Friday, 30 May 2014

My Morning Skincare Routine

I am a strong believer in having a good skincare routine in order to achieve a good base for your makeup and to leave you looking your best at all times. Since my acne cleared up through taking Roaccutane, I have been taking extra care of my skin to ensure it stays blemish free, and so far so good. I am really happy with how my skin looks right now after years of suffering from pretty bad acne. Nowadays, I barely even have any scars! I try my very best to stick to my skincare routine and manage it 99.9% of the time but obviously, there are some days when you just can't be bothered or aren't able to do it. I always make sure I give my face a good wash in the morning though to get rid of the nastiness that has built up overnight. My morning routine is pretty simple and only consists of a couple of products.
This is the very first thing I put on my skin in the morning. I find that this face scrub is light enough for using every day but it still manages to brighten up my face and prepare me for the day. I don't feel properly awake until I have given my face a good scrub with this! It's also not overly scented which means that it would be suitable for quite a lot of skin types including sensitive. It takes away the excess oil which has built up on my face overnight and gives me a perfect blank canvas ready for makeup. I'm not sure how this would fair on dry skin because it's not something I really have so you may need to look in to that if you are thinking of trying it. Elemis is a fantastic brand which has amazing quality products and as the FreshSkin range is designed specially for younger people, it is slightly more inexpensive too even though it harbours the same quality. 
This non-drying toner works like a dream to further freshen up my face in the morning. The floral scent is heavenly and makes me feel very relaxed, although that is maybe not what I should be trying to achieve when I am up and awake at an ungodly hour getting ready for school! This is so soothing on the skin and just feels nice. It is very gentle and although it is scented, I think it would still work for many sensitive skins because of the natural ingredients.
As you can tell, I am all about injecting some life into my face in the morning to try and make it look like I actually got a good night's sleep when in reality I stayed up far too late reading my new book or planning blog posts. I wrote a full review on this here but just to sum it up quickly, this is a lifesaver for your face. Origins are right when they call it a 'shot of espresso for the skin'. And the smell... Oh, it is simply divine.

And that is pretty much it! I also slap on some lip balm usually if I can be bothered before applying any lipstick or lipgloss because I find it helps the overall look of it but I am constantly switching up which one I use and rarely use the same one two days in a row. There are so many that I like, it's too hard to choose just one! I am a fan of the Cherry Carmex though, it's fantastic. Stay tuned for my evening skincare routine which will be up in a few days time hopefully!

This is my 199th post, eeek! I can't believe I am almost at the 200 mark, it doesn't feel like I have wrote as many as that! I want to do something special and a little different for my 200th post, anything you would like to see?

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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Kate Moss for Topshop

Oh how I do love a good celeb/high street store collab. The ever-gorgeous Kate Moss has recently released her SS14 Topshop collection, filled with many festival-inspired pieces and pretty summer dresses. Being the style icon that she is, Topshop of course hiked up the prices because they think they are very clever that way and just know that us suckers can't resist the beautiful clothes and will buy them whatever the price. Well, they're right. There may be some strange pieces in the collection that, to be honest, I wouldn't be seen dead in. I just don't get the pyjamas-as-normal-clothes trend because frankly, I think it looks like you just couldn't be bothered getting changed that morning but hey ho.

If I was to pick just one thing from Kate's collection it would be the paisley print sundress (bottom row, in the middle). The price may be steep at £65 (that's a lot of hours as a low-paid part time waitress) but I know I would get a lot of wear of it if that thing called the sun - nope, never heard of it either - decided it fancied coming out to play sometime soon. How pretty would it look with a denim jacket and some tan wedges? I'm trying to justify the price here because I want to buy it so bad but I feel like it wouldn't be a wise choice considering my impending 17th birthday when I can legally drive and buy a car. Insurance will be sky high so a spending ban may be in order! I'll start it after I buy this dress...

