Monday, 31 December 2012

New Years Resolutions

New Years is such an exciting time, rarely do we know what lies ahead and even if we are certain you never know what curveballs are heading your way. It's a fresh start, it's saying that the door is closed and the slate is wiped clean and that you are ready to start again with a fresh perspective and attitude. It's pretty idealistic and rarely do we actually get to forget the woes from the previous year and soon we settle into old routines, feeling let down by the new year and feeling like life will never change. 

I feel like I have a better position this year though. In the new year i'm starting a new job with a whole relm of posibilities to explore. For a while i've been in a temp job and the uncertainty for the future has made me reluctant for big life decisions so instead I have been mentally planning things that I could do if my situation allowed it. So I have decided that 2013 really will be my year. I'm going to work really hard to acheive my new years resolutions. This year I feel like the slate is genuinely wiped clean, ready for me to make my mark. 

So here goes: 
  • Get up a bit earlier. At the moment I get up about 20 mins before I need to leave and hate myself for it every day. 
  • Move out of my Mums house. 
  • Start using my gym membership again, I used it so much over the summer and then just stopped.
  • Keep an accurate record of what I spend. 
  • I have set a saving goal but I won't publish it- I think thats a bit tacky. 
  • Blog on a regular basis. 
  • Similarly, I have a goal in mind but I won't publish it. 
  • Keep up to date with Uni work and put in 100%
  • I'm planning holidays with two of my closest friends, I want these plans to happen. 
  • My family is planning a big trip to Florida in early 2014. I will need to set money aside for this.
  • Read 30 books (this is something I could do with ease but I have struggled to find time to read this year, i'm setting it low by my standards so that I don't feel pressured). 
 Do you have any new years resolutions? Do you believe in starting over at New Year, or would you rather face change as it happens rather than fit it into a time frame?

Sunday, 30 December 2012

MAC Lipstick- Girl About Town

Bright pink lipstick is my absolute favourite, it compliments both the natural and glamorous look and feels more playful than a striking red. Girl About Town is the latest to my MAC lipstick collection as well as the lastest addition to the bright pinks. Girl About Town has blueish undertones making it interestingly violet, this blue tone makes teeth appear whiter- massive bonus! The Amplified Creme finish means that it looks super glossy with a really intense colour which does not dry out the lips and lasts for a really long time- I have found it will stay on for a good couple of hours if you aren't eating or drinking. I feel that this lipstick would compliment most skin tones and hair colours- if you like something vibrant definitely go for this one.

What do you think about Girl About Town? Could you see yourself adding it to your stash? 

Girl About Town costs £14 and can be bought from the MAC website.

Friday, 28 December 2012

2012- the good, the bad, the ugly.

2012 has been a bit of a tough journey for me. I feel like I have done some serious growing up and learnt vital lessons about myself. I feel like i've been put through the paces of what I can cope with it and come out the other side stronger, again. It's been a while since I have got to the end of the year and thought: actually, this one has been a good one. Quite frankly i've had an awful lot to deal with over the last 5 years or so, hopefully 2013 will have some treats up its sleeve for me. I thought long and hard about how to write this post, without dwelling on the past too much or without it turning into a novel of my year. so here we go-

The month of the 21st birthday. I had a lovely birthday party with family and friends- mainly friends I don't speak to anymore... ironically. I got my DSLR, I weighed 8 stone, I started this blog- although I definitely no longer count this as the start date. In January life felt magnificent. 

Not such a magnificent month, nothing massively happened but I knew that not everything was okay and that I was heading to a massive life change. Valentines Day happened, I don't remember celebrating it. 

My beautiful sister, Laura, turned 23. I was working all day and skipped out of work to have lunch with them... the food arrived too late for me to have any and I remember being heart broken about not getting to spend the day with her. Things needed to change. 

What to say about April? April was absolutely horrific. I survived it by not thinking, not breathing (not literally), drinking too much, discovering who my friends really were and going to the gym. I split from my ex, my sister ended up in hospital. I felt like everything bad that could happen was happening.

