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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

My Highlighter Collection

I'm happy to say that my highlighter collection is steadily growing and although it may still be small, I'm starting to notice the quality and what works for my skin. And although I haven't dipped my fingers into the high-end, luxury highlighter market yet, I'm already finding some extremely pigmented ones on the high street. So without further ado, let's take a look at the collection I currently have.
Highlighters

Lottie London Shimmer Squad Palette - RRP £9.95


Lottie London Squad Highlighters
This one is actually my most recent highlighter purchase. After seeing another blogger's swatches, the next time I walked into Superdrug, I couldn't help but chuck it in my basket. With four warmed toned highlighters totalling £9.95, this was certainly a steal in my eyes. The pigment is there with all of the shades and I just love how warm toned they all are.

Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Golden Lights  - RRP £3.00


Makeup Revolution Highlighter
This one has to be one of the best budget highlighters going, especially when it comes in at just £3.00. With an imprint that kind of looks like a vagina, this is a fairly chalky formula but is nothing like the Makeup Revolution Beyond Radiance Highlighter Palette you'll see at lower down the post. That being said though, it does feel slightly creamy at the same time. The shade is pretty much identical to the Sleek's palette shade Subsolar but it's probably a slightly warmer colour. I really do love this one and find myself reaching for it most days. Definitely worth the money and more! 

MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder - Pink Shimmer - RRP £3.00


MUA Highlighter
Another budget bargain (that doesn't look like a vagina) is this subtle pink shimmer that would be perfect for those who don't like too much glow but is still noticeable. It's sort a mid-way point. It has a creamy but chalk consistency and the price for this one is criminal - for us I mean, what a bargain! This is one of the first highlighters that I bought and I'm glad it's taking pride of place in my collection.

Sleek Summer Solstice Palette - RRP £9.99


Sleek Highlighter
I cannot recommend this palette enough. It's my favourite palette of all of the ones in my collection and it's just so damn SHINY! When it comes to highlighters, I want to glow and this palette does just that. Everytime I use it, I find myself expressing an excited look as if I'm applying it for the very first time. 

The shades are Ecliptic, Hemisphere, Subsolar, Equinox. Eclipitic is the only cream formula of the four and is quite a sheer deep toned pink and is perfect for the eyebrow bone (just underneath your eyebrow for those who don't know). Hemisphere is a candy floss pink shimmer and looks great over the cheek bones to create a more flushed look. Subsolar is the subtle golden shade that has yellow undertones, great for the cupid's bow and nose. And finally, my favourite, Equinox is a bronze, pink toned shade that would love beautiful on tanned skin or for those with olive-toned skin.

Makeup Revolution Beyond Radiance Palette - RRP £8.00


Makeup Revolution Beyond Radiance Palette
This is the absolute worst. I mean, I was expecting so much but all I got from this was a chalky sheer mess. The first time I swirled my finger into the pan, I was shocked and disappointed by how chalky it looked. It looks much better when swatched but then I applied this onto my cheek bones and it just catches the very fine hairs on my face, leaving hardly anything on the skin.



They don't have names for these shades either which is just lazy and it's a shame because if they just made the formula more creamy and the pigment more intense, these would be perfect. From left to right you have a cool white gold shade, a soft pink in the middle and a rusty bronze on the end. I'm also perplexed as to why this has so many positive reviews on Superdrug. Madness!
From left to right - Ecliptic, Hemisphere, Subsolar, Equinox, Cool Gold, Soft Pink, Rusty Bronze, The Good Girl, The Flirt, The Troublemaker, The Queen Bee, Golden Lights, Pink Shimmer

What is your favourite highlighter? Let me know in the comments below.

*Disclaimer - This post contains affiliate links.



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Monday, 20 November 2017

The 80s Crop Top | New Look

I'm all for effortless fashion and what I mean by that is picking an outfit that's not complex but still looks trendy. My fashion journey is pretty much like my makeup one, very haphazard and messy. I've gone from wearing clothing too big for me to clothing that's been too tight or does not suit my shape at all.
Crop Top & Skirt
I'd like to say that I'm slowly getting there with finding my own style that I feel comfortable in. I recently did a big clear out of my wardrobe which was great because I realised that I was hoarding away clothes that I didn't actually like or hadn't worn in over a year. Out with the old and in with the new is a great motto to live by and one I'm going to try and stick to in terms of fashion. I want to be on trend but I don't necessarily want to follow it. I want to make my own choices and if that means buying something that's fashionable now that's fine but then I might pair that with something I found in a vintage shop that's from the 80s. 

Which brings me to this little number I got from New Look at the end of the Summer holidays. It reminds me of the 80s t-shirts my dad had hoarded himself for so long probably 5-6 years ago now. We finally chucked them out of his wardrobe but who knew that right now, these psychedelic prints are coming back into fashion. I mean, go figure. #sozdad 
Crop Top Close Up
It's a simple crop top with short sleeves and a round neckline. It's a thinner material so more suited for the Summer but this would also go well with some black skinny jeans, perhaps a leather jacket and a pair of heels to glam it up for an evening out in October.

