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Sunday, 27 November 2016

Life Hacks: Apps you need to Download

Phone iPhone Apps Life Hack Time Saving Workflow ETA Plume Waze Bring

Hi, my name is Charley and I'm an app-a-holic. Currently, on my iPhone, I have exactly 86 'essential' apps. No wonder the blasted thing keeps telling me it's out of storage. From monitoring my health and fitness to photo editing and social media, there's little my iPhone can't handle. In today's post I'm rounding up my favourite four apps that help me beat the Monday morning commute, slay the weekly shop and act as my own personal PA. You may want to get the App Store ready now...


Workflow     (£2.29)

Workflow is powerful automation made simple. It's an app that does everything you could do on your phone, but better. You can choose from a selection of user-made workflows, or create your own that run at the tap of your finger. This means I can log water and caffeine to the Health app with ease - when I would have otherwise 'forgotten' - schedule reminders when I arrive at a specific location, share my calendar availability, make PDFs and airdrop screenshots - which makes work a breeze! On the weekends I can time my laundry or automatically remind myself of my weekend chores And, once all that is done, order a well-earned pizza with just a tap.


Bring     (FREE)

If you share your weekly shop with your flatmate/so, then you to bring the Bring shopping list into your lives. In our house, cooking works on a night-on, night-off basis so we each need to plan around five to seven meals a week, including lunch. It makes one hell of a shopping list. Both you and your so add your favourites onto your weekly shopping list from your phones. Then Bring automatically organises them into categories such as veg, meat, bakery etc. to cut down on the aisle one arguments. It can also send you notifications of when the list has been updated and allows you to send your so a warning of your impending supermarket sweep. I've never liked shopping so much.


ETA     (£2.29)

ETA is my new favourite app - especially when paired with my Apple Watch. It allows me to check just how long it will take to arrive at work, home or the shops at a glance by displaying and ETA and showing the state of the traffic using a handy red, amber, green system. Which, is really deflating when you take 30 seconds to finish your morning coffee and you notice you drive time has increased by a whole two minutesETA can also direct you at a click of a button using my favourite navigation app - mine's currently Waze - in the event of heavy traffic aka. your typical Monday morning.


Plume     (FREE)

Being a typical village-dweller, the idea of air pollution never really crossed my mind. That was, until I downloaded Plume. Plume allows you to scroll through the likely pollution levels of your city to see when it's best to be active outdoors. Spoiler: if you live in anything larger than a medium-sized town, I'd strongly recommend never leaving your house during the work day. You can also view averages from the week or the year for your city.

Let me know if you'd like to see what apps I use for photo editing, social media scheduling, blogging and to check my health in the comments.

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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Style Steals: Red Lips, Denim Jackets & Red Hair

Readhead, Red Hair, Girl, Over Sized Denim Jacket
Readhead, Red Hair, Girl, Over Sized Denim Jacket

Wearing: Oversized Demin Jacket // Casablanca

I recently I picked up this little oversized-gem of a Denim Jacket at a Vintage Fair after seeing them all over instagram. It's just the right kind of oversized that makes me look stylish without gaining three sizes or having to roll up the sleeves. Much to my delight, it also matches everything except jeans. Band tee and leggings? No problem. Checked shirt and ripped jeans? Genius. No pun intended.
After importing these beauties in from the States shortly after their release - I wholeheartedly blame Kathleen Lights - the Maybelline's Colour Sensational Creamy Mattes Lipstick line quickly became one of my favourite product releases of the year.

Naturally, I was giddy when I saw a few new shades had appeared on my last trip to Boots including this Diva-esque burgundy shade, aptly named Burgundy Blush. Though, I must admit that it's a little hit and miss in comparison to my other shades in terms of pigmentation and transfer. Some mornings it holds, and others it ends up all over the rim of my coffee mug.

