Sunset in Barbados

There's something very serene about experiencing the sunset whilst relaxing on the beach. As the light fades the colours and shadows bleed into one another and the tones become muted as though everything is focusing on the last few drops of sunlight. It is both the end and the beginning.
Barbados is a beautiful island. You cannot go anywhere that is more than 20 minutes from the sea, and it is almost impossible to understand why you would want to. The calm azure creates a paradise; not only for travellers but locals alike, where anyone can enjoy the natural wonders. Whether you prefer the surf side of the island or the more tranquil west coast, there is a Barbados for everyone.

Book review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Hey guys so I'm finally back from my vacation and I know it probably doesn't feel like I was gone that long because I pre scheduled a lot, but this is the first time in over two weeks that I've sat down to blog... (And it feels so good!!) Even if it is at 2:09 in the morning - blame jetlag! So I thought I'd start with a nice book review - enjoy my loves.
* this review will contain spoilers, though only after the asterisk *

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a fantastical YA book by acclaimed author Ransom Riggs. It centres around the story of a 15 year old boy - Jacob - who's spent his whole life being told stories by his grandfather of his life back in an orphanage in Wales, during the Second World War. In this orphanage the other children had "peculiar" abilities; like being able to levitate and to conjure fire at will. Of course Jacob doesn't really believe these stories, how could he? 
Until one day, Jacob's grandfather is murdered by a creature that Jacob's therapist convinces him didn't exist. 

But Jacob thinks different... And honours his grandfathers final wishes by travelling to Wales to try and uncover the secrets of Miss Peregrine's orphanage. 
I actually read this book in two stints across a time period of about two weeks. (Blame Harry Potter... Again!) I think this might be why I wasn't as engaged as I usually am when reading fantasy YA. (That, and I read half of it on a super noisy airplane!) 

The first thing I wanted to discuss was the plot twist regarding Dr Golan. Personally I guessed it about a third of the way into the book, and was convinced when Jacob phoned him & he was at the airport. I mean, come on!! Anyone who didn't guess from then on seriously needs to read more YA! But I didn't see the whole third grade bus driver scenario coming. I thought I was really interesting how the Wight had been following him for almost his entire life! Let me know, did you guys see the Dr Golan plot twist coming?

As characters, Jacob and Emma were definitely likeable and fun. I really enjoyed the bit when Jacob had to choose between demanding to know what Emma wanted to tell him and follow her - knowing she wanted to kiss him. In that passage I just loved the dynamic of his narrative. 
My absolute favourite thing about this book was the randomly inserted images. This was mainly because they are all legit photos found from private collectors and at flea markets. In my opinion this only led to the mystery and whimsical nature of the narration. Kudos to Riggs for spending so much time sorting through old photos!

In general I enjoyed this book but I wouldn't read it again in a hurry. I do think the plot line was a little repetitive once they'd reached Wales, but nonetheless intriguing. I will probably read the sequel, Hollow City, but not for a little while, perhaps on the plane home!! 

All in all I give it a 3 star rating and a 77% on the percent scale. 
xoxo Lily


High End vs High Street jewellery!

If there's one thing I've recently become addicted to; it's high end jewellery*. I turned 18 in May and was shocked at the onslaught of beautiful jewellery gifts from various family and friends. I take great pride in collection - when it's not being worn, its tucked away in felt pouches to prevent any scratches or smears. But recently I was browsing the Accessorize Silver collection and it suddenly hit me that for £15 I could have a similarly gorgeous piece of jewellery.

So why are we paying frankly ridiculous amounts of money for something that could easily be replicated for a fraction of the price? Is the only reason I'm obsessed with the above jewellery because it's branded Tiffany & Co?

So I decided to pick out a few of my high street favourites and compare the differences in styling.

Forever 21

When looking through my high street jewellery, I realised the majority of pieces I own are statement necklaces... Blame 15 year old me. But above I've picked out some of my favourites. Unfortunately the first piece was a gift (to my mum actually!) so I'm not sure where its from, but the combination of the turquoise and orange is really striking and beautiful. I pair this with low cut tops, usually block colours, to add a little drama!

