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Monday, 30 June 2014

Tag | The Sentimental Jewellery Tag



A number of weeks ago I was tagged to do the sentimental jewellery tag by the lovely Susan over at Does She Now. It really got me thinking about my favorite pieces of jewellery and why I have them. So without further ado, here are the lovely stories behind my most beloved trinkets.


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Saturday, 28 June 2014

Blogging | One Year Blogging Anniversary

It's difficult to believe that one year ago I was sat in pretty much this exact same spot, creating my blog. One year. It has absolutely flown by and today I'm going to share with you are some of my blogging best bits from the past 365 days:


It sounds corny I know, but over the past year I have gotten the chance to meet some wonderful bloggers and have found myself with an entirely new group of Hull-based blogging friends as well as getting to know other bloggers across the country. It's such a surreal (and slightly terrifying) thing that these "internet friends" have become real. And extremely bizarre to be able to tweet someone at a moments notice and be like "Hey, I'm up your neck of the woods - fancy a drink?"

After writing my blog for about six months, I came to the sudden realisation that what I wanted to do was in fact not what I wanted to do at all. I would last precisely three seconds as a Clinical Psychologist - the first two I would love and the third would be spent crying on the way home because I lack that oh so vital "off" switch and would take people's problems home with me. So what do I want to do now? No. Bloody. Clue. Maybe something with writing, PR, event planning, marketing... it's all stuff that appeals to me and it's something that I'd be good at. I was always more of a talker than a listener anyway. I just have yet to narrow my spectrum of prospects into one thing.

And finally, the thing my blog has changed most is me. My makeup collection has doubled for starters, my confidence has boosted no end. I'm a completely different person than I was a year ago and it's refreshing to finally feel like I get to be me. In the past two interviews I have had my blogging experience has pretty much lead the way and I have gotten the job both times. I have gotten the opportunity to work with some amazing brands, if someone would have told me a matter of years ago "Hey, you'll be over at Meadowhall filming (with a film crew!) for a promo" I would have laughed in their face, but you know what. I actually did that which is just a little bit mind-blowing. I am also busy fulfilling 15-year-old me's dream of starting a Youtube channel which is new and exciting.

But most of all I wanted to say thank you - to you - the people out there who sit and read my blog. Whether it's just skimming for an idea, the occasional post or those rare few of you I see commenting again and again, just thank you so much for sticking with me. Because without you I couldn't be me, I couldn't be where I am and do what I do and for that I am extremely grateful. And to you all...

Friday, 27 June 2014

DIY | Kimono inspired by laurDIY

Today's post is going to incorporate not one, but two of my favorite things: kimonos and DIY. I watched this video by LaurDIY (one of my alltime favorite Youtubers!) the very day it came out and have spent since then trying to find the perfect scarf to turn into a kimono. Mine came from Cancer Research UK for the extortionate price of just £2.50. Which, if I'm right means I can now manufacture my very own kimonos for the price of a second hand scarf. Good bye summer holiday.

Just a small disclaimer: I'm not claiming to have invented this tutorial, it's very much something that I found and enjoyed and decided to make my own from but there are a few slight differences between mine and Laura's - I used a smaller square scarf for a cropped finish, a Janome Mini Sewing Machine* for hemming that the lovely people at Hobbycraft were nice enough to donate for this - and future! - projects and some some hemming tape.

So without further ado let's get started...



What you'll need:
A large square or rectangular machine washable scarf
- square scarves make for shorter kimonos whilst rectangular for larger)
- mine measured 45" by 45"
Scissors
Sewing machine/needle and thread
Hemming tape & iron (optional)

Estimated skill level: 0
Estimated time: 40 minutes


Method:
Step one: Ensure your scarf is washable (else you're not going to be able to wear it more than once!) and fold it in half so that the nicely printed side faces in on itself.


Step two: Measure how big you would like the arm holes to be from the fold, for this you can either use part of the pattern as a guide or measure with a tape measure and mark using chalk or pencil. Remember that kimono sleeves are supposed to be floaty, I used a little black line on the pattern around the 10" mark.


Step three: Thread your machine. Considering the last time I sewed using a machine (I was fourteen and my Mum ended up taking pity on me and doing the majority of my DT project for me because yes, I was in fact that bad). I found the Janome Mini Sewing Machine* surprisingly easy to thread once I'd deciphered which way the thread was headed in their handy diagrams. And if I can do it - you have absolutely no excuse (alternatively you can hand sew, I suppose...).


Step four: For this step I'm going to steal a quick screenshot of LaurDIY's Youtube video explaining exactly where you need to cut and sew:


Step five: After making sure the scarf is straight, make sure you pin through both layers close to where you're going to sew. Next hop on the machine using a simple straight stitch and a few reverse stitches at the beginning and end to secure. This is super easy as the machine keeps a steady pace and doesn't run off with your fabric! And, to make the reverse stitch all you have to do is flip the handy lever on the front of the machine.

