2016 BEAUTY FAVOURITES - LIPS

Time for the final installment of my 2016 Beauty Favourites! This one was probably the most difficult to pick because I wear a lot of different lipsticks all the time, but low and behold I did it and I'm gonna share them with you today!

I usually find nude lipsticks so hard to wear, it took me a long time to find the right shade but when I finally did I wore it all the time. For me, it was between Velvet Teddy and Honeylove by MAC, but Honeylove is just a much nicer colour on me - Velvet Teddy is quite a dark nude.

Another one from MAC is Diva; I've been wearing this a lot throughout the A/W months but I will admit I've also worn it through Spring and Summer too. I love a dark, bold lip and I think it belongs in all seasons.


As well as nude/purple tones I've also been wearing a LOT of red and orange. They're pretty much the only colours I wear. The first is a very red red and it's one of my favourites. I love Rimmel lipsticks, they're so cheap but some of the best I've ever tried.

Another drugstore pick is the Maybelline Vivid Matte liquid lipsticks - this one is the shade Orange Shot. I find matte liquid lipsticks to be a bit of a struggle, it's hard to find one that's not too drying. Thankfully this one isn't drying at all, and I wore it for about 2 months straight before moving onto another lipstick obsession.


Next up is two more liquid lipsticks - NYX is an iconic brand when you think of liquid lipsticks, and for good reason. This was the first liquid lipstick I ever tried and I still stand by the fact that it's the best. It's not drying at all, dries matte on the lips very quickly and comes in about 4 million different shades; you're spoiled for choice. I have about 10 of these, coincidentally all in nude shades. My favourites are Zurich, Stockholm and Cannes. If I'm wearing a matte nude lipstick, odds are it's one of these babies.

Another iconic name that comes to mind is Kylie's lip kits. A very new brand but it's very well loved amongst the blogger (and non-blogger) community. I hadn't tried one until very recently but I'm obsessed with the formula and the colour that I have (Mary Jo K). This is probably my favourite orange lip product I own, it doesn't budge all day and doesn't totally dry out my lips.


I hope you enjoyed my 3 posts on all the different products I've been loving over the past year - I really enjoyed getting them all together and photographing them. 2016 was a bit of an odd year but one thing I am thankful for is all the amazing products I've found that have changed the way I do my makeup. I hope to find many more in 2017!

What products have you been loving in 2016?

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2016 BEAUTY FAVOURITES - EYES

Welcome to the second of three Yearly Favourites posts! This one is going to cover the eyes and all the things I've loved putting on them this year.

I've been trying to experiment a lot more with eyeshadows this year instead of just doing the standard neutral brown - so I purchased the 350M palette a few months ago to give some peachy orangey colours a try. I fell in love with it from day one; the shades are so easy to blend which is handy for someone like me who cannot blend whatsoever. It's also really easy to build up the intensity of the shades, whilst they are crazy pigmented they're not so pigmented that you feel the need to wipe some off because you put too much on. I'm rambling now.

To apply the shadows I bought a Spectrum brush. Yup, one. Poor life. Anyway, I love the mermaid colours of the brush and it's so soft - I have a few brushes that feel like they're made from needles instead of bristles.


For a quick and easy fix on my eyes I've been using the Maybelline Color Tattoo eye...things. Paint? It's like eye paste. I have the shades Pink Gold and On and On Bronze. Usually I'll just smear some on with my finger then blend a brown eyeshadow into my crease if I feel like putting a bit more effort into my appearance. I love how they're so quick to put on and it doesn't look like you've just smeared it on - it looks like you've put in more effort than you actually have which is always a winner for me.


Literally the only mascara that I have found that actually works for me is RollerLash - with every other mascara my lashes are flat after about 10 minutes. This actuall keeps my lashes curles and nice and stuff all day long. I've already repurchased it twice and I'm nearing the time when I need to repurchase it yet again because it keeps drying out on me. I wish they wouldn't do that.

This next one was featured in December's Glossybox but I've been loving it for a good few months out of this year. When I first got it I was a bit confused because it's a powder in a tube, you wouldn't think that's very practical. I use the Sleek Eyebrow Kit to get the general shape of brows and use this to fill in the gaps and make them darker; it works amazingly well and it's super cheap!


