Wednesday, 6 July 2016

My Favourite Books

I've just had to take an unintentional break from typing away at my blog, because my laptop broke! After googling the problem over and over and over again, and about 100000000000 attempts at system restore (I exaggerate, but you know what I mean), I'm back in business! I found that because I wasn't able to write, it was all I wanted to do and I found it soooo frustrating. Isn't that always the way? Anyway, today I thought I thought I'd tell you about some of my favourite books :)

1. Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling) - the story of the Boy Who Lived, need I say more? Haha. I am obsessed. I love the books so, so much. I also love the films and I've been to the Warner Bros Studio tour twice so far, hopefully I'll make it a third soon! My dad bought them all for me and my sister when they originally came out, and he read the first four of them to us because we were still fairly little. I remember waiting for the new book to come out each year, it was so exciting! I love the incredible magical world that J.K. Rowling has invented, I love how there's so much depth to it and so much detail, and you can really picture yourself in that world. If I think too much about how I will never ever go to Hogwarts I actually start to get a bit upset haha, so let's keep this short! I've been re-reading them and have read five out of the seven so far - I stupidly lent the last two to someone who seems very reluctant to give them back... hopefully they'll be back soon as they're so sentimental to me because of having them from the beginning. If for some crazyyyy reason you've not read them, give The Philosopher's Stone a go, and hopefully you'll love the world of Harry Potter too!

2. American Gods (Neil Gaiman) - this one was a bit of a surprise favourite for me! For some reason when I read the blurb I just thought that it wasn't really for me, despite all ready being a fan of Neil Gaiman's work. I originally bought this book as a gift for someone else, they read it and said it was really good and that they thought I'd like it, so I borrowed it back and they were so right. American Gods is about a man called Shadow who, just as he's about to be released from prison, receives the devastating news that his wife has been killed in a car crash. On his way home, he meets a man called Mr Wednesday who claims to be a god of America, and wants Shadow to accompany him on his own journey. Because Shadow has nothing left for him back home, he does, and from there the story unfolds. I really enjoyed this one, I also liked how the book mirrored the changes in the world now, where things like television and the internet are perhaps becoming more important to people now than rituals and social celebrations that were important to people years ago. It really is a very good read.

3. The Ocean At The End Of The Lane (Neil Gaiman) - if you hadn't all ready guessed by now, my absolute favourite genre of writing is fantasy. There's something about magical worlds that just grips me, I can get completely immersed in them. The Ocean At The End Of The Lane is hard to describe, but it is incredibly good - another one by Neil Gaiman who is an amazing storyteller. It's about a boy who lives with his parents, he seems to have a somewhat lonely life with no friends, but then he befriends a mysterious girl who lives on a neighbouring farm at the end of the lane. His family acquires a lodger, who then steals the family's car and commits suicide in it. This incident somehow stirs up ancient magical forces and creatures (not good ones!) begin to cross over from their world into his, and it seems that the mysterious girl and the two other women at the farm may be the only ones who can fix this. It's so gripping and so well told and described - a good one to go for if you think fantasy may not be your thing as I think it's a very accessible read.

4. Feather Boy (Nicky Singer) - again, I like this book for sentimental value also, as it's one I read when I was much younger and I watched the children's BBC adaptation of it years ago - did any of you see that? This is one perhaps more for younger readers (teens I'd say, as there is one naughty swear word :O :O :O and it does get a bit suspenseful and scary in places), or those who prefer lighter reads as it's not a very long book - you could probably read it in a day if you wanted. It's about Robert Nobel, the awkward kid in school who always gets a hard time from the school bully but tries to laugh it off, despite having a stressed out mum at home and a dad who never comes to see him. He volunteers to take part in a school project involving a nursing home, about bringing young and old people together. Here, he meets an elderly woman called Edith Sorrel, who sends him on a quest to the intimidating and abandoned Chance House... a short book, but gripping!

