Saturday, 6 December 2014

The Body Shop: Haul

So me being me and being totally oblivious to the time of year, I went for a shop the day before Black Friday... *weeps*. Anyhoo, I'm really happy with what I picked up from The Body Shop and I think that a lot of the things I bought tend to be those items that aren't talked about much or are completely overlooked, and so today I thought that I would give them their moment of glory!

Organic Cotton Rounds 
|£2.50 (per 100) - Simple, but affective. These little cotton pads are made up of one 'bumpy' side and one smooth, so depending on what you're doing, where you're doing it and the effect that you'd like to achieve I think these are perfect. I really enjoy using the smoother side to take off my eye make-up and the rougher side on the drier parts of my face, to really help pick up any leftover cleanser and dead skin. They're made of 100% cotton, so they're especially soft and just lovely to use.
Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner |£5.00 - I only noticed when I got home that this seems to have a lot of deposits in the bottom of the bottle so I'm not sure if it's ok to use? Anyhoo, tea tree is a brilliant way of calming down any breakouts and helping to prevent them in the future. I don't get many spots I have to say, but I bought this as something to refresh and clear my face after using a cleanser.
Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash |£5.00 - I don't feel the need to use a full on cleanser in the morning because I always make sure that I get everything off the night before and ensure I have a clean pillow case at all times. Similarly to the tea tree toner, I really enjoy how much this facial wash helps to liven up and wake up the face - perfect for the mornings. My face is left feeling clean and perky, ready for my daily moisturiser.
Camomile Waterproof Eye and Lip Make-up Remover |£8.00 - As I mentioned in my first 'Sample Sunday' entry here, I really enjoyed using the Clarins Ultra Eye Make-up Remover, but had heard a lot of hype surrounding this camomile version from The Body Shop and so I thought I'd give it a try! I have to say, this works just as good as the Clarins one and it's under half the price - ermmm yes please!? I put a little of this on one of the cotton rounds mentioned above, hold it over the eye area, and then gently wipe the residue away, leaving the lid and lashes totally clean - without any tugging or pulling! I'm already thinking of stocking up on this stuff so that I don't run out! It really is that good. (*Update, I've already purchased two more... Oh Hannah.)
Aqua Eye Mask |£6.00  - I actually got this as a Christmas present for my Dad haha. He suffers extremely severe migraines and always struggles to get rid of them or at least sooth them. As a child my mum always used to buy these cooling gel pads that you put on your forehead when you have a headache and I haven't seen them since, other than some super expensive ones that are designed for just the one use, then to be thrown away. I figured this was a more economical way of having something that entails the same concept, whether it be to sooth puffy/tired eyes or an annoying headache. Whether he'll want to use something that makes you look like a bug with huge green eyes I don't know, but hopefully it helps with his headaches! 
White Head Band |£4.00 - I needed a headband for when I use my cleanser in the evenings as I was sick of it getting in my hair at the sides (not nice!). This one is perfect because its made out of a very soft material, with good elastic so it fits even my massive head with comfort, without pulling tight. In saying that however, I reckon this would also be suitable for smaller sized heads, it might just look a little thicker where its just less stretched out! (I've since bought a second for my mum and she absolutely loves it! Perhaps a little gift idea?)
Muslin Cloths |£2.50 (each)- These aren't pictured above because I've already used them and they're in the wash so it would have been a bit gross as to show you them! I've never used a muslin cloth before, only a flannel to take off my cleanser and make-up so I've been really enjoying the smoothness of these as they're a lot less harsh and so would recommend checking them out to anyone, particularly if you have sensitive skin.

That's everything! Have you checked out any of these before? What were your thoughts?
Hannah x

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

New LUSH Goodies!

Ultrabland Cleanser |£11.50 (100g) - I'm currently trying to eliminate any harsh chemicals out of my skincare routine, well, anything that isn't natural really - if I can that is. Either way, LUSH just makes this all the more easier to achieve and I haven't heard too many people hyping the Ultrabland cleanser, however those that I've spoken to that have used it do so religiously, so I just jumped straight in and bought the biggest pot I saw, eager to see the benefits it beholds myself. I used it for the first time last night and I was so surprised at how moisturising this was, alongside how deeply it cleaned my skin with such ease.

Herbalism Fresh Cleanser |£6.75 (100g) - I had tried out a couple samples of this before and loved how clean it made my skin feel. Thus, I took the plunge and bought the full sized pot. I'm super excited to see the long term effects that using this cleanser might have on my skin and it's 100% natural which is even better! I didn't get the largest size pot because I was worried that I wouldn't get through it in time before it went off, but I still think that the smaller version will last a very long time because you only need a little blob at a time to thoroughly cleanse your whole face!

