February Favourites 2015

Sorry this has gone up late, I had intended to put it up earlier today but this morning we got some news that meant I had to go somewhere unexpectedly where it wasn't really suitable or possible to edit the few bits left of this post and to upload it. At least it's gone up in February (Just)!!!

Music
Title by Meghan Trainor- I love this album so much, there isn't a song on it that I don't like. They all have catchy tunes, with most of them making me want to get up and dance around despite the fact I have two left feet! This is a great album to listen to wherever and one I especially enjoy at the gym where it is perfect due to its upbeat rhythm and fun tune. Album available here
Handwritten by Shawn Mendes- The album itself isn't out until the end of April but there are a couple of songs already available to download off iTunes and I love all of them. Shawn Mendes has a beautiful voice with some amazing songs and I love his tone. My favourite has to be 'A Little Too Much' which has some very relatable and emotional lyrics, perfect for a casual listen or to listen to when you're not having a very good day/moment. Album available here

TV Shows
Netflix- I know I'm late to the party on this one but I've never felt the need to use it before seeing as everything I wanted to watch was on Sky or Amazon Prime (which we bought by mistake). Having said that, I had to pay for each episode of Pretty Little Liars on Amazon Prime which wasn't cheap when added up so I decided to give Netflix a go and downloaded a free trial. So far, I have been loving it and I intend on paying for it once the free trial ends.
Pretty Little Liars- Once again, I couldn't not feature this in my favourites post but as this has been in my last two, I won't go into detail about it. All I will say, is that I can not wait to find the season finale when we finally find out who A is!
90210- During my free Netflix trial, I found 90210 which I first watched years ago but only saw about half of season three and a couple of episodes of season four. So naturally, I watched all four seasons that were available on Netflix and even though I found it quite repetitive and annoying at times (and disliked all of the characters at different points through out the show), I did like it at the other times and really enjoyed it over all- plus I got hooked.
H2O Just Add Water- This one takes me back almost ten years when the show was first aired. I used to love this programme and decided to watch a couple of episodes again as a bit of nostalgia and although the acting is rather poor or cheesy at times, I do find it entertaining and have enjoyed watching one of my favourite childhood programmes again.


Beauty
Simple Skin Care: Cleansing Lotion, Facial Toner and Light Moisturiser- I mentioned these products in my Beauty Haul which you can find here and in my Overnight Make Up Bag and Everyday Routine which you can find here. I've found these products work really well at removing any excess make up and leave my skin feeling cleaner, fresher and smoother.

Other
642 Things to Write About- I bought this book from Waterstones a week ago or so and so far I haven't done a lot with it but I really like the concept of the book and I think it's great for anyone with a passion for or interest in writing. Funnily enough, it contains 642 things to write about with a large variety of titles that you wouldn't usually think of. Some examples are: 'A four-year-old child is afraid of the dark. Write about the child's fears and what you might say or do to help the child overcome the fears.', 'Who people think you are, compared to who you know you are.' and 'Write a scene in which two people leave believing opposite things are true.' Available here
If I Stay DVD- I have been waiting to watch this film since August as I read the book and loved it but by the time I had finished reading it, there were only a few showings left (one a day for a week) which were at times I couldn't get to so I had to wait for it to come out on DVD which seemed to take absolutely ages. Anyway, I finally got the DVD (a few days after it was released) and watched it and loved it. It was a beautiful and very emotional story. I would definitely recommend this film (and book) to anyone who loves a good story, a tearjerker or just an interesting and rather thought provoking film. Available here

Love, Steph x

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Miss Representation

I know I already uploaded today and not very long ago at all but I just came across this video on Tumblr and I feel like it is a very important video that people need to see.

I could easily make my own comments about it but I think for this post, I will just upload the video. Who knows, maybe in the near future I will do a post related to this as I do think equality and feminism is an important subject, and something I am very passionate about but for now, I just think it's important for as many people as possible to watch it.

