Tuesday 28 October 2014


23:52pm: cup of tea, laptop, blogger open, *begins writing*...

So it's been about two months since I last posted anything on my blog. I know, right? I did have a lot of good intentions to write during that time but to be honest, I just wasn't feeling it. Don't get me wrong, I still love blogging, but a lot of things have been changing for me recently and I just had to take a minute to figure everything out.

Firstly, I moved out of the family home and now have my own little flat. That's right folks, I flocked the nest and now live on my own. Scary stuff, eh? I've actually wanted to live on my own for quite some time now *cue Destiny's Child's 'Independent Woman'* but things just ended up falling into place quite nicely this year in order to make that happen. I absolutely love my flat, and having my own space, ever since I can remember i've been keen to get out there on my own. In addition to moving house, I got a little flatmate in the form of a kitten last month, Marvin, and he's quite the little troublemaker, but he's so cute and fun to have around.

Secondly, work work work. I think I mentioned in a previous post much earlier this year about how I was changing jobs to work in fashion retail. Well it's been around 7 months i've been working there now and it has to be said, the girls I have met during my time there are some of the funniest, hardworking, and inspiring girls i've ever met. Those girls have me in stitches all day. Long story short, I decided to hand in my notice recently as i'm currently working on a couple of my own things, in addition to university (and we'll get to that shortly *sigh*).

Truth be told, the girls I work with have so much potential to do great things. One girl just aced her masters degree in Victorian Literature - a subject I can only ever dream to get my head around. Another girl, well, we all think she is really a Colombian goddess who should be walking the runways at LFW. Another girl, is just starting out at university, and she's so bubbly and positive that you can't help but smile and laugh around her. Another one of the girls is like my second mum, and one of the most genuine, and caring people i've ever met. Another girl and I share a running joke that if we were in the Harry Potter films we'd both belong to Slytherin (and no, we're not evil or scheming world domination) she is simply a master of sarcasm and wit, and has me in stitches every time i'm at work. Never has there been a better bunch of girls to work with. If you can't tell, I love them and even after I leave later this month I hope they all continue to be good friends of mine. Who else am I going to share spanish delicacies with after work?!

Thirdly, my struggle with university. This is something that has been playing on my mind for a long time, probably since before I even started university. I was never one of those kids who had big academic dreams of going to university, to be quite honest I dreaded the entire idea of going. I've always thought I was a creative person trying to be an academic. However, despite that I am currently continuing my studies at university, but it's just become another box to tick off to me. I know it would make my family happy if I came out with a degree. Now, you may think that is a very reckless statement to make, but if ever there was a time I felt trapped in a place that I wasn't thriving in - it's university. On the flip side, i've also met some awesome people at university, and I will complete it as the final hurdle of my education.

There's something very liberating about being brutally honest with yourself. It makes you question what your next moves are going to be, and I suppose that's why i've turned my attention more to my own ideas and plans over the past few months. There really is no time to be unhappy in your life, in whatever you are doing. We get a very short time on this wonderful planet we call home, and you should experience as many things as you can during that time. I feel like every time I turn on the news theres countless tragic stories about young lives being lost, and for me that only reinforces the idea that none of us can really say for sure that we're going to be here tomorrow, next week or next year so why aren't you doing what you want to do today?

Have a little more trust in your own mind, don't settle for less, strive for the best, make the most of now, and don't let the small stuff get you down. 

"You've always had the power my dear... you had it all along." - The Wizard of Oz

Friday 8 August 2014


I'm such a sucker for a neutral eyeshadow palette. It's my go-to makeup look every day. I'm the type of person who would rather spend those extra 10 minutes in bed every morning rather than applying my make up, so for me it's got to be quick and easy so that I can rush out the door! I hadn't actually heard too much about this particular palette before I bought it but I convinced myself that I had no other neutrals like it and that I simply couldn't leave the shop without it (I know, that's what we all say every time right?).

The palette includes 6 shadows: 2 creaseless cream shadows (Birthday Suit & My Two Cents), and 4 longwear powder shadows (Call My Buff, It's Complicated, Gilt-y Pleasure & Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy). This palette is lovely for anybody with blue/green eyes since the golden/copper tones that run through all of the shadows really compliment the colour of the eyes making them pop. Take a look at the swatches of the longwear powder shadows (shown below), I was happy with the pigmentation and texture of all of the shadows apart from one, the lightest shade Call My Buff was a little chalky for my liking and the colour pay-off wasn't as good as the other shadows.

L-R: Call My Buff, It's Complicated, Gilt-y Pleasure, & Kiss Me I'm Tipsy

Now, my favourite part of this palette is the two creaseless cream shadows (shown below). Birthday Suit for me is the perfect eyeshadow base for a dramatic smokey eye. It's also the perfect taupe-y brown shade to quickly apply to the eyelids for a pop of colour if you're in a rush. It blends effortlessly and looks lovely on its own. My Two Cents is the other creaseless cream shadow in the palette and it is more of a bronzey/warm toned neutral. Again, it can be used on it's own or as a base for applying other shadows. It's perfect for those with blue/green eyes and really helps you to achieve more of a "Golden Goddess" look.

