UK Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

Thursday, 16 August 2018

21 Things I've Learnt In 21 Years

On August 13th 2018, I turned 21 years old! 

I still can't believe that I'm actually 21. Part of me still feels like my 13th birthday wasn't that long ago at all! I honestly had the best day surrounded by my favourite people and felt so spoilt with all of the love and amazing gifts and cards. Turning 18 is the time where you become an 'official adult' in legal terms in the UK, however 21 definitely feels like more of a turning point. I feel a lot more content now and closer to proper adulthood than I did at 18. To mark the occasion, I thought it would be a nice idea to sum up 21 things I've learnt throughout my 21 years of life. 

1) Time flies so much faster as you get older. A year passing when I was 8 years old felt like forever, but now a year starts and finishes in the blink of an eye. 

2) My parents becoming my friends as I've got older is one of the greatest gifts life can bring. My parents have always been there for me, but as I've got older we have definitely become closer and have more in common. You bicker with them (well at least I do) a hell of a lot less and you learn to respect and appreciate everything they do and have ever done for you.

3) Love is a wonderful thing. As a child and young teenager, you always wonder what love really is and what it feels like to be in love. I can safely say that it feels amazing and I'm so lucky to share life with Aaron, who has also become my best friend.

4) Dynamics of friendship groups are bound to change. Throughout school, you definitely suffer bumps in the road friendship wise. Sometimes things aren't even your fault and people choose to drift away from you. It's just life. However, it makes you realise who your true friends really are.

5) Laughter is the best medicine. When I'm feeling down, spending time with my favourite people or even just watching some funny YouTube videos always works wonders. Sitting alone in my bedroom is definitely NOT the answer and I've learnt that the hard way. 

6) Avoid going to sleep on an argument. Whenever Aaron and I do this, it honestly makes me feel awful and the next day I wake up feeling crap. It's definitely always best to resolve things there and then because you can wake up feeling more positive the next day and leave all of that negativity behind you. 

7) Don't let people control your life choices because they think they 'know what's best for you'. A story that really comes to mind here is when it came to applying to university. My school were desperate for me to apply to five universities, but I only really wanted to apply to one (my local hometown's university). But, to keep them somewhat happy I applied to three. Despite expressing my wishes, they still said that I was limiting myself massively. However, I got my A level grades, I achieved 0.55% off a first in my second year of uni and now I've done some amazing work experience. It's safe to say I proved them very, very wrong and going to my no.1 university was the best thing I could have done in this situation.

8) Appealing to get into grammar school was one of the best decisions I ever made. I was actually half a point off passing the grammar test, which meant my original results destined me to go to a standard state school. I wasn't originally going to bother appealing as so many of my friends at the time were going to the other school. It was my dad who actually pushed us to appeal and I'm so glad he did. I made the best of friends there and it was definitely the most beneficial thing I could have done at the time for my education.

9) School really doesn't teach you enough about real life. So I was taught how to calculate the circumference of a circle but I don't really know anything about taxes and mortgages? At 21, I'm still living at home with my parents, and it might sound embarrassing or stupid, but I don't really know much about 'adulting' yet. I'm sure I will learn over time, however these skills would be so useful and I think I'd feel a lot more prepared for post-uni life if they could incorporate more life skills into school curriculums. 

10) Quality over quantity, always. This applies to most things in life, such as your work and your friends. I've learnt that making sure everything I've done is to the best of my ability, instead of trying to rush doing lots of things for the sake of it and consequently doing a worse job. And, I don't necessarily have loads of friends, but I have a select few close ones and I would rather have that than a load of fake friends.

11) Childhood is precious. Those care-free days where you escaped into an imaginary world with your My Scene and Bratz dolls, or made and spent the day playing in a den with your brother, pretending to be a teacher to all your soft toys - I could go on. Sometimes I miss how simple life used to be and it's not until you're an adult that you realise how amazing being a child is.

12) Being in a long distance relationship was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but also one of the most rewarding. Long story short is, never give up on love. Don't let a coach or train journey come between you and the person you care about the most. 

13) My blog is such an asset to who I am and my future career. When I first started blogging, I had no idea how much it could benefit me at job interviews and when doing university work. Everyone is always so impressed by my blog and I can't believe I used to keep it so quiet. I've definitely learnt to shout it from the roof tops at any appropriate opportunity!

14) Not loving drinking alcohol and clubbing all the time doesn't make me boring. Since turning 18, I've been called 'boring' or told to 'let my hair down' a number of times for not drinking loads of alcohol or being totally up for going out until 3am. Some people seem to think it's a crime for a young girl to not enjoy going out all the time. But, that's just who I am and that's okay and if people can't accept it then that's their problem.

15) When possible, try new things and face your fears. This is always so challenging, but when I've done this, it's been so rewarding. I did a post on this here.

16) Social media is a blessing, but also a curse. Being a blogger and with aspirations to work in Marketing and PR, I absolutely love social media and the power it has to capture an audience and connect brands with consumers. However, it does affect how I feel sometimes and sometimes I find myself comparing my content to other people's, which is really sad. 

17) My body is bound to change and my weight is bound to fluctuate, and that's okay. My size has been up and down throughout the years due to both puberty and anxiety, but also generally going through periods of exercising and not exercising. I have always found it hard to accept that putting on weight is normal. But as a woman, our bodies are going to continue to change. Especially in the future when I think about having children. All in all, it's so important to remember that our bodies are so powerful and are what keep us here on Earth. 

18) Don't be so hard on myself. I've always been a bit of a pessimist about certain things in my personal life, and I always seem to put myself down. However, with the help of others, I have learnt that I need to appreciate my successes in life and that I have actually achieved some amazing things. 

