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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Everything I’ve bought in lockdown (so far..)

I’ve tried to restrain my shopping habits a little this year, I told myself I would be good. But then we got told to stay in for the foreseeable future… so I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that this shopping wasn’t my fault and therefore doesn’t count. Hey, I don’t make the rules! With that in mind, I thought I’d share all of the things that have magically appeared on my doorstep over the past few weeks.

Topshop

Topshop Ditsy Babydoll Puff Sleeve Dress

Probably my favourite thing I picked up was this Babydoll Puff Sleeve Dress from Topshop. I loved this so much when I saw it that I set up an email notification so I knew when it was back in stock! This is quite different for me because although I love little summer dresses I’m more of a fit and flare kind of person but this dress is loose and has big puff sleeves which I never thought I’d wear! Definitely still a little out of my comfort zone but still very me in a lot of ways. It’s also worth mentioning that this feels like amazing quality especially for the price.

Glamorous Floral Print Dress

On the other hand, this dress 100% me down to a T! This Floral Print Dress is actually by Glamorous but I also bought this one on Topshop. I love these kinds of dresses, they’re feminine but still fun, girly but not too cutesie, flowing but fitted. This dress ticks all the boxes for me and I love how it makes a bit of a statement but doesn’t scream for attention! I also love how versatile this is as I think it could easily go from day to night with a change of footwear, I’d wear white trainers or sandals in the day and some little heeled sandals in the evening!

Topshop Ivory Honeycomb Cardigan

I’m so glad I took the plunge with this Honeycomb Cardigan from Topshop. I loved everything about this when I saw it apart from the balloon sleeves but when it arrived at my door I decided I really liked it! It’s super cozy and warm but the holes in the loose knit still make it nice and breathable, perfect for a summer’s evening!

ASOS

Stradivarius romantic shirt in blue checks

The first thing I got from ASOS was this Stradivarius romantic shirt in blue checks. I was a little on the fence with this one but I think on balance I’m going to keep it. Again, we have puff sleeves (who is she?!) which admittedly did worry me but I actually think the whole design fits together really nicely. The neckline is super flattering and I love this colour at the minute! I also think this one is more versatile than it looks because although it is a summery piece I think it would look great with some jeans, boots and a coat in the winter.

Topshop super cropped knitted top in ivory

I did buy this one on ASOS even though it’s another Topshop item (I’m really into Topshop right now! Can you tell?) and this was a definite keeper as soon as I unwrapped it. I loved this Topshop knitted crop top when I saw it, such a nice little basic! I actually got this one a size bigger than I usually would because of lack of stock but I really like the fit . I think this one would be great for those cooler summer days with some shorts and trainers!

Pieces Pany giant pearl hair clip

I’m loving these pearl hair clips from Pieces, I actually picked up two because I thought I would prefer having one for each side of my head and I’m glad I did! I think these look so nice pulling my hair away from my face whether I secure them at the back or the side of my head! My favourite thing about these are that not only are they super comfortable and gorgeous but they don’t slide out of my hair! They really grip onto my hair so I don’t have to adjust them every time I move which is such positive because I HATE putting something cute in my hair and having to fiddle with it because it won’t stay still. Super pleased with these ones.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

Finally, I picked up this Squalane Cleanser from The Ordinary. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while and it seems to go in and out of stock all the time so I thought I’d grab it whilst I could!

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My Skincare Routine 2020

Since we’ve been in lockdown I’ve taken the opportunity to spend some more time over my skincare in the morning and the evening so I thought I’d share what I’ve been doing. For some context, the general purpose of my evening skincare to repair and nourish my skin and the purpose of my morning skincare to prepare it for makeup and make it nice and glowy. As for my skin type, I have pretty normal skin that can sometimes be a bit sensitive. My skin isn’t prone to break outs (she says with a second head currently growing on her cheek) but if I do get spots they tend to be around my chin which I believe are mostly down to hormones and diet (*cough* stop eating chocolate *cough*). I also have a fringe which means I do get some lumps, bumps and general texture on my forehead but no one sees that so I’m not too worried about it!

