January 2016 Round Up.

So Christmas was over a month ago?! Seriously, how does time move so fast even when you're not having fun!? For todays post I wanted to look back over some things that happened in January and of course look to the future - because I've got a good feeling about February.

At the start of January I made a post highlighting my goals for the upcoming year. I'm proud to say that I've already achieved one of them: passing my driving test. I feel like I'm constantly talking about this at the moment and for that I apologise but I'm just so god damn proud of myself!

In terms of my other goals February will see the start of some more travel posts on Life According to Lili. I'm heading to the Lake District in a couple of weeks and I cannot wait. My family has a time share on a property up there and every year we park our bags (and hiking boots) and head to the countryside. It's so relaxing and gorgeous and I'm already thinking about the stunning backdrops for my photography. Travel posts are my favourite to read (they give me serious wanderlust) and write so I'm super excited to share with you guys some of my travels. 

January can often seem like it's never ending. It's dark when you wake up, and even darker when you leave work. All in all this leaves little time for anything other than staying in. (Which I'm perfectly fine with!) I've read some amazing books this month - November 9, The Infinite Sea and City Of Heavenly Fire to name just a few - and started some fabulous TV shows. But now I'm definitely craving spring. Milder weather, sunshine... is it bad that I'm missing fake tan?! I definitely prefer blogging over the summer time and can't wait to bring you guys some amazing content! 



Book Review: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Good morning guys! Ahhh January is almost over but unfortunately it doesn't looks like it will be taking the cold weather with it. Which means another month of being inside, a fire burning and a book on my lap. Shame. If you saw my What I Got for Christmas post then you'll know that my parents were kind enough to gift me with some new reading material including this little gem: November 9. 

November 9 tells the story of Fallon, a 19 year old girl on the brink of moving from LA to New York. After a terrible accident that left her with scarring her acting career dried up and left her with incredibly low self confidence and a lack of meaning to her life.

Enter Ben Kessler. They meet the day before Fallon is due to leave for a new life in New York and after mutual attraction they end up spending her last day in LA together. This untimely fortune has them making a pact that they will meet every November 9th for the next five years. And every other day of the year? They will have no contact, blocking each other on social media and never exchanging phone numbers. It would be as if the other person doesn't exist. 

But as the November 9s progress Fallon begins to feel as if Ben might just be fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the book he plans on writing. All the confidence she's gained, what if it was just at the hands of a desperate author trying to secure a plot line? 


Wow, I sped through this book like a runner on steroids. It was my first Colleen Hoover novel and after hearing (and now experiencing) amazing things I can safely say it won't be my last. It was so gorgeously written, with captivating prose and loveable characters that I just couldn't help sitting down for hours. 

I do want to discuss a few of the characters and plot lines (there will 100% be spoilers that you do not wish to see!) so if you haven't read this book I highly, highly recommend it! In terms of rating I'd give 4 stars and a 75%. I know you're probably wondering why I didn't rate it higher but there were a few little things I had a problem with which I'll discuss below. Nonetheless I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good romance.

Okay let's talk about the main characters: I really liked Fallon. She wasn't whiney or annoying at all, her inner monologue was sassy and fabulous and I just really liked her. Ben on the other hand I had mixed feelings about. On one hand he was author-attractive, (I have a thing for writers / readers) kind, romantic and funny but on the other hand he was very, and I mean, very forward. Some of the comments he made and the way he acted were just so inappropriate. Like, you could tell Fallon was not comfortable in the situation and he basically pressurised her into going further with him on more than one occasion. Now, if I was in Fallon's shoes I'd be like 'jog on mate' but she didn't really do that. She just let him take advantage of her. Like come on girl, I know he's cute but he's pushing his luck right now. 

Oh god and then there was the fire?! I did not see the whole 'Ben is responsible' thing coming at all. Like mind blowingly crazy stuff there! When Kyle punched him in their house I was expecting something to do with drugs or alcohol not GBH?! To be fair I get why Fallon forgave him, because he was genuinely sorry about what happened and he didn't set out to do it on purpose but even so! 

