Beauty / Lifestyle / Interiors

Friday, 30 October 2015

8 THINGS TO DO THIS HALLOWEEN

Lush Halloween

1. Have a Harry Potter film marathon with salted popcorn and Halloween treats.

2. Bake something spooky. I'm planning on making skeleton gingerbread men, but these marshmallow Rice crispy brains or Pumpkin spiced cupcakes with butterscotch buttercream icing are great to make too!

3Check Asos and Topshop for early sales creeping in on their incredible Halloween items. I'm keeping my eye on this Velvet Playsuit!

4Paint your nails in a dark, vampy shade, like Essie Midnight Cami or Essie Wicked.

5. Eat a lot of sweets. Candy corn, Witches Hat Fancies and mini Mars bars are my favourite!

6Start a new book, The Bone Season and A Discovery Of Witches are great, slightly creepy but non scary options for Halloween. I've just bought The Night Circus to read, it's seems perfect for autumn and Halloween.

7. Have a pumpkin carving competition, me & Alex have one every year, he normally wins!

8Indulge in a long Halloween Lush bath by candlelight. Lush Sparkly Pumpkin bubble bar is full of uplifting oils, it makes soft bubbles and has a hint of sparkle making it perfect for Halloween!
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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

THE LEAD UP TO HALLOWEEN

Halloween beauty
halloween decor
berry lipsticks
halloween make up

Each year, on the week of Halloween, I pull out all of my vampy make up, decorate my home with pumpkins and spooky things and indulge in as many Fiendish Witches Hat Fancies as I can manage. 

I've added halloween touches to my make up, opting for purple eyeshadows, berry lips and dark nails and have even decorated my dressing table for the occasion. Dark, vampy hues like MAC Rebel and Nars Cruella have had a permanent place in my make up bag and I've pulled out my favourite Zara flats (similar here) for the occasion!

In my home, my pumpkin garland is still hanging proudly above my bookcase with my Roberts Radio, Copper lamp, Harry Potter Funko and pumpkin and bat decor atop to give it a festive feel. 

Most likely, I'll be spending Halloween inside, with sweets at the ready for the trick or treaters whilst carving pumpkins before settling down for the night with a Lush bath using the Sparkly Pumpkin bubble bar. Then I'm planning on watching Harry Potter films on repeat whilst feasting on leftover sweets and chocolate.

What are your plans for Halloween?

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Sunday, 25 October 2015

A FEW NEW THINGS FOR AUTUMN

winter-haul
With cosy knits, festive decor and beauty sets galore I find it hard to resist spending a little more throughout Autumn & Winter. I buy most of my homeware, clothes and beauty palettes during A/W as I just love the style, shades and decor at this time of the year!

Festive things have been streaming into the shops and I couldn't resist picking up a few things to decorate my home with. I have plans to hang this Sparking Snowflake Decoration from The White Company on my window, I love the way that the glittering beads catch the light and I think it will look so pretty in Winter twinkling on the window pane.
I also picked up these Copper Bells from Paperchase, I'm not quite sure what to do with them yet but I just couldn't resist them!

I love to spend my Sunday Autumn evenings with a cinnamon hot chocolate, flicking through magazines and painting my nails. I hunted high and low for this Rose Gold shade from Orly which is free with this months Elle magazine. After a week of looking (it seems like it's a popular shade!) I finally found it nestled away in the back of a store. It's such a pretty shade, you can't really go wrong with rose gold!

My skin has really taken a hit with the colder weather and my regular morning moisturiser just hasn't been cutting it on these biting, chilly days. After watching Lily Pebbles vlog I popped into L'Occitanne where they offered me a spiced apple tea, a complimentary facial and handed me a sample of the Precious Cream. I've been using it day and night and my skin has been drinking this rich, creamy moisturiser up. They've also popped in a £10 off code for skincare which I'm planning on using for the full sized version when I run out!

I've also been practically living in Lush, with hot bath's becoming a staple for me on cold autumn nights, Lush bath's are the ultimate comforting treat. I'm so excited to test out the Sparkly Pumpkin, with uplifting oils, soft bubbles and a hint of sparkle, it looks perfect for this time of year.

Lastly, I've pulled out my opaque black tights and over the knee boots and have been looking for the perfect skirt to pair with them, this Asos Jacquard number caught my eye in the Asos sale, it's monochrome and so will work perfectly with most of my wardrobe!

