Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Benefit Cheek Parade Palette





I bought the Benefit Cheek Parade Palette recently as I had been wanting to treat myself to the Galifornia blush for ages, and then Benefit go and bring out this amazing palette. I am so glad I picked this up as I have been using it on a daily basis. It includes the new Galifornia blush and the new Hoola Lite bronzer, as well as three other best-selling products.

I have been using the original Hoola to contour my face and it is a great match for my skin, it is not too dark and it buildable. I have on occasion used Hoola Lite to contour my face just to add a little dimension, but I find it is a great all over bronzer for simply adding colour and I will be getting a lot of use out of this over the upcoming summer months.

It has come to a surprise myself how much I have used Dandelion on a daily basis. It is a beautiful light pink shade which looks lovely with my complexion. I have been using this more than Galifornia which I did not expect, however Galifornia is a really gorgeous darker peachy shade with a hint of gold shimmer. The design of the sun imprinted into the blusher looks super stunning to look at. However, it can be a little bit of a pain when it comes to colour pay off on the brush, I find I have to try a little bit harder to get an equal amount on my brush.

The shade which I have not used a lot is Rockateur. I initially thought I would be able to use this as highlighter, but I have found it does not quite give me the glow which I want compared to my other highlighters. This does however work at adding a healthy glow to the apple of my cheeks.

For £49 this is such excellent value for money considering you get 5 full sizes in the palette, each costing £24.50 individually. Your basically getting 3 free (this is the reason I have no self-control when it comes to buying makeup!). I do find that most of the blushes and bronzers do have a little fall out, so I always take a little and build it up to my desired amount.

All in all, this is a great palette and if you are wanting to treat yourself, then this is the perfect option.

Lucy
xoxo




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Sunday, 23 April 2017

30 spring blog post ideas


At points throughout the year we all face the dreaded bloggers block, and finding inspiration for new posts can be very difficult. I have brought you a selection of blog post ideas to reignite your imagination. 

Beauty
Holy grail spring makeup items
Switching up your makeup bag
Top 10 lipstick choices
New releases for spring
Updated makeup collection
High end vs dupes
Going out makeup look
Everyday work essentials
Makeup must haves in your handbag

Lifestyle
Recipes
How to be productive
Juggling your life/work balance
Get to know the blogger
Favourite Instagram accounts
Fitness routines
The best apps for blogging
Updated personal blogging goals
How you take your photo blogging photos/ behind the scenes
Blogging props

Fashion
Best on the high street
Your favourite current trends
High end wishlist
How to shop for less
Where to spend and where to save
Updating your wardrobe on a budget
Spring fashion tips
Must have accessories
What I wore to... (e.g. wedding/birthdays)
Reworking your own wardrobe

Lucy
xoxo
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Friday, 21 April 2017

Sephora Haul





If you have been reading my posts lately you will know I went on a city break to Prague which you can catch up with here. Whilst I was there I obviously took a trip or two to Sephora and here is everything which I picked up. I did not have too much in my mind as to what I wanted to get so I went in with an open mind, and as always it did not disappointed.

First up, I was super impressed with all of their new skincare offerings. I was drawn to a new charcoal collection which is great for acne prone skin like mine. I picked up the cleansing and exfoliating wipes, cleansing water and 2 lots of their nose strips. I can't wait to try out this range and I will definitely report back. I also picked up a lotus face mask as I was simply drawn to the moisturising aspect as my skin can get very dry, and I love a face mask which packs moisture back into my skin.

I did not plan to buy so much from their lip range but I am really happy with my choices. I picked up the goji lip balm, simply because I am always on the hunt for a new lip balm and I have never tried any from their range. I always check out their liquid lip stain range as I already have a few and I like them a lot. I was instantly drawn to the colour of sweet raspberry. This is a purple toned shade which is not too dark and still has pink undertones. I can report that I wore this out at the weekend and I totally smitten with the shade, it is such a beautiful colour. I also picked up two of their lipsticks from their rouge creme line totally on the whim in the shades R17 and R19, and I cannot wait to try these out as I have heard excellent things about this range.

In the aisle of doom next to the till area I saw these mini antibacterial hand gels from the brand Merci Handy, and I instantly started rooting through looking at all the different colours and scents. They don't seem to be available on the Sephora site so I am guessing that they are concessions in certain countries. These are so cute and handy and are great to keep in your handbag.

What have you picked up recently from Sephora?

Lucy
xoxo



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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

A city break in Prague

If you have been keeping up to date with my travel week posts, you will know this is my last installment. If you missed any you can catch up on my what I ate in Prague post and also my how to write travel posts as a newbie post. Today's post is all about my whole trip to Prague and what we actually got up to I went with my mum and dad.

We flew out on a Sunday evening quite late in the afternoon which was actually a great time. We got to the airport at 4pm and had some food before our flight at 7pm. The flight time from Manchester to Prague was just over the 2hr mark; there is also a one hour time difference when you arrive. We organised to be picked up from the airport by Prague airport services and I have to say they were brilliant. The service was exceptional and the driver gave us a guided tour of the city on the way to our hotel. We had booked to stay in the Jury's Inn in Florenc. This was a very last minute holiday we booked it about 10 days before flying which we have never done before. It was the first week of the Easter holidays (so it is always going to be a little more expensive than usual) it cost just over £300 each for flights and 5 nights in the hotel.


The first full day we spent looking around the Easter market located in the main square of the old town. We were those classic tourists who decided to buy tickets for the hop on/hop off bus. We often decide to go on these tour buses on the first day of our city breaks and holidays as it gives you an insight into where everything is and you are able to get your bearings. You also get some background history into where you are visiting which is great if you are only visiting for a few days. As the bus advertises the hop on/hop off aspect is a great way to see the city, we found it extremely helpful in Prague and we did get on and off throughout the day.  As part of your ticket their was a free river cruise ride included. The weather was okay this day and it was a nice extra treat to go along the river and see the sites from a different perspective.

