July Beauty and Lifestyle Favourites

IMG_0577

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.

IMG_0600

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!

IMG_0592

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

 

5 Ways To Help Relieve Stress

img_0288

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.

img_0275

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

goals-for-2017-bp (Source of Image – Makeup Savvy)

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. 

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

 

50 Christmas Gifts under £50

christmas-50-under-50

I’ve finally compiled a list of my top 50 gifts for £50! It’s taken me absolutely ages to create this post as I was conscious to cover all ground and try to include something for everyone. The majority of these gifts would be mostly suited to the ladies in your life, however my main aim of this gift guide was to create a guide that included amazing presents for those on more of a budget as I know I definitely will be this year. As a student, I find it bizarre that the majority of gift guides list luxury presents with extortionate price tags and although I know that these are amazing if you have no budget, not all of us can afford extremely pricey gifts and therefore I hope that this guide is helpful if you want to buy lovely gifts with less damage to your bank account!

  1. There’s Something About Bathing – £46.95
  2. Diptyque Baies Scented Candle – £42
  3. P.F. Candle Co. Teakwood & Tobacco 3.5oz Soy Candle – £12
  4. Yankee Candle Gift The Christmas Edition – £30
  5. DKNY Bryant Park Saffiano Leather Card Holder – £40
  6. 36 Hours, 150 Weekends in Europe Book – £24.99
  7. Neom Luxury Organics Christmas Home Collection – £45
  8. Soap and Glory 12 Christmas Washes – £30
  9. Urban Decay Ultimate Basics Matte Eyeshadow Palette – £38.50
  10. NARS Mind Game Mini Velvet Lip Glide Sarah Moon Collection – £32
  11. Starbucks Coffee Duo – £18
  12. Laura Mercier Going Glam Palette – £35
  13. Rifle Paper Co iPhone 6 Case – £28
  14. Laura Mercier Flawless Contour Palette – £35
  15. Merry Bright Travel Mug – £12
  16. Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Party Eyes Bauble – £20
  17. Grey Reindeer Slipper Boots – £18
  18. St Tropez Holidays Are Coming – £35
  19. Charlotte Tilbury Lip Stick in ‘Very Victoria’ – £23
  20. Library of Fragrance Christmas In New York Eau De Toilette 30ml – £15
  21. Marble Alphabet Coaster – £6
  22. Oh K! ASOS Exclusive Cleansing Gift Set – £15
  23. Gold Marble 2016-2017 Diary – £30
  24. Wooden Cinematic Lightbox – £35
  25. Elderflower Fizz Bath Time Gift Set – £24
  26. 4×4 Gold Glass Mini Square Multi Frame – £24
  27. NARS ASOS Exclusive True Story – £39
  28. This Works Sleep Tight – £13
  29. Skinnydip x Zara Martin Kitty Headphones – £35
  30. A New Journey Starts Here: Writing & Sketching Journal – £9.99
  31. Ohh Deer White Marble Daily Journal – £16
  32. Ban.Do 2017 Calendar – £16
  33. ASOS ‘The World Is Your Oyster’ Watch and Card Holder Set – £28
  34. Portico Horoscope Notebook – £6.99
  35. Ciate Chloe’s Beauty Box – £45
  36. Meow Wine Glass Set – £14
  37. Marc Jacobs ‘Up All Night’ Petite Lip Creme Makeup Gift Set – £34
  38. ASOS Christmas Penguin Long Sleeve T-Shirt & Legging Pyjama Set – £24
  39. ESPA Little Box Of Joy Gift Set – £18
  40. ASOS Christmas Cactus iPhone 6 and 6S Case – £8
  41. Marc Jacobs ‘About Lash Night’ Makeup Gift Set – £30
  42. Starbucks Gift Card
  43. Katie Hoxton The Perfect Pouch in ‘Pink’ – £15.99
  44. Mini Monogram Pendant Necklace – £32
  45. Tanya Burr ‘Tanya Presents’ Beauty Box – £50
  46. Zoella Spa in a Jar – £11
  47. #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso – £7.99
  48. Marc Jacobs Divine Decadence 30ml Eau De Parfum – £48
  49. Makeup Revolution 12 Days of Christmas Storage Chest – £50
  50. Pixi Best Of Bright – Holiday Edition – £20