Sunday, 8 October 2017

Five goals I want to achieve before the end of the year.

Well, hello October! I can't quite believe we're here already, and what a wonderful time of year it is too. I just freaking love this time of year, when the nights start drawing in and the paths are littered with the fiery shades of fallen leaves. It's like a second spring and for me this time of year is always seen as a fresh start. So, with that being said, what goals have I set myself for the coming weeks and beyond?
TOP - NEW LOOK (buy now) | CHOKER - NEW LOOK (similar) | JEANS - ZARA (similar)
* NB: I'm not pregnant - I just found this top I bought in New Look online and it comes under maternity wear haha!

1. Go on a city break 

I have two weekend trips to Bristol planned in the next few weeks, one for a friend's 30th and the other to watch Gorgon City, which is super exciting. But I would love to go on a cute little city break ,like the one Dan and I had in Edinburgh at the start of the year. I've been so lucky to be able to travel the width and breadth of the UK with work over the last few months, and have visited some wonderful places like York and, soon to be, Belfast. But work often takes over, so I'd love to have time to properly explore a city. Whether it's a day trip to Bath or a trip abroad to Prague, I'm desperate to get away. 

2. Keep working on my health and fitness 

I've been working really hard to tone up lately, and the effects are finally noticeable. I just want to continue this and to start focusing really hard on healthy eating, as by the time December usually comes around I resemble a Christmas pud. I just feel so much more energetic and enthusiastic when I'm properly taking care of my body. I went on a super health kick a few years ago and have never felt so confident. I'm getting there, but I just want to get completely back into that lifestyle. 

3. Embrace all of the festivities in the lead up to 2018

Bonfire Night, Hallowe'en, the Christmas markets, mulled wine. I want to embrace it all. Last year I spent my lead up to Christmas living out of a hostel whilst interning, which was incredibly shit at times. I was so sad seeing everyone's Christmassy snapchats of their living rooms decked in twinkling fairy lights, while I was living out of a suitcase in a horrendously bland and stinky room, which contained nothing apart from a squeaky bed and a noisy fridge. I did get to enjoy all of the London festivities which was an absolute dream, but I'm desperate to embrace all of the fun that the autumn/winter brings this year with friends and family close by. First up, I want to be that basic bitch taking pictures in a pumpkin patch.

4. Get into a good blogging routine

I'm currently on annual leave and have been really enjoying getting my blog back on track. I've been taking a huge stream of flatlays and blog photos in order to accompany the huge list of post ideas I've written in my diary, and it's just so fantastic to get back into the swing of things. Blogging has always been a wonderful way for me to unwind and is an escapism almost from the stress and goings on of every day life. I feel like it's fallen by the wayside a little over the past few months, and this makes me sad. I have given so much love and energy to my corner of the web, and even though the blogosphere has changed, my passion for writing and sharing my thoughts is still as strong as ever. I want to get back to posting at least weekly for the rest of the year and beyond. 

5. Find that little piece of me that's missing

I've been having a bit of a tough time lately, dealing with goings on in my personal life. I don't want to share them here, as this has always been a positive outlet for me, but dealing with certain things has left me feeling like I've lost a little bit of me in the process. The things I love doing - blogging, having cosy nights in, long walks on the beach, photography, reading, writing - they've taken a step back as I've been opting to go out and socialise in an attempt to forget some of the things that have been going on. I want to get that part of me back and need to remind myself that it's okay sometimes to be alone. 

What would you like to achieve over the next few weeks?
Lots of love. xoxo

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Battle of the Urban Decay Naked Palettes | #GetNaked

The first beauty brand I completely fell head over heels in love with was Urban Decay. I remember begging my mum to buy me some of their glitter gel eyeliners and forever being told to wash it off by the teachers at school. Though my makeup application techniques have vastly improved since those disastrous days, my love for Urban Decay remains the same. The brand will always be my go-to when it comes to eye makeup, so it’s no wonder that receiving this amazing #GetNaked package through the post made me go a little crazy. 
Urban Decay’s Naked eyeshadow palettes are a staple in every beauty bloggers’ makeup bag. The powders are super creamy, meaning they apply really well with very limited (if any) fall out, and they’re bright, vibrant, durable and there are shades to suit every makeup look. 
But which one is my favourite? Which palette takes the crown? I’ve been putting them to the test over the last few weeks, and here’s the verdict…

NAKED 1

I hadn’t actually tried this palette before receiving it in the post, but it has a great variety of shades and the same fantastic pigmentation as its sister palettes. I love the range of colours available, and think it’s an amazing palette for the autumn. I particularly like the greeny tinge to Darkhorse and the purple hue in Hustle for this time of year. 

