Monday, 28 December 2015

♥ Christmas Makeup / Beauty Haul 2015

This year my friends and boyfriend were very generous with their gifts. The theme was mostly makeup and beauty bits and pieces and I thought I'd pop everything into a haul post to show you the presents I received over the festive period!

I exchanged gifts with two of my best friends that I work with and Nathan, taking note of our Kiko stop in Rome this summer, went in store in Merry Hill and picked up two things for me. He got me the Temptress Lip Set in Deep Wine. It comes with a lip liner and a lipstick in a dark berry red and it looks incredible. The bullet to the lipstick reminds me of the bullets on the Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks and I'm interested to see how it applies onto the lips! The other gift he got me, from the same festive collection, is the Total Sculpt contour kit in Light to Medium. I've not really tried contouring so I'm super excited to have a play around with this. The highlight shade looks nice and matte and because it has a yellowish tone to it I'm going to see how it works with setting concealer under the eyes. Taryn is apparently an expert listener and bought me the bits I said I really wanted when we popped into Superdrug a few weeks back. She picked me up the Tanya Burr Handy Candy Manicure Kit. This is absolutely perfect, as I have the worst habit of biting and picking at my nails so this is a great encouragement to let them grow nice and long and start looking after them a bit more. She also picked me up some lavender scented candles, as lavender is my go to scent. Theo, my boyfriend, went crazy. He too, listened to everything I have mentioned over the past few months and bought me a collection of stuff I was desperate for. If you caught my Christmas Wishlist post, you'll have seen a few of these bits before. The only thing I asked for (and really hoped I would get) was the Classic Face Brush Set from Zoeva. After falling in love with their eye brushes earlier in the year, I felt my brush collection would be complete with a few of their face brushes, and now it is! Off that wishlist he also bought me the MAC Purple Times Nine palette, It's more beautiful then I imagined and I'm so so excited to try a purple smokey eye now. In the run up to the festive period, Estee Lauder released their Makeup Artist Collection and it had it on sale for half price at one point. I popped it in my basket, really excited to purchase, and boom. Sold out. I couldn't get my hands on it and I was texting Theo how disappointed I was. Little did I know, he'd managed to get one and opening it on Boxing Day was such a shock. It's absolutely beautiful and it was such a bargain. I can't wait to try their mascara and the bright pink lipstick, as it isn't something I'd usually wear - they even threw in a sample size of a new fragrance, which was a nice extra, too. The release of Urban Decay's collaboration with Gwen Stefani didn't really excite me all too much in the beginning. Then everybody was talking about it and my opinion shifted. I thought it looked the perfect mixture of mattes, neutrals and jewel tones and really, really wanted it. Theo got this last minute after listening to me lust over it one too many times, and IBM so glad. I would have bought it for myself anyway, but him surprising me with this made me so happy. Finally, in the last on my beauty related presents, he got me the My Warpaint makeup bag I had mentioned. I bought this for Taryn, and really wanted it for myself, too, so thank you Theo!! 

I am honestly so grateful for the bits I had bought for me this Christmas and I can't wait to start using it all. I'm such a lucky girl!

Did you get anything beauty related for Christmas? Let me know in the comments below as I'd love to know. Hope you're all having a great Christmas break!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

♥ MAC Lipstick Collection

My collection of MAC stuff is barely a year old, so the amount of stuff I have from the brand still shocks me a little. It's a tiny one, i'm sure, compared to some of your collections but it's something I'm still quite embarrassed about. Why on earth do I spend all this money on makeup? More importantly, why do I spend all this money on makeup that is super similar and totally irrational? When I spend on MAC, I do it online, and I will put off a haul until I have a spare £100, and then I'll go crazy. I pop over to their counter time and time again when I'm home in Birmingham and it's something I find very intimidating (and it's always awfully busy) so I swatch and swatch and then make mental notes of the things to get next time. The one item that started it all off was the Twig lipstick. I bought it last December, when the hype around the shade was still going. It's a shade that looks quite natural - as lipstick goes - on me as I have a naturally dark lip and I'm not too adventurous with my make up, so I wanted to take small steps and have something that I wouldn't be scared to wear. There was also Creme In Your Coffee. A lovely, dark brown nude that is right up my street. I always go for a brown or bronze eye and I knew a brown lip was something I might be able to pull off, so it was the shade my best friend bought me for Christmas last year. I then ended up with my first pink... Pink Plaid.

Monday, 7 December 2015

♥ Beauty Blender | Review

I never buy into hypes. It takes me ages to persuade myself that something might actually be as good as other people say it is, so I come round to interesting products like this way later than others. It seems as though Beauty Blenders are quite a recent product to be introduced onto the market. I first heard of them maybe a year or two ago, and I couldn't ever excuse paying around £15 for a sponge. I used to buy a big pack of cosmetic sponges in Poundland when I was younger, and popped my makeup on with those and never had an issue. They broke apart and went gross really quickly, and I assumed a Beauty Blender wouldn't be much different.