After exploring the full city on our first day, we decided on the second day to go to Prague castle which is one of their main attractions. We got on the tram to the castle and the system is very easy to follow.  We bought a 3 day transport ticket which cost approximately £10, this was great and there was no restrictions and you could use it as many times as you wanted. We were able to buy the tram tickets from out hotel which was even more convenient. Once we got to the castle which was only about a 10 minute journey from our hotel, we had to queue for 20 minutes to go through the security system before we got into the castle to buy our tickets. Once we got into the castle grounds the process of buying the ticket was not simple in the slightest, there was no signs telling you where to buy the tickets and everything was a little bit hectic. The place where we were queuing to buy the tickets from closed then everyone manically moved into another box office where we felt as though we were in a cattle market. Throughout visiting the sites in Prague if you are a student/ have a student card take it with you as you get discount on all the main attractions. The tickets for the castle were 250 crown for adults and student tickets were 125 crown. The castle itself was such a beautiful place to visit and there is so much to see and do. They have a market within the castle grounds which had amazing food. The castle was very busy but it was half term and there were lots of tour groups. As there were lots of different parts to the castle, there was not too much queuing and we were able to see all of the sections without too much difficulty. This is a must see attraction!








We also try and always go to a city zoo on our breaks. I know that we can go to zoos in the UK but we all love family trips to the zoo and this one definitely did not disappoint. We found out that the tram ticket which we bought the day before also worked on the buses which was great as we got a quick tram ride to the closest station, and then the zoo provided regular buses which started at this tram stop to the zoo. We were not sure how the big the zoo was, and we were really surprised at just how big it actually was. It took us a good 6 hours to get around the entire zoo. They had polar bears which totally made my visit as they are just such beautiful animals. We managed to walk 15,000 steps this day and my feet were killing!




On the 5th day we took a visit around the Jewish quarter part of the city. Instead of buying tickets to go into all of the different sites we instead decided to just have a gentle wander around and see all the variety of buildings. We also managed to fit in a little bit of shopping on this day to my delight. There is a huge shopping centre called the Palladium located at Namesti Republiky. This centre has over 200 shops and the biggest Sephora, there are actually 3 Sephora's in various locations across the city (and yes I went into them all!). The shops are more high street than high end which I loved as I had some money left to spend so I had a little shop around and picked up some great things. There is also a street just off the square which hosts lots of high end designer shops.

On the last day we had an evening flight so we didn't want to waste the day, but we also did not want to venture too far. We went back into the old part of the town for a last look round. We also went to Charles Bridge which is a main tourist attraction, it is lovely and you can see some really beautiful views from standing on the bridge. The weather was awful on this day and we were not wanting to tramp around in the in the pouring rain, so we went for some lunch and then headed back to the hotel to collect our suitcases and head to the airport. 

We overall had a good time in Prague we were all impressed as to just how well priced everything was. If you read my what I ate in Prague post you will have seen that we were as surprised as to just how well affordable yet great quality the food was. As already mentioned we found that with the attractions within this post, nothing was overpriced and we really felt as though we were getting value for money. 

On the way back home me and my mum were discussing whether we would recommend to others to visit Prague or not. Since I have been back I have found myself saying the same thing numerous times to people who have asked how my holiday was. I thought it was important to mention that as soon as we got into our taxi in Prague, the driver informed us to be careful with pickpockets. He stated that unfortunately they have had an influx of people coming into the country and especially into the city who have created this kind of unfortunate pick-pocketing culture. I know you get pickpockets wherever you go, its life. I have been to Venice which is one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited and we were warned of the same the problem by the tour company. However in Prague I have never seen anything like it. 


On the first night in the supermarket 50 metres away from our hotel, a man approached me in a very strange way I instantly grabbed hold of my bag tight and I felt extremely uncomfortable as he tried to put his arm around me. Thankfully my dad was there, but he followed us outside and we were all shocked by what had happened considering it was such a public place. Unfortunately, it left a really bad taste with us and we were all constantly on edge the rest of the holiday. I saw someone get pick pocketed at the metro stop, they simple rife through wallets and purses for cash and then throw them away instantly. I would not have left the hotel or gone anywhere in fact on my own as I simply did not feel safe. I do not want to end this post on a bad note but I think it is important to inform my readers and be honest as to how I really feel about the trip. On my return home I have said to people I would suggest visiting Prague as the place overall is great and there is so much to see and do. However, I would not necessarily rush back.

Have you ever been to Prague?

Lucy
xoxo
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Friday, 14 April 2017

How to plan travel posts as a newbie


I really wanted to try add some more posts to my travel section of my blog. This week I have already published my what I ate in Prague post, and I also have a whole summary of my Prague trip coming on Sunday. I thought that I would put together a post all about how I have found writing travel posts as a newbie, and the tips I have picked up along the way. Travel is definitely a newer category on my blog, and it can scary venturing out from the your safe place and into something new.

My first tip is probably that the notes section of your phone will become your best friend. I had a page where I wrote down all the places we ate, what we ate, prices, locations and what I loved/hated. It is so easy to forget names and places and the simplest of details when you are on to go and that can be so frustrating. I found just really simple key words helped me write my posts so much easier. I also had a page of what we did and things I don't want to forget to mention. When people read travel blog posts they want to know the little things you love that's made your trip different to everyone else's. I found writing down locations was really important as the names were very confusing in Prague, and there was no way I would of remembered them when I got home and ready to write the posts.

When your writing your post make sure you put life and personality into the post. Travel posts can be hard to write and say what you did without repeatedly saying "we went here and we did this and then that". This can get really repetitive especially if you've been on a longer trip which has been busy and a lot going on. I think splitting the trip up into smaller sections and reasonable sizable chunks to work with is much more manageable. I took each day and wrote it up with all the notes which I had made on my phone. This helped me to trigger all the extra information from the trip which I wanted to ensure I got in as I did not want to miss any important details.

