Summer Trends I'm Loving.

So whilst the weather may not be constantly playing ball we do have a few days, dotted about here and there of lovely summer sunshine. And since my favourite season brings with it some of the best fashion items, I thought I'd share a quick post with you all discussing some of my favourite trends this summer. 

Firstly: patterned trousers. Now I discovered these about two years ago and the sheer amazement of being able to wear an item of clothing out in public that felt like pyjamas hit me like a gift from heaven itself. These are absolutely perfect if you're travelling, wandering around the city or going shopping as the comfort levels are just beyond! Unfortunately the pair I'm wearing are no longer available but I wanted to share a few of my absolute favourites currently available with you guys.

Next up I've been loving oversized and unique sunglasses. The pair I'm wearing in this are my beloved Burberry ones which are my go to for a classic and understated look. However recently I've been lusting over the Dior So-Reals, with the only thing actually stopping me from buying them being the fact that I haven't actually tried them on so I'm not sure if they'll suit my face shape. But I think they're so stunning and different and would add such an edgy twist to any outfit. Of course I know not everyone wants to fork out that much for a pair of sunglasses, so I've linked some less expensive options too. 

      Tiffany & Co                 Spitfire Intergalactic           Quay Australia              Dior So-Real                 Miu Miu

Another trend that I've recently become obsessed with is co-ords. As I'm going to be heading away to Greece for a week in July I've been spending quite a lot of time online on stores such as ASOS shopping for holiday clothes, and I've seen so many cute, matching sets that I've had to invest in a couple myself. I think they're great not only for style but for versatility as you can truly wear them in so many different ways; separate or apart, as day or evening wear.

Boohoo Printed Co-ord  Mesh and Lace Co-ord  Red and White Co-ord  White Lace Co-ord Split Trouser Co-ord

Thank you so much for reading, it means the absolute world to me! I hope you enjoyed the post and please feel free to leave a comment down below! 



Book Review: A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J Maas.

When it comes to reading, if I'm not in the mood then I just won't do it and unfortunately throughout the month of May, I found myself in a position when I just couldn't get into a single book. Which, quite frankly, was extremely annoying as I'd been waiting for this release since obsessing over the first book back in May 2015. However as we're now nearing the end of June I could feel the need to fall in love with a book coming back to me, and where better to start than one of my most anticipated reads of 2016: A Court of Mist and Fury by the wonderful Sarah J Maas. 

If you're new to my blog or just haven't read one of my book reviews before, as always I'll start with a non spoiler section, give you guys the blurb and a snapshot into my general thoughts and feelings. But before all of that I did just want to add that ACOMAF is the second book in a trilogy so if you haven't read the first: A Court of Thorns and Roses I would highly recommend doing so before pursuing this any further.  

The Blurb

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court - but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms - and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future - and the future of a world cleaved in two.
With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights. Older teens will love A Court of Mist and Fury.

Non Spoiler Section

As someone who has read pretty much everything Sarah J Maas has ever published I had high hopes - extremely high hopes - for this book. And let me tell you: she did not disappoint! I've already expressed just how much I adored ACOTAR (I've read it three times so far!) but I can honestly say that this book took it to a whole new level. The world building was beautiful, the descriptions of places and people: utterly sublime and the dialogue: at times funny, at times emotional - it really was everything I'd hoped for and more. 

Would I recommend this to someone who was only just starting to read fantasy? Probably, yes. Initially I wasn't sure as there is a lot to take in however I think the way the characters are written and the humorous tone of the dialogue would make this a great series to get going with. The only thing I would say regarding new readers is that... there are certain scenes of a er sexual nature in this book so maybe it's not a good one if you're below sixteen. But then again, don't let this put you off because they are (sort of) few and far between and the majority of the story isn't like that. 

Now onto my general rating: I would give this book 5 stars and a 98% - which is my joint highest book rating on the blog so far! 

Spoiler Section

As I said above if you haven't read this book and don't want to be spoiled, then I would suggest leaving now! But feel free to return once you've read it and we can discuss in the comments because I'm full of feels right now and need to vent!

