, which I spritz all over my face before I go in with my foundation. I've been using to base products at the moment, the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue* and It Cosmetics CC Cream*. When mixed together it creates a natural looking, radiant base that matches rather pale Winter complexion very well. 

After concealer, I set my whole face with the Huda Beauty Loose Powder* especially underneath the eyes and around my t-zone. For contour and bronzer, I use the Milk Makeup Baked Bronzer* as it can be used after powder or under as it doesn't mess with whatever you put it on. I've done a full blog post review on it before, but it's such a great colour for contouring on my skin tone as it doesn't look too orange or grey. 

On my eyes, I've been using the new Rimmel London Scandaleyes Volume on Demand after I was influenced to buy it after seeing it a lot on Instagram. When it comes to mascara it isn't often that I fall head over heels with one, but this offering is perfect. My eyelashes look longer and fuller, plus they last all day too. 

There's been two lip products that I've been alternating between, the first being the Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Queen Lipstick* which is the perfect red lip and never fails to brighten up any outfit. The other option is the Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk* and Pixi LipLift Gloss* pairing which is my go-to as it's great for everyday wear. 

What makeup have you been wearing this Winter? 

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Creating A Cosy Home For Spring

Creating Cosy Home For Spring
Creating Cosy Bedroom
Cosy Living Room Homeware
Cosy Living Room
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Considering we're in the midst of a storm at the moment, I may be jumping ahead of myself when I say that I'm looking forward to Spring already. I've slowly started to build a homeware wishlist for the new season as I'm looking for airy light pieces that when paired together will give a cosy feel to the whole house. 

It's this time of the year that I struggle the most with motivation as I often struggle to find inspiration in my surroundings both outside and in my home too. Throughout January I opted for a cabin feel with wooden tones and the remnants of Christmas decorations, but as we're quickly heading towards March and enviably the dark evenings, I've started to incorporate rattan pieces and brass accents into my decor. 

Throughout my living room, I've started to fill sparse areas with greenery as trialling plants always cheers me up. I've got shelves in several places including a ladder bookcase which I want to update now as they've ended up getting random trinkets I don't know where else to put them. I've moved my Roberts Radio around a few times until I found a spot I was happy for it to sit in, but now there's a couple of places that need filling. I've got a big lamp by our pink chair and a floor lamp that gives off the most beautiful soft, warm lighting, but I'm looking for maybe another one as I find that they create the perfect ambience for early Spring and Summer evenings. 

In my bedroom, the corner that I started last Summer never really got finished as I changed my mind half way through, but I've finally started to think of new ideas again. I've got a couple of hats already handing up there, but I want to put the rest up too alongside a print or tapestry as well. This corner is a particular favourite of mine as it really makes me bedroom feel cosy without overcrowding it either. 

Below are some of the pieces on my wishlist at the moment: 

Friday, 14 February 2020

Valentine's Day Makeup

Valentine's Day Makeup
Valentine's Day Makeup
Valentine's Day Makeup
- If a product is marked with a * it is a PR gift, but was sent under no obligation to review. All links in this post are affiliate links. -

Valentine's Day for me is all about having the excuse to dress up in a LBD and wear my favourite makeup with lots of glitter and a red lip. I've slowly started to incorporate more pinks on my eyes, cheeks and lips, as well as practising my full face, yet glowy base over the last two weeks, so I thought I would share with you my final Valentine's Day date makeup with you today. 

To improve the longevity of my makeup, I spritz my face with the Pixi Makeup Setting Spray* before I go in with the Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow* to get my radiant base off to a good start. For foundation, it's the It Cosmetics CC Cream* and bareMinerals Complexion Rescue* that I'm currently using for a flawless, yet natural look that you can easily build on and apply concealer on top of. 

After setting my makeup and adding bronzer, I go in with a blusher to add a subtle pink flush to the cheeks and highlighter to add a glow! Then it's on to eyes and I like to go in hard with the shimmer starting with the Stila Shimmer Glow Liquid Eye Shadow* all over the lids and then applying the ABH Sunset Aura Loose Highlighter* to the inner corners. 

I finish it off with a classic red lip and it has to be Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Queen Lipstick*. It's comfortable, easy to top up throughout the night and looks great no matter what you wear it with. With just a couple of spritzes of perfume, I'm good to go! 

What makeup will you be wearing this Valentine's Day? 