19) Anxiety is an awful, awful thing but I am stronger than I think. Anxiety has been deep-rooted into my body my entire life, but it really started to take its toll at around the age of 12. Despite going through some truly dark times with my anxiety, I've really given myself a pat on the back for how far I've come. Whilst there are some things that still hold me back, I've achieved so much and do things now that I never would have done before. 

20) Don't be afraid to ask for help. I've been described as 'shy' a number of times in my life, mainly by teachers in school, as I was always quiet, fairly innocent and didn't really like asking questions. However, I've realised that these people are here for a reaso - to HELP me. I've really tried to change this attitude whilst at university because I think it's so important and a real life skill to be able to ask for support and guidance when you need it. If I need a hand, I won't hesitate to send a quick email or try to arrange a meeting with a lecturer to make sure I'm on the right track.

21) Stop thinking so much about what people think. I'm quite a self-conscious person and before I do something, I'll often ask, but what will they think? Even if it's people that I don't know. Life is short, I'm young and I'm free (lol) and I should just do whatever the hell I want. Do what makes YOU happy!

What have you learnt or come to terms with as you've grown older?

Sunday, 12 August 2018

The Summer Holiday Makeup Edit

Holidays are always a perfect excuse to really whip out all of the glowy makeup and experiment with different shades. 

And let's get things straight, this is definitely not the makeup I wear during the day on holiday round the pool. All you'll find me wearing during the day is SPF. These are just the makeup products I found myself reaching for when I got ready to go out in the evening during my recent holiday to Ibiza. So, let's get into it! 


Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation | I never used to like this foundation, but now I love it! It has such a moisturising formula and feels so comfortable on the skin. I love the dewy glow it gives as well. This is definitely a summer favourite! It's also a bit darker than my natural skin tone, so this shade works perfectly on holiday.

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation | I've loved this foundation for so long now; it looks so seamless on the skin because of it's slightly dewy and smooth finish. I enjoy mixing this in with the Wake Me Up Foundation to darken it up a bit, or to add a bit of extra coverage. This also feels so lightweight on the skin, which is always a bonus on holiday when it's hot and humid outside.

Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer | I absolutely love this concealer. Before they released the new shades and packaging, the shades were always a little dark and yellow toned for my natural skin tone. However when I have a bit of a tan, this concealer works perfectly. It brightens my under eye area so well and looks so smooth on the skin. It's also so easy to blend which I love!

Hourglass 'Dim Light' Ambient Lighting Powder | The BEST powder for a smooth, seamless and glowy finish. This powder helps to enhance my summer glow so well, without giving that ultra matte effect. As you can see I'm almost out of this powder. I want to repurchase it (probably in a slightly lighter shade so I can use it more in the winter too) but it's so expensive. Ah decisions!

The Body Shop Honey Bronze Drops | These drops are a holiday staple! Perfect for enhancing my tan and making my foundation shade match my tan in the most natural way possible. I've spoken about these in a fairly recent blog post here, so if you want a full review definitely go check it out!


Violet Voss Holy Grail Eyeshadow Palette | I adore this palette because it's literally got every neutral shade you could possibly want all in one place. The formula of these shadows, especially the shimmers, are so buttery and pigmented. I have to say the shade 'Toffee' was one I used over and over. It looks stunning with a golden glowy base. 10000% would recommend this if you're thinking of trying it.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara | You can read all the reasons why I love this mascara in a recent blog post I published here. But all in all, I can always rely on this mascara to make my lashes look amazing. I couldn't have survived a week without it!


Rimmel Brow This Way Gels in 'Clear' and 'Medium Brown' | I tend to go for a more natural brow on holiday, as it saves time and doesn't feel so heavy, and these gels work a treat for doing just that. I use the clear gel to groom and shape my brows into place. Then, once dried, I use the medium brown shade to add a bit of definition and fill in any sparse gaps. I have to clean up around the edge of my brows a bit after using the medium brown shade as the brush isn't the smallest, however once that's all done it's very easy and quick.


Benefit Hoola Bronzer | This bronzer is a favourite amongst many of us, and that's just because it's so good! It's amazing at warming up the skin tone and adding a buildable, natural glow. It's completely matte so it doesn't add any over the top shimmer, which I like because it means I can wear more highlighter, haha! You can't really go wrong with this.

BECCA x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop Highlighter | THE most beautiful gold highlighter ever. It's a stunning light, champagne gold with so much pigmentation and shimmer. It's very finely milled so looks seamless on the skin and honestly I just love the effect it gives whenever I wear this. The shade is so flattering and it's perfect for wearing in those warm evenings on holiday, especially during golden hour. 


MAC Honeylove Lipstick | This shade is perfect for me when I have a bit of a tan. It's the perfect peachy pink toned nude and just looks so flattering with a golden glow. It's a matte shade, but is very creamy and doesn't dry out my lips. LOVE this.

MAC Stripdown Lip Liner | Again, this lip liner looks a lot better on me when I have a bit of a tan. It's a warm toned light brown shade, and it looks so so flattering on. In my opinion, it's one of MAC's most pigmented lip liners out of the ones I've tried and it lasts so long. This paired with Honeylove is just a winning combo.

Jouer Long-Wear Rose Gold Lip Topper | I spoke about this in a recent post if you want a more in depth description, but this is the perfect holiday lip gloss. Over the top of Honeylove, it just screams golden, shimmery holiday goodness. And, I will emphasise again that this smells divine!

What are your favourite makeup products to wear on a summer holiday? Do you enjoy using any of my top picks from this post?

Friday, 10 August 2018

5 Non-Matte Nude Lip Products I'm Loving This Summer

I do love a matte nude lip, but sometimes in the summer it can feel a bit heavy. So, here are 5 non-matte nude lip products that I'm loving during this hot weather, all with a lightweight feel and a sheeny/glossy finish.

