June Favourites 2017

Happy Friday!

I will try not to do the typical ramble about how quickly June has gone… but know that I REALLY can’t believe it is almost July! We’re halfway to Christmas, my FAVOURITE time of the year! Anyway, here are my monthly favourites including a little bit of everything this time:

  • LUSH D’Fluff Shaving Soap, £5.95: Summer= CONSTANT shaving to keep my skin summer-ready. I’ve found this improves the process slightly with the refreshing strawberry scent and
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Powder, £3.99: This was part of my Drugstore Minimal Make-up look and, even more so this June, it has become a real STAPLE. We’ve had a heatwave in the UK at the moment and I CANNOT cope, so this helps to try and save my shiny forehead… it’s a big task but I think this powder gives it a good go.
  • Barry M Passionfruit Gelly Nail Pain, £3.99: I usually have a nail polish favourite and this month is no exception! For me, this is the PERFECT coral shade and pops a tan like crazy. It’s a perfect summer toe shade that co-ordinates well with pretty much all of my outfits and sandals.
  • Bardot Tops: These have definitely been a favourite this month! They make summer clothes more bearable for a body-conscience gal. I find they cover me up but keep me cool- the perfect formula. I’ve found most of my favourites are from New Look, mainly online because in-store I was not as impressed!
  • Love Island: One of my FAVOURITE tv shows has returned this month and I am loving it. I am completely addicted. I’m hoping most of you will already be watching it, but if you haven’t then you really need to give it a try especially if you’re a reality show junkie like me! My favourites at the moment are Marcel and Gabby, but they change daily because the show is so fast-paced and people can instantly become unlikable.

Let me know what’ve you been loving in the comments below!

Amy

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YA Summer Reading Recommendations

Hello,

In my Shake up your Summer post I talked about reading as a hobby that you could consider taking up during the sunnier months. So following on from that I wanted to share a few of the books I enjoyed last Summer, that you should consider trying this year! I’m mainly into YA/ Chick-lit books, so if you’re into a similar genre then you are definitely going to find some gems in here. I’m kind of into fantasy too… well Hunger Games haha so sometimes I look for similar series but haven’t found anything to beat those books yet. Hopefully one of these 3 tickle your fancy:

  • The Sun is Also a Star, Nicola Yoon: I read this REALLY quickly last Autumn, which is unlike me because I can be pretty slow and easily side-tracked, so it MUST be good! The story follows Natasha and Daniel’s story from a variety of perspectives, but it is clear to follow and is such an innovative way of story-telling. ‘Everything Everything’ is one of my favourite books, Nicola’s debut novel, and I would DEFINITELY recommend giving both a go if you haven’t already. \
  • The Red Queen Series, Victoria Aveyard: These books are much more for the fantasy fans, it is very much Hunger Games-esque. There is some magic, romance and I thought the plot was very unpredictable! I’m looking forward to reading more of the series, I think there are 3 out at the moment.
  • The Potion Diaries Series, Amy Alward: I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy this book because I thought it might be a little bit young BUT I loved it! It is VERY magical, I would say it is more of a teenage fairytale with love. I’m really looking forward to the third one which is out this summer AND a majorly good thing about these books is the really pretty covers.

I think I’m going to leave it with these 3 different options for now because most of my other suggestions are a bit unoriginal! Basically, most of Zoella’s first book club in summer 2016 are worth a read and Giovanna Fletcher’s books are guaranteed to make you fall in love. Other places to look for books are on goodreads, Amazon or YouTube where you can look for a specific genre and look at books similar to your tastes. I’m looking for some new books for this year now, so let me know any of your recommendations below!

Happy reading,

Amy

Tips for Bedroom Decorating

Happy Monday!