I thought that writing travel posts would not be too different to my usual style of blog writing, but it was quite the opposite. I think you have to be more concise and to the point as it very easy to be rambling which is fine when you are writing a beauty post on how much you lovely a certain glitter golden eyeshadow, but on a travel review I prefer all the information to get across to me without have to scrawl for days to find the nitty gritty details. People want to read the highlights, the places you are saying people must not miss on their trips. Readers also want to know whats not worth the visit, and also the reasoning's why as you have to remember what you might not like, someone else might really enjoy. I think including prices can be really helpful, as it is so hard to know how much money to take on a weekend trip. Prague was very reasonably prices and for some that is a main factor when choosing where to go on a city break.

For me personally. I found writing up the posts within a week of coming back from the trip, with all the details fresh in my brain and still having that excitement about the trip worked really well. I think that if I had left it a while post coming back, the posts would not be as in depth and my personality regarding the highs and the lows would not have shined through the same. This may work differently for everyone, but it is definitely something to bare in mind when planning your blogging schedule. I am doing a week of travel posts, as I think its great to have a little series altogether which readers can follow. They will also therefore be in an order on your blog if people are just having a general read or are having a catch up.

What are your tips for writing travel posts?

Lucy
xoxo



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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

What I ate in Prague

 This is the first post all about my recent trip to Prague. I thought I would do a what I ate post to tell you the ins and outs and places I recommend you visit to eat.

We had a late flight on our first day which was the Sunday so we had a meal in the airport before we flew out. On the Monday which was out first full day which we spent there we walked into the old town part of the capital. There was a huge Easter market which was on which had lots food stalls. I bought a huge crepe with strawberry jam which was delicious! One thing I was impressed which you will find throughout this post is how good value for money the food is. It is much cheaper than Britain. On the first night we ate in an Italian restaurant named  Green Tomato Italian which is located just off Vaclavski Namesti (near Sephora!). This was our first evening meal and we were surprised at how good value for money for the food was. It cost 170 (£5.50) Czech crown for spaghetti bolognese and 60 (£2) a cider. The exchange rate is currently 30 crown = £1. The food here was delicious and if you are in the area I would definitely suggest visiting.



On day 3 we ventured to Prague castle where they have outdoor markets. I had a lovely chicken skewer with vegetables and my mum had potatoes with ham and cheese. Even though this is one of the biggest attractions in the city the prices were very much still reasonable. I also had an amazing white chocolate covered waffle with smarties which was amazing! If you visit the castle I highly recommend you treat yourself to one as it was totally delicious and you can choose the different toppings yourself. We stopped for a drink in the afternoon at a little cafe just off the main square next to the palladium which was called Cacao where I had a strawberry ice tea. This was a lovely little cafe and they have outdoor heaters and blankets. On this night we were struggling to find somewhere to eat so we went in to the palladium shopping centre and found an Indian restaurant called Taste of India. The food here was okay nothing too special, and it was one of the most expensive meals.







On the Wednesday we headed to the zoo and once again the food was a good price. I had Chicken schnitzel and potatoes (which I forgot to photograph!). On this night I definitely had the best meal of the entire trip. We were staying in a place called Florenc and we decided to stay local and headed to a restaurant called Loco In. I had a local chicken dish which was lovely and you could choose your own sauce and potato option. It was also complemented with vegetables. It was seriously delicious and the chicken was the stand out part of the dish, it was cooked beautifully. My dad had the beef goulash and dumplings and he highly recommended it. The meals were about 200 crown each (£7), which we all thought was excellent value for money as we found throughout the holiday. If you are a wanting to try local cuisine which is mainly meaty dishes, this is somewhere I would definitely recommend. Me and my mum also shared a bottle of strawberry prosecco which was delightful.



Day 5 we headed towards the Jewish quarter side of the town. It was a particularly cold day so we headed to a coffee shop named Kafka Snob Food where I had a lovely hot chocolate which cost 75 crown (£2.50). As you can see I also managed to sneak in another trip to the crepe stall, this time sharing with my mum and we went simple with sugar and lemon. Every time me and my family head on a city break we always try and find a Hard Rock Cafe. It was such a treat and I really loved the swiss mushroom burger which I had, I was totally full afterwards. It is always an expensive place to eat wherever you go in the world, but the food was great as always. In the afternoon the temperature really dropped and it was really cold, we headed back to the Cacao cafe from the day before as we were just around the corner from it. My mum recommended the hot chocolate with cream, which she had loved the day before. It is made of pure chocolate melted down - very nice but very filling, and a little sickly! Due to the weather forecast being dull, we decided not to venture out too far so stuck within the Florenc area we found a little Italian called Rialto. My mushroom pasta dish was quite dry and lacking taste. I would not recommend visiting here, the food was nothing special and I think there are so many other places to go where there is a much higher quality of food and service.






On our last day we were around the Charles Bridge area and needed somewhere quick to eat before heading back to the hotel to get our cases. There was a little restaurant called Fatcat which we stumbled across and we were pretty desperate at this point as it was pouring with rain. We didn't quite realise until we got in that it was another burger joint. However with the rain being so bad we decided it would be a good hearty meal before heading back home. I somehow missed the photo opportunity, as I was so dam hungry!

We found that most of the restaurants in Prague were very similar as to what you get in the U.K which is a variety of different cuisines. I would say that their traditional cuisine is different types of meat with potatoes and vegetables, all coming in different styles and dishes. As a family we did not struggle to eat at all and very much enjoyed a lot of the meals which we ate. Keep you eyes peeled as this week I have a post coming all about the places which we visited in Prague, and another on Sunday all about writing travel posts as a newbie.

Have you been to Prague?

Lucy
xoxo

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Saturday, 8 April 2017

ASOS floral embroidered shoulder bag





I was recently browsing the lovely Hannah Gale's Instagram which I do must days, and I stumbled across this amazing ASOS floral embroidered shoulder bag. I was so happy to see that it costs just £30 as I thought it was definitely from an upmarket designer and it was going to be cost a lot more money due to all of its fabulous features. I instantly ordered it and sent a picture to my friends group text and they all gave it the seal of approval.

