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31 December 2014

2014 Favourites | Miscellaneous

I really enjoyed writing and taking the photos for my 2014 beauty favourites yesterday, so I thought I would blog another instalment of my 2014 favourites: miscellaneous items.

30 December 2014

2014 Favourites | Beauty

My 2013 favourites post last year was a very spontaneous blog post. I remember sitting browsing through blogs in the late evening of New Year's Eve when I suddenly had the urge to blog about my own favourite products of the year. This year, however, I feel a lot more organised and I've managed to group together a fair few products that have been my favourites this year.

29 December 2014

Revisiting My 2013 Favourites

As I was scrolling through my BlogLovin feed this morning, I noticed Lily Pebbles created a '2013 Favourites Revisited' post where she discussed her favourite products last year and if they continued to be her favourites for the year of 2014. I thought her blog post was fantastic and I've decided to write a similar kind of post. 

You can view my 'Favourite products of 2013' blog post HERE.

What I Got For Christmas | Beauty Edition

I hope you all had a great Christmas, or a great day on the 25th if you don't celebrate Christmas. My Christmas was nice and relaxing which involved lots of Christmas movie watching and stuffing my face with fantastic festive treats.
I wasn't planning on doing a 'What I got for Christmas' blog post, but I thought I would show you a few beauty pieces I received in case you were interested, as most of the items can be found at reduced prices in the post-Christmas sales now!

23 December 2014

The Christmas Tag!

Law School String Group at our Christmas Concert
As Christmas is just a couple of days away, I thought I'd answer some Christmas themed questions in a blog post. I've seen loads of other bloggers do the Christmas tag with different questions, so I've combined a few and created new questions to answer. Feel free to use my questions if you decide to do the Christmas tag!

Liebster Award

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by two lovely girls, Valerie and Saule (thank you!). The purpose of the award is to raise awareness of smaller bloggers with less than 200 followers and offers a chance to get to know any new bloggers. As both girls have nominated me, I thought I would combine both of their questions together into one post.

20 December 2014

Update | Exams, Blogging and 2015 Plans

It's been a while! Well, technically not, since I scheduled blog posts during my blogging break - but I feel like I haven't sat down and typed out a blog post for about a month! I miss having my own little space to write about absolutely anything and everything to people who have the same interests and things in common as I do. So if you read my blog, thank you, it really does keep me going!

24 November 2014

Christmas Party | FOTN

Instead of our usual Christmas dinner followed by a couple of drinks, my work decided to purchase us all tickets to an Alzheimer's Scotland Ball at the George Hotel in Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago. The night was packed with lots of yummy food, on-table entertainers, musicians, balloon artists and very inspirational speakers. I spent a lot of time planning my hair, makeup and outfit for the event, so I thought I'd go into detail of the makeup look I wore for you today. My outfit that went along with this makeup look will be posted on my blog next Monday- so keep your eyes peeled for that post!

16 November 2014

Rebel Rebel Cardigan | OOTD

Rebel Rebel very kindly sent me this beautiful open grey cardigan to review today. I've seen lots of cardigans with the same style out on the high street and on various fashion blogs, so I'm incredibly grateful to now own one myself.

10 November 2014

Be Nice To People

This is quite a spontaneous blog post. Every time I'm upset or really deeply thinking about things, I like to write, so I thought I'd share with you an experience that happened this morning which led me to think about and considering the way in which we treat others and how we would like to be treated.

5 November 2014

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you Salha for nominating me for the 'One Lovely Blog Award'! Please show her some love over on her blog (HERE), it's great!

1 November 2014

His & Hers OOTD #1 | Lake District

During our weekend away to the Lake District, Ken and I decided to take photos and document our Autumn-inspired outfits. As our fashion sense is quite similar, we've always wanted to create a 'His & Hers' outfit post. I'd love to do more posts like this in the future, so please let me know what you think of them.

