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Archive: October 2017

The Highlight that's overtaken Mary Lou

If you ever read here, you will most likely know that The Balm's Mary Lou-Manizer is one of my all-time favourite highlights. I bought it for the first time about a year and a half ago and absolutely fell in love. For me, it was the perfect dewy look I was after with no chunky glitter or fall out, I would wear it every single day I wore makeup and loved that you could build upon the impact to create a much more glazed doughnut look or you could lighten your hand when applying and give off a much more natural finish. That being said, Mary Lou has officially been overtaken in my highlighter ranking and I have a new every day, wearable highlight I know you'll love too!

I remember when Kat Von D made an appearance on the shelves of Debenhams earlier this year, everyone went crazy, myself included. We had been waiting so long for the brand to come to the UK that we knew every product inside out from our lustful research missions, or was that just me? I must have spoken to the counter worker for a good twenty-five minute about all the products before she introduced me to the product of my dream; Thunderstruck. Thunderstruck is technically a single eyeshadow within the KVD makeup collection, but it is the perfect highlight shade and I have never found much use for it as an eyeshadow. The woman at the counter told me how many girls use the shadow as a highlight, so much so Kat began marketing it as a duo product. I gave the product a swatch and I just had to have it, right there and then.

The Highlight that's overtaken Mary Lou

Thunderstruck isn't quite the highlight product I would usually find myself buying, it has much more of a white finish to it than I usually go for, I prefer champagne shades like Mary-Lou, but let me tell you, this product does not leave you looking white at all. Once applied to the skin, this product applies the most gorgeous, dewy finish to your skin leaving you looking like a dewy, glazed doughnut goddess. With the product, it is easy to achieve a gorgeous wet look glazed finish, you just use a fan brush and swipe it along your cheekbone and voila! I love how natural a look it gives off even though it is much more of a wet look than I would usually go for, I have found myself reaching for this product daily. 

This product is so effortless, one little swipe to highlight your cheekbones and you are good to go, I use a smaller brush to apply under my brow bone, to my nose and the inner corners of my eyes and it works without a single issue. It is easy to blend down, it can be built upon, although it usually isn't needed and you can loosen your grip of your brush to apply a much more muted look. I haven't found the product to have much fallout and even after 12 hour days at university my cheekbones are still glistening and blinding people proving the staying power is above all others I have ever tried before. 

The Highlight that's overtaken Mary Lou
Top: Mary Lou and bottom: Thunderstruck. 

The reason I have found myself reaching for it more than Mary Lou is down to the finish I have found myself preferring lately. I have fallen in love with the wet look finish that I once didn't really like and so Mary Lou being a more muted highlight just doesn't give me that finish. I have been using Thunderstruck for about two months now and I have barely scratched the surface so I am sure this little tiny pot is going to be lasting me a long time.

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What is your favourite highlight? Do you prefer a natural dewy finish or a much more dramatic wet look? 

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Accepting My Own Pace

Sometimes I look at my blog and I think "Wow, I am so incredibly proud of my little corner of the internet" other times I look at it and I think to myself "Why do I try? I am never going to be good enough." These tend to be the two extremes that my self-esteem jogs back and forth from, there is hardly ever a middle ground where I am proud despite my shortcomings, that is until now. The thing is, there are so many bloggers out there right now it becomes so incredibly difficult not to compare yourself to them, comparisons are natural, they are a part of human nature, so how can I possibly ever be happy if there is always someone better than me?

I have recently learned the concept of 'my time' and how my time is different from everyone else's time because I am a completely individual person with different things going on, different aspirations and different interests. No two bloggers are ever the same so how can we expect them to grow and conquer at the exact same rate? We can't, it's pretty much human knowledge that we are not going to go through our lives at the exact same pace as our peers so why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to succeed at the same rate as them? It's not like we see someone getting fired or failing at something and assume we should get fired or fail too just because "Oh she started her job at the same time as me." I have begun to realise that comparing my success to others is my mind's way of taking a jab at my self-esteem, because really, that is all it does, lower my self-esteem.