Okay, so the book kicks of three months after the end of ACOTAR. Feyre is back to living in the Spring Court with Tamlin and Lucien where she is constantly plagued by horrific nightmares of Under the Mountain. I have to say that my general opinion of Tamlin started fairly low in this book (note: he didn't even bother making sure she was okay after she woke up screaming and throwing up...) and got progressively lower. In fact, by the end I was so severely pissed off at him I just wished the King of Hybern had accidentally killed him. The way he treated Feyre, locking her up, belittling her almost, was so uncalled for, and whilst I could see why he was doing it, it didn't make it right. 

Then of course we have Lucien. He was my favourite character back in ACOTAR and to be honest I still loved him in ACOMAF. Yes, he went along with what Tamlin said, but  at the end of the day he is his High Lord and technically Lucien has to do his bidding. But as always, there's this underlying sadness in him, which I'm pretty sure stems back from him losing his mate (I think she was his mate)  WHICH was why the ending with Elain made me so happy. I didn't realise it was possible to have more than one mate but the fact that Elain and Lucien may be a thing in the next book just fills me with such happiness. They both deserve loving, stable relationships and whilst the Prythian isn't exactly filled with peace. (Even though when Tamlin and Lucien walked out into the throne room in Hybern I just about lost my sh*t.) 

Now of course we have to talk about Rhysand. I was one of the few people who actually liked him in ACOTAR - serious Damon Salvatore vibes - so when he was revealed to be literally the most selfless, amazing person I was so happy. His relationship with Feyre was so healthy, he never forced her to do anything, never pushed her, never made decisions for her, and yet it all worked so much better than when Tamlin had tried to keep her from harm. Just the way he had kept Velaris a secret from Amarantha all those years, by lying and pretending to be something totally hideous just showed how much he loved and cared for his Court of Dreams. Seriously, I would live there. Like, can I move to Velaris and low key marry Rhysand?!

Lastly I wanted to talk a little bit about the horde of new characters we got to interact with in ACOMAF. Firstly there is the insatiably stunning Mor - who I just loved. It's so refreshing to find a female character in YA without an agenda *cough* Ianthe *cough* and she was just so brave and loving. Hearing her story of what happened when she was younger just mad me feel physically sick, and it's testament to her strength of character than she managed to be civil to her family and their Court.

And then we met Cassian and Azriel: holy hell, I adored these two. I probably preferred Azriel and seriously ship him and Mor together, but they were both such great, humorous additions to the story. I'm not sure if this is being set up to be a thing, but does anyone else think Cassian and Nesta would be a great fit for one another?!

I think the way Sarah J Maas writes characters is so beautiful. She absolutely fills them to the brim with history and personality and makes you genuinely care for their wellbeing. Personally I love this series more than Throne of Glass but they're both equally amazing and I cannot wait to see what future books have in store.

As always I would love to hear what you guys think, so please drop me a comment!



5 High End Beauty Products Worth The Splurge.

Good morning everyone! Now I think it's no secret that I'm a huge lover of high end beauty. It's something that I love to spend my money on, trying and testing out new brands, formulas and products, all of which, undoubtably end up here on the blog. However I'm also fully aware that not everyone has either the means or the inclination to spend their hard earned cash on a product that might not necessarily be any good. So for today's post, I've compiled five of my absolute favourite high end beauty products right here, with the hope that if you're looking to spend a little bit more on some absolute stunners, you might find a little inspiration. 


1 - Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster


This is a product I talked about extensively in my How To Achieve The Perfect Fake Tan post. It's a gorgeous body oil that you mix with any moisturiser of your choice and spread generously over your legs and arms to create a natural yet glowing bronzed look. Personally I can easily say that this is the best false tan I've ever used as it's near on impossible to get uneven tone and / or streaks. Each bottle is 30ml which I would say would last pretty much an entire summer as both my mum and I used it intermittently last year and she's still got a third of that same bottle left over. 

Who would I recommend this for most? Anyone who'd love their skin to have a golden glow without the palaver of applying mousse or spray tans. 

Because you can use this with any moisturiser it's such a lovely versatile product that due to it's small size can be brought on holiday without taking up too much space. I know that I for one will be using this prior to my trip to Greece in July as I'm terrible at lying out in the sun!


