Monday, 21 July 2014

Stress-free Summer Days

Summer has graced Scotland with its presence - it's about bloody time - and with some time off work to relax and recuperate after Nepal, I am making the most of it. I already have sunburn on my legs after sitting outside for just a couple of hours today. That's how you know it's good weather in Scotland - you rarely get the chance to burn. We are usually blue from the cold, never mind sweating in the sun. 

The majority of today was spent in the garden reading Anne Frank's Diary which I am loving. I wish I had started reading it sooner! I have to keep reminding myself that it is a true story and the events of the book really did happen to this innocent little girl. It makes it a really interesting read. I can't even begin to imagine being in her shoes. Then I went for a little countryside walk with my mum and dad along the outskirts of my small, seaside town, which you can see from the pictures above. Sometimes I really do love living here, it's stunning when the sun comes out and the sky is clear. My dad went for a swim in the river, crazy guy that he is, and squealed like a girl the whole time because of how cold the water was. Some things never change, even when it is sweltering outside. 

How have you been spending your summer?

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Ombre Shellac Nails

I'm back! As you know, I have been off on an adventure in Nepal for the past three weeks and let me tell you, it was the best three weeks of my life. Hold tight, there are several hundred photos and stories to come your way soon.

As a little treat to myself for all the hard work I did over there, I decided I would go and get my nails done in a pretty summery colour. For someone who isn't meant to have their nails painted for work at all (I work in a restaurant), I certainly went all out with the colour scheme. It's shellac so they can't make me take it off, or at least that's what I'm hoping. I went with the idea of just getting a pretty pink or something and then I saw this on the nail wheel and it instantly caught my eye. There was so many colours to choose from but this one was the first I spotted because it stands out so much. Instead of nail polish the girl used a kind of powder over the CND Shellac base coat, applied using what looked like a paint brush, and then blended the two colours together with the top coat. I really love the effect it gives and it's a nice change from just having one colour all over. These photographs don't quite show the intensity of the colours. They are properly neon. I absolutely adore them. The colours are both so bright which makes the blending between them quite subtle. They are anything but subtle in terms of colour but they blend together nicely. From a distance they are just a super bright orangey-pink. I wish you could all see them to the full extent but that will have to do. I tried my best.

If you haven't had shellac before, or any other type of gel nail polish that requires a UV light to set it, I highly recommend that you try it out. It lasts so much longer than regular nail polish - roughly 2 to 3 weeks - and doesn't fade or chip either. It is expensive but it's so worth it. Plus it's always nice to get your nails done for you for a change rather than doing it yourself.

What do you think of my ombre nails?

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Bookworm #3: Paper Towns by John Green

After reading the phenomenon that is The Fault in Our Stars (all hail John Green), I was quick to buy another one of his novels. I chose Paper Towns because I thought it sounded different and interesting and not something I would usually read. I'm not usually a fan of books narrated by boys and much prefer a female main character. Maybe I am just a feminist at heart. 

Quentin has always loved Margo Roth Spiegelman, for Margo (and her adventures) are the stuff of legend at their high school. So when she one day climbs through his window and summons him on an all-night road trip of revenge he cannot help but follow.
But the next day Margo doesn't come to school and a week later she is still missing. Q soon learns that there are clues in her disappearance . . . and they are for him. But as he gets deeper into the mystery - culminating in another awesome road trip across America - he becomes less sure of who and what he is looking for.

I have to admit, I found this book a lot more difficult to get into than TFIOS. It has a sort of slow start, and for that reason it took me two tries to actually read this book. Once I started again from the beginning for the second time, I decided to stick it out and see where it goes and the storyline did pick up considerably. It got more exciting and became one of those books that you don't want to put down. It made me late for work a few times more than it should have. Despite my distate of male narrators, I found Q a very relateable character that had me cringing and laughing along with him. That is something that every write aspires to achieve with his readers so hats off to Mr Green once again.

'Paper Towns' follows Q with his quest to find the missing Margo who he is pretty much obsessed with, but in a nice, cute way. I didn't care much for the character of Margo Roth Spiegelman though, she is sort of bitchy and annoying. Maybe it's a good thing the story isn't told from her point of view. That aside, I did get to really like this book and would highly recommend it to all TFIOS fans who have yet to branch out into Green's other novels. Another thing I didn't like about this book is it has kind of a disappointing ending. The whole story builds and builds up to this climax and then it just sort of ends there. If you've read it, don't ruin the ending in the comments in case someone is planning on reading it. Don't get me wrong, I do love the book, but I can think of better ways for it to end.

Despite the things that I don't love quite so much about this book, it is a really good read and I thoroughly enjoyed the majority of it. It doesn't quite live up to The Fault in Our Stars though... Does anything?

Monday, 14 July 2014

Soap & Glory Smoulder Kohls

I'm not really a big eyeliner person and it is very rare that I actually wear it, but I do like to make an effort for special occasions and parties and that's when it does come in handy. The Soap & Glory Smoulder Kohls are perfect for events and exciting days out because they come in so many different colours so you can match them to any outfit. That being said, there only seems to be two shades online so maybe have a look in your local Boots for the other ones.