Have you picked up anything new recently?
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Friday, 23 October 2015

A HALLOWEEN WISHLIST

Halloween Wishlist

Although I'll probably just be spending Halloween carving pumpkins and watching Harry Potter and in my pyjamas, I love getting into the Halloween spirit. There are so many great, festive things in store at the moment, here are a few of my favourite picks for Halloween:

Topshop Dress: I adore this velvet and lace dress, although quite pricey I can imagine that it would be a staple throughout Autumn and Halloween, it would work perfectly paired with black tights, ankle boots and a vampy lipstick!

Velvet Cat Ears: It's totally acceptable to wear cat ears all throughout October right? These velvet and lace ones look so pretty!

Cat Velvet Cross Body Bag: This cat bag is unbelievably cute, I can imagine that it would look great paired with a slouchy grey jumper, boots and leggings.

Glitter Cat Purse: Another cute little cat pouch, this coin purse looks like an adorable option to carry around my spare change in.

Nars Train Bleu: I've been looking for a reason to invest in this divine deep aubergine shade ever since I spotted Anna wearing it, Halloween seems like the perfect excuse to pick one up. 

Essie Wicked: The perfect Halloween shade, Essie Wicked is a beautiful, vampy deep red. I can't believe I don't already own this shade!

What's on your wishlist for Halloween?
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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

SWITCHING UP MY MAKE UP FOR HALLOWEEN

halloween makeup
halloween decor
With Halloween right around the corner I've been pulling out some of my favourite vampy shades to wear for the lead up to Halloween. Although it's not always the most wearable type of make up, I love adding hints to my make up routine for a festive touch throughout October.

On my eyes, I've been smudging purple eyeshadow under my lower lashes for a soft, smoky effect. Mac Quarry is a beautiful muted plum brown which is perfect for every day wear and for something a little more bold I reach for MAC Nocturnelle, a deep aubergine frosted purple. It works well paired with berry lips and spidery lashes.

Each Halloween, Illamasqua Pure Pigment Powder in Static, a mesmerising pigment with violet and pink micro glitter, makes it into my make up bag. It's ethereal, iridescent pigments are perfect for Halloween, it looks great brushed lightly onto the tops of cheekbones, dotted onto the inner corner of the eyes or onto the centre of the lids.

On my nails, I'm still flitting between the idea of creating a halloween nail art design or sticking to a dark nail polish like Essie Midnight Cami, a dreamy dark sapphire blue or Essie Sole Mate, a glossy, vampy berry.

For lips, I've pulled out Nars Cruella, a rich deep scarlet red. It's creamy, matte formula delivers impressive staying power without drying out your lips too much and looks divine paired with champagne eyeshadow and winged liner.
Another staple for me in October and for Halloween is MAC Rebel, a gorgeous berry that lasts for hours on the lips.
Lastly, Sleek Mulberry* is the perfect shade for Halloween, it's the ultimate vampy shade and an intensely deep burgundy that feels light and moisturising on the lips. I love wearing this applied to the centre of the lips and paired with a fuchsia for an ombre effect. 

Do you like to add halloween touches to your make up?
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Sunday, 18 October 2015

AUTUMN BLUSHERS

autumn blushers
With a biting chill in the air, darker mornings and fallen leaves whipping through the breeze, Autumn is definitely here. I've slowly moved away from the pink and coral hues of Summer and have been gravitating towards rusty oranges, dusky pinks, plums and berry tones for Autumn.

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blusher in Mood Exposure has been my daily staple throughout the early autumn months. The dusky mauve/pink shade sculpts the cheeks and compliments a deep berry lip perfectly whilst the swirls of mood exposure lighting powder running through keeps the complexion radiant and bright. This silky soft blusher blends seamlessly onto the skin leaving a beautiful, flawless finish.

Warm pinks like Nars Orgasm are perfect for the transition into the colder months. This pigmented, buttery blusher gives a warm, golden pink flush of colour to your cheeks to perk up dull skin on gloomy autumn days. See me wearing it here.

The dreamy hexagon packaging of the H&M Pure Velvet Cream Blush in Hot Pink completely drew me in to this creamy high street blusher. The formula of this is similar to the Topshop Cream blushers, it blends as a cream before setting in place as a powder making the formula great for all seasons. On the skin, the shade translates as a pretty berry pink, giving you glowy, flushed cheeks.