27 October 2014

Birthday Weekend in the Lake District

Within a few weeks of knowing Ken, the Lake District has always cropped up in conversation when discussing where we'd like to travel to together in the future. After travelling to Aberdeen and Manchester together before we officially a couple, we've both always dreamed of taking a break from work and University life to stay in a secluded cottage next to the Lake District during the Winter time. To my surprise for my 19th birthday, Ken treated me to a weekend away in the Lake District. We stayed in a beautiful part of the lake district called Bowness-on-Windermere.

23 October 2014

Drug Store Haul | Boots & Superdrug

I've been picking up items here and there from both Boots and Superdrug over the past couple of months which I haven't featured on my blog before, so I thought I would show you some new purchases today.

As I've owned these items for quite a while, I'll give you my opinions on them too!

18 October 2014

Autumn High Street Haul | H&M, Miss Selfridge & New Look

Over the past couple of months, due to working overtime and celebrating my birthday, I've had a bit more money to spend that usual so I treated myself to some new clothes and accessories. This isn't all from one shopping trip - I only ever tend to buy one or two items when I'm normally out shopping. After realising I have a lot of new clothes and accessories I haven't blogged about, I thought I would share what I've accumulated over the past couple of months with you today.

12 October 2014

Girl's Day Out | OOTD

Last night, my friend Hannah and I decided to have a girl's day filled with Chiquitos, American Horror Story and drinks in town. We both realised our outfits were similar, so thought we would share with you what we wore yesterday.

Denim Jacket - Vintage Levis
Chokers - Ebay
Sheer Top - Urban Outfitters
Bralette - Urban Outfitters
Leggings - Miss Selfridge
Boots - Topshop

Denim Jacket - New Look
Crop Top - Miss Selfridge
Leggings - Miss Selfridge
Boots - New Look

7 October 2014

Battle of the Brands | Dry Shampoo

I hate washing my hair. My hair is very long and prone to tangling, so the thought of washing it followed by an hour of detangling and drying is literally my worst nightmare - until dry shampoo was created. I've been using dry shampoos for a couple of years now and they're my savior. Luckily with the beauty industry advancing, dry shampoos aren't restricted to only cleaning your hair, some claim to giving you more advantages too like volumising and giving your hair more grip. As more brands are releasing their own dry shampoos, I thought I would compare a few I have bought over the years and battle them out to see who came out on top.

From left to right: Dove Hair Therapy Refresh & Care, V05 Plump it Up, Batiste Floral and Flirty, Herbal Essences Part Re-fresh

FOURTH PLACE - Batiste Dry Shampoo
I used to swear by Batiste dry shampoo when I was younger. The bottles are very reasonably priced and come in various sizes, definitely a winner for packaging convenience. Since branching out and trialing other dry shampoos, it's unfortunately to say I prefer other dry shampoos. Batiste have a wide range of dry shampoo fragrances, but I've never found a scent I particularly like. Dry shampoos are supposed to be a quick and easy way of refreshing your hair in between washes and I find that the white reside left after application of the Batiste shampoo defeats the purpose. I spent a lot of time brushing the product through my hair and even blasting sections with a hair dryer to get rid of the white reside. I don't think I'll repurchase a large can of Batiste in the future any time soon however, I will continue to repurchase the small 50ml sizes as they are perfect to throw in your handbag on the go. 

I picked this product up last month after seeing it on offer in Superdrug. I'm actually a fan of Herbal Essences products, so I was looking forward to trying out their Limited Edition dry shampoo. I found the fruity and floral scent to be very overpowering, which I'm not a fan of as I like my hair smelling fresh and the fragrance is a little too strong for me. Unfortunately, I didn't find the product to be very volumising at all, but it successfully banished any oily patches in my hair. The product left absolutely no white residue at all, which I was very impressed by.  Although the product did not claim to offer any volume, I'm impressed with its ability to freshen up the hair between washes. An all round good product but, in my opinion, there are better dry shampoos out on the market.

I'm a huge fan of Dove's hair care products and this product is definitely one of my favourite dry shampoos. I think the packaging is very professional and almost makes it seem like a high-end beauty product at a very affordable price. The scent follows the typical floral scent dry shampoos tend to have, but I find the scent isn't too overpowering unlike other floral scented products I've tried in the past. The product freshens my hair with no white residue at all and manages to volumise my hair at the same time. I've actually referred to this product as my 'good hair day can' as I often use it on the day I've washed my hair to give it a bit more grip and volume. The only down side to this is that I find it can almost give too much texture to my hair, which makes it a bit knotty and difficult to brush out at the end of the day.