So that's it for eyes too, of course there are more palettes and things I've been loving all year but for the purposes of this post I just had to narrow them down. Next up - lips!


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2016 BEAUTY FAVOURITES - FACE

I bought a LOT of beauty products in 2016 - probably too many. Today I've rounded up some of the products that I've loved and repurchased or used daily throughout the course of this year. I've rounded them into 3 sections - face, eyes and lips. Mainly because if I didn't there would be no structure at all to this post and it would just be a jumble of photos and words. Enjoy!

It has taken me so so long to find a foundation that actually suits my skin type; I've tried pretty much all the drugstore ones but it never really occured to me to try out some higher end foundations. I first purchased this in June and was obsessed from the first wear, it doesn't flake off my skin and it helps control my oiliness. I repurchased it just last week in the correct shade as me being me decided to get one shade darker because I was slightly tanned in June. I'm still not sure why I did that.

To set my foundation I always go back to the NYX setting sprays. I've tried both the dewy finish and the matte finish, and I prefer both of those to the Gerard Cosmetics Slay All Day setting spray. Plus, these are only £6 so you literally can't go wrong.


This year I've really seen a massive difference in my skin - I've struggled with acne for years and this year I came off the acne medication I was taking due to it not working at all. Since coming off it I have actually seen a huge improvement which was kinda weird, but I'm not complaining. I've invested a lot in skincare products this month and the one that I cannot live without is The Body Shop's Tea Tree Anti Imperfection Solution - I will repurchase this a million times because I believe it really helps to keep the sore spots at bay.

I still have quite a lot of redness from previous breakouts, so to help me cover that I've been using green concealers. I still find it a little difficult to get the balance right and sometimes areas of my face can look a little green under my foundation but it's all trial and error. I couldn't live without this now, sometimes I don't even need to use another concealer on top on my foundation.


I feel like this year I've really begun to understand contouring and how to actually do it instead of just kinda slapping some bronzer on my face and that's it. I also bought the Hoola bronzer in June; I've used it everyday since and I'm yet to hit pan. A little really goes a long way and it's incredibly easy to blend.

For blusher I use this little NARS duo I picked up on holiday in Italy - Laguna and Orgasm. I didn't like Laguna as much as I liked Hoola but Orgasm is the best blusher I've used, I can definitely understand why the hype around it is so large. Plus, isn't NARS packaging so pleasing?!


Now the best bit - highlighters! I own a LOT of highlighters, I'd be nothing without them. I usually double up and use two so I have the most intense glow ever and I love it. I use The Balm's Mary LouManizer on a day to day basis when I just want a subtle glow, but if I really want to go all out I'll use either of my two Becca highlighters (Champagne Pop or Opal) then pop Mary LouManizer on top. It gives off the most amazing glow ever and I haven't found any other combination that I love even nearly as much.


So that's all the things I've thoroughly enjoyed putting on my face this year - keep an eye out for my Eye and Lip favourites which will be posted soon!

What beauty products for your face have you been loving this year?


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WHAT I GOT FOR CHRISTMAS 2016

I literally cannot believe how quickly Christmas came around this year. Like one minute I'm sunning up in Italy in summer and the next I'm slowly turning to ice on my way from the house to my car. Madness. I did another little poll on Twitter to ask if anyone wanted to see what I got from Santa this year and a good 80% said yes. So here you go!



My main Santa present this year was my beloved 50mm lens, which I did ask for. I used it to take the photos for this post and I'm so in love with it - I can't stop using it! My other lenses will be taking a backseat for a while. My other Santa present was a new dressing gown. My current one was really manky but I can't be without a dressing gown so never had the chance to wash it - so 'Santa' got me a new one so my old one could finally be washed.

I also got these amazing brushes from Iconic London. I've alwats wanted to try this style of brush but I must admit, I'm pretty clueless on how to actually use them. I feel like if I rub with them, I'll rub away my base but if I just pat with them it doesn't blend enough. Advice is more than welcome.



My boyfriend and I got a joint present from my parents this year which puzzled me up until the minute we opened it. They paid for us to spend a night away at anywhere in the little book that came with the thing! Good description, I know. Basically, we get a prepaid lil holiday anywhere in the UK and I feel like deciding where to go will cause a few arguments...



