Saturday, 31 December 2016

Goodbye 2016

2016 was one of the hardest years of my life. It's been a year full of negatives and positives and frustratingly for the most part, the negatives outweigh the positives.  
Don't get me wrong, the positives are pretty special. I turned 18, celebrated with a weekend in London, started driving lessons, got a full time job which I love, got back into photography, found a new love in baking, made brand new friendships and made more memories with old ones.
However where there was a high, there as a low. When my Grandad passed away in January I was forced to grow up and deal with things that before I wouldn't of even thought were going to happen to me. It was a shock and something that came out of absolutely no where. He was one of the best people in the world. It's nearly a year he's been gone now and if I'm being honest I'm still struggling. It's got easier but I still haven't got my head around it and to be honest I don't think I ever will. I've never experienced loss before and I didn't expect it to feel like it did. Writing this post in March actually helped a lot because for the first time in 3 months I actually got everything I was feeling written down and out of my mind.
Losing my grandad shaped 2016 for me. The rest of the year was a blur. I held back so much because I just wasn't myself. All of my friends were moving on, living life and experiencing so many firsts like normal 18 year olds but I didn't want to do any of that. I felt silly that something that happened at the beginning of the year was still affecting me. However it did make me realise who my true friends are. Going through what I did made me realise that you can have a best friend, someone you talk to all the time, but as soon as shit gets real and you're the one in a bad place going through something more important than their recent boring boyfriend drama, they will disappear off the face of the earth with no care in the world. But you know what, why would I want that "I'll only talk if we can chat about my very insignificant relationship drama instead of your rock bottom struggles which I know you're going through" person in my life? I don't. After saying that though, if it wasn't for my family and true friends, I don't actually know where I would be right now. 
2017 will be better. I'm determined to go outside of my comfort zone a little more. Maybe I'll actually say "yes" to the invitation of a night out and maybe I'll go away more and not just live on the sofa on my days off work. I want to focus of myself and get myself back to me again. I feel like after what I've been through in the last year, I can just about get through anything now. Yes I probably will still have crappy days but thats all part of it and I've learnt how to deal with them.
I've set myself simple goals. I want to pass my driving test, continue with photography and baking and most importantly make sure there are more positives than negatives by the end of the year.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Three Ways To Be Happier At Winter

I feel like it's only natural to feel a little rubbish at this time of year. With the weather getting colder and the evenings getting darker I'm sure everyone generally feels just not quite themselves. I get like this every year so. I wanted to share some ideas that I use to instantly make myself happier.

Plan for Christmas
In October and November when you start to feel all doom and gloom theres honestly nothing better than planning days and nights out  for Christmas. Whether its finding local Christmas markets online, going on a forest walk with a warm hot chocolate or planning a festive night out (or in if you're like me!) with your gals, it will instantly cheer you up and make you feel sooooo festive!! It also gives you something to look forward to which for me keeps me going through the dark and cold months.

Me Time Matters
Whether it's running a hot bubble bath just before you go to bed or applying your favourite face mask, you should ALWAYS find time for yourself. For me, there's nothing better than coming home after a long day at work and jumping straight into a steaming bath. I always make sure to use a Lush bubble bar or bath bomb (their winter range will put anyone in a festive mood) and either watch an episode of Grey's Anatomy or shuffle my Spotify playlists.

Look After Your Skin
I'm the first to admit that my skincare routine is crap. Most of the time I forget and go to bed with my makeup on so I'm always on the lookout for any new products that can make my life easier. Recently I bought myself a couple of bits from the new Garnier Moisture Bomb range and O M G it's insane. My favourite thing I got is definitely the 3 in 1 day cream. I use it all the time but for the best results I like to apply it overnight. When I wake up my sin is clear of any dryness, blemishes and red areas. It also makes your skin look so hydrated and awake making it great for winter.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Zoeva Plaisir Box | First Impressions

