Three weeks 2.0

25 Sep

It’s been three weeks since I started my new job.

The last time I wrote a blog post was six months ago (whoops), and as I tend to do, it’s been neglected because life just, well, got in the way.

Since March…

I was promoted at my job.

I finished my exams and essays for my final year of undergraduate studies.

I was offered a new job.

I quit my old job (best feeling EVER).

The company that offered me the new job went under, and I lost that job.

I got another job the next day.

I lived in a caravan, alone, for two months.

I left Legoland Windsor, and I drove away from the place that had supported me through Uni with hundreds of happy and sad memories, and despite everything, I had a little cry.

I graduated from Royal Holloway with a 2:1, something I NEVER thought I would say, type, utter, anything.

I went on a glorious holiday.

My baby (a.k.a my trusty first ever car) died.

I got a new baby, a bright green Citroen C3 named Apple. The love of my life.

I started a new job as a teacher in a primary school.

 

 

And now here we are, three weeks in…and my god, it’s hard. It’s so hard and I haven’t even seen it at its worst yet.

I spend my days in a constant state of overworked, joyful despair. My kids are wonderful, but occasionally terrible, and it’s 50% my job to fix it.

I can’t help looking at some of my Uni and school friends and feeling jealous of the fact that they’ve got the freedom to just live for a while. Just bask in the freedom from education, in that sweet spot between University and reality. When it comes down to it though, I’m pretty sure that this is always where I’ve been heading. Having spent nearly 20 years in education, this seemed inevitable.

Well, at least for a while.

Hopefully the next update doesn’t arrive in six months this time. We’ll see.

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Three weeks

6 Mar

It’s three weeks until I finish lectures at university. Three weeks, and I’ll just have exams and essays left. I can’t believe it, despite the fact that it’s pretty much all I’ve wanted for three and a half years.

University isn’t for everyone. And sometimes it is, but you make mistakes. You choose the wrong course, the wrong place, the wrong time. I think I did all of those things. I felt lots of pressure, and I still do. To make myself proud, my Mum proud, to defy the odds and be the first person in my family to go to University, to push my academic limits. I’ve found that University can completely change you, or it can affirm who you are, and who you have been for your whole life.

It’s no secret that I really haven’t found Uni helpful to me. I feel like my academic mind hasn’t changed much, and there are parts of me that haven’t changed a bit since 2012. And the things that have have been despite my studies, not because of them.

Being a working student is a rarity, unfortunately. So many people on my course, at my Uni, from my old school, or just in general skate by on money from Mum and Dad. I don’t think that this attitude will never not infuriate me. I was raised in an environment that proved I had to work hard if I wanted to survive, and so I have done from the day I stepped foot into my ludicrously expensive student accommodation. But I’ve learned so much more from work than I have from being at Uni.

Bring on these last three weeks.

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February

1 Mar

Hi lovelies!

February favourites time. I’m so glad February is over. It’s always my worst month, filled with deadlines and money woes. This is the last year though, so hoorah! (fingers crossed I pass Uni, and it is the last year) Let’s get cracking!

Bourjois Radiance Reveal Concealer – £7.99

This is a pretty new favourite for me, but it’s the best concealer I’ve tried in a long time. As someone who has pretty desert-y skin, with super parched under eyes, most concealers I’ve tried have just not lived up to the hype. Including the Nars Radiant Creamy and the Urban Decay Naked Skin. Major sad face. This feels light as air, provides dreamy coverage and doesn’t cling to any dry patches. That’s all I want! *snaps for Bourjois*

M.A.C Eyeshadows in ‘Omega’ (left) and ‘Patina’ (right)- £13 each

From ‘don’t believe the hype’ products, to ‘totally believe the hype products’. These shadows combine to make such the perfect barely there smokey eye look on my pale, pale skin. ‘Patina’ has long-been my favourite, and ‘Omega’ is such a perfect crease colour (as well as a universal brow powder, if you’re searching), and together they are perf. This combo is pretty much foolproof, not even ‘eye’ (haha, get it) can mess it up.