I am still in the stages of debating over which Gucci bag to buy which means I am scrolling through their website daily, and they have very recently dropped their brand new line called the Sylvie collection. It is full of beautiful embroidery and bright, colourful designs and this definitely seems to have some influences from that line. I have ASOS premier so I was super excited when this arrived on my doorstep the next day, but unfortunately my first one had a big dirty mark on the front. I sent it back and instantly ordered a new one as I wanted to take it on my holidays. My second one was in perfect condition and I was super impressed as to how big it was inside, you can definitely use this as your everyday bag. On my trip to Prague I used this regularly and I managed to fit in all the essentials - phone, purse, sunglasses, guide book and lip balm.

I think the bright pink shade is beautiful and perfect for the spring/summer, and the embroidered detail is really eye catching. A brilliant feature is the big, thick gold chain detailed handle. It makes the bag very sturdy and there is no way that it is going to come off anytime soon. The thickness and length of the chain makes it super comfortable to sit on your shoulder, I hate it when shorter chains don't fit snug on your shoulder and it is bundled up when you have outer layers on.

I have found that there has been a few loose threads that have appeared around the outside skirting of the bag. This was a little bit annoying as they came from no where, and it happened after only a few days. I cut them off easily, so it is not much of a hassle but still it shouldn't really be happening. I have also noticed that this can get scratched very easily due to the outer material of the bag being quite delicate. I have just tried to keep it away from anything which can cause it to dint/ scratch if possible.

I have worn this bag during the day and I wore it to a night do of a wedding and I love that it has that versatility. It is definitely going to get its good use over the next few months, as I love how you can just throw it on with most outfits and it will instantly add some colour and vibrancy to your look.

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The Roundup for March


March has been a busy month at work. As I write this I am coming to the end of my first week of annual leave, and as you read this I am on holiday which is very exciting. I have not been on holiday since last Summer and I am glad to have a week away. I am super excited to let you know how I got on my holidays and I will let you know for definite in upcoming posts.

 I also gave up alcohol for 4 whole weeks - 28 days in total. I was originally doing it for Lent but I had some special occasions coming up so I decided one month was the ideal opportunity. I have come to realise that whenever I socialise 90% of the time it involves alcohol, not sure whether this is a good or bad thing. What I can say is, that I have just about managed to fill my time in. I was kind of doing it to see if it has had any direct correlation with losing weight. I did find that I lost a few pounds, however I am not going to lie instead of drinking on a Saturday night, I was filling my face with other equally calorific foods. I have enjoyed doing it and I have to say there was only one or two occasions when I actually wanted something alcoholic, but that was just because I fancied it with what I was eating. I have also given up crisps for lent and I am doing so well, I tell you there has been way more occasions where I have wanted a dorito over a kopparberg!

I really do not feel like anything excited happened at all this month, but sometimes they are the best months when time just flies by without realising. I have been making some exciting plans recently and there is nothing that makes me more happy than the prospect of making more memories.

Lucy
xoxo
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Sunday, 2 April 2017

March Favourites


I have made a few new beauty purchases in March, and I have a few on trial which you can read here. I have also as I do every month hand picked my monthly favourites for you...

I have been really enjoying using the L'Oreal infallible total cover foundation this month. I have been after a really good new full coverage concealer for ages. When I saw the release of this new range I was really intrigued. I actually really like this and I wrote an entire post about the primer, foundation and setting spray which you can read here. I have found that this blends really well with a brush rather than a beauty blender. It is full coverage and has more of a mousse texture over a classic fluid consistency.

The Seventeen stay time concealer has been a real hit since I bought it. This is a full coverage concealer which works really well in combination with lots of different foundations. For the price of £4.49, I think is it a real gem on the drugstore market. I am going to write a full review in a few weeks, but my first impressions is that it is really great, and not cakey which is always the biggest thing I look for in a concealer.

I have been delving into my lipstick collection for more everyday shades to wear to work. This month I have had MAC's please me living in my handbag, and I have been grabbing it on a daily basis. This is a rose tinted pink and also has a matte finish. The finish is not too drying and the colour is not too bold, but is a classic pretty pink for everyday wear.

I have been wearing nothing but the Elizabeth and James nirvana white perfume this month, I have completely fallen back in love it. The scent is so different to everything else which I own as I usually always choose something fruity, but this is a musk which is still very feminine but stands out from many of fragrances out on the market.


What has been your favourites this month?

Lucy
xoxo
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Friday, 31 March 2017

Tips for a sample sale


I went to my first ever fashion sample sale by Missguided recently, and I thought I would give you the down low on how it went and my tips as to how to get the best out of the experience.

1. Do a lot of research. Dig a little deeper into the details so you know where and when, and also how much they are selling things for so you can kind of set a budget.

2. Look in your wardrobe before you go to see if there is anything which you particularly need, just so you have some ideas in your mind before you go.

3. If you can take a friend - do. This is easier said than done as this was on a Wednesday and all of my friends work in 9-5 Monday - Friday jobs so I went alone. I was actually scared to go alone, but there was so many other girls there on their own once I got there. I just think taking a friend will help you make more clear decision and will give an honest opinion. Although on the contrary, a friend could possibly encourage you to spend and buy more than you need as you are caught up in the excitement.

4. Get there for when it starts. I had every intention for getting there on time, however I got a little bit lost and ended up 30 mins late and was so annoyed at myself when I saw some of the other amazing pieces which other people already had in their hands.

5.  Have cash. From what I believe most sample sales will only take cash due the easiness of transactions, and also the one which I went to was donating all the money to charity. I took more than I needed as I didn't know how much I wanted to spend and I didn't want to be in the predicament of not having enough.

6. Once you have arrived there have a good rummage and look on all the rails. Pick up everything which you think you might like. Look on every rail and every table. It's going to be messy but there might be that one gem hiding underneath another item.

7. If you can try it on. Obviously as it is a sample sale nothing has sizes on. Tops and jumpers you can judge by just holding each item up, but dresses and jeans I really suggest you do try on even you pull them on over the top of your own clothes. At this point, it is probably good to add in to wear something appropriate. I wore a thick jumper which was not ideal at all. There was security guard who was saying we were not suppose to try on, but as long as they can see that you are not robbing anything then I don't see the problem. I am so glad I tried my chosen items on as some of the things I thought would fit just from looking at it did not. This is where having a friend to giving an opinion would help. There was no mirrors and I saw lots of people taking photos of each other so they could see exactly what each item looked like on.

