30 Days of Yoga

On Tuesday 5th January I started my Yoga with Adriene 30 Day Yoga journey. It was a bit of a whim actually, not something I specifically planned on doing but I did want to start exercising again and had this simultaneous idea of starting yoga. I’ve tried in the past but I’ve never kept it up because it always feels quite aimless, I need a tangible goal and a purpose beyond getting stronger and more flexible. A 30 day program was the perfect solution and once I started I never looked back. It was incredibly challenging at times, and there were certainly days that I just wasn’t in the mood but I sat down on my mat everyday since I started and did at least 20 minutes of yoga a day. Keep reading for my experience of 30 days of yoga and make sure you read until the end for my beginner tips.

Week 1

Day 1: Invite, Modified Crescent Lunge

I started the 30 days of yoga series on Tuesday 5th January so I was actually a few days behind the program (which started on the 2nd). I was tentative and almost certain that I wouldn’t be able to do enough but even in the first week I surprised myself with how much I was able to do. Adriene immediately made me feel comfortable even through a pre-recorded practice. She’s always offering variations and makes it clear that the final poses are not a day 1 guarantee. A great introduction to my yoga education.

Week 2

Day 12: Drop, Yogi Squat

As I mentioned above part of the reason I started yoga was because I wanted to exercise again but I knew I needed to start slowly so I didn’t burn myself out. Adriene’s 30 Day Yoga Journeys always include a few slower days focused on stretching and calming, kind of like palette cleansers. However I wanted to make sure I got some proper movement in everyday so on these slower practice days I would do two days in one sitting one after the other. That meant that even though I started a little behind I caught up and finished on the final day (31st January) which doesn’t really make a difference but was quite nice and satisfying! Despite my trepidation I still found myself getting something out of these slow practices, sometimes after a day working from home I needed 20 minutes of stretching and stillness.

Week 3

Day 18: Centre, Crow Pose

This week was a bit of a rollercoaster, it was a very lockdowny week for me so I really appreciated the 20 minutes a day I took to just be calm. This was also the week that I really started to follow the practices and there was a noticeable jumper in the amount of poses I recognised by name rather than description.

That definitely doesn’t mean that I could do all of it, but oddly I still get something out of the moves I can’t do because it just makes me laugh! Looking up to see Adriene in perfect stillness balancing all of her weight on one leg, the other leg high in the air and perfectly straight, with her hands wrapped around her ankles is absolute insanity to me.

Week 4

Day 28: Trust, Dancer Pose

The final week was when I realised this wasn’t just something I wanted to continue but something I would continue. I was already up and doing most of the beginner poses without modification so I began to try and perfect these positions even if it made me less stable. I know I sound a bit like I’ve joined a cult but I started to trust that I was going to be okay even if I wasn’t perfect.

I also noticed how certain poses became easier. My twists felt more natural and my hamstrings felt slightly less strained when I was in downward facing dog (a pose that I’m sure is relaxing for some but a struggle for me!). My big achievement was that I managed to hold crow pose for a few seconds without momentum holding me up, it felt good and made me want to see what else I can manage.

My takeaways

Its been a week since I finished the 30 Day Yoga course and I am currently 7 days into the course from 2020, I’ve even managed to rope my parents into a few! I’m still really enjoying it and want it to be something I do everyday no matter my plans. I think I’ll carry on with the 30 Day courses as my guide and maybe try and mix in some more ‘work out’ yoga and some more advance balancing eventually. I’m sure that is a long way off but it’s exciting to think about!

Yoga has also seeped into my life off the mat. I found myself hearing Adriene’s “ground through all corners of the feet” when balancing on one foot putting on my socks and “heart over pelvis, head over heart” when sat at my desk. Regular practice has helped my posture and made me feel less sluggish particularly on those days when I haven’t left the house (which happens more often than I would like with the shorter days and working from home). Overall I’m incredibly happy that I tried this out and want it to be a change I’ve made that continues throughout the year.

Beginner tips from a beginner

Get a proper mat – as a reward for finishing all 30 days I got a new mat as my current one was bunching up during practice, this is the one I’ve got and it’s brilliant (apart from the unfortunate name!).

Laugh at the weird things – the spiritual concept of yoga is the last reason I’m interested in it, so when Adriene tells me to ‘feel the fire inside’ I laugh it off – smiling also makes you feel more relaxed which really helps!

Laugh at the things you can’t do – similar concept, instead of getting annoyed and thinking that you’re not good enough because you can’t fold perfectly in half laugh at the fact that other people can. Expecting to do it all is a recipe for disaster and you are much better doing a modified version and building up than falling all over the place trying to sprint from a standing start!

Be proud of the things you can do – I don’t care what anyone says, yoga is hard. Anything that you manage to do that looks remotely similar to an instructor is an achievement and remembering that is so helpful.

I hope this post was helpful if you are thinking of starting yoga, I would encourage everyone to do it! Be sure to subscribe if you liked this and follow me on Instagram – no yoga content on there yet but you best believe if I start balancing on my head there’s going to be pictures to document it!

Yoga with Adriene’s BREATH: A 30 Day Yoga Journey

January Favourites

I love a favourites post. So many products and trends get spoken about online so I feel like a favourites post is the best way to see what people really love, not just what they tried once and liked at the time. This is unlikely to be a monthly thing because I wouldn’t want to force it, but when I have that epiphany and things naturally stand out as something I’ve been loving that’s when I know a favourites is overdue. I hope you like these kinds of posts as much as I do, and keep on reading to see what I’ve been loving this month.

VIEVE

My VIEVE collection

I did a whole post on VIEVE if you’d like to read my in depth thoughts on the brand, but spoiler alert: I love it. I think the standout product for me are the Modern Matte Lipsticks but I’m always surprised at how often I use the Essentials Palette. It’s just so versatile and even a super quick everyday eye looks finished and curated even when I only use two shades. VIEVE have just announced that they are releasing some blushes next month and I’m both insanely excited and terrified for my bank account.

