Winter Favourites 2014

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Well, it is March which means Winter is over and Spring is here! Below are some of the things I have loved from Winter.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge – This sponge is absolutely amazing and I have been using it all winter. It makes my foundation go on so smoothly and flawlessly. Absolutely wonderful – and definitely lives up to its name! Image

Benefit POREfessional Primer – This primer is definitely one of my winter favourites this year. Check out my full review on it right here if you haven’t already, which pretty much sums up my love for it.

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Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette – Since Naked 3 came out, I have realised I have not even bought Naked 2 yet – so I decided to just buy it as I have wanted it for a long time. I love it. I have been using YDK a lot. However, I will be buying Naked 3 very soon.

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Demi Lovato: 365 Days a Year – Staying Strong – I bought this book at the end of 2013 and I thought it would make sense to start reading it from the 1st of January. The layout of this book is interesting. Each individual page is dedicated to one day of the year until 31st of December. So, I am reading it the way it should be read. Every morning, I wake up and read a quote from that book – it helps me be more positive and think about each thoughtful quote and act on it. I highly recommend this book if you are going through a hard time.

ImageTiesto – Red Lights – I have loved Tiesto for years and I was about to see him live with Calvin Harris in December but I had to miss that gig unfortunately as I was not well. I have been really loving his new song ‘Red Lights’ – a really happy song and I love listening to it on the tube!

ImageBBC Get In Event – On February 11th, I went to the BBC Get In Event held by BBC Academy. I went to the London event at New Broadcasting House. As I am in my third year at university and thinking about graduate schemes and careers, I felt like I needed some advice directly from the BBC on how to get in and so this event was very useful for the application of the Production Talent Pool – which opens next week. I met some really nice people and got some fantastic advice from Simon Wright – BBC’s Talent Executive and Don Kong –  BBC Academy’s Programme Coordinator.  We did some group work – we had to develop a BBC programme idea and pitch it to them, which was very helpful for the application. Very much enjoyed that day and it is always lovely to be back at BH.

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Beauty Review: Benefit POREfessional Primer

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I took a risk with this product. Considering my skin is very sensitive, without even trying a sample first, (bearing in mind I did go and ask for a sample at the Benefit counter in Boots but they said they apparently do not provide a sample) and after umming and arring over this for a rather long time, I decided to take the bullet and just buy it thinking of the really good reviews I have watched on YouTube and read online about it. My opinion? It is absolutely amazing on my skin and I love it!

I have been looking for a really good primer to wear under my foundation that minimizes pores to the extent where you cannot even feel them. This certainly does the trick.

Even though it is oil-free, when you apply it, it does feel oily at first but that feeling straight away goes away and it feels so silky, velvety and lightweight and that is what I love about this product. It is not heavy at all. You just apply on your t-zone and it just makes the pores disappear and makes your foundation go on very smooth. It feels like you are not even wearing any thing else other than your foundation, which is always a bonus. The last thing you want is your face to feel caked with a lot of products, making your face very heavy and uncomfortable.

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The only downside is the price at £24.50. However, I can justify it by saying that I have not found a primer any better than this (and I have tried a lot) so perhaps it is worth it. I bought this product with a set of three called pretty porefect, which comes with a mini thatGAL Face Primer and It’s Potent Eye Cream, which I have yet to use. This was the same price as the individual product, but gives me two free samples, so I thought why not?

All in all, this primer is absolutely amazing and I will definitely purchase it again.

How To Get A Good Night’s Sleep

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We often underestimate the benefits of sleeping well and most of us do not even get a good night’s sleep which can affect our mood and skin. A lot of things can get in the way of our sleep, mostly stress. I know how tough it is to toss and turn all night. Even when you are tired, you just cannot seem to fall asleep and it is so frustrating because you find yourself feeling overly tired during the day.

There are things you can do to fall asleep.

No Technology – This is something I have been told many times, which is to turn off all technology an hour before bed. This means no TV, no iPhone, no laptop. When we are so focused on screen after screen, our brain is still alert and when we go to bed straight after, our mind is still focused on that. Give yourself an hour before you go to bed to switch off all technology, until the next day.