(From L to R)

MAC Mariah Carey Lipstick in 'McKizzle'

Can we just talk about how BEAUT this lipstick is?! From the silver glitter and gold accents on the outer packaging to the butterfly carved into the lipstick bullet, it's definitely the prettiest lipstick I own. The whole Mariah Carey collection is just beaut - I'm not sure if it's still available though. This  light peachy pink nude shade has a Cremesheen formula, so it's very creamy and has a fair bit of pigmentation. On its own with my natural skin tone, it does wash me out a little. However, over a darker lip liner or when I'm wearing fake tan, it honestly looks so gorgeous. 

MAC Lipstick in 'Patisserie' 

This is such a great everyday neutral pink shade from MAC. It's a Lustre formula, so it's still very creamy however it has a slightly more sheer finish with a hint of sparkle. It's perfect for those times when you don't know what lipstick to wear or are just going for that natural 'my lips but better' vibe. If you're after a natural lipstick for work or just for day to day, this shade is for you. 

Huda Beauty Lip Strobe in 'Angelic'

I am obsessed with this product. It's perfect for both day if you apply it sparingly, and night when you want to go full glam. It's a highly pigmented gloss with a beautiful 'strobe' effect to it. The shade itself is a neutral pinky mauve shade, however when it hits the light it has the most stunning gold strobe effect to it. It gives so much dimension to the lips and is so moisturising. I have to admit it doesn't last too long on the lips, however you really don't need much of this stuff to make an impact.

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in 'Rosewood Pearl'

This lipstick has been in my collection for a little while, but it's one that I always pull out during the summer. This is a light pink lipstick with a hint of nude, but also has a slight pearly shimmer running through it. All in all I'm not a shimmery lipstick fan, however this does seem to really work at this time of year. The pearl is subtle when applied and it just adds a sense of dimension back into the lips. Fab for a warm summer evening on holiday! 

Jouer Long-Wear Lip Topper in 'Rose Gold'

I love this product because it's literally shimmery heaven in a tube - and it smells like caramel. Win win! I wouldn't say this was truly 'rose gold' however it's a beautiful bronzey gold shade with pink and gold flecks of glitter running through it. This is perfect for a summer evening out when I want to add a bit of sparkle to my lips and it does look amazing when the light shines on it. I wouldn't say it was totally 'long-wearing' but then I don't tend to find lip glosses that long wearing anyway. However, a little does go a long way.

And finally, those all-important swatches...

Top to Bottom: MAC McKizzle; MAC Patisserie; Huda Beauty Lip Strobe; Maybelline Lipstick; Jouer Lip Topper

What are your favourite non-matte lip products? Do you enjoy wearing a glossy lip during summer?

xo, Hannah


Friday, 3 August 2018

The Eye Primer You Need In Your Life

Every eyeshadow junkie can appreciate the power of a good primer. After discovering this one, I won't be going back!

Often I find matte eyeshadows to last a lot longer on my eyes than shimmers, so I was really on the hunt for a primer that could make the shimmer on my lid really pop. Whilst browsing YouTube and the Boots website for reviews, I came across the NYX Glitter Primer. As the name suggests, it is intended for loose glitter, which I don't really use too often, only for special occasions. But I'd seen a lot of people talking about how it also works wonders for their shimmer eyeshadows. So, I decided to give it a try. 

I definitely wouldn't say this is a primer for all over the eye i.e. to use as a base before blending your matte shadows over top. This primer is very sticky (which is a good thing as it helps to keep loose glitter/shimmer all in one place), and therefore isn't designed to have matte eyeshadows blended seamlessly on top of it, as it just creates a huge unblendable mess. What I like to do is apply all of my matte shadows into my crease, then go ahead and pop a tiny bit of this on ONLY my lids using my finger, trying my very best not to touch my matte shadows. 

You get 10ml in the tube for £8.00 and for me this goes such a long way. I've had it for over a year now and I've still got loads left! You only need the smallest amount of product for both eyes, I'd say around the size of one sesame seed. 

Top: Makeup Geek 'Nostalgic' Foiled Shadow | Bottom: Makeup Geek 'Nostalgic' Foiled Shadow with NYX Glitter Primer
This primer makes any shimmer eyeshadow or loose glitter pop in an instant. It really helps the shadow to stick to the lid, making sure all of those shimmery particles stick together to make a more intense impact. As you can see from the swatch above (well I hope you can see a difference!), the swatch with the NYX Glitter Primer looks a lot more vibrant and metallic. It also means you end up using less of your eyeshadow, as you're not trying to build it up over a couple of layers to create that bold shimmery look. 

Not only does it make eyeshadows and glitters more visible, it also helps them to last so much longer too. Because it really does stick your shadow to your lid, it isn't going anywhere in a hurry! If I use this primer before a night out, I can guarantee my shimmer shadows/glitter still look pretty bomb by the time I get home. 

If you're like me and don't use loose glitter all the time but want to amp up your shimmer shadows, then definitely still give this a go! 

Have you tried the NYX Glitter Primer? What's your favourite eye primer? 


Sunday, 22 July 2018

Facing My Fears & Learning The Art Of Not Giving A Sh*t

Today's post is more of a personal one, but a little life update once in a while is always a good thing...

Lately, I've really been thinking a lot about facing my fears. I feel like in the past couple of years, and in recent months as well, I've really pushed myself to try things I would have never done before. And of course, some of our fears in this world exist because we fear what other people will think of us. But lately, I've really learnt to embrace who I am and just push myself, as at the end of the day it's MY life and I want (and need) to do what makes me happy. 

I have always been quite a shy girl around people I don't necessarily know that well, however I feel like in the past year my confidence has really grown. I think that doing my placement year and getting to work with a variety of different people, whom I had never met before, has really made me a lot more comfortable speaking to someone brand new. 

