30.8.12

Buy Less, Wear More

Image taken from weheartit
We bloggers are a fickle bunch.  I personally am constantly influenced by what others are wearing, and find it all too easy to fall into the trap of "needing" something just because everyone else likes it.  And on the odd occasion that I have bought something before the trend hits, I find myself reluctant to post about it for fear that I'll look like I'm just jumping on board.  Case in point, those neon shoes from H&M that Lily wears so well.  I bought them way back in July but just can't wear them on here incase you all think I'm a copy cat.

The other day I was watching YouTube when I had a revelation.  Who cares what I'm wearing?  The YouTuber I was watching looked nice, but her clothes just weren't my style.  Did it matter?  No!  I still watched and enjoyed her video, regardless of the fact that I wouldn't wear her outfit.

Then I read Paige Joanna's post and it clicked.  Why am I going out to buy the same clothes that everyone else has?  I'm never going to be able to put together an inspirational outfit....my style is just middle of the road.  And blogs with middle of the road clothes are, in my opinion, a pound a penny.  Why am I spending a small fortune on clothes to be worn once (heaven forbid I post a similar outfit twice!) when I have an overflowing wardrobe of clothes waiting to be styled?

So I hereby pledge to stop my spending.  There are a few bits I'm going to buy for my Autumn wardrobe following payday, but besides that I'm going to stop impulse buying just because I've seen a blogger wearing an item/think it'd look good on my blog.  I'm not going to be sucked in by special offers on make up at Boots because quite frankly I have an overflowing make up cabinet and a whole lot of Empties posts to collect for.

Paige Joanna is hoping to get a better relationship with the wardrobe she already has, while I've got my fingers crossed that this is the road to better spending habits and a healthier bank balance.  Who will join us and what's your journey?

Don't forget to use the hashtag #buylesswearmore to keep us updated with your progress!

20.8.12

The Face: Drugstore Essentials

Too often I get sucked into the idea that higher end is better.  Yes, it's true of some products that you get what you pay for, but on the whole there's a plethora of great quality make up available in our very own Boots or Superdrug.  I've deliberately left some of my favourite Topshop blushers out of this list, as although they're "high street", they're not strictly drugstore.

The base...
17 Photo Flawless Primer (£4.99) - primer really helps the staying power of your foundation and while I'm yet to find my holy grail product, this one from Boots does the job just as well as any others I've tried.
Revlon Colorstay Foundation (£12.49) - a great foundation, tailored either to normal/dry skin or combination/oily in a wide range of shades.  I'd say this is on par with my Chanel Mat Lumier.
17 Hide & Chic Eye Brightening Concealer (£4.99) - this light reflecting concealer is available from Boots.  Read my review here
Rimmel Professional Eye Brow Pencil (£2.99) - although I prefer using shadow to fill in my brows, pencil versions do the trick just as well.   This was my first step towards more groomed brows, and I still use the spooly-type brush on the end now.

Eyes...
MUA Trio Eyeshadow (£2.50) - the MUA products in Superdrug really are a great line.  These trios are dirt cheap, and this one in Chocolate Box has the perfect shades of pinky browns.
L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara (£10.99) - I'd previously tried just the Telescopic mascara and wasn't blown away, but after hearing Vivianna mention the False Lash Telescopic on multiple occasions I knew I had to give it a go.  It's a great mascara that really does give length without creating a mess on my eyelid as so many others love to do!
Rimmel Soft Kohl Eye Pencil (£2.99) - an essential in my teenage make up bag that I still use today; these eyeliners apply easily, have good staying power and are nice and cheap.

Cheeks...
Rimmel Natural Bronzer (£5.59) - this matte bronzer is perfect for giving an all-over dusky bronze look or makes a great contour for creating sculpted cheekbones.
Sleek MakeUP Blush (£4.49) - Sleek products are available in Superdrug, and this blush in Rose Gold is apparently a good dupe for Nars Orgasm.  It's so pretty and shimmery, meaning you can skip highlighter.

Lips...
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stain (£7.99) - I've fallen in love with these easy to wear balm stains.  If you can ignore the slightly chalky mint fragrance, these really are great alternatives to heavy lipstick in the summer.  Review to come!

