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Friday, 28 February 2014

OOTD | The First Day of Spring

OOTDJacket - Internacionale // Dress - AX Paris // Leggings - Primark //Nails - Primark

Today was the very first spring day of the year that was in the double digests temperature wise, so I thought why not crack a killer floral dress to celebrate the occasion? Yes it's a little summer, and admittedly it's not exactly in season - but I was celebrating a little bit of sunshine okay?

I paired my fashionable yet practical New Look Lace Up Boots with the ensemble as I knew I'd be on my feet all morning, even though my killer quilted ankle boots with silver zip detail and would have gone so much better looked equally as gorgeous and given me the extra couple of inches height I need!

What would you have paired this with? Do you want to see more OOTDs? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Blog Reaction | Telling My Friends and Family

I know a lot of people struggle telling their friends and families about their blogs - and you shouldn't have to feel like you should, it's entirely your choice. However for those of you who are a little on the fence, I thought I'd share my experience and what everyone thinks of me posting about my life on the internet.

I'd been blogging for about 3 weeks when I first added my blog to my Twitter description in the summer of 2013. It was at a  point where I felt confident in what I posted, even if I was still a little shaky starting out. Within a week one of my friends had found it and showed it to my male flatmates (who, to this day I'm pretty sure had a good ol' giggle but later told me they thought was a really "brave" thing to have started). After that I didn't really care who found out.

A couple of months later when I came back to University most people thought it was an awesome thing to have and the ones who didn't at least had the decency to not mention anything. I think it all changed for them when I started receiving PR sample through the post, my blog went from this silly hobby to something that was really cool in their eyes. In fact eight or nine of my friend have now started up blogs themselves - I really think all they wanted was a bit of a test dummy!

Telling my parents was still a little odd as they come from a generation where blogs simply did not exist. To this day I don't think either of them have seen it, they don't even have Facebook!

When everything was going well, it was at this point went through a period in which I was concerned that my blog was showcasing a tiny sliver of my life. I didn't want to come across as this vapid and shallow girl who only cared about what shade of lipstick she wore, I was really self conscious about what people who knew me would think and so I blogged less and less. Up until this point my blog had been intended for random internet strangers, not people I was bound to bump into on campus. It took me months to get my blog to where I wanted it to be, the right mix of the lighthearted beauty and fashion and some more lifestyle-based posts where I could showcase my writing and get to talk about how I really felt.

It was then that I made the decision that the Facebook page I has set up during August needed resurrecting, and I began to invite old school friends and family members alike. I was ready to announce - hi, I'm here and this is what I do now! Eight months later the shine has worn off somewhat in the eyes of my friends and family, I get a lot of post and I occasionally need some quiet time to film for my new - and still slightly shaky - Youtube channel. But mostly, now it's just something I do and part of who I am.

I really hope this helps someone out there who's struggling about whether to tell their friends about their blog and believe me you're not alone! My number one piece of advice to you would be that as long as you like what you're doing and have confidence in doing it then it really shouldn't matter about what anyone else thinks. You are always going to get people who try and uproot you and try and knock what you're doing but in the end they're not the ones being as brave as you by starting out in a little corner of the web saying hi, I'm here and this is what I have to say.

 

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Monday, 24 February 2014

What's in my Bag | Train Travel


So today will be the sixth time I have boarded a train in a little over a week and I figure, as I'm now a little bit of a travel extraordinaire, I'd show you what I bought with me...a bit like a What's in my Bag Jumbo Edition. If you haven't seen my Train Vlog from last week, you can check it out over on Youtube.


Large Bowler Bag (Primark, £9)
I find that when I am on a train for in excess of an hour, to say I get bored easily is an understatement. I like trading in my usual handbag for something larger, more sturdy and something I can fit several thousand activities in to keep myself occupied. And something that will fit my small River Island Zip Messenger Bag to switch to once I arrive.

Tablet
Netflix. Ebooks. Lecture notes. Apps. Need I say more? My tablet means I don't always need my laptop at hand and therefore I can pack it up safe in my case without having to heft it around with me so that I can work on the train. I have had my Nexus 7 for about a year and a half now and it is by far one of the best purchases I made with my student loan, it's a hub for my lecture notes, e-mail and calendars and keeps me organised and can be a great distraction too.

