Tuesday 30 June 2020

Nars Makeup Collection

Nars Makeup Collection Review
Nars is a brand that has been around since the very beginning of this blog and despite doing a round up post a few years ago, I thought it was about time I did an updated one as my collection has grown considerably. This is going to be a super long post, showing your my favourite products to the one's I no longer use anymore (there's some throwbacks too), so get yourself comfortable and get your wishlist ready! 

I've kept the Nars Radiance Primer in my collection purely for this blog post when I finally decided to do it. Although it's too old now to use on my skin, it was once one of my favourites. It was lightweight and could be worn underneath a tinted moisturiser or medium coverage foundation for a glow boost perfect for perking up your skin. 

Now onto a total throwback, Nars Sheer Glow Foundation*. I first reviewed this when I first start blogging and over the years, my opinion has changed on it. Back in the days when my skin was more on the oily side, I couldn't get enough of it as it offered great coverage and lasted all day. Nowadays, my complexion has changed quite a bit and although I think the Natural Radiant Longwear* pick is now more suited to my dry complexion, Sheer Glow will always be nostalgic to me. I personally struggle a little with Nars foundations as they tend to have pinker undertones to them, whereas I'm more neutral. That being said, the formulas are great, so if you're looking to try them definitely give it a sample before buying. 
Nars Makeup Collection Review
The Nars Radiant Concealer* has also been around for many years in my collection, I've gone through tubes of the stuff and it still remains one of my favourites. I'm currently using it all over my face; under my eyes, on my blemishes and any redness too. It's great if you like a concealer that has a lightweight formula, but medium coverage as this can be built up if you need, whilst still looking natural too. 

Their other offering is the Soft Matte Complete Concealer, which is a quite different as it's in a pot meaning that you need to use either your finger or a sponge to apply. I prefer the latter for application as I find it gives a better finish. This is a great option if you enjoy using a lightweight foundation base, but you want to add a bit more coverage to certain areas. 

Although I've no longer got the Nars Copacabana Ilumminator in my collection, I wanted to talk about it nevertheless as through 2016 into 2017 it was one of my go-to highlighters of choice. It added an iridescent sheen to the cheeks perfect for an added luminous look to your makeup. 

I remember going into the shop to try their Laguna Bronzer* and I was underwhelmed as under the harsh shop lights, I felt like it was too dark and shimmery for my skin tone. Fast forward a couple of years and I got kindly sent it and I immediately kicked myself for not picking it up sooner. This bronzer is in my top three favourites now, the hue is perfect to lightly contour, whilst adding warmth the complexion - a great allrounder! 

I had a similar experience with the Nars Orgasm Blusher*, famed for being one of the most flattering shades to wear. When I first swatched it, I didn't think it was for me, only to later love it and for it to not leave my makeup bag for months. It's a pink hue with gold flecks running through it. It can be easily worn in the height of Summer for a soft sheen or in the depths of Winter for a pop of colour, so it's versatile throughout the seasons. 
Nars Makeup Collection ReviewThe other blushers I have by them is a Portofino The Multiple* which I think is a cream version of Orgasm or atleast it's similar, but despite not using it as much as I should do, it's perfect for hot Summer weather as it dries on the skin matte and sits comfortably. The other one is Dual Intensity Blusher* which is one I used to reach for all the time, but the vibrant pink isn't my colour anymore and I struggle to wear the shade on the left unless it's on the eyes. 

There's many Nars discontinued products that people would say they want back, but mine has to be the Rigel Single Eyeshadow. I wouldn't mind it in highlighter form as well as this glowy shadow is a great one sweep wonder on the lids or it can easily be used as an eyebrow illuminator - I've even been known to dust it across my cheeks anyway. Their individual eyeshadows probably not get the hype they deserve because of the expensive price point, but from the colour I've swatched previously, they've got a great selection with the majority have lots of colour payoff. 

Although I know there was a few people disappointed in the packaging of the Nars Mini Wanted Palette, but for me, it was what was inside that counts. They don't sell this anymore, but the warm toned eyeshadows make for the perfect smokey eye, but there's also natural tones inside that can be worn on a daily basis too. 
Nars Makeup Collection Review
If I re-purhcase a mascara it means that I love it as I love trying out new mascaras and rarely stay that faithful to just one. The Nars Climax Mascara* is one of a handful that I've re-bought and that's just because of how amazing it is. I reviewed it back in 2018 when it first got released and it got a rave review from me despite having a full brush that took a while to get used to. The long lasting formula survived multiple exercise tests and it never smudged under my eyes or flake on my face throughout the day. 

