Sunday, 31 August 2014

Sunday Post: August Favourites

The summer holidays shave completely flown past - this weekend I properly moved in with Rob ready to start school next week and I am so nervous! I'm looking forward to getting into my classroom and I know that after a few days I'll settle in, but until then I'm a liiiitle bit anxious! It's been luxury to have a few weeks off and I've been enjoying having time to apply my make-up as slowly as I like in the morning and try some new products as well as shopping my stash!

On my lips I've been loving some Bourjois bits this month.  I gave in to the hype surrounding the Rouge Edition Velvet (I got the shade Ole Flamingo) and I'm happy I did - gorgeous colour, long lasting and comfortable to wear.  At the same time I grabbed a Color Boost lip pencil on Peach on the Beach which I can't get enough of for everyday wear.  It isn't particularly long lasting so touch-ups are essential, but it's such a beautiful shade and I can't stop wearing it.

After hitting pan big-time on my beloved Benefit Hoola, I dug this little palette out of my stash to use until I grab a new full-size, but I've ended up falling in love with it all over again! Inside the little box is miniature pans of Hoola, Coralista and Bella Bamba - the perfect bronzer and blushers for summer!

I seem to own lots of mini bottles of Soap and Glory Clean on Me shower gel, so I've been making efforts to use some up this month so I haven't got quite as much clutter to move with, and I just love it - it smells delicious and I feel lovely and clean without dry, tight skin or a greasy residue.  

Lastly, how cute are these little daisy earrings from Pandora?! I'm not much of a earring wearer, mainly because I always forget to put them in, but these have changed my habits.  I had them as a birthday present and they're adorable!

What have you been loving in August?

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Lifestyle: Update

If you follow my blog, twitter or instagram you may have spotted a couple of mentions of my big move - I'm moving out of my family home to a flat four hours away with my boyfriend.  Over the last few weeks pretty much all I've done is collect furniture and bits & pieces for our flat so when we got our keys back at the start of August I was so excited to move in.  Rob and I went down to Portsmouth for a week with both of our families popping down to help us out and we had the best week! Apart from a huge IKEA visit, cleaning the flat top-to-bottom, putting together flat pack furniture until the early hours of the morning and having a bit of a gas meter disaster, we managed to fit in a couple of fun days too.  We finally went up the Spinnaker tower, made the most of 2-for-1 cocktails, had delicious meals out (I definitely recommend Coast to Coast in Gunwharf Quays) and shopped until we dropped!

We were lucky enough to get our hands on quite a bit of furniture from friends and family which we updated to suit our tastes, and ended up buying the rest (mainly bedroom furniture) from IKEA.  I was gifted a beautiful dressing table from Rob's family to congratulate me on my graduation (far right photo) which I adore - I've never owned a dressing table before, so I'm over the moon!  We are so pleased with our new little home and can't wait to properly move down there in a few days!

I also managed to pop into my new classroom and start sorting it out and getting ready to begin my Newly Qualified Teacher year in September.  I managed to back the display boards, organise my trays of resources and arrange my tables.  Rob came with me and labelled all 250 of my exercise books bless him, which saved me a lot of time - I had no idea how much work it takes to sort a classroom out!  I'm happy that it's all done before the start of term, and now I'm just anxiously anticipating the first week of September!

All thats left of this summer is a gorgeous lady's wedding, the official move and then back to school! How have you spent the last few weeks of your summer?

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Beauty Review: Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Ole Flamingo

How could I not buy into the hype surrounding these little pots of colour? I've heard claims that these last over 12 hours, withstand drinking and eating and are the most comfortable high-street matte lipsticks ever! Obviously I couldn't resist - I grabbed the shade 05 Ole Flamingo.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Sunday Post: Bedtime Essentials

I love my sleep, so at night I'm not one for an hour-long routine before I climb into bed - I'd much rather a few quick steps that I know work before cuddling up under the covers.  Apart from removing my make up, cleaning my skin and teeth and popping on some comfy PJs, these are the things I find myself reaching for every night to inject a bit of much-needed moisture.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Braunston Mill Cottage

On the first weekend of August, Rob and I packed up my car and headed to the Midlands to spend the weekend in this gorgeous cottage as part of my 21st birthday present.  Rob chose this adorable place and booked it for a fortnight after my birthday, allowing me to celebrate my twenty first at home with my friends and family before spending some time with him.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Beauty Review: Laura Mercier Mineral Powder Foundation

