Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Half-Way Through

I cannot believe that I'm now halfway through my time at university, I don't feel like I know enough to think that next year I'll be completing my dissertation, I had to use spell-checker to even find out how to spell the word, never mind write 10,000 words on an experiment I have to devise myself! I need to stop talking about it now, I'm having a panic just talking about it!

I've learnt so much whilst I've been at Uni, I've made the most amazing friends that I know I will keep in touch with, I've managed to do all my own washing *pats self on back for being a proper grown up* and I've found out that the best thing about living away from home is being able to do my own food shop! I thought I would be really unhealthy but I'm actually not, I buy lots of fruit and I'm even eating more fish at uni than I ever did at home!

By Thursday I'll be able to say that next year I'll be (hopefully) finishing my degree and I have absolutely no idea what I want to do with my life (ideas are welcome), I'm also turning 20 in 2015, I'll no longer be a teenager (and therefore can't pretend that because I'm under 20 I'm still a child) and I'll be half-way to forty; something I've happily annoyed my friends by saying but now I think about it I would like to stay 19, it's a nice age to be, no one expects too much of me but I can still drink and drive although definitely not at the same time.

This year has been pretty great for me, I started the year seeing Taylor Swift at the O2 in London with one of my best friends, started emhasrednails and kept up writing new posts reasonably well, I also got an amazing camera that has been well loved and even after having it for 6 months I'm still learning the basics of how to use it, I finished my first year of uni, got a new job that I enjoy and can go back to when I'm home, been to Greece and had the best holiday ever. I was lucky enough to be taken to London by my boyfriend and we went to the Harry Potter Studios. I started my second year at uni and I seem to be doing better than last year as well as enjoying it more (fingers crossed that I can keep this up), I joined the gymnastics society at uni and even though I'm not very good I'm learning something new and by joining I've made lots of new friends. 2014 has been a good year for me, I hope 2015 is the same.

Thank you so much for reading and I'll see you in 2015! Happy New Year!

P.S. I hope you like the picture, my Auntie got it for her secret Santa at work and I love it! It isn't relevant but I just had to share it with you!

Monday, 29 December 2014

A Beautiful Highlight

Isn't this just the most gorgeous highlighter? The Balm's Mary Lou Luminizer is a newbie to my collection but I can already see that it's going to become a regular in my ever growing makeup collection. It gives a beautiful glow to my non-existent cheekbones that with a bit of contouring makes me look like I have some shape to my chubby cheeks. A highlighter is the perfect addition at this time of the year, adding a bit of that extra something to my face.

This is my first product from The Balm and I don't intend it to be my last, the quality of this is amazing for the price at £16 from Asos so it's pretty readily available. I've seen many other reviews of this but I thought that I would never be able to get my hands on it having never seen it in Boots or Superdrug so I was so happy when I found plenty of products from The Balm on the Asos website. I think my next purchase will be one of the eyeshadow palettes, I just need to decide which one!

Have you tried any products from The Balm? Any recommendations?

The Mary Lou Luminizer is now on sale on for £14.40 so get it whilst it's on offer!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas and a Great Big Thank You

I know my posting has been very sporadic since September but the posts that I have put up have had some lovely comments and I would like to thank every person who has read my blog, commented or tweeted me. I've had a brilliant year writing emhasrednails and I would like to have many more years to come writing about anything that takes my fancy. Thank you for reading! 

I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas, be merry and eat lots! There should be another post up before the start of 2015 so I'll see you then. 

Merry Christmas, I'm going to finish watching The Polar Express now. 

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Why Christmas really is the best time of the year

These are a few of my favourite decorations on our family tree, I tried and failed to get a good one of the whole tree but the lighting just wasn't right and the photos wouldn't do the tree any justice.

Ever since I was a child I've loved Christmas, at first I loved receiving presents and then it was because I could eat loads of chocolate and other goodies but now it's because I get to go home and see my family, have some time off from doing lots of work and give everyone gifts I know they'll love.

My first love of Christmas is food, I love food all year around but Christmas is just the best because it's acceptable to eat lots of chocolate, cheese, puddings and basically anything else. I've never been the biggest fan of a roast dinner, I know I'm being a bit controversial saying that! We always go to my grandparents for Christmas dinner so when I was younger my Grandma used to make me a spag bol and I loved it, I felt so special seeing as I was always the only child there too. She stopped this quite a few years ago which I was disappointed in and now I have turkey, which is my least favourite meat but it's also my Grandad's least favourite too so I might have managed to persuade him this year (Psychology degree coming in handy there Emma!) to do some other meat as well which I'm pretty happy about! But after turkey comes cheese and biscuits which I've grown to love after spending two years working on a cheese counter in a supermarket.

Nowadays the best thing about Christmas is coming home from Uni and seeing all my family and friends that I don't get to see very often in term time. This year I'm going home quite early to take half of my things back on the train and then coming back to uni to do a few exams and then back home I go with the rest of the clothes and presents. The first time I'll go home I'm planning on putting up the Christmas tree (I've claimed this job every year) which is one of my favourite things to do, my next two favourites are linked to food, making mince pies and decorating the Christmas cake. These two are my favourite because I know that soon enough I'll be eating them (why do I always end up talking about food?!)

As I said earlier, I used to love receiving presents when I was a child but I think as people get older it's more about giving than receiving, it's a cliche but I love seeing people's faces when they open their present and see what they have. This year money has been a bit tight so I'm doing the homemade Christmas for family, I'm thinking of doing a small hamper for people, making something sweet like truffles but after seeing Lily Pebbles' vlogs I'm very tempted to make her brookies because they look delicious and I really want to try them (somehow got back onto food here). I'm also thinking of including some kind of cheese and posh crackers because if you can't be posh at Christmas when can you be? As well as a bottle of wine and a few other goodies.