The Nars Velvet Matte* and Satin Lip Pencils have been in my collection some time, I have the shades Lodhi, Cruella, Bahama and Good Times. It's the two latter shades I want to talk about first as they are the nudes that I own, Bahama being more of a mauve hue and Good Times being a classic peachy nude. They both are great for wearing on a daily basis, but it's Cruella, a vibrant red shade that I would recommend everyone checking out. 

Then it's on to their lipsticks, the Audacious Anita* one being a long time favourite. It's a pink shade that goes with every outfit in every occasion, making it a handbag must have. I actually stopped using it, so that I didn't disrupt the Nars logo on the side of the lipstick being photographing this blog post, but it's a range of lipsticks that I don't believe get enough hype. I do have their Pigalle Lipstick* as well, but I personally don't reach for it at all which is a shame as it's a gorgeous colour, I just find the other lipsticks far more comfier to wear.  

What are your favourite Nars products? 

Friday 26 June 2020

Summer Wardrobe Refresh

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

Summer is finally here! The sun is blazing and I've dug out my new season wardrobe to make the most of over the next few months. I've been pretty uninspired when it comes to the new-in sections, but I've slowly started saving my favourite pieces to share with you. 

First up we have this ASOS Burgundy Broderie Dress which has gorgeous ruffle detailing around the top and skirt area. I feel like this could easily be transitioned into Autumn, but worn with a straw hat and sandals, I'd get a lot of wear out of it now. 

I really struggle with finding tops to go with skirts throughout Summer, but I think this Mint Blue Buttoned Up Cardigan would be a great alternative to my usual black slogan tee. It'd go with a variety of my outfits as well as being a great throw on when it gets chillier in the evenings. 

In fact, the colour mint and those pastel shades have been a common theme running through my wishlist. As we missed out on most of the joys of Spring, I feel like I'm incorporating those colours into my Summer wardrobe instead. Although I've recently bought a dress similar to this 70's style puffed sleeve dress, the lemon shade is drawing me in and I'm very tempted! 


Wednesday 24 June 2020

Early Summer Lifestyle Favourites

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

This was originally supposed to be a Spring favourites post, but as I've taken a little time away from my blog, I'm now sharing it as an Early Summer one instead. Today I am going to be specifically focusing on the books I've read, the apps I've been using and the homeware picks I've been loving as the past season has been full of homely comforts and great bakes! 

I've made it my mission this year to read all the books that have just been sitting in my wishlist or on my bookshelf gathering dust. I started off by re-reading the ACOTAR series and I've enjoyed them even more the second time around. If you haven't read them, they follow a girl called Feyre and it includes everything magical and although it features another world (a great way to escape through a book) it also has a "human realm" so I feel like it's great if you don't want to delve into the fantasy genre head first. The next books I want to read are A Song Below Water and The Worst Best Man, two very different books, but they both look like ones I'd devour on a sunny Sunday afternoon. 

Two apps that I've been using daily is Planta and Grateful, the former being great for those who want to keep track of their houseplant watering and the latter is perfect for reflection on the day. I've been actively practicing gratefulness and mediation for the last four weeks and I found that the app is a simple, yet effective way on jotting it all down. 

Although the weather at the moment is super warm, a couple of weeks back we were having daily rain showers and storms, which meant that I made the most of the cosy evenings and got into a proper evening routine. I've been enjoying fresh showers this Summer with the use of essential oils, but I've been using them in the bath paired with almond oil and bath salts for a relaxing soak. 

Last up, I've been trying to update elements of my home or at least start to put mood boards together of the ideas I've been looking at. It's mostly small additional items or replacement pieces, but here's a wishlist of the kind of thing I've been looking at. 

What are your current favourites?


Friday 19 June 2020

5 Books I've Been Reading

5 Books I've Been Reading
5 Books I've Been Reading
Reading has always been a great way for me to unwind after a long day and over the last few months I've done just that, making my way through a handful of books. I downloaded Goodreads on my phone not too long ago thanks to my friend Hannah and it's really helped me put all my recent reads in one place as well as add to my to-read pile too. 

I read The Flatshare towards the start of lockdown and really enjoyed how easy it was to get through. At the end of the day, before I go to sleep, I like reading a book that doesn't use a lot of brain power and this scratched the itch. It was a romantic story with loveable characters, but it still had a twist. I would say that Leon's half of the book was a little harder to get through, but all in all I would recommend it to anybody looking for a joyful, quick read. 

Next up we have the A Court Of book series, which I've already read a couple of years back, but as I really enjoyed them the first time around, I thought now was a great time to re-read them. The second book, A Court of Mist and Fury is my favourite of the original trilogy and I would go as far to say that you should read the whole series purely for to get pleasure of reading it! 

