The Transitional Jumper | Sammydress

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Transitional Jumper

As October is quickly approaching, the weather is quickly beginning to change too. In England, it can be very difficult to know what to wear during this time of the year. You'll leave the house at 9am to head to work typically in the freezing, pouring rain and before you know it you're sweating buckets as the sun decides to come out by midday. Thanks to the lovely Shirley from Sammydress however, my problems are now solved. All hail the perfect transitional jumper, YOU NEED to own this season.

Outfit Details:
Jumper* - Sammydress
Feather Necklace* - Sammydress
Jeans - River Island
Shoes - Converse

Initially, I fell in love with the classic brown shade of this jumper - it just screams autumn doesn't it?! And surprisingly, I don't actually already own anything this colour! As I mentioned above, the autumn weather in Britain really isn't the easiest to deal with, which is why I'm now swearing by this cold shoulder jumper from Sammydress. The knit material means that you can stay nice and warm when it's a little cooler but for when the sun is at its highest point, you've got the classic cold shoulder look and loose fit to ensure you're aerated when you need it. The loose fit to this piece also means it's perfect for wearing underneath a coat on days when it is a little bit colder - leaving you looking super fashionable whilst still being able to conquer your day whatever the weather. To accompany the jumper I chosen to wear this super cute gold, feather necklace also from Sammydress. The chain is the perfect in between length, not too short nor too long whilst the feather is big enough to notice, it isn't too in your face either which I love. Although do be careful whilst wearing jewellery with this jumper as I've noticed the material is beginning to pull slightly, which was a shame but for such a good price you really cannot complain. 

The cold shoulder jumper retails for only £6.57 (current sale price!) which you can purchase here if you wish. The stylish gold leaf pendant is also such a bargain at only £2.40 (current sale price!) which you may purchase hereSammydress guarantee to have your items shipped out within three working days and so your products arrive super quickly and at your greatest convenience. 

What is your favourite transitional piece for Autumn?!
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DISCLAIMER: This post is sponsored. Anything that has been sent to me for review has been marked with an asterisk(*). All opinions however, are my own. 

Pamper Day Routine

Friday, September 25, 2015

Because it's okay to treat ourselves sometimes right? I'm sure that many of you are now back in school or work, and so what would be a better way to relieve yourself from that stress with a good little pampering session. Of course this isn't something I do on a regular basis, but if I'm feeling a little bit stressed or down then this is what I like to do to relax and have a little 'me time'. 

Set the atmosphere
To be able to relax, you have to firstly feel comfortable within your environment. For me, adding a scented candle to the room can completely alter my mood, I just find them to be super cosy particularly in the autumn/winter months. I don't know what it is but the scents of fall and winter alongside a nice cup of coffee is seriously so satisfying. 

Bath Bombs
I generally prefer baths to showers anyway but with a bath bomb in the winter they are just that little bit more enjoyable. We as people like to feel aesthetically pleased so turning our water from clear to pink, blue and green is quite magical for us. Let the colourful bubbles and fall scents soak away your troubles. By the way - Have you seen the sneak peek of the Lush christmas collection; I need it all!!

Hair treatment, face treatment.. give yourself the works!
If I'm not using a bath bomb, I like to use my time to give my hair a little bit of much needed love. Recently I've been using the Nanokeratin Invigorating Shampoo&Hydrating Conditionerduo catered specifically for natural/virgin hair. The products both claim to 

"Revatilises and continues to balance post treatment hair, gently and effectively cleansing the hair while restoring optimum moisture levels and nutrients."

After using this duo on my hair for the past week I've seen a big difference in its condition. My hair feels a lot more nourished, conditioned (By bye dry ends!) and I'm actually not reaching for the dry shampoo that often anymore either! I've never actually tried using any products specifically catered for virgin hair and this is definitely something that needs to change - give your hair exactly what it wants, it will be grateful for it, trust me! 

Whilst I'm giving my hair a little overhaul, I like to keep my moisturiser in the fridge for a couple of hours - this sounds super weird but trust me once it has cooled, apply this super gently and really blend it into your skin. Not only is it refreshing but moisturiser is something I tend to slap on really quickly in the morning so I really like to let my skin soak up in all of its goodness during a little pamper. Finishing off with a little bit of Benefit Puff Off to awaken and refresh my eyes, whilst revitalising my lips with a Lush lip scrub you'll seriously feel like a whole new woman. 

Face masks and a good read!
One of my favourite ways to pamper myself is definitely with a face mask, my skin always feels so revitalised and my blemishes appear much smaller after this too so it's definitely a bonus! I like to let mine set for around 10 to 15 minutes before washing it off so this definitely calls for a spot of reading. You'll usually find me with my head lost in an issue of Elle or Vogue, lusting after so many things I'll never be able to afford to buy. I also find Elle contains a lot of inspiring and very personal articles each month so if you're looking for a touch of motivation to work after your pamper, I'd definitely recommend having a little read! One of my recent favourites was Billie Bhatia's contribution to being 'fat in fashion' - definitely a very inspiring read which will make you think. 

