Thursday, 21 April 2016

My Everyday Makeup

I haven't done an even vaguely makeup-related post in ages, so I thought it was about time I shared my 'everyday makeup' look and talk about the products I use. I am in no way, shape or form an expert and neither is the finished product particularly original or out of the ordinary, but I really enjoy reading posts like these!

Step 1: The first thing I do is apply foundation. I used the Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation for ages and I quite liked it, but recently I switched to their Match Perfection one and it's a million times better! Even though the shade is apparently the same (100 ivory), the Match Perfection is much more suited to my skin tone. I use my fingers to kind of dot it all over my face and then I go in with a Real Techniques beauty blender sponge (the orange one, not pictured because it's in a right state at the moment) which gives a nice airbrushed effect.

Step 2: Next step is concealer. I use the Rimmel Match Perfection 2-in-1 concealer and highlighter in the shade 010 ivory - it's more or less exactly the same shade as the foundation. I usually just use a finger to apply it under my eyes and on my browbone and eyelids a bit.

Step 3: Now that I have a base I tend to reach for some blush and just sweep it gently over my cheekbones using a brush that I believe came from Forever 21. I bought a whole set ages ago because I liked that they were labelled with what to use each one for, as I found the whole makeup thing pretty daunting to begin with. To be honest I only own one blush which is the Collection one in the shade 'shocking' - I probably should invest in some more shades!

Step 4: Next I deal with the eyebrow situation. I'm kind of lying here because the product in the pic (the Rimmel 'Brow This Way Brow' Sculpting Kit in dark brown) isn't really part of my everyday makeup since I've only used it once or twice, but I will be using it from now on as my trusty Clinque eyeshadow trio has finally run out. I use a little angled brush to fill in some areas and just really define my brows, which I find makes SUCH a difference to my face! Honestly if I could only use one makeup product for the rest of my life it would probably be brow products.

Step 5: Okay that might not be true because eyeliner is really my absolute essential. I wear it everyday and I always do a cat-eye flick, which has been quite tricky to master but I usually get it right first time now. I use the Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner in 'ultrablack' and I love this product so much! I've tried a few different felt tip liners (the horror of the little pot and wand things drove me to them) but this is my favourite.

Step 6: Carefully avoiding any smudging of the eyeliner, I then curl my lashes with this really crappy (but pink!) eyelash curler I got from H&M and which probably needs replacing, and then I use the Rimmel Scandaleyes mascara. I'm always on the lookout for new mascaras because they never seem to do anything for me - this one is fine but nothing special, probably one of the better ones I've ever used though.

Step 7: Finally I whack on some lipstick - for everyday wear it tends to be this Rimmel one in the shade 066 'heather shimmer', but sometimes I go all out and opt for a darker version of this exact colour, also by Rimmel which is called 'starry-eyed' and has confusingly identical packaging. 

And that's it! There are probably a million other things that are *supposed* to be part of your makeup routine but to be honest this is all I do - it takes under 10 minutes and it's become second nature to me. Also you may notice my affection for Rimmel and Collection... Basically they're just solid trustworthy brands which are also pretty cheap so I tend to stick to them, whoops.

And finally here is a photograph of my face in which you can more or less see my makeup (minus the lipstick, sadly, because it wasn't taken for the purposes of this post):

Hope you enjoyed this post!


Saturday, 16 April 2016

Internetspiration #3

This time next week I'll be back at uni, probably unpacking the contents of my room from where I had to store it under my bed over the Easter holidays (sigh). Until then I have another week to try and actually progress on some revision, which has been painfully slow so far!

Anyway, in the meantime here's another collection of inspiring or just aesthetically pleasing images I've been collecting up over the past couple of months.


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Review: New Laptop (HP ENVY 13-d053sa)

Today I thought I'd do a bit of a different post and share my thoughts on my new laptop which I got a couple of weeks ago while I was in the UK. To be honest I wasn't expecting to get a new one, although my old one was on its last legs and direly needed replacing - but it just sort of happened and I'm not complaining! Although I'm far from an expert on all the IT stuff I do know the basics, that is to say enough to make an informed choice (with a little help from some tech savvy family members) so I hope this post will be useful for someone.

The main thing I was looking for in a new laptop was lightness, portability and not too small a screen. As you might imagine this proved a little tricky to reconcile because in general the lighter the laptop, the smaller it will be and so the smaller the screen! My previous laptop was a 14" screen and to begin with I was adamant that I wanted to stick to 14", partly out of habit as I'd got used to it after previously downsizing from a 15", and also out of practicality as I need to use it for writing essays and would find that hard to do on a tiddly little 11" notebook thing. But in the end 14" turned out to be hard to find as most lightweight laptops tend to be 13" or 13.3" - my new one is the latter and I have to say after a couple of days I stopped noticing the difference. It's perfectly big enough for my needs and the convenience of the weight and portability easily makes up for losing 0.7" of screen.