The Comforter Bubble Bar |£4.75 - I didn't recognise this as The Comforter when I was in store, because none of the pile had any of those cool swirly patterns so I was left a little confused. Either way I knew instantly from the scent what it was when my mum showed it to me, and decided to put it in my basket as a little treat for her. Personally, I find that bubble wise I can never get a lot out of these things, but the smell of this, a sweet, ribena-like scent is perfect for those baths where you just want a quick soak and don't want to waste a larger, more expensive bath bomb. My mum is quite a busy person and so never has much time to really enjoy a long relaxing bath in the evenings so I thought this would be a perfect way to help her get in a little relaxation time at least.

Luxury Lush Pud Bath Bomb |£3.50 - I've never tried anything from the Lush Christmas range before (I know... shock horror!) and when looking at the ingredients of what each product has to offer, the Luxury Lush Pud is the one that impressed me the most, possessing high concentrations of ylang ylang oil and lavender oil which was super relaxing and calming for the mind. Also, the colours of this look super snazzy and fun so I can't wait to see how colourful it turns my bath! I don't usually opt for particularly strong lavender scents as they can prove a little overpowering at times, but this scent just hits the nail on the head and I definitely know that it'll do nicely in helping me to warm up and unwind during the chilly evenings that lie ahead. 

& that's everything! Have you tried out any of these products before? What were your thoughts? :)
Hannah x

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Book Haul: Light Reads

I recently shared with you guys what the top three books were on my wish list right now, or 'right then' I should say! - of which I only ended up buying one. I'm still not 100% sure if Eleanor & Park (by Rainbow Rowell) and The Night Circus (by Erin Morgenstern) are for me so that is why I decided to hold off purchasing them for a while longer and went for the following instead!:

'West End Girls' by Jenny Colgan. This has quiteee a high recommendation level on Amazon so I figured it only had to be good! In many reviews people shared how much they enjoyed the silliness and light-heartedness the book had to offer which is the type of thing I love to read surrounding deadline time at uni. Something light and funny means I can relax a bit and enjoy a good book without having to delve into something too demanding or complex that would overwhelm my brain even further. Plus, I absolutely love the West End and so I'm guessing that I'll recognise some of the places where the sisters venture too, which will add more of a physical setting and hopefully help me visualise the story a little better than normally!

'Let It Snow' by John Green, Lauren Myracle & Maureen Johnson. This was just a must for me, particularly now that Christmas is less than a month away (eeeeep!!) and come on... John Green! As I've mentioned numerous times before I absolutely love his style of writing and the humour it frequently entails. I'm also super excited to see a glimpse of the other two authors' style as I'm guessing they're not too far fetched from that of John's if all three co-wrote it? Hmm... We'll see I guess! 

'Girl Online' by Zoe Sugg. I've been reading Zoe's blog since 2009 and I think it is amazing to 
see how far she's got since posting up those frequent Lush hauls and FOTD's! An author?! Amazing. I'm sure this book is going to be a sell out due to her loyal fan base - although, I have to say, I went for the book for quite different reasons! I don't think I've ever come across a fictional book that gives an insight into a character living with an anxiety disorder, so I'm very interested to see how it is portrayed and discussed, as it is something particularly significant to me - now having lived with it for several years myself. From what I've heard the storyline is that of a typical, predictable, young adult book where a girl is having some 'teen' troubles and falls in love with a handsome boy, so I'm looking forward to spending my next lazy day reading this and enjoying something that doesn't require much thought or puzzle piecing to get through! 

I'm very much looking forward to reading these now that my final coursework piece is finally submitted. I've become quite accustomed to reading pretty philosophical and complicated pieces recently, so I've selected these to sort of help me unwind into the chilled holiday mood and relax my brain a little before I start working on my dissertation write up!
Let me know if you'd like to see how I got on with them once I'm finished! Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts?
Hannah x

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Introducing Sample Sundays

I thought I was being all original thinking up 'Sample Sundays', but it seems that there are quite a few others that have previously introduced this series to their blog. *weeps*. Anyhoo, I think I can speak for quite a few of us when I say that it is very easy to let samples build up into a rising, daunting pile - and so I have challenged myself to try out either one or two samples a week, so that I can start to downsize my collection a little. Besides it would be silly to waste them and I always find it interesting and fun to mix things up a bit! You never know what gems you might come across...

Clarins Instant Eye Make-up Remover
I absolutely love this stuff. The majority of the solution itself was clear, with a layer of blue oil at the bottom which you proceed to shake and mix together before use. You don't need a lot at all for the make-up remover to start breaking down and washing away even the most stubborn of mascaras (Benefit 'They're Real!', I'm looking at you). I honestly couldn't fault anything about this sample and I was all ready to buy the full sized version until I heard quite a few people preaching about The Body Shop's 'Camomile Waterproof Eye and Lip Make up Remover', stating that it is a pretty good dupe for less than half the price. I love a lot of The Body Shop's products, and in all honesty if something does practically the same thing at a much lower cost, I'm definitely going to go for the cheaper option!! So next time I nip into The Body Shop I'm going to ask for a sample to compare for myself. Having said that, if Clarins has a sale any time soon I might just treat myself to this one because it really was such a pleasure to use. To tugging, no pulling, just melting away that make up with zero fuss. 