Due to being shy, I've also never really been a public speaker. Presentations have always made me feel very nervous, but as the years have gone by at uni and throughout my placement, things have gotten easier. Recently, I was given the opportunity to do a speech at an event in front of local young people and business professionals about how work placements can be beneficial for not only the young individual, but also the business side of things. Automatically my mind was like "oh god no, I'll be too nervous. People will laugh at me if I mess up, etc etc". But then I was like, actually, no. I'm going to do this. Why would I turn down such an amazing opportunity? (Plus, you amazing lot on Instagram persuaded me to do it too, so thank you!)

The day of the speech came around and I was so nervous and didn't think I was going to be able to do it. But I kept telling myself that I could do it and how much this would improve my confidence, and boy it has. It was also so nice to hear amazing feedback from everyone afterwards, who all said I didn't sound nervous?! Like hello?! I think that's my new talent - sounding confident and chilled when in reality I'm like omggg help me. Hahaha. Honestly, I am so glad I did it and hopefully these sort of opportunities will continually be thrown at me so I can continue to face my fear. 

In relation to blogging, I've really pushed myself in the past few months to just post whatever I want to post. I've learnt that I do enjoy writing about so many different topics, and that's perfectly okay. I'm also facing my fear of showing more of myself on my blog and Instagram by taking more photos in public. I'm slowly becoming more confident in front of the camera; a year ago I probably wouldn't have even let Aaron take a photo of me but now I don't mind asking him to (even though he gets annoyed when I make him take about 50 photos just to get one nice one, haha!) I wouldn't go as far to say I'm confident taking photos in public; I do like the area I'm taking a pic in to be relatively quiet, however I'm just trying to think 'who cares?'. In reality I won't see the same people again, so I just try and tell myself that I'm doing this for my enjoyment and it doesn't matter what they think. It is very hard, but things are moving in the right direction.

Me three years ago wouldn't have done any of these things that I'm doing today. Even the more day to day things which I've had to face such as going on a 4 hour coach journey alone, going to the gym alone and asking for help in a shop. So, if you're afraid to do something, but you can hear a little voice in your head telling you to go for it, listen to it. I promise you once it's over, the feeling is just indescribable! (Of course not all fears are necessarily made to be fought, we all have things that we absolutely hate doing in life, including myself, and that's okay. Just like mine with huge rollercoasters, no thank YOU!). But you get the gist - overcoming any type of fear is just the most amazing feeling. 

PS: If you're wondering, here's my outfit details: Top (ASOS), Bralet (ASOS), Skirt (F&F), Shoes (New Look) & Bag (Topshop). 

Have you faced any of your fears lately? 


Friday, 20 July 2018

First Impressions: I Heart Revolution Chocolate Palettes

Makeup is always ten times better when it looks like a chocolate bar, right?

It's no secret that I absolutely love the Revolution brand as a whole. They deliver on quality and they deliver on price, which is the perfect combination really. There are still so many of their products that I want to try, but I'd seen a few reviews and videos of the I Heart Revolution mini chocolate palettes floating around and really wanted to give some of them a go. I've used these palettes for about a week now, so I wanted to give you all an in-depth first impressions of how I'm getting on with them.

Let's just put it out there, I couldn't resist the cute packaging (scroll down to see). I love the whole chocolate bar theme going on. Especially the rose gold one, how pretty is that?! The packaging isn't what I'd call luxury, however they're an amazing size and very sturdy. I'm also a huge fan of fun ideas like this and I think it will be one that people will comment on if they see me pull it out of my makeup drawer. So, onto the individual palettes...

First up is the Choc Orange Mini Chocolate Palette. It's full of gorgeous pink, gold and orange tones, which are all my favourite eyeshadow shades. This little palette is the mini version of their larger Chocolate Orange palette. I don't personally own this so can't compare the two, but some of the shades are pretty similar. I got this because it seemed like a great travel friendly palette. Most of my palettes are fairly big, but this is such a cute size that takes up hardly any room in a makeup bag. 

The palette contains two shimmer shades, which are the two largest shades in the palette in each corner, and six matte shades.


  • Yellow-toned gold
  • Light nude pink


  • Deep red-toned pink
  • True orange
  • Cool-toned dark brown
  • Light peachy pink
  • Dusky rose
  • Bright coral pink

For a £6 palette, the pigmentation on these eyeshadows seems to be pretty impressive. The mattes seem to be very pigmented and created quite an intense crease look. They're not quite as pigmented as some of my high end eyeshadows, but that's to be expected, but they are by far some of the most pigmented eyeshadows I've tried from the high street and aren't far off from their high end counterparts.

The yellow-toned gold isn't as shimmery as I'd perhaps like, but with a bit of glitter primer and a couple of layers, I think it would build up to quite a nice intensity. As for the light nude pink shimmer, it's a really pretty neutral shade. Again, it's not a 'wet-look' intense shimmer like other shimmer shadows I own, but for £6, it's really good quality and so affordable. I also think both of these eyeshadow would work well over a darker and slightly more shimmery shadow as a top layer to really make the eyes pop and add a hint more colour and shimmer. 

In terms of longevity, the matte shades seemed to last longer than the shimmers, but I'll have to keep trying out the best way to use these shadows to make them last as long as possible. On the whole, this palette gets a thumbs up from me! I wish I had this with me when I was in Ibiza.

Next up is the Rose Gold Glow Mini Chocolate Palette. All the rose gold vibes sold it to me, just look at that packaging! Not to mention the shades are just to die for. They match my skin tone perfectly and I get the best of both worlds. A pink highlight AND a gold highlight, all for £6! There's a light pink highlighter on the left, which is a really nice shade and not too icy. Then on the right, there's a slightly larger pan which contains a light gold shade. 