Finally, Sleek Blush By 3 in Sugar is the perfect cheek palette for autumn. It contains three pigmented, autumnal shades - a berry red similar to Nars Dolce Vita, a deep wine with copper shimmer running through it and a matte rusty orange that has beautiful peach undertones. Best applied with a light hand, these blushers pack a punch and offer an incredible colour pay-off. Each shade is flattering on the skin, the quality as always with Sleek blushers is pretty exceptional and the palette is so handy to take with you when travelling!

What are your favourite blushers for autumn?
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Friday, 16 October 2015

8 EASY WAYS TO CUT DOWN ON DAIRY

dairy free ice cream
ways to be dairy free

Whether it's for health reasons, skin concerns or ethical reasons, going dairy free can be quite a big lifestyle change. For me, I started to avoid dairy for health reasons around 5 years ago and aside from the occasional bar of dairy milk & sprinkling of goats cheese I'm now around 90% dairy free. My skin is so much better and I feel a lot healthier, I'm so glad I made the change.

Here's 8 things that will hopefully help if you're considering cutting down on dairy:

1. Discover what you will miss the most and find a really good alternative. For me it was Macaroni cheese, my favourite comfort meal. Luckily I found 'Amy's Dairy & Gluten free Mac & Cheeze' whilst I worked on recipes for a homemade version. It hits the spot, I can pop it in the oven for an easy meal & it keeps my cheesy pasta cravings at bay.

2. Find out which milk is best for you. There's a huge range of dairy free milk options around now meaning that you won't have to miss out on your morning cup of tea or bowl of cereal! Take your pick from Rice milk, Soya milk, Oat milk, Coconut milk, Almond Milk or Hazelnut milk (to name a few!). Hazelnut milk combined with Green & Blacks cocoa powder makes a delicious hot chocolate, Soya Milk is slightly creamy and so good in tea and Alpro Almond milk is my favourite everyday milk for cereal, baking and everything else.

3. Keep frozen bananas at hand to blend with raw cocoa powder & maple syrup to make 'nice-cream', or, if you want something a little more indulgent, try Almond Dream's divine salted caramel ice cream or Booja Booja's incredible Hunky Punky Chocolate Ice cream (made from creamy cashews!).

4. Read Deliciously Ella's Cookbook for meal inspiration, recipes & an awesome alternative to Nutella!

5. Replace Milk chocolate with dairy free Dark chocolate.

6. Check out Gem and Lily's youtube channels, I've discovered so many amazing Vegan snacks (Oreos, Biscoff caramelised biscuit spread, dairy free cream cheese) and got incredible meal inspiration & recipes from their blogs and channels.

7. Create a few favourite, staple dairy free meals. For me it's nourishment bowls with Quinoa, roasted butternut squash, houmous, lettuce and stir-fried cashews, homemade chips sprinkled with chilli & paprika, jacket potatoes loaded with warming vegan chilli (my recipe here!) and pasta with vegan basil pesto.

8. Whether it's pizza, cheesecake or cupcakes that you're looking for, there's normally a great dairy free option available. Pinterest is a great resource to find recipes, #whatveganseat on instagram has so many food inspiration & ideas and amazon has a tonne of incredible recipe books.
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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

12 BEAUTY TIPS TO TRY

beauty tips
I love reading beauty tips and tricks, ways to speed up my make up routine and ways to improve my technique. I've picked up a few invaluable tips over the years from beauty blogging, working in make up and from award winning make up artists that I was lucky enough to chat with when working at IMATS.
I thought I would list a few of my favourites that I've learnt and that I often use, I'd love to hear yours too!

1. Brush hair from the ends up to reduce breakage and split ends.

2. After applying lipstick, take a tissue and separate into 1ply, place over your lips and sweep a fluffy brush loaded with translucent power over the tissue to seal in the lipstick - MAC Prep and Prime Transparent Finishing Powder is great. Dab on another layer of lipstick and then tissue, powder and seal in once more for long lasting lipstick.

3. Wrap false lashes around a pencil or make up brush to make them more flexible and easier to work with.

4. Use hairspray on a brow brush like Daniel Sandler's Brow Groomer brush as an alternative to brow gel, spray the spoolie and then comb through to tame unruly brows and hold them in place all day!

5. A good skincare routine helps to create the perfect base for make up. Oskia Renaissance Cleanser, La Roche Posay Serozinc & Origins GinZing Moisturiser are a few of my current favourites.

6. Mix foundation with a little moisturiser to give you lighter coverage for Summer.

7. Watch make up tutorials on youtube for incredible looks, tips and techniques.

8. Invest in a concealer palette like Collection Conceal and Light Like A Pro Palette. Green cancels out redness, yellow is great to diminish dark circles and purple brightens dull skin.

