Tuesday, 31 December 2013

What I got for Christmas...



So my very last festive blog offering comes in the form of a 'What I got for Christmas' post and video! It's been almost a week since these lovely things entered my life and I hope you like having a nose through them. Please leave a link below to any present posts you've done too so I can be nosey back :) I felt very spoilt this year as I seem to feel every December and some of the highlights have to be my beautiful Michael Kors rose gold watch, Alexa Chung 'It', Essie polish duo, muji drawers and One Direction book (should I be a bit less open about that one?). If you want to see everything in detail and hear who got what for me then please do watch my little piece of festive filming and subscribe to my YouTube channel if you're a fan as I'm aiming to upload a new video every week in the new year. Talking of the new year, I cannot believe we're only one sleep away from 2014! 2013 has brought more change, success and happiness than I could ever have hoped for- which will be all rounded up in tomorrow's New Year post- and I really hope you've all had an incredible year too and plan to see in midnight feeling nice and merry like me...

What did  Santa get you for Christmas?
Sunday, 29 December 2013

2013 in Outfits

It's that time of year again- the gap between Christmas and New Years where you continue to eat your weight in food for as long as possible, play with pretty new presents and round up the past year before looking forward to the next. I've already eaten yet another festive family buffet today and had a little play with my new pressies (as well as taking photos of them for my upcoming 'what I got for Christmas' post), so now it's time for the year round up part, starting with a look back at 2013 through the outfits I've worn! I have a love/hate feeling towards going back through my old outfit posts- I love reliving the memories of each month and seeing how my style has changed, but hate thinking 'Why the hell did I buy that?' or 'What on earth was going on with my hair?'. Please say I'm not the only one that gets major styling regret?! But anyway I have managed to assemble an outfit photo that I don't mind from each month for you to have a  little look through and I'd love to know what your favourites are? When I looked at my montage the first thought I had was how happy I am that I've toned down the Barbie blonde for more of a natural ombr√© look and managed to wear more hair styles than a top knot which I clearly couldn't get enough of at the start of the year... then I decided that my favourite outfits had to be the tartan dress which I still adore wearing right now, my pleather and boots combos and retro 'Sandy from Grease' bowling ensemble because that was just ridiculously fun to wear! I'm also pretty proud that I've got a graduation outfit in the mix, but they'll be more reminiscing about this year's event highlights in my next few posts...

What are your favourite outfits from 2013?
Saturday, 28 December 2013

My Christmas in Pictures

one more sleep / the festive face / nom nom / tiny trees / home sweet home / furry cuddles / santa's been busy / beautiful michael kors / mulled wine lovin'






















A belated Merry Christmas lovelies! I hope you've all had an amazing few days growing big food babies, playing ridiculous games with your families- charades anyone?- and opening lovely presents from Santa. I've had a really nice Christmas this year- my boyfriend drove me home on Christmas Eve for my yearly family friend gathering then two days of festive fun, films, family and feasting ensued! Today I've braved the sales with my home girls (madness, I know!) and now I'm looking forward to another week off work spending time at home relaxing and rejuvenating for the New Year, as well as sorting my 'What I got for Christmas' and '2013 favourites' posts/videos of course...

What were the highlights of your Christmas? 
Sunday, 22 December 2013

How to | Christmas Tree Nails


In my opinion it's not just your house and tree that should be decorated at Christmas, but also your nails- everyone's been blessed with ten blank canvases to adorn with gems and glitter and the festive party season is the perfect time to go all out! As much as nail art can be a bit fiddly I love to attempt something a bit different every year so last week I sat down and did my best to create ten tiny Christmas tree designs and I've got to say I'm rather happy with the results :) So if you'd like to sport some cute festive fingers this 25th just follow these four easy steps...

1. Paint two thin layers of nude nail polish (I went for the gorgeous Barry M Gelly Paint in 'Lychee') onto your nails to act as a nice neutral base colour. This looks a bit snowy and will make the trees really stand out.
2. With a green nail polish of your choice paint thin triangles from tips to about 2/3 the way up. For this step as well as the next two I used random polishes from Primark that I got in one of their Christmas sets. Oh, and if your triangles look a bit higgeldy piggeldy don't worry- no one's perfect/looks at your nails that close anyway!
3. With a gold nail art pen or nail polish dot the top of each triangle to create a little star. Make sure you're leaving enough time for all these layers to dry properly or you might have a smudgy situation on your hands.
4. To finish, find a glitter top coat with multicoloured glitter circles and pop this onto the green triangles to  act as pretty shiny baubles! And voila- you have cute Christmas tree nails to make your Christmas day look that little bit more special.