Essential Beauty Kit
I pack the essentials: Collection Ultimate Fix that meets all my concealer/foundation/powder needs without having to carry all three. Plus it comes with a handy mirror and sponge too. Mascara, they type and brand of this varies though I do love my Oriflame Extend Lash mascara even though I really need to get on it and buy a new one! P.S Love (the new makeup range by Primark) has armed me with the perfect Kohl Eye Liner that travel secure and glides effortlessly onto my lash line. Finally I throw in whatever lip product I am wearing that day and my Compact Tangle Teezer to tame those unruly curls. all of this can usually be done in the 4 minutes before I arrive at my destination. A spot of Lush's Vanillary doesn't hurt.

Coffee
Whilst not strictly in my bag I find that a trip to the Pumpkin Cafe is a must for my cross-country journeys (what can I say, I'm perpetually late?). Hello cheese and tomato toastie, hot chocolate/mocha smothered with cream and Metcalfe's Sea Salt Popcorn. There is nothing worse than being hungry on a train and being forced to pay packets for your lunch. Anything with caffeine is a must for the early train home the next day.

Books
Realistically, I can never sit through a train journey without a good book. Heck, I can never sit through a long bus ride either. I tend to have more books on the go than I can count because I like tending to several different storylines at once. Here's the current list: A Tap on the Window by Linwood Barclay*, The Ethereal Underground by Briana Gaitan* and The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (because 1) her books are amazing and 2) I just got finished watching The Tudors on Netflix and am craving more). Occasionally the latest edition of company or Glamour will do.


Juice Cube
If you don't already own one of these beauties, I suggest you should! They're the perfect combination of reassurance and style and come in a range of colours with some snazzy LED lights to indicate the battery life.


Mini Stand
I got this from the boyfriend at Christmas and it's turned out to be such a useful gift. On my nightstand and now on the train. Say hello to hands-free Netflix and academic journal reading. It fits all of my tech, is adjustable and folds down to barely a sliver.

Water Bobble
I love my Water Bobble, the water is clean, tastes great and it's more resilient than a plastic bottle so I don't have to worry about any accidental leaks.

Earphones
Because the only one who wants to hear your music on the train is you.


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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Review | Max Factor Colour Elixir Lipstick


Though not a colour for spring, I fell in love with MaxFactor's Colour Elixir Lipstick in the shade Chilli 853 (£7.99) it's warm, festive and with a hint of lustrous shimmer. The perfect Christmas shade.

The packaging is excellent feeling cool, metallic and very high end for a high street lipstick as well as the engraving on the lipstick itself. I adore the rich red shade with a hint of gold, though it does remind me somewhat of the shimmery, sheer lipsticks I used to borrow out of my Mum's beauty box when I was five and is far from the deep, matte shades I usually go for.

I was wearing this in my latest video, and find it highly moisturising and, though not the longest lasting lipstick, I find it lasts a matter of hours before I have to reapply. In fact, the only thing I don't like is the smell, which reminds me a little of cheap facepaints.


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Thursday, 20 February 2014

Where Shall I Wander | Juno Colour Block Shoulder Bag

Nails: Rimmel Metal Rush in Purple Rain | Topshop Nail Varnish Mini in Glimmer 102

Colour blocks are all the rage this spring when it comes to both fashion and makeup, seen on the likes of the Marc Jacobs catwalk but for something more wearable, online accessory boutique Where Shall I Wander has you covered with this stunningly practical Juno Teal and Red Structured Shoulder Bag* and, after the colour block trend ebbs, I believe this bag would be the perfect bag for autumn reflecting the beautiful colours of autumn.

The combination of colours, matte and glossy finish and gold hardware make this piece visually intriguing, a real wearable statement piece of which I have received many compliments. But unlike many handbags, it doesn't just look good. It does the job too and whilst the bag may look small, it hides a grand total of seven handy pockets! And can also be easily converted from a casual day bag into a high-fashion clutch simply by tucking in the strap. In my opinion, Juno is definitely a brand to watch out for!

The bag also comes with a dust bag, stuffing and so much protective packaging that you know your bag will arrive safe, sound and scratch-free and with free delivery over £20 too courtesy of the lovely people at of all Where Shall I Wander. What's not to love?



I can be seen sporting this bag in a similar outfit with the likes of my ASOS Cropped Sweater, Floral Print Skirt from Primark and New Look Lace-Up Boots but I'd love to know your ideas! You can check out plenty more bags by Juno and scarves on www.whereshallIwander.com.


