Graduation season is upon us and whilst I have never been to university, the idea of receiving a graduation present as a "well done" for 3/4 years of hard work is somewhat appealing. My sister is graduating in the Summer but what on earth do you give as a graduation present? I have asked so many people what sort of gifts they have given their graduating loved ones and I was somewhat taken aback. Designer handbags, Tiffany jewellery, Christian Louboutin shoes, a car... So that £10 book voucher I was planning on giving my sister perhaps won't cut it after all!

If my sister is expecting a car then I'm afraid her hopes will be dashed, as are the £560 Jimmy Choos she keeps sending me photos of but what are some reasonable graduation gifts? I firmly believe that ladies perfume and a nice piece of jewellery is a great place to start. Why? Because those are the gifts we never buy ourselves. 

I thought I would put together two different graduation gift ideas, one high end and one somewhat more reasonable. I think one of the reason why high end graduation gifts are so popular is because it is a gift that the whole family puts towards. It's not just one singular present from one person, it is a special gift - something to keep and to cherish. Although I do still think a car is pretty 'out there'!

Before my sister informed me she wanted a pair of Jimmy Choos as a graduation gift, she declared she wanted a Mont Blanc Fountain pen. Fair enough me and my family thought, sure, we can get you a nice pen to take to your first post-grad job with...That was until we saw the cost of them. I firmly believe you get what you pay for but wow, £500 for a pen seems rather extravagant so we quickly diminished that idea! This Tiffany & Co Pen is still pricier than a biro but it is still something to cherish and to keep hold of without being gut-wrenchingly expensive. I absolutely love all of the jewellery above, especially the large white pearl earrings and the Monica Vinader bracelet which you can get engraved with a small message of your choice. I love the idea of personalised gifts and I think a personalised piece of jewellery is faultless.

I know the above items seem rather extravagant and pricey but a graduation present seems to be a gift from a whole family to a person rather than gifts from individuals which is why I have included some rather lovely but expensive gifts. I absolutely love the Dior Tribales Earrings and if I were to graduate then I would be absolutely delighted to receive these on my special day. You only graduate once so it is nice to gift something that someone can keep and cherish.

Are you graduating this year? What would you like to receive as a graduation gift? 

(*Sponsored post)

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Other | Graduation Gift Ideas For Her

Do you ever completely change your mind on a product? When I first tried the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks, I was really disappointed in them. At the time I was well and truly on the Kylie Lip Kit bandwagon so I found it hard not to compare the two but at the time, I much preferred Kylie's offering as I believed the shades I bought were more suited to my skintone rather than the shades I bought from Kat Von D which I didn't think suited me as much. Because of that the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks haven't really seen light of day since then.

When I originally tried out the Kat Von D Liquid Lipsticks, I believed them to be quite thin in consistency which made the colour apply fairly sheer so I would need to build up the colour on the lips slightly. I believed they didn't last long at all on the lips - instead, they would transfer onto everything and fade away after an hour or two and I firmly believed that the colours didn't suit me so I never used them. Well, how wrong I was! I recently decided to give the shade Lolita II another go and I was so impressed. It managed to stay on my lips all day long without needing to reapply and that was with eating, drinking and working in 25 degree heat. All of my make-up practically melted away, all except for my lipstick. I didn't find it to be drying on the lips or uncomfortable to wear all day so I have definitely changed my opinion on them, which is just great. I love rediscovering products I forgot I had or even just giving products I originally didn't like another chance as the majority of the time, my opinion changes.

Because my opinion on them has changed so vastly, I thought I would revisit each shade as well as share why I now love each of them so much.

Bachelorette - The latest shade to enter my collection, Bachelorette is an absolutely gorgeous bright strawberry red, although Kat Von D likes to call it a dark reddish fuchsia. The brightest shade and most vibrant out of the three featured, this is shade which is slightly outside of my comfort zone but I love it so. If you love a bright, strawberry red matte lip then this is definitely one for you. It is really flattering on all skintones and looks lovely with very minimal, neutral make-up to make the lipstick stand out even further.