The lead up to Christmas is personally, what I believe makes Christmas, everyone gets all wrapped up and braves the chilly weather to go and buy presents and shops have decorations out and Christmas music playing. I get to open the advent calendar every morning getting more and more excited everyday that Father Christmas will be coming soon, and as much as people say they hate doing the Christmas food shop, I can't wait to go with my mum and help her choose what food to get for the Christmas period (seriously I've gone back to food again, I'm making myself hungry!)  I also adore going to the Christmas markets, this year I went to the Christmas Markets here in Lincoln and if you have never been, they're massive! It never seems to end. I love going to the Manchester Markets too and getting all festive. But my favourite Christmas Market that I've ever been to is the ones in York. Every year my parents and I, auntie, uncle and cousin used to go to York to go Christmas shopping but since I've been at uni I haven't been able to go for one reason or another and this makes me quite sad. The rest of them are still going but I can't this year but I've promised them and myself that the year after next when I've finished uni I will be making a return and I'm already excited to go!

What are your favourite things about Christmas? Have you been to any Christmas Markets this year? If you're going to York then think of me when you're eating a delicious chocolate crepe (a tradition my cousin and I have)

Monday, 24 November 2014

The Woes of a Psychology Student

I'm doing a Psychology degree which seems to make people think I can do extra-ordinary things with my mind, in reality I'm struggling to keep my life together so next time you meet someone who does psychology please, for me, don't ask them any of these questions

"So you can read my mind then?" or "What am I thinking now?" Probably the most common of misconceptions, just because I study psychology does not and never will mean that I can read minds, I don't think anyone (apart from Edward Cullen) can read minds, no degree on earth will ever be able to teach someone that!

"Can I have a friends/family discount on therapy?" no, seeing as I don't want to go into therapy, only a small percentage of people will go into it. Even if I did go into therapy I wouldn't want to

"Are you psychoanalysing me now?" No! I don't tend to psychoanalyse people, I do like to have time off from thinking about psychology so if I'm talking to you, it will probably mean I'm thinking about anything but what degree I'm studying.

"Is that not a girl's subject?" Now I know that I'm a girl but I can imagine that many of the guys that are reading psychology get annoyed with this question. It is predominately a female course but there are more and more guys doing psychology and in this day and age no subject should be a girls or boys subject!

"Is that what people do when they don't know what they want to do with their life?" This one is true for me, I don't have a clue what I want to do with my life and by doing a psychology degree it means that I can go into a range of jobs therefore keeping my options open. However, I do think that asking this question is quite rude, everyone chose a degree subject for a reason and that reason is fine by me, no matter what it is!

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Coping with a Heavy Workload

In the next five weeks I have to write three essays and revise for two exams as well as sort out Christmas presents and have half a social life. It sounds a lot but I know that I will manage it because for one I have to, but two, I've been having a busy few weeks and still managed without a breakdown by doing a few simple things.

1. Get up early and start getting that work done, you can look forward to the lie in you can get at the end of it and you'll probably enjoy it more. I find that I work best in the morning anyway, I can't work as well at night so I try to get it done in the morning and have an early night to start the next day feeling awake.

2. Make the most of any time you have. Got a spare hour, don't spend it watching TV, get some work done in that time. I recently came home from uni so I did some work on the train, it made the journey quicker and it meant I had a bit of extra time to catch up with work.

3. Take breaks, I know that everyone says this but it's important, I know that my brain won't work all day without little breaks, just get away from what you're doing for a little bit and you will be more productive.

4. Have something to look forward to at the end when it's all done, for me this is Christmas, when I've handed that last essay in and done the exams, I'll be going home for Christmas and only have a little bit of work to do when I'm home, I'm imagining making mince pies now! If it's not an event you have to look forward to maybe buy yourself something nice that you've been wanting for a while.

5. Make a list, I have countless lists of things I have to do, on my wall, on a whiteboard, on my laptop, they all have similar things on but it means I don't forget anything I have to do.

6. Keep a diary, I've been doing this for the past few months and it helps to keep me organised and know when everything is happening from deadlines to nights out.

I better get back to my work now, this was my break and I'm also looking forward to getting back into blogging at Christmas when I have finished all the work I have to do.

Friday, 17 October 2014

6 Reasons Why No Make-up Days Are The Best

I have a few days a week off from uni this year and combined with the weekend that adds up to many days of me going barefaced. I love makeup and experimenting with different looks but it's always a good day when I can go without makeup so here are six reasons why I love no makeup days.

1. My favourite, you can rub your eyes and not have the worry of looking like a panda for the rest of the day

2.You don't have to spend ages in the morning perfecting that winged eyeliner or getting annoyed that you can't get them to match, instead you can spend that extra 10 minutes or more in bed which makes all the difference.

3. Linked to number two, you don't have to take any time out of your night to take your makeup off, instead you can just jump into bed straight away (obviously after you've done your very detailed skincare routine)

4. Wearing no make-up is one of the best feelings, nearly as good as taking your bra off at the end of a long day.

5. It's good to let your skin breathe and not be covered in makeup

6. If it rains there's no worry about your makeup falling off your face and becoming a panda, you just have to worry that your hair still looks great (although if you're going for the whole no makeup look your hair will be in a bun on top of your head resembling a pineapple)

Are you a lover of wearing no makeup? What's your favourite reason not to wear it?

I have two essays to be handed in in the next few weeks so I'm busy writing those so bare with me if it all goes a bit quiet, I'll be back soon.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

September Favourites

Remember me? Yeah I used to post four times a week and I can't remember the last time I posted on here.Sorry about that, my work load has doubled since last year and I'm having difficulty keeping up with that! Anyway, here is a post to keep myself from feeling too bad about neglecting Emhasrednails.