And so that's everything I like to do when having a good old pamper, besides eating two whole bars of chocolate. I probably should use my pamper time to practice my nail polish skills because that seriously just isn't my thing, at all. Until next time lovelies,

What do you do to enjoy a bit of 'me time'?!

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DISCLAIMER: This post is sponsored. Anything that has been sent to me has been marked with an asterisk(*). All opinions however, are my own. 

How I Clean My Make-Up Brushes | Advice For Beginners

Monday, September 21, 2015

When I first began my interest with make-up, around 3 to 4 years ago now I felt as though there was a pressure to buy fancy cleaning solutions for my brushes such as the MAC brush cleanser and with there being so many different ways people cleaned their brushes I really didn't know where was the best way to start. Today I'll be sharing with you a step by step, super simple routine catered for beginners, here's the reassurance I once needed that you don't need to buy any fancy cleaning solutions and using things you already have around your house will do the job just fine.

1. Wash your face brushes separately to your eye brushes
This may seem obvious to some and it isn't a crime if you wash them together but this routine involves leaving your brushes to soak in warm water for 5 minutes therefore, it definitely is easier for you to add as few together as possible just to ensure there's less dirt floating around the water.. yum!

2. Leave your brushes to soak for 5 minutes
I like to do this just so the brushes can soak up as much water and soap as possible. Start by running some hot water in your sink and adding in your chosen brushes. I then like to add in a bit of shower gel, for the fun part shake into the water to create some bubbles! Add a timer onto your phone for 5 minutes, leaving them to soak.

3. It's time to wash your brushes!
Taking some plastic gloves, or if you have any designed for washing up then this is even better! It's time to get those brushes clean. I like to take my chosen brush out of the water and add a couple of pumps of hand wash onto the brush, this will vary depending on the brush size and how mucky it is. Then just rub the brush onto the palm of your hand, you should begin to notice the dirt coming off of the brush. Keep rinsing the brush in the water then adding more pumps of hand gel until you don't notice any more dirt coming off from the brush.

4. The magic tip!
The one thing I find super frustrating about cleaning my brushes is the excess soap that becomes trapped in between the hair fibres. What I've discovered is that rinsing your brush under warm water actually just encourages the soap to stay there and so rinsing your brush under cold water is actually the best way to solve this. Keep squeezing your brush whilst you rinse under the cold tap, once all traces of soap are gone your brush should be clean!

5. Leaving them to dry..
There are several ways of doing this, you can attach your brushes to something sturdy with a bobble to hang them upside down to dry but in all honesty I just leave mine on a towel on the bathroom floor to dry over night. This genuinely works just fine and my brushes are super soft, fluffy, clean and dry by the morning. 

I really hope this post helped some of you out and it just goes to show you really don't need any fancy equipment to clean your brushes effectively. Using hand wash is actually a great option as the anti-bacterial formula really helps to ensure your brushes are protected from any nasties and germs whilst leaving them smelling super fresh too! Until next time lovelies,

How do you clean your make-up brushes?!
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PS! I started university today, ahh and so my blog schedule may now be subject to change. I was uploading Monday's, Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the summer but as I'll have a lot of work to prioritise I'm going to be cutting this down to hopefully both Monday's and Friday's. If not Friday's, there will always be a post on a Monday of any week - I can't wait to start uploading more Autumn content!

Photoshop Tips&Tricks | How I Edit My Photos

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A few weeks back, I asked in a twitter chat if any of you would be interested in seeing a post with a few tips on how to use Photoshop more effectively and a lot of you actually said yes. I'm by no means an expert but after two years of studying photography at A-Level, I've picked up a few tips along the way. I've finally settled into a little routine which works perfectly if you want to give your photos are crystal white background, without further adieu.. behold my Photoshop routine.

First off, insert your picture into Photoshop. Today I'll be using a photograph I taken on a white bedding of a few products I purchased at MAC recently. Initially I like to up the exposure to gain the crystal white background I typically have in all of my photos, to do this just select 'Image' then 'Adjustments' and lastly 'Exposure'. 

Increase the exposure until the majority of the background is a crystal white. In this case, I upped the exposure to +1.73. 

As you can see, this has made the products fade quite dramatically. In order to solve this issue, return to 'Image' then 'Adjustments' until you find 'Levels'. I then click 'Auto' - this shall darken the products slightly whilst keeping your background at your desired white.

Then, to further enhance the products I like to do the same thing but with the brightness/contrast. Once again go to 'Image' then 'Adjustments' then 'Brightness/Contrast' and click 'Auto' once more. If you're not satisfied with the way Photoshop has adjusted your photo then just play around with the settings yourself. In this instance I have turned the brightness down to '-48' and placed the contrast up to '+100'. 

