Thursday, 30 April 2015

Clarins Aquatic Treasures.


I've been a big fan of Clarins for as long as I can remember. My mum used to use their products back when I was little and the brand has always had a special place in my beauty cabinet. There is something very special about Clarins and their products always give me that sense that I really am using something luxurious. 

Clarins latest make up additions come in the form of the Aquatic Treasures* range for Summer 2015. The range is stunning and really does give me that mermaid-esque feel. There is wide range of products in the collection, ranging from mascara to tinted primers meaning there is certainly something for everyone. 

The Instant Light base in Apricot is a gorgeous light-weight foundation base, designed to add a bit of colour to your skin, without being overly tan-tastic. I love the shade and it really does add some warmth to my skin. I've found this is great on it's own as a tinted moisturiser, as well as mixed in with my foundation for a subtle sunkissed glow.

I've tried many an eyeshadow from Clarins, but these have got to be up their with my favourites. Aquatic Rose and Aquatic Grey are both gorgeously pigmented shades than can be easily applied with the swipe of a finger. I'm completely in love with the Rose shade, it's the ultimate base for any look.

Finally my favourite piece of all, the Summer Bronzing Compact. Not only is this absolutely stunning, but the shade range is incredible. This is a mix of four bronze shades, from light to dark in one perfect compact. This is a great all-rounder, especially if you're new to bronzer, it's pretty hard to go wrong. My only advice is to use this sparingly as a little does go a long way.

What is you're favourite product in the collection?

Katie xx

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Podcasts You Need to Download.

I've never really been that commuter with the head phones in, bopping away to the latest tunes. I always find myself singing along (badly), which can be pretty awkward when you're sat next to a complete stranger. I turned my interest to podcasts late last year when the whole 'Serial-Craze' was taking place. Ever since then I've developed a love for someone chatting away in my ear, either telling a story or teaching me something new. So with that in mind, I've developed a post with a few of my favourite podcasts.

Serial - This American Life

If you've still not heard of Serial, you need to get listening. It follows the conviction of Adnan Syed back in 1998 for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. Adnan has been behind bars for over fifteen years but was he wrongly convicted of something he didn't do? The host looks through past documents, legal papers and evidence from around the time of Hae's death. There are discussions with Adnan's family, friends and testimonials from others to try and discover exactly what had gone on back in the 90's.

I won't 'spoil' the podcasts for you, but bear in mind this is a true podcast and all the people are real. It's a really interesting look at the American justice system too, and the many differences between the treatment of criminals in the USA to the UK.


Undisclosed: The State Vs. Adnan Syed

This, as the name would suggest, is following the same story as Serial, from a different perspective. This is a fairly new podcast so I'm only on episode two, but it brings up new evidence and witnesses in the Adnan Syed case. Something really great is this podcast is brought to us by three different people, one of which actually knows Adnan and his family, so it's great for a different view on the case.

Stuff You Should Know - How Stuff Works.com

I LOVE THIS PODCAST. I'm completely obsessed with listening to these episodes and learning more and more about random things. You can pretty much find out about anything you want and the episodes are the perfect length so you don't get bored. The hosts are really friendly and make me laugh a lot, which is always a good thing on a long commute. 

A few of my favourite episodes are:

Is Lethal Injection Humane?
How Dying Works
Polyamory: When two just won't do
How Amnesia Works

I'm fascinated by our brain and body, hence my choices of podcast, however there is something for everyone in their catalogue.

What podcasts do you recommend?

Katie xx

Monday, 27 April 2015

Lipgloss for Non-Lipgloss Wearers.

I've never been a huge fan of lipgloss. In the past I've found they're way too sticky and the majority of my hair ends up plastered across my face. That was of course, until I discovered Essence lipglosses which I am completely obsessed with.

I picked up a couple of the Nude XXXL glosses a few months back and thought nothing of them, until they were the only lip product in my bag. I popped on the gloss and off I went. I've been so impressed by these, that I've added more and more to my collection. The formula is non-sticky and balm like and the large applicator makes it really easy to apply. The gloss looks pretty flawless on my lips and doesn't dry them out at all, which is impressive for my skin. 