Lolita - Lolita was perhaps Kat Von D's original most popular shade, which is exactly why I bought it. I wanted it so badly that I went to nearly every Sephora in and surrounding Washington DC to find this lipstick as it was just sold out everywhere. When I finally found it, bought it and tried it, I absolutely hated it. I really believed that this shade didn't suit me at all but I can gladly say that I was wrong. Described as a chestnut rose, Lolita is a dark, muted brown nude which originally didn't impress me but now I can't get enough of it. Nude shades don't tend to suit me as I am very pale so I need to choose something a bit darker so for me, Lolita is my perfect option. It is a shade which has not yet clashed with various different eyeshadow looks I have experimented with so for that reason alone it is always in my handbag, ready to be applied as I dash out of the door. It is a really staple lipstick shade to have and I am really pleased that I have discovered a love for it.

Lolita II - Lolita II is Lolita's little sister. Described as being a terracotta nude, it is really hard not to compare Lolita with Lolita II. Lolita II is a much warmer, coral based matte which tends to look different on each skintone. On some it appears to be a warm nude but on my pale skin it appears to be more orange-toned. I wear Lolita II when I have more neutral toned eyeshadows on my eyelids as I find that it can clash with the rest of my make-up slightly if I apply eyeshadows which have a bit more colour to them. This is only because it really does apply much more orange-toned than it appears to be on first glance but it is still a really pretty, wearable matte lipstick which I can see myself wearing a lot more now that Summer is approaching.

I am so glad that I rediscovered these lipsticks and gave them another chance. They are lightweight on the lips and even though they have a matte formula to them they aren't too drying or uncomfortable and the shade range is incredibly impressive. Whilst I will probably give the neon turquoise and the bright grape shades a miss, each of the other 40 shades are unique, pretty and wearable and if you manage to come across them then they are definitely worth a chance - or in my case, two!



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Review | Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks in Bachelorette, Lolita & Lolita II

I can proudly say that after about 19 years of living in the box room in my Mum's house I have finally moved! - To my sisters bedroom. I have been upgraded and I finally have a room big enough to turn around in which is just mind-boggling after years of having a room just with a bed in. Whilst I don't have the bedroom measurements on me, it was roughly similar to that of Harry Potter and his little cupboard under the stairs but beggars can't be choosers, can they?!

With a new bedroom comes a little bit of interior design and I literally could not wait to re-arrange the bedroom to how I wanted it, to paint it the colour I wanted it and to make the bedroom feel more like my own rather than to remember it as my sisters old room. I immediately knew I wanted the walls to be white rather than the deep yellow it originally was so that was an easy choice but finding a colour scheme and decorations to match was slightly more difficult. I decided to go shopping and see if I could see any decorative items that I liked which I could then set the colour scheme around rather than choosing a colour scheme and struggling to find items to match.

I went to Next and immediately found a bunch of pale pink faux peonies in a vase which quickly made my mind up in terms of colour scheme. I'm not a pink kinda girl so choosing a pink colour scheme wasn't what I was expecting to go for but what can I say, I am a sucker for pink peonies! Since then I have found two more bunches of pink faux flowers to use decoratively in my room, as well as a really cute quote within a frame which I bought from the Card Factory for about £3. It says "the secret of being happy is simply being nice" and I try to remember that every day. 

Once I had chosen the colour scheme I decided I wanted two big pink and fluffy cushions for the bed and I just could not find any anywhere. I looked everywhere and eventually saw two in TKMaxx which were about £30 each. I loved them. They were so soft and cosy but far too expensive so I decided against them. In the end I managed to find these two lovely cushions from Matalan for just £8 each! I really regretted not buying the ones from TKMaxx but the cushions from Matalan are just as soft and great quality for a fraction of the price. When I was waiting to pay I saw this mustard yellow cushion for £6 which I thought would look lovely in between them on the bed and I feel like they really finish the room off. I only ever have white bed sheets on my bed now to make the cushions stand out even further but I would love one of those really big, chunky knitted pink blankets to throw across the end of the bed.

Here is a little bit of bedroom inspo for you all!