Also, these shadows are pretty much appropriate for any occasion. They’re perfect day to night-ers, I always just grab the duo and a Sigma E40 and buff on a bit more ‘Patina’ for night. And the pigmented, but non-creamy texture means they’re super long lasting.

Dior’s Glowing Gardens Illuminating Powder in ’01’ – £40

I hunted high and low for this baby. Like, seriously high and low. I had three other people on the lookout for it during my no-buy. And it’s still the only beauty product I’ve bought all year. I think I can definitively say that it’s my favourite highlighter of all time. Yep, I went there. I have so many highlighters, and this one is the cream of the crop. For all you fair-skinned girls out there, you just can’t go wrong with ’01’, and for everyone else, there’s ’02’. It’s silky, the perfect balance of glisten and glow, and it looks perfect. Just perfect. Look!

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*angels singing from heaven*

Too Faced Melted Lipstick in ‘Fig’ – £19

Now. When I first got this just before Christmas, I almost hated it. I swatched it and went ‘Noooooooooo!’ I remember this clearly, because about a week afterwards, I went to London for a Twitter Q+A with Tina Fey. Yeah, nbd guys, just, you know, one of my heroes. And I picked this up at 6am, and thought, ‘I’ll give it a go again, I suppose.’ Thank goodness I did, because this baby is the perfect winter pink for me. It’s not dark enough to be berry, and not light enough to be nude, it’s that perfect balance, and I just adore the way it looks.

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A very poor photo from Snapchat, but omg look how pretty right?!

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Zoeva brushes – prices vary

I’m so in love with my Zoeva brushes that I couldn’t pick just one as a favourite. I got these in the glorious 5 days between Christmas and New Year and oh my. The best value for money brush ever, the best presentation ever. Fab fab brushes, and if you’re a little wary of splashing the cash on a set (these are the Rose Gold Vol.1 Eye Set), please just pick up one, fall in love, and thank me later.

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

I thought this was totally kick-ass. I described it as The Hunger Games meets The Selection, which will possibly only mean something if you’re into YA. The author has just released book 2, Glass Sword, and has said there’ll be two more books. Very exciting!

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Room

I saw this at 9.30am, alone, on a Thursday morning, in an empty cinema. It’s one of those films you leave the cinema thinking about, and spend the next week turning it over through your mind, churning through thoughts and feelings about the subject matter. I’m so so thrilled that Brie Larson won Best Actress at the Oscars, she was phenomenal, and Jacob Tremblay, who you’ve probably seen owning awards season and charming the socks off everyone he meets, has one of those faces that the camera just adores. Can’t wait to see what he does next. I will think about this film for a long time.

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E.Mo.Tion – Carly Rae Jepsen

Yes, you heard right. Carly Rae Jepsen. This album is total bubblegum, and it knows it. Jepsen is no Taylor Swift, trying to sneak in little thoughtful ballads, or wanting to play with the media through lyrics. She just wants everyone dancing. I love this album, and February thanked me for discovering it. But beware, it’s pop. I mean, sickly sweet pop, so proceed at you own risk.

And that’s it for this month, lovelies. I can’t wait to get March out of the way. Once I hit the end of the month, I will have finished every single lecture of my Uni course. WAHOO.

Have a great day, or evening, wherever you are.

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January

10 Feb

Hi lovelies!

January passed in the blink of an eye. That’s what everyone always says, right?

I feel like January lasted approximately nine years. But I do have some faves to share with you!

Too Faced Shadow Insurance -£17

Now, I don’t think this is my Holy Grail Eyeshadow Primer. I’m not floored by it. But it’s tacky enough that my shadows stay in place, it works well with a shimmer, and my crease has never looked better with this stuff on the lid. The reason it’s a fave is because when you mix it with concealer, it becomes the perfect budge-free base. Props to Too Faced for making just a good team player product. Plus, this is the mini size that you get free with most palettes or Too Faced value sets, and it’s lasted me maybe four months so far!