To me, May feels like the time that everything started to fall into place. The first thing that I did was fly half way across the world and deal with my anger and pain from New York City. It worked, I cried finally. I laughed finally. I felt happier than I had felt in months and I got my fighting spirit back. I returned home a completely different person to the girl I had ever been. I started again on my blog.

June was significantly better, I massively bounced back and became very proactive. I finally got out of Costa and into my job at the University. I was ecstatic. I managed to swap my exes ticket for Hackney Festival for one for my best mate and we had the best time. My mum had a massive operation and it went really well, although that was difficult- her improved health is the main thing.

Ah the month that the sun didn't shine for Britain but it certainly shone for me. I started my new job, I was getting paid more. I was so happy, happier than I had been in years and then I became certain that the decision I made in April was by far the best decision I could have made. 

The best part of August was seeing my absolute best friend in the world, Jess, at Reading Festival. It was impromptu and neither of us expected to see each other. We laughed so hard we had headache and we fawned over Dave Grohl and Frank Turner, it was just perfect. 

I drunk far too much in september and spent alot of money on makeup. Thats about the most interesting thing that happened. 

October has always been my favourite month of the year, I just love halloween and the early christmas prep. I went to see my Grandparents and properly hung out with my cousins for the first time in years. It was a nice, comfortable month. 

It was a mental month and I didn't enjoy it one bit. I found that work was becoming too much and that I was expected to do more than I could cope with or, quite frankly, being paid for. I slept alot and I was generally bad tempered. 

The month started amazingly, I got myself a permanent role in the university which I am starting right at the begininning of 2013, a fresh start for a new year. Like everyone else I got in a seriously festive mood, had a brilliantly expensive, drunken, christmas party. Ate too much, got a sickness bug, had a brilliant christmas day and for the first time in 6 months... I had time off work!

A complete year of brilliant moments, low blows and complete shockers. All that I am glad for is that I will be starting 2013 with people who do love me in my life. I have learnt that I am not patient, that I demand alot to be done very quickly and that I put pressure on the people nearest and dearest to me. Last year some people left my life in the worst possible way and I completely wish I could apologise and end on better terms but that won't happen so I need to forget it. I know I have my bad points and I have had them painfully pointed out by an old friend. But we all have bad points and I'm okay with mine. 2013 is a fresh start and I know that this time next year my life will completely have turned around. 

I'd love to hear how 2012 went for you, and what you are expecting from 2013?


Philosophy Candy Cane

Candy Cane is part of the limited edition Christmas collection from Philosophy. I picked this up in the boxing day sale for a mere £7 after falling in love with the sweet minty smell months ago and hoping that it would make it into the sale- Just shows that sometimes it does pay to wait!

I find that the best thing about Philosophy is that their products actually work, their moisturisers are super intensive yet light and their bottles of shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath are deliciously bubbly and fragrant. Candy Cane is no different, it foams up into a stiff lather that lasts a long time. The scent is an absolutely delicious sugary peppermint which doesn't dissapear as soon as you get it out of the bottle. In fact, I can still smell it on my skin now.

This is a three in one product which does make you feel like you are getting more value for your money. for it's retail price (£14) you are getting 480ml of versatile product, more than you get with most luxury bath products. Personally, I don't like using this as a shampoo. My hair is particularly difficult and it just doesn't get on with many shampoos at all. For those with more managable hair, I imagine this would be a delight. For bathing purposes it really is just a complete treat,

For a festive boost or an indulgent treat, I think that this is a bargain that should be snapped up before it dissapears in the new year. I certainly am looking forward to continuining the holiday season in my shower for a while.

Candy Cane can still be found on the Selfridges Website  for £7. Act quickly though, it's bound to sell out soon!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

NARS Laguna Bronzer

Bronzer is sort of my 'should I? shouldn't I?' product. I'm so fair skinned that bronzer seems really scary. I only own one bronzer and it took alot of swatching, dithering and worrying to finally commit to buying. That bronzer is indeed Laguna (it would be a bit of an odd review if it wasn't).This is the second laguna palette that I have owned. The first was a duo with the Orgasm Blusher, has lasted about seven months and there is about a quater of the pan left- pretty long lasting I think. 

