Wednesday, 10 January 2018

After The Fire - Will Hill || Book Review

As soon as Zoe Sugg (Zoella) announced her 2017 book club, I knew I was going to buy the books. I did last year and the idea that this time round she was working with other authors and book lovers really sold it to me. I picked it up pretty soon after she released the video about it which meant I got all 8 books for around £35 - bargain! Out of all the 8 books (link here) After The Fire was the book I was least excited to read purely because it doesn't fit with my chick lit genre. Patrick Ness, author of A Monster Calls, reviews it by saying "genuinely different...thrilling and spell binding" and he isn't wrong.
The thing that instantly drew me into this book is the fact that the chapters are written in two ways, Before and After and to begin with it isn't clear what time frame this is referring too. I think another reason I was automatically involved in this book is that it begins straight at the action, something my typical genre doesn't do! From the first 5 pages, you become aware that something bad has happened but you don't know what, why or how. Throughout the book you learn more about Moonbeam and her family and life with Father John inside the compound.
Although I can't relate to Moonbeam or any of the characters in the book, I still connected with the main character straight away. When she felt happy, so did I, when she trusted a character, I did too and when she began to become curious about her life and the rules she has to follow, I willed her to make a change. I devoured this book in a night, it kept me gripped from beginning to end. I wouldn't even say there was a chapter where I felt bored or that something more exciting could have happened. I can't wait to try more books by Will Hill or more books based around this theme.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Brew & Brownies York Review|| Lifestyle

I bloody love a good visit to York, especially during the festive period so my boyfriend and I decided to do a spot of shopping in the city once loved by the Vikings a couple of weeks before Christmas. We did a lot of damage in the shopping area but we also decided to feed our little tummies so brunch from a little cafe called Brew & Brownie. Like most people my food recommendations often come from places that are 100% instgramable and this place is exactly that.
Hidden away from the main streets of shopping and the cobbled alleys is where you'll find Brew & Brownie. It's a small, friendly and busy cafe which unfortunately you can't book. It was constantly busy, we had to wait around 5 minutes for a table and this seemed to be the common theme. The cafe was filled with a variety of people and ages and the staff were rushed off their feet but helpful and friendly at the same time.
The menu is varied with sweet and savoury, healthy and slightly less healthy options so it really does cater to everyone (i'm convinced they had gluten free and vegan friendly cake too!) As you can see from the first picture, I ordered the American pancake stack with banana and salted caramel. I received 4 of the biggest, fluffiest pancakes I've ever tried with just the right amount of topping to compliment the food nicely. My boyfriend ordered eggs benedict (with bacon not ham) and was suitably satisfied.

 Feeling very full indeed we headed to do some more shopping and sight seeing around the beautiful city. I thought i'd include a semi outfit picture as I'm not 100% confident with posting them but i'm in love with this gorgeous New Look jumper so I really wanted to share it. After we'd shopped, took in the sides and had a small drink in the Christmas market we decided to visit the Brew & Brownie Bakeshop which is a couple of doors down. We purchased two of their home made doughnuts, raspberry jam and Oreo (heart eyed emoji) - we had to have something to remember the day by, right?


Thursday, 4 January 2018

2017 Favourites || Beauty

2017 was a quiet year for me in regards to blogging but that doesn't mean to say it was quiet in terms of beauty. 2017 was the year I discovered more high end makeup and I really tested products instead of continuously buying new things. Yes, I did splurge (you can see some evidence of it here) but I also repurchased favourite products and thoroughly researched most products before buying them.  

My skin care hasn't really changed much and both these Elemis products have been firm favourites for a while. First up is the Elemis Pro-radiance Illuminating Flash Balm. I first got a sample of this in a free with purchase promotion and hated the smell of it. At the same time I ran out of moisturiser so I had to use this. It quickly became a favourite because of it's glowy finish and priming ability. My makeup glided on and lasted such a long time. Next up is Elemis Skin Buff which i've loved for the longest time. It's the most effective exfoliator I've ever used and I will continue to forever repurchase it (if you want a more in depth review click here).

For eyes I've included eye shadow, brows and mascara and my eye shadow product is a palette but it has definitely been a constant in my makeup bag. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette is such a lovely palette. It has the perfect mix of shimmer and matte shades meaning it's perfect for every occasion. I love the shade Golden Ocre in the crease and Primavera all over the lid for day time and then the more pinky shades for a more dramatic night time look. NYX have had me covered all year in the brow department with the NYX Tame & Frame Brow Pomade. I love how easy this is to use, it applies like a dream but is easy to blend for any of those heavy handed moments I have so often! It's also lasted the full year too, although it is getting a little dry now. Mascara is a semi newish discovery after a long year of trailing and failing. I have pretty long lashes but I find most mascaras smudge on me so bad. This Max Factor Lash Crown Mascara is the only thing that doesn't budge. Yes the brush is gimmicky but I can't deny that the product is actually really damn good.

