What I've been up to | February 2015

Last year was a very 'blah' year for me, so this year I wanted to take steps to make 2015 a bit more memorable. I've started putting effort into noticing little every-day things that make me happy, and to comply with one of my 2015 resolutions, been taking a whole load more photographs. Here is a glimpse of what my February looked like!

I'm trying to get healthier, so getting more fruits and veggies into my diet has become a priority, but I'm also horrendous at remembering breakfast, so smoothies tackle both of these issues at once! // Finally started my cover-up tattoo. Hopefully getting this finished next week, follow me on instagram if you want to keep updated on it. // Recycling baby-food jars (or mini mason jars...) as candle holders // Spending lots of time with friends, and actually getting my photo on! I will no longer shy away from cameras, I care not about my 18 chins! // Who doesn't like new shoes? // Bought my favourite album 'The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me' by Brand New on vinyl finally  // Vegan Blueberry muffins! // Matching Sims Tattoos with one of my closest friends, don't judge us // "Caramelised" pineapple, chicken, smoked bacon medallions and avocado on a wholemeal roll. Don't tell me healthy eating isn't yummy // Got so many awesome things planned for later on in the year // Actually going on nights out. Anxiety etc usually makes this horrendous, but I've found an amazing group of friends at work who just put my at ease. Yay for beautiful friendships // Valentines themed vegan chocolate cake! I've gone dairy-free so I'll be posting some of my favourite bakes turned vegan soon // Shamless selfie. I don't care who thinks I'm vain, I'm embracing my inner TSwizzle and rocking the red lip forever // Found my old Buffy The Vampire Slayer necklace. Don't care how lame this makes me // Finding beauty even in the strangest of places // Baby-food jar shots! Classy ladies we are. 

Think I'm going to try and do these kind of posts every month, they give me a bit of an incentive to make sure I'm taking enough photographs! 

What have you lovelies been up to this month?

REVIEW | Eylure Brow Ink

Eylure Brow Ink is a double ended brow ink pen. I have very light very sparse brows. I always have done, I've maybe plucked them once in my life, so I need a fair bit of help to make my face look like a face. 

I purchased Eyelur Brow Ink in 'Mid Brown', one of their three shades. I personally find this shade to be a tad too warm. I have pale skin and ashy hair so warm tones make me look a bit strange. But if you have warm tones through your hair, this product could work really well for you.

Eylure brow ink boasts a "tattoo like finish", which I can't say is very true, but I also don't want my eyebrows to look like tattoos if I'm honest. The ink doesn't last all day, and is a bit patchy, but makes it easier to create a hair-like pattern than just using a pencil or powder. 

I can't use just this product to fill in my brows because they are just too sparse, so what I tend to do is create a base of powder to get the shape and thickness right, then go in with this bad boy. It makes my doing my 'sharp tails' a lot easier, and stays in place longer than powder. When I just use powder, my brows look very flat, but with a bit of this ink through it, they look more like real hair. I tend to find the thin end is more useful than the thick tapered end. 

All in all, this is a nifty product to add to your brow routine, and if you've already got alright brows I'm sure it would be brilliant for traveling. For me, it has not become an every day essential, but if I have time I'll use it to improve my non-existent caterpillars. 

What is your go-to brow routine?

WISHLIST | Homeware

I moved into a new flat in November, but had so much stuff that I didn't feel the need to buy anything new. I've lived here a while now, and It's absolutely amazing but I'd like a few bits and bobs to make my bedroom feel less like my old flat's bedroom that holds so many rubbish memories. 

I don't spend a whole lot of a lot of time in my room to be honest, but when I do, I want it to be a place I can just relax in. I purposely don't work in there already, so I think just a few wee pretty bits and bobs would do the job. My room also isn't massive, so most of the stuff I plan to get will be bed-orientated, since it takes up the most room!