I've had The Couple Next Door on my bookshelf for the longest time, but always picked over books over it. That was until I had a hankering to read a thriller and this was the first one I reached for. Initially I struggled with it as although the plot got off to a great start, enticing me in, the whole book is written in third person, making it hard to get into the mind of the characters. That on top of the unnatural dialogue made it a book I wouldn't recommend, which is a shame as the storyline was pretty decent. 

The book I'm currently reading is My Sister, The Serial Killer and from the get-go I was pretty shocked at how easy it was to read and I had to stop myself from devouring it all in one go. If you're looking for a page turner, then look no further as this is the book for you. I've not quite finished it set as I wanted to savour it for as long as I could, so I will give you a final update when I do, but so far I think it's fantastic! 

Lastly we have Unnatural Causes, a book I've been lusting after since it got recommended to me because I enjoyed This Is Going To Hurt so much. It's in a similar vein as it's non-fiction, written like an autobiography, but isn't quite as quick and snappy as it's competitor. I'll have to get back to you on this one. 

What books have you been reading lately? 


Friday 12 June 2020

Refreshing Homemade Elderflower Cordial

Homemade easy elderflower cordial recipe
I've been spending far too much time on Tik Tok as of late and my 'cottage-core' videos are my favourite to create, so after seeing somebody make elderflower cordial on there, I thought I'd turn my hand to it too. Every year I've always sworn that I would do something with the elderflower that grows in abundance and finally I did, so I thought I'd share just how easy it was to make this refreshing Summer drink. 

Although most recipes you will find will use citric acid, I decided to skip this as it's usually used to add a tang and as a preservative, but as I was giving most of it away to be drunk pretty quickly (with tonic and gin!), I didn't bother to add any. 

Ingredients - 
20 Elderflower heads
750ml Water 
1 Lemons 
700g Sugar 

Method - 

In a large pan, heat the water and sugar until boiling. Keep stirring so all of the sugar is dissolved. 

Remove as much of the stems as possible on the elderflower heads, you want as little of the green as you can, only the flowers should be left. 

Take of the heat and add in the juice and zest of one lemon. Slice the remaining lemon into slices and place in the water too. Add the elderflower heads to the mixture and stir until all of them having been covered. 

Pop a lid on your pan and leave for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. 

Once 24 hours are up, using a colander, pour your cordial into a separate bowl under it, separating the liquid from the lemons and elderflower. 

There will still be a few flower heads in the liquid, so you need to use a clean tea towel and strain your cordial. 

Once done, just pour your cordial into storage bottles (I've used glass Kilner ones) and keep in the fridge to be used over 2-3 weeks. 

Have you made elderflower cordial before? 

Thursday 11 June 2020

A Summer To-Do List

Summer To- Do List
Summer is no doubt going to be a little different this year, but I'm determined to make the most of it nevertheless. We've had a couple of days of rain, which although has made me feel super cosy, it's June and I wouldn't mind having Summer back for a bit longer. That being said, I made a list of things I'd love to do this season when the sunshine comes back. 

Explore Nature | Although I'm sure fruit picking and lavender field frolicking will be off the cards this year, I still want to go out exploring in my local woods as much as I can. We're quite lucky where we live as there's multiple different options including fields of poppy's and wild flowers too, so I'm hoping to go exploring as much as I can on my bike and on foot. 

Get Through My To-Read Pile | I've really gotten back into reading recently, taking time out of my day to sit with a cup of tea and book in hand. Inevitably my wishlist has doubled in size despite having many books on my bookshelf that need reading. I really want to pick up A Song Below Water and My Sister, The Serial Killer because although they're two very different book genres, I think they'll grip me for an afternoon nevertheless. 

Practice Gratitude | I've been actively practicing gratitude for a couple of weeks now and so far just taking 10 to 15 minutes out of my day to reflect has really helped my mood. This Summer will no doubt be more difficult than usual as we obviously can't do the things we usually would, so I'm hoping that yoga, meditating and gratefulness will be part of my daily routine. 

Keep On Baking | I've really turned my hand to baking bread during lockdown and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I've baked scones, loafs, muffins and cakes, but I want to make sure that I keep this up as I find spending time in the kitchen eases anxieties and makes me feel calm. 

Get Crafty | Alongside baking, there's been a couple of crafts I've taken up over the last few months including flower pressing. I've been meaning to transfer the pressed flowers into a hanging gold frames as I think they'd look super pretty on display. I've also been saving lots of DIY ideas on Pinterest including a rainbow plant pot which uses muted shades of polymer clay, a bit of patience and a terracotta pot that needs a refresh. 