Top: My Two Cents
Bottom: Birthday Suit

Top: My Two Cents
Bottom: Birthday Suit

I have been loving this palette this summer. It's so versatile and the mixture of neutral shades allows you to create endless looks for both daytime and night time. Smokey eyes have never been so easy to achieve! The lid of the palette also folds out to reveal a mirror and a mini-tutorial showing you exactly how to create the perfect neutral eye, making this ideal for anyone just starting out in makeup.

Whilst I wouldn't say this World Famous Neutrals palette replaces my Naked palettes, it is a great (slightly cheaper) alternative especially for those of you who go for a light, subtle everyday makeup look.

Have you tried out this or any other Benefit eyeshadow palette? Let me know in the comments!

Friday 25 July 2014


Grab a cup of tea, it's the TMI Tag! A lot of people do this tag on Youtube but I just thought this would be something a little different and fun to do so that you can get to know me a little better! I love reading/watching this tag so here goes...

1: What are you wearing? 
i've got on my black skinny Joni jeans from Topshop and an orange/pink fade out top from Mango.

2: Ever been in love? 
Yes, currently!

3: Ever had a terrible breakup? 
Not really, no.

4: How tall are you? 
I think i'm around 5"5/5"6

5: How much do you weigh? 
Giiiiirl, that ish don't matter. Next question.

6: Any tattoos? 
I have a classic red rose on my left wrist. I really want to get more tattoos. 

7: Any piercings? 
No, i'm not really a piercing person.

8: OTP? 

9: Favourite show? 
I LOVE Pretty Little Liars, it's actually becoming a problem. Alison is my favourite character.
I also have a tendency to marathon-watch shows like Extreme Couponers, My Strange Addiction at some ungodly hour of the night.

10: Favourite bands? 
I could list hundreds but the ones that come to mind right now are: The 1975, Coldplay, David Gray, Noel Gallachers High Flying Birds... you know, that kind of stuff.

11: Something you miss? .
My early school years. Those really were the good old days. Some of my greatest memories are from school.

12: Favourite song?
Right now? Probably The 1975 - You

13: How old are you? 
I recently turned 21.

14: Zodiac sign? 
I'm an Aries, I'm not really into the whole "Zodiac signs" shizz but the typical traits of Aries is actually a pretty accurate description of me.

15: Quality you look for in a partner? 
Good sense of humour. Great, actually. I like to laugh a lot.

16: Favourite Quote? 
I have quite a few. Most of which have left my brain space right now though... 

"Memory lane becomes a very important place when you get older." - Mary Hall Leicester

17: Favourite actor? 
Leonardo DiCaprio. How has that man not won an Oscar yet?

18: Favourite color? 
I feel like this changes quite often for me, but let's say red. 

19: Loud music or soft? 
As loud as possible. I like to drown everything else out while i'm listening to music.

20: Where do you go when you're sad? 
My room I suppose, or out for a long walk.

21: How long does it take you to shower? 
Too long. I am incapable of getting showered in under 10 minutes.

22: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? 
Again, too long. I feel like I need an hour and 15 minutes minimum when i'm washing my hair. If i'm not washing my hair, maybe 45 minutes. Including breakfast, obv.

23: Ever been in a physical fight? 
No, although I could totally kick some ass.

24: Turn on?

Good teeth, smell nice.

25: Turn off? 

26: The reason I joined Youtube? 
I didn't! I can't actually remember the reason I started blogging either... I was most likely inspired by one of my favourite Youtubers actually.

27: Fears? 
I have a terrible fear of falling from a height. My biggest fear in life is embarrassment.

28: Last thing that made you cry? 
I cry at everything. Movies, songs etc etc. Stuart always laughs at me for it.

29: Last time you said you loved someone? 
Probably last night when I said goodnight to my boyfriend Stuart!

30: Meaning behind your Youtube Name? 
Blog name? I literally sat down one night and started scribbling down ideas. Beauty and the Blank came from the idea that I wanted my blog to be predominantly beauty-related but "and the Blank" leaves it open so that I can incorporate whatever else I fancy talking about.

31: Last book you read? 
Probably a textbook from University. I know, pretty boring eh?

32: The book you're currently reading?
I am about to read #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso. I've heard some good reviews about this book but I will report back with a blog post when i've finished reading it.

33: Last show you watched? 
Pretty Little Liars. I power-watch random episodes even though I've seen them all before...I told you it was a problem.

34: Last person you talked to? 

35: The relationship between you and the person you last texted? 

36: Favourite food? 
Oh lord. I love food. Seriously, you don't understand. I couldn't possibly narrow it down to one favourite. I don't understand how i'm not insanely overweight because all I think about is food. The struggle is real not to stuff my face with Reese's peanut buttercups every day.

37: Place you want to visit?
I would love to travel up the West Coast of America. That's up there on my bucket list. I also want to go back to New York. Other places include: Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, Texas, Rio de Janeiro, New Zealand, the list could go on and on. I want to see a lot of the world. 

38: Last place you were? 
I was in St Andrews a few weeks ago.

39: Do you have a crush?
Yep, Stuart!

40: Last time you kissed someone? 
When I last saw Stuart.

41: Last time you were insulted? 
Hmm, probably quite recently (jokingly by one of my friends of course!)

42: Favourite flavour of sweet? 
Everyone who knows me, knows I have the biggest sweet tooth on the planet. I especially love Kinder Buenos, that is the key to my heart right there.

43: What instruments do you play?
I wish I played piano. That's on my life bucket list to learn to play classical piano.