Although for the past two years or so I've been using liquid foundation, I am 100% a mineral powder girl.  Before I entered the blogosphere, I used the L'Oreal True Match Mineral Powder foundation religiously (with the gross scratchy brush which I hardly ever washed. ew).  You may have seen in my review of the Bare Minerals Matte foundation that I wanted something with a bit more coverage bit with a similar finish - well, I think I've found it.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Sunday Post: Early Morning Tips

With the summer holidays coming to a close, before long many of us will be back to the early mornings that just aren't enjoyable, so I've got a couple of tips to help you out.
  • get some sleep - I know it's easy to scroll through instagram and twitter until late at night, but if you put that phone down, shut your eyes and drift off, you'll feel so much better for it
  • hydrate - keep topped up with water from as soon as you wake up to give you a bit of a boost and start off your day well
  • eat breakfast - so many people completely avoid breakfast saying it's too early to eat, but even if you could manage a bit of fruit or some yoghurt you'd notice a difference in your energy levels
  • give yourself plenty of time - no-ones day starts off well when they got ready in three minutes flat, set your alarm in plenty of time to look your best and make sure you haven't forgotten anything

If you haven't got a chance to those tips, fake it 'til you make it in the quickest way humanly possible.
  • You don't have time to wait for anything to dry; MAC Skin Refine Zone primer dries in seconds
  • Use a foundation which is super easy and quick to buff into your skin, my pick is Clarins Ever Matte
  • Cover up any signs of a dark circle with concealer, the Estee Lauder Double Wear Flawless Finish concealer is my favourite
  • Use bronzer and blusher to give your skin a much needed boost of colour to warm your skin and detract from pasty tired skin
  • Curl those lashes before applying mascara - it'll open up your eyes and make you look more awake
  • Further awaken your eyes by lining your waterline with a white or nude liner to counteract redness and popping a bit of shimmery shadow near your tear duct (I love Urban Decay's Virgin)
  • Skip powder and finish everything off with a quick spritz of setting spray, I'm a huge fan of Urban Decay De Slick
Do you have any tips for early mornings? I'd love to hear them - pop them in the comments!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Long Distance Relationships

Although he's popped up on this blog a couple of times, I'd better introduce you properly - the handsome one in the photos above is my boyfriend, Rob.  We've known each other since September 2009 when we both started college - I walked into my Biology class of people I'd never seen before, plonked myself down on an empty seat which happened to be next to Rob, and we've spoken almost every day since.  Although we were very close and always had a 'thing', we didn't begin our relationship until August 2012 which was probably the worst timing ever; in Septemer Rob began his degree in a university three hours away from mine.  We've spent the majority of the last two years in a long distance relationship and although we're really happy, it definitely hasn't been the easiest thing in the world.  Over the last two years we've found a couple of ways to make the distance easier which will hopefully be helpful for any of you who are a long way from your other half.

  • be certain - long distance relationships aren't easy so make sure you're certain the relationship is right for you, makes you happy and is worth any upset
  • make the most of your time together - Rob and I found that making plans for the time we spend together made sure the time we spent together wasn't wasted and we made sure we made happy memories together when we could
  • collect souvenirs - linking to making memories, Rob and I spend our time together taking photos, collecting tickets and trinkets and popping them all in our scrapbook.  It's pretty time consuming but so worth it to look back over when we're apart and they'll definitely be something we keep for the future
  • talk - every single day of our relationship Rob and I have spoken somehow, we text, instant message, phone and skype eachother all the time.  Communication is key in all relationships, but it's even more vital when you're apart.  Rather than bottling everything up before eventually exploding in an argument, it's much better to talk everything through calmly
  • send photos - we use WhatsApp to send each other little pictures of what we're doing when we're apart to include each other in our lives even when we're miles apart
  • treat each other - as often as we can, Rob and I treat each other whatever way we can, sometimes it's as little as him bringing me a slush puppy on a warm day, sometimes they're much bigger (my favourite was him travelling all the way home on the train to surprise me and whisk me straight out on a date night without me suspecting a thing)
  • trust each other - this is kind of an essential for all relationships, honesty and loyalty are absolutely key in my eyes
  • keep busy while you're apart - finding a hobby definitely helps pass the time while you're apart, and I think it's good for you to have some things for yourself (this is the whole reason this blog started, and Rob loses himself in CrossFit)
  • be understanding - it's more than likely that at some point one of you will need to concentrate on work or studying and may not have as much time to chat, so be patient and understanding because it won't last forever and you're other half will really appreciate it
What made it a lot easier for us was knowing there was an end point - I graduated in July and luckily I found my dream job near Rob's university, so we're moving in together! We've found a cute little flat and we move in at the end of August.  The best news I have for you is that it does get easier; by the end of our two years apart goodbyes weren't anywhere near as difficult, our time apart flew by, and we were enjoying making the most of the times we did see each other - but I am over the moon that it's over... WE DID IT!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Beauty Review: Illamasqua Tremble