Now we're moving onto the saturation. Just follow the same method again 'Image' - 'Adjustments' then 'Hue/Saturation' and I usually like to up this very slightly, in this case just to 10. Although you're trying to add a bit of extra colour into the photo you still want it to look as natural as possible.

If you're still not too happy with the depth of colour to your products in comparison to the white background, then I like to use 'Curves'. We're always following the same and easy method so remember 'Image' - 'Adjustments' then 'Curves'. I like to click 'Auto' on this once again, you can mess around with this and drag the wave around until you reach your desired look if you wish.

If your photo, like mine above has any darker lines onto the white background which could be due to a number of reasons - faulty lighting, a crease in the bedding etc..  then I like to remove this through using the paint brush tool. 

The diagram above should help you. Ensure you have white selected as your paintbrush tool and just use as though it were an eraser. Problem solved - it really is that simple. 

And there you have it! That was the lazy girls guide to editing with Photoshop. Our photo has gone from flat and dull to bright and fabulous, don't you think? This method is honestly so simple and really helps to give any photo a bit of lift. I do have another 'How I edit my photos' post here if you would like to check that out! That post focuses more on how I like to edit my Instagram photos with a few other Photoshop tips that I've left out of this post. Until next time,

How do you edit your photos?post signature

Autumn Nights | Drugstore Beauty Tutorial

Monday, September 14, 2015

Oh Autumn, how I love you. Give me all of the golds, coppers and bronzes. For today's post, I've created this golden, brown smoky eye perfect for any autumn night out. This post is actually a collab with the lovely Matea from Girly Blog. Matea has created a beautiful, every day make-up look perfect for this time of year, which you can check out here. 

To prep my skin for make-up application, I have used the Maybelline Baby Skin to prime and erase the appearance of any pores and fine lines. I love this primer as it gives my face a smooth and softer look to my foundation. For foundation, the Bourjois Healthy Mix is perfect for anyone like me, with combination skin. This applies seamlessly to my skin whilst not clinging to any drier patches or becoming oily in other areas throughout the night. The goji berry extract within this foundation gives my skin an extra added glow which I'm certainly not complaining about! 

I've heard a lot of good reviews about the Maybelline Brow Drama being the perfect dupe for Benefit Gimme Brow and so of course, I decided to trial it within today's post. Initially, I found the brush a little bit confusing to use. As you can see from the photograph above the end of the brush is quite big and circular whilst there is a smaller and flatter brush extending from this - I didn't understand whether to use both parts to the brush or just the circular section. Overall, this did fill my brows in the way I wanted them too - this didn't give as much coverage as the Benefit offering so if you're looking for a more natural looking brow then the Maybelline Brow Drama is perfect. I found the MBD dries to a much more thicker consistency than BGB so you definitely know your brows aren't coming off all night!

Another new product I have been trialling is of course the blogger's favourite. The Collection Lasting Perfection. I picked up mine in the lightest shade; 'Fair' to highlight my under eyes as well as around the brows. Upon using this under the eyes I could already tell this is the perfect dupe for MAC pro-longwear - this brightens the under eye area perfectly, concealing any signs of a dark circle. The doe foot applicator makes this so easy to apply, with the formula feeling super soft and creamy. I then applied this around my brows to define them, leaving my arches looking crisp and perfected. To hide any blemishes, I have used the Maybelline Age Rewind just to pop a little bit of extra coverage above my foundation, blending in seamlessly with my beauty blender.

To keep all of that goodness in place throughout the night I have used the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder. This helped to prevent my under eyes from creasing whilst further adding a little bit of extra coverage to the rest of my face. I like to pat my powder gently, beginning from the nose to add a more natural finish. Once my make-up is all complete, I've kept it in place all night using the NYX Stay Matte setting spray, perfect for keeping any shine and oil at bay!

Firstly I've applied the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer and set with the Rimmel Stay Matte powder just to erase the appearance of any veins and redness. To prime, I've used the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in 'On&On Bronze'. This blends onto the lid so well, is super pigmented which means you could wear it alone or underneath eyeshadow like I have, this will help to keep your shadows locked in all night. Using the Mark Wins Beauty eyeshadow palette which I picked up on a whim last Christmas for only £5 in Asda, it's one of the best quality eyeshadow palettes I own. Firstly I have taken 'Imagine', a classic orange and applied it right across the crease as my transition shade. Above this 'Beautiful', a true chocolate brown which will help to darken the look; leaving you with a burnt orange effect. Taking a clean eyeshadow brush, apply this through the crease to blend everything together much more seamlessly. To brighten up the lid, I've used 'Vixen', a bright white, this did however show up a little grey due to the colour tattoo but don't worry this is only being applied to ensure the shimmer shade shows up better. For the shimmer, I've used this gorgeous Topshop number in 'Shuffle the cards' this is a beautiful gold with pink speckles running throughout - the perfect transition from summer to autumn. Apply right across the lid and into the inner corner to brighten up the eyes. Taking 'Beautiful' once again, blend right through the lower lash line for the effect of a sultry, smoky brown eye. To lengthen my lashes the Rimmel Wake Me Up mascara is another new offering in my collection. With added cucumber extract this smells amazing, however I'd recommend applying a couple of coats then leaving to dry before applying any more. This is actually a great dupe for Benefit They're Real in my opinion. 

