Mini Haul

Hello internet!

So this week I popped into town and picked up a couple of things that I thought I could share with you all. It’s been a while since I’ve been shopping and since I last did a haul post so this was the perfect opportunity to do so. I went into quite a few clothes shops and ended up trying on quite a few things but it was one of those days where nothing really felt right. So in the end I went into Boots where they had a 3 for 2 in store offer and then I went into Accessorize afterwards.

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  1. Chantal Butterfly Wallet – Accessorize – £15.00

This was my final purchase of the day and I’d say that it was kind of a practical purchase. The reason that I was in town that day was because I’d been on a trip with my law class to the local courts and because of that I wanted to bring as little as I could. So, that day, I left the house with my phone and some money. It was kind of a bad idea in the end though (I blame having to get up extra early!) because when I bought lunch and then later bought my items from Boots, I had a load of change and notes rattling around in my pockets. Then I saw this purse in Accessorize and thought ‘Perfect, now I can put my money somewhere!’ and bought it. To be fair, I’d had my old purse for quite some time and therefore I deserved a new purse haha! It’s such a gorgeous purse and the inside has a really beautiful floral pattern on it – this was definitely my favourite purchase of the day.

   2. Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm – Boots – £2.99

The Baby Lips lip balms are my all time favourite lip balms and I’d honestly recommend them to anyone. I’ve just finished my Peach Kiss stick and so needed a new one. This one is Cherry Me and, like the others, smells DIVINE! I don’t know how they make them smell so good but it’s the ultimate bliss applying these balms. The Cherry Me stick has a very sheer shine to it and gives your lips a subtle hot pink glow, as well as being incredibly nourishing and hydrating on you lips at the same time!

   3. Maybelline Noite De Gal  Nail Polish – Boots – £3.99

So I’ve tried the 60 second nail polishes from Rimmel before and thought I’d give the 60 second nail polishes from Maybelline a try as well. This one is a very deep shade of purple and has a lovely glossy finish. I really didn’t need anymore nail polishes but I just couldn’t resist this one – especially because it was 3 for 2!

   4. Maybelline Black Magic Nail Polish – Boots – £3.99

To go with my Noite De Gal nail polish, I bought the Black Magic top coat as well. I’m kind of obsessed with all of the sparkly top coats that you can get at the moment and could spend absolutely ages inspecting each and every one. In the end I went for the Black Magic top coat because I thought it looked unique amongst the others and could work with so many different colours.

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Black Magic

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Noite De Gal

And there we have it – my little Maybelline/Accessorize haul! I hope you guys liked the things I got as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you. I really need to start doing hauls more often as they are definitely one of my personal favourite blog posts to read and make. Let me know what you’ve bought recently and I’ll speak to you all again next week.

Please feel free to leave any comments or questions. I’m always up for a chit-chat!

My Favourite Quotes

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Feeling unmotivated and uninspired is one of the worst feelings in the world. You might have a million things that need doing but if you aren’t feeling motivated, then none of those things are going to get done. I hate to say it but that’s how I’ve been feeling lately which is probably down to all of the stresses of school. And that’s why the other day I thought I’d have a look through a few quotes in order to get a bit more inspired. So that’s what I thought I’d share with you all today because, after all, everybody needs a little motivation every now and then!

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‘In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take’

‘Don’t look back, you’re not going that way’

‘Every cloud has a silver lining’

‘Some days you just have to create your own sunshine’

‘Never give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, you cannot go wrong’

‘Never blame any day in your life. Good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience and the worst days give you lessons’

‘Be patient. The best things happen unexpectedly’

‘Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die tomorrow’

‘The only person that you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday’

‘No matter how hard things in life may seem, there’s always good coming around the corner’

So those are just a few of my favourite quotes. Let me know what yours are and I hope this post inspired you just a little bit 🙂

Please feel free to leave any comments or questions. I’m always up for a chit-chat!

Blog Photography Tips

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I’m so sorry for not posting anything to my blog last week! It was finally half-term but instead of giving us a nice break from school, my teachers decided to pile on the homework (I had 8 essays!!). Combine that with the fact that I already had plans for the week off and it left me with absolutely no time at all to post anything. Anyway, I’m back on track this week with an idea that I’ve been thinking about for ages. It concerns blogging and blog photography. I believe that since I began blogging about two and a half years ago, I’ve become so much better at adding nice pictures to my posts so this week I thought I’d tell you all of my best blogging photography tips!

