Reading Wrap Up #2

Things have slowed down a little bit on the reading front. Commuting by train leaves you with a lot of time to read. I don't miss commuting, but I do miss having time each day to read. I think in 2018 I will try and set aside more time to get through my TBR, because it's getting quite out of hand!

Christmas Decorations on a Budget

This year is my first Christmas in my own (rented) home. Hooray! Whilst I am still spending the Christmas week back at my Mum's house with my family, I was still excited to decorate our little flat.

Money isn't "beans on toast for tea" tight, but we haven't got lots of money to throw around on Christmas decorations, so here's our Christmas on a budget!

Review: the T-Zone Charcoal & Bamboo Black Peel Off Mask

Ah, the peel off face mask. It's the grown-up equivalent of covering your hands in PVA glue and trying to pull it off in one massive piece. Or that scene in Austen Powers: Goldmember, where Goldmember starts peeling off bits of his skin. "Ah, that's a keeper!" Ew.

T-Zone stepped it up with the blogger activity when they launched their Charcoal & Bamboo range, so I saw it all over my Twitter/Instagram feeds. Their influencer marketing obviously worked because I went out and bought this. But is it any good?

Primark's Brush Cleansing Pad vs Real Techniques' Brush Cleansing Palette

Washing makeup brushes is perhaps my least favourite chore. On Sundays, I'll put some washing on, do some cleaning, tidy up the house then finally relax. Come Monday morning I go to get ready for work and realise that I forgot to wash them and have to use a manky buffer brush to put my foundation on. Urgh.

For a long time I washed my brushes by hand, until finally investing in the Reach Techniques palette when I spotted it going cheap in TK Maxx. It was definitely a game changer, even though it didn't motivate me to wash them more often.

I was shopping in Primark recently, and impulsively picked up a PS Makeup Brush Cleaning Pad whilst queuing for the till. It was only £1.50 so I thought, why not?

So, here's my comparison of the two. Is the budget option better?

The Body Shop Back to School Feel Good Box Unboxing and Review

The Body Shop is my go-to store for many of my beauty items, but it's very rare that I'll step off the beaten path and try something new. Last month I ended up taking advantage of one of their great online offers and needed another item to hit the spend threshold, so I impulsively added their Feel Good Box to my basket. Take a peek at what I found inside...

Ordering from Society6 for the first time

Last month I ordered from Society6 for the first time. I have often browsed the website but never added anything to my basket. I was browsing Instagram one night and a couple of artists were talking about 20% off and free shipping, so how could I say no? 

Six Foundations for Pale Skin

Foundation is probably the most difficult type of makeup out there - it's so difficult to get the colour right. I have enough issues, being white as a sheet, but I definitely feel for people with darker skin tones because it must be even more difficult to find a match!

This post is one for the people with white skin. The type of skin that rarely sees sunlight (thank you, British climate), and when it does needs lashings of factor 50...

Vans Iso 3 Unboxing and Review (+ a rant about shoes)

I love shoes. I'm always browsing for shoes online and keep having to stop myself from ordering 100s of pairs of the same ones in various colours. However, it's a long time since I bought a pair of heels - now I'm more of a trainers girl! So I thought I'd do a little unboxing of my most recent purchase, because I didn't even know of the Iso 3's existence until I came across these! 

Also prepare yourself for a little rant from me, because I've got a few things to say about shoes. Money definitely does not mean quality...

What's really in my bag

An oldie but a goodie! I've always loved What's In My Bag videos and blog posts, so thought I'd write one myself. I could try and make myself sound cool, but my life is definitely not glam. So I've just emptied out my bag and had a rummage through the contents!

Overwatch Pet Peeves

I don't really consider myself a "gamer", although I definitely have an interest in video games. We have a huge selection in our house, but you can most frequently find me playing Overwatch. It's partially the reason why we own an Xbox, as I kept playing it on my boyfriend's PC so felt like I needed my own copy. I don't consider myself a pro, but I've put a few hundred hours into playing it so I'm not bad. I thought I'd share my Overwatch pet peeves because I know there'll be a lot of people out there who agree with me (plus, everyone loves a good whinge)...

Urban Decay Solstice Eyeshadow Review (+ Swatches)

I'm not usually one for buying single eyeshadows, but this one was too unusual to pass by! For my birthday I received a voucher for John Lewis. I was putting through a rather boring order of new towels so decided to throw in something for myself. It's unlike anything I have in my collection so I was excited for it to arrive!