And then there was the thing with Jordyn. I just don't understand how she could stand to be in that house after her husband was killed let alone get into a relationship with his brother. But what I really don't get is why Fallon was so angry. She basically told him she didn't want anything to do with him and he dated someone else?! You can't have it both ways love. 

But my absolute favourite thing about this book was the writing style. It was so funny and lovely, there was never a boring page! If you've read any of Colleen's other books please let me know as I need to read more! 



The Lip Addict Tag.

When I was tagged to do this post by my soul sister and fellow middle ager Lisa I knew it just had to top the priorities list. I'm a huge lippie addict - it's usually the first thing I splurge on when hitting the department stores - so what's more perfect that a tag expressing just how much I adore lipstick?!

I tag any of my gorgeous readers to do this post and be sure to tweet me if you do because I'd love to read your answers! <3

What is your favourite lip balm / treatment?

I couldn't live without lip balm. It's a rare day when I don't have one in my pocket or at worst - within a five metre sprinting distance. I apply it before I go to sleep, underneath matte lipstick and essentially whenever my lips are feeling a little dry. Personally I love a good drugstore balm: for intense hydration you really can't beat a tub of vaseline! It's not very glamorous but it does the job. 

My most used lip balms are probably the Maybelline Baby Lips range. I feel this hype has died down a little but I'm still a firm advocate for the almond scented one (lovely to wear at night) and the cherry for a little colour. They're super inexpensive and I can't find anything negative to say about them at all!

What is your favourite eye catching red?

To be perfectly honest with you I don't wear a huge amount of bright red lipsticks. Because I have quite full lips they tend to look overwhelming and a little OTT for my taste. However if I am doing a red lip I tend to go for MAC Ladybug paired with the Brick lipliner. It's super moisturising and gives off a lovely bold red.

Best Luxury & drugstore products?

For luxury it would have to be my one true love: Charlotte Tilbury. The packaging is just so decadent and the colours of beautiful. The only thing I have to say with this one, is I have to apply lip balm underneath otherwise it seeps into the fine lines on my lips. Nonetheless an absolute stunner you need in your life!

For drugstore I'm torn between two: Kiko and No7. Kiko was a brand I discovered in Venice a little over a year ago on a trip with friends. We (mainly me, lets be honest) went a little crazy and bought tonnes of new makeup. The coral lipstick pictured below is insanely bright and looks gorgeous with a tan. The texture is so buttery and the colour pay off is absolutely amazing! 

Alternatively I have to say, I have a bit of a thing for No7 lipsticks. I feel as though they're marketed towards 'older' women but after receiving one in a free GWP I became obsessed. They're matte without being drying (take tips Charlotte Tilbury!) and the colours are stunning. 

Favourite MAC lipstick?

Hands down See Sheer from the Lustre collection. I'm currently on my third one of these because I literally wear it everyday. It matches my lip colour perfectly giving just a hint of red. It's softening, beautiful and my 100% my favourite lip product ever!

Lip Liner: Yes or No?

It definitely depends. If I'm applying a quick coat of See Sheer then no, I don't really need it. But If we're talking super dark, Charlotte Tilbury Glastonberry, then 100% its an essential! I wear the shade Berry Naughty with it and its perfect to create a more defined edge to your lips. Because nothing is worse than smeared lipstick - am I right ladies?!

Favourite lip gloss?

I don't tend to reach for lip gloss as much as I used to, but back in the day (AKA 2013) I was obsessed with the Revlon glosses. They were a little sticky but super moisturising and the packaging was lovely. Aside from that I also had a Clarins lip gloss (that I can't remember the name of) that smelt incredible!!


Okay thanks for reading lovelies! See you tomorrow with another post! 



The Danish Girl: My Thoughts

On Saturday night after a gorgeous Pizza Express dinner my sister, mother and I went to go see The Danish Girl. As soon as I heard about this movie I have to say I was intrigued, especially when I found out it was based on the events of a true story. At this moment in time the transgender community seems to have been thrown the spotlight thanks to the likes of Caitlyn Jenner etc so no better a time was there for a movie like this to drop.