Nars ‘Anita’ Audacious Lipstick – £24

Oh, Anita. This is my one and only Audacious lipstick, and let me tell you, they are worth the hype. I’ve never tried anything as rich and creamy as this. I’ve been loving dabbing this all over the lip and then working it in with my finger, like a stain. It’s also one of those rare lippies that look better the longer you wear them. The closest formula to these is probably the Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipsticks, but they’ve got a bit more slip, and slightly less staying power. It’s actually baffling how Nars managed this formula. Full colour with one swipe, you can’t go wrong picking up your signature shade. Just don’t go falling in love with the whole line, ok? At £24 a pop, you’ll be using the little money flying away emoji all day, every day.

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Caudalie Beauty Elixir – £11.50 for 30ml

I have an unhealthy obsession that I’m trying to deny with this stuff. Which is why I keep getting the travel size. *breathes heavily* During my January no-buy (yes, you heard that right, and we’ll get to that later), this was the only product I considered caving for. It’s just fab. It’s so refreshing, and it pulls a look together when your face is looking a bit powdery. My problem is that I use it after primer, then foundation, then powder, and you really only need it once. Sigh. *heads to spacenk.com*

Yves Saint Laurent Face Palette Collector – Gypsy Opale – £42.50

You know, I’m imaging the scenario in the YSL product development offices.

‘Ok, UK pricing. I’m thinking around the £40 mark. What do you guys think?’

‘Oh, no no. It just must be £42.50. The 50p is the most important part. It makes it feel luxe.’

I wish that brands wouldn’t do that, especially when it comes to luxury brands. But I may just be able to forgive YSL. After not being able to get my hands on the Dior Glowing Gardens highlighting powder (I searched high and low, cried etc.), I can’t compare the two. But this is such a gorgeous finishing powder, especially for lighter skin. As someone who’s really fair, no seriously, even Becca’s Opal is too dark for me, I sometimes can struggle to find a powder that’s flattering for my skin-tone, especially as I’m really dry. This is such a great way to finish a paler face.

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The 100 Season 3- E4/The CW

THE 100 IS BACK! IT’S BACK! -Me to anyone that will listen

After a stellar first two seasons, The 100 is back for S3 on The CW. It’s back in the UK on Feb 17, but my hopes are that Raven continues to be badass, Clarke and Bellamy realise they’re meant to be, and for Jaha to die. Watch the show, you’ll understand! It’s really clever, brutal, violent and actually has it’s characters go through crappy situations and come out the other side (or not, soz dead characters) having been affected by the stuff that’s happened. For example, in one episode a character jumped off of a mountain ledge. In the next two or three episodes, her face was all scratched.  Consequence and continuity! Hoorah.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour – Wherever you get your podcasts

I’ve become a real podcast person, and this is by far my favourite. The PCHH team are always on hand with commentary and thoughts on the latest pop culture phenomenon, the pop culture that’s made a difference in their lives, or (throwback) a bit of German art-song. ‘Tony Awards and Shared Songs’ is downright fantastic, and ‘Empire and Public Radio Voices’ features two of my favourite voices that guest on the show. Give it a listen!

That’s it for the month. As I mentioned, I was on a no-buy for the whole of January. No beauty products for myself, whatsoever. And I’m still going! I’ve used up two foundations, a powder, a bunch of sample skincare products and a whole lipstick. An entire lipstick you guys! That’s a big deal!

Hope February is being good to you.

Have a great day/evening, wherever you are!
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Feeling high end, wanting low maintenance

3 Feb

Hi lovelies!

A quick product recommendation for you today, in the form of the smoothest, hydrating and glowy products I’ve found for that ultimate low-key lip.

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The Dior Lip Glow Color Reviver Balms are pretty much balmy perfection. I had the flu recently (that’s what you get when you work with kids) and it just about floored me. My skin suffered, but these guys kept me going and my lips didn’t get dry! Hoorah!

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Now, don’t get me wrong, they’re a glorified lip balm. They have a sheer tint, they smell ever so slightly spearmint-y, and they are, of course, ridiculously overpriced. Buuuut, they feel great to use. If you fancy feeling fancy, then the next time you’re near a Dior counter, have a swatch and see for yourselves!

