Wednesday, 19 October 2016

What to Expect From a Vintage Kilo Sale

vintage kilo sale judys
 
I absolutely love a vintage fair, or picking up cool pieces in an independent retro shop. Because I'm also the kind of dickhead that refuses to eat in Nandos or Wagamamas, goes to independent cinemas and listens to vinyl. JUDGE ME BITCHES.

That's not to say I don't love me a bit of H&M or have a never ending ASOS wishlist. I just enjoy the experience of vintage shopping more - it's exhilarating because you never know what you're going to find and the stuff you DO find is usually a bit different. I've taken a few friends with me to Lou Lou's vintage fair whenever it comes round to Cardiff and they've found some real gems.

I took Martin along to the Kilo Sale when it hit Cardiff last weekend because I've always missed it whenever it's come around. Damn Sunday retail working. This time, though, I was prepared. I was ready. I got some absolutely amazing pieces and, unbelievably, so did Martin! It might not be something you would think to go to yourself, but I promise you won't regret giving it a go. They're always in different cities (here is their calendar) so I thought I'd give you a run down of what to expect so you feel more comfortable visiting when it's local to you.

1. It's kind of organised.

I expected to see piles of crap strewn everywhere and a general chaotic free for all. There was a LOT of stuff on offer but all on rails in an easy to browse kind of layout. Like a mega weird shop. Nothing on the floor or flying through the air so pretty much more organised than your standard Primark. There are some big skip-type bins full of stuff if you want less order, but that's about it for chaos.

2. It's polite and (relatively) calm.

Along with the aforementioned piles of crap, I pictured a bunch of bearded hipsters fighting over the bomber jackets like animals. However everyone was really nice, a little excuse me here and there and squeezing past to get to stuff and everyone was happy. I wasn't shoved once and someone even complimented me on my choice of cardigan!

3. Expect to be left with the dregs after 12pm

Early bird entry starts at 11am (and is slightly more expensive) and normal entry is at 12pm. We got there around 11.30 and the queue to pay was already mega long and I couldn't help eyeballing everyones picks turning a lil' bit green with envy. A lot of the best stuff had clearly been snapped up. If you're someone who can make something awesome out of nothing you'll be fine whatever time you go, but I'm not blessed with that talent (or literally any other talent can I get a hell yea??) and I wish I'd gotten there 30 minutes earlier.

4. There are also individual priced items

This stuff tends to be the more "generic" and in demand vintage clothes - think Levis, plaid shirts, fur coats and big old jumpers. That's not a dig at all, it's some of my favourite stuff. This was actually the busiest, most hectic bit where it felt a bit squabbly sometimes and you couldn't even get near to some of the rails. I also think some of this stuff was a bit overpriced, considering I managed to get a thick woollen cardigan, a jacket and a t shirt for Martin for around £18, but the top Martin picked up in the individually priced section was £15...

5. You can weigh before you buy

You know when you fill a bag of pic n mix and weigh it and it turns out you've got £6 of pink & blue bottles and that's waaayy too much but you can't put it back? That doesn't happen here. There's a little weighing station so you can check how much you have and if it's too much you can take stuff out - no judgement.

Bonus Tip: Make a shopping list

If you have a little idea of what you want before you get there, it's easier to spot the gems. I knew I wanted something knitted and hopefully a jacket. Martin knew he wanted an NFL jersey. We managed to get everything we wanted and a few extras. It stopped us wandering around lost and confused and gave us purpose.

FYI, I decided not to include any pictures of the sale because I wanted it to be some kind of surprise when you walk in. Not because I'm super lazy. I was so pleasantly surprised and excited when I walked in and saw the absolute goldmine of vintage in front of me, and WHY OH WHY would I take that pleasure away from you? I hope this has inspired some of you to check out your next one. 

Have you been to a kilo sale before? Have you had much luck in finding the hidden gems amongst the rails?

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Monday, 17 October 2016

How I Grew My Stagnant Twitter Following

how to gain twitter followers twitter chats
 
In the first 6-9 months of blogging my twitter following exploded (on a relatively small scale compared to others, BUT STILL) and I was so pleased. I was hitting all my goals and targets and it was fabulous!

Once I hit 2,000 followers though it slowed sooooo much. All pace was lost. This is probably partly because I had my dissertation and final year exams so was not as active as usual. But almost definitely more than I should have been... Woops.

I decided to start a little experiment to see how much, if at all I could grow my twitter following in a month. And I was veerrry happy with the results! I gained 518 followers in four weeks which compared to what I was gaining in my previous slump was amazing for me.

I also saw an increase in page views and Bloglovin followers which was a nice surprise addition. The best part is I now speak to soooo many more people on twitter and have "met" some real new favourite people who I know will become my good friends. I didn't change anything else - I tweeted the same amount and I promoted my blog posts through the same amount of scheduled tweets. 

So here it is. The ground breaking tactic...

Daily twitter chats

Yep. It's that simple.

Well, almost daily. I didn't take part in chats on Saturdays and sometimes I got distracted and missed the beginning or end of chats. If I had plans I missed a few but generally I took part in a chat every day. I used this calendar but it is actually missing the #GRLPOWR chats which are on Tuesday 9pm, Thursday 8pm and Sunday 9pm.

The first week of chats I gained 117 new followers, and that was the easiest week of growth. Probably because it had been soooo long since taking part in chats AND I had never taken part in a #GRLPOWR chat (my new fave). The second week was a bit slower because I missed loads of chats (woops). The third and fourth weeks I gained 174 and 142 followers. The third week I was trying to hit a milestone so got a couple of looovely shoutouts from my beautiful followers which meant by follower count shot up more than it might otherwise have done.

It's important to make sure you speak to people other than those you regularly chat to. They're already your buddies, we're trying to make NEW friends. That's why it got harder towards the end of the month because it felt like I wasn't seeing anybody knew to talk to. Which is stupid because there undoubtedly was.

This hopefully goes without saying but you HAVE TO follow people too. This isn't a follow4follow and unfollowing everyone who doesn't follow you back or not following people if they don't follow you first thing. We're not 12. But follow people you're enjoying talking to and hopefully other people will be doing the same. 