Miss Representation: Maleine Daoud

Love, Steph x

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Overnight Makeup Bag and Everyday Routine

Yesterday I stayed at my friends house overnight and as I was getting my things ready, I came up with the idea to make a blog post about what my overnight makeup bag contains, so here it is. It also kind of doubles as my basic everyday makeup products/routine and the picture shows the order in which I use or apply the products working from top left to bottom right (minus the eye remover which is for the end of the day rather than the beginning) although this is only a rough idea as I often change it up a bit.

Step One: Skin

I start by cleansing, toning and moisturising my face using the simple products displayed above. First of all I apply about a 5p coin size splodge of cleansing lotion onto a cotton pad which I then rub into my skin. I then pour a small amount of toner onto a new cotton pad and do the same thing, removing any excess dirt and bacteria. To finish my skin care step, I put about a 5p size splodge of moisturiser onto my fingers and rub this into my face and neck. I often do these steps before getting dressed, allowing a few minutes for the products to sink in before I apply my make up.

Step Two: Face

After allowing time for my moisturiser to sink in, I start by applying Collection's Illuminating Touch Concealer with my Ecotools Kabuki Concealer Brush to any spots or blemishes and under my eyes. I then use either my Collection Secrets BB Cream or Collection Ultimate Fix 3 in 1 Concealer, Foundation and Powder or I skip this step if my skin is having a particularly good day or I am in a particularly lazy mood. Next, I use my Ecotools Kabuki Contour Brush to apply my Natural Collection powder as although it's designed for contouring, it does a good job at applying powder. I'll then apply my FCUK Bronzer using the brush in the set, followed by my MUA Blusher in the shade Candyfloss, using the Ecotools Kabuki Bronze Brush, which I also use to blend the Blusher and Bronzer together. To finish off my face section, I spray on the Collection Fix Me Up Make Up Fixer to keep my makeup in place for longer.

Step Three: Eyes

My last stage is my eyes. For this, I start by applying a combination of the shades Camel and Sand from the W7 In The Buff Eye Palette both on my eyelids and along my bottom lash line. After this, I'll sometimes add the Rimmel Scandal Eyes Eyeshadow Stick in the shade 011 Bluffing, to add another tone to my eyes, which I'll blend in to the other shades. If I choose to wear liner (which I usually do if I have time), I use the Mastergraphic Felt Liner to line my eyes. I then use Little Mix by Collection, Jade's Defining Black Mascara on both my top lashes and my lower lashes. To finish, I use the Collection Work The Colour Eyebrow Palette to fill in my eyebrows, using a combination of the two lighter colours.

I hope you found it interesting to see my everyday basic make up routine and products, and the things I would usually take when staying overnight somewhere. All the products mentioned, I really like and would recommend. If anyone has any other recommendations, let me know in the comments.

Love, Steph x

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Contemplating Saying Goodbye

At various points in life everyone has to say 'goodbye', whether it's saying goodbye to someone dear, saying goodbye to a pet, or saying goodbye to a chapter of your life. All of these things can affects us in different ways, differing from person to person and situation to situation, but they all have one thing in common; they help to shape the people we are. Saying goodbye can hurt mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically, but it also often ends up strengthening our characters and helping us move onto new things and new opportunities. It's important to remember that even when something seems impossible to get through, it's not, there is always a way out, it may take time, perseverance and courage, but it is possible, and often when you do get through it, you can look back and amaze yourself at your strength and ability.

Love, Steph x

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25 Questions Tag

Happy Valentines Day everyone, I hope you have a great day. I've had a very busy week this week and I haven't had any time to sit and write a blog post, so I thought I'd upload my answers to the 25 questions tag instead. Enjoy!

1. One thing you can't leave the house without?
My phone- If I ever forget it or have to leave it at home (very rare), I feel lost without it.

2. Favourite brand of make up?
Collection- It's affordable and of a great quality.

3. Favourite flower?
Chrysanthemum because I really like the name (and the appearance... but mostly the name)

4. Favourite clothing store?
Newlook or Quiz

5. Favourite perfume?
Wonderstruck by Taylor Swift

6. Heels or flats?
Flats, I'm already tall so I don't really need heels.

7. Do you get good grades?
Mostly

8. Favourite colours?
Red and Pink

9. Do you drink energy drinks?
Not regularly, I sometimes have a lucozade when I go to the gym (not sure if that counts) but that's about it.

