Bargain New Brushes

Tuesday, 22 July 2014
Makeup Brushes - Wilkos

I've become a tad obsessed with buying brushes of late, particularly those of the bargainous variety. I think when it comes to makeup, you can never have too many brushes, and so I've been slowly but surely adding more and more to my collection. Whilst I was pretty happy with the size of my brush selection, when I wandered into Wilkos the other day I was met with a brand spanking array of amazing beauty products, brushes, and accessories, and as you can probably tell, the rest is history. 

I know what you're thinking - Wilkos? Really!? Whilst Wilkos is probably my shop of choice for cheap  beauty bits and pieces like emergency face wipes (eek) shower gel, and bobbi pins, it definitely isn't the first place I'd think of for makeup brushes. Until now, that is. 

It would appear Wilkos has caught on to the fact that us ladies love us some beauty bumf, and have decided to go all-out in the beauty department, introducing makeup brands, as well as their own branded makeup accessories. The brushes were the things that first caught my eye - the quirky packaging and the touch of pink appealed to me immediately, and when I read that the brushes were 100% synthetic I was sold. To add to that, they were all ridiculously cheap. I got myself a blush brush for £2, an eye makeup brush for £1, an eyeliner brush for £1 and a retractable kabuki for £3 (which is now reduced to £2, typical). If you're not a fan of the pink, they also do each brush in a blue colour too, with different designs. 

I've been using these brushes for about a week now and I'm really impressed. The hair is super soft and each of the brushes do their job really well. I would definitely recommend the brushes, and think they're the ideal selection for those just starting out in makeup, especially considering how cheap they are. If you don't think these brushes look right for you, they also have a selection of 'premium' brushes, which look strikingly similar to the Real Techniques brushes, and are all also made from synthetic hair. I really wanted to buy a selection of them to show you guys but I decided to refrain (for once) and settled for the cheaper alternatives. However, if you do want to have a look they have the full beauty range online, premium brushes included. They range from around £3-£4 a brush, which is still ridiculously cheap, and after giving them a stroke in the shop I can confirm they were also seriously soft! 

Will you be heading down to Wilkos for a look at their new beauty bits? I'm so impressed with these brushes! 

Current Coffee Table Reads

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

I love reading. Always have, always will. I'm a big fan of fiction and getting my head stuck in a book is what I enjoy best, but lately I've been thinking more about the 'big books' out there. When I (eventually) get my own place, I envisage having a selection of 'coffee table books' on display for guests to peruse over a cup of tea and a natter (let's face it, I just want them to look pretty), so I thought I'd take a look through some of my favourite coffee table reads currently in my collection.

Well, I wouldn't be much of a beauty blogger without including this baby, right? I think almost every blogger on the block has this bad boy, and it's easy to see why. Bobbi Brown's Makeup Manual is packed full of useful tips, guides and advice on perfecting your makeup application skills. Some of the stuff in there is pretty basic, but I still think anyone interested in makeup will get a lot out of this book. The imagery is great and it goes into detail about different techniques, as well as special pages looking at different occasion makeup, makeup for different races etc. I really love digging this one out every now and again, especially if I'm feeling a bit uninspired by my makeup. 

I bought this book years ago primarily because I was lusting after a career as a fashion journalist (still am, but beauty this time please) and I knew it had a few useful bits of information in there. It's a really good book to have on hand if you're interested in a career in fashion, as it goes through several different career options and has interviews with the people currently in those careers. I obviously found the journalism section the most interesting, but it'd be a great book if you're thinking about going into designing, styling or even modelling. There is also a fab interview with Anna Wintour in there - always worth a read if you're a fan of Vogue! One thing to keep in mind - I bought this way back in 2010 so it's a bit dated if you want something right up to speed. Still a good read however! 

Probably the most recent 'fashionable' book to have sitting on your coffee table, Alexa Chung's 'IT' just had to come into my list of current coffee table reads. Why? Because I think it epitomises the idea of a coffee table read - pretty pictures, but not a lot else going on in there. It's great for a flick through and if you're a fan of Alexa it's an interesting memoir, but definitely not something I'd recommend if you're looking for a book with substance. For a full review check out my post here

A fan of Lush Cosmetics? Then this book is definitely worth a peruse. It's basically a book all about the company that came before Lush Cosmetics - Cosmetics To Go. It talks through the company's beginnings, products, and ultimately problems, so it's a really interesting read from both a business perspective as well as a fan of Lush/beauty products in general. Plus, it's full of pretty pictures. 

The fifth and final book in my list of current coffee table reads is a total stunner of a book, entitled 'Coming Into Fashion'. It's a must for fashion photography fans, as it's basically a collection of beautiful images from Conde Nast publications over the past one hundred years. There are big names in there like Guy Bourdin and Mario Testino, so if you're embarking on a career in fashion photography (or studying it at college) it's definitely a good one to have. It's quite a pricey read at over a whopping £40 however! 

Do you have a selection of big books sitting on your coffee table? I'd love to hear your recommendations! 

Why Being Little Was the Best

Tuesday, 15 July 2014
Me (left) and my sister (right) being little and happy

I reminisce about my childhood all the time. As you probably gathered from this post, I'm currently finding the transition into 'grown-up-hood' a tad difficult. As much as I love the freedom and independence being older has given me, there are days when I just wish I could revert back to being a little kid again.

I don't like to brag, but I honestly believe I had an amazing childhood. My childhood was definitely the happiest time of my life (thus far). I was always such a happy-go-lucky kid - from being a little toddler eating Milky Bar Buttons in my dungarees, to a few years later, staring up at my 'happy place' (the castle in Disneyland) on my 4th birthday, to simple things like chasing my cats around the house, collecting Lion King magazines and watching 'Hook' on sick days with buttery toast and a duvet on the sofa. 