But basically, to summarise: daily twitter chats is bloody hard but it works. Realistically, someone with an active social life just can't do chats every day. Especially because most of the chats are during the time I would usually have dinner. However, it definitely inspired me to join in with chats more often. I've picked a handful of favourites (#thegirlgang #grlpowr thursday chat and #lbloggers) that I'm going to try and take part in as often as I can.

If your following is lagging or a bit stagnant and you're finding it hard to grow, I 100% recommend joining in some twitter chats. Even if you don't gain a billion followers, at the very least you'll have an interesting conversation and may make one or two friends!

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Friday, 14 October 2016

OOTD: Pleather & Plaid




Shirt - Vintage Fair (Similar) / Skirt - Similar / Brogues - Primark / T-shirt - Primark 

Autumn is such an easy season to look good - the seasonal trends are always inspirational, and who doesn't look cute in a bobble hat? If you're not a trend follower, though, there are CLASSIC pieces that always work in autumn:

1. Plaid shirts                                      
2. Skater skirts with tights or socks

BOOM.  Put them together and you have an outfit. Not only that, you have an easy outfit that actually looks like you tried to look nice... You know, put a bit of effort into your fashion (when actually it's the easiest outfit to wear ever).  You look like a pulled-together badass who knows what she's doing in life. No one needs to know you had a Pot Noodle for breakfast...

I love oversized plaid shirts tied around the waist. It adds an extra *something* to an otherwise boring "skirt and top" combo. Worn with a band or novelty tee (a department that Primark has been absolutely killing it in recently, FYI) it's an absolutely perfect pairing. And t-shirts never go out of fashion so don't feel guilty about buying every hilarious or ironic slogan tee you see...

I wore this outfit for a casual drink for a friend's birthday because the leather skirt just makes it that little bit dressier. I think rather than a skater skirt, a leather wrap skirt or high wasted mini skirt would look soooo good, too. I kind of love leather everything (assuming you know that when I say leather I mean cheap, fake AF "pleather"). Especially with the 80s style on the runways recently and leather is unashamedly 80s in my eyes. Maybe more bold and "wet look" than this exceptionally toned down tribute to the trend, but still.

I swapped out my usual tights, which I would probably be more likely to wear for a "day-time casual" look, for the knee high socks. I love wearing knee high socks in the day, too - It's easy to make them feel more dressed down by wearing them over tights. You'd probably be surprised how often you finding yourself reaching for them. These socks have a fleece lining too which is what I can only imagine the fur of a magical unicorn bunny would feel like. Swooooon.

But my faaavourite part of this outfit (aside from my main man Johnny Cash emblazoned across my chest) are the leather style brogue shoes. To me, they are timeless and can be incorporated into almost any trend or look. I love the little studding detail in place of the laces - it makes it less fancy, formal shoe and more grungey and casual. They were only FIVE POUND in Primark. You can't even buy a Starbucks and a piece of cake for a fiver.  Go go go!!




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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

5 Ways All Bloggers Are Danish (Trust Me)

...You heard right. Didn't you know you were Danish?

little book of hygge bloggers


If you've read The Little Book of Hygge it'll be no surprise that you're secretly part Danish. Every new page I read confirmed how very Danish I am. I truly love the concept of Hygge and I didn't realise how much I actually incorporate "Hygge" into my life. Mainly because I didn't know it existed.

I know I'm not the only one.

1. Candles

This extends to YouTubers too, if you don't have a candle flickering in the background of your video are you even a YouTuber? The second summer is out the window bloggers are rushing to their various spice scented Yankee candles. Candles, in Denmark, are very "Hygglig" - instant hygge, in fact. Most Danes light MORE THAN FIVE candles, at least 4-6 days a week. Is that not the dream?!


2. Copper Accessories

Maybe a slightly tenuous link but as it turns out, Danish people are a fan of copper homeware. Who'd have thought? Google the Kahler vase **heart eye emoji** and tell me that isn't your dream vase? If you try to tell me that, you're lying. Well 16,000 Danes tries to buy it online and queued outside the shop. For a copper striped vase. SIDE NOTE: completely buying into hype and getting obsessed with/impulse buying products is also a blogger thing...

3. Hot Drinks (AKA PSL)

Ok hot drinks are SO hygge. The most hygge in fact, even more hygge than candles. I actually despise coffee with all the passion I possess BUT it's okay, I can still be Danish because tea and hot chocolate count too. I couldn't even begin to count the number of bloggers with "coffee lover" or "avid tea drinker" in their bios and lets not even begin to address the basic bitch obsession with Starbucks and pumpkin spice this and that. You are sooo Danish.

4. Fashion

In case you didn't know, Denmark is pretty cold. So they love a good old, chunky jumper and are into scarves and AW fashion in a big way. The blogger community actively wishing away summer and putting on their bobble hats and jumpers on September 1st whatever the weather is proof that you were all born to be Danish. Don't forget the fact that the Danes looove all black everything which is a definite preference of many a blogger.


If the previous offerings didn't convince you, this definitely will. DANES LOVE AUTUMN. Well, Danes love Hygge (like, a lot) and they voted autumn the most Hygge season. Being inside when it's cold and stormy out is very hygge. Jumpers and cosy socks, warm colours and fireplaces... All things autumnal are hygge. And bloggers bloody love autumn.

Do you sense a conspiracy?

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Monday, 10 October 2016

Home Buyers Diaries #1: Grown Up Decisions

 

How can I be a grown up when I'm sitting at my kitchen table at 9.49am wearing a giant, fluffy teddy bear onesie? Knowing that I will probably spend a large proportion of the day watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix eating badly cut bagels?

Why am I making such grown up decisions? Why is no one helping me? (I'm looking at you Martin).

I had a 10 year plan when I was a teenager, and even as late as during uni. There's nothing wrong with plans, in fact I actively encourage 10 year plans!! However saying you want your dream job at 21, to be living in your own beautiful home around the same time, be married at 22/23 and have your first baby BY 25... When you're 15 is possibly the most hilarious thing I've ever heard. WHERE AM I GETTING ALL THIS DAMN MONEY??

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Friday, 7 October 2016

12 Reasons To Be Happy

Every noticed how negative the world is? I'm sure you have. There is a lot of shit going on in the world and our day to day lives are so stressful BUT never fear, my little friends. There is SO much to be happy about.


