Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The only lipgloss for me

I have never been a girl for lipgloss, in fact I'm not a huge fan of having anything on my lips, but lip glosses have always been the worst. Sticky, gloopy, and often too slippery or shimmery, I've just never been a fan. That was until I found these - the gorgeous Maybelline ColourSensational Shine Glosses that have completely changed the game for me. They're glossy and super long lasting (quite impressive really!) but they're not gloopy in the slightest. So, they're long lasting but not sticky, and comfortable and moisturising on the lips without slipping off in 10 seconds? Kaching! - Maybelline has his the jackpot with this formula. I've got the shades Stellar Berry and Pink Shock which are swatched above and are seriously gorgeous, but I've heard that the fabulous Vivianna Loves Makeup is a fan of the shade Cashmere Rose - another one to check out perhaps? Apart from the amazing formula (which I would definitely recommend giving a go if you've avoided glosses in the past) the packaging is really sleek and simple too. Maybelline definitely hit the nail on the head with these, and I'm glad that I can finally embrace shiny, plump lips without having half of my hair stuck to my face.

Have you tried any of these wonder glosses? What is your favourite shade?
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

What I've Been Loving #37 - Travel Edition

I wasn't sure if I was going to do a #WIBL this week as I'm completely out of products to mention, but I decided that after my recent trip to Valencia (post coming soon!), I would cover a few of my travel favourites for you guys. Most of these have been mentioned a million times before on Isobel Rose so I'll keep this short, but in case you haven't been paying attention or want to hear even more about these fabulous products, here's a quick roundup of why they are permanent fixtures in my travel bag...

For skin I wouldn't be without my cute little bottle of Bioderma that I received as a sample and refill every time I go away. This bottle holds a perfect amount of product for about 5 days worth (depending on how much you use) and is always a staple in my travel skincare stash. Then we have the incredibly handy Piece of Mind by Origins, which is perfect for anxious people and insomniacs alike. I like to apply it to my temples, and the combination of minty freshness and the slight tingling sensation it creates just soothes me, which is great if you're a nervous traveller/flyer. It also works wonders for travel sickness, headaches and restless nights. For my nails, I've been loving the Sally Hansen Cuticle Rehab for, well, rehabilitating my cuticles after the plane journeys sucked all of the moisture out of them. It's a great little cuticle treatment that comes in incredibly travel handy packaging, and not only does wonders for my poor little cuticles, but also smells amazing. Moving onto the makeup, I've got two of my favourite products - the Dolly Wink Liquid Eyeliner and the YSL Touche Éclat. The first is the best liquid eyeliner I have ever tried - and that's a rather large statement to put out there. It's incredibly black, extremely long lasting, and what makes it so great for me is the fact that it's one of the only liquid eyeliners that doesn't transfer onto my hooded eyelids. The Japanese sure do know how to make a killer eyeliner - that's for sure. The YSL Touche Éclat is a slightly newer addition to my collection, and this little wonder is a pick-me-up in a tube. At first I was unconvinced by it as it doesn't really conceal as I thought it would. But when I realised it's true highlighting potential, I became addicted and it's barely left my side since - especially after early wakeup calls and overseas flights! Last, but certainly not least, we have the fabulous Travalo - an invention that has made my life so much easier in the last few years. Perfume bottles are big and heavy, and contain too much liquid to be carried in your hand luggage the majority of the time. Lugging stuff back and forth between HK, London and university has made me truly appreciate the wonder of the Travalo, because now I can have all of my favourite scents within reach without having to pack huge bottles up in my suitcase every time I go anywhere. 

Do you have any products that you refuse to travel without?
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Reading List #2

As one of my '50 things to achieve this year' list, I've set myself the task of reading 25 books. It doesn't necessarily sound like a lot, but until I graduate in July, I feel my book-reading ability will be a bit stunted in favour for essay reading and revision. However, with two or so weeks of 'holiday' ahead of me (although how much of a holiday can a final year student really have?) I've been trying to get my reading-hat back on and tick some of those books off of my 'to-read' list...

In my last 'reading list' post, I talked about the first book in this series (this being the second) called The Bronze Horseman, which is probably one of my favourite books of all time. With uni and other stuff getting in the way, I've only just got around to getting stuck into the second book. 70% in and it's just as beautiful as the first, if not a little emotionally draining if you're anything like me. I can't wait to read the final book in this series, The Summer Garden, once I've got less work (which will probably mean this summer!)

Having seen Divergent in the cinema and really enjoying it, I thought it was about time to buy the first book from the well-loved book series. I have yet to start it, but I think it'll be a nice way to shake things up after the tragic love story that is Tatiana and Alexander. 

