Thursday, March 31, 2016

Blog ¦ Do I need a Niche?

I feel like the word niche is a term that bloggers throw around a lot. I have read so many posts about how to start a blog and so many of them suggest that you MUST have a niche and I have to say I'm not sure I agree. People say that without a niche you won't gain a loyal group of readers and then in the next breath say that it isn't all about stats.
What I don't understand is why some people think that people shouldn't mix topics on their blog, I understand that some readers like beauty and some like lifestyle but surely by writing posts that fit under both those categories you are widening who's reading your posts. Maybe those readers might not follow as you don't post enough lifestyle content for them but in the grand old scheme of things does it really matter. It doesn't matter what you post in my opinion if I like the style of writing, the photos and the personality of the blogger I follow, fair enough I might not read every post that they put up like I do with some of my favourite bloggers however surely my irregular reading is better than me not reading at all.
So when starting a blog if you want to start with a niche then that's cool but don't ever let that niche define what you post and force you to churn out content that you hate when there is something that you feel you could write so much more passionately about however you know it doesn't fit you niche.
I'd love to know what you guys have to say about having a niche! Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Life ¦ A few Easter weekend snaps.

So I hope you all had a really lovely Easter weekend and ate far to much chocolate. We actually headed to Shropshire for the weekend and today I thought I'd share some snaps I took. Unfortunately the weather was a bit of a wash out however we did have a little bit of sunshine on Friday afternoon so we decided to go for a walk. I really hope you guys enjoy these shots, I'd also love to know how your Easter weekend was and what you got up to!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Beauty ¦ The brow roundup

I have recently become a little addicted to buying brow products so today I thought I would show you a little roundup of all the brow products I've got in my collection and do some little mini reviews for you. I've actually split the products into two sections so we have pencils and then setting, gels and creams. I really hope you guys enjoy this post and if you have any brow recommendations I'd love for you to leave the in the comments.

Starting off with pencils these are the ones I currently have in my collection.

Mua Power Brow pencil and Highlight £3

This is the cheapest and my least favourite pencil in the line up. It is in no way a bad product however out of the four it is the one I reach for the least. The formula is quite waxy and I find the nib for me personally is a little thick as I like to have lots of control. The colour isn't to bad it's quite a cool toned brown which is something I tend to look for in a brow shade. I don't really get the point of the highlight as it seems to just completely disappear when you even go near it to blend it.

Soap and Glory Brow archery tint and pencil £10

This such a hyped product and I couldn't wait to try it and I have to say I am as impressed as I hoped I would be. The one gripe I do have with this product is the shade. I picked up the shade Brownie points which is the darker of the two and it is no way near a medium-dark brown colour. I feel like people with dark blonde hair might even be able to use this shade, because of this I don't reach for it all the time however it is really lovely for days when I want my brows to look a little more natural and I really am impressed with the formula.

Smashbox Brow tech matte pencil £16.50

This is definitely my favourite pencil out of the bunch which is so typical as it's the most unaffordable. The pencil is so tiny and I find I can get a really precise brow with it which I love. I also find that the colour is pretty much perfect for my brows as it's just dark enough without them looking overly unnatural. The formula isn't waxy at all which is something else I look for in a pencil. I feel like this would be a very similar but easier to get hold of version of the Anastasia brow wiz.

Maybelline Brow satin £5.99

Out of the three drugstore pencils this is my favourite. Like the Smashbox one it has a very fine point. In terms of the shade it is a little lighter than the Smashbox one and just slightly cooler. However I did find that one of these pencils lasts barely anytime at all. I also really don't understand the paint of the powder on the other end as I find it has very little colour payoff and when on the brows it is barely detectable. In terms of shade range this one is also super limited and I'm pretty sure there are
only 3 or 4 shades to choose from.

 Left to Right Mua power brow pencil and highlight, Soap and glory archery tint and pencil, Smashbox brow tech, Maybelline brow satin pencil and powder.

Moving on from pencils I have a little mismatch of all other kinds of brow products.

Nyx eyebrow Gel £5.50

This is a pretty new product to me but one I've really been enjoying. I had heard so many good things about it so the last time I was in Manchester I headed straight to the big boots to have a good swatch at the counter. One thing I will say with this is that the shade range is rubbish (I'm sensing a theme here) There were four shades on the counter three of which were very warm, very dark browns in the end I settled for Brunette which was the coolest toned not black shade. I find it's still a little to warm and just a little to dark so I have to be super careful that my brows don't end up looking like I've taken a sharpie to my face. In terms of formula this stuff isn't going anywhere. I've worn it to the gym and it didn't even budge which I was pretty impressed with.

