Getting University ready

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Like thousands of other teenagers across the country, I am so excited to say that I will be starting University in Liverpool this week studying History and Communications. I am so excited for university life and over the past few weeks, I’ve been making all the necessary purchases and doing all the essential preparation before I start. Home Bargains have a great affordable and varied range from pretty homeware bits to all the essentials like crockery and cleaning products to help you to get student life off to a great start, all at a great affordable price too.

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Any other stationary fanatics out there, or just me? I have a bit of a ridiculous collection of stationary but these additions are actually very practical. The vintage weekly planner (79p) is great for any other scatterbrains like me! I find that without a diary or calendar to keep me organised, I find it difficult to keep track of important dates and events as well as general ‘to-do’s’ so these type of planners are essential for me and I will definitely be putting this to use during my time at uni to keep me up to date with my deadlines. The mini highlighters (89p) and scented gel pens (£1.29) are also not only aesthetically pleasing in your pencil case (49p) but also very useful for any other visual learners like me who learn best from colour coding notes and keeping everything bright and neat!

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The fairy lights (£3.99) and photo frame (99p) are my favourites from their homeware range as they are perfect for helping me to decorate my new room at University to create a more homely and cosy feel. I am planning to pin the fairy lights to my pin board around my photos, so keep an eye on my Instagram (@thestylecompulsion) for updates once my room is done!

My favourite items from the kitchen range are the mason jar and the heart shaped ice tray which is perfect for pre-drinks during freshers week! They also gifted me some apple sours which I’m sure will be put to use during drinking games! The cutlery set and pasta sauce are also essentials that are great quality and very affordable compared to other retailers.

Let me know what you’re most looking forward to at University and which of these items is your favourite!

Kathryn x

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July Beauty and Lifestyle Favourites

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Hi there! It has been so long since I’ve been able to write a blog post as A-Levels basically took over my life! However my exams are all over now and so I’m hoping that I’m going to be able to blog a lot more frequently over the Summer. I started writing this post a few weeks ago so even though I’m calling this post my July favourites, I just want to talk about all the things I’ve been loving since April as I feel like I’ve been gone for ages! Anyway, I hope that you like this post and I can’t wait to publish more over the next few weeks.

Beauty:

Rimmel Lasting Finish Primer – £6.99

My skin was sdull over the winter months and although I was hoping it would improve as the weather got brighter, it suffered due to the stress of exam season. However this primer helps me achieve the glowy, healthy look that I’m after and helps my makeup stay put all day long.

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Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Pans – £4.95 each

I’ve received so many compliments from friends in recent months about my eyeshadow and although I wish I could say I’ve just got better at my smokey eye skills, I think I really just need to thank Makeup Geek for making wonderful eyeshadows. The smooth blendable formulas allow you to effortlessly create any eye look in minutes and they are so pigmented and last so long – even on nights out where my eyeshadow would usually be smudged everywhere by 10pm.

Ardell Demi Wispies Lashes (£5.49) and Duo Lash Glue Dark (£5.49)

These have always been my favourite lashes however I’ve worn them more often than usual this month, I’ve gone through five pairs! The lashes themselves are too long for my lash line however this is easily fixed by trimming them slightly and once on, they pull my eye shadow look together so nicely! The lashes come with a little tube of Duo Clear/White lash glue which I take out with me just in case, however for applying them, I use the black Duo lash glue which sticks them down so well and I’ve not had them come loose on me at all during a night out. As long as you ensure that the lash glue is spread evenly when you apply it to the lash, leave it for 30 seconds to go tacky and then apply it straight to the lash with tweezers, they will should all night!

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Music:

Black Magic & Junk Food Forever – The Amazons

I’d heard The Amazons’ other songs on Radio 1 and through social media a couple of times in the past and always thought ‘ooh I must check them out’ and never actually got round to it. However a couple of months ago I heard Black Magic on R1 and loved it and I opened my Spotify straightaway and added it to my ‘current faves’ playlist. I haven’t got round to listening to all of their stuff in full yet but I will be doing as I think I’m going to see them at the festival I’m going to soon.

Strangers feat. Lauren Jauregui, Now or Never & Bad At Love – Halsey 

I feel as though we were waiting for Hopeless Fountain Kingdom for so long, and now that its finally out I can’ say it was definitely worth the wait. The album is very different from her debut album Badlands in the sense that it follows more of a story of a romance and all the highs and lows of being in a relationship with a very Romeo and Juliet kind of vibe to it. Badlands was set in an alternative universe and was very dark for the majority of the record which I’d loved, and whilst HFK is still dark pop, it seems to be a little lighter than her debut which I’m also a fan of. Strangers and Now or Never are my firm favourites after having the album on repeat for about a month now, which I kind of hate myself for as these are the singles from this album and I wish I could love the rest just as much but Bad At Love is the only other one that comes close.