September has been a month of very few new purchases which tends to mean that I only have a few favourites. I obviously have a lot of products that I love and use all the time but it would get a bit repetitive on emhasrednails if I did that for every favourites. However this month these four items have been used over and over again.

First is my only new product - Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Nude Foundation in Ivory. This is one of the first (and probably last) drugstore foundation that matches my skin tone really well, they're usually really orange or just too pale and then next tone up gets into the orange category. You might know that I get really oily skin so I'm always on the lookout for a matte foundation that will keep the shiny nose at bay and after wearing this for long days I can confirm that it does just that, I'll need to repowder sometime in the afternoon if I've had a busy day and want to look my best but for a lot of the time I can get away with doing my makeup in the morning and my foundation will stay put for the rest of the day (not sure about 25 hours, who can really stay awake for 25 hours, not me!)

Soap and Glory's Lid Stuff in What's Nude? has been mentioned on the blog before, I will sometimes use this little palette as it's intended use - for eyeshadow, but I find the shade Mudhoney works really well on my eyebrows. I love the look of eyeshadow on my brows because it looks a lot more natural and I find that with the right brush - I use Real Techniques Brow Brush, it's so quick and simple to do. The shade is slightly too warm for me but with some brow gel I can get away with it.

The Naked One palette is old news to most people and I've had mine for quite a while but I'm constantly going back to it. I've created countless looks with this palette from very natural day looks to a smokier night look. If you've been reading blogs for a while and know the basics of makeup you'll probably know that Urban Decay eyeshadows have the most amazing texture that it so pigmented and really easy to blend too. A few of my favourites are Sidecar, Smog, DarkHorse and Hustle. The brush that comes with this palette is my current favourite for really packing on the colour, I don't know if it has a certain name and if you can get it on it's own but the whole package is worth a buy.

What are your September Favourites?

P.S. I have no idea when I'll next post again so why not follow me on Bloglovin' here 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

My Virtual Baby

I'm going back to University today, I'll be going into my second year so I've got a feeling it will get pretty hectic pretty fast. In an ideal world I would love to keep blogging as regularly as I have been doing this Summer, I've loved my blogging days when I've spent hours watching This Morning and other daytime TV whilst writing posts but soon I'll be writing essays instead of posts and this makes me a bit sad. However I'm going to try my hardest to keep writing at least one but hopefully two posts a week. This will be pretty difficult to make the time to do so but my blog has become my little baby and I couldn't just leave it building virtual dust till the Christmas Holidays.

I have a few draft posts that I've written for the busy weeks when I only have a few minutes to go on blogger and click publish so I'm sorry that they won't always be newly written posts. I'll get back to you as to what my new days where I will be posting as I don't know what my timetable will be like, I'll change that in my About page as soon as I know.

If you want you can read my posts about My Fresher's Week last year here and here. Good luck to anyone starting Uni this year and to anyone going back like me. I'll see you sometime in the unknown future...

Friday, 12 September 2014

The Best Brushes in my Collection

As you can see I love Real Techniques brushes, these are my all time favourite brushes that I use on a regular basis and there wasn't a single brush that wasn't RT that came close to all these. I love RT brushes because they're pretty cheap when compared to other brushes, the quality is out of this world seeing as I don't think I've ever seen a single hair ever shed from any of them. They're also a dream to wash and dry overnight.

My first favourite is the Contour Brush (front orange), it's the perfect size for contouring and giving myself the look that I do actually have some cheekbones. My next base favourite is the Buffing Brush (right orange), I use this with all my liquid foundations and it gives a beautiful flawless finish when I take the time to really buff my foundation in. My last favourite base brush is a newbie in my collection but it's brilliant. The Powder brush (right orange) is a really big brush that gives the perfect amount of powder everytime, not cakey but means that I don't get the oily look.

My other favourites are all eye brushes (the purple ones), however one is actually used for my base, that's the Deluxe Crease Brush (left) which is amazing for concealer, it's very dense so really buffs it in. My next favourite is the Fine Liner Brush (right) which I use with gel eyeliner, it's the perfect thickness and I can create quite a thin line with it although it would be easy to build it up if you prefer the thicker liner look. My final favourite is the Base Shadow Brush (middle) which I use for blending eyeshadow together, it's quite flexible and not too dense so is perfect for making sure the eyeshadow is flawlessly blended.

Have you got any brush recommendations that I should try out?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tanning Mousse

I've always had pale skin but love looking tanned so I'm permanently on the search for a great fake tan. However, so many fake tans are out of my budget so that's a no to the likes of St Tropez and Xen-Tan. I wasn't sure what would happen in my search for a budget fake tan as I don't want to look patchy and orange or smell like a biscuit. For the past few years I'd been using No7 Tanning Lotion, you can read my review here and at the time I thought it was great but now I see there are other options out there.

Cocoa Brown says that it's a one hour tan mouse although after leaving it for juts one hour it wasn't dark enough for me so I left it for three and it gives a lovely sunkissed glow which I really liked. Another time I did leave it for around six hours and it was a bit too dark for me so I gave myself a bit of a scrub in the shower and my tan looked much more natural.

The Cocoa Brown Mousse is so easy to apply, I would never use this without a tanning mitt because it helps to get a very flawless coverage and means you don't get orange hands. I tend to use a big squirt (we all know this is a very technical blog) for each limb and an extra squirt for my legs if I need it. I tend to be quite quick when working with the mousse because it dries quickly and give yourself a quick check that everywhere is all rubbed in before washing your mitt (speaking from experience here) as you realise you can't do much about it then! Also be careful around water, if any tan gets water on it it will come clean off and you'll get a patchy tan so wait till you get in the shower before you get wet.