Anastasia Dip brow - £15.00

Finally one of the products that I have mentioned today that doesn't have a rubbish shade range. I will say however be careful when picking which shade you get. I like my brows dark but I picked up the shade medium brown and I feel like it's still a little dark and also a little warm. Despite this I've been using it a lot (just very carefully) as I absolutely love the formula. It stays put and it's super easy to work with as it isn't stiff as I was expecting it to be. I completely get why people get are so obsessed with this product.

L'Oreal Brow artist plumper - £6.99

This was something that I bought before I got Gimme brow and I do really like it. I find the wand is possibly a little bit but otherwise I think it is a really lovely drugstore product. It does a good job of keeping my brows in place and making sure I don't have any escapee hairs. I also like to use it on the days I am not wearing much makeup just to add a little bit of definition to my brows.

Benefit Gimme brow - £18.50

Now I really like the L'Oreal one but this one is 10x better. The brush is much smaller meaning that application is much neater. I also find in terms of wearing it alone the fibres in this add a lot more to the lashes and the pigment is a little more obvious. I think that the L'Oreal one is a perfectly good alternative however if you are a lover of brows and have the price range then I would definitely say choose this one over the L'Oreal one.

Left to right - Anastasia Dip brow, Nyx Brow gel, L'Oreal brow artist, Benefit Gimme brow.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Beauty ¦ Urban decay x Gwen stefani eye palette

I swear when I opened this on my birthday my heart actually skipped a beat. I know that literally everyone is talking about this collaboration at the moment but look how beautiful it is. Today I thought I would stick my oar in and review this for you guys because I mean I'm sure there needs to be another review of this palette on the internet! So without further ado lets get into it.
So starting of the packaging one thing I really love is the fact it's so sturdy and also very pretty at the same time. It is quite heavy which I really wasn't expecting however I feel like it's one of those palettes that will be pretty much be indestructible. In terms of quality the shadows are exactly what I would expect from Urban decay they are beautifully pigmented and blend like an absolute dream. A couple of the glitter shades have got some fall out so if that bothers you (it personally doesn't bother me)  then maybe consider that before picking this palette up. So lets move onto the shades.
Shades from left to right
Blondie - This shade is the more subtle highlight shade in the palette, it's a beautiful shimmery gold highlight shade which I have been using under my brow bone and in the inner corner.
Bathwater - This one is a super intense pale gold shade which makes for the perfect super dramatic highlight shade as well as a nice pretty shimmery all over the lid shade.
Skimp - This one is a almost matte highlight it contains a little bit of shimmer however once on the eyes the shimmer is almost undetectable as it is so fine. I love using this one with the matte shades in the palette for a very almost matte look.
Steady - I think this shade is my favourite out of the entire palette. It is the most beautiful light rose gold shade with lots of warm tones. It looks so metallic on the lid and it looks incredible with a darker warm tone in the crease (like makeup geek Cocoa bear) or a burgundy brown shade (like Punk in this palette)
Punk - This one is the first matte shade in the palette, it's a beautiful burgundy red-y toned shade which is the most beautiful crease shade for a darker look.

Baby - This is a really metallic pin shade with silver shimmer in it. This is one of those perfect super simple shadows which work so nicely just swept over the lid.
Anaheim - This is the coolest of the three matte shades in the middle of the palette. It's a very basic shade but one that is really useful as both a transition shade and a subtle crease shade.
Stark - This one is a matte peachy light brown, I've been really liking using this one over the lid with either Anaheim or Zone in the crease for a very subtle matte eye look.
Zone - This is the final of the three basic matte shades in the palette, it's a really beautiful medium chocolate brown which I've been using a lot as a crease shade as it's perfect for adding lots of definition without making the eye look to dark.
Serious - This one for me was one that I wasn't sure i'd love however it is so pretty and I have been using it quite a lot of the very outer parts of the lid. Its a stunning grey shade which has lots of coloured shimmer in it. I haven't had chance to use this in a smokey eye yet however I feel like it's going to be incredible.

