FEBRUARY FAVOURITES

So I know I'm 19 years old but I still feel like I'm spelling February wrong.

I kept forgetting how short a month February is and how little time I had to actually try out new products. I kept telling myself to write and schedule a post for the 30th and then it would hit me that there is no such date. Maybe I should go back to school. Despite this, I actually managed to round up a few things to write about. Go me!


First up we have some itty bitty Benefit products. I've not tried a lot of Benefit stuff - I love the Hoola bronzer and RollerLash mascara but that's about it. I very thankfully got a few Benefit gift sets for Christmas and I only just got around to opening them all at the end of last month. I've tried Porefessional before but that was way back when I was a makeup rookie and had no idea how to use it and probably used it with Dream Matte Mousse. So now that I'm a little more experienced, I thought I'd give it another go and I really love it! It stops my makeup going all cakey and horrible and oily and it feels so smooth when you put it on. 


I've also tried High Beam before but it was at the same time as Porefessional and I didn't know what to do with it. Now, I put this on my cheekbones before my foundation and blend it in with my finger and it actually gives me a really nice subtle glow. Of course, subtle isn't enough for me but if it was it would be perfect - I have to put on another highlighter on the top but having this underneath definitely helps intensify the glow a little more.


Yay, a February Glossybox product! This is the cutest nail polish I've ever seen. I want bows on all my possessions.

I've been starting to paint my nails a lot more now that they're actually growing and look good, so it was pretty much perfect timing to receive the most amazing nail polish in a Glossybox! This is the shade Iced Frappe and it's a gorgeous pinky nude. It doesn't make my hands look washed out and pale which is amazing and it's a decent size so it'll last forever. I'm definitely going to invest in some more Ciate nail polishes because they are amazing quality.


Because I have been painting my nails more often, they have been chipping more often. I got this top coat in a box ages ago but never used it because I never painted my nails - so now that I do paint them, I brought this back out. It has pretty much stopped all major chipping and it also makes my nails so shiny. I really like this and if I didn't have it, I'd be walking around with half chipped nails all the time.


I'm gonna start this off by saying that on it's own, this mascara does nothing for me. Buuuut, when I use it over the top of another mascara it's incredible. I struggled a lot with my mascara smudging underneath my eyes and I had no idea how to stop it - I put a layer of this over the top and it's done. No more smudging! It's genius and I love it. I have long eyelashes and no smudges.


This weird looking half-picture is a waist trainer. I'd like to clarify that I do not use this to make my waist slimmer (it's just an added bonus), I use this to help with my lower back problems. At work, I'm sitting all day and if my upper back wasn't hurting, it was my lower back. I don't have the best posture ever and I kept seeing people posting about how their waist trainer helped their back problems, so I figured I'd give it a try. I got mine from Depop, it was only about £10 so if it didn't work for me I wasn't too out of pocket. Give it a quick search if you fancy one, I really love mine and it's helped me so much.


I've never been much of a plant person but this succulent is the best thing that has ever happened to me. On a little trip to IKEA I stopped in the plant section and I could not leave this one. I wanted to take another 40 home with me but we'll see how long I manage to keep this one alive. Apparently, they're really hard to kill and I hope that's true because if my plant baby dies so will I.


Last but not least is an app/website! The creator of Faver approached me and asked me test it out, and because I'm a nice person and cannot disappoint anyone, I said yes. Basically, it's an app you can shop on - it has tons of different products and clothes that you can sit and browse through for ages. I love window shopping online (is it still called window shopping?) and this app aims to promote smaller businesses which is definitely something I support. Keep an eye out for it on the app store within the next few months!


What have you been loving through February?

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BLOGGERS IN THE MEDIA

You ready for the longest, rambliest post of all time?


I feel like this can be quite a controversial topic, but I wanted to just get my thoughts out there because it's something that's been bugging me. I apologise if this post comes off as a bit too rambly - I sent it to my boyfriend and he said it sounded very complain-y - but I'm a rambler at heart.

I was partly inspired to write about this by Pewdiepie and the apology video he posted. I'm not gonna pretend I know what that was all about because I really don't, but I did watch the video and it got me thinking about how bloggers are portrayed in the media. So I'm gonna write about it, because I can do that because I have my own little space on the internet. It's still cool. In the video, he speaks about the ways in which the media have written about him, most of it lies according to him. I will link the video below in case anyone wants to watch it - it's a good watch and Felix is actually quite funny.