I've always found Amy to be a hilarious human being, but I don't actually know much about her so I've had this book on my 'to-read' list since its release. That plus that fact that everyone is raving about it makes me want to read it even more, so now it's just sitting in my Kindle app ready to be read!

What books are you lusting over at the moment? Do you have any recommendations?
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Monday, January 19, 2015

Un viaje

So the days of slaving over miserable essays are behind me... at least for now. However, in the midst of my Gorbachev-communism-Poland-Franco nightmare I found myself on the easyJet website, and having seen the cracking deals that they had going, I managed to book myself a little trip away to escape it all before I knew it. Although Amsterdam looked extremely enticing, I decided that I might as well use my time away to further my language skills and started looking at places to visit in Spain. Having already visited the major attractions; Madrid, Barcelona and Seville, and wanting to go somewhere new, I eventually settled on Valencia. As you're reading this I'll either be on my way or already in España being all tourist-y. As none of my family or friends could come along, I'm doing this trip solo, which I'm actually really excited about. Not that I don't like company, but much like shopping, I like going out to explore on my own because you can ultimately do what you want, visit what you want to visit, and make up your own rules. I also think it's a really important growth experience for a person to travel alone - although I haven't travelled completely on my own before, my year abroad gave me a similar experience, so I'm looking forward to my solo adventure back in my beloved España. I'll be back on Thursday, so it's hardly a long trip, but I'm excited to get all snap-happy and just get a way for a few days. I'll be doing a post when I'm back on my travel blog - The Travel Diary of a Third Culture Kid - but when that's live I'll link in on this blog as well. 

I hope you all enjoy the week ahead and stay safe. Hasta pronto!

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Winter Fashion Favourites

I know I said that I was going to try to get this up on Thursday, but by the time I'd written 3,500 words in two days and handed then in on Wednesday at 5pm, the last thing I wanted to do was do any more writing - my fingers were threatening to fall off as it was! Anyway, you'll have to bare with me because I'm not very experienced with fashion photography, but I've been wanting to do this post for a while so I went for it! I'm not personally at a place with my body where I'm comfortable photographing the clothes being worn, so I had to improvise a bit and this is what I came up with. Okay - enough rambling, let's get onto my winter essentials! 

The Jacket: River Island Black Leather Biker Jacket 
Since the day that this landed in my shopping bag it's been my constant companion - it's travelled to Russia and Spain with me, and has kept me toasty and warm! At £100 it was definitely an investment for me, but honestly the amount I've worn it, it's already been paid for twice over. It's classic, simple, has a ribbed detail on the arms, and compliments every outfit. 
(similar here)

The Bag: Banana Republic Gold Snakeskin Clutch
I got this gorgeous little bag from my parents for Christmas and I am in love with it! It's tiny but so convenient especially for nights out, as it has room for my iPhone, some money, cards and a lipstick or two! The golden snake skin pattern gives an outfit (which is usually black) a nice touch of colour and interest, so it's great for me. I couldn't find a similar one online, but you might still be able to find it in stores.

The Scarf: H&M Tartan Scarf
I have a million and one scarfs, but this one is my favourite because of the way it looks great with almost every outfit. For me a good tartan scarf a statement piece in anyone's wardrobe, and they're so widely available in loads of sizes, shapes and colours.
(similar here)

The Jumper: H&M Fluffy Jumper
I don't know why, but I always thought that fluffy jumper were the most ridiculous thing - that was until I tried one on! Oh my, these bad boys are insanely soft, and if you go for a black one like I have then you shouldn't feel too far out of your comfort zone. They're also great because if you're like me and wear a lot of black/monochrome outfits, then the different texture helps to give your outfit a bit more interest. 
(similar here)

The Treggings: M&S Faux Leather Trimmed Treggings
If you know me in real life, you'll know that I practically live in these. They're like leggings but much thicker so closer to trousers - they're perfect because they're really warm and so, so comfy. Plus, no panty lines! I really like these ones from M&S (!) because they have a really nice faux leather detailing which makes them more exciting.
(similar here)

The Boots: M&S Tan Leather Ankle Boots
A good pair of boots is always essential for the winter months, and whatever your style or budget there will always be the perfect pair for you. After some of my well-loved boots tragically broke in October, I knew I had to replace them, and I know it's not many people's first choice, but I always browse the M&S shoe section to get my boots. Of course, places like Topshop and River Island have some good shoes, but for me, no one can beat M&S for comfort and quality. I decided to go for a pair of brown leather ankle boots to shake things up a bit (I'm more of a black leather kinda' gal) and I've been absolutely loving them. They're wide fit (perfect for my man-sized feet), padded, and insanely comfortable. Win win.
(similar here)

What are your winter fashion favourites? Let me know in the comments!

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