To bronze up the face the Rimmel Sun Shimmer bronzer in 'Natural Bronze' is perfect for adding a natural flush of colour to the face whilst keeping my cheekbones looking super defined. For my highlight, I've used the Topshop Glow Cream in 'Polished' to add a bit of sparkle to any areas I wish to highlight (Cupid's bow, bridge of nose etc..) this is a lovely champagne-silver tone which blends beautifully and lasts all day. 

Prepping my lips for application, I am of course using my trustee Lush Lip Scrub - these are perfect for removing any dry skin and makes applying your lipstick much easier to do. Today's lip of choice is the Maybelline Colour Sensational in 'Tantalising Taupe'. This is a beautiful peach brown nude which looks super natural on the lips - a great colour for transitioning into the autumn months. 

Ta-dah! That is the look complete - I had a lot of fun creating this and was super impressed with the final result. It's nice to treat ourselves with some high end products on a night out but sometimes what's in the drugstore really is just as good quality for more than half the price. If you would like to see any more drugstore only make-up looks then do let me know in the comments below as I'd be more than happy to do so! Until next time,

Would you sport an all drugstore look on a night out?!
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Don't forget to check out Matea's look here

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Five Top Tips For Maintaining Clearer Skin

Friday, September 11, 2015

Clear skin. That's the dream isn't it? To remain blemish free. I have tried and tested so many products that claim to give instant results - some work, others well.. they really didn't work at all. In the end, it isn't about the products, they just clog our pores up even more. It's about the way you choose to look after your skin, what you place inside your body as well as what you place upon your face. 

1. The Pre Make-Up Prep
Applying foundation to a face that hasn't been washed or moisturised shall clearly give a different finish and result to one that has. If you're going to wear make-up, you may as well make sure you compile a base of some much needed TLC for your skin before applying it with the works menu of make-up. 

After washing my face, I'll apply the Nivea Oil Free Day Cream; as someone with combination skin I've found Nivea is the only brand that can cater to my sensitive skin. This moisturiser helps to hydrate my skin without adding any excess, unwanted oils into my pores. To brighten and hydrate the under eye area, I use Benefit Puff Off; the iron tip applicator helps to soothe the under eye area, preparing it for concealer and powder. Did you know our under eyes 80% thinner than the rest of our face? This is why it's super important to ensure they are receiving the hydration they need. 

2. Change up your skincare routine
Just like with medication, our skin eventually becomes immune to the products we apply to our face; the skin loving ingredients stop having an effect on our blemishes and we're back to square one. Every three months or so I like to change up my facial wash, spot cream and even sometimes my moisturiser - this just helps to kick start the process of reducing blemishes all over again!

3. Use natural based foundations
On those days where you're only running a couple of errands, if you feel the need to wear make-up; be a bit kinder to skin and use products with natural ingredients. A couple of my favourites are the Dusty Girls Earth Cream* containing ingredients specifically known to target acne, including: Nigella Sativa oil and Manuka Tree Leaf oil. Magnolia Acuminata extract and Chaulmoogra Tree Seed oil are further used to assist with skin repair and soothing. For only £11 this bottle of genius is everything your skin is craving underneath that heavy base of foundation. 

The Lush Jackie Oates colour supplement in my opinion is seriously, really under rated. The base of this product is made from oat milk which helps to keep your skin feeling a little more calm. Alongside honey, shea butter and aloe vera to soothe and hydrate. Retailing at just £9.50 I'd really recommend this to all of you pale girls out there! My skin has benefitted so much from the use of both of these foundations, soothing my blemishes and calming any redness. Although neither give a full coverage, they even out the skin tone perfectly creating the illusion of a 'your skin but better' effect.

4. Pamper time!
Everyone loves a good pamper and your skin certainly does too. Lately I've been using the Sudocrem Skin Care Cream* to both soothe and protect my skin. As a multipurpose product this can be used to either moisturise, hydrate the skin and can even be used as a face mask during your weekend pamper. Lately I have been applying this to any blemish areas across my face, typically the nose, forehead and chin; a couple of hours before bed. I then remove using the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water and there is clearly a visible difference. My blemishes appear less red, they have reduced in size and some have even completely disappeared. TMI but I had a fairly big pimple at the bottom of my chin earlier this week, after applying some Sudocrem to the area it had completely disappeared within 24 hours - I was so amazed! Sudocrem retails at just £2.11 here

Psst.. Did you know that Rita Ora, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Amanda Holden and Lara Stone have all hailed Sudocrem as their number one beauty secret?! 

5. Drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet
Last but not least and I know this goes without saying but drinking more water really does have so many benefits for your skin. Lately I've been aiming to drink a glass of water alongside each meal that I have within a day, as a person who doesn't drink a lot anyway this has really helped to ease me into the process and my skin has cleared up a hell of a lot because of it. My skin has become less dry, more plump, more glowing and far less of a spotty mess of what it used to be. If you look after your body, it shall ultimately look after you; simple.

And so those were my top five tips for maintaining clearer skin! I really hope you liked this post and that these tips helped you out, even if it's just a little bit. Leave a comment down below telling me how you keep your skin free from blemishes! Until next time,

What are your holy grail skin loving products?!
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DISCLAIMER: This post is sponsored. Anything that has been sent to me for review has been marked with an asterisk (*). All opinions however, are my own. 

Natural&Glowing Make-Up For School

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Finding the perfect make-up combination for school isn't an easy task. It has to look natural, yet fresh faced and awake at the same time. I know in some schools you aren't allowed to wear make-up but let's be honest.. we all still did! You don't want to cake yourself in it, even for your own sake you want to be able to let your skin breathe whilst you move around from one humid classroom to another sweaty classroom all day. Thanks to Dusty Girls, I think I've finally found the perfect beauty recipe to create a natural, fresh faced glow that lasts ALL day.

To prep my skin for make-up, I moisturised as usual - this is super important to do before application, otherwise the base of your make-up may appear to be quite patchy. Of course you want to look fresh faced and awake for school, to do this I used Benefit Puff Off. The iron tip applicator is super soothing and cooling on the under eye area, I definitely can't get through my early mornings without this! To prime skin, further prepping for my base I've used the Benefit Stay Flawless 15 Hour Primer  as I need to keep my make-up looking fresh and flawless throughout the long school day. Weirdly enough, I actually never used to like this primer but back in the day I made the stupid mistake of applying the stick over my face and not rubbing it in with my fingers afterwards.. oh dear. No wonder it used to cling to certain areas of my face. Lastly, I like to apply a thin layer of MAC Strobe Cream across my face, focusing more specifically on the areas I wish to highlight further (Cupid's bow, bridge of nose etc..). This just makes my skin appear to have a super natural and healthy inner glow which you definitely will want at 7am. 

Moving onto the brows, I like to lightly coat Benefit Gimme Brow across them, using gentle strokes until I have achieved my desired look. A brow gel is always your best bet when you're in school or work as you don't want to have slugs sliding down your face by midday. 

Now for the hardest part to perfect; the base. For me, I like a brand that says no to cake face, no to animal testing and yes to use all natural ingredients which help to soothe acne prone skin. Now this, is where Dusty Girls come in. The Natural Tinted Earth Creamwill be all you need this school year - yep that's right, I haven't even used any concealer on my blemishes today! Containing skin loving ingredients such as Nigella Sativa Oil and Manuka Tree Leaf Oil your blemishes will be thanking you. I've been using this for the past couple of weeks and skin has cleared up so much! Dusty Girls also note that the colouring of this may appear slightly dark upon first dispensing this from the pump but this is completely normal. Upon application this evens out your complexion, blending into your natural skin tone. I like to apply a thin layer across the face, patting in with my beauty blender for an even and natural looking coverage. I did notice a slight smell when applying this, quite like a farm actually but that fits perfectly with the whole natural vibe and don't worry - there was no sign of any smell once it had blended into my skin. This beauty looks and feels like my skin but better, I am in love.

Back onto the brows and I'm concealing with the NARS Stick Concealer in 'Chantilly' this just really perfects the shape, leaving me with the crisp finish I adore. Then, to brighten up our peepers that little touch more my MAC Pro-longwear in 'NC15' is the perfect brightening concealer. This beauty can disguise any late nights with ease, although I find it creases very quickly so be sure to set it with a powder ASAP. Speaking of powders, to perfect this look I have used the Benefit Hello Flawless powder to set all of that goodness in place. This alongside my stay flawless primer have got me covered for a long day in school! This post isn't sponsored by Benefit, I swear - I just love their products! To add a touch of smize to the eyes, I've used the NYX Colour Mascara in 'Brown'. Brown mascaras are so much more natural looking than black, making them perfect for school. How dare they question the realness of your peepers!