10. Do you drink juice?
Yes- all the time.

11. Do you like swimming?
Yes, especially on holiday.

13. Favourite moisturiser?
Simple Light Moisturiser.

14. Do you want to get married?
Yes someday.

15. Do you get mad easily?
Yes- I'm very easy to wind up but I tend to keep it to myself unless I really feel the need to say something.

16. Do you believe in ghosts?
Yes but not as they are portrayed.

17. Do you have any phobias?
Yes, lots: fire, burns, feet, closed spaces, spiders, snakes, heights and several more but we'd be here all day if I listed them all.

18. Do you bite your nails?
Occasionally but usually only if they've already broke a bit.

19. Have you ever had a near-death experience?
When I was born, I couldn't breathe and had to go in an incubator for a couple of days until my breathing returned to normal, I'm not sure if that counts but I was lucky either way.

20. Do you drink coffee?
Nope- I only really like it if it's really sweet and weak so it's not very healthy and there are many other drinks I prefer.

21. What's your biggest pet peeve?
Loud eaters or slow walkers.

22. Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some?
If I told you that, it wouldn't be much of a hidding place ;) 

23. Have you ever cried because you were so happy?
Yes several times but I can't think of one specific example right now.

24. First concert?
Sugababes

25. Last concert you went to?
McBusted

I'd love to read any of your responses to the questions, so if you decided to answer them on your own blog, let me know in the comments and I'll have a read or choose a couple to just answer in the comments.


Love, Steph x

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Contemplating Words

I've decided to start a series called 'Contemplating...' which is basically just a title for my random little posts, expressing my thoughts about nothing and everything. So, here is first one:

Sometimes it can be difficult to talk to people and get your point across, whether you're sad, angry, happy or indifferent. How are you supposed to communicate your thoughts and feelings when you don't understand them yourself? Your mind racing with thoughts about work, people and life in general, trying to piece them together so that they actually make sense and you can make something rational come out. It's a difficult process.

Sometimes we have to take a bit of time out to be with ourselves and our own thoughts to enable us to make head and tail of them, and decided within ourselves what the next step is going to be.

Love, Steph x

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This or That?

Today I decided to upload my response to the 'This or That' tag so here it is. (The one's in bold are my answers).

Make Up

Blush or Bronzer 
Until recently, blusher was never part of my make up routine as I naturally blush a heck of a lot so didn't feel it was necessary. Having said that, I have started to use it daily and I really like the way it looks (a lot more than I expected). However, I still have to go for Bronzer because I've been using that as part of my daily routine for years and I love it, it adds colour to my skin that I otherwise would lack.

Lipgloss or Lipstick
I rarely use lipstick yet I always use lipgloss, I find it so much easier to top up and find that it lasts longer so doesn't need topping up as much.

Eyeliner or Mascara
Although I love eyeliner, I don't wear it everyday where as mascara I do- If I get dressed, I'll wear mascara even if I'm not bothering with make up and don't wear anything else. If I could only use one make up product for the rest of my life, it would definitely be mascara. Also, I couldn't wear eyeliner without mascara where as I could use it the other way around.

Foundation or Concealer
Definitely concealer, I don't actually use foundation that often anymore, unless I'm using a powder foundation; usually I use BB cream or sometimes just powder if my skin's having a good day. I used to use foundation everyday but I just find it a bit heavy on my skin for it to be part of my daily routine.

Brushes or Sponges
Again, I rarely use sponges, it wouldn't be much of a hindrance to go without them where as brushes are essential in almost all parts of my make up routine.

Nails

Long or Short
I love having long nails but they never seem to last long before they break which then means my nails end up all different lengths which is very irritating.

Acrylic or Natural
I've never had acrylic nails but I quite like the shape of my nails naturally and I like the length when they've not broken so I don't have any desire to try acrylics. I also think it would ruin my nails which I don't want to risk happening.

Brights or Darks
I love browns and other quite neutral shades but the ones I wear are not very dark and I don't really wear many other dark colours, I usually go for bright or light colours.

Flower or No Flower
I love flowers or other designs on nails and if I had the time, patience and ability to do it on my own nails, I would, but I only have a flower or other pattern if I have my nails done (which is not very often at all).

