The Catty World Of Blogging.

I'm never really been one to comment on the negative sides of blogging. To be honest I try to rise above it because for the most part getting involved in petty drama is not good for you; both as the individual and the brand your blog represents. However after returning from my five month long blogging break a few weeks back, I came to find what had previously been such a welcoming and friendly environment, tearing each other apart. There were WhatsApp groups slamming people, others posting screenshots on Twitter for everyone to see and of course the infamous Sarah Ashcroft Cosmo article... But more on that in a bit. 


An Ode To Colour.

Every time I'm convinced that summer is finally here, I'll wake up to temperatures barely topping ten degrees and skies more drab than... Well, anything. Which is a shame because I love warmer weather and switching things up season by season. And yet for me like most of us it's all too easy to resort to wearing various ensembles of black, all day everyday. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge advocate for the LBD or the ever loved black skinny jeans and a jumper combo, but it's spring, shouldn't we be dressing a little brighter? *Side note since writing this temperatures have sky rocketed and I'm pretty sure the whole UK is melting at the minute!*


Trips and Travels in Summer 2017.

Last year around this time of year I made a post discussing 5 things I was excited for in summer 2016. It actually turned out to be super popular so I thought I would recreate it this year with an updated and improved version! And as I'm coming to the end of my first year at university - seriously, how quick has that gone - I thought now would be the perfect time to post. I think sometimes we can all get a bit bogged down in the present and whilst there is nothing wrong with living in the moment, when the moment is a 9 to 5, it's not exactly enthralling. So today I'm going to be looking forward to three things I have planned this summer post uni exams!


Worth The Hype: The Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection.

I remember when the Bold Metals Collection was first launched. It was like the glamorous older sister to the standard Real Techniques brushes and ever blogger and beauty lover in sight seemed to be clamouring to get their hands on some, me included. I actually bought the flat contour brushed and loved it, gushing about it in this post, but since then I never repurchased anymore. I'm not sure why, they're reasonably priced in comparison to MAC and the likes but for some reason didn't find themselves in my makeup bag. Until now that is. 

If you don't follow me on Twitter you might not know but May 12th was my birthday. I spent it at uni with my best friends and my boyfriend which whilst being wonderful meant I didn't get to see my family until about a week later. But when I did my lovely uncle gifted this set to me which I was firstly very shocked and secondly super excited to try out. It consists of the seven Bold Metals makeup brushes: two eyeshadow, one flat angle liner, a powder, the flat contour brush I already had, a rounded bronzer or blush brush and one triangle foundation. 

Firstly I'm going to give an overview of these brushes and then I'll go into more detail of each one individually. Of course if you have any questions leave them in the comments and as ever I'll do my best to get back to you with an answer!

In Detail...

Each brush is made of incredibly soft synthetic bristles and between the seven I think you could create a whole makeup look. If you're looking for a great starter kit, whilst this does come with a slightly hefty price tag, personally I believe you pay for quality and especially something that comes into direct contact with your skin, I think it's worth it. 

Firstly I'm going to start with the two rose gold brushes; the flat contour and the tapered highlight / blush brush. I'm probably most qualified to go in with the contour as I've had it for over a year and used it to contour my cheeks pretty much whenever I go out. Therefore I can say with some confidence, for me at least, it's very good. The highlight on the other hand was completely new to me, as was the rest of this collection. To be honest when I'm highlighting I tend to go for a large fluffy brush and kind of dab it on but I found this was probably a better method as it gave me more control over where the sparkles ended up. 

Now onto eyeshadow! Why are we all so addicted to eyeshadow brushes?! I think I probably have way too many however as with most things makeup related, one can never be over prepared with brushes. Within this set there are two eyeshadow brushes and one flat angle liner with the latter in my personal opinion being a tad too thin to fill your eyebrows in with. It would be better suited to the likes of a gel or liquid liner as the pay off would be extremely slim. Now of all the brushes this is the only one I havent tried yet as I don't have any liquid eye products that come in a pot and I can tell just by looking that it probably won't work on my brows. 