2 - Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser 


I've spoken of my love for Liz Earle skincare in countless blog posts over the last year so it didn't seem right to miss them out of an article dedicated to my absolute favourites. When choosing the product I would gush about it was a close tie between this one and the beloved Clean & Polish however, if forced to pick between them, I don't think I could live without this moisturiser. One thing I did want to add is that I'm aware I have the one aimed at drier skin which doesn't make a lot of sense since I constantly go on about how oily I am, however when I bought this back at the end of January (yes it's literally lasted that long!) I was suffering from some dry areas. However I do think that when this one runs out, I'll buy the oily / combination version and see if that helps my skin at all. 

As I just briefly touched upon I've had this product for over five months and it's only just beginning to run out. This is absolutely amazing and such good value for money, and I would highly, highly recommend trying Liz Earle if you haven't already.


3 - Chanel Volume de Chanel Mascara


Ahh here we have it: another product I've raved countless times about here on lilyolivia.co.uk. This mascara was actually a present I first received from my uncle back in May 2015 for my eighteenth birthday, however since then, I've been through three more tubes and sworn utter obsession. Never have I used a mascara that creates such glamorous length and volume without clumping or falling throughout the day. Even similar brands like LancĂ´me and Benefit don't come close in my humble opinion. 

The only thing I would perhaps mention is that the brush does take some getting used to. It has very small bristles that are unlike the larger, fluffier brushes of some brands and also completely different to the sticky-out plastic ones like the Benefit They're Real. However I've found that with practice they can make your lashes look their absolute best. Again, it's a splurge but a very good one. ;)


4 - Urban Decay NAKED Palette


Ever since I started watching beauty gurus on YouTube back in 2012 this palette has always had huge hype surrounding it. I remember the sheer excitement on girls' faces everywhere when the Naked 3 palette was announced, followed by the Naked Smoky palette just last year. As their name suggests they compile a great selection of wonderfully pigmented nude shades in a range of both shimmery and matte tones to create a truly fantastic palette.

The reason why I selected this one above the other three is because I think this still holds it's own as the most versatile - coupling both warm browns and soft pinks. Naked 2 is a lot more cooler in tone which whilst it works on my pale skin, might not for those of you blessed with a little colour. As for the Naked 3, it's mostly rose golds which are beautiful but not as natural as a gentle brown.

Nonetheless, the quality of these eyeshadows is absolute beyond, and even if you're not willing to fork out the £38, you could still try the Naked Basics which is a lot more reasonably priced at £22, yet still comes with a great range. I don't actually own either of the small palettes but I'm looking into getting one for travelling - unfortunately a humongous eyeshadow palette isn't that practical!


5 - Charlotte Tilbury Feline Flick Eyeliner


When it comes down to eyeliner, I like it to be kept simple: a nice, strong, jet black wing, that won't fade or run throughout the day. If possible, ease of application is also pretty high up on the list of things I look for, so when I found this beauty by Charlotte Tilbury I knew I just had to try it. Because it's in a pen form it's simpler to control than a gel or liquid brush which helps when trying to even out your wings. 

I actually didn't take to this product too much when I first reviewed it, however after a few more weeks persevering (I wasn't about to waste that money!) I fell head over heels for the simplicity and quality and now I couldn't imagine my beauty bag without it. 

Please, please let me know your absolute favourite beauty buys - be it high end or drugstore - as I'm always looking to *invest* my money!



One Year of lilyolivia.co.uk! + My Blog Goals For The Next Year.

I honestly cannot believe I have been blogging an entire year?! Twelve months, three hundred and sixty five days, three holidays and one pair of designer sunglasses later we've finally reached this milestone. And I say 'we' because I don't think I could have done it without the lovely comments and tweets from you guys and whilst my audience may not be the biggest I'm still proud of each and every one. Naturally I felt the need to write a super gushy post chatting about what's gone on this past year and just how I wish to improve and push my blog forward going into the second year. I also want to talk about some of the things I wasn't expecting, like forming such lovely friendships and getting the opportunity to work with brands. So bare with me, this might be a long one!