But the second necklace is one of my all time favourite pieces. It's from Accessorize, cost £15, but you won't believe the amount of people who ask me if it's Thomas Sabo. (I wish!!) The design is so beautiful and intricate - it literally goes with everything and anything.

And the third is arguably one of my boldest purchases. Whilst I'm obsessed with the colour and design of this piece I do wish it sat a little higher on my neckline. But apart from that, it can be paired with anything and will instantly make it ten times cuter!

So what do you think? High end or high street? Personally I love a mix of both!
xoxo Lily
*Quick disclaimer: I don't want anyone to think I'm bragging at all in this post. I realise I'm extremely fortunate to have such amazing parents and friends. 


How to turn a summer OOTD into a travel outfit!

Top: Topshop, Shorts: Forever 21, Boots: New Look, Bracelet: Links London, Necklace: Accessorize
 Long haul flights are just so bleugh. Undoubtedly you have to get up at some ungodly hour where the last thing you feel like doing is applying a full face of makeup and picking out a cute outfit. Especially when you have to consider to different climates - what's worse: freezing to death on the aeroplane or boiling like a lobster upon arrival? No, all you want to do (aside from sleep of course,) is get to the airport and help yourself to a Venti Caramel Macchiato with an extra shot of coffee.
But unfortunately if we don't put in at least a little effort into our appearance, we'll turn up at the hotel 10 hours later looking like we've misread 'hotel' as 'homeless shelter'. So today I'm going to share some of the things I've learnt over the years to help you look more jetsetter.
Pack a change of clothes in your hand luggage...
I know what you're thinking: 'Lily, how big do you think my bag is?! Hell no am I lagging around an entire outfit change!!' Obviously not, that would be stupid, what I'm saying is instead of wearing the shorts pictured above, choose some black leggings. Upon arrival at your destination, they're easy to roll up and tuck away in the corner of your carry on allowing you to change into a pair of shorts which take up next to no room. Think of it as your gateway past either freezing or boiling!
Over moisturize the morning of your flight...
The air on planes is recycled which means by the time you're a few hours into the flight all the moisture has completely gone... AKA make way for dry patches on your skin, dehydration and lank, dull looking hair. The two main things I would recommend to help combat this are: apply your moisturizer generously. Trust me, your skin will thank you for it! And secondly, don't drink caffeine or alcohol prior to boarding the flight as both will dehydrate you a lot faster. I know, what about my Starbucks, I hear your cry! Decaf my darlings... barely tastes any different!
Pack your valuables in your carry on...
This one is fairly self explanatory. Be it stolen, lost, or sent to the wrong airport, the whole situation would be made a lot worse when you realise you don't have your laptop, camera, or even worse: phone charger... These things usually don't take up too much space and its definitely worth being sure that they're safe.
Okay, so these are just a few tips from me, please share any tips you have for flying or just long journeys with me in the comments below!
xoxo Lily


I heart Summer tag!

Before I start the tag...

I've made a bloglovin' account!! So if you want to keep up to date with all my new posts the link is to the right of this post! <3

Favourite bronzer for summer?

For me, I couldn't pick just one! But I've managed to narrow it down to either The Body Shop's Honey Bronzer, or Benefit's Hoola. Both of these are glorious matte shades that give you the perfect summer glow, without making you super sparkly. (Say no to Edward Cullen syndrome folks...) For an all over glow, I prefer swishing my brush in the Honey Bronzer, but for contouring, Hoola creates a better shadow.

You're relaxing in a hammock, on a hot tropical island. What are you sipping on?

Definitely some form of cocktail... maybe a mojito? I'm obsessed with ice cold, fruity drinks in the summer and since I don't deal with heat particularly well, I need something to keep me cool!

Favourite summer lip product?

This is a difficult one for me because I have my all-year-round staple pieces like MAC see sheer which is the perfect orangy-red colour for my complexion. However I also love bright pops of colour like No7 Classic Rose. (Although my mum's just bought a new Laura Mercier which I've been eyeing up!!) For the past few years I've started to stray away from lip glosses, however for the Urban Decay Naked ones I may make an exception!