If you haven't heard of the film and would like to know a little more about it, I'm going to talk about it in a second. If you're interested in the true story aspect, I'll link the wikipedia page here, which details the life of Lili Elbe, well worth a read. 

Okay, now onto the plot: The film begins with Einar and Gerda Wegener, a happily married couple living in Denmark in the early 1900s. Both Einar and Gerda are artists with the former being dubbed one of the best painters in Denmark. Whilst he focuses on landscapes she paints people which is how Lili was 'born'. One day their friend, who is modelling for Gerda is late so she asks her husband if he would mind putting on her stockings and shoes and holding a dress over his legs so she could carry on her painting. After a little initial reluctancy, Einar agrees. Shortly after, the model friend (whose name I've forgotten) bursts in on them and christens Einar's female alter ego Lili. 

What starts off as a joke, quickly becomes an obsession with Einar slowly living more and more of his life as Lili. He speaks about how he always knew, how there was always a part of him that knew he was meant to be born female. 

Soon Lili and Gerda move to Paris and after a series of doctors appointments in which she (Lili) is diagnosed as homosexual, schizophrenic and subjected to radiation treatment to try and 'cure' her, they eventually find a doctor who is pioneering the way towards creating hope for transgenders. He agrees that he will be able to operate on Lili to remove the male genitalia which is all she wants: to be able to live her life as a woman. However the risks are incredibly high as the operation has never been carried out before. 

Throughout the whole movie there is the idea that Lili must completely say goodbye to Einar if she is to live her life as a woman. Of course for Gerda this is incredibly distressing as she is losing her husband but to her credit she stands by Lili as she transitions.


Firstly I'd like to say that the acting in this film was incredible. Eddie Redmayne in particular was so amazing that if he doesn't get an Oscar there is something wrong with the world. He really grasped the feminine mannerisms and the confusion Einar was experiencing so well that he had me in tears a fair few times. And Alicia Vikander made a fabulous Gerda, I truly don't think a better cast could have been concocted if they tried.

Watching this movie really brought to light how insanely difficult being transgender must have been at that time. Even now, there is still so much prejudice and lack of understanding it astounds me but back in the 1930s it's amazing Lili managed to live the life she did. 

Personally I absolutely loved this film, I'd give it a 98% for sure. Definitely will be seeing again some time, would highly, highly, recommend. 



A Little Liz Earle Haulin'

After passing my driving test on Thursday I decided a little treat was in order. And since Boots is currently giving away a free 50ml Liz Earle exfoliator with any two skincare purchases I may have gone a little OTT. I'd pretend to be sorry but I'm not, so we'll skip all pretences. I picked up my order from store on Friday (free delivery can I get an Amen?!) and have been trying out my new products since. 

Today I wanted to share with you why I love Liz Earle skincare so much and my thoughts on the new exfoliator.

The Product: Liz Earle Face Exfoliator
The Price: £15.75

Quick Picks:

The packaging: 4.5 stars
The product: 4.8 stars
Value for money: 5 stars

Let's start with the newbie to my collection. The Liz Earle face exfoliator currently retails at £15.75 for a 70ml tub although as mentioned above, you can currently get one free with any two Liz Earle purchases. It has the same gentle, incredibly pleasant scent that all of her products smell like so absolutely no complaints there. 

Of course, as with any Liz Earle product, it just feels incredibly luxurious to apply to the skin. Similarly to the Cleanse and Polish it's a cream cleanser, meaning it doesn't foam up. Personally I prefer this because I find it a lot less drying which you definitely don't want in an exfoliator. The beads themselves are very fine, which removes any dead skin flawlessly without scraping the skin of its natural moisture. I used this for the first time last night as my skin had some build up around my nose and forehead that I wanted to remove. It did it's job wonderfully and I woke this morning with my skin feeling renewed. Very happy with this, would probably repurchase.