This tan lasts for a good week depending on how deep your tan originally was and keeping your skin moisturised makes sure it doesn't get patchy, especially on elbows and knees. The tan does have a smell to it, when you're waiting for it to develop it's quite a strong smell and then once you've washed it off I can often smell it if I get too close.

I would recommend this mousse to anyone looking for a good budget tan, I think this was around £8 and is a really easy tan to use especially if you were going out in the evening you could put this on in the morning, wash it off later and have a lovely tan that isn't orange.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Makeup for Beginners

I'm kind of writing this post to my teenage self, if when I had been first getting into makeup and all these products had been around these are the ones that I would recommend to myself. I didn't have a big budget so I couldn't afford the expensive stuff (although I don't think I even knew Mac existed and at the time thought it was stupid for people to spend lots of money on makeup, how wrong was I?) so all these products are pretty affordable and by the time you have all of them it's a pretty good collection to start off your collection with.

As I would be wearing this makeup to school I would have wanted a very light base, The Body Shop's All in One BB cream would have been perfect, it provides a very light base that evens out the colour of skin and is really easy to blend in with fingers so no brush is needed, I actually find that this works better without a brush. Another base product that is a cult product in the beauty world is Collection Lasting Perfection concealer. It's not only a great concealer for those pesky spots that I got as a younger teenager but it's also surprisingly cheap. This is a dream to work with, it's very thick so gives a very high coverage on those areas that you aren't happy with but it blends in well too.

I've always had oily skin so a powder is essential, Rimmel's Stay Matte Powder in Transparent is probably in many beauty lovers collections, it's a great product that again boasts a very cheap price tag, only a couple of pounds. This is great to dust over the t-zone or all over depending how matte you like your base to be. To add a bit of colour to my cheeks I would have recommended Sleek's Blush in Pomegranate which gives a lovely flush of colour but is very natural like the rest of this makeup so hopefully there won't be any problems with getting into trouble at school for wearing makeup.

For eyes I would recommend Maybelline The Falsies mascara, just one or two coats of this for a natural look that you can get away with at school or lashings when you want those long fluttery lashes. Another eye product that is great and so cheap is Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal. I managed to get away with wearing eyeliner in my last two years of high school (I wasn't one known for wearing too much makeup in the first few years so I was never a target for the beady eyed teachers who knew the 'rebels' and I was a goody-two-shoes so I think the teachers let me off, it's not as if wearing makeup actually affects your education anyway!) I wore it very subtly but it gave my eyes that extra definition. This eyeliner is great because it sticks around and can be smudged for a smokey look.

My final recommendation to my younger self would be Rimmel lipstick in Asia, it's a colour that any age could wear because it's very subtle but just adds that little bit extra something. Rimmel lipsticks are some of the best drugstore lipsticks around, the quality of them is amazing and they're pretty cheap too, if there's some beauty addict around that doesn't have a Rimmel lipstick in their collection I would be very surprised.

Are there any beauty recommendations you would give to your younger self?

Sunday, 7 September 2014

My Fresher's Week Experience

So I'd had my first night out as a uni student and I was feeling a bit worse for wear. I walked into the kitchen and all my flatmates were sitting there in their pjs having breakfast, it was like we'd known each other for years. I think this is one experience you can never do again, I can't think of any time where people who don't know each other are thrown together and have to live with each other 24/7.

Fresher's week went really quick for me, it was a mixture of nights out, introductory lectures, meeting so many new people who are all so lovely, it's one of the times where you feel you can talk to the person you are sitting next to as it's likely they don't know anyone the same as you, this doesn't last that long but that doesn't matter because hopefully you'll have made lots of friends.

There are a few things I would recommend taking to uni

-A door wedge, someone told me about this before I went to uni and it was the best advice someone gave me, when we were all moving in I kept my door open so I could talk to my new flatmates and there wasn't a day I didn't use it.

-A subscription to Netflix, four out of the six people in our flat had a subscription to Netflix and at only £6 a month it's good for a student budget, there are so many films and TV shows on there to watch there's guaranteed to be something for everyone. Even though there is a lot of work to do and lots of socialising it's nice to settle down watching a film in bed with a tub of Ben and Jerry's.

- A clothes airer, I forgot this and I had to keep borrowing my friends when I did some washing so I hopped off to Wilko and got myself one, I didn't hop back as it was a bit of a nightmare carrying this back to my flat, however it was the best £10 I spent as I could save £1 each time I did a wash as I didn't need to pay for the dryer.

- Tupperware, you will need lots of little boxes that you can put food, I used to open tuna and put half in the fridge for the next day, it means you can save money by not wasting food or using too much just because you don't have anywhere to put the leftovers.

-Straws, plastic cups, plastic shot glasses etc, these are best bought when you're at uni but these are all essential fora good flat party as no one wants to do the washing up the next day.

I hope if you're going to Uni this year that you have an amazing time and you come back with memories as good as mine! Remember if you're worried about it, you're not on your own, most people go to uni knowing no one and everyone is thrown in at the deep end!

Friday, 5 September 2014

So You're Off to Uni...

First of all, Congratulations! You've done so well to get this far.

Secondly, don't panic, thousands of people are in the same boat as you (yes it's a very big boat) and the're all nervous like you. I'm going into my second year at uni and I remember last year well, I had everything packed, the car was so full (with fourteen pairs of shoes which my dad couldn't believe I would need them all, I'm sure I wore the majority of them and then bought more too). I was so nervous, it was a lovely hot day and it was only the second time I'd ever been to the University so I'd forgotten what it looked like.