I've used both of these shades and they have such an amazing colour pay-off. Revolution highlighters are definitely my favourite from the high street, so I just knew that these wouldn't disappoint me. They are very finely milled and to touch they feel really silky, meaning they blend seamlessly into the rest of my makeup and there's no chunky bits of glitter. 

The bit you've all been waiting for... the swatches!

I'm sure you can tell which palette is which here, lol. But is it just me or do these swatches seriously look like they're from expensive high end palettes?! FYI these swatches are completely unedited to show you a true representation as possible of what the shades look like. 

Choc Orange Palette: from my wrist to my elbow are the shades from L-R in the palette. (I hope that makes sense).

Rose Gold Glow Palette: left is the gold shade, right is the pink shade.

I would highly recommend both of these palettes and I'm desperate to try more of Revolution's many palettes! You can buy these from the Superdrug or Revolution Beauty websites.

Have you tried any of the I Heart Revolution Chocolate Palettes? Are there any other Revolution palettes that you think I should try?

xo, Hannah


Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Are We More Likely To Visit A Restaurant If It Is 'Instagrammable'?

Over recent years, food blogging has grown massively and so many of us love snapping photos of our tasty eats. But, are you more likely to visit a restaurant if you consider it to be 'instagrammable'?

This is a really interesting subject and I kind of sit on the fence - let me explain. In general when looking for a new restaurant (or cafĂ©/bar/etc) to eat/drink at, I might be more enticed by one that has a particularly interesting or nice interior. I think this is pretty standard due to my experience in working in Marketing for a restaurant; I can fully appreciate the amount of work that goes into designing a unique vibe that reflects the brand to entice customers in. The blogger in me might think a cool interior would be a good photo opportunity, but that's because I do enjoy capturing photos of my day to day life to store as memories. No matter what the restaurant looked like, I would still choose whatever I wanted from the menu and not base my choice on its level of 'instagrammable-ness'. 

But don't get me wrong, I'll definitely still spend time reading reviews from other people that have visited before. That's because I want to make sure I enjoy my food and spend my money wisely on a really tasty meal. For example, there's a little family run Italian pizza place in my hometown. From the photos and in real life, it might not be considered an 'instagrammable' location, but my reason for visiting was totally down to positive reviews and word of mouth. And was my visit worth it? 100% yes. The staff are so friendly and they treat you like your own family. And the pizza...well. It's honestly the most authentic Italian pizza I've ever had. The ingredients are so fresh and the dough is so rustic and cooked in a proper wood fired oven. The quality of my experience is so important too and it's definitely not all about the photo opportunities. 

Overall, I'd say that what might be considered as an 'instagrammable' restaurant might draw me in because it generally looks like a nice place to visit with good reviews, but taking a photo is just a fun bonus as a blogger. Sometimes you're having such a good time and the food is so yummy that you don't even think about it - and that is 100% okay. 

I say let's celebrate that food blogging is on the up so we can all help each other discover all the amazing restaurants out there. I'll definitely be continuing to share a selection of the food/drink I enjoy, just because I find it fun! But let's also remember not to put too much pressure on ourselves to capture the 'perfect' snap and make sure we still fully enjoy our dining experience too. 

Do you enjoy food blogging? Are you more likely to visit a restaurant if it is 'instagrammable' or are you somewhere in the middle like me?


Saturday, 14 July 2018

My Favourite Drugstore Mascara

The hype is seriously real!

Ah, the famous Maybelline Lash Sensational. You're my fave.

This post has been floating in my drafts for probably about two years now and I've just never got round to shining a light on it on my blog, until now.

I used my Benefit Roller Lash mascara (one of my fave high end mascaras) most days for a month or so, but then one day recently I randomly decided to use my Maybelline Lash Sensational instead. I've always loved it but omg, I seriously forgot quite how good it was.

The shade in the photo is Intense Black, but at the moment I'm using Black, which is still soooo black. It's seriously amazing at livening up those lashes! The wand is a really nice shape and size as well. I can wiggle through my lashes really easily and the curved shape allows me to coat each and every one. The packaging is also really nice, girly and sleek, which I love. The colour of the tube always makes it easy to spot in my makeup drawer, so I can find it and pop on my mascara really quickly if I'm in a rush.

The consistency is what makes this mascara so great. It's not too wet that it clumps all of your lashes together and is messy to apply, and it's not too dry that you don't get enough pigmentation and overall wow-factor. It's a nice, relatively thick consistency which just applies so nicely to the lashes and gives amazing (drumroll please...) length AND volume. You know when you put on your mascara and think damn where did those lashes come from?! I am quite lucky to say that I have naturally long eye lashes naturally, but when I have been wearing this mascara, some people have asked if I'm wearing fake eyelashes or have had eyelash extensions. So that's a big green tick for me!

Can it get any better? YES. YES IT CAN! This mascara lasts all day on my lashes. No joke, I go to work in the morning with it freshly applied and I come home and it looks exactly the same. If I'm heading out again, I might touch it up slightly but it's really not necessary at all. I don't know what they've put in this stuff, but my god it works. It stays put all day, it doesn't smudge or crumble under the eyes, it makes my lashes look insane and it's only £8.99.

Here's what the mascara looks like on my lashes (hey huge pic of me)...

I've repurchased this mascara many times and I will 100% continue to do so. Maybelline, I salute you!

Have you tried Maybelline's Lash Sensational mascara? Do you love it as much as I do?

xo, Hannah


Wednesday, 11 July 2018

The Stigma Of Media Degrees & Why It Needs Breaking ASAP

If you study a media or media-related degree, like myself, you've probably experienced that famous stigma at least once in your life. Don't get me wrong, some people totally get media degrees and how it can open numerous doors. But others, not so much...