It’s a common misconception that to take nice photos for your blog, you need the newest, most high-tech and expensive piece of kit on the market. Of course those sorts of cameras are amazing but, for most people, they are really not an option. For my photos, I just use my iPhone 6 and try to take pictures in the best conditions possible. For example, lighting is key to getting really high quality pictures. I usually take my pictures mid morning when it’s just starting to become light but it’s not too bright. Taking pictures in too much light can take the focus away from your product, whereas if you take your picture in too much darkness, your photo will look blurry and well… dark. Play around with different coloured lights and shadows especially on those dull, rainy days.

For me, another key to making my pictures look much better is by using a nice background and then editing the initial photograph before using it in a post. Let’s start with the background. A clean, white background will almost always make your pictures look fresh and bright, however, sometimes you just need that extra something to make your picture a little more exciting. Why not try items of clothes with funky patterns or just placing a few other makeup products in the background just to make the picture look a bit more interesting. For example, the picture below is one I took of the Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub. Originally, I took the picture with just the scrub in the centre of the frame but then felt that it needed a few more items around it just to liven the picture up. I chose various makeup items that had similar, yet more subtle, colours to the scrub so that the product would pop and remain the focus of the image. I also made sure to keep the other makeup items at the edges of the frame so that they didn’t completely take over the main image.

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As for editing, I’ve raved about this website on my blog many times before but if you weren’t aware, to edit my photos I use PicMonkey. It’s a free photo editing website with lots of different features to improve and enhance your pictures. I mainly use PicMonkey to brighten my photos and add shadows to various parts of the image. I know, I know, it all sounds quite complicated but the site is actually really simple and easy to use so you actually don’t need to be a computer whizz to get great photos. Here are some of the photos that I’ve edited using PicMonkey:

Before

Perfume

After

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Before

Mascara

After

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Using Picmonkey to edit my pictures is probably the best tip that I have with regards to improving the photography on my blog but other tips of mine include using a good angle on your camera and taking advantage of the flash. For me, different angles are often really helpful for getting that one amazing shot. Play around with the direction that you take your photographs from but make sure that your product is still the main focus of your picture and doesn’t get lost in the background. As for the flash, I’ve found that, with some beauty product reviews in the past, using the flash on my camera can really add to the range of images that I can use within my posts, as well as help to show the makeup product in a completely different light (no pun intended haha).

And there we have it. Personally, I think blogging photography is a very personal thing for individual bloggers. Everyone develops their own style over time but some of these tips might help you to really perfect the pictures that you take. Please let me know what all of your best blog photography tips are as I’m always looking to improve my own skill and I’ll be sure to keep the blog posts regular from now on 🙂

Please feel free to leave any comments or questions. I’m always up for a chit-chat!

How To Switch Off And Relax

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So I feel like we’re at that time of year when the stresses are beginning to mount. The fun and joy of the Christmas/New Year festivities have disappeared, work is starting to pile up again and our new year’s resolutions have pretty much been forgotten. All of this worry and anxiety can really get you down and sometimes it’s hard to remember what peace actually feels like. However, whenever you’re feeling like that, it’s always important to take a moment and think ‘Okay, I need to take a break from all of this for just a second…’ Therefore, today I thought I’d share with you all some easy ways to switch off and relax.

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  • Listen to music

This one always works for me as it really helps me to just block out the world and my surroundings. Whether I’m in school, at home or even out and about and need to just get inside my own little bubble, I’ll almost always get out my headphones and start listening to some music.

  • Do some meditation/yoga

The art of meditation was literally made for relaxation. It’s not something I’ve tried before but I know a lot of people who rave about its benefits. Not only is it supposed to help you to calm down and find your own little bit of peace but it’s also meant to be quite healthy for you as well.

  • Leave what you’re doing and go somewhere else

Okay, so I’m not saying you should just pack up your bags and leave the country for a few months (although that would be great and you should go for it if that’s an option haha), however, in many cases, that’s quite impractical! What I do mean though is that whenever I’m stressed out from doing school work etc. I always have to get up and leave the room that I’ve been working in and go and do something else for an hour or two. It really is surprising how much of a benefit just doing that is!

  • Watch some TV

If all else fails, binge watch your favourite TV series or put on your favourite movie!

  • Exercise

I know this one doesn’t work for everyone because, for me, exercising just makes me feel exhausted haha! But I know my mum always feels so much better after she’s goes for a run. She always tells me about how much more relaxed she feels when she’s just on her own and running. It might not work for everyone, but maybe it’s your personal saviour.

