Saturday, 25 July 2015

Review | L'Oréal Glam Highlights Bronde #2

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After using Glam Highlights.

I've had a bit of a blonde ombre going on for a year or two now, and in that time have only really dyed the ends of my hair to brighten things up a bit. However cutting my hair a lot shorter a few months ago meant that I pretty much said goodbye to whatever blonde was left, leaving me with - for the first time in as long as I can remember - my natural hair colour, a kind of dark blonde/light brown. As a bit of a hair dye hound, it was only a matter of time before I hit the bottle again. I knew I wanted to go blonder, to do it at home - because, money - and I also knew that I didn't want a full on, all over hair dye as I was concerned that it would go a little yellow. Enter L'Oréal's Glam Highlights kit. Using Blake Lively as your spokesperson/model will pretty much sell anything to me, so it's no surprise that I went for this, however it also sounded like exactly what I was after - natural looking, multi tonal highlights which were easy to achieve at home. 

I picked up the shade No. 2, for dark blonde to light blonde hair. Inside the box, you get all the standard blonde hair dye essentials - lightening creme, developer creme, lightening powder - as well as a three pronged brush which you use to apply the hair dye. Although it doesn't say you need to do a patch test, I did one anyway because you always should and it's better to be safe than sorry!


I watched a few Youtube videos on L'Oréal's channel, as well as reading the instruction booklet which came in the box, all of which seemed to give different instructions. The general consensus seemed to be: once mixed, add even amounts of dye mixture to each section of the brush, start away from your roots, apply more pressure the further down your hair you get, and be quite generous with the dye on the ends to give a more natural effect. The videos make it look ridiculously easy: I didn't find it to be as simple as it looked, because it's hard to get the back of your head and to make sure you've applied it evenly everywhere. I've used this twice now and the second time was easier, so maybe it's a case of practice makes perfect. Make sure you've brushed your hair really really well before using this as it will make application so much easier too!

The Results

I left the hair dye on for the maximum time of 45 minutes. Honestly, I could have left it on for a bit longer as the effect was not quite as bright as I'd hoped for. Nonetheless, I was left with a lovely and really natural colour, which really brightened up my hair and didn't look yellow at all - yay! It did look a bit patchy at the roots, and this is probably my biggest criticism of the product. My friends said that they couldn't really notice it and once I'd dried and styled my hair, it wasn't that obvious - I guess that's just what you get for doing highlights yourself at home, rather than getting a professional to do it! A few washes later and the patchiness was all but gone, so whilst it was a bit annoying it absolutely would not stop me from using this again (and I have!). 

All in all, this is a great little home dye kit which at a fraction of the price of professional highlights, is definitely worth checking out. One box was perfect for my shoulder length hair, however if you have really long hair I'd recommend getting two as I did find myself running out by the end. The best thing about this for me is how natural the colour is: getting orangey yellow hair from a box dye was my biggest worry, but this comes out a lovely blonde shade. A little fiddly to apply - get a friend to help if you can - but worth the effort, and I can definitely see myself picking this up again in the near future.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Lifestyle | Graduation

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On Tuesday last week, I donned my graduation robes and can't quite believe that as I'm typing this, I sit here as an official graduate with a 2:1 hons in English and French! My ceremony was at 11.45 in the morning, so I had time to nervously get ready and prepare myself to not fall over on stage no matter what - I think everyone has this fear about graduation day at some point!Having prepared for this day for so long, it felt quite surreal to take my seat in the Great Hall, but before I knew it my name had been called and our chancellor - Floella Benjamin - was waiting to hug me and pass on some inspiring words. It's a bit of a tradition now at Exeter that she hugs each graduate as they come onto stage, and gives them some advice for the future, always ending with "make me proud". I think it's such a lovely way to send off graduates and as cheesy as it sounds, it really adds something to the day!

Graduation day was so lovely, but it's also quite a nerve filled day. Fortunately we were able to enjoy the rest of the week, go to a few more receptions (it's a lot easier to enjoy these when you can relax and not worry about the formalities of your own graduation!) and make the most of Exeter's wonderful nightlife (I say that ironically, but this week made me realise just how much I will miss it). Unfortunately that same wonderful nightlife claimed my phone and so photos are a little lacking, but it's made me realise that there is a lot to be said for a night out without having constant access to social media and a camera. Spending time with my housemates, seeing friends and just enjoying the perks of being a student with none of the workload stress was the perfect way to say goodbye to somewhere where I have spent some of the best years of my life.

Graduating from University is a bitter sweet experience: on the one hand, it's incredibly exciting and I feel so proud of myself and my friends for getting good results and for having survived the final year. On the other hand, there are so many good memories and being a student has been such a brilliant experience that it's so sad to think that it's all over. It's easy to look at things through rose tinted glasses, and I know that after four years I was ready to move on to something new, but it's a different feeling once it's actually time to do so.

I'm going to stop here before this gets too cheesy and waffly, congratulations to anyone else who has/is/will graduate this year! It's safe to say (perhaps controversially?!): Exeter - not probably, but definitely the best university in the world.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Review | L'Oréal Colour Riche Eyeshadow Primer

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 photo LOrealPrimer3_zpsxb6rppta.jpg L'Oréal Colour Riche Eyeshadow Primer | £5.99

Eye primers were brought into my life with the purchase of my first Naked palette (I feel like I compare all eye makeup to this palette, I hold my hands up - it's just amazing and I can't help it!). That ran out a LONG time ago, and since then I've kind of avoided looking into getting another primer (the one you get with the palette is sample size and doesn't last a long time, but it's flipping amazing). I wrote it off as one of those products which are nice to have, but not essential - even though I knew what a difference it made when I used it, both to the way my eyeshadow looked and its staying power. Eyeshadow primer didn't jump out at me from the shelves at Boots and Superdrug, so I didn't make much effort to try to find a decent one. I feel as though eye primers are something more affordable brands either don't focus on, or don't advertise much, because I felt like it was a challenge to find one. However just before Christmas I decided enough was enough: I needed a little primer magic in my life, and I wanted to find a good yet affordable one to do the job.