I've actually now purchased the bedding (2), just waiting for it to arrive. But plain white sheets might look a little boring so my next mission is to buy a plethora of pillows (anyone got any good recommendations for places to buy them from, other than Ikea/H&M/TKMaxx?). I already have a whole load of fairy lights in my room, but you can never have too many right? I want to start pinning my Instax photographs along them. Lastly, who can say no to a candle? Margarita Time is my favourite Yankee Candle, but it's now been discontinued (Why would you do this to me Yankee!?) so I've been trawling through eBay in order to pick one up. I'm also planning on framing some of my favourite records and popping them on the walls, but I'm still ummming- and ahhing about the whole holes-in-walls that I'll eventually have to fill in thing. Oh to have the perfect bedroom. 

What kind of things do you guys have in your room to help you relax after a long day?

Be your own valentine.

Valentines day is always so centred on couples expressing their loves for one and other, and while I'm all for that, I also think we should all express some self love this valentines day (ooer! Not like that you dirtys). 
It's difficult and I'm still working hard at it, but learning to love myself is something I'm paying attention to a lot this year, so I thought I'd share a bit about what I've learned so far so you too can be your own valentine:

• Take some me time. Valentines day is a brilliant time to do this. Whether that be to pamper yourself for a big date, or if your a singleton like me, pamper yourself for a nice evening of Netflix and take away, it's a great excuse. Not everyone has the time to spend hours soaking, scrubbing and spoiling oneself every week, but today, you have a brilliant excuse. 

• Thank your body. It's easy to pick at the pieces of yourself that you don't like. It's not easy to push them aside and list all the things you do, but believe me, it helps. I find it helpful to thank my body for functioning every single day without me even thinking about it. My body moves and breaths without me ever consciously telling it to, yet I still pick at it for being fat or ugly- how is that fair? It's not, so now I don't. You have one body, no matter what, so give it it's dues. 

• Banish the negative thoughts. I've been reading Amy Poehler's 'Yes Please' and she has a fair bit about this. She describes the voice in the back of your mind as a demon, and I think thats the perfect name for them: “You are six or twelve or fifteen and you look in the mirror and you hear a voice so awful and mean that it takes your breath away.” It tells you that you are fat and ugly. The voice that talks badly to you is a demon voice. And the scary part is the demon is your voice.” This demon may always be there, but you need to know when to tell it to shut up. I've found that on the days when my demon just won't shut up, it's best to let it get on with it and dismiss everything she says. Every morning when I'm done getting ready, I stand in my mirror and say 'I love myself unconditionally right now', and while I don't always believe it, saying it and making it real words sometimes scares the demon enough to keep her at bay that day. As Amy says "Even demon's gotta sleep".

• Learn to appreciate your own company. I'm not going to lie, this one was pretty easy for me. I quite like being alone, but it is easy to slip into a circle of self doubt and hate when there is no one there to stop you. This is the time you should appreciate yourself for all of your quirks and traits, you don't need someone there to validate you. You validate you. 

• Be yourself. Everyone wants to fit in, and for some people it's really easy, and for others it's just not. I'm one of the 'just not's, so believe me when I say, it takes a lot just to be you. But it's so worth it. When you're not being you, you tend to surround yourself with people who like that fake version, so when you slip, it all falls apart. Since just coming to terms with the fact I'm a massive geek who doesn't really understand social situations, I've found people who not only don't care about this, but like it. It's nice to be appreciated by others, It helps you appreciate yourself. 

• Respect your mind and body. I've found that since I've started using food as fuel rather than emotional stabilisers, my body has been much happier. I know that sounds strange, but your body is a machine and if you fill it full of rubbish, it can't work to its full potential. The same goes for your mind. This kind of relates to 'Banish the negative thoughts', if you block those demons, figuratively or literally, they can't poison your mind or body. It's okay to be nice to you. 

• Praise yourself. It's good to be proud of yourself. I know when I do something I think is great, I feel way too big headed if I tell people, but that's not cool. If your proud of something, shout it from the roof tops! If people think your big headed, let them, who cares? Not you, you're too busy knowing how good of a job you've done. 