Origins GinZing Energy-boosting Moisturiser
I have to say, this is quite a giving sample as I've got a lot of uses out of it already and still have about half of it to go! I think that this came as part of a set when I bought my 'High-Potency Night-A-Mins: Mineral-enriched renewal cream' so I'm guessing that it's a little larger than a typical sample size. Admittedly, I haven't been using this every day as I've rather enjoyed using it purely on those stay-at-home days, where my skin is just looking and feeling a bit dull. This moisturiser is amazing at perking up the skin, injecting (for want of a better word) brightness and plumpness to my face almost instantly which is a major bonus if you're like me and hate feeling groggy and tired. As a moisturiser though, it doesn't do much for me and I find that by mid-afternoon my dehydrated cheeks are left feeling a little parched and in need of another little boost. This is why I haven't used this on my skin when I've left the house with a full face of make-up on because I didn't fancy the prospect of having to deal with my foundation drying out, and, from what I can tell, this product doesn't possess any SPF which for me is always a big no no, even when it comes to the winter months. Whilst my foundation does possess SPF 15, I always like to wear an SPF 30 underneath just to be safe that my skin is truly protected. It's such a shame really because I do love the feeling that this moisturiser gave my skin, especially the middle, more oilier parts of my combination skin. If I do purchase the full size of this product, I think that I will keep it for use on those round-the-house, no make up days because I really have enjoyed using this lighter, more energising moisturiser rather than my typical, thicker SPF 30 that isn't really needed when you're having an indoor day!

I hope you enjoyed these sort of 'mini reviews' and if you've tried these products about before I'd love to hear how you got on with them in the comments!
See you next week,
Hannah x


Saturday, 22 November 2014

Josie Maran Argan Colour Sticks

When it comes to blush, I've always been a powder girl myself - baked or pressed, but mostly pressed. I'd never fancied trying out a cream blush before because I just found the idea too messy to approach during my morning rush, so when I saw these 'Colour Sticks' I thought, brilliant, something easy to use and that's great for when you're on the go yet something a little different to try out! I suppose its similar to applying a lipstick really, you simply twist up the stick, apply, blend, and then throw it back into your bag.

Living in England, it's been pretty cold recently, well, very cold actually, and so these Colour Sticks from Josie Maran have become a lot more solid now that the temperature began to drop. I've found that this makes the blush a lot more difficult to apply as it can tug on the face slightly, consequently leaving a big plodge where you first start the swipe. Consequently I've been left hastily trying to spread the colour up my cheekbone, attempting to blend it out before it dries. I found this to be a lot more hassle than simply swishing a brush across my face like usual, but, I persevered in the hope that I'd just become more accustomed to doing it each morning. On those morning where it is a little cold, I've now got into the habit of blasting my hair dryer at the stick for just a few second to soften the product up a bit. I find this makes it a lot easier to apply and gives you a lot more time to blend it to the intensity that you like, which is nice because I've only really been liking a 'natural flush' as of late.

Now. I never really thought that I would talk about the smell of a blush, however the scent of these really shocked me and still do each morning. Similar to my beloved Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream, the Josie Maran Argan Colour Sticks possess a medical scent which is just, bewildering. It's a very strong, harsh scent, especially considering it's purpose it to be applied near the nose and eyes. Personally, I quite like a medicinal scent, but even I find this one a little difficult to stomach first thing in the morning at times - so if you're not one for that kind of smell, I'd definitely avoid these!

The full sized version I have is called 'Glow', and the miniature is called 'Love'. I sometimes find it quite difficult to get a very pinky blush to suit my skin tone so admittedly I have been reaching more for 'Love', which whilst pink, holds a richer, truffle-brown undertone and so I find it gives me a much more natural, warming finish. Due to the shimmery nature of 'Glow', I've stuck to using this one at night time and it really does give you a beautiful glow - and, I have to stress, these things really do. not. budge. as the day and/or night goes on. Sometimes I find that a light sweep of powder across the cheeks can wear away as the day progresses, but these maintain the intensity that you set out for when you first apply in the morning which is great because it makes your blush hassle free throughout the day. Which is also a shame really, because as I said before when I first saw them I assumed that they'd be a new, nifty handbag essential of mine but alas! The more efficient and long lasting they are, the better for someone like me who doesn't like to reapply make-up throughout the day I guess!

('Glow' [left] & 'Love' [right] blended out)

Finally, what I also love about these bad boys is that (as you can probably tell from their name), they're infused with argan oil, and so are rich in Vitamin E and essential fatty acids that help to prevent dehydration on the cheeks - something which I think a lot of us combo-skins suffer from! I do believe that these can be used on the lips also, but I am definitely going to continue using them purely as a blush as I can't even fathom how that strong smell might taste!