5. The Help (Kathryn Stockett) - if you haven't heard of the book, you've maybe heard of or seen the more recent film adaptation. In my opinion, the film isn't nearly as good as the book as it inevitably misses things out that contribute to the growth of the characters and their relationships - The Help is very much character-driven and is set in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962. The book follows three women - Aibileen and Minnie who are two black maids, serving white women in their homes, raising their children, but are not trusted by the families they serve to not steal and are treated poorly, to say the least. There is also Skeeter, a white woman returned home from college to find out that the family's maid whom she loved as she raised her, has mysteriously disappeared, 'gone away', and no one can tell her why or where, not even her own mother. A search for the truth and something more brings these women together despite the intolerant time they live in. Definitely one to put on your reading pile if you haven't all ready.

6. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold) - I think this book is really good, but I have met a couple of people who hated it haha, I say read it and decide for yourself :) it's the story of Susie Salmon, a 14 year old girl who is murdered by her neighbour on her way home from school one day. The book follows Susie in 'heaven' and her family back in the real world in the aftermath of her death, who she can see. It's an unusual book and I'd not read anything else like it before, there's been a film made of it too in which her murderer looked EXACTLY like how I'd pictured him, so creepy! 

7. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (J.R.R. Tolkien) - amazing. I really love The Lord Of The Rings. I first read it when I was 10 after I saw the first of the films (which I was also also obsessed with and used to get up at 6am before school and watch all of the special features... anyway...) and I was hooked. I will say that it's maybe not for everyone as it's an older book, so the way it's written can be a bit hard going, but if you stick with it you'll get into it and they really are so very good. Again I love that there is this whole other world to create in your imagination, I love the maps of Middle Earth at the beginning of the books - I just love to read it, as you can tell by my very worn copy of The Fellowship Of The Ring haha.

Lastly, I have some Honorable Mentions! Being The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom) and Room (Emma Donoghue), both of which I borrowed off others so have neither to hand to include in the photos. The Five People You Meet In Heaven is about Eddie, who dies trying to save a young girl from being killed in an accident at an amusement park. When he dies he goes to heaven, where he meets five people who made an impact on his life in some way. It's well written and emotional - one of the chapters definitely brought me to tears. I really must read another one of his books, I'm thinking The Time Keeper. Now with Room, I'm not going to tell you what it's about! Haha! It's since been made into a very popular film (which I've yet to see) so chances are you probably know at least the gist of it, but if not then that's the best way, in my opinion! When I read it, because of the particular paperback copy of the book I had, I couldn't find the blurb straight away, so I just opened it and started reading. It's told from the perspective of five year old Jack, so you know as much as five year old Jack knows about the world. He doesn't fully understand it all, and is still learning and discovering new things about it, and so are you along with him. It's so gripping (I keep saying that about everything haha) and I read it in just a few days, I couldn't put it down!

The Lie Tree (Frances Hardinge) is what I'm reading currently. My dad gave it to me to read (we have similar tastes when it comes to books!) and at first I wasn't sure about it - it's a slow burner that's taken it's time building an atmosphere before the things really start happening, but now they have it's become very intriguing. It's about Faith and her family in a Victorian-era England, who must leave their home for a small island community as something to do with her father's work has brought their family into disrepute. Then, Faith's father is suddenly found dead under strange circumstances, and Faith now feels compelled to discover exactly what has been going on. So far, so good! I will report back :)

Have you read any of these? If you have, what did you think? What are your favourite books?

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Lush Haulin'

Sooooo, I got a few things from Lush. This probably isn't the biggest Lush haul anyone has ever seen, but it felt pretty extravagant to me, haha! I love Lush and I usually pop in a buy a couple of things whenever I'm near a shop, and I picked up these bits from the Lush on Oxford Street. I actually got all of this a little while ago but, me being me, I've only got around to putting this post up now! I'm going to go through stuff row by row, so let's get started...