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(t-b Lip Glow (Original), Lip Glow 004 (Coral))

You can find Dior at most department stores, and online at feelunique.com. The Dior Lip Glow Color Reviver Balms retail for £24.

Resolutely

9 Jan

Hi lovelies!

Happy 2016!

I’ve always found myself to be the worst at resolutions. But not even out loud ones. In my head, quiet, secret ones still aren’t followed through with.

So ‘beginning of the year’ posts about resolutions always make me anxious, for the people making such huge promises to themselves, and for me, because they just remind me that I’m bad at keeping my little personal promises.

So I’m going to go with some general ‘I would like to’ statements. If that’s ok.

I would like to…listen to music more

As a teenager, especially at school, I spent most of my time listening to or making music. I’m not sure, but I think if you’re a music person, you need it in your life or it starts to affect you on a day to day basis. If I don’t listen to any music in a week, I get all grumpy and horrid and moody. And all it takes to fix it is an hour alone with my headphones and a great playlist. So, more music.

I would like to…stop buying so many beauty products

I am a total beauty junkie, but I think I need to prove to myself that I don’t need to buy products to enjoy makeup. Plus, I don’t have enough money to be a shopaholic. I added up approximately how much I spent on beauty products in 2015 and the result was not pretty. I nearly cried. So, less spending.

I would like to…work hard

This is a weird one, but I am a workaholic. I love working and earning my own money, because no-one can tell you how to spend that money. And I’m a firm believer in the idea that if you work hard, then someone will notice and it will pay off in the end. So, more work, and more good work.

I would like to…write more

I’m not sure what this means, to be honest. I haven’t got an awful lot of belief in myself when it comes to my writing, but I’m gonna give it a go. More blog posts, more TV stuff, and maybe I’ll get around to writing down the idea that’s been floating in my head for years now.

I would like to…graduate

It’s my final year of Uni! I have approximately six months left. And I started this blog just before my first year of Uni started. It’s all very full circle. I’ve had such a weird time at Uni, and I can’t say I’ve loved it. I wish I’d chosen a different subject, a different place maybe. But I am proud of myself for passing everything, living alone in a foreign country for nine months, and I’ve met some wonderful people. So, let’s finish it off.

I’m pretty sure that 2015 was my best year yet. I grew so much as a person on my year abroad, I challenged myself over the summer at a horrible job, learned more, made some rough decisions, worked hard and laughed. A lot. Thanks for sticking around on this little inconsistent mish-mash of a blog. I really appreciate it.

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What To Watch Vol. 1

9 Sep

Hi lovelies!

Some recommendations for you today.
As a TV obsessee, I tend to spend a lot of my time on Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube and all of the channel streaming services. And in this time of #PeakTV, it can be a little overwhelming to hop online and see so. much. content. So I’ve composed a little list of the things I’ve loved watching recently!

I’m based in the UK, but I’d really REALLY recommend Hola Unblocker. Give it a Google and you’ll reap the rewards!

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Grace and Frankie is a original series from Netflix starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, and it is brilliant. Of all the Netflix endeavours, this might be my favourite, just because it’s so damn real. You actually believe in this situation, you believe in these women and what happens to them.

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Sure, Orange Is The New Black is incredible for featuring basically 90% women, and Daredevil might be action packed, but Grace and Frankie treats its characters in a respectful, truthful, animated way. The women are incredibly likeable, and it’s super bitesized at under 30 minutes per episode.

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You can check out Grace and Frankie on Netflix in pretty much any country, as it’s an original series.

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The Kings of Summer was a film that I’d heard a few reviews about, but I hadn’t given much thought. If I’m honest, I tend to gravitate a bit more towards coming of age stories that have female leads, cause, like, I’m a girl. But this was a really outstanding film. It’s not afraid of silence, the characters are beautifully flawed, and the story is just quirky enough for me to have been captivated all the way through.
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The young performers were so charming that I wanted an extra 20 minutes of film at the end. Which is a hard sell, as I find most movies nowadays 20 minutes too long. It’s about three young boys who run away to the woods for the summer, build a house, and give living off the land their best shot. In addition to the young leads, there are some nice adult performances (hey Nick Offerman!) and I would thoroughly recommend the film to anyone who wants something light about growing up.

