Wednesday, 29 January 2014

wishlist: topshop

One of my new years resolutions at the start of 2014 was to save more, I'm currently a first year undergraduate student and have made the conscious decision to save as many pennies as I can for when I really need the money. However that does not stop me day in and day out browsing online and popping into stores creating imaginary wish list of what I would buy if I had all the money in the world.
wishlist: topshop
Today is Topshop's turn and I always seem to find Topshop to be hit and miss but at the moment I love the collections they currently have. I'm a monochrome lover and I feel black and white go with everything as well as compliment each other so this is the colour palette I tend to stick to.
First up on the wish list as long as my arm is their Big Floppy Hat - I've been eyeing up these types of hats since very early Autumn and this one in particular. It will be mine one day just not right now. I feel a hat like this adds something classic and put together to any outfit and can be worn throughout all seasons so you would definitely be getting your pennies worth.
Secondly is this simple yet chic Tall Cities Motif Tee - this would look effortless paired with some skinny jeans and heeled boots and is perfect for dressing down days.  
The Gingham Check Smock Dress is something that I've recently been eyeing up. Trying it on in store has made me want it even more as it's such a flattering shape with a gorgeous gingham on trend pattern. The dress is lovely for the colder months with tights and boots or spring time as the loose material won't end up being too tight or uncomfortable.

I've been after a nude/beige nail polish for a few months now as I feel it looks really elegant and sophisticated. Threadbare by Topshop is the perfect balance of beige and nude and would look gorgeous on many different skin tones.
The Stipe Pocket Crop Tee is the biggest steal of the bunch I think at £14.00 this top would look lovely paired with some black high waisted skinny jeans and either flats or heeled boots. I love garments which can just be thrown on with a pair of jeans but still look put together.
Last but not least is one of the most gorge pairs of shoes I've seen in a long while. The MATTER Croc Dolly Shoes are so cute and dainty I feel they're perfect for spring time. I love the patent croc affect and the little block heel adds just enough definition and won't make it too uncomfortable to walk in (hopefully).

The Products:
1. Floppy Hat
2. Cities Top 
3. Gingham Smock Dress
4. Threadbare Nail Polish
5. Striped Crop Top
6. Croc Dolly Shoes

There is my current Topshop wish list, theres some gorgeous products there but the list can only get longer. Please tell me if there's anything you like from my picks and thanks for reading!



Sunday, 26 January 2014

volume vs length

I've always lusted after having long, nourished and healthy looking locks but no matter what products I use I can never seem to get the results. My hair is currently an auburn colour, medium length and naturally quite wavy. Since using the products featured in this post my hair has increased in both length and volume. 
The Lee Strafford big fat healthy hair shampoo and conditioner work really well for my hair, after washing my hair feels smoother and definitely full or volume. These both smell divine and are an absolute pleasure to use. After washing I run my hair through with my tangle teezer and leave it to dry naturally if I can. 
The Lee Stafford product I'm most impressed with however is the hair growth shampoo. Since cutting my hair short just before my 18th birthday in May (which I regret completely) this has worked wonders in encouraging my hair to grow as quick as it can. I've had so many people tell me how long my hair is getting and I truly believe that this should be credited. This product truly works wonders and I've only been using it for about 5 months. I tend to alternate between these two shampoos and a couple of others I've got stashed in my shower (I'm the ultimate shampoo hoarder). I highly recommend all of these products depending on if you're after voluminous or lengthening results. I believe I picked mine up when they were on 3 for £10 but Lee Stafford always seem to have offers on in Boots/Superdrug.
*Side note: I've had my eyes on the Hair Growth treatment too!
Thankyou for listening!

The Products: 
1. Big Fat shampoo
2. Big fat conditioner 
3. Hair Growth shampoo



Wednesday, 22 January 2014

let's talk neutrals

This post is going to be very palette heavy - I'm a hoarder for neutral eyeshadow palettes along with many other beauty bloggers, but who can resist the gorgeous buttery shadow goodness?! I'll be talking about my favourites of the bunch and those which I could reach for a little bit more… 

To kick things off I'm going to start off with the more affordable palettes I have. My favourite definitely being the Heaven and Earth palette from MUA. Now I don't think this palette is being sold anymore which is such a shame as it really is gorgeous but for £4 MUA have a couple of alternatives (the undressed/undress me too palettes). The quality and shade range of this palette cannot be faulted -- with the shadows being beautifully blend able and all of the shades compliment each other well. If you're after a cheaper palette with a bit more depth then try the Beauty UK Earth Child palette, again at £3.99 the quality of these shadows is simply divine. I tend to push this one to the back of the drawer as I'm not one for trying greens and grey shades but this palette has a few charcoal grey shades and a couple of olive and moss greens too -- so if you're a bit more experimental than me with your shadows then this would be perfect. 
From top left clockwise: MUA, Sleek, Topshop, Beauty UK, MAC and middle is Urban Decay