44: Favourite piece of jewellery?
I got a couple of pieces of jewellery for my 21st birthday that I will keep forever. I also got given my Great Grans ring a few years ago. It's gold with a red ruby in the middle. I am mesmerised every time I look at it.

45: Last sport you played? 
Hmm since leaving school I don't tend to play any kind of competitive sports anymore (although I wish I did!). I go to the gym if that counts?

46: Last song you sang? 
This morning I was singing Sunset by Kid Ink, like a boss I might add.

47: Favourite chat up line?
All of them make me cringe.

48: Have you ever used it?

49: Last time you hung out with anyone? 
The night before last.

50: Who should answer these questions next?
Anyone and everyone! :)

Phew, that's it guys! Hopefully you learned something new about me. Feel free to leave any other questions in the comments, and I tag all of you to do this on your own blogs or Youtube channels!  

Thursday 17 July 2014


So, it finally happened. After a busy few weeks I finally made it down to The Hyndland Fox, a highly anticipated new eating spot in Hyndland in the heart of Glasgow's West End. In the short time The Fox has been open I have already heard countless good reviews from family and friends, and since I live locally I was even more intrigued. Word spreads fast around here! It is exactly what the area needed as most of the bars, cafe's, and restaurants in the West End are located more towards the bustling Byres Road, so this is perfectly placed for those a little further into Hyndland and Broomhill. 

As soon as we walked in we were greeted by a lovely member of staff who showed us upstairs to a seat in the upstairs mezzanine-style seating area. It was actually much larger than I had imagined, and I loved the simple yet modern interior design. As soon as we sat down I knew this was a place I could come for a quick breakfast, lazy brunch, or a lovely dinner. I spent a good 7-8 minutes just wondering how I was going to narrow down such a delicious sounding menu! I eventually settled on the steak burger and Stuart had a smoked salmon salad, both were fantastic! The coffee tasted incredible, so much so that we both had to get two Americanos each...

I loved the little touches at The Fox. A little later I had a pot of green tea, which had a piece of fudge on the side and it's own little tea cosy in the form of a jumper to keep the tea warm - so cute! Whilst we were inside I completely forgot about the miserable, rainy Monday outside. It was a very warm, relaxed and inviting atmosphere and the staff were lovely and helpful. A problem we often have when eating out is finding places that offer gluten free options - that's not a problem at The Fox! If you are gluten intolerant like us, there are a number of options on the menu that will make your mouth salivate just by reading them out! I have to say I was tempted by the gluten free homemade cheesecake but I thought i'd save that for my next visit.

The Fox is a great addition to the West End, there's nothing else like it.

Thursday 29 May 2014


Hello lovelies! It's been a while so grab a cup of tea, and here's the update!

So, it's been a while since my last blog post, April 1st to be exact but there have been a few reasons for that. I started a new job at the beginning of April, and i'm now working in fashion retail. In addition to starting a new job I finally turned 21 a few days later, so things got a bit hectic for a while. After I settled in to my new job and my 21st birthday celebrations were coming to an end, I had my next big hurdle to get over before Summer... EXAMS!

I think i've mentioned this before but I'm currently studying Psychology at university, and not only did I have my own exams to worry about, I was also tutoring and working at the same time so that didn't leave much time to blog. As much as I love blogging, it had to take a back-seat throughout April and May whilst all that craziness was going on. To be honest i've felt a bit 'meh' about my blog recently because every time I sit down to write, nothing comes to me or it doesn't flow as I would like it too. I haven't gone completely off the radar and I have been updating my Instagram and Twitter regularly but now that Summer is finally upon us I can finally get back into some kind of blogging routine. I've had some really cool feedback about my Instagram posts about juicing, smoothies and recipes so I will be incorporating that into my blog a lot more over the coming months!

I have wanted to take my blog in a new direction for a while now, don't get me wrong I love writing about the latest beauty and makeup products but there are other aspects of beauty I want to talk about more such as food and exercise. My new job in fashion retail has also brought out quite the fashion blogger in me, and has inspired me to do more fashion posts, OOTD's and so on. I'm excited to incorporate these changes over the next couple of weeks, and I think it will make my blog more personal and rounded. I even bought a diary (I know, blogging pro right here) to plan out my posts and jot down ideas as they come - hopefully that will combat the bloggers block that I have been plagued with recently!

I'm also working on my camera technique, and taking the best pictures possible for my blog so i'll be experimenting with some different backgrounds and lighting over the next few weeks. Unfortunately the weather here in Scotland doesn't generate the best lighting for pictures but i'm working on it! I hope you can bare with me until things settle down again. Sometimes life just takes over like that and gets a bit hectic, but I'm so glad university is over for this year and that things are starting to settle down because I can't wait to share my new ideas and posts with you.

Tuesday 1 April 2014


I first heard about the 'Healthy Sexy Hair' Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner (£12.70) from a couple of You-tubers last year. I don't recall ever hearing or reading a bad review about this product so I was keen to test it out for myself.

Firstly, I have a confession... My name is Zoe, and I am a haircare hoarder. Yup, that's right! The main reason it took me so long to actually purchase this product is because I already had a drawer full of hair lotions and potions waiting to be used up first. However, this month was the month I finally made the order...

