home        About        disclaimer        blogs        doodles        Photography        contact

21 Sep 2014

Check it out

Monochrome Monochrome Check Skirt Clarks Ankle Boots Clarks Ankle Boots

Top: Primark, Skirt: Topshop, Ankle Boots: c/o Clarks

Autumn has me excited, so incredibly excited! The change in the season brings with it beautiful colours ranging from reds, oranges and warm browns and also gives me a perfect excuse for wearing my scarves at any given opportunity without any questions asked. Speaking of colour you won't find me sporting much of it, don't get too excited however what you will see here are some rather awesome ankle boots that I picked up from Clarks very recently.

Boots and me have a bit of an awkward relationship because I fall in love with so many yet struggle to actually find a pair that feel comfortable, that are not too high and which more importantly provide me some form of grip for walking on soggy wet leaves. Clarks has always been a store I have turned to purely because they do half sizes and because I know that I'll be getting a good quality pair of shoes. When it comes to clothing I'll always spend more on a good coat and decent footwear, everything else within reason can be skimped out on. With two zips one being for decoration I think that these are pretty fantastic and that they will see me through autumn paired up with skinny black jeans in particular.

I had being waiting for the perfect opportunity to wear this skirt from Topshop which was really popular last year. Luckily for me I snapped this up in the sale at the beginning of the year and waited patiently to bring it out for this autumn and winter. Paired up with a simple black top and the Macay Halle Black Leather Ankle Boots I think I may just have found my first autumn outfit of the year whereby there is no scarf in sight. Who am I kidding; I'll be hunting down a dogtooth scarf asap, oh how I love a clash of print!

20 Sep 2014

My Blogging Relationship.

Lately I've being feeling pretty dejected when it comes to writing here across my humble little space on the internet. For the last two and a half years (oh how times flies) I have never felt this way before because blogging for me up until now has been something that I have quite literally fallen in love with. Starting my blog back in March 2012 I was still at university in my second year and never really anticipated just how much I would enjoy it and just how much of a role it would play in the next few years of my life. 

Over the last two years and more I have had some brilliant opportunities and have spoken to some seriously amazing ladies both in person and online. There truly are some incredible and inspiring blogs out there that I look up to, in particular those that are able to convey their thoughts in writing as before I started to tackle this post today I knew I would struggle. This won't be another post giving advice for fellow bloggers; I'm in no position to do so as I just don't feel comfortable in doing so. Readers of my blog will know that I very rarely write posts like this, in fact I can't even remember if I ever have.

For me blogging has changed considerably in such a short period of time however I guess that was only to be expected. The internet is an extremely fast paced place whereby new people are popping up left right and centre and of course where that materialises competition naturally occurs. Call it survival of the fittest, a natural instinct who knows however whilst I can accept that I think it's also so incredibly important that we all remember why we started off in the first place. I started off because I love make up, end of.

The blogging community in recent months has been a bit up and down whereby the negativity at times has greatly overshadowed the truly fantastic people that are present within the community. I think because of the sheer nature of blogging and social media words can be taken out of context much more easily therefore my general approach is think before you speak, or in this case type. Overall the community is fantastic, there is so much support out there and so many wonderful people to speak to; believe me when I say that I feel really lucky to have been a part of that for so long. 

Blogging for me is not my job, I make very little from my blog with just a few opportunities that arise every now and then therefore for me it has never been a case of wanting to make money, to receive products to review or to gain 'fame' within the blogging community. That will never be me. I'm the girl that shies away from so many opportunities in life because in all honesty I'm an incredibly shy and rather anxious person deep down. Some of you reading this may have met me before and may think that I do not come across that way (I hope), which I can assure you is some sort of front that I put up, fake confidence if it were. Deep down I'm just not that comfortable around people for some reason, especially new people. I guess before I start talking about that lonely issue I should save it for another post as I could end up being here all night.

At the moment my life is taking a bit of a turn as I'm heading back into education to peruse a career in law. Of course with making such decisions sacrifices have to be made whereby my blog is going to have to be one of them. Blogging for me at the moment takes up a lot of my time, especially as I'm also working a job completely unrelated to this. Since working more my blogging enjoyment has taken a nose dive and hasn't really surfaced properly since, it's sad but true and has made me question at times why I'm continuing. The course I'm starting will be incredibly rewarding in the long term yet it is going to mean a lot of hard work, that will and has to come first because after all my blog does not pay my bills.