Accepting My Own Pace

The thing is I can't expect to do as well in the views department or have as many followers as someone who blogs as a full-time job. Afterall, it is their job, they work on it all day every day whereas I have university to think about, attending uni 4 times a week and working on all of my assessments during most of my free time. How can I possibly compare my blog to theirs? I mean you wouldn't ask someone who plays tennis once a week to compete against Andy Murray, that's not how the world work, but somehow my brain has a way of making me feel inadequate despite this piece of knowledge. I have been blogging for a while now and I may not be exactly where I hoped I would be, but I am through with comparing myself to other people because all it does is make me upset and unmotivated. Instead, I want to be motivated by these other bloggers, I want their hard work and motivation to make me want to work harder. 

My blog is something that I have worked on every week for almost two and a half years now and maybe one day I'll double in popularity and have as many followers as I hope to and be as big as my favourite bloggers, but for now, I am happy. I am happy to be a small but hardworking blogger who is taking it all one step at a time and happy to move along at my own pace. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was my blog and I am perfectly happy with that.

Do you compare your blog a lot? How do you feel about comparisons? Do you think they help or hinder your process?

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An Ode to Autumn

I have been talking about autumn for ages now, I mean we are only at the beginning of the season, but I feel like I have been speaking about it on here for months. It is one of my favourite seasons and I can't quite explain to you why I love it in a sentence, so instead, I have written a blog post all about my love of autumn. I know most bloggers have a soft spot for autumn, but my love of autumn began way before I could fill my Instagram theme with orange hues and piles of leaves, I've always enjoyed the colder months, even as a kid. I think it's because the colder months settle better with me, I feel at home when it's cold outside and the air is crisp, it's comforting for me, so maybe that's where it all stems from.

HOW IT LOOKS
I've always been a bit of a visual person I guess, I love to look at things. I have an eye for small details and I adore finding beautiful scenery, so for me, autumn is perfect because it is always so beautiful. The golden, crisp tones of the leaves that fall, the hue the sky takes each night at sunset, even the grey cold and bitter atmosphere of a rainy Monday morning can be beautiful. I find that autumn is very picturesque which is kind of a hard term for me to get used to. I find it hard to be someone who lives through a lens which is why I guess I find Instagram hard and why my blog photography isn't quite up to scratch, but autumn is so picturesque that even I can't deny it. I have always had a weak spot for orange and red tones so the leaves falling is one of my favourite parts of the year as I get to see my favourite colours in nature.

THE FASHION
Now I do enjoy most of the trends year round, but there is just something about autumn fashion that is just so perfect to me. I think it's because you can later during autumn, you can experiment and no one really takes much notice whereas wearing a jumper over a dress might be strange during summer. I love the big woolly knits, I have a weakness for coats and an even bigger one for ankle boots. I always think I dress better during the colder months and I think others do too. Plus a hat can really make an outfit and what better reason to wear one than to keep your ears warm like it was created to? Autumn is that period of time between being too warm to care how you look and being too cold to again, care how you look, it's the middle ground where you can truly show off your inner diva and pull of that look you've been wanting to try for months. 

THE MAKEUP
Oh yes, you got that right, the blogger cliche, the berry lips had to be in this post. The makeup trends for autumn are always the best, whether you love to go for a dark eye look or a dark lip look or both you can pull it off and all because it's autumn. I always think a berry or red lip look so on trend in the colder months and it really shows personality that your typical nude lip can't portray. When you put on that berry lipstick your confidence levels rise, you feel like you have become your daddy alter ego who is ready to take over the world and don't need no man, it's wonderful and autumn is the just the time to do it. Plus in autumn you can pull out that Naked Heat palette and do a burnt orange smokey eye and no one will say anything but compliments, whereas you wear that kind of look in summer and you will definitely be getting some funny looks. Autumn is all about experimenting with your look.