The only issue is the packaging, and it seems to be something that Urban Decay also saw as an issue as the latest palettes in the collection have different packaging. It’s what feels like a suede, or felt, finish, and unfortunately it gets dirty quite easily. Powders/liquids are easily transferred and it’s very difficult to clean, so the plastic packaging of the other palettes are more favourable as you can easily wipe them clean.

NAKED 2

Despite it being the second of the bunch, Naked 2 was the first Naked palette I tried and I used it every day until I’d hit pan on basically every shade and the black shadow cracked, resulting in an explosion of powder all over my makeup drawers. It’s safe to say I absolutely loved it, and I’m so happy to have it in my life again. 

In my opinion, this is probably one of the best shades for the year round. There are golds and pinks for the summer sunshine, darker browns and greys for autumn/winter, and gorgeous shimmers for Christmas time. The shadows are super pigmented and blend together seamlessly. This is definitely a product you would find in my daily makeup routine as it’s just so versatile.

NAKED 3

I hopped onto the rose gold bandwagon as quickly as the next blogger, and Urban Decay brought this beautiful palette out just as the trend was kicking off. The packaging is amazing. It’s sturdy, bright and looks amazing in flatlays (yep, that’s a real reason to buy the product, ha!). The shades here are really lovely, and I think have the best colour range out of all of the palettes. There are subtle beiges, pretty pinks and deep dark browns and blacks, so the looks you can create are really endless. 

For me, this is probably more of a spring/summer palette, simply because the base shades are pinker than the other palettes provide. However, that being said it is the perfect one for everyday makeup looks, and you can always vamp it up by using shades such as Darkside and Darkheart if you want to take a look from day to night. I absolutely love this palette, and would definitely recommend to someone who hasn’t purchased a Naked palette before (if not, why not?!).

NAKED SMOKY

I am a huge fan of the smoky eye. For me, the darker the eyeshadow the better. Naked Smoky has got some amazingly vibrant shades, Black Market and Smolder being personal favourites, as well as some with shimmer finishes, such as Radar and Armor. It’s perfect for this time of year with Hallowe’en at the end of the month and Christmas quickly approaching. Again, I adore the packaging for this product, the marble finish just does it for me. The brush for this palette is also slightly different, with one side having a smaller, sturdier brush head, which is perfect for blending and creating a really deep finish. 

However, it has to be said that this palette is probably more suited to those who are used to wearing lots of eye makeup and aren’t afraid to rock some seriously “out there” looks. I personally absolutely love it, but if you’re new to makeup or don’t wear it that often, then you’re probably better opting for one of the other palettes, as the shades are a little more netural. This is definitely a party makeup palette, and I’m excited to create some looks with it this party season!

So, which is the winner? I am so in love with them all and I would recommend each one to every beauty lover out there, but I’m torn between Naked 2 and Naked 3. I feel they’re the most versatile, and have a range of shades that appeal to more people. I guess I’ll have to keep trying different looks to see which one takes the crown!

Which is your favourite?
Lots of love. xoxo

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Top tips for getting a decent night's sleep.

I'll be honest, I usually sleep like a log. Once in bed I'm like a bear in hibernation, and I conk out as soon as my head touches the pillow, waking up a good eight or nine hours later, usually feeling pretty refreshed. However, whenever I have something important coming up, or if I'm feeling particularly stressed out about something before going to bed, I always have these vivid dreams.

I've woken myself up as I've been talking through a presentation the night before I'm due to present in front of the class, and I've even had ideas for essays and group assignments come to me in the middle of the dream. It's really bizarre, but I find if my mind is restless so is my sleep, and usually it happens on the nights that I need to wake up feeling completely alert and refreshed.

I’m also in the process of trying really hard to look after myself at the moment, after being ill and feeling pretty exhausted for the past month or so. I’m ditching the high heels for fluffy slippers, and hitting the hay instead of the dancefloor, and it feels pretty good. Is there anything better than an early night and waking up feeling super refreshed the next day, really?

Exercise

If there’s one way to seriously tire me out it’s a super hard gym session. I absolutely love going for a long run, or attending a tough gym class on a Friday night, knowing I can head to bed early and wake up feeling completely refreshed after a lie-in on a Saturday (oh my god, I am so fucking sad). While a good exercise routine helps to boost energy levels, I feel it also leaves me feeling accomplished, relaxed and ready to sleep too.