Adding a flush of colour to cheeks and a touch of sparkle to brighten yourself up on an early school morning, the Dusty Girls Natural Mineral Blush in 'Pink Ladies'* gives you the healthiest flush of pink. No camera can ever do justice to how gorgeous this is, with reflecting, gold shimmers throughout you don't even need to highlight, this is the perfect two in one. In the words of Dusty Girls themselves, this is a flush of pink you won't be embarrassed about. Once again containing only natural, oils and micas you can be sure your skin is bright and glowing for all the right reasons. If you wanted to add an extra bit of some'tin, some'tin to your look, then blend this across the crease of your eyelid for an instant pick me up. Finishing off the look now, I've exfoliated my lips with the Lush Lip Scrub in 'The Kiss' to prep them for application. Using the Dusty Girls Mineral Lip Shine in 'Argyle Pink'* I am all ready for a long day at school. I can honestly say this is the softest lip balm I have ever, ever, EVER used! And I'm a girl who's prone to severe dry lips so that really is saying something. This adds the most stunning pink tone to the lips, with berry undertones it's a perfect transitional colour from summer to autumn. Did you know that in our lifetime we actually 3 kilos of lipstick?! This is why Dusty Girls only use food based ingredients to ensure what is going onto our lips (and into our mouth!!) is safe. Influenced by the pink argyle diamond found right in the heart of Western Australia this is a product certainly born from nature. This is also super compact size too, making it perfect to pop into your bag for touch ups throughout the day. 

And so that was my secret to fresh and flawless skin which lasts ALL day long. I just want to give Sammy and the rest of the Dusty Girls team a huge shoutout to sending me such beautiful products, I know for sure that I'll be making more purchases in the future - especially the lip shine, it's amazing! You can check out the rest of their range here. All orders now contain a free, full sized sample of the MooGoo scalp cream - perfect for moisturising any tough and dry skin around the nose, eyebrows and scalp. Although Australian born and bred, Dusty Girls do have a UK based warehouse therefore your order can get to you in no time! 

Finding the perfect foundation shade is also a HUGE struggle for me, thanks to Dusty Girls you can discover your perfect shade using their 5 step quiz here. Even better, they'll ship you a sample size of their natural mineral foundation powder, in your perfect shade alongside your order for free!! 

Until next time lovelies,

What products are you loving for back to school?!
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DISCLAIMER: This post is sponsored, anything that has been sent to me for review has been marked with an asterisk (*). All opinions however, are my own. 

Seasonal Beauty Picks

Monday, September 7, 2015

September is finally upon us. The back to school season is in full bloom and with the blogosophere officially declaring berry lips are in, it's almost as if the summer never even happened. October to December is hands down my favourite time of the year, so I'm super excited to finally be posting my first autumn post of the season! Today I'll be sharing with you all a few of my make-up must haves for the autumn, alongside a wish list of things I'm dying to add into my stash this season. 

I'm super sorry not all the products are included in the photo, I've been having a hard time with this shoot - so many products were suffering with flashback - particularly Majorette&Healthy Mix!

Autumn for me screams all things gold, brown and smoky and so of course the Urban Decay Naked Palette has to be my first pick of the season. With a mixture of mattes and shimmers, coppers and golds, browns and metallic hues this is one of my favourite palettes in my collection. I seriously can't wait to get playing around with this beauty again, I'm feeling all of the shimmery heart eyes towards 'half baked'. 

I'm not a huge wearer of blush but my favourite transitional shade from summer to autumn is definitely anything with a peach undertone. Pink is too summery and brown well, it's too autumn. I remember instantly falling in love with Benefit Majorette upon its release last year, it's super blendable, smells amazing and gives a gorgeous flush of colour to the cheeks. 

Summer was all about the light bases this year but autumn is the time for some full coverage magic. For those long days in school my trustee Benefit Stay Flawless 15 hour primer is the one I need. This beauty keeps my make-up in place all day and feels super soft on my skin, I love it. On top of this, I first discovered the Bourjois Healthy Mix last winter and so of course, it's going to be keeping my combination skin at bay this season. This is seriously the only drugstore foundation I have tried which doesn't cake, crease, cling to my drier patches or slide off throughout the day - I love it!! I'd definitely recommend this to anybody looking for something full coverage, super affordable and perfect on combination skin.

Speaking of those long days in school, this is definitely the season of the dreaded dark circles. To prep my skin for make-up, I love using the Benefit Puff Off just to make myself feel more refreshed and look so much more awake. The iron tip applicator really soothes the under area, the skin underneath our eyes is actually 80% thinner than the rest of our face; so it's super important we look after it! Alongside MAC Pro-Longwear Concealer to really brighten the under eye area and Benefit Roller Lash to smize those eyes with long, voluminous lashes that last all day - no one would ever guess I was up late watching netlifx studying. 