My favourite of the bunch are two from the Nude XXXL range; Taste the Sweets and Soft Whisper. I also really like one from the XXXL Longlasting range, which has a slight shimmer hence the name Sparkling Nature. All shades are fairly neutral and certainly give that 'your lips but better' look, which I adore.

If you're in the market for a nude gloss that's really comfortable to wear, I would definitely recommend popping to an Essence stand and picking some up. Plus they're around £2.50 each - an absolute steal. 

Katie xx

Sunday, 26 April 2015

De-Cluttering My Life.


Ever since we moved house last July we've been trying to do a little bit of DIY when we get chance. Unfortunately our loft/office room has become somewhat of a dumping zone. As I don't spend much time up there, I think it has become an 'out of sight out of mind' situation for me and I like to pretend it isn't there. The room is pretty big, which means it's going to take quite a bit of time, money and effort to completely sort but Mobile Mini have certainly given us a helping hand.

One of my main bug bears is the chest of drawers. We've had these drawers a while and did them up ourselves, but since moving they have just become a place to pop work and files as there isn't much storage up there. The 'dumping corner' just looks awful and really needed some doing up.

Mobile Mini kindly gifted me a £50 voucher for Not On The Highstreet to pick some items and help me get on my way with updating the loft. I'm a huge fan of rose gold (in case you didn't already know) so I think all my purchases reflected this! I really wanted the corner to come to life and actually look like it's meant to be there and I think my new bits and bobs certainly did that. 

I've learnt a few de-cluttering tips along the way:

1. You do not need to keep everything you have ever owned
2. That jumper you've had for three years and never worn...donate it to charity
3. Not everything you love needs to be on display, rotate your items every now and again if you can't bear to get rid.

I hope you enjoyed my Mobile Mini Spring Cleaning Challenge and it's inspired you to de-clutter too.

Katie xx

*In association with Mobile Mini, all views are my own

Friday, 24 April 2015

Exploring Dunham Massey.

We've been blessed with some gorgeous weather in the UK the last few weeks, so me and the hubby took full advantage of this and spent as much time as possible outside. We headed to Dunham Massey, a National Trust park just outside of Manchester. We've only ever been once before and I was desperate to get back and see some of the 150 deer that wander around the park.

Of course we took a little picnic with us and ate alfresco, then headed around the deer park in search of Bambi. I was certainly not disappointed and spotted quite a few deer, some were friendly enough to let me get pretty close and get some photos. It was just perfect sitting in the sun, around a pretty pond, with deer chilling in the background. We then spent some time wandering by the old hospital and buildings in Dunham Massey.

If you love animals are don't live far from Altrincham, I would certainly recommend a look at Dunham Massey. You could really spend hours getting lost in the gorgeous grounds, the perfect way to spend a summery day.

Katie xx


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Make Up Brushes for Under £3.


I'm ALWAYS lusting after new make up brushes. I'm obsessed with searching for the perfect brush, but being a student and only working part-time means my budget doesn't stretch too far. So along comes trusty eBay. I was browsing that addictive site a few weeks back and stumbled across some great finds and for less than £3 each I wanted to give them a whirl.

The first brush is a contour brush, which I've been using as a highlight brush. It's the perfect shape and density to give great lines and definition. The bristles are incredibly soft and really feel luxurious. I'm happy to say I've had no fall out from this brush and it is certainly worth the £1.82 I paid for it. 

My second brush went immediately into my basket. I've seen the Nars Kabuki Artisan Brush raved about by many and I've been desperate to get my hands on it. But over £40 on one brush is way over my price range. So when I spotted this dupe, albeit slightly smaller brush, I knew I had to give it a whirl. This pretty brush came in at £2.89, which in my opinion, is an absolute steal. 

You can find both brush sellers here and here. Despite them coming from abroad both were spuer quick with delivery, so I would certainly recommend the sellers.

Katie xx

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Spring Jewels.


It seems as though Spring has officially arrived in the UK, which is amazing news. This does mean I really need to invest in a new wardrobe, my clothes are so wintery and I desperately need to pick up some lighter clothing. Spring wardrobes, mean new accessories so I thought I'd share some of my jewellery picks for the warmer weather.