What do you think? What is your bedroom like?

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Other | Bedroom Interior Inspiration

Mascara is the part of my make-up routine which I dislike applying the most. Some of the wands are so chunky that as soon as they come into close contact with my eye the mascara seems to just go everywhere. Sometimes I haven't even managed to get the wand to even touch my eyelashes and before I know it it is all over my eyelid and halfway down my face. I have lost count at how many times I have worked so hard on my eyeshadow, blended it out to perfection, admired it in the mirror before trying to carefully applying a coat or two of mascara and - woops! it is all over my eyelid and completely ruined my eyeshadow. Please tell me I am not the only one this happens to!

Not only do I dislike applying the product, I also dislike buying the product too. There are so many mascaras out there, all offering so many different results it is hard to choose which one to go for when you are staring at a sea of so many. I find that a lot of mascaras offer the world but don't really deliver too much in the way of results. I can name one mascara that I have really, really enjoyed using but that is one out of about 10 years worth of trying so many various mascaras from a whole variety of different brands. Mascara plays such a pivotal part in applying your make-up as it is literally the finishing touch. It brings your eye make-up together perfectly and I would never even consider applying my make-up without mascara so it is definitely a must have. My current favourite, the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara is on its last legs so it is time to purchase a new one. I was considering trying out the new L'oreal mascara but when I was offered the chance to try out Maybelline's latest offering, I couldn't say no! The Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara* aims to deliver a hell of a lot of volume, so let's find out!

About the Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara:
"Meet the Big Shot. Big volume from root to tip. Our colossal brush delivers collagen enriched formula from the root to tip of lashes for fully loaded volume. Discover instant volume with our biggest Colossal yet!"

The Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara is designed to offer big, voluminous lashes with just one coat which is just what we are all after, isn't it? I love the false lash effect and when I try out a new mascara that is exactly the results I am after. I want elongated, thick lashes full of volume, which is partly what this mascara offers. 

The mascara comes in a gold tube which is in the typical shape of Maybelline mascaras. As soon as I see this style of packaging I do immediately think of Maybelline, although it would be easy to get it mixed up with other mascaras that Maybelline have to offer. The wand is slightly unusual with short wavy bristles which aren't too thick and chunky. I actually find the mascara really easy to apply as the wand itself is quite thin so you can get a really precise application without worrying you will get it everywhere. With one coat of the Big Shot Mascara applied to the eyelashes they are instantly made to appear thicker and slightly longer but I wouldn't say it gave a really heightened amount of volume to them. I also found that it made the eyelashes appear not clumpy but not as separated as I would have liked. I feel like I have to apply another mascara on top just to separate the eyelashes a little. The results are nice and are perfectly fine for everyday but if I was going on a night out then perhaps I would want something a little bolder with more volume. 

I haven't tried any of the other Maybelline Colossal Mascaras but the Big Shot is the latest addition to the growing family. I would like to try some more mascaras from Maybelline but I don't think I would buy this mascara again. It is great for everyday and perfect for work but I do prefer more obvious and bolder lashes for a night out so for that occassion I would choose something else. If you are after a mascara which makes your eyelashes appear thicker then this is great but for volume and more separated, defined lashes I would choose a different product.

(*PR sample)

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Review | Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara

With summer nearly here it's time to say goodbye to the winter beauty products and say hello to some brand new lighter alternatives. Soon I will be saying farewell to my plum, berries and dark red lipsticks and hello to some fresher, lighter shades to wear throughout the end of Spring and Summer. I will also be waving goodbye to my heavy moisturisers and skincare products and welcome in some lighter products with added SPF to take care of my skin from harmful rays. With my richer and deeper products being placed to the back of my beauty drawers ready to come out again in Autumn, it's time to make a wishlist of products I need to stock up on so I am Summer ready. Give me all of the glowy products, please!

