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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Beauty | Your Lips But Better / Topshop Beatnik Dupes



I think all beauty bloggers strive to find that perfect your-lips-but-better shade that's perfect for those no-makeup-makeup looks - just how #bblogger can you get in a sentence? And I found mine last year in Topshop's Beatnik Lips which has since been sadly discontinued. so since then I have made it my mission to dupe hunt far and wide for the perfect replacement. An after much swatching, I've finally narrowed it down the the final 4 contenders.

MAC Syrup and Rimmel 45 are both a touch too sheer and peachy, though equally glossy, to work but make the perfect dupes for each other in case you've been lusting. Where as Rimmel's Asia is pretty spot, if not a tiny bit more pigmented and slightly less sheer. But it's nothing you would be able to notice on the lips and has consequently become my new favourite lipstick of all time. That is, until Topshop take pity on us all and bring Beatnik back in all it's pink-nude glory. At which point I plan to buy a thousand.

What's your favourite your-lips-but-better tone?

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Monday, 17 August 2015

Beauty | Three Ways to get Whiter Teeth


Today's post is all about getting whiter teeth easily, and in some cases naturally, at home. They won't give you those Simon Cowell grills but they do make great substitutes within your normal regime.

Blue Based Lipstick
As a rule of thumb, blue-based lipsticks works wonders for the lips (hello glamorous red!) as well as the teeth by working to cancel out the yellow-tones of stains. Though temporary they provide an instant lift! Pictured is one of three Wild About Beauty lipsticks in Rich Berry* from their recent collaboration with Listerine that has been especially chosen for just this reason! Which brings me nicely into my second, more-permanent fix...

White-Enhancing Products
There are a whole range of toothpaste that promise enhanced whitening, I personally love my White and Glo specifically formulated for tea and coffee drinkers. But until I got sent the news of the unique collab between Wild About Beauty* and Listerine Advanced White* that promises whiter teeth in just 2 weeks, I just had to test out the duo.

Sadly, I found the mouthwash to be particularly harsh on my mouth and although it did feel like my teeth had been blasted clean, it also felt like my taste buds had been taken off too! So for a gentler, more natural solution, here's what I've been reaching for lately...

Sunday, 16 August 2015

L.A. Girl | Pro Conceal

Nails: KISS Gel Fantasy Nails.

I jumped on another #bbloggers bandwagon and I'm so glad I did. Though I don't believe these L.A. Girl Pro Conceal Conceal (purchasable in the UK from sites like eBay, Amazon) are - as they are repeatedly said to be - an exact dupe for the MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, I do think they give it a run for its money along with another holy-grail concealer by Collection, the Lasting Perfection Concealer.

They have an enormous shade range for a drugstore product which means that - and you pale girls may need to sit down for this - there's even a shade light enough to highlight under my eyes (Light Porcelain) as well as conceal blemishes (Classic Ivory) due to their high coverage. Their 0nly flaw lies within the brush-toting packaging which, even though it was made with the best intentions, can get a little clogged and makes it difficult to squeeze the product out. But for the drugstore price tag I am not complaining!

Another holy grail concealer? Certainly.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Absolute New York | Flower Beauty Stamp


Calling all festival goers, this is you number one accessory for getting your no-fuss festival chic on this year with Absolute New York's Flower Beauty Stamp*. Is it gimicky? Yes. A little childish? Yes. Remind anyone else of those multi-coloured stamping pens they used to have as a child? Obviously.

Growing up I was obsessed with temporary tattoos and when I ran out I doodled. I was a doodler and I think I drove everybody a little crazy. But honestly I have little artistic ability when it comes to non-digital creations. Point being - this little guy takes all the fun from my childhood doodles and requires almost zero effort.

So, as any adult-minded, twenty-one year old would do I've been running around with cute little flower stamps on my wrists, arms, back of the neck, ankles... basically anywhere I deemed to be cool enough to house my stamped designs. I feel about five and have no regrets.

Imo, this beauty stamp would look awesome in place of festival paint around your eyes - think cute sugar skull for inspo. I just wouldn't recommend doing it if you have to have any official engagements in the next 24 hours as the ink lasts relatively well and requires a little scrubbing to be removed.

Now excuse me whilst I go back to playing, I mean, thoroughly reviewing.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Kiss The Moon | Glow Sleep Recovery Set


I have decided that Kiss the Moon Sleep Recovery* bedtime baths are quite possibly my favourite baths - which I'll admit is an incredible bold statement with the likes of Lush on the scene. But I can honestly say I have never felt so relaxed before bed than after I up-ended half of their Glow After Dark Bath Oil* into the tub and settled in with my Youtube playlist - if you haven't tried this it is the best way to catch up on vlogs.