L-R: Cyanide Pill, Yoga Bomb, The Experimenter

I got three bath bombs, first of which is Cyanide Pill - I think this one is exclusive to Oxford Street as I couldn't find it on the website. I has a slightly odd scent, like citrus-y and musky at the same time, it contains both lemon and cedar wood oils so this is probably why and (if I remember correctly!) each half has a different scent so one end is the citrus, zesty side and the other contains the musky, woody aromas. In the water it fizzes instantly and once it begins to dissolve silver glitter emerges from it's centre, which I loved! However, because of the bomb's colour, it does turn your bath a sulphuric shade of yellow. I also got Yoga Bomb - definitely one of my new favourites! It smells gorgeously herbal and soothing, containing sandalwood, olibanum, and ho wood (I didn't know what that was, but it comes from the camphor tree according to Lush) oils. It looks plain orange but once it starts to dissolve in the water it releases a pastel rainbow of colour, beautiful! Then there's also The Experimenter - I basically got this one because I'd seen it all over peoples' blogs and wanted to see it for myself! On first sniff I knew it was right up my street, and looking at the ingredients I could see why - vanilla bean and tonka absolute, two of my favourites! It also contains vetivert oil, which is great for soothing and relaxation. In the water this bomb is very impressive - it bursts into bright colours that swirl together (and I think it contained a subtle luster, too) resulting in deep purple bathwater. 

L-R: Milky Bath, Flowering Tea
Next up are a couple of bubble bars, which I got because of the cute shapes they're in haha. Milky Bath really does have skimmed milk as one of the ingredients! It also contains cocoa butter and resulted in a really skin-softening bath with lots of bubbles. It does also have orange oil in but I personally didn't think it smelled of anything much. Flowering Tea, on the other hand, smelled strongly herbal with jasmine mixed in - one of my favourite scents! It's in the shape of a teabag complete with a little label on a string, and the 'bag' is filled with cornflowers instead of tea which float around the bath - cute! In addition to jasmine, it contains rosewood and neroli oils, and orange flower absolute, and I really enjoyed this one. 

L-R: Sun, Cloak of Invisibility, Happy Thoughts, Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment

Lastly, I bought a few of these solid bath oils! You can get them online now and I think in stores, but at the time they were a brand new product and exclusive to the Oxford Street store, so I went a bit mad and got four haha. The bath oils give an oily (but not overly greasy, moisturising bath that leaves your skin super soft! The first three I think are still exclusive to Oxford Street as I can't see them on the website - let's start with Sun, so called because of the shimmery gold lustre coating it and its bright, uplifting scent. Sun contains mandarin, tangerine and Brazilian orange oils, giving it a really nice but subtle bitter orange smell. To nourish the skin it contains shea and cocoa butters, and also contains jojoba and coconut oils - my skin didn't really feel like I needed to apply body lotion after having a dip with one of these bath oils! Cloak of Invisibility attracted me not just because of the glittery star shape on top, but also because it smelled of my favourite jasmine along with ylang ylang and rosewood, giving it a really heady, relaxing fragrance - this was probably my favourite bath oil to use. It differs from Sun in that it contains almond oil instead of jojoba oil. 

To me, Happy Thoughts looks like a cute little sugar-covered bonbon! It has a zesty scent that leans more fruity than Sun, containing Brazilian orange and neroli oils. Again this oil left my skin super-soft, and it contains the same moisturising butters and oils as Sun. What I will say about the three brightly coloured orange bath oils is that they all left a bit of an orange stain around my bath - nothing a few spritzes of surface cleaner didn't remove, but something to mention. Lastly is Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment which I picked up because I really like the bath melt of the same name (which I think has now been discontinued and sort of replaced by the oil, but correct me if I'm wrong!). This has the same sugary sweet scent as the bath melt, which is also akin to Snow Fairy. Shea and cocoa butters along with coconut and almond oils leave the skin silky soft, and the delicate fragrance made for a very lovely bath!

I hope you've enjoyed this post! I always love a good Lush haul :) if you've done one recently, please share it in the comments! 

Sunday, 17 April 2016

My Sleep and Lounge-wear Picks

 Well, like I said, this blog is moving more into being about stuff I like in general, not exclusively beauty anymore! So that being said, something I reallyyyy like to do is have lazy days tucked up under a blanket with a hot water bottle and my laptop, and to nap/sleep for a very long time when I can haha. I also like to do these things in cute'n'comfy attire! So I'd like to show you some sleep and lounge-wear items that I've picked up recently :)

I'm going to start at the top of the photo above and work anti-clockwise. First up is the 'You've Cat To Be Kitten Me' shorts and tee pyjama set I got in the Accessorize sale - I love it because I love cats and I love puns! And on the whole I prefer to wear shorts to be instead of long-legged things unless it's cold. It's no longer available on their website but you might be able to find it in-store still, however there are still lots of pretty sets to choose from online - my faves are this elephant print set and this pineapple print set :)