8. I would then suggest having a second look around now that you have your selected items that you love. I found a few more must have pieces by going in for a second rummage and don't be frightened to get in there.

9.  I would then look at all things you are wanting to buy and make sure they will fit with things in your wardrobe, or you have an occasion to wear them. It is so easy just like in Primark to get sucked in and think it's only £5, but it adds up quickly and you don't want items to be sitting in your drawer gathering dust and it to end up in a charity bag the next time you do a clear out. Also, I suggest it this point you check out the garments for imperfections - holes, makeup stains, stitching errors.

10. Once you are sure that have all the items which you have (hopefully you've found some bargains!) head to the till. At this point I wouldn't suggest picking up or looking at anything else whilst you are waiting as you may make some misjudged decision and end up picking up on the whim. If this does happen I suggest trying on and make sure you actually want it.

I came away with 4 items a playsuit, skirt, shorts and a dress. When I tried the dress on at home I actually hated it, it fits but the style does not suit me at all. I do however love all of my other items. I hope you have found this post helpful, and please share any other tips which you may have.

Lucy
xoxo

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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

L'Oreal Pure Clay Face Washes


Since their launch I have been using both of the L'Oreal pure clay detox and purity washes which are currently on offer for £3.99. I was pondering in Superdrug deciding which one to buy so I decided to go with both. This also come in a glow version which aims to cleanse and brighten any dull areas of your face, this has a scrub texture rather than a gel. They originally came out with the purity clay line in mask form a few months ago and they went down a storm. Using the same concept they have now brought the original three types but in daily facial washes.

The purity wash aims to cleanse, purify and mattify, I like this for helping to eliminate impurities and excess oils which ultimately results in a reduction of any visible shine throughout the T-zone. The detox wash cleanses, clarifies and detoxifies the skin, the charcoal element of this drawers out impurities from deep within the skin cells. Both of these have a gel cream texture which is quite thick, the charcoal one is slightly thicker and stickier. I feel as though they both work really well and do exactly what they say.

I use the purifying one when my skin is looking shiny and I can see excess oils throughout my T-zone, this is great for combination and oily skin types. I then use the charcoal one when I feel as though my pores could do with a thorough cleanse. I tend for some reason to use them in the shower which is usually at nighttime, as I love that feeling of going to bed when your skin feels fresh and decongested. I use whichever one I feel as though my skin will benefit from at the time. I also use them together if needed. L'Oreal have done exceptionally well with this line, and it has gone down so well due to the advertising within the campaign. They have a simple message that different areas of your skin needs a different type of attention. They are trying to state that one miracle multifunctional product is not going to solve everyone's individual problems with their skin. So for me I often need to add moisture to areas which is usually where my skin is most congested (the detox wash), but then I also have a oily T-zone which I want to mattify (the purity wash). Therefore, you can buy either, one, two or all three of the washes and use them daily on the areas which need specific help.

For the price they are great as you get 150ml of product which I think is brilliant as it will last a good few months. The product is advertised to be used a daily wash as oppose to the masks which are as and when you feel. I really enjoy and still use the masks every so often for a total full cleanse as they settle and dry into a hardened mask, whereas the daily washes do not. If you enjoyed using the masks I think you will also like the daily washes. If you have never tried either of these products then I really do suggest you pick them up as they are great products and L'Oreal has done a fantastic job.

Lucy
xoxo

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Sunday, 26 March 2017

Products on Trial


At the moment I have a few skincare and makeup products which I am putting to the test, so I thought I would give you a sneak peek at those pieces. 

I have been trailing lots of high street skincare products at the moment as my skin has turned very dry. I have been using the Garnier pure active sensitive clarifying tonic, which is aimed at problematic skin. This is a new gel consistency toner which is cooling on the skin, I think I am going to this a lot from my initial impressions. Another skincare product comes from Superdrug's new naturally radiant line and I picked up on the whim a 2 in 1 moisturiser and serum, which sounded intrigued to me. Lets hope it adds both moisture and glow to my skin.

A few months ago I featured the LA Girl pro conceal in a post. which I actually really enjoy using. I therefore wanted to try to the LA Girl pro coverage foundation, BeautyBay stock all of their products so I decided to pick it up as I am always on the hunt for a new full coverage foundation.

I also have two Soap & Glory products on the go at the moment, the first being their thick and fast mascara. You may know if you have been reading my blog for a while, when it comes to mascaras I am so fussy but I have heard a lot of good things about this one. Lasting I have the glow all out highlighting stick being put to the test at the moment, I usually use powdered highlighters so it has been nice changing and trailing a cream version.

Have you tried any of these products?

Lucy 
xoxo

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Friday, 24 March 2017

Updated Skincare Routine


I thought it was time to finally do an updated skin care post. I have been wanting to get one of these up for ages, but I had not quite got myself into a proper day and night routine. I am happy with all of these products which I am currently using, and I think they all contribute to my routine one way or another.

Acnecide is a facial wash which I was recommended by my dermatologist, it contains benzoyl peroxide which fights bacteria which lives on the skin and can be a main cause of acne. I use this morning and night religiously as part of my daily routine. It is a thin, cream like consistency which you use like any daily facial wash, however they recommend you leave it on for 1-2 minutes before washing off. I tend to brush my teeth in the process and by the end I have finished it is using just about time to wash it off.

Pixi Glow Tonic is one of the products which I use 3-4 times a week to give my skin a thorough clean and also to add some glow back into my skin. It leaves my skin feeling refreshed and it contains 5% glycolic acid and witch hazel which I find helps to smooth and neutralise my skin. It costs £18 for 250ml, but it is definitely a must have step in my routine.

I recently dedicated an entire post to the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil Free Gel Cream. I bought it as I was in real need of a morning moisturiser to give me skin a real boost and add hydration as my skin is always super dry first thing in the morning. The is the most expensive product in my skincare routine at £24.50, but I am really loving using it. The great aspect of this is that it does not clog the pores due to its gel like consistency rather than a cream.