Evening

To take my makeup off I’ve been loving using my Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm recently. I’ve only started using it regularly over the past month or so (hello lockdown!) since I’ve been home and had access to my bathroom to do my skincare but I am totally converted! I used to use micellar water and I do still like it for a quick and easy makeup removal but the Clinique balm literally melts the makeup off my skin and leaves it feeling clean but not tight. I also remove the oily residue of the balm with my Face Halo and I really think it makes all the difference. Face Halos are made of microfibres and can actually be used to take off makeup without any other cleanser, just water! I do love the Face Halo for that too (you can read more about it in my review post here!) but using it with an oil based cleanser means I can remove my makeup without scrubbing my skin too hard. Equally, I’ve used the balm without my Face Halo before and as nicely as it removes my makeup I definitely feel like that oil residue stays on my skin. So all in all, an oil based cleanser is definitely my favourite for removing makeup but I definitely like to take it all of with a Face Halo!

For my double cleanse I’m currently using the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, again removed with a Face Halo. I’ve only started double cleansing recently and I’m definitely a convert, I don’t think my skin has ever felt this clean! I definitely like this cleanser but I’m not sure if I would buy it again. I’ve just bought The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser and I’m looking forward to trying that soon! The best thing I can say about the Glossier Cleanser is that it cleans my skin and (as far as I can tell) hasn’t broken me out, which might not sound like high praise but that’s exactly what I want from a cleanser!

Next I tone with the Botanics All Bright Cleansing Toner on my reusable cotton pads I got from amazon. I like it, it’s okay, I’ll be honest I bought it because it was pink and looked nice and wasn’t too expensive! I’ve learnt a little more (emphasis on little!) about skincare recently and the main thing I’ve learnt is that alcohol is generally not good for your skin and after closer inspection I saw that alcohol is the first ingredient on the back of the toner bottle. For that reason I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing and next on my list is the Glossier Solution or the Pixie Glow Tonic so fingers crossed I can try those soon.

After toner I slather my skin in Glossier’s Super Bounce serum. It’s so nice and moisturising but extremely light on the skin and sinks in so nicely. After toner my skin can tend to feel a bit tight (most likely due to the alcohol in it!) so I love using this serum afterwards to make my skin feel hydrated again. Because I have fairly normal skin when given the choice between moisturising or oil control I always go for moisturising because the last thing I want to do is suck all the moisture from my skin and dehydrate it! Like I said, I do think this is a really lovely serum but I might try a different one before I repurchase it.

Next up in my routine is eye cream and I’m currently working my way through my Clinique All About Eyes eye cream. Again, I do really like this one but so long as eye cream is nice and moisturising I’m not too fussy about it! With all that in mind, I don’t think I’ll repurchase this one as I think I’d like to try something different when I finish it.

For my night time moisturiser I’m using up a sample size of Glossier’s Priming Moisturiser in Rich. I do really like this moisturiser because I find that it sinks in pretty quickly and is nice and moisturising. The only thing I’m not loving is the perfumey smell although it hasn’t irritated my skin as far as I can tell, it’s just personal preference! Pretty similar story here as well: I do like it but probably won’t repurchase.

I am looking to add some AHA/BHA acids to my evening skincare to deal with the texture on my forehead and cheekbones but I’m planning to do some research before putting too many acids on my skin. I would definitely like to try The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + 5% BHA Peeling Solution when it comes back in stock!

Morning

I tend not to do a full cleanse in the morning, usually just wash my face with water in the shower or run a damp Face Halo over my skin.

Next I pop on my Glossier Super Glow Serum. Another Glossier product that I’ve been really liking, Super Glow is a vitamin C serum that gives your skin a nice glow. It’s also not too potent so doesn’t irritate my skin which is great! I haven’t really used enough of this to consider repurchasing and will probably do some more research into vitamin C serums before I do.

