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.

    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

    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

    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. 

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    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

     

    Winter ASOS Favourites

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    I can’t believe I have never wrote a fashion post on my blog! I love fashion (not as much as beauty, but it’s close), and I am constantly on the look out for new pieces for my wardrobe. I always find that my ASOS ‘Saved’ section is excessive in what I want to buy. Obviously I can’t have everything being a full time student so the things I do buy tend to be pieces I can see me wearing for a long time or really versatile pieces that I can wear with a bunch of different outfits.

    Coats and Boots are the two pieces I feel I need to invest in during winter (hence why there are multiple in this wish list) as I find that if I buy something in November, I will wear it frequently until March and then providing I still like the item, I will continue to wear it the following autumn/winter.

    I have compiled a list of my favourite pieces on ASOS at the moment, some of which I can see being staple wardrobe pieces that would last you into the Spring season, and some pieces that would just be perfect for Christmas parties and upcoming festivities.

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    1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 (Similar) | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22| 23 | 24

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    July Favourites

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    Hi there!

    Although I feel like July has wizzed by, I have actually bought and loved a lot of things this month that I thought I’d share, so here goes:

    Beauty:

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    1) Revlon Matte Balm in ‘225 Enchanting’ – £7.99

    This is my new holy grail matte lip product. It is moisturising, highly pigmented and best of all; doesn’t feel drying at all which is something I always experience with every matte product, drugstore or high end. For a high street product with such an affordable price tag, I was amazed by this product and I am definitely going to be purchasing this in more shades.

    2) MAC Lip Pencils in ‘Boldly Bare’ and ‘Spice’ – £13.00

    I actually purchased these back in April when I visited Mac Cosmetics at Covent garden, however I only really used them to line my lips and only recently have I used them as a lip product alone. Although they can feel quite drying, I love the colour and matte effect they give, and they do last a really long time before needing a top up.

    3) NYX Proof It! Eyeshadow Primer – £5.50

    I have been meaning to buy an eyeshadow primer for the longest time as I have really oily eylids and my eyeshadow always creases. I spotted this on the NYX counter in boots and thought it looked like a pretty similar dupe to NARS’ eyeshadow base (which I am desperate to try!)  It performs exactly as I had hoped; it keeps my eyeshadow in place all day without any smudges, and also makes my eyeshadow look more pigmented.

    4) Lush Celestial Moisturiser – £14.95

    This moisturiser just continues to impress me every time I use it. The almond-based product hydrates and clears my skin as well as leaving it feeling super soft. Prior to my discovery of this product, other moisturisers made no difference to my skin, and sometimes even made it worse by causing me to break out, and therefore this has become both my ultimate favourite skincare product and favourite lush product. I would recommend this moisturiser to people with sensitive and combination skin like myself as it is gentle on the skin and helps to reduce oil whilst hydrating drier areas, which makes it  suitable for those who experience dry skin too.

    Accessories:

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    6) H&M Sunglasses – £6.99 (In Store Only)

    I have been after a pair of sunglasses like these for a while as the other pairs of sunglasses I own are quite boring and so I wanted a pair that were a little fancier. These are perfect and exactly what I was looking for; they are a cat-eye shape, a funky print, yet still look slightly chic. Overall, these were a great find!

    7) Topshop Rings (No longer available)

    I have been meaning to buy some sterling silver or gold rings for ages now, but in the meantime, these caught my eye in topshop and I couldn’t resist. This set of three gold rings look nice with any nail colour, and for only £8, I think they are a great addition to any outfit.

    TV/Books:

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    8) Orange Is The New Black on Netflix

    I have loved this show ever since the release of Season 2, when I decided to jump on the bandwagon and find out what I was missing out on. I became hooked instantly, and with the release of Season 4 in June, I haven’t stopped watching the new episodes at any free moment I have! If you aren’t watching this show already, I strongly suggest you do, its amazing.

    9) Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix

    I’ll admit that when I first started watching this show, I wasn’t sure I understood it or that I liked it, however after giving it a chance and watching a few episodes, I absolutely loved it and was laughing out loud. This has to be my favourite comedy on Netflix and Titus just makes the entire show, let’s be honest.

    10) The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

    I bought this book months ago but I completely forgot about it until I spotted it on my bookshelf at the beginning of July. I was hooked from the first page with this book, its so intriguing and once I start reading, I find it so difficult to put down. I cannot wait to reach the ending however I’m not sure I want to finish it, I love it too much!

    What have you been loving this month?

    Kathryn x