All in all, I think that the Josie Maran Argan Colour Sticks were quite interesting to try out and I'm pleased I learned how to use them more effectively as to give a sheerer, more natural result. Nonetheless, I do think that I will continue to reach for my powder, especially on those days where I don't necessarily need my make-up to last all day because its just what I'm used to and I enjoy applying powders a lot more! Although, if I know I'm going to get a bit hot or flustered I will absolutely grab one of the Colour Sticks because you can really rely on them to stay on your face all day and not budge! Thus, I'd particularly recommend these to anyone that might suffer dehydrated skin on their cheeks, or to those of you that find your blush tends to wear or melt away easily as the day goes on.

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend!
Hannah x


Friday, 21 November 2014

Introducing Floral Fridays

It's no secret that I absolutely love fresh flowers around the house. I think they brighten up even the darkest of corners superbly and my obsession seems to have rubbed off on my family too which is lovely because we all have different preferences; so the different arrangements keep the atmosphere interesting, bright, and Spring-like yet still cosy which is very much needed now that the winter months have arrived! I thought that I would start a little 'Floral Friday' series because I really enjoy photographing flowers and thought it would be fun to share with you the arrangement that has graced my presence in any coming week! Besides, who doesn't like some colourful, floral filled photos? :P

Wishing you a fun and relaxing weekend,
Hannah x


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Book Wish List

I don't know what it is about walking into a book shop that is so inviting to me. For some reason ordering books online just doesn't do it for me and well, if there's something on Amazon that is less than half the price of what it is in a shop, I will purchase it that way as the money saved can go towards another book that I am lusting after (and lets face it, I'm not made out of money!). More recently though, I've found that bookshop retailers, particularly Waterstones, are standing pretty competitively with their online rivals and without a doubt, if the price is within my budget, I'd much rather go in store and experience the lost joy of purchasing a book in the flesh as I always fear that one day that privilege will be stripped away from us if we don't. I have gone a bit mad this year and bought a hell of a lot more books than I think I have ever purchased, and I will be honest, I haven't even gotten through half of them yet so I shouldn't reaaaally be thinking about buying some new ones, but I definitely know that they will all be read eventually, especially when I have more leisure time to delve into those beasts that are too scarily thick during a time where my uni work is proving so demanding! I don't drink, smoke, eat out at restaurants all the time or go to the cinema - so for me, buying a book is a little treat to myself... as well as buying make-up and flowers of course :P.

Right now, I think the top three on my wish list would have to be:

'Let It Snow' by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle. I absolutely love John Green's style of writing and so I know that I'll always enjoy anything that he writes, regardless of the storyline, but then again, he does come up with some bloody good story lines! I've never read anything by the other two authors before, despite them being pretty well known (from what I can tell), so I think that a three way split book is the perfect way to inject a bit more John Green into my life whilst also checking out some new authors! Plus, Christmas is soon approaching and I thought that a book with the word 'snow' on the cover is probably going to help me get into the festive mood ready for December!

'The Night Circus' by Erin Morgenstern. Once again I've never read anything by Erin Morgenstern, yet I have heard a painful amount of fabulous reviews about this book so I figured it only wise to give it a try. The description of the book doesn't really give much away apart from suggesting that it will be a very mysterious, interesting read so I'm looking forward to learning more about the 'Night Circus' and how, why and who for it appears.

'Eleanor & Park' by Rainbow Rowell. Nope, I've never read anything by Rainbow Rowell either although I have heard a lot of people talking about how much they liked this book after having purchased it as part of Carrie Fletcher's Booktober session. It has been criticised though for not really holding much substance and some have said that the characters are little "dull", which is odd because other reviews praise how interesting the characters are. I'm not 100% sure about this one but it seems to me like its a pretty easy and straight forward read which is pretty handy for someone like me who likes a light read during my morning and evening train journeys!

What books are currently on your wish list?


Friday, 7 November 2014

Mamma Mia!

Now. If there's one thing I love, its a good musical. I absolutely adore everything about the theatre and for some reason hadn't been in quite a while! It was my mums birthday last month and she's always been a crazed Mamma Mia fan and eager to see the musical, so, in track with our usual birthday traditions, my dad bought us all tickets to go and see it as her main birthday present and I have to say, it was one of the best things I've ever seen. No it wasn't any Billy Elliot, and the seating was so steep and cramped that I got vertigo if I stood up for too long, but the performers really were simply amazing. The storyline was quite similar to that covered in the film, but they warped it in a way as to add in more well loved ABBA songs which kept the show interesting, lively and it was so lovely to see everyone in the audience with a smile beaming across their face. All I can say is that, if you like ABBA, you'll LOVE this musical. Its been quite a few days now since I went to see it and I still have those tunes running through my head, breaking out into a bit of a boogie when brushing my teeth in the morning to cooking dinner at night and it really did give me, my family and by the looks of it everyone else who saw it the feel good factor and I would 100% recommend it to anyone. I already want to go and see it again but there are a few on my list still that I haven't ticked off yet so I'm going to prioritise them first (Les Misérables yes please) and then perhaps go back to Novello Theatre at some point in the future to enjoy the show again. Even the costumes and lighting sequences were enjoyable. I loved everything about it. Definitely a good'un.