Nabla Cupid’s Arrow Liners

Nabla Cupid’s Arrow Eyeliner

I’ve needed new pencil eyeliners for a long time so when I heard about the Cupid’s Arrow range from Nabla I thought “why not?”. I bought the shades arrow 2 (brown) and arrow 4 (black) and I really like them, they’re a perfect balance between creamy and long lasting, They are some of the softest pencil liners I have ever used but seem to last a long time in my waterline and certainly don’t make me look like a panda by the end of the day. I’ve heard good things about Nabla so I’d like to try out some more things from the brand soon!

Monki High Neck Jumper

Monki High Neck Jumper, Hollister Check Trousers

This is not a new piece in my wardrobe but one I’ve been reaching for again and again this month. I’ve been actually getting up and dressed virtually everyday working from home this month, I wrote a whole post about this recently if you want to know my how I got on, and this Monki jumper has been a staple for me. I am obsessed with the colour, it’s that perfect neutral tone that doesn’t wash me out which is such a blessing! It also goes with everything: I can wear it with all of my skirts and trousers as well as under little pinafore dresses. Kind of a sneak attack favourite and not something I ever thought I would be gushing over when I bought it, a practical purchase that has turned into something I don’t want to be without – the dream!

6 Minute Diary

6 Minute Diary

I found the 6 minute diary on Amazon whilst looking for some kind of gratitude diary. I should start by saying that I am not into manifesting or The Secret, I just can’t get on board with it but I do love the first part of that philosophy which says that thinking positively is a helpful habit. I don’t believe that thinking about my dream house or car or career will make it happen, but I do believe that thinking about it will make me happier than dwelling on the negative would. When I saw the 6 minute diary I thought it would be a great aid, particularly as you use it first thing the morning and last thing at night meaning that I should start and end my day on a positive note, no matter how lockdowny my day has been. The diary definitely forces me to think of the good rather than the bad, which during lockdown can easier said than done!

The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian on Disney+

I’ve been watching The Mandalorian with my boyfriend via Teleparty (previously Netflix Party) over these past few weeks and I had no idea how much I was going to like this show. I have seen all the start wars films but I’m still not super knowledgable on it so I wasn’t sure how much I would like The Mandalorian, but there’s so much to love about it. The show looks amazing visually and I always get lost in the episodes which is so important for me. The writing is also fantastic, it never feels convoluted and I’m never questioning the decisions made by the characters. The casting and acting is superb, and Baby Yoda is a genuinely incredible addition to my life. I felt like such a basic bitch when I fell in love with him but I actually cannot contain myself when he is on screen, I make these weird squeaks and I gasp anytime something mildly perilous happens near him. My boyfriend actually sent me a stuffed Baby Yoda and he sits on my desk when I work from home, he’s just so cute. I’m nearly done with season 2 and I’m actually getting a bit sad about it 😦 clearly I could go on and on, so yeah it’s a favourite!

My blog

I’m really enjoying getting back into writing again, it’s undoubtedly giving me something to do and occupy myself with which is welcome right now! I’ve always said to myself that my blog is something that is there for me when I need it, I try to not feel guilty when I don’t post on it for months because I started it for me so if I haven’t got time to write I’m not going to force myself! But at the moment I am making time for it and loving it.

I hope you enjoyed that post (which mainly ended up being about Baby Yoda, no regrets) and if you did it would be great if you stuck around and subscribed and followed my Instagram – I’m trying to do some reels and it’s going…. interestingly..? Also if you have anything you’ve been loving this month definitely let me know!

I wore office attire working from home everyday for a week: did it make a difference?

I feel like there’s two types of people in the world. The first type gets dressed like they’re running into every manager that’s ever sacked them and ex partner they’ve ever had, even when their day consists only of a supermarket trip. The second type (hi, nice to meet you) puts joy and comfort above all. That means that when staying in the house they’re wearing tracksuits and that hoodie we all have that’s been around for so long that it’s near enough moulded to the shape of our torsos. And with this comes the conundrum of the work from home outfit.

I will be working from home for the foreseeable future so I’ll be toeing the line between ‘workwear’ and ‘I haven’t left the house in three days’ wear. My happy compromise is usually the Zoom outfit: that is of course a suitable top – ranging from a nice plain t shirt to a shirt – and the comfiest trousers I can find. Sometimes I go the extra mile – in both directions – and put on a full face of makeup and fuzzy socks and slippers.

Anyone who does get dressed like they’re going into the office always swears by it; “I just can’t get into the right frame of mind if I’m not in my work clothes” “how can you work in your pyjamas?”. So I decided I would test it myself. Would wearing human clothes make a difference? Or do the pyjama gang have it all figured out?

Monday

& Other Stories Mock Neck Jumper in Pink, ASOS Design Leather Look Leggings, UGG Slippers

I felt kinda sluggish on Monday, so comfy and warm was on the agenda. I got this jumper for Christmas and was super excited to wear it, and if my morning cup of tea wouldn’t wake me up that colour certainly would! I really wasn’t sure about this jumper when I first got it but wearing it throughout the day only made it grow on me. These leggings are also a great compromise between looking put together and being comfy. Day one: success!

Tuesday

Stradivarius Pearl White Jumper, River Island Trousers, UGG Slippers

On Tuesday I went for a classic work outfit for me. This is definitely comfier than it looks because these trousers have a nice amount of stretch to them but they still look structured. This jumper also kept me nice and warm when I went out for my walk, it’s been so cold recently I needed all the help I can get!