The main reason behind this stigma is that some people don't really get what a media degree entails. They think it will open zero doors, that your career is basically dead already, oh and that it's a complete doss subject that you chose just because you wanted to experience 'uni life'. Well let me tell you, it's complete BS. 

I found my love for media at school, which started as an interest in media production, but also learning about how the media impacts the way society views certain things and how it creates and delivers messages. And let me tell you, A Level Media Studies was no easy way out. I spent many hours writing essays, researching and analysing numerous theories, oh and lets not forget planning, filming, producing, directing, starring in and editing a short film alongside that - which also involved going out to re-film and re-edit multiple times. So to people that thought Media was an 'easy' subject at school... just no. U are wrong. K?

I liked A Level Media Studies no matter the stress and challenges it brought me because it was so interesting and current. And I like to say I was pretty good at it? This is why I wanted to continue this interest at university. I steered away from Media Production as I wanted to do a more theoretical degree as opposed to a practical one. Plus, I knew I didn't really want to go into TV or Film. So, I went for a Communication and Media degree, which puts together a wide variety of different aspects of the media industry, such as communications (obvs), journalism, marketing, PR, advertising, media within society, and so on. Perfect for the student like me who was really interested in the industry, but wasn't sure of my niche just yet. 

Let me tell you, I've had an array of digs or weird looks that have been sent my way when I tell them I'm studying 'Communication and Media'. My 80 something year old neighbour always digs at me by saying I will never get a job. Charming, eh? He automatically assumes I only want to work for big buck worldwide companies or want to be a TV presenter on ITV. Like no? I usually just sarcastically smile back at him but one time I did bite back and say how I had already secured my placement year and how there ARE opportunities out there to grab by the horns. Why you gotta be so ruuuuude?

A doctor (who wasn't a polite one on this particular encounter regardless of this) also sort of scoffed at me once when I told him what I was studying. "Oh, so what you gonna do with that then?". Um, well how about go into Marketing and help launch campaigns for the latest product releases, or go into PR and secure coverage in newspapers and magazines for a national business? 

The reality is, just because it's seen as a more 'creative' subject than perhaps Mathematics, History or Law, it deals with so many theories, both past and present, and helps us to unpick all the coding that huge companies and organisations create. And as I said, the transferable skills I have learnt throughout my degree and during my placement year as a Marketing Assistant are going to open so many doors in my chosen career. 

A 2014 article in The Guardian by Media student Enya-Quin Jarvis sums it up perfectly: 

Media studies isn't about watching films and reading newspapers, it's about actively engaging with media practice, theory and production. It's about working within the industry and requires skills like good project management and critical thinking.

If you know anyone who has a dig at Media degrees, do us a favour and link them this post. :) Rant over. 

Have you ever suffered the stigma of a Media (or related) degree? 

Monday, 9 July 2018

Ibiza 2018 Photo Diary

Woah, we're going to Ibiza! ...Well, I went, and I wanna go back. Please? Why do holidays have to go so quickly?

Last week, me and Aaron got back from a week away in Ibiza and it was absolutely amazing. It was our first summer holiday together on our own for two years, so it was really nice to get away. The trouble is it goes so quickly! I've posted most of these photos on my Instagram, but I thought it'd be nice to include them in a blog post and go into more detail about where we stayed and what we got up to.

We stayed at the Grand Palladium Palace Ibiza Resort & Spa (5*), situated on Playa d'en Bossa. Honestly, the hotel was out of this world and we knew instantly that we'd done well with choosing the hotel as soon as we walked in. We were greeted with refreshing towels and mocktails! It really was that 5 star experience. We stayed all inclusive so I was already so excited about the unlimited food and drink to follow over the next seven days, haha!

On our first day, we ventured around the hotel to explore and also headed down to the beach (Playa d'en Bossa). We discovered that there were gates in our hotel that led straight to the beach, so it was about a 5 minute walk, which was amazing! The beach was so gorgeous and the sea was sooo nice. You could just walk straight in without feeling cold and it was so refreshing. 

What better way to start the holiday than with making the most of the unlimited cocktails by the pool?! Look how big it is! I couldn't get over the size of it when Aaron brought it over to me, I definitely wasn't complaining though. Tequila Sunrise (pictured above) is definitely one of my favourites, but then I discovered a cocktail called a Pomada. It was gin with a cloudy zesty lemonade mixture, with some fresh lime as well. I can't tell you how refreshing it was. I got through a fair few of those!

This was the lovely view we had from our sunbeds by the pool. We stayed in this spot for most of the holiday as it was nice and close to the pool and had a great view of the resort. That wooden decking got soooo hot in the sun so the closer to the pool, the better! There was always something fun to watch and get involved with by the pool, whether that be a dance performance, aqua fitness, water polo, water volleyball, etc etc. I'm not very sporty at all so I just stayed and chilled on my sunbed, but Aaron had a go at some of the activities a few times and he said it was great fun. 

As I mentioned, the beach was absolutely gorgeous and it was a really nice chilled vibe. There were a lot of bars right on the beach that served food and drinks throughout the day. You could actually pay to sit on one of their fancy sunbeds (you know those ones that look like a huge double bed) but we didn't go for that because it was a fair bit of money just for one day. So we just sat on our towels on the sand and listened to all the nice music. 

Our hotel did give out some head/back rests to take with us down to the beach, which made sitting on the beach much more comfortable. And it was included in the all inclusive price, so win win! One of the beach bars was called Coco Beach. I saw this nice little photo back drop so hey, why not take a snap? My bikini here was River Island from a couple of years ago.

A lot of the beach bars did actually close around 9pm, which we thought was quite odd as bars here in the UK would never shut that early. I guess we're not really used to the day bar culture that they have in Ibiza. However, one of the bars did stay open until 2am, so a couple of evenings we went down there for a few cocktails as a treat. These cocktails were from Nassau Beach Club, a bar just outside out hotel, which was full of really fancy chairs and tables and had a DJ too. It was really cool! The cocktail I had was called a Mediterranean Breeze, which was a vodka cocktail with lots of fruity flavours. Delish! Aaron's was a creamy cocktail made with rum, and it had a marshmallow on the top! Yum.