My hair is naturally very fine, so when I use regular conditioners in the shower it just makes my hair flat, limp, and lifeless. I never put conditioner near the roots of my hair yet they always weigh my hair down. I have tried countless in-shower conditioners over the years but none have worked for me. That's when I started to explore the world of leave-in conditioners.

The Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner not only gives my hair a moisturise boost but it's lightweight enough that it doesn't weigh down my hair. It is a very fine, lightweight and protein-rich formula that helps to rebuild and protect the hair. I've definitely noticed that my hair is a lot smoother and softer since i've included this in my hair care routine. All I need to do is give my hair a light spritz while it's still slightly damp, and it takes care of the rest! The bottle contains 250ml of product which is good because as far as I am aware this product is only available to purchase online if you live in the UK. I've been using this product every single day for almost a month now and I'm only about a fifth of the way through the bottle. It smells lovely

Whilst this product isn't necessarily a replacement for an in-shower conditioner, it has been working wonders for me. If you have fine, thin or limp hair I would definitely recommend this product to you. If you are someone with very thick hair, I would still recommend this product but you would most likely still need to use an in-shower conditioner for that extra moisture boost. If your hair is dry, damaged, brittle, frizzy, unmanageable, or all of the above... this may be your answer!

Sunday 30 March 2014


If you're like me, and quite often stay up too late - you will know that it ain't a pretty sight the next morning. My skin is very pale and around my eyes I have blue undertones that can cast a noticeable shadow under my eyes if I haven't had enough sleep, so a good under eye concealer is essential for me.

My favourite one of the moment is by Seventeen and it's their Phwoarr Paint, a "heavy duty under eye concealer". They aren't kidding. I've tried under eye products like this in the past, and to be honest i've never found one stand-out product that i've been impressed with. Plus, whenever I see a product labelled as "heavy duty" all I immediately think is "cakey". However, I was pleasantly surprised by this little gem.

I'm in the shade fair, which does match my skin tone but I do wish it was just a touch lighter. Personally I just prefer under eye concealers to be slightly lighter than my foundation, but I can overlook this because the product itself is fantastic. It covers the discolouration under my eyes in seconds and stays put all day. On my skin is has an almost-matte finish and doesn't crease at all, so I don't have to worry about touching it up during the day. I also use it around my nose area and it completely covers any redness there too. 

This product is under £6 and if you struggle with discolouration or dark circles under the eyes, you might find this to be worth a try!

Saturday 29 March 2014


Bumble and Bumble products have been catching my eye a lot in 2014, and after reading countless reviews about the Sunday Shampoo (£17), it had to be next on my hit list.

I've been looking for a really good clarifying shampoo to use once a week to get rid of all of the product-build up, pollution and general grime that can accumulate during a busy week. Prior to purchasing the Sunday Shampoo, i've tried various other clarifying shampoos - all of which made my hair as dry as sandpaper and very difficult to manage.

It's a fine balance, my hair type is dry/very dry but for someone with more of an oily scalp, they may not have that problem. I realise that the job of a clarifying shampoo is to give your hair an intensive cleanse but it defeats the purpose if you have to then immediately bombard your hair with oils and conditioners just to get some moisture back in!

I did my research before purchasing the Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo and I am so glad I purchased this product. For a clarifying shampoo, it feels very gentle on the hair and scalp, and smells very fresh and invigorating.  I love that it didn't leave my hair in a big tangled mess after washing (which has been my experience before with similar clarifying products). Instead, my hair felt very light, soft, and squeaky clean from the first I used this product. I knew it was love from that moment. 

So, what makes it so good? Well, the Sunday Shampoo contains a number of ingredients such as astringents with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties such as Rosemary Leaf Extract, and Sage Leaf Extract to cleanse the scalp. It also contains a detoxifier, giving the hair the ultimate cleanse from root to tip.

I would highly recommend this product. It has made a permanent move to my hair care routine and is already one of my favourite products of 2014.

Friday 28 March 2014


Whilst at The Body Shop recently I picked up the Vitamin C Microdermabrasion and the Tea Tree Face Mask. The Body Shop, for me has always been my go-to place for the blogger cult favourite body butters (mmm!), natural haircare products, and good-enough-to-eat gift sets but this time I was keen to branch out and try more of their skincare ranges.

Tea Tree Face Mask: Tea Tree is a fantastic, spot-fighting ingredient. I don't have particularly problematic skin, apart from it being quite dry, but I occasionally get blocked pores around my nose and just above my top lip so I use a mask once a week to keep my skin clear. I read a couple of reviews for the Tea Tree mask before I purchased it, and although it says it's suitable for blemished skin, I thought it was great. The product itself is a green, clay-like mask and I usually find the best way to use this product is in the shower since things can get quite messy! The only thing I didn't like about this product was that it wasn't very smooth so it's not the easiest mask to apply evenly. However, sometimes I even mix this mask with my Neutrogena Visbly Clear 2 in 1 Wash and Mask and this turns it into a smooth, light green mask for an intense pore cleanse. 

Vitamin C Microdermabrasion: There is nothing I love more than giving my self a home-spa facial once a week. This product has tiny micro particles that gently buff your skin, removing dead skin cells to reveal a more radiant complexion. After my first use, I could feel my skin was noticeably smoother, and my makeup applied like a dream. It really smoothes and polishes the skin, and a little goes a long way. I use this product twice a week whilst in the shower, rub it over my face and neck in circular motions and use a muslin cloth to remove it. Vitamin C is great for protecting the skin, and it promotes the production of collagen. I think this would be great for any skin type, even if you have very oily or very dry skin, it's important to remove all the dead skin cells and give your skin a good, deep clean at least once a week.

