Tuesday, April 29, 2014


I am back! Quite literally back from Amsterdam and also back to blogging! I've taken a little time out from blogging in order to focus on making the most of my time off University. This year has absolutely flown by and I just wanted to set some time aside to enjoy the little things! I've had the most amazing Easter holiday spent with my family, boyfriend and friends and wouldn't wish for anything else. As I'm sure you can tell from the overload of pictures, I've recently travelled to Amsterdam! I would just like to say; do not, I repeat, do not on any circumstance stay out until 3am for a friend's birthday the night before you have to sail 15 hours to Amsterdam. Because it will be the worst journey of your life. But I doubt anyone is that stupid?! (Yes I am that stupid.) Besides the bad crossing the rest of our trip was just beautiful and we thoroughly enjoyed it. When I say we, I mean myself and Sam, my boyfriend. We sailed from Newcastle to Amsterdam via DFDS Seaways, leaving at 5pm and arriving the following day at 9am. Despite my fragile state I still managed to gorge myself on snacks in our cabin as we watched The Croods and the first episode of Fargo!
Now, onto Amsterdam itself! We weren't given as much time as we'd hoped for but nonetheless we managed to travel around the city and take in a lot of what it had to offer. And I think I speak for us both when I say we would go back in a heartbeat. Amsterdam is such a beautiful city, of course you have your profanities; sex museum, red light district, and so on, but the city boasts some amazing views alongside it's canals with beautiful buildings on every corner. But out of everything, I think my favourite aspect was the food. Those chips you see, or frites as they are known in Holland, we bought from Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx. There are no seats and always a queue but do not let this deter you. They really are the best chips, hot crispy and fresh with over 20 different sauces to choose from. I'm not going to say much more as I really wouldn't want to spoil my memories or spoil it for anyone who may want to travel there in the future. But if you are ever given the chance, please try and go. I came home with a strange longing to buy an old bike and cycle everywhere as I'd seen hundreds do whilst over in Amsterdam. There's something so simple and beautiful when you see people of all ages riding along the busy streets on bikes. Of course no trip would be 100% complete without a burger from a vending machine, yes you heard right! Our trip home was a lot more pleasant and this time I managed to venture out onto the deck to take some photos, along with settling down after dinner to play a game of bingo and enjoy the cocktails that the boat had to offer. Amsterdam, I hope to see you again soon.

Monday, April 28, 2014


A couple of weeks ago I happened to be very early for my university lecture. I could have acted like the good student I am not and passed the minutes away in the library; researching topics and borrowing books. I also could have just sat outside the lecture room, waiting. By now you've probably guessed that I didn't do either of these things; I did however go to my nearest Boots (Drugstore) to pass the time and ultimately made a few impulse buys. I hold their 3 for 2 offer highly accountable for my naughty spends and I am in no way blaming my own lack of self control.

First on the list is L'OrĂ©al Paris True Match Foundation, a favourite of Vivianna Does Makeup: I've been on the hunt for a cheaper alternative to my much loved MAC Studio Fix Fluid for months now. I'm not one for stepping out of my comfort zone so trying this foundation was a huge change, I haven't delved away from MAC in 4 years, tragic. The foundation comes in a huge range of shades, catering for warm and cool skin undertones. If you are unsure of your skins colouring then I would highly suggest using Temptalia's Foundation Matrix, a step by step guide to help determine your shade for numerous brands of foundation! Being a very pale girl, I chose to go with the shade W1 Golden Ivory. This shade is very similar to my Studio Fix Fluid in NC15 and from looking at the foundation matrix, I knew it would be a good match. The foundation itself looks almost watery when you dispense it out of the pump. This was worrying as I like a heavy coverage foundation to cover the irritated skin on my cheeks, I felt that the consistency of the foundation just wouldn't be able to cut it. I was however pleasantly surprised. With much blending and buffing, the foundation did give a flawless cover, although I did use more product than if I was using my Studio Fix. If you do like a fuller coverage then be prepared to build up on the layers you apply. My one major issue with this foundation is how badly it accentuates dry skin. It will cling to any dry skin on your face so please make sure to moisturise and prime appropriately to avoid this. I do not believe that the True Match is better than my Studio Fix Fluid, but it does a good job. For days when I don't want a heavy coverage and for a cheaper fall back foundation, I would more than likely use True Match.