When I first heard about this new Zoeva set I was counting down the days till I could get my hands on it! I love everything Zoeva so I already knew I was going to L O V E this.
The set comes with 3 eye shadow palettes in the most beautiful packaging ever, I mean everything is gold foil so what's not to love! The palettes are kept in a lovely box making it a perfect christmas present either to give to someone or to keep for yourself!
There are two brand new palettes (Blanc Fusion and Caramel Malange) and one Zoeva classic (Cocoa Blend.) Blanc Fusion is probably my favourite of the three as it contains mainly mattes which are gorgeous taupes and browns. Caramel Malange is the perfect Autumn palette full of mattes, shimmers and frosts with red, brown and orange tones. It also has the most amazing copper frost which is so pigmented its basically a pressed pigment! Cocoa Blend is a Zoeva palette I've always wanted as its got lots of chocolate hues and dark tones making it perfect for winter and christmas.
The set itself costs £48 and as each Zoeva palette is £18, it's well worth buying them all together. I can see myself using this palette everyday for quite some time as it's got every type and shade of eye shadow you could ever want.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Holy Grail Every Day Face Products

Recently I've been using the same products to do my makeup every day and I love all of them so wanted to share what they are with you and the routine I use.
I start with the L'OrĂ©al True Match Foundation which I either use the Real Techniques Buffing Brush or the Sigma Flat Kabuki F80 Brush to blend it in. It has just enough coverage for me and leaves a really nice dewy finish that isn't to drying.
A product I've only just recently added into my everyday face is the Bourjois' Radiance Reveal concealer. This is the BEST concealer, for me it's even better than the Collection one! It radiates under my eyes and helps to cancel out any dark under eye circles.
Next I use two Soap & Glory products. The first one I use is the Solar Powder Bronzer which is the BEST every day all over bronzer. With a paler (more of a powder) side and a natural coloured bronzer on the other it creates a lovely natural tan when mixed together and applied all over the face. I then use the Wonderbronze Shimmer Brick which is a bronzy nude blush which looks SO nice on the apple of the cheeks blended into the solar powder.
On my eyes I use two Makeup Geek shadows in 'Creme Brulee' and 'Mocha.' I buff 'Creme Brulee' all over the lid and then put 'Mocha' tight in the crease and blend it softly so it's not to harsh. Then I use Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara which helps to thicken and lengthen my lashes.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Lush Oxford Street Haul | Christmas & Halloween

We all know how much I LOVE Lush but I love it even more when they release their new christmas & halloween collection!! Lush Oxford Street has all the new products out before any other stores so yesterday I made the trip there and spent way to much money!

Autumn Leaf Bath Bomb
This is one of the products I'm really looking forward to use. It's scent is really woody and earthy which is perfect for the bath bomb. It turns your water yellow, green and then red which is lovely for Autumn.
Pumpkin Bath Bomb
This bomb reminds me exactly of a wintery pumpkin spice latte and I can't wait to use it.
Lord Of Misrule Bath Bomb
This is one of m favourites from last year and I'm s glad its back. It turns the water green and then a lovely deep pink.
Monster's Ball Bath Bomb
I'm not 100% on the scent of this bath bomb but I had to buy it because it's SO cute!
Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar
This is another one of my favourites from last year, I mean it's bright orange and covered in glitter!