THE NECESSITY OF COFFEE
Now I don't really need a reason to pop into Starbucks on the daily and get my soy vanilla latte, but others do and autumn is the perfect reasoning. Picture this, you wake up for work, it's cold, it's dark and you've been up until the early hours of the morning catching up on the newest The Walking Dead episode, you need a coffee. Because it is cold outside and the mornings are much darker people are less likely to judge you for picking yourself up a coffee every morning, instead they'll be jealous. You get to wake yourself up, keep yourself warm and drink someone delicious, you win! 

IT CAN BE A FRESH START
Something I'm majorly going to miss after I leave university this year is the feeling of a new beginning come the end of summer. In school and uni you would finish up and move to a new class, start a clean academic slate and you could begin new goals each year. It is something I have enjoyed since I was young and in primary school, I loved making goals for myself in what I would achieve over the following academic year and I'd put myself up to tasks that I'd want to start doing each night or I'd decide I wanted to be better at A, B and C. I love the new beginning feel that comes with autumn and hopefully it sticks with me even when I have left education forever.

NETFLIX AND CHILL IS ACCEPTABLE
No, not that kind of Netflix and chill, I mean the kind where it's 5pm, you just got home, it's a Friday but you're going to chuck on pyjama, order a pizza and watch tv in bed alone instead of heading out with friends. I love that this becomes acceptable during the autumn months because people understand you don't want to go out in the cold or head back out in the rain after you just got home. It is much more desirable to be cuddled up in bed, warm, relaxed and sipping on a hot chocolate than out wearing something uncomfortable, spending way too much money and ending up with a cold for the next week. 

What is your favourite part of autumn? Did I get any of yours down too? Tell me in the comments below. 

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Life Update: A Blogging Comeback?!

Oh wow, it feels like forever ago I was last on here typing away and chatting. My last post went live just a week ago, but it has been well over two weeks since I have actually written one. I have been super busy and life has been incredibly hectic, but I really do plan on making a return to the blogosphere this week, I have made a promise to myself and I really have to keep it this time. I started my masters degree just three weeks ago and let me tell you, it is not like an undergrad at all, oh no, postgrad life crazy and just the fact I am even getting through it is a shock to me. 

I have always been someone who can deal with stress and can stay on top of things relatively easily, but this time it has taken me a while to get on my feet and figure out just how to work around everything in my life. I am at university four days a week and most weekends I am spending sat at home getting all my work done and ready for the next week, thus I have no social life and definitely no blogging life. I have put my sanity and my education above everything else on the agenda and am eating, studying, sleeping and repeating at the moment, which has also made me miss many other aspects of my life; blogging most of all (sorry social life). 

Life Update: A Blogging Comeback?!Don't get me wrong, I am totally loving the degree, it is exactly what I want to do with my life and I am learning everything I need to for when I step into the industry, but jeez is it hectic. I go to university Monday to Thursday and when I get home I spend half my time continuing uni work and the other half procrastinating and talking myself out of a nap. I have been completely run off my feet and have not been blogging, tweeting or Instagramming a lot which in turn has made me feel bad and lose followers. The thing is, I love to blog, I love to chat on social media and I adore Instagram, so not being able to do things I love is making me extra annoyed at myself which has lead to this, my comeback (as if I matter enough to have a comeback, alright Beyonce). 

I have spent some time this weekend writing some posts up, getting some photography done and scheduling some tweets so I am hoping it does me well and I am able to get back on top of my internet life. I want to go back to blogging three days a week, which I am hoping will flow easily from this week, but I may still have hiccups here and there after all I am still putting my education at the top of my priorities. Bare with me guys I am trying, I am also going to try to post more on Instagram, which I hope in turn pushes me to do more with my life than sitting at my laptop studying because I will want to post decent content of course. 