I only bought this product last week and I'm obsessed with it already. Vo5's Plump it up dry shampoo does exactly what it says on the tin - boosts body and grip while refreshing your style. It banishes all my oily patches between washes and volumises my hair. It leaves no white residue on my hair at all, but can be prone to slight residue if sprayed too close to my roots. I found this was easily resolved by rubbing the product into my hair afterwards. The winner, for me, is the scent of this product. The fragrance isn't floral or artificial at all, but simply provides a fresh scent, making it seem like you've literally just washed your hair. The volume this product gives lasts all day and I'm very pleased with my purchase. Winner all round!

As dry shampoos are fairly inexpensive nowadays, I don't think I'll settle down with one any time soon as I'm always on the hunt for new releases. However, I'll definitely be keeping a bottle of Dove's dry shampoo and Vo5's dry shampoo on my shelf for times of desperation.

Have you tried any of the dry shampoos I've mentioned in this post? What are your favourites?

3 October 2014

My 19th Birthday

On the 30th of September I turned 19 years of age. I didn't have any plans for my birthday, neither did I have any idea of what I wished to receive from my parents. There's a part of birthdays that make them less significant as you get older. Long gone are the days of receiving largely wrapped presents consisting of plastic doll houses or toy cars. Presents nowadays consist of small gadgets, each worth hundreds of pounds to stay in tune with the trends of our generation. 

The meaning of birthdays really got to me this year. Of course, it's an incredible feeling to give your friend or a family member a gift for their birthday, and to receive one. But I thought this year, as I didn't regard 19 as a significant age, I would make memories to remember my birthday instead of receiving gifts from family members. 

In the evening my sister, Mum and I headed to a place called Queensferry in Edinburgh for dinner. After a lovely meal, we drove to the coast line, stopped the car and observed the beautiful view of both the Forth Road and Rail bridges as well as the new Queensferry crossing bridge that's currently being built. 

After a couple of photographs by the bridges, we then headed home and watched 'The Aviator' movie together. I had a lovely evening with my family and I know it will be an occasion I will remember for many years to follow. 

I am very grateful for the gifts I received for my birthday. My Dad bought me a set of chemical peels and microdermabrasion treatments to get rid of my acne scarring, which I am incredibly grateful for as I've struggled with my self-confidence as a result of having acne scars for so long now. 

My boyfriend also surprised me with a weekend away to the Lake District. As we both love to travel and discover new places, it was the perfect gift and I'm excited to re-live and share the memories of the Lake District from when I was younger with him. 

I think the significance of birthdays is to make the most of the life you have as every birthday marks another year of existence - life is very short after all. So if you have a birthday coming up, or are wondering how to treat a friend/family member/significant other, think about what they would appreciate as they celebrate another year of life. For me, memories make my birthdays memorable and that little bit more special than receiving expensive gifts. Gadgets and gifts don't always last forever, but memories last a lifetime.

27 September 2014

Autumn/Fall Makeup | Zoella Gold Eyes & Berry Lips Re-creation

Zoella is HUGE at the moment. After the launch of 'Zoella beauty' this week as well as her first novel 'Girl Online' due to be released later this year, it's fair to say Zoella is a YouTube sensation and 2014 is definitely her year. I've been a reader of Zoe's blog 'Zoella' for years now - before she started her YouTube channel - and I'm proud to say she was my biggest influence when creating my own blog back in 2012. 

Last weekend, Zoe posted a 'gold eyes and berry lip' tutorial on her YouTube channel which I loved, so I thought I would re-create this look today. 

As I was experimenting with autumnal shades, I figured I loved the look of both the golden eyes combined with a berry lip Zoe wore in her video, so here is how I re-created her look!