My gateway into beauty sponges was the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge. The finish that gave was incredibly flawless, however the sponge didn't wash too well, and it's now tearing, but it's still a great alternative to the Beauty Blender if the £15 price point is a little too much.

If like me, you've tried other beauty sponges and then move onto the Beauty Blender, the difference in finish is incredible. I wasn't convinced that the sponge would vary too much in texture but it feels completely different, it's less dense, and seems to 'bounce' a lot better than my RT alternative. It's been washed a fair few times and though the dye is running out of it, it's not too bad and there are no tears - something that happened to my RT after a few washes. This can blur out quite heavy foundations to a lighter coverage, so on those occasions I'm wearing my Double Wear, I'll apply with a brush and then use my sponge to buff it much more thoroughly, I'll use it to blend in my powder products (like blush and highlighter) after applying them to really blend them down. It's perfect for popping concealer under the eyes after doing eye make up and whatever else.

All in all, I've found so much use out of this little sponge and I'll willingly repurchase when my current one comes to the end of its tether! They're a great secret santa gift/stocking filler or a great present for anyone who's into make up as, like me, they might not be too convinced to pay such a silly amount for a sponge that won't last as long as a good foundation brush! I'm obsessed.

Em x

Friday, 4 December 2015

♥ Christmas/Winter Wishlist 2015

As we're now in December, I'll let the festivities commence. Though, I must say, I am not a fan of Christmas at all. My childhood is to blame. There wasn't much fun to be had when Christmas morning was spent in hospital, visiting Mum, instead of being sat around the tree as a family, giving and receiving gifts... Everything is all good now and we do exchange presents and sit down for a beautiful turkey dinner with the extended family and the day is tonnes of fun. It's the run up to it all I detest. In my opinion, it's dragged out for far too long and I work right through my time off from university, anyway, so it's just not that fun. There are, of course, a few thing's I'm lusting after in the festive period and here they are:

Zoeva Face Brush Set
I purchased an eye brush set from Zoeva back in August (read this) and I have been blown away by the quality of the brushes. They're incredible to use and so versatile. My face brush set is lacking though, now that I have so many brushes for eyes, so this would make a pretty complete collection, I feel.

Mac Purple x Nine Palette
I've been going on about wanting this palette for months now, and I'm pretty sure I'll pick it up as a treat for myself when I go into London next week! I'm really into purple shades with darker hair and I'm toying with the idea of putting blonde through the ends of my hair again and then dying them a purple colour... I don't know what it is about the colour purple, but I'm obsessed. These tiny palettes from mac are such great value for money too, and an ideal size for trying out new shades.

'My Warpaint' canvas makeup bag
I've never paid too much attention to the website notonthehighstreet, but I found this beautiful slogan make up bag on it and fell in love. It's super affordable and the slogans to choose from really are lovely. It's a great gift idea for any fellow make up lover, too!

Bossypants by Tina Fey
I love a funny woman. This year I read Yes Please! by Amy Poehler and absolutely adored it. Next on my list is Tina Fey's first book. It's bound to be hilarious and I would love to know more about her life as an upcoming comedienne.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion
Winter is well and truly here and I feel as though I need to drench my skin in moisturiser. Skincare isn't usually something I would spend my money on, but I'd love this as my skin has seen very many better days. I hope a few indulgent skin care bits will get my skin back to normal and reduce my blemishes, so this is something I'm really lusting after this winter!

What's the top of your christmas wishlist? Let me know in the comments!

Em x

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

♥ Disappointing Products #4

There's nothing worse than buying something and ending up with a really strong dislike for it... but it's something that happens to all of us even when the product is one we know other people absolutely love and couldn't live without. I haven't written a disappointing products post since May, so this is well overdue!

Maybelline The Rocket Volum' Express mascara
I bought this quite a while ago now, after hearing Estee Lalonde ranting and raving about it at every opportunity. I can't get along with it as a mascara at all though. I find it super wet and it does nothing for my lashes, it coats them, but it doesn't add volume or length it just separates them and makes them look sparse and lifeless. I might give it a bit of time to dry out and then maybe my opinion will change, but for now I am so disappointed with this.

Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation
I've repurchased this foundation and I've been using it for a couple of years now, but I always end up with it in the depths of my makeup drawer - because it's full of shimmery glittery particles and I just do not want a shimmery base! I do love this foundation so much, but the shimmer really puts me off and so I never reach for it. I do, however, always always use the wake me up concealer. It's my absolute go to.

Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturiser
I bought this moisturiser right before I went on holiday over summer because it has SPF in it and I knew it would do me well in the summer sun. However, when I pick this up now and pop it on, it doesn't sink into my skin undetectable, it coats it and then rubs off all sticky. It just coats the face and leaves a film that bunches up on the skin and it's really not nice.

Estee Lauder Little Black Primer mascara
This sample is one I picked up with my Double Wear Foundation (review, here). I wasn't expecting much from a sample, but I didn't expect to hate it. It doesn't prime my lashes well at all, it makes my mascara go all clumpy and weird and it doesn't do anything to enhance them or make them look better, so I'll stick to using a drying mascara as my 'primer' if you will.