Firstly I wanted to talk a little bit about the aesthetic and design of my blog, how this has changed and what I've got in store in the coming months. Initially when I first set up my blogger blog - lifeaccordingtolili.blogspot.com - I wasn't really sure of how to edit photos or work HTML (still haven't got a clue tbh) so the basic look of my blog was... Just that: basic. However that all changed when I bought this gorgeous blog template from an amazing company I found on Etsy. Gone was the ugly blogger menus and uninspiring sidebar and in it's place I was left with something minimalistic and classy. (Basically entirely monochrome which suits my aesthetic perfectly!) I'm in no way saying my blog design is perfect as there are still many things I'd like to change and switch up, but generally I'm pretty happy with the way it's all looking. In the future I would like a different sliding menu however right now I can't find a template I like enough to pay the money for, so that'll have to wait! 

Naturally I'm hoping to increase my stats and audience throughout the next year. In terms of twitter I'd love to hit 1000 followers by the end of 2016 as I'd consider that a huge milestone. I only set up my twitter account back in September so I'm pretty chuffed with the 600+ followers. However the big 1000 looms ever nearer and I value anyone who gives my tweets a cheeky like or retweet. As where Instagram is concerned I find it a lot harder to gain and keep followers. I'd say my feed is pretty cute (shameless self promo) but for some reason they love to unfollow me! If I even hit 250 by the end of 2016 it'd be fabulous! 

And now onto my actual blog stats. To be honest I do sometimes feel kind of low when comparing myself to others. Don't get me wrong, I'm so proud of my blog and the content I'm producing but sometimes it just feels as though I must be doing something wrong. Why aren't I getting more site traffic, more comments or followers?! Is it me? Is it what I'm writing about? In truth I imagine it's more like down to the incredibly saturated blog market so that getting noticed is actually incredibly difficult. Serious kudos to anyone who'd managed to make blogging a career, because getting to that level of success must be insane! I would love to reach 50,000 views on my blog by the end of the year and to anyone who's reading this post, thank you so much! You have no idea just how much your comments mean to me. 

One thing I wasn't really prepared for when I started blogging was just how much of a community there is, particularly on the likes of twitter. When I first made my blog I maybe commented on a few peoples posts - hesitantly enough as I wasn't really sure what I was doing - and didn't even start social media properly for a good three months or so. 

However I can honestly say that I'm so, so thankful to have found the lovely twitter community, especially those whom I talk to regularly. Firstly, Sara who is so nice and genuine (and speaks better English than I do!) and I know I can go to her with all my book-writing problems! 

And then of course I couldn't go this far without talking about my amazing #bloggerbestie Lisa who never fails to make me smile with our random twitter convos that usually start with something blogging related and end up somewhere totally different like the unfairness of car insurance! She's my blogging rock, and one day I hope we can go shopping together irl because that would just be too much fun! 

And lastly I wanted to talk about working with brands and attending events related to the blogosphere. In march this year I was lucky enough to work with Boohoo on an outfit post and it still remains one of my favourite posts. For an amazing brand like that to contact me, was just out of this world and completely insane. I don't blog for 'freebies' or for the money but I do love the idea of collaborating with brands that I'm passionate about, so hopefully in the next year or so I'll have the opportunity to do more.

One of the things I would also love to do is attend a bloggers event. I'm fairly local to London so if any companies are reading this (cheeky spon) and holding events any time soon, then I'm sure I'd love to come! Just the idea of getting to meet other bloggers irl is so exciting as no one I know in real life does blogging. 

Thank you so much for reading and here's to another year of my blog!! I'm so excited to see what the future will hold and I have absolutely no intentions of stopping or giving up blogging - I just love it too much! 



5 Things I Would Tell My 15 Year Old Self.

When I was fifteen I can distinctly remember being very sure of what I wanted in life. Or at least what I thought I wanted. Back in 2012 I was convinced after leaving school (which in itself felt so far away) I'd become a YA book publisher and most likely marry my year 11 crush who I deemed the love of my life. Oh how very, very wrong I was. I currently sit here, aged 19 on an unplanned gap year, waiting to go to university to study marketing so I can get a job in the advertising industry - specifically in beauty - and completely, utterly single. Which is, to be honest the way I like it. I'm incredibly picky about relationships and right now I don't know a single person who I'd even consider a viable option. So much in my life has changed and honestly when I think about what my 15 year old self would have thought upon meeting me... well, we're quite different people and I'm not entirely sure we'd get along. So for today's post, I wanted to share 5 things I would have told myself, looking back at being 15.

1 - That Boy You Like... Yeah, He's Not Worth It.