Tidy Your Bedroom – I say this all the time. A clean and tidy bedroom constitutes to a good night’s sleep. It is amazing how the environment you are in can affect your mood and sleep. Give yourself some time at the end of the day to make your bedroom look nice and cosy and also, make sure the temperature of the room is perfect. You do not want a really cold bedroom or a very hot bedroom. Try and find that perfect temperature, which will in turn make you feel rather relaxed and hopefully make you fall asleep easier.

Read – Reading is something that I often do when I switch off my technology an hour before bed. Make sure what you are reading is rather positive though. You would not want to read a negative book before bed because that can affect your sleep. I like to read motivational or self-help books before bed.

Journal – What I like to do at the end of everyday is to write in my personal journal. It could be about anything. Writing down about how my day went at the end of the day is like ticking the day complete and it is like saying I am ready for the next day. I write everyday and if writing is something that you like, before bed is a really good time to write, as it is relaxing and reflecting on the day, good or bad, makes you feel so much better.

Hypnosis – This is very optional but what I find works for myself is listening to medication or hypnosis audios in bed. I am really into self-development and so listening to positive audio’s makes me feel rather calm and sleepy. I really love Joseph Clough‘s Hypnosis app and I listen to his podcasts every night to make me fall asleep. He has great hypnosis for different issues, so if you have an issue which may be holding you back in life, have a listen to some of his podcasts. They help immensely with looking at life in a different way and sleeping too!

Sleeping Schedule – Finally, get into a sleeping routine. If you go to bed at different times every night, your sleeping will definitely be out of whack. However, if you go to bed at the same time every night, you will sleep much better and wake up at the same time. I go to bed at 10pm every night and wake up at 6am every morning. So I get a good 8 hours sleep every day, which is what most adults need.

My Pamper Evening Essentials

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What I like to do every week is to have a nice pamper evening to relieve stress and just have some ‘me’ time. I know how stressful you can get when you have studying to do, a job or kids to look after. That does not mean you cannot treat yourself now and then. A break is what you need to recharge your batteries. In fact, pampering yourself does wonders to your physical and mental state and makes you feel so much better. I always like to have my own pamper evening once or twice every week and this is what I usually do…

DSC00822Relaxing bath –  A pamper evening always should include having a nice relaxing bath. It will not be a pamper evening if a bath is not included because that bath is what relaxes and soothes you the most. Recently, I have been buying bath bombs from Lush because they are amazing and makes you feel fresh and lovely. You need something special on a pamper evening. My favourite bath bomb is the Avobath made with avocado, olive oil and lemongrass and it smells amazing.

Exfoliating Face Mask – An exfoliating homemade face masks are the best for a pamper evening. My favourite is definitely my Manuka Honey and Sea Salt mask. Great for acne-prone skin.

DSC00785Candles – I love candles. I burn them while I study too. They put you in a rather relaxing mood. Yankee Candles are expensive but they last a long time and get the whole room smelling lovely. I was looking for the Christmas Cookie recently but they were all sold out, so I settled for the  Strawberry Buttercream instead. It is absolutely gorgeous. I burnt it only once and everyone says it got the whole house smelling nice let alone my bedroom. Scented candles are a must for a pamper night.

Clean and Tidy Bedroom – Along with that, I always make sure I have a tidy bedroom and some fairy lights turned on. It just makes me feel so much relaxed and cosy. Below is my bedroom – well half of it anyway.

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Book – I love cosying up in bed with a good book. I am currently reading Madness by Marya Hornbacher for the second time.

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Nail Polish – Something rather girly! A pamper even will not be a pamper evening without painting your nails. My favourite is the Essie ‘Fishnet Stockings’. A lovely deep red. It looks beautiful on. 13249384

I think I will have a nice pamper evening on New Year’s Eve. Perfect way to end 2013 don’t you think?