Shoot For The Stars Bath Bomb
This bomb has been redesigned for this year. The gold stars are bath melts which makes it really relaxing in the water. 
Golden Wonder Bath Bomb
This is my all time favourite Lush product. It's full of glitter and multiple colours and its gorgeous!! 
Northern Lights Bath Bomb
This was released a while ago for bonfire night but I'm so glad they redesigned it and bought it back for Christmas! With yellow and blue at each end this will look so lovely in the bath!
Luxury Lush Pud Bath Bomb
A Lush Christmas classic! Multi-coloured confetti and gorgeous pink water makes it amazing!!
Mistletoe Bath Bomb
I don't really know much about this bomb as it's new for the 2016 collection but the pink and green colours are really lovely.
Satsuma Bath Bomb
Inspired by a christingle at Christmas time this bomb is lovely!! I can't wait to use it.
Never Mind The Ballistics Bath Bomb
With the same design as the ever so popular 'Roller' from Lush this bomb will sell out quickly!! The pink top melts away slowly while the yellow bottom fizzes away quickly making a lovely relaxing bath.
So White Bath Bomb
Another Lush classic which has been redesigned for this year. In the water it fizzes away to release a lovely blue tint to the water.
Father Christmas Bath Bomb
 This doesn't really need much explaining! It's Christmas in a bath bomb!
Peeping Santa Bubble Bar
I mean how cute is this bubble bar!!! I used at least 10 of these last year and I'm planning on doing the same this year!!
The Christmas Penguin Bubble Bar
I'm SO glad that this bubble bar is back this year! I love it!
Santasaurus Bubble Bar
This bubble bar is reusable which means you can get a good 4-5 baths out of it. They have a few reusable bubble bars out this year but this one is by far the best!
Bubbly Shower Gel
Looking back now I regret not buying a bigger size of this, it;s just lovely!! The celebratory scent is gorgeous and it's literally christmas and new years in a shower gel!!
Rose Jam Shower Gel
I'm not sure if this is a Lush Oxford Street exclusive or not but if you have the chance to buy it, you really really should! It's not to floral at all, it's more a fruity jam scent and it's so nice.
Ylang Song Bath Bomb
This bath bomb isn't in the Christmas range but I had to pink it up as it's an Oxford Street exclusive. I'm not to sure on the scent but it looks amazing in the bath as it's full of petals!!

'Be Excellent To Eachother' Tote Bag
Everytime I got to Oxford Street Lush I always pick up a new tote bag and this one has quickly become my new favourite.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

ZOEVA Rose Golden Complete Eye Set | Review

I have been lusting over this brush set for god knows how long and after hearing so so so many people rave about it I finally caved. I really didn't need anymore brushes but I mean how could I resist!!
You get 12 brushes in this set and a lovely little pouch to keep them in (it's also really handy when it comes to travelling!) Not only do they look amazing but they are also now my new favourite eye brushes. There's literally a brush for everything and I find myself only reaching for these over anything else.. 
My most used brushes from the set are:

228 Luxe Crease
I love using this brush to apply matte shadows in the outer v to build up depth to any matte eye look. It's the fluffiest brush in the whole set and blends out shadows so well.

231 Luxe Petite Crease
I use this brush to build up depth in my crease (using mainly dark matte shadows.) It's great for the crease as it's small and pointed which makes it really precise.

226 Smudger
This brush is great for applying eyeshadow under the eye. It fits perfectly just under the eye as it's not to thick. It's also good to blend out an eyeliner pencil along the lashline.

234 Luxe Smoky Shader
This is my go to brush for applying loose or packed pigments. It doesn't pick up to much product and is the perfect shape to pack shadow onto the eyelid.

There isn't one brush I haven't used, they are definitely worth the money and I really wish I bought them sooner!!

Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Most Beautiful Place

Today was all about hitting refresh. After having a very busy week off work, me and my parents decided to make the most of our last day off before going back to work tomorrow. We decided to spend it outside exploring Arundel castle and gardens. I've never been to Arundel before but I'm so glad we made the trip.
We did go in the castle and look around but after walking up what felt like a ga-zillion steps and feeling very queasy when we finally got to the top, we decided all that old history wasn't really for us so we made our way to the gardens and and oh-my-good-god they were beautiful. I took so many photos, I just couldn't stop snapping. Every little nook and cranny was something new and different from waterfalls to greenhouses and archways to wild flowers and gazebos. The views were pretty phenomenal too.
We spent a good couple of hours looking round and I couldn't help but think that today was the first day in a really long time that I really did feel genuinely happy and content so who knows hopefully things are finally starting to look up.
Outfit - All Topshop