We went to the campus where I was living and collected the keys then with bags we walked up the stairs into the flat I was about to spend the next seven months in. I went and found my room, opened the door and was a bit in shock, it wasn't as nice as the ones I'd seen on the open day (they obviously show the nicest flats) but it was still nice and clean. My parents and I took many journeys from the car to my room and soon it was all dumped in my room and I made my mum make my bed so at least it looked a bit cosier. I started to unpack things in the kitchen and was speaking to a few of my new flatmates. I would like to say now that I was so lucky to be put with some of the loveliest people, we're all really good friends and I'm living with the girls this year. We went to get some food and then my parents left me to it (I actually told them to go because I was having such a good time!) A couple of the girls and I went to get our ID cards and our wristbands for Freshers week and we didn't stop talking, we instantly clicked talking about friends we'd left at home and our boyfriends (we'd all left them at home, two of us are still with our boyfriends so don't worry if you're leaving a loved one behind, it's hard but I couldn't chose between uni and my boyfriend). I remember my parents walking past us after having some lunch in town and they could see how happy I was.

Later we went back to the flat and made some tea and we all started talking, we all got along really well and then decided to get ready, we soon started drinking and having a really good time, I was so nervous I didn't drink that much because I didn't want to do something stupid, later in the year we were talking about Fresher's week and my other flatmate said she did the same thing and barely drank anything. I remember being out that night and it was the weirdest feeling, I had never met any of these people, spoke to a few on Facebook, but I was going out with them, it's hard to describe but I'm sure those of you off to uni will know what I mean when you get to that situation.

I'll finish the story of my Fresher's week soon.

I'd love to hear your stories about starting uni

Ta ta for now!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Autumnal Nails

As much as I love bright pinks and pastels for in the summer my love is Autumn/Winter nails, I love my deep, dark colours too much. I've had a love of red nails for years and for as long as I can remember it's always been No7 that I've gone to for my reds, they do the boldest reds that are a regular occurrence in the colder months. You can tell I have a fond spot in my heart for them seeing as I named my blog after them! The shade here is No7 in Devil's Delight and this is at least my third bottle of it, I think this one will be making an appearance when I next paint my nails.

Another old favourite is deep purples, it's usually my toe nail colour of choice in the winter time although I think this year I need to vary this a bit more. I've had No7 Vivid Violet in my stash for a good while now and this is my second bottle, I've also got this one for my mum and she loves it. I like purples to be very deep so this needs two or three coats but then sticks around for ages.

Another purple I love in the winter time is Barry M Magnetic Violet, the clue is in the name here- it's a magnetic nail varnish. I love nail art but having a job where I'm not supposed to wear nail varnish as well as a degree means I don't have that much time on my hands so in the days where I can spare a bit of time to do my nails this is one to go for when I want something different. I have three different shades of these and each one has a different pattern that the magnet will make so I have a variety of looks I can go for. My only problem with these is they don't last very long but when I only have my nails painted for a few days it's not too bad.

Over the past year or two I've really got into grey nails, I haven't been able to pull it off in the summer so I'm excited to get my greys out. I have two favourites, first is Essie Power Clutch which is a very new addition but I've got a feeling it will be a favourite. This one is a simple grey that will go with any outfit (that's one of the things I don't like about summer shades, it's hard to match green nails with some outfits) because it's quite a neutral colour.

My last Autumnal shade is No7 in Thunderstorm, isn't that name perfect, I can see where they were coming from when naming this as it looks like the clouds when there's thunder. This one is another grey that I've fallen in love with but has undertones of purple (I think, I'm not great with seeing undertones, can you even get undertones of purple?) I've currently got this on my toes and it looks lovely, especially with some nice peep toe heels. It also has great lasting power as it's been on for six days and not a chip in sight.

What are your favourite nail varnishes for Autumn?

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

September Wishlist - The University Addition

As if it's already September, it doesn't seem like three months ago that I was moving back home after my first year at Uni but in a couple of weeks I'll be returning back to uni and the hard work will start again!

I'm not the type of person that can pack lightly so I need lots of storage boxes to put under my bed or in the wardrobe, these Storage Boxes from Argos look perfect, they're cute with a nice pattern and quite cheap too at £9.99 for three which is great for someone on a student budget.

I love getting cosy at uni under a nice blanket with some chocolate to watch a good girly film. I spotted this blanket and I'm so tempted to buy it. It's so cute and I love all the colours. This is from Cath Kidston and it looks so warm to snuggle under when it gets colder in the winter time. If you're a student you can get 10% off with Unidays too.

I can't remember if my room at my new house has any lights other than a big main light so I've been researching lamps and at Homebase they have some really simple lamps that are so cheap (from £2.43!) I found this lamp that is £4.99 and they have various colours too but I really liked the Jellybean Blue colour.

There aren't many products that I'm wanting for uni because I can't fit too much in the car and I'm on a student budget so it's just the necessities for me. It also helps that I've already been at uni for a year so I have all the main items I need.

No pictures in this post are mine, they can all be found in the links describing the product.

Monday, 1 September 2014

August Favourites

August has been quite a good month for finding new products I like or rediscovering new ones. There's a mix of makeup, brushes and a DVD thrown in. I've recently written a post about The Perfect Base where I talked about a few of my perfect base products. I was going to include all those products in my favourites but seeing as I've already done quite a detailed review of it I just included The Body Shop's Instablur which I have worn everyday in August and I can't fault.

I discovered Revlon Lash Potion mascara when I realised I didn't have any waterproof mascaras at all and after browsing the aisles of Boots I found this one, I really like the packaging, it's simple but I love the colours, I admit I'm one of those people that the packaging can either put me off buying a product or entice me in and this mascara was the latter. I tend to wear this one over a non waterproof mascara to keep it on longer. I do find that because this is waterproof it takes quite a while to remove but it does keep my mascara on for longer without it flaking off.