Firstly, let's start with the base. There's no good applying some wonderful beauty products when your skin isn't looking it's best, is there? I love really lightweight, fresh products for my base to keep my face hydrated all day long so when it comes to moisturiser L'Occitane is high on my wishlist. Their L'Occitane Precious Light Face Cream with SPF20 sounds like the perfect option. It's a really lightweight formula which allows the skin to breathe and is quickly absorbed into the skin without being greasy or leaving the skin looking oily, something I really do not need any help in! I also think their L'Occitane Angelica UV Shield with SP40 sounds like a summer must-have. It's a lightweight and silky smooth formula which is designed to protect the skin from the sun whilst moisturising and with continued use it leaves the skin looking plumper and more radiant. I think this product will be an everyday essential during summer and because it is so lightweight it will be perfect underneath make-up.

Now, let's talk make-up! When it comes to Summer, the majority of us want really glowy skin but I find that when I look 'glowy' it can tend to look more oily than anything. I haven't yet found the perfect highlighting products to suit my skintone and skintype yet so hopefully this summer that can change. I absolutely love the sound of the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Presecco Pop. Designed to be really lightweight on the skin, Prosecco Pop is a dewy, opalescent priming potion which subtly illuminates the skin without being glittery. I love the idea of using a liquid formula to illuminate the skin with before applying the rest of my make-up. I would then also love to try out the ultra-famous Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop. I can't believe that I don't yet own this as it has been incredibly high up on my beauty wishlist for a very long time. This famous highlighter looks so beautiful on all skintones and whilst it may be pricey, I believe this would last an incredibly long time as it appears to be so pigmented and smooth in formula without being gritty due to glitter. Never have I wanted something more and it will definitely be mine this summer! Also staying on the lines of highlighters, I would also love to try out the Jouer Cosmetics Powder Highlighter in Topaz. Another powder highlighter, Topaz is a really beautiful shimmering peachy gold shade which has a velvety soft texture to give the skin an ethereal glow. I have never actually tried any high end highlighters before but these two are very high up on my wishlist!

Eyeshadow-wise, I do not need anything other than the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette. I already own this so it's not on my wishlist but it should definitely be on all of yours! I recently reviewed it so you can read all of my thoughts about it there but once you use this, you don't need anything else! Onto eyebrows, I would love to try out the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Ash Blonde. I have never tried any of the ABH highly popular brow products and as I have recently dyed my hair to an ashy blonde, I would love to try out their brow pencil in a shade to actually match my current hair colour. I would also love to try out their pomade but as I prefer a more natural, softer brow I think that the Brow Wiz would be more suitable for me.

Finally, the last thing on my summer wishlist is another gorgeous fragrance from Jo Malone. I recently bought my Mum a fragrance from them for Mother's Day and as much as she loved it, we both agreed that it didn't last very long on the skin at all. When you are spending so much money on a bottle of cologne you would like it to last longer than an hour or two on the skin. That said, I would like to try another fragrance from Jo Malone to see if another scent lasts longer, which is why the Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede Cologne is on my wishlist. Floral scents are the epitome of Spring and Summer so this fragrance sounds perfect. Pricey, but perfect!

That is my summer wishlist, what is yours?

(*This post is in collaboration with L'Occitane)

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Other | My Summer Beauty Wishlist

Say hello to the only palette you will ever need.
Nothing has topped this palette ever since I bought it all of those months ago. As soon as I saw it and I saw the matte hot pink shades I knew I wanted it. No, not wanted it, I needed it. And wow, was it hard to get. It sold out as soon as it went live on the Cult Beauty website and it seemed to never come back in stock. I wanted it so badly that I tried to get it sent to me from Sephora in America but if I begrudge spending £3.99 on delivery here in the UK then I'm sure as hell not willing to spend over £60 shipping a couple of eyeshadow palettes, even if they will come all the way across the ocean! So I decided to wait a little longer and goodness me, receiving that email informing me that the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette had come back into stock felt like Christmas Day to me. 

About the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette:
"Quite possibly the most-coveted eyeshadow palette yet, Modern Renaissance features 14, highly-pigmented powders in a rainbow of pinks, taupes and berries. With 11 matte and 3 metallic shadows, alongside a dual-ended soft bristle brush for seamless application and diffusion, the versatile palette is a thing of beauty and a joy to use - perfecting for creating an array of day-to-evening make up looks."