Barry M Haul

A few weeks ago I popped into Superdrug and had a quick mooch down the makeup aisles. I didn't really need anything, but was in the mood to try something new. All of the products ended up being from Barry M, so I thought I'd do a little haul post!

My First Ever Colourpop Haul

It feels like a bit of a bloggers' right of passage to do a Colourpop haul. For so many years I've seen reviews of their products but never bothered buying anything. I think the fact that it's a US-based company put me off. I just didn't want the faff of shipping and customs. Until the weekend before my birthday when they had free international shipping. So I decided to treat myself.

For my first ever purchase I got a pack of 4 eyeshadows and 3 of their liquid lipsticks. I also received two mini liquid lips as a gift with purchase, so I got to try a selection of shades...

Blue Lagoon Silica Mud Mask Review

It's been a few months now since I went to Iceland. It's not uncommon knowledge that it's a pricey country; not exactly the place to pick up a bag of souvenirs. I bought two things for myself while we were there - a Hard Rock Cafe T-shirt and this mud mask. It's the most expensive beauty item I've ever bought. In The Blue Lagoon gift shop (and its store in the centre of Reykjavik) it retails for around £80. I got mine in duty free at Keflavik airport for closer to £60. Was it worth it?

My High End Eyeshadow Palettes

I think my favourite type of makeup product is eyeshadow. It's something that I didn't really use for many years - I was more of a liquid eyeliner on its own kind of gal - but since I entered my 20s it became a firm favourite. And not just because it's beautiful to look at!

I have lusted after a lot of high end eyeshadow palettes in my time, but I've only ever purchased three - the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, Stila's Eyes Are The Window in Spirit, and my custom MAC x15 palette (more details of which can be found here).

Why I haven't gone "Cruelty Free"

Cruelty Free is a big deal in the beauty blogging community. It's something that I've often considered doing, but have never gone through with.

I've been sitting on this post for a few months and annoyingly the Daily Mail, of all people, actually published an article to this effect a few weeks ago. They even used the source I have used - Ethical Consumer Magazine. My parents have had a subscription to this Manchester-based magazine for years so I'm very familiar with the publication. Ethical Consumer is well known for its ethical matrix, where it looks at companies' attitudes to the environment, animals, people and politics. Ethical Consumer don't tend to publish their recent ethical scores online, and I don't want to get in trouble by posting a scan of my copy, but I will list a few scores from the list in this post (and you can view more on their website).

When I saw the table of scores, it settled my opinion on Cruelty Free beauty. Of course I'm anti-animal testing for cosmetics, but it isn't where my priorities lie when buying a product...

May Favourites

MAC Fleur de Force Unboxing and Review

It's not often that I'll buy into a "blogger product", I'm often very tempted by products that my favourite bloggers put out but I don't think I've bought anything yet. But as soon as Fleur announced she was collaborating with MAC, you bet I had the date down in my calendar!

Reading Wrap Up #1

Time for my first reading wrap up of 2017! I set fairly modest target on Goodreads of 25 books. Things were off to a flying start and I was miles ahead of schedule, but I took a little reading break whilst we moved house. But now we're settled and I'm back on it!

Life Lately #2

Laura, where the hell have you been?

It's been almost a month since I last published a post. But with good reason. This Easter while everyone was enjoying their chocolate eggs, myself, Kris and my parents were hauling around furniture. As mentioned in my last post, we moved to a new town, went on holiday to Iceland, then started new jobs. Blogging took a bit of a back seat, but hopefully now we're settled in and happy I can get back on it!

Adventures of an Agoraphobic: Haworth

The big news in my life at the moment is that I'm moving to a new town. Imminently. This weekend, in fact. Kris and I have been together for three and a half years and have been trying hard to find jobs near to each other so that we can get a place together. Things have finally come together, and so we're having the lovely stress of moving to a completely new town. It's exciting, but not exactly easy when it's a holiday weekend! And we've not got much time because we're going away to Iceland next week. Lots to do!

Kris moved up to the North in the summer of 2015, and lived in Mytholmroyd, near Hebden Bridge. It's a lovely place (despite the flooding) but not somewhere where we could settle. That still, I'm really going to miss it.

As English graduates, we always talked about visiting the Brontë Parsonage in Haworth. Ever since Kris moved up we planned to go, but never seemed to find the right time. With neither of us driving things can get a little bit tricky once you live in a more rural area. But we decided that we needed to go before we moved, so off we went!

