New Home

So back in March I finally accomplished one of my 2017 goals- moving out and into a flat of my own- and I was so excited! Although I loved living at home, I couldn’t wait to have my own space that I could put my own stamp on.

I absolutely love interior design, and my Pinterest boards have been full of gorgeous room ideas and inspiration. I swear I’ve been living in Ikea and Dunelm that last few months, and can’t go into a store without eyeing up the homeware section!

My fiancé and I are currently renting our flat in Edinburgh, so we are quite limited as to what we can do to decorate. Luckily our flat is almost perfect. It is very neutral with wooden flooring and creamy white walls, which is the style that I quite like, so I wouldn’t do much to change it up even if I owned the flat myself. Our landlord offered us the property fully furnished. One of my favourite things when we moved in was the living room, we have a light blue sofa with tartan pillows, a gorgeous soft white rug, and two white IKEA units which fit in so well with the white and blue colour scheme we have going on. I’ve just added my own personal touch with photo frames, lanterns and countless Yankee candles (my favourite having to be Baby Powder)

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Funnily enough, my favourite colour isn’t actually blue, however I seemed to have carried on the blue decor through to the kitchen. I was gifted this gorgeous matching pastille blue toaster and kettle set for Christmas from my Mum and Dad last year, so I couldn’t wait to use them once I moved out.

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I’ve been loving having my own space so far, and I will definitely keep you updated with my home decor once I’ve settled in some more and picked up a few more items.

If you have any recommendations for home ware shops, or tips on making a flat even more homely please let me know!

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Pisa

On our way back from Sestre Levante we decided to pop into Pisa City Centre to check out the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the surrounding area before heading to Galileo Airport back to Edinburgh.

You can really just see Pisa in an afternoon, I’m sure they’re may be lots more to see outside the main part, but we were quite happy seeing the tower and other monuments, and finding a lovely spot for lunch and coffee.

In the heart of the city there is the Square of Miracles, or as it is formally known, Campo dei Miracoli. It is also a World Heritage Site. There are three structures found in the square, the Baptistry, the Cathedral of Santa Maria, and the graveyard. However, the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa is actually the cathedrals bell tower. The square is surrounded by a gorgeous, and well maintained lush lawn, where you could find crowds of people relaxing and taking in the sights. There is also two museums that you can visit, the Cathedral Museum and the Museum of the Synopses, to learn a bit of history.

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Around the monuments there are mazes of stalls selling souvieners. If you want to pick up a cheap magnet or key chain, then here is the perfect place. Unfortunately the majority of the stalls sell all of the same items, so it’s difficult to get something unique.

I couldn’t resist having a go at the mandatory holding the tower up pose! I’ll be honest, this was actually quite difficult and resulting in Dino yelling at me where to put my hands for a good five minutes! I think it was worth it though, what do you think?

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Charlotte Tilbury First Impressions

I absolutely adore Charlotte Tilbury! I’ve binge watched her You Tube videos, learning lots of tips and tricks over the years.

I have always really been a drugstore makeup gal, with occasionally splurging on high end beauty products or being gifted them for birthdays and Christmas. However only recently have I decided to purchase some Charlotte Tilbury products to get a taster. I decided to go for the and the Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow, and the Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick  in ‘Penelope Pink’- I adore the name of this lipstick, and it is the perfect every day nude colour! I purchased these products from Feel Unique.

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The Unisex Healthy Glow is a tinted moisturiser that gives a natural glow to the skin. I love a tinted moisturiser, and my go to one is definitely NIVEA’s Daily Essentials Tinted Moisturising Day Cream (at £3.99, you can’t really go wrong). So I was excited to see how Charlotte Tilbury’s £35 tinted moisturiser matched up. When first applied, the product is white and quickly blends into a pigmented cream to give a lovely natural looking tan that blended effortlessly into my skin. I found that I definitely had a subtle glow that I loved, and I’m sure I will love this product even more come the dull Winter months.

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My skin is notoriously dry, and I found this tinted moisturiser really did help with this. It didn’t cling to any dry patches on my cheeks at all, like some foundations and other moisturisers that I’ve tried in the past. The product claims to have “natural moisturising actives that contain a combination of moisture regulating ingredients that mimic bouncy lipids in your skin.” I love wearing this product on it’s own. It is so light weight and doesn’t make me feel ‘cakey’. I loved this so much when I was in Italy, I could just pop some on and blend to give my skin a super natural glow that felt effortless.

