Nailing It This Summer

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Hello everyone! 

Summer is the time for pretty pastel nails and all things girly! It is the ultimate excuse to wear all the cutesy colours. To brighten up today I have decided to share with you my top five nail colours this summer. They are all from Rimmel London, but I just love all their colours. There are so many options and they are such fantastic quality, gliding on easily and only taking two coats to look finished :-) 

Let's start with this bold red in 310 Double Decker Red. This is the most post-box red I have ever seen! I have been wearing this colour as my go to for toes for about 10 years. It is so beautiful and bright, it really stands out against pale skin and looks quite elegant peeping out of your sandals. 

622 Oh Boy You're So Fine!! is a stunning pastel violet, it's a bit deeper than my spring lilac and is perfect for a sophisticated summer evening. This colour drys with quite a shine to it, which can be enhanced with a clear top coat to really look like a professional manicure. I think this is my favourite of these five colours. I never tire of this one, it goes so well with a maxi dress and clutch bag, I feel like it helps to pull a look together and make you look very polished! 

503 Mind The Gap, Victoria is a lovely powder blue, it's almost a pastel version of duck egg blue. This is a very feminine colour and looks fabulous for a chilled look. I'd wear this for a daytime outfit, for wandering around in shorts and t-shirts or skirts. It's quite a youthful colour and gives you a relaxed vibe. 

413 Orangina is part of the Rita Ora x for Rimmel London collection. This delicious looking burnt umber-pastel orange reminds me of sunsets and cocktails. I would wear this colour for a more beachy look, to pair with bathing suits, sunnies, sandals and of course a floppy hat! Clutching a fruit cocktail in hands with this colour can never fail to look classy and put together!

Finally is 405 Rose Libertine, I am in love with this colour. This pink sums up my entire colour scheme this summer. It is the most beautiful pastel pink, effortlessly girly yet oh so classy. This is the ideal colour to go with a summer dress and girly handbag :-) 

I love how something as simple as a nail polish can instantly transform a look! What are your favourite colours this summer? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


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The Girl On The Train Review

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Hello everyone! 

Recently I have been seriously flexing my reading muscles and getting into a lot of books. Last week alone I read 8 books! Yep, that's a crazy number of books. I think this month's reading wrap up may have to be done in two parts. One of the most well known books of those I read was The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins :-) 

The Girl On The Train caused quite the literary storm when it first hit the shelves, selling record numbers of copies throughout the world and quickly signing up for the making of a movie. People were calling it the thriller of the year and even now the hype hasn't died down! I put it off for quite a while as I didn't want various reviews and the extreme hype to colour my reading of it, so I finally got around to it last week. 

First I have to say it is a very unique book, following three different female voices at various points in time. It starts out the same way as many other thrillers with the disappearance and subsequent location of a woman's corpse. The unique aspect to this story is that the main narrator Rachel, aka the girl on the train, is a drunk. Any opinions or memories she gives are unreliable and cloudy. Megan is another unreliable narrator, she suffers from quite a few mental health issues and seems to have a very shady past. The final narrator, Anna, could be deemed unreliable too in that she is half paranoid and feels harassed by Rachel "stalking" herself and her husband. I love an unreliable narrator, it leaves you guessing throughout the entire story. 

Rachel used to have it all: the husband, the house, the great job in London and then she started drinking. Fast forward a few years and she is living with an old university friend, faking going into work by getting the same train everyday and constantly harassing her ex-husband with his new wife Anna and their baby. As Rachel gets her train she goes past her old house every day, she also passes their neighbours whose lives she loves to fantasise about. Those lives are far from the perfect they seem and when Megan disappears Rachel is pulled into a murder investigation. How do we as readers know it wasn't her acting out of jealousy? How can she know that? As she goes deeper into hot water her life unravels, as does the life of Anna. 

This book is more than just a murder mystery, it is also an incredibly in depth psychological thriller. I really enjoyed reading it, although I guessed the ending much earlier on than I thought I would, carrying on reading to find out if I was right. Maybe I have read too many thrillers? That aside, it is a fast paced and gripping novel. I think it will translate so well to cinema and will continue to enthral audiences. I would give this 3.5 stars, purely because I guessed the ending, but still enjoyed going to the finish. 

Have you read this? Let me know what you thought in the comments below :-) 


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Scents For Summer

Friday, 19 August 2016

Hello everyone! 

I was planning to do a summer makeup look for you all today, but then the weather failed me and the rain started to pour. In honour of poor lighting and my desire for summery weather to return, I thought instead that I would write about my favourite summer perfumes to conjure up some warmer vibes :-) 

Scents can be so evocative, instantly transporting you back in time to when you last wore it or to a significant moment. I love this effect, it is why I tend to return to the same scents seasonally in the same way birds will migrate across the planet! 

Eurgh, rainy days always mean bad lighting! 

My favourite scent for summer, and in general, is Abercrombie & Fitch's Fierce. I know it is a bloke's scent, but I feel it is very unisex and can smell very feminine on the right woman. I associate this scent with that lovely new clothes feel when you've been on a summer shopping spree. A&F is superb for summer dresses and floaty tops! This scent is refreshing, without being overpowering, the hints of sandalwood make me think of long evenings on the beach. This year I varied slightly with Fierce Icon, which I love, but not as much as the original Fierce. The bergamot gives it a much headier scent, making it a definite night time perfume.