What's the last beauty buy, or influenced purchase that disappointed you? I'd love to know what is was and why you didn't get along with it.

Em x

Monday, 30 November 2015

♥ November Favourites

I ended up being far too busy to blog for the majority of October and November. I've recently kicked my butt into shape (again) and written and scheduled a load of posts to ensure I don't fall behind and neglect my blog, and as I didn't post an October favourites, this one is rather large!

My Estee Lauder Double Wear has been a god send. My skin just won't clear up and for those days I'm at university all day and just don't fancy looking red, blotchy and spotty this is my ultimate go to. It's such a saviour for bad skin days and lasts all day long. You can read my review on it here. In a desperate bid to try and clear up my skin I repurchased some Sudocreme. It's a bit harsh on the skin if you use it too much, but every couple of days I'll pop it on my skin overnight to calm down red patches and it does make my skin look much better come morning. For my face wash, I've been using the Garnier Fresh Clarifying Wash for a couple of months now. It's gentle on the skin and really affordable and I'm on my fourth bottle of the stuff now. It leaves the skin feeling super clean and it helps to reduce shine so skin looks nice and matte after using it. As I've mentioned before, I never blow dry my hair and for those mornings when I don't have the time to let my hair dry naturally, I skip a wash and use my Colab Dry Shampoo instead. I actually prefer this to Batiste dry shampoo as it's colourless and it makes all the difference - no struggling with white/grey patches. I recently had the chance to upgrade my phone contract and I, of course, opted for the Rose Gold iPhone 6s. It's absolutely beautiful and I think it's a well deserved investment, as I kept my pink iPhone 5c for almost two years without breaking it. I can let you know what apps I use and stuff like that in a 'Whats on my iPhone' post if you're interested - let me know in the comments! I bought Maybelline's Lash Sensational when it was new to the drugstore and everybody was raving over it. I didn't open it until recently, when the mascara I had been using was all empty, and I don't think I could use anything else now - it makes my lashes look that good. Another thing I've been using none stop this month is my MAC Fix +, I've been using it before makeup, after makeup, to dampen my Beauty Blender and to intensify eyeshadows. It's a great multipurpose product and so worth the money. My final favourite is Game of Thrones. I hesitated getting into the series for such a long time as I never seem to buy into the hype around certain things and this was one of those things. I had to read the book for a module at university and it's so, so long so I still haven't finished it but I have watched the first few episodes of the first series and I'm loving it! I never thought I would, as I love the Lord of the Rings series so much, but it's totally different and not like anything else I've seen.

Link your November favourites down below and let me know whether my favourites are something you love too!

Em x

Friday, 27 November 2015

♥ My Five Favourite Makeup Brushes

Make up brushes are something I've only recently invested in. When I first started using makeup I applied my foundation with my fingers, didn't really use eyeshadow at all and used a liner that came with a brush. Brushes weren't something I wanted to spend my money on but now I'm so obsessed. Zoeva are my weakness. Real Techniques are the best of the bunch on the high street and MAC are the ultimate luxury, but I feel very easily duplicated by the likes of Zoeva and Sigma. Here are my top five make up brushes currently in my collection:

Sephora Multitasker #45
I wanted this for quite a while and when I was on holiday in Rome I managed to pop into Sephora and pick it up. I'm obsessed with buffing in liquid foundation and though the Real Techniques Buffing Brush is brilliant, this one does it better for me. I find it's not a fluffy and packs more punch into my application and the design is so, so sleek.

Zoeva Luxe Petit Crease
This is kind of similar to the MAC 217, but much, much smaller. It ensures a precise application, under the lower lash line, in the crease, or is really helpful to create a cut crease look. The size really helps to get colour just where you want it and the density is perfect.

MAC 217
This is the makeup brush that started it all. I've been watching the likes of Tanya Burr and Vivianna does makeup on youtube for years now and this little 217 is something all the best seem to use. It blends out crease colours on the eyes perfectly and it washes amazingly. It's the most expensive brush I own, and it's got me obsessed with MAC brushes. For what you pay they really are incredible.

Zoeva Luxe Brow Light
This large shader brush is perfect for applying colour all over the lids. It's quite big in size so that makes it super easy to get all the lids done in just a few swipes and the shape makes application really easy, too. I use this after I've put on a transition shade in the crease and press shadows right over the lid.

Real Techniques Cheek Brush
I got this last Christmas in a set the Chapman sisters released. It's limited edition to that set, but if you ever come across it I would highly recommend you snatch it up. The shape of it and the density of the brushes are exactly what you need to hollow out cheek bones with a contour or to add colour to the apples of your cheeks. I love going a bit darker with blush and putting it where some girls would put contour, and this gets the product right where I want it.

So, there you have my top five favourite brushes. If I were to include anything else it would be my Beauty Blender. I've got a review coming on it, but if you use a make up sponge like the Real Techniques one and love the results, the Beauty Blender is something you should be popping at the top of your Christmas wish list. It's the best of the bunch! Let me know what your favourite brushes are in the comments below, or if there's a certain brush brand I just need to try!