My parents also got me some books, chocolate, a new purse and little bits and bobs pictured below. Yes that tiny elephant was 100 tiny pieces of tiny Lego, and yes I did build it. After 3 glasses of wine.





From extended family I got vouchers, money, pyjamas and makeup. My grandparents got me this amazing Ted Baker lip set which includes 2 lipsticks, a lip and cheek tint and a little mirror. The best part is it's all rose gold!




L-R lipstick 1, lipstick 2, lip and cheek tint

Now for the gifts from my boyfriend! Him and his family really spoiled me this year and I'm honestly obsessed with everything they got me. My main present from him is the ABH Modern Renaissance palette which I'd wanted for ages but just couldn't seem to buy. It's so damn beautiful and I can't wait to use it! Once I wash my makeup brushes...which is long overdue.




He also got me some super fancy tea that I can't wait to drink, a white Calvin Klein bralet, the most gorgeous rose gold ring ever and a rose gold mug for my tea! His mum got me a blue mermaid blanket, pyjamas and a chocolate fondue set! Well and truly chuffed with everything.








I feel incredibly lucky to have received so many presents from all my loved ones - I had a good Christmas-time and the return to work afterwards was soul-crushing. Now for New Year!



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5 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT CHRISTMAS

Today I'm gonna get right into the festive spirit and talk about a few of my favourite things around the holiday season. Enjoy!

1. THE FOOD.

I'm not gonna lie here - this is number 1 for a reason. I love food and my favourite meal of the whole year is definitely Christmas dinner. A nice big slab of turkey, some potato croquettes, pigs in blankets, veg, soaked in gravy. Dribbled a little bit typing that. I look forward to Christmas dinner from about the 27th of December each year (I'm still recovering from the mass of food on Boxing Day too). I see the festive period as an excuse to just eat and eat and eat until I look a little like Violet from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when she blows up as a giant blueberry. Christmas goals.

2. THE MOOD.

Working in retail is a complete nightmare a good 98% of the time - the 2% it's bearable is during Christmastime. When people aren't stressing over paying for Christmas or what gifts to buy, they turn into pretty nice people. Your usual grumpy, I'm-not-talking-to-you customers will actually crack a smile or two and wish you a Merry Christmas. I'm a massive lover of Christmas and all things festive so I'm at my happiest during Christmas - which is actually a little odd because the cold makes me miserable. Ah well, you win some you lose some.

3. GIFT GIVING.

I will admit, before meeting my boyfriend I wasn't much of a gift giver. Giving gifts to my family was a little dull because I didn't really want to spoil them (sorry family!), which all changed last year! I actually started dating my boyfriend in October 2014 and he got me Christmas presents that year but I got him nothing...I'm not sure why he didn't dump me then and there. So after about a year of feeling incredibly guilty, I'd say I definitely made up for it in 2015. One of his 'big' presents last year was a long weekend away in Amsterdam, something we had both spoken about doing a LOT. I wish I'd video'd his reaction, I cried. I bought a copy of Anne Frank's Diary and wrote in the first page the dates we were going - it was the best moment of 2015 watching him read what I wrote. No idea how to top it this year!

4. THE FILMS.

I'm one of those people that is incredulously festive all year round but will refuse to watch a Christmas film until late November at best, it just wouldn't feel right! So when it gets to November 25th, that's when I start to cram in as many Christmas films as I can. I force everyone to watch them with me, that's all that's ever on my TV during the festive period. I wrote a Blogmas post on all my favourite Christmas films which you can find HERE! There is very little that is better than snuggling up with your loved ones, lighting some festive candles, grabbing some snacks and watching The Santa Clause (my favourite).

5. FAMILY TIME.

Undoubtedly, the best part of Christmas is spending time with family. Most of my extended family come round to our house - my gran brings the turkey and my mum makes the veg and desserts. It's a happy, busy atmosphere and I love when we all cram round the table and put on the paper hats that are always too big whilst Christmas songs are playing on whatever lame Christmas music channel is on. After dinner we like to play a board game together which, as you can imagine, never ends well. More often than not it's Trivial Pursuit - which always results in a huge amount of laughs and answers that will be mocked for the entirety of the next year.

What are your favourite things about Christmas?

