Why I Took A Break From Blogging.

The infamous blogger break; it happens to the best of us. One minute you're happily splashing out fifteen posts a month the next life catches up and you suddenly realise you haven't posted since October. Wow, almost two whole months, that's pretty crazy considering I blogged every other day for over a year. But now everything has calmed down and I'm back home for christmas, I thought I owed anyone who's still reading (thank you, I love you more than I can explain) an explanation as to why I've been so AWOL. 

If you follow my socials, especially Twitter you'll be aware that I started university in September. It's been a whirlwind few months of getting to grip with lectures, making some of the best friends in the world and in general just getting used to the biggest move of my life. And unfortunately, amongst all that organised chaos something had to give; I couldn't physically keep up with work, attempting a social life and spending all my time on the internet building my blog. So I chose to take a step back and to live in the moment more than anything else.

This doesn't mean by any stretch of the imagination that I've given up on blogging. I still adore everything about creating my own corner of the internet, full of the things I love, but I soon realised that spending on all your time living virtually means you don't really experience things. During my gap year I was insanely unhappy. I hated my job and had hardly any friends which caused me to spend all my time on the internet obsessing over my follower count and blogging stats. It wasn't healthy. I relied on it far too much to make me happy and whilst I don't regret any of it - without my blog I could easily have become depressed - now that I'm happier in myself I want to remember why I started blogging in the first place. 

So what's next for lilyolivia? Well, since I'm home for a month with little to do except some coursework and returning to my deadbeat job, I'm planning on throwing myself back in the blogging world. However when I return to uni in January I can't promise I'll stick to a schedule though I'll try my best to work on the balance. Lastly, before I go I just wanted to say thank you. The people who read and comment on my blog fill me with so much joy and if you've stuck around, I can't express how much that means to me. Honestly, from the bottom of my heart; thank you!

I should be back tomorrow with another post so in the meantime please leave a comment as it would make me so overwhelmed with happiness to know people are still here!



The One MAC Lipstick You Need This Halloween.

I'm a terrible student. Seriously. Whilst most of my flatmates are legitimately wondering if they should splash out £3 on a fancy pasta sauce I'm splashing my debit card around in MAC like I own the place. News flash: I don't and I need to stop. However as halloween is fast approaching (yasss) I felt the need to invest in a super dark lipstick - you know, something vampy and stylish and instead of popping into the drugstore I accidentally found myself at the MAC counter. I'm not sure how it happened either. 

By the time I left, my hand looked looked like I'd been doing some serious colouring in, but it was worth it because I was now the proud owner of 'Sin' and a similarly glam lip liner to match. 

If you haven't seen Sin the the flesh, you need to because it's honestly the most perfect shade if you want to go all out when it comes to lipstick. I've been on the hunt for a perfect dark lip for what feels like years now, but whenever I try anything it always seems to be a little too purple toned. However since applying this I can tell you it's firmly in the red sector and is so wonderfully pigmented and creamy it doesn't dry your lips out at all. 

Like any bold lipstick I'd always recommend getting a liner to match. It makes your life so much easier when it comes to application and certainly helps with the staying power of the product. I didn't have a lot of time to match mine (my friends were waiting and I'd already spend one thousand years testing lipsticks) but I'm pretty happy with the colour I went for: 'Nightmoth'. It's definitely more purple toned than the lipstick but that's ok as long as you don't go too heavy handed when applying. It also means it's quite versatile, so I'll be able to use it with some of my other darker lipsticks too. 

Before I go I wanted to briefly mention why I haven't posted in so long. No, I haven't given up blogging in case you're wondering, I just got really, really ill about a week and a half ago and haven't been able to do much apart from moan on twitter (sorry) and try to catch up on the work I missed from lectures. So I'm hoping to get back on track soon, but I'm still super busy so I'll let you know how that goes! <3



Beauty Focus: KIKO.