The Product: Liz Earle Skin Repair moisturiser 
The Price: £20.25

Quick Picks:

The packaging: 5 stars
The product: 4.8 stars
Value for money: 4.8 stars

Next up one of my staple skincare gems. The Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser is a product I've been using for almost a year now and one I couldn't imagine life without. I know a lot of people don't have the money or inclination to splash out on skincare but personally I don't have a problem with it. I'd rather pay a little extra to have better skin for longer than look like I'm getting wrinkles at 25. In terms of prices I don't think Liz Earle charges over the odds. I know of people (mother, I'm looking at you!) who spend an excess of £50 for a pot of face cream so in my opinion, £20 is well worth it.

Each pot lasts me about four to five months and thats with me using it twice a day. It's incredibly moisturising but skins quickly into the skin insuring there isn't an oily residue. For anyone who suffers with acne this literally saved my life. I used to get little breakouts a lot but since I've started with this, they've diminished a whole lot. I honestly can't see myself switching out my moisturiser any time soon.

The Product: Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish 
The Price: £14.00

Quick Picks:

The packaging: 4.8 stars
The product: 4.5 stars
Value for money: 5 stars

And lastly the cult classic: the Cleanse and Polish. Beauty bloggers and Youtubers have been raving about this one since about 2012 and for good reason. Once again it feels so lovely to use, so gentle and luxurious, but at the same time, you have no doubt it's removing every last trace of dirt from your face. 

This one is perfect if you have sensitive skin that tends to break out at the slightest chemical. I know, back when my skin was worse I used to try and tame it with Salicylic Acid etc but it made everything so much worse. Harsh chemicals just aren't for everyone, and if its the gentle approach you're after; I think I've found perfection.


Let me know you're skincare holy grails down below!



A Little Winter Fur - OOTD.

I've got to say: recently I've become a bit of a fur fiend. I've been drawn to the jackets, to the OTT coats and only yesterday I almost bought a beautiful fur clutch bag. There's just something about fur that screams glamour and class - imagine Lucy Watson on the streets of Chelsea and you've pretty much got how I feel in this. 

This gilet is perfect for warmth and sophistication and in terms of price, you could do a lot worse. I bought it in the Topshop section at Selfridges in November and it was love at first sight. I just knew I had to have it. Paired with a similarly light coloured jumper which contrasts nicely against the dark blue skinny jeans and boots, we've got an outfit perfect for hitting the shops in. (Like I need an excuse to do that!)

What I'm Wearing.

Gilet - Topshop
Jumper - Next
Jeans - Hollister
Boots - Ugg


Thanks for reading loves, let me know if like me, you're obsessed with fur or if not, why not?



Passing My Driving Test.

Sitting here writing this post I'm still in absolute shock. Driving was definitely not something that came naturally to me and frankly if he'd asked me to do a parallel park I don't think I would have passed!

For todays post I wanted to talk you through my experience learning to drive as I feel like there are a lot of people (particularly our parents) who are constantly telling us how 'easy' it is and wondering why we can't pass which leads to a lot of learners thinking they're the worlds worst driver.

This morning I was absolutely convinced I would be failing again. I say again because this was my third attempt at taking the test. As mentioned above, I'm not a natural. In fact the point of todays post is to tell you guys that you can do it even though it may seem utterly, utterly impossible.


Let's go back to the beginning: I first started learning to drive September 2014, about six months or so after turning 17. To be honest I wasn't that bothered about learning (and damn frightened as well) until I started seeing my friends pass. Then I felt terrible about making them give me lifts everywhere so I decided to start learning.

Initially it was great, I had a fabulous instructor (honestly he was so amazing can't recommend enough) who explained things calmly, never got angry and took things at a really good pace. I picked things up I'd say, at about the same pace as most people. Around a year ago I took my theory and passed first time which of course I was really happy about and then it was just a few more weeks of lessons before my first test. (If anyone is looking for good ways to revise theory questions I would highly recommend the DVLA questions app. It's like £2 and has thousands of actual test questions on it. You can do mock tests, look at specific areas or just practise all the questions - it was great!) 