Wednesday

& Other Stories Dress, UGG Slippers

Still not sure I’m over this dress yet! I got this dress for Christmas and was fed up of waiting to wear it so I threw it on at home. When I first put it on I wondered if I looked a little too Little House on the Prairie but again it grew on my all day. Good job it goes with my slippers too! (the wfh staple we all need and none of us deserve)

Thursday

Stradivarius Dress, ASOS Design Cardigan, UGG Slippers

I honestly did not want to get out of bed on Thursday, so I felt pretty good about getting dressed! I really did not know what to wear so I just pulled out this old dress from Stradivarius because I know I can’t go wrong with it. It’s probably not a favourite of mine anymore and I didn’t feel amazing in it but it’s good to throw on when I’m standing in front of my wardrobe questioning all of my life choices. The cardigan went on when I got cold and just never came off, not a curated look!

Friday

Monki Jumper, Hollister Check Trousers

I went into the office in Friday for the first time this year so I wanted to wear something I felt good in. I went for some little green heeled boots, these check trousers and neutral Monki jumper, even though I was actually on my feet for most of the day… the boots were worth it (I think).

So how did it go? The main thing I noticed was that I was sitting in a much better posture at my desk. I was less tempted sit like a pretzel because I didn’t want to knee my trousers and I basically acted like I was at work rather than sat in my bedroom! I’m not sure if I necessarily worked any better but I did sit better and my back is thankful for that at least. I also put a full face of makeup on everyday because it felt wrong and a bit like cheating to wear proper clothes with a bare face. This absolutely helped me get into the right mindset to work but the main thing that I notice was that it marked the end of the day for me when I took my makeup off ready for a nice hot bath.

My favourite outfit of the week was definitely Wednesday; LOVE that dress! Although a sneak attack favourite was definitely Monday’s pink jumper – & Other Stories are killing it. I also fell back in love with Friday’s Monki jumper which was a nice surprise. It goes without saying, but the slippers were the true hero of the week. People who say that UGG slippers are the best really are not lying, worth every penny!

Overall, I think this did teach me the value in putting on my work ‘uniform’ rather than sitting in tracksuits, but will I do it everyday..? I hope the answer is yes but I’ll have to see how long I keep it up before gravitating towards the cosies again. One thing is for sure: I will be trying to incorporate the slippers into all outfits from now on.

VIEVE: My New Muse

Jamie Genevieve has fast become my favourite makeup artist to follow. Her talent is undeniable but the thing that draws me in is the love she has for what she does. So of course when I heard she was launching her very own brand I was instantly excited because I knew it was going to be built on that same love.

VIEVE burst into the beauty world at the end of 2020 and I’m just as excited about them now as I was when the brand first launched. VIEVE has fast become one of my favourite makeup brands and one that I am constantly keeping and eye on to see when new products are set to drop. The aesthetic is classic but I think it stands out in the market and the heart at the centre of VIEVE is clear.

They launched with the small but beautiful Essentials Collection containing lipsticks, lip liners highlighters and an eyeshadow palette alongside two makeup bags. I restrained purchasing for a few weeks, watched the reviews roll in and eventually bought my first VIEVE products at the end of November. The price point is mostly on par with other high end brands, similar to Anastasia Beverly Hills and Urban Decay, which I think generally matches the quality of the products and packaging.

The Nova Glow Highlighters

Nova Glow Highlighter in Holy Chic

I surprised even myself when a highlighter was the first product I bought from VIEVE. I’ve been going off highlighter recently seeing it as brilliant for a night out but not so much for everyday, and considering I haven’t had many nights out recently I had been passing over my highlighter brush. But after seeing the reviews I thought this highlighter could be the one for me, and I was right.

I bought Holy Chic, the middle shade of the three available, and love the way it looks on my skin. It can be built up to be blinding as anything, but it’s also super easy to get that nice lit-from-within glow which is my favourite way to wear any highlighter. Even if we ignored the perfect shade and balance of glitter and shine, he best thing about this highlighter is the lack of cast – so when you turn your face away from the light you wouldn’t know it was there – and it really helps to give that golden hour glow.

It is worth mentioning that each highlighter costs £27 which is comparable to lots of high end brands. I did slightly choke at the price when I first saw it particularly because you can get very good highlighters for much less but I have absolutely no complaints and don’t regret paying that much for it!

The Essential Palette

The Essential Palette

A neutral palette was always on the cards from Jamie, but despite that this didn’t set my imagination alight immediately. Eventually I asked for this for Christmas, again after seeing the performance reviews, and I’m really glad I did. The quality was never in doubt for me but only after using this a few times have I seen the versatility in it.

The first thing that hits you when you get this palette in your hands is how enormous the pans are! You get 31g of product in total, that’s 3.1g per pan and for comparison Huda Beauty’s Obsession Palettes give you 0.9g/pan and a Naked Palettes come in at 0.95g/pan. This is great to see, especially considering the price of the the palette is £43, but personally it doesn’t bother me too much because I don’t buy palettes with the intent of using them everyday until it runs out. I like trying out new things and having fun with my makeup rather than buying totally for practicality but if that is how you buy makeup then it’s a big plus for you! Personally, it’s a nice feature rather than a make or break.

The colour scheme of this palette is neutral but in no way boring. The shade Lavarock makes this palette really special for me, it is described as a warm brown but the purple tint makes it look cooler toned to me. I think it adds another dimension to the palette but plays so nicely with the rest of the warm shades. I find all of the shades pigmented and easy to work with, the mattes are creamy and shimmers impactful. The palette is a joy to use.

The Modern Matte Lipsticks

Modern Matte Lipstick in Vieve

The Modern Matte Lipsticks are the standout VIEVE product for me (which is saying a lot!). I thought my matte lipstick days were behind me, I love the sophisticated look of a matte lip but cannot abide the Sahara Desert feeling that accompanies it. I cannot emphasise how comfortable these are to wear, they don’t last through eating but I would rather apply this multiple times a day than spend 10 minutes wearing a drying matte lipstick.

The two shades I have are Power Suit, which I received for Christmas, and Vieve, which I bought myself on Boxing Day after being totally converted to the formula after one day’s wear. Power Suit is a burnt orange that makes a statement without being high maintenance and Vieve is the perfect pale nude, it can look a little bit concealer-lips if I don’t use a darker liner with this one but I love the effect it gives when I do.