Next up are a couple of things I bought from the TU range at Sainsbury's - I'd seen them a few weeks before and then popped in again one day on my lunch break and they had 25% off all the clothing! I got this 'Hey Honey' top and the matching bumble bee bottoms. They're made of such soft material, they're so comfortable! The top is very over-sized, I usually size up for pj's just as a personal preference but I didn't feel the need to with this - I'd have been swimming in it if I had, haha! It's a perfect over-sized fit in what you usually buy :) The bottoms are elasticated at the ankle but are not tight or uncomfortable at all (the legs are really nice and roomy) and won't ride up your legs when you're in bed - I hate when that happens! I also bought this mint-turquoise colour striped chemise, again made of reallyyyy soft material and I love the lace detailing! As well as these, I got this set of two cami tops (not pictured) as they're really useful and will go with lots pyjama and lounge-wear stuff :)

Another pyjama set I bought recently was this all-over space and unicorn print shorts and tee set from ASOS. I wanted it for aaaages and I kept being out of stock in my size, it would come back in stock when I checked the website at work but by the time I got home in the evening it would be gone again, it drove me mad haha! When I finally caught it back in stock at a time when I could place the order, I bought it straight away and I love it! It's out of stock again now I'm afraid and I don't know if it'll be coming back, but ASOS have loads of other really cute tee and shorts sets on their website :) I really like this cactus set and this macaroon set (although they are 'macarons', not 'macaroons' on the print, but that is just a little pet hate/irritation of mine haha). I also love this shark head print one, it's so hilarious I think I'm going to have to get it! But as I said there are loads of nice ones, you can browse them here :)

Finally, I bought a few lounge-wear pieces a couple of weekends ago. I love the white and grey space-dye jogger bottoms (I'm wearing them now!), they're lightly fleece-lined and very comfortable. I also picked up some dusky pink joggers with a soft, towelling lining - again, super comfy! Finally, my favourite out of the three is the cream hoodie - it's fleece-lined and fairly fitted for a hoodie, but you could always size up if you wanted a more relaxed fit. And the best bit? It was only £7 from Primark, and I think the joggers were £5 each, also from Primark - bargain! You know what it's like, you go into Primark planning on buying a handful of budget pieces for work, you come out fifty quid or so poorer with two massive bags full of stuff, haha!

Hope you enjoyed this post today! Are you also a big fan of comfy, lazy clothes? Or are you not as bothered about them as I am? Hahaha :)

Friday, 8 April 2016

Loving Lately #1

I've never actually done a 'Loving Lately' post, but I thought it would be a good thing to sort of 're-introduce' myself to writing a blog post! In my last post waaaaay back in January, I said I'd have a lot more time to spend on my blog this year, but as it turns out I haven't yet! I do have more time as in I have more days off in the week now, but because the days I do work are so long I tend to spend my days off feeling pretty exhausted and, more recently, I've had a lot more social stuff on which has been really nice, however also tiring on top of work! I have managed to be semi-organised and have got two (maybe three) more posts after this one all planned, so hopefully I might be able to get myself into some sort of schedule soon :)

Also before I get started, I just wanted to give a little mention to one of my best friends Roben Beauty - she's fairly new to Bloglovin', if you love all things beauty related then please do check out her blog! She's a really lovely lady and she knows what she's talking about as, like me, she's a bit of beauty addict AND she's also a makeup artist in-training :) so head on over for some great beauty advice and tutorials! Now, onto the 'lovings'...

1. My NYPD hoodie!
This hoodie is by Tee and Cake at Topshop. My sister and I have a bit of an inside joke that involves yelling 'NYPD! FREEZE!' at each other haha, so when I saw it I had to have it! It's super cosy and fleecy inside, over-sized fit but still nice and lightweight. I really like the look of the NASA sweater they do as well, just a question of which colour... but I basically want everything they do!