I’m still using my Nivea eye cream, it has a nice pinky colour to counteract dark circles so it’s great for tired puffy eyes in the morning. Equally great for puffy skin is the L’Oreal Hydra Genius moisturiser, so nice and cooling in the summer! I’m not going to be repurchasing these products because they are not cruelty free so I’ll be finding some alternatives when the time comes!

I’m on the hunt for a great sun cream for under makeup but until then I’m using up a garnier sun cream. It’s super important to use sun cream everyday and especially after putting active ingredients like vitamin C on your skin. Like I say I’m just using this one up and have my eye on the Kao Biore Watery Essence Sunscreen to try next.

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My Lockdown Watchlist

I’ve been at home with my family since the lockdown was enforced in the UK so we’ve had a lot of time for TV! I thought I’d share the things we’ve watched and whether we would recommend.

The Handmaid’s Tale

My mum and I sat and watched the first season of The Handmaid’s Tale during the first week or so of the lockdown and we definitely had some thoughts about it! Firstly, I’m not sure if ‘enjoyed’ is the right word for it because the whole premise of the story is certainly quite bleak, but it was definitely intriguing and we couldn’t wait to watch the next ones. The story was fascinating and we couldn’t wait to see how it would unravel as we watched on. As well as the story I thought the casting was fantastic and the acting was incredible (Elisabeth Moss is an icon). Every aspect seemed so brilliantly thought out, all the way down to the costume and set design, everything seemed to fit together perfectly to assist the storyline. Like I said it took us around 10 days to watch the whole season because although I usually binge TV I’m actually really happy that we had some breathing time between the episodes to let everything settle and digest. Bottom line is, if you find those dystopian storylines intriguing like we do then I think it’s definitely worth a watch!

Quiz cast and first look trailer from new ITV drama | TV ...

Quiz

I LOVED this show. Quiz is a dramatic retelling of the coughing scandal on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire where a couple coughed their way to the top prize of one million pounds. It was super quirky and the balance was hit perfectly between being a drama but also very lighthearted and entertaining. The three part mini series follows the launch of the show, a recreation of the show where the coughing took place and their trial afterwards. It was just so fab, definitely one of my favourite dramas I’ve watched in a while. Also it’s worth noting that Michael Sheen is literally flawless as Chris Tarrant, I kept forgetting that it wasn’t actually Chris Tarrant!

Back to the Future Movie Review (1985) | Roger Ebert

Back To The Future

I only saw Back To The Future for the first time last week. I know. And it was so much fun I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it sooner! Such a great film and definitely one that lives up to the hype. Such a funny, crazy film and I now understand why when people found I hadn’t seen it before their jaws would hit the floor! Personally one of my favourite parts that showed how 80s the film is was Doc being absolutely fascinated by a video camera.

Peaky Blinders

We’ve been watching Peaky Blinders as a family in the evenings and I think its safe to say we’re all hooked! So far we’ve seen seasons 1-3 of the 1920s gangster drama and have really enjoyed how intense the plot lines are. The season finales are always really exciting and it’s nice that the seasons aren’t too long so we don’t have to wait forever for the storylines to play out. I know we’re a little late to the party on this one but I’m glad we finally got there!

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Knives Out

I actually went to the cinema with my boyfriend to see Knives Out at the end of last year but after telling my parents how much I enjoyed it we decided to sit and watch it one evening. I think it’s fair to say that my parents felt it lived up to the hype I’d been giving it and for me it was just as enjoyable to watch the second time round! A classic murder mystery with a twist, it’s the characters that really make this film stand out for me. The cast was phenomenal and everyone was fantastic in their role, particularly Daniel Craig as the somewhat unpredictable detective and Ana de Armas the kind nurse who cannot tell a lie. Although the first time watching it is definitely the best (the twists are brilliant!) I still loved it just as much and had a new appreciation for it the second time round.