Winter Essentials (2013)

It is December, which means it is Winter! After Autumn, Winter is my next favourite season because of the thought of being stuck at home, around the fire or heater,  just feeling rather cosy! I love it. I do not like snow though and apparently, Britain will have the worst Winter in 60 years during the next coming months. Snow, snow and more snow. I am not looking forward to that.

But fear not because every year, I have a few essentials (below) that I think we should all have this Winter so that it does not affect our mood as much. I don’t know about you, even though I love Winter, it does bring on a rather melancholic feeling. But, materialistic things does tend to make me happier! y (3)1. Winter Coat – After wearing my mac/trench coat all Autumn, when Winter comes along, I change to a wool coat, which will keep you warm in the harsh weather us Brits face when it comes to December/January. I still go for my usual skater style coat and I have been wearing a wool military style coat from ASOS like the one above for nearly over two years now because it is so good and is not even damaged one bit. I would suggest to invest in a rather expensive Winter coat, which will last you a very long time. Also, when you live in the UK, you always need a coat all year round to be honest. But, I do not change to a proper Winter coat (wool material) until the temperature drops to 5 degrees and below.

2. Gloves – We all need a pair of warm gloves during the Winter. I find that when I am out and the weather is so cold, my hands get so frozen that I cannot even use my phone. The one above is a Hello Kitty one but if you are a smartphone user, I would suggest you buy a pair of touchscreen gloves. Those are a lifesaver!

3. Cosy Slipper Boots – I love walking around the house with a pair of slippers and recently I saw these cosy looking boots in H&M and I had to buy it. They look like Uggs and I do not like Uggs but these are just to wear at home when it is so cold. They are very comfortable and very warm!

4. Hot Water Bottle – I am always always always cold and I always (I need to stop saying always) need a hot water bottle. I have the Hello Kitty one above. I have my own heater as well which I use to death but a hot water bottle is something that I use when I need to fall asleep. I feel so cold that I cannot even sleep so I usually make myself a hot water bottle before bed. Be careful though because from experience, using a hot water everyday is not good for your skin. Too much use can burn your skin!

5. Cosy Pyjamas – I don’t know about you but when I wear new pyjamas, I feel like a million dollars. Very weird I know. I recently bought new Hello Kitty pyjamas and they are the best thing ever. Along with pyjamas, I would suggest a nice cosy dressing gown. I live in dressing gowns and pyjamas to be honest – even in the summer because I am always cold! I am eyeing up a Hello Kitty dressing gown at the moment but if I spend my money on that, I am sure to get into trouble. I have too many already!

6. Cosy Slipper Socks – Like the boots, fluffy slipper socks are great for those colder months. Again, I live in fluffy socks at home because of me being so susceptible to the cold. They are the best.

7. Carmex – When it is really cold, your lips tend to get very dry and chapped and I find that putting on Carmex before my lipsticks prevents my lips from getting like that. Carry one around with you because it does the job!

8. Rimmel Kate Moss Liptick in 107 – This has been my favourite lipstick all Summer and Autumn and because it is such a dark red lipstick, it would definitely work well in the Winter. I love this lipstick as it is matte and just looks amazing on.

9. Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation (in Ecru) – In my Double Wear Light review, I said that the full coverage one is great for Winter and I have started using it again after months of using Double Wear Light and I must say, I have fallen in love with this foundation again. It is so perfect for Winter because it is such a full coverage foundation. It just works well on my skin in the Winter. So, if you wear foundation – a good full coverage one is what you need for the Winter.

10. MAC Bronzing Powder (Matte Bronze) – When it is Winter, your skin will become rather dull, so if you want to get a bit of colour into your skin, I would suggest using a bronzer. I have been loving contouring recently and this bronzer by MAC does the job perfectly. I do not like shimmers in my bronzers so I bought the matte one. Most of these are rather dark but very blendable.  I would suggest using the Real Techniques Blush Brush to contour really well. Also, because the bronzer is by MAC, it is quite expensive at £20 so if you want a cheaper alternative drugstore one, I would suggest the Sleek Face Contour Kit. I have the one in the Light shade and it is only £6.49 and does the job well!