Since returning from university for the Summer I have decided to change up my bedroom a little bit! I didn’t have loads of cash to splurge and my parents didn’t want to COMPLETELY re-decorate. So I made it my little project to make it a relaxing space that I can write, get ready and chill! Here are some of things I did to my room to help achieve that:

  • De-clutter: This first step takes the LONGEST, well it did for me because I find something interesting and am lost for hours. I would suggest going for a clockwise technique around the room to make sure you have done everything. Make clear piles for rubbish, charity and keep- then when you go through them you can see what you REALLY need.
  • Move furniture around: A bit obvious BUT worth it to make a real difference when you walk into your bedroom. Look at the different surfaces in your bedroom and decide if you’re making the best use of them. For example, I’ve changed the top of my chest of drawers into a dressing table by moving all my beauty bits off my desk onto that surface and adding a mirror. Also you need to find the balance between practical and pretty when it comes to shelves.. which is tricky! With bookcases I tend to go for books at the back and then maybe a photo frame or trinket in front to make it prettier.
  • Prints and photos: Adding a couple of pretty Pinterest quotes around your room instantly makes it more insta-worthy. You could make an art wall or just dot them around your room on shelves or your walls. Don’t forget to put up some of your own memories too which gives your room the personal touch and makes it more of a calming place.
  • Textures: Having different and contrasting textures around your room can really change the dynamic of it. Simply by adding a fluffy cushion to the bed or some wooden frames instead of plain white can help make things feel fresher! Try looking in Matalan or Dunelm as they have lots of cushions and blankets which can help transform your beds or chairs.

Top Bedroom Buys:

  • Quote prints Not on the High Street has LOTS of different options in a whole range of sizes, colours and for different prices.
  • IKEA photo frames are REALLY cheap, seriously my favourite ones start at £1.25! They are simple and look really chic on your walls, especially the white ones with a quote inside because it keeps the focus on the print not the frame. If you want some fancier frames Paperchase do some nice ones or H&M home.
  • Reed Diffusers this really can make your room feel a bit newer and fresher when it is feeling a bit boring! My favourites are from Zoella’s range with my favourite scent definitely being ‘Homemade Treats’ which is SO sweet. They tend to last a couple of months which is perfect because I like to change them to fit the seasons.

I love interior designs and searching ALL the Pinterest boards! Sometimes that can be a bit disheartening because my room never really looks like that but hopefully these tips will help us get closer to our PERFECT bedrooms!

Happy decorating,

Amy

Basic Girls Guide to: Nails

Hello,

I hope you’re enjoying the sunshine! If you’ve read some of my previous blog posts you would have seen that I am quite into keeping my nails looking POPPING. Having your nails looking chic really draws your outfit together and helps you feel more professional… well it does for me! Today I just wanted to cover a range of nail areas including advantages and disadvantages of nail treatments available at the salon, how to get professional looking nails at home AND discussing my favourite nail polishes.

Salon Nails:

  • Acrylics: Acrylic nails allow you to extend your nails and then finish with a french manicure or a regular nail polish. The advantages are that all your nails look even, you can have different shapes, they last for around 2/3 weeks (sometimes longer!) AND you can continue to get in-fills, which is cheaper than a new set each time. This does take longer than other gel treatments like Shellac, they can look a bit old when they start to grow out and are difficult to remove yourself, without damaging your nail bed.
  • Gel: This can be a great alternative to acrylics if you already like the shape of your natural nails. Salons offer a wide range of different gel formulas, one of the most common (and the one I’ve used the most!) is CND Shellac. The positives behind choosing gel nail polish include the high-shine finish, it lasts for about 3 weeks, is easier to peel off yourself, it grows out more subtly than acrylics and does not take as long! However, they can use UV lights which if used repeatedly can dry out your hands, the colour range can be more limited and if you’re very hands-on or if it gets very warm it can peel off.