You've now made the sides of your kimono and the arm holes. I told you this was easy.


Step six: Turn the kimono the right way round and cut up the middle of the top layer of the scarf to make the opening (refer to the diagram in step four if you need to). For this I used pinking shears to reduce fraying, but regular scissors will do just fine.


Step seven (optional): As my scarf was a little flimsy I used hemming tape as well as my sewing machine* to hem both sides of the opening. As the hemming tape was too thick I cut it in half, ironed it on (as per instructions) and then pinned and allowed to cool before sewing.


Step eight: If you haven't already, fold over the newly cut sides and sew both hems of the opening using the machine (you can do this as one continuous stitch).


And you're done! Wear your finished kimono with pride.


I'd like to thank the lovely people at Hobbycraft for providing me with my very own sewing machine* that's simple enough and portable enough for me to get the hang of and cart between my house and university. Who knows, maybe this time next year I'll be teaching you how to make a prom dress...

Let me know in the comments below any sewing DIYs you'd like me to do over summer!


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Beauty | Battle of the Budget Kabuki Brushes


In the past year or so my soft and fluffy makeup brush obsession has spilled over the confinement of my room and into my handbag, that's right. For the past year or so I have been looking for the smallest kabuki brush that I can just throw into my makeup bag and not have to worry about clunky handles taking up space.


First up is this Nanshy Kabuki Brush in Pink* (£7.95), I've had this for almost a year now and have to say, if you're going to take one thing away from this post is that this brush, in face all the Nanshy brushes I have tried are absolute gold. Not only is its vibrant duo-tone pretty, it's silky soft and smooth on the skin.


In second place is the shockingly new addition: the P.S Love Kabuki Brush (~£2.50). For the price you really can't beat its bristles, though as a recent purchase I have yet to test its longevity, you really can't get much better for just a few pounds.


This Barbara Daly Kabuki Brush with Case (~£7) was a bit of an impulse by. It was late and I was doing my food shop and I just happened to stumble down the beauty isle (as you do) and decided that I needed a touch-up brush for my End of Year Ball for when - at 2 am - the powder has inevitably run, screaming from my mascara-smeared face. *In hindsight, this in face did not happen*. The case is a real plus and makes it a whole less messy and portable. However I find the bristles harsh and synthetic.


I hear what you're saying, this Rouge Brush by H&M (£1.99) is far too small to be a kabuki brush (and, you'd be right), but before H&M expanded their makeup line this was the best they had to offer - check out their new fangled, and rather fetching, kabuki brush here. For the price I didn't expect much but in the middle of the August heat last year, was once again found without any form of portable brush. This is something I think I bought, slipped out of it's packet, felt and has sat in my drawer ever since. It's harsh and synthetic but for less than two pounds you really shouldn't expect a lot - I just think that if for ~£2.50 Primark can pull it out of the bag, where as a ~£7 brush by Barbara Daly can't? It's kind of crazy.


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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Beauty | What's in my Handbag Makeup Bag?


Today's post is all about my emergency touch-up kit that fits nicely into the abyss I call my handbag. It's not something I would carry around everyday and it certainly lacks the depth of a travel makeup kit (but more on that later in the week), this is the sort of thing I would take with me on a day-trip or to an interview where I either know my makeup isn't likely to last the day, or when I know I need to look good.

Makeup Bag (Atmosphere at Primark)
This teeny clashing clutch is about the same size as my hand, it holds a surprising amount and only costs a few pounds from Primark so it doesn't matter if the occasional makeup leakage or explosion occurs.

E.L.F Maximum Coverage Concealer
I didn't have room for both a concealer and a foundation so I decided to opt for the essential. The linklihood is that I'll already have on my day's makeup and this kit is for those all important touch ups and disaster aversions. E.L.F's Maximum Coverage Concealer is a firm favorite in the beauty world, it's light enough to use under my eyes but provides that all-important coverage.

Sleek Blush in Life's A Peach
Lately I have become besotted with peachy-coral tone blushes and Sleek's Blush in Life's A Peach fits the bill. Whilst terrifying tin the pan you get a subtle, matte pop of colour that brighten up any makeup look.

P.S Love Blush Brush
After Primark launched P.S Love I was skeptical, but ended up in awe over their cheap and cheerful nail sets. So when they recently launched their new duo-tone brushes I threw caution to the wind and jumped in with both feet purchasing (almost) the entire range. For the price of £1-£3 their brushes are soft and silky, though I have yet to see how they fair with shredding, washing and long-term use. This blush brush makes applying blush, powder, highlighter or even bronzer a breeze whilst on-the-go.