Whenever I look back on my childhood, it's always the simple things I remember. Why? Because everything was simpler back then. I literally have no recollection of anything complex, anything negative - just a load of happy memories of me and my sister giggling in the garden, playing dress-up and singing The Spice Girls. Every day was an adventure, and every night ended with me being tucked up in bed, safe and sound. I didn't worry about what tomorrow would bring, I didn't feel frightened about what the future would hold. I was going to become a vet, a writer or an artist, and so that was that. I didn't have to worry about making big decisions - the biggest decisions I would face would be things like which Disney video to watch, or which toy to take to playgroup. Life was easy. And I revelled in it. 

Needless to say, now things are different. Me and my overactive, over-thinking mind mean that I worry a lot, I obsess over the future and I rarely feel as 'free' as I did as a child. We live in a society obsessed with technology and social media, and I definitely think that has a part to play in our generation's depression. When I was little I couldn't care less what the girl down the road was doing, or if she had a better toy than me - I was happy with what I had, and it was as simple as that. Now we are always striving to do better than the 'other' person, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but when jealousy comes into play everyone ends up losing out. I get frightened about the fact I have to survive on my own two feet now - as we get older the 'little things' stop mattering so much, and we begin to be overcome with fears about bills, mortgages and rent payments. I'm aware my mum and dad probably had all these things to compete against, but as a child I was never once made aware of it. I'm very thankful for that. 

Sometimes I think it's healthy to try and go back to the childlike way of thinking. I think it's good to have days when you purposely 'forget' about all the stresses and strains of life, and just exist freely. When I went to the Lake District (see my post here) a while ago I felt like that, and I'm going to make a conscience effort to do more things that make me forget my problems and instead just enjoy the thrill of the adventure. Simple things like ditching my phone and taking a walk in the park with my boyfriend, buying an ice cream and soaking up the sun. Having a duvet day and building a den with fairy lights, watching Disney films until our eyes can no longer stay open. Blowing up the paddling pool in the garden and pretending to be a mermaid for the day. Baking a rainbow cake, licking the bowl clean and not worrying about how much mess it'll make. No matter how old you are, I think taking on the 'carefree' mindset of a child is sometimes the best thing you can do to keep yourself going. I want to try and devote my weekends to doing things like this, to take a break from 'real life' and just enjoy the little things in life. 

Do you miss being little? Let me know if you have/are planning on having days where nothing else but having fun matters.

Neon Love

Monday, 14 July 2014
Playsuit*: Stylist Pick
Sunglasses*: Claire's Accessories
Necklace: H&M
Sandals: River Island 

I don't usually like doing two outfit posts in a row but I have so many outfits to show you lately that I thought I better! Plus, the weather has been gorgeous today and I think this outfit is definitely fitting for it. 

I was sent this playsuit a while ago and have loved it ever since. Whilst I'm not usually that big on neons (you all know I'm a pastel girl at heart) I can't help but love them when summer comes around, especially considering how well they show off a tan. I'm loving neon florals at the minute and this playsuit is a perfect example of why. I thought I'd pair it with my cute embellished sandals from River Island a few years ago, my neon orange statement necklace from H&M and my uh-mazing new sunglasses from Claire's Accessories. I wasn't keen on them at first but I'm totally in love with them now! 

I hope everyone has been enjoying the sunshine today - are you loving neons in this weather? 

Born to Blossom

Thursday, 10 July 2014
 Dress*: Whistle & Wolf
Shoes: Office
Bracelet*: Popbasic
Ring: H&M

Okay, so the weather today doesn't exactly coincide with this outfit well, but we can all hope things will brighten up, right? I was sent this dress from Whistle & Wolf a while ago and I've been in love with it ever since. From the gorgeous print, the mix of colours, to the cuter-than-cute collar, it has everything I could want and more from a dress. It even has pockets! I mean, come on. 

I thought I'd keep it simple and pair it with my pink heels from Office and my cute knot bracelet from Popbasic. I think it's a beautiful outfit that is ideal for a summer night out or wedding. I just need a few more occasions to wear it to! 

What do you think to my dress from Whistle & Wolf? 

Indeed Facial Powdered Exfoliator Review

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

If you're an exfoliator fanatic like myself, you'll definitely be excited to hear about the new age of 'powder exfoliators'. Instead of whacking these on your face and being good-to-go, these powder alternatives need to be mixed with water to create an all-new exfoliating product, that can be tailored however you like it. I was sent Indeed's Facial Powdered Exfoliator to test a while ago, and after using it religiously for the past few weeks, I thought it was time I shared my thoughts with you guys.

Packed with an array of skin-loving ingredients, including bamboo extract, rice bran powder, hyaluronic acid and pineapple enzymes, Indeed's Facial Powdered Exfoliator works amazingly well at polishing the skin, leaving it looking and feeling great. I've tried a lot of exfoliators in my time, and this is by far the best one when it comes to giving your skin that super-smooth feeling. My skin feels so incredibly soft and refined once I've used this, and over time it has definitely helped to improve my skin's texture. I love that you can change up how thick you want the consistency to be (depending on how much water you add), and it doesn't really have a specific smell which is nice if you're not a fan of strong-smelling products. 

The only negative I have with this product is I'm never too sure if I'm using the right amount of powder - it says to dispense 'two shakes' which doesn't really give me much of an idea considering one shake could technically dispense the entire contents. I think it depends how much product you want to use so I've gotten over the 'two shakes' debacle and just settled to pour a small handful out. 

Overall I really love this product, and whilst I'm not sure it's the best exfoliator I've ever tried, it is definitely up there with my top five. 

What are your thoughts on powder exfoliators? Have you tried Indeed's offering?