Monday, 27 June 2016

What I've Been Loving Lately

For this post I wanted to share with you some things that I've been loving lately, a mix of beauty, accessories and even a book.
Firstly I've been loving the Caitlyn Jenner Mac Lipstick called 'Finally Free'. It's an online exclusive but oh my god it's the nicest shade ever. It's the perfect nude lipstick, a 'your lips but better colour' and I've used it everyday since I got it. Next I've been loving the Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadow Pan in 'Grandstand' and 'In The Spotlight'. They're the most pigmented and buttery eyeshadows ever. They're perfect for summer as they're almost metallic. They're on par with the MAC Pigments, 'Grandstand' is exactly like the MAC Pigment in 'Tan'. I can't wait to buy more!
Recently I've been loving using more highlighter. Now summer's here I've been experimenting with a few different ones but my favourite is definitely theBalm Mary Lou Manizer Luminizer. It's a lovely natural highlight which you can use on your cheekbones, in the corner of your eye, on your browbone and down the centre of the nose.
I picked up the new Soap & Glory Shower Jelly in boots the other day and I've used it everyday since I've got it. I get quite dry skin and this has cleared it up. It lathers up in the shower to a foam and really helps moisturise your skin. For only £5 it's pretty damn good.
Last weekend I bought these sunglasses in topshop and I'm just praying for the sun to come out properly so I can wear them! The frames are a bronzy rose-gold metal, I mean what more could you want for only £16??
You must of heard of Zoella's book club by now??? I've been wanting to read 'All The Bright Places' for ages and this gave me the perfect chance! I'm halfway through it and I can't put it down! I really recommend it and I haven't even got to the end yet.

Friday, 13 May 2016

I've Finally Started A Makeup Geek Palette

So I've finally caved and started a makeup geek palette. I've had a wishlist full of mug eye shadows on beautybay for so long that I finally made an order and I'm SO happy I did! These shadows are the only ones I reach for now, they're so buttery and pigmented and SO cheap!

Top Row:
Peach Smoothie
This is the easiest, most buildable matte which I love to use in the crease as a transition shade.
Creme Brulee
This is a lovely peachy matte brown which I reach for everyday and is definitely a must have.
Cocoa Bear
There is a reason why everyone goes crazy over this shade. It's a warm matte brown with a red undertone which is just amazing when you need to deepen the crease.
This is my absolute favourite shadow I got. It's the perfect shimmery bronze gold which looks great packed onto the lid with creme brulee, cocoa bear and homecoming buffed into the crease.
This shade is exactly like MAC's expensive pink, only more buttery and pigmented. It looks lovely all over the lid and I can't wait to wear it more in the summer.

Second Row:
As I said before this looks great blended into glamorous. It's also my favourite all over lid shade for when I just want an easy wash of colour.
Prom Night
Warm shimmery taupe which makes a great everyday shade.
This shade is so different from anything I own, it's a muted shimmery purple that on the lid looks lovely with unexpected and drama queen blended in the crease.
A lovely matte pale pink brown which is perfect blended in the crease.
This shade was a bit of a risk for me. It's a purple with flecks of silver running through it and I'm starting to really love it.
Drama Queen
 A deeper shimmery purple which goes well in the outer v blended out.

Third Row:
Matte deep maroon red which goes well with Burlesque.
A metallic burgundy with warm muted undertones.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Taking Two Steps Forward

There's only so much optimism and happiness you can object into a difficult situation. Sometimes just as you manage to take 2 steps forward, a hundred more things happen and they push you 10 steps back.
The most important thing that I want to get across in this post is that you don't need to rush. If it takes you 5 days or 5 months to take 2 steps forward it's okay. Trust me, it took me at least 2 months to find my feet again let alone take any steps forward. What you're going through could be really really tiny or really really big, it doesn't matter. You will get there in your own time. Don't let anyone phase you. You take as much time as you want.
Don't worry if everyone around you is running ahead and you're not. Even if it feels like everyone you know is having the happiest months of their life, it's okay for you to be having the most difficult months of yours. No matter how much you want to run and catch up with them, don't try to rush things that need time. It will all fall into place eventually but first you've got to deal with whatever is stopping you from taking those 2 steps forward. You have to focus on yourself because at the end of the day as long as you have enough strength for tomorrow, you're doing good.

Looking back now, I'm in such a better place and that's down to me. I've taken the last couple of months to work on me and its definitely helped. Don't get me wrong, I'm still wobbly. I'll be absolutely fine one minute but as soon as someone says "do you think about it often?" I'll be a complete crying mess again but that's okay. What's important is that I built up enough strength to take those first 2 steps by myself. I didn't let anyone phase me, push me back down or make me stressed. I took my own time and it may be 4 months later but I'm now slowly getting there.