The formula and shades of the Modern Matte lipsticks are perfect, there are 5 shades in total, all nudes, and I’m trying to restrain from buying them all (I don’t need them, I don’t need them…). The lipsticks come in at £19 each and are worth Every. Single. Penny. They also have my favourite packaging of all of the products with the sleek black and gold, magnetic closure and VIEVE embossed onto the bullet. No complaints, never change these ❤

The Modern Lip Definers

Modern Lip Definer in Velvet Sands

At first, I didn’t think I could justify buying a lipliner. They cost £15 each and lipliners are notoriously easy to get for a third of that price, but again I have to say I love these. They are the perfect mix of pigmented and creamy but they don’t feel like they’re going to slide off! I have the shade Velvet Sands and its a perfect my-lips-but-better shade and goes well with all of my nude lipsticks.

I’m still unsure if I can justify the price tag of these, but I am eyeing up the shades Brat and Rumour… so if I fancy treating myself then they may end up in my basket!

The Essential+ Makeup Bag

The Essential + Makeup Bag

There’s not a huge amount to say about a makeup bag, but I am really pleased I bought this! It was £25 so not inexpensive but it is quite big and the perfect size for keeping my everyday face in. The PU leather and PVC top gives it a really nice look, super happy with this!

As you can tell I’m a huge fan of VIEVE and think the quality of products is outstanding, I really don’t have any faults to point out. It’s rare that jumping straight in and buying new makeup, particularly from a new brand, is the right decision for me, but VIEVE’s current products have given me confidence in the brand and if the future launches peak my interest I’ll definitely give them a go. Speaking of new launches, what could be next? Personally I would love to see a colourful palette from VIEVE as well as a bronzer and maybe some lashes further down the line! I think Jamie would absolutely smash these and I can’t wait to see them, I’m sure they’re coming!

My 2020 Favourites

It feels like I’ve broadened my horizons over this last year. I think I’ve shaken it up in many areas including but not limited to my makeup routine, my skin care routine (see: actually trying to have one and my clothing. A lot of these came quite late in the year but they’ve made such an impact that I couldn’t not mention them. This is a bit of an eclectic post, featuring single products and longer term changes, thoughts on last year and what I hope to continue for 2021, but I hope there is something in here for everyone.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless filter

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

I’ve heard so many influencers and makeup artists talk about Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter but it was only after seeing Jamie Genevieve use it that I realised how much I needed it. The reason it’s a must-have for me? I haven’t worn foundation since I started using this product. It is not a foundation substitute, there is no coverage it just has a very light tint that evens out your skin tone a little and makes you look glowy. I love it because it wears so nicely throughout the day and gives my cheek products something to hold onto so they stay on for longer – I always feel like they fade so quickly without some kind of base to hang onto! Bottom line: it’s worth the price tag for me.

Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Ritz

Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Ritz

I’ve loved Ritz since the day I got it. It’s such a low maintenance but high impact product that makes getting ready in the morning so much easier. This product has given me an answer to that question I ask myself every morning I haven’t quite engaged my brain: “What am I going to do with my eyes today?”. It’s quick and easy to apply and goes with almost everything. I can also layer it on to get something really impactful or add just a touch on a no-makeup makeup day. See my full review on Ritz and Colourpop as a whole here.

My fringe

So I technically got my fringe cut in at the very end of 2019 but I feel like she’s really come into her own in 2020 (it might sound odd that I refer to my fringe as a separate entity but if you saw what she looks like when I wake up in the morning you would be doing the same). Having a fringe totally changes the way my face looks, and I know that’s not groundbreaking but it’s interesting when it’s your face! I also feel like just wetting and blowdrying it in the morning makes me look so put together, equally if it’s greasy af then I can look a shambles! I kept trimming during the first lockdown but by June I was almost ready to let her go, but she’s had a resurgence and I’m loving it.

Skincare

Trying to have an actual skincare routine has totally changed my skin. I’ve tried to do a little bit more research last year into what makes a good skincare routine and the thing that has really stuck for me is double cleansing. Any day I wear makeup I use an oil cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser to try and get all of the makeup off. I’ve also been experimenting with active ingredients like AHAs and BHAs as well as Vitamin C, but I’m still working on getting the balance right. I have a long way to go in this area but I’m excited to learn more this year, my skincare wishlist is long!

My attitude towards clothes

My style has changed every year since I was about 18. It’s partially trend lead but also depends on who I’m seeing on my Instagram feed and what I’m doing at the time. This year I swung away from the super girly stuff and looked for different structures and silhouettes, I dabbled in the puffy sleeve and I don’t think I’ve worn skinny jeans all year (certainly a positive change). Where do I stand now? At the moment comfort is King but feeling good in what I wear is Queen, and sometimes she wears the trousers (pun not intended but definitely appreciated). A great example of that compromise is one of my typical work outfits: a skirt, jumper and boots with a chunky heel – comfortable but I feel confident.

Getting stuck in in the kitchen

Lemon Cheesecake

I’ve tried to do more in the kitchen over the last year but the lockdown in March really got me into cooking and baking. I’ve made curries, pizzas, chillis and pastry dishes as well as baked cakes, brownies, more cookies than I can count (not more than I can eat of course) and have a pretty good bread recipe in my repertoire. One of my favourite bakes has been these amazing lemon and blueberry oat bars, they’re similar to flapjacks but are light and flluffy. They’re not too bad for you in the grand scheme of things but still taste amazing with a cup of tea in the morning!

One of the main things I love baking and cooking for is when I’m feeling in a bit of a funk. It gives me something to busy myself with, it’s enjoyable, it feels productive and I (usually) get something tasty at the end of it. I’m writing this with a stomach full of homemade pizza and a slice of lemon cheesecake in my hands, so all in all a very positive change and something I want to continue to work on this year.