This was actually in the sale so it's probably no longer available to buy on New Look. However, there are so many of these printed designs transferring over to Autumn and Winter fashion to perhaps comfort those of us who long for the Summer sun.
Crop Top Close Up
Crop Top
What do you think of this pattern? Is it your cup of tea? Let me know in the comments below.



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Friday, 17 November 2017

Why I Don't Feel Body Confident

It's a contradiction don't you think? The title and then the photo below of me posing. These photos were taken during our stay in Morocco, in the beautiful Hotel Riu Palace Tikida Agadir and looking at this photo, I appear confident.
Woman in swimsuit
I found it difficult to write this post because I didn't know what angle to write this from, I just know that I wanted to write about it. Body confidence is something that has always been feed to me and to others in the media growing up. Whether it's on the covers of magazines or passed down to us by friends or family members, it's what our society thrives on. Whether it comes from a place of good or bad.

Growing up, I had the best metabolism going, I could eat a shit ton of food and I'd often get asked, where does it go? Well that's the absolute luxury of being a kid.

But for me, going to university changed everything. I ate a serious amount of junk food, I binge drinked on a weekly - who am I kidding - daily basis and before I knew it, I'd piled on a few pounds. I remember my mum seeing that change for the first time. It shocked her and she expressed this concern verbally. That's the first time that I lost my body confidence.
Sunbathing
Now by no means is it my mum's fault. In fact, I think that it came from a place of love and unfortunately no one else could have really told me that because it would have hurt my feelings. And let's be honest, I was surrounded by students all in the same boat. Suddenly I was very conscious of my body. Before, I never looked at myself and thought about my body. For me, I was super slim, was regularly active with sports at school and I was by no means the person I am today.

Since leaving university, I managed to lose quite a bit of weight through discovering the gym. I grew stronger, my body was firmer and I felt confident. Body confident. That was until blogging started and I lost more free time during my mornings and evenings. Every spare moment I have goes into my blogging and that unfortunately meant no more gym time.

I'm probably the heaviest I've ever been now. I've been desperate to get some new jeans but I don't want to because I know I need a size 14 and I have never been a size 14. We're told to love our bodies and to learn to love those bits we're not so keen on but on the other side of the coin it's the complete opposite. We're hounded in print and online to look a certain way and that living outside of these boundaries doesn't get fair enough representation.
Swimsuit
Could I change this viewpoint for me over time? Of course, I'm not a sheep. I don't like being told that I can't do something because I can if I put my mind to it. I may not be body confident now but being in your mid twenties is stressful. You're finding yourself as an adult like everyone else is.

So the point of this blog post? I guess I don't really have one. I think that body confidence is something we can only find ourselves. I also think just because someone doesn't like your body, doesn't mean you have to change because of it.


What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.



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Thursday, 16 November 2017

Gingersnap Light Box | Christmas Gift Ideas

This Christmas, I wanted to share with you as many different gift guides and ideas because you have to admit, shopping for your friends and family can sometimes be so difficult. The worst are those that say 'oh just get me something small' or 'oh no you don't need to get me anything' - it's literally the worst response you could ever give someone who really doesn't enjoy shopping for others. 
Letter Box
I mean, I like treating people but sometimes, my creativity lacks a little when it comes to gifts. Sometimes I actually surprise myself and get it spot on.

Anyway, I'll stop because I'm blabbing. Lightboxes have fast become a quirky and totally millennial way of decorating your home or an event. This one has letters and even cooler - freaking emojis! Well, they're definitely going to go down well with pretty much every person in your family. If not, well they ain't a basic bitch like I am.

This one, in particular, is from Gingersnap. You may have noticed my bestie used one at her wedding in my blog post but this one is actually a smaller version of what she had. I got sent the Gingersnap Letter Light Box along with a separate set of emojis that you know, just give me life. 

I actually took these photos not long after I came back from my holidays where I got proposed to, so you can clearly see how lovesick I was - sorry, still am...
Letter Light Box with letters behind it
Close of letters
So aside from the fact this gift is in the kid's section *cough* adults can be big kids too, I freaking love this so much that I have it right on my bedside table, ready to light up as a nightlight.

The backlight on this thing isn't tame either. It pretty much blasts out so much light that I could easily do some night reading without having to even lean towards it in bed. I think it's perfect for kids who may be afraid of the dark (and I'm talking about all ages of kids) and a perfect stocking filler at £18.00.

The emoji set that I received is £7.99 which is a little creative addition, especially because everyone is obsessed with using emojis - even your cool nan who doesn't know that the ice cream emoji is actually a piece of poop.

Do you know anyone who'd enjoy this as a Christmas gift? Let me know in the comments below.

*Disclaimer - I received this product in return for an honest review. All words are my own.