 1. Cupcakes exist - Literally little pretty cakes that you eat in one sitting. That is a thing.
2. It's perfectly acceptable, and even encouraged, to have a little animal live in your house and be your best friend.
3. You probably can't die from drinking too much tea.
4. Have you ever seen an alpaca before?
5. The whole Gilmore Girls series is on Netflix.
6. Shops sell glitters and sparkles and coloured things to put on your face.
7. Nearly 130 million books have been written which means the possibility of books to read in your lifetime is almost endless.
8.  There is a shop dedicated to stuff to put in your bath to make it colourful and smell good.
9. You can literally fly across the world to visit anywhere you want.
10. Teeny weeny fires that smell nice can be lit inside your house.
11. People carve faces into vegetables once a year and no one questions it.
12. A unicorn is a sparkly horse with wings and a horn.

SO MUCH HAPPINESS.

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Wednesday, 5 October 2016

My Fitness Routine: Push, Pull, Legs.

legs push pull weights fitness workout girls

The other day I tweeted about how much I was loving my current fitness routine and how absolutely fabulous I was feeling. Looooads of you said you'd be interested in reading my current routine SO Y'ALL BETTER READ THIS.

Disclaimer - I'm NOT a personal trainer, I'm not a body builder, I'm not even particularly fit at the moment but this is a good way to work out. It's working for me and was recommended to me by my sister who recently lost FOUR STONE and now looks insane (and is insane, for that matter).

I currently do a 3 day split training plan - Push, Pull & Legs. That basically means I isolate different muscle groups on each day so, for example, I work out my legs on one day than more than I would if I did a whole body/more general work out every day.  Some people do more specific splits so whereas I work back and biceps on one day they may have a whole day dedicated just to their back. Which might be a bit too much for me.

Leg day is self explanatory, I think. It works the whole lower body, I focus on my glutes, hamstring and quads. Push day focuses on muscles that are used for "pushing" such as the triceps, shoulders and chest. Pull day works the muscles used for "pulling" exercises such as back and biceps (my weakest muscle group by far).

This may sound kind of scary and intense but I just think it gives focus to a fitness routine. You know exactly what you're doing every time you step in the gym and because you're doing the same exercises it's easier to feel your progress. Also, because you're not doing the same workout twice or even three times in a row, it's easier to feel motivated because it's different every day!

If you haven't heard of these exercises before, don't worry. To me they just seem like stupid names designed to scare people off doing them... They're all relatively short exercises with three or four sets of 10 or 12 reps. Each individual exercise takes me around 5 minutes. It's okay to take big rests in between sets or even within if you're struggling. Exercise isn't meant to be horrible and make you feel shit about yourself. 

Push Day Workout:
  • Tricep Push Down (3 x 12)
  • Face Pulls (3 x 10)
  • Arnold Press (3 x 10)
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press (3 x 10)
  • Tricep Kick Back (3 x 12)
  • Front Raises Superset (3 x 10)
  • Lateral Raises (3 x 10)
Pull Day Workout: 
  • Cable Bar Curls (3 x 12)
  • Cable Bent Over Row (4 x 10)
  • Hammer Curls (3 x 10)
  • One Arm Dumbbell Row (3 x 10)
  •  Lat Pull Down (4 x 10)
Leg Workout:
  • Quad Extension (4 x 10)
  • Prone Hamstring Curls (3 x 10)
  • Kettle Bell Squat (3 x 12 alternating 3 x 6 with a heavier weight)
  • Walking Lunges (3 x 10)
  • Straight Leg Dead Lift (3 x 10) 
I try to add a bit of cardio on to the beginning of push and pull days and I also tag on a bit of core/ab exercises at the end of a session if I'm not feeling too pooped! Don't forget, too - rest days are just as important as the workouts!!
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Monday, 3 October 2016

Models Own Nail Polish Collection

I never used to be much of a painted nail kind of girl. I'd paint them now and  again and only repaint once they'd disgustingly chip off to nothing. Ew.

Then a year ago I started working at Models Own which at the time was aaall about the nail varnish (they actually do loads of pretty good make up now). Over the next nine months I became obsessed with nail varnish and built up quite a substantial collection. From gels to glitters I've got a bit of everything.

Everyone loves a little peek into collections, and I'll give a lil' review of the different collections so hopefully it'll be somewhat helpful if you want to pick up a few bottles.

HyperGels - This is their main collection and I have a hefty few! I'm annoyed at myself for losing some of my favourites while I was recently in Edinburgh, especially White Light (which is the BEST white nail varnish I have ever owned). Generally the gels are pretty good, not as nonchip as they claim them to be but they are a beautiful finish and last longer than other polishes. 

models own hypergel collectionmodels own hypergel collection
Bottom Row L-R: Summer Solstice, Loganberry, HyperGel Topcoat, Robin Red
Top Row L-R: Midsummer Mauve, Cashmere Rose, Heather
Favourites: Loganberry (a beautiful deep pink for EVERY time of year) and Midsummer Mauve (the perfect light, mauvey nude)

Glitters - For whatever reason, some evil people don't like glitter. I don't care if it's hard to take off it is sooo worth it to be a glittery unicorn princess. The GlitterGels are basically glitter within the HyperGel formula so are glossy and easy to remove. The other glitters (Pink Fizz & Northern Lights) are your standard chunky glitters and have the most incredible reflects.

models own glitter collection

 L-R: Crystal Pink, Starburst, Pink Fizz, Indian Ocean and Northern Lights 
Favourites: ALL OF THEM. Especially Crystal Pink (perfect topcoat for any pink toned colour), Starburst (glam & lush for winter or a night out), Northern Lights  (insane & gorgeous, enough said).

Diamond Luxe - I think these may have been discontinued which is sooo stupid because they are undoubtedly the best formula, one of the best affordable polishes full stop! They contain diamond dust and have a muted sparkle. I have some full size and minis and have somehow lost my absolute favourites which will really suck if I can't replace them.

models own diamond luxe collection
Bottom Row L-R: Carat Coral, Trillion Taupe, Pear Purple, Oval Plum, Emerald Green.
Favourites: Carat Coral (perfect sparkly reddish coral), Marquise Maroon (not pictured: a stunning deep red).