After such a productive weekend I am feeling so motivated to get back on the ball with blogging and just go for it. I don't want to compare my blog to others and make myself feel bad anymore, I don't want to force myself to stop doing something I love and I want to be able to fit blogging into my life without having to put less of a focus on my education.

Now I am off to do some more university work, I have to, along with a group of other girls, create a brand in six weeks and we are on week three, it is probably what takes up most of my time, I am not going to lie to you. 

My survey is also still live if you want to help me improve my blog content, click here. 

So what is going on in your life? Are you someone who finds it easy to juggle different projects or are you more of a 'focus on one thing at a time' kind of gal/guy?

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Beauty Wishlist: What's on My Shopping List

What do I love more than makeup? Shopping for makeup, I can't quite describe why I love it so much, but I do. I just adore shopping for makeup, swatching palettes, trying to find the perfect lipstick for my complexion, checking to see which foundation oxidises, it's all pretty fun to me. What is even better is shopping for beauty at the beginning of a new season, trying to find your go-to products for the new few months and find the perfect skincare that will become your skin saviour depending on the weather. This season I have a bunch of new beauty bits and pieces that I cannot wait to try out, both beauty and skincare, both drugstore and department store. 

Beauty Wishlist: What's on My Shopping List

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So there are some new releases in here, some oldies but goodies and of course there are the cult products, but personally, I have not tried any of these products before but each item intrigues me in its own special way. May it be from a blog post I have read about the product, through a Youtube tutorial, a friend's recommendation or just because I like how it looks these 17 items have made it onto my list of things I would like to buy and I thought why not share them on my blog? Maybe you have tried some or more of these products and want to tell me your experience. 

PALETTES
I have picked out quite a few eyeshadow palettes for this post and that is because I finally think I can work with eyeshadow and not look like a child has decorated my face with Crayola. I love how simplistic and natural the shades are in the Nars palette (3), they are absolutely perfect for the autumn time. The NYX one (8) is a metal one with 6 shimmer shadows in it and NYX shimmer shadows have incredible pigmentation so of course, I have to add this one to my list. 13 and 16 are both by Marc Jacobs beauty and have such a gorgeous array of shades in them, plus the packaging is beautiful, I watched a few Youtubers try these palettes out and the pigmentation looks insane, so I would love to get my hands on these. 

FOUNDATION
Recently one of my all time favourite foundations changed its formula meaning it no longer sinks into my skin the way it once did, so I am on the hunt for a new one. Everyone and their granny has tried this famous Charlotte Tilbury one (6) except me. I am definitely thinking of going for a shade match soon and maybe asking for a tester as it looks amazing. I adore Bare Minerals so as soon as I saw they had a new foundation (15) I knew I had to get my hands on it and it has such a smooth and sleek finish to it so I am torn between which of these two I need to pick up, tell me in the comments which one you recommend.

SKINCARE
There are a lot of skincare items on this wishlist, mostly because my skin has gone downhill due to the stress of university and the drastic change in the weather and needs some TLC. I hope it gets a lot of TLC by using the Origins mask (10) I actually got a small version of this before and absolutely adored it, so I have to pick up a full size. Everyone seems to love the Pixi Tonic Glow (17) but I am a loser and still haven't tried it so I'll have to get ordering it soon so I can see what all the fuss is about. I recently tried out some Murad goodies and my skin has never felt better so I think their Advanced Blemish treatment (4) will be the perfect addition to my collection.

BROWS
Is anyone else incredibly intrigued by the Tattoo Brow tint by Maybelline (12)? I am so intrigued and have to get my hands on it as soon as possible. It looks like it could either go amazingly or very badly and I am willing to take that chance because I think if it works out well then your brows will look insane. Plus at that price, who can say no? 

Have you tried out any of these products? What is at the top of your beauty shopping list? Tell me in the comments below. 

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A Vibrating Makeup Brush?