I feel like everything Beth from Birds Words recommends, I end up buying.  Since reading this post on a blush she's fallen in love with, I haven't been able to get it out of my head.  A few months ago I couldn't resist any longer and bought the Illamasqua powder blush in Tremble, and I've worn it every singe day since.

This is the first Illamasqua product I've ever bought and I'm so impressed.  The blusher it such a gorgeous pale pink shade which has no shimmer and gives my skin a natural flush.  It's so pigmented and finely milled - it's an absolute dream to apply and blend, and it lasts all day.

I adore everything about this blusher, I can't stop wearing it or lusting over other Illamasqua blushers - I've got my eye on Lover next!

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Mini Sephora Haul

You may have seen in this post that at the end of June I spent a week holidaying in the South of France.  We managed to spend an evening in St Tropez where I popped into Sephora.  I've never been in the beauty mothership before, and although it was quite small I was pretty impressed (read as: I looked like a human heart-eyed emoji).  I didn't get too much, but I couldn't resist a couple of treats.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Bare Minerals Matte Foundation

Between the ages of 15 and 18 I swore by the L'Oreal True Match Mineral Foundation and wore it every single day.  Looking back, it wasn't particularly finely milled, it didn't blend well and to say the included brush was scratchy is an understatement.  Back in May when the weather started warming up I couldn't cope with my high-coverage liquid foundations any more, and fancied trying a mineral powder foundation again.  I decided that the Bare Minerals Matte Foundation (the cheapest I found was £21.95 at Feel Unique) was the one for me and my oily skin.

I used the Temptalia Foundation Matrix (here) to find my shade which is so useful - if you haven't used it before it's amazing.  You choose your current foundation shade, and it matches you to hundreds of other foundations.  I popped in my Clarins Ever Matte shade, and was able to find the shade-match for this Bare Minerals one.  So useful if you don't have a counter for a brand near you!  Fairly light is a good match for my skin, and I didn't experience any oxidising which I know some people struggled with.

I apply this with my Real Techniques buffing brush and its really easy to buff into an even finish as it's pretty finely milled.  It feels so light on the skin and it's really comfortable to wear.  This is definitely a low-coverage foundation and for me it's necessary to pair it with a concealer.  For day-to-day wear I would like a bit more coverage but whilst I was on holiday this was perfect.  I wore it every single day, I loved that my freckles were visible through the makeup and it felt almost undetectable on my skin in the hot weather.  Although it's a matte finish it isn't dry looking at all, although if you excessively layer it it can look a little cakey.  However, if you're a seriously oily-skinned girl, this isn't going to keep you shine free all day.  Even when paired with a primer and set with a mattifying powder it still doesn't last a full 9-5 day without a bit of powder over the top every now and again.

A little tip I've found out is that when you're wearing a mineral powder foundation and you feel like you need a bit of  top-up, buff a product-free brush over your face.  The minerals are re-distributed and recharges your foundation.  It definitely works and saves you using up more product.  If that isn't enough for you, it's so easy to top-up this foundation, and the plastic packaging with a sifter makes it pretty portable.

Although I like this foundation and I'll definitely use it all up, I doubt I'll repurchase it in the future because I'd like something with a bit more coverage - any recommendations are welcome in the comments!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Graduation Day & Tips

If you follow me on twitter, instagram or read my University Experience post you'll know that I graduated from the University of West England last week after studying Primary Education for three years.  The ceremony was in Bristol Cathedral which was such a nice place - the building itself is beautiful, the common next to it is lovely and there was plenty of trees to shade us from the sun (although it was lovely that the sun was shining, it was boiling in the robe!). 

Friday, 1 August 2014

July Favourites

July has been a pretty full-on month for me; between a week in portugal, turning 21, meeting my new class for September, finding a flat and graduating the month seems to have literally flown by.  This afternoon Rob and I are travelling to the Midlands to spend the weekend in a cute little cottage as my birthday treat (see updates on my twitter and instagram) which I'm so excited for, but before that I thought I'd pop up a quick favourites post.