Snaps from my Week

Last week, well last weekend in particular, was a busy one. After four days of work I packed an overnight bag (several for that matter – I don’t think I will ever master the art of travelling lightly) and made the 5 hour drive for a long weekend at home. My granny turned 80, I caught up with lots of my lovely friends and busied myself eating the contents of the kitchen cupboards back at home (my mum buys naughty things that I don’t trust myself to have in my house).

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{There’s only one way to spend an extended period of time in a car: in pure comfort}

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{My mum treated myself and my brother’s girlfriend to a manicure; has to be red}

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{Photobombed whilst trying to take an OOTD}

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{Betty’s fondant fancy cake for a very special lady’s birthday}

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{Wore heels for the first time in years, nearly made it to the end of the night}

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{Stumbled across this beauty with my brother whilst out on a Sunday afternoon drive}

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Snaps From My Week

Well this is my first post for November. Following on from Blogtober I decided to take some time off to regroup – mentally and creatively I suppose. My lovely mum, granny and pooch paid me a visit for a few days and then besides from working I did lots of reading, a spot of shopping (sharing the highlights soon), spent fun days out with friends and indulged in some serious TV vedging.

Relaxing aside, I certainly missed writing and creating posts but it’s important to take the pressure off yourself sometimes, and I certainly feel all the better for it.

This is post contains another first as I’ve decided to start a new series where I share random snaps from my week, rather in the style of Emily Schuman’s Five Things series.

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[Vegan friendly version of a full English]

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[Popped into the V&A to see Pooh and the gang]

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[My first Glossier order arrived]

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[Indulged in a spot of Saturday morning reading]

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[A very Kensington Halloween]

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[Weekend strolls in Landan town]

Hope everyone has a good Monday and a great start to the upcoming week.

 

The Best Pieces of Beauty Advice I’ve Ever Heard

Back during the thick of my skin woes, roughly between the ages of 18-22, I spent HOURS, and I mean hours trawling through endless beauty blogs, YouTube videos and online articles looking for miracle remedies that were going to cure my of my skin issues.

Well as you’ve probably guessed I never found those so called beauty secrets that I had been tirelessly searching for.

In fact I actually believe it is not just one single factor or one single product, like the ones that have 5* on Feel Unique and therefore trick me into thinking that I have to buy them. It is most definitely a combination of things from diet to cleanliness. Some of these tips may seem obvious, although sometimes we can’t see what’s right in front of us, and some I needed pointing out to me.

Wash your face

Properly. Warm water, facecloth and cleanser. Makeup wipes do not suffice.


I wash my face morning and night every single day without fail. It wakes me up first thing in the morning and after I’ve had my makeup on for 12 hours there is no better feeling than taking it all off and letting my skin breathe.
Furthermore I do not want to stain my pristine white pillow cases with orange foundation marks.

Clean facecloths and towels 

Having washed my face I always dry it with a towel different from the one I dry my hands on.


(You can tell how many times I’ve bought Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm; you get a free facecloth everytime you buy a new pot…)

If, sorry to be TMI, you have weepy open spots then it’s even more important that you regularly change your facecloth (at least every two days) to ensure you aren’t just wiping the spot germs across your face hence making it easier for them to spread.

Change your pillowcase regularly

This one is logical enough. You lay the sides of your face on it every night so it needs to be clean.

Do NOT touch your face

If you are going to attack your face at least do it with freshly washed hands and or a tissue. Never do it with the same hands you’ve just used to pet your dog or having just nipped to the supermarket.

Drink lots of water

Cliché I know, but cliché for a reason. This really works for me. I can always tell when I’ve been away for the weekend and not had my trusty bottle of water with me. To be honest it’s very rare that I don’t take a bottle of water with me everywhere I go, but I’m not perfect and it does happen.

Eat an abundance of skin-friendly foods

When I’ve been eating a diet that largely consists of beige foods, think bread, white pasta and minimal fruit and veg, my skin starts to look dull and grey. And it makes sense because after all you literally are what you eat.

Foods I find help my skin tremendously are lemons, kale, spinach and nuts. Of course everyone’s skin is different but I can always tell when I’ve eaten plenty of these foods as my skin is infinitely clearer and glowy-er.