I have been loving Ted Baker's body spray, the rose, sandalwood and raspberry notes mean it is very floral and light. It is perfect to throw on in the morning, leaving you refreshed and ready to face the day. This scent is ideal for the floaty summer dress days, it is super feminine without being sickly sweet. If you are a floral lover, this is the scent for you :-) 

Next up is the old handbag essential, the roll on perfume. I think every girl should have at least one of these, they are great to chuck in a bag if you're on the go, meaning you can top up your perfume as needed throughout the day. It also removes the risk of spillages or smashing a delicate glass. The one I love for summer is Sabé Maison Paris' Copacabana, the packaging for this is bright and puts me in mind of a South American carnival! This scent is light too, but can be quite sweet if applied too liberally. I find that a quick dab behind my ears and on my wrists is sufficient in the morning. It also has moisturising properties, making it very kind for sensitive skin. I love the subtle notes of amber amidst the stronger orange blossom, rose and violet tones. This scent is definitely a feast for the senses! 

Finally, is Vera Wang's signature Vera Wang perfume. I have long been a lover of Pink for the autumn, and this one certainly lives up to the reputation. It is the perfect heady summer scent, it will turn heads it smells so good. It is the ultimate sexy, feminine eau de parfum. It has a deeply sensual, floral bouquet, evocative of long summer nights spent in the company of a loved one! You can enjoy all of the different elements quite individually. The lily, mandarin blossom, rose, iris, woods and lotus flower notes blend together to create a distinctly unique whole. This perfume is to be worn elegantly! 

What is your go to summer fragrance? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


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Shyly Beaming

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Hello everyone! 

Here in the UK we are having our record breaking 5th sunny day in a row! Yep, I know, it is pretty much unheard of :-) If you are like me you are keen to make the most of the bright days and don't want to waste valuable minutes inside doing your makeup when you could be outside soaking up the sun! For these days I love a very natural, minimal makeup look, fresh faced is so much easier to maintain in the sticky heat than a full face of makeup. 

Photographing the shiny packaging was such a nightmare! 

For today's post I have raided my Mam's makeup bag to pull out her Dandelion Shy Beam, which I have found myself borrowing a little more often than I care to admit. I think when I crack and buy my  own I will also be getting one for her. Benefit really know how to get a highlighter spot on, with many using them as staple products for their makeup routine over several years. 

The Dandelion Shy Beam highlighter is relatively new, having hit shelves not even a year ago. Meeting this release was a huge hype, and in this case I think it is deserved. The packaging alone of this product is sumptuous and heavy, without feeling clunky. It's also very feminine and almost has a vintage pin-up's vanity kind of feel to it. 

The highlighter itself is based on Benefit's cult Dandelion blusher. Dandelion is a very sweet, baby pink blush that people have been loving for years. There are actually whole palettes based around this blush, namely the Dandelion palette with a blush, lip gloss and the Posie Tint lip and cheek stain. The original Shy Beam is quite a sparkly highlighter and really looks amazing on those who are lucky enough to have a tan. However, for pale creatures like myself it was a little too bright and just drew attention to the more porcelain tone of my skin! 

Dandelion Shy Beam is a matte, pink highlighter with only the slightest sheen to it. When you first put it on it feels a little heavy, but do not fear, it smooths in beautifully, leaving your skin feeling creamy. You might then think you can't see it anymore at all, but as soon as the light hits you the gorgeous glow appears. It manages to accentuate all skin tones, with a really flawless finish. 

You can use this to emphasise your bronzer of an evening, or use it over a tinted moisturiser or BB cream for every day wear. The way I have been wearing it is with a light foundation or tinted moisturiser and powder, to offset my slight brush of blusher and enhance my natural skin. It looks beautiful on my Mam's more tanned skin and looks fab with both red and nude lipsticks. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a more subtle highlighter! 

Have you tried this product? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below :-) 


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The Little Paris Bookshop

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Hello everyone, 

Have you ever started reading a book with a firm expectation of the storyline only to discover you are reading an entirely different book? Or have you ever been so saddened and yet uplifted by a book that you have cried for whole sections at a time? I have, when I read The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. 

The synopsis of this book paints the story as something light hearted and fun, a typical romantic comedy, which is why my Mam suggested I read it even though she hadn't yet read it herself. In actuality this book is warm and funny yet tinged with a very real sadness. 

The Little Paris Bookshop follows a rather eccentric bookwork with the memorable name of Jean Perdu. Jean Perdu has in fact lost himself, he lost his soul to a woman and his grief at her departure two decades ago. Since then he has been healing all he meets by prescribing books from his book barge The Literary Apothecary. Jean ardently believes all ailments of the heart and soul can be cured with the right book if only the mind is open to healing. His floating shop is found on the idyllic banks of the Seine in Paris, well loved and well known he seems to lead a charmed life. He isn't fooling anyone. His neighbours, friends and family can all see him struggling, but it takes the entry of the enigmatic Catherine for him to start to confront his past. Taking a young writer with him and picking up several strays along the way he sets sail across France, seeking the South and solace for his grief. 