The Nest looks like BBC's most exciting drama of 2020 so ...

The Nest

I feel like everyone has been watching The Nest recently, and with good reason! Another incredible BBC drama, the nest follows a wealthy couple trying to have a baby and a chance encounter with an 18 year old girl just out of care who later offers to be their surrogate. As the couple uncover more about this girls background they realise that all is not what it seemed and they grapple with who she is and the future of their unborn child. The story was totally gripping and we couldn’t wait to see the end, definitely something to watch if you want to make the hours fly by!

Beauty Favourites

I’ve been really getting into makeup again recently and have really enjoyed trying out some new things with the products I already have. In wearing makeup nearly everyday again my favourite products have really stuck out and so I thought I’d write about them and talk about what I’ve been loving recently.

Rimmel’s Lasting Finish foundation

I’ve been gravitating towards this foundation so much recently, partially because it’s the foundation that matches me best at the moment, but I’ve still been really liking how it looks! I’ve been enjoying wearing this foundation on an everyday basis, concentrating the medium coverage formula in the centre of my face and blending outwards. Because this matches me pretty well currently (my pale pale face currently suits the shade 103 – True Ivory) I can quickly slap it on in the morning without worrying about it looking streaky. Like I said, I find this to be a solid medium coverage that covers most of my redness but still lets my skin peak through. All in all, a solid option, especially for that quick application in the mornings.

Too Faced Born This Way concealer

I love this concealer. I use it every time I wear makeup, without fail! This concealer is a little more expensive, but because of the super high coverage I only use a tiny amount under my eyes, a little mark on my chin and nose to brighten my face and on any little breakouts so it lasts for such a long time. I currently use the shade Snow which is a pretty good match right now but would be too light if I really packed it on and will definitely be too light for when I (hopefully) get a tan this summer. Like I said, the coverage is crazy good and although there is a little creasing throughout the day its totally natural and normal so doesn’t bother me and is something I see with every concealer I wear under my eyes.

MAC’s Velvet Teddy

Potentially the definition of a classic, this lipstick has been raved about for as long as I can remember – I think it’s one of the first high end products I ever got! I cracked it out again recently and was reminded exactly why it’s a cult classic. The perfect pinky nude matte lipstick, it strikes a great balance between being comfortable and has decent lasting power and even when it does start to fade it does so naturally without becoming patchy.

ABH Modern Renaissance

There’s a reason we were all obsessed with it when it launched! I’ve fallen back in love with my Modern Renaissance palette this month both for my everyday makeup and for those (admittedly rare) occasions that I head out in the evening. My favourite shade for quick makeup in the morning is Buon Fresco, the lilac colour in the palette. I just put it all over my lid and in my crease, add a little of Vermeer, the cooler toned shimmer, in my inner corner and I’m all done! If I have a little extra time I like taking Cyprus Umber, a really nice brown with hints of purple, and running it along my lash line for a faux wing.

L’oreal Dream Lengths Frizz Killer Serum

I just had to sneak a hair favourite in because I’ve been loving this product so much recently. This Frizz Killer Serum is the newest addition to the Dream Lengths range and honestly whenever they add something new to this range it immediately peaks my interest. I religiously use the hair cream and now the frizz serum when I get out of the shower and I think they really help my hair to be much less frizzy and fluffy. I have wondered if maybe the combination does weigh my hair down a little but to be honest it doesn’t bother me and I’ll compromise a little volume for less frizzy hair!

Glossier Super Glow Serum

Back to our regularly scheduled beauty favourites, I’ve been really liking the Glossier Super Glow serum lately. I got it for Christmas and have used it almost every morning since. I’m not super well versed in what I should and shouldn’t be using in my skincare routine but I’ve heard that vitamin C serums are supposed to make your skin nice and glowy so I thought I would try one. To be honest my skin has looked a little dead recently but I think that’s a combination of a slightly sub-par diet (university student right here), assignments and dissertation work (again, university) and the corona virus stress is not helping (the most important year of my life so far AND a seemingly unstoppable virus? I think not). All in all not the best! But having said that I think my skin has been looking better overall since I’ve been using the super bounce serum.