I found The Kings of Summer on Netflix Canada, where it’s available to stream.

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About Alex is a definite indie flick with a pretty stellar cast. My love for Max Greenfield grows daily. The films recounts a weekend where college friends reunite after one of their own, the titular Alex, tries to commit suicide.

imgres-4Although I thought the story was perhaps a little light, the cast (Aubrey Plaza, Max Minghella, Maggie Grace) really elevate this film to a place where I eventually think that it has a real enough vibe for me to like it. It’s a nice ensemble piece, and I’m not surprised that it did pretty well on the film festival circuit.

About Alex is available to stream on Netflix Canada.

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Happy Endings is an six piece ensemble TV show set in a big city in America. But unlike How I Met Your Mother, the tone is so well defined that the comparisons with Friends end there. I would say it’s a mix of the best parts of New Girl and Friends and The Mindy Project.

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The cast is so god damn likeable that I found myself chomping down the first two seasons within a few days. It was hit with the ‘critical darling’ curse, and so was of course cancelled, so I’m having to ration it out in tiny sessions.

You can binge watch it on Netflix Canada. Are you sensing a theme here? Maybe I should move to Canada.

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If you’re looking for a documentary that packs a pack to your heart, you might want to check out Tig, a Netflix original documentary about stand up comedian Tig Notaro, and her incredibly hectic, difficult, miraculous life.

images-4If you’re a fan of stand up, you’ve probably heard of a great Tig Notaro set that she performed at Largo, a comedy club in LA. She pretty much lays down all the crappy stuff that’s been happening in her life, and the set is the epitome of morbid hilarity.
The documentary is a great insight into life, and life in stand up. If you’re not well versed in Tig Notaro’s history, you should check it out.

It’s a Netflix production, so you can catch it in the library of most countries that have Netflix.

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Sing It On is the bitchiest, most fabulous show I’ve watched in a while. It technically sits in the reality genre, but it’s a bit like the documentary I watched a few weeks ago, that wants to inform you and draw people to the subject area, but still aims to serve up a little bit of Real Housewives-esque drama. It’s about a capella, which might send you running for the hills, and that’s fine. But if you like Glee, or Pitch Perfect, you’ll probably be interested enough to give the first episode a chance.

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It gives you an insight into college a capella teams competing for pride and status at the International Championship of Collegiate A Capella, and it’s a great insight into how much hard work it takes to put together a winning set of great harmonies and ‘choreo’ that will take the trophy at the competition finals in New York City.

You can check this out on Netflix UK, US aaaaaand, you guessed it, Canada.

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And finally, my one true obsession, The Great British Bake Off. This is TV gold. If you live in the US and your Brit stereotypes are feeling a little rusty, watch this show. This is us. WE CLAIM THIS AS OUR STEREOTYPE. I have become literally obsessed.

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It’s deliciously fluffy, the producers ramp up the faux tension in the most British way possible, and Mary Berry is the sweetest woman alive. The pun density is truly magnificent. Just give it a go.

Bake Off is available to stream on BBC iPlayer, available in the UK. (HOLA UNBLOCKER GUYS)

That was originally supposed to be ‘just a little post’!
Have a great day or evening, and please give me recommendations for shows I might have missed in my time as a TV addict!
Christie

Review: Tarte’s ‘Be Your Own Tarteist’ Palette + Swatches

5 Sep

Hi lovelies!

After picking up the Poppy Picnic palette from Tarte a few weeks ago, I found myself stalking the QVC UK website in order to see whether any new Tarte goodies were coming their way, when I saw the Miracles from the Amazon giftset pop up. The set includes a few other products (watch out for reviews if I love them or hate them), but what really caught my eye was the ‘Be Your Own Tarteist’ palette.

