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 d√©colletage, 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 TRESemm√© 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!


Sunday, 7 September 2014

My Top 5 Make Up Brushes

bareMinerals Flawless Complexion Brush - I am so happy that I found this brush and if you can get your hands on it I would 210% recommend it. I bought this alongside a brightening powder - of which the brush deposits beautifully around the face, so I thought I'd give it a go just simply using my daily face powder and the results are divine. Because it is a flat top brush it can pick up quite a lot of product, but due to the sparseness of the hairs on the brush, any powder that is picked up isn't simply deposited in one blob on your face, but is rather spread around holding a very gentle and light effect. It's almost as if the powder goes into the brush a little when swirled around the product and then proceeds to gradually spread around my face which leaves the most beautiful, natural effect.

Real Techniques Powder Brush - When I first purchased this brush, I did use it as a powder brush, but for some reason it wasn't really cutting it for me. Yes the blush is very fluffy and soft, but similarly to other Real Techniques brushes, I find it to be quite dense and therefore picks up more powder than I'd like for a light sweep across the face. Nonetheless, I absolutely love using this brush to apply my bronzer. It's the perfect size to sweep around my big face, and it effortlessly deposits the colour evenly and naturally. Although, if you did want to go a bit heavier on the bronzing side, this brush is a brilliant tool for gradually building up to that colour that you're aiming for. 

Real Techniques Blush Brush - I think this is my favourite Real Techniques brush due to the face that, as I mentioned before, whilst a lot of the RT brush designs are quite dense, this one really isn't. Nonetheless, it is still compact enough as to get the job done without having to swirl it in the product multiple times just to get any pay off (which is a common problem I find with more sparse brushes). As you can see from the picture above, the brush hairs have been trimmed in somewhat of a feathered style, and so allows the brush to be manipulated fairly easily, whether that be to mould into the hallows of the cheeks (if you're going for a contoured look) or to elegantly sweep across the cheek bones leaving the most natural looking flush I've seen. 

Barbara Daly Eyeshadow Brush - This brush hits the top of my long term favourite list for definite. I have had this brush for years (as you can probably tell from its battered condition) and I was actually quite shocked to see that you could still purchase this bad boy in Tesco yet more people haven't spoken about it before?! I often struggle to use regular eyeshadow brushes as it is all too often that the brush hairs are very stiff which I don't find all that comfortable to use on the eyelid region (that sounded so weird... aha). This brush however, I would say... is almost a mix between a dense, stiff brush and a fluffy brush and so picks up a lot of eyeshadow in one sweep and then spreads and blends across the lid beautifully - once again with minimal effort. I could only find this brush on the Tesco website in a set, but individually, I believe that the price of this little baby was easily under £5 so I would definitely recommend it to anyone, especially those on a budget or those starting out in make up who are looking for something new to play with and that is easy to use, but don't want to spend the dosh on a more expensive brush that does basically the same thing anyway!

MAC 217 Blending Brush - I have to admit, I was so sceptical of this brush at first. In my eyes, a lot of MAC products are over hyped because of the 'hype' that already exists around MAC in the blogging / vlogging beauty world and I thought that perhaps this was another one of those MAC items everyone has... purely because everyone else has it? (I'm sure you know what I mean) Either way, I was in Macy's and MAC is a fair bit cheaper in the US in comparison to here in the UK so I thought that I'd pick this baby up at the discounted price while I could and oh my goodness I am so sososoososo happy that I did! I promise you now, this is most definitely worth the hype and it really is a fantastic brush. No you don't need a MAC fluffy brush to successfully apply and blend your eyeshadow but using one just makes it so much easier and 10x quicker and I'll never look back when it comes to blending in the crease. It holds just the perfect level of softness and a brilliant size as to fit comfortably in the crease and cleans very well which is always a bonus - especially when it comes to eyeshadow brushes!

So there you have it! My top five make up brushes! I really hope you guys enjoyed this post - sorry I haven't posted up in a while! I was just super busy with seeing friends, work stuff, dissertation stuff and then I got flu which is only just wearing off so I'm hoping I'll get back into blogging more regularly soon! ps. I apologise if some parts of this post don't make 100% sense, my brain is still a bit all gobbledegook! (ah I love that word)

I really hope you're all doing well and let me know what some of your favourite brushes to use are in the comments below!
Hannah x
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