  • Do something creative

I think we’ve all seen the latest craze of adult colouring books sweep the nation and it seems to be a pastime that puts most people in a very calm and serene mind set. If not drawing, you could try something like painting or crafting – whatever works for you.

  • Talk to someone

For me, having a chat with my mum about my worries or problems never fails to make me feel better. Offloading your anxieties onto somebody else can really help to shift the pressure that has been building up inside of you. Also, I find having a chat and a laugh with my best friends is very beneficial as well.

  • Write everything down

I’m a lover of writing down all of my thoughts and feelings whenever I feel worried. It doesn’t have to be perfect or even make sense, just find a notebook, sit down in a quiet spot and let it all just flow onto the pages.

Those are just some of my personal favourite ways to wind down and relax but let me know what your tips are as well. Is anyone else starting to feel the stresses of the new year settling in or is it just me? Let me know all about it in the comments as I’d be glad to absorb some of your worries or problems 🙂

Please feel free to leave any comments or questions. I’m always up for a chit-chat!

Current Reads: Winter 2016

Hello internet!

With the new year, I decided that I wanted to start reading a bit more as it seems to be a hobby that I’ve neglected quite a bit recently. Also, the other day I acknowledged that it’s actually been over 2 years since I last did an update on what I’ve been reading lately. And as the weather seems to be absolutely awful lately, it’s the perfect time to really get stuck into a new story!

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Knife Edge by Malorie Blackman – This is the book that I’m currently reading. It’s the sequel to Noughts and Crosses and the second book in a series of four. The storyline is so gripping and exciting; it really is a page turner!

Paper Towns by John Green – I always seem to be reading something from the author John Green and this time it’s Paper Towns. I saw the film last summer and have recently re-read the book again. For some reason, it gives me major summer vibes and makes me want to go on an adventure myself haha!

Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson – I haven’t actually started reading this book yet but I’ve seen the trailer for the film and it looks amazing therefore I wanted the read the book first and then watch the film after.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell –  This book has become one of my all time favourites. It’s set in the 1980s and follows the first love story of Eleanor and Park.

The Most Beautiful Walk in the World by John Baxter – I was given this book as a present a couple of months after I visited Paris. Every chapter holds an individual anecdote about the city and it’s a great book to read if you’ve ever been to Paris and need to reflect back on your travels.

I’m hoping to finish all of these current reads before Easter so if anyone has any recommendations of what I should read next then I’d love to know. I’d also really love to hear what you guys are reading lately so let me know all about it down in the comments!

Please feel free to leave any comments or questions. I’m always up for a chit-chat!

How To Get A Better Night’s Sleep

Hello internet!

I hope everybody has had a great start to 2016 –  I can’t believe it’s the end of January already! Personally, I’ve managed to start achieving a few of my resolutions already and yesterday I checked off another ‘exciting’ chapter in my life: I got braces! I say ‘exciting’ but I’m really not feeling excited at the moment as I lie with my entire mouth completely throbbing and thinking about all of the amazing foods that I’ve been banned from eating for a year and a half! Anyway, this week I decided to put together a few of my top tips on how to get a better night’s sleep. It’s a post that I’ve seen done a couple of times before and I thought I’d put my own interpretation out there.

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Tip 1: Remove all distractions

This one may seem quite obvious but for all of us who love to scroll through Twitter, check Facebook or even catch up on our favourite YouTube videos right before we go to bed, this could be the route of all of our sleeping problems. Having a wind down period before you go to bed where you have an hour or even 30 minutes without your phone can really help to improve your sleeping patterns. It helps your brain to slow down it’s thoughts from the day and helps it to start settling down for the night. Reading during this period is an excellent idea.

Tip 2: Cut down on the caffeine before bed

Before you go to sleep each night, you should try to avoid any drinks high in caffeine eg. coffee or fizzy drinks. Caffeinated drinks will prevent your brain from shutting down for the evening and will actually have the opposite effect: you’ll feel wide awake! Staying away from heavy foods, before you try to settle down for the night, can also really help you to get a better night’s sleep – yes, I’m sorry but that means cutting out all of those tasty midnight snacks ;P

Tip 3: Listen to soothing sounds

I know quite a few people who listen to ‘soothing/relaxing sounds’ when they go to bed eg. listening to the sounds of waves or rain through a headset. Things like ASMR can really help individuals to get into that sedated state every evening. It’s not for everyone but have a go and see if it works for you!