The Louvre, Sober & Supercut – Lorde 

This another album that I was so excited for as Pure Heroine, Lorde’s Debut Album, is one of my all time favourites. Prior to Melodrama’s release, Lorde released four singles from the album; Green Light, Liability, Perfect Places and Sober; all of which I loved.  My favourite of the singles was definitely Sober although I do think that The Louvre and Supercut would have been better singles and I’ll admit that I do like all the songs on the album which is rare for me these days! The record has a dark pop mood similar to that of Pure Heroine and HFK however I do find that I relate to Lorde’s songwriting and her experiences far more than Halsey’s, making this album more favourable for me over HFK however this doesn’t mean that it is a better record necessarily.

IDGAF, Genesis & Dreams – Dua Lipa

Dua’s album is another favourite of mine and I think I loved it from my first listen. I found Dua after the release of her single ‘Hotter Than Hell’ and from then on, I’ve been following her music and I went to see her live in April where she debuted a lot of the songs that would be on the album. I’d absolutely loved Genesis and New Rules live so I’m so glad that I can now listen to the studio versions which are just as good, if not better. The pop album tells the story of Dua’s relationship like HFK, however it has a much lighter mood and consists of both love and breakup songs but with an upbeat feel, making it the perfect Summer album!

Sorry and Amsterdam – Nothing But Thieves 

It has been almost two years since the release of Nothing But Thieves’ debut album and seen as I was a huge fan at the time (and still am!), I’ve really missed the hype of hearing their new music and seeing them live whilst they’ve been recording their new album for the first half of this year. Amsterdam was released in May as the band’s first single from their follow-up record and I think it is such a banger and I love listening to it before going out, despite the slightly dark tone to it. However, Sorry, which was released last week is my favourite of the two. The song starts slow and has a very moody feel however the song picks up from the chorus whilst the dark vibe continues, and I think that this may replace my previous NBT favourites.

TV:

Clique – BBC iPlayer

My Mum and I stumbled across this on BBC iPlayer a few weeks ago when desperately looking for something to watch late at night and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much as I’d seen the trailer and it didn’t look that great. But oh my, this is SO gripping! The plot is so strange, it follows the lives of two girls, a year older than myself, who have gone to university and the ‘clique’ that they become involved in. Some of the themes are quite dark, including drugs and suicide, just as a pre-warning, but beyond that, the storyline keeps your mind ticking over every week wondering what will happen to the two girls now that they have joined the clique.

*update* I’ve now finished the series, and in some ways, I was surprised and shocked at the ending, but I’m most curious about whether or not they’ll make a second series or not as the final scene left me questioning whether or not there could be more to Holly’s story.

Fleabag – BBC iPlayer

I’ll admit, this one takes a while to warm up to, as I don’t think the first episode is the best, but if you stick with it, this is actually a brilliant comedy series. Seen as its only six short(ish) episodes, I binged watched these one evening and found it to be absolutely hilarious! Nicknamed ‘Fleabag’, the lead character is absolutely bonkers and I found myself crying-laughing at her bluntness towards everyone and anyone she meets – if you love comedy, or need a pick me up, give this a go, and let me know what you think!

Stranger Things – Netflix

I’m finally nearing the end of Stranger Things and I have to say I’m now glued to it. At first, I was a little confused and undecided as to whether I actually enjoyed it as I have never really been into Sci-Fi shows, however I have really liked it and found it to be really gripping, and I’m looking forward to the new series coming out later this year.

What have you been loving this month?

Kathryn x

 

Something to talk about: Grief 

Dealing with grief is one of those emotions I have always had real difficulty dealing with, as I know many others do too. Having only suffered a few losses in my life, I have realised over the past month that after hearing some awful news, that I just didn’t know how to handle the emotions that came with the loss of someone.

I noticed over this past month, when reminded of the harsh reality of the situation, almost everyday, that everything else seems so insignificant in comparison to death. Weeks later, I still have this gut-wrenching, whole consuming feeling that makes me feel sick to the stomach and instantly alters my mood at even at the mention of their name, or something that reminds me of the reality that they’re gone, but sometimes time is the only thing that can help you to heal.

It’s a morbid topic to discuss; but a very important one, and personally I’ve never read a blog post about grief, which I think is strange really. For some reason, I feel as though my blog isn’t the place to discuss this matter as I never discuss personal issues/matters publicly, and knowing that this blog can be seen by anyone anywhere is a daunting prospect. However I think it is so important that we open up a conversation about the way in which people deal with grief themselves and how we can support those going through it as death often catches us off guard and we therefore find it difficult to emotionally manage the death of a loved one.