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

10 Things To Do This Valentine's Day

Things To Do This Valentine's Day
Valentine's day is nearly upon us and although we're pretty organised this year and we booked a table at our favourite restaurant a couple of weeks back, usually I'm in the 'unorganised' group who panic buys a present and plans what to do last minute. If you're looking for things to do this Valentine's Day then I've got your back with this to-do list below! 

  • Make sure you've got a card and present. If you do choose to celebrate Valentine's Day, then get organised now and grab a card and present. 
  • Watch a soppy film. If you can't watch a tear jerker now, when can you? I've already done a Valentine's Day to-watch list, but the 14th is the perfect time to sit down with a cosy blanket, snacks and a film from Netflix. 
  • Celebrate Galantine's Day. A day before the big day, we now have Galentine's Day, the perfect excuse to meet up with your friends and head out for a meal or have a night in with a film (Bridesmaids or Clueless are good picks!), a takeaway and games. 
  • A cute gesture. There's so many ideas on Pinterest for cute ideas and Tom actually gave me a jar full of notes a couple of years back and up until this day, he still regularly puts new notes inside. A small gesture that feels great! 
  • Get dressed up. I've been incorporating more heart shaped or love themed items into my wardrobe throughout February, but on the 14th I like to make the effort and get all dressed up. I will be sporting a red lip and my favourite little black dress to go out to dinner in.
  • Have a date night in. Switch off your phone, order pizza in and bundle all the blankets on the sofa. Either start a new series on Netflix or play a game, so you can have a bit of one on one time. 
  • Think of a gift idea. I've mentioned a card and gift earlier in the post, but if you're stuck for ideas then I've got you! Krispy Kreme doughnuts, an item of jewellery or sexy underwear always goes down well. 
  • Bake or cook your partners favourite food. Does your boyfriend adore a Victoria sponge or does your girlfriend love a spaghetti bolognese? Then it's a great idea if you want to make a small gesture that your partner will appreciate. 
  • Make a heart shaped breakfast. There's lots of options in the shops at the moment, but make yourself and your loved one a heart shaped crumpet, pancakes or toast. 
  • Start a new Netflix series. We've mentioned films, but if you are having a date night on the sofa then there's lots of Netflix series to delve into. Sex Education is my top pick for the 14th as it's funny, light hearted and super entertaining. 

What are you doing this Valentine's Day? 

Monday, 10 February 2020

Valentine's Day Outfit Inspiration

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If you follow me on Instagram (if you don't where have you been?!), then you would have already have seen that I've been fully embracing the month of love. The high street is slowly releasing their date night outfits, but if you want to go one step further, there's lots of adorable pieces with hearts on that may get you in the loving mood. Today I have put together a post of my top picks.  

I picked up the Nasty Gal Lonely Hearts Club T-Shirt as it's a vibrant red shade that will go with lots in my wardrobe and the small logo on the left hand side isn't too in your face or that specific for Valentine's Day. In fact, Nasty Gal have really smashed it out the park when it comes to their heart fashion pieces as they've got lots to choose from including a simple pair of Grey Love Short Pyjama Set

I picked up a pair of these ASOS Heart Shaped Sunglasses as I wanted to wear them when the weather starts to get warmer, so I thought now was the best time to pick them up. If you like cute hair accessories or jewellery, I feel like there's lots on the high street at the moment to jazz up your outfits. The H&M Pearl Hair Clips are super adorable and I feel like I need to pick them up after wearing my Designb Braided Headband non-stop recently. 

Do you think the pieces I picked out were cute? 

Sunday, 9 February 2020

A Cosy Sunday Evening Routine

Cosy Sunday Evening Routine
- If a product is marked with a *, it has been gifted but with no obligation to review. All links in this post are affiliate links. For more info head to my disclaimer. -

In the Autumn and the lead up to Christmas, cosy evenings are one of my favourite activities especially when they consist of films, snacks, blankets and candles. That being said come January and the festivities have worn off, I can start feeling impatient with wanting Spring and the warmer weather to hurry up. I'm trying to avoid that feeling this year by embracing the colder weather, taking a little bit more time out for myself and sprucing up my Sunday's and cosy evenings in. 