 Fake it until you make it. It's hard and you feel a little bit silly, and you won't instantly believe it when you first start telling yourself you're worthy of love and beauty- It takes time. But when you're feeling horrible and you can't quite take all the compliments you're giving yourself, sometimes pretending you believe it helps. It gets to the point where you've faked it so much that you trick yourself into believing it for real. I've found this comes in handy when it comes to taking compliments, just accepting them and saying thank you is a lot easier than shooting people down when you believe you're worth it, or are even pretending to believe. 

Whether your having a romantic time with your other half, eating your body weight in pizza or having a skype-date-night, I hope you're all well and wonderful. 

REVIEW | Max Factor Whipped Creme Foundation

Max Factor's Whipped Creme Foundation is billed as a 'demi-matte' foundation that is 'hydrated with glycerine and water so it glides over skin'. I have pretty darn dry skin, that tends to flake when I apply  most foundations, but this stuff gives me a smooth baby-bum face. It is oil-free and fragrance-free so doesn't ever make me break out. I actually love this stuff.

This foundation has a creamy texture, so it's perfect for those of us who's skin sometimes likes to pretend it is actually scales. It glides on and it stays on, with or without powder. I usually don't powder because it shows of my dry areas (literally my entire face...) but even when I do, it never goes cakey.

I use the lightest shade, which while could do with being a little bit paler for me, is still a pretty good match. It only comes in 6 shades so there's a pretty good chance you're not gonna find your perfect colour in this range, but I've found that it can be sheered out enough to match most skins and still have good coverage. If I ever think it's looking a wee bit too warm for me, I just pop a bit of powder on to calm it down.

If you like Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation you will probably like this. Its more liquid-y  but doesn't make your face look as powdery. It kind of feels like the grown-up version of the Dream Matte Mousse.

Overall, it's a good foundation and I will probably buy it again just because it's so fast and easy to apply while still looking good. It's great for 'I woke up way too late to look human at uni today' days and 'I have 10 mins to top up my make up before I have to go back out again' nights. This isn't my holy grail foundation, but it is pretty nifty non-the-less.

What's your favourite foundation?

WISHLIST | Fitness

As you might have read in my 2015 post,  I'm on a bit of a weight-loss journey. I have a fair few pounds to loose, so obviously upping my exercise is a big part of that. 

I've wanted a Jawbone for a fair while now, but have just never gotten around to getting one.  Jawbone is a fitness band that measures you steps, monitors your sleep, has an inactivity alert to make you move and logs your work outs amongst other things. I find I either severely overestimate or underestimate how much I'm actually doing in the day and would love to keep track of my day-to-day movements, so I know when I need to step ip m game. I spend a lot of time doing workbooks, editing photos and watching Netflix, so even when I do a workout, I still end up spending most of my time doing nothing. 

I have recently joined the gym so need a few bits for that. This Nike Duffle Bag will be perfect for hauling all my stuff to the gym, and the USA Pro Sports BraSports Leggings   and Workout Top all seem to be perfect gym wear for me (Look at the pattern on that bra!). I'm not keen on sweat marks, but plan on getting real sweaty so figured black would be my best option. I'm also the kind of person who needs motivational music to work to, so this iPhone Arm Band  seems perfect for keeping my phone secure whilst I work out to a great playlist.  

On my non-gym days (aka days I tell myself I'm gonna do loads of uni work instead and that I 'deserve a rest') I still want to be able to do something, so I'm attempting to get into yoga. I have laminate flooring so I tend to slip and slide all over the place so will definitely need to get a Yoga Mat.  I'm also going to get these Hand Weights, so I can maybe do some exercise videos if the yoga just isn't doing it for me. 

Last but not least, the hardest part of getting healthy for me so far has been getting enough water. According to a few water-reminder apps I've downloaded, for my weight/height I should be drinking about 3L of water a day. Before I cut out the fizzy drinks and sugary teas, I could go days without drinking plain water. Nowadays I stay as far away from the pop and sugar as I can, but I generally just keep forgetting to drink at all! I tend to find when I have a gimmicky bottle I drink more, so I thought this Bobble Water Bottle would be a good idea. It filters water as you drink and is squish able. Hopefully the disgusting Edinburgh water can be improved with this bad boy. 

