Sunday, 31 January 2016

January 2016 Favourites

 photo JanuaryFaves1_zpsjrydajyw.jpgThe first month of 2016 has come to an end and I don't know about you, but I'm pretty happy about that. January always feels like the longest month, it's cold, there's no hope of spring on the horizon and whilst it initially gives that new year inspiration and motivation, that pretty quickly fades and instead I'm eating all the food I can find and hibernating on the sofa with Take Me Out. I'm definitely looking at February as a second clean slate, January was a practise run and Feb is the real deal baby! I rarely do favourites posts as I'm simply not that organised but this month there have been a few things I've loved, and so I wanted to share that love on here.

Nip + Fab is a brand which has always intrigued me for its unique, sciencey sounding products. With pretty great reviews, I decided to try out their Bust Fix Plumping Treatment, which "visibly plumps, smoothes and firms skin around the bust and décolleté". Me being me, I managed to break the tube for this within a week of owning it so I've de-potted it into an old jam jar, excuse the basic packaging! I actually got this in Barcelona so it was a bit cheaper, around the £10 mark I think and I'm not sure if I'd repurchase for the full £16.29. Having said that, I've really enjoyed using it and would say that with consistent use, it pretty much does do what it says on the tin!

 photo JanuaryFaves3_zpsln5kzjjj.jpg I've done a full review of the Makeup Revolution Iconic palette here, so I won't go on to much about it, but safe to say that it's love and the only eyeshadow I've used throughout January. This next product has only just made it into the January shortlist as I actually only used it last night, but oh my gosh is it amazing. I've been toying with the idea of going a little blonder for a while, and have always been a home dye kinda girl. This Jerome Russell Highlight Kit caught my eye for looking heavy duty, like it would make a proper difference. It's a faff to use, but the results are so worth it. Full review coming soon.

 photo JanuaryFaves2_zpsogjdm6mv.jpg This gorgeous ring was an eBay bargain and such a good find if I do say so myself.  It's identical (from what I can tell) to a Pandora ring of the same style, but cost under £20. A more high end favourite, Thierry Mugler Angel has been my favourite perfume for as long as I can remember but I've never owned it, so when my sister gave it to me for Christmas I was over the moon - it's lived up to expectation and remains my absolute number 1 favourite scent ever.

I hope you've had a wonderful January - here's to the next 29 days.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Lake District | Snowy Walks and Chesters by the River

 photo Snow1_zps6wbebhfb.jpg Over the last few days the Lake District has been turned into a magical Winter wonderland. The snow arrived on Saturday afternoon whilst I was at work, and with a day off yesterday my sister and I headed over to one of our favourite spots to explore the fairytale scenes the snow has brought with it.

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Parking at Skelwith Bridge (parking is free), between Ambleside and Langdale, we wandered up towards Elterwater under a canopy of snow covered branches. Snow makes everything look so beautiful, this is a lovely little walk on any day but the gorgeous wintery weather makes it so much more special.
 photo Snow3_zpszwfsy718.jpg  photo Snow23_zpssasslqpn.jpg Familes, dogs, friends and children were all out in full force because let's be honest, the weather has been pretty pants and after last year's floods it's nice to see the Lake District looking like it should in Winter - blanketed in white and full of people. Cumbria is definitely open and absolutely not under water, contrary to what some might believe...right now, it's looking more lovely than ever.
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We stopped to say hello to this not so little guy, before the cold and thought of freshly baked cakes got the better of us and we turned back to grab a cup of something hot and warm our bellies. A longer walking route would be to continue on and head to Elterwater before turning back. The route is flat and easily walkable, perfect for those who just fancy seeing some stunning Lakeland scenery, for children or runners who don't want anything too intense (guilty!).
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A bit of a South Lakes institution, Chesters by the River is a family run café offering a good variety of savoury food as well as well as hot drinks and the most delicious cakes. I went for an almond milk flat white and a brownie, whilst Katherine had black coffee and a scone with jam & cream. Freshly baked daily, the cakes are huge and so yummy, they tend to offer gluten free options (my brownie was gluten free and delicious) as well as dairy free and occasionally vegan, but as they are baked daily, once they're gone, they're gone - so no guarantees on this.
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Happily full, well warmed and well caffeinated, we ended up in Chesters' shop, lusting after copper lampshades and pretty stationary (still on the hunt for that perfect 2016 diary). Bundled up in scarves, hats, wellies and cosy coats we braved the cold once more, heading home to toast ourselves by the fire and hope for more snow.