Hair: Live Colour XXL Intense Colour Hair Dye // Red Passion

I get a lot of questions about my hair on social media. More specifically the colour. I've been dying it varying shades of red for ten years now - surely not?! - and have been sticking to the same box dye for the last few months, Red Passion by Live Colour XXL. I know hair stylists hate and and I do notice that it makes my hair noticeable dryer and more brittle, even when regularly deep conditioned. But, I just love it. And the price tag that is infinitely cheaper than getting my roots re-done every month! #sorrynotsorry

What style steals have you been taking inspo from this month? Let me know in the comments!

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Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Two Months with the Apple Watch Series 1

Apple Watch Series 1 38mm in Silver Blogger Review Milanese Loop

Okay, okay, okay, my bank balance thinks I've done a very bad thing. But, after living with the Apple Watch Series 1 for two months, my life has never been quieter or more organised. In this post I break down my thoughts on the Apple Watch Series 1 38mm in Silver, and the little ways it changes my life.


Notifications

Day to day I work in digital marketing. My wonderfully weird job encompasses everything from social media to web design, video editing to copy writing with plenty of creative brainstorming and a dash of graphic design. It's equal measures of feeling like you don't have a real job and 11/10 stress levels. Then I come home and work on my blog, social media channels and occasionally film a video or two. My life is a non-stop whirlwind of tech, notifications, and social noise.

You're probably wondering how I ever switch off. Whilst the Apple Watch is great for keeping tabs on what's blowing up on social media. It also allows me to choose what notifications I receive to my wrist. In my line of work, I can never truly stop, social media never sleeps. So, whilst this feature may seem ridiculous, it's actually super useful. If my phone buzzes without alerting the watch, I know it's not important so continue focussing on whatever it is I'm doing - currently binge watching Ru Paul's Drag Race in my Harry Potter PJs.


Complications

Complications on the Apple Watch are like widgets on a home screen. Mine usually display a combination of my ETA to work, my upcoming appointments, activity, battery, reminders and heart rate - all at a flick of the wrist. From helping me plan when to leave the house to squeezing in last minutes meetings, complications are the thing I ever knew I needed.


Activity Tracking

Living with ME, I find it helpful to track my day to day activity - calories burned, exercise and heart rate. I use it like spoons. If I have a busy day, chances are I'll be able to do less the following few. Similarly, if my heart rate spikes through physical activity or emotional state, it's really useful to know as it usually results in a physical and emotional crash shortly after. Whilst it's not going to stop the outcome it does allow me to prepare by cozying up with a cuppa or having some down time.

I can also use the activity app to set weekly goals depending how I'm feeling that week. Right now I've set myself 260 calories to burn each day. Which may not sound a lot to you, but it's really helping me to remain consistently active and up it a little more each week.

Being able to track my heart is definitely an upgrade from my Jawbone UP. Although, it makes me sad that sleep tracking is infinitely more complex/battery consuming.


Reminders

The last thing I want to mention is reminders. If you're one of those people who map every minute of every day out, the constant wrist-tapping reminders will save you from quick exits and late entrances. I don't think I have ever seemed more organised in my life.

The reminders also help me with my brain fog days, so I always know what that thing is I would have forgotten. And apps like Streaks go one step further and encourage me to do simple daily chores (this is customisable) and take little breaks for myself.


Whilst thw watch is revolutionary, it's not going to change your life. Unless you're a Londoner who commutes via the tube each morning, then it might. Though it is a helpful little tech accessory for the forgetful, geeky and digitally inclined among you. If this is you, hit me up on Twitter!

Instead of bombarding my life with notifications the Apple Watch removes the noise and helps you focus on what's important to you - from health to mindfulness, social media to cooking timers. I must admit, I don't regret purchasing it one bit. Though I was hella nervous writing this blogpost as I know they seem a bit excessive - so please be nice in the comments below! If you have any questions, or are thinking about investing in this little piece of wearable tech yourself, I'd love to hear from you.