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The Kimye Wedding

Ahhhh. Weddings are one of the many things that make me happy so a wedding in the Kardashian clan was sure to make me smile (or should I say 'klan', we all know of there penchant for that letter). I have been looking forward to the day ever since Kim's previous 72-day marriage ended. Surely she will last a little longer this time before scaring the poor man off with her love for booty-injecting procedures - no wayyyy was she born with that behind. Kim K's nuptials with the legendary Kanye (cue Kimye appreciation nods) have been long awaited, mainly to see what the lovely bride would wear. And boy did she shine.

Clad in a stunning Givenchy Haute Couture gown to match the custom Givenchy tux, the newlyweds look every bit the perfect couple. (Plus, is that little North hiding the background with Kris and Bruce? Cuuuute.) I definitely like the back of Kim's dress more than the front. Plus, fake or not, her bum looks good. The guy peeking in from the side of that photo annoys me though, don't you agree?! Her makeup is equally as beautiful, with her trademark full lashes and nude pout in tow.

Just look at the glow on her cheeks. And her glossy locks. So. Much. Jealousy. Wearing her hair down made the backless dress slightly more tasteful and not too revealing and completed the look perfectly. I can't fault one thing about this wedding. 

I even managed to find a picture of the seven-tier wedding cake that was brought out at the reception. Oh boy. I wonder how much of that they actually ate. Did the Kardashians even eat a mouthful of it? Maybe they let their strict diet go for the night since it was such a special occasion. 

My favourite photo ever (besides the very first one I showed in this post). The photobooth caused Instagram to be flourished with pictures of celebs posing for the camera but nothing beats this one from the newlyweds. 

With a star-studded guest list and Beyonce performing for them, this wedding was definitely the most highly anticipated since Wills and Kate. What do you think, did Kimye get it right?

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

May Birchbox: Harper's Bazaar Edition

After seeing how pretty the May birchbox was and the goodies that it contained, not to mention the £5 discount code I had come across, I couldn't resist signing up to receive one for myself. This is actually the first beauty box I have ever received and so far my experience has been very pleasant, to say the least. Although, if I am being totally honest, I'm not prepared to spend £10 a month plus £2.95 postage. A part-time waitress's wage just doesn't cover that along with all of my other beauty needs. The plan is to sign up when I see that there is a box that I really want to get my hands on and then cancel it again to save my pennies. Quite proud of myself for coming up with that idea! It's too much of a gamble to keep my subscription because some month's the box might not provide much to satisfy me and it would then have been a waste of money.

The May Birchbox is certainly a pretty one. How gorgeous is that print? I'm not sure why but I kind of expected the box to be bigger, I was quite surprised when I saw the size of it. I don't know what I was expecting because I was fully aware that is was full of sample sizes of products but for some reason I still expected something of a larger size. That said, I am still really happy with this box. You have probably already seen blog posts about this box but here I am, ready to give my tuppence worth. Not all boxes are identical, so take a look at the Birchbox shop here for all the products that were available.

This is my favourite cleanser of all time so I welcomed this dinky little travel size with open arms. This will be great for travelling and nights away from home because of it's size. This also comes with a small muslin cloth which is great because it is always useful to have some spares. I wrote a full review on this a loooong time ago which you can read here if you so wish.

This nail polish is basically summer in a bottle. I love wearing colours like this one on my nails at this time of year so I am really looking forward to trying this out. I will let you know what I think of it and show you how it looks on the nails some time soon!

There is no denying that this tube is so cute! This is another thing which would be great for travelling instead of bringing your normal sized mascara, or even for just carrying around in your handbag. I know that's what I will be doing with this. I'm always struggling for space in my bag because I lug around so much junk so extra space is always welcome. This is an amazing mascara which really lifts and lengthens your lashes, although the really wet formula can quite often make a mess on your eyelids if you're not careful.

According to the little leaflet, you can either add a capful of this to your bath or smooth over your body before showering. I tried the bath method and whilst this did leave my skin feeling silky smooth, it holds a significant resemblance to old lady perfume. At £39 for the full size, I highly doubt I will ever be purchasing this. 

