Tuesday, 18 September 2012

On the Mend || #1 - Urban Outfitters Jumper

Hi again, I hope you had a nice weekend! 

Inspired by the lovely El at aThriftyMrs, I thought I'd start a new DIY feature on this blog in which I show an old, abandoned item of my clothing and attempt to mend it/customise it so that it's wearable again. I've lost a dress size recently and, being a student with a heavy addiction to live gigs, (why are concert tickets so expensive dag nammit?) I'm struggling to afford new clothes for the colder months. Then I realised that I'm a massive clothes hoarder and I have many an unloved skirt or top lying dead at the bottom of my chest of drawers and that it would be easy and cheap to fix them rather than go and buy a whole new wardrobe. Ok, being sensible with money might not be as fun as going on a shopping spree but learning to get better with my hands can only be a good thing, right? ;) Ahem, moving on...

Today I mended  the little hole between the neckline of a grey UO jumper I found from a couple of years back and the statement neckline made of the same fabric. I used an invisible plasticy thread I found in my mums sewing tin and stitched that baby right back up. It only took 5 minutes despite my lack of sewing skills, cost me nothing and I had something that felt new to wear this weekend - awesome :)

Oooohh.... ahhhhh.... pretty new-ish jumper. Marvel at it in all its mended glory!

 Also, I went to Alton Towers today with the family as a last day out together before I go back to uni, it was really good to spend some time together and I managed to take this mediocre picture with my phone before it ran out of battery:

What did you get upto this weekend? Have you ever DIY'd any of your clothes before?

Hollie x

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Nails of the Day: Topshop 'Play for Keeps'

Today I'm wearing 'Play for Keeps' from Topshops permanent line. I'm usually really impressed with the formula of Topshop nail polishes but this one took three coats to not look patchy and you couldn't get away with trying to wear one sheer coat as it didn't cover the nail evenly. You might be thinking that the colour is a bit summery for this time of year but it looks more of a peachy-nude colour IRL and compliments my tan quite nicely I think ( I hope!) 

What are you wearing on your nails today?

Hollie x

Friday, 14 September 2012

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Instagram: Trip to London

1. My ticket to Wicked   2. Helena <3   3. The awesome view for Wicked   4. The Globe Theatre   5.  The Millenium Bridge   6. A pretty flower   7. Tickets for the Damien Hirst exhibition   8. 'Hymn' by Hirst at the Tate Modern   9. A beautiful day in London
Last week I went to London for the third time in my short life as a treat for Helena's birthday and I thought I'd show you the bits of our short trip I that immortalised on instagram :) We were there for two days and managed to see Wicked, the Damien Hirst exhibition and do a bit of casual sight-seeing in the sun although I admit I wish I could have stayed a lot longer because I really fell in love with the Tate Modern and the surrounding area. It was beautiful weather and I love the atmosphere in London; most people talk about Londoners as though they're really antisocial but it all felt very friendly and inclusive to me, just lots of different people doing their own thing and enjoying the city. Hopefully I can live there in the future for a while and then I'll have been a resident of the 3 major UK cities, aww yeeeahh. Although I'm not sure whether I'd be able to afford it, £2.58 for a tube of pringles Tesco? Are you kidding me? Not on my student budget! hehe ;)

Hollie x

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Blistex Intensive Moisturiser Review

Hi again!

I hate sounding so over-enthusiastic about everything I write about on this blog, but I'm not coming across a lot of stuff I don't like lately, so sorry about that. Anyway, this is just a quick post about a new staple in my "beauty regime", which i'll admit is rather lacking at the minute due to my time at the gym and flouncing about bare-faced in the sunshine. I picked up this Blistex 'lip moisturiser' in the airport on my recent trip to Mallorca from Boots as I my lips were getting quite badly chapped and I wanted something with an SPF to protect them from the sun (this one is SPF 10) which was as moisturising as physically possible. Since then (for about two weeks) I've been putting it on every night after cleansing my face before bedtime and whenever my lips have felt dry throughout the day, and I have to say that it's really helped. I've often used hoards of Vaseline,Carmex, Chapstick and the like on my lips in the past but nothing has ever really done as much for me as this has, maybe it's the routine of putting it on that's helping but the others just seemed more greasy to me than moisturising in comparison to this one, it's in the name I guess! It feels more balmy if that makes sense, It sinks in but doesn't leave a greasy residue.