Have you seen Mamma Mia in the West End? What did you think of it?
Hannah x


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Autumn Candles

Firstly, yes that is a trumpet. Secondly, I know there are four pictures rather than three, but I just thought the flame on the second was too sick not to include. Thirdly, it was very hard to choose three candles, however, these are the three that I've found myself reaching for the most now that the colder weather is upon us. Admittedly, I'm not made of money so I don't have a billion candles and so I only buy the ones that I truly love, which means that I have used these throughout the year even during the hot summer, but well, I suppose they're 'meant' to be burned during this time of year so I thought I'd give my favourite three warming scents a shout!

Black Cherry, Christmas Eve & Fruit Fusion by Yankee Candle. 

I have to say these are the most long lasting candles I have ever used. I feel as though I light them all the time but I'm not even past half way through them! 

Black Cherry is a personal favourite of mine, possessing a sweet, yet warm, deep cherry scent. This for me is the ultimate cosy scent and it really does fill up a room in no time at all so you never need to leave it lit for long.

Christmas Eve, whilst obviously a winter scent is the spiciest scent out of the three. Cinnamon, cranberry and other notes of loveliness and all things Christmasy that my nose is unable to pin point. All I know is that this is as spiced as I can go, I am definitely one for a sweet fruit scent so this isn't usually one that I would opt for but I have definitely grown to love it and will be repurchasing another at some point this holiday!

Lastly is Fruit Fusion - the perfect candle for any fruit scent lover. This doesn't have that fake orange sweetie smell that some candles do - this rather, possesses a very fresh, zesty scent that really does revitalise you after a long day/afternoon in the cold.

All three I consider to be the perfect trio and individual saints at helping me relax, unwind and are a joy to sit beside whilst snuggled up reading a book during these cold evenings. 

What are your favourite autumn candles?
Hannah x

Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Body Shop: Blue Corn 3in1 Deep Cleansing Scrub Mask

Oh my goodnesssss, I have no idea why I haven't tried out this mask before. I bought this a couple of months ago when I was going through a bit of an obsessive mask phase, but pushed it to the back of my drawer in eagerness to try out some GlamGlow and Origins goodies first - completely forgetting I had this until a few weeks ago and I am SO happy that I have rediscovered this little beauty and here's why...

Packaged in a secure, compact little tub the Blue Corn 3-in-1 Deep Cleansing Scrub Mask by The Body Shop not only deep cleanses, but also exfoliates and moisturises all at the same time! - resulting in extremely clean feeling, smooth, soft skin. I have followed the guide lines and only used this mask on a weekly basis and the transformation it has had on my skin is immense. I suffer with blackheads on my nose and some clogged pored on my chin and using this mask, over time, slowly but surely helped eliminate those stubborn little menaces and voila! I now have nice, even skin  and would recommend this mask to anyone that is seeking a hardy rejuvenating scrub that's not only affordable, but really does work. What I also love about this mask is that it sucks out excess oils as well as those nasty impurities, but doesn't leave the skin feeling parched or tight afterwards which has really helped maintain a balance across my combination skin. I wouldn't however recommend using this scrub if you have sensitive skin or if you're like me, on those days where your skin just doesn't want to be messed with, as it can sting and start to burn the skin - which obviously isn't going to do much good for your skin! 

At £10 a 100ml pot I'd consider this product a bargain, as, whilst the pot might look deceivingly small, the consistency of this mask is fairly thick, yet easily spreadable and so will last a long long time. If you're not sure though, I'd definitely pick up a sample in store and see what you think first just in case it isn't the one for you - The Body Shop have such a wide range of masks for a reason, and I am just so happy that I found this one as its my favourite out of all the ones I have tried yet and I only wish I had discovered this sooner! I have to say it really does compete with my higher end masks, and has made such a significant difference to my skin that I don't think I'm going to be swapping around masks for quite a while yet! 

Have you tried out any of The Body Shop's masks? What's your favourite?
Hannah x

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

My Top 5 Berry Lipsticks

(Left to right: YSL Rouge Volupte 7 ; Revlon 383 Rich Raisin Frost ; No.7 Cranberry SPF15 ; MAC Capricious ; Mavala 510 vieux rose)

YES. It is finally that time of year where I can whip out all my berry lips again and match them with a coppery, gold, overly sparkly eyeshadow and everything else Autumn invites. I absolutely love a berry lip and without a doubt they are by far my favourite type of product to wear on my lips, so today I thought I would write a post showing you, and talking about my top five berry lipsticks and why!

YSL Rouge Volupte '7'  - This was the first high end lipstick that I ever owned, bought as a present from my mum and to this day it still remains to be my most favourite lipstick of all time. As I've said in previous posts, I have yellow undertones in my skin and have very light brunette hair and so a deep, warm colour is what best suits me, but I'm not exactly confident enough to wear a full on vampy lip. I particularly love this one, not only because of its gorgeous packaging (I mean, come on. 10/10 YSL!) but because of its unique, seriously creamy, almost mousse-like texture. It just makes the lipstick a dream to apply and so is perfect for those days where you want to wear something pretty, but also something that can be easily touched up on the go with without even requiring a mirror.