Exercise

I’ve always had an inconsistent exercise routine. I suppose routine is a strong word for going to the gym 4 times a week for a month, then not at all for 6 weeks, then everyday for 3 weeks, then not at all, the- you get the picture…

When lockdown hit I started running again with the help of Couch to 5K – which I cannot recommend enough as a side note! I’ve done it twice now and think it’s the best thing to get you running from a standing start. My mum and I did the programme and vowed to continue once it was done – long story short we haven’t… But we’re going again now! The best way for me to sum up running for me is that although I might not love it whilst I’m going, I almost always feel better when I come back than when I left. I was also really looking forward to getting into some classes at the gym this year but that clearly won’t be happening for a while yet.

I would also love to get into yoga and I’m going to try again this year (she says optimistically less than a week into 2021). My main issue is that I’m entirely inflexible and therefore pretty rubbish at yoga. Additionally, getting more flexible and better at yoga is a slow process so it’s hard to see the changes. This all explains why I’ve never done it for longer than a week or two in the past! I tried a few times to get into it in 2020 and it never stuck, but hopefully the fact that I will be working from home for the foreseeable future will give me time to really give it a go. Place your bets as to whether or not I’ll be saying exactly the same thing next year…

Is there anything you loved in 2020? Or any changes that you’re hoping to carry forward into the New Year?

Colourpop Haul and Review

I’ve been wanting to try out Colourpop for years but I never pulled the trigger on my orders because of the threat of customs and extortionate shipping fees. All the way back in March I decided that was the day I would bite the bullet and go for it, but about two days later the world fell apart and my order was indefinitely delayed. Of course there were and still are much bigger issues to deal with, but finally getting this order was the tiny cherry on the total shambles of a cake that was lockdown. Finally, here we are with a nice little order and my thoughts on the products! Keep reading to find out my experience with the ordering process, shipping time and what I think of the products.

Ordering and Shipping

I made my first order after much deliberation on 17th March and eventually cancelled it and got my money back around 10 days later once it seemed inevitable that my package wasn’t arriving anytime soon due to Coronavirus restrictions. I contacted customer support a few times over the 3/4 months that I was ordering, cancelling and reordering and they always replied promptly, I think within about 48 hours each time.

I eventually reordered in July after emailing and finding out that they had resumed shipping from their warehouses. My order came to $81.40 which included shipping and customs at $14.40 and a $5 discount code. I ordered 8 items which came to $72 (-$5 discount) which I think is good value so long as the products are good quality and I wanted to order a good amount to make the shipping worth it!

On shipping: it seems expensive but I don’t think $14 is too bad considering it includes customs too, so there were no nasty surprises when it arrived! I ordered on 9th July and it arrived on the 17th so pretty fast delivery all things considered.

(Full disclosure: yes I have been using these products for a full 5 months and have only just got around to writing about them… I really have no excuse but 2020 is a write off okay, cut me some slack!)

The Products

As I mentioned, I ordered 8 products totalling $72. There is 1 product that I haven’t used: a lipstick I got for my sister as a birthday present – fairly self-explanatory why I haven’t used it! I’ve tried out the rest of the products for a good while now (understatement of the year) so I’ve got a good idea about how I feel about them.

Super Shock Shadows ~ $6 each

I couldn’t have ordered from Colourpop without trying out their Super Shock formula. This was Colourpop’s cult product line when they first launched and I’m so happy that it lived up to the hype. The cream-to-powder formula is totally unique to me and applies beautifully with your finger.

Super Shock Shadow in Ritz

I wore this shade ritz almost every single day for the first few months I got it because it gives this amazing wet look glittery shimmer on the eyes. It’s low maintenance but super impactful and perfect for summer or for that extra special something when you’re wanting to dress up.

Super Shock Shadow in Slave2Pink

I also ordered the shade slave2pink a super bright and shimmery hot pink. This looks great all over the eyes either in a really structured shape or more blown-out and relaxed. I really liked these and am glad I took the plunge and ordered, even for Ritz on its own! I would order some more super shock shadows if I saw a really unique shade that I thought I would get a lot of use out of. Top tip though, make sure you really close the packaging tight on any Super Shock formulas, apparently they can dry out if you don’t!

Super Shock Highlighter in Flexitarian ~ $8

Super Shock Highlighter in Flexitarian

Another Super Shock formula but this time I can put it allll over my face. This shade flexitarian is so incredibly metallic but definitely works for everyday, just don’t pile it on unless you’re going for the robot look. I apply this with my finger as well because of the creamy formula and I think the warmth from my fingers helps to blend it out. I love that this shade doesn’t leave a cast when I turn my face, it melts into the skin and shines in the light. Another one that I’ve been using everyday!

In A Trance Shadow Palette ~ $12

In A Trance Shadow Palette

I’d been looking for a pastel eyeshadow palette for a long time so when I saw this as part of Colourpop’s Tye Dye collection I thought it was the perfect palette to try out. Being pastel shades these were always going to take some building up but they’re much more pigmented than I expected and they blend nicely too. The only thing I’m not super happy about is that some of the mattes are flecked with microglitters, for example that bright pink shade in the top right should be a stunning, summery matte but instead has glitter running throughout. It’s not a deal breaker but I don’t understand why they couldn’t leave this shade matte! This is a common theme with Colourpop shadows so just something to watch out for.

Beast Lux Liquid Lip

Beast Lux Liquid Lip

I’ve gone off matte liquid lipsticks in a big way, they’re generally drying, uncomfortable and just look bad within half an hour of wear. Having said that… Belle is my favourite Disney princess… so I think that explains why Beast ended up in my basket! Seriously though I did love the colour on the website, it’s a nice darker nude but still wearable. More importantly it is pretty comfortable. It never seems to totally dry down but it still has a soft matte finish so it wasn’t drying at all, as a result of that I did find that the colour wore off when I ate or drank anything but I would prefer to reapply than feel uncomfortable! Similar to the Super Shock Shadows, I would buy another shade from this range if it was incredibly unique but it’s not a new go to formula for me.