Body

Perfume or Body Spray
I always wear perfume and love so many different ones where as I only really wear body spray if I'm out and want to freshen up. I also sometimes wear a mix of the two but would happily just wear perfume where as I wouldn't just wear body spray.

Body Lotion or Body Butter
I love both and don't really feel much difference- it depends more on the brand rather than which of the two it is. Having said that, I use body lotion more than I use body butter so it would have to be that one.

Bodywash or Soap
I like soap for my hands but 100% prefer bodywash for the rest of my body because I prefer the ease of application and the feel of it on my skin.

Lush or Another Bath Company
As I'm sure you all know by now, I am a huge Lush fan and although there are other companies I like, I have to go for Lush because they have so many products I love, that smell, look and leave your skin feeling amazing.

Fashion

Jeans or Sweat pants
I never wear sweat pants, if I'm having a comfy day, I'll wear leggings (or pyjamas), so it definitely has to be jeans for this one.

Long or Short sleeve
I don't really like long sleeves unless it's a hoodie or jumper. I prefer to build up the layers than just have a long sleeved top on. I also struggle with long sleeves because my arms are so long, so the sleeves on long sleeved tops/jumpers are often too short meaning I have to get the bigger size if I want them.

Dresses or Skirts
I like skirts a lot but I am a massive dress person, I love dresses whatever the occasion- casual or formal!

Stripes or Plaid
I don't really have a preference for this one but I'm going to go with stripes.

Flip-flops or Sandals
I love sandals, they're so comfortable, practical and pretty, they go with more or less anything. I love when it gets to summer and I can wear sandals. I do also like flip flops but I don't really like the thong style, as the material between the toes get's a bit irritating, but the flip flops without that separating material are amazing, you can just slip them on and off- perfect for holidays by the beach/pool.

Scarves or Hats
As much as I love hats, I wear scarves pretty much daily in Winter and my neck often feels bare and cold without one.

Studs or Dangly Earrings
Dangly earrings are great for a night out or when I have my hair down but I prefer to wear studs when my hair is up (which is most of the time). They also irritate my ears less as you can't really feel them where as some dangly earrings can pull on your eyes a bit.

Necklace or Bracelet
I love both items of jewellery and have several of each but I wear necklaces more often and I feel like a necklace can complete an outfit better than a bracelet can in most cases.

Jacket or Hoodie
I love being able to relax in a hoodie, they're so cosy and warm. I like them for sleeping in, relaxing in or for wearing on a cold day when I can't really be bothered in terms of clothing.

Random

Rain or Shine
You have a lot more choice of things to do when it's sunny plus, rain can ruin your hair or make up and make it more difficult to see (especially if you wear glasses).

Summer or Winter
This was a very tough decision because I like both for different reasons but get fed up of the weather fairly quickly. However, I went for Winter because I love the cosy nights, where you can get into your pyjamas early, have a hot chocolate and curl up in bed or on the sofa to get warm. I can also cope better when I'm cold than when I'm very hot, especially when it comes to concentrating.

Spring or Autumn
I like both of these seasons too but for similar reasons above I decided on Autumn. Also, my birthday is in Autumn so I always say I love Autumn.

Chocolate or Vanilla
I love chocolate but when it comes to chocolate flavoured things I'm not a huge fan: I would much prefer vanilla ice cream, icing, biscuits (unless it's chocolate digestives or chocolate chip cookies or something similar) and sponge cake.

Feel free to do this tag yourself and link me to your response below as I'd love to read them.