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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Bird Of Smithfield

Despite where I find myself today, I still feel very grateful whenever I get invited to an event or I'm given something to review. Bird of Smithfield invited myself and a guest (I took Sean, my bestie and housemate combined) to experience what this gorgeous venue has to offer.
Outside Bird of Smithfield
Now I'd be lying if I said that this place was easy to find. I think it would be if I came from Blackfriars station as it's along the same road as the underground but I came from the opposite direction, went down a dark subway and genuinely thought I was about to get jumped on by a mad man.

But all jokes aside, this restaurant and bar would be hard to find but easy to stumble across if you went a-wondering down some side streets. I arrived before Sean as we were both coming from work and before taking a not so subtle picture of the outside, I stepped into a beautiful modern dining area. There was a few people sitting down, but it was relatively quiet.
Restaurant Interior
I was quickly greeted by Diane, who was the front of house host and was sat down at a table reserved for me. I was offered the cocktail menu which to Diane's surprise, I picked one out pretty quickly - I'd actually looked prior to see which one I wanted. Turns out it was the wrong one me and Sean decided on but it still tasted great.

The cocktail, In The Meadows, came out fairly quickly. It was a gorgeous citrusy cocktail with dandelion bitters sprinkled along the top. I was told by Ben, one of the barmen, that these were fresh dandelions that are actually picked by the manager herself which I thought was a nice personal touch. Once Sean arrived, we headed up to the restaurant upstairs. The venue consists of a lower basement floor which is a bar. The upper floors hold the restaurant and a private event space sits on the top floor.
Bar & Cocktail Menus
In the Meadows cocktail
In The Meadows
The dining area was light, modern and had a mixture of abstract and genre art. There wasn't a huge amount of tables and chairs which made the space more intimate.

Our waiter was a gentleman called Lorenzo who was probably one of the best waiters both myself and Sean have ever had. He was extremely attentive from the get go and made sure to describe every dish we were eating as well as answering any questions I had regarding the restaurant itself. 

A few others filtered in during our meal but I was surprised by the lack of patrons. According to the staff though, there days tend to fluctuate with the weekend being the busiest. That also being said, both the top floor and basement floor were booked out to private events so I suppose that what was lacking in numbers in this area, makes up for it in the others.
Interior of restaurant
Interior of restaurant
First up on the menu was some traditional bread and butter. This was homemade, fresh out of the oven with a choice of unsalted butter and seaweed butter. The seaweed butter was met by intrigue not only by myself but by a few others who were there also.

The bread was deliciously warm and with the seaweed butter soaked into it, it gave a whole new perspective to the usual bread and butter we tend to expect. Out next came our starters. We decided to go with two different options so that we were able to try as many dishes as possible.

I went for the Isle of Orkney Scallops which were melt in the mouth. I've had scallops in the past but they've always been quite dense and rubbery. These were the opposite, with a tasty artichoke puree and sprinkled black truffle. Very luxurious.
Bread and butter
Bread & Butter (including seaweed butter!)
Scallops
Isle of Orkney Scallops
Scallops
Sean had ordered the chicken and mushroom terrine which was covered in an assortment of grilled scallions and hazelnuts. This was a cold starter but had a rich taste. The crunch of the hazelnuts complimented the dish very well and was a favourite for Sean out of the two.

Much to our surprise, we were then treated to an extra starter which was the Roasted Foie Gras on a bed of sweet and sour plums, topped with an almond crumble and plum sake glaze. This one blew the scallops out of the water. It was mouth-watering and I could have happily ate that every day for the rest of my life.
Chicken Terrine
Roasted Foie Gras
Roasted Foie Gras
For the mains, we both went with the same choice. Both myself and Sean are steak snobs when it comes to getting the cooking time right. We both like it rare, with Sean always requesting for blue rare. The steak came with mushrooms, a spinach base and straw potato grated on top. 

It was beautifully cooked and seasoned and I really couldn't fault it. If I could be picky about anything, then it would be that there was quite a bit of fat but sometimes that's just what is expected for certain cuts of meat.
Steak
As we finished off our mains, the thought of another course was a struggle. One of the barmen, bought up our dessert cocktails which included the Cointreausensual, a chocolate orange flavoured cocktail and Memories of Last Summer which was similar to a sours. 

The desserts were just too much for me but Sean managed to finish off his Lemon cake which was a palette cleanser that also fitted perfectly with the chocolate orange cocktail. I had a Chocolate Brownie Sundae and managed a few bitefuls. The chocolate was a little too rich and bitter for me but mixed in with the semi melted marshmallows was a heavenly mix.
Dessert Cocktails
Lemon Sponge Cake
Chocolate Brownie Sundae
Their A la Carte menu is a wonderful mixture of typically British dishes with a slight twist. The average price for a Starter is around £11, Mains are a little pricier on average at £25 and desserts are between £6-£10

I was extremely impressed with both the drinks and food we were served but the biggest appeal that the venue has, is it's staff. Everyone was extremely warm and welcoming and I feel that this is the factor that really sells a place. Thank you Bird of Smithfield for having us.

What do you think of Bird of Smithfield? Let me know in the comments below.

*Disclaimer - I was invited along for a complimentary meal in exchange for a review. All words are my own.


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