As I work from home Monday to Friday, by the weekend I tend to get a bit of 'cabin fever' and I want some fresh air. Saturday morning's tend to be filled with shooting content for Instagram, but the rest of the day and then Sunday I get to do what I please. I know that if I don't get out in the sunshine and instead relax inside throughout the day, I struggle to not only switch off and sleep at night, but I find it hard to enjoy my evening too.  My favourite activities to do to keep myself active is getting on my bike, completing a workout routine at home or going for a long walk. All of these I try and squeeze into my weekend if I can, but my favourite is going out for a bike ride then stretching with a bit of yoga before a steaming hot bath. 

Talking of baths, a pamper is a must on a Sunday. I love nothing more than washing my hair ready for the week ahead, scrubbing off any dry patches or fake tan I have left on and moisturising my body from head to toe. Candles are always a must and I've still been listening to my favourite rainy Sunday playlist that I featured in Autumn's cosy routine blog post. It's over on my spotify 'Pintsizedbeauty' if you fancy a listen - I'd highly recommend it! 
Cosy Sunday Evening Routine
I've been enjoying listening to podcasts when I'm doing my full skincare routine and reapplying my fake tan post-bath, but nothing beats devouring a Netflix series in a weekend or re-watching a favourite film. Talking of skincare, I've now got a set routine that I've been enjoying and it's kept my dry skin at bay. The Soap and Glory Ulti-Melt* has been great at removing my makeup, but it's really my Drunk Elephant F-Balm Waterfacial* that has been saving the day as it's super moisturising and makes my skin look great. 

If I don't want to watch something, I've been trying to make the effort of reading more. I like to settle down with a peppermint tea and some snacks, so I don't have to move for an hour or two whilst I make my way through a book. When I finish a book, I love how it makes me feel and I love that it forces me to take a little while away from the screen, which is even better when it's just before bed. 

Lighting candles around my bedroom and switching on the fairy lights have become a ritual for me over the last couple of months as I really find the low light and flickering flames to be relaxing and set me up for a cosy evening ahead no matter what I get up to. 

What's your ultimate cosy Sunday evening? 

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Vegan Jammie Dodgers Recipe

Vegan Jammie Dodgers Recipe
Vegan Jammie Dodgers Recipe
Vegan Jammie Dodgers Recipe
Vegan Jammie Dodgers Recipe
I was wracking my brains with what recipe to rustle up for Valentine's Day and then it came to me - heart shaped Jammie Dodgers! Now who wouldn't want a sweet treat on the day of love. Making the recipe vegan was super easy and they are just as delicious as the shop bought ones, so I just had to share. Of course you can make them whatever shape you want, but making them into hearts just felt right. 

I used my pumpkin spiced biscuit recipe for the main biscuit base, but minus all the spices as I want mine a simple vanilla. I did use ready made raspberry jam as I wanted a seedless option, but if you're a dab hand at making your own jam then I thought they'd make these even more scummy (and the perfect gift too!). 

Ingredients (Makes 8) - 

225g Vegan Margarine 
120g Golden Caster Sugar 
180g Plain Flour 
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract 
Jam for the filling. 
Cookie cutter 

Method - 

Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees. 

Firstly, I put the vegan margarine and golden caster sugar in a bowl and cream until smooth. 

Add 2tsp vanilla extract. 

Slowly mix the plain flour into the mixture and stir until firm. Tip the dough out onto a flat surface sprinkled with flour to stop from sticking. Use your rolling pin to roll out your dough until 5mm thick. Use your cookie cutter to make 8 shapes. 

With half the biscuits that you have cut with the cookie cutter, make a second hole inside using a smaller cookie cutter. 

On a baking tray lined with parchment paper, move the biscuits onto the tray carefully. Place in oven for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown. 

Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Once cooled, this is when the assembling starts! Just spoon your jam (I use 1/2tsp) onto a biscuit without a second hole in and place one of the biscuits with a hole in on top. Press down gently and let sit before serving. 


Did you enjoy this Jammie Dodger recipe? Will you be making them at home? 

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Insta Story Hacks - The Best Gifs and Filters

 Insta Story Best Gifs and Filters
 Insta Story Best Gifs and Filters
Over the last few months I've been trying to improve my Instagram stories regularly, using filters, gifs and design hacks to make them more aesthetically pleasing to my followers. I asked on there if you would like to see this post and I had an overwhelming positive response (you can follow me on Insta here), but as it was getting super long I decided to split these posts so there will now be an Instagram stories series. Today I am sharing my favourite filters and gifs, but I've got typography and design hacks coming up soon. 