This cheapest product from my skin routine is the Botanics All Bright Purifying Facial Scrub for just £1.99. I really enjoy the gritty texture of this as I feel as though it manages to take off the excess flaky skin sitting on the surface of the skin. It buffs away the skin gently and it does not tug at the skin. It also contains natural AHAs to help brighten and smooth out the overall skin's surface. I use this 2-3 time a week whilst in the shower and my skin always feels refreshed when I get out.

I have been enjoying using both of the L'Oreal Pure Clay Detox and Purity washes which are at the moment on offer for £3.99 in Superdrug. The purity wash aims to cleanse, purify, and mattify, I like this for helping to eliminate impurities and excess oils. The detox wash cleanses, clarifies, and detoxifies the skin. They have a gel cream texture, which turns into a more foam like wash when applied to the face with water. I really enjoy using both on rotation, the purifying wash helps to reduce excess shine. I would recommend this for combination and oily skin types. I use the charcoal detox wash to give my entire face a thorough deep cleanse, this is good for acne or problematic prone skin.

The Duac Cream is another recommendation by my dermatologist to use at night on my spots which are already active on my skin. It contains two ingredients - clindamycin which is an antibiotic commonly used for acne, and also benzoyl peroxide which as I said before works by removing blockages and excess sebum from the skin. I have found that this has really dried my skin out but in a good way as I have started to notice that my active spots have dried out much quicker than usual. It has definitely taken the excess oils from my skin especially through my T-zone.

Do you have any skincare recommendations to add into my routine?

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Content change and being relatable



I write this on a Sunday morning whilst sat in bed on my day off deciding what YouTube video I want to watch. I then go on Twitter and I see a well known blogger has tweeted about buying luxury products which people simply do not need and should be investing in their future. I see someone respond by saying it's their choice of what they spend their money on and this always the question which it comes back to. Now I ain't saying we should be telling people what to spend their dollar on, as we shouldn't. I see tweets everyday some saying when did spending people's own money become everyone else's business. Others saying how the hell do people afford to buy all of these luxury goods. Either way it's a big topic of discussion, and whether you agree or disagree here's my opinion..

This shift in direction of luxury blogging/YouTubing is clear for all to see. I will start with this debate with the discussion surrounding how they choose to spend their money. I totally agree with the fact that it is someone's personal decision as to how someone spends their own money. This is where I think the being 'relatable' discussion comes into play. They are not forcing anyone to buy what they are showing, but how many of their viewers who have been watching/reading their favourite bloggers and Youtubers since they started out can no longer afford to buy what they are now consistently showing. I am very much aware that that I am generalising and I very much understand that this is only a micro selection, but I am talking the big time bloggers and Youtubers where it is clear to see the shift in their content. For me, I have now been working full time for 5 months and I have definitely fallen in love with a £600 Gucci Marmont bag. But the difference is for me if I was to now buy this bag I think it would be incredibly special to me and I think that is what has changed, or definitely how it is portrayed. It would be a one off item and I would wear it until to death, and to be honest I don't think I will ever part with the cash as I always think of soooo many others ways the £600 could be spent.

The YouTubers who have moved into this luxury end videos bracket have now very much changed their content from a few years ago when they started out, and for many more years after until recently. It is clear to see on my feed that the now Chanel Boy was once a £50 Topshop bag. Students and your average joe bloggs would have previously been able to actually relate to and buy, whilst trying to balance the books, paying bills, petrol and generally getting by. I fully understand that they are perfectly able to change who their audience is now aimed at now they can afford luxury goods and I think this is the answer. I say well done to them for making the money to be able to now afford these luxury items as it is down to hard work there is no doubt in that. But to many viewers and readers who do not earn this kind of money in a normal day to day full time job and also works just as hard, they do no longer feel that they can go out and buy what their favourite blogger and YouTuber is chatting about.

It would be interesting to see the change in audience and ages of people watching, as this is definitely where I think the change has been made. I don't actually enjoy watching these high end hauls as much as I do to say a Topshop or ASOS one, as that is what I relate to in terms of simply being able to afford. It excites me being able to put items on my payday wishlist, and taking inspiration. If it is another unboxing video of a Dior handbag I am more inclined to watch something else. But, that is my personal opinion, and I am 100% sure people will have a different view on this. I definitely do not agree with some responses saying that they have a 'responsibility' to only show certain things. It is their channel, they can show what they want and I hope I have made that clear. Like me with my blog, I blog about what I am passionate about and that's the reason I have been at it for over three and a half years now. I am just one viewer and one reader and I am certain that they still have lots of viewers who love to watch and read their blogs as they can also afford the same luxury goods. I am trying to get across with this that it is all simply down to a change in how they want to take their channels and blogs in a different direction. It's just that some people have changed their direction so much that they definitely are not relatable to some people. I think it is important to emphasis the some as that is definitely what it is.

I will always get backlash from this post and that is why it has took me so long to actually write it. But, I actually feel like this topic is always going to be around in the bloggersphere, but at the moment due to this change in content being so blatant I thought was time for me to express my opinions as at the end of the day my blog is here as my little space on the internet.
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Sunday, 19 March 2017

TK Maxx Haul


I made a little visit to TK Maxx recently and was surprised at the amount of amazing skincare and makeup available at such great prices. First of all I was surprised and super happy to see that there was Tony Moly face masks on offer. They are the best face masks on the market which I have tried. I did a whole post dedicated to them which you can read here. I also picked up the Hell-Pore Clean Up Mask which I have been loving to use. This is great for getting deep into the pores and helping to clear them out. I picked up a Balance Me skincare set which contains a purity skin face wash and balancing face moisturiser, I have tried some products from this brand previously and I have really enjoyed using them so far.