If you're looking to change up your skincare/cleansing routine, The Body Shop is worth a visit as it has some great, affordable options for all skin types and concerns.

Thursday 27 March 2014


If like me, you haven't been blessed by the voluminous hair goddesses with a thick mane of gorgeous hair, you're going to want to keep reading this post...

My hair strands are very fine and have a tendency to break easily, so even after i've blow-dried my hair you can guarantee an hour later my hair will be flat against my head again. I've tried everything from having layers cut in, to using countless "volumising" mousse products, to backcombing (I know, not good!) all with very mediocre results. I'm also trying to avoid using heat on my hair in an attempt to make it as healthy-looking as possible, so getting any sort of volume in there is a challenge!

However, i'm finding more and more that the secret to my hair is not to bombard it with volumising products as soon as i've washed my hair...

Recently I finished up the Oribe Dry Texturising Spray that i've had since Christmas, and as much as I loved the lightweight feel and finish of the Oribe spray, I was keen to see if I could find a slightly cheaper alternative as £38.00 is quite expensive for a texturising spray in my opinion.

I then started hearing the hype about the Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce Texturising Spray, so needless to say the next day I was roaming the aisles of Boots looking for it and at just £6.99 I couldn't say no to giving it a whirl.

The product is a very fine spray and feels lightweight in the hair. It adds volume from the roots in an instant and is perfect if you have limp, lacklustre hair at times like me. I wash my hair in the morning which can be a nightmare for styling as it makes it so soft, but this product gives your hair instant texture and that 'second day hair' feeling, so that you can create any hairstyle quickly and with ease. I also like to spray a little of this into the mid-lengths and ends of my hair when my hair is up - gives an average ponytail that edgy, effortless, yet glamorous look. It also has incredible staying power and washes out easily. Initially, I was a little concerned this product would cause some pulling and tugging when I tried to brush my hair after I'd applied it, but that was actually not a problem. As with any dry spray product, just be gentle when combing/brushing through it.

If you can get your hands on this product, I highly recommend it. Whether it's an up-do or down straight, this product will be able to add that extra bit of volume to any hairstyle and won't let you down halfway through the day. Plus, the bottle is pink...What's not to love?!

Sunday 23 March 2014


I've purchased High Beam by Benefit (£19.50) twice in the past and I would definitely put it in my holy grail list of products. It takes a lot for a product to be considered holy grail for me so I thought it was about time I shared my thoughts on why I love it so much!

The product itself comes in a nail polish style bottle and has a similar brush applicator. As always, the Benefit packaging is very visually appealing in keeping with that old school, retro style vibe which I love. It comes as a light pink liquid with a satin sheen to it which I prefer as glittery highlighters have a tendency to make me look like a disco ball!  

If you struggle with dry skin like me this product is great for giving your skin that healthy, dewy glow that we girls are always after. This is also why I prefer liquid highlighters to powder ones. All you have to do is simply dab the product on the tops of your cheekbones and over the brow bone and blend with a light hand. What I love about this product is how subtle it looks on top of your foundation, it blends like a dream and literally gives your skin boost in seconds. If you're in a rush in the morning - definitely reach for this!

I also love the longevity of this product, I have used High Beam for years and it is by far the best highlighter I have ever used. You would think, having used it for years I would have bought loads but I have only needed to repurchase this product twice before - that's how long a single bottle lasts! I will definitely continue to repurchase High Beam again and again and again. It lasts all day long and gives my skin a very fresh-faced, youthful look like no other...



If i'm completely honest, I haven't really ventured into Mac much over the years. I've purchased the odd product here and there but if you were to take a peek into my makeup collection, very few products I use are from Mac. However, recently i've been on the hunt for a perfect matte brown blush shade, with not much luck until I came across "Prism"...

I was stood gazing at all the colours, and had countless swatches on my hands and arms - the girl that worked there even offered me her arm to swatch on too! One thing I do love about Mac is that the products are always on show and available for you to swatch. After much deliberation I settled on Prism, which happens to be one of their bestsellers. I loved that it was a warm brown shade with just a hint of pink and it was matte - exactly what I had been searching for!

The shade is also ideal for me as a contour as I have very pale skin. I know what you're thinking, it looks quite dark for someone with pale skin (I thought that too) but with a light hand and the right application it blends like a dream. I love accidentally stumbling across multi-purpose products! The pigmentation is fantastic so I only need a tiny amount on my brush, and although the product was £18 I know it will last a long time and I would definitely go back and pick up some more shades.

Love. Love. Love.


Friday 28 February 2014


I honestly don't think I will ever have enough red/orange/plum lipsticks in my collection. I was swatching a couple in Boots recently and I knew as soon as I saw this colour, I had to have it. It is from the Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick collection in the shade "Cinammon Bronze".

It has a pearl finish, but it's not overly shimmery and doesn't look glittery once it is applied to the lips - there's nothing worse! Personally, I have always preferred a matte lip so this isn't a product I would usually go for. However, this is a lovely, wearable colour for during the day and I would describe it as a sheer, orange-red that it is very buildable. It feels moisturising on the lips and doesn't cling to any dry, chapped areas which can be an issue when wearing matte lipsticks. I have also noticed that I don't have to re-apply the product all day long - which I love, it's very long-lasting.