I’m going to explain ways in which i find have helped me a little through this month, and although they aren’t long term fixes, I hope that they may help my readers in the same way they’ve helped me as a coping mechanism.

  1. Write. – Writing; either a blog post or in my diary helps me so much. I have to remember that everything I publish on here could be read by anyone so I write most of my thoughts and emotions into a notebook as a sort of diary. Getting my thoughts out onto a page is one of the best forms of therapy for me; and once I’ve wrote it all down, I try to make it into something more positive like this post, so that I can help others who are going through the same and let them know that its okay, because I know I’ve been so grateful for posts that have helped me know that it’s okay to feel a certain way.
  2. Listen to music. – There’s something about putting your earphones in and closing your eyes that can honestly instantly take you away and distract you from the struggles you are facing. There’s certain songs that have helped me so much through difficult times and I’ve compiled them into a playlist here.
  3. Read a book. – Like I said about music, reading can also transform you to a different place, far away from the emotions you’re experiencing and help you get away for a bit if it is all a bit too much.
  4. Talk it out. – Me and my best friend both agree that pretending the death hasn’t happened by avoiding talking about it is the worst thing that anyone can do for you on a personal level. I know that some people will get upset by discussing it, but to pretend nothing has happened has really impacted on my grieving and made it worse in a way and talking about it and their life has been a sort of therapy for me and my friends who are also suffering the loss, I think.
  5. It’s okay to be happy. – To laugh about one’s jokes or something the person did, or to even distract yourself for a moment and try to cheer yourself up is okay too. Everyone deals with death differently; personally, I haven’t cried in front of anyone except my best friend after I found out, and I have tried to put on a brave face since and be positive, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t addressed my grief when I’m alone and cried it out too. But equally, it’s acceptable for others to show their emotions more publicly and to be down. 

However you deal with grief is acceptable, and my aim of this post is for people to realise that no matter how they deal with it, its okay and everyone takes their own time to come to terms with the horrible loss of someone close to them.

    Recent Drugstore Beauty Buys

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    Hi there! I feel as though its been so long since I did a post as I had some awful news a few weeks ago. I’ve decided to schedule my next few posts to ensure that my content is more regular as I get so annoyed and frustrated with myself when I don’t post for weeks.

    Some of these drugstore products have been my favourites for a couple of months now however I have purposely waited to write a full post on them so that I could be more clued up on the products so that I can write honest reviews about them.

    Rimmel Lasting Perfection Primer – £6.99

    I’ve never really found a primer I love until I tried this! I’ve tried Smashbox and Benefit primers – neither of which I liked and did my skin absolutely no favours, but this offering from Rimmel is my perfect primer. The formula gives a dewy, glowy base for foundation and adds extra radiance to even satin and matte finish foundations. If you like a shine-free finish this won’t be one for you, but if you like a more radiant look, this may become your new favourite too.

    Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara – £7.99

    I really struggle to get along with mascara as I have really sensitive eyes that cause the majority of mascaras to run. However this £7.99 bargain is the only mascara to date that I’ve tried that is completely waterproof – this even lasted during some teary episodes I’ve had in recent weeks. The formula provides impressive volume and length too, making this one of the best drugstore mascara offerings in my opinion.

    Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Eyeliner – £2.99

    I actually meant to buy the Fast Stroke liquid liner instead of this as I realised that was the one that had amazing reviews and not this, but this is quite good too. The felt tip like nib makes application quick and easy and the formula is impressively pigmented for only £2.99. However this does run and transfer on my watery eyes after only a few hours of wear meaning that I can’t commit to it being a new addition to my makeup bag, however for those who don’t experience sensitive/watery eyes, this is an absolute bargain.

    Bourjois Contour Clubbing Eyeliner in ‘Up and Brown’ – £4.99

    This is my new favourite pencil liner. I was actually going to try out one of the UD pencil liners as I’ve read really good reviews about those. Other drugstore liners that I have tried including the Soap and Glory Kohl liners ran and transferred on my eyes only an hour after application, meaning that I detest them. However this is amazing, it’s a golden brown shade that applies so easily and pairs perfectly with most eyeshadow looks and lasts all day on me without running! Hallelujah! My only gripe with this is that it fades after about 5-6 hours of wear and therefore needs a top up but this is easy enough to do so it isn’t a massive issue. 