Aquarius Lippie Stix

Aquarius Lippie Stix

Another classic Colourpop product, I was super excited to try the Lippie Stix. A low maintenance lipstick, the glossy, slim product seemed like a perfect ‘throw in your handbag’ product. It is incredibly comfortable, almost like a lip balm or non-sticky gloss, but for me it does emphasise the texture on my lips so you can tell if I haven’t exfoliated. I’ll definitely use this one with other products but I don’t think I’ll buy another shade in this formula.

Forth Ray Beauty Raydiate Vitamin C Serum

Forth Ray Beauty Raydiate Serum

I’ve heard good things about Colourpop’s skincare line Forth Ray Beauty so was excited to try out something from the line. I needed a new vitamin C serum and had heard that it was a cheaper alternative but still just as good as high end vitamin C serums. I do like this one but I can’t notice a massive difference in my skin, it doesn’t tingle or sting which is great but I’m not convinced that it does a great deal… it does make my skin look glowy but no different to my Glossier vitamin C serum. Again, I like it, I’ll use it all up and enjoy using it but I’m not seeing massive results. Then again it’s not breaking me out so that’s a plus!

My favourite products are definitely the Super Shock Shadows and the In A Trance palette, and even if some of the products aren’t new favourites I’m not discouraged from trying more from Colourpop, in fact I can’t wait to try more!

Zara Haul

Hi, my name is Hollie and I am addicted to Zara. I am trying to ween myself off this destructive and expensive habit but unfortunately I had a relapse this week and added a few things to my basket. So to try and get something productive out of my purchases I thought I would talk about them here. I also wanted to remind myself of all of the great things I have bought some Zara recently to try and get a second wind of excitement out of the items I already own.

A quick story time about my love affair with Zara because believe it or not we have not always had this close a relationship! I used to walk into Zara and dislike everything that wasn’t a basic t shirt, I’m not sure if I’ve change or if Zara have revamped their designs but currently it’s a totally different story. I cannot get enough of their basics and their dresses, invariably I will walk into a store and find at least 5 things I desperately need. I also appreciate the low prices of the basics without the terrible quality that can typically accompany these prices. I also believe that they are a retailer where you get what you pay for and the higher priced items tend to be worth it if you like the fit and design. Side note: the website is atrocious and I will forever be devastated that I don’t have a Zara in my hometown to wander round to my heart’s content. Now that you’ve got some context, keep reading to see what I ordered late at night.

Ribbed Halter Dress

Black Ribbed Halter Dress

Firstly, a more practical purchase, this black halter midi dress that I thought could be something to wear for work. It’s super simple and looks comfortable but is something that I think would make me feel really put together as well. My main goal in how I dress is feeling good in myself whilst being comfortable – this ticks those boxes!

Rustic Dress with Darts

Rustic Dress with Darts

I’m super undecided about this one. I saw this rustic dress on the website and instantly fell in love with the colour and fit around the top. I’ve been looking for my perfect midi dress for a while because I love the idea but the style has never suited me. This one does fit beautifully on top but I’m not sure if the bottom works or not – the length comes to the bottom of my shin so quite a long midi. I’m conflicted because it was £49.99 so not just a throwaway price tag and I’m unsure of where I would wear this, originally I thought for work but now I’m not sure… So I’m a bit stuck!

Flowing Dress with Gathering

Flowing Dress with Gathering

This is probably the most ridiculous thing in my basket because where on earth am I going to wear this flowing dress fit for a Grecian Goddess? But it’s just so pretty! The cut round the neck and the arms, the colour, the detailing round the waist, the way the skirt falls, it’s just beautiful AND a bargain at £25.99! I convinced myself to buy this for my holiday to Paris, which has now been cancelled, but I think I’m going to have to keep it anyway and just wear it out to dinner!

Halter Neck Bodysuit

Halter Neck Bodysuit

These basic bodysuits were a phenomenon and have been talked about to death but I just wanted to put my two pence in and say that they really are fantastic! I have one in black and another in red, which is pretty big for me because I always try to avoid buying things in two colours. I’ve previously avoided a halter neckline because I didn’t want to accentuate my shoulders but since wearing it more often I’ve changed my outlook and become less worried about that aspect of my figure.

Lace Bodysuit

Lace Bodysuit

Although it looks far from it, I would still call this lace bodysuit a basic because it goes with so much. I’ve worn it with shorts, skirts, jeans and trousers and its been a piece that I can rely on when I’m not sure what I want to wear, especially in the evening because of the low-cut neckline. This is also something that I’ll get wear out of all year round which makes me really excited.

Wide-Leg Trousers with Belt

Wide-leg Trousers with Belt

Another piece for all year round are these wide leg trousers. These were a super smart purchase even if I do say so myself because I’ve already worn them casually, for work and to go out in the evening in the month that I’ve had them. The best part is that these were in the sale for £13 down from £50 so they’ve got that higher quality feel for the price of a basic – that thought still makes me happy!

Poplin Mini Dress

Turquoise Poplin Mini Dress

I wore this turquoise dress for my sister’s birthday a few weeks ago and got so many compliments on it. The colour is stunning and would look even better on darker skin tones. It gives me a high fashion runway vibe with the structured sleeves and skirt, to be honest I really wasn’t sure I would be able to pull this off but I felt incredibly comfortable in it.

Floral Top

Printed Top

This was the first birthday present I bought from me to me (a tradition I suggest that everyone adopts). This floral top is another item that I’ve gotten a lot of wear from already and again is something that I would wear for the majority of the year despite it’s unmistakably summery vibe. The slight puffy sleeve makes it trendy but the flattering cut and neckline makes it not just a flash in the pan piece that will fade into the back of my wardrobe.