Cruelty free makeup

I’d love to be that person that can go vegan, but unfortunately I’m not right now. I’ve made a few changes, like I try not to buy beef to eat at home, buy Quorn instead of chicken sometimes and have made the switch to buying soya milk to have in my tea. However, I think the one place that I can try hard and succeed is in my makeup. So I’ve decided to be more conscious about the brands I buy from and the actions I support when I purchase certain products.

In a nutshell, products advertised as cruelty free have not been tested on animals. Although this seems very black and white there are some grey areas to be aware of. Just because a product is cruelty free doesn’t mean that the brand as a whole has a zero tolerance policy for testing all of their products on animals. And even if a brand is cruelty free, that doesn’t mean that their suppliers are. Moreover, if a brand sells their products in China then they are not considered cruelty free as animal testing is required in China.

It can be very tricky to keep up with which brands are cruelty free and which are not, certain brands are certified and some are not. To help with this, there are many website and blogs that regularly update their list of brands to keep readers updated with which brands to support. The two I often consult are Free The Bunnies and My Beauty Bunny.

So why the desire to try and buy cruelty free? I suppose that’s quite self-explanatory really, I believe that testing on animal is unnecessary and unnecessary harm seems wrong to me. Additionally the cosmetics market has become so saturated with products and there are so many brilliant options out there that buying from brands who aren’t cruelty free again, seems unnecessary when I have the choice. I’m not necessarily an animal lover by any means, but again it seems so unnecessary to continue to test on animals so I’m choosing to try not to support those brands anymore.

This doesn’t by any means mean I’m going to purge my makeup and throw away anything that isn’t cruelty free. Firstly, this would be wasteful and would achieve nothing as the product is already bought and the money is in their hands. Secondly, this would be incredibly expensive and I can’t afford to replace all that makeup! I’m going to use up the products I already own and try to find alternatives the next time I need to buy something to replace it.

I’m going to try my best to buy cruelty free but as I mentioned, it can be difficult to research a brand and the brand that company is owned by to guarantee that they are cruelty free. More and more brands are going cruelty free as the demand for these products is rising so hopefully this endeavour will only get easier.

If I lost all my makeup, what would I repurchase?

I’m always trying to find great products to use but when I comes to pinpointing my favourites sometimes I struggle. So I thought I’d look at it a different way and ask myself, if I lost all of my makeup, which products would I immediately repurchase? It’s basically just a different way of looking at my favourite products but not just talking about what I’m loving right now but what I couldn’t go without. So I’ve gone through all of my makeup and picked out my absolute favourite products.

Face products: liquid

The first thing that came to mind was my It Cosmetics CC cream. I LOVE this stuff I used it all summer because its so nice and lightweight but really packs a punch with the coverage. I can guarantee that when this runs out I’m definitely buying another one!

A more recent purchase but definitely a fast favourite is the Too Faced Born This Way concealer. This is probably the most high coverage concealer I have ever used but its not cakey or dry and it sits really nicely under my eyes all day.

My personal favourite liquid bronzer is the Maybelline Eraser Eye concealer, I just buy it in a deeper shade than I would need for a concealer! This totally does the job and because its a concealer it blends out really well on top of any foundation I’ve tried, however Maybelline are not a cruelty free brand. Although this is a good, inexpensive product I will try and find an alternative when it runs out.

The Glossier Cloud Paints are such lovely products and I would definitely want to get another one if I lost it! I use the colour dusk which is a nice pinky bronze shade that blends really nicely into my bronzer whilst still giving a nice flush. Less is more with this product so even though it’s not the cheapest the price-per-wear is pretty good!