Make time to unwind

Whether it’s a piping hot shower, a face mask, snuggling up to bingewatch your latest Netflix fix, or thumbing through a gripping read, make time to unwind before bed.

Turn off your smartphone

I really, really need to start doing this more before bed. I'm so guilty of scrolling until my eyes start drooping before bed, and picking up my phone to read as though it's the morning paper as soon as I wake. It has to stop. I've been trying to ditch my phone in the evenings, opting to read or watch some TV instead, and it really does make such a huge difference to my nights sleep. 

What are your tips for getting sweet dreams?
Lots of love. xoxo

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Why summer coming to an end is bitter sweet, and my plans for autumn.

I absolutely love this transitional time of year, where the last of the summer sunsets cling on before dark, windy autumnal nights set in. The mornings feel cool and crisp and slowly, but surely, the leaves are starting to turn yellow, orange and brown and are floating from their branches to the floor. It's a truly beautiful season, and though spring always signifies new beginnings, I always see the onset of autumn as a fresh start.

This summer has been a crazy one. I've had some absolutely fantastic times - graduating, holidaying in Lanzarote and Center Parcs, and having lots of summer fun with friends have been real highlights - but I've also struggled with some personal goings on, and sadly had to miss out on my annual leave and a girly holiday as I somehow managed to contract mumps. I've pushed myself to the brink and back again, but I did manage to squeeze in some wonderful days out around the coast, and attended some amazing concerts and festivals too. 

I'm now seriously looking forward to autumn and what it has in store for me. I've already got some amazing events planned and am hoping to jet off to sunnier climates in October when I have some time off from work. Team that with Hallowe'en, Bonfire Night and the build up to Christmas, and it looks set to be a really busy few months! Here's what I want to achieve in the rest of 2017...

LOOK AFTER MYSELF MORE

I have this weird obsession with being busy, and sometimes it can really take over my life. I am always on the go. I have to have plans. I hate sitting around and not doing anything. But this means that sometimes I take things too far, and contracting mumps meant I had to stop and reevaluate. I've seriously been burning the candles at both ends. Weekly nights out, a hectic work schedule that has me driving all over the country, and late nights followed by early mornings have taken their toll. 

I've been feeling absolutely exhausted this past month or so, so now I am determined to put my health first. Early nights, lots of sleep, and a whole load of fruit, veggies and water is the way forward. The good thing about the onset of autumn means cosy nights in are aplenty, so I'm looking forward to snuggling up and getting my teeth stuck into all the new TV dramas gracing our screens. While I bloody love getting glammed up for a night out, there's no nicer feeling than waking up completely refreshed on a Sunday morning!

WORK ON MY CAREER

My previous post discusses all the things I've been up to since I completed my MA this time last year, and I'm honestly so proud of how far I've come. Interning in London, being nominated for a journo award, graduating with a distinction and bagging myself an amazing job at the BBC - it's been incredible!

Now though, it's time to start striving for the next big thing. I absolutely love my current role, but I am keen to utilise more of my journalistic and researching skills. This week I'm working on an attachment on the News Online desk which is an amazing opportunity, and it's been great to dip my toes into other areas of the company, particularly as journalism is something I'm so passionate about.

GET BACK INTO HEALTHY EATING

I've actually got the support of my friends on this one, which always makes things easier, but I am determined to eat healthily over the next few months. Working in television means food is always readily available. On shoots we have plates filled with snacks for our contributors, and that means I'm always gobbling up some sweeties or chocs when I never used to eat them at all. I have started to see improvements in my body, after working hard in the gym and being mindful of my diet, so now I am determined to keep this up by eliminating sweet treats and making healthier choices. I always feel so much better and far more confident when I'm eating well and training hard, and I think it will help with keeping my health on track too. 

MAKE MORE MEMORIES

I do feel like I get stuck into a bit of a routine sometimes - all work and no play. I know that it's important to relax and regenerate, but I'm really excited with the events I have coming up over the next few months. It will be so nice to make up for the times I missed out on over the summer.

KEEP ON BLOGGING

I'm so excited to get some autumn/winter content underway. This time of year provides so many perfect opportunities for blogging and it feels so nice to be back into it, albeit a little sporadically. I want to get on track with a weekly posting schedule and want to continue experimenting with new outfit looks and sharing new content.

Lots of love. xoxo
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