9. With eyeshadows, uneven numbers tend to look better. I like to stick to either just 1, 3 or 5 shades.

10. It's only make up, it's easily washed off - experiment, test out looks and start again!

11. There's no real right or wrong way to apply make up, use brushes, sponges or clean fingers to apply products. Use eyeshadows as highlighters, cream blushers as lipsticks and bronzers as eyeshadows - whatever works best for you!

12. Hygiene is important. Check use by dates (Meg's guide is great), deep clean brushes often (Dr Bronners Liquid Soap is amazing) and keep note of any ingredients that you are allergic or have reactions to.
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Sunday, 11 October 2015

LIP SAVIOURS

best-lip-balm
As the weather gets colder, my lips start to suffer. With biting, gale force winds, dehydrating central heating and drying matte berry lipsticks I need lip balms that really help to heal and nourish my lips. Each year I pull out my favourite and most used lip scrubs and balms to work their wonders.

With the delicious scent of mint chocolate and the promise of smooth lips, Lush Mint Julips lip scrub is a staple for the colder months. It contains moisturising jojoba oil and exfoliating sugar to buff away any dry patches and leaves you with soft, smooth lips.

For an everyday balm, I love EOS lip balms, they contain vitamin e, jojoba oil and shea butter and are natural, 95% organic and petrolatum free. They're the perfect size to pop in your bag and a quick swipe leaves lips feeling soft and hydrated.

A balm that I've been reaching for more and more is The Body Shop Honey Mania Lip Balm, it uses beeswax instead of shea butter which helps to retain moisture for a longer time. You only need a small amount to leave you with supple and hydrated lips.

Figs and Rouge Lip balms win for me with their dreamy scents and packaging. The formula is divine, it's 100% natural and melts onto the the lips. It leaves lips feeling so soft and moisturised, apparently Emma Watson's a big fan of them too!

Lastly, my favourite lip balm for an overnight treatment is Nuxe Reve De Miel. This balmy, citrus and honey scented lip balm transforms my lips overnight. It contains honey, sweet almond oil, calendula and shea butter which help to leave your lips plump, hydrated and incredibly soft.

What is your favourite lip balm?
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Friday, 9 October 2015

OCTOBER TO DO LIST

pumpkins


1. Find a huge, cosy blanket scarf to snuggle up in on cold October days, I love this burgundy one, this dreamy one and this herringbone one!

2. Bake Pumpkin spiced cupcakes with butterscotch butterscream icing - recipe here!

3. Spend a rainy day making a cross stitch family portrait like Lauren Conrad's one here, they're unbelievably cute!

4. Try Candy Corn.

5. Find the perfect Pumpkin to carve for Halloween. 

6. Start a new Autumn skincare regime, invest in La Roche Posay Serozinc whilst theres money off.

7. Track down the Lush Christmas collection, I love the look of The Magic of Christmas bubble bar, Yog Nog Bath Bomb, and of course Snow Fairy!

8. Perfect the ultimate Peppermint & Marshmallow Hot Chocolate (These marshmallows are vegetarian!)

9. Buy a new book to read on cosy autumn evenings, I have my eye on the new Harry Potter illustrated edition.

10. Keep active - Go on Autumnal walks, do early morning yoga whilst the autumn sunlight still streams in & stretch a little more.

What's on your October To Do list?


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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

A NEW AUTUMN CANDLE

diptyque pomander review

With the wind rattling at the windows, silver frosted mornings and a definite chill in the air it's now the perfect time to pull out warming, spiced candles.
One of my favourite ways to spend gloomy autumn evenings is to be surrounded by fairy lights and flickering candles as they really brighten up the home and help to give it a cosy feel.

Diptyque Pomander is a divine mixture of citrus and spice that fills the whole room with fragrance whilst conjuring up images of Christmas and the festive season. The combination of orange, cinnamon and cloves work beautifully together and makes Pomander perfect to burn on dark autumn evenings to bring light and warmth to the home.

Like with most Diptyque candles, there's a certain sophistication and luxe feel to Pomander, it's hand finished, has a cotton, lead free wick and is made from a mixture of high quality vegetable/paraffin mix. Diptyque mini candles have an impressive 30 hours burn time and fill the room with fragrance even whilst unlit.

I was a little unsure about the scent until I actually burned the candle as the fragrance slightly differs whilst unlit. However, once lit Diptyque Pomander smells incredible, it's now one of my absolute favourite candles.