A rediscovery this month has been Maybelline Brow Drama, I gave up on this one a couple of months ago because me and the brush just didn't get on, it has a large round bit at the top and then it's thinner below but after having brows that wouldn't stay in place I decided to give it a go again and fell in love, it works well on its own to keep brows natural or with another brow product.

Two brushes that I've been reaching for most days have been Real Techniques Brow Brush and Deluxe Crease Brush. As the name says the Brow Brush is used for my brows with an eyeshadow, I'm using Soap and Glory Lid Stuff in Mudhoney and then use Maybelline Brow Drama to keep them in place. I use the Deluxe Crease Brush with concealer, specifically this month has been Mac Pro Longwear Concealer, this brush is the perfect size to blend in a small amount.

 Included in a No7 set that my mum kindly gave me for my birthday was the No7 Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Duck Egg Blue. I've been wearing this colour none stop this month, I'm not usually fond of blue nail varnish but this is a perfect colour, I've been loving pastel colours this summer and it's a great addition to my rather large nail varnish collection. Another birthday present but this time to myself was a Mac lipstick in Peach Blossom, I love this colour, the texture is perfect (I now want many more Mac lipsticks) and it's my perfect nude with a subtle pink tone.

You may know that I am an eyeliner lover and I got the Eyeko felt tip liner free with a magazine a couple of months ago, this has been a firm favourite since I got it, it's so easy to use either having a thin line or by making it thicker, it also lasts for ages which is a must and doesn't smudge. I can't believe I got this free as it's an amazing eyeliner, I will repurchase this when it runs out because I reach for it everyday and it will be missed when it's gone.

My final favourite of the month has been Divergent, I read the books earlier this month and couldn't put any of them down and then the film came out soon after I'd finished the books so as soon as this was delivered through the door (yes I pre-ordered it) it was watched.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Get the GLOW

When I first heard that Topshop had a makeup range I didn't imagine that it would be very good, however after trying a few of their products I take it all back. They have a great range of lipsticks, eyeliners and blushes just to name a few and I'm always looking to try new products from their range. My friend introduced me to Glow which is a lovely cream highlighter. I'd been looking for a highlighter on the highstreet for a while and I couldn't find anything that caught my eye in the likes of Boots and Superdrug so when she showed me this I was sold.

I got the shade Polished and it's amazing for highlighting cheekbones as well as under my brows and the inner corners of my eyes. It's not a product I use everyday but for when I want that extra something it's ideal. It blends in like a dream and gives a subtle glow. Polished has a slight pink/peach hint but I think this makes it look quite natural.

You can get other shades of Glow on the Topshop website here

Friday, 29 August 2014

Brows on a Budget

I already have quite thick brows but I like to add a bit of extra definition and keep them in place using these two products that are widely available and quite cheap too.

First up is the Soap and Glory Archery Brow Tint and Precision Shaping Pencil in Brownie Points. I like to use the pencil side and even though this is slightly too light for me as I have really dark brows it doesn't matter as it still gives that bit of colour where my brows are sparser. I'm not too keen on the brow tint but I know that some people prefer it, sometimes if I've over plucked my brows I'll use both of these.

Next for keeping my brows in shape I'll use the Maybelline Brow Drama in Dark Brown. When I first bought this and opened it I was surprised at the shape of the brush and wondered how I was supposed to use it but it's not difficult, I wipe the brush on the top of the tube to get the excess off and then lightly sweep it over my brows and they tend to stay in shape all day.

Have you tried either of these products? What do you use on your brows?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Delicious Brownies

I've been making these brownies for years and after family and friends telling me these are the best browines they've had I thought I should share my recipe.

You will need:
90g Dark chocolate (milk chocolate doesn't work as well with this recipe)
140g Butter
125g Plain Flour
15g Cocoa Powder
160g Soft Light Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 tsp baking powder

  • First heat your oven to 180 degrees C/Gas 4 and line a small baking tin (aim for something similar to 20cm/15cm that is a couple of cm deep) 
  • Melt your chocolate and butter in a heatproof dish over a pan of simmering water. Meanwhile mix your eggs and sugar in another bowl.
  • Once the chocolate and butter has melted pour it into the sugar/egg mix. 
  • Next measure in the baking powder, cocoa powder and flour (I tend to do these separately and then mix in well after each one so you know it's all stirred in)
  • Once all the dry ingredients are mixed in pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 20-25 mins. Allow to cool and then cut into squares. 

These are cute if you cut them quite small if you were having a party or meal and serve with other mini desserts or you can have them all to yourself, whichever way you chose I won't judge!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Seeing Double

I've been a fan of Soap and Glory's Thick and Fast Super Volume Mascara (the black one) for a good few months and when I went back to repurchasing I decided to try a different type so I got the Flash-Extensions Effect Mascara (the silver one) to see if it was any better, I think I can say that it's not. I prefer the formula of Super Volume, it's a bit thicker and the brush is huge which I love.

The Flash-Extensions mascara is quite thin and watery which makes my lashes stick together. I'm trying to see if this will slightly dry up and go thicker but it's been open for over a month now and it's still too thin for my liking, this makes my lashes go clumpy every time I use it. I've even tried it with other mascaras both before and after and my lashes always stick together. This could be because my lashes are quite short so this may be a great mascara for someone who has longer lashes but it's just not the one for me.