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Saturday, 19 November 2016

Glamoriser | Freestyler Portable Hair Straightener*

Glamoriser Freestyler Portable Battery Powered Cordlesss Straightner Hair Styler Black Diamond.jpg

The Glamoriser Freestyler Portable Hair Straighter* has become one of my favourite travel gadgets alongside items like my external battery, bluetooth earbuds and kindle. It's a handbag-must have that that could very well be your key to precocious minutes of beauty sleep in the morning.

The cordless, battery powered straighter is surprisingly light with three heat settings and a battery level indicator so you're never left without charge. At three quarters the size of a standard styler, it's by no means mini and tackles my long, thick, unruly red hair admirably when it comes to styling, waving or touching up, all with battery to spare.

Glamoriser Freestyler Portable Battery Powered Cordlesss Straightner Hair Styler Black Diamond.jpg

Although I have yet to succeed in fully curling or straightening my whole head and usually end up with a couple of inches and no battery power left. Which is not ideal when the unit takes 4 hours to fully charge. But, iI'm much more likely to use the Freestyler* for those last minute adjustments; when you're in the taxi heading to an event and a curl has fallen out or you've pressed the snooze button one too many times and want to tame some of that bed hair. For mid-long length tick hair it's unrealistic to expect an extreme transformation. But that hans't stopped me from cherishing the ability to style my hair whenever and wherever I want.

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Friday, 18 November 2016

Home Decor | Skull Cactus Planter

Gold Distressed Skull Cactus Planter, Candle Holder Pot TKMaxx Decor Interior

Meet my little friend.

After I saw a skull planter on Instagram I knew I needed to recerate the look for my at home. As it combines two fo my great loves: the cacti children I've kept alive for a decade and a half and my inclination towards anything witchy. So, I did what all good bloggers do next when they see something they fangirl over on the internet, googled it. But the price of postage on these things is not pretty.

As luck would have it I stumbled upon this distressed metallic candle holder from TK Maxx just a couple of weeks later. Read: dragged my boyfriend around the interior section one hellishly busy wekeend looking. Though I love the overall effect, I'm still in two minds whether to strip the distressed finish and opt for something more sleek like a minimalist matte white or glitter-filled black.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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Thursday, 17 November 2016

Autumn Eyeshadow Palette Edit

Charlote Tilbury Dolce Vita, Makeup Geek Pans - Glamorous, Cosmopolitan, Bitten, Burlesque, Urban Decau Naked Smokey, Zoeva Coco Blend Palette - Eyeshadow Beauty Makeup Eyeshadow Neutral Red Matte Shimmer

To me Autumn will alway be burgundy - lipstick, eyeshadow and that special shade of wine that works really well for bobble hats - thanks, Topshop. Back in the day, autumn also meant a heavy dose of MAC Cranberry/Coppering in the crease. They were very much the 'in' shades of 2014 - correct me if I'm wrong blogging oldies. Though I never really got why it was a trend limited to the fall. I personally love red eyeshadow, anything, all year round so was very happy to see my favourite russet hues being released in so many palettes this year. That said, all of these pre-date the likes of the Morphe 35O, Huda Beauty and Lime Crime offerings because, whilst I do love red you can only have so many shades of the same colour...


Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Quad*


If I could choose to be a makeup palette I'd be the Dolce Vita. With warm tones to prime, enhance, pop and smoke out the eye just the right amount this palette is perfection for A/W and completely travel/touch up friendly. Though this does mean you get a lot less shadow for your money versus the likes of the Urban Decay Smokey Palette *dies a little inside*. I don't think I'll every get over how glowy the highlight shade is or how the red counters my green eyes just so. Plus that gold is the most fascinating shadow I have ever seen - it's just got so many dimensions!

Makeup Geek Custom Quad

Shades: Top: L - Glamorous (Shimmer), R - Cosmopolitan (Shimmer)
Bottom: L - Bitten (Matte), R - Burlesque (Shimmer)

When I found out that Makeup Geek was coming to the UK, a brand I'd always admired from afar, I legitimately did a happy dance before rushing to over to Beauty Bay to order whatever Kathleen Lights had recommended. The quality of these shadows is incredible and an absolute steal in comparison to a MAC pan. Though I do think times are changing with the recently released Freedom Pro Artist Palettes - which I still have yet to get my hands on. Bitten and Burlesque have a very similar deep and vampy hue that, if you're into less bold shades are incredibly easy to work into a smoky eye. Whilst Glamorous and Cosmopolitan are the dreamiest shimmer shades to pat into the very middle of the lid to brighten up the eyes. This custom palette is the changing of the leaves immortalised.