I've been having a lovely festive time with my boyfriend this weekend as he's come to stay with me for a few days before driving me home on Christmas Eve. Today we finished all the Christmas shopping, drank classic gingerbread Costa and played lots of Christmas tunes. And now we're going to finish wrapping and watch 'The Grinch' so I'm very in the spirit of season! I also have a gorgeous new blog design courtesy of the amazing Bonjour Belle which I'm actually so in love with- do you like it?

What nail look will you be adorning this Christmas? 
Thursday, 19 December 2013

The Perfect Party Lip | MAC 'Lady Danger'


'Lady Danger' | £15.00 | MAC

Seeing as there's only 6 sleeps left until Christmas I'm guessing quite a few of you will be getting all preened and pampered tonight in preparation for various parties and festive celebrations over the next few days. And we all know the most exciting thing about Christmas parties (aside from free bubbly and cheesy tunes) is getting seriously glammed up! For some wonderful reason the 'eyes or lips' make up rule tends to go out of the window during in party season making it the perfect time to bring out that proper pucker red and nothing will make you want to pucker up under the mistletoe more than MAC's 'Lady Danger'. This gorgeous lipstick is a new addition to my make up collection courtesy of my lovely friends and 22nd birthday and it's hardly left my lips since I clamped eyes on it. Not only is the colour a beautiful true red with bright coral undertone, the matte finish means that it lasts all day or night with hardly any touch ups needed and is so pigmented that it coats the lips with amazing colour in one smooth swipe (Albeit a 'carefully applied close to a mirror' swipe). You can wear it heavily pushed down for your glam evening look or lightly pressed on to brighten up the day time. It also manages to wear off pretty evenly leaving a nice flush to the lips and not feel too drying or uncomfortable either. Seriously, are there any boxes this lipstick doesn't tick?! Anyway, you can probably tell that I can't rave about this lipstick enough so I'd definitely recommend popping it on your last minute list to Santa. Or slip a cheeky little 'to me, from me' present under the tree...   

What's your perfect party lip?     
Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Christmas Jumper(s)

Left to right- New Look / Primark / Primark / Sainsbury's / Primark

At this time of year there's nothing I like more than having friends round and cosying up in Christmas jumpers- the more garish the better! This is exactly what me and my uni girls did last weekend when I hosted 'Essexmas' in my new flat. After having a cute sleepover, playing 'Last Christmas' on repeat and consuming a great deal of mulled wine we cooked an incredible roast and decided to take some 'family portrait' snaps on my Canon so we could share all our winter woolly offerings with you. You may have seen mine before as my sister gave it to me for my birthday, but I just love the snowy colour, cute bobbles and sparkly Christmas pudding detail. Laura, Alex and Rosie all sported amazing Primark finds proving if you want something a little more subtle with a wearable nordic print or a classic red tree ensemble or full on festive fun complete with actual jingling bells then Primark's the place to go! You might be amazed to hear Livvi's incredible Christmas pudding design was from Sainsbury's and because I think everyone should aspire to look like a desert this December you should definitely pick this up with your next weekly shop. I hope you've enjoyed this different kind of outfit post and like our family portrait attempts- if you think that last photo is bad, you should see the out takes...

What Christmas jumper will you be sporting next week?
Sunday, 15 December 2013

What I got for my Birthday...



Hello girlies! So I've finally got round to photographing and filming the lovely presents I got for my 22nd birthday last week. I was so lucky to receive lots of amazing things including the incredible Canon 600D DSLR from my boyfriend and softbox lighting from my parents which has pretty much changed my blogging and vlogging life (No more battles with fading daylight, hooray!). I have some wonderful new beauty additions too and I must say the REN mask and MAC lippy from my uni gals were definite highlights, even just for the fact they arrived in a Liberty bag. Swoon. If you want to hear more about my birthday then I've done a birthday pictures post here and if you want to hear more about my presents then please do watch my video and subscribe if you enjoy it as my videos will be much better quality now I've got all the tools of the trade! Just a short post from me this afternoon as I've got my best uni friends over for an Essexmas weekend at my flat which is so much festive fun :) 

Have a lovely weekend ladies!  
Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Bourjois Java Rice Powder