 

Autumn Favourites 2013

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It is nearly the end of Autumn, so I thought I would start a ‘season favourites’ series. Below are some of my favourites from this Autumn.

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Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant – I really have been loving this exfoliant this Autumn. Rather than repeating myself, I have reviewed this product right here, so please do check that out if you are interested.

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Urban Decay – Toasted (Eyeshadow) – I use my Urban Decay Naked Palette all year round to be honest but this Autumn, I have basically hit the pan with ‘Toasted.’ I love this eyeshadow so much and I use it with ‘Sin’ and they both look amazing together.

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Fashion

Miss Selfridge Coat – I bought this coat for Autumn and I basically lived in it this Autumn, so it was not a waste of money. I am getting a lot of wear out of it that inside one of the pockets, it has started to tear up! I do need to get that sewed back.

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Music

Johnny Marr gig  – On the 18th October, I went to see Johnny Marr for the second time this year (third time including the time when I met him at a signing). For those who don’t know, Johnny Marr (along with Noel Gallagher and a few others) is a hero of mine and someone who made me pick a guitar when I was 13 and inspires me like no other. He played the Roundhouse in Camden and he was absolutely wonderful as usual. He played all the great new ones and also some Smiths ones too. My highlight was when he played ‘Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want’ and Electronic’s ‘Getting Away With It.’ Just stunning. At the end of the gig, I managed to get his setlist and his plectrum. So, not a bad gig!

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Avril Lavigne album – I have been loving (and still am) the new self-titled album by Avril Lavigne. When Goodbye Lullaby came out in 2011, I basically overplayed it weeks on end as soon as it came out and never got sick of it and I have been doing the same with this new album. My favourite songs include ‘Hush Hush’ ‘Hello Kitty’ ‘Falling Fast’ ‘Hello Heartache’ and ‘Give You What You Like.’ Oh, I love all of them! It is difficult to choose. A wonderful album.

Little Mix album ‘Salute’ – Another album I have been loving is Little Mix’s new album. I think they are fabulous and my favourite song from the album has to be ‘Little Me’ as the song says exactly what I would say to my younger self, to speak out, to shout out and believe in myself a bit more. The unplugged version on the Deluxe album is beautiful.

Books

Morrissey: Autobiography – Morrissey’s autobiography was released this Autumn and I am still in the middle of reading it but enjoying it very much indeed. I don’t know why it is classed as a Penquin Classic though (I did an item on this on my recent radio show.) I like Marr more than Morrissey so I am not that much of a fan of Mozza himself but this book really is very interesting and I am quite intrigued as to how he remembers everything that happened when he was little. It is a great book however and you get to find out a lot about the man himself.

Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography – Sir Alex Ferguson also released his autobiography a week after Morrissey released his and they were both basically battling each other for the ‘top sellers’ in Waterstones weeks after they came out. My last post was a review of this book and you can check that out here. When I bought this book, everyone wanted to read this book after me as most of my family are Manchester United fans. This book is a very interesting book and I highly recommend it.

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Other Favourites

The Reith Lectures (BBC Radio 4) – Discussing the aspects of modern art, Grayson Perry was the lecturer of this years Reith Lectures and although I am not interested in art, the lectures were highly insightful and every year, I seem to enjoy these lectures more and more.

BBC Question Time (BBC One) – Question Time is my favourite and every Thursday, I force myself to stay awake to watch it. This Autumn, I think my favourite was the one where Nigel Farage was on the panel along with Vicky Pryce.

Autumn Party Conferences – This seems like ages ago now, but in the beginning of Autumn, I was hooked to the political party conferences kicking off with the Liberal Democrats, then Labour, then UKIP and then finally the Conservative Party Conference. I reviewed the main speeches from each leader (except Nigel Farage) and George Osborne’s keynote speech on my blog but the UKIP conferences was definitely a weird one with the whole controversy over Godfrey Bloom. I still cannot get over this (video below) and my little brother and I know the whole dialogue by heart.