Around March time last year my parents agreed to buy a small car for me to learn in and then when I passed, I could keep. We ended up going for a black Toyota Aygo who I christened Arwen (Lord of The Rings reference or what?! I was going through a phase...) and prayed we would become besties. However this was where it all started to go wrong. I'd learnt in a diesel Vauxhall Corsa with a 1.2L engine and my new car was a 1L petrol. Now that might not seem like a big deal but for my Corsa obsessed brain I just couldn't get my head around the difference. I stalled all. the. time. It was so embarrassing I began to hate driving. Even the thought of going out in my car put me on the verge of tears. It was so confusing, how could everyone else in the world manage to drive and I just couldn't?! I felt like such a failure.

Meanwhile I was still having lessons with my instructor none the wiser. It was like two different drivers: with him I could park, reverse around corners, drive in super heavy traffic around massive roundabouts... But put me in my car and I could barely drive around a deserted industrial estate without having a breakdown. 

My first driving test was in June 2015. Now I know what you're thinking: Oh my god, thats like, 8 months after you started to drive! I did my test two months after I turned 17!! A lot of people have told me that maybe my instructor was just trying to get more money out of me but honestly I just needed more hours than most people. I'm not Lewis fricking Hamilton alright?!

Needless to say I failed and to be honest I wasn't too disappointed or surprised. I still hated driving my car so even if I had passed, chances are I wouldn't have driven anywhere anyway. The most annoying thing was the wait times. Where I live the wait times vary from three to four months to retake your test! It's an absolute joke, I've almost been waiting for tests as long as I was learning in the first place! 

Because of this I decided to take a break from lessons, I didn't really need them every week and they can get expensive. In the meantime I decided to tackle my problem with Arwen. My parents were really supportive and said that if I wanted to quit learning and go back to it in a few years then that was fine, but my competitive brain didn't want that. So I persevered. I spent hours doing stop-starts along the same stretch  of road, trying to get to grips with my car. And it worked. Whilst I still wasn't going to win any driving prizes slowly but surely I became more adapted.

My second test was booked for the middle of October. I felt a lot more confident, I'd had ten lessons leading up to it to ensure I was confident in my instructors car again and I felt like I could do it. However it wasn't meant to be. My examiner was an absolute asshole. He was so smug and just made me feel like like I was messing everything up. Like to start with he asked me (as part of the show-me-tell-me questions) to put on the rear windscreen washer. I presumed he wanted to see the front one as well, so I put on both and he had a little strop like "I only asked for the back one." Basically I think he thought I was an utter moron. So after that fabulous start we went off driving and it was all going okay until it came to the manoeuvres. The little sh*t made me parallel park, which anyone who is learning to drive will tell you its basically satan. To make matters worse the area in which I had to park on didn't have a proper curb (bloody fantastic) so I had to guess how far away it was. The first attempt I made was shocking, I almost hit the curb, so I asked to start again. After taking a couple of seconds to compose myself I tried again and got in the spot. However because I'm sneaky I had a look at his paper and noticed that I'd been given a major for it. I was so angry and upset I completely gave up and ended up getting something like 11 minors.

It was such a horrible experience that as soon as he'd gone and my instructor was back in the car I just burst into tears. Bless his heart he gave me a tissue and told me that all was not lost etc. But I felt awful. Compared to the first test, it had been so much more stressful and upsetting and I was basically ready to curl up into a ball of shame on the floor. 

In terms of Arwen and myself, I've been driving her to and from work and we are nearing the bestie level. I feel so much more confident driving her, I'm so happy I continued. 

Once again, I had another three and a half month waiting time (absolute joke) and then today was the day of my third test. To be fair I thought I'd failed as soon as we left the test centre carpark because I hit the bloody curb on the way out (I ask you, how embarrassing) but told myself that all is not lost, so I kept trying my hardest. For my manoeuvre I got reverse around a corner which was amazing as it's my favourite! We also went on the same test route I had last time so I knew all of the dodgy areas! Even so, I was still so surprised I passed the conversation went something like this:

Him: "Okay, I'm pleased to tell you, you've passed!"