The only down side to this product is that it doesn’t contain any SPF, so you will need to add in an extra step for sun protection into your skin care and beauty routine.

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Next up is the lipstick. I have to say it is one of the softest and creamiest lipsticks I’ve used so far. I always have the issue of making sure my lips are ridiculously moisturised with layers of Carmex otherwise the colour will just flake off! However I didn’t have this issue when using the K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick. This lipstick also has good lasting power, I regularly top up my lipstick throughout the day/night and this lasted several hours longer than other ones I have tried.

I would say that the colour is more of a nude off-pink rather than a bright pink, but I prefer this, as I am comfortable to wear this on a day to day basis.

I am also in love with the rose gold case! It is so sleek and is definitely my style.

After reading the products description, the product claims to be enriched with their secret ingredient, the Lipstick Tree, which is an anti-oxidant that naturally protects lips from UV damage and external pollution, which is a big thumbs up from me!

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Overall, I was quite impressed with Charlotte Tilbury’s products. I’m very keen to try more and discover some of my new makeup favourites. I get the impression that she truly cares about her products and thinks about each ingredient that she puts into them to make them unique and work well on every skin type.

Have you tried any Charlotte Tilbury products? What did you think, and did you have any favourites?

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A Primark Jo Malone Dupe?

I’m going to fully admit it, I’ve never purchased a Jo Malone product. They are on the pricey side, but I know the quality of the product is well worth it. I lust after their colognes and candles, and even just last week when I was heading to Italy on holiday I had to sample nearly every product at Edinburgh Airport.

When I was browsing my local Primark I decided to head to the beauty section- as you get some decent beauty bargains there- and I kept smelling this gorgeous aroma. I eventually found a new stand which had a selection of reed diffusers, perfumes and home sprays. I was really impressed with the range of scents and how amazing they smelt.

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They have very similar scents to the Jo Malone products, such as Primark’s mandarin & basil, which smelt almost identical to Jo Malone’s lime, mandarin and basil cologne.

This was obviously a very popular product as the majority was sold out. But I managed to get my hands on the mandarin & basil room spray and the eau de parfum rollerball fragrance collection which was perfect as I was able to try out each scent.

The eau de parfum rollerball fragrance collection set came with 6 miniatures of each of their scents. This included; Vanilla Absolute, Amber Noir, Mandarin & Basil, Rose Out, Pomegranate & Black Tea, and Jasmine & Honey.

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I’m fully aware that the quality of these perfumes don’t match Jo Malone products, however I was very impressed with the actually scent of them. The only thing that I have noticed is the staying power. They are strong when put on, but the scent doesn’t stick around for long. This ended up making me apply more perfume as a top up throughout the day, but I didn’t mind seeing as I only paid £8 for the roller ball set.

Overall I’d probably buy the room sprays again and I’ll definitely be back to try out the reed diffusers. I’d say the perfume is good if you just want a light scent, but I can see myself treating myself to a Jo Malone cologne in the future.

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I said yes!

So he put a ring on it… In Disney! I am absolutely over the moon to announce that my boyfriend and I are now engaged.

A few weeks ago I was surprised with an amazing trip to Disneyland Paris for the long weekend, and little did I know that Dino was planning on popping the question right next to the wishing well by Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.

We had the most perfect few days just enjoying our time together and taking in all of the magic, before getting back to reality and celebrating with our family and friends.

So over the next few months please excuse all of the wedding planning chat!

I guess Disney really is where your dreams come true!

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L’Oreal Low Shampoo Review

Since I’ve started wearing my hair natural more often, I’ve done a lot of research into how to keep my hair healthy. The majority of the advice I’ve found is that conditioning is the go to for curly hair- so I invested in various hair masks to try and soften and hydrate my locks. I wanted to know what the best shampoo was to use for curly- and coloured hair, and I stumbled across rave reviews on Low Shampoo.

Low Shampoo is sulphate free (=no foam) which gently cleanses hair, removes impurities and conditions in one step. Sounds brilliant right? The product states that you should use this 1-2 x per week in place of your current hair care routine, however I’ll admit I’ve been using it a bit more.

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The Low Shampoo I purchased and have been using religiously is the L’Oreal Elvive Colour Protect Low Shampoo.

To use this product you apply 10-15 pumps (yep this sounds like a lot, but you get a fair amount of product in the bottle) from your roots to the ends of your hair. I massage the shampoo into my scalp and rest of my hair to ensure I get a good clean. I them leave it on for about 3 minutes while I do the rest of my shower routine. After a few minutes I rinse my hair thoroughly, and style my hair as I normally would.