Em x

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

♥ How Much Does My Face Cost? | Beauty Blogger Tag

This is my favourite tag post I've seen in my time as a blogger. It's the one that really intrigues me. I love knowing what other girls use on a day to day basis - because they're bound to be products we've tried and tested and given the stamp of approval and sometimes, they're products we just won't switch around, ever. So here are the items I use on a pretty much every day basis. Excuse the multiple mascaras - I use one dried out mascara as a primer to separate my lashes! The reality of this post is that I probably bought most of the stuff on three for two offers or something similar... but to shock myself at how much it costs collectively is going to be fun anyway!

Simple Clear Skin Oil Balancing Moisturiser - £4.27
L'Oreal Nude Magique Blur Cream Primer in Light to Medium - £9.99
L'Oreal True Match Foundation in Rose Ivory - £9.99
Natural Collection Cover-up Cream in Fair - £1.99
Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Lavish Mauve - £8.99

Mac Paintpot in Painterly - £16
Naked Basics 2 palette - £23
Rimmel Lash Accelerator Endless mascara - £7.99
Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara - £7.99
Rimmel Glam Eyes liner - £5.29
Maybelline Brow Drama in Transparent - £4.99

Halzephron Lip Salve - £3.25

There are a few things I didn't include here like powder and blush, but for the most part I forget to use them anyway. The total cost of my face is a whopping £103.74. While these products do change up from day to day these are the ones I go for most and is the most accurate I could get this tag done. If you haven't done this tag, please do and pop the link in a comment below because like I said, I love these posts and it's always worth knowing what people use on an everyday basis.

Em x

Monday, 23 November 2015

♥ Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation | Review

I very rarely try samples that come in magazines. I feel like I'll never get around to purchasing the real deal and I don't believe they're big enough to give you a good enough idea of what the product is actually like... But when an Estee Lauder sample pops up, for a foundation that's so raved about, you kind of have to try it out. It turned out to be worth it. Very worth it. The sample went a long way. I used it sparingly over a couple of days and I was out and about in typical, wet, Cornish weather and it held up really well. I was intrigued. More and more people told me of how incredible it was and I had been after a more luxurious foundation for so long that in September, before moving back to university, I bit the bullet and bought it.

It's good. Really good. It stays put all day and the girls at the counter in Boots Birmingham did a really good job of colour matching my skin to the shade Desert Beige. It suits my skin tone perfectly and I usually apply it with a finger all over my face and then gently buff it in with my Sephora Multitasker brush. It gives such good coverage and I'd say it's medium to high coverage and you can build it up easily. It stays put all day, with or without primer, though I feel primer does encourage it to stay that little bit longer and prevents it settling into pores as it is such a heavy consistency. It has a natural and flawless looking matte finish on the skin and it still blows me away after a few months of having it.

All in all, Double Wear is a seriously good foundation and I'm so glad it's the high end foundation I ended up going with, because it hasn't disappointed me at all. At £30, it's not the cheapest of its kind and it isn't the most expensive, either. It's a good middle ground for a high end product. I opted to get my bottle at Boots, so I could collect points on my purchase and I also got gifted two sample products: the Advanced Night Repair serum and the Little Black Primer mascara primer. I don't feel I've noticed much difference in my skin from the serum, but I'm not using it consistently and the mascara primer is nothing rave about... I don't believe I'd purchase either product, but it was a nice touch to have two decent sized samples thrown in.

The foundation doesn't come with a pump but the one I've attached is a MAC foundation pump that cost around £5.

A great first encounter with Estee Lauder make up though, and I'm excited to eventually try some more of their stuff.

Em x

Friday, 23 October 2015

♥ Kiko Last Lasting Shadow Sticks | Review

KIKO is a brand that awkward to come across in the UK. It involves online shopping and having an unclear idea of what it is you're buying or what the shades come across as in person, but on my summer holiday in Italy there were KIKO stores everywhere. I popped into one down the road from the Vatican (casual) and picked up a few things that looked interesting. One thing that I loved the sound of were the Long Lasting Shadow Sticks. They only cost a few euros each, so it's drugstore territory but they've been compared to some very expensive high end alternatives and I had heard that they were pretty good products so I picked up two.

I bought the shades Golden Taupe and Dark Taupe and I've been blown away by the quality of them both now that I've started using them. I always always use Painterly, a MAC Paint Pot to prime my eyes and this helps stop creasing of my shadows. It prevented creasing like an absolute dream with these products. The formulation of the shadow sticks are super super creamy, they glide on the lid without tugging and they set solidly wherever you apply. I apply colour one eye at a time, as they do set quite quickly, so have a brush on hand to blend straight away because they're difficult to budge once they're on and set.