Me: "Oh my god, are you serious!!?"

Him: "Yes"

Me: "I can't believe it, I thought I was going to fail! This is my third attempt you know!" 

Oh dear Lily, how tragic are you?! 

But to be honest the morale of the story is that you should never give up. Learning to drive is the hardest thing I've ever done (even including A levels) and I didn't think I could ever do it. Just goes to show that eventually we can do anything we set our minds to! 

Thanks for reading my lovelies and good luck if you're learning to drive!



Keeping Warm This Winter: Leek and Potato Soup Recipe

With temperatures hitting the 0s there is nothing more needed right now than a lovely warming soup. Whether you're feeling a bit under the weather or just a little chilly, I can guarantee that this soup will hit the spot.

You Will Need:

* Ingredients make enough soup for four people *

2 Leeks
3 Potatoes 
1 Vegetable stock cube
1 Pyrex jug of boiled water 
A pinch of salt and pepper 
A dash of olive oil for frying

How To Make:

Step 1 

Remove both ends and outer layers from the leeks. Slice into manageable pieces. At this point you can also skin and dice the potatoes ready for later. Now you're going to start by frying the leek, so in a pan, add a dash of olive oil and warm gently. When oil is hot add the leek and a touch of salt and pepper for flavour. Leave until the leeks have gone soft, stirring regularly to ensure they don't stick.

Step 2

Whilst the leeks are frying boil a kettle. Pour the boiled water into a Pyrex jug (how much you need depends on how you want the consistency of the soup, but don't worry if it ends up too thick, you can always add more water, later on.) and add one vegetable stock cube. Stir until combined.

Step 3

After the leeks are soft and the stock cube dissolved add the water solution and the diced potatoes to the pan of leeks. Turn the temperature down to a low simmer. Leave for half an hour or so, stirring occasionally.

Step 4

Once your concoction looks like the photos above, remove from the heat and allow to cool for about five minutes. Now, it's time to bend! Personally I use a hand blender similar to this one which is perfect for eradicating all of the lumps, leaving behind a lovely warm soup. If, at this point it looks a little too thick, don't be afraid of adding some more water. 

Tah Dah! Simply leave for a couple of minutes and serve with warm bread. To die for!




Why Everyone Needs a Signature Winter Coat.

In my opinion the climate we live in dictates our need for certain wardrobe staples. Whether or not snow is on the agenda, forty degree heat or constant clouds and rain, sometimes fashion has to follow the weather. And in England, with temperatures dropping, a stylish, durable and above all, warm coat is something we all need in our closets. 

Today I wanted to share with you my latest winter purchase: this stunning Miss Selfridge coat. I picked it up a couple of weeks back in the January sales and haven't looked back since. When I'm looking for new outerwear I tend to go quality over quantity as you can wear it over and over again throughout the season. 

Choosing this one, I was drawn to the slimming belt, warm puffa style and of course the gorgeous photogenic hood. And since buying it I've worn it (multiple times) to work, out for dinner and to go see movies. 


What I'm Wearing.

Coat: Miss Selfridge 
Jumper: Villa 
Jeans: Hollister
Boots: New Look
Rings: Sif Jakobs 


Primer: Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro
Concealer: Maybelline Dream Lumi
Powder Foundation: The Body Shop All In One Face Base
Blush: Chanel 
Bronzer: Hoola by Benefit
Eyebrow Pencil: Kiko
Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Naked 2
Eyeliner: Charlotte Tilbury Feline Flick
Mascara: Chanel La Volume De Mascara 
Lipliner: Charlotte Tilbury
Lipstick: Charlotte Tilbury Glastonberry 


Thanks for reading and I will see you again with another post very soon!