It's been an age since I have taken some time out to truly pamper myself bar the occasional hastily applied face mask here and there so it felt incredibly to just shut off from the world and focus relaxing with the scent of white tea. The truth is, I didn't really notice a major difference until I stepped out of the bath - my achy muscles felt fantastic, my skin nourished (without being greasy) and by the time I'd crossed the threshold to my room I was just about ready to crawl into bed.

But not before applying a few drops of the Glow After Dark Face Oil* to my temple and cheeks and settling into the cutest set of PJs (from Primark, naturally). I do love a good face oil, especially when your skin is dehydrated and lacking luster as it literally brings it back to life whilst all you're doing is sleeping. Especially when it smells like falling asleep in a field of flowers. Though, as with any face oil, I would advise putting a towel on your pillow if you're heading straight to bed to avoid any potential transfer.

As of yet, the only thing in the kit I haven't tried is their Silk Sleep Mask* as my room is pitch black at night by design, but it's definitely something I'll be packing to go travelling with in the future. If you're looking for the perfect gift, why not give someone the gift of a beautiful nights sleep? You can also get 10% off your first order at the moment by signing up to their newsletter!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Beauty | Dermacologica at Pure Beauty


Hi, my name is Charley and I would describe myself as a post-teen with the worst skin. At the moment I have dry, somewhat hormonal, spot prone skin that likes to flare up underneath my skin on my cheeks, chin and forehead - yes, you read that right there is literally no escape. So when I was sent some Dermacologica products from Pure Beauty for review, I jumped at the raving five star reviews of their young skincare range: Clear Start.

I so wanted them to be good, but instead they were more 'meh' on my 21 year old skin. That's the only word I have to describe them. Did they make my skin better? No. Did they make my skin worse? No. They just were, which I why I debated publishing this post for so long - is it really worth writing a whole post if you can sum up its effects in a single word? The Breakout Clearing Overnight Treatment felt light and nourishing on my post-cleanse skin but had a very strong and undescribeable scent that I wasn't overly fond of. Whilst the Breakout Clearing Cooling Masque was again, just a generic masque, my skin didn't feel noticeably cleansed, soothed or improved compared to my go-to masks from Quick Fix and Aimee.

That is not to say that these products won't work on your skin, as I said they have five star reviews for crying out loud, however they weren't able to aid in clearing my break outs so I'm throwing it open to the comments. What would you recommend?

Youtube | I'm Heading to Cardiff!



If you've been following me on social media, you'll know that last month Cross Country Trains sent me* to vlog around Cardiff for the day. It's a collaboration that has been quite literally months in the making and hopefully the start of some more follow me around vlogs as I really do love doing them (yes, even the editing!).

As it was such a mammoth train journey there and back - accompanied with lots of tea and biscuits - my time in Cardiff was short and sweet so I spontaneously opted to do a bus tour from the centre to Cardiff Bay and the Wales Millennium Centre to see as much of it as I could. I also just happened to wander into Urban Outfitters to pick up a Travel Listography to fill out on the way home. After all, no train journey is complete without something to do!


The day was in honour of their summer competition to Find Your New... So don't forget to enter by sharing your photos using the hashtag #FINDYOURNEW to be in with a chance of winning a weekend away.

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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Lifestyle | Fatigue, Square #1 & CARROT

CARROT App Alarm Clock Wake Up Timer Morning Tasks
CARROT App Alarm Clock Wake Up Timer Morning Tasks

It's time to fess up where I have been for the past two weeks where I abandoned ship practically mid-blog post. As some of you may know I've talked about my fatigue before in posts and it's usually debilitating but incredibly manageable. At one point I was working 25-30 hours a week doing three part time jobs, blogging and keeping up with my degree and social life all whilst feeling like I was ready for bed from the moment I woke up. It's all about routine, small breaks, good health and a lot of positive thinking. But mid-July was a busy week for me, I had what I would call two major events in a matter of a few days which left me incredibly run down.

I'd also just headed back to the doctors for what should have been an easy scan of my blood test results follower by a diagnosis and a treatment programme. Instead I was met with an empty file. My practice I had been to whilst I was at university had failed to send over my results meaning that I was back to square -1, or more specifically square #1 minus 6 weeks. And somehow on my less than ten minute trip round the surgery I caught a tiniest of colds that proceeded to ruin the next three days of my week.