I think we can all agree that bloggers and vloggers are mostly disliked by the media, which then influences others to jump on the bandwagon and begin to dislike the profession. Blogging is too often seen as 'not a real job' and bloggers are slated throughout the media and social network sites when we work with brands - despite having worked insanely hard to get to the stage in our blogging careers where brands actually reach out to us and want to work with us. We are complained at for being sent products; even though we follow the rules and always disclose if it's a paid post. If only the same thing could be said about celebrities working with brands - I am yet to see a celebrity disclose a paid ad. It strikes me as odd that this is seen as okay, but if a blogger wants to earn their living by working with a brand, it seems as though it's not allowed.

Despite this, not all media outlets are against bloggers and vloggers. Blogosphere Magazine is written by bloggers, for bloggers, and features some of my favourite influencers month after month. They show us in our true light; hard working and determined, as they know themselves the struggle of being a blogger. Various other influencers have been featured amongst other magazines but the interviews don't have the same tone to them as Blogosphere interviews do. 


I definitely get the impression that everyone thinks blogging is the easy way out of getting a 'real' job. Unless you are a blogger, you won't understand how much time and effort actually goes into perfecting your content and your image - to the outside world it seems like the easiest career in the world because it's just writing and taking some photos and bloggers/vloggers can't be bothered to try anything else. What they don't see is the endless amounts of planning, writing, photographing, editing, graphics, coding and SEO. Let's not even discuss how much hassle buying your own URL is because I'd rather not relive that. Photography is the hardest craft in the world. If all the journalists writing crap about us spent just a day with a full-time blogger, I doubt they'd have the same view. We work stupidly hard at perfecting our craft, just as every other profession does. It seems to me like it's just jealousy; full-time bloggers and vloggers are doing their passion as their profession, which not many people can say. I will admit being a full-time blogger would be the perfect job although I just can't do it at the moment, but does that mean I'm going to slate bloggers who have managed to go full time? No it does not.

I think it's difficult for the older generation to understand blogging as a paid job, because nothing like that existed in their day. I feel a little embarrassed when I tell people I have a blog and I still refuse to post about it on Facebook, for fear of judgement. It feels really stupid to be almost ashamed of my content - sometimes it still feels like I'm pretending and I'm not a 'real' blogger. I like that the community has grown so much, because of the stigma around bloggers created by the media, we have to stick up for each other and our profession. We all make our own way in the world. If you work hard enough at it I fully believe you can have a career as a full time blogger. If you don't even try, don't hate on those who do. It would be like complaining about a doctor with a pHD when you're studying Business. If you want it, go get it - if you don't want it, don't get in the way of those who do.

I guess the long-winded point I'm trying to make is that we work damn hard to get noticed by brands and full-time and part-time bloggers are badasses for working that hard to get to that stage; we can't let the media and other people stand in the way of our dreams and aspirations. This was quite a tangent that I went off on.

How do you feel about the way bloggers are portrayed in the media?


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VILLAGE EXPLORING


I don't explore a lot where I live, which seems silly because there are so many amazing and beautiful places near me. I'm always desperate to go anywhere to take photos but it seems like there's not enough days in the week and not enough places to go. Thankfully my mum is quite well educated in terms of photogenic places and what to do, so I usually rely on her for ideas.


Today we ventured out to Culross, which is only about a 20 minute drive from where I live. It's a really cute little village, but it's quite out of the way. From what we could see, there wasn't even a newsagents. Where do you people buy your milk? I could not handle going all the way to the next village to get those essentials.


We found an adorable cafe called the Biscuit Cafe - the staff were so lovely and I obviously bagged the little window seat as soon as I saw it. I got myself a little pot of tea and a rocky road biscuit and sat just admiring this cafe and the surroundings. I could totally see myself sitting in that window seat with my laptop to do some blogging or with a book just for some down time. Plus I love when you get tea in a teapot because it just feels so much more grown up and you're not limited to one cup. Ahh tea.