Pool or beach?

Pool, hands down. I'm not a huge fan of water in general but I must say I do enjoy a good swim in a pool, whereas in the sea I always get salt in my eyes, get knocked around by the waves and generally don't have a fun time. Also when you're sat by the pool there's less chance of getting sand in everything that you own.

Summer = crazy hair! What's your must have styling product?

As someone with super sleek hair, it rarely gets frazzled, however in the summer I tend to go for a lot of updos - as we've mentioned I get hot and frustrated in the heat - so a thickening hairspray, such as this one by Bumble & Bumble adds some much needed volume.

Sun bathing or fake tan?

Honestly a bit of both... recently I've become very dependant on my Clarins gradual tanning oil to give me a healthy glow but since I'm going on vacation soon (I'll actually be travelling there as you're reading this!) I'm definitely going to be taking advantage of the warmer climates and hope to return with a tan!

Favourite summer nail polish?

The hardest question in this tag for sure! Anything bright and by Essie - maybe, Watermelon, Mint Candy Apple, Turquoise and Cacaos or Tart Deco. I can't just choose one, I'm too obsessed!

Any summer traditions?

 Every year my family and I go away somewhere hot a luxurious - this year, on Monday, we'll be heading to Barbados! Usually we stay in Europe: Italy, Greece etc but this year we're pushing the boat out! Expect some travel photos over the next few weeks!

Favourite BBQ food?

Feel like I'm going to disappoint here... I actually hate BBQs! Let me explain: I'm vegetarian and considering BBQs consist of basically meat I'm stuck! Obviously there's grilled veg but seriously? It's not that good and I'd rather just have a pizza!

Any summer vacation plans this year?

Yes!! As I've mentioned a couple of times, I'm going to Barbados on Monday! So what will this mean for my blog? Well, I'm not taking my laptop with me, but I intend to pre-shoot some things that will be scheduled to go out whilst I'm away. If you want to follow me on Instagram please do, I'll be posting photos a lot on there for the next couple of weeks!

I tag all of you reading this to do the I heart Summer tag!
I'd love to know all of your summer staples <3
xoxo Lily


Vacation essentials haul!

As it is only four more days until I go on vacation (Barbados here I come!) I wanted to start a new series on my blog completely related to travel. So across the next couple of weeks I'm going to blogging a range of fun things such as "what's in my travel beauty bag?" and "airport outfit ideas!". For me these posts are super fun to read as they make me so inspired for not only my blog, but for my life as well! Because let's be real, who here has turned up at the airport at four AM basically in their pyjamas?!

So I'm starting this series with a haul... It's mostly beauty related but I did include a couple of my bathing suits from H&M which you can find here and here. (The matching bottoms are the first suggested items on both!) I've only just discovered their bikinis but they are seriously so affordable and so cute!

Keeping safe on in the sun...

Ahhh SPF... the bane of my holiday existence. As I live in a particularly cloudy part of the world, applying sunscreen is something that usually (okay, always) only happens when I'm on holiday. And I hate it. Growing up, I have particularly poignant memories of being in a 40 degree hire car, with no air conditioning and windows that wouldn't open. The smell of melting coconut sunscreen is something that still makes me queasy to this day.
It was last year when I discovered my holy grail sun care product: the Garnier Ambre Solaire range. And the reason I love it so much? Because it doesn't smell of anything... Yep that's right, not a single, rancid coconut in sight!



Top 3 Summer Scents!