Chrome - One of the most popular collections and easy to see why. I haven't seen any other formulas quite like this one. I love the finish and they dry in 30 seconds which is AMAZING for last minute painting. They chip like a mofo, though. There are some really cool colours and they can give really different "vibes".

models own chrome collection
L-R: Silver, Rose (Rose Gold), Red, Mauve (purple), Copper, Grey, Olive
Favourites: Rose (rose gold shade that suits everyone and looks different on all skin tones), Grey (an edgy colour - purple toned grey)

Others - there are lots of "miscellaneous" polishes from other smaller collections so I blobbed all of those together. These contain some of my favourites but, obviously, I've lost a billion others. The eggshell collection is adorable - the purple is my favourite but I've misplaced it. I love the blue too! The matte topcoat is the best I've used by a mile, it leaves nails velvety smooth and completely matte. The icing collection is my all time favourite, the colours are slightly muted and pastel but still vivid which sounds weird but it is stunning on the nails. The polish for tans collection is full of bright and amazing colours like neon orange and green. No special formula or finish but just lovely colours.

models own miscellaneous collection
L-R: Lilac Icing, Grace Green, Duck, Mint Icing, Matte Topcoat, Beach Hut, Nude Icing, Nude Beige
Favourites: Anything from the icing collection, (particularly Lilac and Mint), Grace Green (incredible khaki shade but been discontinued), Nude Beige (pretty, subtle browny toned nude)

I'll update this if I find the mysterious missing 10 polishes (or buy the whole new nude hypergel collection). It's always nice going through a collection and reminding yourself of what exists. I always forget about the "miscellaneous" shades.
 What are your favourite collections? 

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Friday, 30 September 2016

Custard Cream Cupcakes

I am writing this with a cup of tea and custard cream in hand because it would go against everything I believe in to neglect that.

I tweeted (incessantly) about my baking endeavor last weekend - I had an order of 100 cupcakes and I decided on biscuit themed cupcakes. Under normal circumstances I could bake and ice that amount in a couple of hours but it took me SEVEN DAMN HOURS. Because miss idiot lost her big muffin pan and had to bake 100 cupcakes six at a time... Yep.

The star of the show was the custard cream cupcake - you all went mad for it on Twitter and Instagram (follow me obvs) so I thought I'd share the recipe and techniques so you can make them for yourselves because they are SO easy and a bit of a show stopper!

custard cream cupcake custard buttercream


The cupcake itself is a fluffy vanilla sponge (my favourite cake joint with this pumpkin sponge...) - the easiest thing known to man. It's the topping that will have songs written about it. OH MAMA. I wanted something "custard creamy" but not overpowering because, really, does a custard cream even taste like custard? No. So the secret ingredient is instant custard powder. SERIOUSLY.

Ingredients
Cupcakes (makes approximately 24 cupcakes)
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar
4 eggs
180g self raising flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
big splash of milk (around 2 tbsp)
vanilla extract to taste (around 1 tbsp)

Whipped Buttercream
250g unsalted butter, softened
500g icing sugar, sifted
1 packet of instant custard power
200ml double cream
splash of vanilla extract

Method
Preheat the oven to 170c while you prepare the cupcakes. 
Cream the butter and sugar together until combined and a bit fluffy. Then whisk in the eggs one at a time. If the mixture looks a bit "curdled" that's okay just add a tablespoon or two of flour.

Stir the vanilla extract in to the batter before sifting in the flour gradually while folding it in. Once combined add in the milk to loosen up the mixture. Then fill up cupcake cases to about 2/3 full and bake for 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. They may need a minute or two more or less.

While the cupcakes are cooking get started on the buttercream. A stand mixer will be a live saver for this but an electric hand held one will work too. Beat the butter for a few minutes before gradually adding the icing sugar - whisk until all combined. Then pour in the custard powder and cream while whisking on a medium speed. The buttercream will become really light and fluffy and much creamier than your standard buttercream.

Wait for the cupcake to completely cool before piping your swirls. I use a Wilton 2D because it's my number one favourite nozzle (yes, I have a list of favourite nozzles). Fill the bag 2/3 full and start piping in the centre of the cupcake with moderate pressure and swirl outwardly and upwardly in one fluid movement. (Why did I make it sound so difficult?). Basically, don't go slowly and carefully because you're more likely to make mistakes.

Then pop a custard cream right in the side. VOILA. You're done. Sharing with friends is kinda nice but also is eating them all with a gallon of tea while watching a whole season of Gilmore Girls.

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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

What I Wish Teenage Me Knew About Boys


**Dad, if you happen to be browsing my blog, you may want to skip this post. I don't think this one's for you...

amsterdam kiss


I've got a mega lovely friend who is 18. My life at 17/18 feels LITERALLY, and this isn't one of those exaggerated uses of literally, a billion years apart from my life currently.

It's a whole degree, 2 new best friends, 3 jobs, 2 and a half boyfriends (only one that counts, though), 2 best friends with babies, one old friend married, and over 10 holidays ago. How crazy is that?

So she was having some recent boy problems and it got me thinking back to those days... To set the scene - when I was 18 there was a boy I reeeally liked a lot, lets call him Pablo, and he was supposed to like me, too. But OH MY GOD how much fucking effort was it??

He'd tell me he liked, and we'd have sex, I'd drop everything for him, I even ended a relationship with a new boy I was seeing when Pablo told me he regretted being a dick to me just for him to turn around after and say "soz changed my mind again". In the YEAR that we were "on and off", we never ever ever went on one real date.

I'd say that was okay, though, y'know? I'm independent. I don't care, no strings attached, I don't have to like him that much. If anything happens it happens, but if it doesn't, that's cool. LOL WHO WAS I KIDDING?

Then other boys came around and it was all omg they read my text and didn't text me back. Ooh they haven't text me back in 5 hours so now I won't text them back for 5 hours... Even though I really want to speak to him. He hasn't asked me on a date so I'm not going to ask him on a date. Omg he put one less kiss so maybe I should put 2 less so I don't look too keen? Am I sounding weird, like, are these paragraphs too long? Or are these too short? I don't want to spam him.