I first discovered Kiko in Venice, Italy of all places. I was on a school trip and our teachers had given us a couple of hours to roam the streets, take in the sights and probably do something cultural like take photos of gondolas. But when you give a group of teenage girls free reign you can bet your bottom dollar they'll end up shopping somewhere. And we did. My and one of my friends went absolutely insane in Kiko - the combination of fairly cheap makeup and the abundance of euros our parents had supplied us with for, you know, eating etc meant that we left with a really good haul and trust me, if I'd had my blog back in late 2014 you would have heard about it. 

But the thing that made me fall in love with Kiko as a brand is not only their stunning packaging and high end look but the genuine quality you can get for a fraction of the price of some higher end brands like MAC. So for today's post I wanted to share with you all a few of my favourite pieces because I feel like this brand is super underrated and deserves a little more hype.

Firstly I briefly wanted to mention their nail polish. Unfortunately it doesn't feature in these photos as I didn't bring it to uni with me (I drew the line at sixteen Essie ones) but the formula is absolutely tremendous and the colour equally so. I only own one in a sort of greyish blue that's perfect for this time of year but I'm seriously considering stocking up on more as they're inexpensive, look beautiful and don't chip all that easily. 

Next up is undeniably my favourite Kiko range: the eyeshadows. I have two, both in fairly similar champagne shades that double up as stunning highlighters. I would compare the formula of these (particularly the round one) to MAC in terms of pigmentation and shimmer but of course at a fraction of the price. The packaging even feels high end and the design of the wavy, square eyeshadow is just stunning. If you're ever near a Kiko I would highly recommend taking a look at their eyeshadow range because I honestly cannot recommend it enough. 

Now onto lips. I do only own one lipstick from Kiko in a stunningly ostentatious coral red which is perfect if you're looking for an intense pop of colour. I have to say that I rarely reach for this - it's a very 'I'm feeling super confident today' lipstick but if that's your thing then girl, rock it! Despite this it's wonderfully moisturising, and leaves a highly pigmented sheer finish. Definitely a great summery bold lip but there's nothing to say you can't rock this in the winter time as well. Again despite the price this lipstick juts feels high end, the packaging and the formula are truly second to none. 

And lastly I wanted to talk about an iridescent brown eyeliner. Now I actually bought this thinking it was an eyebrow pencil and until I tried to use it (and ended up with shimmery brows) was super excited. However it clearly wasn't and I had a sparkly brown eyeliner on my hands. Personally I don't wear a lot of brown eyeliner as I've got quite striking eyelashes and I prefer to go all out with a good black wing. However my mum (who's fair skinned and blonde) does use brown eyeliner and I imagine that she'd really like this. The pencil is quite creamy - very easy to smudge and create a warm, softer look, and the actual colour is lovely. 

I hope you enjoyed today's post and do let me know if you've ever tried anything from Kiko and what you thought of it!



Why Highlighter Is Your Best Friend This Fall.

Can you believe it's October already? I know everyone is saying it, but where has 2016 gone?! It looks like the cold weather is here to stay, jumpers are firmly back out from storage and an abundance of PSLs can be seen anytime you're even remotely close to a Starbucks. I for one am pretty chuffed as I love the cooler months as the leaves change and the frost sets in. It's honestly my favourite time of year. There's nothing better than curling up under a blanket on the sofa with a warm cup of tea whilst binge watching Netflix to the sound of the rain lashing down outside. But as the central heating gets cranked up, it can leave our skin feeling dry, dull or lifeless as it attempts to adapt to the sudden absence of natural warmth and light. It can be tempting to turn to copious amounts of exfoliator and moisturiser to try and curb the problem but sometimes we need a little extra sparkle to get us through that gloomy Monday morning. 

Enter my new favourite makeup item: The highlighter. Specifically, anything with a bit of shimmer to it. It's a one stop process to brighten up your look and to add a touch of glitter - perfect for catching the light of golden, autumnal sunshine. For me, when applying highlighter I like to add it to the points of the face where the light would naturally hit: which, usually are the tops of the cheekbones, the centre of the forehead and just a tad along the bridge of the nose. 

But even if you don't quite feel brave enough to rock the shimmery look on the daily, then a matte highlighter could be your best friend. It'll still deliver that much needed glow but with a more natural finish. Think of it as illuminating your natural skin as opposed to adding an iridescent glow on top. 