Pop - This one is the most incredible pressed glitter the swatch above really doesn't do it any justice. It's a stunning light peachy shade that is absolutely packed with silver glitter particles. It looks incredible pressed all over the lid in the centre to add a little glitter to the look.
Harajuku - This one is not a shade I think I will ever use, it is a medium bright Barbie pink with silver shimmer in it. This one is definitely for the braver girls out there!
Danger - This again was on I didn't think I'd ever touch however I really love it. I've been using it under my lash line for a slight pop of colour. It is an incredible deep blue shade with a metallic finish.
1987 - This one is the most insane true gold shade which reminds me of a shadow I got in a magazine when I was about 11. I'm pretty sure I'm probably never going to use it however it is still incredible quality.
Blackout - This one is just the typical matte black shade in the palette. I don't really know what to say about this one!
So that's it for today's post I hope you enjoyed this! 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Beauty ¦ March Makeup

I've never been one to settle into a routine with my makeup however I do find myself reaching for the same products often so I've decided that each month I'm going to show you the products I've been reaching for often when I've been doing makeup. I've picked up so much new makeup in this past month so I've got lots of new favourites so without further ado lets get on with the post!
Base wise I've been using the Bare minerals complexion rescue which I am really loving at the moment. My skin has been much better recently and I've found that I really haven't needed as much coverage as I usually feel like I need. This is the most beautiful light coverage, glowy foundation which I have found applies best with my beauty blender. For concealing I've been using the Soap and glory kick ass concealer under my eyes which I've been really enjoying. I've actually been avoiding the powder as I used it once and I found it was far to matte for my already very dry and dehydrated skin however I find that personally on me it's absolutely fine without setting. Finally for any blemishes and redness I've been using the Clarins instant light concealer which I think is my favourite concealer of all time. It sits so beautifully on the skin and has a lovely high coverage without being super cakey and heavy.
To add some colour to my face I've been using the Zoeva Rose gold blush palette this is just the prettiest palette ever. I've been using all three shades out of this pretty much everyday. The contour shade is so perfect for pale skin, the highlight is the most beautiful icy gold shade which catches the light so beautifully and the blush is a gorgeous rose gold shade which has a beautiful golden shimmer in it. Moving onto my brows I've been a little bit obsessed with the Smashbox Brow tech matte pencil it has such a fine point and it means that I can be super accurate and I've then been setting it with my Benefit gimme brow which is the best for if you have super untameable brows.
Then for eyes as usual I've been using Urban decay primer potion and then I have been using the Gwen Stefani palette which I got for my birthday. My most used shades so far have definitely been steady which I have been using all over my lid, then I've been using punk in the crease and outer V and blondie on the brow bone and inner corner. Then for mascara I've been using Maxfactor False lash effect as my base mascara and then Benefit They're real over the top to give me super defined and lengthened lashes. Finally I've been using Clinique Poppy pop on the lips which is the most beautiful springy orange-y red shade which I am absolutely obsessed with!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Beauty ¦ A Lush haul

I feel like I haven't shared a lush haul in forever so when I went in the other day I knew I had to share my purchases with you all as I know I personally love a good lush haul so without further ado lets get on with the haul.
So as usual I picked up some of my favourites, The Comforter is one of my all time favourite lush products along with Brightside. These are both £4.95 and considering you get between 4-6 baths out of each so they end up working out as super good value for money. The final one that I always pick up is the Creamy candy bubble bar which smells absolutely incredible.
Moving on to some of the limited edition products I picked up. The Golden egg smells like caramel and is just the prettiest thing I have ever seen. I actually wasn't going to pick it up as it is so messy but they were doing a demo with it in store and it smelt so incredible. I also picked up the Ladybird bubble bar which I think might be a limited edition for Mother's day but I'm not 100% sure. I just thought this one was really cute and it smells like sweets which is always a bonus.