Cue L'Oréal's Colour Riche Eyeshadow Primer, packaged in gorgeous, sleek white chubby pencil form. A nude crayon style eye primer, billed as both "fixing and unifying", it appealed to me immediately and I've always enjoyed using L'Oréal products. I was looking for something which would both intensify my eyeshadow as well as help it to stay put all day. Normally, I do find that my eye makeup will start to look a little worn after a few hours, especially in warmer weather, so something which would solve this problem would be more than welcome. So does it live up to my hopes?

First things first, I have pretty dry skin and this includes my eyelids. In this area, the eye primer is not the best. It's pencil form doesn't translate as being very moisture rich, and I do find that as a result it doesn't go on quite as nicely as I'd like, slightly highlighting drier patches, although as it's the primer and not the finished result, this doesn't bother me and I wouldn't say that the fact it isn't super dry skin friendly is a huge issue. It does blend quite nicely, providing a good base, I just feel that it could be slightly creamier. That aside, I have really enjoyed using this lovely little product and it has become a solid staple in my makeup routine. The fact that it's nude, and matte, means that it provides a great neutral base for any eyeshadow and doesn't interfere with the colour at all. I don't find that it does an outstanding job at intensifying eyeshadow colour, but it definitely helps the shadow to appear bolder and more pigmented. Staying power is where this really works for me: I've worn my eye makeup over this to work on numerous occasions now, some in the hotter weather we've been having recently, and have found that it stays put and hasn't budged even slightly by the end of the day. I sometimes find that having drier skin can mean that usually, eyeshadow simply doesn't stick, but this has really helped with that as well - so a thumbs up from me!

I apply this straight from the nib, and use my finger to blend it in, creating an even base to which eye makeup takes really well. The pencil form makes it super easy to just pop in my makeup bag, so it's a great on-the-go product. All in all, I'd highly recommend this as a great, slightly more budget eyeshadow primer - at £5.99 it's not ridiculously cheap however neither is it going to break the bank. All that said, as a product hound I will likely try out a different brand next as this was my first drugstore primer, and I'd like to see what's out there for comparison. But if you're looking for something fuss free which does the job, this is a winner in my books. 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Haul | Shopping The Topshop Sale

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 photo TopshopHaul7_zpsqbgty40r.jpg photo TopshopHaul9_zpsxvym6w8c.jpg photo TopshopHaul3_zpswba3uqae.jpg photo TopshopHaul5_zpsk7jdgdch.jpg photo TopshopHaul4_zpsvqoj29wv.jpg Sales shopping is a bit of a weakness of mine (I'm sure I'm not alone in this!). I tend to go a little crazy though, and just buy things because they're cheap or significantly reduced, without thinking about whether or not I really actually want them. Cue a large amount of ill judged purchases which may have been amazing bargains, but when you aren't going to wear something ever, it doesn't matter what it cost - it's not a bargain. This year, as I'm saving for my upcoming time in Barcelona, I've largely ignored the sales, but caved when it came to Topshop and before I knew it I was browsing away online, "just to have a look". A few hours later, an order had been made, although it seems like the spending gods are looking out for me because it turned out after I'd made the order that half the items I'd bought weren't in stock and so I was saved from spending a ridiculous amount! A few days later, I popped into my local store and couldn't resist picking up a few more bits and bobs, and so I thought I'd share what I bought in a little haul post.

First up, I'd featured this gorgeous lace top in a recent wishlist so I was really happy when I saw it in the sale for a measly £12! Out of stock in my normal size, I had to go for Petite and this probably won't work out as the top is absolutely lovely but a little too short. It's also a bit impractical due to the fact that you can't really move your arms in it without the bardot style sleeves riding up and the whole top lifting, although I would guess this is again because I wasn't able to get my actual size! If you can find it, try it on because it is so stunning and if I do see it in my size I'll be snapping it up in a flash. I popped a photo of it up on my Instagram here if you fancy seeing what it looks like on. Moving on, I've wanted a lace non-padded bra for so long now, and it may finally be time to call off the search - this one is so pretty and my favourite thing is it actually has three fasteners at the back, like a real bra, despite being sized like clothing rather than underwear (a pet hate of mine!). Finally, I saw this skirt in store and literally watched as it was reduced from it's already great sale price of £18 to £10! It's a really thick material which is brilliant as it won't blow up should a gust of wind come along, and whilst I am slightly concerned about the length, it was just too pretty to pass up.

Onto accessories now: I love buying little things in the sale as it's just like a little pick me up, something which doesn't cost the earth but is really satisfying! I hoovered up my favourite scrunchie a while ago (naughty Henry hoover) so picked this one up, the little bow ear things are so cute. Topshop makeup is always a winner, I love everything I've bought from the Topshop beauty section so far so seeing these online in the sale was just too much. The sheer lipstick, which I got in Play With Fire, looks like a scarily bright orange but hopefully translates into a much more subtle colour on; the cheeky jellies were partly just due to sheer curiosity however I also love the idea of a nice sheer wash of colour. I picked up Beep and Phenomenon, the first a more pinky shade whilst the other is definitely a strong orange, and cannot wait to use them.

So there it is, my little Topshop sales haul! I think I was pretty well restrained, although it could have turned out differently had half my order been in stock. The Topshop sale is always a good one I feel, none of this "reduced from £20 to £18.99" business.

Have you picked anything up in the sales?


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