Golden Taupe is a lovely mauvey purple/taupey shade. It has a lovely golden shimmer running throughout and can be blended into a nice light wash of colour or build up to something more like the above. Dark Taupe is a much greyer taupe shade and I use this to darken up the outer crease and lower lash line. My favourite is by far Golden Taupe, as I think its much more versatile than the darker shade, but I am desperate to try Dark Taupe over a matte grey toned smokey eye. I think the subtle shimmer would look excellent with matte shadows.

All in all, the quality of these shadow sticks is insane, They last all day long and do not budge an inch. They come in such a variety of shades you're sure to find something you love from the collection and coming in at under seven pounds online, I'd suggest having a look at them if shadow sticks are something you like! Or, if you're off to Italy any time soon, have a look in store.

Em x

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

♥ Get To Know Me | Beauty Blogger Tag

I'm a very nosey person. I love reality tv and I follow the lives of the Kardashian sisters religiously. I'm really into the idea of sharing lives with others and I think that's why I love those sort of shows so much. It's probably why I love youtube so much, too. Now that I'm in the habit of posting more frequently and desperately trying to stick to schedule (and failing to do so at the minute, but trust me, we'll get there) I thought you might like to find out a bit more about me. I saw this tag floating around and I thought I'd do it too!

1. Is your hair naturally curly or straight?
I have naturally straight and super fine hair. I really dislike how fine it is and my hair malts really badly, too. If there was a magic treatment to give myself a fuller head of hair I would, instantly. I'm jealous of anyone with lovely thick locks.

2. Do you dye it yourself or go to a salon?
I haven't dyed my hair in a really long time. Just under two years ago I bleached the ends after wanting a blonde ombre. I loved it, but the damage meant all my ends were breaking off and I had to have lots of it chopped off. I haven't touched my hair since dying over the bleach dark brown, and while that dye is fading, I'm happy with how my hair looks and I haven't touched it since - to try and get it to grow super long and get it really healthy.

3. Do you wear the same style everyday, or do you change it?
I keep everything pretty similar. My hair is always down and natural, or down and straight. My make up looks always stay pretty neutral and in terms of fashion I'm a jeans, vans and t shirt kinda girl.

4. Do you do your own mani/pedi or go to a salon?
I've never had my nails done. I work in food when I'm home from university, so I can't have my nails done anyway and I don't think I'd like the damage it would do.

5. How often do you change your nail polish?
Not as often as I like. I have quite the collection of nail polish but I never find the time to just sit down and paint my nails. I'm too impatient.

6. Do you polish your toes in the winter or just the summer?
All year round! 

7. How long does it take for you to put on makeup?
It depends what I'm doing. If I'm popping into uni for a lecture or just out to tesco it'll take ten minutes to put on a slick of mascara and foundation, but for a night out it'll take maybe half hour to forty five minutes.

8. What do you do first? Face or eyes?
On a night out, always eyes. For an everyday look, I do foundation and then a nice simple, neutral eye.

9. Do you collect makeup or just buy what you need when you need it?
I collect. I'm quite bad with eye shadow and mascara - I have so many palettes that go untouched and so many tubes of mascara that I should probably throw out.

10. How often do you wear false eyelashes?
Rarely, though I'd like to use them more. I find I don't need them on a day to day basis, and I don't drink, so I rarely go on nights out where I feel obliged to dress up that much.

11. Do you do a full face of makeup everyday?
Not at all. I'm really lazy. If I'm at home all day doing uni work, I won't bother at all. If I'm off to university but feeling lazy I'll just do foundation, mascara and eye liner but I'll only but on a fuller face if I really feel like it, which isn't very often.

12. Do you wear makeup when you're home alone or with family?
Nope! I'll only wear makeup when I'm certain I'll be leaving the house.

13. Will you leave the house without makeup?
All the time. It doesn't bother me too much. I'd rather save my acne prone skin.

14. How many high-end products do you have?
A few. I have a decent MAC collection (if you count that) a few Urban Decay palettes, my Estee Lauder Double Wear, but for the most part I'm a drugstore girl!

15. Do you plan your OOTD every night or decide when you're getting dressed?
 I decide right before I leave, or just shove whatever on. I'm useless with fashion.

16. How often do you change your handbag?
Not very often at all. It'll take me years to find a bag I like, and then I don't even like it that much. 

17. What time do you wake up and go to sleep?
I try to sleep between midnight and one am, and I try to wake up at eight. 

18. How often or when do you workout?
I used to work out loads, as going to the gym back in Birmingham is cheap and easy. but my universities gym is too small and expensive for what it is, so i haven't been since summer.

19. Left handed or right handed?

20. How tall are you?
Maybe 5"6? Average. 

21. Do you speak any foreign languages?
I did a GCSE in french and can remember a little bit, but other than that, no!

22. How many pets do you have?
I have a cat called Misty.

23. How often are you on Blogger?
Every day, though I don't post as much as I wish I could - life and university gets in the way.

24. Do you read comments posted on blogs?
Yes. I love to read not only the opinion of the blogger, but of other girls who have tried out the same thing. It always means you find out new uses and it's a great way to find other blogs.