    Revlon Colorstay Normal/Dry Foundation in ‘Buff’ – £12.99

    I’ve had this foundation for a month or so now and I’m still undecided but somehow I’ve continued to use it everyday. To me, this foundation is so matte as I always wear dewy foundations, however this is actually a satin finish and therefore it gets rid of shine but still brightens the complexion a little and doesn’t make the face look completely flat. The medium coverage gives me enough coverage to cover redness and blemishes but I still need concealer to cover my dark circles and spots as I do with most foundations. The issue I have with this is that the foundation claims to last 24 hours and I have tested this on a few 12 hour long work days now and I can safely say this always goes patchy on my cheeks and jawline at the 8/9 hour wear mark, meaning that I’m not sure this would last well for a night out (which I’m yet to try.) Although you’d get away with this for a school day or office shift, this needs a top up around 4/5pm when applied at 8am which may not suit everyone, but for the price this is an okay option due to its good coverage.

    NYX Lip Lingerie in ‘Exotic’ – £6.50

    Although I’d read mixed reviews about these, I was still desperate to try them ever since I published my Drugstore Beauty Wishlist. I actually quite like this dark rose, muted red/brown shade and I’ve used it a few times now. The formula is nice to apply and glides on the lips, then dries completely matte. I understand what other bloggers have meant by saying that it’s essential you exfoliate the lips with a scrub first as although the formula is very pigmented, they do show every crack and dry patch so it’s best to have smooth lips to start with. As for wear time, the shades I’ve tried (Exotic and Beauty Mark) both last a good few hours due to them being dark shades however as soon as you eat/drink this immediately becomes patchy and a touch up is definitely needed. However for wearing for shorter periods, for 3 hours say, without eating/drinking, or for longer periods where you are able to touch up when needed, these are a great, budget option.

    What are your current beauty favourites?

    Kathryn x

     

    5 Ways To Help Relieve Stress

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    Unfortunately, it is my nature to become stressed quite easily, and over time, I’ve developed ways to help me cope and overcome it.  I have began to get into habits and routines of how I relieve stress that I am going to share in the hope that they can help anyone else who also struggles with stress and anxiety.

    1) Listen to music

    Particularly when I am feeling anxious, I find the best way for me to calm down is to listen to some music in my earphones. I made a chill playlist on my Spotify (link here) which is full of relaxing, slow songs which always help me to relax and can be a good distraction from whatever is causing my stress.

    2) Talk to someone

    Sometimes when you have had a bad day or you are worried about something, it helps to tell someone. Expressing your concerns or worries with a friend or someone you are close to can help lift the weight from your shoulders and make you less worried about the situation.

    3) Have a bath

    After a tough day, a bath can really help you to unwind and relax. I like to use Lush’s ‘Big Blue’ bath bomb (review here) to help me relax as the sea salt and seaweed are specially formulated to help ease tension from your body.

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    4) Drink Tea (and lots of it)

    I’ll be the first to say I really shouldn’t drink as much caffeine as I do as it only makes me more anxious and increasingly nervous. However I do find that herbal teas in particular (my favourites are berry tea and green tea with lemon) help me to calm down and relax, particularly after a bad day.

    5) Read a book

    I find reading to be one of the best ways for me to switch off and forget my stresses. A good book can be a really helpful stress reliever.

    Let me know if you have any other ways that you deal with stress!

    Kathryn X

    Latest Winter Beauty Buys

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    Hi all! I’m back after a long week of A-Level mock exams and I’m throwing all my energy into this post now that I’m up to date with my school work. I was going to do a what I got for Christmas/18th birthday post however seen as Christmas was over a month ago and my birthday was three weeks ago, it feels a bit late for that! Instead, I’ve compiled all the lovely beauty related gifts I received as well as those I bought myself between Boxing Day and now, which is a lot more than I initially thought. Anyways, I’m super grateful for all the lovely gifts that my amazing family and friends have bought me and just as a quick disclaimer as I’m not writing this post to brag, I’m writing to give my honest opinions on these products.

    MAC Lipsticks in Twig and Diva – £15.50

    Although I’ve rarely expressed my love of MAC lipsticks on my blog (I have no clue why!), they’ve always been a staple in my makeup bag and a product I can always trust, so I was delighted when I received Twig for Christmas and Diva for my birthday!  I’ve seen so many bloggers rave about the ‘Twig’ shade, but it was Jasmine Talks Beauty’s reviews that made me want to try it out the most. I was a little concerned that this lipstick would be too dark for me but I actually love it, it’s a dark dusky rose/pinky brown shade that looks lovely with the MAC Spice or Boldly Bare lip liners and lasts a pretty long time too and fades evenly. Diva is a shade I was desperate to try due to it having a dark, vampy red vibe and I was lacking a high end formula of this colour. I love the matte formula of MAC lipsticks, its creamy yet completely matte on the lips and lasts a really long time too, everything that you would hope for from a MAC Lipstick.