Being very pale, I like a pop of colour when applying my makeup otherwise I can look a little washed out. Sometimes that pop will be a dramatic eye look but most of the time i'll go for a red/orange lip as it's much quicker when i'm rushing out the door in the morning.

This lipstick is £7.49 from Boots and there are countless shades in this range to choose from, you're spoilt for choice! There's something to suit everyone. I never thought that the pearl finish would be something I would like, but I love it and will definitely be back at Revlon on my next visit to Boots!

Good job, Revlon!

Here's a swatch of Cinammon Bronze (this was 3 swipes):

Thursday 27 February 2014


Recently i've been struggling to find an under eye concealer that both effectively covers blueish/purple tones under my eyes and that doesn't crease. I have dry skin on my face and around my eyes and i'm also very pale so it can be hard to find a concealer that is the right shade, doesn't look cakey and that isn't drying on the skin.

After much searching, I saw on the Benefit wedbsite that Fake Up (£18.50) was a "hydrating crease-control concealer" which "hides dark circles & diffuses fine lines for a silky smooth, ultra-natural look" I knew I had to give it a go. It sounded like my perfect concealer, and it didn't disappoint...

You'll notice it looks different from your typical concealer. The concealer itself is in the middle and the surrounding white layer is what keeps the under eye area hydrated. Initially I had concerns about the coverage when blended with the other layer but I tried it on at the Benefit counter and it covered the discolouration under my eyes like a dream - and we all know the lighting and mirrors in department stores and drugstores isn't the most flattering!

I have been very impressed with this product so far. The packaging, as always with Benefit is very colourful and has that retro-girly vibe. Fake Up comes in 3 shades and i'm in shade "Light" which is a perfect match for my skin tone. It provides great coverage without feeling thick and cakey on the skin. It covers any fine lines without drawing attention to them and you are still left with a lovely, natural looking finish. I personally don't put powder my face as I prefer a dewy finish, but I have tried setting the concealer with powder and it stayed put all day!

Shade: Light

Monday 24 February 2014


As someone with very pale skin, it can be difficult to find a pink/nude lipstick shade that doesn't wash me out. I'm usually a red lipstick kinda girl, and generally go for the blue-toned ones to emphasise the pearly whites. I love the old Hollywood style, glamorous flowing locks and the perfect red lip. Simple, elegant and bold.  However, as we come into Spring/Summer, a bold red lip isn't always desired - especially if all you're doing is popping out to Tesco...

So, the hunt began. I was roaming the aisles of Boots with about 50 swatches across both hands but I kept coming back to this one, Guavarama by Soap & Glory (£9.00). It is a lovely pink (but not too pink!) shade which is a perfect colour for wearing during the day. It suits my pale skin perfectly and doesn't look too dissimilar from my natural lip colour either. It's very moisturising on the lips with a   "3-D plump peptide complex, Shea butter, Monoi butter, Hyaluronic acid and Ceramide 2 - all beneficial in the prevention of premature ageing. All this in a lipstick?! Yes please.

I have been using this product as part of my daily routine for around 2 weeks now and I have not been disappointed. I like matte lipsticks and this has a matte lipstick effect on my lips whilst still remaining very moisturising. It also doesn't draw attention to any dry patches on the lips which I love. This lipstick comes in a fantastic range of shades, I'm so glad I stumbled across it and I will definitely be going back for more!

Saturday 22 February 2014


The Estee Lauder Hydrationist Maximum Moisture Lotion (£35) is my every day moisturiser which I have been using for around a month now. Previous to this, I used the Hydrationist Maximum Moisture Creme (also £35) from the same range which is one of my all time holy grail skincare products. It's a luxurious, thick, moisturising cream - just the ticket to sort out dry/very dry/dehydrated skin.

I recently went to an Estee Lauder counter in Glasgow to repurchase my little pot of Hydrationist cream when the lady mentioned the Hydrationist Lotion as a lighter alternative to the cream. I was a little hesitant at first as I know how dry my skin can be and the Hydrationist cream was the only product that has worked in improving the texture and appearance of my dry skin. After only a few days of using the Hydrationist Creme my makeup looked noticeably better and my foundation had more of a flawless finish, so you can understand why I was hesitant to try a new product - I didn't want to go back to my foundation clinging to random dry patches on my face - not a good look!

I usually do my research before buying any skincare products but as this was from the same range as the Hydrationist Creme which had worked so well for me in the past, I decided to give it a go. I actually preferred the lighter feel of the Hydrationist Lotion on my skin and it gives me the same results! I love the packaging and the fact that there is a pump on the product so that you're not sticking your fingers in a pot all the time and taking out too much product. I use this product in the morning and at night on top of either: the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (£48) or Hydraluron (£24.99) as these serums give my skin even more of a hydration boost. 

I know, I used the word "hydration" a LOT in this post...

However, the Estee Lauder Hydrationist range, from my experience, does exactly that, hydrates the skin. It doesn't just temporarily make my skin appear hydrated until I cleanse my face again. I love that i'm not left with that horrible tightness around my mouth and forehead any longer. The longer i've used this product, the better the results are becoming. This range is obviously targeted at people like me with very dry/dehyrdated skin so if that's you too and you're struggling to find a moisturiser that works, I would highly recommend this product.