From about the age of fourteen up until maybe sixteen or seventeen I had a serious crush on this boy. I mean, even now I can say that it's still the most serious I've ever felt about anyone and yet I didn't tell him the extent of my feelings. Why? Probably because I was scared, putting my heart on the line still is something I have problems with and to be honest I just preferred keeping it to myself. But of course this had consequences as it meant he unintentionally ended up breaking my heart. Throughout the time I liked him I was convinced we would eventually end up together - and I wasn't the only one. My friends thought it, his friends thought it... and yet, it didn't happen. In fact it swung the other way and literally as soon as I stopped liking him, he spend a good percentage of his time trying to convince me to go on dates with him, and no matter how many times I said no, he was persistent. (Not gonna lie I was stubborn and I think he's finally given up now... almost.) So 2012 Lily, I'm going to tell you that I know how you feel, and I know it's not easy but seriously, he's not worth it. There will come a time when he begs you to go out with him, and guess what?! You're not interested. So stop wasting your time with him, and go out and have some fun. But *spoiler alert* he will be your first kiss and yes you will almost pass out, so just a heads up. ;) 

2 - You're Not Actually That Stupid...

When you turn sixteen (yep, actually on your birthday...) you will try GCSEs for the first time and guess what?! They don't actually go as averagely as you thought they would. You've spend your entire life being told you're mediocre when actually you're quite clever and those A*s, As and Bs are just proof that when you put your mind to something, you can achieve it. So please, please, try and believe in yourself more, because your self doubt is something that will stay with you forever unless you try and turn it around now. 

I think this one is so important for everyone. We live in a society where it's not acceptable to be proud of your own abilities and we constantly put ourselves down in fear of sounding 'arrogant' or obnoxious. But guess what? Putting yourself down will only increase those negative thoughts about not being good enough and it's just not healthy. Be proud of what you've achieved, be it exam results, drama roles, or just blogging stats. You can accomplish whatever you want, you just need to work for it. 

3 - Don't Worry So Much About Being "Popular"...

This is a big one for me. When I was at school I was never, ever in the popular crowd. Because let's face it, I'm incredibly socially awkward, love nothing more than being inside with a good book and the thought of wild parties makes me want to heave. So no. It just wasn't for me. And yet, I used to worry so much about what those kids thought of me, why I wasn't good enough and frankly, looking back, who cares?! As soon as you leave school those walls break apart and social hierarchies become less about making the 1st team at netball and more about where you fit in. I look back and I see wasted opportunities that my anxiety to fit in and avoid people as much as possible stopped me from fulfilling. (Like that time my school had a trip to New York planned that I didn't go on because none of my friends were... Like WTF Lily?! You've always wanted to go to NYC!) 

So what advice would I give my younger self? Well, you're a giant nerd, who also loves dabbling with fashion and beauty. You don't really fit in anywhere, but that's okay. One day, you'll discover blogging and you'll get to vent all of those pent up thoughts and feelings out on the world, and guess what? You might even find somewhere you belong. 

4 - Don't Be Afraid To Pursue Your Passions...

You discovered the world of YouTube back in 2010 and yet it took you five years before you start your blog. The fear of 'what people will think' is definitely something that will stay with you but you have to push through it because I promise that the happiness it will bring overrides the initial embarrassment of telling your family why you want to photograph lipstick on the dining room table. And the same goes for writing: keep doing it, enjoy that brief love affair with Wattpad before it starts to stress you out but remember keeping writing your book! It will be worth it in the end I'm sure. I hope. 

I think this goes out to everyone. Be unashamed of who you are. Never try and change to fit in, or stop doing something you love because it's 'uncool'. You have one life, and if you end up doing a deadbeat job because you quit your daydream, you'll never ever know what could have been possible. You might fail... But then again, you might not! 

5 - Your Eyebrows Are Shit.

Seriously, sort it out, I can't even look at photos from 2012. SMH. One day you will find eyebrow pencil and it will be a glorious day, but until then... Maybe it's best you just don't leave the house? Okay, yeah cool. 

Okay, thanks for reading! This was kind of a serious post, kind of a joke, but honestly if I could meet my 15 year old self I would tell her some home truths! Let me know in the comments, what advice you would give to your younger self, or if you have any major regrets - #2012EyebrowApocalypse - and I will see you all in a couple of days!

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