I used to read looooads when I was younger, then during my teens I just got out of the habit unless it was for school, and I only got back in to reading a lot maybe two or three years ago but now I've started I can't believe I ever stopped! Neil Gaiman is an author I've loved for a long time, the first book of his I read was Coraline a long time ago, and ever since I've been hooked. He's an amazing writer, he has an incredible way of drawing you into a story, his writing seamlessly creates images in your head as you read and his storytelling just sucks you in and holds you there. Anansi Boys is the book I'm currently reading and I'm really enjoying it - it's about 'Fat Charlie' Nancy, a bit of loser but has managed to get his life pretty much on track and has a steady job, whose brother who he never knew he had comes to stay with him. His brother is his complete opposite in every way, and starts to wreak havoc in his life. If you know anything of Neil Gaiman's writing you'll know that the plot is undoubtedly more complicated than that, but I don't want to spoil anything if you're thinking of giving it a go and haven't heard of it all ready! One of my next posts is going to be about the books I'd highly recommend, so keep your eyes peeled for that one :) 

3.Fruit-flavoured chocolate!
Okay, so a bit of an odd one haha, but I really have! I never used to be that big on fruit-flavoured chocolate (or white chocolate, for that matter) but recently I've been absolutely loving it! Pictured above are pink champagne truffles with a hint of strawberry, 'strawberries and cream' white chocolate with strawberry ganache, and 'raspberry smoothie' milk chocolate with a seriously juicy raspberry centre, all from Hotel Chocolat. I've also been loving the Strawberries and Cream Lindor and was lucky enough to get the Easter egg! (Which, by the way, is still standing! I've somehow only eaten one bag of Dairy Milk eggs since Easter! How is this possible? What has happened to me?? Haha) Also have to give a shout out to the Coconut Lindor, too - not fruity but bloody delicious! - and the incredibly moreish Prestat Red Velvet Truffles; I bought I load of the bauble-packaged ones in the Christmas sale in Jarrolds, so good. 

4. Charlotte Tilbury makeup

Let's face it, who isn't loving Charlotte Tilbury's gorgeous makeup line. I now have quite a few of her products, but these three in  particular have made it into my daily rotation. Pictured above is her Magic Foundation in Shade 2 -  it's slightly on the thicker side in consistency but is super creamy and blends easily, gives a high medium-to-full coverage, and I would say a demi-matte finish. I get really dry skin and I find this base suits me really well and lasts all day. I like to apply it best with my Beauty Blender but also use my Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush a lot, too! Also pictured is her K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick lippie in the shade Stoned Rose and her Lip Cheat lip liner in the shade Iconic Nude - I've swatched these two for you as well! Stoned Rose is a brown-toned rusty-rose hue which looks really beautiful on and is the kind of shade that would suit pretty much everyone! I've found that it goes really well with the Iconic Nude lip liner and together they make a perfect lip! Iconic nude is a beige-toned nude liner that goes with basically everything - I use it with all my lip colours except really dark shades and reds, but that's just personal preference as it could be used with any shade. It also looks really nice on it's own and it really good for the beigey-brown 90's inspired lip trend :)

5. My new duvet sets!
Last, but by no means least, I wanted to share with you these two super, super cute (in my opinion, anyway haha, my sister was not really a fan of the unicorns) duvet sets from George At Home at Asda! I've bought stuff from George At Home before because it's really well priced, and I love their duvet sets because for the most part they are made of that easy-care, non-iron fabric which is totally up my street - I have no time for battling with a double duvet cover over an ironing board! These two were only £12 each for double-sized sets - I had to get the unicorn one because unicorns, and the cat one is called 'Purrmaids' because they are cat-mermaids, hahaha! I love cats so cat-mermaids to me was incredible. 

Hope you enjoyed this post! I found it fun to write and it's actually put me in a really good mood :) what have you all been loving recently? x

Friday, 1 January 2016

A New Year

I don't have any New Year's related photos, so here's one of my cat Misty instead :)