When I've used up a few of my mascaras I've got at the moment I will definitely be buying another Thick and Fast Super Volume Mascara, it makes my lashes look thick and long with only two coats and lasts all day. I'm yet to find a mascara as good as this one.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Perfect Base

I decided to try Instablur from The Body Shop and I haven't looked back since, I prefer this over the Porefessional and it's less than half the price. This primer gives a smooth base to put my foundation on, keeps my face from getting too oily which in turn keeps my makeup on longer. I can't imagine finding another primer that will do a better job.

After primer I put concealer on, I decided on Mac Pro Longwear Concealer when I was having a bad skin day and it is the perfect shade for me (NW20) and has a really heavy coverage which is perfect for spots and other blemishes. I like to dab this on with a small brush and because it's hard to get a very small amount of this out, the concealer's only problem, I mix whatever is left on the back of my hand in with my foundation.

My makeup drawer is full of different foundations after the search for 'the one' and I feel I've come pretty close in Benefit's Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow, it provides the perfect amount of coverage, that brightens my face up. I use the shade "I'm so money" Honey and even though I try to use my other foundations I always end up reaching for this one.

I get quite oily skin so I always powder my t-zone and sometimes the rest of my face depending on what I'm doing. I'm not too fussy with powders, if it keeps the shine at bay for a good few hours then it's a winner in my books. I usually go for a translucent powder such as One Heck of a Blot from Soap and Glory but Mac Studio Fix (NW20) adds an extra bit of coverage when needed and really keeps my face from looking shiny, I can do a 7 hour shift at work when I'm on my feet all day and only have a little shine that I can pass off for dewy skin.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Healthy Skin in Two Tubes

My skin had been having a bad time; spots arising and a mixture of an oily t-zone and dry skin on my cheeks and parts of my forehead. I began to search the beauty blogs in search of something to improve my skin and I stumbled upon La Roche-Posay Effaclar range. First the Effaclar Duo which is great with spots, as soon as I see one coming I rub a little of this on it and it tends to go away a lot quicker than usual and not be as bad either. I've been using this for a few months now and I'm loving it, the best thing is that you only need the smallest amount on and it soaks in quite quickly so you could put it on before you put your makeup on.

Next is the Effaclar H which is a moisturiser, on the back it says 'Oily skin weakened by over-drying treatments' I'm not sure that I've used too many over-drying treatments but I thought this would be perfect for my dry skin but seeing as it's for oily skin I thought it would be good for all over my face. Boy I was right, when I don't use this moisturiser my skin just doesn't feel the same. I still have slightly dry skin on my cheeks but it's much less obvious.

My skin at the moment is really good, the odd spot or two but much less than I used to get as well as nice healthy looking skin that isn't perfect but can be controlled now I have these two.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Helping Dry Hands Along

I've suffered with dry hands for three years now, it started when I was working on a deli counter and I thought it was the meat juices irritating my hands. I then quit that job before I went to uni and my hands got a lot better. Then around Christmas my hands got really sore again and I didn't know what it was so I ended up going to the doctors and she told me I had Dermatitis which is basically just really dry hands that need to be kept moisturised. I then got a job at uni in care work so I wash my hands a lot and every night I came back from work my hands were really dry so I smothered them in moisturiser before I went to bed. Back at home now and I have a job in a care home so once again my hands get really dry so I've had to find some products to help my poor hands.

First of all, if you have really dry hands and I mean cracked, red and itchy (it sounds as bad as it feels) then you need to speak to a doctor to get something to help it. My doctor prescribed me some steroid cream which is to be used when it's really bad and only in very small amounts. She also prescribed Cetraben which is really moisturising but also takes ages to sink in, I can wake up in the middle of the night after putting some on before bed and I can still feel it on my hands. I'm not keen on this feeling (although it does seem to work) so I had a look around at what I could find that wouldn't leave my hands feeling all greasy.

I decided to try The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector after seeing Essie Button saying it was really good. I do like this as a moisturiser but the smell really puts me off, I've never smelt hemp before but I'm guessing this is what it smells like and it's not very nice. I try to use this but I can't put my hands near my nose because the smell is so strong. However this is another one that sticks around and doesn't seem to settle in which I really don't like because I can't do anything with my hands so that limits to only putting it on at night before bed. After a day at work and my hands were quite sore I spotted Morrison's Intensive Moisture Lotion which my mum uses so I gave this a try on my hands and after only a few uses my hands have improved so much and I've still been working. I would guess that this lotion was pretty cheap and can be used all over the body and the best part is that it only takes a small amount and sinks in quickly so I can apply this throughout the day and still do things with my hands after using it.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

The Day I Fell in Love With Mac Lipsticks

Mac Lipstick

As probably many people know it was National Lipstick Day a few weeks ago and Debenhams were offering £5 off their lipsticks so I got online and looked at what Mac lipsticks they had to offer, at first I was only going to buy one but it was free delivery on orders over £30 and each lipstick was about £10 so I bought three of them... it was an early birthday present to myself I like to tell myself and if you think about it I got one free because they're meant to be £15 each.

The first choice was Patisserie which every beauty blogger seems to love, I've been wanting Patisserie for ages so it was a must. I then had a look on a few blogs at what people were loving and had a look at a few swatches and I decided on Peach Blossom, this is a gorgeous pinky nude and would be perfect with a dark, smokey eye. The last one I chose is Lustering, I saw a post on Lily Pebbles blog of this and I fell in love with the colour, I'd already chosen two nude colours so I thought I should get a bright colour. As soon as I opened Lustering I fell in love with the colour, I'm not usually a pink lipstick person but I adore this one, Lily sums this lipstick up perfectly - the colour of watermelon.

I never understood why everyone loved Mac lipsticks but now I can see why, they have a lovely smooth texture and I really like how they all have different finishes too, I have the shades Lustering and  Patisserie in Lustre as well as Peach Blossom in Cremesheen.