Tip 4: Try to maintain a regular sleeping pattern/regime

This is something that I learnt when I was revising for my GCSEs last year. Every morning, my tutor group used to have to watch these videos which contained lots of tips for achieving good grades. However, one of those tips regarded sleeping patterns which I felt was quite interesting. Basically, it was about how your natural body clock can begin to get confused if you have an irregular ‘bedtime’ which can lead to disrupted sleep and troubles getting up in the morning. For example, if you go up to bed at 9pm one night and then at 1am the next, your natural body clock won’t understand when it needs to start shutting down properly or when it needs to wake up. Try to stick to some sort of regime, such as: Going to bed at 11pm and waking up at 7am etc.

Tip 5: Make yourself ‘feel more tired’

So this one might sound a tad unusual but what I mean is that making yourself feel physically tired throughout the day can help you to drop off more easily at night. Increasing the amount of exercise you do is not only good for your health in general but it can also help you to get a better night’s sleep. Additionally, I’ve found that avoiding power naps can really help as well. Even if you’re feeling really tired during the day, try to wait until the evening before you properly put your head down for the night.

Tip 6: Lights out!

It is proven that having a completely pitch black environment to sleep in can massively improve your sleeping behaviours. That means trying to remove all sources of light, as well as you can, even if it’s something as minor as an electric toothbrush light flashing whilst it charges during the night – getting rid of it might seriously help you!

Tip 7: Treat yourself

Now is it just me or does anyone else feel the most relaxed when they have nice, clean bed sheets and pyjamas to sleep in? Treat yourself and get a new set of pillowcases or bed sheets or pyjamas for yourself. Not only will it give you a great excuse to go shopping but it may also help you to sleep better as well!

I hope these tips are helpful for some of you guys who have been struggling to sleep recently. I know what it’s like to go through a stage where, whatever you do, you just can’t get to sleep so I hope this post will help with that. Let me know all of your tips as well and whether you’ve ever been through a stage of insomnia before?

Please feel free to leave any comments or questions. I’m always up for a chit-chat!

My Workout Playlist

Hello internet!

So with the new year well on its way, I think we’ve all had a good attempt at getting into our new year’s resolutions. For me, I wanted to try and get a bit more active this year and start taking up a few new exercise regimes. I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone with this resolution as I’ve seen quite a few blog posts lately regarding this topic. What I’ve also seen are quite a few ‘Workout Playlist’ posts which are always really fun and interesting to read. Therefore, this week I thought I’d join the trend and tell you guys what’s on my latest workout playlist!

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  1. Help Our Souls – Nihils
  2. How Deep Is Your Love – Calvin Harris
  3. Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself – Jess Glynne
  4. Lean On – Major Lazer
  5. Burnin’ Up – Jessie J
  6. What Do You Mean? – Justin Bieber
  7. I Want You To Know – Zedd ft. Selena Gomez
  8. Radioactive – Rita Ora
  9. Move – Little Mix
  10. Repeat – David Guetta ft. Jessie J
  11. Titanium – David Guetta ft. Sia
  12. Va Va Voom – Nicki Minaj
  13. Lay It All On Me – Rudimental ft. Ed Sheeran
  14. Where Are You Now – Justin Bieber
  15. Fight Song – Rachel Platten
  16. Work B**ch – Britney Spears
  17. Sax – Fleur East
  18. Never Forget You – MNEK
  19. Sugar – Robin Schulz ft. Francesco Yates
  20. Easy Love – Sigala
  21. Sweet Lovin’ – Sigala
  22. Turn The Music Louder (Rumble) – KDA ft. Tinie Tempah and Katy B
  23. Coming Home – Sigma ft. Rita Ora
  24. Wish You Were Mine – Philip George
  25. Waiting All Night – Rudimental ft. Ella Eyre
  26. 7/11 – Beyoncé
  27. Free – Natalia Kills
  28. Lush Life – Zara Larsson
  29. LaserLight – Jessie J
  30. Heroes (We Could Be) – Alesso

So my personal favourite workout songs are always changing but they always have to be upbeat, uplifting and something I can sing along to! Let me know what your favourite workout songs are and whether you like these kinds of posts. Personally, I think they’re really fun to read but let me know what you think 🙂

Please feel free to leave any comments or questions. I’m always up for a chit-chat!