Face products: powder

I think my favourite bronzer has got to be Benefit’s Hoola bronzer, it’s a classic for a reason and is a perfect balance of not being too warm or too cool toned. I would 100% rebuy this, but Benefit do test their products on animals so I would like to find something I love just as much that’s cruelty free.

I’m not super picky with highlighters, anything light and champagney ticks the box for me. If I did lose all my makeup I think I would have a look round the high street to try and find a good one, but a classic and one I’ve had for years is The Balm’s Mary Lou-Manizer so if I had to rebuy one I already have then I think that would be the one!

Eyes

The eyeshadow palette I would buy again in a heartbeat is the James Charles x Morphe Artistry Palette. It has almost all the colours I’ll need and has such a great formula. maybe I’d buy the smaller version that he released if I lost my current version but without a doubt I’d need it back! I did a bit of digging and although Morphe state on their website that they are cruelty free, they are not certified as such. Another colourful option I would consider is the BPerfect Stacey Marie Carnival XL Pro Palette which I’ve heard so many amazing things about.

I would also definitely look into getting a smaller, neutral palette that was more travel-friendly and I could use on an everyday basis. I have a Beauty Bay palette with a big mirror that is unfortunately discontinued, however they do stock other similar palettes like this one that I would definitely consider buying were I to lose the one I currently have.

The best eyeliner I’ve ever tried is the NYX Epic Ink eyeliner and I would buy it again in a second. It is often compared to the Kat Von D (now KVD Vegan Beauty) Tattoo Liner, but I tried that recently and find that it dries up when I’m applying it and I constantly have to stop and try and shake the product down. Maybe I got a dudd product, but either way I’ll be sticking with NYX for now!

My favourite mascara ever was unfortunately discontinued (moment of silence for the L’oreal false lash sculpt mascara please) and I’ve tried a few since then to try and find a great one. I think the best I’ve tried is the Essence Lash Princess mascara not only because it performs brilliantly but because it’s so inexpensive, it makes me unwilling to buy another pricey mascara again!

Lips

My favourite lip liners I own are probably by Mac. However, whether or not they’re much better than the cheaper high street brands? I’m not too sure so I’d probably go to my local boots and pick up a nice pinky nude, a red and maybe a more browny nude too and not feel guilty about the price!

My go-to nude lipstick has to be Charlotte Tilbury’s Bitch Perfect and I would certainly notice if it went missing. I would love to buy it again, however I’d again be tempted to check out the high street and see if I could find anything I liked just as much. Spending over £20 on a lipstick definitely hurts but I wouldn’t rule it out!

I would also definitely want to pick up a nice pink shade and probably a red, you never know when you’ll need one! My favourite pink of the moment is the Nars Velvet Lip Glide in the shade Playpen. Not only is the colour of this gorgeous but the formula is so lovely and not drying at all. However, again I believe Nars test on animals which is a shame and I would love to find something similar from a cruelty free brand. The red I always have on hand is Revlon’s Moisture Renew Lipstick in the shade In Love With Ginger. It’s a really vibrant, fiery red and I’d definitely want to get something similar to it again.

The Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb really is worth the hype, its so shiny and non-sticky but it is a little on the pricey side. On the other hand, the NYX Butter Glosses are amazing and super inexpensive. They’re definitely not as glittery but they’re very shiny and not sticky in the slightest. If I need to take one out with me then I always choose NYX because that way I don’t have to panic about losing it! It’d definitely be a toss up, I’d probably want to get one of each!

As for the categories I didn’t mention, I don’t really use liquid highlighter very often so I wouldn’t necessarily repurchase the Revolution one I currently own. I’m a lover of blush but I think it’s pretty hard to mess up a blush as they don’t need to be very pigmented so I’d probably wander to my local boots and pick a cheap one up rather than desperately needing to repurchase one I already own!