Most of the buildings here are extremely old - dating back to the 1600s. It seems surreal to me that they are still standing and still in a livable condition. We went to a little photography exhibit and the photographer was telling us stories about the history of all the houses. He said the house we were in at that point was haunted; there were old jail cells in the basement and in the room across the hall was where women would be tried as witches. My mum and I both love history so we were pretty much in our element! He also told us about a house that still had a pigsty in the basement - pigless, of course, because people live in the house now.


I couldn't not take some outfit photos against the perfect white walls - it's every fashion bloggers dream. Plus, I was really digging my outfit today and I just had to show it off. Knee high boots are my favourite shoes to style and I had been on the hunt for a jumper dress for a long time.


I feel like the rips in the dress fit well with the fishnets - I like how you can see them through it. Perhaps a little risque, but I'm workin it. Plus, the dress was only £11 in the New Look sale, how could I say no?


I love the colour of this dress too; I feel like grey really suits me, and I don't wear it enough. It was originally too long so I just used a belt and pulled it up a little, then folded the excess material over the best. It was hard to make it look nice and to make me not look like a mushroom.


Although it was just a tiny village, it was a really enjoyable day. I managed to snap some good photos and had some good tea. I love tea so much.

Where do you enjoy exploring?

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THIS TIME NEXT YEAR TAG

Back at it again with those blog tags.

Huge thank you to Kimberley and Chloe for tagging me - sorry it's taken so long to get my arse in gear and actually write this post but better late than never though right! This tag seems like quite a fun one, I really enjoy setting myself goals, the thing I struggle with is actually meeting those goals.

So I guess how this tag works is you set yourself goals and write about how you're going to do it and in a years time you come back to this post and see if you've accomplished them!

THE RULES
Thank the person who tagged you
Write your goals for next year
Write how you’re going to achieve your goals
Tag at least 5 of your blogger friends to share their goals
Then if you wish in 365 days write a post reflecting on your goals!

This time next year I will have a job I enjoy and will feel more fulfilled.
I will achieve this by continuing to apply for jobs and prep and research a LOT for interviews.

This time next year I will be happier and not hurt those around me.
I will achieve this by coming off the pill that is making me miserable and work on my own happiness; stop criticising myself so much and just try to enjoy life more.

This time next year I will have saved up enough money to travel more.
I will achieve this by working hard and not spending money on things I don't need.

This time next year I will still be blogging.
I will achieve this by not comparing myself to others and writing more about things I feel passionate about.
 
I TAG:
JODIE
CESCA
ELLIE 

Hope you enjoyed this lil tag post, I really enjoyed writing it! I like planning for the future, it keeps me thinking positively and makes me excited for what might happen. I'll no doubt be back with more tag posts soon!

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MATTE BROWN SMOKEY EYE



In light of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd share one of my favourite makeup looks to do at the minute - a matte brown smokey eye. I've never been very good at eye makeup but I'd like to think I'm kind of improving; hopefully if I do enough of these little tutorials I'll be able to see some progress! This entire eye look is done using the Morphe 35OM but the regular 35O palette would work just as well!

Having already done my base and my eyebrows (which I might go into in another blog post) I start off with the shade labelled 1, which is a light brown shade that I always use a base colour. It's hard to do tutorials and stuff with the Morphe palettes because the shades don't have names! I sweep this one all over the lid and brow bone.

Next I use this Rimmel brown eyebrow pencil and just kinda colour in my eyelid, which I then blend out with my finger. I repeat this step twice on each eye just to make it a bit darker - I suppose eyeshadow would work just the same but it's easier to keep the colour contained on your eyelid when you use a pencil.

I then go in with the shade labelled 2, which is a really dark brown. I start off light and blend it all over my eyelid, repeating this step to darken it as necessary. I like to blend this into the crease a little bit too, I feel like it flatters my eye shape more. It's always best to start off with a very light hand when using dark eyeshadows - it's much easier to build it up than to put too much on and have to take some off.

Finally, I use shade 3 and sweep that all over the lid. I blend all the colours together and put a little bit of shade 3 under the eye and that's it done! If you fancy putting eyeliner on you can but I usually leave it because eyeliner is difficult and I think the dark shadows make enough of a statement by themselves. Just pop some mascara and nude or red lipstick on and you're good to go!

I hope you enjoyed this sub-par little tutorial, if anyone recreates this look I'd love to see it!