Urban Decay Naked Smokey Palette*


I haven't forgotten to include something for those of you who like cooler tones. The Urban Decay Smokey Palette, whilst not my favourite in selection is the sturdiest of the entire Naked line with a satisfying metallic clasp and a fairly useful double-ended brush that has got me out of a lot of last minute situations. Whilst I tend to gravitate to the beginning - High, Dirtysweet, Radar - and end - Whiskey, Combust, Thirteen - the smokier mid-section featuring the fierce violet Smoulder and gun-metals Armor and Slanted make me long to pull off a smokey eye without looking like I haven't slept in a week. Any tips?


Zoeva Coco Blend Palette Eyeshadow Beauty Makeup Eyeshadow Neutral Red Matte Shimmer


Zoeva Cocoa Blend Palette


The Zoeva Cocoa Blend Palette quickly became a staple in my makeup routine. It's the palette I often reach for to travel with as you can create some equally wearable, smokey and shimmery looks with a subtle pop of colour. I could sing this palettes praises all day long. But today I'm focussing on the matte, rust-toned shade: Freshly Toasted that is perfect for warming up the crease; and the aptly named purple-hued Warmed Tones that comes off almost metallic rose-gold with a light hand. *Sights dreamily*. You can read my full review here.


When I asked you  to on Twitter to vote for your favourite topic for today's post - I was giddy to see an overwhelming majority for Autumn Eyeshadow Palettes, against some of the more lifestyle choices because above all, beauty will always be the heart of my blog. Thanks for giving me the chance to get so into this post I lost all sense of time. If you're a fan of making this space a little more interactive - do let me know in the comments below!

What are your favourite autumn palettes? I know there's some killer new releases.

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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

The Little Book of Hygge

The Little Book of Hygge, The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

The Little Book of Hygge // Meik Wiking


Haven't heard of hygge? I'm late to the party too. But there really is no better time than Autumn to join in this nation-wide, happiness-centric craze...

The concept of hygge is cosiness with warm lighting, good food, friends and plenty of candles. I know I'm oversimplifying things, but I hope it paints a pretty warm and fuzzy picture. That's all this book really is, a collection of warm and fuzzy ways to spend your time wisely whilst focussing on what's important to you. From indulging on that Danish to ditching that dress for your comfiest sweater the Danes really do seem to know just how to make your happy - and one hundred percent guilt free.

This book reminds me so much of how I spent my childhood before computers and mobile phones. Before the constant distractions and binge watching sessions. Hygge is about enjoying life in its simplest form and relishing the fact that you are safe, happy and comfortable in with those that are important to you. In other words, the complete opposite of how I spend my day-to-day life immersed in the digital world with constant notifications to my phone, wrist and desktop under the harsh fluorescent lights of my window-less office.

So, if you're anything like me, the idea of hygge can sound completely unattainable. Sometimes even taking ten minutes out of your day to light some candles and curl up under a blanket on the sofa can seem like the most stressful activity in the world as you find yourself mentally checking off your ever-extending to-do list. But, if there's anything I learnt during my blogging hiatus is that it's okay to be selfish with your you time. It's more than okay, it's actually proven to be good for you.

During my time away, The Little Book of Hygge made me transform a corner of my home office into a blanket-ladened beanbag corner, encouraged me to read guilt-free and indulge in a bag of frozen pastries for those mornings when nothing bar a steaming cup of coffee and a Danish will wake me up. But it's also so much more than that. The concept of Hygge encouraged me to evaluate my life, my daily routines - however temporarily - and work in little rays of sunshine that brighten my day and make me say "yes, it' totally okay that I'm doing this just because I want to". Purchasing and learning to play the ukulele was a not-so-terrible side effect of this decision.