What's on your Summer to-do list? 

Tuesday 9 June 2020

Five Spring Foundations For All Occasions

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

When it comes to foundation, I can be pretty particular with their formulas and finishes especially during this time of the year when I want coverage, but not a sticky texture that comes with the warmer weather. It can be hard to narrow down your foundation choices with so many on the market, so today I've narrowed down five of my favourites for Spring. 

For an everyday foundation I opt for the NYX Bare With Me Tinted Veil as I find it lasts well on the skin, sits comfortable and is affordable too. It's got good coverage considering how lightweight it feels, but it can be easily sheered out or built up depending on what type of look you're going for. I use it with a beauty blender as I find this gives the most even and glowy effect to the complexion and although I've had problematic skin these past few months, I haven't found it's aggravated nor clung to any dry patches. 

Then we have It Cosmetics CC Cream* which is a little thicker in texture, but it doesn't feel like that on the skin. If you've got oily skin or you don't like super dewy finishes then this won't be for you, but during the Summer this is the type of look I love. It's a great pick if you're looking for a foundation that will take you from day to night with just a touch up and powder of the skin. The added SPF is a plus and I find that I can get away with no concealer on days when I just want a natural look.

Although when I first got the ABH Luminous Foundation* I thought it was going to be on the fuller coverage side, it actually sits perfectly in the middle which is great for my tastes. You can sheer it out, but it can also be built up if you want to cover more blemishes and redness. I find that it is naturally glowy, but with no shimmer so you won't be glimmering in the sunshine when wearing it. 

I've reviewed the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation* many times before and I've had several bottles of it since I first tried it back in 2017, so I can safely say it's one of my favourites. It's got a demi-matte finish, is perfect for dehydrated complexions and it doesn't cake on the skin either. I've recommended this to multiple people who have all gone on to love it too and I think it'll continue to be a favourite for years to come. 

Last up we have the foundation with the highest coverage of the bunch and it's the Ciaté Extraordinary Foundation. Although I struggled initially with getting it to not attach to my peach fuzz and picking the right shade was a task to do online, I've finally found a way to make it work for my skin. A beauty blender is my favourite way to apply it as I find that it sheers it out as you only need the smallest amount to cover your whole face. 

What foundations have you been loving? 

Saturday 6 June 2020

5 Favourite Apps To Download Right Now

5 Favourite Iphone Apps To Download
You portably already know the drill, you get recommend any app, download it, maybe use it once and then it remains on your phone until you run out of storage. It can overwhelming when it comes to finding out what helpful app to download next, so I thought I'd share five of my favourites that I think you'd enjoy.
Planta | Even if you only own a handful of houseplants, you need this app. I discovered it through I Covet Thee and haven't looked back. With over 19 plants that need caring for including windowsill herbs and trialling pothos', I can lose track of when and if I've watered them. You tell the app what type of light each room of your home gets and then it asks you how experienced you are with houseplants, so not only does it prompt you let you know when your green friends need watering, it'll also help you determine if a plant is suitable for a certain area or if it's too tricky for you to care for. 

Grateful | I've taken it upon myself recently to practice gratitude and although I've been incorporating it within my daily routine through regular mediating and yoga sessions, I do find having an app is an easy way to keep track and jot your feelings down. This app prompts you with several questions which I personally answer at the end of the day. It'll ask you questions like "what made you laugh today? and "what made today special" in which you can answer your honest thoughts which will still neatly in the app. It's certainly no frills, but it prompts me to practice gratefulness daily and will hopefully be a firm favourite on my phone to come. 

Plann | Although it's not important for everybody, as I sometimes shoot photographs in advance, I like having an area when I can clearly plan my future Instagram feed. It's great if you don't want two photographs next to each other that look similar or if you just like having a more coherent feed. It's super simple as it'll take all the photographs you already have on your feed and then you can upload your future photographs to re-arrange and plan as you see fit. 

P Tracker | Aside from social media, this may be the app I've had on my phone this longest - 2016 to be exact, although I could have sworn I used this one in my late teens too. It's pretty self explanatory as it helps to track your periods, mood and ovulation. For me, it helps me in not forgetting when I'm due as often you can forget just how fast a month comes around, but I like how you can track your symptoms so you can compare if that headache you get 2 days before your period is a one off or a reoccurring one. 

Good Reads | My good friend Hannah recommended this app to me as we're both bookworms and I'd heard a lot of great things. I've tried this one before, but with no luck, but decided to give it another shot as I wanted to keep all the books I've been meaning to read in one area and have the satisfaction of ticking them off when I've read them too. 

What are your favourite apps that you've recently downloaded? 
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