Besides from changing my life in terms of a future career I've also grown up, my habits have changed and my interests have changed. As much as I enjoy writing about make up and skincare and of course buying new things I have now reached a point where I just can't do it any more, at least not as frequently anyway. Not least because of the financial strain of sacrificing work hours to start my course but also because more importantly it doesn't actually make me happy. It's exciting at first but then a few days later I question why I purchased that lipstick, I didn't need it and the money would certainly be better off in my account than the full to brim till at the latest make up counter. I do realise that I've made myself out to be some crazy spendaholic whereby trust me I'm not, I've cut back a lot despite my recent spend at Selfridges of which I will add it was the last of my birthday money from my family. You see even there in that very last sentence I feel as though I need to justify to you and indeed myself the reason for my purchase, I shouldn't feel that way. By no means is this a 'dig' at anybody as it is how I personally feel about my habits in the past. As a person I'm changing, I'll always love make up and you will continue to see make up on this blog for as long as I continue to write.

Overall I just feel a bit lost at the moment in where this space is heading. I would love nothing more than to write lifestyle posts such as this but I just don't think I have the nack to it. The last twelve months have been some of the best times for me and quite literally some of the worst, I've experienced great highs and incredible lows therefore I feel as though I have experience in some areas of life to talk to you guys yet I just don't think I can get it down on paper.

Has this blog post really conveyed my message as to why I feel dejected? I can't help but wonder if it really has, I've certainly gone off on a tangent more than once; no wonder my GCSE Literature teacher told me I waffled.

P.S The image above by the way was from a recent trip to my local AONB whereby standing under those trees was pretty magical I have to say, you should all try it! I recommend finding the tallest ones you can.

19 Sep 2014

Faith in Nature Hair Care

Faith In Nature Hair Care

Sticking along with the theme of my previous post a few days ago I today would like to share with you my opinions on the Faith in Nature Grapefruit and Orange Shampoo* and Conditioner*. Hair care is actually the one thing that rarely receives a mention on here as in all honesty I'm just not good with hair, I just tend to wash it in whatever I have picked up that was on offer at the local supermarket at the time and hope for the best. Therefore when I was originally offered the chance to try these I was a bit hesitant seeing as hair care really isn't my forte however I'm so glad I accepted the opportunity as these products have worked so well for me since I have being testing them out. 

Faith in Nature is a brand that likes to use organic ingredients where they can across the various different ranges of products that they produce. From hair care, skin care, baby care and even home care they have a wide variety of products that would suit the more ethical consumer. Faith in Nature products are free from quite a few ingredients such as SLS, synthetics, fragrances and many more and are of course cruelty free. There is a wide variety of different scented shampoos and conditioners such as chocolate, aloe vera, tea tree and many more however why would I break a habit of a century and not choose a citrus scented shampoo and corresponding conditioner; you all know that these are one of my favourite types of scents.

Upon use of these I find that the scent does not disappoint at all however I would say that the grapefruit scent is a lot stronger than the orange, it is however in my opinion not over powering in the slightest. At the moment I'm testing out the reverse shampoo theory to see if it works whereby I have to say I think it does therefore I shall start off with the conditioner first. The conditioner isn't too thick which I think works well for my hair type as I do tend to be on the greasier side of things (attractive), therefore the lighter the better in my case. I have found that it leaves my hair feeling really soft and remaining soft even once I have washed my hair with the shampoo afterwards.

Combined with the shampoo my hair is left feeling really clean and refreshed without feeling stripped as grapefruit and orange do have cleansing properties which I find really do help to remove any build up that has gathered from dry shampoo and hair spray. Due to the fact that SLS are not present within this I did worry that it wouldn't 'foam' up enough for me to really feel that typical shampoo experience however I was pleasantly surprised as I didn't really notice that much of a difference. In terms of how long my hair remains feeling this way I can honestly say that I have noticed a bit of a difference in terms of how long it is before I feel the need to wash my hair again. I feel more confident that my hair does not look as greasy as quickly which can surely only be a good thing.

Overall I really couldn't recommend trying these out more. I really do hope that one day we see them in places such as Boots and Superdrug as I have thoroughly enjoyed using them and would really like to see the products more widely available.

17 Sep 2014

Organic September | Beauty

Organic Beauty As you may be already aware September is Organic Month whereby this is a time where we can celebrate and indeed promote all things organic. Organic products don't just refer to some of the things we eat at our table as food, clothing and of course beauty products can all fit within this category.

I'm in no way shape or form an expert when it comes to organic products as in all honesty I'm a bit fifty fifty when it comes to shopping for new beauty products as it isn't something I automatically look for. That's not to say I don't look for them as I have increasingly become more interested in what is on offer to us, I've also noticed that there are more organic brands around than I was aware of which makes shopping for organic beauty much more interesting.