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I’ve found that after using this product my hair feels clean however very conditioned. I’ve been finding my hair hasn’t been feeling as greasy as it usually has been when I used ordinary shampoo and conditioner. I’m currently on my second bottle and still really enjoying using the product.

I feel that this product works very well for naturally curly hair, as it deeply conditions the curls without making it too greasy or drying it out, which equals frizz!

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Nintendo Switch Review

When I first head of the Nintendo Switch console I was very curious about what it could offer. I loved the Nintendo DS and Wii U, so the idea of a hybrid of these two consoles sounded brilliant.

The Nintendo Switch is a portable console, so you can game wherever you’d like to, but it can also easily be played in the comfort of your own home on the TV.

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The Switch is a 6.2 inch tablet, with a stunning display. It has two removable joy-con controller, which can be used solo or split for local multiplayer gaming. Since the Nintendo Switch can be played on the tablet or the TV, it comes with the Switch Dock, which charges the device and connects the Switch to the TV. You also get the Joy-Con Grip, which connects the Right and Left Joy-Con controllers together, so you can use them like a traditional controller- which is great for single player Mario Kart! You will also get an HDMI cable and a power cord.

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The Switch tablet is touch screen, and I have found the display brilliant for games. You can also use the Switch tablet in table top mode, where you can flip the kick stand up and use it as a mini screen if you don’t want to use it as a hand held device. At 6.2 inches the Switch is very portable, which is what made the console appealing to myself. You can purchase various Nintendo carrying cases for the console to protect it.

Connecting the Switch to the TV is very easy. You simply slide the console into the charging dock until it ‘clicks’ and the display from the console is transferred onto the TV. I love using the TV display for playing multi-player games.

The battery life is acceptable for the Switch. A full charge can give around 3 hours of gaming, which is good enough for commuting or playing around the house. It charges quite quickly as well, which is a plus.

I was slightly reluctant before buying the Switch, as there wasn’t a large variety of games available on the platform at the time. However Nintendo has announced a few more games set to be released soon. I can’t wait to play Splatoon 2- which was so much fun when playing the live demo-, Mine Craft (who doesn’t want portable Mine Craft?), Skyrim, and Super Mario Odyssey!

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At the moment I have been playing a bit too much Mario Kart- However I’ll admit I do get a little bit competitive.. But it is such a fun game, especially with friends! I have also been playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I was never a big fan of the Zelda franchise, but I’ve really been enjoying this one. It has such an open world that you can explore for hours, and the story really is very immersive. I would definitely recommend it.

What do you think of the Switch, and what games have you been loving?

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L’Oréal Paris Mega Volume Miss Baby Roll Mascara Review

I’m all for trying out new products, especially when it comes to mascara. I’m always on the hunt for a new product to top my favourite Benefit They’re Real- preferably one that’s cheaper too!

L’Oréal’s marketing campaign for this mascara was brilliant. Every time I popped onto my Facebook or Insta, they’re was an advert for the product. I loved how they used bloggers like Just Jodes as well. 

The mascara claims to give mega volume, curl and hold all day. They have a selection of colours to choose from as well; black, black waterproof, indigo, lilac, and teal. I’ll be honest, I’m not one for bright makeup so I went for black (boring I know!).

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Packaging: 

I love the packaging for this mascara, I think it is very simple yet eye catching! The pastel pink and mint green instantly caught my eye when I was browsing the makeup aisles in Boots.

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Brush: 

A mascara wand is the most important thing for me. I normally like thinner wands that make it easier to catch and coat each lash. I also prefer silicone type wands over the classic brush style. The Miss Baby Roll wand is made of silicone, however has a larger round barrell shape, I think this makes it easier to achieve more volume for your lashes. I found this made the application of the mascara trickier, as I kept on getting specks of the product on my eyelid (maybe I might just need more practice!)

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Product & Application: 

I liked the consistency of the product, I felt that it didn’t clump, even when I applied to layers- hurray!

I found that the mascara definitely gave more volume to my lashes which I loved, and I found the results very similar to that when using the Benefit Roller Lash, however the roller lash was a little bit more defined.

Wear:

Like the majority of mascara that I wear I always find it was fade and run down to my lower lash line throughout the day. This happened with the Baby Roll as well. But I did expect this.

Removal: 

Since I didn’t get the waterproof version, I found the mascara very easy to remove. I usually use a makeup wipe to initially remove the product, and then wash my face with cleanser and a wash cloth.