Professional looking nails at home:

  • 3 Stripe Rule: I am NOT an expert, obviously, but recently my nail painting skills have improved a lot! Since I’ve stopped relying on the salon for my nail care needs I’ve now decided to improve myself. SO I googled a lot of different ways to paint nails accurately and I think the 3 stripe rule is the best way. This is simply paint one central stripe down your nails then one either side. Try and keep a gap between the paint and the edge of the nail the whole way round.
  • Vivid Colour and a High-Shine Topcoat: Layer the coloured polish until you get a deep colour, usually it takes 2-3 coats. Having an opaque colour makes it seem more professional, especially if it is even too. Then you need a really shiny gel top coat to lock in the colour and protect it. My favourite one is Barry M’s Plumpy Topcoat which is only £2.99 and doesn’t leave air bubbles.

Favourite Nail Polish:

All my favourite nail polishes are from Barry M because they has SO many different colours, formulas and are ALWAYS on offer so it is easy to pick them up. My favourite formula is the Gelly one with Blueberry, Acai Berry and Damson being some of my go to shades. The Coconut Infusion and Sunset Nails are definitely worth a try too for some long-lasting colour and they each cater to different shades. Barry M is always coming out with seasonal shades and formulas whilst adding to the original lines, sometimes they do limited edition paints too but I haven’t given many a go!

I hope this was helpful and has given you some ideas to help develop your nail painting skills! Don’t worry about getting it all around your nails, it will always wash off AND give it time to try. I still get frustrated sometimes when painting nails but when you get it right, it is SO satisfying! Continue reading

Shake up your Summer

Happy Monday!

It’s a new week and today I want to share a few different things you can try this summer, to easily shake things up! These are small activities to try whether you’re lucky enough to have a long summer break or still have to work through the warmer months. I think summer is the perfect time to try some new things because the days are a little longer and generally I feel a bit more energetic… don’t get me wrong Netflix is still a summer essential haha! Here are just 5 things that will hopefully inspire you to give something new a try during this sunny season:

  • Learn a new language: I’ve started this recently using the app ‘Duo Lingo’ it’s simple to use and takes you through multiple quizzes to help you develop your new language skills. I’ve chosen to try Italian, which I’ve enjoyed a lot recently, and it is honestly never-ending! Also what I like about it is it doesn’t take up lots of time, so you can simply try it on your daily commute or just before bed- PERFECT!
  • Volunteer: Volunteering is a very broad topic but any kind of volunteering can be very rewarding for everyone involved! The best place to look for different opportunities is to look online for local volunteering jobs. It can be really simple things like supporting any local runs, a charity shop or helping at summer camps.
  • Scrapbook: I LOVE to scrapbook and have already done a blog post explaining my top tips- Scrapbooking: Tips and Tricks so I won’t go on! BUT it is a really nice activity to do outside in the sun and I find it the best way to save my photography. I prefer to have my photographs actually printed out and not just living digitally, they’re also very nostalgic to look back at!
  • Baking: A very simple thing to try but can be really fun, especially if you enjoy the goods you’ve made out on a picnic or after a BBQ! My favourites to try in summer are scones, fruity desserts and cookies. It’s nice to give them a go and give them out to family and friends too on a nice summer’s afternoon. My favourite place to look for recipes is Jane’s Patisserie blog or just looking in my Mum’s cook books.
  • Reading: Summer is when my love for reading really kicks in! I wish I would read as much throughout the year but I just definitely seem to enjoy it more when the weather improves. I would definitely just recommend to try reading more in general, summer is the perfect time to start! I’ll be putting some book recommendation posts up throughout the next couple of months so keep an eye out for some inspiration!

There are obviously SO many different things you can do this summer but these are a few that I am trying this summer and have done in the past. They’re at more manageable activities to add into your daily lives without breaking the bank or completely changing your routine. Hopefully these have inspired you, let me know what you would like to try this summer!

Enjoy the sunshine,

Amy💖

Basic Girls Guide to: Make-up Brushes

Hello,

Today’s blog post is ALL about make-up brushes. They are the tools we use regularly but can get overlooked in when looking in your beauty bag. When I first got into make-up I really had no clue about what brush did what AND for a long time I was really confused about the ‘right’ way to clean them. So I’ll be sharing a few of the things I’ve learnt recently, obviously I’m no expert… but I think that’s already clear haha! This is just a basic girls guide to EVERYTHING about make-up brushes.