If you're ever in the area and looking for the perfect lazy day with a little natural beauty and fresh air thrown in, it doesn't get much better.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Review | Makeup Revolution Iconic 1 Palette

The Urban Decay Naked Palette was an absolute staple in my makeup routine, and when it's shelf life ran out I knew that I wanted to repurchase but spending £38 on an eyeshadow palette just wasn't a goer. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely think it's worth it, but I wanted to find a more budget alternative which I could use on a day to day basis and would basically deliver a similar result. Makeup Revolution is a brand with a lot of buzz surrounding it, and I rarely hear a negative review about them. Their 'Iconic' range now consists of four palettes I believe, and has become well known for its Naked dupe status. With this in mind, I decided to go for the Iconic 1 palette as for £4 you can hardly go wrong!

First up: packaging. It's simple, sleek and good quality, with a clear plastic lid and black body. The palette itself is not bulky at all, and is a really handy size, being more of a wide rectangle than a long one which I love as it fits into my makeup bag with no problem. I also like that you can see all the eyeshadows without opening the packaging, I'm not sure why this is such a winner with me but I think it's nice to be able to see the product without having to constantly open and close the lid. The palette also comes with a double ended sponge applicator, which always reminds me a bit of the makeup sets you have when you're 10, but it's pretty standard and useful if you're caught without a brush as it does the job!

The eyeshadows themselves are very decently sized, you certainly get a good amount of product and I can't see myself running out of this too quickly which is a definite plus! None of the shades have names which doesn't really bother me to be honest- I do love the fact that the Naked palette shades have such cool names, but it's not something which really is an issue in a highstreet, budget palette. One thing I was concerned about was that the eyeshadows would be chalky and poorly pigmented, and I have to say - this is not the case at all! I've been using this palette on a regular basis since I bought it about 2 months ago and have found every shade to be well pigmented, easy to apply and whilst they don't have that super buttery texture which more high end options tend to deliver, they're pretty flipping good! I've been using this with a primer, and have found that whilst it's not perfect by the end of the day, it stays in place pretty well and looks almost as good as in the morning. I'm not going to say it's as good as the Naked Palette because it definitely isn't, but at around a ninth of the price, that certainly wasn't my expectation.

Almost every shade has some shimmer in it, which I personally love, but is something to bear in mind if you're more of a fan of the matte look. I've been reaching for this on a daily basis as it's just so gorgeous, and I know that I can create as simple or dramatic a look as I want. With the shades ranging from softer beige and gold tones, through warmer pinky browns, through to greys and a good black, there's the possibility to go for a whole spectrum of looks, which means that this is the perfect palette for a holiday or weekend away as it's got you covered for every base. I'm so happy I purchased this, and am honestly so impressed with the price to quality ratio. I can definitely see myself repurchasing, and buying a few more bits and bobs from Makeup Revolution - they've recently released an Iconic Smoky Palette which is definitely at the top of my wishlist as I lusted after the UD Naked Smoky Palette so much when it first hit the stands.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

365 Days | A Look Back at 2015

2015 has been a whirlwind year, with adventures, challenges and lulls along the way. Since it's New Year's Eve, and 2016 is just around the corner, I thought I'd do a little summary of the last year, to take stock and reflect back on what's been a pivotal and exciting 12 months.

 photo 2015Recap3_zpsenrfhrkv.jpg Finishing the year at home, and trying to appreciate it as much as possible. I'm not a home bird, but I am lucky enough to live in a stunning place and I often forget to make the most of - there are some truly beautiful things to see, amazing scenery and great places to eat. One of my New Year's resolutions is definitely going to be to appreciate it more. The year was topped off with a little trip to one of my favourite cities, Budapest.  photo 2015Recap2_zpscm370irm.jpg 
Moving to Barcelona for 3 months to intern for Barcelona Metropolitan was a huge highlight in 2015. Heading to Barcelona I didn't know what to expect, and I came away with so much more editorial and journalistic experience as well as a lot of happy memories. Writing a short piece about U2's upcoming concert in Barcelona, and Bono then reading it, was definitely a surprise moment which brought a huge smile to my face! 2015 wouldn't have been what it was without this experience, and although it had its ups and downs I'm so glad I had the chance to do it.  photo 2015Recap1_zps7naklc5j.jpg 
Completing my final year of uni and graduating with a 2:1 was probably the most significant and massive moment of 2015. Making the step from being a student to an actual adult was pretty terrifying and I still miss that student life, but I'm so glad my final year was what it was! Difficult, but filled with achievements (like running my first 10k in under an hour) and fun.

I hope you had a wonderful 2015, and here's to a beautiful 2016.  


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