Lastly, let's talk lips. Of course, autumn is and has always been associated with the dark lip and so I thought I would share with you a couple of my favourites. Although slightly messy, Topshop Lip Bullet in 'Wine Gum' is the most gorgeous berry shade with a stunning burgundy undertone. Every time I've ever worn this I've always received so many compliments, I always worry that darker shades would wash me out as I'm quite pale but this compliments my skin tone perfectly. Second on my list is MAC Diva, which Wine Gum is actually the perfect dupe for if you're looking for a cheaper alternative. Although a matte shade, Diva isn't too drying on the lips and adds an edgy, statement vibe to your look when opting for a bold lip and neutral eyes. Of course, the autumn and winter weather can be quite harsh on our lips, with the cold air drying them out. Now, I couldn't not mention any red shades, my ultimate go to for this time of year has to be NARS Carmen, this is seriously the most stunning blood red lipstick I've ever seen in my life. With amazing pigmentation and staying power, every beauty blogger NEEDS this in their collection! My biggest tip is to always exfoliate them before any lipstick/lip balm application. The Lush Lip Scrubs are a complete life saver! Not only do they taste great but they leave my lips feeling super conditioned, removing any trace of dry skin - I love them!!

And now, onto the products on my wish list!

This season is all about the smoky eye, besides this is actually the only Naked palette I don't have - I'm dying to add it to my collection!!

Why oh why is this lipstick £60?! I'm seriously in love, not only is the packaging stunning but you can wear it as a necklace!! I'm forever losing my lipsticks and so Mr Louboutin couldn't have created anything more perfect. Bengali, you shall be mine.

As I mentioned earlier, autumn for me is all about achieving a flawless, full coverage base. Pretty much every beauty blogger seems to have this in their collection besides me, I definitely need to pick up a sample next time I'm at my nearest counter!

Every time I've tried to purchase this at my counter, it's always sold out. Shock horror but I've never tried a cream contour product, I've always been a powder girl but I'm dying to try out something new!

I've got the NARS one, rightfully I needed the Urban Decay offering. Enough said really.

Confession time. I've never tried anything by Too Faced!! This mascara has been on my wish list for quite some time now and I'm really keen to see if it can live up to its hype. I adore my Benefit Roller Lash but sometimes you just fancy a change, you know?

I usually highlight my brows using my NARS stick concealer but unfortunately it's beginning to become on its last legs. I'm hoping Benefit high brow shall be a decent replacement!

I love the whole grey nail trend for the autumn time. It's the perfect transitional shade from white to grey rather than straight to berry or black. I need.

I've always been so scared at how bold this lip colour is but I think it's time to bite the bullet and give it a try. I'm dying to create a halloween look using this, gimme gimme gimme! Also, can we just preach for the fact this is a satin finish?! 

And so that was my autumn beauty picks for 2015! Leave me a comment below saying what is on your wish list this season. Are you rocking the berry lip yet, or is too early? Until next time,

Are you excited for fall?!post signature

Making The Most of Your Planner

Saturday, September 5, 2015

For the second instalment of my #TooCouture4School series, we're talking planners. Overall, students tend to take their planners for granted. When I was in high school, using your planner was seen as 'uncool'. Most people tended to either write their homework down on their hand.. by which it probably smudged off by the end of the day, or they didn't bother to write it down at all. Now, I'm not sure if this is because being organised is seen as a 'nerdy' thing to do or because kids just don't like the look of their school's free planner but when you actually get to grips with using a planner and stick to it, it will probably be the best thing you can do to stay organised. And without further adieu, here are a few of my top tips to use your planner more efficiently.

1. Sticky Notes
I highly would advise everyone to keep a pack of these in your school bag at all times. Teachers are mean and they love to give us a lot of homework - particularly in your older years of school/college and for those of us who have big handwriting, those five lines aren't enough to write down every piece of homework we've received that day. You can use sticky notes to write on anything extra you didn't have room for, then for even more important assignments you can attach a couple to the front of your planner to make sure you see it.

2. Colour Coding
The visual learner in me, needs a bit of colour in order to keep my life in check. Using a different coloured pen for each subject will help me to see much faster how much homework I have for each subject. Similarly using different coloured sticky notes can further help certain subject assignments to stand out more, therefore you'll remember to get it done much quicker! This helped me a tonne during revision season as I'd write each day what subject I wanted to work on, for instance if I've written in pink on Tuesday then I knew straight away today was going to be a sociology day. In addition, I like to use coloured pen page markers to write my blog posts on, as these are really small I still have enough room to write my homework down, as well as being able to distinguish quicker between my university work and my blog work. 

3. The Important Pages
Most planners come with so many additional pages that students actually tend to not even look at. For example, my planner this year contains important dates, note pages, phone numbers for all of the varying examination boards and even some timetables to fill out at the back for each term. I was always that kid that would lose their timetable sheet if I didn't glue it into my planner so having an actual space in my planner to fill my timetable out is super handy! Those pages are there for a very good reason, so make sure you make the most of them. 

4. Motivate Yourself
Most planners usually have an additional note section at the end of each week. A great way to keep that motivation with you throughout the year is to either write what you've achieved by the end of that week or set yourself some goals for the following week, or even a mixture of both! This is a really useful way to keep a track of your progress and goals are always so much more easier to attain when you work towards them in small chunks each week. Writing down whatever you have accomplished that week could literally be anything from being on time to all of your classes, completing all of your assignments early or hitting 25,000 page views on your blog. I think most students dislike planners as they are filled with all of the chores we have to complete each week but if you add in some successes at the end of each week it will (hopefully) make you gain more of a positive attitude towards your studies. 