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    Morphe Brushes 12 Colour Magnetic Palette (£6.95) with Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Pans in Shimma Shimma, Goddess, Homecoming, Roulette, Pocket Change and Bitten (L-R) (£6 each)

    Since I tried my first MUG shadow in December, as I mentioned in my January Wishlist, I’ve been obsessed and it led me to order 5 more as well as a handy Morphe magnetic palette to house them in. The quality of these shadows is amazing; they are so pigmented and blend so easily and the quality is consistent throughout the different variations of shades too. My favourites are Shimma Shimma which is a light champagne colour, perfect for an everyday subtle makeup look or as an inner corner highlight with a smoky eye, and ‘Bitten’ which is a deep burgundy colour that looks amazing in the crease.

    eBay Eyeshadow Brushes – £1.85

    These brushes are an amazing Zoeva dupe and it was Makeup Savvy’s eBay roundups that led me to buy them. At only £1.85, these brushes are absolutely stunning and amazing quality for the price too, and definitely comparable to that of my Zoeva ones. Although they’re not quite as soft as Zoeva brushes, and they may not last as long, so far they have washed well and they enable me to do a smoky eye with ease.

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    Chloé Love Story Eau de Parfum – £47

    Although I’m still in love with my Si by Armani and Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream fragrances, I wanted to find a more wearable everyday fragrance that was still floral but more subtle. I do like this scent, it’s floral yet sweet and it is nice for day to day wear because it’s pretty long lasting. It’s not comparable to either of my other fragrances in terms of being my favourite, but it’s nice and worth it’s expensive price tag.

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    Urban Decay Ultimate Mattes Eyeshadow – £38.50

    I’ve had my eye on this beautiful palette for so long as I lack matte eyeshadows in my collection, so I was delighted when my wonderful friends got it me for my birthday. Extra Bitter which is a deep rust shade is my favourite to blend into the crease but I get use out of the all of them, particularly Commando, Instinct and Faith all over the lid as a subtle day time look.

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    NYX Lip Lingerie in ‘Exotic’ and ‘Beauty Mark’ – £6.50

    I received both of these as gifts over the festive season and although the dusky rose Exotic shade is definitely my favourite, I’m going to give ‘Beauty Mark’ a chance and report back as it’s a tad bit outside my comfort zone with its deep brown shade.

    Laura Mercier Flawless Contour Palette – £35

    I had never tried cream contour products before receiving this palette for Christmas, only my NARS Contour Kit which is powder. I love how creamy and blendable this is although I’m not sure that the lighter and medium shades are dark enough once blended to create a sharp illusion of cheekbones. I’m going to need to try mixing the medium and deep shades to assess whether I think this contour kit really performs as it should. However I’m impressed by the highlight shades as they too have a creamy formula and although only the lightest shade suits my skin at the moment, I think the darker bronze highlight shade will suit me when I have a tan in the summer.

    TheBalm Mary Lou Manizer – £20

    I am so grateful to my sister for getting me this beauty. I’ve only really tried pink, icy toned highlighters before due to my pale complexion however this light golden shade is an absolute dream and I can imagine that this highlight works for a range of skin tones and it has a beautiful, finely milled blendable formula.

    Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in ‘Golden Light’ – £28.50

    A good bronzer has been missing from my makeup collection for so long now since I became bored of my Soap and Glory solar powder. I’m so glad I opted for this Bobbi Brown pick, it’s a warm matte medium brown shade that adds depth and colour to my complexion to make me look like I’ve spent a week in the sun, when in reality I’m actually as pale as a ghost.

    NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in ‘Cannes’ – £5.50

    This is now my fourth NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream and I think this shade is actually my favourite. It’s a dusky rose shade and it pairs perfectly with so many of my lip liners and has the same lovely moussey formula as always.

    Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Mini Lipstick Charms – £29

    I’ve wanted to try out a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick for some time now but at £23 a pop, I couldn’t choose which was my favourite shade and I couldn’t justify purchasing multiple shades. So when I saw this mini set as part of their Christmas gift range, I knew it had to be on my list! The set includes Amazing Grace, Very Victoria and Red Carpet Red, which are all really wearable shades for me and although I’ve had the most use out of Red Carpet Red for all my recent nights out, I know I’ll get use out of the other two shades as everyday shades too.

    Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede Cologne – £43

    I’ve wanted a Jo Malone cologne for so long as I have the Pomegranate Noir Candle and I love it so much. I opted for this floral scent as my favourite perfumes are always floral scents like Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream. This is definitely the most natural floral scent I own as it isn’t as sweet as my others, but I love it and I think it is going to be the best scent ever for Spring.