This little shampoo and conditioner duo is a nice little addition to the box. I'm always up for trying new conditioners to try and tame the beast that is my hair so I am really looking forward to trying this out. I'll let you know what I think. I'm feeling optimistic though, the reviews on the website are all very positive!

So overall, I am so pleased with how this box turned out. Like I did before ordering this month's box, I will wait for the blog posts about the box for that month and then decide if I want it or not. Did you get the May Birchbox?

As you can see, I have also installed disqus comments for my blog. This is just a trial run to see how it goes, so let me know what you think! Do you prefer disqus to blogger? Is it loading ok for you? I am open to constructive criticism.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Embarrassing Old Facebook Photos

It's time for you all to have a chuckle at my own expense. We all have our fair share of embarrassing old photos that are still (unfortunately) available for all the see on the internet. I have more than my fair share. Luckily, I am prepared to embrace by unphotogenic face and showcase them on here, going from some of the oldest up until some more recent ones. Enjoy.

18 December 2009 - A fake lip ling from Claire's is a must when you go shopping with you friends, or did you not get that announcement?

20 March 2010 - Mirror selfie cos I am just too kl

31 March 2010 - There I am, in all my glory. Spectacles and all. I look so young here!

2 April 2010 - I remember this photo being taken, it's so hilarious. You can actually see my fear of being hit by the ball (if I remember correctly, I did not catch it). Also, this is the third picture in a row with the same headband, in case you hadn't noticed. I clearly thought it looked good on me.

2 August 2010 - Witch hat and fluffy gloves for some unknown reason. Nice tan though!

22 November 2010 - Caught mid sneeze or just very excited to see Ellie Goulding?

2 July 2011 - Remember the planking trend? Well this is planking Disneyland Paris style.

29 December 2011 - This is quite possibly the WORST photo of me, ever.

20 February 2012 - This was my profile picture for a while, although god knows why.

17 November 2013 - Clearly not enjoying my first tequila shot.

17 November 2013 - Spilling said tequila shot.

Amazingly, there has been no embarrassing Facebook photos this year. There's still time though...

I mentioned this in my last post but just in case you didn't see it, I am thinking of switching my comments over to disqus but I am still really undecided. Do you have disqus on your blog? What do you think of it? I've heard a few people say that it has caused an increase in the number of comments they receive. Also, is it simple to install? All advice is welcome!

Also, you may have noticed I have changed my header, AGAIN! I never seem to be happy with my blog design and so constantly changing it. I really need to find a design and layout that I like and just leave it alone! I have a few more changes that I would like to make, nothing major, and then hopefully I will be done for the time being. What do you think of my new header?

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Pretty Stationery

One of my favourite things to buy is stationery, especially pretty notebooks. I usually don't have a purpose for the notebook when I buy it and end up filling it with random crap just so I can use it but it's one of those things that I can't resist. Paperchase is amazing for stationary bits and bobs and their Glasgow store on Buchanan street is HEAVEN. I've picked out my favourite things from their website to show all of my fellow stationary geeks out there, so sit back and sigh with joy as you look at the pretty things.

1. Summer Odyssey airmail tall slim notebook | £3.00 - This is such a sweet little notebook and so cheap too! Perfect for carrying around in your bag for little notes and reminders because it is so thin.

2. Summer Odyssey A5 flexi linen | £10.00 - I adore the print on this! I think I am going to have to order this one because it is just so lovely. I really like notebooks that don't have a stiff cover or spine so this was already right up my street before you even take into account how gorgeous it is.

3. Zanzibar pen pot trio | £8.00 - These would look really nice sitting on your desk with pretty pens and pencils in them, or even for your makeup brushes which is probably what I would use them for.