P.S Love Kol Liner
For quick waterline touch ups - need I say more?

Makeup Revolution Disappear Til Tomorrow Eyeshadow & Eyebrow Palette
At first, I was a little disappointed at the size of this product. At just £4 you really can't complain but after falling in love with their Iconic range I was left wanting, well, more. That was until I realised that this palm-sized palette would make the perfect travel edition. Packed with 14 neutral eyeshadows - a combination of matte and shimmery including some darker shades to spice up your makeup in the evenings, two brow powders, a sponge applicator and angled brow brush - it's perfects for quick touch ups and makes for a great day-to-night transition palette.

Oriflame Wonderlash Mascara*
A favourite of mine, it's got a volumising and a lengthening side to the wand so you can easily achieve the desired lash effect. Whilst not waterproof it holds its own throughout the day and can easily be removed by a little cleanser at night.


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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Life | Life Lessons from my Second Year at University


Realising you're independent. So what if you've already been living practically independently for a year? All of a sudden you have a house (albeit a falling apart, holes in the wall, leaks in the bathroom, ant infested house) and you realise that there is no one else to deal with it but you. It's a sink or swim situation.

Do more of what makes you happy. Your first year is all about going to new places, finding new things and meeting new people but in your second year everything's a bit less new, a bit less shiny and it really gives you some time to consider what you want to get out of your university experience.

For me, that meant don't waste your time. Whilst going out and making memories might be all well and good - it leave you with a lot of free, wasted time. Start a blog, make videos, get a job, volunteer, take up a sport. Do something, because after this it's all 9-5.

Writing four essays at once whilst attending lectures and a part time job was hell. And there was no way around it with less than 6 weeks to complete the lot. No amount of planning will help when the essay titles are released halfway through the semester.

Do not be a pushover. Whether it's the landlord, a friend or the department. Kick up a fuss, it's your life they're messing with.


What's your favorite thing you've learnt this year?


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Saturday, 21 June 2014

FOTD | No Makeup Makeup [E.L.F Cosmetics Haul]


Last week I pre-filmed and E.L.F haul for you guys as now I am in internet hell it's incredibly difficult to film, edit and upload all in the same day - unless you know of some way of stopping time? - as my videos are taking an astonishing 9 hours to upload!

In the E.L.F Cosmetics Haul Video (live now!) this is the look I wore consisting of all the products I had recently ordered. Since then I've been able to do a lot more testing and can safely say the custom palette I made is one of my favorite palettes - period. There'll be a full review up on the blog at the end of next week, but for now...

Base:
Rimmel Stay Matte BB Cream in Very Light
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Light

Cheeks:
E.L.F Studio Blush in Candid Coral
Sleek Faceform Palette in Light (Contour)
E.L.F All Over Coverstick in Persimmon (Highlight)

Eyes:
E.L.F Custom Compact
- in the shades Driftwood, Pink Fizz, Mocha (lid) & Aubergine (crease).
Seventeen Brow's That! Brow Kit
Oriflame Wonderlash Mascara*

Lips:
Maybelline Sensational Lip in Tantilizing Taupe

Don't forget to watch my entire E.L.F Cosmetics Haul video here.

What are your favorite products from the brand?


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Thursday, 19 June 2014

Festival Fashion | DIY Fresh Floral Crown


Okay, so now you've scrolled through a ludicrous amount photographs, here's my ridiculously simple way to make a floral crown and the best bit is it's going to cost you exactly nothing because it's entirely free and fresh. If you like, can either use fresh flowers or artificial ones depending how long you want the crown to keep or your budget. Mine were just some little weeds that have taken to popping up in the lawn, so I decided that I've save them from the lawn mower and use them to make a DIY.

You can always save the photo below to act as a helpful guide!


STEP 1 - THE BASE: The base is really easy to make, all you need for an authentic look are some branches from a willow or other 'bendy' tree. If you don't have those to hand you can always use wire. De-leave the branches and break off any flimsy or brittle sections.

Then use your head as a guide for the size. I made a mini-floral crown for my messy bun but you can make a full-sized one if you like. After you have a rough circle shape, begin to wrap the excess from both ends to wind around the circle (it's a lot easier than I'm making it sound - I promise!). This base can be used for both real and artificial crowns as when it dries and holds the shape.

STEP 2 - THE FLOWERS: As I said, the flowers can be real or artificial. All you need is a little stem which you can either just tuck into the crown like I have, or tie or glue gun for a more secure hold. Don't be scared to get creative and mix it up using different flower combinations.

It's as easy as that! Let me know if you make one of these by tagging @charleylucy in your instagram photos and tweets. Happy festivaling!


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