Love Steph x

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January Favourites 2015

Welcome to my first official monthly favourites post, I did a current favourites in December last year but this year I've decided to do a monthly favourites each month, either at the very end of the month or at the start of the next month. Enjoy...
Beauty
  • Calvin Klein Euphoria Perfume- I love the smell of this perfume, I have been wearing it quite often but sparingly so I don't use it too quickly because I just love the smell so much. I won't try to describe the scent but I would definitely recommend trying it.
  • Rituals Diwali Delight- I won't go into too much detail on this one as I did a whole blog post about it (here) but basically I am in love with this product, it just smells so incredible and feels amazing!
  • Collection Eyebrow Kit- I have been loving this product, it helps make my make up look finished, by adding some colour and a more clearer shape to my brows.
  • Collection Jade's Defining Full On Mascara- As mentioned in my beauty haul, this mascara is my absolute favourite mascara because it works so well with my lashes to lengthen them and make them more defined. I love the rubber brush and will continue to purchase this until I find another one I like more (which could be difficult).
  • MUA Candyfloss Blusher- I have never really used blusher as part of my daily make up routine before but following a conversation about it, I decided to try one. Given that MUA (a superdrug brand) had blushers for £1, I decided that was the best place to get one to try- then if I didn't like it, it wasn't a huge financial loss. However, since I bought it, I've worn it pretty much everyday, and I really like how it looks with the rest of my makeup, particularly with my bronzer.
  • Ecotools Kabuki Make Up Brush Set- I love these brushes, they feel soft against me skin, apply my make up evenly and smoothly and they look so cute and pretty. What makes them even better is knowing they are earth and animal friendly.
Fashion
  • New Look Tall Khaki Parka- This featured in my Haul (part two) post and despite the cold weather and the fact that the coat is quite thin, I have been wearing this most days and loving it, it's goes well with a lot of my clothes including my brown and cream scarf, which matches it amazingly. I love the appearance of it, the length of the arms and the main body and the overall feel of it. 
  • Radley Scalf- I love scarves and my Radley scarf is no exception, it looks great with my grey coat and keeps me lovely and warm, which is great for this time of year. I also love the texture, it's made from a mix of cotton and silk which makes the scarf feel amazing.
  • Brown and Cream Scarf- I bought this a while ago on a stall, selling scarves two for £5 and I love it, it feels so soft against my neck and keeps me lovely and warm. It goes brilliantly with my parka or with my red military style coat and looks really cute.
Other
  • Whittards White Hot Chocolate- I got a set of Whittards hot chocolate for Christmas and given the cold weather, it's been perfect for hot chocolates. I haven't tried many of the other flavours in the set because I love the white hot chocolate so much, especially when you add hazelnut syrup.
  • Photo and Fairy Lights Display- When I redesigned my room last Summer, I made a photo and fairy lights display, I recently got more photos printed so I added them to the display and changed the fairy lights and I really love how it looks, especially when it's lit up.
  • Agave Nectar- I first tried this after Niomi mentioned it in her healthy macaroons video and we've been buying it ever since, it's a great natural alternative to sugar for cooking, sweetening fruit and in hot drinks. I love the way it tastes and I always use it instead of sugar, which has helped reduce my sugar intake.
TV
  • Pretty Little Liars- I know this was in my last favourites post but seeing as it is back on again and as amazing as ever, I couldn't not put it in this favourites as well. If anyone likes mysteries/thrillers/dramas/comedies they should definitely check this out, I can't recommend this program enough. 
  • Celebrity Big Brother- I don't normally watch Big Brother, celebrity or otherwise but when I heard the line up rumours (mostly the fact that Jaymi Hensley from Union J was on that list), I decided to watch them entering the house to see what it was like and I got hooked from there. As much as this series has irritated me and made me quite angry at times, I like watching it and seeing the nice characters in there.
YouTubers

I love to watch so many different YouTubers (list of subscription in my Liebster Award post here) and it was difficult to pick my favourites but these are the few I have selected for this month.
  • Gabby (velvetgh0st)- I love the way her personality comes across in her videos and I hate the amount of hate she gets which she truly doesn't deserve. Her twitter is also amazing and always makes me laugh by her sassy tweets and replies to hate. 
  • Louise (sprinkleofglitter)- I always love to watch Louise's videos because I find her very relatable and a good role model. I love her sense of humour and her personality that comes across in her videos. 
  • Daniela (DanielaPires)- Daniela also has a great video personality and has such a lovely accent. Her videos always make me smile and I share so many of the same interests which makes her videos very easy and fun to watch.
  • Amy and Laura (Waresisters)- I found the waresisters through Daniela a while ago and I love to watch their videos. They have a very relaxed and friendly style that puts a smile on my face. It feels like you're involved in a friendly conversation when you watch their videos.
Love, Steph x

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Beauty Haul


Last weekend I took myself down to Boots and Superdrug to stock up on all my make up essentials that were running low and ending up buying not only what I needed but also a few extra bits. Collection is my favourite make up brand and is where I get most of my make up from, and in Boots on the day I went in, Collection products were on sale so that everything was under £4 (I'm not sure how long the sale will last for), hence why I got some extra bits and bobs. So here's my beauty haul with a couple of random things that I bought during my shopping trip.


