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

 

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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.