I'm a big brow lover and I'd like to think my eyebrow game is stronger than ever now I've stopped excessively plucking them. Benefit's Gimme Brow Gel claims to thicken individual hairs and create a natural but defined brow. I have a very particular brow routine, so was very worried about introducing this product to my little hairy caterpillars, but it is love. For my dark hair, I use the shade medium/dark and it is perfect. You can use the product to define, shape and set your brows all with it's small wand. The wand enables you to be as precise as you like with your brows without worrying about the gel smudging anywhere else. I still like to fill my eyebrows in with an eyebrow pencil first. But afterwards I will always use the Gimme Brow to set and define my brows so they appear fuller. The woman who served me also told me that the product contains marshmallow extract for strengthening and conditioning the brows & who doesn't love marshmallows?

L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara in waterproof black. I'm not going to say too much on this mascara, all I really need to say is IT'S AMAZING. After curling my lashes, I apply two coats of the mascara and that's it. There is no budging this product, it lasts all day and the definition and volume given is just outstanding. A new favourite of mine; I've worn it on my lashes for all of my recent nights out and I love the effect more than if I was to wear real false lashes. Lastly, SEVENTEEN Clear Definition Mascara, a very impressive buy. The clear mascara can be used to set brows, as a normal mascara or as a quick base before I apply my waterproof one. It lasts throughout the day and has become a staple part of my makeup kit.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Having missed out on Newcastle's fashion week last year, I was determined not to let the same thing happen this time round. Between the 9th - 17th May, Newcastle will be hosting it's 4th year of catwalks, exclusive VIP events, retail offers and style spotting. It's a week not to be missed. Even before the fashion week gets underway, NE1 will be on the hunt for the city's Most Stylish; everyday Thursday from 10 April - 3 May there will be a team of fashion scouts out and about on Northumberland street and in Eldon square, looking to give away a £500 shopping spree to the lucky person who wins Newcastle's Most Stylish. Best get your glad rags on! The event that has me most excited, the Company Magazine fashion show takes place on Saturday 10th May, and as you can see I have already bought my tickets! Company Magazine will take to the catwalk to present the best in fashion from Newcastle. This is spread over two shows, 12pm and 2pm and is sure to be an amazing day! I cannot wait and can say that I'm already thinking of what outfits I can piece together. All events and information can be found on the week's official site. It would be lovely to know whether any of you are going to the events throughout the week!? Are you as excited as I am?

Sunday, April 13, 2014


I've recently introduced coconut oil into my skincare routine. That's right, coconut OIL! It's found in large jars and hidden away amongst the oil/seasoning aisles in supermarkets. You're all probably thinking that I've gone incredibly mad; I am mad but after scrolling through Caroline Hiron's instagram one night, I actually noticed that she had dedicated a post to coconut oil which she uses as a cleanser (see here) and I doubt any of you are going to argue with the queen of skincare? Incredibly curious, I made my way to Tesco the following day and bought a £6 tub of the stuff. I had two thoughts running through my head; if this works then I will be laughing and can start using the oil as an affordable alternative to my Emma Hardie cleansing balm. My second thought: I am an idiot to be so easily drawn in and persuaded by an instagram post.  Three weeks on and I can confidently say that I am not an idiot and have now found a holy grail skincare item that I will use for as long as I can.

So what is coconut oil? It's an edible and fatty oil extracted from a coconut. There are different types of coconut oil, but the best for our skin is pure organic virgin coconut oil. A natural oil containing absolutely no chemicals or additives; it removes makeup, cleanses, moisturises, protects from the sun and helps damaged skin. An all round winner. I have to say I was dubious at the thought of applying an oil to my already oily-combination skin. But have no fear, it is safe! Coconut oil helps to get rid of the bad oils in the skin, ultimately attacking the bad toxins, dirt and black heads that can cause breakouts. I use the oil every morning and night; taking a scoop and warming it in between my fingers before applying to my face (with or without makeup.) Massaging the oil for approx. 30 seconds, I then remove the cleanser with a warm cloth; opening the pores and leaving the skin incredibly smooth. I've really noticed a difference in my skin since using the oil and have had no bad breakouts or reactions since introducing it into my regime. Can you really complain at the idea of lovely moisturised skin and a better base for makeup? If you can, then I'd still recommend buying the oil to cook with (chicken fried in the oil tastes 100x better), but the benefits for your skin are just astounding. Have you ever used coconut oil, if so, what was your impression?