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MY EVENING SKINCARE ROUTINE

I did a skincare routine post a while back, like a good 6 months ago, and my routine has drastically changed since then. I swear the minute I posted it I changed up everything in my routine so it stopped being accurate very quickly. Anyway, today I'm just gonna delve into my nighttime routine as it's a lot more extensive than the morning routine.


I would say I have very problem skin - I have a lot of redness, a lot of spots and a lot of uneven texture and skintone. So basically my skin sucks. It sucks a lot more when I don't do my routine but y'know, sometimes we get lazy. One things I would say is always wash your face after taking your makeup off (I use Garnier Micellar Water) - I don't feel clean until I've washed my face.


So after removing my makeup, I do a second cleanse with a hot cloth cleanser. Liz Earle's classic Cleanse & Polish is my favourite, but a really good cheaper alternative is Superdrug's Vitamin E cleanser. It comes with a little cloth and cleanses pretty much just as well. Superdrug's formula is a little thicker and more watery than C&P but for about £4, you can't really go wrong.


After that cleanse I use my little scrubby brush that I got in a Glossybox with either a pink grapefruit/tea tree face wash or the cleanser from January's box. Glossybox has been an amazing investment for me - I've enjoyed so many of the products.


Every second night I like to use the Alpha-H Liquid Gold liquid exfoliator. This thing is magic; it stings when you first put it on but it works wonders. I definitely prefer this over the Pixi Glow Tonic, despite how expensive it is. Cult Beauty often do a 2 for 1 deal on Liquid Gold so keep an eye out because it's a very worthy purchase. It helps to even out the texture of my skin as well as diminishing redness.


For a while I actually didn't use any serums. They were all too expensive for little poor me so I just skipped this step entirely, which I'm pretty sure you shouldn't do. A while back I invested in The Body Shop's Tea Tree Anti Blemish Solution and I can't be without it now. I don't think it's an actual serum but it definitely helps reduce my spots in size and redness.


After this I use a Superdrug Vitamin E serum (same range as the hot cloth cleanser) which just glides on and leaves my skin feeling so soft. Both of these were relatively inexpensive - I tend to stick to drugstore when it comes to skincare, apart from the odd bits and pieces, because I'm not at a point in my life where I can afford to splurge on good brands. Life.


In terms of spot treatment, the one product I keep going back to is a Neutrogena spot cream. It's about £2, and I've not yet found anything that works as well as this. I've tried various prescribed creams for spots but nothing will reduce them like this little cream does. Even my boyfriend swears by it! I can't see myself trying anything different because this just works so incredibly well for my skin.


The moisturiser I'm using at the moment is the Nip+FAB Kale moisturiser also from January's Glossybox. It's quite a thick formula and doesn't distribute across the skin too well but as soon as I put it on, my skin looks more hydrated and a heck of a lot smoother. I can definitely see myself repurchasing this once it runs out. I struggle a little with finding decent moisturisers, I never know where to look or what brands to try, so thank god for Glossybox!


After moisturising I use tea tree oil on any spots and redness, which is something I've been doing for months and months and will probably never stop doing. Tea tree oil is a godsend, honestly. Sometimes after this step I will slather on a layer of coconut oil (usually only once or twice a week, if my skin gets particularly bad) because I find it also helps with redness and spots. Obviously, since it's all oil I don't do this too frequently due to my skin being oily enough already.


I then pop a little bit of Sudocrem on any awful spots I have and voila - bed ready!

It does take a little while to do the whole routine and it takes even longer to psyche myself up to do it but I definitely notice a difference when I don't. My skin is nowhere near as nice as I want it to be due to my unrequited love of crisps, but my routine seems to keep the really bad breakouts under control so for now I can keep enjoying my Doritos.

I hope you enjoyed this insight into my skincare routine!

What products do you swear by?

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ITALY IN PICTURES - VENICE

This post is definitely a little later than I intented - I went to Italy in June last year. But anwyay, here's the final photos from my trip!

As amazing as Venice looked, I didn't get much time to explore. We ran round the streets due to our time limit then took a little boat trip round the island...if it can be called an island. I would love to go back for a weekend break and really take the time to see everything.








 

 




PHOTOS FROM VERONA AND LAKE GARDA
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