3 Ways To Survive University As An Introvert.

First of all I wanted to briefly mention the elephant in the room: why have I been gone for almost a week without posting anything, specifically after saying I thought I was getting my blog back on track after moving to university. Well, the truth of it is I've just been incredibly busy. And yes, I won't lie, most of my time has been dedicated to settling in, making endless trips into the city to buy random crap and/or food and if I'd tried harder I probably could have fitted in some time to blog. But I didn't. Right about now I do want to add that I have no intention of quitting or stopping blogging and I'm pretty sure I'm starting to get a feel for when and how I'm going to blog whilst at university. So bear with me as I'm currently adjusting to the biggest move of my life and for a little while things might not be quite as regular as they used to be. 

But onto the main subject of today's post: how to handle moving away from home, making friends and not feeling completely overwhelmed by the prospect of university. For some people it comes naturally I guess. It's an adrenaline fuelled adventure, leaving home behind - you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, with no parents or teachers to tell you not to. But for others it can be daunting at best, terrifying and fear inducing at worst. Personally I was somewhere in the middle. Coming to uni I was super excited - as I'm sure you all know I worked in retail for my gap year and hated it - but I was also nervous. The thought of having to make friends with a bunch of strangers, living with them and not being able to hide at home was a scary thought. I'd heard horror stories, I still am hearing horror stories, but I was lucky. I live in a flat of ten people and whilst we've naturally split into two friendship groups everyone still gets on super well, and I genuinely wouldn't change a single person.

So as someone who's now been at university for almost three weeks (wow time really does fly) I thought I'd share a few tips and tricks on how to make the most of your time and overcome the initial fear and awkwardness. 

1 - Find Your Flatmates On Facebook

I've spoken to people who have and haven't done this and in the long run, both parties have agreed that it doesn't really matter too much. A couple of weeks of being at uni and you'll have found other friends and it might not necessarily matter who your flat mates are and whether or not you stalked them prior to arriving. But if you're anything like me and the thought of moving in with strangers terrifies you, I can't stress enough how much this will make your life easier. 

As soon as our flat numbers got released I headed straight onto our halls Facebook page and posted a message in the group chat with my flat number. Pretty much instantaneously another girl replied saying she was in my flat and after a couple of minutes chatting with her I automatically felt more relaxed. One thing I feared above everything else was that my flat mates were going to be crazy into the party lifestyle and as someone who hates clubbing finding out this other girl wasn't a huge drinker either made me feel reassured: not everyone who goes to uni wants to get wasted every night. In fact I'll clear that myth up once and for all: yes, there are a lot of people who do love partying, but trust me, out of 6000 freshers not everyone does and it's so unbelievably easy to find people who don't. I spend most of my evenings sitting on my flatmates bed watching movies and chatting and unlike school those people who do love to go out won't look down on you or judge you for not wanting to. So don't be scared to say that you'd rather stay in because chances are someone else is in the exact same boat.

2 - Push Yourself To Be Social

Easier said than done right? For the first couple of days I was constantly exhausted. I wasn't used to being in the company of others 24/7 with nowhere to run and hide and it honestly tired me out. But trust me, it's worth it. Those first few days everyone is in the same boat: no one has friends, everyone's scared (even if they don't admit it at first) and if you shy away in your room you're missing out on the opportunity to make friends and make everything easier. And yes it's not easy to leave your door wedged open or sit in the kitchen but you have to. Swallow the fear that holds you back and tell yourself that you can. As soon as lectures start you'll have plenty of time to be alone whilst your friends are out and about doing their thing, but for the first few days you have to push through. You can do it because trust me, it gets easier. 

3 - Say 'Yes' To Things

Similarly to staying in your room 24/7 the more you say no to things the more opportunities you're missing out on. Like I said above university is promoted as having this huge drinking culture but there are so many more things you can do if that's not your jam. I'm pretty sure most places have this thing called a 'Freshers Fair' during freshers week which is basically a giant marquee where all of the presidents from different societies come and try to promote their club. And there truly is something for everyone: from photography to dance to Quidditch to hockey, whatever it is that you love, it exists. So get involved because it's a great way to meet new people outside of your flat and course without the added pressures of a club environment. Of course lot's of societies do do clubbing events from time to time but the beauty is you can pick and choose what events you go to and what you don't so don't worry.  