    Makeup Revolution Contouring Precision Oval Makeup Brush Set – £19.99

    I’ve wanted to try these for ages ever since I noticed the Mac ones on instagram as I mentioned in my Drugstore Beauty Wishlist post and I am so glad I put these on my Christmas list as they are copper and they coordinate perfectly with my Copper Zoeva brushes. The quality of them is amazing too, they blend seamlessly leaving no streaks as some brushes often do, and they wash well too without any fallout. For less than £7 a brush, these oval brush dupes are great quality and a good option if you want to try the trend but you’re on a budget.

     

     

    Goals for 2017

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    I can’t believe how quickly 2016 went and how it is 2017 already! Last year seemed to whiz by, and in both a personal sense and generally for society, it wasn’t that great, but I’m so determined to make sure that 2017 is a happy and successful year for me.

    So, without further ado, I’m going to list my goals for the next year below and I hope that some of them can inspire you to make goals for yourself too if you haven’t already done so as I think its so important to have something to be aiming towards in order to be able to succeed and stay on the right path.

    1. To be happy and healthy – I’ve been through phases of dieting and attempting to lose a certain amount of weight and failing to do so and therefore, this year, I’m only going to set myself the target of becoming a healthy weight that I’m happy with. Although I’m not overweight and I have a healthy BMI, I’ve not been confident with my appearance for a long time and therefore I’m going to attempt to eat healthier, exercise more and build my confidence so that I can be happier with myself.
    2. To work hard – Although I’ve always been told I’m a hard worker and I know I am, I need to maintain and push myself to ensure I achieve excellent results this summer and attain that university place that I want so badly.
    3. To blog more and improve my blog photography – Although my main priority is of course my school work, I am going to try to write blog posts further in advance when I have free time so that when I do have a heavy work load, my blog schedule doesn’t suffer. Although I’d now like to say I want to post twice a week, with improved photos and content, I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to stick to this and therefore I’m just going to try my best and take more pride in my blog this year.
    4. To read more – I’ve really got into reading over the past 6 months and after recently starting Finding Audrey, I have found I just can’t put a good book down once I’ve started. I’m going to aim to read a few books a month for now and if I surpass this goal, I’m sure I’ll be super impressed with myself as I’m SUCH a slow reader.
    5. To travel more – I’m hoping that this summer my friends and I will go travelling for a few weeks around Europe so that we can really gain some great experiences with each other before we part ways for university. Although I’ve travelled a lot and seen so many different places, more often than not they’ve been UK cities or tourist beach destinations abroad and therefore I’m really desperate to see more European cities and to explore a variety of different cultures.

    What are your goals for 2017?

    Kathryn x

    January Wishlist

    Hello! I hope you all had a great Christmas and have a very happy 2017. After receiving so many lovely gifts from my family and friends and some spending money, I’m feeling super grateful and appreciative to have been surrounded by those I love most this year.

    In true tradition, I’ll be heading out to check out the January sales over the next few weeks and I thought I’d share my Wishlist with you all to provide inspiration for those of you wanting a bargain but not quite sure what to pick up!

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    1. Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics Matte Eyeshadow Palette – £38.50 – Selfridges – I am absolutely obsessed with the gorgeous warm matte shades in this palette and none of the shades are like any of those in my collection, so I am desperate to get my hands on this so that I can create lots of smokey eye looks over the rest of winter.
    2. TheBalm Mary Lou Manizer – £17.50 – Superdrug or Debenhams This has to be one of the most beautiful highlights out there. A gorgeous light gold shade, this is perfect for my light mellow skin tone and is supposedly one of the best pigmented, blendable formulas out there.
    3. Pure Heroine – Lorde – Vinyl 12″ Album – £15.99 – HMV – After receiving a record player for my birthday last year, I’ve fallen in love with vinyl and seen as Lorde is one of my favourite artists and this has been one of my favourite albums for years, I’d love to be able to get it a copy of it on vinyl too.
    4. MAC Lipstick in ‘Diva’ – £15.50 – Selfridges or MAC –  Although I’ve recently embraced dark lipsticks and added two to my collection, neither are that long lasting and do go patchy after just a couple of hours. Therefore I think this Mac formula would be much longer lasting and help me create the dark berry look I am after this winter.
    5. Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes Mascara – £22 – Selfridges – Since I ran out of my favourite MAC mascara in summer, I’ve dabbled between drugstore mascaras, hoping I’d find one I love to save myself money, however I’ve returned to my previous conclusion that high end mascaras really are the best. My eyes are quite sensitive and therefore mascara easily transfers down my eyes and gives me that panda look by 10am (yeah, not a great look.) This mascara promises full, lengthened, defined lashes and by the sounds of it, my eyes are bound to love it like they love Lancôme and MAC mascara formulas too.
    6. Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm 75ml – £18 Feelunique – I recently chopped my hair off again and therefore I’m obsessed with styling my hair in waves. however, I find no matter how much hairspray I spritz on my hair, the curls always start to drop after a few hours and I am yet to come across something that will add extra hold without weighing down my curls even further. After spotting this a lot on Bloglovin’ this year, I am desperate to try this Wonder Balm to see if it helps me to create the dreamy wavy look I’m after.
    7. Makeup Geek Duochrome Eyeshadow Pan in ‘Secret Garden’ (£6) , Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadow Pan in ‘Grandstand'(£9.25) and Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Pan in ‘Cocoa Bear’ (£6) – Beauty Bay – I received my first Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Pan a couple of weeks ago as a Christmas present from a friend and ever since then I’ve been obsessed. After a week of use, I made a Beauty Bay order for five more shades and a Morphe Palette to keep them in. I am pleased with every shade I ordered however I’ve only filled half my palette and I love these three shades and think that they would be a great addition to my new collection.