The Best Instagram Story GIFS | I know how hard it can be to find good gifs on Insta stories, but after finding a trend of Tik Tok (I know who am I?!) where people share their favourites, I've now got quite the stash. It requires you to type in certain phrases to get gifs up, so save the list below to upgrade your Insta stories! 
  • Greendotori - White graphics including hearts and stars.
  • Mikyla - A variety of pastel swirls, heart shapes and coffee. 
  • Floweringwords - Calligraphy phrases including adventures and hello. 
  • Hearts White - Self explanatory these gifs are mostly white hearts. 
  • Happymousestudio - Great for Autumn/Winter. Adorable graphics. 
  • Gladdest - Cute pastel graphics including moon, stars and hearts. 
  • The Uncommon Place - Vibrant flowers and rainbow written words. 
  • Hanmade - White and pink swirled typography.
  • Vipapier - Various words in pastel hues. 
  • Malenaflores - Pink girly graphics including words, books and flowers etc.
  • Happpyal - Flowers, weekend/weekday words and rainbows.
  • Studiojonesie - New post, big news and various phrases. Perfect for Christmas. 
  • Boho -  Simple imagery in neutral shades. 
  • Lidiaontheroad - A variety of phrases in calligraphy 
  • Ohlalalita - All white simple graphics. 
  • Wildflowerbar - Wildflower is another phrase for cute plant images. 

The Best Filters | I know there's various apps that can transform the simplest of images and videos into vintage montages with the perfect speckles and flawless skin, but I've been really enjoying using the filters in-app. Gone are the days when you've just got to stick to the dog filters as below are my favourite filters that you can search and save. If you've seen a filter you like on your favourite influencer, then just tap where underneath their name on the top left corner and you can try it before you save, but if you do enjoy it then just tap "save effect". 
  • Cinema Stories 7 by Ruzaone 
  • Equinox by Filmapp 
  • Film 01 by Elenagoues
  • Moody up by Carmushka
  • V I N T A G E by Yulya.kors
  • Analog 01 by Elenagoues
  • A4 Filter by Thaifurtado
  • Milk*Two by Ya.molli
  • Pink Ice by Naschies
  • Hygge Preset One by
  • Moody*Tones by thaifurtado
  • Kira-Kira by Chrislprice
  • Coffee Bean Preset by Apasynkovaa
  • Warm&Cozy Autumn by Alenafine
  • Boho Filters by Jammahavan
  • RetroCAM by Yulya.kors
What are your favourite Instagram story gifs and filters? 

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

20 Films To Watch This Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day Films To Watch
Whether you're pro-Valentine's Day, Galentine's Day or you just choose not to celebrate the 14th February at all, I think it's the perfect time of the year to have the excuse to watch soppy films and romcoms galore. For me, I love to bundle all the blankets on the sofa, pour myself a warm cup of tea and gather all the heart shaped snacks I can find. I know it can be super hard to decide what to put on, so I've shared my top picks with you today. 

- He's Just Not That Into You
- To All The Boys I Loved Before
- Clueless
- 10 Things I Hate About You
- The Notebook
- How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days
- Bridesmaids 
- Friends With Benefits 
- The Proposal
- Pretty Woman
- Sex Education TV Series  
- Juno
- The Other Woman 
- There's Something About Mary
- John Tucker Must Die
- La La Land 
- The Spy Who Dumped Me
- Great Gatsby
- Bride Wars  
- The Holiday

I wanted to share a wide range of films to watch depending on what mood you're in. Sometimes I want to go for a film that I know will make me cry, whereas most of the time I do opt for a rom-com or classic film that I know I'll enjoy! 

What's your favourite film to watch around Valentine's Day? 

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Sensica Sensilight Mini RPL

Sensica Sensilight Mini RPL Review
Sensica Sensilight Mini RPL Review
- This post is a paid collaboration with Boots UK, but all thoughts are my own. All links in this post are affiliate links. -

With the weather super chilly outside, I find it easy to hide under jeans and tights so I don't have to shave, wax or epilate any part of my body. That being said, I know that now is the perfect time to get into the swing of things, so discovering the Sensica Sensilight Mini RPL* seemed like the best option to add into my body care routine. I've been putting this device to the test over the last 8 weeks as it promises to reduce hair growth in the comfort of your own home. 