Simple are my favourite skin care brand, although I don't have much experience with any others, I always just go for Simple knowing that it works well with my skin and is affordable. Having said that, I've never tried the cleanser or toner (I know!) so when I saw that all the Simple products had a third off and I had been looking for a cleanser and toner, I figured why not try them. I've not used cleanser or toner before but it seems to be working well and along with the moisturiser, they leave my skin feeling cleansed and soft. They are also very easy and quite quick to apply, so for getting into a skincare routine, I feel like these products are a good place to start. I bought the cleansing lotion and toner for £2.19 each from Boots and the moisturiser for £2.66 in Superdrug.

You can find the cleansing lotion here
You can find the toner here
You can find the moisturiser here


The collection 2000 colour match foundation is my favourite foundation because it's quite light for a liquid foundation, so it doesn't feel to thick and heavy on your skin, but at the same time, it provides a good level of coverage. It also adapts to your skin colour which makes it an ideal choice. I bought this for £3.99 down from £5.99 in Boots.

You can find the foundation here


I have only ever used liquid foundation but following a conversation and seeing the price, I decided to try the Ultimate Fix Foundation, Concealer, Powder 3 in 1 and so far haven't been disappointed. It's quick and easy to apply, with the product including a sponge and mirror. I also really like the powder finish, it means you don't need a powder on top but I chose to put one on anyway to reduce the shine further so if you chose to use it with powder, it just means that less powder is needed. I bought this for £3.99 down from £4.99 in Boots.

You can find the product here


The Little Mix by Collection Jade's Defining Full On Mascara is my favourite mascara due to it's ease when applying, and it's rubberized comb which limits the amount of clumps. I find it the perfect mascara wand for my lashes; it separates them well, applies the mascara well and in my opinion looks best on my lashes out of all the mascara's I have tried. I find that rubber or plastic combs work better on my eyes than brushes. I bought this for £2.99 in Superdrug.

You find the masacra here


The Fix Me Up Make Up Fixer is another new product (well, new to me) and so far, it seems to be effective, the past week I have been using it once I've finished all of my make up apart from the mascara which I do afterwards, and it seems to have kept the make up in place and looking as it should for longer, although I don't really have a problem with make up washing off on a regualar basis anyway as in Winter, I take off my make up and get into my pyjamas early so it hasn't washed off as much as it would do in Spring and Summer, when the days are longer. I bought this product for £3.99 down from £5.99 in Boots.

You can find it here


Another new product, I don't usually use the Illuminating Touch Brightening Concealer but I decided to give it a try and so far, it has been a good purchase. It's the first concealer I've used that I've seen a fairly significant difference under my eyes when it's on compared to without it. It's also easy to apply but not really any different in ease to a concealer wand. I bought this for £3.99 down from £4.99.

You can find the concealer here


This last beauty product I won't go into too much detail about as it's featured on my blog a couple of times before but this is one of my favourite products, perfect for use on a daily basis when I don't have much time in a morning before college. It's so easy to apply, and has a light feel with a good coverage. It also adapts to your skin colour which is another advantage. I don't have any faults for this product. I bought this for £3.99 down from £5.99.

You can find it here


I have been looking for a glass/jar with a straw for a while, but a lot are quite expensive, so when I passed a selection in Poundland, I figured I'd get one to see if I liked drinking from it and potentially get a couple more if I think it's worth it. Looks-wise, I think it's super cute- I don't really know what else to say other than it just looks amazing. I haven't drank from it yet but I'm looking forward to it and I'm sure I will be purchasing some more soon. If you hadn't guessed yet, I bought this for £1.


Love, Steph x

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