What is brilliant about the laguna bronzer is that it is a lovely and warm shade, with a slight gold shimmer to it. This makes it perfect for paler skinned girls as it blends in so easily and creates a natural sun kissed effect. Like all NARS products it is highly pigmented, making a little go a long way.

I tend to use it on my cheekbones, forehead, nose and chin... so basically all over my face. I tend to concentrate it on my cheeks and just sweep a dusting over my face and I use it every day.  Personally, I think that it works the best when I pair it with the NARS Orgasm blusher, they have a similar golden glow and it definitely warms the skin. 

Any Cons? Well, I find that NARS products in general are a bit too wide in the pan and too thin. They would benefit from being slightly deeper as I tend to hit the pan within a couple of months. Once I have hit the pan i'm then terrified of it shattering and don't take it out of the house- a bit annoying when bronzer is something that could do with a retouch throughout the day. I also don't think that this shade would work as nicely on those with darker skin tones as it is quite a delicate shade. 

Do you use the laguna bronzer? What do you think of it? 

Laguna retails for £25 and can be bought here .

Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas!!

My Big Sister, My Mum and I

Merry Christmas!!!

To those who are kind enough to read,

I hope that you all have an incredible day tomorrow. I hope that you all get spoilt rotten and spoil those that you love in equal measure. I hope that family traditions are upheld, that Granny comes to stay, stockings are hung on the fireplace and that beer is left for santa (because we all know the last thing santa wants is milk..!). Eat roast dinners and drink plenty of buzz fizz, tomorrow is the one day that pudding is calorie free and that alcohol won't give you a hangover the next day. I hope that you all enjoy the day in whatever way makes you happiest, with your nearest and dearest in a comfortable environment.

I will be spending the day at my mums, opening presents at a leasurely rate and nibbling on sweet treats before we all have a lovely dinner together. We will watch some christmas TV and probably end up getting guitar hero out. In the evening I'll be going round to my dads (for the first time in 4 years as he is finally back from America!). Where we will open more presents eat more food and relax with my family, before I go back to my sisters to sleep. I'm currently in bed, which is where I have been since Friday- but I will get back to full health before tomorrow.

Enjoy todays preparations and enjoy seeing all your hard work pay off tomorrow. I look forward to seeing your Christmas Day posts, filled with pictures of dinners, trees, presents and merriment.

And to those of you who are not looking forward to Christmas, for reasons personal to you. I hope that you get through the day with the support of your friends or family and that next year the festive season is a more joyful time for you.

Until boxing day and with much love,

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Mac- Cremesheen Lipstick- Creme Cup

M.A.C Cremesheen Lipstick in Creme Cup- £14.00

Say Hola to my new favourite lip shade, M.A.C lipsticks are a massive hit in the beauty blogging world and a massive bit in my makeup bag as well. I was on the search for a new neutral colour as my eye makeup has become more expressive recently so I felt that it needed a balance out. As a general rule of thumb I stick to coral shades (my favourite coral being Over-Illamasqua) so I did feel quite brave going for such a pastel barbie esque pink. However this is a welcome edition to my collection as is actually very pale when applied. I feel that the neutral effect is acheived without getting the dreaded foundation lips effect.

Cremesheen is the type of finish of the lipstick. M.A.C are very good at defining their finishes, something which I appreciate as sometimes it can be a minefield to find what you want. Cremesheen is particularly creamy with a slight gloss to it. It feels nourishing on your lips yet feels light on application. It is not sticky yet it still shines. I find that it doesn't last too long- maybe half an hour, an hour tops. But due to the texture, it doesn't sink in and leave the colour on dry areas.

In my opinion this is a perfect balance of colour and texture to create a very wearable day lipstick and I will definitely be reaching for it on a regular basis.

Pick up your own Creme Cup from the M.A.C website

Thursday, 20 December 2012

YSL-Luxurious Mascara Set

False Lash Effect Mascara and Top Secret Eye Makeup Remover- £23.

I picked up this luxury mascara set containing the above items in debenhams as they had a deal on with beauty points. After my Urban Decay- Supercurl had ran out I thought that another mascara wouldn't hurt to own and 1000 beauty points really sweetened the deal.

