Thursday, 4 December 2014

Beauty Christmas Crackers

Christmas isn't far away now and that means most of us are trying to get all of our presents and those finishing touches together to make Christmas an amazing day. I've decided to put together a few of what I think are the best Christmas crackers around. Of course, they're beauty Christmas crackers (which I didn't know existed until this year!) and some are very budget-friendly while others are more expensive. I think they're a great idea, however, since the usual crackers contain things which only get thrown away! So if you've got a few girls to please this Christmas, here's the crackers for you.

1. The first is the Lancome Christmas crackers (£54.00). While these crackers are very expensive, they contain some great products. You could even split these up and give each one as a gift to a friend which would total only £9 per friend. Included is the Hypnose Volume Mascara (black), Le Crayon Khol Eyeliner (black), Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate, Lip Lover, L'absolute Lipstick and Bi-Facil Eye Make Up Remover. All great luxury gifts for friends or a nice touch to a girly Christmas dinner.

2. Next is another luxury set, this time from Clarins. This set is a little cheaper at £39 (£6.50 per cracker) and contains the Wonder Perfect Mascara, Gentle Refiner, Beauty Flash Balm, Hand and Nail treatment, Eau des Jardins and Rouge Eclat Lipstick. I adore Clarins and it's another well-known luxury makeup brand which is bound to impress your friends at Christmas.

3. Thirdly, we're onto something a little more budget friendly and that is the Champneys Cracker Collection which contains four different bubble baths, retailing at £10 which is £2.50 per cracker. I think that these are really sweet and bound to please even those who aren't beauty lovers. The bubble baths included are Distant Shores Bubble Heaven, Mediterranean Bliss Bubble Heaven, Exotic Retreat Bubble Heaven and Oriental Opulence Bubble Heaven.

4. Another budget friendly set is the No7 Christmas Cracker collection (£14.00 or £2.33 each). This is another one which is good for girls who like a bit of pampering but aren't that into makeup, as it contains three nail polishes and three skincare items. The nails polish shades are: Temptress, Beanie and Damson Dream, and the skincare included is the Protect & Perfect Day Cream, Night Cream, and Intense Eye Cream.

5. Still on the topic of nails is the Nails Inc Christmas Cracker collection (£29.50 or £4.90 each). You get six full sized nail polishes in the shades Mayfair Mews, Kensington High Street, Trafalgar Crescent, Baker Street, Mayfair Lane and Kings Road.

6. And finally is the most budget-friendly of them all - the Baylis & Harding Sweet Mandarin & Grapefruit cracker set (£8.00 or £1.33 per cracker). These crackers contain three bottles of hand cream and thee bottles of bath & shower creme - bound to please any girl, and probably some guys too (we know they're always stealing our products). They're all in the sweet mandarin & grapefruit scent.

And those are all of my picks! This is my first Christmas post which is super exciting! It's been a struggle to fit it in with all of my uni deadlines but I've managed it! I hope you're all having fun picking out gifts and decorations this year!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Blue Vanilla Winter OOTD

For a few months now I've had a real thing for capes. I've been searching for the perfect one for a while now but it wasn't until I looked on Blue Vanilla's site that I really fell in love. I even prefer those over the ones in Topshop which is rare for me since Topshop is usually my go to. After my previous post for Blue Vanilla in which I mentioned my love for their capes, I received the Lesley Navajo Toggle Black Cape* (£25) in the post much to my surprise. It really made my day, so thanks, Blue Vanilla! 

I was a little worried that the cape would be a bit flimsy and thin but that isn't the case at all. It is reasonably thick and does keep you warm, which was also a concern of mine. I wouldn't say it's the warmest thing in the world but is ideal to throw over a long sleeved top for those days when it's not quite cold enough to warrant wearing a coat.

The best part about this cape is the clasp. I really wanted one with a clasp but it seemed that most didn't have one. I think it looks nicer (and not like you've just thrown a blanket on) and also makes it easier because you don't have to worry about it falling off. At £25 I definitely think this cape is worth a purchase!

Cape: Blue Vanilla (£25)
TOP: Topshop (£10)
JEANS: Topshop (£40)
SHOES: Doc Martens (£100)

Photography by Amy Buckle

Sunday, 16 November 2014

How To Grow Your Hair / Why Long Hair Sucks / Hair Regrets

I found these pictures from a post I'd planned on doing some time last year maybe and it hit me with some inspiration to do the post again. So these pictures are quite old but still apply! It's essentially tips for growing your hair and why I regret getting an undercut, as well as why long hair is SO VERY ANNOYING. If you don't know what an undercut is I've put in an awful picture below from MANY years ago, but essentially it's that shaved bit on the side of my head. Please do not judge the strange lines, I was experimenting with patterns and I KNOW IT LOOKS AWFUL!


SO I'm going to start out talking about my undercut. I got it when I was around fourteen. They hadn't got big on tumblr or anything at the time (I don't even know if people really used tumblr at that point) and I just thought it would be fun to shave the side of my head. I'd seen it on celebrities like Cassie and Ellie Goulding and decided I really liked it. And I did like it, and I still do like them. The trouble was, I cut it myself and I was never completely happy with the way it was cut but it was already gone and there was no changing it. It was really fun to play around with it though. It grew back so fast so I was always shaving it and doing weird things with it (like that little longer bit at the front in the picture above - that was fun), I even had blonde *ginger* stripes in it at one point.

The only thing is, at one point you won't want the undercut anymore. And I did NOT want to cut my hair at all because I was trying to grow it. So for ages I had this awkward length piece of hair at the front. And trust me, it looked awful for at least a year before it finally started to blend in with the rest of my hair. I think that now, maybe I would go back and not have an undercut because I'm stuck with this shorter piece of hair until I finally decide to cut my hair to that length. You might guess that I'm reluctant to do that because my hair is so long. The picture below illustrates the difference in length. And so does the one below that... sort of.