This past year has had a few ups and down and, for me, ended on a very mixed note. Some good things have happened this year - about half way through I got a promotion at work and I finally started learning to drive. Other highlights include going to the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour for the second time (which I absolutely love and hope to again in the future!) and seeing the Foo Fighters live for my birthday, which was awesome as they're one of my favourite bands. However with the good there always seems to be the bad... eventually my job in retail started getting me really down and I began to feel trapped there. I have a degree in Psychology but so far had had no luck with field-related job applications, so at the time taking the full-time promotion at work seemed sensible and took my mind off my apparent failure for a while, but the feeling didn't last. It was making me really miserable and feeling like it wasn't going to change any time soon just made it worse. Then just before Christmas (which, by the way, did not feel like Christmas. I know everyone has been saying it but it really didn't, not even on the actual day) I found myself on the other side of a four-year relationship. It just all of a sudden happened (for me, anyway) and feels like being pushed out onto a freezing mountain-top, completely alone, in nothing but your nightie, when only seconds before you were tucked up warm and safe in bed. One minute you're cosy and happy feel like you know exactly what's going on and what's going to happen in your life, then the next you're so confused and upset and cross and hurt and you have no idea what's going on or how it happened.

So at that point this new year was looking pretty horrible from where I was standing. All my plans I'd had for 2016 were gone, because they pretty much all revolved around my relationship, and I just wanted to go into a dark room and hide away forever and never have to face real life. Then, I saw an advert for a job, applied for it, got a call the very next day to arrange an interview, had the interview the following week before heading to my current job, got home after work to a message asking me to call them back, called them back and they offered me the job and I (of course!) took it! So I'm now leaving my job as a Beauty Advisor for Boots at the end of January to be a Support Worker for adults with learning disabilities, and right now I can hardly believe it! I know it's going to be very hard work and the shifts are long, but it will all be so worth it. So by the end of 2015 I was left feeling simultaneously very happy and very unhappy.

I didn't really feel like going out on New Years Eve when it came to it, but I'm glad that I decided to join my sister and her friends as once I'd got dressed and ready I was really in the mood. We didn't do much, just had a few drinks and a chat in a Wetherspoons and then went to a nice little local pub with a fun, cheesy band playing for a bit of a dance and to see in the new year - everyone had party poppers, we ended up jumping round in a circle, crossed arms, singing Auld Lang Syne, and all in all it was a really fun, relaxed night that I would have been very sorry to have missed out on :)

I hope 2016 brings more stability and direction to my life, and I really feel that it will. I feel like I've gained the confidence to just get out there and do what I want, I have wonderful people around me and - although it's horrible starting the year without my best friend, the person who I always thought would be the other half of me - I am strong, and I will be okay, what ever happens. I feel like once I've got my full driving licence and gained the experience that my new job will give me to back up my degree, the world will be my oyster, haha!

As far as my blog goes, I'm going to dedicate more time to it and move away from it being so focuses on beauty, and try to make it more of a lifestyle, just general 'what I'm up to and stuff I like' kind of a thing. I do still like my makeup so I'm sure I'll still write about that kind of thing, but it being exclusively beauty focuses and with my job being working in beauty too, I've simply become a bit bored of it and this space is in need of a refresh! When I start my new job I'll have twice much free time as I have currently so I'll definitely have more posts coming your way then! I'm also going to make a conscious effort to be more active in the blogging community, I've recently just got a smart phone which is a big deal to me haha - I literally had one that just did calls and texts before, not internet, camera, nothing - so I should have access to all my social media much more easily, so I can interact a lot more with other bloggers and readers :)

Isn't it weird how that start of a new year is always seems the best time for a complete life revamp, whether it's really up to you or not? Haha. I don't really know what I wanted to say with this post, but I will say that I've found it quite therapeutic writing it all down, like I've been able to process the last few days a bit better! If any of you have made it to the end of this rather long ramble, how was your New Years? Do you have any major plans for 2016, or are you going to wait and see what the year throws at you? x

Monday, 24 August 2015

Charlotte Tilbury X Norman Parkinson Collection: My Picks

Charlotte Tilbury's collaboration with Norman Parkinson on the packaging of her latest products has got to be one of the most luxurious beauty collections of the Summer! The collection features photographs taken by Norman Parkinson that have never before been allowed to be used in this way; that Charlotte Tilbury's vintage-inspired makekup collection has been approved for this makes it very special indeed. 

The collection is split into two main looks, Miss 1975 and Miss Kensington, which you can purchase as complete sets, or pick out a few individual items that catch your eye. Both of the items I bought were from the Miss Kensington part of the collection, said to be 'inspired by the haughty but naughty girls of the swinging sixties'! The look draws inspiration Norman Parkinson's muses Audrey Hepburn, Twiggy, and his wife, Wenda, whose image is used on the Colour of Youth cream blush compact (not pictured). 