Cleaning your brushes:

  • PRODUCTS: I use these little brush eggs from Amazon, which are only £1.11 AND they come in lots of different colours, which pleased me more than it should have! I just used this  cute tool and baby shampoo- this will last you quite a few brush cleaning sessions as well!
  • METHOD: You just put some baby shampoo on the little egg and scrub the brush against it. Rinse the brush in a cup of water or under the tap and leave to dry- EASY PEASY. I think this is the easiest and one of the cheapest ways to do it.
  • RESULTS: Once the brushes have dried they return to their normal shape and pretty much return to how they were when you first bought them. The baby shampoo is very gentle on the brushes so it leaves them feeling super soft.

IMG_8843

Don’t forget to get a pretty/ HILARIOUS pot to keep all your brushes in, this is mine!

Top 3 Favourite Brushes:

  • Real Techniques Setting Brush, £5.80: I ordered this off Amazon because I couldn’t find it on its own in Boots, sometimes Amazon is cheaper too! I love this and I use it to blend my concealer- under my eyes and on blemishes. Sometimes I use it for highlighter too and it picks up just the right amount product too!
  • Real Techniques Buffing Brush, available in the core set £10.77 on Amazon: If you’re starting to dabble with brushes then this core set will set you right up. This brush is definitely one of my most used because it can blend your ENTIRE base. One of my favourite things about this brush is that I just really trust it to make sure my base looks FLAWLESS. I like to use for foundation AND then I go round my whole face with it after ALL the base make-up to make sure my make-up looks less harsh!
  • Real Techniques Blush Brush, £7.01: The shape of this is perfect for the apples of your cheeks! I think it applies blush AND bronzer really nicely and evenly, sometimes I use it for both to give a natural, sun-kissed glow. It is a good alternative to a powder brush too because it is quite big and fluffy!

Hopefully this post has given you some ideas on how to clean your brushes and some recommendations on some brushes you might want to try! You don’t need to go overboard on brushes but I think that these ones will really help build a solid, core collection. Let me know your favourite brushes below!

Amy💖

 

Hits and Misses: Mascara Edition

Happy Sunday,

In yesterday’s post I decided not to include mascara in my minimal make-up look, but today mascara is getting their very own post… lucky thing! I use to be a lot more into mascara than I am now, so I have a few to share with you. Personally, the main properties I want in a mascara are no clumps, so complete fullness across the lid, for it not to transfer under my eyes and for it to be lengthening. These are the main things I look for in a good mascara and I’m still not convinced I’ve found my favourite, but here are 5 of the selection that I have tried:

Mascara Hits:

  • Maybelline Big Eyes Mascara, £8.99: I don’t usually hear many people talk about this one, but I really like it! It comes with two wands- one for the top lashes and one for the bottom. This feature really makes it because I use the one for the bottom lashes to separate my lashes and give them a really natural look. It does’t transfer and can be built up if you like a more full-on look.
  • Maybelline Lash Sensational, £8.99: This is quite a popular mascara online but I think it is worth the hype. It gives a lot of volume, but I don’t see it as a everyday mascara. The results can be dramatic, but because of the two different sides of bristles you still get definition with your lashes, which I think makes it one of my favourites.
  • KIKO Volume Eyes Plus Active Mascara, £7.90: This mascara probably my favourite natural mascara, it is quite light but deepens the lashes nice and evenly. It separates them and the shape of the brush makes it easy to reach the lashes in the corners of your eyes.