25. Do you keep a list of products to try as you see other posts?
I keep a wish list on my phone and try and pin things I'd like to look more into. If someone mentions a mac product, I'll put it in my favourites online or if something mentions something from the drug store I'll note it on my phone. 

26. How did you come up with your blog name?
I don't know, I like beauty bits and i tend to waffle on and bullshit my way through life, so it came from that  i guess.

27. What kind of camera do you use for your photographs?
I use my iPhone or my Samsung NX3000

28. How often do you clean your house?
All the time. Every day. At university, I live with four of my friends and I always clean my bedroom because it can be a communal space, too and I always clean the kitchen because it's my favourite place.

29. What's your favourite colour?
Pink, though you wouldn't guess it!

30. Do you swear?
All the time. It's a horrible habit.

31. What are you doing with the rest of your day?
As I'm writing this, It's half ten in the morning, so I'm going to have a shower and get the three books I need to read for university done, and start planning an essay. How exciting!

So, there's a little insight into my life and the girl behind the words. I hope you enjoyed and if you do the tag too, let me know. Come back and comment and let me read a bit more about you.

Em x

Monday, 12 October 2015

♥ The Rosie Project | Book Review

Romance isn't my sort of thing. I used to lap it up when I was younger - Nicholas Sparks and his tales of true love that would suck you in and inevitably break your heart when a character died, or was diagnosed with a deadly disease? Yeah... So I soon grew out of the habit of reading romance novels. It just felt cliche and predictable and boring, I guess. But when I started my Mass Market Fiction module for university, I was told I had to get back into it. I had to choose a contemporary romance novel (of my choice) and read. The Rosie Project is a book I first picked up a few years back. It didn't really grab my attention and the opening pages bored me, just as i expected they would. I put the book down and lost it in my ever growing collection of unread titles. I always knew it was there, and I convinced myself that I'd get back around to reading it, eventually, and now I have.

The Rosie Project tells the tale of Don Tillman, a quirky protagonist with a few peculiar traits. Though it's never stated whether he has Asperger's or not, I read the character as though he did have autism and it doesn't poke fun at the idea of Don's situation, either, which I love. The book will make you laugh out loud, though. Don is a really special man. He's obsessed with the idea of finding the perfect life partner and goes on a quest to find her, though his high expectations and his thorough demands mean he'll never really find his perfect woman - because he's asking far too much of women. However, the introduction of Rosie into his life sends Don into a frenzy. He is all too convinced that himself and Rosie are absolutely not compatible and that made me will their romance on. Romance isn't the only plot strand in this novel, though. In fact, it's barely even detectable and that's probably why I enjoyed it. There are huge emotional elements and plot strands running throughout and it kept me intrigued and excited for the ending. I managed to read this book in just a few sittings and it put a few grins on my face along the way.

All in all, I ended up really enjoying Graeme Simsion's debut novel but I won't be reading the sequel, The Rosie Effect, any time soon. Romance is a genre that to me is all about the chase and happy ending, and this book had the happy ending I was after. I don't want to read of any troubles that could come after the happy ending that was given in The Rosie Project, and I didn't enjoy the book enough to want to delve more into the story. It was a nice light hearted read though, so if you're into romance, or after an easy read I'd recommend picking this up!

Em x

Sunday, 11 October 2015

♥ Weekly Roundup #3

This week was tough. I had to create a sixteen page children's picture book, read Fifty Shades of Grey and a whole load of Yeats' poetry. Could it get any more diverse? I doubt it very much. It was my boyfriends twenty second birthday, though I'm yet to see him (hurry up Wednesday) and the GBBO final. I wanted Tamal to win, but enjoyed the final despite the outcome.

I bought a few new pieces too, The Balm's Mary Lou Manizer had been on my wishlist for an awfully long time so it was time to cough up and buy into the hype and I wanted to know whether or not the Beauty Blender is as good as everyone insists it is, so I picked up that, too. I posted my favourite Autumnal makeup look - going with a lovely, soft, golden eye and I watched the BBC's Doctor Foster in one sitting. I absolutely loved it and if you didn't catch it, watch it while it's on iPlayer!

I followed the lovely Chloe, from Dublin as I follow her on Instagram and was totally unaware she was the author of a blog. She posted a brilliant make up tutorial using MAC's Cranberry and I am totally in awe of how the shade transfers onto the lid and it's now in my wishlist online. I can't wait to purchase it and have a go at the look that Chloe created. I loved Charlee's post on her beauty and makeup bits for the Autumn, too. She mentioned her lip combo of Soar lip liner and Mehr lipstick, a combination that I'm a massive fan on. She also made me want to purchase the first Naked palette, but that's going to have to stay on my wishlist for a rather long while.