A lot of the evenings we just made the most of exploring our beautiful hotel, enjoying the hotel entertainment and sipping cocktails. We'd never been to a hotel before where there was so much to do and see, so we really made the most of it. There were so many pretty photo spots, but this was one of my favourites. The lighting was just perfect as well because it was golden hour (apparently the best time to take photos?) so I just had to take a snap. My top, shorts and shoes are all from New Look.

On one night, we went out for a really fancy meal at Montauk Steak House located in Ushuaia Beach Hotel, as a belated three year anniversary/end of long distance treat. The decor was stunning and really unique (check out those bum chairs, ha!) and the food, service and all round experience was just amazing. It was an expensive meal but for a one off treat, we didn't regret it one bit. The staff were so attentive and knew the menu like the back of their hand. To start, we chose cured Iberian ham, which was actually carved from the leg right in front of us. It was like nothing I've seen (and tasted) before! We were also given a selection of breads and salts from different parts of the world, one being Ibiza. The attention to detail was honestly phenomenal. Then for main, I had a fillet and Aaron had loin, and they were both cooked to perfection. All in all we couldn't fault it. I wish I could eat it all again!

As I said, the steakhouse was located in Ushuaia, which is one of Ibiza's biggest club hotels. It was very very fancy, but as you can see, it is truly beautiful. Just look at that view!

As I discussed in my previous post, there's a lot of pressure to feel totally body confident in a bikini and look your best. No matter what anyone thinks, I was absolutely going to whip my bikinis out on holiday and let me tell you, I actually felt better than I thought I would! This bikini is from Topshop and I just felt like it flattered me in all the right places. I'm not usually one to take bikini photos, however I wanted to push the boundaries and show people it is okay to wear a bikini and feel proud  of your body in it, which will hopefully make lots of other girls and women out there feel more body confident too. 

Here's one of the other pools in our hotel (I think there were about 4 in total?). It looked so beautiful in the golden sunlight, just before it started to set. Doesn't that water look so inviting?

I LOVE Ibiza! Now this was just screaming photo opportunity. This 'LOVE' sign was located just outside one of the hotel restaurants, against the beautiful river and greenery. Just picture perfect! So many people took photos in front of this sign every night, so I just had to join in. Again, it was at that perfect golden hour time. I have to say all the photos I took around this time just turned out so so much nicer.

There were so many pretty corners of our hotel. I'd never stayed in a hotel with so many gorgeous pink flowers scattered all over the buildings. I think it added such a beautiful touch to all the white. Plus, flowers are a blogger's best friend, so I had to snap a little pic. 

This is the same pool as above, but a little later on in the evening when the sun was setting. The sky was a bit more cloudy on this day. To stay real, I have edited this photo to make the sky look more pink than it actually was. But, I think the outcome of this edit is so cool and I wanted to share it with you! 

And lastly, a little selfie with my favourite person ever. I asked Aaron if we could take some photos together on our little terrace, because when I think about it, we hardly ever get photos together! So, I had to make the most of it. I actually love this photo, especially with all the palm trees in the background giving me all the holiday vibes! I couldn't have asked for a better holiday and was so lucky to be able to spend it with Aaron.

I want to be back in Ibiza already! I wonder where we will go next...

Have you ever been to Ibiza? If so, do you have any recommendations for places to visit there? 


Sunday, 24 June 2018

The Pressure To Look Good In A Bikini & The Little Things I Do To Feel More Confident

It's that time of year again. The weather's getting warmer and lots of us are heading off on our summer holidays, which means it's officially swimwear season! 

The term 'bikini body ready' is a funny one. As much as I hate the pressure from society to look amazing in a bikini and have my body in its best condition, I can't help but put pressure on myself to look good. This comes down to having a lot of body confidence issues over the years (which I explained in a lot of depth in another post here). But in short, my tummy has always been the main thing that's got me down. I'm only 5ft and am very small in the boob area, so every time I look in the mirror all I see is tummy. So as you can imagine, getting used to wearing a bikini again each summer is a little scary for me. 

Since that blog post last year, I have lost around a stone in weight - however whilst my confidence has improved, I'm still not oozing confidence and my current relationship with the gym is not very good, so I feel a little like I'm letting myself down. I feel like I will almost never be satisfied with what I have? It's really sad when I think about it, but I feel like this is something that will gradually improve as I get older. Accepting my body and the way it sometimes changes is definitely something that is hard to grasp, for me anyway. 

However, I'm doing my very best to accept myself for who I am and I am absolutely going to wear a bikini this summer. Who cares if I don't have the flattest stomach in the world? Who cares if I don't have perky boobs and a nice cleavage to fill my bikini? Who cares if I don't have 'dat booty'?! My boyfriend Aaron always reminds me that there are so many people on the beach and around the pool who don't even know me or might not even notice I'm there. So they're definitely not all going to be staring at me and looking at my body in the same way that I am. In reality, they might be thinking the exact same thing about themselves or just be enjoying their holiday instead of looking at people's bodies! Once I start to tell myself this, it usually makes me feel a bit better about myself. 

Whilst I might not feel 100% comfortable in my bikini, there are a few things I like to do before I go on holiday to make myself feel a bit more pampered and confident...

Make my skin silky smooth

It's kind of a running joke within my family that I have 'lizard skin' (lol) - my skin, especially on my legs is just SO DRY. I have to admit, I'm not exactly the best at keeping up the moisturising routine. But before I go on holiday, I make a special effort to keep my skin as smooth as possible. At the moment I've been loving the Baylis and Harding Coconut & Lime Body Butter because it smells amazing and it's really thick and creamy, so it adds a lot of moisture back in to my skin. I also make sure to shave my legs on the reg so I really get that 'wow I'm a dolphin' feeling - hahaha.