You'll probably recognise Fiorelli as the handbag brand, when I found out they did jewellery I was really excited to browse their pieces on Jewel Street*. I adore this necklace, it's the perfect length for me and the detailing is just gorgeous. I'm still all about rose gold and the mix of jade green and white beads are really pretty. The quality is great too, it's super well-made and just adds the perfect amount of sophistication to an outfit.

The other piece I'm obsessing over is this cute bracelet from Jon Richard*. Again this is all my favourite jewellery colours in a chunky but delicate piece. I have pretty skinny wrists so some bangles are way too big for me, but this is perfectly sized and really suits me. I'm all about wearing this bracelet with some simple stacking rings and a nude nail.

Do you have any favourite summer jewellery pieces?

Katie xx


Monday, 20 April 2015

My Travel Bucket List.

Like most people I love to travel. I especially like city breaks and exploring new places, I'm actually off to Frankfurt in a few weeks. I have a travel wishlist as long as my arm, but here are my top 3 travel destinations on my bucket list!


Pig Beach - Bahamas

I've spoken to so many people about how much I would love to visit Pig Beach, and it's crazy the amount of people that don't believe me that it exists. I am a HUGE animal person, so swimming with friendly pigs is my ultimate dream. I can't get over how adorable it would be swimming with some piglets in gorgeous clear waters. Pig Beach is certainly high up on my bucket list.


Slovenia

I've wanted to travel to Slovenia for as long as I can remember. I fell in love with the scenery, whilst browsing potential holidays. I love the idea of huge mountains surrounding gorgeous lakes and picturesque towns. To me Slovenia looks like something out of a fairytale, there is definitely something magical about that place.



Galapagos Islands

I know this is a big ask and would truly be a once in a lifetime trip, but I can't imagine not ever visiting the Galapagos Islands. Again, it's all about the animals for me, just wandering around discovering lizards and tortoises, sounds like my kind of heaven. The islands look so beautiful and serene, visiting would be the most incredible experience.

So there is my travel bucket list entry for Transun's Northern Lights competition. If you'd like to find out more or enter, check this link out.

What's on your travel bucket list?

Katie xx

Sunday, 19 April 2015

The £1 Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Dupe.


 If you've not heard the hype around Charlotte Tilbury's Pillow Talk Lip Cheat pencil, you must have been living under a rock. Of course I needed the lip pencil in my life and have been using it religiously for a good few months now. I've never been a lip liner wearer, but since discovering the CT options, I'm certainly a convert.

Last week when I was browsing Primark's make up section, I spotted a lip liner than reminded me so much of Pillow Talk. I added it to my basket and was completely blown away when I saw how similar the pencils are. The biggest difference is the price - CT's offering is priced at a steep £16, where as Primark's alternative is a tiny £1. So with a £15 difference, is it worth splashing the extra cash?

Both pencils have a really creamy formula, that is both comfortable and non-drying on the lips. Pillow Talk is a slightly softer pencil and therefore doesn't require as much pressure to apply, however this is a minor difference between the two. Pillow Talk is a slightly pinkier toned pencil, where as Primark's pick is a little more brown - but all in all, that's about the only differences I could find.

I will always have a soft spot for CT make up, but I think I'd rather save my pennies and splurge them on an eye palette. For me, the £1 lip liner is an absolute steal and has certainly become my go-to pencil.

Katie x 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Book Review - Black Ice.



If you're looking for an exciting thriller combined with a little romance, this is the book for you. Black Ice*  follows two best friends heading to an alternative spring break for a walking holiday. Unfortunately not everything goes to plan, when a snow storm hits and the girls get stuck on the mountain. Luckily they find a lodge not to far, housed by two young men. However not everything is as it seems.

The book leads to Britt and Korbie getting split up and Britt finds herself in more trouble than she expected...

They're plenty of twists and turns throughout the book and the final twist is the biggest of them all. I read this book pretty swiftly, it's a definite page turner as well as an easy read. If you want something a little different to your usual chick-lit, I'd certainly recommend picking up this book.

Katie xx


Thursday, 16 April 2015

Dry Skin Problems.

For all of my teenage life and the first few years of my twenties, I had SUPER oily skin. If you've been following my blog for some time you'll know two years ago, I had an 8 month course of Roaccutane for acne. It's a super high dose of Vitamin A which completely dries out your skin. Although I'm so thankful it worked, dry skin comes with it's own problems, which you will know if you suffer from sandpaper-esque skin like me.