5 Ways to Beat the January Blues

January is always the month that gets me down. The highlight - being New Years - is right at the start which means 30 out of 31 days are verging on the monotonous. Not to mention the holy payday was a week before christmas so everyone is basically broke until February. Today I wanted to share a few ideas with you all for how you can rid yourself of the January Blues.


Start a New Hobby

Unfortunately for me my new Hobby is Netflix. In just under a week I've already watched 2 entire seasons of Gossip Girl and I have a full time job. It's literally all I do in the evenings and frankly I think I'm addicted. Alternatively you could start something more productive. Maybe a new gym class (I really want to try Barrecore) or even start a blog. Now that is something I would recommend! Getting your mind off the fact you have no money is a priority right now and what better way than an entirely new venture! 


Drop The Dead Weight From Your Life

January is depressing enough without having negative people bringing you down. Reevaluate friendships: do you find yourself dreading hanging out with people? Do you just have nothing in common with you 'friends' anymore? If so, you don't need them. We're often scared of leaving people behind as it makes us feel alone and vulnerable. But leaving those negative people in 2015 will bring forward exciting opportunities of new friends and fresh experiences. 

The same goes for experiences. Whilst easier said than done if you really hate your job, start looking for another. University getting you down? Remind yourself why you're there. Think of your amazing future because nothing is permanent. 


Take a Trip

Okay, so this totally disputes the 'help I'm broke' rule but having something fun to look forward to will easily make the days go faster. If you can stretch as far as a mini break  (maybe a spa day?) a good relax is something we all need. With the clouds and snow rolling in, nothing is better than relaxing in a lovely hotel and just doing nothing for a day. 


Read a Book

I know reading isn't everyones cup of tea, but for me, relaxing by a log burning stove, cup of tea in one hand and a good book in the other is my idea of a perfect evening. Whether it's the romance that has you swooning or the fantasy that has you craving to go to Hogwarts, reading isn't just a time passer. It makes you forget your life for a little while and fall head over heels into another world. Perfect for rainy January. 


Switch up Your Look

The January sales are perfect for a little splurge. Maybe try something new this year?! Get on board by switching up your wardrobe, maybe try that deep magenta lipstick. Because trust me, sometimes all it takes is a little change to completely switch up your attitude. 




How To Achieve The Perfect Makeup Base

Finding your perfect base isn't something that will happen overnight. It takes months, or more likely, years to find the perfect products to work with your skin. But with that being said, I wanted to share with you all some of my current favourite base makeup. Their is a mixture of high end and drugstore here so hopefully something for everyones taste and budget! 



Up until about a year ago I never used to prime my skin. I'd apply moisturiser, barely giving it a chance to sink in before I added the foundation. Now, I've realised giving your face cream a little time to sink in will do wonders as will the staying powers of a perfect primer. Personally I don't use a pigmented primer as I don't have time in the mornings to blend in another layer. Instead I use a creamy one like the Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro. It's a lovely silky layer that keeps my makeup fresh throughout the day. My only qualm with this is that whilst it claims to make your skin matte I haven't actually found any evidence of this. But as soon as you apply makeup or powder over the top that problem is easily sold.



Ahh the eternal concealer debate. Do we A: apply it before foundation or B: after. Personally I put it on first for two main reasons. Firstly, it's what I've always done, I know it works and I'm less likely to cake on the makeup if my dark circles are already vanished. And secondly because I don't wear liquid foundation, trying to blend a liquid concealer on top of my powder would just create a gunky mess. 

For dark shadows I've recently been loving the Maybelline Dream Lumi concealer. This is a sure fire dupe for the Chanel Eclat Lumiere and at a much lower price point. I'd highly, highly recommend this product! Alternatively, for blemishes, my holy grail is this Garnier with Pure Active spot concealer. Like, holy hell, I apply this if I get a spot and it literally clears it up within a day or two. It's amazing but I have this nasty feeling it might be discontinued. 