How to grow long hair:

Now onto the hair growing part. People often comment on how long my hair is and ask me how I possibly managed to grow it this long. The only way to grow your hair really it to NOT CUT IT or only get it trimmed to get rid of the dead parts. That's all there is to it. Deciding that you do not want to cut your hair out of boredom and you definitely want long hair. I've always wanted long hair but always got bored and ended up cutting it before it was even below my boobs. It just got to a point where I decided I was just going to let it grow... and I did. 

I also often treat my hair with oils such as coconut oil and other products such as the Alchemy Oils remedy. I definitely think that helps with keeping some of its moisture. I tend to leave them in for around 40 minutes, if not I'll leave them over night.

I use a boar bristle hair brush and a tangle teezer. I'm sure you'll all know about tangle teezers. They're essentially little brushes with soft, flexible bristles that won't rip or damage your hair which is what results in split ends. A boar bristle hair brush is made out of boar hair (I think?) and is basically sort of soft and doesn't do much in terms of getting rid of tangles. I use this to brush through my hair to distribute natural oils to the ends to keep my hair healthy. I would not recommend using this in the morning as it can end up making your hair look greasy. There's also no point in using it right after you wash your hair as there won't be much in the way of natural oils.

I never straighten or blowdry my hair. Like ever. I think I've done either thing twice in the last three years maybe. That definitely helps a lot. But if you do straighten or blowdry your hair, definitely use a heat protectant.

I rarely tie my hair up. This can cause strain on your hair and cause breakages. If I do tie it up I use hair ties with thicker coating rather than the thin ones as they won't harm your hair as much. If I'm sitting around the house I'll either use a soft fabric head band to tie my hair up or a big grip to hold it in place in a bun. Neither look is particularly good but both ways will not harm your hair!

I never ever brush my hair when it's wet. Your hair is more susceptible to breakages when it's wet because its elasticity is increased. Or something. I'm no expert. But brushing your hair when it's wet is bad. If you absolutely must, I'd recommend using a tangle teezer or a wet brush (as in the brand. not a brush that's wet). Personally I wouldn't use those either, I'd just wait for it to dry and then brush it.

And I think that's all I really do? I also don't colour my hair (though I'm planning to tomorrow). There are other ways like changing your diet and I've heard using horse shampoo could result in an increased rate of growth but I haven't tried that so wouldn't know. 

The struggles of long hair:

It gets knotty SO quickly. It's ridiculous. Like within an hour or something. And if it's windy, you're done for. I can't even be bothered to brush it half of the time because it takes at least ten minutes.

It always gets stuck down the backs of tops / jackets and it's a right old job to get it out. Honestly, it takes longer than you'd think to free it from its trap.

It gets in the way. A lot. Of pretty much everything I do, but the worst is eating because then it gets food in it. Like I'm pretty sure I always have food in my hair if I don't put it behind my shoulders.

It's just so much effort to wash and brush and everything. I miss the easy days.

People always say "wow your hair is so long!" and then that's all they say to me. A fact that I already know and then they have no other conversation to make and it's the most boring thing in the world.

Volume is no longer a thing. It's so heavy and flat and boring. And yes, I suppose you can do more styles with it than short hair, but the styles take so long that I don't even want to do them.

So that's enough of me moaning about my hair! I'm sure there's more that I've missed out but that's all from me for the moment. While I do not dislike having long hair because I think it looks better on me and I kind of just want to see exactly how long it will grow to, it is maybe a lot more effort than it's worth and I constantly think I should just get it cut off to make life easier. I know I would regret that though!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

My Autumn / Fall Makeup Routine

So I know I haven't done a YouTube video in forever. Three months, in fact. I just felt like doing something a bit different and I do enjoy making videos a lot, it's just that normally I don't feel happy enough to upload them. This time I've decided to just do it! So I've put together a sort of tutorial / routine / something of how I've been doing my makeup for the past few weeks. I hope you enjoy it!

Maybelline dream pure BB cream
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder
Real Techniques Powder Brush
Benefit Hoola Bronzer
Nars Mata Hari Blusher
Real Techniques Blush Brush
Soap And Glory Love At First Blush Rosy-Radiance Shimmer Powder
MUA Ever After Matte Eyeshadow Palette "Penny"
EcoTools Eyeliner Brush
Maybelline 24 Hr Colour Tattoo "70 Metallic Pomegranate"
Becca Cosmetics Eye Colour Powder Shimmer "Jacquard"
Real Techniques Shading Brush
Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush
Soap And Glory Supercat Eyeliner
Revlon Lash Potion Mascara
Too Faced LashGASM Mascara

Sunday, 9 November 2014

I Drew Gabriella Lindley / Velvetgh0st

So I'm kind of scared to put my artwork on my blog since I'm usually not happy with it and prefer people not to see it. But I've spent so long on this and I told Gabby months ago that I'd do it so here it is. I'm sure that soon I'll decide it's not good enough or that I've forgotten to do something and end up changing it but I get stuck in this endless feeling of it being unfinished and there has to be a point when I decide to just stop. And I guess that point is now?

It isn't perfect & it's actually the first drawing of a person I have ever finished on photoshop. Hopefully it's a skill I can improve in the future and I plan on doing many more drawings as I do love drawing people and always have.

If you don't know who the picture is, it's Gabby (velvetgh0st) who happens to be my favourite youtuber and has been for somewhere between one and two years now. I'm a sucker for youtube videos and hers are always so entertaining. 

Anyway this isn't a post for me to go on about youtubers I like! It's just to share something I like to do other than makeup and fashion for once. Please let me know what you think of it in the comments, just don't be too mean. :)