Get plenty of sleep

Not just for your skin but for your body as a whole.

Hard to do with the lure of scrolling through Instagram whilst snuggly in bed but a lack of sleep means that our bodies produce more of the stress hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol lead to increased stress and inflammation in the body.

It’s not called ‘beauty sleep’ for nothing.

Try not to stress

This, of course, is made even harder by the fact that you start stressing about that fact that you have spots and that you shouldn’t be stressing because you’ll only make them worse. Still with me?

So what you have spots? They’re not a reflection on your character or personality and unless your friends happen to be part of that elite group of people ‘who never get spots’, then everybody has been there.

These tips aside, I’m always on the look out for new tricks if you have any that you swear by?

BLOGS I’M LOVING | RETRO FLAME

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There are some blogs that I read and whilst I enjoy immersing myself in their world, it is in fact just that, a totally different world. I’m not denying that I enjoy learning about their latest designer purchases but beyond that I sometimes struggle to relate to them as a reader.

Erika Fox is no such blogger. Her blog is largely focused on affordable, hight street fashion and she does a sterling job at proving that you don’t have to break the bank in order to look a million bucks.

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To my great delight she also has a YouTube channel where she produces a range of videos from vlogs and apartment tours to outfit videos. 

Originally from Ireland she is in fact living proof that if you have a dream, to move to a big city and establish a career in something you’re passionate about, then you can do just that. In fact she has produced several blog posts and Q&A videos on her experience of relocating and is always so willing to provide any information and answer any questions if you’re wanting to do something similar.

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What with her impeccable and sophisticated style and signature red hair, this lovely lady from The Emerald Isle is a shining example of what you can achieve through hard work and determination.

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So, if you’re like me and are always on the look out for a new blog to add to your reading list then I can’t recommend Retro Flame more. What’s more, if at the moment you can only dream, like I can, of moving to The Big Apple, then you can vicariously live through Erika for now.

Everyday Makeup Routine

Now, in an ideal world I would have someone here to help take artsy shots of me doing my makeup and proper close ups. I live alone and only have two hands so alas there will be no fancy shots here, but instead a simple honest breakdown of the products I use and tips I’ve picked up over the years.

I also struggle with extremely poor lighting in my flat, wood panels, parquet floor and brown bathroom tiles are not ideal when trying to achieve good lighting! The before and after pictures were taken in the same light so that the true effect of the makeup can be seen.

Products:

Baby wipes

Estée Lauder Double Wear in sand

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Flawless Wear Concealer in light/medium

No7 Perfect Loose Power in translucent

Real Techniques Powder Brush 1401

The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder 

Estée Lauder brush – part of a gift set

No7 Match Made Powder Blush in peony mist

Estée Lauder Eye Shadow Palette – part of the free gift set that I received years ago so it isn’t actually for sale.

Benefit Gimme Brow Volumising Brow Gel in medium

Benefit They’re Real Mascara  in black

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I always tie my hair up and put a hair band on: This avoids getting makeup in my hair and ensures I blend my foundation right to the edges of my face.

Having applied my moisturiser and primer, onto the back of my hand I squirt roughly three or four pumps of Estée Lauder Doublewear. 

This foundation really does provide flawless coverage, but it is requires a lot of blending in to ensure it is evenly distributed over the skin and there are no dark patches. I also always take it down to the base of my neck too as no one wants the classic jaw bone foundation line.

I then apply concealer to my under eyes and over any patches that need extra coverage. I have quite a few acne scars that need more than just foundation to cover them.

At this point I use a baby wipe to wipe any excess foundation off the back of my hands, from my eyebrows and my lips. Then I wash my hands properly with soap and water as this prevents me from getting foundation over all my makeup products.

To set my foundation I apply loose powder all over my face and then (attempt) to lightly contour my face using bronzer and the Estée Lauder brush. I’ve only recently tried my hand at contouring and as such have yet to buy a suitable brush, but a tip I’ve learned is to push the sides of the brush into a thinner shape (see below) as this simulates the look of a line. After this I apply blush to the balls of my cheeks but make sure to sweep it across the cheeks.

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I then apply a lighter shade of eyeshadow to my lids, two small dots in both corners of my eyes and a little sweep under my bottom lashes to brighten my face up a bit.