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BLOGMAS DAY 15 - THE CHRISTMAS TAG


Welcome to Blogmas day 15! I've got a Christmas tag for you today, taken from MAKEUPSAVVY's blog. Enjoy!

1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?

Definitely The Santa Clause. I have all 3 movies on DVD and watch them multiple times at this time of year. I actually wrote a post about my favourite Christmas movies which you can read HERE!

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

Christmas morning! If my dad had his own way we'd open them all on Christmas Eve, but I can't even imagine that. Without the opening presents next to the Christmas tree, it wouldn't really be Christmas.

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?

The only Christmas memory I have is of me being sick and unable to open my Christmas presents. Not exactly a favourite, but it's the only one I've got! Other memories include playing board games with the whole family, which always ends in arguments but it's good fun all the same.

4. Favourite festive food?

Turkey turkey turkey! I must admit, I'm not a fan of pigs in blankets. Sorry! I could eat all the turkey on Christmas though, it's my favourite food but I rarely have it throughout the year because I like to save it for Christmas. I always ask for seconds and eat so much that I can't move.

5. Favourite Christmas gift?

I love all the gifts I get, but if I had to pick one it would be a massive Disney Princess castle that I got when I was little. Literally every little girls dream.

6. Favourite Christmas scent?

I love them all. I like spiced apple, cinnamon and all the Yankee Candles named stuff like 'Christmas Eve' and 'Christmas Memories'. I wish it was acceptable to burn Christmas candles all year round because they are honestly my favourite scents of them all.

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

My mum makes us these Christmas Eve boxes - usually with pyjamas, a lame tshirt, chocolate and a magazine. She's even started making one for my boyfriend which is super cute. We all gather in the living room and open our boxes whilst watching Christmas films and it's my favourite tradition ever.

8. What tops your tree?

An angel! The angel is kept in my room all year until it's time for her to go up onto the tree. I wrote about decorating our Christmas tree this year which you can read about HERE!

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?

Nothing comes to mind really, I hate asking for things at Christmas so I always try to pick things that aren't too expensive or impractical. I think I've asked for one thing this year - I just always feel so guilty asking for lots of expensive things.

10. What's the best part about Christmas for you?

The family time. It's the one time of year when the arguments aren't so bad, and it's really nice having the extended family over for a little while as well.

11. Be honest: do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?

Giving! I think everyone loves receiving gifts and if you say you don't you're probably lying, but I just love the look on the person's face when you really nail it and get them an amazing gift. I love to spoil my boyfriend, it's just a shame that my bank account doesn't feel the same.

If anyone wants to give this tag a try, I'll leave the questions below! I tag anyone who wants to give it a go, let me know if you do it, I'd love to read them!

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1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
4. Favourite festive food?
5. Favourite Christmas gift?
6. Favourite Christmas scent?
7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
8. What tops your tree?
9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
10. What's the best part about Christmas for you?
11. Be honest: do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?

BLOGMAS DAY 14 - ZOEVA RODEO BELLE PALETTE REVIEW



Welcome to Blogmas day 14! I've got a little palette review for you today. Not the most Christmassy but I ran out of ideas. SARRY.

I've never tried any makeup products from Zoeva before - I live for their makeup brushes but this is the first eyeshadow palette I've tried from them, and I must say, I'm thoroughly impressed.



The shadows are so buttery and soft, swatching them felt so good. I also love the variety of shades in the palette - there's so many looks I could attempt to do really badly with this palette.



The colour that prompted me to buy the palette is the top right shade - bang bang. It looks a very dark red but it's actually a little bit pinker than that, it's still my favourite shade though.



They blend so easily and with very little effort - and for someone who gets tired of blending after about 30 seconds it's perfect. Nobody wants to be going at their eyeshadow for 5 minutes trying to make it look slightly more acceptable.



SHADES L-R
DEADSHOT | BANG BANG | DAY MONEY | WESTERN DIVA | SMOKING GUN | CACTUS FLOWER | HOT WIND | RODEO READY | YEE HAW | EARLY SUNRISE



I would definitely recommend this palette to anyone, and I have no doubt that the rest of the Zoeva palettes are just as pigmented and high quality - considering how inexpensive they are, I don't think you can get much better.



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