Powder Foundation

Some people love their liquids, others swear by BB creams... me, I'm head over heels captivated by my Body Shop All In One Face Base. If you've been following me for a little while you'll know that I constantly rave about this product. It has amazing coverage, it's super matte, it lasts all day... Like what else do you want me to say?! If you only take one thing from this post, I would hope it would be this product. Perfection in a pot.


Blush and Contour

When choosing a blush I tend to stay within the neutrals. I have a fear of looking like those 12 year old girls with neon pink cheeks and dark brown 'contour'. If natural is your thing too then look no further than the Benefit Rockateur blush. It's a lovely rose gold / neutral pink which adds the perfect about of colour without looking like you're hitting the year 8 disco.

When it comes to contour, Benefit's Hoola bronzer swept along your cheekbones is brilliant. When you're not graced with natural cheekbones like myself you have to take special measures and draw them in yourself. Applied with a flat contour brush, I'm obsessed with Hoola.


Okay, thanks for reading guys, let me know if you've tried any of the above mentioned products and I will see y'all in a few days! 



How I Take and Edit my Blog Photos

So recently I've had a few people comment about my blog photos. Photography is such an important part of my aesthetic and something that I take a lot of pride in. Prior to starting my blog I did GCSE and A Level art (got an A* not that I'm bragging ;) ) so I've got a few years experience when it comes to knowing what looks good. However saying that, photography was never a massive part of my projects so I'm not sure how much good it really did me.

In terms of equipment I'm so thankful that I have an actual camera to work with. IPhone cameras are great for Instagram etc but when it comes to high res, perfectly lit imagery; nothing beats the good old DSLR. Of course for those working on a budget, investing in a camera may not be an option and one day I think I'll do a post all about how I edit my Instagram. 

Specifically I own a Canon 1100D DSLR which I've had for about three years now. For the majority of that time I stuck with the basic 18 - 55mm lens however for christmas I was lucky enough to receive a 50mm f 1.8 which is absolutely perfect for portraiture. 

Here I just wanted to make a quick point about iPhone photos. Above you can see that the image taken (with my phone as the camera was in the shot!) is a little blurry, a touch pixelated and even with editing doesn't look as good as my usual work. This definitely proves that if you have the right equipment, the photos are so much easier to take! 

This is my original 18 - 55mm lens. I love the zoom on this as it's perfect for multipurpose shots. Close up of a lipstick? Got it. Far away shot of some buildings? Perfect. The only think I've found hard about this lens was getting photos of people right. It doesn't blur out the background and if you've got a shaky hand (Sophie I'm looking at you!) it makes getting great photos nearly impossible. However in general I still love this lens so much and will continue to use it for anything other than portraiture. 

Above is the newest lens to the collection: my beloved 50mm f 1.8 by Canon. If you're looking to get into portraiture more (as I am) and are swooning over the perfect blurred backgrounds that bloggers seem to faultlessly achieve then you've come to the right place. Whilst lens' are expensive (this one was about £100) there are much higher prices out on the market and I would happily part with my money for this one. It's a little less versatile than my other lens though nonetheless I wouldn't be seen without it!


I have too main editing platforms that I'm obsessed with: my built in MacBook editor and PicMonkey. When I first started blogging I didn't edit my photos and my gosh you could tell! I wasn't prepared to invest in Photoshop (I'm still not to be honest) and didn't really know where else to look. However around the same time I switched from a PC to a Mac I discovered PicMonkey. It's free, it's got tons of editing options from adding text, to overlays, to generally touching up a photo. If you're wondering what I use to make the jazzy title photos then that's it! 

In terms of my Mac I don't do a huge amount to edit my photos. I always work in nature lighting so I mainly just up the exposure a tad, and increase the saturation and contrast a little. And I mean a little. You don't want your photos to end up looking like neon collages. 

The photo on the left (the original) was taken in Barbados at pretty much midday. However as we were in a sort-of rainforest the shade was causing the light to be blocked out. All I've done is increase the exposure, added a touch more saturation to brighten the hues and maybe a little contrast to darken the shadows. 

And that's it! Hope you guys liked this post and I'll be back soon!

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