You guys got any tips or tricks for me?

Empties #1.

While moving house I realised I am a class A goo-hoarder. I live with a flatmate now, so taking over the bathroom with excess amounts of crap just isn't an option. I'm on a bit of a mission to get rid of all the products I've started and just abandoned in favour of newer-prettier things; these 'empties' posts might become a more regular thing. 

Here's what I've managed to use up in the last few months or so;

This is my go to conditioner. I usually have one 'basic' conditioner (this one) and one more high-end/luxury or specialised conditioner to go between so my hair doesn't get used to one or the other. I tend to go for this conditioner as my basic because it feels good and comes in a huge 900ml size so lasts me forever. It's nothing to write home about, but it gets the job done. 

I was using this as one of my more 'specialised conditioners' for a while. I think everyone and their mum has used this stuff, it's good but my hair gets used to it so easily due to using it constantly as a teenager so will probably stay away for a while.

Anyone who is blonde, or even just highlighted, needs this stuff. It tones like nothing else, when I was completely blonde I would fore-go traditional toners and use this shampoo instead. I ended up buying a big 1L pump bottle of this before I even finished the bottle photographed above.  Now I am ombre, I use it to keep my ends as white as I can. You can read a full review I did of this product here

I bought this because my friend said it 'made her hair feel like human hair again'. When I went ombre, dying my bleached hair red then brown took its toll. While the ends felt fine, I was concerned about the roots, but I think this stuff sorted it out. My hair feels like real hair once again. 

It's no secret to anyone who knows me that my favourite scent is Lime. I mentioned in my favourites a year or so back that I was in-love with the buttercream version of this, but I love these two just as much. I generally used all 3, usually whilst having a Margarita Time Yankee Candle lit, and was in a lime-y heaven. As soon as I've finished the matching buttercream I'll be buying all 3 again, they're usually on 2 for 3 at Boots yay!

Since dying my hair brown, it's much softer and so much less styleable. Bleached-to-all-hell hair generally will stay put no matter what, so going from that to flat-as a pancake was a bit of a shock. This stuff gives my roots a bit of texture and helps to keep bobby-pins from falling out. I've found that dry-shampoo also does a pretty good job, so if you already have some you can skip out on this product.

I have wavy and frizzy hair, so anything that can turn my ugly mop into pretty-beachy waves is all good in my book. This stuff is good for 3 day old hair that you really should wash but just don't have time to, but does dry your hair out a wee bit (it's full of salt, so obviously). I will probably buy this stuff again once I've used up everything else that claims to give me beach-perfect hair. 

I absolutely love Dove's Hair Therapy Damage Solutions Shampoo & Conditioner so bought this to use in conjunction with it. This oil obviously lasted longer, but just didn't cut it. Especially compared to my beloved Dove Shampoo & Conditioner. I have to use an oil in my dry hair, but I've had much better ones than this, I won't be revisiting this.

I would say this is one of my favourite foundations. It's the closest match to my skin colour I've ever been able to find and gives me a good coverage. When I have loads of blemishes it doesn't quite cover them without a fair few coats, but it's nothing a bit of concealer can't fix. I have already re-bought this.

I've been using this since I can remember. I like matte skin, but I have super dry skin, so this is one of my only options. When I was a teenager I would use this every single day. When I found beauty blogs and YouTubers I wanted to try lots of new things, but I will always go back to this bad boy. It just works. I will be re-buying this. 

The colour selection in this foundation is one of the best on the high-street in my oppinion. The colour is damn near as good as the previously mentioned Revlon one, and they come in both red-toned and yellow-toned so you will definitely be able to find something to suit you. The coverage is lighter than I would like, and the formulation is a bit runny for my taste, but I would buy this again. Probably not any time soon, but I will end up back with it no-doubt. 

This was about 3 months worth of products, so the next post will hopefully be a little bit smaller. 

What products have you been enjoying so far this year?