IMG_3876It has the exact same layout as the Poppy Picnic palette, but isn’t quite all matte. It does have four matte shadows, and the blush is totally matte, but there are two shimmery shadows included.

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The shades are t-b,l-r, Pink Beyond, Taupe For The Best, Dreams Plum True, Talented (blush), Out Of This Pearl, Thistle Be The Day and Paint The Brown.

Taupe For The Best and Out Of This Pearl both have a shimmery finish, but not glittery or frosty at all. They are firm to touch but still swatch beautifully in one swipe. I think the one weak point of this palette is the plum shade Dreams Plum True. The texture of the shadow is drier than the others, and Tarte’s mattes are really lovely, so it’s quite noticeable. I can definitely make it work as a liner, but I think it might be a little difficult to blend.

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Once again, sucked in by the packaging, impressed by the actual product! Win win, right?
You can pick up this palette as part of a set on QVC UK for £34 (£38 inc. postage).

Hope you’re all having a wonderful day/night, wherever you are!
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Review: Soap and Glory’s ‘One Heck Of A Blot Instant-Perfecting Power Primer’

3 Sep

Hi lovelies!

Lately, I’ve really been looking at my makeup collection and really assessing the strong and weak points. Like a mid-year evaluation of some sort. The outcome was pretty surprising…I have over 20 foundations and BB/CC creams, but only three primers, none of which I’m particularly in love with.
So on a little trip to Boots the other day I picked up the Soap and Glory ‘One Heck Of A Blot Instant-Perfecting Power Primer’, which I’m pretty sure is brand new, as I had a little google in Boots, and couldn’t find ANYTHING about this baby.

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The tube resembles a Clinique Superprimer tube, but it has a silky matte finish that makes it seem much more expensive than it was. It has a screw lid and a little pointy nib, like a TooFaced primer.

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Now, it says on the tube that you can wear it over makeup, but I’m not sure that’s the best way to use this product. It’s best used underneath a foundation or BB/CC cream. I’ve worn it for two whole days under a CC cream and then a foundation, and it’s really good value for money, in my opinion. When you apply it to the face, it has a really nice cooling effect, which makes me wish that Soap and Glory had released it just a bit earlier when the prospect of good weather was actually possible! 🙂 It’s immediately smoothing and leaves the skin ever ever so slightly tacky, but not at all uncomfortable. It claims to have a 12 Shine-Bloc technology, and I have to say that I agree with that claim. My dewy CC cream stayed pretty solid throughout the day, just slightly fading in the evening, and my T-Zone was only ever so slightly oily. With the foundation, I mostly noticed how the pores on my nose were reduced. It feels like the perfect mix of Benefit’s Porefessional and TooFaced’s Hangover RX primer. I sometimes can find that the Porefessional is a little too heavy for my face, and the TooFaced only will work when I’m going for a specific look, but the Soap and Glory is delightfully perfect for any base you want to pop on.

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Swatched on the back of my hand, it is translucent, a little like a Smashbox primer.

So it’s a thumbs up from me! I’m hoping that Soap and Glory release a tinted version, or maybe an illumating version next! That would probbably be amaaaazzing.

You can pick this up exclusively from Boots, and it’s priced at £10.

Have a wonderful day/evening, wherever you are!

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21

31 Aug

Hello lovelies!

It’s my birthday! On this day, 21 years ago, little old me came along.

20 has been a good year for me. I moved to a different country, discovering things I never knew about myself in the process, and I feel like I’m a pretty different person now to a year ago.

I’m going to try my best to get to 22, pass my exams, get a job and work hard to make other people feel good on a daily basis. But at this point, I’m just feeling a lot of pressure, cause Adele wrote one of the biggest selling albums of all time at this point in her life and I don’t think I’m there yet!

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That’s me, in the pink swimming costume, looking longingly at the Dougal cake that my Mum is holding. Something that’s stuck, by the way (my Dad calls me Doodles to this day). I think this is my 8th birthday.

13 years later, not a lot has changed.

I still look at cake that way.
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