Anyway, onto the important stuff. The model is an HP ENVY 13-d053sa (see it on PC World here) and I have to say it has some impressive specs. It weighs a mere 1.3kg, has a whizzy i7 dual core processor, 256 KB SSD storage, 3200x1800 screen resolution and three USB 3.0 ports.

The weight is unbelievably light for a laptop (I sometimes forget I'm holding it) and is the main reason I chose it as next year I'll be doing an uphill 30 minute walk to lectures every day and there was no way I could carry my old one which weighed in at more like 2.2kg. The i7 processor is a considerable upgrade and probably a lot more than I need as I don't game or use powerful programs, but it's nice to have things work that bit faster. The lack of storage is mildly disappointing, but it's just a function of the reduced weight and doesn't bother me that much as I don't keep movies and things that take up a lot of space on my laptop, especially now I'm using OneDrive to store photos and files. The screen resolution is meaningless to me but I have been assured it is excellent so I'll take it.

Look at it! So slim!
The keyboard is very swish and apparently an 'island-style' one, whatever that means. Some buttons are in a slightly different place to my old one which was off-putting at first but I'm getting the hang of it now. The only thing that still annoys me is the fact that you have to hold down alt to use the home key as it's part of the arrows, but I can probably live with it in the long term. The touchpad is a million times better than on my old one which was horribly unresponsive and had a weird textured feel, but I still use a mouse if I'm just sitting at my desk as I'm so much faster with it. A cool feature is the fingerprint reader which I use to sign into my Windows account - so much quicker than typing in a password!

All in all it's the perfect laptop for me and I'm excited to make full use of it next term when I go back to uni - it's lightweight, slim and generally super swishy. One feature which it doesn't include and which is pretty much vital for me is a DVD drive, but I've got around this by buying an external DVD drive/writer. This is pretty much the best thing ever because it means you can still watch DVDs on your ultra portable laptop without having to compromise on size. They come with a USB connector cable and are really easy to use (or at least this LG one was): all you have to do is plug it in, install the software and hey presto. Well actually not quite because I did still have to install a DVD player program (this one) as well, but now it works just fine.

I would definitely recommend this laptop to anyone with a decent budget looking for a portable laptop but not a tiny notebook, and especially to university students as portability can be pretty important if you take a laptop to lectures every day.

I hope this was helpful to someone or at least somewhat informative!


Friday, 8 April 2016

Instafaves #3

It's probably an understatement to say I've been obsessed with Instagram these past couple of months: these days I apparently can't go for more than a couple of hours without feeling the urge to check it which to be honest is getting quite unhealthy, but I just keep finding more and more beautiful feeds to follow! I'm a very visual person and nothing thrills me more than coming across someone who manages to have their whole life coordinated around a particular aesthetic (or at least gives off that impression). So today I decided to share a few more of my current favourite Insta feeds with you - you can see part one and part two here.

Fahimah // @fajitayy

I've been following Fahima on Tumblr for what seems like years but it was only recently that I came across her fabulous Insta (she's actually deleted a lot of posts since I decided to include her in this list, but she's still totally deserving anyway). I love the neutral tones with pops of colour and all the really beautiful details she has going on - in my opinion it all works beautifully together.

Abby // @abby8ken  

I've followed Abby on Polyvore and Tumblr for ages and I'm now slightly obsessed with her insta aesthetic. It's so beautiful and rosy, I don't know how the pictures work together to produce that effect but they do! I feel like I'm in a hazy, rosy wonderland looking at her feed.

Shelly // @shellekatt

Shelly is one of the first people I ever followed on Polyvore over 4 years ago (argh can't believe it's been that long already!). Her feed is also utterly dreamy and full of rosy details, but in a totally different way from Abby's - it's more pastel and vintage-y. I also think the white borders around photos give a unique and distinctive look.

Ruby // @rubyetc_

While I can't say much about the aesthetic of Ruby's feed, her hilarious drawings totally make up for it! After seeing her little sketches popping up on Tumblr for years I only started following her recently, but it's entirely worth it - every new drawing is a tiny pocket of joy and never fails to make me laugh/snigger when I'm scrolling through Instagram.

Emma is actually a friend of mine at uni and I came across her Insta the other day while I was having a stalk (whoops). Her account is dedicated to mindfulness, healthy eating and slow living, which I find so interesting and appealing despite not being an avid follower of the whole idea myself - I wish I was though! Her photography is truly stunning too, and makes me feel inspired to make bowlfuls of healthy creations.