I was bed bound, dizzy and achey. I had little or no motivation to move and managed, at best, an hour long driving lesson before having to come home and pass out in bed for the rest of the day. This was a particularly bad three days for me. Imagine you have insomnia even though you have slept a good 14 hours, done little to no physical activity but feel like you have accumulated this huge sleep debt. It's an incredibly odd feeling and the worst I have felt in months. It did, however, do wonders in cleaning up my Netflix queue - namely watching three seasons of Heroes flat out whilst recovering over the next week and a half and slowly trying to do more each day.

That's when I found CARROT. It was just the motivation I needed to drag my ass out of bed and just do something. For most people doing something with their day means heading out to the beach or connecting with friends. For me it meant walking from my bed to the washing machine and doing a load of laundry or making something a little more complicated than an instant meal, sandwich or soup for lunch on days where I had next to no energy. It tells me off, yells at me and gets angry to wake me up or make me finish a task which, as a people pleaser, is just what I needed to start small and aim big.

But not too big. My little time out also left me some time to watch fatigue related video after fatigue related video (it's  a lot easier than reading on the bad days). I'm now working on a credit system of 10 credits per day on my days off with things like cooking as -2 or -3 and relaxing in a hot bath as a +1 with frequent breaks between activities. I'm saying goodbye completely to vigorous exercise and hello to massages and yoga (on those very good days). I am, whether I like it or not, being forced to take a break and SLOW DOWN.

So, that is where I've been the past two weeks. In case you were wondering, today I'm feeling better, happier and have a lot more energy than I could conceive a week or two ago but I still have some pretty brutal - but liveable - pain. I feel a lot more like productive me again! What about you? What have you guys been up to? I need someone to live vicariously through!

Monday, 3 August 2015

Matalan | Lookbook: His and Hers


A few weeks ago Matalan approached me with the idea of doing a His and Hers fashion collab on a budget of just £75. I have to admit, it's been a while since I have had a local store and I was rather convinced that it was impossible to get what I - as a semi-fashion blogger - would deem a complete outfit for less than fourty pounds a piece. That's the equivalent of what I would happily pay for a chic oversized jacket from River Island or a cute embellished dress from Topshop (sometimes needs must). So after gingerly texting my boyfriend to see if I could get him on board with both the idea and his blog debut, I eagerly set to work browsing their website. Which, photographically, has been updated to look like something right out of the ASOS magazine. It's chic and minimal and perfect.

HERS:


Naturally we're starting off with the 'hers' section. Here's what I picked out for a casual outfit for the slightly chilly weather we've been having this summer. My favourite part of the ensemble has to be the Ribbed Tunic in Black* that fits beautifully, just screams the nineties and looks fabulous when worn over jeans - due to its split sides - or leggings for a sleeker look. The only criticism I have is that the neck hole is a pinch too small so there have been a few foundation transfer mishaps whilst changing!

Next up we have a pair of the softest jeans. Though not my first choice (check out these super popular Acid wash beauties) I'm glad I opted for these relaxed straight cuts with a low waist* instead of my traditional super skinny high-waisters. My current go to style to dress up one half whilst dressing down the other to create this effortless looks that's never 
 too done up or bland, and these fit right into that!

The best part of the whole experience was realising just how much of a budget I had left for accessories! And, as no outfit is complete without them - I just had to see what was on offer! The Roll Top Clutch Bag* caught my eye immediately as it reminded me of a pricey leather lunch box bag that ASOS had stocked a few years ago sans the delicate chain straps. As some of you may know I'm a practical girl first, style second so I can't be doing with clutches without straps - I will just end up losing it or end up juggling it with my camera and drink - and the chain detailing makes a nice touch and pairs well with the Metallic Disc Flip Flops*.

You can't go a summer without buying a new pair of flip flops. Their just the perfect slip on shoe, and the little metallic embellishments adds just the right amount of boho chic. Overall I love my choices and I've been wearing this ensemble frequently (without the flip flops sadly, we've been having the classic British summertime over the past week!).

HIS:


The verdict from the boyfriend: I like the design of the shirts (Pictured: Listen Up Festival T-Shirt* but he also got Wave Print T-Shirt* too!). However their Cargo Shorts are a little thick for the summer. Good quality though!


The slightly embellished verdict from the girlfriend: It's a thumbs up from me too. As far as men's graphic t-shirts go, I really like the 'Listen Up' slogan tee, it's right up my alley and perfect for any music lovers. It just seems like a really casual summer outfit that's perfect for BBQs and days at the beach alike.

Let me know what you think of the ensembles in the comments below! What have been your top Matalan picks lately?

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