Disappointing Products

When I'm buying makeup I can be a creature of habit, buying the same product time and time again until it's discontinued. However I do like trying something new, and thankfully most of the time it turns out well. But I've been clearing out my makeup stash recently, and decided to write a post about the products that I haven't been in love with...

March Favourites

This year I've become very much in favour of doing my favourites bi-monthy. I was finding it difficult each month to come up with enough items to include in a post, now I have too many to choose from!

Why are we so ashamed of Twilight?

Earlier in the year I read The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness and really enjoyed it. I loved that it gently poked fun of the YA fantasy genre. This, coupled with the fact that the films were recently added to Netflix (but not Breaking Dawn Part 2, why?), made me want to rewatch the Twilight films. Because Twilight was such a huge deal for a few years, then faded into obscurity a little bit. It's not forgotten, but it's not like you really bump into Twi-hards any more. Once upon a time I really loved Twilight. But I grew out of it just as quickly as I got into it. And for a while I was kind of ashamed that I ever liked it. I don't think I'm the only one...

Review: It's All Absolutely Fine by Ruby Elliot

In my January Favourites I mentioned that the first book I read in 2017 was It's All Absolutely Fine - life is complicated so I've drawn it instead by Ruby Elliot. I received this book for Christmas from my parents after wanting it for ages and ages. I've always loved Ruby's work ever since it first started floating around on Tumblr a few years back. I think the first one I saw was the "I am my sun, my moon, my tired pissed off stars". I don't think there's a picture she's done that I don't like. Going through Ruby's work is sometimes like looking in a mirror - my life is full of coffee/anxiety jenga, I am an emotional weetabix, I relate so deeply to that squiggly little caricature.

And so, as you can probably already guess, I loved this book.

My Perfume Collection

I love buying perfume. I don't really think I'm a one scent kind of gal, and I'm always trying out testers when I'm in Boots/Debenhams/John Lewis etc.
I feel like I'm always hunting for that 'perfect scent' that'll become my one perfume, but until then I'll just keep collecting...

Dr Martens Docs For Life

I haven't owned a pair of Doc Martens since I was a little kid. I had a pair of blue croc boots and a pair of burgundy sandals and loved them both to death. I walk 30 minutes each way for work, so I've really come to appreciate durable and comfy shoes. I've already worn down through a pair of Timberlands (which is pretty disappointing considering the cost) so I thought I'd try some Docs For Life...

My MAC x15 Palette

I did it, I completed my MAC Palette! Just over a year ago I wrote a post marking the beginning of this quest as I tried to make my perfect palette. I thought it'd take a lot longer, but I think too many trips to the MAC counter tempted me!

January Favourites

You probably didn't notice, but I didn't do a monthly favourites post for December. I was finding it really hard to find the time to take photos and write, even come up with enough favourites to justify a post. So I've pushed two months together - I think it's probably a better approach to take, rather than forcing myself to do a favourites post each month.

Here it is, my first favourites post of 2017!

Life Lately #1

When I wrote about my New Year's Resolutions I didn't really mention my resolutions blog-wise, however I did start the year enthusiastic to get more posts published that I could be proud of (both content and visuals). January may be the month of new beginnings but it's not exactly kind to us bloggers when it comes to photos - especially when the sun has set and it's pitch black before you even finish work! Nevertheless, I thought I'd put together a little post with what I've been up to and a few new products that I have in my life...

All of these photos were kind of improvised whilst at Kris' house - I used an ASOS box and some tissue paper that came with a cardigan as my backdrop and Kris as my glamorous assistant with the lighting. A little tricky to compose, but I think the photos came out okay!

A purple haul? A few pre-Christmas treats

I try to resist buying myself things near to Christmas, out of fear that I'll accidentally buy something that someone was planning to get me. However, a few things seem to end up in my basket throughout December...

New Year's Resolutions

I know we're a little late for this considering that it's the 8th January, but I thought I'd share with you my New Year's Resolutions and have a quick look back at 2016...

What I got for Christmas 2016!

As with last year's post, my 'what I got for Christmas' posts will always come with a slight delay as I tend to spend Christmas with my Mum/Stepdad's family and New Year with my Dad so get staggered presents.

I love reading these kinds of posts because I'm so nosy! Obviously I'm not here trying to brag, but I'm writing this assuming that you're nosy too!