28 Feb 2018

Five Favourite Lifestyle Blogs

I've really been enjoying reading blogs lately. Sometimes I go through phases of preferring Youtube videos, because they are easier to consume, however I've been loving reading blogs throughout the past couple of weeks. I usually spend most lunchtimes sat at my desk, like the unsociable human I am, scrolling through my Bloglovin' feed.

I've been enjoying a couple of blogs in particular and I find that I am always really inspired after reading a post. So, I thought I'd spread some love by sharing some of my current favourite lifestyle blogs...



First of all, can we just talk about Sophie's Instagram? It is amazing. You can just tell how much effort goes in to it. I also think she has great style!

Second of all, her blog posts are so relatable and personal. Her blog is definitely a representation of her as a person and you can tell because of the wide variety of posts she puts out there. From travel to fashion to a general chatty post - she does it all so well.

Last but by no means least, she seems like a genuinely nice person. Her online appearance is so honest and open that reading her posts and exchanging a couple of tweets and comments here and there makes her feel like a long distance friend. She just seems like the nicest person ever.


Who doesn't love Kate's blog? I also watch her Youtube channel - which is just as good - but her blog content is just lovely.

With a niche that specifically relates to interiors, she also blogs about beauty, fashion and other elements of life. Her home is what I aspire my future house to look like and thankfully she shares so many tips and tricks to getting your home like hers.

I really like how she varies her content up and how all of it is right up my street. There's always something new and exciting to read on her blog - I suggest you check it out, if you somehow haven't already!



I've been reading Rebecca's blog for a while now and I always look forward to having a binge reading session.

The topics and themes of her posts always stand out to me and I love reading them because they are about things I am a) interested in and b) have pretty pictures and c) are about things that I haven't seen blog posts about before.

From tips & tricks to beauty to life lessons - there are so many different categories to get stuck into. I love her style of writing and how it fits in with so many different genres. There's always something new and exciting to read on Rebecca's blog - I highly recommend if you are really into lifestyle blogs.


When I was in university, I most definitely didn't work as hard as Lucy does on her blog. You can just tell how much time, effort and thought goes into her blog. When someone has that much drive and motivation, you can really see it paying off and with Lucy it most definitely has.

I've seen her do collaborations with some amazing brands and companies and she really deserves it! She also posts very frequently so if I fancy a binge read - I can always count on Lucy's blog. Her content switches between lifestyle, fashion and beauty - which is just what I like hence why I love reading it so much!



For a good mix of a lil bit of everything, I highly recommend Lauren's blog. I love reading her blog because her posts are so easy to read, her content is brilliant and I really enjoy her style of writing. You can really hear her personal voice coming through in her writing, which is a quality I really want to nail on my own blog.

I like how Lauren's posts are very real and personal to her - but they somehow draw me in and make me want to continue reading. She often writes about her own experiences, which I particularly like reading because it is a great way of learning about people.

I'm always rather inspired after reading her blog so I knew it was one that I definitely has to include.

What blogs are you enjoying at the moment?

25 Feb 2018

Letting Go & Learning To Be Unapologetically Me

Whenever a New Year rolls around (yes, I'm still talking about New Years) I always think 'this is the year I'm going to change'. Then I sort of forget about it and it carries onto the following year and so on. However, I've recently been thinking... how can I change? What aspects of myself would I actually like to change? What if the change is bad? What if I can't keep up with it and return to my old ways?

Ya know me, always over thinking things to the max. However, I now I think I've finally figured the whole 'change' thing out...

It's less of a change and more about getting comfortable with myself, letting go of things and learning to stop apologising.

There have been many moments over the past couple of years where I've apologised for my own traits, personality and actions, when I really shouldn't have. Moments that I've beaten myself up about losing things, when it is most definitely not worth it. Moments where I found it really hard to let go of something, even though I knew deep down that I should. I'd really like to learn how to let go of these habits a little and just become comfortable with my own self - because there is absolutely no reason for me to be sorry about being myself and no reason to be hanging on to something that's no longer there.

One of the main topics that got me thinking about this is friendships.

They say that friends come and go, which I completely agree with, however it is very hard to accept. When a friendship fizzles out I completely understand that it is normal. Yet, I'm still very hard on myself because I start to think that I'm the problem. Retrospectively thinking, I'm definitely not the problem. Now that I realise that.. all of the stressing and self-blaming was such a huge waste of time and effort.

It's easy to put yourself down a lot, especially when there seems to be no logical reason as to why something has happened, such as a loss of friendship. Over the past couple of years I've done this time and time again but it's about time that stops. Those who are near and dear to my heart, my amazing fiancĂ©, family and friends, always remind me of my self-worth and if that's not enough and I have to get reassurance from a friend who couldn't care less I really don't know what is.

I've learnt my lesson the hard way. Figuring out friendships is tough - I've had my fair share of crappy 'friends' (maybe one day I will share the stories with you). But it's all part of life. Life is full of lessons and tests. You just got to learn to get through it all and let go of things that need to be let go of.

Going on a bit of a tangent here, but please bare with me.

I'd describe myself as an open book - what you see is what you get. I'm often described in this way too. Sometimes it's a positive and sometimes it's not.

Sometimes my personality can be off-putting, intimidating, maybe even unlikeable. When I became aware of this I thought that it's something that has got to change, I need to be someone who isn't those things and everyone has to like me. I think I subconsciously put a front on just so I could please people so I could change peoples minds.

Then I figured out that people still disliked me and I realised that I'm never going to change their mind. Although it is sad that you can't be like by everyone, it is also the harsh reality of life. You can't please everyone all the time. Sometimes, you've just gotta let it be and continue to do you.

Because at the end of the day, the world still goes round. Life goes on. And that's what I need to remember... and be unapologetically me.


All coincidentally New Look (again - oops!)


18 Feb 2018

Creating A Budget Friendly Make Up Bag

Another day, another budget beauty blog post!

This time I thought I'd share my tips and advice on creating your own budget friendly make up bag. I would say that my make up collection is 90% inexpensive and from stores like Boots and Superdrug. Picking and choosing the right products for your make up bag is hard enough and sticking to a budget is even harder. However, I think I've pretty much nailed it and have an entire make up bag that caters for an everyday face, an evening look, weekend make up - all the occasions!

Here are a few bits of advice I've learnt along the way to create a budget friendly make up bag...

#1 Figure out what you need

I like a quite minimal & natural look for everyday wear and a slightly more amped up vibe for when I'm feeling fancy. So when I'm picking the make up products for my beauty bag, I keep in mind what I reach for when I do both of those kind of looks. Since I rarely do the whole going out thing and dressing up - I decided to keep more everyday use products in my make up bag as opposed to glam beauty bits.

I started to think about what exact base products I needed. What blushers and powders I wore often. Which palettes I use frequently. What eye and brow bits I reach for on a daily basis. I literally made a list of the 20+ things I would put on my face.

#2 Shopping your stash or just shopping?

Next up, is figuring out how to pick the products that go into your make up bag. Are you going to choose things from your existing budget beauty collection or are you going to buy and try some new bits?

If you are shopping your stash, make sure you pick the things you absolutely love, you use regularly and goes with your everyday / evening looks.

If your buying new products (how very exciting!) here are some of the things you can do...

#3 Do your research, read reviews and watch tutorials

If you are buying a bunch of budget beauty to go inside your make up bag, you just have to do your research first. Figure out what will work with your skin, your looks and your vibe. Trying out a cheaper product makes it a lot easier to let go of (as you haven't spent much money on it) but collectively this will add up going forward as it will all pile up.

So, read all the reviews and watch all the make up tutorials to see how a product is and what to expect. There are so many vloggers and bloggers out there that have a tonne of reviews on the latest 'drugstore' beauty launches.

#4 Money-saving tips

Buying beauty products every month can really hit hard on the bank balance sometimes. A few months back, I shared my tips and advice on how to budget on beauty - you can read the post here!

#5 Create a capsule make up collection

Picking the products that go in can be hard. You might think 'I love all of these Rimmel lipsticks so they are all going in the bag' - no, no, no. Think of your budget beauty bag as a capsule make up collection.

Limit yourself to around 20 products. Out of those figure out what you wear the most and pick more of those items.

For example you can have:
a primer
2 foundations
2 setting powders
a blush palette
a bronzer
a contour powder
a mascara
2 eyeshadow palettes
an eyeliner
3 lipliners
4 lip products
2 brow products

#6 Trial and error

The only way you're going to know if the make up bag is working for you is if you trial it out. If something isn't working, switch it out. If you need to chop and change things, do it. You are in complete control of what goes it, the only limit you have is the price.

Which brings me on to my next point...

#7 Budget beauty recommendations

I have so many beauty recommendations that are budget friendly so I just had to share a few so you can give them a go...

Foundations, Concealers and Powders
The Ordinary Serum Foundation
The Body Shop BB Cream
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
Revlon Colourstay Concealer
Bourjois Healthy Mix Powder

Blush / Bronzer / Contour
Maxfactor Blusher
Sleek Blusher
MakeUp Revolution Blush Palette
MakeUp Revolution Contour and Highlight Palette

Mascara, Brows and Eyeliner
Milani Lash Trifecta Mascara
Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
Maybelline Master Precise Eyeliner
NYX Micro Brow Pencil
The Body Shop Brow and Liner Palette

Eyeshadow Palettes
Makeup Revolution Fortune Favours The Brave
Sleek Palettes

Lip products
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream
GOSH Lipstick
Primark Lipliner
Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Lipstick

Tools and brushes
Real Techniques Complexion Sponge
Spectrum Collection Brushes
The Body Shop Brushes
Real Techniques Brushes

Do you have any budget beauty staples in your make up bag?

11 Feb 2018

Choosing Simplicity: Decluttering Your Space and Mind

If you've been reading some of my recent posts you'd know that I've been downsizing and decluttering my beauty collection, wardrobe and just everything in general. One of the reasons is because I'm moving house in the next few months but the other main reason is because I've really been inspired to channel a more simplistic and minimal approach to life.

It's nice to have a lot of things but sometimes it does get really overwhelming. I found that I was losing track of what I had because of the volume of products, clothing, stationary etc that I have collected over the years. Since my environment was feeling messy and cluttered, I also felt like this reflected onto my mind. I just felt like I needed to spring clean my entire life. The things I owned but also my mind, body and soul.

I thought I'd share how I'm channelling a more simple way of life and how I would like to develop this into the future - and of course, how you can pick up a few habits along the way too!

First of all, you need to have the motivation and inspiration to begin to live this lifestyle. It's not something that you can just do once a year as part of your New Years Resolutions. Minimal living and a simplistic lifestyle is something you have to commit to if you want to get it right.

I'm definitely not saying that I have hit the nail on the head when it comes to living in a minimal and simple way, but I'm definitely looking to achieve that by doing and practicing a couple of little things everyday. I definitely have the drive and motivation to want to do this. I just need to actually do it and do it consistently.

I mentioned earlier that I'm moving house within the coming months and that is one of the main reasons I feel like I need to downsize and declutter my belongings. A fresh start like moving house, a New Year, a new job... anything like that is a great opportunity to get motivated to live a simpler lifestyle, in term of physical belongings.

I like organising so sorting out my stuff isn't a problem. However, I do admit that I am a hoarder. I love keeping things and I find it hard to let go of certain items (please tell me someone else can relate to this?!)

Solution = Read The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying by Marie Kondo. I'm sure you've heard what this book is about since it is a blogger staple, however if you don't.. allow me to explain. It literally is a book about how to clean your physical space and can easily apply to your mental headspace too. I have yet to get through the entire book but what I've read so far is very motivational, inspiring and just interesting.

The writer, Marie Kondo, is a professional advisor for all things tidying. In Japanese culture housekeeping, cleanliness and concepts such as feng shui are huge and those elements are tied into the notions and techniques shared in this book. Included are various methods to clean, declutter and simplify your things (and thoughts!).

The whole idea of the book is so interesting and although I won't be applying certain elements to my day-to-day life (because it is a bit over the top for my liking) I will be making a conscious effort to practice a couple of the theories. I suggest you give it a read, trial some methods and see what works for you too!

Imagine having your bare-necessities with you and how much easier it would make your everyday life. Your absolute favourite beauty products, the clothes you wear all the time, the things you use everyday and aren't just sitting in a drawer for dust to collect. That's my aim. I want to be able to have a small amount of products, clothes and other belongings that will get me through the day comfortably and obviously using less space and effort but they are all things I absolutely LOVE.

Getting rid of unnecessary things will free up space for your mind, body and soul to breathe. You will have so much less tension, stress and thoughts about these things that aren't even needed in your life. You can so easily apply this mindset to things that aren't your physical belongings. Toxic people, a job you hate, a course you don't enjoy... whatever is causing you to have unwanted negative emotions, you have the ability to cut it out of your life, you are in control!

I can't wait to start this simpler lifestyle full-time and on a more permanent basis. I'm slowly easing my way into things because I must admit it is quite difficult to just change overnight, however I feel like I'm already getting somewhere and I have high hopes for the future.


Are you into 'minimal living' or are you doing any of these things to have a more simplistic approach to life?

4 Feb 2018

The Skincare Trial: Clinique 3-Step System

For the past month, I've been trialling a new skincare routine. After months of going through different products, trying a bunch of things on my skin and it not being so successful sometimes, I thought I'd try sticking to a proper routine for a whole month-ish.

The Clinique 3-Step Skincare System appealed to me instantly as I was browsing the shelves in the store. I've heard great things about Clinique but never actually had the opportunity to try any. I thought this was the perfect chance to put the brand to the test, try some products and see what it does for me.

I wanted a simple routine, nothing fancy or complex. So, I thought that this routine would be perfect.

Included in the box was three products that you are supposed to use twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

The package is also available for so many different skin types - very dry to dry, dry-combination, combination-oily, oily, anti-blemish and the system even caters towards mens skin types. I chose dry-combination (skin type 2), as I find that my skin can sometimes be really dry or oily in certain areas. The sales assistant also recommended this upon inspection of my skin.

The set of products is supposed to last you a month (so it could be good for travelling or if you want to trial the products, like myself!) and it costs just £20 - which I thought was brilliant for trialling the brand as well as seeing how the products work.


The first step is to wash your (make-up free) face with the Clinique Mild Facial Soap.

This face wash is definitely on the mild side. You are only supposed to use a small amount as it lathers up quite well. It does make your face feel clean and fresh and doesn't make your skin feel tight at all.

I found this very non-offensive and gentle on the skin. A very easy product to use twice-daily! I do, however, think that face wash isn't something I'd usually spend a lot of money on as I tend to get a long with facial washes like these, but they are a lot more inexpensive.

A full size of this product is £16.50 - usually I'd use The Body Shop's Seaweed Facial Wash which costs £8 and I typically tend to buy it when there is an offer in store so it is much cheaper than the original price.

So, final thoughts on the wash: simple & effective, which is exactly what I wanted. However, not within my price budget as I find that it works in the same way as my current facial product of choice.


Next, using a cotton pad and a few dabs of the Clinique Clarifying Lotion, swipe this across your face to gently exfoliate the skin.

The sales assistant advised to use this product in one motion of the skin just once. Basically, do not go back and fourth around your face with this as it spreads the bacteria around. This product is essentially a chemical exfoliator and is supposed to visibly smoothen the skins texture by buffing away the dead and dry skin cells whilst also clearing up the skin from spots and break-outs.

I found that this product was good at keeping spots and break outs at bay and it also worked well at buffing away dry skin - which annoyingly seemed to appear on my skin at the end of the month.

I did think that this product was a bit abrasive as it tingled and almost burned on my skin. I expect this happens with some chemical exfoliators - as the name suggests it is very chemicaly - however, I much prefer the Pixi Glow Tonic as it is so much more gentle on the skin.

I do really like this product and how it works with my skin type. The product does keep the appearance of my face smooth and flake-free. However, so does my current chemical exfoliator and it does it more gently too. Also, I personally wouldn't use an exfoliator everyday as it is rather abrasive for the facial area.


Finally, add some moisture back into the skin using the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion +.

Apparently this product is one of the best sellers of the brand. I must admit that I was quite underwhelmed. First of all, the sales assistant that explained how to use the product to me advised to use a tiny blob of this on your face, day & night.

I found it wasn't as hydrating as I would've liked so I was using more product than expected. This product wasn't the most value for money as I pretty much finished it all - unlike the other products in the kit.

A full size of this cream is £30 - which is waaaaay out of my budget for a daily moisturiser. I much prefer the price and effectiveness of my Nivea Soft Cream.

Overall, I was quite underwhelmed with the products. I mean, they did my skin good but they weren't so special. My current products had a similar, if not better, effect than the Clinique 3-Step Routine. I had quite high expectations of the brand because I feel like if you are paying more money for something, it should have amazing results. Unfortunately, this was not the case with these products.

The aim of this trial was to find products to create a simplistic skincare routine that worked. By trying these products out, it made me realise that there are existing skincare items in my current collection that work similarly and are a much better value for money.

So the experiment wasn't all unsuccessful... I think I've developed a daily skincare routine that is still only three steps and is a lot more comfortable for me. I'm definitely going to trial the old-but-new routine out and let you know if it works and agrees with my skin!

Have you tried any Clinique products?

How did you get on with them?
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