Okay thanks for reading my lovelies, once again I'm so sorry I was gone and I'm going to try super hard to get back on track!




As someone with dark brown hair and pale skin, I've always turned to red lips as a way to liven up a look. It's a super quick and easy way to add a splash of colour for day time wear without having to go overboard. And since so many collections - The Chanel Fall Collection immediately comes to mind - are giving red its time in the limelight this autumn, I thought I'd share some of my favourite warm toned products and the ways they can alter your makeup. 


I make no secret of the fact that I barely leave the house without some form of eyeshadow. During the daytime I don't tend to stray from the warm browns of my Naked Palette or the subtler rose shades of my Dior Quad and whilst I love the gentle look sometimes it's nice to brighten up your face, especially as the weather becomes duller and more grey by the day. 

One easy way to add a touch of dimension to your makeup is with a dark red lip. Burgundies and cherries have been all the range for the past few years and I honestly think you can find one to suit any skin tone and lip shape. 

For someone with a higher budget Charlotte Tilbury Glastonberry is my absolute go-to. It's warm, wonderfully pigmented and has a colour that can easily be builded upon. Personally I apply this using a Real Techniques lip brush and then line my lips using the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Berry Naughty. This is a great look for those days when you don't have a huge amount of time to spend doing your makeup but you still want that 'I totally put effort in this morning' vibe. 

If you're sticking to the drugstore Rimmel make some of the most affordable and moisturising lipsticks on the market. Now we've all heard of the famous Rimmel 107 but if you want some  touch darker, with some stunning plum tones then look no further than 30. The pigmentation and staying power of this lipstick is second to none, I honestly can't recommend popping into the drugstore and doing a cheeky swatch any more. 


For a trip to dinner or a night out with the girls, none thing says winter glamour more like the classic bright red lip. Paired with a shimmering eye - think iridescent golds - and a LBD and you're ready to go. At the minute I'm still loving my MAC Lustre lipstick in Ladybug. It's a MAC classic: red but not overly neon, pigmented but not drying, and paired with the lip liner in Brick you really can't go far wrong!

Something else I've been loving these past couple of weeks is the return of the dark nail. I rarely buy nail polish that isn't Essie so it's not really a surprise that I'm bringing Shearling Darling (similar linked) back into the mix this fall. Dark red polish is perfect for adding that splash of sophistication to a look and I've found that it tends to chip less than lighter colours, so it's a win-win really!

Those were my current favourite beauty reds, do let me know yours in the comments! I'm sorry I've been a tad MIA recently, but I've just moved into university and it's all kinds of hectic. 



University Room Tour: Living In Halls.

Since moving to university last Friday, my days have been a complete whirlwind of trying to find buildings and lecture theatres, frantically stalking course mates on Facebook so I wouldn't have to walk by myself and buying what seems like endless pints of milk to fuel my tea addiction. And so far, so good! What at first felt incredibly overwhelming is finally starting to mellow and I can feel myself genuinely beginning to enjoy my time without worrying. I've joined some societies, met some lovely people and had a couple of taster lectures for my course all of which is really helping to keep me busy and not think about home too much. I think it's completely natural to feel homesick and whilst I lay awake on the first night thinking 'Oh god what the hell have I done, I feel so alone' it hit me the next day that pretty much everyone felt exactly the same. 

I'm really lucky in that my flat mates are genuinely the nicest group of people who all have each other's backs and will look out for one another. It really makes me feel so thankful because I'm constantly hearing stories from other people who say that either they're flat mates speak no english and just keep to themselves, or are so shy that they never leave their rooms. Which, to be honest as an incredibly introverted person myself, I do get, but there are some situations - like uni - in which you just have to push through and try to be sociable otherwise you'll just be sadder in the long run. And being sociable doesn't necessarily mean going out to crazy parties every night of the week - me and two of my flat mates sat on my bed and watched Bake Off tonight!! 