I don't really need to tell how you fabulous the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette is as I think you can see for yourself from the images plastered everywhere of this incredibly popular palette. Featuring hot berry tones, warm brick shades and an iridescent champagne pink, I can't think of one shade within the 14 shade palette which I wouldn't use, nor could I think of a shade I would have liked to have been included. I am confident when I say that when you have this palette, you will not need anything else. When I use this gorgeous pale pink felt covered palette, I don't use anything else as everything I need is in this one palette. Each shade is strongly pigmented, incredibly soft which makes blending an utter dream - in fact, I would say my make-up looks better when I use these eyeshadows as they blend so well with very minimal fallout - and they stay all day long on the eyelids. I literally couldn't ask more from a palette and as strange as it sounds, I can actually see myself repurchasing it when I start hitting the bottom of the pan on some of my favourite shades as I can't bear to be without it. Don't get me wrong, at £41 it is pretty damn pricey but it is worth every damn penny.

My favourite shades within this palette are Tempera, a very matte neutral beige which makes for the most perfect base shade, Vermeer, a shimmery soft pink, Buon Fresco, a matte lavender, Burnt Orange, a deep matte orange, Red Ochre, a deep matte red, Venetian Red, a matte crimson, Realgar, a matte brick shade and finally, my one and only, Love Letter which is the most gorgeous matte raspberry. Never before had I thought I needed a bright raspberry pink matte eyeshadow but I was so wrong. I was surprised I could pull it off actually but wow, I am obsessed with it. It looks wonderful on top of Vermeer blended out into the crease with Venetian Red on the outer corners of the eye. I am not too experimental when it comes to colourful eyeshadows but this palette makes me want to wear the berry reds, the hot pinks and the oranges. It makes me think that I can achieve make-up only seen by beauty gurus on Instagram and for that, I love it.

Don't think about it, just buy it. You need the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette in your make-up collection. The reason why I started this blog was to share my thoughts and opinions on make-up and if out of everything I have reviewed and mentioned on this little space of the internet then I could not recommend this more. I want you all to buy it immediately and tell me later about how much you all love it.


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Review | Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette

Glowy skin, we all seem to want it. Recently I have been feeling that my skin has been looking really dry and really dull. If I could compare it to a colour then I would say my skin were currently grey and in need of a little bit of TLC. I decided to look for a product to perk it up a little and rather than go for a face mask which is a once or twice a week temporary fix, I would prefer a product to use daily to help keep my skin looking as bright and as fresh as possible.

Whilst I may be a little bit slack when it comes to applying face masks as routinely as possible, I loved the results that the L'oreal Pure Clay Face Masks gave when they first came out last year - the Glow version in particular really helped my skin brighten up due to the red algae within. When I was on my hunt for a daily brightening fix, I came across the same product but in scrub form, meaning that not only will it brighten and perk up my skin but it will exfoliate it as well. If you have been after something to really liven up your skin which is purse friendly then you definitely need to try the L'oreal Pure Clay Glow Scrub.

About the L'oreal Pure Clay Glow Scrub:
"The L'Oréal Paris Laboratories have selected three pure clays and combined them with Red Algae extract in an exfoliating scrub, for brighter, smoother and fresher skin, every day. Its non-drying texture transforms into a light foam and releases the micro-beads, which exfoliate impurities and dead skin cells, leaving skin smoother and brighter."

The L'oreal Pure Clay Scrubs come in three different variations, each of which match up to the already popular L'oreal Pure Clay Masks. We have the Pure Clay Purity Scrub which is aimed at cleansing, purifying and mattifying, the Pure Clay Detox Scrub which is aimed at cleansing, clarifying and detoxifying and finally my favourite, the Pure Clay Glow Scrub which is aimed at cleansing, brightening and exfoliating.