4. Summersville magnetic list pad | £5.00 - I am a major list person and love to have everything I need to do jotted down so I can tick it off when the task is complete. This one is especially useful because it has a magnetic back meaning you can stick it on to your fridge (or the side of your microwave like I do!) where it can be easily seen.

5. Taking Tea metal magazine file | £15.00 - This is another thing that I may just need to order. It would go perfect with the style of my room. I always have notebooks and magazines just dotted about my room so this would be good to tidy things up a bit and keep my surface clutter free (a rare occasion at the moment).

6. Lami Safari neon coral fountain pen | £16.00 - Nothing writes better than a good foundation pen. I like writing cards and things with fountain pens just for an extra touch because it looks so much nice than a regular ball point. If you have ever used a fountain pen you will also be aware of how nice it feels to write with because of how smooth it is. Writing has never been more enjoyable.

I have a feeling that this post was a bad choice for me because now I want to spend loads on stationary! If you are ordering from Paperchase, make sure you go through TopCashback as you will get 8.4% of your money back! My favourites are definitely number 2 and number 5. What's your favourite?

Also, I am thinking of switching to disqus for my comments but I'm not sure. What do you think? Do you use disqus instead of the normal blogger comment form? I've heard a few people say that they have noticed an increase in the number of comments since switching over, plus you are notified if someone replies. I never used to be a fan but now I'm on the fence!

Fun fact: I scratched my eyeball whilst typing this post a couple of days ago and spent 26 hours with a watery eye. Yep, a whole 26 hours and my eye refused to stop watering. 

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Exam Survival Guide

I am sure we are all well aware of how stressful exam time is when it rolls around. Motivation can be difficult (see Study Tips for the Procrastinator), but mental exhaustion can also play a part in leading to high-stress levels. Therefore, I bring you my exam survival guide to ensure you (hopefully) sail through without the dreaded stress spots and migraines.

1 // Get comfortable
You need to be comfortable when you are studying or you won't be able to focus as much. Comfy clothes and a comfy place to sit is a MUST. You know what that means? It's time for a PJ day.

2 // Snacks, snacks and more snacks
Food is fuel for the brain and will allow you to focus better. Have a break every so often and go and grab yourself a healthy (or unhealthy, it's up to you) snack to keep you going. You don't take information in as easily when you are hungry so get eating - your exam results will thank you (although maybe not your stomach or thighs).

3 // Drink plenty of water
Similar to eating plenty, you also need to keep yourself hydrated. Ditch the fizzy drinks which give you a sugar rush and hinder your studying and instead reach for the water. It's also good to have a coffee every once in a while as long as it isn't too late on in the day which will keep you up all night.

4 // Have some down time
Nothing is better than letting your mind slow down and relax during a little break from your studying. Watch TV, flick through Instagram, do anything that takes your mind off studying for a while. You can't study all day as your brain simply can't retain that much information, meaning you can allow yourself about of me-time to do whatever you like. I recommend taking a nice bath and having a little pamper.

5 // Get a good night's sleep the night before your exam
You definitely don't want to be up late cramming the night before so that you are almost falling asleep whilst trying to sit the exam (been there, done that). I know it may be hard to pry yourself away from the books because you feel like you don't know everything but if you followed my study tips (link above) and you started early enough to fit everything in then you will be fine. I quite often feel like I don't know anything before I go into the exam hall but when you see the questions in front of you, the answer often comes to you. If not, write a sensible(ish) answer and you may be lucky and get it right (also been there, done that).

Good luck in your exams!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Bookworm #1: The Fault in Our Stars

I am a self-proclaimed bookworm. I have loved reading for as long as I can remember and own several hundred books which take pride of place in my bedroom, be it on the shelves of my enormous book case or on my Kindle which I love dearly. I know that blogging about books won't interest all of you as this is mainly a beauty blog but I have decided I want to branch out a bit and do some book reviews too. And so, the 'Bookworm' series is born.

"Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that had bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten."