My foundation of choice hasn't changed from my 2016 Beauty Favourites and it's the YSL Touche Eclat foundation. It is just the perfect formula and finish for my skin. It lasts well on the skin and gives pretty good coverage. I've since purchased the Huda Beauty Faux Filter Foundation and I must admit that it's a pretty good rival so we will have to see what 2017 brings. I also finally took the plunge to buy the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder after so long and I'm so pleased I did. It compliments pale skin tones so nicely and really helps achieve that contoured look. I love adding this over the top of my new favourite cream contour (keep your eyes peeled for a review!) For blusher and highlight, I again chose a palette in the shape of Becca Jaclyn Hill C Pop Collection. The blushers are so highly pigmented that you literally need the smallest amount but my goodness, they look good on the skin. Obviously Champagne Pop is just absolute highlight goals (full review of it here).

For lips, I really had to reign it in. I'm an absolute lipstick addict so I was spoilt for choice. I decided to narrow it down to a red and a nude. Mac Faux featured in last years favourite too, it really is just the perfect nude shade for me. Every morning I reach for this before work, it's comfortable and long lasting but also fades really beautifully. My red in Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick in 714. This applies so beautifully, the applicator is such a good shape - you can get right into the lip line. Because of this, you don't always have to wear a lip liner which means it's perfect for on the go or travelling. 

Another favourite continued from last year is the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. I just don't think you can beat it for the price, yes the beauty blender is good but is it worth £10 more than this? I don't think so. Since buying a new foundation, I've began applying it with a buffing brush however I still go over the top with this to really blend it into the skin. In 2017, I really got into eye shadow too, obviously this means I need some more brushes. Firsty, the Zoeve Luxe Crease Brush is perfect for applying a crease colour which makes any eye shadow look instantly better. It also cleans really well! To blend the whole look together I love this BH Cosmetics brush, it's so big that it blends a whole eye shadow look perfectly together.

What were you loving in 2017?


Monday, 1 January 2018

New In || Beauty Haul

Hello blogging world, it's been a while hasn't it!? A lot has happened in the past few months, work has been crazy busy and I've moved out into my first little home (you can see my post about my new renting series here). Also, I won't lie, I just kind of fell out of love with blogging and the blogging world in general. But I'm back, I'm not sure how long for but at the moment I'm loving getting back into the swing of things. I thought I'd kick off with a new in beauty edition (take new in with a pinch of salt, this post has been sat in my drafts since August) as obviously my love of beauty hasn't subsided.
Firstly, I'll start with Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick in Backtalk which is a liquid lipstick in the most perfect nudey colour. I've wanted this for ages but it has been sold out for months, I managed to pick this up from Debenhams in Manchester and I was over the moon to have it. Another newbie is the Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm which is essentially an illuminating moisturiser which gives you the most dreamy glow. I tried this in a sample a while ago and then decided to pick it up when Elemis were having a promotion. The YSL Touche Eclat Foundation is a repurchase of mine, I think this is my 4th bottle. It is definitely my holy grail foundation, it has the perfect coverage and longevity.
Another newbie is the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette as soon as I got the early released email for this, I knew I wanted it. I was at work the day it was released so I set my boyfriend the mission of bagging it and luckily he did. The colours are just perfect, such a nice range of matte and shimmer shades, perfect for the coming seasons.The Kiehls Micro Blur Skin Perfector was an accidental purchase as I'd actually asked for something else in the shop but the sales assistant misheard me. The Kiehls customer service team were so hopeful and actually let me keep the product and sent the actual item straight to us. This is a kind of primer/bb cream but I haven't had a lot of chance to test it out. The Urban Decay Quick Fix Priming Spray is a lovely addition to my makeup bag. It smells amazing and makes me skin look and feel nice and hydrated before I apply my makeup. I can't say it does a great deal as a primer but it definitely feels nice on the skin.
My final new in product is the beautiful GHD Straighteners. My old GHD's sadly gave up the ghost and when they did, I knew I was going to buy some more. These genuinely are the best brand of straighteners I've ever used - and trust me I've tried a lot! I have super thick hair but these manage to control, straighten and tame it all whilst making sure the style remains the same all day. I picked these up when GHD were running 20% student discount which made them a fair bit cheaper than normal.
What have you been buying lately?

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