I have included before and after pictures (apologies for lighting!) which shows that it really does build up alot of volume and length- I'm impressed with the outcome and I am happy that my lashes are fanned out not clogged. The brush is made with the 'hairy' style bristles, yet they are very short and stumpy which I think makes it apply evenly and thickly. £23 may be a little steep to spend on a mascara but if you are going to invest in a high end mascara- invest in this one.

Top Secret Eye Makeup Remover
I definitely wouldn't bother buying this product on it's own. It's slightly greasy, stings my eyes and doesn't remove makeup with ease. I found that I was sweeping over my eye about 10-15 times before the makeup was removed and as a result my eyes have felt quite sore. In my opinion it is not worth the money and I am glad that I received it as a free gift with the more impressive mascara.

All in all, this is a nice little gift set and a brilliant present to get for someone who is in to high end beauty, or as I have- a treat for someone in need of a mascara that works!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream first entered my radar when I was about 10. I used to love to read the books from the 'teenagers only' section. One of them was about a new york socialite who had moved to L.A. I remember she offered a girl her tube of Eight Hour Cream because it fixed everything. This 'fixing anything' knowledge has stayed with me since this long ago vague memory from a novel & I have always had this miracle style opinion of the product. 

Despite having very good faith on the validity of this wonder product, I only bought it last week. After perusing trying to find a christmas present for my step mum, I came across a duo pack for 12.75. It seemed like a really good deal, but on closer inspection you are paying the same price per ml as you would buying the full sized product. However having two small bottles is useful as one can live in my bag and one can live with my other beauty products at home. 

Onto the product itself, firstly... It isn't a cream!! This literally blew my mind as I had such a strong impression of it in my mind from a young age. It is actually quite waxy and similar in texture to vaseline. On inspection of the ingredients this is mainly as it is made using petrolatum aka.. vaseline. It has a much thinner consistency though and a much nicer smell. The product doesn't quite sink into the skin and forms more of a barrier that a moisturiser yet it doesn't completely sit on top of the skin either. 

It can pretty much be used anywhere where a little love is needed, i've used it on my hands after dog walking, on blisters, on a burn on my finger, on sore lips and nose. Everytime the area has felt instantly nourised and soothed. I have also been using it on my face before applying makeup- This works for me as I have very dry skin on my cheeks but would probably be a bit too heavy for someone with normal or oily skin. 

So is it worth the hype? I'd say so. This isn't some instant wonder product that we all love for a few months and then move on. This has been a staple of skin care since 1930. It's longevity is a testiment to it's quality and I hope that this will become my winter skin saver. If your skin suffers during the cold months I would definitely recommend it to you too. 

From here on out, I will be the girl handing out Eight Hour Cream as a 'fixes everything' cure to other girls in the bathroom, as a fictional character did all those years ago. 

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Quick Update

YSL Haul. Wintery mornings. Gorgeous smelling candle.
Posing with my girl Bella. New lippy- Creme Cup by M.A.C. Cosy evenings in bed.
Oh christmas tree, Oh christmas tree. Paris Palette- Nars. Job offer letter. 

What to say about life recently? 

This year the phrase 'it's always darkest before the dawn' really seems to be applying itself. I've gone through these awful patches to come out to glorious opportunities and events. The pattern is exhausting, but this time it feels different. I think that I may be ready to move into the next phase of life. 

So firstly i'll skim over the rubbish parts, work has just completely taken over and I was getting myself overly worked up and stressed about the amount that I had to do. Long story short I just felt like I wasn't able to do the job- now I think that there is only so much that one person can do. 

My contract was sharply coming to an end and I wasn't sure if it would be extended. I didn't know if I wanted it to be extended. Then a job came up in a different department and I just thought that perhaps it would be a good idea to see if I was able to get it. 

Well I did. I have a lovely shiny new job waiting for me in the new year and on the 8th of December I will still be a member of staff at the University but in a completely different role and that is beyond exciting. Was it tacky to post a picture of my salary? Perhaps. But the idea of having a permenant job on a good salary is exhilarating. 