Mascara Misses:

  • Benefit Bad Gal Lashes, £18.50: This is not necessarily the worst mascara ever BUT the performance of it just does not correlate with the price. If this was a similar price to Maybelline’s products then it would maybe not be as disappointing. I feel like it is too dramatic for my simple make-up looks, it gives more of a ‘fluffy’ lash look and the brush tends to pick up a lot of product. I like the packaging, but overall I just don’t really think it is worth the higher price tag.
  • Max Factor Excess Volume Extreme Impact Mascara, £12.99: I bought this on a complete whim when it was new out and really it is nothing special. Firstly, it is very bulky and not as compact as other mascaras with dual-wands. One wand is for ‘extreme volume’ and the other is to add a ‘dark lacquer’- the latter wand is similar to the KIKO mascara but provides less length. When I initially used this is use to make my eyes feel a bit puffy but I didn’t want to waste it so sometimes I just use the ‘dark lacquer’ end which gives better results for me. Again, it is not AWFUL but it just is not worth the money.

Hopefully this list has given you some suggestions if you’re on the lookout for a new mascara. I would say the best brand to go to is Maybelline, out of the ones I’ve tried anyway, but I’ve heard L’Oreal is a good one too but I am yet to try them! I’m still looking for my ultimate mascara, I would like to try Benefit’s Rollerlash in the brown shade but I don’t know if it really will be worth the money and I’m not sure if brown mascara will look right? Let me know if you have tried it below and I’d love to hear your favourite mascara!

Amy

 

Drugstore Minimal Make-up

Happy Saturday!

With the sun shining this morning I thought I would share a post containing a few of my top products for a minimal make-up look, all from the drugstore… or Boots or Superdrug as we say in the UK! I tend to wear a variation of these products regularly, but even more so during the summer months because I am usually a sweaty mess so cannot be dealing with heavy make-up. I’ve narrowed it down to 5 staple products to keep it extra minimal this summertime, but obviously you can add others to make a more substantial look:

  • Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, £4.19: One of the most popular products online, so I won’t go on too much. There probably isn’t much I can say that you won’t have already heard about this concealer, but in short I really like it on blemishes. I don’t like to use a heavy base during the summer months so I just REALLY go for it with this concealer and I don’t feel like it goes cakey like some other ones I’ve tried.
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Powder, £3.99: I know, another unoriginal product but I promise I do actually use these! One thing I would suggest with this powder is to actually consider buying one with a coloured tint and not just the transparent one. I go for shade ‘002: Pink Blossom’ which with the concealer helps give me more coverage whilst keeping shine away!
  • Rimmel Brow This Way Gel, £3.99: This is one of my favourite eyebrow products and it really is a one-stop-shop. I use the transparent one because I already have quite thick brows, but I’m sure the tinted ones will be just as good on sparser brows. I prefer the brush on this gel, in comparison to Maybelline’s Brow Drama, and it doesn’t leave your eyebrows all crispy.
  • Bourjois Aqua Blush, £8.99: On a no make-up, make-up day I go for blush because I am naturally flushed, so I use the natural make-up just to enhance that. If you prefer to go more bronzed then obviously you can swap that in for blusher, or go for both! I love this blush because it is a gel consistency and blends seamlessly into your cheeks to give a natural, long-lasting glow.
  • Nivea Care Lip Balm, £1.65: I know this isn’t the most exciting product but I am not that adventurous with lip products. So I usually just go for a simple sheer balm, to keep my lips looking fresh and some of these balms have SPF in too which is a bonus! If you want more of a tint then Nivea do have some coloured options or Maybelline Baby lips are worth a try too.

Together these products create a really simple, natural and light look that is perfect for summer. These are just 5 base products that can be completely adapted with different lip looks, mascara, smokey eyes, bronzer, there is so much you can do! Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this post and would consider giving these a go next time you’re shopping in the drugstore. Let me know your favourite minimal make-up products, I’m still on the hunt for a natural fluttery drugstore mascara and a nude-tinted lip balm.