I will say though, you should do whatever it takes to get back up on your feet. Whether it's finding new music and enjoying it (for me, I found Florence + The Machine and now I'M OBSESSED), cutting ties from anyone the brings you down, writing, a relaxing bubble bath or getting stuck in a good book. I've found it's all the small things that help.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Matte Lips For Spring

A couple of weeks ago I took a trip to boots to find some new drugstore lip products that are perfect for spring and out of the few I bought, these two are my absolute favourites.
The L'Oreal Infallible Matte Max Lipstick in the shade 001 Silenco was one I picked up on a bit of a whim. The whole idea of the sponge just seemed way to fancy for me but once I swatched it I realised I just had to get it. Its a gorgeous matte pinky nude that on the lips isn't drying at all. The idea of the sponge is that the product is in the lid and every time you put the lid back on, the sponge soaks up the product ready for the next time you use it. It is a bit fancy but it works.
The second one is from Soap & Glory and only costs £3.50! The Sexy Mother Pucker Matte-Lip in Choccoberry is my new everyday lip colour. It's not my normal pinky nude but I love it. It's a lovely shade that can only be described as a berry nude. On the lips it last ages, its not drying and it doesn't budge. For only £3.50 you can't really go wrong and I'll definitely be picking up more of these!

Monday, 21 March 2016

Neapolitan Cupcakes | Recipe

For the Biscuit Base:
200g Bourbon Biscuits
50g Melted Butter
1tbsp Golden Syrup
For the Cupcakes:
125g Self Raising Flour
125g Caster Sugar
1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
125g Unsalted Butter
2 Eggs
Vanilla Extract
200g Unsalted Butter
450g Icing Sugar
6-8tbsp Smooth Strawberry Jam
Start by lining your cupcake tray with your cases and preheating your oven to 170 degree Celsius. Then take your Bourbons and bash them into small crumbs. I do this by putting them in a bag and bashing them with a rolling pin but a food blender will also do the trick! Then mix in your butter a (melted) and your golden syrup. Then put about a table spoon into the bottom of each case and pack it in (I use the flat bottom of a 1/2 cup measurement) anyway you can so it's not all loose.
Then you make the cupcake batter. Start of by adding all the dry ingredients (flour, caster sugar, bicarbonate of soda) and then mix in your butter, vanilla extract and 2 eggs until the mixture is smooth but still quite thick. Then add about a ping pong ball sized amount onto the top of your biscuit base in the cupcake cases and even if it so every cupcake has the same amount. Fill the cases about 3/4's of the way full.
Then bake your cupcakes for 20-22 minutes.
To make the Icing simply mix together your icing sugar and butter until its completely smooth and and light (it takes a good 5-10 minutes on a medium speed to make it light enough) and then add the strawberry jam. The strawberry jam replaces the milk in this recipe but if your icing is still quite thick feel free to add a splash of milk. Mix the strawberry jam in the icing for a couple of minutes (the icing will turn a lovely strawberry pick colour!)
Then once your cakes are out of the oven and completely cooled, feel free to pipe the icing on or simply spoon it on! I decided to pipe mine with a wilton 1M tip.