Get on my gradual tanning routine

As well as dry skin, I'm also very pale and it takes me a while to build up a natural tan (unlike my Mum and boyfriend who go brown so easily, jealous). I've never actually done this prior a holiday before, but this year I'm gradually fake tanning the week before I go away. Why have I not done this before?! Already I feel so much more confident and am loving my natural sunkissed glow. I've been the St Tropez Gradual Tan Pre Shower Mousse. It builds up so naturally and doesn't go streaky at all. It says to leave it on for one minute before rinsing off in the shower, but I usually leave it on for around 5-10 minutes as I find this gives a much nicer and more noticeable glow, whilst still with the ability to keep building it up over days to come. 

Buy some new swimwear

Sometimes I look through my swimwear drawer and feel completely uninspired. Wearing an old bikini that I don't necessarily love any more definitely doesn't make me feel the best, so investing in one or maybe a few new pieces of swimwear is a great way to boost my confidence. I've bought a couple of new bikinis this year and actually a couple of swimming costumes (from F&F at Tesco would you believe?! Check them out) which I haven't worn since I was probably about 12. But I have to say they look so pretty on and really flatter my figure.

Give my nails some well-deserved attention

Painting my nails can really make me feel like I've got my life together. Looking down and seeing freshly painted nails on both my fingers AND toes is just the best feeling. I just feel more pampered, pretty and put together? I know it's only such a small thing, but it really does make a huge difference. Plus, a summer holiday is a perfect excuse for putting on a gorgeous summery nail polish. I'm going to Ibiza so I might even put some glitter on my nails too!

If you're struggling with body confidence at this time of year especially, I really hope this post is useful and just so you know, you are definitely NOT alone! Lots of love x

How do you feel about the pressure to look good in a bikini? Is there anything you do to make yourself feel more confident and comfortable?  


Sunday, 17 June 2018

Long Distance Relationships Can Work: Celebrating The End of 3 Years Apart

For the past three years, Aaron and I have been in a long distance relationship. He's been at uni 4 and a half hours away on a coach/train whilst I've been at uni here in our hometown. Can it work? Yes it bloody well can, you just have to want to make it work. 

On the day this blog post goes live, 17th June 2018, is also our three year anniversary. So not only are we celebrating three years together in general, we are celebrating the end of three years of long distance. This also means that the majority of our relationship has been spent travelling backwards and forwards to visit each other (apart from the summer/xmas holidays). I honestly cannot tell you how good it feels to finally get what we want, to both be living at home and able to see each other when we please. 

Long distance relationships work for a lot of couples, but for others they just don't work out. It definitely requires a lot of positivity, strength and love from both sides in order to want to make it work. But even when they do work, it can be mentally draining and quite upsetting when you just long to spend time with your partner. 

I have done a blog post about this before, but since people will be going to university soon (and potentially about to start a long distance relationship) and I now have two more years experience and knowledge, I thought I'd do an updated version with my top tips on how to make it work.

Try to visit each other as much as possible 

Aaron and I visited each other every two weeks, which I know might sound like quite a lot for some people, depending how far away you live from one another. Having a visiting schedule does take the edge off slightly, as you can count down to when you next see each other instead of not having a clue how long it's going to be until the next time. It takes a lot of commitment, because we had to make sure we had enough money to visit each other. With me living at home, I was lucky enough to be able to help Aaron out a bit when it came to train fares and coach fares. We would also often split the cost so it was fair.

Plan fun things to do when you see each other

This really is key as it allows you both to have something to look forward to whilst you're apart. I'd also say this is one of few perks to a long distance relationship because it allows you to appreciate each other's time a lot more. Take the time to explore new places in your area to go for a walk or grab something to eat. One of mine and Aaron's favourite hobbies is to find new lunch spots. You'd be surprised how many cool places you'll visit when you're putting more effort into your days out.

FaceTime when you can

A lot of the time, texts just won't cut it. Schedule in FaceTime dates where you can really talk about your day and have a proper face to face conversation with your loved one. In my opinion, this is so important in maintaining effective communication with your partner and makes it a lot more bearable (what would we do without modern technology, eh!). Me and Aaron usually FaceTime late in the evening just before bed. It gives me something to look forward to and definitely means my day ends on a high. 

Spend time with friends and family when you're sad

I often feel really sad and deflated on the day Aaron has left. From being so excited and happy on Friday turns into the complete opposite on Monday when I drop him to the train station. Saying goodbye gets easier over time but is never pain-free, and honestly, you just want nothing more than for them to stay. The best way to combat this sadness is to try and keep yourself busy whilst you adjust to life apart again. Arrange to see your friends and try to spend time with your family instead of sitting alone in your bedroom.

Maintain a good level of trust with your partner

This is usually the reason why a lot of long distance relationships end, because, for example, one is worried about all the new people the other might meet and that they might be forgotten back at home. If you have a strong enough bond and level of trust with your partner, this is easy enough to push past as you know they love you and want to be with you. In the long run, this makes your relationship so much stronger and will definitely set you up for the future. 

Be open with your partner

Because you live further apart and don't see each other face to face, you might realise that certain feelings get bottled up from time to time. It's so important to speak to your partner and let them know when you're down about something. Let them know when you're missing them or when you wish they were there with you. It really makes a difference by helping them to feel loved and realise that you're thinking of them. 

I am SO happy that this era in mine and Aaron's lives is over but I am also so grateful for the memories we made along the way and how strong we are now as a couple. Here's to the future!

Have you ever been in a long distance relationship? 

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