Wednesday 19 February 2014


I was doing some post-Christmas shopping in January and found this lovely monochrome flower crop top by Cooperative in Urban Outfitters. 

Now, I know what some of you are thinking - that's a bold print, and yes you're right but i'm trying to experiment a little more with my wardrobe this year. It's one of those tops that I see hanging in the shop, I'll think to myself "that looks lovely" but generally I don't purchase items like this for fear that they won't suit me or the pattern will be too overpowering. However,  when I saw this I knew I had to have it. I think it has a very classic look to it and the material is so soft and comfortable. I love roses and long sleeved tops too so after a little deliberation in my head as I stood looking at it, it was a no-brainer.

This top can be easily dressed up or down. It looks lovely paired with black skinny jeans, some gold jewellery and a pair of heels. I also wore this top quite recently to work paired with a black pencil skirt, black heeled boots and some simple gold jewellery, it's really versatile but I like to keep the rest of what I wear simple due to the bold print. I also think it looks gorgeous with my Olivia Burton Big Dial Black & Gold watch. It gives the outfit (and any outfit) a touch of sophistication! I've had countless complements wearing this watch and it's never off my wrist! 

What do you think about wearing bold prints? 


I recently stumbled across this little gem whilst roaming the aisles of Boots. I was immediately attracted to the packaging so went over to investigate. I have never really used a product like this as I usually use a muslin cloth or soft flannel to cleanse my face but my curiosity got the better of me on this trip to Boots (as usual!) and it ended up in my basket.

I wouldn't take my makeup off with this product but I find it's gentle enough to use everyday first thing in the morning, really to get the blood flowing when I wake up. The mitt will easily glide over the face with a little bit of water but I like to add a blob of a gentle cleanser to it in the morning to prep my face for my morning skincare/makeup routine. I find that it's great for gently exfoliating those hard to reach areas around the nose, an area prone to redness and blackheads for me.

The mitt is also great for gently exfoliating and cleansing the neck - an area often neglected! What I found useful is that it has a little sucker pad on the back so you can keep it in your shower or another tiled surface in your bathroom - I just thought that was a nice little touch.

At just £4.00 from Boots, i'm definitely glad I stumbled across this product, i'm always very impressed by the affordability and quality of Soap & Glory products. This little mitt is great for making sure your face is squeaky clean, prepped and smoothed before applying any products and it's actually very relaxing to use. A great little addition to my shower routine!

Tuesday 18 February 2014


Say hello to Hydraluron, from Indeed Laboratories.

I have wanted to try this product for a long time but because my skin can be quite temperamental with new products, I was worried i'd buy the full size product and it wouldn't work for me. However, I was recently browsing through the aisles of Boots only to discover that Indeed Laboratories do a Set of 3 Sampler Kit including the cult favourite, Hydraluron. Needless to say, I had to have it!

Hydraluron when frequently used, claims to increase the hydration levels of the skin over time, which is beneficial as dehydrated skin can lead to premature ageing. The key hydrating ingredient in Hydraluron is hyaluronic acid which can hold 1000x its weight in water and this provides the skin with a boost of hydration below the surface of the skin, and doesn't simply sit on top.

Ever find that your skin is tight as soon as you wash off your moisturiser? Look at the moisturiser you're using, it may not be working for you. I tried countless moisturisers that claimed to be "hydrating" before I found one that actually worked for my skin. Everyone's skin is different.

I always use a serum as part of my skincare routine so when I saw that Hydraluron was slightly more affordable than my Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, I was keen to give it a go. It is currently on offer for £16.66 in Boots (RRP £24.99).

So, the results?

The product is a clear gel which you apply all over the face, before your normal moisturiser. I first noticed that when you apply this product, it quickly sinks into the skin. I love that it didn't leave any nasty, greasy or oily residue which I have found with some serums in the past. I have been using this product for around 3 weeks now, every day and sometimes at night and have had great results, with one of the biggest differences being the way my makeup looks.

As I've mentioned before, my skin is very dry and my makeup has a tendency to cling to any dry patches on my face. However, since using this product every morning before applying my makeup, I haven't had that problem at all. I was always very self-conscious about it but the addition of Hydraluron to my skincare routine has given my skin a lovely dewy glow and made my skin appear a lot brighter. My skin feels more plump and never feels tight. I will definitely be repurchasing this product again and again!

Monday 17 February 2014


From left to right: Contour Brush, Blush Brush, Pointed Foundation Brush, Detailer Brush, Buffing Brush

Ahhh don't they look pretty? I have always been a fan of the Real Techniques brush range. The brushes were brought to us by the lovely Sam Chapman of the Chapman sisters - who have a YouTube channel which i'm sure you're all aware of, Pixiwoo!

The brushes are all synthetic, incredibly soft and cruelty free and although each brush has its own designed purpose, I find many of them can be multi-purpose too. For example, I have used the pointed foundation brush for concealer as well as foundation in the past. I love that one brush can have more than just one function. The Core Collection is a cult favourite in the beauty/blogging world, which is actually pictured above (minus the pink blush brush). I find the brushes to be very affordable too, the Core Collection contains 4 high quality brushes which are designed to create the perfect base - all for £21.99 here in the UK and this set includes the very popular buffing brush.