Friday, April 11, 2014



It's been five years since I was last on holiday in Italy. It feels like forever since I've had a tan or felt the heat of the scorching sun on my skin. So this year, myself and four of my best friends decided to pull ourselves together and book a week long holiday to Greece; oh I cannot wait to get there! (mostly for the beach-side cocktails if I'm honest) Here's a little wish-list I've piled together; things I would more than likely take with me for the week. Zara have it so right at the moment and this crop top is no exception. Pair it with a set of wide legged flowing trousers and you have an amazing outfit to wear to dinner, by the pool or for a day trip out. For trailing around the bars on a night I want a pair of sandals with a little heel, enough to give me that extra height and to also make sure I don't get any glass or dirt in my feet. I don't want any casualties on this holiday! The bikini is a pick from River Island and I love it! It's very minimal but stylish; what more could you ask for when you're only using it to swim in. Finally, my signature summer scent. I started wearing Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess last year and it's just holiday in a bottle, honestly. Creamy coconut, vanilla, mandarin, lemon and floral tones. Absolutely amazing and perfect for a beach holiday. The packaging for the perfume is reinvented every year so I'm excited to get my hands on the new bottle!
What are your holiday picks?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014


Lush Tea Tree Toner Water £7.50/250g | Bioderma £14.50

Lush's Tea Tree Toner water has made a huge difference to my skin ever since I began using it almost two years ago. I have combination to oily skin so do suffer from the odd breakout here and there. Tea tree is antibacterial and antiseptic, so you can rest assured that it will help to fight the most overpowering breakouts; say goodbye to those spots and pesky red marks! I use the product as intended, as a toner. Once my face is freshly cleansed, I'll dispense as much or as little water onto a cotton pad and sweep it over my entire face; the amount I use tends to change depending on the fate of my skin. But dispensing the water is made easy due to the products spray pump. As this is a Lush product, there's the confidence that all the ingredients are completely natural and nothing unpleasant has been added when making the toner. I wouldn't dream of purchasing another toner now, and that's no exaggeration; my skin feels fresh, soft and smells great after every use! A great little tip: put the bottle into the fridge before using, that way you have a cool, refreshing product to really help rehydrate and replenish your skin. 

Bioderma, Bioderma, Bioderma. If you haven't already heard of this wonder product, then where the hell have you been?! I gave into this beauty hype far too quickly, I actually feel embarrassed at how little persuasion it took for me to buy it. But ohhhh man was it worth it. Three bottles down and it's still sloppy puppy love. Bioderma is essentially a cleanser/make up remover; like the Lush toner, Bioderma is applied onto a cotton pad and then rubbed all over the face. Free from alcohol, the solution cools and soothes the skin as it cleanses, leaving it perfectly clean. It removes everything, every last scrap of makeup; foundation, waterproof mascara, eye shadow, EVERYTHING! I have sensitive skin and have had no trouble with Bioderma, I can even sweep it over my eyes without risk of irritation. It is hands down the best makeup remover around. Stop with the makeup wipes and please grab yourself a bottle if you're lucky enough to come by it. Although the availability of Bioderma is a pain in the arse for those who don't live within the London area where it is predominantly stocked; you can still find it fairly easily on Escentual or eBay! Do you have any must have skin saviours?

Monday, April 07, 2014


Pictured above, Martha Stewart's Breakfast Cups | Below, my own attempt
A very quick and different post but I just had to show you what I've just made! I've been wanting to try this concoction out for a while now and stumbled across Martha Stewart's recipe whilst on the internet. All instructions and ingredients are listed in the link. I'm no cook but how good do they look?! With a little help from the boyfriend we managed to make them; only thing different to good old Martha's was the size of our muffin tins and the type of bacon we used. Nevertheless they were so tasty and if you couldn't already tell, I'm really chuffed at making something that doesn't taste awful or look chargrilled.

Sunday, April 06, 2014


Bag - Primark £12

I was incredibly late to the 'Zara Office City Bag' bandwagon, hence why I do not own one!
My only good excuse as to why I didn't purchase one at the time is that I was probably forking out ridiculous amounts on DVD box sets; I'm looking at you LOST! So you can imagine how excited I was when my friend Lauren came into university draping this little beauty over her shoulder. She bought the bag in navy, yes that's right, the bag comes in multiple colours! Of course I felt an instant urge to go out and buy one for myself; dragging my boyfriend over to Newcastle city centre with me I managed to find the original black version and I'm so glad I did!