Enjoy the sun,

Amy💖

3 Favourite Overnight Products

Happy Friday,

I hope you’ve had a lovely week! Today I wanted to discuss a few of my favourite products that you can use overnight, which is a really easy and carefree way to nourish your skin. I love using overnight products because, if you’re a bit lazy like me, then you don’t really have to think about it you can just stick to these products to see quick results in the morning! Here they are:

  • KIKO Night Balm, approx. £7.90: Unfortunately, I can’t find this on the KIKO website, as I am still using mine from Christmas, so hopefully it is still available! This is rich, nourishing lip balm that aims to repair your lips and replenish moisture. It comes in a little pot but lasts many months before it needs replacing! If you exfoliate your lips before using this then you can see the results even more clearly the following morning.
  • Soap and Glory Heel Genius, £5.50: This might be a bit of an odd one to write about but I’ve continued to use this for a couple of years now and I LOVE it. All you do is put this cream on your feet then put socks on and go to sleep- so simple. It works to help recover any dry skin or blisters on your feet and I think it is a must-have for summer, when we’re doing more walking especially in sandals where our feet are more exposed. Doesn’t have the nicest scent, but if you can get past this then definitely give it a go!
  • The Body Shop Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream, £14: I haven’t been using this for as long as the other two products but I still think it is a product worth giving a try. The Body Shop do offer a Vitamin E overnight mask, which I haven’t tried, but might be a good alternative if you have drier skin. I use this night cream, despite having some oily areas, as it says it is suitable for all skin types and it is a lot richer than other facial moisturisers I have used. It has the texture more like a body butter but it sinks in a lot quicker and doesn’t stain your pillows. Definitely leaves your skin feeling plumper and softer, but a little goes a long way

Hopefully you have found this helpful and might consider giving these products a go! Honestly, when you use all 3 the next morning you feel SO soft and your skin feels much more luxurious, especially after a long day. If the KIKO night balm has been discontinued then I’ll need a new nighttime lip balm- do you know of any alternatives? What are your favourite overnight products?

Amy💖

Uni: Unusual Essentials

Happy June!

Today’s post is about some of the less traditional essentials that I have found very useful during my first year of university. These are five things that are not the typical pots, pans etc. There are lots of other more official lists online and usually your chosen university will send a list that is specifically tailored to your accommodation. Here they are:

  • Loungewear: This is pretty much the uniform of uni life. You want something a little more socially acceptable than pyjamas but not quite everyday attire. There is A LOT of lounging around at uni with Netflix pretty much being part of the curriculum. I would look in New Look, Primark or on ASOS for baggy jumpers and then either joggers or leggings- then you are good to go!
  • Notecards and Stamps: If you’re into stationery then shopping for this step is dreamy. I loved picking up different writing sets and cards then I would write to people whilst I was at uni. Not only did it give me something to do but it kept me connected with friends at other uni’s too. Another thing to remember under this category is some wrapping paper, you never know when your new friends birthdays will be and sometimes it’s good to have some on-hand just in case they’re soon after you move in.
  • Door stop: I had to borrow one off another flatmate because other people already bought them- it broke the ice! They’re handy at the beginning to make you seem welcoming and inviting- even if you’re not don’t worry by October-ish you can start shutting the door again.
  • Medical supplies: In the weeks before you leave for uni think of the medicinal things you usually ask your mum for and then put them in a little bag! This is the best way of ensuring that you will not be stranded at uni feeling ill. We’re talking things like paracetamol, plasters, flu tablets and tissues etc. just all the little things! Even if you don’t need them its likely other people at uni would have forgotten, so then you can pass them on and break the ice.
  • Your own washer upper: I’m not entirely sure what they’re called but you need your own utensil for your washing up to maximise hygiene. You can share other stuff in the kitchen like washing up liquid but I think having your own ‘cleaning wand/brush’ or something just makes it easier and less gross.

Hopefully these helped you remember some things that you might of forgotten when packing for university! This time of the year you’re just starting to think about it, once exams are out of the way, so hopefully these posts will help get you thinking/ excited!

Best wishes,

Amy💖