The mid ranged priced palettes I own do not fail to let me down either. An absolute gem of a palette is the Sleek I Divine Eye Shadow Au Naturel palette (just a bit of a mouthful there) and at £7.99 this palette is still not really breaking the bank. The quality of these Sleek shadows and I would even say that they even rival MAC. The shades are the perfect mix of shimmery and matte from browns to lighter neutrals and even a black which is perfect for liner. I think I will continue to repurchase this when this palette gets used up as it's just such excellent value for money. Next is a little Topshop quad I picked up in one of their sales I think. I think I got it for half price at around £6, but I would definitely not pay £12 for this product. As pretty as the tortoise shell packaging is the quality of these shadows is pretty dire. Hardly any product is picked up and you really need to pack a lot on to actually see the golden shades on the lids. The darker shades are a better but I don't really venture out to navy/grey smokey eyes so these are pretty much untouched. 
Finally for the pricer palettes - I've made up my own MAC quad which gets a lot of use both during the day and for nights out. The shades which I have are: Satin Taupe, Patina, Ricepaper and Soba and I wouldn't change them -- the quad is absolutely perfect for me and the makeup looks I tend to wear. The MAC palettes and quads are a little on the pricey side especially when you have to fill them up but I think if you're after a bit of luxury in your eyeshadow collection then this is your answer and the beauty is you can make your own personal palette including all the shades you know you'll get use out of. Now I have saved the best until last, as I don't own any of the other Naked palettes by Urban Decay as I feel I have enough shimmery shadows when this gorgeous matte (bar one) Naked Basics palette was released a year or so ago I was sold. I've used this palette pretty much everyday since as it's just so multi purpose. I sometimes use the brown shade for the brows, the shimmery shade as a highlight and the black for liner. *Caution: the black shade is very messy and crumbly and goes everywhere! (Is this just mine?) Nevertheless I would recommend this product to anyone and everyone and for £20 it's just an absolute steal. 

The Products: 
4. Topshop Palette - no longer available 

Theres all of the shadow palettes that I own - please comment telling me your go to eye shadow palettes and if you love/dislike any of the above. Thanks for reading! 



Sunday, 19 January 2014

Turn around bright eyes

So with the Christmas and New Year period definitely taking it's toll on my skin I have been on the hunt for a product that will decrease the appearance of my prominent dark circles under my eyes. Being off uni and not having lectures for the past month has encouraged me to watch films and youtube videos until silly o clock and lay in until midday - which is a habit I need to snap out of. 
Recently whilst browsing through boots (on a budget) my puffy eyes came across this product, the boots botanics refreshing eye roll on, which claims to 'target the appearance of dark circles and puffiness for all skin types'. Reading that the product contained brightening hibiscus made me pop it into my basket - at only £4.49 (and I got a further 25% off with a voucher) I had nothing to lose, surely? I am pleasantly surprised with this product, having used it for almost two weeks I'd say it works wonders in making the eyes feel more awake and nourished. The dark circles do not completely vanish but I think for the price this product is an excellent pick me up and the sooting rollerball helps to brighten the eyes and mind. 
The Product: 

Overall, if you're feeling tired or just need a product that will perk you up for a few hours then I think this could do the trick… Thanks for reading!