Whether you're a newcomer to make up on the lookout for a starter kit, or just wanting to find a few alternatives to higher end products, I hope I've shared with you some products you perhaps didn't know about.  What would make your drugstore essentials?

15.8.12

The Museum of London

Today Mum and I went on one of our customary trips to London, as we always tend to during school holidays.  This time we went for The Museum of London which was awesome.  Seriously, best museum I've been to in a long time and it definitely satisfied my inner geek.  The Victorian walk made me wish we could have streets like that again and the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens were really charming and whimsical.  I happily spent 2 hours there and would definitely recommend it and go again.

After that we went for lunch, spotted a man who looked very familiar but neither of us knew why, wandered around St. Paul's Cathedral grounds and then headed for Carnaby Street.  Oh, and call me easy to please, but how good is the H&M on Regent Street?  So light and airy...I loved it!

Where would you recommend I head to on my next trip to LDN?

14.8.12

Boots Botanics All Bright Soothing Eye Make Up Remover

boots-botanics-all-bright-soothing-eye-make-up-remover
Botanics is a bit of a controversial brand at the moment.  Having revamped their packaging and reformulating a few products, people seem to either love it or hate it.  Let me hold my hands up and say that I.  Love. It!

On the whole I don't tend to buy products just because of their packaging, but I actually really like the make over the Botanics range has been given.  And it's even better when the product inside is a good'un too.

This eye make up remover is of the oil variety, so needs a good shake before use to mix all of the contents together.  I've never used an oil-based make up remover before, and I've found that this really helps to keep my sensitive eyes feeling hydrated.  With all other make up removers I've used I find that I need to moisturise my eyes immediately afterwards, but that isn't the case here.

I'm really pleased with this purchase.  I can't say I've noticed any brightening of my eye area, but it works well to remove all traces of eye make up.  It doesn't sting or irritate and works quickly.  Definitely worth a try!

Have you bought any of the new-look Botanics range?

9.8.12

Virginia Waters

virginia-waters-waterfall
virginia-waters-ruins
I'm lucky enough to live close by to Virginia Waters; the most picturesque, beautiful park just outside of Windsor.  Taking advantage of the weather today, Mum, Lucy the Springer and I decided to head there for a picnic.  It's like a haven; when I see The Cascade or The Ruins it's hard to believe that there's that much peace and serenity to be found in the middle of the everyday hustle and bustle.

Where do you like to escape to?

5.8.12

DIY Heart Canvas

city-heart-canvas
I won't lie, this isn't an entirely original piece of artwork.  I was inspired by a canvas I spotted, but when I read about it I discovered it was based on a place in Cornwall.  Having spent a few Summers in Cornwall I am fond of it, but don't feel enough of an attachment to want to hang a canvas dedicated to it on my wall. 

And so the idea struck to create a canvas about a place that really means something to me.  Some of you may know that Ed is originally from Norwich, so I spent a good 18 months travelling there every weekend.  Never before had a place stolen my heart, but I truly do love Norwich.  So I put into this canvas some landmarks (the cathedral, the city wall, the market place, Cow Tower and a lion from the town hall) and a few places that bring back warm memories (the pub Ed's mum worked at, The Range(!) and Norwich castle).

I'm by no means an artist, but I am incredibly proud of the way this simple piece of art turned out, and I love that I can now hang a on-off, sentimental canvas on our wall.  If you wanted to have a go yourself it really is ridiculously easy.  All you need is a blank canvas and a place that holds special memories in mind.  Decorate the edge of the heart like I have, with recognisable landmarks and fill any gaps with cutesy houses and buildings.  I drafted mine on paper first and planned to only have the canvas drawn in pencil, but drawing on a canvas turned out to be trickier than I first thought!  It's so easy to smudge, so you're best keeping the buildings simple, sketching the basic outline and then going over and embellishing it in pen after.  For reference, I used a black Berol handwriting pen that I 'borrowed' from work.

What do you think?  Will you be giving this a go?  I'd love to have a look if you do!