How the Sensilight Mini works is with RPL technology which is a form of IPL that reacts to your skin tone and condition to tailor the treatment to your needs. This is also helped but the three different energy levels that you can choose from as you can build up if you're new to the treatment. You press the device so it has direct contact with your skin, it then sends a flash every three seconds, once it's flashed you move the device to the test part of your skin. 

When testing this out, I mainly focused on my legs as this is the area I have to shave the most. I noticed after a few sessions that the hair was growing slower meaning that going the two weeks you need to leave it between sessions became easier and easier. It's lightweight and can be manoeuvred around the body with ease, getting to all areas no matter how big nor small. 
Sensica Sensilight Mini RPL Review
My initial worry when I first starting using the Sensilight was that it was going to be painful as I've had no prior experience with RPL technology before. Although it warms up and may sting depending on what area I'm working on, it really isn't as bad as I thought. As you can cover a whole leg in 10 minutes, I feel like the treatment when spread out over a couple of days, really doesn't feel like nothing at all. 

If you're looking to invest in the Sensica Sensilight Mini RPL* then I'd definitely recommend it. I've noticed a change in my hair regrowth and I will be using this over the next couple of months to help me achieve smooth, silky skin ready for the Spring and Summer seasons. Sensica is now available to buy from Boots here and you can also check out the whole Sensica Hair Removal range here as well. 

Would you be tempted to try out the Sensica Sensilight Mini RPL? 

Saturday, 1 February 2020

5 Things I've Added To My February To Do List

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January felt like it went on for 45 days, so February has been welcomed with open arms. I'm very ready to start creating content for Valentine's Day and getting excited for Spring's blooms. That being said, I felt like January was rather productive and a great start to 2020 as I went on a snow holiday to Austria, completed veganuary and got back in the swing of things. Here are five things I've added to my February to-do list:

Go On A Date Night | Valentine's Day always gives us the excuse to go out on a date night to somewhere tasty and enjoy a few drinks. We've already booked our table (we picked Zizzi's!) and I've been planning my outfit too! 

Continue on a 80% Vegan Diet | Doing veganuary was much easier than expected and although I'm still contemplating doing a full blog post about my experiences, long story short is made me realise just how easy it was for me personally to transition from a vegetarian diet to a vegan one. We'd already switched our milk to almond, our butter to non-diary and we haven't eaten meat in years, so I think that contributed to how I felt about doing veganuary as it made me realise that we'd been eating vegan a lot throughout the week anyway. That being said, due to certain illnesses I have I'm not 100% ready to commit personally  but I still want to give myself to aim of sticking to vegan meals 5 or 6 days a week, slowly eliminating cheese, chocolate and eggs over time. 

Make Fitness Goals | Throughout January I gave myself the goal of regularly exercising, trying to head out on a walk, go for a long bike ride or do an at-home HIIT or weights workout every day. To my surprise, I did really well and I feel like it helped me get over my January slump. For the next 29 days I want to continue the tradition and not let it slip as I struggle to sleep or relax when it gets dark so quickly in the evenings, but when I've exercised during the day, I find myself drifting off better. 

Create Valentine's Day Content | I can't wait to get my teeth stuck into creating Valentine's Day content from date night outfits to cosy set ups at home. I've just finished decorating my mirror with my latest rose garland and I've just started planning outfits for the next two weeks too, so don't forget to follow me on my Instagram to be kept up to date! 

Vamp up my wardrobe | I've put together a few of my top picks for February, but as you can see there's definitely a monochrome theme. I recently cleared out my wardrobe, fixing any pieces that needed sewing and selling others that I no longer wear anymore. Here is my current wishlist:  

What's on your February to-do list? 

Friday, 31 January 2020

Is This The Best Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Dupe?

Soap and Glory Liz Earle Dupe
- If a product is marked with a * it is a PR sample, but it has been sent with no obligation to review. All links in this post are affiliate links. -

Today we're throwing it right back to 2013 blogging as I'm going to be talking about a product that I use (and reviewed before I had this blog!) many years ago - it's the Soap and Glory The Ultimelt Hot Cloth Cleanser* of course. 

I've had this tube sitting in my cupboard for some time now, but as I've been trying to use up all of the cleansers I had open, I'm only just getting round to trying this out again. As I mentioned before, I used to use this many moons ago when I was in my teens and at £10 and with it often being involved in deals, I was very happy with it. It was often compared to the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish* due to the nature of how it's intended to be used, but as I didn't like the high end counterpart I didn't have anything to really compare it to. That being said, times have changed and if you've read my reviews on the Liz Earle cleanser you'll know that I'm quite the fan now, so I was excited to put this budget version to the test! 