    New Year’s Eve Outfit Inspiration

    xmasnye-outfits

    With Christmas now over (cries inside), everyone is now turning their attention to the New Year and seen as many spend it partying, I thought it would only make sense to create a post for outfit inspiration for the night. Although there’s an assumption that you should put on a sparkly dress, and there’s nothing wrong with that if you’re comfortable wearing one, not everyone loves to wear a dress and therefore I’ve included playsuits and jumpsuits too. I’ve only included four pairs of shoes as I think they are all very versatile and go with a multitude of outfits and also, the statement clutch bags that I’ve mentioned would co-ordinate well with plainer dresses and add detail to the look. Many of these items will also be reduced during the sales including the Topshop LORNA shoes which have been reduced from £52 to £25, allowing you to grab a bargain and get a NYE outfit for a great price.

    1. Caya Black Premium Lace Panel Tiered Mini Dress – Pretty Little Thing – £40
    2. Glitter Wrap Midi Dress – Topshop – £39
    3. Isabelli Metallic Black Pleated Slip Dress – In The Style – £22.99
    4. Stevie Over The Knee Boots in Black Faux Suede – Public Desire – £39.99
    5. Burgundy Thread Through Clutch Bag – Missguided – £25
    6. Grecia Navy Velvet Ankle Strap Heels – In The Style – £29.99
    7. Morgan Grey Crushed Velvet Ankle Strap Heels – In The Style – £22.99
    8. Long Sleeve Grid Lace Top – Topshop – £46
    9. Petite Exclusive Navy Sequin Mini Dress – Missguided – £32.50
    10. Silvie Black Metallic Strappy Playsuit – In The Style – £24.99
    11. Binky Black Embroidered Organza Overlay Jumpsuit – In The Style – £37.99
    12. Iris Black Floral Sequin Playsuit – In The Style – £39.99
    13. High Neck Sequin Detail Midi Dress – Missguided at ASOS – £45
    14. LORNA Platform Sandals – Topshop – £25
    15. Oriana Khaki Pleated Velvet Lace Trim Slip Dress – In The Style – £24.99
    16. High Neck Lace Midi Dress Grey – Missguided – £45High Neck Lace Midi Dress Grey – Missguided – £45
    17. Christah Black Faux Fur Chain Soldier Bag – Pretty Little Thing – £18
    18. Emmeline Black Satin Pleated Long Sleeve Wrap Dress – In The Style – £24.99
    19. Velvet Lace Romper – Topshop – £30
    20. Strappy Plunge Lace Bodycon Dress – Topshop – £39
    21. Petite Plisse Wide Leg Jumpsuit – ASOS – £40
    22. TACT Lace Up Tassel Heeled Sandals – ASOS – £35
    23. Charlotte Crosby Black Satin Cami Mini Dress – In The Style – £24.99
    24. Cataleena Black Premium Lace Panel Bodycon Dress – £45

    Last Minute Stocking Fillers and Secret Santa Gift Guide

    With only one week until Christmas, the gift buying panic has began and I still have lots of little gifts to pick up. I have compiled a guide for Secret Santa and stocking fillers to give inspiration and ideas to those of you like myself who still have lots of smaller presents to buy!  This year I think there is so much choice of gifts costing less than £20 that make a lovely yet inexpensive gift or a little extra something to accompany a bigger present. 