 I don't have a huge amount to say in regards to the eyeshadow brushes, merely that they blend perfectly and the smaller one is probably my favourite of the two. However saying that, for a brow bone highlight, the larger fluffy one holds product very well. 

And lastly the two main face brushes. Of the whole collection I was probably most excited to try the triangular foundation brush. I've never owned anything like it and the concept drew me in straight away. Firstly I found it a bit of a shift from using my usual buffing brush as it collected more product in a less even way. However once I'd sorted out technique and gone for a 'less is more' approach things started kicking off. 

Would I replace my usual brush? Probably not. However the unusual shape of this definitely helps when trying to negotiate the nose and other contoured areas of the face however I'm not a huge fan of flat foundation brushes period, so this was never going to be a winner for me. 

Finally we come to the powder brush. Anyone who's read my blog before may know I'm a huge lover and advocate for powder foundations so this brush was bound to be the make or break. And I have to say I was impressed. Some powder brushes tend to be almost flimsy due to the length of volume of the bristles however possibly due to the structure of the synthetic fibres it held product very well. In fact if you were going to buy a single product from this post I would recommend this one. 

So that's been my thoughts on the Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection, let me know in the comments if you've tried any of these brushes or if you would look into getting some!



How Lizinna (The Pill) Affected My Skin.

I wanted to start this post by saying that in no means am I doctor and therefore my advice should not be taken verbatim. This post is purely talking about what's worked for me and my personal experiences using the contraceptive pill. 

When it comes to acne I like many others presumed that by the time I'd turned 20 my hormones would have sorted themselves out and I'd be left with clear skin. I wish. I actually made a post about a year and a half ago talking about how I'd achieved clear skin and at that point I thought I was done with all my teenage acne problems. However since moving to university back in September my skin took a turn for the worse. I've never had horrendous acne but for some reason I was getting these awful hormonal breakouts, mostly on my cheeks which was new since I'd never suffered with spots there before. This coupled with the fact that my skin scars very easily made me incredibly self conscious of the way I looked. As soon as I got a spot I knew it would be raised and ugly for about three days and then a further three to four weeks before the redness and pigmentation faded entirely. And honestly it's so frustrating. I don't want to wear foundation everyday - and I don't - but it still makes me so self conscious. 

So around three months ago I started looking into going on The Pill. I'd done some research and stats such as 90% of people have clear skin after being on The Pill for three months, were making it a very attractive proposition for me. However like everyone else I saw the warnings: You'll gain weight, it can make you depressed and by far the worst: it raises your risk of getting a blood clot. 

Now I'm an over thinker and spent quite a while worrying about whether or not I was going to balloon in weight, get a blood clot and die. Of course theres also the delight that some people find it makes their acne even worse. Fantastic.   

However around about February time I decided I was going to go for it. I told my mum, she was on board, I discussed it with my friends and before I knew it I'd phoned the doctors and made an appointment. Right about now it's probably a good time to mention that you don't need to see a doctor. I only saw the nurse and she was amazing, plus it's a lot easier to get an appointment with a nurse than it is a doctor. 

But back to the appointment. I wasn't really that nervous, I kind of knew the gist of what they'd ask: Why do you want to go on it, have you got any history of blood clots in the family, etc etc. It went pretty quickly, she weighed me and took my blood pressure and then asked a few questions. To be honest I'm pretty sure I had some skanky hickey on my neck so she was probably desperate to throw contraception at me. (Classy as ever Lily.) One thing I would say is that if you're going on The Pill mainly for your skin tell your doctor or nurse this because the tablet she ended up putting me on has a higher level of oestrogen than the average Pill which apparently would help with my skin more. (She also told me it would make my boobs grow and I was like "Sign me the f*ck up" and that was that.)

So Did It Work?