The L'oreal Pure Clay Glow Scrub is made up of the following three clays;
Koalin - A highly effective natural clay, known to absorb impurities and excess sebum
Montmorillonite - Rich in minerals, a clay recognised for helping to eliminate imperfections
Ghassoul - A pure clay highly concentrated in minerals renowned to help clarify complexion
Also within the Pure Clay Glow Scrub is Algae which is known for its brightening properties. I really love clay based products and the effects they have on the skin, which is why I have enjoyed each and every face mask within this range already.

The Glow Scrub itself comes in a 150 ml squeezy tube which is much easier to apply than the face mask is. The scrub is a typical clay red colour which has little exfoliating particles running throughout the pretty thick but creamy formula. You have to apply the scrub to a wet face then gently rub into the skin in circular motions to let the exfoliating scrubby bits do their work. They aren't too harsh on the skin and feel quite gentle as they are rubbed into the skin, although I do prefer a slightly harsher exfoliant. The scrub does have a noticeable smell to it because of the algae and other ingredients within the product but I don't find it to be too unpleasant. I found that after I had applied the scrub and had dampened my muslin cloth to wipe it all off, the area of scrub which I had applied first had started to dry, just like the mask does so I am not sure if it is a bit 2 in 1 but when left on longer than necessary it does dry down and in my eyes, it can be used like a facial mask also.

When wiped away with a warm damp cloth, the skin is left feeling incredibly smooth and soft. Gone were the horrible and rough dry patches on my face, instead my skin felt so smooth and refreshed. Whilst I can't say my skin looked any brighter than usual after just one use, my skin had perked up and it was left feeling incredibly smooth. I will continue to use this facial scrub twice a day to see how it continues to benefit my skin but so far I am impressed and it has been the product my skin has definitely been needing!


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Review | L'oreal Pure Clay Glow Scrub

In the words of James Blunt;

Goodbye my lover, goodbye my friend..

After 9 weeks and one infill, it was finally time to remove my first ever set of acrylic nails. And actually? I was devastated. I am a complete acrylic nail convert. Each nail lasted the whole 9 weeks and other than the obvious growth which needed to be filled, they were but a pleasant dream. I loved them. So much. Almost too much, actually. I was constantly complimented on them and they really boosted my ego, even though they were a mere extension of my body rather than an actual piece of me but I didn't even mind. I loved them and I miss them.

But, gosh were they a pain to remove! I was really worried about getting them taken off and even though the nail salon is a short walk from where I work and it would have been really easy for me to go back in and ask them to be removed, I was terrified of how they would remove them. I did a bit of research on Google and Youtube on how they were removed and after a good half hour of watching videos of people ripping their nails off, I decided that I would be more gentle to myself than anyone else would be! Not that I ripped my nails off - Lord no. I was terrified about what my actual nails would look like underneath so I decided to gently soak them off myself. It was time consuming but it didn't hurt and my nails were absolutely fine underneath!!

I would love to say I used a whole load of fancy products but no. All you need is one bottle of pure acetone, a little bowl and some kitchen towel. I did get out some tin foil and some cotton wool but in the end it was far easier to just pour the acetone into a bowl and to soak your nails in. 

First I cut off the acrylic tips up to my natural nails underneath with nail clippers. It was quite hard as my acrylic nails were so thick but it was absolutely fine, you just have to be careful of all of the shards flying off everywhere! I then poured the acetone into a small bowl and soaked my nails in for about a minute, just to take off the nail varnish on the top of the nail. As soon as the nail varnish meets the acetone it practically dissolves which is an awful lot easier than swishing your nail around in a Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover Pot for a while. Once it had gone I wiped each nail on a bit of kitchen towel then soaked them back into the acetone for a good few minutes at a time in order to break down the acrylic. This takes quite a while but I would rather that than having someone drill, file of pull the nail off themselves. When the acrylic starts to break down it goes really gloopy and rather gross so I kept pulling my nails out, wiping them on kitchen towel and repeating. Unfortunately it isn't an instant process but my nails were in such great condition after I had finished that I really didn't mind the painstakingly slow process!