Revlon '383 Rich Raisin Frost' - As you can see from the swatches above, this lipstick from Revlon actually comes up a little more orange than the rest (at least, on my skin tone) which I think is very unique for a berry lip. I never have the confidence to wear a full on orange lip as I think they're just a bit too bold for my comfort zone, so I love that I can wear this, moisturising, long lasting lipstick that gives that discrete edge and still feel comfortable whilst wearing it. Also, this lipstick has a very finely milled sparkle running through it and so it feels a lot more glam on the lips than its not-so-impressive almost Chanel inspired packaging has to offer.

No.7 'Cranberry' SPF15 - WHY DO MORE PEOPLE NOT TALK ABOUT NO.7 LIPSTICKS? Oh my goodness I absolutely adore everything about this lipstick, and so many others from No. 7. This is my all time favourite 'drugstore' lipstick and I definitely see this as a staple in my lipstick collection for a long long time. The colour pay off is a lot deeper than my other berry lips, but doesn't look too drastic against my usually pale skin at this time of year. I also love how its very buildable, which I feel is something that I miss from my other berries. It glides on perfectly, hardly needs touching up throughout the day and despite it not being a matte, and more of a thick, moisturising formula, I find that the colour sticks very well and would highly recommend this to anyone wanting to check out a more affordable berry lipstick!

MAC 'Capricious' - Out of all the MAC lipsticks in the world, I had never heard of this one until I discovered it myself and I really can't see why. Have you ever heard of 'Capricious?' Similarly to the YSL, this lipstick from MAC has a beautifully creamy texture, but doesn't hold that same mousse-like luxury feel that its higher end rival does. Although, what I like most about this lipstick is its versatility. I've worn it with vino, berry and red lip liners underneath and it manages to transform any look into a warmer, more put together one. In terms of its lasting power, I find this to be the least favourable, as I have to touch it up quite frequently, but perhaps this could be down to the fact that this is what I reach for on a night out where I'm eating and drinking more? Most probably. But one thing I do know for sure is that this lipstick is seriously overlooked by all the MAC lovers out there and deserves a lot more attention!

Mavala '510 Vieux Rose' - Similarly to MACs 'Capricious' lipstick, I don't think I've heard anyone ever talk about this lipstick either, or even Mavala itself in fact. Mavala lipsticks not only boast a beautiful colour range, but also a strong ethic that we should protect our lips, regardless of whether the weather is sunny, windy, hot or cold, which I think a lot of people neglect, particularly outside of the colder, winter months. Within each lipstick there are scrumptious botanical extracts including shea butter which keeps your lips soft and plump all day long, alongside aloe vera which smooths and regenerates, both protecting and hydrating the lips throughout the day. The Mavala lipsticks also contain a high percentage of vitamin E which also help to protect and reform your lips to a healthier state, so I tend to reach for this lipstick particularly in the winter months purely because it does make such a huge difference to the condition of my lips, whilst making them look fabulous of course! Similarly to the Revlon's 'Rich Raisin Frost' lipstick, 'Vieux Rose' encases very tiny notes of shimmer, and so makes the lips look a lot more plump and healthy which I am extremely grateful for as during this time of year my complexion can quickly appear dull as the day progresses. Finally, despite its seriously moisturising texture, this lipstick's colour applies sosososo SO flawlessly, laying a perfectly even coat of strongly pigmented colour across the lips which really does stay all day, without all the fuss! (ps. does anyone else think that its packaging looks a little like a miniature spaceship? or is that just me...)

I hope you enjoyed getting to see and hear more about my favourite berry lipsticks! Do you have any that you'd recommend? (You can never have too many berry lipsticks in my book :P) Eeee can you tell that I'm excited that Autumn is now here?
Hannah x

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Urban Decay 'Smoked' Palette

I am more than certain that the majority, if not all of you have heard of the all famous, well loved Naked palettes from Urban Decay. I too am absolutely in love with the original Naked and the Naked 2 palette and they are definitely a popular choice for an everyday/evening look in my week however I usually find that I am reaching for Urban Decay's less well known 'Smoked' palette just as often so I thought that I would show you what shades it holds and talk a bit about my favourite and least favourites!


What I love most about this palette is that it really can be used for all occasions; whether you're lusting after a pale, brightening eye; a wearable - yet colourful eye; or a deep, smoky eye this really is the palette that can cover all. During my weekend at Reading Festival this was without a doubt my go to palette, which I find is quite interesting as I often pick this one up on a daily basis to help accent and deepen my natural everyday 'face' look. My most used and personal favourites from this palette are definitely 'MUSHROOM', 'BACKDOOR', 'BARLUST' and 'ROCKSTAR'.