Initially the Soap and Glory one is slightly thinner than Liz Earle, so I was worried that it wouldn't be as deep cleansing especially with high coverage foundation and heavy eye makeup. You'll be pleased to know that it didn't disappoint and in fact worked in a very similar way, the only difference being is that the more expensive product leaves my skin feeling slightly softer post-cleanse. 

In terms of scent, I actually find the Soap and Glory offering a lot less potent, so if your complexion didn't work well with Liz Earle's more fragrant formula, then I would recommend giving this one a go. For £10 it's an absolute steal if you don't want to splurge especially since you get 100ml of product and a muslin cloth too. 

Have you tried the Soap and Glory Ultimelt Cleanser? 

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Books I Want To Read This Year

Books I Want To Read In 2020
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If you're anything like me, you'll know the struggle when you're not a consistent reader, but you love to buy new books! My to-read pile has grown quite a bit over the last 12 months and I've got a fair few books that I want to delve into or re-start again as I just managed to a couple of chapters before putting it down again. This blog post is entirely inspired by I Covet Thee's recent Youtube video, but I'm excited to share my take on it.

First up we have Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, a book that I've shared on my Insta stories a fair few times and I've had a mixed response back every time; some people love it and others hate it. I think at the moment I'm the latter, although I'm nearly 100 pages in, nothing has grabbed me yet and I would say I'm just a tad bored. I do want to finish it though as I don't want to make my full judgement too quickly. 
Next up is we have another best seller this time from the author Sally Rooney and it's of course her book Normal People. I've heard endless good things about this book and it's been in and out of my checkout basket for the longest time, so I think 2020 is the year I finally read it. 

After the film release came out not too long ago, it reminded me that I've never actually read Little Women - can you believe it? I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but I definitely am with this gorgeous hardback version that they sell; I think it would look great on my bookshelf and tick a well loved book off my to-read list too. 

I recently read This Is Going To Hurt and I loved it so much that I've been after books in a similar vein for a while. I've got quite the wishlist now, but Unnatural Causes, The Secret Barrister and The Prison Doctor are all quite high up - can you tell I have a theme? 

What book are you reading at the moment? 

Saturday, 25 January 2020

A Winter Season Wishlist

- All links in this post are affiliate links. For more info head to my disclaimer. -

This time of the year I often feel unmotivated with my wardrobe; I never know what to wear and I feel uninspired as the colours of Autumn have faded away as well as the tartan and glitter that the festive season brings. I'm determined this year to spruce up my style over the next few months even though I find shopping for new pieces hard, so I thought  I'd share my top current picks from my wishlist below. 

I think my theme for January and February is definitely going for neutrals with some rust tones thrown in too. As I feel like it's this year that I need to invest in a pair of mules, I think these ASOS Mumble Rust ones may be the ones I go for. I picked up this Designb Plaited Headband in the sale and ever since I've been looking at other hair accessories like this H&M Pearl Hair Clip Duo

Then it's on the simple basics that I want to pick up as I am trying to make the most of my jeans at the moment. The ASOS Chunky Cable Jumper is high up on my wishlist because I think it'd be a classic I'd bring out every year! Although it's not a monochrome colour, this ASOS Fluffy Cardigan is so dreamy and I feel like it'd add colour to miserable Winter, but be a must-have come Spring and Summer. 

Miss Selfridge's sale section is my favourite place to browse as there's some serious gems in there for bargain prices. Their £10 skirts look incredible, this Purple Bias Skirt and Black Spot Split Skirt are two of my top picks that I think you should check out. The item top of my wishlist though is the Black Contrast Faux Fur Aviator Jacket which looks so cool and something that I think would be worth the investment. 

What Winter fashion pieces do you love? 

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Hydrating and Dewy Products For The NY

Hydrating and Dewy Makeup Products

Hydrating and Dewy Makeup Products
- This post is a paid collaboration with Fragrance Direct, but all thoughts are my own. All links in this post are affiliate links. - 

Once January rolls around, my skin has often seen better days and my makeup bag is calling out for an update. Fragrance Direct is one of my go-to places to stock up on new products for the New Year and I've recently picked up a handful of glow-inducing pieces to create the dewy skin I'm after. 