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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Review | W7 In the Buff Palette

Skimlinks Test


I recently stumbled across the W7 In The Buff Palette for the bargain price of just £3.99. Not yet willing to part with my money for the cult Naked palettes by Urban Decay, I decided to give this cheap high street dupe a spin as there are some stunning both shimmery and matte shades, my favorite of which are Camel - a rich gold - and Wave - a shining brown.

As you can see from the swatch above, the darker colours are immensely pigmented - packing a punch in just one swipe of my finger- than the lighter shades such as Buff and Sand which are barely visible. Though visually stunning I find that the shades are not particularly long lasting and tend to slip and slide somewhat throughout the day. But then again 12 shades for under £4 is a bargain and speaks volumes for the quality of the shadows.


Buff // Camel // Sand // Dust // Chocolate // Topaz // Earth // Storm // Silk // Wave // Thunder // Onyx

Matte shades: Buff, Sand, Chocolate, Storm & Onyx
Shimmery shades: Camel, Dust, Topaz,  Earth, Silk, Wave, Thunder

You do however get a wide range of colours that will appeal to anyone lusting after the Naked palettes by Urban Decay for barely a fraction of the cost. The neutral shades are sure to compliment any eye, whether you're just getting into makeup or hitting the town on a Friday night, this palette has the perfect combination of neutral and smoky looks. Though I definitely recommend using a primer and a base before use.

The palette comes in a stylishly strong metal tin that serves to protect them from accidental drops and cross-country trips. In the past few days my W7 In the Buff Palette has survived a 60 mile train journey and three falls from the fireplace and hasn't yet shattered. It also comes with a double ended brush including a sponge applicator and dual fibre brush, though I much prefer my Real Techniques Eyeshadow brush for one-sweep application.

Though not available in most drugstores, you can pick the palette up on eBay for around £7.


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Friday, 14 February 2014

Spending Ban!

That's right, the dreaded two words have been spoken. For the month of February (for four weeks, commencing Monday the 3rd) I am cutting my spending and bringing on the budgets, mainly to prove something to myself. Do I really need that new lipstick or can I just live without it?

For months blogging has enabled me to buy things for the purpose of review or because it's a 'cult favorite' and to be completely honest I didn't really need it in the first place, despite how shiny or oh-so-pretty it may be. This is not to say I won't have some cracking reviews in the pipeline, it just means that I'm encouraging myself to use up what I have and take stock in what I want and what can live without.

That being said I am allowing myself a few little 'luxuries' such as deodorant, toothpaste, face cleanser, hair dye (because, roots, okay?) and I'm still allowed to test out products sent for review. The point of this whole little experiment is not to torture myself but to simply show that blogging and spending do not go hand in hand and to show myself that even a little budgeting can go a long way.

The idea is that after the spending ban I'm allowed to spend half of my week's wages on food, friends and shopping and send the rest straight into my savings (I'm a student so I have already paid for my accommodation etc, and I work part-time to support my studies). By creating a weekly budget and writing down all my daily spendings and I feel like my blog is the place to do just that.

Spending Week #1


Remember to check back to see how I'm doing and leave your spending and saving tips below!



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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

A Journal



So I finally bit the bullet and bought a journal. I quite like this lifestyle blogging business and I see reason in writing my thoughts down, and some day they may be revolutionary.

I see no point in being meticulous when it comes to a starting  point starting  as your mistakes, misspelt words and random scribbles provide just as good a reflection of you as your carefully cursive anecdotes. Besides that, it acts as a metaphor for life, the mistakes, the etching out, the learning, the corrections. More so than any eloquently selected quotation from that guy you learnt about in English Lit that one time.

*Ironically, I am writing this obscene hour on my phone that auto corrects my words left, right and centre.* I find a great relief in writing words down and do miss the act of actually, physically writing them. Something which I feel is slowly becoming a thing of the past.

The journal itself is quite bright, loud and pretty and from TK Maxx. I much prefer the idea to a diary -  even though in essence, they're one of the same - as to me, a journal seems like you are going somewhere profound and are  chronicling your way.



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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

DIY Gemstone Rings


This is a post I originally wrote for UNiDAYS way back when and I have recently rediscovered my rings and couldn't believe I hadn't shared it with you!


Gemstone rings are all the rage at the moment. They're the perfect unique and edgy accessory. The only problem is they can get a little pricey! You can get beautiful raw or rough cut gems like this Raw Amethyst Ring over at Ahalife that retails for an astounding $85! Or smooth cut beauties like this Premium Statement Stone Ring from Topshop for £35. Being the budget conscious blogger that I am, I couldn't not get in on this trend but I flat out refuse to pay such a price tag for what is essentially a glorified rock!