Finally I picked up some of the permanent collection. Blackberry bath bomb is something that I haven't tried before, it's one of the very basic bomb's. It's nice and fruity and it's one that I'm super excited to use. I also picked up Sakura which in all honesty I picked it up because it's so pretty. I think it actually contains popping candy so I'm super excited to use this one.
Finally I picked up two of the newer bath bombs in the collection, the Experimenter is so bright and I absolutely cannot wait to use it. It has a very spicy scent however it does have a hint of sweetness which balances it well. Last but not least I picked up Intergalactic which smells like a mixture of mint and men's aftershave and it smells so incredible.
So that's everything I picked up! I really hope you enjoyed this post.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Beauty ¦ My new favourite cheekbones

I received an email about this palette from beauty bay a couple of weeks ago and needless to say I was instantly sold and I headed straight over and ordered it. If you know me in real life or you read my blog a lot you will be fully aware that I have no cheekbones at all my face is chubby and so I  require a lot of work in the contour department meaning I'm rather fond of a good contour palette. Again if you are a regular in these waters you will know that I really love the Barry M contour kit so for anything to come even close to being on par with it I am incredibly impressed by.
The formula of these powders is really lovely, they aren't chalky and they blend into the skin beautifully. They have a good amount of pigmentation but not to much so that it makes them hard  to work with which is one of my main expectations of a cheek product. As much as I love the rose gold packaging it is only cardboard and I feel like if you kept your makeup in a makeup bag it could very easily get destroyed as there isn't much protection for the powders.
Starting off with the contour shade which is definitely my favourite out of the three powders. It is one of the most brilliant contour powders I have ever tried. I am casper the ghost pale so I find that even super grey toned powders can sometimes still end up looking to dark and orangey on me, this shade however is the perfect mix of grey and orange to make it look natural. It is quite a sheer product however I personally like that in a contour as I can often go over board so I would rather have to build it up on my face rather than spend 10 minutes trying to tone down a super heavy contour.
The highlight is absolutely incredible however it is very intense. When it first arrived and I saw it I was a little disappointed as I was pretty sure a bright white highlight was something that would work for me however when I swatched it I realised that the shade in the pan was pretty misleading. It's actually a beautiful icy gold shade which catches the light so beautifully. It is one of those highlighters for people who aren't afraid of some intense glow however I have tried it under my foundation on the high points of my face and it just leaves a beautiful subtle golden glow to the skin.
Finally we have the blush shade, which is like nothing I've ever seen before. It is a very brown toned pink with a lot of very subtle golden shimmer and I really do love it. It's incredibly warm toned so not only does it add a flush of colour but it also leaves a slight bronze-y glow to my face so on can't be bothered days I've been wearing this without any bronzer. It is exactly the shade I hoped it would be and it has just made me love this palette even more!
Overall I would highly suggest that you check this palette out at £13 it's the higher end of budget makeup however for three powders of such high quality I think it's an absolute steal. I also picked up the Cocoa blend palette in the same order so expect to see a review of that in the next couple of weeks!

Left to right - Contour, Highlight (Unblended), Blush

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Life ¦ Lessons from Auschwitz

So on the 2nd of March I had the opportunity of a life time to travel to Poland and visit Auschwitz concentration camp with the Lessons from Auschwitz programme. So at half past two on the second of March me and my friend Anna set off headed for east midlands airport for one of the most unforgettable days of our lives. We visited two of the three sites to Auschwitz, Auschwitz one which is more like a museum and the buildings have all been converted and are filled with pictures and information and the we also visited Auschwitz Birkenau which the buildings are how they were. Then at the end of the day we had the most beautiful memorial ceremony in which we laid candles along the track into Birkenau.  I think I'd have to describe the camps as the more eerily interesting places I have ever been.  
With being an A-level history student I found it so incredibly interesting to be able to learn all about how things were run at the camp and I feel like it is incredibly important to not forget what happened during the war and how many people were killed. Today I've decided to share some of my photos from the day as I am actually really proud of them. So I really hope you enjoy looking at the pictures and I'd love to know if anyone had ever visited Auschwitz and what your experience was like.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Beauty ¦ New additions to my Makeup geek palette