Em x

Friday, 9 October 2015

♥ How I Clean My Makeup Brushes

Cleaning make up brushes a boring task we should all do much more often than we do. I'll be the first to admit it - I can go a scarily long time before convincing myself that the brushes I use on a day to day basis really do need to be cleaned. I am getting much better at implementing a frequent routine when it comes to my brushes though, and I thought I'd share how it is I clean them with you. Firstly, let's talk about what to use. Shampoo is an option, but it's something I've never tried. I have used soap before - a bar of Simple's soap and that worked brilliantly. I really like using a solid for foundation brushes or brushes that are really stubborn. To spot clean, in between big washes I've recently purchased B.'s Makeup Brush Cleanser (I spoke about this in my September Favourites) and it's incredible. Just a few sprays really do clean every last bit of product out of brushes. But my holy grail for washing my brushes has to be the Dr.Bronner's Magic Soap. I have the Tea Tree scent, as I'm sort of obsessed with anything Tea Tree. It lathers up a dream and a little goes such a long way with this stuff. It's organic and all natural so I know it won't damage my brushes and it has so many other uses. It can be used for shampoo, shower wash, they are safe to use on babies and pets and you can use them to wash floors, too. It's a perfect all rounder and if you haven't tried it yet I suggest you do. It'll change your brushing habits! To clean my brushes, I fill my sink with water, put a flannel on the side and drop some soap into the palm of my hand and swill the brush around, until it's nice a soapy. I'll rinse and repeat, until water runs clear and then swirl the brush around on the flannel to ensure there's no more product coming out. This step also helps to kick start the drying process - an essential when you live in a freezing cold student house! I leave them to dry on the flannel, lying flat and so far, I've had no issues with shedding. The only issue I have had is that my Sephora face brush doesn't clean as nicely as I'd like it to, but a few sprays of the B. cleanser after washing it solved the issue.

What do you use to clean your brushes? Or have you tried one of the other scents Dr.Bronner have on offer? Let me know in the comments, ladies!

Em x

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

♥ Golden Eyes: Easy Autumn Makeup Look

I love Autumn. It means the darker shades of lipstick come out and you have every reason to spend every night snuggled up with hot chocolate and disney movies. I also love that it means I can wear gold toned shadows and not feel weird about it. I've always preferred a neutral/brown toned eye and bronzes and browns are what I opt to wear the majority of the time, so I really am in my element through Autumn and Winter. I created this super soft, golden eye with the help of Urban Decay's Smoky palette and boy, do I love it.

To give an even base, I went in with Beauty Bay's Primer. I got this as a free gift when I ordered my Zoeva brushes and it's not a bad product. It's a silicon based primer, so it does feel like it evens out my skin, it's nothing to write home about, though! I then went in with L'Oreal's Blur Cream on my t zone, just to really make sure my pores weren't too visible. The Blur Cream is something I absolutely rave about (read a little more about it here) because it's so similar to Benefit's Porefection, but a fraction of the price. I used my brand new Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation and buffed it into my skin with my Sephora Multitasker Complexion (#45) brush. I then primed my lids with my MAC Paint Pot in Painterly. I always, always pick up this to prime my eyes. It gives a nice neutral base and there's so much product I feel like it'll take a lifetime to get through - whereas other primer's like the Too Faced Shadow Insurance is super easy to use up. For the transition/crease colour on my eyes I went in with the shade Frisk from Urban Decay's Naked Basics 2 palette. To brighten up my lid I used the lovely light golden shade Dirtysweet from Naked Smoky. Then I added a little but more depth and darkness into my crease and outer corner of my lid with the shade Radar from the same palette. I set my brows in place with Maybelline Brow Drama (the clear one) and used a tiny bit of Bootycall from the Naked 2 palette on my brow bone, inner corner and above the cheekbone to highlight. I used Rimmel's Glam Eyes liquid liner, as I always do and their Lash Accelerator mascara. To add some colour to my face and finish off the look, I used the Max Factor Creme Puff Blush on my cheeks in the shade Lavish Mauve.

As you can see I went without anything on my lips as I very rarely put anything on them for just a normal daytime. I can see myself going for this sort of look on an every day basis this month. I've also done a similar look using the shade Gild from the MUA Undressed palette, which is only four quid, and full of gold and brown shades, so it'd be easy to recreate the look with that and it wouldn't set you back half as much as the Urban Decay palettes would! Let me know what you think, or tell me how else I can use golden tones through the winter in the comments, I'd love to hear from you.

Em x

Friday, 2 October 2015

♥ September Favourites

September was such a whirlwind. I worked my arse off and got a promotion at work (it only took me four years), it was my best friends twenty first birthday (I don't know how that crept up on us) and I started the third and final year of my degree (absolutely terrifying). Despite the craziness of the month, I was still able to fall head over heels in love with a few make up bits and other things, too. Here's the lowdown:

I had been after a high end foundation forever and after trying out a Double Wear tester from a magazine, I was completely sold. A few friends had also insisted that it's an incredible foundation and that it stays put all day - exactly what I want out of a £30 foundation. I picked this up from the Estee Lauder counter at Boots in Birmingham and the ladies there were so friendly and helpful and they didn't intimidate me at all. I always get terribly anxious and feel so looked down on whenever I go into beauty halls so I was pleasantly surprised when the girls all stood and had a chat with me about my tattoos and what it was I was after! Another thing I've not been able to get enough of recently is the Naked Basics 2. It's also something I had been thinking of purchasing for quite a while and when I went to the Urban Decay counter in Selfridges to pick up a birthday present for my best friend I walked out with two... Purely because it would have caused me actual pain to get one for her but not have one of my own. Pretty silly but I've used it most days since buying it and I'm obsessed. With it, I've been using the Luxe Petit Crease Brush from Zoeva. It's a tiny crease brush and it's ideal for putting just a small wash of colour over your lids. Look at this post for the collection of brushes it came with. To spot clean my brushes in between uses, I've been using this B. Makeup Brush Cleanser. It was super cheap and works wonders on brushes. Just a few spritzes and a swirl into tissue brings them up super clean without the inconvenience of waiting for them to dry after washing. Finally, I've been having an absolute nightmare with my skin recently. I have awful acne that just won't budge from around my mouth and chin so Tea Tree Oil has been my best friend. This is just one I picked up from Superdrug and I've just been putting it on problem areas before bed time in a bid to try and clear my skin up.

At the end of the month I read The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. It took me around three days and I just couldn't wait to find out how it would end. It was a lovely read and I might just have to pick up the next book. I haven't stopped listening to Foo Fighters and I've watched Paper Towns four times now... Calm down, Emily!

What are the products you've been turning to time and time again this month? Let me know in the comments!

Em x

Monday, 28 September 2015

♥ MAC Haul #3

Autumn is upon us and obviously, that called for a new lipstick. That inevitably meant I spent a small fortune on MAC and I don't regret a thing (maybe one thing, but we'll get to that)! Autumn seems the time where a bold berry toned lip is most acceptable, so I needed a few bits and pieces to make my makeup collection seem more wintry. After seeing Lily Pebbles rock Plumful a few months back in her vlogs, I was positive I'd love it. I bought Mehr on her recommendation and that did not disappoint and I've pretty much gathered that we have a similar skin tone and the things that look ace on her might very well look good on me, too. So Plumful found it's way into my basket and the rest is history. To go with that, I slipped the Beet lip liner in. Its a lovely, dark, pinky red liner and I can only imagine how beautiful this will look underneath Plumful. Annoyingly, I popped Captive into my basket, too. The website says that this is a 'pinkish plum' shade and it looks a much darker purple on the website than it does in the bullet and it's super similar to Plumful so I'm thinking I'll probably return that. Along with the lip products I purchased two shadow pans. I bought the shades Malt, a lovely neutral beige and Sable, a plummy coloured shadow with a golden shimmer to it, to complete my quad palette.

I also bought Fix + and a foundation pump (neither are pictured) after finding out the MAC pumps fit onto Estee Lauder Double Wear - perrrrfect! I know I did go to town with this order and I'm really disappointed I'm going to be sending something back, but I did work really hard through summer and I won't have a chance to spoil myself for quite a while now that I'm back at university!

What do you think of the bits and pieces I picked up, and did you know that MAC pumps fit onto the wonder that is Double Wear?! Crazy!

Em x

Sunday, 27 September 2015

♥ Weekly Roundup #2

It's been a mad old month for me. I saw Foo Fighters live and had the best night of my life. I finally finished my sleeve, after two years of getting bits and pieces of it tattooed and I got a rather beautiful piece on my sternum. I got gifted the brand new Urban Decay Smoky palette - how big of a darling is my boyfriend?! - and I also had a lot of 4AM starts for work and the hassle of moving back down south to Cornwall was thrust upon me. Life is much,much quieter now I'm back down south and without a job so be sure to hear from me a lot over the coming months.

The posts I've been loving recently include Georgia's new MAC products, she bought Syrup and now I'm totally lusting after the shade. I've been loving Becca's relaunched blog. And on Youtube, I've been loving Jamie Oliver's channel, FoodTube. He incorporates his television shows, a little bit of vlogging and uses content from loads of different chefs to create such a vast collection of recipes, you're sure to find something that you want to try. I am a huge Jamie Oliver fan so this channel is like a god send for me, as embarrassing as it is!

I've been reading Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey and finding it so sad that I happen to be making the book last quite a while. I think it's quite emotionally draining and the subject of dementia is a really raw one, to me. It's beautifully written and very sensitive of the subject and I hope the ending of the book does it justice. On Netflix I've switched back to watching Gossip Girl for around the fourth time. I find I get bored of tv shows really quickly but there hasn't been much else to watch. I went and watched Paper Towns in the cinema. I totally fell in love with the book when I read it and I can't quite decide whether I prefer this over Looking For Alaska, but the film adaption absolutely blew me away. I detest The Fault in our Stars. so I never went to the cinema to see it but I knew I would enjoy Paper Towns. I've purchased the book again since seeing it (I gave my original copy to a friend and never got it back) and purchased the soundtrack and watched it online. I know it's one of those films I'm going to watch over and over and I'm really happy with the direction it took and how true it stayed to the novel.

Em x

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