The w7 Banana Dreams loose powder and Honolulu bronzer have both been products which I  have been after for a while. The bronzer is said to be a dupe for the Nars laguna bronzer, so I am excited to try it out and compare them. Unfortunately, the packaging fell in two when I first opened it but I have glued it back together and I hoping the product is worth the wait. The loose powder is said to be a great baking powder, I have been wanting to try the whole baking craze for ages but I did not want to splash out on anything too expensive. I also picked up a Maybelline Whispers Lipstick in the shade Petal Rebel, I have been wanting to try these for ages, they were released in the USA a while ago and I have still and have never seen them on the British high street in our cosmetics stores. Therefore, I was excited to try these out as they have a sheer finish.

Lucy
xoxo







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Friday, 17 March 2017

Spring OOTD


I am finally bringing you another outfit of the day post, I love doing these but I unfortunately do not have the instagram husband nor the streets of London to take my photos. All in all, I really loved wearing this outfit. The shirt is from Topshop and it is unfortunately last season so it is no longer available. These ASOS jeans are a perfect fit all round and such a great length. I love the dark wash of colour of these as they are perfect for spring. The belt is from Primark and I bought it recently for just £1.50. I am killing to buy the Gucci double G belt, but I am struggling with parting with the £220. These was the first time I wore these Valentino rockstuds dupes which are from Primark. Now I am a girl who loves shoes, but I could never part the £600 plus to buy the proper pair. This version are just £13 and are still in stores now. They are super comfortable and the nude colour is perfect for Spring and leading into Summer.

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Superdrug Haul


I went on a little trip to Superdrug to pick up some skincare essentials, and I needed a new toner. They had a huge array of skincare products on offer, many 1/3 off.

I bought two lots of facial wipes the first being Micellar Cleansing Wipes for just £1.59. I have bought these time and time again as they are my holy grail if they exists when it comes to facial wipes. They are super soft and light on the skin, and they work brilliant on both the face and eyes at removing all my makeup. The wipes are always really full of the moisture and they leave my skin feeling refreshed.

I also wanted to put to test the new Garnier Pure Active 2 in 1 Wipes which cost just £2.19. These are purifying wipes which are targeted at skin with imperfections. I thought I would try these out as they contain zinc and salicylic acid. This pack contains 25 wipes are they are thicker than regular face wipes. I am hoping these will help clear impurities and excess sebum with my pores and skin.

I was intrigued and instantly picked up Garnier's new Pure Active Sensitive Anti-Blemish Clarifying Tonic. I was on the look of for a new toner and this has a thin gel consistency which I have enjoyed using of the past few days. It is currently on offer for £4.00 and I think it is great value for you for money as it contains witch hazel and salicylic acid, which are ingredients which help with tackling acne or problematic skin.

On the whim I picked up the Naturally Radiant 2 in 1 Moisturiser and Serum on offer for just £2.95. I liked the idea that this is a combined moisturiser and serum. I need as much moisture in my skin as I can possibly get at the moment as my skin is super dry due to new medication for my acne. I hope this adds some glow and radiance to my skin. I have heard a lot of good reviews about Superdrug's own skincare brand, which I have never tried before so I will report back if it is a must have.

Lucy
xoxo


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Sunday, 12 March 2017

L'oreal infallible


The new L'Oreal infallible range has launched and I decided to try out the new line. I bought it last month when it very first hit stores, and the offer which I bought it on is currently still available. It is 3 for 2 across all L'Oreal products and you also get the sponge free when you purchase any 2 products from the line. I was a little bit dubious about trying this range as my skin is drier than it has ever been, and the matte aspect of the product made me a little bit scared that it would cling to every dry patch on my skin.

I am happy to report I have really been enjoyed using the Primer Matte Base (£7.99). It has a thick, gel like consistency which creates a really lovely base prior to makeup application. I find that I need 2-3 fingertips full for application across my entire face. It leaves a really lovely texture to the skin which is soft to touch. I agree with its claim that it smooths and minimises pores and shine. I was concerned regarding the matte aspect that it would dry my skin out even further, but it doesn't and I have used this with other foundations with more of a glow aspect and it is basically an all round primer which does it's job, I really like it. When it is on your fingers before application it can feel a little bit greasy but once applied to the skin it does not feel this way on the skin.

I have been putting off publishing this post because of the Total Cover Foundation (£7.99), and I have still not 100% come to a total conclusion. The good bits - it is definitely full coverage with one layer and it is also so buildable if you want to add a little more to problematic areas. The consistency is a mousse like texture, which I have not had in my collection for a long time and I have enjoyed having something different as an option as I usually go for thin, fluid consistencies like their True Match foundation or Nars Sheer Glow. It reminds me of those high school days of using the ever almighty Dream Matte Mousse! I once again found that I need more product than usual, but I think this is due to the consistency of the product and it not blending as far as fluid foundations. I always think this looks amazing when it is first applied but it does cling very slightly around my nose which I blend out as best as I can. This does cover and camouflage blemishes really well with just one application, there is no denying its total coverage status. I find instead of blending this in it works really well with more pushing it into the skin for a more flawless finish.

There are unfortunately a few downsides to this product. Firstly the shade range there are only 7 shades in the entire range, I chose the shade Light Sand which is the second lightest of the bunch after Porcelain. This matches my skin okay, I could have done with something with a more neutral undertone as it is a little too dark for me. Another downside, it's longevity as I say I am always super happy when I first apply it, but I do not agree with it 24 hours wear claim. I have sometimes looked at my skin in the mirror after 8 hours and noticed real wear throughout my t-zone where it has budged and it can sometimes look as though my pores have enlarged where it has soaked into it, but this is probably down to the matte finish. That is the main reason why I can't say whether I love or hate it, it has some great points and is definitely the most full coverage foundation out their on the high street market. For £7.99 if you want a matte finish foundation and you have normal or combination skin this would be great for you. However, if you have dry or problematic skin, this might cling to any dry patches as the day progresses so a good base is an essential.