For a very long time 'MUSHROOM' was my all time favourite eyeshadow, and still remains as one of my all time favourites! It's a beautifully deep, slightly shimmery, dusty mauve colour which just goes perfectly with any lipstick/blush/outfit. I love to sweep this lightly across the lid for a casual, everyday look, and then intensifying it by blending it into the crease for the evenings proving just how versatile it is. Secondly, come the winter months my hair always turns into a much darker brunette which is when I find that 'BACKDOOR' is the perfect eyebrow shade for me, plus its great to line the eye with when I don't want something as intense as black!
Thirdly is 'BARLUST', which I'm sure none of you ill be surprised at as I am a sucker for a bronzed eye. Whenever I'm in a rush, I quickly sweep this across the lid and I'm done! Once again this is another shade that an be really manipulated to suit your look and therefore can be layered up for evening time too. Usually when I wear a smoky eye it'll include a wash of MACs 'Bronze' across the lid and then 'BARUST' blended more deeply through the crease - creating a fairly subtle and extremely wearable smoky eye that really makes my blue eyes pop!
Lastly is 'ROCKSTAR'. Every now and again I get a bit sick of the nuder options I forever reach for and fancy something a bit more outgoing, fun and colourful. Similarly to 'Naked 2', the 'Smoked' palette holds nude shades alongside more colourful options, and the one I reach for the most is that gorgeous, very slightly shimmery true purple shade down below. I always enjoy using purple eyeshadows as I just find they compliment my skin tone, hair and eye colour perfectly! What I think stands out about this one however is that its a very rick, deep purple that can be so easily blended that it isn't at all intimidating to use (despite looking a bit scary in the pan!) and its very easy to achieve a blended out wash of colour whilst still maintaining that boldness that one originally looks for when choosing a  coloured shadow.

I have to say that the two shades I use the least are definitely 'KINKY' and 'FREESTYLE'. Whilst I have used these shades on other people and managed to create a beautiful look, I cannot get these shades to work on my yellow toned skin. I find that, due to their yellow/peach nature that it can very easily make me look as though I have a bruised eye so I just tend to neglect these as I'm often in a rush in the morning and don't have time to fiddle around with trying to get them to work! Nonetheless, they worked amazingly well when doing my friends' make up who have more of a pink toned complexion so I just thought I'd give that a mention if you might perhaps be thinking of checking this palette out!

I really do think that this palette deserves a lot more attention than it receives so that is why I decided to feature it in today's post! I haven't ever discussed any of my palettes before so I hope you enjoyed this one! Have you checked out the Urban Decay 'Smoked' Palette before? What did you think?
Hannah x

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A HUGE Book Haul

I've always been that person who will buy lots of books put them on my shelf and leave them there for a few months before I pick one up, if I do. I'm just so fussy when it comes to books and if something doesn't start to interest me by at most the end of the fourth chapter I will often put it aside and start a new book which is a terrible habit I know but come on, who has time to read a book that they're not enjoying? I think this is the first time in my life where I have been struggling to choose which book I want to read first because they all look just so inviting. I'm really happy with the selection of books I purchased and so I thought that they might be of interest to someone else out there looking for a new book to read! Sometimes its so hard to find a book that relates to the style, themes, topics or plots similar to one of your favourites but I feel I did a pretty good job this time. For reference, I was absolutely LOVING 'The Fault In Our Stars' by the almighty John Green and 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky  (still am, always will) when searching for some new reads and so searched for books similar to the topics/style of writing/characters of these, but different enough as to keep me interested... so here they are!

(Top to bottom) To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee ; The Universe Versus Alex Woods - Gavin Extence
See You at Harry's - Jo Knowles ; The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot 
Life after Life - Kate Atkinson ; The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Lord of the Flies - William Golding ; It's Kind of a Funny Story - Ned Vizzini
The Shock of the Fall - Nathan Filer ; The Husband's SecretLiane Moriarty
Looking for Alaska - John Green ; Six Years - Harlan Coben 

If you've read any of these let me know what you thought of them (without any spoilers of course!) and/or if you have any other books that you'd recommend then definitely make sure to leave them in a comment below!

Remember - there is always time to read, no matter how much it might seem otherwise at times!
Hannah x

Monday, 22 September 2014

Lush Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub

Let me just start off by saying that, whilst this product can be used as both a shower scrub for your body and a cleanser for your hair, this review will just cover it as a body scrub as my scalp is a little too sensitive to be messing around with my hair care routine right now! Rub Rub Rub is a vibrant, blue sea salt scrub, drowned in a thick lemon juice filled black tub. I really didn't like the smell of this product at all when I first started using it as salt and lemon scents are a bit too harsh for my taste, although - over time I have admittedly got used to the smell and I don't really take much notice of it when using the product any more. I much prefer fruity, sweet scents, particularly when in the shower, and to me, yes I can smell the sea salt, but it smells just a taaad too chemically, which is strange because I find a lot of Lush's other products to possess a more natural, calming smell. As a scrub however, this really hits the nail on the head. I apply a little scoop of this every other day to my décolletage, shoulder, neck and arm area and it really has made a tremendous difference in transforming my previously rough, dry skin into a smooth, softened surface. The sea salt aspect can either be used for a gentle or a more hardcore exfoliation which I love as I don't like to apply much pressure to more sensitive parts of my chest in comparison to the back of my arms for example. I also find that the mixture spreads very easily and therefore a little will go a long way. In saying that though, this product isn't at all difficult to use in the shower which is always a bonus!