Blistex Intensive Moisturiser   5g ★ £2.59 from Boots

It's minty in flavour and smell and depending on the amount you put on it either looks clear on your lips or lightens them slightly as the solution is white in colour - I like the way this gives a  baby pink tone to my lips which are usually somewhat darker. The main thing I have noticed with this product, though, is how much fuller and plumper my lips look since I've been using it, especially when I wake up in the morning. It makes sense that properly moisturising your lips would have a plumping effect on them, but I've never had this experience with any other lip-moisturising product before?

This is how my lips are looking lately, and compared to how they looked in my previous Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet post I think I can see a difference, especially in the size of my top lip! 

What are your favourite products for keeping your lips in nice condition? Has anyone else noticed that their lips are fuller after keeping them moisturised properly?

Hollie x

Friday, 10 August 2012

Long time no post! An apology mini-haul...

Hi again!

Sorry for the lack of posts... the 7 things thing didn't really work out as I've found my life slowly consumed by my fitness routine. It's worked though - I've lost half a stone so far, yey! More on that later, though... today I bring you a mini-haul of some of the things I've collected throughout the past few weeks and am really excited about trying once I actually start wearing make-up on a daily basis again (there's little point in wearing it at the gym as I quickly sweat it off - glamorous, I know!). 

Eau Roma Water ✰ Lush
I had to pick this up from Lush along with my 'Angels on Bare Skin' cleanser to add a cheap-and-cheerful toner to my skincare routine, and so far - I like! It doesn't smell so much like rose to me, more like a nice herbally scent with notes of lavender, either way, it's natural and refreshing. I also like to use this to sort out my powder-face in the summer months because I tend to go a bit OTT with the ol' blotting powder to stop me looking 'too glowy' in the hot weather, to put it nicely. Using this after powder has allowed me to look dewy without looking sweaty!

Creemsheen in 'Creme Cup'  MAC
I only went and popped my MAC cherry with this beauty didn't I? Shocking, I know. I'm not looking back now, though. Although this comes out a little pinker than I originally intended it to (I bought it on the assumption that it would be a 'my lips but better', everyday shade that was more moisturising than my Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet lipstick), I'm growing to love this. The consistency of this creemsheen is exactly what I was looking for, moisturising but not too slippery so it stays put for a while, not to mention the beautiful smell - it smells like a subtle cookie dough to me! 

Dewy Glow All over Radiance Creme in 'Iced Gold'  Jemma Kidd Make Up School
I know, I know, I'm REALLY late jumping on this bandwagon. I've been lusting after this one ever since I first heard about it on Estée's and Vivianna's blogs and Youtube channels. I could finally afford it after BeautyBay did a recent offer of 20% off all Jemma Kidd items - amaaaahhzing! Initially I'm not so sure about it to be honest, it looks pretty in the packaging but perhaps a bit too subtle for my liking. I'm sure I'll share my full opinions on it when I've given it a good trial run.

Dallas ✰ Benefit
This is the thing I'm most excited about, I haven't tried it on the visage or even swatched it yet but against my initial presumptions I've fallen in love with the colour. It was bought for me, very thoughtfully, as a gift from BuyaPowa and I can not express how much it has cheered me up this past week. I have often donated many a thought and a fantasy about the Autumn looks I could create with it whilst plodding away on the cross-trainer at the gym. I'm very pale and never looked at this powder because I just assumed it was a bronzer and I'm really not a fan of trying to alter my Casper the friendly ghost look; however, when I recieved it i saw that it was the most beautiful dusky pinky-brown shade and I can't wait to use it as a contour or a more nudey blush for the Autumn. 

That's all my lieblings, expect full reviews on these products soon... if I feel like it ;)
Let me know if you have tried any of these products and which ones you like best!


Monday, 9 July 2012

7 Things ... for 7 weeks? || Week 1

Recently I got my exam results for the first year of uni,  a 2:1 which I'm really pleased about :) However,  between returning to uni and now I have quite a lot of free time on my hands which I want to utilise to the best of my ability to improve my mind and body, and generally enjoy the little things in life a bit more (I had a bit of a rough year last year, but that's another story all together!).

So, to enable myself to do this, between the seven weeks starting today and ending on the last week of August I'm cheekily borrowing one of the lovely Louise's ideas and setting myself seven routine goals to achieve over the space of 7 weeks (instead of her 7 days). I want to achieve each of the following things once per week from now until then:

1. Read a book for leisure: this week in my attempt to become content during summer, I'm ironically going to read 'The Winter of Our Discontent' by John Steinbeck. I've had this book on my reading list for a while but have rarely had the time to read for pleasure at uni.