Bourjois Java Rice Powder / £9.99 / Boots

Usually I would say powder is the least exciting piece of make up in my routine, proven by the fact I've only ever blogged about one powder before- my trusty Rimmel Stay Matte- and even that isn't winning any beauty/personality contests! However, my feelings have all changed with this ever so beautiful and intriguing Java Rice Powder from Bourjois. First off the packaging is perfect both as a gorgeous thing to have in your make up bag and as a retro throwback to celebrate Bourjous' 150th birthday. In fact this is a rejuvenation of their best selling cult classic rice powder from 1879 and after using it for a few weeks I've no idea why they got rid of it in the first place! Before you try it this powder it can seem a little daunting- the fact it's in a loose messy form, happens to be pink/perfumed and once swatched reveals a true 'Edward Cullen in the sun' sparkle confuses even the biggest make up junkee, but I assure you not to worry about these things because it's actually quickly become my holy grail powder. You do have to use it sparingly as a little goes a long way but after brushing a dabble of this onto your t-zone (or whole face is you prefer) using a fluffy powder brush magical things happen...the consistency is so light and transparent it completely disappears into the skin, leaving you with an illuminated, air brushed and silky smooth finish instead of the cakey matte one glow lovers like me have nightmares about. This doesn't make it less effective as a classic powder though as it still works really well at setting my make up and keeping oil at bay, although I can't speak for those who suffer from super oily skin. Overall I absolutely adore this new (or incredibly old) gem from those babes at Bourjois and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to keep their make up put and banish shine without getting rid of that much coveted radiant glowy complexion. It's the ultimate 'no powder' powder, comes in at a tenner... and did I mention how gorgeous it is?

Are you a Rice Powder convert?
Tuesday, 10 December 2013

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22.


You might have gathered from the photos and title of this post that I turned 22 last week! Well basically I just want to share my day with you tonight as it was rather perfect :) It started with the opening of my living room door to find super cute decorations made my my lovely flatmate and went up from there really! I decided not to take the day off as people actually go all out for birthdays at Benefit and I was instantly greeted by posters of me as Princess Tiaamii and Laura Whitmore (my supposed lookalikes...) and amazing presents as well as a big birthday cake. We went out for a yummy birthday lunch at Pizza Express too before I headed into London for dinner and drinks with about 15 of my best friends from home, work and uni as well as my amazing boyfriend Dave. I wore a pretty Primark cut out dress, the food was incredible, belly dancing occurred and I loved how pretty and festive Covent Garden looked too. And as if that day wasn't enough I also spent the next day in London to celebrate my 4 year anniversary with Dave who had only gone and got me the Cannon 600D (aka ultimate blogging camera!!), which was joined by proper softbox lighting from my parents when they came to visit me at the weekend. I got some brilliant beauty bits too so I'm going to take photos and film a full 'birthday haul' on my new all singing all dancing camera tonight. Just imagine the fun I'll have with proper blurry bloggy backgrounds...

The only sad thing is that I've been quite ill the past few days- probably too much excitement- but I've gone back to work properly now and I'm loving how full of Christmas spirit it is. Literally BeneTowers has become a grotto and we've got our Christmas party this Friday too! Roll on the 25th... 

I hope you're all having a lovely week as well!
Saturday, 7 December 2013

The Snow Glow


As much as I have a love/hate relationship with snow itself (love looking at it, hate falling over in it) I always adore the fresh faced rosy glow it gives you and seeing as Christmas is just around the corner and dull winter skin is rife I thought I'd round up my favourite products that I use to create this pretty wintery look without the extreme weather conditions...

Rimmel Wake Me Up / Without a doubt my all time favourite autumn/winter foundation. This brings the dullest winter skin back to life with it's gorgeous glowy finish and also offers amazing coverage so the damage of all those Christmas parties/chocolate binges go undetected. Plus it comes in at under £10. Result!
Bourjois Delice De Poudre / Okay, so snow might not give you much of a tan, but no one wants to be pale for party season! Well this has just the right balance between matte and shimmer finish with a natural brown toned shade that leaves you looking bronzed and beautiful despite your face craving a hot holiday.
MAC 'Let Me Pop' Paint Pot / This eyeshadow is a new make up love which I picked up a few weeks ago. As much as I like a good dark smokey eye or delve into cranberry realms it's refreshing to brighten up those peepers with a bit of copper all round the eyes for a youthful wide eyed 'Ooo there's snow outside' look.
Benefit Watts Up / The ultimate product in creating a soft 'snow glow' complexion, Watts Up really is the most amazing wintry highlighter. The dual ended stick/sponge design makes application a dream and the finish is very beautiful. This is also one of Millie Mac's faves and you know that makes it a winner in my book!
Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch / This time of year is not only full of chilly weather, but also late night frivolities which means an under eye concealer should become your new best friend. I've tried quite a few of these 'Touche Eclat' dupes and this is by far the best as it both conceals and highlights ridiculously well.
Sleek 'Lace' Blush by Three / As a peach cream blush addict I struggle to find powder berry blushes that I love, but I've got to say I adore the middle rose gold shade 'guipure' in this palette. It gives you the perfect 'snowball fight' pinched cheek perk up with an added subtle gold shimmer which screams 'partayy time!'


How do you create the 'Snow Glow'?
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