Marc Jacobs: Daisy Dream, Chanel: Chance, Vera Wang: Princess
Before I get into the main post I wanted to make a little exciting announcement for y'all: I started a public instagram! When I made this blog I decided not to display my other twitter and instagram because they had pictures of my friends and my school and well... creepers gonna creep.
On this Instagram I'm going to post fun pics of upcoming posts on my blog and just what I'm getting up to in everyday life! I'd really appreciate you giving me a follow, you can find my page here! If you come via this site, comment on my picture telling me this is how you found my insta and if you want I'll follow back! <3
Okay, now onto the actual post!
Every Saturday for the past two years I've worked in a drugstore so helping people find the perfect scent is something I've grown to be very good at. However when it comes to my own perfumes (and trust me... there's a lot!) I always tend to go for the same thing: very light, floral scents. I also almost exclusively get perfumes as gifts... hello? £60 for a 50ml bottle? No thank you! So I would stress that whilst the only perfume of the three above I actually bought is the Chanel, I'm very grateful for those who know me well enough to buy me perfume.
All three of these scents can be bought anywhere that sells good quality perfumes. In the UK you could try Boots, The Perfume Shop or any department store with beauty counters. Of the three pictured I would have say that the Chanel is probably my favourite just because I bought it myself and it's the most beautiful classically gorgeous scent.
I'm always looking for new perfumes to try, so let me know your summer staples!



Summer inspired outfit!

Top: Topshop, Skirt: Hollister, Necklace: Tiffany & Co, Bracelet: Pandora, Rings: Pandora

Now I may be alone here... but isn't summer fashion just the most delightful!! Stylewise its definitely my favourite season of the year: bright colours, bold patterns and lace... lots of lace! When people ask me to describe my style I'm always stuck for words but usually settle on: bohemian chic. When shopping I'm always drawn to flowy patterns and materials above anything else, the girly simplicity and downright prettiness of outfits such as the one above are my summer essentials.
Whilst I generally buy Topshop in the fall and winter time due to the style of their clothes I couldn't give this beautiful white lace piece up. Its an off the shoulder (which is very 'in' for summer 2015) with thin, spaghetti straps. As it is cropped it looks stunning paired with anything high waisted from shorts to jeans to a midi, high low skirt.
When I saw this skirt in the Hollister sale a few months back it was added to my basket before you could blink an eye. Seriously, it's so soft and comfortable and I think high lows are the perfect in between for anyone who doesn't have the confidence to go mini. As it is midi and high lows are making a comeback to the catwalks and with styles like this its easy to see why!

This outfit is fast becoming a summer statement for me (she says as it chucks it down with rain outside!) especially the idea of a crop top with high waisted bottoms. This will certainly be coming with me on vacation!
Let me know what summer trends you're loving in the comments!
xoxo Lily


June favourites 2015

So literally where did June go?! I swear I blinked and missed it!

For me, my main two favourites are things not even shown in the photos above. The first being the weather, can we talk about 36 degrees today?! (91 Fahrenheit) It's been absolutely beautiful, the sun has been shining and it's put me in a seriously amazing mood for my vacation this year. Second of all, how could I not mention this blog?! I've only had it a few weeks and am already in love with blogging! If you're reading this please, please let me know what sort of posts you'd like to see in the future!

Okay, onto my beauty favourites...

First let's talk fragrance: for me summer scents are all about beautiful, floral, light tones that you can spritz on and not worry about being overpowering. My absolute favourite this month has been Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream which ticks all of the above boxes not to mention the super cute bottle. Alternatively in the evenings I've been using the Clarins eau Ressourcante which I actually received free from the Clarins counter. This is perfect for when you've just stepped out of the shower and want to smell nice and fresh without a ton of perfume.

As I mentioned in my Prom post, with the weather heating up it's essential to use a primer to avoid the disgusting, cakey mess of makeup by lunchtime. Throughout June I've been loving the Rimmel pro primer - its smooth and lightweight and genuinely helps my makeup stay on much longer. I have oily skin at the moment and have definitely found it helps stop oiliness occurring too.

In summertime I tend not to where extreme makeup as I prefer to let my skin breathe, so focussing on getting my lashes to look naturally long without the aid of eyeshadow has been an ongoing battle. However this all changed when, for my birthday, my uncle (shout out to him,) bought me the Chanel: le volume de Chanel mascara. Seriously, it may be a bit of an investment (but honestly it's not the most expensive on the market by far!) but it's worth it! Easily the best mascara I've ever tried which is saying something miraculous - I've tried my fair share!!