George's writing style is incredibly powerful and compelling. I was spellbound by this book from page one and fell in love with Jean Perdu and all his flawed humanity. This book is about loves lost and found, the forging of friendships and fate foretold in the stars. Jean's grief is so real and relatable that entire sections of the book moved me to tears, he is such a real and human protagonist. I would recommend this book to any lovers of stories, to all the people who value books as old friends this story will stay with you for a long time. 

Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below :-) 


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Going Nude

Friday, 12 August 2016

Hello everyone! 

I know I always go on about how much I love a bright red lip, but in recent months I have really grown to love the subtle tones of a nude lipstick. In the same way people quest for their signature red, others hunt for the ideal nude. Somehow I, much to my purse's despair, have managed to join both quests. So I come to you today with a few tips on how to find the perfect type of nude lipstick for you! 

I can't really advise on all the skin tones and hair colours out there as I can't change my looks at will! However, I can tell you about my four favourites and why I love them, with tips added in where I can. There are four main varieties in my lipstick armoury: natural nude, sheer nude, pinky nude and browny nude. 

Left to right: Patisserie, Beige Rose, Ex-Girlfriend and Alice 

This natural nude is the best one I have been able to find and I'd say the tiny amount left is testimony to how much I love it. This is the Urban Decay nude lipstick from the Gwen Stefani collection in the shade Ex-Girlfriend. I think this colour would suit anyone really, it gives a barely there look, but with a slight shine to it from its moisturising properties. This type of nude is quite easy to match to any skin tone as it the most neutral of all the neutral shades. This type of nude is a key part to anyone's makeup collection, it's so easy to just glide on and look smart! 

The sheer nude is the hardest to pull off, the wrong tone can wash someone out completely! These are the ones to try in the shop before you buy them. When I first saw this lipstick I fell head over heels in love with it! The gorgeous sheer quality of it, with the metallic pink streak running through makes it perfect for me. It helps bring a rosiness to my skin, so for someone who is pale and loving pinks this is ideal, however, I would stay clear if you have a more yellow tone to your skin. Go for this one if you love a fresh faced, rosy look :-) This one isn't readily available anymore, it's the Alice lipstick from the Alice Through the Looking Glass collection by Urban Decay, but in Urban Decay's new Vice relaunch I'm sure you can find something similar. Velvet Teddy by MAC is quite a good dupe for this one too! 

The pinky nude is super fun, I love the matte finish to this particular one. It instantly creates a classic, natural look for both everyday and evening wear. This tone is good for people who have a bit of a tan. So I like to wear this in summer when I have a bit more colour to my cheeks. This lipstick smells like chocolate, which is an added bonus for any chocoholics out there! It is the shade Beige Rose from Bigune. I know here it looks very very pink, but once on it is much more subtle and most definitely a nude! You can see it better in the swatch picture above :-) 

The final type here is the browny nude. This one can also be tricky to pull off, but as long as you find the right balance of brown vs pink for you then you should be grand! I love this shade, it is my everyday work go to. There is a slight shimmer to it which means it looks put together without being too in your face. I like the way this shade is buildable so you can amp it up a little bit if you want to wear this lippy on an evening out :-) This is the much revered Patisserie from MAC. Nobody does nudes like MAC so if you are looking for your shade I would definitely search there first, their lipsticks are both affordable and part of a huge range, so there really is something for everyone! 

What is your favourite nude shade? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


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Lava Lamp Laughs

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Hello everyone! 

Now, you all know how much I love Lush products, especially the bath bombs, and so far I haven't really had anything I haven't loved. I had heard loads about the bath bomb called Lava Lamp, people have been raving about these for months! 

It looks amazing from the outside, orange and spotted with purple, hinting at what delights are to be found on the inside. I also immediately fell in love with the scent, it is super fresh and tangy. It really makes you feel relaxed and fresh after your hot bath, which is perfect when you spend so much of the summer feeling sticky. 

Please excuse the ugly bath, it is being replaced next week :-)  

I swear the colours look nicer in real life haha! 

Once I put it in the hot water it was wonderful, it made the most satisfying sizzling sound as it dissolved. It also looked great, the deeper water turned this gorgeous shade of burnt umber! The top was bubbly and fluffy with swirls of purple running through it. The scent is a little strong, but still really lovely. The strongest tone is the tangy tangerine and orange flower, with the warmer undertones of cocoa butter coming through once you immerse yourself in the water. 

This was the point when the bath went brown!

This bath bomb made my skin feel really beautiful, more beautiful than the bath at the end! As the bomb dissolved more, the water turned a murky browny-orange colour, but who cares? It smelt nice and felt good and that's what counts! However, what I didn't count on was the bath being quite so stained by the purple. Anywhere the water had splashed upwards the bath had stained bright violet and it was quite hard to get the colour out... I managed after a while, but it took a bit of scrubbing. My bath is really old and about to be replaced, so it does tend to stain more so maybe it would be fine in a different one :-) 

Have any of you tried this bath bomb? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below :-) 


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