Not all companies that claim to offer organic products are certified by official bodies such as the Soil Association and EcoCert however from what I can tell this doesn't mean that they're not organic; they're just not officially certified. Overall I think that in those situations it is generally down to the consumer if they want to buy it or not, having said that it is nice to have the confidence that accreditation with those bodies provides. Independent certification from these bodies helps to provide confidence to customers so that they know that the products that they are purchasing are made with high levels of organic ingredients that are free from synthetic ingredients that are strictly prohibited within certified organic products.

Unfortunately there are companies which can label their products organic even if they have used as little as 1% organic ingredients, so this is something to bear in mind if indeed you are wanting to be more select in your beauty purchases. The reason they can do is that there are currently no legal standards set in motion which determine whether a product is organic or contains enough organic ingredients to be able to be marketed as so.

Due to this the Cosmetics Organic Standard (COSMOS) has been set up which is internationally recognised for setting a standard for organic and natural cosmetics. Digging around for this information had me slightly confused at one point however in a nut shell there are two types of beauty product, those being products that contain over 95% organic ingredients and those that contain 70-95%. A product can only be called organic within the product name if it contains 95% or more organic ingredients of which water is excluded. Of course there are products out there that require higher quantities of preservatives which do reduce the organic content within a product. In that case if a product contains at least 70% organic ingredients where water once again is excluded then they will be certified however they are not allowed to use organic within the product name and must also state the percentage of organic ingredients used.

Choosing organic products therefore can be a bit tricky and does somewhat remind me of my hunt for cruelty free options two years ago. My personal view of both of those matters really boils down to how you as an individual interpret organic and indeed cruelty free, they are subjects to read around and then decide for yourself.

Useful sites are mentioned above whereby there is considerably more in depth information that is explained much better than I could ever do. To me this is an extremely interesting topic to research considering what my educational background is therefore I hope you enjoyed it and learnt a little more about organic products.

15 Sep 2014

My Exfoliation Story Part 1

Physical Exfoliation

Exfoliation these days is a lot different to how it used to be, well, it is as far as I'm concerned. Upon reflection my skincare habits have changed drastically ever since I started running this blog where of course I have learnt a few do's and don'ts along with a few tips on the way.

Whilst physical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation are quite topical at the moment I have therefore decided to split this post into two as I do use both methods each week within my skincare routine. There are as you will find some products that I prefer over others whereby it's worth remembering that what may work for me may not necessarily work for you and visa verca.

Physical exfoliation was for me all I was aware of when it came down to buffing those dead skin cells away each week. Those rather gritty products may have felt as though they were working a treat at the time and yet it is only now that I have become more aware as to how harsh they really can be on our skin. 

One of the products that immediately jumped to my mind when I thought about physical exfoliation was the St Ives Apricot Scrub which I purchased over a year ago. This was a product that I had read a lot about before I tried it therefore I had purchased it with high hopes. Upon using this scrub however I immediately felt the rather large and almost sharp shell pieces which at the time made me think I was giving my skin a really good clean when in fact I was just using a product that was far too harsh for my delicate skin. I remember using this and afterwards seeing a bright red face in the mirror, needless to say I have only used this twice in my life whereby I'm sorry to say I won't be using it again. In truth I had kept this under the bathroom cupboard for some of my family members to try yet it has only been by reading more information on exfoliation in particular that I have decided to get rid of this completely.

A much more gentle option comes in the form of the Good Things Deep Clean Blackhead Exfoliator which for me used to provide me with a light exfoliation without being harsh on my skin. There isn't a huge amount I can say about this product in particular as I think it's a nice affordable option to include within your skincare routine once a week or so. I have found myself moving onto other things since trying out Good Things briefly in the past however I do remember really enjoying their creamy cleanser which I do believe was aimed at younger skin than my own at the time although it did the job well.

Moving on to my favourite of the three I have featured is the REN Rosa Centifolia Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser* which to this day remains my first choice when it comes to physical exfoliation. As the name would suggest this is a gentle cleanser with a really fresh minty scent to it (thumbs up) which for me makes it an extremely pleasant product to use once or twice a week. Out of the three this one has received a dedicated review to it in the past whereby you can read that here if you desire. 

For me I have realised that exfoliation doesn't have to be so harsh on your skin as for some reason when I was younger I was under the mind-set that the rougher the product was the better the results would be. All you're aiming to do is to carefully remove that dead layer of skin cells; you don't need to go at your face with a cheese grater.