The Fault in Our Stars is a beautiful novel by award-winning author John Green, telling the story of 16-year-old Hazel who meets fellow cancer patient Augustus Waters at a support group. I love the quote that is on the front of the book which is from another author called Jodi Picoult. She says The Fault in Our Stars is "filled with staccato bursts of humor and tragedy." Couldn't have said it better myself Jodi.

This book is tragic, beautiful, heart-breaking, unique, emotional and witty. Expect to shed a few (or maybe more than a few) tears as you read this book. I cried like a baby. If you are looking for a cheery, heart-warming story with a happy ending then steer clear of this but otherwise, I can't recommend this book enough. It doesn't matter if you are sixteen or sixty, I reckon you will fall in love with this. The movie version will be released in UK cinemas on June 20, although I doubt you will see me there because I am not prepared to blub in a room full of people. I think it would be a good idea to wait for the DVD, don't you?

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Blogging Tips: How to Remove White Space Between Images Using CSS

The pesky large gaps between images are the bane of many bloggers lives. I have tried for so long to remove these spaces because I think it gives a much more professional feel to my blog. It's the little changes that you add to your blog that improve the design and attract people in, and I believe this is one of them.

If you read my previous blogging tips post on how to centre post titles and dates, you will know that I made up my own CSS code and it worked (I was shocked too). Well, I did it again. A round of applause please. I decided I should share my newfound knowledge in the hope that it will help some of you. 

There is one issue - this CSS code didn't work for me when I had my post titles and dates centre-aligned. I don't know if it is just that these two codes don't work together (it seemed to be one or the other but put both in and only one would work) or if it is the theme that I have on my blog. It would be interesting to know if it works for you if you try both. Now, on to the tutorial. It is really really simple, you'll be glad to hear.

All you need to do to achieve this is follow these simple steps.

1. Go to your blog template a click 'customise'.
2. Click 'Advanced' and then 'Add CSS' which is right at the bottom of the list.
3. Past in the following code and hit enter.
     .post-body img {
     padding: 0 !important;
4. Save the settings and voila! It should be complete.

I cannot guarantee that this will work for everyone. I'm not entirely knowledgeable on CSS, I simply took inspiration from other CSS that I use on my blog and came up with this so I don't know if it is maybe the case that this code doesn't work in conjunction with some other ones. Let me know if this works for you though because that would make me very happy indeed.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Win My Summer Beauty Essentials | GIVEAWAY - CLOSED

Today is a momentous occasion - I am running my first giveaway. I have been wanting to do a giveaway for a while and decided to just bite the bullet and do it.

The prize:
Travel-size Soap & Glory 'The Righteous Butter'
Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in 'Huckleberry'
Collection Deluxe Lipstick in 'Talullah'

I own all of these items myself (although not that exact colour of nail polish - I have three other shades though so I can definitely vouch for the amazingness of it) and so you have the reassurance of the products being really good quality. I am so tempted to go out and buy the nail polish for myself, even though I am trying to limit my nail polish purchases because I have far too many. My favourite of the three is the lipstick. I have found myself reaching for this every day recently because it is such a pretty wearable shade. I would describe it as a subtle barbie pink - bright but not too bright that you couldn't get away with wearing it to work. As you can see, there is a small dent in the side of the lipstick which I never noticed until I had already bought it so I am sorry about that. Of course, the swatch above is from my own lipstick, not the one the winner will be receiving. All of these prizes are, of course, unopened and brand new.

I am so grateful for everyone that takes the time to read my blog - I don't know why you would want to read my rambles but I am glad you do! I feel it is about time that I gave something back to you all for reading, commenting and being generally nice. This giveaway is open to the UK only.

This giveaway will run for 3 weeks, finishing at 11:59PM on the 9th of June. The winner will have one week after being contacted by me to reply with their details or I will have to pick a new winner (I am going to Nepal and so can't give you any more time than that!). If the winner, who will be chosen at random, has false entries then I will announce a new one.

Enter using the rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway