UK Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

So, what have I been up to?

Well, quite a lot actually. Uni has been non-stop for the past three or four months - second year is definitely a big step up. I've now just finished my second year of uni and am free for summer, yay! But in between all of the uni stress, some good things have happened.

Firstly, you might remember me briefly mentioning the fact that I had to find a university work placement. After a knock back from another company, which hit me HARD as I got down to the final two candidates, I finally secured a work placement with an amazing company that I am beyond excited to work for. So, in September, I officially become a Marketing Assistant for a whole year - ahhh! Saying that makes me feel so grown up, lol. I knew how upset I'd be again if I didn't get this job, so I literally worked my arse off to make sure my portfolio and the work they asked me to prepare was absolutely spot on. And it obviously paid off, and I cannot tell you the relief I felt when I got offered the position! Best feeling EVER. 

I don't have the privilege of a photographer to take cute candid photos of me. But, during the Easter holidays me and Aaron went on quite a few walks and took a few photos. The photos weren't planned for a blog post as such; recently we've been playing around with the depth effect/portrait mode on his iPhone 7 plus, and I absolutely love the results it gives. I so badly want the feature to come to the regular iPhone 7's as I think a plus will look so weird in my tiny hands! But it makes the photos look so professional, don't you think?!

Oh look, me again!^ I really love my outfits in these photos. I've been enjoying wearing my Spring /Summer clothes again. Goodbye jumpers, hello t-shirts! Plus, my newfound body confidence (after now losing a whole stone!) has made me feel so much better about myself when it comes to styling and wearing outfits. Random, but this leather jacket from Topshop has probably lasted me nearly five years, and it's still holding up! Such a good staple piece.

Whilst day walks are fun, evening walks whilst the sun sets is one of my fave things about Spring and Summer. This photo makes me feel so lucky to live so close to the sea. I feel like I take it for granted so much. Just look at that beaut sunset...need I say more?! 

These are the beautiful roses that Aaron surprised me with for Valentines day (and the first bunch of flowers he ever bought me) so I thought I should document it. Throughout our whole relationship we've always had banter about how he thinks flowers are pointless because they die so quickly (boy logic) yet I still continue to strongly hint that it would be nice to receive some. So for Valentines Day, he arranged for these to arrive at my door and I was so surprised and happy. Being in a long distance relationship and not being able to spend time together on certain occasions is difficult but these made my day.

Fast forward a bit of time...to my university Summer Ball that was only yesterday! It was honestly the best day, despite the fact my feet are absolutely killing today. Chase and Status headlined and they were amazing - take me back! Our university does fancy dress instead of the traditional ballgowns, but it's all part of the fun! Above are photos of me and my best friend Amy, plus Aaron and Amy's boyfriend Dan. Yesterday was actually the last time Amy and I are going to see each other for a little while now, as second year of uni is over so she's gone home for summer. But, we are also both starting our placement years in September and will be apart for a whole year. It didn't fully sink in until last night and this morning but I'm honestly going to miss her so much; I keep getting so emotional. We're pretty much the same person. We can talk to each other about absolutely anything. I'm really going to miss having my best friend around all the time, it's so sad :( Will definitely be visiting each other lots and lots as we cannot bear being apart!

Sorry if this post seems a bit random and all over the place but I thought a photo diary would be nice to show you what I've been up to. Hopefully I will be posting a lot more now because of my lack of uni work! 

What have you been up to lately? Have you just finished university for the summer? What are your plans?
*This post is in collaboration with JD Women.

I've changed up my fitness regime a little, so I thought it was time for an update...

I've written about fitness and healthy living a few times previously on my blog, however in the past few months I've been making a conscious effort to switch up my lifestyle by eating more healthily and working out more. I always want to feel good when I'm working out, so a good gym kit is vital to make me feel motivated and driven to kick butt. So, when I was contacted by JD and asked if I wanted to give some clothing from the new Ellesse range a try, I jumped at the chance. 

I have to say, I absolutely love this outfit. A lot of my existing gym wear is pink so mixing it up with baby blue will be a nice change. Everything is super comfy, the leggings and sports bra are stretchy and feel very comfortable, and the top is a relaxed fit so won't cling to my gross sweaty body (lush) when I'm exercising. And it's all colour coordinated, cute or what?! The leggings are a little long, as I am only 5ft and it's very hard to find leggings short enough for my dinky legs, so I will be getting them adjusted so I don't have to fold them up! So, if you're short like me (my legs are about a 27-28" inside leg if you're wondering) then these might not be for you, but if you're willing to get them taken up then by all means go for it, as they are so on trend and comfy. I cannot wait to wear this to the gym soon and it will be sure to give me some extra motivation. 

If you're interested in investing in some new gym clothing, be sure to check out JD's Women's Fitness range.

Whilst gym clothing does make me feel good, I still want to feel good after taking my clothes off to shower when I arrive home...

Right now, my self love and body confidence is not quite there yet, and I haven't been there in about a year and a half, which really sucks to be honest. My main area of concern is my tummy. Despite losing a bit of weight, which has been noticed by my Mum, boyfriend and a few other people I know, I still haven't really noticed much of a difference myself, and my side-profile bloated belly still remains. I'm impatient, I know.

As I look at myself every day in the mirror, it's hard for me to notice changes in my body as easily as others, so it can be quite upsetting when I put the work in but you just don't feel like you're getting what you want out of it. The main thing to remember is patience. Patience with working out is KEY. Of course, everyone wants to wake up in the morning with their dream body, but that's never going to happen, and accepting that can be demotivating. But, I just have to remember that my body is making tiny little changes that may take a while for me to notice in the mirror.

Even though I cannot see much of a difference in the mirror, my body is definitely on the road to changing, as some of my clothes are starting to fit ever so slightly differently. Some of my skirts don't feel as tight anymore, and some even look too big around the tops of my legs and hips. It's promising to see that I'm making progress, but I'm just not where I want to be just yet, which is fine. When I have a tummy that doesn't stick out further than the rest of my body (my small boobs do not help), then I think I'll feel a lot more body confident when getting dressed in the morning and wearing a bikini.

There's one person to thank for helping me to start seeing results not only in my appearance, but also my physical fitness...

That person is my personal trainer. I started personal training in December and it's literally the most amazing experience. It's hard work, but my PT gives me that extra push I need to really feel motivated in the gym.

My PT has taught me many new exercises that I would never have been able to do alone, so having a PT has widened the variety of things I can do in the gym, which is great. Plus, she's also given me an amazing nutrition plan which I've been following as good as I can - of course every now and again a treat is okay, or a fancy meal with my boyfriend comes up and I treat myself to something. But overall, my meals are healthier and have a better balance of carbs, protein and fat. Plus, I've definitely cut down on unhealthy snacks. I'm also about to try out protein shakes, so I'll have to get back to you on how I get on with those...

My gym technique has improved, definitely when it comes to squats (give me da booty), and I'm feeling a lot better for it. My muscles are getting stronger, which is actually quite a thrilling feeling, as I've always been as weak as a kitten (lol), so I guess the only way is up. If you're thinking of starting personal training, I would definitely recommend it. I am very lucky and have a PT who is a woman and a similar age to myself, so she can relate to me a lot and is always there if I need a confidence boost. 

So, that's it for now. I'm not where I want to be, but I'm hopeful that I'm on the road to becoming a stronger and more confident woman both physically and mentally.

What do you wear to work out? Do you have any fitness goals? Have you ever tried personal training?

How are we in February already? 

January, for me, has literally flown by. From university coursework, to applying for work placements, all whilst squeezing in a precious visit from my boyfriend, it's safe to say I haven't really stopped. With a little break from all of that now, I'm feeling excited about what February will bring. One good thing about January is getting to try out lots of new products and refreshing my makeup bag. So, here are my favourite products from the past month...

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light // Ah, this is my new little baby. I still can't get over how gorgeous it is. I just love the luxurious packaging, not to mention the beautiful finely milled formula. It's a gorgeous light peach shade which gives my skin a lovely sunkissed glow, and it certainly doesn't give me a cake face like other powders sometimes do. It does ever so slightly darken my natural complexion, which I personally like, as I do enjoy looking a little sunkissed and glowy. I can tell that this powder will look absolutely stunning during the summer when I have more of a tan.

Morphe M500 Brush // I've been loving this brush to apply the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powder with. It's so soft and fluffy and isn't dense at all, which makes sure that I don't apply too much powder and get an even coverage. It's also great for sweeping away any fallout from eyeshadow, but also for applying makeup in a very subtle way if I'm swaying towards a 'no makeup' makeup look.

No7 City Light Tinted Moisturiser // I've spoken about this before and I still absolutely love it. This stuff really hydrates my skin, evens out my complexion and makes my skin look healthy and glowing. It's great for days when I'm in a rush as it literally takes seconds to apply. A layer of this and a bit of concealer and I'm ready to go!

NYX Lip Liner in Natural // This lip liner is such a versatile shade and goes with pretty much any lipstick over top. It's not too warm and not too cool and is just an all round great everyday nude shade. It's not quite as long lasting and creamy as NYX's Slide On lip liners, however I still love it nonetheless. I also have this lip liner in the shade Mauve which is stunning, however this is the shade I've been reaching for most throughout January.

Benefit Gimme Brow in Light 1 // I received this in a Benefit set I got for Christmas and I've used it pretty much every day since. I can't get over how good this product is at making my brows look fuller and more shapely, yet not looking over the top. This shade is also a perfect match for my natural brow colour, and it's often very hard for me to find an exact match. I'll definitely be picking up a full size version when this little one runs out.

MAC Lipsticks in shades Blankety & Honeylove // I absolutely love MAC lipsticks and am slowly building up a lovely collection. I received these two shades for Christmas and was so excited about them, as I'd been lusting after both of them for months. Blankety is an amplified creme, and is the most beautiful nude pink beige shade, which I've been reaching for time and time again for everyday wear. Honeylove is a gorgeous matte light nude beige lipstick with pinky undertones. Blankety goes amazingly with pretty much any eye look, however Honeylove does go particularly nicely with warm toned eyeshadows.

What products have made it to your January Favourites?

Hello again, it's certainly been a while...

First off, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and new year. But, you may be wondering, where the heck have I been? Well, let's say second year of university hit me like a train. Things seemed to be going okay in September and October. I was going through life thinking okay second year isn't as bad as everyone says, I'll be okay, let's do this. Well... you know what's coming next - that train hit me. GREAT.

Blogging, even though I love it so much, is my hobby. My uni work is a priority and I want to do my very best in my degree, so blogging does take a bit of a back seat. It always seems to happen when I'm super motivated and totally in love with my blog! But hey ho, that's uni for you and it's what I signed up for. It inspires me to see bloggers who can find the time to post on the regular whilst studying for their degree. But for me personally, I feel that the quality of my uni work would slip if I tried to blog as much as I wanted to. 

I've missed blogging so much, so I thought I'd get a post out for you all to kick off 2017. A new year is the perfect time to set yourself some personal goals, so I thought I'd share mine with you...

1) Stay motivated with my gym routine. Back in December, I hit a point where I felt like I was putting on weight without even realising it. So, I started personal training, and I'm absolutely loving it. My trainer is so motivating, friendly and supportive. She works me hard and I feel amazing for it. She even wrote me an amazing nutrition plan to follow along side my workouts. I want 2017 to be the year I see changes in my body, and I feel like if I carry on with my routine I started late last year, I will (hopefully) achieve that. 

2) Do the best I can in my second year of uni and secure a work placement. Pretty self explanatory really; I just want to do my best. I put a lot of time into my uni work so I just hope that I get the results that I want. I also have to carry out a work placement for my degree, so one of my ultimate goals is to secure one that I will really love.

3) Keep a diary. I kept a diary when I was really young, but I just wish I was as committed to keeping one now as I was back then! I find the thought of looking back and reading what you did on a certain day, even if it's only a sentence or two, so fun. I have a diary I can write in, so I think it's about time I start using it!

4) Try to master winged eyeliner. This goal is a little fun, but I seriously can't do winged eyeliner. Whenever I try and attempt it I just ruin my entire makeup look and end up having to do my whole face again. I need to invest in a good eyeliner pen so I can try and master the cat eye that everyone else seems to be able to do but me. Who knows, maybe by the end of 2017 my eyeliner will be on fleeeeek?!

5) Take care of my skin and maybe change up my hair. Okay, so it's kind of two goals in one, but they both relate to my body. My skincare routine is pretty basic and I want to change that. I don't moisturise my body enough; I feel so ashamed sometimes when I look down and see my pale dry legs. Mmm, beaut. I also kinda fancied getting some subtle blonde balayage in my hair at the end of 2016, but I had to put my money towards Christmas instead, so it just never happened. I'm still keen to do this as I think it looks so good on other people, and I've never dyed my hair, so maybe I'll give it a shot. What do you think?

6) Try to blog more often. This one is a bit of a long shot, as I know how hectic my schedule is right now, but I would really love to blog more, as it's my favourite thing to do. I don't want to pressure myself into a blogging schedule, but posting at least once a month would be amazing. Let's see how I go...

So, there are a few things that I want to achieve in 2017. Fingers crossed! What are your goals for 2017?

I'm definitely more of a lipstick and eyeshadow junkie girl, so buying and trying out some new base products got me excited but a little nervous at the same time...

I feel like my base is probably one of the most important parts of my makeup look. A base product can either make or break my face, so if my base looks bad, I feel like my entire makeup look will look bad too. This of course is why buying new base products gets me a bit nervous, as they are often either a hit or miss. But luckily, my recent purchases are serving me well, so I thought you might like to know a bit about them.

First up is the Maxfactor Face Finity All Day Flawless 3 in 1 Foundation. It claims to have a primer, concealer and a foundation all wrapped into one product, which is a clever concept, but I don't use this foundation for the purpose of skipping primer and concealer. In some areas of my face this foundation does act as concealer due to its high coverage. The only areas of my face that I ever feel like I need to put a bit of concealer is under my eyes, to help bright my face up a little, or on a large blemish. This foundation does last well on my skin, but whether it can be used as a primer in itself, I'm not so sure. Foundation tends to slip off around my jaw and chin the easiest so I do like to apply a separate primer to make sure it lasts. This foundation has a matte finish, however even works on my dry skin. If I have an especially dry patch, then it may cling a little, but apart from that it sits nicely on my skin and doesn't look powdery or cakey. It give me that feeling of flawless skin as it covers up most blemishes and my redness amazingly, so it's a win win!

Next is the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. This is the first sponge I've ever used, and I am very pleasantly surprised about how good this little baby is; it really does give me a miracle complexion as the name suggests. Applying my foundation with the sponge slightly damp diffuses foundation so evenly onto my skin and gives me a smoother and more flawless finish compared to when I use a brush. The 3 different surfaces on this sponge helps make sure foundation gets into all the small areas of the face too. It's slightly harder to clean and doesn't wear as well compared to a brush. But, this sponge is incredibly affordable and of good quality, so replacing it wouldn't be a problem at all.

Finally is the NYX Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer. This is the first primer from NYX I have tried, and I have to say it lives up to all its good reviews I read online. The primer is white, which at first seems a little scary, however it blends out beautifully. You only need to apply a very small amount and a little really does go a long way. It has a lovely silky texture, which almost feels quite moisturising, but at the same time doesn't make the skin feel tacky at all. It really helps combat any oil on the skin as well. I don't have particularly oily skin, but can get oily in my T-zone and I feel like it keeps these areas matte well. In terms of keeping my makeup in place, it does a good job. The silky finish to this primer means that my foundation doesn't move around as much, and also helps my foundation sit evenly on my skin, which in turn helps to fight patchiness for longer. The price tag is at a slightly higher price for a high street brand at £12, however does a great job so is definitely worth it.

Have you tried any of these products? What base products have you been using lately?

Recently, I discovered Adore Me and decided I would be interested in getting involved in their latest date night project, I of course said yes. Adore Me is a brand I'd actually never heard of before, but they have some absolutely gorgeous lingerie that I really wish I could buy - sadly they don't ship to the UK. Going on dates is something that me and my boyfriend absolutely love to do, whether it's a fancy dinner out or an evening tucked up watching TV. Being in a long distance relationship means, to us, that any time together is so special. 

When getting ready for a date, one where we are actually leaving the sofa, I like to make an extra bit of effort to look and feel good in my own skin. There are certain pieces in my wardrobe I can throw together and certain makeup products I can put on which I know will look good every time, and this of course makes getting ready a lot less stressful, and of course makes me feel more confident and special. I personally think having certain pieces like this in your wardrobe is so important, as they're always there waiting if you aren't really feeling another outfit that you perhaps originally planned to wear.

Feeling confident and relaxed in preparation for a date is what Adore Me's date night project is all about. To support their project, I'm sharing with you one of my go to date night outfits and makeup looks that I can reach for wherever we're going, whether its the cinema, dinner or cocktails. 

The Outfit.

My outfit is pretty simple, but with splashes of colour and pattern thrown in here and there to make it more feminine and dressed up. For me, I can never go wrong with black. I just think black adds sophistication to any look and can instantly make me look more put together. I've gone for a black V neck short sleeved top from Zara. The deep V neck makes this top a little more feminine and sexy, which I love. 

I've paired it with some Topshop black Joni jeans. You just can't go wrong with a good pair of black high waisted jeans. These jeans are just so flattering and sinch me in in all the right places; I love how nice they make my hips and bum look. I always feel so confident in these jeans, and it's also not bad that my boyfriend loves them on me too, haha.

To finish the outfit off, I chose a gorgeous printed kimono from Matalan. I bought this a few years ago now but I still adore it to this day. The many colours in this kimono means it just goes with everything, making it a go to piece in my wardrobe when it comes to trying to find a date outfit. Plus the beautiful floral print instantly adds a feminine and chic vibe to any outfit. I also chose my ASOS black loafers, as they're classy but not OTT, and then to tie in with the pink and purple on the kimono, I've added a cute pale pink bag from Forever 21, Barry M Sunset Nail Polish in Dark Side Of The Shroom, my Olivia Burton watch, and finally my gorgeous new Daisy Dream Blush perfume - just look at that packaging though. Smelling good is also something that makes me feel super confident. I love being able to try out new perfumes because who doesn't want to smell amazing, right?

I also thought I would incorporate a lingerie set from Adore Me into my outfit. It was so hard to choose, as there are so many gorgeous sets that I would definitely wear. I'm neither a total sexy lingerie or total comfy lingerie girl, I am a mix of both, depending on my mood and what the occasion is. However, for a date, I do like to feel good underneath my clothes, and some pretty and flirty lingerie is the best way to do so. I've chosen the Black Push Up Balconette Rylie Bra and matching pants, simply because I just adore black underwear and this set will also sit nicely under my outfit, as I'm wearing black clothes on top. I also think this set is incredibly feminine, flirty and just perfect for a date. I don't know about you, but wearing lingerie like this just makes me feel amazing.

The Makeup Look.

This makeup look is a gorgeous purple smoky eye. I am literally OBSESSED with this look and was so proud of myself when I created it. I felt like this makeup look is so flirty and romantic, making it perfect for a special date and for making me feel sexy and confident. To create the eye look, I used a combination of Makeup Geek eyeshadows. These eyeshadows are of seriously insane quality, so I can use these shadows for wearing on a date without any fuss - they're just amazing every time.

The Base.

Primer: NYX Angel Veil
Foundation: Maxfactor Facefinity All Day Flawless 3 in 1 in Beige.
Concealer: Collection Lasting Perfection in Fair 1.
Powder: Rimmel London Stay Matte in Translucent. 

The Eyes.

Primer: NYX Proof It Waterproof Eye Primer
Base: Urban Decay Foxy from Naked 2 Palette
Transition: Makeup Geek Beaches and Cream & Creme Brûlée 
Crease: Makeup Geek Cocoa Bear & Bitten
Outer V: Makeup Geek Bitten
Lid: Makeup Geek Mesmerised
Inner Corner: Makeup Geek Shimma Shimma
Mascara: Maybelline Lash Sensational
Brows: Seventeen Brows That! Brow Kit
Browbone: Makeup Geek Shimma Shimma

The Contour & Highlight.

Contour/General Bronzing: Bronzed from Anastasia Beverly Hills Sun Dipped Glow Kit 
Highlight: Tourmaline from Anastasia Beverly Hills Sun Dipped Glow Kit

The Lips.

Lipliner: NYX Slide On Lip Pencil in Nude Suede Shoes
Lipstick: MAC Viva Glam II

So, what do you think? This is an outfit and makeup look that makes me feel sexy and confident when getting ready for a date, both of which I can reach for and just know that it will look good, making getting ready for a date a lot more stress free. A big thank you goes to Adore Me for letting me collaborate with them on this project, and make sure to take a look at their gorgeous lingerie line! You can take a look at their website here

Tell me what outfit and makeup look makes you feel sexy and confident. Also, what's your idea of the perfect date?
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