So, what are my top 5 face brush picks?

1. What else could it be? Of course it has to be the cult favourite - the Buffing Brush. I absolutely adore this brush for applying foundation. It creates the perfect, flawless base and I love that the brush doesn't get clogged up with excess product after one use. It doesn't leave your face feeling caked in makeup either, the super soft bristles just effortlessly glide over your face perfectly blending your foundation giving you a smooth, perfected finish. I have also used this brush for cream blusher before with great results.

2. The Contour Brush - This is one of those "does what it says" products. It contours, and it contours very well I might add! The brush again, is super soft and is small enough to fit into the hollow of the cheek to create the perfect sculpted look. I have also used this brush for blusher, and blending concealer around those trickier areas such as the nose and mouth which also works well. I used to be nervous to contour as my skin is so pale, but this brush is so easy to blend with that it doesn't matter if you make a little mistake.

3. The Blush Brush - I rarely use this brush for blusher, it is actually my go-to powder brush. It's just the right size for applying powder to my face and I find it picks up just the right amount of product for me, as I only really swirl a tiny amount of powder on my nose. I've had mine for a long time and it hasn't gone out of shape at all which I love. Great multi-purpose powder brush.

4. The Detailer Brush - This is definitely a favourite of mine when the blemishes come out. It is perfect for focusing on small areas that need a little more attention when concealing! I have also used this brush for my lips actually, it's the perfect size to apply lip colour.

5. The Pointed Foundation Brush - I love this brush when i'm going for a more full coverage look. The buffing brush gives you more of a natural, sheer-medium looking finish but this brush is perfect for those days where you just want to go for more of a medium-full look. The bristles are super soft yet firm and for me, this brush can double up as a concealer brush - particularly for under the eyes. I find this brush works best for liquid foundation.

One thing I also noticed with all of the Real Techniques brushes is that they're very easy to clean. The synthetic bristles don't cling onto the product like some of my other brushes. I simply use some baby shampoo and swirl each brush around, rinse and leave them to dry on a towel. I've had my Core Collection for a long time and they still work like a dream!

What are your favourite Real Techniques brushes?


I'm always happy to see my little Birchbox turn up every month, and this month was no different. I've been a Birchbox subscriber for a good while now and I can honestly say I have never been disappointed with a box. I had a minor issue with the delivery of one of my boxes a few months back but the customer service team were so helpful, they got straight on it and it was sorted within a few minutes. 

Ok, I confess. I did have a little sneak peak at the February spoiler on the Birchbox website so I had an idea what might be in my box this month!

From left to right:

Beauty Protector - Protect & Oil (£16) - I'm always trying out lots of different hair oils as I have quite damaged hair from years of dying it every colour under the sun. I also have very fine/thin hair so for me it's important to look after it as it can look quite brittle and dry at times. I usually do a hair oil treatment once a week so I have only tried this product once so far. I only needed a few drops which I massaged into my scalp for a few minutes then wrapped in a warm towel for half an hour. I then went to bed and washed it out the next day. It definitely added shine and softness to my hair but as my hair is so fine it quickly became greasy the next day. 

Urbanveda - Radiance Exfoliating Facial Polish (£8.99) - As a sufferer of dry skin it's important to make sure I exfoliate my face 2-3 times per week. I've tried some exfoliators in the past that have just been too harsh for my skin so it was good to see that this one was "gentle" and contained "superfruits for a radiant, youthful complexion". This product feels lovely on the skin and the grains are so fine that you can barely feel them - there's nothing worse than those exfoliators that scratch your skin leaving it red and irritated. When you wash this product off you reveal soft, plumped and smooth skin - a perfect base for applying makeup. Love it.

Gilchrist & Soames - The London Collection Shower Gel (13.75) - What I love and first noticed about this product is that it's paraben free, which means there's no nasty preservatives in it. I'm not great at describing scents as I have problems with my sinuses but the little card Birchbox sends with each box states that it contains "red tea, grape seed and milk thistle". The packaging is simple and it actually reminds me of a product I might find in a fancy hotel room. I love when products look nice in the bathroom! A lovely little addition to my shower...

Leighton Denny Nail Colour (£11) - I hadn't actually heard of this brand prior to receiving it in my Birchbox this month. It looks black with sparkles from the picture but it is actually clear with black sparkles. I'm a red nail kinda girl. I always have some kind of red colour on my nails and to be honest with you, the glitter nails trend has never really worked on me. I think because i'm so pale it's harder to pull off glitter nails - they look great on some people which makes me quite jealous but unfortunately this just wasn't the nail polish for me. I also found it was quite difficult to remove too.

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner (£12) - Now, here's a brand I was familiar with before Birchbox. This is possibly my favourite product in the box. I've tried out so many liquid liners over the years and having a hooded eye, sometimes a cat-eye just isn't possible with some liners. However, this lovely Eyeko number has a precision tip which makes application quick and easy. One of the problems I have found in the past with liquid liner pens is that some have a tendency to dry up quickly but I have used this everyday since receiving it and it's given me the desired jet black line every time. Love love love this product, will definitely be re-purchasing it.

Oh, I almost forgot. There was a mini Green & Blacks Dark 70% Chocolate in the box too - but I ate that as soon as I saw it - couldn't resist!

Another great month, Birchbox!