I've come a really long way since I slaved over a coffee machine all day. Since my legs used to burn from standing up all day. That was only six months ago so god only knows where I will be in another six months and what life has in store for me.... I look forward to seeing what happens. 


Sunday, 9 December 2012

Dating is for losers.

Source: Tumblr

So I've been single for quite a while now.. er, six months? maybe a bit longer? I don't know, I can't really remember. I feel quite bad now for not actually being able to work it out- I promise it was a big deal at the time. I've somehow gotten off track really quickly, damn.

So I've been single for six (?!) months and during that time I have been dating and doing that whole scene and let me tell you,  the one thing that I have realised is that it is disgustingly boring. I have sat at tables with a whole host of idiots trying to impress me over a whole load of stuff: 'I have a problem with present buying, I just love buying girls presents my girlfriends always get so spoilt', 'So I said to him... I'm the decision maker and he is the assistant and he needs to remember that' or the classic 'my problem is that I always care too much. I always put others before me. It's my only flaw'. Oh really?! So if I dated that guy (yes it was all the same guy, I spent the whole meal sat in stunned silence over the size of his ego) I would not be drowning in gifts, unable to think for myself and mopping up the poor sods tears as he cried over everyones misfortune?! No, I let the generous fool pay for dinner and then I high tailed it home to eat a bar of dairy milk and watch gossip girl.

It is awkward being asked out. The bloke doesnt want to seem too keen, i'm assuming in case he gets rejected? so instead of the straight to the point: 'would you like to go on a date?' you end up with the cringe enducing: 'so, er, what you doing this week? we could hang out... maybe? as friends... er, or not. Er... whatever really'. Get to the point man because honestly, if i'm not interested I wouldn't say yes to the second option either. If you agree to the date you have to make the awkward arrangements, who picks who up? do you meet there? Personally I resent the man assuming he will drive. I like driving: give me the option to impress you with my hill starts. Then you have to sit there, staring at this person who ultimately just wants to get in your knickers and make discussion about childhood pets and future ambitions. You know that both of you are thinking the same things: who will offer to pay and who will try and slip the tounge in first. Trust me, you need make me laugh and not act like a complete tool if you expect me to do either.

You may be sitting there thinking 'well love you could ask them out on a date and you could make the effort to strike up a good conversation'. Yes, you're quite right, I really could and I can tell you know I could do a hell of alot better than the present smothering boy. My problem is that I'm not really looking for a relationship or a hook up or anything really. So why am I dating? It would be great to be swept off my feet in happily ever after... but I am not just looking for some idiot to step in and make me 'happy'. Independent woman rant aside, If you aren't my ideal of perfect (tall dark and fit, with a hint of stubble and able to pull off moody.. without being a misery, in leather) then I just don't want to know. I'm probably asking too much, maybe if he just manages to not fondle his balls every ten minutes I should be happy?

But honestly, one more shitty date and I promise that I will be fully off the scene and happily curled up in the arms of my pillow boyfriend, resigned never to have sex again.

I may have to leave dating to the professionals... what is a girl to do to find a decent man around here?

Saturday, 1 December 2012

I'm dreaming of America.

Of beautiful skylines
Seasons that aren't just grey and drizzle
Excitement at the holidays
Chatting to strangers in the street
Cook outs at the neighbours
Discovering state parks
Arriving in new cities with no idea what to do,
Cocktails at Applebees
Pool parties
The smog of New York 
Chilling in Central Park 
Crowded dirty subways 
The fresh air in Chicago 
The humitity of Florida
Magnolia Bakery 

Right now I don't know what to do. Running away to America was always the easy option seeing as my Dad was there but not it isn't quite so easy and I don't know if a crappy month is enough to pack in everything and run back to a place where I hold such amazing memories. It's not going to solve all my problems and it isn't the grown up or the sensible response and maybe if I hadn't run away so many times before and actually faced bad times then I may actually enjoy what I have going on currently.Except I love America and I have never regretted a trip there before- there is so much I want to see and I don't want to waste time here when I could be enjoying myself there. I have more than enough saved and I know exactly who I could stay with until I am sorted. I have some serious thinking to do.

Has running away ever working for you?