The bag is an absolute steal at £12, I don't own the original but from various blog posts and videos I've noticed that the Zara bag is slightly bigger and obviously of a better quality. Saying this, the dupe feels very luxurious for a Primark bag! They have tried so hard to recreate the Saffiano leather of the original, and hey, it works! Although the bag is less structured than the original, I think this can work to my advantage, allowing me to cram more books, a kindle, absolutely anything into it. There are three compartments to the bag, two which close with a zip and one with a magnetic clasp; allowing efficient organising if you have items that you want to keep separate. Within these compartments, the bag sports two holders that could carry a phone or ipod and a zipped pocket; ideal for placing a mirror or any loose smaller items.
I would say there are three ways you could carry this bag; over the shoulder: the bag comes with an adjustable strap which can be removed/added to the bag when necessary. On your arm: the handles of the bag are shorter than a regular tote bag, so holding the bag in crease of your elbow may be a struggle if you are wearing a thick coat. However, it can be carried perfectly in your hand; adding a little sophistication to your look. It may not be Zara but it's a brilliant copy! If you're lucky enough to find it in your local Primark, I would definitely recommend buying as who knows how much longer it will be around for! Especially for the mere price of £12. Lovely.

Friday, April 04, 2014


La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo has been my favourite spot treatment for over a year now. The cream claims to reduce the appearance of imperfections and diminish pores; and it does so brilliantly. This product is my lifesaver, I'm left with clear and smoother skin after every use. I suffer from the odd bad breakout here and there (often due to dairy, damn you cheesy goodness), but after introducing this treatment to my skin, my breakouts are kept to the absolute minimum. Recently La Roche-Posay have introduced an improvement on the iconic original, Effaclar Duo +. I've been using the new solution for over a month now and it really works as promised. With it's new 'anti-mark action', Effaclar Duo + has helped to reduce my scarred marks left over from any aggressive breakouts. I didn't think this product could get any better, but I've been pleasantly surprised. Safe for sensitive skin, I use the cream day and night; especially before I apply my make-up for a flawless base.

Again, a product I use daily; Hydraluron Moisture Booster. A serum to be applied post toner and pre-moisturiser; the clue is in the name, the serum can be used in order to boost your skin's moisture levels and I'd advise anyone with dehydrated skin to seriously consider purchasing it. For best results I'd say to use the booster for a lengthened amount of time to really gain from it's benefits, (once a day for around a month) I've done so since buying and have noticed that my skin feels incredibly hydrated and looks a lot healthier! One of the great effects of Hydraluron is that over time the skin's ability to retain moisture will increase, meaning you can slack a bit on applying moisturiser but not skip the step overall. I know the price tags will evidently put some people off purchasing but both items I've mentioned are regularly on offer at Boots and if you save up your advantage points - even better!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014


 As promised, here's the haul of items I bought on Mother's Day! Please excuse my grubby jeans and focus on the amazing shoes! Primark, you can do no wrong! What was supposed to be a quick look around once again turned into an hour long spree. The thing that most attracted me to the shoes had to be their beautiful colour.  I don't think I've ever owned anything in a dark plum shade so I'm excited to see how I will style them. Not long ago I bought a very similar pair of woven flats from TOPSHOP. All was fine and dandy until those same flats met the rain on a night out and I'm sad to say they now reside in my bin. I know Primark isn't renowned for the best quality but let's hope they last longer than their TOPSHOP dupes.
My second item caught both mine and my Mam's eye whilst on our way out of the shopping centre. I think I even made a little gasp and dragged her over by the hand! What could be a little garish to some, looked absolutely lovely to me! River Island have created a colourful geometric print kimono in a lightweight material. I know I will get a lot of wear out of this item; dressed up over a cami dress or just slung on with a top, jeans and sandals. A little pricey but I do believe the beaded detailing on the sleeves and opening justifies the price. And I did get the seal of approval from my Mam which makes all the difference.
The last two items are of course from Zara. The top I am not too sure of, £25.99 is a very decent price in my eyes but I can't help but tug at the material when I have it on as it doesn't sit too well. The front, a crepe effect contrasts nicely with the faux leather at the back of the top. And of course I cannot compliment the colour enough. Spring is coming and we all need a pop of colour in our wardrobe. I managed to snap up the last limited x edition necklace as I was paying for my top. I love the classic gold layered look and think this necklace will look perfect with a casual slouched vest and long tousled hair.
Sandals - Primark £6
Kimono -
River Island £40
Top - ZARA £25.99
Necklace - ZARA £19.99