Flat Leather Sandals with Pearls

Flat Leather Sandals With Pearls

Finally, I picked up these pearl sandals and have worn them non-stop since they arrived. I wanted a pair of smart but practical sandals that I could where everywhere and anywhere to dress up a casual day dress and dress down an evening outfit – these fit that bill perfectly. I wouldn’t want to walk around in them all day but they are perfect for wandering to lunch or being up and down in the office all day.

The Palette Tag

I don’t have hundreds of eyeshadow palettes, don’t get me wrong I still have too many! Because of this I find it quite hard to answer the question “what is your favourite palette?”. I saw this tag on Youtube and LOVED the idea so I wanted to write about it myself because I’m not ready to hear my voice on a recording/see how awkward I am on camera yet! With that being said, keep reading to see some of my favourite colourful powders.

Newest Palette

Colourpop In a Tance Palette

My newest eyeshadow palette is the In A Trance palette from Colourpop. I just did my first ever order from there and I’m really excited to try everything out! I have taken this one for a little spin already and, based on first impressions, I like it! I’m gonna need to find a way to wear these shades everyday.

Oldest Palette

Urban Decay Naked Palette

Believe it or not, I STILL have the OG Naked palette in my drawers. It’s one of the first ‘proper’ makeup products I ever got! Safe to say I haven’t touched it in a while, I think it’s more an artefact than a makeup product now, maybe she’ll be worth a fortune one day…

Most Expensive Palette

Tartelette In Bloom Palette

There’s not a massive amount of variety in the prices of my eyeshadow palettes, most of them sit around the £40 mark, but I think when I bought the Tartlette in bloom palette it was a little more pricey than the rest. Although the prices may have changed now so the most expensive I own might be one of my ABH palettes instead? So either one of those two!

Most Inexpensive Palette

Revolution Reloaded Newtrals 2 Palette

To be honest, I totally forgot I owned this palette. I was really surprised to find the Revolution Reloaded Newtrals 2 palette at the back of my drawers. This palette was only £4 when a bought it and looks incredibly similar to the Modern Renaissance by ABH. I haven’t used this one in a while now but I remember quite liking the formula.

Most Everyday Palette

NYX Ultimate Shadow Palette

I own a fair few ‘everyday’ palettes, but the NYX Ultimate palette is probably the most ‘everyday’ palette I own, it’s neutral but nice and versatile too. I can get lots of really nice daytime and evening looks from this palette, which also makes it the perfect travel palette.

Most Colourful Palette

Morphe x James Charles Artistry Palette

My Morphe x James Charles Artistry palette has to be the most colourful palette I own. This palette is great to have on hand, it’s not got the most cohesive colour story but that it isn’t necessarily it’s main selling point. For me, it’s purpose is for it to have everything you need when you need it rather than to inspire you in and of itself. I always know it’s there when I need something bright.

Smallest Eyeshadow Palette

Naked Basics Palette

My smallest palette is definitely my Naked Basics palette. I don’t really use this one a lot but it is a good one for travel and super easy to store. Because of that I can’t imagine that I’ll get rid of it any time soon, it’s not exactly getting in the way or taking up space!

Best Memory

Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Palette

I think my Morphe x Jaclyn Hill palette has the best memory attached to it. I remember opening this one on Christmas Day a few years ago around the time that it first came out and I was so incredibly excited! This is first palette that I got crazy excited about when I was starting to learn a little more about make up. The formula of these shades is still phenomenal, I really need to use it more than I do because it’s just so good!

Most Worth the Hype

ABH Soft Glam Palette

I think the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam palette is totally worth the hype. I find the formula has great colour pay off but still easy to work with, and the shimmers are super metallic making this a great all rounder.

Least Worth the Hype

Tartelette In Bloom Palette

I think the Tarlette in Bloom palette is.. okay..? I really liked it when I first got it and still think the softer neutrals are nice. But the darker colours are nigh on impossible blend and the colour pay off is meh at best. I think it’s fine, but I never reach for it anymore.

Favourite Palette from a Favourite Brand

ABH Soft Glam Palette

Anastasia has one of the best eyeshadow formulas I have tried and the Soft Glam palette has my favourite colour story of all their palettes. I hate to repeat myself but I don’t have the biggest collection in the world and I wanted to be honest! I love my Modern Renaissance as well but I just feel like the Soft Glam stepped it up a notch with the blendability of the mattes and the amazing shimmers.

Most Used Palette

ABH Modern Renaissance Palette

Purely because of how long I’ve had it, the ABH Modern Renaissance is my most used palette. It was my go-to for such a long time and even if it has been displaced I still find myself picking it up fairly often.

What’s next on my Wishlist?

Melt Cosmetics Gemini Palette

This one wasn’t in the original tag but I thought I would add an extra category! (I know, who do I think I am?). The next palette on my Wishlist is the Melt Gemini palette. I’ve seen one girl I follow talk about it relentlessly and the formula looks insane. I also recently found out that it is stocked on Beauty Bay and I am actually a Gemini. I feel like its written in the stars, an inevitable purchase. The only thing holding me back (other than spending the money!) is I’m not sure if I’ll use it enough..? Like I say though, I think it might be inevitable especially because I’ve just graduated so it might just accidentally fall into my basket as a graduation present to myself. Rereading this, I’ve written so much about this palette that I can see how excited I am and how desperately I’m trying to talk myself out of buying it! Wish me luck…

I hope you enjoyed my take on the palette tag, I really enjoyed writing this one. I’m getting more into makeup again recently and I’m loving it!

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Glossier Haul and Review

Glossier is one of my favourite brands, I love the aesthetic and the products that I’ve already tried so I really wanted to try some more. I’ve been trying to save in lockdown and it was my birthday recently so that perfect storm (nice pun, kind of… sorry) led to a sizeable order! I’ve been trying these out for the last month or so and (spoiler alert) am loving it all! Keep reading to see my thoughts.