In terms of face powder and eyeliner pencils, I do use them both almost every time I wear makeup but I’m not hugely fussy with eyeliners and I don’t think I’ve ever even gone through a whole pot of translucent powder! I think for both of these I would look at what was on the market at the time and try and find something inexpensive but I would prioritise their quality. For powder I’d want something non-cakey and light on the skin and for eyeliner I’d want it to be pigmented and stay in my waterline all day without running down my face.

To find cruelty free products I have consulted Free the Bunnies and My Beauty Bunny‘s lists of cruelty free brands and did some googling where I could.

Christmas Gift Guide: Christmas Hamper Ideas

A hamper is such a cute gift for anyone, and its a great thing to get someone if you’re stuck on what to get them! Places like B&M and Amazon sell ‘make your own hamper’ kits that include a hamper and some cellophane that you can fill up with whatever goodies you want. The great thing about making someone a hamper is that they’re incredibly customisable, you can spend as little or as much as your budget allows. If that sounds appealing to you I’ve put together a little list of ideas of how you could theme a hamper for your loved ones this Christmas.

1. A few of their favourite things

Kind of an obvious one, but giving someone a basket of all their favourite things such a nice present because you know they’ll love it all! You could sit and write down the first 5-10 things that come to mind when you think of that person and buy some of those bits to put in a cute hamper. For example, if they’re super into a certain sport or they love makeup or even if they love their coffee in the mornings putting all of their favourite things together is a great way of showing someone how well you know them. This one also gives you an opportunity to put lots of random things in that don’t necessarily go together because the only theme of the hamper is that person!

2. Favourite Food Hamper

Always a winner: buying someone food. I did this for my boyfriend for our anniversary and I think it went down pretty well! I got him some of his favourite chocolates, instant coffee, beer and some other things he wouldn’t usually buy for himself at uni like Pringles and pods for his coffee machine. To make it even better, I made sure to point out to him that I didn’t include anything that I would want to eat, that way he knew I wouldn’t steal any and it was all for him! Whoever you’re buying for, a hamper of treats will always do the trick, you could even theme it, for example if you have a vegan friend you could get them their favourite vegan snack food!

3. Hot Drinks Hamper

Along a similar vein, getting someone a basket centred around their favourite hot drink would make a great gift. If you’re buying for a coffee-lover then some different kinds of fancy expensive coffee, a nice mug (maybe a travel mug if they commute to work!) and some biscuits would be great, this works equally well if they’re more into tea, just switch out the coffee for tea! Even if they’re more of a hot chocolate kinda gal some fancy hot chocolate, a cute new mug and some whipped cream and marshmallows would definitely do the trick!

4. Pamper Hamper

If it rhymes then it’s definitely a good shout! There’s so much scope of things to include in a pamper hamper, some fluffy socks, new pyjamas, face masks, makeup, skincare, maybe a hair mask if they’re into haircare, the list goes on and on! You could even get one for your friend, double up on everything in there and have a cosy pamper night in. Top tip: include a film and a bottle of wine for maximum relaxation.

5. Sports Hamper

This one might not work for everyone but I think it would be a great gift for the right person! If you know someone who’s really into certain sport then I think a basket filled with things around that sport would be an amazing idea. Take golf for example, you could get them some golf balls, some tees, a towel for their bag, even a new glove or shirt to play in! Or football would work well too: you could pick up the new season’s shirt, maybe a photo of their favourite team, a team water bottle, or even a scarf or hat they can wear if they regularly go to watch the games.

I hope that’s given you some ideas if you were still wondering what to get someone for Christmas. I think a homemade hamper is such a nice idea for a present because every one you do is different tailored to fit that person. It’s also a great one if you’ve not done you’re shopping until the last minute and need to get something quickly! If you did like this post then I’d really appreciate it if you could like and share and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to see more.