Once the acrylic had dissolved I found there were just a few little specs still stuck on to the nail so I gently filed and buffed it away before filing my nails into shape and applying a bit of cuticle oil and some thick, nourishing hand cream as my hands were quite dry afterwards. I was so shocked as to how well my own nails had grown into a healthy condition even though they had been covered in acrylic and goodness knows what else. Everyone told me my own nails would be really soft and brittle afterwards but fortunately they are really strong and really healthy, so much so that no-one would ever have guessed that I had false nails on in the first place. 

So, were the acrylic nails worth all of the hassle? Were they worth it? Abso-bloody-lutely. I love them and I miss them and I want them back ASAP. The only thing stopping me is that I work in a jewellery shop and I really struggled doing up bracelets and necklaces for customers but if I didn't have to do that then I would probably have them on more often!

How do you get your acrylic nails off?

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Other | Removing Acrylic Nails At Home

My favourite part of my day is when I take my make-up off. There is nothing I love more than walking through the door after a long shift at work, getting changed into my pajamas and taking my make-up off. The lovely feeling of taking your high heels off, your bra off and your make-up off is unbeatable in my eyes!

It has been a really long time since I shared my skincare routine so I thought I would give you an insight as to what products I use and how well they work.This is my drugstore version and every single product you can expect to find in Boots with every product except a couple costing just a couple of pounds. I'm not one to spend lots of money on high-end skincare products, although I would love to have a bathroom cabinet filled with Kiehls and Creme de La Mer facial creams.

Up until recently I used to *gasp* take all of my make-up off with make-up removing wipes. My favourite were the Garnier Micellar Water Wipes as they were so moist and just took the make-up off straight away. A dry make-up removing wipe is no good to anyone, let me tell you! I have just until recently stopped using them but if you use them and want to know my favourites then I 100% recommend those. 

So rather than take my make-up off with a wipe, I now use the Garnier Micellar Water instead, followed by a cleanser. I take my eye make-up off purely with the Micellar Water as it is so gentle on the skin and on the eyes. I tend to go for the Micellar Water in the green bottle rather than the pink as I find it to be even more gentle than the original pink version. Once my eye make-up has been removed, I then use either the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Gel Wash or the Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk. I find the latter to be creamier and more nourishing than the gel wash but both do exactly the same job. I apply a couple of pumps into my hand then gently massage it into my make-up to remove it before washing it all away with a warm muslin cloth. That precise moment, when the warm muslin cloth meets my tired face is my favorite moment of my whole day.

Once my make-up has been removed, I then apply the Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar Moisturiser. It is really lightweight and fresh on the skin and it is something really hydrating to apply to my face after having a thick layer of make-up on top of it all day! In the Winter I apply a thicker, even more hydrating moisturiser to my skin but as it is now Springtime I prefer to go for more lightweight and fresher products. Just before I go to bed I then apply the Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate for Night. This is a product I would never have thought to have bought myself but when I bought a Liz Earle Christmas Gift Set it was included and I have loved it ever since. Full of essential oils, the Superskin Concentrate for Night is an incredibly nourishing lightweight, non-greasy product which not only plumps up and softens the skin but is also an aide for sleep. I would never have thought to buy a product like this but now that I have started to incorporate it into my skincare routine, I can't imagine not applying it every evening.

In the morning I use the Garnier Micellar Water on a cotton pad to remove any sleep and little scraps of make-up left over from the day before. I then cleanse again with the Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk when I have my shower, just so I can prep my skin before I start my day and before I apply another heavy layer of make-up! Before I apply my make-up I use my Nivea Daily Essentials Express Hydration Primer which is designed to provide an even and smooth base to prep the skin with before the application of make-up. It is really lightweight in texture and it feels hydrating and lovely on the skin.The final product I use is the Liz Earle Instant Skin Boost Tonic which is essentially a toner. It brightens, refreshes and revitalizes the skin due to all of the vitamins which are crammed inside the bottle. It isn't an important step of my skincare routine and I could easily go without it but it just makes the skin feel nice and hydrated before I apply my make-up.

That's about as far as my skincare routine gets! If you were to try one product out of everything above then please let it be the Soap and Glory Cleansing Milk. It is usually on offer in Boots and it is so long-lasting it is incredible. I have had this bottle since the beginning of Feb and I still have over half of the product left. Which products do you use that you would recommend?