Sound familiar?? I hope it doesn't, but it almost definitely does.

Anyway, back to my 18 year old friend. She's currently chatting to a boy on Tinder, and they went on a date the other day. She was asking some questions in our group chat about what to do, and some of the advice she was being given by our (young) friends was very reminiscent of the advice me and my friends used to give each other.

If you're a regular reader you'll know all about Martin. I talk about him a lot 'cause he's a good little egg. Well Martin and I have been together for nearly 3 years now, and not once have we ever had to play games or make each other jealous to vie for the others attention. It's been so easy. I'd never experienced a relationship like that before. Maybe it's because Martin is a bit older than me, who knows. But it made me realise that if you have to battle for someones attention or affection, you really, really don't want it.

If a boy likes you, he likes you and he will show it. This is all such generic advice and I suppose when I was 16/17 I knew it, I just didn't believe it or didn't want to listen. But it's so so true. If a boy isn't texting you back - it's okay. You don't have to not text him back for a day just to even the score. If he keeps ignoring your texts, maybe he's not interested and you need to move away from him. It's okay to ask, too, by the way!

Basically - don't chase boys. The right person won't need to be chased, and a really, really good relationship won't take a shit tonne of effort at the beginning. A few years in is when things maybe start to change - when you live together, become more comfortable and reveal your bad habits, go on holiday together. In the just getting to know you phase it should be easy and fun. Don't waste time on boys who make you play games. It's not worth it. 

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Monday, 26 September 2016

OOTD: Prints & Pastels

This is one part exciting and two parts wee-yourself terrifying, because this is my first fashion post.

It's funny because fashion and style is a huge part of my life, much more so than make up and beauty which I write about all the time. It just feels so much more personal discussing what clothes I wear and my personal style. That's a reflection of my personality and how I want to be seen in the world. I'm not "on trend" like other bloggers, I'm about as polished as sandpaper and I don't know if it is a style that anyone will care about or take inspiration from...

But here goes. (Be nice to me, I'm a fragile little daisy, ok ok??)




 



 Jumper - Old / Skirt - Primark / Shoes - ASOS (currently half price) / Rings - New Look & Vintage / Necklace - Tiffany & Co / Sunglasses - Primark

It's easy to overthink fashion and your day to day outfits. When you think about it, there are usually only 3 core pieces to any outfit: top, bottom & shoes. Anything else is just for fun and doesn't stop you being arrested for indecent exposure.

On days like Sundays where you're going for a walk on the beach and Sunday lunch and it's a sunny but windy day, there's no need to complicate things. So I didn't. Just 3 pieces.

I'm not quite ready to say bye to pretty pastels and skirts without tights, and I love taking pieces between seasons and giving them a little tweak. So I paired my staple pleated, pink midi skirt with an autumn must have - boots.

Animal print is big at the moment. Whether you think it's trashy and too "Kat Slater" or are ready to go full-jungle, it's happening. Hallelujah. Leopard print boots are just a match made in heaven for me. Especially this style of boots. I tend to opt for bigger, chunkier type boots; think Docs and Timberlands over delicate Chelsea boots, because they can toughen up an otherwise very feminine outfit. So these boots are kind of everything to me...

And the third ingredient: the top. Thin, slouchy jersey type jumpers are great for autumn. They go with everything, they are so comfy and can be layered which is perfect for at the moment. So throwing on this old fingerprint heart jumper was a no-brainer. There are so many really nice slouchy jumpers on the high street right now, especially Primark, with all sorts of slogans and band logos on it. I'm a huge fan.

Add some gold midi rings and my new fav belt buckle ring I picked up at a vintage market with autumn nails and you're set for september. ~ cue romping in the leaves ~

I liked how it all paired together and the impromptu photo session was actually not as soul destroying as I thought... This is the kind of *vibe* I usually go for SO if you don't think I look like a mouldy potato and would maybe like to see how I style some other pieces, I'd quite like to give this a go.... What do you think? Autumn clothes are kind of my jam.


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Friday, 23 September 2016

Under £2 Haul & Mini Review


affordable make up cruelty free flatlay


Y'know when you get that urge to buy something? ANYTHING?

The cravings seem even stronger when you're unemployed/have no money/on a spending ban. All of which have been my life for the last few months. Which is beaut.

Honestly.

But I needed something to fill the hole in my life. I needed a few new little bits and bobs to play with so I thought I'd pick up some mega budget make up from around the high street. You'd be surprised at how much you can find for a quid or two.

So that's what I decided to do. I tried to pick some things that would see me into the transitional period that is our beloved autumn, while not breaking the bank. Under £2 was the rule and I wanted relatively decent quality and ideally stuff I actually needed. It may only be £2 but it's still going to be wasted if its something I don't actually want/need AND it turns out crap.

mua blusher review candyfloss bon bon

MUA Blusher // £1
Holy shit. These are the most pigmented blushers I have ever, ever, ever used. It's important to tap off aaaall the excess for a minimum of 6 days and give the brush a little swirl on the back of your hand first, then you can apply a nice amount to your cheeks. The longevity is okay and I didn't notice it faded particularly patchy which is really great for a quid. I bought Bon Bon (a peachy nude, and my favourite) and Candyfloss (a pale but vibrant pink) which I hoped would be similar to my favoured Hervana blusher that I neeeed to find a cruelty free replacement of.

mua nail varnish review ocean blue nail polish


MUA Nail Polish // 50p
I'm a bit of a nail varnish snob so didn't expect much from this. I don't have any navy/dark blue nail varnishes in my vast collection so thought it was worth picking up. I can spare 50p, yaknow? I've got to give it props - on my left hand, even after 3/4 days there are VERY minimal chips. I would go as far as to say it looks nearly enough perfect. However my index and little finger are pretty chipped on my right hand and were after around 24 hours. The rest of my fingers still look great though, and I think a topcoat would make the world of difference. The colour (Ocean Blue) is stunning, too.

lipstick cruelty free review kiko makeup revolution


Kiko Campus Idol Urban Sheen Lipgloss // £1.90 
(Now £1.40 online, BTW) I love red lipstick so much. I have a stupid amount - stupid being the appropriate word because I hardly ever even wear red lipstick. This colour was too pretty to pass up though. It's a pretty small pencil and the finish is MUCH more opaque than your standard gloss, I would say it's more a really high shine lipstick without the staying power. It lasts a few hours on your lips but fades quite evenly and is so easy to touch up I don't even mind. I bought Fiery Poppy and there are quite a few other colours but of course I can't speak for the finish of those.