All that’s left is to apply my mascara and brow gel. Both of the Benefit products I use on my brows and lashes are incredible. My brows stay in place all day and the mascara is the only one I’ve found that doesn’t drop during the course of the day.

BEFORE                                            AFTER

 

BEFORE                                                 AFTER

BEFORE                                            AFTER

I hope this was relatively useful, and if not at least you can join me and laugh at the fact that I have voluntarily put pictures of myself in my worst state on the Internet for all to see: No bra, no makeup and baggy pjs!

Empties

I’ll be honest, blogging when you’re on a budget is tough.

There was a time when I would idle my money away on the latest trends and beauty fads but reality struck and I was suddenly faced with having to pay rent over spending £60 on the latest moisturiser. In the spirit of this I decided that instead of writing a post based on my non-existent latest purchases I would turn the focus on products that I’ve recently run out of. I seemed to run out of lots of things in a small amount of time over the past few weeks, does that happen to anyone else?!

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  1. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads

This isn’t the first, nor will it be the last time I sing the praises of these exfoliation pads. Gentle but effective, these pads manage to get every last scrap of makeup off my face – even when I think I’ve washed it all off.

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2. Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm

In the realm of beauty wonders I feel that this product has fallen at the wayside somewhat. It is barely spoken of today but was all the range two or three years ago. I have stuck with it though as it melts even the toughest foundation, Estée Lauder Double Wear I’m talking about you, straight off your face.

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3. Body Shop Aloe Soothing Night Cream

This is another product that I’ve been using for years and years. It isn’t oily or sticky on but gentle and soothing on the skin. Absorbs really well and doesn’t leave you feeling like you don’t want to put your face on your pillow, no one wants that after a long day at the office.

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4. Body Shop Seaweed Oil Balancing Toner

The fact that the bottle I have is the old version of this product is testament to just how long it lasts. The minute this hits your skin you can instantly feel its cooling and soothing properties.  I tend to use this first thing in the morning if I don’t wash my face straightaway or after a workout to wipe away droplets of, well, sweat (there’s no pleasant way of saying that).

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5. Batiste Dry Shampoo Tropical – Coconut & Exotic

Firstly, the smell of this is d-i-v-i-n-e. I honestly buy this specific type just for the smell alone. There are times when I’ve used this in the morning and forgotten to put perfume on but you wouldn’t know thanks to this.

Smell aside, this product is the ultimate life saver for adding a bit of volume, and removing a bit of grease, from my hair.

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6. Benefit Gimme Brow

This will revolutionise any otherwise naked and scant brow. I know some find it on the pricey side for such a small amount of product but it’s just phenomenal. It’s long lasting and as well as giving my brows definition and volume I also find that it sets them in place for the day.

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Now to decide which one of these I can’t live without the most and go on a little Boots trip…

BLOGS I’M LOVING: CUPCAKES AND CASHMERE

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Cupcakes and Cashmere was the first blog I ever religiously followed. It became the highlight of my day and I couldn’t wait to get home after school to read Emily’s latest post. As is only natural, it has changed somewhat since then, she’s got married, had a lovely little girl but I think the fact I’m still reading her blogs five years later is a testament to my admiration for her.

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I was that much of a fan girl that I sent her an email – approaching five years ago – to tell her how much I admired her, cringe! To my absolute delight she replied personally and I still have the email saved somewhere. She’s always been a great source of inspiration and sure it only took me half a decade to get round to starting my own blog but I got there eventually.

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Out of all the blogs I read I find Emily’s style to be the most functional and relatable i.e. I could see myself wearing practically every outfit she puts together. Alongside this, whilst some of the pieces she wears are more high-end, many of the pieces she wears are affordable.

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Her blog is brimming with variety, from homeware to recipes, outfits to skincare, so there’s definitely something for everyone. The posts on her blog are always written so eloquently and feature equally high-resolution images.

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These are some of her most recent posts that I’ve loved reading:

How I’m Learning To Open Up On Social Media

Five Things – this series has always been one my favourites!

How To Motivate Yourself To Workout At Any Time Of Day 

I Wore The Same Thing Every Day For A Week

If you’ve never stumbled across this gem of a blog then you can thank me later ;).