Have you got any favourite Mac Lipsticks?

Friday, 15 August 2014

Lemon Swiss Roll

Today I'm going to give you a really easy recipe for a Lemon Swiss Roll, there is a lemon curd filling which I didn't realise was so easy to make and a slightly zesty roll. If you don't like lemons you could change the curd to jam and miss out the zest in the roll. 

For the Lemon Curd you will need: 
1 lemon - juice and rind
70g caster sugar
2 eggs
50g butter

Whisk the lemon juice and eggs together. Add the grated lemon and sugar and mix together. Place your bowl over a pan of simmering water (make sure this stays on a very low heat) Stir regularly for around 20 minutes until it has thickened.  

 Whilst the lemon curd is thickening you can make the cake, for this you will need:
2 eggs
75g caster sugar
75g self raising flour
The rind of one lemon
Some extra caster sugar for decoration

First heat the oven to 220 degrees C/ Gas Mark 7. Line a small baking tin around 33x23cm or so but this doesn't have to be exact.
Next whisk the eggs and sugar together until the mix is quite creamy but light so the whisk leaves a trail - I would recommend using an electric whisk for this or else your arm will really hurt! Sieve in the flour and rind of the lemon and fold in with a spoon.
Gently spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth into all the corners so there is an even layer. Put in the oven for around 10 minutes until golden brown.
Whilst the cake is in the oven get a second piece of baking paper and sprinkle with sugar.

When you take the cake out of the oven leave it to stand for a short minute and then turn onto the sugared paper. Peel off the first paper but place it back on the cake, quickly but gently roll up the cake so it looks like a swiss roll without the filling, this will help to keep the cake from cracking whilst it cools.

Once the cake is cool and the lemon curd has thickened gently unroll the cake and remove the piece of baking paper in the middle, spread a layer of lemon curd all over and then roll up again keeping it quite tight. If your edges aren't very neat you can cut a thin piece off either edge (and eat this) so it will look a bit tidier. This cake is so tasty when eaten warm but is fine to be eaten cool too. I would recommend eating the cake the same day as you make it.

I left my cake in a bit too long although it still tasted fine!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Perfect Bronzer

The Body Shop Honey Bronzer

I was looking through my makeup collection today and whilst realising that I have way too many products I also found out that the only type of makeup I have just one of is a bronzer. The reason for this is that I feel I have found the perfect bronzer and have no need to search for a better one, it's a subtle colour that works well for contouring as well as giving a beautiful warm glow to my face. The bronzer I am talking about is The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder and at £13 I think this is a total bargain as I haven't bought any others since trying this out.

I've been using this for around five months and I've hardly made a dent, only the slightest amount is needed to give a healthy glow and it works perfectly with the Real Techniques Contour Brush for giving me the look of actually having some cheekbones when they are always hiding behind my chubby cheeks.

As I'm quite pale I use the palest shade in 01 which is perfect for me and as long as I don't apply it too liberally I don't get the orange look.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Summer Wedding Outfits

I'm going to a wedding this weekend and I've been looking for a dress to wear for it, I've seen so many pretty ones that will be perfect so I thought I might as well show you which ones are my favourites that I've found and give you inspiration if you're also going to a wedding this summer.

Photo here

This one is from Miss Selfridge and is on offer for £30  I love the colour, it's so pretty and not a colour I would usually wear. I've always loved this style of dress but just never got one, I'm tempted to get this one but I'm not sure whether I want a long dress or not.

Photo here

This pattern and colours of the dress really drew me in, in my opinion this is the perfect style of dress for a wedding. This dress is not too short and even has a necklace type detailing which means you don't need to buy another necklace! This dress is also £30 an absolute bargain!

Photo here

This dress from BooHoo is only £15, I think this is perfect for summer with it's bright colour. This dress could be dressed up with heels and a clutch or dressed down for the day with a cute pair of dolly shoes. 

Photo here

I'm not sure whether I would wear white to a wedding but I fell in love with this dress from Dorothy Perkins, at £49.50 it's slightly more expensive but I've seen dresses for more. I love the detailing at the top of this dress. I also think this dress would be perfect for on holiday having a meal in the evening. 

Photo here
Could a dress be any more summery? I love this one and I love the price even more, it's only £15, I think that this could be the one I end up getting because it's so different but so pretty!

Would you wear any of these dresses to a wedding? Which one is your favourite?

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Harry Potter Studios

My boyfriend took me to London for my birthday this year and this included going to the Warner Bros Studios where there is a lot of things from the Harry Potter set. I absolutely love Harry Potter as well as London so this was the perfect present for me. This post is going to be very photo-heavy and if you don't like Harry Potter this probably won't interest you! I didn't take my DSLR with me because it was too heavy to carry around London, I would have liked to have it with me at the studios as my photos would have been a lot better quality but I still have the memories!

The castle was so impressive, it was so detailed and we were told that they used this to film the outside of the castle in most of the films.

 Dumbledore's costume from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban onwards.

 The transport used at Gringotts Bank.

The Burrow where the Weasleys live, you can see the knife that chops by itself and the washing up also does itself, I wish I could have that at my house! 

 Dolores Umbridge's Office - could there be any more pink?

We got some Butterbeer, can't say it was to my taste, I found it so sweet!

This was all the animatronics, I never realised how much work was put into all of these!

They made an animatronic head for Hagrid so he would be the right height, I never even realised they did this so you can tell they did an amazing job!

Me on Diagon Alley!

We managed to find quite a few of the cast members' names on the wand boxes, this is Daniel Radcliffe's

We bought a Chocolate Frog, luckily it didn't jump out of the window!