I have a little story about the Fixing Mist (£7.99) and I have to say it isn't a good one. So the day after I purchased all of my new goodies, obviously I was wanting to put it all onto my face. I thought let's put it all to the test whilst I am at work for 12 hours. As the instructions say, I gave the bottle a good shake and then applied it to my face as I would with any fixing mist. I then quickly got ready for work and hurried downstairs. As I was literally about to step outside the door I caught my reflection in the mirror and saw my face was covered in white speckles. Considering it was 6am I actually thought for a few seconds it was deodrant as that was exactly what it looked like! I quickly rubbed it and realised it was the mist, as you could probably imagine I was not impressed. I had to get to work, but at every traffic light I was having to try and sort my makeup out in the mirror as my face was covered in splatters of white powder. I then got out the car and realised my shoes and uniform also was coated in white speckles.

I then asked on Twitter if anyone else had had these issues and I had a few responses. Someone said that I needed to give it a really good shake for at least 2 minutes - but who really has that time! Another blogger stated she had exactly the same problems as me and her mist had always sprayed bits of the formula out through the nozzle, she said she had also had a powder shower! You can see in the bottom of the bottle a thick layer of the white residue and this is obviously what sprays at you and unfortunately ends up everywhere. I swear for days I was finding bits of this on my mirror, makeup and carpet. I have not yet retried it because who wants to spend 20 minutes doing their makeup for it to be ruined in seconds. As you can probably tell I definitely do not recommend this.

This range from L'Oreal definitely has some hits and misses, and if you are wanting to try it I would recommend both the primer and foundation, but I would definitely stay clear of the primer.

Lucy
xoxo

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Friday, 10 March 2017

Botanics Purifying Skin Scrub


As I come to the bottom of my Botanics Purifying Skin Scrub, I have realised that I have never mentioned it on my blog and I thought I was time to. I bought this a few months ago when I was looking for some new skincare pieces to add into my routine when my skin started to become much drier than it has ever been. I placed this in my shower cubicle and started to use it 2-3 times a week after washing my face. I am happy to report that I have really enjoyed using this and best of all it costs just £1.99!

The texture is nice and slightly gritty which I like as I feel as though it is getting into and decongesting my pores, but most importantly it buffs away the dry, flaky skin. This is exactly what I have been wanting as I have felt as though my makeup has been clinging to all the dry patches on my face. It has a pleasant scent which is slightly fruity as it contains apricot, cocoa butter and walnut. It also contains natural AHAS to help brighten and smooth out the skin. If you want an additional or new scrub to add into your skincare routine I would highly recommend checking this out.

Lucy
xoxo

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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil Free Gel Cream



I recently mentioned in my February favourites post that the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil Free Gel Cream had fast become a favourite of mine since purchasing it at the start of February. When I asked for some skincare recommendations on Twitter so many girls responded by saying the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream, so off I went to purchase it from Selfridge's. There was a lovely skincare assistant who advised me to try the oil free version as it is much less likely to clog my pores - winner! I definitely do not need anything clogging my pores as that is the main cause of my acne.

So, to put it in a nutshell I really like this. The texture is a light gel which I now realise I much prefer to a cream. The consistency of the cream moisturises in really well and after application to the face it feels cool as it contains cucumber and instantly smooths out of my skin. My nose and chin are the areas of my face which have been the driest recently, and I notice the most change in my skin in both of these areas. I have used this every morning since I purchased it, and it has fast become part of my everyday skin routine. This is a non-greasy formula, which targets both normal and oily skin types.

In the past I have not actually bought that much high end skincare as I am never sure how my skin will react. I have wanted to try Kiehl's skincare for years, and this has definitely been a great introduction for me. This was not cheap it was £24 for the 50ml jar, and I do add 2-3 fingertips of this to my skin each morning. I do however think they will last me a few months. All in all, if you are wanting a new moisturiser to add hydration and even out the texture of your skin as a base before you makeup application I would highly recommend giving this a go.

Lucy
xoxo

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Sunday, 5 March 2017

Tony Moly Face Masks


I recently picked up some Tony Moly face masks in TK Maxx and I was so happy as they were only £2.99! I first picked one of these up last year in Sephora as I had heard a few bloggers who had been to the USA who had tried them and thought they were amazing. At the time I did not quite understand the hype, I originally only picked up the skin purifying seaweed mask and I was surprised at just how much I loved it. It added so much hydration and glow to my face, and I regretted not buying more. I bought it in the Sephora in Palma, Majorca and it was only 1.50, I could not quite believe it when I looked on Cult Beauty and they are £6 over here.

That is why when I walked into TK Maxx and saw them and there were £2.99 I did a little happy dance. It is far from the 1.50 I paid in Sephora but it is much better than the £6 on Cult Beauty. Unfortunately, they did not have the seaweed mask which I had previously tried. They did however, have a wide array of other masks available. I picked up a variety of different masks to try out, I am not going to lie I definitely got carried away. The masks as stated all have different purposes such as brightening, purifying, and clearing skin. I have not yet tested them all out as I like to save them for when I feel my skin is really in need of some TLC.

I am happy to report that I have used the pore care red wine mask as my acne has been really inflamed recently and I thought this was the perfect mask to choose. It aims to tighten uneven skin texture with enlarged pores. Both of the masks which I have tried have been full of moisture and do feel wet when I pulled it out of the packet, which I think to some people can seem worrying. Do not fear, as this is what is going to work its wonders on your skin. One feature which I particularly love about these masks is how well they fit my face, how many face masks have we all tried where they are hanging off your face as they are too big and your nose ends up in the mouth slot! Well what I love about these masks is that there are flaps around the edging of the masks so you can pull it to fit over your face perfectly and smooth out the edges. One thing I did note was that over my nose I had to really move the edging to get it exactly right as at first it was not around the creases of my nose which is exactly where I wanted this mask to target. The instructions tell you to leave it on for 20-30 minutes and then to remove, you will note that it leaves a residue on your skin but I find it really refreshing and I just massage it into my skin for an added extra boost. Once the extra residue had dried into my skin I did notice that my face did feel slightly sticky, but my skin did feel firmer and tighter. I love it when a product leaves your skin feeling fresh and that is exactly how it felt all day after using this mask.

I think that these are such great value for money and if you can find them in your local TK Maxx then you will have got yourself a bargain. I know that when I am heading abroad this summer I am definitely going to stocking up in Sephora.

Have you ever tried any Tony Moly skincare?

Lucy
xoxo
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