The great thing about Zoe's tutorial is that every product she used I managed to have a product similar and didn't have to break the bank investing in new products. Zoe used MAC eye shadows in her tutorial, but I opted for dupes from the Urban Decay Naked 1 palette. 

I started off by applying my favourite CC cream by Max Factor. I find this product blends better using my fingers and also allows for extra coverage with a bit more of the product on any problem areas. 

Zoe used Nars Sheer Glow in the shade Deauville in her tutorial.

I set my CC cream with my favourite powder, Rimmel Stay Matte in Transparent. I used a Real Techniques multitask brush to buff the product into my T-zone and any other areas which tend to get oily during the day.

Zoe used Makiash Perfect Finish lose powder in Transparent in her tutorial using a Zoeva Silk Finish Brush.

I applied some bronzer on my temples, cheekbones and jawline to give my face a bit more definition. I'm very pale but I find Rimmel London's Bronzing Compact Powder in the shade Light matte is perfect for warming up my complexion without it looking too orange.

I desperately need my eyebrows reshaped, but at the moment I'm letting them grow out so I can get them done professionally, so excuse the state they are in just now! I filled in the gaps of my eyebrows with a Revlon Colorstay shadowlink eyeshadow in the shade 'Cocoa'.  

Zoe used the Body Shop Brow & Liner kit in 01 in her tutorial using a Zoeva 317 Wing liner brush.

I set my eyebrows in place using Maybelline's Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in the shade dark brown.

I don't normally curl my eyelashes before applying eyeshadow, but because I'm using a pencil eyeliner, I've opted to curl them before applying this as my eyelash curlers tend to smudge my eyeliner if done so afterwards. I'm using a Shu Uemura eyelash curler.

The eye makeup in Zoe's tutorial focuses mainly on bronze eye shadows. As I do not own any MAC eye shadows, I hunted out my Naked 1 palette and found some dupes for the eye shadows Zoe used in her tutorial.

I patted on 'Half Baked' all over my eyelid using a Real Techniques Domed shadow brush. I also added a bit of shadow in the inner half of the bottom of my eye to brighten up my eyes.

Zoe used MAC Amber lights eyeshadow in her tutorial.

I then used 'Smog' and patted this on the outer crease of my eyelid. I also added some shadow to the outer half of the bottom of my eye to add some more definition to the look.

Zoe used MAC Bronze eyeshadow in her tutorial with a Zoeva 228 crease brush

This is how my makeup looked after both eyeshadow shades were applied.

I then took a brown eyeliner pencil to thinly line my top eyelid. I used Rimmel London's Soft Kohl Pencil in the shade 'sable brown'. Zoe mentioned in her tutorial she didn't want the eyeliner to look too harsh, but more smokey so opted to use a brown pencil instead of black or a liquid eyeliner. 

Zoe used Tarte SmolderEyes Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Brown in her tutorial.

I finished off the eye makeup by applying my favourite mascaras, Maybelline the Rocket Volum' Express in waterproof black and Max Factor masterpiece Max to both my top and bottom eyelashes.

Zoe used Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara in her tutorial. 

This is how my eye makeup looked once completed. 

Another main focus in Zoe's Autumn makeup tutorial was a bold, dark lip. She mentioned applying the lipstick initially using a lip liner brush and then applying the lipstick on top of that. I couldn't find my lip liner brush so I went straight in with the lipstick. I used Rimmel London Kate Moss lipstick in the shade 107. 

Zoe used Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Glaston-berry in her tutorial with a Zoeva 330 Lip Contour Brush.

I love the Kate Moss lipsticks as they are very long lasting and are matte but do not dry your lips out as I've found other lipsticks have the tendency to do. I've heard Zoe mention in her previous videos that the Kate Moss lipstick in the shade 107 is her favourite from the range. 

I used a tissue to dab the lipstick into my lips. I find using this method then applying another coat of lipstick on top really helps the colour last longer on my lips. 

And this is the finished look!

I hope you enjoyed this post, I really enjoy making these type of posts and would love to do more so please let me know of any celebrities you would like me to re-create the look of in the future!

Are you a fan of Zoella? Which YouTubers are you subscribed to?

Copyright @ Alix Staines.