5. Get Creative!
Now for the fun part, you can design the inside of your planner whichever way you like. If you love the way your planner looks, you're more likely going to want to use it and you might even become excited to get designing it each week! You can add anything from washi tape, inspirational quotes or cute stickers. Planning and organisation really doesn't have to be as boring as it might seem after all, creativity never goes out of style. 

So that was my top five tips for using your planner more efficiently. I really hope that this helped some of you out and you're now hopefully feeling a little bit more positive towards planners; trust me they will become your best friend at school! If you're enjoying my #TooCouture4School series so far then please let me know in the comments down below, I'd love to hear your suggestions for any other back to school posts you may wish to see. You can check out all of the posts from this series by clicking the #TooCouture4School button underneath the read more section on the right hand side of the page. Until next time lovelies,

"Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today" 
                                - Malcom Xpost signature

Tips For A Productive School Year

Thursday, September 3, 2015

For most people, January and September are typically seen as the two stages in the year where you have the opportunity to start afresh. Beginning the new school/work year can be both an exciting and scary time, particularly if you're about to enter a year filled with important exams, to aid you into the next stage of your academic life. Assumably, most people want to head into the school year with a positive and motivated attitude but this often becomes lost within a few weeks. Today, I'll be sharing with you my top tips and essentials for ensuring you can have both a productive and motivated school year. 

Must Haves For Staying Organised:

1. Get a planner
This may seem completely obvious but a lot of people will completely toss their planner to the side on that first day back. I personally cannot function without a planner, so much so that I have two. One for school and one for blogging, I like to feel organised and so when I write things down I'm more likely to remember it and therefore do it.

2. Dividers
Not only do these help you save space in your bag, as you only have to carry one folder for all of your subjects.. but these are perfect for staying organised with everything being kept together. On the first day of term teachers tend to give out so many loose sheets which let's be honest.. without a folder or divider we'd probably lose them. Every single one of them. 

3. Highlighters/Coloured Pens
My notes are genuinely like a colouring book because I just can't stand things being written in black and white. When reading over my notes I'll more than likely zone out if they aren't written in colour, this just helps me to focus and allows my notes to stick in my mind more. Definitely a great thing to do if you're a visual learner.

4. Flashcards/Sticky Notes
I'm super old school in the way that I just love writing things down. A new planner and a to do list is always at the top of my supply shopping list every year, alongside flashcards and sticky notes.. of course the colourful kind! To stay organised you have to be able to remember the tasks you have to do. I love placing sticky notes everywhere.. on my folders, fridge, bedroom door, the TV.. seriously just anywhere! It seems silly to think we remind ourselves to do things that much but sometimes the more you remind yourself to do something, the more motivation you shall gain to actually do it.

5. Set your timetable as your phone background!
This will become so handy, especially within the first few weeks when you're having to adjust to new classrooms and lessons. This will help you to learn your timetable that extra bit quicker and avoid the embarrassment of being late to class on the first day - we've all been there!

Top 3 Tips For Staying Motivated:

1. Set yourself goals
This is by far the best way to start your schooling year off right. If you know what you want to achieve by the end of the year, this will give you something to work on and keep in the back of your mind throughout every essay or assignment that is getting you down. I honestly think the biggest reason people lose focus half way through the year is that they haven't set themselves a goal to complete by the end of it all. 

2. Treat yourself
A bit similar to the previous tip but even if it's just treating yourself to a lush bath bomb at the end of the month or a new lipstick once you've completed that 5000 word killer essay you will feel so relieved at the end of it all. If you give yourself a goal or a treat to work towards and look forward to then it will make you more keen to work harder and therefore have a more productive school year.

3. Buy cute stationery 
Just like with exercise, when you wear a cute workout outfit you're more likely going to enjoy working out. If you have a couple of cute notebooks maybe with some doughnuts printed on them or a neon pink pencil case you will 100% be more likely to get your work done. It sounds silly but people like to be aesthetically pleased, if you're happy with your supplies then you're a lot more likely to actually use them. This doesn't mean go out and spend tonnes of money, I'm still going to be using the same pink folders I've used for the past three years but a new pencil case never harmed anybody. 

And my most favourite tip of all to remember is "Don't wish for it, work for it!" If you fail to prepare, then ultimately you have to prepare to fail. I wish you all the very best of luck for this new academic year, let's try and make it our most successful one yet! I hope you found this post somewhat useful and if you have any other tips about staying motivated which I didn't mention, then please let me know in the comments below - I'd love to hear your thoughts! Until next time,

"Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world"
- Nelson Mandela
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