I'm currently about two and a half months in and just about to have my follow up appointment. I can say firmly that it's definitely helped. I rarely get horrendous breakouts anymore just the occasional spot here and there due to chocolate and wine more than anything. However obviously it hasn't helped with my pigmentation and I'm thinking about looking into some new skincare products to aid that. So if anyone has any recommendations then I'm listening!! For me the deciding factor is that I can easily go without makeup around my boyfriend without feeling like my skin looks rank, and for someone who's never been without makeup in public in years that's kinda a big deal. 

I also briefly wanted to touch on side effects and the like. As of yet I've been very lucky and I don't think I've had many if any. My boobs have grown a tiny bit but thats not saying much since they didn't exist to begin with. I don't have nausea, vomiting, more acne, weight gain (touch wood) or any signs of a blood clot as of yet. I can't really comment on period pain since mine were never painful to begin with, but it certainly helps being able to skip one if ya fancy it.

So would I recommend it? Yes, is the simple answer. I have no plans of stopping taking it anytime soon as so far it's only done good things for me. Obviously everyone's experience is different but if your skin suffers from hormonal acne then it's certainly something that I think you should consider.

Also for anyone wondering the name of the pill brand that I'm on is Lizinna. 

Let me know in the comments how you've found being on The Pill or if you're not, is it something you'd consider? Thanks for reading loves xx



Relaunching lilyolivia.co.uk

This doesn't feel as weird as I was expecting. It's almost been a solid six months since I've done anything blog related, which considering how massive a part of my life this used to be, is strange. And yet, sitting on the sofa editing photos, it feels like six days not six months. So if you're new and somehow stumbled upon my corner of the internet, welcome, and if you've suddenly remembered who I was, welcome back! I've missed you. 

I can't remember the exact reason why I decided I wanted to start blogging again. I feel like I've changed quite a bit in the past year and whilst some of those changes were going on, documenting it all on my blog wasn't at the forefront of my mind. However now I've finished my uni exams for the year and have the whole summer (aside form work) with not a lot on the agenda I thought now was the perfect time to reinvest some time and money in lilyolivia starting with a new theme. 

So in case you hadn't noticed, my blog has had a massive makeover. I'd had the same theme for about a year and a half and whilst it was gorgeous, I was in the mood for something a little different. And of course when it comes to blog themes theres no better place to look than Pipdig. I knew roughly what I wanted, something with a sliding header, that was image heavy, with easy to use navigation, and whilst I ended up paying something that makes my bank balance cry, I'm so unbelievably happy with the result. 

So whats gonna change? 

Well, for the most part it's going to stay the same as what it is. Documenting beauty, fashion, travel and day trips is what I most enjoy and find the most rewarding, so I imagine my focus will stay mostly on that. Of course I'm always striving to up the quality of photography and editorials however in terms of the content those of you who used to read my blog and have stuck around will be please to know that it's not changing. However I would also like to incorporate more into the lifestyle section of my blog. Recipes, tips on university life and my newfound obsession for Paramore definitely deserve their own place on my site. 

Of course, at this point I do want to say that I'm eternally grateful for anyone who's still reading. Six months is a long time to go without posting and there are thousands of amazing blog out there. So if you're still here, thank you, it really does mean a lot to me and I'm hoping I'll be able to stick to a regular schedule again as I feel like I've finally found my feet at university. 

I also wanted to give a quick shoutout to firstly: my amazing blogger bestie Lisa who's never failed to support me both with my blogging endeavours and real life woes. It's partly due to her insane enthusiasm that I'm writing this post. And secondly, my IRL best friend Ruth who not only has just started her own blog, but is honestly my best friend in all the world. I don't know what I'd do without her. 

So that's that. I've thrown myself over the edge and I'm back again, hopefully better than ever! My normal style of post will be back in the next couple of days and I'm super excited to share a whole range of beauty, fashion and lifestyle with y'all! 

So thank you for reading, there will be a new post up soon <3

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