Here's how I made mine for just £1.10 a piece. AND you can personalise them to your style and taste too too!

What You'll Need:


I purchased my gemstones from an alternative store, they were just £1 each and I had an entire range to choose from. Some were great for bringing luck or healing and would be adorable little gifts to make and send to a friend. In the end, I just chose these because I thought they were pretty. Mine are both Blue Goldstone, they're infused with flecks of copper which gives them their beautiful shimmer.

I found a pack of twenty adjustable silver rings with a 6mm pad for less than £2 on eBay, and they were delivered right to my door in just two days. Bargain! Or you can find them in your local craft store.

How To:

I know this is a little self explanatory but for the sake of being thorough...


1. Firstly you want to work out how you want to position your ring. I found this easiest to do by finding a smooth flat side and laying it across my finger until I found a position I liked.

2. Apply a layer glue (roughly 2-3mm) to the entire of the ring back.

3. Press and hold the ring back to the smooth flat side of the gemstone until throughly cool. This bit is essential as the first time I got a little over excited and the ring dropped off in minutes! If this gets a little messy don't worry - it's on the underside of the ring so no one will see it. You can always remove excess glue at a later stage.


That's it - you're done! Wear your new ring with pride! Don't forget to stay tuned next week for another fabulous DIY! As always, don't forget to tweet me your pictures @charleylucy - I would love to see what you make!

Monday, 10 February 2014

MUA: Undress Your Skin



I spent the months since MUA's Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder (£3) release coveting it to no avail. Online: sold-out. In store: sold-out. Until finally, I managed to hit Superdrug on just the right day, at just the right time - the day after a enormous MUA delivery. If you're an MUA fanatic like me you know just how rarely the products are stocked due to their rock bottom prices and fabulous quality. I mean a lipstick for a pound? Come on. Everything - and I mean everything - was in stock. It was as if the shopping gods knew it was exam season and took pity (or advantage...) of my wallet.

Firstly I adore the way they have set the powder to look like flowing silk rippling in the wind. I also hate it. Because now, I have to use it, and to use it would be to destroy it. It's a very similar feeling to what I had whilst using my Nivea Volume Shine Pure Diamond Lipstick for the first time - goodbye carefully cut geometrics, hello purple lips.

I'm also a bit of a junkie when it comes to highlighter's and have tried everything from Topshop's Glow to Collection's Highlighting sticks (does anyone else remember these?) in the search for the perfect shade for my oily, porcelain skin. I want something that has a subtle, golden glow that lights up my face without making it look like a disco ball or slip and slide by lunch. Is that too much to ask?

MUA's Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder (£3) is certainly subtle enough, based in pink tones and bursting with a certain luminosity that is not glittery, over-shimmery or shiny. It's fantastic! Though I find it doesn't last as long as other highlighters which could be a bit of a blessing in disguise for those of us with oily skin as it gives us the perfect shimmery boost in the morning when our foundation is flawlessly matte, and then wears off somewhat throughout the day when our oils become problematic.

For the mere price of £3 - you have to give it a go!


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Sunday, 9 February 2014

Charley Plays: Flappy Bird

Watch my first (and awful) attempts at playing Flappy Bird!

You can check out the rest of my Youtube channel here, and don't forget to subscribe!



Let me know your high scores the comments below!

You can download Flappy Birds here on Android or here on iOS.




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Saturday, 8 February 2014

Fashion Dupes: New Look Lace Up Boots

 

New Look Lace Up Boots (Size 5, £24.99)

These are the latest edition to my grunge-style wardrobe and a great little steal, I thoroughly adore them. They're a great fashion dupe for Frye's lace up boots that retail for just over £200 and keep a special place in my wardrobe between the clunky combats and Doc Martin imitations. These lace ups provide the perfect pinch of grunge when it comes to an outfit and  yet can be worn with some distressed shorts or a floral dress for a true bring back the nineties vibe.

When it comes to bring back trends from the past the key is to accentuate in small doses to refrain from looking like a Fresh Prince reject. Think dungarees or metallics or checked shirts, never attempt to mix all three. Unless you're Lady Gaga, in which chase always mix all three.

They're are exceptionally comfy too on my worn-out, half-size, extra-narrow feet - and they look great once they're a little scruffy. Who actually keeps their everyday shoes clean nowadays anyway? And are still available in stores, though I'm afraid couldn't find them online and believe me I've searched!



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