2. Learn a piece of music (a song) on guitar or piano: I really want to become competent at playing the keyboard this summer, and have just ordered this to help me do it!

3. Paint/draw something: I've always enjoyed art and it was my best mark at GCSE,  so I'm not too bad at it, but I never practise it anymore. I want to change that in the next few weeks and build up a little portfolio to remind me of the summer. It might even become a little hobby of mine to help me de-stress in the years to come if I enjoy it :)

4. Eat healthily: I put on quite a bit of weight in my first year of university - I blame all the alcohol :o. I want to keep a food diary of everything I eat and try to cut out certain food groups in order to become more healthy  and to shift the weight. I'll also be partaking in intermittent fasting, as explained here by the hilarious yet informative Hodge Twins. I'll explain more on a forthcoming post!

5. Exercise regularly: I plan to go to the gym every morning from Monday - Saturday, whilst simultaneously completing the Jillian Micheals' 30 Day Shred in the evenings. To make a record my work-outs and diet I'll be using this awesome app called noom! I'll most likely be making a diet/fitness/weight-loss post at the end of every week in order to monitor my progress and share it with anyone who wants to read it!

6. Create: write or make something new every week. This is pretty vague but it can include writing on this blog, focusing on my own personal writing, or possibly even thrifting from charity shops and customising the unique pieces I find with my own hand. Either way, the goal here is to be creative!

7. Read something academic: This can be from one of the many books I have sneakily loaned from my university library over the summer, something from New Scientist, or my personal favourite magazine: Scientific American Mind. I wouldn't be a proper uni student if I wasn't trying to expand my knowledge in some way over the holidays now would I? 

Well, that's it! Of course while striving towards these particular goals I will continue to try to do new things during the holiday and make photographic evidence of it all through Instagram. 

I will also be making a weekly '7 things' post to see if I achieved my goals for that week! :)

What goals do you have for over the summer?


Sunday, 8 July 2012

Wishlist: Beauty || July '12

1. No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick in 'Classic Rose' ★ RRP £10.00 || 2. Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder in 'Translucent' ★ RRP £29.00 || 3. e.l.f. Eyebrow Kit in 'Ash' ★ RRP £3.75 || 4. MAC 266 Small Angle Brush ★ RRP £16.00 || 5. Real Techniques Starter Set ★ RRP £21.99 || 6. No7 Exceptional Definition Mascara ★ RRP £12.50||

Which beauty products are you lusting after this month?

Hollie xx

Saturday, 7 July 2012

My Cheeky Duty Free Purchase

Evening ladies,

I've just returned from my week away in the beautiful south-east of Gran Canaria and thought I would share with you what I have to show for my 5 hours in duty free (my flight was delayed - whoops!).

During the time I waited I met my perfect lipstick: matte, smooth, dusty-pink and all in beautiful Chanel packaging.

It's from the Rouge Allure Velvet collection in La Raffinée, which according to Google Translate means 'refined' ... and boy do I feel refined when I wear it! 

Swatch without flash:
above - applied once
below - applied twice
Swatch with flash:
same as above picture

On the lips

I'm totally in love with this, although it was a bit pricey even with the duty free discount (RRP £25.00) I really don't mind paying it once in a blue moon for the amazing quality that Chanel offers in it's lipsticks. If you like matte lippy like me then make your way down to the Chanel counter ASAP because this texture is exactly what it says on the tin - it feels like velvet on your lips and is truly unique in that respect. It's not too drying and even the wear is incredible, it lasts most of the day and even when it rubs of it leaves a beautiful stain to the lips. Not to mention this colour is to die for. 

What are some of your favourite matte lipsticks?

Hollie x

ps. yes I did take these photos on the plane  - I was excited! 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Naked 2: The Review

For my second post, I thought it might be time to divulge and possibly indulge in my latest make-up fetish: nude palettes. Now, I'm a little late jumping on the bandwagon with the Urban Decay Naked Palettes but you'll have to forgive me as until recently, I barely EVER wore eyeshadow. Yes, I'm 19 and for the first 18 and a half years of my life I must have only willingly worn eyeshadow about 4 times. To be frank, I was much more into liquid eyeliner and bold lipstick, eyeshadow seemed too scary and hard to apply for a long while, not to mention I was always a little scared of making myself look like a drag queen (nothing against drag queens!). This is why I LOVE all of the new nude eyeshadow palettes on the market lately, they're subtle, great value and most importantly incredibly handy! 