I picked up the Miss Kensington Matte Revolution Lipstick and the Dreamy Glow highlighter for myself - it was so hard to choose, though! But I decided to just get a couple of things that I would get a lot of use out of. 

The lipstick is encased in Charlotte Tilbury's signature rose gold-coloured packaging, and looks so lovely! Miss Kensington is a very wearable pink-toned nude/natural  shade that I find very easy to wear as it goes with everything! It's a matte finish but is surprisingly hardly drying on the lips at all - Charlotte does promise that it has a hydrating formula, but I must admit that I was quite skeptical until I tried it myself, very impressed! Although matte, it has a satin-like sheen to it in some lights when on the lips, ensuring that they don't look flat. 

The Dreamy Glow highlighter is a soft, peach-champagne shade - quite different from the golden tone of the Filmstar Bronze and Glow light/medium (not pictured, but a post on it is in the pipeline!). It adds a lovely, soft-focus sheen to the skin and I find it is subtle enough for everyday. The compact it is encased in is again rose gold, and the lid also features one of Norman Parkinson's photographs: an image of Carmen dell'Orefice. The photograph was taken in the Bahamas and shot by Parkinson for the July 1959 issue of Vogue - the image is beautiful and she looks incredible, and she still does today! This compact is definitely something I'll keep hold of, long after the highlighter itself is gone.

Above swatches L-R: Miss Kensington Matte Revolution Lipstick, Dreamy Glow Highlighter 2 layers, Dreamy Glow Highlighter one layer. 

Below: Miss Kensington Matte Revolution Lipstick on my lips.

I love this collection from Charlotte Tilbury and Norman Parkinson! What do you think? 

Friday, 24 April 2015

Going Cruelty Free

So recently I've been thinking a lot about how many beauty products I buy and how much I spend on them, and whether I'm really thinking about my purchases when I make them. As a total animal lover the thought of animals being cruelly harmed really upsets me, but (and this may sound really stupid) although I obviously knew that animal testing exists, I'd never really given much thought about it until pretty recently. 

Recent events in the news to do with trophy hunting led me down a path where I began reading more and more into animal cruelty, reading up on things on the PETA and Go Cruelty Free 'Leaping Bunny' websites. I've now decided that, for me personally, I cannot justify buying beauty products which are not cruelty free. Beauty products are not necessary, we do not need them, and therefore I feel that animals do not need to be harmed for the sake of people putting some pretty mixtures on their faces. 

I'm not writing this to preach to others and tell them what to do, or to berate others for whatever products they use; I am writing this for others like me who may have simply never really thought about it before, and may like to look into the options for cruelty free beauty in a bit more depth.

After a bit of investigation, I've found that most of the beauty brands I use that I like the most are already cruelty free, but a handful of them aren't (Bobbi Brown, Benefit, and Clarins namely). I'm still going to continue to use the products I own because frankly I can't afford to replace them in my collection, but when they've run out/gone out of date I will just not repurchase them. I feel a bit sad because they are products I love, but I really don't feel like I can justify buying them any more.  

The brands that I do use that are (as far as I understand) cruelty free are Palmer's, Lush, The Body Shop (parent company L'Oreal is not though), Charlotte Tilbury, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Real Techniques, Urban Decay (same situation as The Body Shop), Soap and Glory, Burt's Bees, and Liz Earle. I've found all my info on these brands' cruelty free status' from either PETA or Leaping Bunny logo lists, or statements made on their own websites. Some also say that Nars, Bare Minerals, and Antipodes are cruelty free and others say they are not, so I need to do a bit more digging in those areas! If any of you have looked into them, please share. 

For me, making this change has been really important as the more I looked into it all, the more I felt like a total hypocrite for saying I was against animal cruelty when I was happy to use any beauty brand willy-nilly! 

I'd love to hear your stances on this issue! Do any of you exclusively shop cruelty free beauty, or is it not something you've really thought about before? Are there any cruelty free brands that I should check out? I've heard of a few others but what I've listed is all I've tried!