Thursday, 16 January 2014

Lipstick lover: the mac edition

If I had to wear one makeup item for the rest of my life then the product would hands down be lipstick. From the moment you bring a lipstick home brand new in it's packaging when it's so perfect you could cry to the moment you've finished up to tube and you have to make the crucial decision to go out and get that shade again, lipstick is such a beautiful thing. I'm a little bit of a lipstick hoarder and I've got a collection of all sorts of shades from nudes to brights. Today I'm going to be discussing my MAC lipstick shades, I have 5 and although MAC lipsticks are creeping up in price every so often they are still absolutely stunning -- with the colour range being extensive and all of the different finishes being exquisite.
MAC lipsticks now retail for £15.00 and come in a number of different shades and finishes. The five shades that I own are: Brave, Hue, Vegas Volt, Morange and Lady Danger*. Two are amplified finishes and the others are satin, glaze and a matte. The beauty of MAC lipsticks is that there is definitely something for everyone depending on what you fancy. I'm quite a fan of bright lipsticks but I enjoy wearing nudes and other shades also. 
The first MAC lipstick that I ever bought when I was probably about 16, I remember going into one of their stores for the first time absolutely overwhelmed by the choices they had to offer. (At this point I advise chatting to one of the sales assistants). The lady asked me what I was looking for and I just wanted something I could wear every day without being too in your face. She suggest I try Brave and I swatched it on my hand and on my lips and from that alone I was sold. Brave is a satin finish so it does sit on the lips very well and does not cause any drying for me. MAC describe the shade as a 'pink beige with white pearl' and I agree with this but also think it has a hint of purple in. I think this shade really suits my complexion and as I've nearly ran out of the bullet I will definitely be buying this again.

The next lipstick I bought was Hue -- a very popular lipstick which is recommended for beginners trying out MAC makeup. Described as a 'soft pale pink' Hue is a glaze finish, making it very glossy and moisturising. This shade will suit many different skin tones and is a all around gorgeous lipstick which ticks all of the boxes.

Next up is Vegas Volt, which I bought in duty free before my holiday to Greece last summer. As I had quite subtle shades I decided to go for something a bit more bold. Now I absolutely love this shade and find it would look gorgeous on many skin tones. Described as a 'full power coral' this shade is exactly that and is not for the faint hearted. Being an amplified finish this lipstick is long lasting and highly pigmented. An absolute gem if you ask me.
Left to right: Brave, Hue, Vegas Volt, Morange and Lady Danger 

Another bright which I bought last summer is Morange by MAC. There is a lot of hype around this shade and I can certainly see why. Although I don't think this lipstick suits my pasty complexion 100% with a slight tan or on olive skin it would work wonders. Again being an amplified finish this one is full of fight and this 'loudmouth orange' (which is more on the red side) is a standout shade from MAC. 

The final addition to my small yet beautiful MAC lipstick collection is Lady Danger. A signature red which is worn by all sorts of celebrities and A listers, ooer. This little beauty was in my goodie bag which I received at the British Fashion Awards in December. This 'vivid bright coral red' is show stompingly gorgeous and although it can be a little bit drying due to the matte formula, a good lip balm before hand will sort this out. 

There is my short but sweet MAC lipstick collection, I have my eye on a few other shades *cough* Rebel and Ravishing I'm looking at you *cough* but I'll have to save up a few pennies before that. Please let me know which are your favourite MAC lipsticks and if you have any recommendations too. Thankyou for reading! 



Sunday, 12 January 2014

The bare minimum

I'm normally one to wear a relatively full face of makeup almost 7 days a week, I'll always sport some winged liner and love to experiment with lipsticks. I will also almost always give my cheeks a dusting with a blusher of my choice to add some colour to my pale face. 
Just recently I've decided to take a couple of steps back on the makeup front - to give the natural look a go and to give my skin a bit of breathing space. 
So for those no makeup days I have a few products which never fail me and I love putting together. For the base instead of a full coverage heavy duty foundation I opt for the dr jart+ bb cream, I was obsessed with this product over the summer as it still provides enough coverage for my liking but lets my freckles show through and still looks like natural skin. For any really nasty spots or blemishes I dab on a little bit of the collection ever lasting perfection concealer - I've mentioned this before and it really is such a good value product which works wonders! For something natural yet still visible for cheeks I tend to reach for nars luster which is a gorgeous apricot shade, I love this as I feel it compliments my skin tone and helps sculpture my face. 
For eye I keep it pretty minimum, when I experiment with lots of eyeliner and blending neutral shades I find my eyes can become a little bit irritated so it's best that on some days I give them a break. I go for my favourite neutral base - the mac paint pot in painterly which is gorgeous at smoothing over the eyelids and with a bit of the mac false lashes mascara which isn't as intense as it sounds and adds just the right amount of both volume and length. Finally for the lips I'll either just slick on some plain lip balm or I'll go for a subtle shade, smoked peach by revlon is gorgeous and ties in really well with the nars blusher. 

The Products: 

So these my go to products for when I want to wear the bare minimum of makeup - this look is perfect for just popping out to the shops or running errands. Let me know your favourite natural makeup products and thank you for reading! 