Monday, 14 March 2016

Clearing My Head Space

I've had so many ideas for this post. I've written it and rewritten it a million times now and for some reason what I ended up writing just wasn't right.
The beginning of 2016 has been pretty awful if I'm honest. I lost the most amazing man in the world, my Grandad in January and since then everything has all been a blur. My mind has become a cloud of fog and however hard I try it's just not clearing. I can't shake the feeling that I'm losing control of myself and who I want to be. Everyone around me is moving on, living life and I find myself not wanting to catch up. I've never experienced loss before but I know I didn't expect to feel like this. My family are the most incredible group of people I know, they're strong and if anything we've all got stronger through all of this. I know for sure the only reason I'm getting through everything is down to them.
With the cloud of fog it's like I'm suffocating. I can't find any motivation to write blog posts even though I've got 100 different ideas, it's making me lose interest in my job which before everything happened I absolutely loved and it's stopping me from wanting to catch up with everyone else who's moving on. I don't want to feel like this. I want to stop holding back and I want to run and catch up with my life. I want more than anything to run and catch up with everyone but for some reason I can't. That's what I'm trying to work out. I'm still going through life day by day but its a blur. It's like I'm not really there and its difficult.
I guess what I'm trying to say is bare with me. I guess I'm telling myself this by telling you. There's no rush, just because everyone I know is living life and trying new experiences doesn't mean I have to rush to. I can take my time and I'm going to. Loss isn't something you move past over night. That's something I've definitely learnt through all this. I've learnt that loss is something everyone learns to live with, its just everyone learns in their own time and for some reason it's taking me a little longer than I thought it would.
I know I'll get there one day, it's all about baby steps and baby steps sounds pretty good to me.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Refreshing For Spring

I love this time of year so much. Knowing that winter is nearly over and spring is starting is my absolute favourite. I like to refresh at this time of year whether its my skincare, pamper routine, or just refreshing my thoughts, memories and mind.
For skincare I like to switch out any heavy moisturisers and scrubs for lighter and creamier cleansers, oils and face masks. I'm loving everything Liz Early at the moment but my favourite two products for this time of year are the Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser and the Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion. The cleanse & polish is the perfect for your evening skincare routine. It cleanses your skin, removes your makeup and polishes when you wipe it off with a muslin cloth. It leaves your skin feeling light, polished and clean. Perfect for spring. The eyebright lotion is great for the early mornings when you want to get rid of those grey winter under eye bags. You just have to soak two cotton pads and cover your eyes for 5-10 minutes. They refresh and cool your eyes making them look healthier and brighter within minutes. I've also been loving the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I love applying this after cleansing, before I go to bed. You only need a few drops and it adds moisture and hydration to your skin overnight.
Next I like to refresh my mind by treating myself to pamper nights. For me, a perfect pamper night includes binge watching gossip girl on Netflix even though I've watched it 3 times already, running myself a nice warm bath using a lush bath bomb or bubble bar and treating my skin to a lovely lush face mask. I've been loving using the Don't Look At Me Fresh Face Mask as it really hydrates my dry skin and exfoliates and nourishes any blemishes. For a lovely spring bubble bar I've been using the Cherry Blossom from Lush. Its an Oxford Street exclusive but if you can get your hands on it, I would! It's a perfect spring scent and who doesn't like a pink bubble bath!

Monday, 29 February 2016

Oreo Cupcakes | Recipe

Ingredients (makes 12)
For the cupcakes:
175g butter
165g caster sugar
3 eggs
40g cocoa powder
125g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
12 oreos
For the icing:
1/2 pack oreos crushed
6 oreos halved for the topping
250g butter
500g icing sugar
*i used 2 packs of oreo's all together*

Start by preheating your oven to 180 degrees and putting the cupcake cases into the muffin tin. Then mix together the butter and caster sugar until its creamy and smooth. Then crack the eggs into a separate bowl to avoid getting any shell into the cake mix. Then add the eggs to your mixture and mix it together on a slow speed. Then fold in all your dry ingredients (cocoa powder, flour and baking powder) and mix on a slow speed until your mixture is smooth. Now pop an oreo into the bottom of each cupcake case and then carefully spoon the mixture into each case, filling them about three quarters full.
Pop them in the oven for 15-20 minutes (mine took 18). You know they're done when you stick a knife into the centre of them and it comes out clean!
To make the frosting simply mix your butter on its own for at least 5 minutes, until its paler and creamy. Then add the icing sugar a little bit at a time on a slow speed and when it's all in, mix it together on a high speed for another 5 minutes. This will help make the icing light and fluffy and easier to pipe!
When your cakes are out of the oven and called down, simply put the icing in a piping bag (i used a wilton 1M nozzle) and pipe:) then for decoration add your half oreos as a topping!
© lucyabigail | All rights reserved.
Blog Design Handcrafted by pipdig