Ahhh lips, simultaneously my favourite and least favourite makeup area. For me getting a perfect lip colour can be a bit of a struggle as I have really full lips which can look stupid in super bright colours. Therefore, my new favourite combo is this neutral Laura Mercier matched with a  crazy coral from Kiko. This was actually the lip colour combo from my Prom post.

Lifestyle favourites...

Okay this months hasn't been one for the lifestyle faves. In fact when I was thinking about choosing some the only thing I could think of was my Kindle. I've been crazy obsessed with reading recently, so let me know if you have any books you think I should read! I'm going on vacation to Barbados for a fortnight in a couple of weeks so will need plenty of new titles.

My other lifestyle favourite is a food: blueberries. Seriously, they are so delicious and so good for you (apparently a super food!!) I've been eating them constantly!!

So let me know what your June Favourites have been and any books you'd recommend!
Until next time - Lily xoxo

Prom 2015 + Tips on having a stress free night!

It's prom, summer ball and wedding season. Undoubtedly at some point you'll have to experience the stress of getting ready for a formal event - from the dress to the shoes to the hair and makeup. In this post I wanted to talk a little bit about my prom and some top tips I've learnt in avoiding stress.

If you're interested in getting my look I'll first talk about what I wore and how I styled my hair and makeup. My dress is a little more vibrant coral than the photo depicts and is from Karen Millen - you can find it here if you live in the UK. (Sorry US readers I was unable to find it on the US site!) As soon as I saw this dress I was amazed at the beautifully intricate pleat work in the skirt (which in all fairness doesn't really show up that well on camera!). For me the high neckline complimented my small chest and showed off my waist. Although this dress is a little pricy - it's worth it, trust me! I paired it with black gladiator style, strappy stilettos from Guess (which I've had for years so sorry I can't link them!) and a black clutch from New Look. Jewellery wise I kept it fairly simple as the neckline of the dress eliminated need for a necklace. So I stuck to a coral bracelet from Kate Spade and a rose gold ring and matching earrings from Sif Jakobs.

Now onto the tips...

Number 1: Get your dress well in advance... I actually know someone who left their dress shopping till late and then couldn't find something they liked, and because they're so tiny she ended up needing alterations that couldn't be done in time, so she didn't come to our leaver's prom. You do not want to be the girl sat at home with a carton of ice cream, angrily looking at people's snapchat stories. Another benefit of getting your dress early is that you have first pick, so your girlfriends definitely won't end up wearing a better dress than you.
Number 2: Consider getting someone else to do your hair / makeup for you... Personally I'm terrible at hair. It's ironic really because I love makeup, beauty, doing my nails, doing my tan etc but when it comes to styling my hair, I hate it! If I'm ever going out to a formal event my hairdo consists of blow drying it and leaving it down, as opposed to not blow drying it and leaving it down for a regular day. So when my parents suggested the idea of getting a hair stylist to do it for me, I was sold! If you don't want to spend money on a hair stylist, youtube and Pinterest are brimming with tutorials.
Number 3: Pinterest... Seriously this website was made for making any event a whole lot easier. My makeup look, inspired by the Naked 2 palette was taken straight from Pinterest and honestly turned out so much better than anything I could have made up! If you want to follow my Pinterest I have boards for fashion, beauty, home & DIY, come check it out!
Number 4: If you can do anything the day before - do! Trust me, fake tan wise, you'll be grateful if it goes wrong that you'll have time to sort it out. And nails wise, do them the evening before, that way they'll be fully dried by the morning with no chance of accidental chipping.
Number 5: Ensure that your makeup stays on... It's summer, it's hot out, and you do not want to sweat off that carefully applied eye shadow. For me, top tips include: Priming. apply a facial primer five or so minutes before applying the rest of your makeup. This way, it has time to sink in and will leave your makeup looking fresh throughout the night. Aside from this, the Urban Decay setting spray is another brilliant option. Use this after putting on your face to ensure your makeup look is going nowhere!

So there you go! That's was my prom 2015 look and a few tips and tricks! Let me know, in the comments down below what you wore to your prom, and any tips you have!
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