I'm half way through the pot now after around 12 times of use so this definitely isn't the most long lasting scrub I have, and whilst I don't like the smell, or it's packaging (solely because the salt somehow always manages to bury itself into the little groves making it a pain to get the lid on and off!! (which is a shame because I actually love how the little black pot looks alongside my black and white TRESemmé bottles!)), I do think I'll be repurchasing this due to the significant impact its had on my otherwise unbeatable rough patches! 

If you're looking for, and/or like to use a freshening, high impact scrub which does its job requiring minimal effort and time from you, I would 100% recommend trying this one out! 

Wishing you all a great start to the week,
Hannah x


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Reading Festival 2014

YES, this is a very belated post I know, but if you follow me on Twitter you'll know that around four days after the festival I got flu which I am still trying to shake off and in all honesty my brain has just been oerhgiwherugh up until now so I haven't been able to make much sense, but better late than never I always say! It's crazy to think that around two weeks ago was in fact my sixth weekend at Reading Festival... sixth - woah! I love how it has sort of become a tradition for me and each year I look forward to exploring those litter ridden fields, obnoxiously loud tents and the little shops that sell lots of intricate shell and bead bracelets, alongside animal hats, huge ponchos and many other magical things. Oh, and to see some of my favourite artists of course! I am ever so thankful that I was invited to attend and explore both the Saturday and Sunday of the festival and I honestly feel as though it was the greatest festival experience of my life thus far. Every time I think about it, a huge smile spreads across my face and boy oh boy I cannot WAIT till next year! For me, the music highlights of the weekend were definitely:


The Glitch Mob
Imagine Dragons
Jake Bugg 
Arctic Monkeys


The 1975
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

I have to say that the BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage was the place to be this weekend. Every time I walked past I couldn't help but get sucked in and dance like a mad woman to the crazy beats they were blasting out. Everyone was doing the same of course, with people even rocking it out several metres outside of the tent giving that area such a good vibe and it really was a lot of fun to join in. Flume's set was particularly sick and wowee I'm definitely now suffering an enjoyable addiction to practically all his tunes! Definitely recommend. Disclosure also, were simply, perfection. It was the first time I had ever seen them live and the BBC NME tent was absolutely packed and the atmosphere was something I don't think I could ever describe with words. It was the perfect ending to the weekend and you could feel everyone almost lifting beyond their bodies, smiling, dancing, singing and admiring the set despite it being the end of a very heavy, tiring weekend. 

What I also found significant about the weekend, which I know a lot of other people noticed and felt the benefit of as well, was that the crowds were averagely older this year, boasting a greater number of 20-30 year-olds whereas in previous years the festival grounds would be easily swamped with 12-15s dressed like they were long lost goers from Coachella. Don't get me wrong, I went to the festival when I was younger of course, but I just found that this year the whole experience was a lot more chilled and people were there to enjoy the music and experience the festival, rather than be there for the sake of jumping at everyone in a costume taking 'selfies' to boast on Facebook what an 'awesome time they were having' sitting in the camping area all day on the internet (I know that not every person is like this, so please don't take that the wrong way! I'm not at all generalising, I'm just speaking from personal experience and that was the kind of attitude that surrounded the festival by quitttte a few younger festival goers for a fair few years leading up to this one. In my opinion, you should attend a festival to have fun, let loose and enjoy the performances, not sit in the camp site uploading to Facebook all day!). 

Finally, I actually really enjoyed spending more time in the guest area this year which is something I had never really taken time to delve into before. Previously, I would use it as sort of a 'pit stop' to use the loo and get a drink but other than that I wasn't really interested. This year however, the bar blurted out great 80s and 90s music (aka the BEST type of music) up until 2am, served great food like baguette hot dogs with blue cheese (it had a much more extravagant name than that but, hungry Hannah doesn't have time to read what she's ordering - all I knew was that it smelt super good and tasted really yummy!). Plus the whole area was filled with lots of friendly people who were eager to chat, meet others and dance the night away!

As I said before, Reading Festival 2014 was definitely one of, if not the the best festival I have ever been to and I am so thrilled that I had the opportunity to attend. The line up was fabulous and totally fit into my taste (varied, but specific of course :P), the food options were great, the atmosphere was chilled, exciting, uplifting and it really was something special. If you're considering what UK festivals to attend next year, I'd highly recommend checking out Reading as it really does have something for everyone, and in all honesty I can't see anyone not having a good time!

Thank you again Reading Festival! 
It was an honour as always and I am already looking forward to seeing what amazingness you have to bring next year!

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