1. Some days I wake up with snake-like skin - My legs sometimes look like something out of the reptile house. This is not a cool look for summer. I get pretty itchy behind the knees and around my ankles making leg shaving an issue too..hello Gorilla legs.


2. Eczema and eyelids are not a good match - Yep, my least favourite dry skin addition is my eyelids. They can get super uncomfortable and really itchy, but on the upside it does look like I'm wearing some crazy pink eye shadow. Silver linings. 

3. Sometimes it snows in summer - My scalp seems to have jumped on the dry skin bandwagon leaving me with very attractive skin in my hair. Yum. Thank God for Head and Shoulders.


4. Nail varnish lasts approximately 10 seconds - My nails have a habit of breaking very easily and quickly. I'm lucky if I can get one day chip free nail varnish. Brittle and dry nails are never a good look.


5. Removing several layers of skin every time you shave - My armpits (TMI?!) get unbelievably sore after I shave them. I'm often left with a lovely red line where the razor has taken off more than a few hairs. Trust me dry skin and deodorant is not a pleasant mix and leaves me wafting my pits for sometime whilst trying not to cry.


6. Dry skin does not equal flawless make up - I figured that dryer skin would mean my make up would stay put for longer. Don't get me wrong it doesn't slide off my skin like it did when I had oily skin, but it does flake off during the day. I often end up with lots of random patches of no make up and some lovely flakes hanging off my nose. So attractive.

Please tell me I'm not alone in all these dry skin issues!

Katie xx

(All Images from Pinterest)

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Bank Fashion Haul - Amazing Bargains.



Yesterday I wandered past one of the Bank Fashion stores that was about to close for good. Sadly this means people will be out of work, I hope they all manage to get something asap. But on the upside it meant I picked up some pretty amazing bargains.

I picked up the most incredibly sparkly skirt form Glamorous for a tiny £4. It's just the prettiest little thing, I'm not so sure where I will wear it but it needed to come home with me. I then grabbed some adorable shorts from Hearts & Bows for £4 too. These are high waisted with a really cool monochrome pattern which is perfect for my hols.

Next up I spotted a gorgeous dress from Lipsy, reduced from £60 to £8! I ran straight to the till with it and I'm so glad I did. I picked this up in a size 6 so was a little weary about the sizing, but it fits like a glove and is so flattering. I also spotted this cute loose paisley vest top also from Glamorous for £4. I love the pattern and the fit is perfect for my body shape - I will be getting a huge amount of wear from this in the summer.

Finally I picked up a pair of JuJu Jelly shoes. I already own a pair and they're so comfy and perfect for spending time at the beach. I think I paid around £20 for my other pair, but I managed to get these yellow ones for £3 - absolute steal.

Have you managed to pick up any bargains in Bank?

Katie xx

Monday, 13 April 2015

Personalised Products on Depop.

 I've been a big fan of Depop for quite some time now. It's seriously the perfect place to procrastinate and browse so many things. My usual obsession is make up that is no longer wanted, but more recently I've been checking out the handmade goods. I've sort of been treating it like Etsy and searching for unique, personal items and so far I've been pretty successful. 


I bought this bracelet a few months back and I adore it. I picked it up from the seller @myfavouritedaydream for £2.50. An absolute steal. I customised the bracelet and chose the style with the chain. My bracelet is actually the date I got married, so it's pretty special to me. This piece is so delicate which makes me want to take even more care of it. I wouldn't hesitate a second to ordering something from this seller again. 


When searching 'bunny' and 'rabbit' I came across a cutie just like this, with a slightly different material from Sophie @sophiaamay. I completely fell in love with the bunny and knew I ha to have one. Sophie was great and kept in touch throughout the making process. She sent over some material samples via email so I could pick my material, which was really great. I wanted the bunny for my spare room and this ditsy, floral pattern was just perfect. I couldn't have asked for better service and my handmade bunny was with me within two weeks. And all for £8 inc P&P. Love.

Have you picked anything handmade up from Depop? You can follow me @Katie0806.

Katie xx