I'm also lucky in that I managed to get really good halls - or dorms if you're from the US. My room is big enough without being overly spacious, in fact I'd say it's still pretty cosy. I wanted to share a few snaps with you all and whilst it's not crazy Pinterest Goals just yet I'm hoping to spruce things up a bit especially as the festive season draws ever closer. 

*Side Note* I've joined the photography society at uni which means I'll hopefully have access to a whole bunch of cameras and lens' (I've been promised it will) so one of my main goals is to up my photography game in a big way and share with you all some of my improved snaps! I'd also love to meet some other bloggers as I feel that's something lacking in my real life!

Let me know about your experiences living away from home or if you're still in school, tell me if you plan to head to uni or not?! 



How To: Denim For Autumn.

As the weather gets cooler and the skirts and dresses are firmly placed back in the closet for another year there is one item of clothing I always turn to: Jeans. I can remember being younger and jeans only seemed to come in two shades of blue and one horrific bootcut style, but thankfully since then, times have moved on and now a whole plethora of shapes and colours are available. 

For today's post I wanted to share with you all, some of my current favourites on the market. Most of these are mid price range and all are available at ASOS. Hopefully you can find some much needed inspiration as it looks like autumn weather is here to stay!



I honestly feel like jeans are one of the most versatile items of clothing on the market. They can be dressed up or dressed down, there are cuts to suit everyone and they come in every colour of the rainbow. Personally I'm obsessed with ripped boyfriend jeans which isn't a style I ever thought would work for me. I'm about as far away from 'hipster' as it's possible to get and until about a year ago was firmly on Team Skinny Jeans. And whilst I'm still a huge fan of the traditional skinny - I'm wearing some right now - sometimes it's nice to switch up your style. Most of the styles I picked features some kind of rip; they're seriously en vogue at the minute and easily add an edgy touch to even the most basic outfit. Something else I've been seeing a huge amount recently is brightly coloured detailing. Whilst I think this may be a little too far out of my comfort zone it's super fun if you want to add a touch of colour to your outfit. 


- DENIM  -

In all honesty aside from jeans I've never been the biggest fan of denim. I don't know why, I just never loved the whole oversized look. However recently I feel like the market has really upped it's game and so many designs and prints are being created that I genuinely love. The denim dress for example is something that I feel has been around since the dawn of time yet was always kind of associated with frumpy, older women or crazy hippie types. But some of the new releases are so stylish and chic and definitely something I would look into purchasing.

Do let me know in the comments if you liked any of the pieces I chose and of course tell me how you would style denim this fall!



Life Update: Moving To University.

I'm currently sitting on my bed it's quarter to five in the afternoon and I'm frantically writing this blog post in between trying to pack what feels like my entire life up into an abundance of plastic bags. Why? Because tomorrow (or yesterday as you're reading this) I'm moving to university to start my degree and whilst I'm really excited I'm of course slightly (okay very) nervous about what to expect. 

Firstly I'm a huge control freak. I hate nothing more than the feeling of something impending that I can't control and the stress of trying to sort nineteen years worth of stuff into 'things that I'll need' and 'things I can live without' had me up until 1AM last night worrying. This coupled with the fact that I don't really feel prepared at all when it comes to my course isn't making for a very relaxed experience! I'm trying not to think about it too much or else I'll probably have a break down, but I wanted to write a quick post to say that over the next couple of weeks my posts may be sporadic as I don't know how much time I'll have to blog.

If any of you guys have been to university and have any tips for me on how to cope and worry less then I'm all ears because right now I feel like I'm going in completely blind. 


Of course it's not all doom and gloom and I'm really excited to meet all my flat mates, join some societies and in general have a good year away from the world of retail. Because whilst my gap year was beneficial in earning me some money, it was also incredibly tedious and I couldn't be happier to leave it all behind. 


As I said above hopefully my posts will be regular however because I'll be settling in I'm not sure when the next one will be up. But I'm definitely not quitting blogging, I might just need a few days to find my feet!

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