UK Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

Sunday, 19 August 2018

New Nail Polish Finds From Barry M

Lately, I feel like I've come home with a new Barry M nail polish after each shopping trip. So, I thought I'd share them all with you in a mini haul!

Let's admit it, Barry M was always a huge fave back in the day for nail polish. Endless colours and formulas to choose from. They even introduced the 'crackle' nail polish - what a throwback! It was probably the brand that got me into nail polish back when I was younger. To this day, they're still killing the game!

I'll run through the different nail polishes as they appear from L to R in the photo above. They're all slightly different formulas but as you'll be able to tell I'm loving the shimmery and pink/purple vibes at the moment, haha!

First up is the Nail Paint in 'Whimsical Dreams'. I'm a huge fan of a glitter top coat but this one is especially cool as it has a pink/purple holographic shimmer to it when it hits the light, which is SO nice. It just really spices up a pink or purple nail varnish, I can imagine it going well with the one on the right end (which I will get to!).

Next is the Sunset Gel Nail Paint in 'Peach For The Stars'. I absolutely LOVE this formula, it's so opaque and shiny. It works best with the Sunset Gel Top Coat as it really sets everything into place and really makes your nails look like you've had Shellac done. This colour is also the most stunning colour for summer too, the perfect bright peachy pink!

Then we have the Molten Metal Nail Paint in 'Pink Luxe' which is probably my favourite of the bunch right now. It's a beautiful pinky purple with the most gorgeous gold shimmer running through it. When on, it looks like the most beautiful metallic rose gold shade and I am living for it. I'm wearing this at the moment and it's so long-wearing too, there's barely any chips after 5 days!

From L to R: Peach for the Stars; Socialite; Pink Luxe; Boy Bye; Whimsical Dreams; Acai Smoothie
Next is the Nail Paint in 'Socialite'. My Mum actually picked this shade out, but I've given it a go on my nails and it is beautiful. It's a bright purply pink with glitter and shimmer running through it. This looks amazing on top of a bright pink nail polish; it actually looks like you've gone to get your nails done at the salon because it's so opaque and sparkly. 

Then there's the Superdrug Limited Edition Nail Paint in 'Boy Bye'. I'm not sure if it's actually still available as its limited edition, but this shade is so unique and unlike anything else I have. On the nails it looks like a light purple shade, but then when it hits the light you can see a greeny/blue shift. It's quite a sheer formula so needs a few coats to build up the colour. I wore this in Ibiza and it looked so good!

Finally is the Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in 'Acai Smoothie'. This is a really nice purple shade with a hint of pink. The Gelly formula was such a classic back in the day, but it's still so good when you want to emulate that shiny 'fresh from the salon' look. It's not too bright so I think this is a nice transitional shade between seasons too.

Do you have any favourite nail polishes from Barry M? What nail polish brands are you liking at the moment?

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? 

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