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Egg-travagent Shortbread

Happy Easter Weekend everyone!

I got a little creative yesterday in the kitchen after splurging on all things Cadbury and Easter related! I love making tray bakes, and so I thought I would put an Easter twist on the classic Millionaire Shortbread.

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Here is what you’ll need: 

Easter chocolates- I used Cream Eggs and Mini Eggs (my favourite!) 

1/2 bar salted butter 

126g shortbread biscuits (You could also choose to make your own shortbread if you like for the base) 

300g milk chocolate 

100g white chocolate 

1 tin condensed milk 

1 tbsp soft brown sugar 

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Method: 

Line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.

Using either a food processor, or a good old rolling pin and plastic bag, break up the shortbread until there are no large chunks.

Melt the butter and mix into the crushed shortbread until well combined, and placed into the baking tray and flatten with a spoon.

To make the caramel, pour the condensed milk and brown sugar into a pot over heat, and stir with a wooden spoon constantly until thickened. Pour the caramel over the shortbread and smooth out.

Allow caramel to cool and set before adding the chocolate.

Melt the milk and white chocolate (I use a microwave,  however you can use a bowl over boiling water), and pour over the caramel layer.

Next up is the fun part! Before the chocolate is set, drop a couple of hand fulls of Mini Eggs over the chocolate, followed by a few cut up Cream Eggs. Decorate this part however you like!

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Enjoy!

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Benefit Cosmetics Favourites

When I was younger, Benefit was the first ‘high end’ makeup brand that I tried. It all started with the Boi-Ing Concealer, a pretty heavy duty product that banishes those dark circles. From that I was hooked, and slowly I branched out and fell in love with their products. Today I’ll be chatting about my favourite Benefit makeup products that are tried and tested and always make an appearance in my makeup routine.

  1. Dandelion 
  2. Roller Lash
  3. Watt’s Up! 
  4. Lemon Aid
  5. Goof Proof Brow Pencil

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Dandelion was one of the first blushers I fell in love with. Although Benefit describes this product as a brightening face powder that can be used on cheeks as a soft blush or swept all over the face to brighten your complexion, I tend to only use this as a highlighting blusher. It is a ballerina pink colour that adds a dusting of colour. I find it really complements my skin tone as well.

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Although Benefit’s They’re Real Lengthening Mascara is in my top all time favourite mascaras, it came a close second to Benefit’s Roller Lash! Roller Lash is a lengthening and curling mascara in one. I think the idea behind this mascara was to banish the need for lash curler prior to application of the mascara- which means time saving which I’m all about! I love mascaras with delicate rubber applicators, and I find this brush is perfect for grabbing, separating and lifting my lashes. It is also water resistant, and I find I don’t get that smudging around my lower lash line that I often get with other mascaras. Over all Roller Lash works very well for my lashes, it’s very easy to apply and gives an amazing curl.

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The Watt’s Up! Cream highlighter is a gorgeous champagne soft focus highlighter that I find complements and adds dimension to my face. It’s very easy to apply and blend out. Benefit says it has a ‘cream to powder finish’. I use this highlighter over top of my foundation and blend with my Beauty Blender, or on a bare face when I just want a little glow.

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I’m going to be honest with you all, I rarely use an eyelid primer! Yes I know it adds longevity to your eye shadow and allows the colour to be more pigmented, but truth is I either don’t have time or I forget. I have however tried various eyelid primers and Benefit’s Lemon Aid is hands down my favourite. This eyelid primer colour corrects, which I really like as my eyelids tend to be quite red. The warm yellow tones in this primer really does cancel out any redness and evens out discolouration. I’ll pop some of the primer on with my ring finger and blend out before applying eyeshadow, I like how gives a good base so that not only the eye shadow is applied evenly, but it allows the eye look to last longer. However, sometimes I’ll just leave the primer on it’s own, I find it brightens up my eye area and makes me look more awake!

Last, but not least, is Benefit’s Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil. Apart from tinted brow mascaras, this is the first proper brow pencil I have used. My brows are quite thick and dark so I never felt the need to fill them in. However, I thought I would give it a go for extending the tail of my brow or evening them out. My Sister recomended this product to me and I’m so glad she did. The angled, no sharpen tip glides on almost effortlessly so it really is ‘goof proof’. I love the built in spoolie so handy and perfect for blending in the product too.

What are your favourite Benefit products? I love recommendations.

Thanks for reading!

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