Cloud Paint Duo in Puff and Storm

I’ve already tried one cloud paint in the shade Dusk and I love it! Dusk is a really wearable nudey pink shade so I wanted to try something a little bolder, and bold is definitely the word for the colours I chose! Puff is a super light pink shade and Storm is a much darker dusty rose shade. Although somewhat intimidating, the creamy formula means that these shades blend seamlessly and give a perfect, low-maintenance flush to the cheeks. The best way to apply these is with your fingers to let their natural warmth blend the product in. I love all three shades, particularly storm blended together with dusk, such a dreamy combo!

Niteshine in Pale Pearl

If you had told me before I tried this product that Glossier had a wet-look, metallic highlighter in their collection I would have laughed because of their super natural aesthetic. And yet, that’s exactly what Niteshine is: wet-looking and metallic on the skin for a stay-all-day shine. Part of the Glossier Play line, Niteshine is a fun pop of sheen to add some luminosity to your everyday makeup. Again, this blends seamlessly with the fingers and adds such a pop to the highpoints of the face without being obnoxious.

Wowder Duo

When Wowder launched I didn’t hear much about it, good or bad. It was only after one of my favourite influencers talked about how much she loved it, second only to her Hourglass powder, and since Hourglass is a little out of my price range I decided to try Wowder instead! I really like this as it doesn’t look too powdery on the face and sets me down all day. The brush is also really nice, not an essential by any means but still nice to have!

The Treat and Perfect Duo

The Treat + Perfect Duo has been a great addition to my skincare routine. The Solution has become my everyday toner but I only use it at night and am sure to wear suncream the next day because the acids make your skin very sensitive to the sun. Having said that, I’ve experienced no irritation and my skin has been baby soft ever since I started using it. My texture has definitely reduced if not totally vanished and my skin feels brand new every morning. I’ve (touch wood) not had a big break out yet so the Zit Stick is yet to be put through it’s paces but in all honesty I’m happy to wait a while longer before I need to use it!

I hope that was in some way helpful if you’re looking to make a Glossier order, equally I’m sorry if I’ve made you want to make a Glossier order! Although if you are looking to try some new things and you fancy some everyday makeup bits to enhance your natural gorgeousness, Glossier is a great option. Maybe you’ll thank me later? Thank you for reading x

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What I got for my 21st birthday

It’s fair to say that 6 months ago I didn’t think we would be housebound for my 21st birthday. I was planning on going on a night out, having cocktails, going out for dinner maybe, but instead of that the BBQ we had at home was a lot of fun and a really nice way to spend the day. I was very lucky this year (like every year) and got treated to some really nice bits from my family which I thought I would share.

You can also read my post from last year here!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Palette

The first thing I got was the ABH Soft Glam Palette. I was super excited to try this out as I love the colour story and really enjoy the Anastasia formula. Safe to say it has not disappointed! The reason I’ve been loving this is because it’s super easy to get a nice natural look by throwing a few browns in the crease, but the shimmers are super metallic and really take any look from 0 to 100!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Luminous Bronze Light

Another bit of makeup, I’ve always wanted to try something from Hourglass because I’ve heard so much about their powder formula. I got this Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Luminous Bronze Light in a little travel size because it always seems to take me forever to get through bronzers! I really like this one because it doesn’t look powdery on the skin and gives a nice summery glow without leaving glitter all over my face.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask

I’ve been getting more and more into skincare so I really wanted to try out Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask. It has some active ingredients and acids that work overnight to smooth and hydrate your skin and having used it a few times that’s definitely how my skin feels in the morning! My skin is nice and glowy and smooth the day after I use it and even though the acids aren’t too strong I make sure only use this once a week so as to not overload my skin.

Bose SoundSport Free wireless headphones

I was so excited to open these! Until my birthday I was the only pleb left in my house with wired headphones and after trying my parents’ out I decided I’d like a pair of Bose SoundSport headphones over AirPods. The great thing about these is that they twist and fit into your ear so they’re much less likely to fall out, which is was put me off AirPods – the thought of losing something that small and that expensive made me too nervous! So far I’ve used these walking the dog and going for a run and they’ve been fab.

& Other Stories Floral Mini Dress

I loved this dress when I found it online and loved it even more when I tried it on! This & Other Stories Floral Mini Dress falls beautifully on the hanger and looks even better on. It’s a perfect fit and such a simple summer dress that could be worn anywhere. The quality of this is fantastic and although its not the cheapest its amazing value for money for the quality, I’ll definitely be looking at some more bits from & Other Stories!

ASOS DESIGN hair clip in layered leaf design in gold tone
ASOS Design hair clip in layered leaf design in gold tone

My sister surprised me with some really cute hair bits from ASOS. The first was this gorgeous gold layered leaf hair clip which I’ve worn a few times and haven’t had any issues with it sliding out of my hair which is fantastic. She also got me a deep red velvet knot front headband which is really lovely, I can’t wait to wear it!

Fitbit Inspire Stainless Steel Mesh Strap in Rose Gold

Another really great present was this rose gold strap I got for my Fitbit. I wear my Fitbit Inspire HR everyday and I used to have a rubber black strap, which was comfortable but looked very clunky on my wrist. This new strap is really nice and slim and doesn’t look out of place when I’m a little dressed up.

Zara Floral Printed Top
Zara Flat Leather Sandals with Pearls

Finally I bought a little something for myself because if you can’t treat yourself on your birthday then when can you? That’s what I told myself anyway! I popped onto Zara and bought this gorgeous floral printed top, it’s amazing quality and such a nice fit with a super flattering neckline. I also picked up these stunning flat leather sandals with pearls because I’ve been looking for some comfortable flats that I can dress up or down. These definitely fit the bill and are super comfortable which is the most important thing. I actually wore both of these new pieces on my birthday!

A little late this year but I really enjoyed writing this post. Also this way I got to try out some of my presents so I could write about them in greater detail! I had such a nice day, even if it was in lockdown! Here’s hoping I can leave the house when I’m feeling 22.

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