If you read here at all you would know that I absolutely adore Magnitone, so much so that I am actually a Magnitone ambassador at the moment. A massive perk of this role is that I get to try out Magnitone's new and exciting products before they are released, this is also a perk for anyone who reads on here because you get my unbiased review days after the release or in this case, the day after the release. Magnitone just expanded their product range to include makeup brushes, particularly vibra-sonic makeup brushes that rotate and vibrate as you use them and I am telling you, you need to jump on this bandwagon, this brush has changed the way I apply foundation forevermore. 

WOW, THAT LOOKS... INTRIGUING!
So first thing's first let's chat about how the brush looks, feels and your options. The brush comes in either black or white with a rose gold section which keeps all the bristles of the head intact. At the front of the handle there is a single round button and a circular line directly above this button which lights up white when on, red when the battery is low and flashes when it is charging. At the base of the brush there is a charging port which is super simple and easy to use. 

The brush is definitely larger than your normal day-to-day brush measuring at around 18.5cm from base to the tip of the bristles. This means it isn't your typical brush and it definitely won't fit in your everyday makeup bag nor be a brush you carry with you on a daily basis. This brush is one you use to apply your foundation during the day and sit on your vanity beside your makeup brush collection. 

A Vibrating Makeup Brush?

WHAT DOES IT COME WITH?
It comes with the smoothBLEND head which is a typical flat-topped makeup brush, but the heads are interchangeable. There are three available heads for the brush; the smoothBLEND, FeatherBLEND and the BuffBLEND. To remove the heads all you have to do is give them a gentle pull and then you can click another on just as easily. Alongside the smoothBLEND head, you also get a USB charger cable, a Magnitone warranty card and an instructions menu. 

HOW DOES IT WORK?
I use the brush by applying a single pump of foundation onto the flat head of the brush before I turn it on and use circular motions to buff the foundation into my skin. A single pump usually covers a full half of my face from the tip of my head to my chin and I then use another pump to buff foundation into the other half of my face before going back over my face and just blending everything together evenly with any excess product still on the brush. I have used this brush with both liquid foundation and powder foundation and it blends both out perfectly, I do prefer the finish it leaves with liquid foundation, however. 

MY EXPERIENCE
I adore this brush, it leaves my skin looking airbrushed, feeling smooth and it takes about a minute all in to do a full face of foundation. Moving from my beauty blender to this brush was a bit of a big move, firstly, the brush needs much less foundation than a beauty blender does, so be sure to only do one little pump at a time, overwise you can look super cakey. When I moved from foundation brush to beauty blender I decided to do so because I hated the brush lines that would be visible on my face after application, but due to the vibrating motion of this brush, these lines don't happen, which makes it so much better than an ordinary foundation brush. I used my Garnier Micellar Gel to clean the head of this brush and it worked perfectly just as it does with any other makeup brush I clean this way. I just dissembled the head and cleaned it easily within minutes. 

WHAT MAKES IT SO SPECIAL?
Well, I love my beauty blender so I decided to test which one really is the best, so I used my beauty blender on one side of my face and this amazing brush on the other. The results shocked me, I always thought that my beauty blender gave me incredible, smooth and flawless coverage, but compared to this brush the coverage kind of sucks. Below I have popped in photos of each side of my face, the first one, i.e. the right-hand side is applied using the Blend Up brush by Magnitone and the second photo, my left-hand side is applied using my beauty blender, the evidence speaks for itself. Each side only used one pump of foundation and I used the techniques I normally do apply my everyday foundation; L'Oreal's True Match in 3.5N.

A Vibrating Makeup Brush?

WHERE CAN I BUY IT?
For £70 this brush is definitely worth every penny and you can buy it here using my affiliate link or if you'd rather not then you can head on over to the Magnitone website and buy it there using no affiliate links. 

So, what do you think of this brush? Would you buy it? Tell me in the comments below. 

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THIS POST IS IN COLLABORATION WITH MAGNITONE LONDON.
ALL VIEWS ARE MY OWN.
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