Make Up Revolution Amazing Lipstick // £1
I actually own quite a few of these lipsticks in all sorts of shades and for a pound they are really not bad at all. Of course they're not going to last you the whole night or through an eating sesh but I think that's okay. Especially if you're just looking to try a new colour and don't want to splash out on a fancier brand before knowing if the type of shade suits you. I bought Dazzle which is a deepish, vivid pink (not so much an autumn shade, woops) and I think it's so pretty. I applied three layers and blotted heavily on a tissue in between and the finish was SO much nicer and it lasted a surprisingly long time on my lips.

H&M Face Mask // £1.99
I really like these. I've used the Teatree one in the past so thought I'd pick up another one for blemishy skin because god knows I need it right now (WHERE HAVE THESE GODDAMN SPOTS COME FROM?). I haven't tried this particular type but they have soooo many different ones they are absolutely worth the two quid for a nice little pamper evening to make yourself feel better about being so poor... (accompanying bath, candles and alcohol recommended).

essence long lasting lip pencil eye pencil lovely frappuccino black fever review

Essence Long Lasting Eye Liner // £1.50
This is the shining star of the whole little haul. It is awesome. Probably the best eye liner pencil I've ever used. Got to give it a A+ for being retractable 'cause fuck sharpening pencils amiright? It's mega black and lasts a billion years in my upper waterline and doesn't bleed in my watery lil' eyes. Absolutely recommend, and Essence just impresses me more and more and more.

Essence Long Lasting Lip Pencil // £1.50
I love this colour - it's absolutely lush. I picked up Lovely Frappuccino which is a darker nude than any I currently own and it's one of my favourite formulas of lip liner. It's more waxy than my Kiko Smart Liners so are much longer wearing. I'm definitely going to pick up a red to encourage me to get more wear out of my red lipsticks!

Essence Long Lasting Eyeshadow // £1
Small confession - I picked up the wrong shade entirely. I was swatching one in the shop that felt so creamy and lovely and thought it would make a gorgeous highlighter. It was only when I got home... Ripped the packaging off eagerly.... Went crazy applying it to my cheekbones etc like a mad men.... Did I realise. I realised I picked up a fucking shimmery grey/taupe. LOL MY BAD. However, the colour is actually not like any I own and I quite like the formula. Not as pigmented as it seems in a swatch but also no fallout and does blend nicely. I'm going to check out their matte shades next!

cruelty free afforable swatch
(L-R) MUR Dazzle, Kiko Fiery Poppy, Essence Lovely Frappuccino, Essence Black Fever, Essence Eye Shadow, MUA Candyfloss, MUA Bon Bon)

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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

I Shave My Legs for My Boyfriend... Am I a Bad Feminist?

razor leg shaving feminist

 Yes. It's my body and my body only.

But am I wrong for being happy to share it with my boyfriend a little bit? Does that mean I'm setting the feminist agenda back 50 years?

I don't hate shaving my legs, but I'm not one of those girls that eagerly shaves her legs every day or whatever. I like the feeling of silky smooth legs but I can just never be arsed to do it. So I suppose you could say I'm somewhat indifferent to the whole leg shaving fandango.

My boyfriend, however, isn't indifferent. He likes them smooth.

Let's make this clear - he has NEVER told me to shave my legs, he has never made me feel bad when I've maybe gone 3 weeks without shaving, he never even politely asks. But he gets pretty happy when they're shaved and smooth. So I can kind of guess wherein his preferences lie.

I have COMPLETE control of my body. If I don't want him to touch me for whatever reason, he cannot. If I want to wear bright purple lipstick that he hates, I damn well will. If he told me I'm fat and need to lose weight (which he never has and I know he never would), I would tell him to get fucked and go eat another cupcake or two.

Part of that control means I can choose to make him happy with it. I absolutely love making Martin happy. That might mean I buy him a bag of mini eggs and keep them hidden until we settle down to watch Big Bang Theory in the evening, arrange for his best friends to come down from Scotland and stay for a weekend in Cardiff as a surprise, or pick him up from work so he hasn't got to get the bus. All of those are a bit or a lot of effort . Shaving my legs is no different.

If I truly, truly hated the look or feeling of shaved legs I probably wouldn't do it. And if you are one of those people (do they exist??) then PLEASE don't force yourself to shave your legs for anyone.

But I think it works both ways. I don't particularly like it when Martin shaves his face. He looks like a teenager and I just think a bit of stubble makes him look sexy. Martin was always clean shaven before we met and in the first few weeks, and since he discovered I liked him stubbly, he has shaved only a handful of times. In almost 3 years.

When you love someone, it's nice to make them happy. In all the little ways. And I don't think that negates my feminist beliefs in any way whatsoever.


I understand this is a bit divisive. People think your body should be for you, and anything you choose to do with it should be for you alone. You should never do anything with your body for anyone else. Surely that takes away MY choice of doing something for someone else, though? If it's my body, I have the freedom to shave my legs for someone else because I want to.

I don't know. Maybe I am just a shit feminist. I don't think so, though.
Where do you stand on this? I'm intrigued to know everyone's points of views.
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Monday, 19 September 2016

Autumn Reading List


 I can't be the only one who's just stopped reading in this last couple of years?

I used to be a voracious reader, like, I'd devour a book a day easily.
Some kids used to bunk off school to meet boys or go to town but I once pretended to go to school but sat in the garden so I could finish a book that I had gotten really, really into.

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Friday, 16 September 2016

Blogger Hunting: How to Catch a Blogger


 Forget Pokemon. That shit's old news.

Today we're hunting ourselves a blogger. Going all David Attenborough. Are ya ready?
Here are my top 5 foolproof tips to catch a blogger.

1.  Kit yourself out with a bag full of rose gold and copper accessories - jewellery or homewear will do. Maybe even marble contact paper or rustic flooring samples?!