So if you're busy, bored and/or mentally exhausted go buy the beautully-designed Little Book of Hygge, light a candle, grab a blanket - whatever makes you happy - and live out some small part of this doom and gloom winter in peace.

Sidenote: I found my perfect oversized denim jacket at a vintage fair last week - you know, the kind that is just the right level of oversized without making you look like the marshmallow man? Life made.


Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Timeless Beauty | Ten Effects Skin Treat & Makeup Fixer*

Ten Effects Skin Treat & Makeup Fixer, Makeup Setting Spray - Joan Collins Timeless Beauty

The Ten Effects Skin Treat & Makeup Fixer* from Joan Collins' Timeless Beauty range is hands down my favourite setting spray that I have ever used. So much so, that I haven't touched another in just shy of two months and still have two thirds of the magical pink liquid left.

My skin is a dry, acne-prone, makeup-hating nightmare at the moment. Most mornings I will spend my allotted 10 minutes making myself look presentable by dabbing on some concealer, bronzer and blush and a light dusting of my favourite highlighter before I fix my brows, add a dab of mascara, run a brush through my hair and run out the door. Only to realise that, once I step into the harsh light of day, my textured skin looks like it woke up on the wrong side of a harsh, moisturiser winter. Yikes.

Enter Ten Effects Skin Treat & Makeup Fixer*. Not only does it give my face a dewy glow and melts - there has to be a better word for this... - my makeup together flawlessly, it keep it flawless right up until the minute I take it off before bed. Give or take a little extra oil.

There's just a couple of little things I just can't get on board with. First, slight leakage, I *think* this is why the bottle comes with, not just one, but two caps but would advise taking care whilst travelling. Secondly, I can't stand the scent. Imagine the heavy, floral talc I have learnt to associate with the older generation. Whilst you may like floral, it's not my cup of tea, so I'm glad when it dissipates somewhat on my commute and eventually disappears altogether.

Even with these minor issues, I would wholeheartedly recommend this product to anyone who struggles with an awkward skin texture, even with it's mid-range £20 price tag.

What makeup setting spray is your favourite?

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Monday, 14 November 2016

Coffee Table Books | Humans of New York: Stories

Humans of New York: Stories - Brandon Staton, Coffee Table Book, Hardback

As my most recent bout of brain fog cleared, I found myself - once again - thoroughly obsessed with finding a snuggly blanket, pouring myself a hot coffee and curling myself up in my lime green beanbag. This simple pleasure has been the ultimate comfort during these colder months and so, incredibly, hygge when I throw in a couple of candles - much to my boyfriend's dismay. But, sometimes, it's just nice to get away; detox the digital and focus on yourself. Which, incidentally, is exactly how I've spent my last two months. How've you been?

HUMANS OF NEW YORK: STORIES

I devoured the pages of Humans of New York: Stories in less than a day (alongside The Life Changing Magic of not Giving an F*** and a plate-sized mac and cheese calzone - yes, you read that correctly). The book is so deliciously raw in catering to the perpetually nosey. It shatters any self-centric illusions you may have and encourages you to empathise with total strangers through snippets of interviews thoughtful photographs. From the happy to the heartbreaking, there's a little something everyone can relate to. Though, my favourite passage, is on p272 and reads:

"...Maritime laws only exist to guarantee safe passage. There are no loopholes or biases to favour more powerful vessels. Every ship is equal, and no one is more powerful than the sea."

Which, is brings equal measurs of comfort and dreadwith the current state of the planet. Don't you think?

Whether you're looking for the ultimate dip-in-dip out photobook for your five minutes peace or something engaging to entertain your guests as you run around finishing getting ready - just me? - you cannot go wrong with a copy of Humans of New York: Stories. If you enjoyed this post, why not follow me on Bloglovin' so you don't miss my other coffee table book recommendations coming up later on in the week!

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