These eyeliners are super easy to blend across your eyelid for a smoky look which I love. They are also pretty soft so it doesn't tug at your skin and make your eyes feel sensitive and red. They can also be worn on the waterline but I find the staying power isn't quite as fabulous when you do so. It is still a very nice look though, albeit not one that I wear often as I feel wearing any colour of eyeliner on my eyes makes them look teeny tiny and frankly a bit weird. 

My favourite is the purple shade. It makes such a change from wearing the usual black or brown and it really makes your eyes 'pop', for lack of a better word. Not meaning to blow my own trumpet or anything but it looks quite nice with my hazel eyes and really brings out the green in them. I draw a little bit along my eyelid near my lashline and smudge it out slightly, then add lashings of mascara and voila! A perfect night out look. 

These eyeliners retail for £5 each in Boots.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Book Haul

Books have a very special place in my heart and although I do love my Kindle, it isn't the same as reading a good old paperback. I treated myself to a couple of new ones, partly because I wanted to read them and partly to pick two books to do my Advanced Higher English dissertation on. I am thinking of doing To Kill A Mockingbird and The Secret Life of Bees because they both fall under the categories of racism and coming of age so they will probably be quite good to do.

I actually read To Kill A Mockingbird a year or two ago and I really enjoyed it so I bought my own copy to read the story again. It's a classic and it really is one of those books that everyone should read at some point in their life. So is The Catcher In The Rye, another possibility for my English dissertation. It is a coming of age novel so I could swap one of the other books for this if I prefer it. I'm only about 60 pages into it so far but I already really like it. The Secret Life of Bees sounds really interesting. It's about a young girl called Lily who thinks she shot and killed her mother when she was four. She befriends the black servant, Rosaleen, who is arrested and beaten one afternoon so Lily fights back. Then she meets three bee-keeping sisters who take her in and she learns the truth about her mother, whatever that truth is. I'm really looking forward to reading this as it isn't something I usually go for. I tend to pick up the easy-reads that have a soppy love story and maybe a little love triangle, there's a dramatic twist and then it is happily every after so it will be good to have a change.

Anf then finally, I chose Severed Heads, Broken Hearts (known as The Beginning of Everything in the US) which is about popular-boy Ezra who is involved in an accident and dropped from his social group. There's a love story in there (of course) but it sounds pretty amazing. Plus Ingrid from missglamorazzi instagrammed a picture of it a while ago saying she loved it. Need I say more?

Any book recommendations for me?

Saturday, 5 July 2014

L'Oreal Lumi Magique Pure Light Primer Review

Primers are such a fantastic invention. Seriously, who came up with the idea? I have been a lover of the Benefit POREfessional for a while now and I still do worship it but this little beauty brings something else entirely to the table. They are so different but equally as great that sometimes I use them both together for an even better base.

The L'Oreal Lumi Magique Primer is not something which I expected to like very much. I have quite oily skin so a light reflecting cream isn't usually top of my list. I was pleasantly surprised when I tried this out because it not only gives a healthy glow to my skin but it doesn't increase the oiliness. You get that nice shine, not the gross kind. You can see in the bottom picture there that it isn't shimmery but it does brings a great deal of light to your face, waking it up after a long night out on the town (or, in my case, a late night of school work because I left it all to the last minute). I quite like to use the POREfessional first to smooth out my skin and then this to brighten it up and that seems to work really well. Together they help my foundation to stay on my face a lot longer and keep it looking fresh. It doesn't make a huge difference on the staying power when used alone so if that's what you are looking for then maybe this isn't for you. It isn't really about the length of time my foundation lasts with this that makes me love it so much, it's the finish that I get on my foundation.

I actually also use this as a highlighter sometimes after applying my foundation instead of an all-over base. Placing it on the high points of the face, such as the cheekbones and browbones, gives a really nice effect and is a little less subtle than wearing it below. You don't need a lot of it because it blends out really well because of the runny texture that it is, which is just as well because it's £9.99 for 20ml. I think it will last a while though because you can use it sparingly, especially if you use it as a highlighter or don't use it all over your entire face.

In case you didn't pick this up from everything I just said, this is a damn good primer that I highly recommend.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The Signature Summer Scent

By the time you read this, I will be in Nepal!! I'm doing some trekking in the Himalayas and charity work in schools so just be patient for a couple of weeks and then you can see the many many photos that I have taken. Don't worry, I'll be back on the 17th of July!

There is one perfume that I wear all summer long and is without a doubt my signature scent, and it is the Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh. I bought it a good while ago and it is still going strong, despite the amount of times it has been sprayed. It is the epitome of sweet, floral fragrances and is right up my street. The bottle is one of the prettiest perfume bottles I have ever seen (as are all Marc Jacobs perfume bottles) with the pastel coloured flowers on the cap. My friends even say they know it is me if I come up behind them because they can smell the perfume! Now is that a signature scent or what.

This is version 2 of the Daisy collection and is a step up from the original in my opinion. It's sweeter than the first which I prefer, but if you are a fan of the first you will probably like this too. They are similar, but there are enough differences between them to warrant owning both. At £43.33 (the price in Debenhams at the time of writing this post) it is quite an expensive perfume but for something that lasts on your skin for practically the whole day and makes you smell simply divine, it is worth every penny.