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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Beauty Products I Used to Love

Disappointing products posts are nothing new. I personally really like them and are some of my favourite youtube videos to watch, too! Maybe 'cause I'm a bit of a negative nelly... But it makes people seem a bit more real when they actually *shock horror gasp* dont love everything.

Sometimes, though, products that you used to love and were even kind of "Holy Grail" (I hate that term so so so much) can turn disappointing. Which sucks.

I've talked about most of these on my blog before and have passionately recommending them to other bloggers and friends IRL, so think of this as a little update. These are the products that just don't do it for me, aymore. Sorry lads.


Soap & Glory Supercat Liner // £6
I used to be madly in love with this. It was intensely black, pretty easy to get the kind of wing I wanted and I honestly don't remember it ever transfering. These days I find it tranfers terribly. I do have slightly hooded and oily eyelids (YUM COME AT ME, BOYS), but nothing major. Priming and setting doesn't seem to make a difference and it's just really put me off my winged liner game, at the moment

Nyx Liquid Suede // £6.50
This was a whirlwind love affair. I bought it on a whim and fell in love with the beautiful pink shade (Tea & Cookies) that I thought would be the perfect colour and longlasting formula for my graduation ceremony. At first it served its purpose, and it is long lasting but it is pretty drying and settles into aaall the cracks and lines on my lips which isn't the lush look I was going for. It's not bad by any means, but it's not the wonderful liquid lipstick I was hoping for.

Barry M Strobe Cream in Frosty Pink // £4.49
This is one I recommended to several friends and I stand by my recommendations because I think it would be great on other people. I just don't like it on me anymore. That being said, I do still wear it sometimes but I definitely don't love it. It emphasises any peach fuzz on your face, separates from any powder it comes into contact with and seems to remove my foundation when I apply it. It does look lovely from a distance when wearing minimal make up but it's just more hassle than it's worth.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge // £5.99
Every man and his dog loves this sponge and I was 100% on board. At the time it seemed to revolutionise the way I applied my make up and I repurchased several times. Now I am completely over it. I don't like the shape of it particularly, it drinks up too much foundation and actually seems to make my foundation look more patchy?! I sometimes still use it to go over everything at the end if it looks a bit cakey but I think I'll try a different sponge next time.

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation // £15
This. Does. Not. Last. At all. I applied a light layer a few weeks ago and by the time I returned it had completely vanished off my entire face. My concealer was still under my eyes and on my chin but my entire face was bare. When first applied it is a lovely finish, but I also feel I was missold it. The woman in The Body Shop told me it was so full coverage like "stage make up". The name should have given it away, but it's not...

It's always a real shame when something you loved just stops working for you. But it's clearly time to find some new favourites! Any recommendations for replacements would be great!

Do you find your old favourites performing under parr? Have you experienced any of these same issues with these products?

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Monday, 12 September 2016

Life Isn't Points Based

copper cactus flatlay

 I'm becoming kind of conscious of moaning too much about being unemployed and blah blah but I know a lot of you seem to relate to it... Which sucks for all of us.

This is the last I have to say about this for a while becaaaauusee I have got a job for a couple of months! Paired with a bit of freelance writing and photography work, things are looking up for the time being :-)

Firstly, the problem in question. I am a person and I should not be judged based on a points based system. I recently got rejected from a job, and the interview was scored based on "points". You could have the most perfect personality in the world and they could think you are the perfect person for the job, but if you don't score as many "points" as someone else then the job is theirs. Simple.

But it shouldn't be that simple. I hope this doesn't come across as bitterness for not getting the job because it's really, really not. Of course I am disappointed but I've had my fair share of job rejections recently and I don't take them personally.

The feedback I received from the interview was that I was great and did a good job. The person who got the job was an internal candidate who was familar with the systems and software etc. They said if they hadn't been in the running I would have been a very suitable candidate. But the long-short of it is that they were in the running so I didn't get the job.

This is the way I look at it and can't help but look at it. This person has a job, was given the opportunity to get themselves into employment and gain some skills. I (and so, so, so many graduates) do not have a job so cannot compete with that person when it comes to that sort of experience. The only way us recent graduates with little experience in the way of professional employment can compete is by wowing with our personality - showing them how hungry we are to succeed and grow in our chosen industries, showing some passion and interest, and being someone they want to work with.

In a points based interview none of this matters.

So what chance do I stand? All I need, and all the other graduates in the same boat, is for someone to see something in us and give us a chance. I'm not asking to jump straight in at director level on a £50k salary. I'd be happy starting from the bottom where I am more than qualified to work and where I know I have the capability to learn what they need me to learn.

I feel so disheartened that this is the way we are being scored. Not always, I know. I'm also not placing this as the cause of all of my rejections - some I am aware that I simply wasn't right for the job which is completely okay. This job I could have done and they knew that too.

Because of points based marking I was never given the chance. And that scares me.


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Friday, 9 September 2016

Things I've Learnt Since Graduating

graduation teddy bear

Jokes on me. I thought when I left uni I was done with learning for a while and could go back to chilling and forgetting everything I spent four years committing to memory.

Psh. Apparently not.

I actually finished my degree a few months ago and have been struggling to find a job since then. So aside from two (amazing) holidays, the last 3 months have consisted of me slowly turning into a potato. But also becoming a lil' bit wiser, yaknow?

You think when you're in uni and you're learning and growing, you've become an adult and this is life now. Omg you're paying bills, wtf you have to spend sunday defrosing the freezer, yawn meal plans and shopping lists. But life has changed yet again and I've become so damn insightful learning all this stuff about myself and life and all sorts.  
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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

End of Year Goals

urban outfitters diary

Deep breath, guys.

There's only 4 months left of the year. We're two thirds of the way through.

W T F ? ? ?

Realistically, I actually have accomplished a lot this year. I wrote my dissertation, graduated from Cardiff Uni, been on three holidays and am really liking the direction my blog is going in. (Pretending my brief blog break down earlier didn't happen...).

There is a lot more I want to accomplish by the end of the year though. IRL and online.

Get a (good) job.

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Monday, 5 September 2016

5 Beauty Bits I Love Right Now

favourite beauty

I usually like to mix it up with my make up.

Even if I'm doing the same type of look, which is more than probable, I like to try and use different products and different combos of products. Some combos end up being HG winners and some make me look mouldy.

I haven't been mixing it up all that much this las few weeks. Probably 'cause I'm not really going anywhere more exciting than IKEA for the 11th time this week so the bold lip has to stay in the drawer. Got to reign in the sass, y'know.

Also because I've got a handful of products that I just can't get enough of and ain't no other products stealing their place on my face. These are the ones I'm loving at the moment:

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Saturday, 3 September 2016

6 Ways to be Happier & Healthier



I am in a fabulous mood today.

I may look like a scotch egg someone stepped on and I may have eaten both my breakfast and lunch out of mugs because I've ran out of bowls (I definitely did this. #noshame).

I may still be no closer to getting a post-uni job and I may be getting more chubs by the day 'cause my gym buddy has gone back to work and seems to have taken my motivation with her... But I feel mega happy today.

I want everyone else to be happy. And of course healthy. Not like kale and beetroot smoothie, 6 hours in the gym and 4 hours of yoga/meditation healthy, but achieveable healthy for us mere mortals. So maybe some of these little pearls of wisdom might make you happy today (or tomorrow, that's cool too).

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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

How to be a Shit Housemate


 What do we want? Passive aggressive lists about people
When do want them? Now 

During my four years of uni, I lived with some pretty insufferable people. From the weird to the downright bloody nasty. So being the generous little princess I am, I thought I'd collate my experiences to provide the ultimate guide on how to be the worst housemate anyone could ask for!*

1. Label all your utensils with green tape and keep them separate from everyone elses. Being super possessive in such an obvious way is FAB.
2. Conversely, don't bring any cutlery, pots, or pans apart from one spoon and a butter knife.
3. If you decide to do this, make sure when you borrow/steal your housemates' pans to cook with, NEVER wash them. Wash your plate and spoon, but not their pans. 'Cause why should you?

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Friday, 26 August 2016

Is Primark Makeup Cruelty Free?

I've been investigating again, guys.

Why do brands make it so hard to find out whether they test on animals? Especially when they don't test on animals? Like... What? Why is it hard to find out if Primark makeup is cruelty free?



My "Is Topshop Cruelty Free" info post is one of my highest viewed posts, so hopefully it is helping some of you! I thought I'd post my findings on another high street favourite whose cruelty free status is a bit more difficult to verify.

I sent them my standard list of questions (which you should definitely check out and ask to brands if you want to do some investigating of your own), and this is the reply I received:

"Primark does not conduct and does not commission any animal testing. 
Our terms of trade with our suppliers make it clear that cosmetic products 
and their ingredients must not be tested on animals. We trust this has answered 
your queries and we thank you for taking the time to contact us."


Well that hasn't bloody helped at all.  No mention of whether products are sold in China, which is often the deal breaker as testing is illegal in the EU but mandatory in China. So I asked again.

"Primark does not conduct and does not commission any animal testing.  Our terms of 
trade with our suppliers make it clear that cosmetic products and their ingredients
 must not be tested on animals.  Please also note we do have outlets in China.
 We do not have any Primark stores in China."

Well this didn't make any sense to me at all. What does that mean? No Primark stores in China but outlets? What? So I asked again.

It turns out that the woman I was chatting to made an error and there are no Primark stores OR outlets in China. So I'm happy to say that Primark cosmetics ARE cruelty free! Which is pretty great because it looks like they're really stepping up their make up game!

Teri-May xx
 
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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Is Blogging & Social Media Bad For Your Mental Health?

This post is a little bit different. I've been reluctant to write it as I'm planning to conduct research into this for my PhD when the time is right, but as that's happening no time soon and my post on the goods and the bads of social media is one of my most popular, I thought some of you might be interested in reading about some of the theory my idea.

I promise it's more exciting than that intro. Honestly. Stay with me.


instagram phone display social media

Research has suggested that writing about your emotions and experiences can make you feel better, improve your mental wellbeing and all that kind of stuff. It's kind of general knowledge now (one of the things I love about psychology - people don't realise how much psychology informs the general knowledge of everything!).

People keep diaries and writing about negative experiences/emotions as part of therapy or counselling is pretty commonplace. It turns experiences that may be hard to think about or talk about into more "organised" thoughts that might be easier to understand and deal with. There's pretty good evidence to support this, even though it's not clear why it works.

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Monday, 22 August 2016

Things to do in Edinburgh | Off The Beaten Track

Edinburgh is my all time favourite city, and I love it more and more each time I visit. Luckily I get to visit fairly often, as Martin is a native Edinburghian (??? no?). That also means I get to see the non-touristy side, as he shows me some of the hidden gems and his favourite things to do in Edinburgh. Which in turn become my favourite things to do!

A little google search of "things to do in Edinburgh" will inundate you with suggestions to see the castle, St Giles Cathedral, Holyrood and Princes Street gardens. Which is cool and you defo should make sure you see them.


WHAT ABOUT OTHER THINGS THOUGH? Once you've had your fill of the castle and you want a bite to eat or to sit down and chill with a cuppa, where do you go? Edinburgh isn't exactly renowned for being the cheapest of places, and it can be so tempting to stay in the confines of Princes Street and the Old Town. But fear not - add these little faves of mine onto your iternary and don't break the bank while seeing something a lil' bit different.

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Friday, 19 August 2016

GOSH Lumi Drops | 4 Ways & Review

Over the last couple of weeks, I've picked up a few pieces from one of my favourite affordable, cruelty free brands, GOSH. Most I've been pretty impressed with! The most versatile (and exciting) of my new toys is definitely the Lumi Drops Illuminating Highlighter in Shade 002 Vanilla.

I took them with me on my recent trip to Edinburgh and used them most days. I'm definitely a cream/liquid highlighter fan in summer. I don't find they give as intense a highlight as my favourite powders but it gives a really natural look. Like you're genuinely glowing with no help from make up.

~~Cue Lumi Drops.

Ways to wear gosh lumi drops, review, diy metallic lipstick

There are 4 ways I've been enjoying wearing this which I'll talk through in a sec. Before I get there, though; a general review and important info -

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