What's your favourite autumn candle?
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Sunday, 4 October 2015

THE BEST OF HIGH STREET MAKE UP

h&m beauty
High street make up brands have seriously upped their game recently, the packaging, formulas and prices are competitive and the ranges are pretty impressive. Here are a few of my favourite picks from the following brands:


Topshop Beauty
Supposedly made by the same company as MAC, Topshop's Make up range is beautiful and has been a favourite of mine for a long time. The lipsticks are creamy and long lasting, the blushers are pigmented and the packaging is gorgeous and feels well made and sturdy.
My favourite products of the range are the highlighters, especially Topshop's Glow Highlighters as they are beautifully iridescent and give an almost ethereal glow to the skin. I also love Topshop's Chameleon Glow eyeshadow in Shuffle the Cards, it's a buttery smooth shimmery rose gold and a great dupe for Nars Outer Limits. The blushers, lipsticks and nail polish shade range and formula are also divine.


H&M Beauty
I spent a long time in H&M last weekend swatching and testing out their new make up line. The collection looks impressive, it's affordable and the shade range is incredible. The packaging completely drew me in with it's dreamy hexagon shapes, monochromes and golds. However, although alluring, some of the packaging feels quite fragile and a little plastic.
The pencil eyeliners, cream eyeshadows and blushers are my favourites of the range, they're pigmented, long lasting and blend seamlessly onto the skin. The eyeshadows ranged vastly depending on the shade, 'Chin Chin' was beautifully pigmented and buttery smooth but most of the glittery shades felt quite chalky and had a lot of glitter fallout.
I picked up the eyeliner in Grand Cru, a light golden champagne which is unbelievably soft, creamy and long lasting and a Pure Velvet Cream Blush in Hot Pink, a blendable, pigmented deep berry pink.


Accessorize Beauty
The make up selection in my local store was quite small but I managed to swatch a few eyeshadows and lip products from the line. The eyeshadow formula was impressive, buttery, shimmery and pigmented and the lip products were pigmented and creamy.
Out of everything I was most drawn to the new nail polish design, it has to be the prettiest nail polish bottle that I've ever seen! The rose gold and geometric glass dome makes a such dreamy combination, it looks beautiful sitting on my dressing table. I bought the shade Petrol, a matte blue grey, the formula is quite thick but this may be due to it being a matte shade (which I didn't realise until application!) It took two coats for an opaque finish and lasted well on the nails. I'm really not a fan of matte shades and so unfortunately I'm not sure I'll get a lot of use from it, I love the look of the nude and light shimmery shades, I'll have to test those out next!

Which is your favourite high street make up range?
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Friday, 2 October 2015

8 WAYS TO EAT SEASONALLY THIS AUTUMN


At the beginning of each new season I pull out my copy of Eat Pretty, click open a new tab on google and make a list full of the best and most beneficial foods to feast on in the month's ahead. Eating seasonally is not only good for the environment, it saves you money and helps your body to get the best nutrients and support for each season. Here's a few ways to eat seasonally:

1. Visit farmers markets for affordable, local, organic produce.

2. Check for the best prices - Seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables are often a lot more affordable as they are so abundant.

3. Do a little research - I love the Eat Pretty book, it's organised into seasons and so all the information is easily accessible and readily available. It's great to learn about seasonal food, their properties and benefits.

4. Make lists - I save each month's seasonal produce list on Pinterest, it's easy to refer back to and helps you to keep track of what's in season.

5. Snack on Apples - Crisp apples contain pectin and anti inflammatory flavonoids that help to detoxify the body and work to cool your body after the summer's heat.

6. Plan your Meals - My autumn meal repertoire includes, roasted butternut squash and warm kale salads sprinkled with cranberries, chestnut and mushroom puff pastry pies, balsamic roasted parsnips, leeks and courgettes and oven baked sweetcorn wrapped in foil, dripping with melted butter and sprinkled with salt and cracked black pepper.

7. Incorporate spices to add nutrients, enhance flavours and add variety. Cinnamon helps to regulate blood sugars, ginger is anti inflammatory and nutmeg is antibacterial. Added to apple crumbles, hot chocolates and blackberry porridge it makes everything taste delicious and autumnal.

8. Pumpkins and squash are rich in restorative vitamin A, try roasting with a few sprigs of mood boosting rosemary and pair with quinoa, houmous and chard for a warming nourishment bowl.

Do you like to eat seasonally?
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