So without further-or-do I progress onto the review of my latest favourite nude eyeshadow palette: Naked 2 by Urban Decay. 

Needless to say, I'm impressed. I owned the original Naked palette for a few months before it's successor was released, and it was my go-to palette for everyday eyeshadow. Amazingly, the Naked 2 has upheld the high standard set by the original if not improved upon it. This palette is much more suited for cooler toned skins (I'm pale to the point of fluorescence so gold-toned colours don't work so much for me, making the selection of muted pinks, taupes and grey-silvers in this palette perfect for me and any pale compadres!). 
I love the fact that there are both matte and shimmer finishes in this palette and the diversity of the colours within it are amazing -who knew there were so many ways to go nude? 

My favourite part about the palette is that you can use it with the first Naked palette to generate and endless number of colour combinations. As you can see from the light swatches, all of the shadows are beautifully pigmented and finely milled. They are also very buildable but I would recommend using an eye primer (if not the Primer Potion from Urban Decay) for extra long wear. Considering the high pigmentation of the shadows, the 12 x 1.3g of shadow you get in the palette for £36.00 ($50.00) it's totally worth it, coming in at  only £2.31 per gram, in comparison to the £6.67 per gram for a MAC eyeshadow. That's not even including the good quality duo shadow and tapered blending brush you get free with the palette!

and a free lipgloss:

FYI, my favourite colour combos are:
  • Foxy all over the lid with Tease, Suspect or Half Baked in the crease 
  • Tease all over the lid with YDK in the crease and Busted in the outer corner
  • Verve all over the lid and Pistol in the crease
  • Bootycall all over the lid and Suspect in the crease
  • Blackout on an angled brush on the top lash-line for the effect of fuller lashes (I find this is much more subtle than my previous liquid liner)
Lastly, the sturdy packaging means the palette is perfect for travelling and easy to clean. I really do struggle to find negative things to say about my new baby (*cringe* haha). 

Does anyone else love this palette as much as I do or is anyone thinking about buying it? How do Urban Decay shadows compare to other brands in your opinion?

Saturday, 9 June 2012

A Quest for the Perfect Summer Foundation?

As a newcomer to high-end foundations, I'm finding it quite hard to find my feet in terms of finding the best foundation for my skin, especially now summer has arrived!

In the past I've always been an avid user of MaxFactor's foundation range, specifically their 'Lasting Performance' foundation which has high coverage and,  in my experience, actually does last on the face for the 8 hours it claims. However, as I've become more money-wise and able to save a little extra money to throw in the cosmetics pot, I discovered the divine appeal of high-end foundations through my first Chanel purchase - their VITALUMIÈRE AQUA  foundation in B10 - this product had such backing from the online beauty community - I wanted to see what all the fuss was about!

Needless to say, after my first feel of this silky-smooth beauty on my skin I was a changed woman, and it's fair to say it will take an out-of-this-world product to tempt me to go back to drugstore foundation products again! I would definitely recommend trying this out if you have dry to combination skin as it's so moisturising and gives you that healthy, dewy glow that seems to be so in fashion nowadays (a proper review on this delight to come soon). 

However, although I LOVE the finish of this foundation and it's buildability, the red pigmentation and breakouts that often invade my cheeks in the oily summer months do somewhat miss the high coverage that their old Max Factor friend offered. In light of this cosmetic nostalgia I am on the market for the perfect summer foundation that offers the beautiful finish of the VITALUMIÈRE AQUA but with a little more coverage. After some research I've decided to go for one of the following:

Estée Lauder Stay-in-Place Makeup: For a look that stays vibrant and fresh whether it's a workday, a workout or a weekend. Smooth it on once and don't think twice about it. 
- Nars Sheer Glow Foundation: A glowing, satin-finish foundation with sheer and buildable coverage. Replete with skincare benefits and the NARS Complexion Brightening Formula, skin is hydrated, more luminous, softer and smoother.
- Chanel Perfection Lumiere: Effortless to apply, with seamless blendability for a naturally flawless effect, this breakthrough foundation is the ideal all-day, everyday formula – suitable for all skin types in a diverse range of 20 shades. 

They all seem to offer longevity and buildable medium coverage, which one would you go for?