A glowy base starts with a good moisturiser and the Elizabeth Eight Hour Cream* is the perfect pick. I don't use this all over my face, but just on the parts that feel parched and need an extra boost of hydration. At over half the price off, nabbing this famous product from Fragrance Direct makes it even better! 

Then I go onto primer where I've gone back to an old favourite of mine, the Bourjois Healthy Mix Glow Primer Serum*. It's lightweight meaning it doesn't cake on the skin and the shimmer pigments look subtle and natural too. When used underneath makeup, it makes my foundation go on a look smoother and turns a matte base into a more of an everyday option. 

If there's something you treat yourself to this Winter it's the Sleek MakeUP Solstice Highlighting Palette*. If you've been reading blogs for a fair few years you'll probably already have seen or even tried this glow inducing quad. Each highlighter in the palette adds a dreamy radiance to the skin, but it's the bottom two shades that I use the most often. At £3.99 it's an absolute steal and you won't regret it! 

Another blast from the past is the Max Factor Creme Puff Blush* which I used to use and made my way through it as it was a favourite in my makeup bag. It's adds a pop of colour to the cheeks that looks natural and has a soft sheen as well. 

For my lips, I've gone back to my Nars Audacious Lipstick* as it's got a nourishing formula that sits comfortably, but also delivers a good amount of colour. Although not glossy nor shimmery, I find this great for one I'm wearing a dewy makeup base as it compliments it perfectly. 

Will you be taking a look at Fragrance Direct for new-in makeup products? 

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

8 Brands You Should Try in 2020

8 Brands You Should Try in 2020
- If a product is marked with * it is a PR sample, but was sent under no obligation to review. All links in this post are affiliate links. -

As a beauty blogger, I'm constantly trying out new products, but I'm not partially reliable when it comes to brands, that being said, I've found a fair few new brands last year that I knew I just had to share with you. I hope you're ready for me to enable you as your wishlist is about to get that bit bigger. 

First up is Milk Makeup, a brand I discovered at the start of 2019 and although they're probably known as an "Instagram" brand, once you get past their cool packaging, it's their formulas that set themselves apart from the crowd. Although not everything from the brand has impressed me, there's still many of their products that I would recommend including the Matte Baked Bronzer which is their take on the cream bronzer that has a long lasting finish and a natural hue to it. 

I think if there's a brand from this list that doesn't get raved about enough it's Fresh Beauty. I discovered this brand before it was made readily available in the UK through people's reviews on their Sugar Lip Treatments, but since then I've fallen in love with each product I've tried. The Rose Deep Hydration Moisturiser*, Serum* and Toner* are three of my favourites by them and I would recommend them to anybody looking to invest a little bit more in their skincare routine. 

If there's two high end brands that deserve the hype it's BareMinerals and Charlotte Tilbury. The latter has been spoken about on my blog a lot in 2019, but they continue to impress with their new releases and I keep going back to my old favourites too. I've done a full collection post here and shared my top five Charlotte Tilbury makeup products post here too. Bare Minerals is more for people who want a natural, everyday looking base and I think the Complexion Rescue* and bareSkin Stay In Place Concealer* are two perfect products to achieve this. 

8 Brands You Should Try in 2020
I've been using L'Occitane for many years now, since I started this blog, but I think it's still underrated despite being everywhere! I don't hear people talking enough about their dreamy almond range and although I know it's on the luxe side for body care, it's absolutely worth it in my opinion. 

Another skincare product which I think will get even more popular in the next 12 months is Glow Recipe as their cute packaging and delicious scents are getting all the raved reviews just like they deserve. I enjoyed using their Blueberry Bounce Cleanser*, but it's now the Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturiser* that I use daily. 

I only tried the Herbivore Coco Rose Scrub to begin with, so when I got sent the Emerald Face Oil*, it made me realise that I should probably start ticking their other products of my wishlist. This is a brand that I not only recommend to everybody else to just check out, but one that I want to try more of myself in 2020. 

I've spoken about Milk Makeup as an Instagram brand, so it wouldn't be right not to mention the OG in my eyes - Glossier. Now it's in the UK, I feel like everyone is using their products and just like my thoughts on Bare Minerals, this brand is great for those who want lighter looking makeup or if you want to just tweak certain aspects. 

What brands to you want to try over the next year? 

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