So if you read my first makeup geek post you will know that I was massively impressed with everything about the shadows for the price of £4.95 they are 10x better than mac shadows in my opinion and I would put them up at the top of the table with my beloved urban decay shadows. If you didn't see the first post you can read it //here// Today I thought I would show you the new additions to my palette. I actually received most of these shades for my birthday which was Thursday so I haven't had time to have a proper play with them however I just couldn't wait to write this post!
Top row -
Vanilla bean - A very sheer cream basic highlight shade with a little bit of shimmer. I picked this one up for highlight my brow bone and inner corner when I'm doing a more toned down look.
Beaches and cream - This is a stunning very light peach with no shimmer, this is a much more cream shade than Peach smoothie which is a very orange peach shade. I feel like this one is going to be perfect for all over the lid with a very natural shades in the crease as well as a base for darker looks.
Cinderella - A light rosy pink with very fine silver shimmer, it has the most beautiful metallic finish and I cannot wait to pair it with the shade cherry cola as well as wear it alone.
Cocoa bear - A gorgeous very red toned matte chocolate brown shade, this one makes the most perfect shade for in the crease of a warm look.
Middle row -
Cherry cola - A very dark matte brown-y burgundy shade which I cannot wait to use as a crease colour.
Goddess - This is the more brown orange version of the shade cosmopolitan. It has the most beautiful metallic finish to it. In some lights it reflects heavily gold and is just one of the most beautiful shadows I've ever seen.
Crème brule - This is one that so many people recommended when I asked what shades I should buy. It's once again a matte shade and it is a mix of a peach and a light warm brown. I feel like this is a transition shade that I'm going to reach for very often.
Corrupt - This is another basic shade that I felt like I needed in my palette, it is simply just an incredibly pigmented basic matte black.
Left to right - Vanilla bean, Beaches and cream, Cinderella, Cocoa bear, Cherry cola, Goddess, Crème brule, Corrupt.
Bottom row -
Unexpected - This is one of the only more cool toned shadows that I have in my palette. It's a mix of a cool taupe and a lilac and it makes a lovely base shade for a purple toned smokey eye.
Twilight - This is like the slightly lighter much more shimmery sister of unexpected. This shade reminds me of a slightly more purple version of L'Oreal Café saint germain which is one of my all time favourite shades.
Sensuous - Is a dark pinky purple shade with a metallic finish, the shimmer picks up beautifully in this shade and it is the perfect shade for pairing with Twilight to create a slightly coloured but still neutral look.
Drama queen - The final shade I'm going to talk about today, it's a very dark purple shade which in all honesty I'm not sure how much use I will get out of it however it went to well with the three shadows above so I had it buy it right?

Left to Right - Unexpected, Twilight, Sensuous, Drama queen

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Beauty ¦ Skincare saviours

Recently I've had a little bit of a skincare overhaul and it's done my skin the world of good so today I thought I would share with you the two products that I have been absolutely loving in this past month.
I was using the Alpha H liquid gold however I found it was a little bit to harsh for my skin and it was leaving it a little red so I decided to give the Nip and fab Glycolic fix daily pads and I have found that they are much less harsh on the skin and I've found that they have been leaving my skin really glowy and I thing the have definitely contributed to reducing the amount of blemishes I have.
The other product is the La Roche posay effaclar duo +, this was something that I've been meaning to try for months and months as it's something that so many people talk about. I wasn't sure wether it would dry my skin out as I find a lot of blemish treatments can leave my already dry skin even drier however I've found that not only does this help reduce my blemishes but I've also found it was hydrating enough not to massivly dry out my skin.
So that is my current favourite skincare products. I'd love to know what skincare products you have been using recently.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Beauty ¦ Curently reaching for - The orange smokey eye

I have been a little obsessed with orangey warm toned shadows recently and the obsession is showing no sign of fading. If you saw my makeup geek palette post //here// you can see some of the gorgeous shades I picked up so today I thought I would show you how I've been using them to create a beautiful warm smokey eye.

So to start off I've been using my ring finger to press L'Oreal colour riche shadow in Sable Lame all over the lid. This is one of the prettiest gold shades I've ever laid eyes on it's quite an icy gold so it contrasts really well with the warm toned shadows to make sure things aren't getting to orangey. Then I've been using Makeup geek Glamorous in the crease which is the most stunning warm toned gold shade. It's significantly darker than the L'Oreal shade so it adds a nice depth to the crease.
 For my outer v I've been using Makeup geek Cosmopolitan which is the most stunning burnt orange copper shade with a gold reflex. This is perfect for adding a bit more definition. Then finally I've been smoking everything out with Makeup geek Mocha which is just your standard deep chocolate matte brown. Sometimes I've been using this shade to line my eyes and other times I've applied it into the crease to create quite a dark smokey look. I've also been using it under the eyes to give the overall look a little more smokiness.
So that's it for today's post! What's your favourite eye look at the moment?