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Other | My Drugstore Skincare Routine

What is your go-to everyday make-up shades? Nudes? Beiges? Taupes? Because same. Everyday I pick up my Tarte Palette and apply the same three muted neutral tones onto my eyelids before applying the same soft brown powder blush as a contour shade. I use the same beige paint pot as a primer and the same nude pink as a lipstick, day in, day out. And you know what? I am bored. It is boring. I was staring at my reflection in the mirror recently and I thought a pop of colour would really liven my skin up a little bit. I own so many brightly coloured eyeshadows and lipsticks but I never wear them as I am worried about what people at work would think. But, as time goes on, the need to please others and the worries about what others would think subsides slightly and I want to start applying more vibrant make-up everyday. I am not saying I want to apply heavy Instagram make-up everyday but just something colourful which will make me excited to apply my make-up again.

If you ever want to please someone who likes make-up then just take them to Sephora. Sephora is heaven for a make-up lover and when I went to America a few months ago, I was like a kid in a sweet shop. I ended up buying a few items from various brands but also a lot from the Sephora Collection range. I didn't notice it at the time but everything I bought from their own brand was brightly coloured and perhaps not suitable 'for everyday'. It has been 3 months since I bought them now and I haven't really worn them because they are so out of my comfort zone. 

Let's start with the eyes and with the eyeshadow. This is the only product out of the 4 I have tried before today, hence I have already written a review on it. A bright yellow, matte eyeshadow may not be to everyone's tastes but I really love it. The Sephora Collection Colorful Eyeshadow in Sunglasses Needed is a beautiful bright yellow but it is a shade which is hard to wear. I would love to be brave enough to wear it all over the eyelid with maybe a shimmery yellow in the inner corners of the eye but I'm not that brave yet. Instead I wear it as a transition shade in the crease of the eye to help blend out a few other shades. When I bought this I didn't actually think I would wear it but I am pleased I am getting some use out of it, although hopefully one day I will be able to apply it all over the eye.

The next eye product I bought was the Sephora Collection Colorful Shadow & Liner in Fresh Limeade. The eyeshadow stick is a bright and lively matte lime green which isn't for the feint hearted. Out of all of my brightly coloured make-up, including my bright eyeshadows from Colourpop, this product is perhaps the brightest and the most 'out-there'. I really want to try this out but I am struggling to find some inspiration in how to wear it. How would you wear it? 

Finally, two bright lip products. The Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stains in Strawberry Kissed and Always Red. Both products are bright shade-wise with a matte finish without being too drying on the lips. The formula is really creamy and whilst you couldn't say they were weightless, they are rather lightweight matte lipsticks. I chose Always Red as I have always wanted to try a really bold, statement red lipstick but have always been too shy to try one. You can't get any bolder than Always Red and it is definitely one bold statement on the lips. I haven't yet worn this outside from the confines of my bedroom yet which is a shame as I think I could totally pull it off! Strawberry Kissed is a really pretty and bright strawberry pink which applies to the lips even brighter than it appears in the bullet. I actually wore this lipstick to work once and my manager said if she tried to wear it she would probably look like a hooker. I didn't know how to take that comment so I wiped it off in the toilets but it is a really pretty bright lip shade. See, I did try and wear colour to work! 

My little experiment in trying to wear more colour hasn't entirely had me walking out of the house looking like a rainbow each morning but I have tried to step outside of my comfort zone. Recently I haven't reached for the same neutral shades each morning, instead I have chosen to wear some of the more red-toned eyeshadows within my Morphe 35OS Palette, as well as some metallic bright eyeshadows from Colourpop. I have worn the Cream Lip Stain in Strawberry Kissed a lot recently and I have even had a few compliments on it which is nice - no more comparisons to hookers, anyway. I still need to push myself to wear the lime yellow eyeshadow crayon but hey, it's a lime yellow eyeshadow crayon. There's a time and a place for that!

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Other | Incorporating Colour Into My Make-Up Routine

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