Who have you been enjoying following on Instagram lately?


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

My 2016 To-Read List

I think I should make a point of posting yearly to-read lists in April because here we are in the fourth month of the year and I'm once again just getting round to posting it. In case you're interested here is the equivalent post I did this time last year: in the end I read all but two off that list which isn't such bad going when you keep in mind that I read a bunch of others instead. Unfortunately most of my currently unread books are in my uni room at the moment as I took them with the intention of getting through them pretty quickly (sadly that hasn't happened) but I still have stacks lurking on my bookcase at home so I picked out a small selection for this post.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

I've had this book for SO LONG (in fact I remember including it in a secondhand haul sometime) so I can't believe I haven't got around to reading it yet - but I'm glad I rediscovered it as I'm now slightly obsessed with the beautiful cover. I actually can't wait to get stuck into this because it looks really interesting, apparently the narrative reaches from the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic future which sounds slightly mind-boggling and right up my street. 

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Okay so this is another beautiful cover and the story is about kids who were born in space??? I completely forgot I had this as I have no memory of buying it, so it's a fab discovery! I hope it's as interesting as it looks. The front cover also has a really nice kind of waxy feel to it which I love.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Yeah yeah I know Gone Girl is so last year but guess who never actually ended up reading it. In fairness I have also managed to avoid watching the movie, so I have literally no idea what it's about. What I do know is that it's a thriller type thing so I'm probably read it in one or two sittings as I really can't deal with suspense in books and always end up needing to finish the thing pronto.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

I really don't think much of this cover... Couldn't they have found someone else to stick on the front of it? I'm assuming this is Cromwell but still. Anyway, I got this for my birthday last year (oops) and for some reason decided to read every other Tudor historical fiction novel I owned instead (maybe it was the frankly boring cover putting me off? no idea) so I think it's about time I delved into this one.

Blood and Beauty by Sarah Dunant

Now this is a cover and a half... One of the review snippets on the back actually refers to Wolf Hall so I'm assuming there are some similarities, even though this is of course about the Borgias and not the Tudors. I don't have much else to say about this but I had a peek inside and there's both a map AND a family tree so I'm guessing it's going to be a complicated one. 

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

I know, I know - I'm ridiculously late to the party with this. I just googled it and it came out in 2001 but I remember it being popular in the Twilight era, which for me was round about 2008-2009. For some reason (probably because I was too busy reading Twilight) I never read this at the time, though I did buy the whole series a couple of years ago with the intention of catching up, which needless to say I haven't yet done.

And that's what's currently on my to-read list! What are you planning to read in the near future?


Saturday, 2 April 2016

A Wee Haul

Earlier in the Easter holidays I spent some time staying with family in the UK and of course took the chance to do some shopping. Although it's quite different now as I'm living the UK most of the time so I don't need to take advantage of English shops in the same way, I live in a really small city where clothes shops are limited to a Topshop, a New Look and a recently opened H&M - oh how I long for Primark! So it will come as no surprise that most of this mini haul came from the Mothership (aka Primark) where I spent a grand total of £12.

Shorts, £6 from Matalan / Top, £2 from Primark (sale item)

This top is actually a size 18 can you believe it... Or at least that's what it says on the label (I have been a victim of Primark's mislabelling before) and there was only one on the sale rack so I had nothing to compare it to. But it really doesn't matter because it fits nice and loosely and in my opinion it's just such a staple piece for anyone's wardrobe. I picked up the shorts in Matalan as I really liked the pattern - I just hope these will fit as I haven't actually tried them yet!

Bag, £4 (sale item) and Shoes, £6 (sale item) from Primark

I'm always on the lookout for another little black bag and this one is a great size and shape. The clasp looks like it could break easily so I'll have to be careful with that, but otherwise this was an excellent find, in terms of price if nothing else! I'm mildly obsessed with these shoes for two reasons: first I have always wanted a pair of T-bar heels and I think they look SO elegant, and secondly they are instrumental in an Outfit Plan for my college summer ball - I'm planning to buy a 50s rockabilly dress off Amazon and do my hair all vintage and I'm hoping these will complete the look. I know they're not 50s per se, but for me they have something very vintage about them which is exactly what I need.

Faux leather jacket, £29.99 from New Look

Finally I got this faux leather jacket from New Look which was really an excellent choice because I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I've never really had a proper 'leather' jacket (would never buy real leather obvs) and I don't know how I managed because it is literally perfect for so many occassions and you can wear it with anything!