Thursday, 9 January 2014

5 for silver, 6 for gold

When it comes to choosing everyday outfits for uni, shopping trips and even going out in the evenings I usually stick to the same old thing. Lots of monochrome and mixed textures. To jazz up my outfits I've decided to wear more jewellery to add a little extra something so it looks like I've made more effort than I actually have. 
I've recently picked up a few necklaces, bracelets and other things which I can wear singly or together. I love the affect of mixing metals so I think that gold and silver work well together with a bit of gun metal or rose gold thrown in for good measure. One of my favourite places to snap up some jewellery bargains is h&m, with the prices being so affordable you can pick up some really stylish statement pieces for under a tenner. One of my new favourite things is my watch from asos - again asos is definitely affordable (even for a student like me) and for £22 I love my watch to pieces and wear it daily. Finally a recent addition to the wrist wear that is always on my wrist is my gorgeous leather black rope pandora bracelet my sister got me for Christmas - my grandmother then got me the mermaid charm to go with it. I hope to add a few more charms but I'm going to resist going OTT as it can look a bit heavy and full up. 
Let me know in the comments where you shop for your jewellery and what is your favourite item to wear! Thanks for listening! 



Sunday, 5 January 2014

Knot this time

Along with probably every other girl with hair past their shoulders my hair is an absolute nightmare to keep knot free. My hair is quite a bit past my shoulders but I definitely wouldn't consider it to be long, probably more medium length and something I really struggle with is keeping the tangles at bay. I've recently discovered a little routine which I've found definitely help with the knot situation and keeps my hair feeling smoother and more nourished. 

I've been using my tangle teezer for a good year or so now and honestly cannot recommend them enough - from the first hair brushing using it I recognised such a difference in how my hair felt after brushing and it made brushing hair a dream. The tangle teezer gently glides through the hair without pulling or tugging on tangles, instead it gets them out without any pain or eye watering. 

A recent purchase of mine which has made the process even easier and much more sweet smelling is using the rainforest radiance detangling spray by The Body Shop. Not only does this stuff smell divine (bilberry extract and linseed oil) but a few spritz of it on post shower damp hair ensures that the tangle teezer will even more effortlessly get rid of those tangles. 

A final product which I run through the ends of my hair after a shower and even when it's dry sometimes is another product from The Body Shop. I feel their coconut oil is perfect for smoothing over fly aways and keeping the ends of my hair nourished. As with all products from The Body Shop this one smells gorgeous and is an absolute gem to use. 

The Products: 

So if you're struggling with knotty hair then I recommend trying these products either on their own or combined and hopefully it will make the dreaded post shower hair brush routine a much more enjoyable (?) experience. Thankyou for reading! 



Friday, 3 January 2014

Operation: 2014

So as 2013 has come to an end it marks the beginning of a very new and exciting concept - the year of 2014. I'm not exactly sure where time is going but at the age of 18 I'm beginning to feel old - at almost 20 years of being on the planet the time has come for me as a young adult, to become more organised in regards education, work and life in general. This post is not the average cliche 'new year, new me', concept but is an insight as to how I will be organising my time in the coming year and how I try my best to stay on track of everyday tasks.

Some would say I'm a bit of a perfectionist -- I always want things done in certain ways and I'm not satisfied 100% until they are. A few of my pet peeves include people being late, those who forget important times or dates and the feeling of not having much control. I'm just starting my second semester of university and the past three months have taught me that organisation is vital. I have a few personal new years resolutions which I hope to keep up for as long as possible.

To manage all of my key dates for the upcoming week/month I make sure that I start the beginning of the year by jotting down friends and families birthdays on an annual calendar (this year I have an unbelievably cute pug one). I also make note of any assignment deadlines or dentist appointments so I know what is scheduled well in advance. 

Another useful and more depth way of arranging your time for the week is to invest in a weekly planner. (My sister bought me this really cute floral one for Christmas). These are excellent in ensuring weekly plans are set and can be ticked off once complete - ensuring a satisfying feeling of productivity or fulfilment. 

Finally I always make sure I've got a decent notebook or planner to jot down on the go ideas. I also use it for my 'to do lists' for certain days or the weekend so I'm clear of what needs to be done. I've just bought a new notebook from PaperChase which I love as it has gridded pages and coloured sections. It's perfect as I can use it for both uni lectures, blog ideas and everyday lists. 

So there's just a few tips on how I will be keeping organised for 2014. I am going to really try this year to dedicate more time to my blog which I intend to integrate with more lifestyle posts alongside beauty and some fashion related posts too. Finally -- happy new year to you all and I hope you are brought peace and happiness! 

Thanks for reading! 

Alt x