Hollie x

Christmas Party Beauty Essentials

‘Tis the season to be sparkly! I don’t know about anyone else but the reason I take my time getting ready to go out is because I genuinely enjoy the process of putting my makeup on, and that only gets better when I’m playing with glitter! In honour of the sparkliest season of the year I’ve made a little list of my Christmas Party essentials, keep reading to see what they are!

Flawless Foils - Rebound
Revolution Flawless Foils in Rebound

Glitter and sparkly eyes is obviously a must in the festive season, and this Revolution Flawless Foils in Rebound is perfect! It’s really inexpensive and such a gorgeous rose gold colour that goes with everything. They can be a little tricky to work with but once you get the hang of it the pay off is totally worth it!

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Rimmel’s In Love With Ginger

I can’t believe its even taken me this long to mention it but surely everyone gravitates towards red lipstick this time of year? My favourite is Rimmel’s In Love With Ginger its such a bright red that looks just as great in the summer as it does in the winter for a super festive look. It’s also very moisturising which I really appreciate!

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Maybelline eraser eye concealer

We probably all eat too much, drink too much and don’t sleep enough especially as it gets closer to Christmas. Be it present-shopping stress or partying into the small hours it can all take a toll on our skin, which is why a great concealer is always a must if I’m getting dressed up. The last thing I want is to be looking tired when I’m dressed to the nines so a safe bet for me is always my maybelline eraser eye concealer cover up that uni stress.

A great highlighter tops off a festive makeup look perfectly, I don’t like going without it! I think highlighters are as personal as your perfect nude lipstick, it depends if you like something subtle or blinding, glittery or that lit from within glow. Whichever way you lean I just think a little highlighter finishes everything off perfectly.

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Urban Decay’s Heavy Metal Glitter Liner in Midnight Cowboy

Finally, I had to mention a glitter eyeliner! If we can’t be extra at Christmas then when can we? My favourite is Urban Decay’s Heavy Metal Glitter Liner in Midnight Cowboy because it goes with everything and never fails me.

That rounds up my Festive Party Beauty Essentials, if you’re going to any parties this year, well firstly I’m very jealous, but mostly have a lovely time and I hope this helped you in some way! If you liked this post please don’t forget to like and share it and follow my blog to keep up to date this month!

Hollie x

Christmas Gift Guide: ASOS Gift Section

Whenever I’m looking for cute little presents for anyone I always check ASOS first. They have a really nice selection of affordable products and a nice range of different gifts so you can do most of your Christmas shopping in the same place! Here are my top picks from ASOS for this year’s festive shopping.

Stojo collapsable travel mugs

I just got myself a little travel mug recently and I’m really happy I did! It’s super handy to have when I’m at uni so I was really happy when I found this Stojo collapsable travel mug on ASOS! I love that it’s nice and compact so it wouldn’t take up too much room in your bag. There’s no excuse for getting single use cups anymore!

Root 7 reusable water bottle

Along a similar vein, I don’t go anywhere without my reusable water bottle, it’s such an essential! This Root 7 water bottle on ASOS is a really nice option if you want to get all your shopping from the same place but Chilly’s are of course another good choice with so many colours and patterns.

wxy. skin. scented candle

Another gift you can go wrong with is a cute scented candle. This wxy. skin. scented candle would look so nice in a bedroom or living room and I bet it smells amazing!

Fizz corgi mug

This mug okay… it makes me smile everytime I see it! I saw this corgi mug a few weeks ago and was considering getting it for Black Friday but it sold out! I’m hoping it comes back in stock soon is I can drink my morning tea out of it every morning.

Migoals 2020 planner

I’m such a planner I can’t function without my bullet journal! If you know anyone like me this Migoals 2020 planner would be such a nice gift for them because organisation is life ❤

I hope that’s given you a little bit of inspo when it comes to Christmas shopping this year, I also think lots of these would make super cute Secret Santa presents! If you did enjoy this post then I love for you to like and share it and subscribe to my blog to read more.

Hollie x