    stocking-fillers-secret-santa-collage

    1. St Tropez Classic Cracker – £8 – Boots – Many of my friends are absolutely obsessed with tanning and so this would be the ultimate stocking filler for any tan lovers out there and it’s cracker style packaging adds a festive twist too!
    2. Zoella Gingerbread Village Candle – £10 – Superdrug – When I was browsing in Superdrug a couple of weeks ago I noticed Zoe had released her Christmas gift range and when I smelled the festive Gingerbread scent, I was pleasantly surprised and so I think this would be greatly appreciated by any candle lovers! This would be a lovely stocking filler on its own or would be the perfect small gift alongside the Gingerbread Bath Fizz Set.
    3. Studio London 4 Piece Makeup Brush Set – £5 – Superdrug – Although I haven’t heard much of this brand or the quality of their brushes, I think the metal finishes in this brush set are gorgeous and would be perfect stocking filler for any frequent travellers or anyone jetting off after Christmas as they are ideal travel brushes.
    4. Jingle Bells – £9.95 – Lush Cosmetics – I think Lush are one of the best shops at doing Christmas and their pre-wrapped bath gift sets are perfect for a Secret Santa gift or to give someone who loves a pamper session every now and then.
    5. Zoella Gingerbread Bath Fizz Gift Set – £9 – Superdrug –  As I mentioned earlier, I am so surprised by how lovely the scent of Zoe’s Gingerbread range is and I think the Gingerbread Bath Fizz Set would be the perfect accompaniment to the Lush Set in a stocking or as I suggested before, paired with the Gingerbread Village candle as a lovely gift for a friend.
    6. Elderflower Fizz Bath Marbles Cracker – £6 – Oliver Bonas – I am obsessed with anything and everything Elderflower and so when I spotted this on the Oliver Bonas website, I knew I had to include it! The Cracker style packaging also drew me in yet again (as it did with the St Tropez Cracker) as I think it makes it just a little more Christmassy and acceptable as a stocking filler!
    7. Zoella Secret Scenta Mini Mist Set – £16 – Superdrug  – I cheated a little here as its already suggested by the name that this is a Secret Santa gift, however I also think this would be appreciated by so many if they found it in their stocking! With four different scents, Zoe has designed a set that is likely to be loved by everyone and allows you to find your own perfect scent.
    8. Shimmer Bee Charm Travelcard Holder – £5 – Accessorize – I’ve seen these little travel card holders all over my Instagram feed recently and I love them. However, when I searched for those from designer brands they seem to be incredibly expensive considering their small size and so when I was able to find an affordable offering to include in this gift guide I was delighted! This would be a great little gift to give to someone alongside a handbag or with a gift card if you are stuck for ideas for a Secret Santa present!
    9. Copper String Lights – £9.50 – Oliver Bonas – Who doesn’t love fairy lights? I have copper fairy lights in my own bedroom and so many of my friends have complimented them when they’ve been around, so I think this would be a widely appreciated gift.
    10. Snowy Salvation Mug – £12 – Anthropolgie – I fell in love with this almost immediately when I saw this on Anthropologie’s website, the prints are beautiful! I always find Christmas mugs to be tacky or of cheap quality but this design by Nathalie Lete is beautiful and would be a lovely gift to a tea or coffee addict!
    11. Tanya Burr Its Cold Outside Lip Gloss, Blush & Highlight Set – £11 – Superdrug – This little set from Tanya’s collection is the ideal stocking filler for any makeup enthusiasts as it has a lip gloss, blush AND highlight all for £11! Also, the packaging is so lovely and I’m sure would be appreciated.
    12. Richmond Check Scarf – £19 – Accessorize – I often receive scarves in my stocking myself and I love having a new accessory for the next few months of winter. I love this one from Accessorize as I think the neutral colours and tartan print would be liked by many, making it suitable for a Secret Santa gift for someone you don’t know so well or for a fashionista’s stocking!
    13. Sleek Mini Matte Me Collection – £5 – Boots – I have read so many amazing reviews about Sleek’s Matte Liquid Lipsticks and after trying out the tester in store I can confirm they have the best pigmentation and longevity of any liquid lipstick I have ever tried (they took forever to come off my hand!) This little set is likely to be any makeup lover’s dream due to the four different shades to choose from, all of which would suit many skin tones and could be paired with so many makeup looks not only during the rest of Winter, but into Spring too.
    14. Sanctuary Get Cosy Candle – £6.50 – Boots – I think that pretty much everyone loves a candle and this ‘Get Cosy’ offering from Sanctuary is a great winter festive candle and the packaging is really lovely too, making it a great little addition to a more expensive present.
    15. Gold & Glass Hanging Frame 2 x 2″ – £4 – Oliver Bonas – I absolutely adore these little frames. I think they’d be perfect for a gift for either a friend or family member with a photo of you both either as a keepsake or even as an addition to the Christmas Tree as they are the perfect size and they have a ribbon too.
    16. Gold Monogram Mug – £8 – Anthropologie – I have been lusting over these mugs for the longest time and I think they are such a perfect gift for someone. They are so reasonably priced and I think the Initial adds a lovely personal touch.

    Have a great Christmas!

    Kathryn x