Saturday, 5 April 2014

Hey! Long time no see

Why hello there! It's been about 18 months since I've last written a blog post. I've been um-ing and ah-ing about starting it up again since the start of the year and here we are.

So where have I been? 18 months ago I moved down to London to start my PhD. I'd spent the summer travelling around Asia and having one last final hurrah before settling down for the hard work that would be the next four years of my life. My summer was so busy I didn't allow myself to properly look for a place to live in London and in desperation I jumped head first into a flat without getting to know the people or even viewing the property first. It was a horrible, cold flat, and I didn't get on well with the two other girls who lived there. They weren't necessarily bad people we just had very different expectations and our personalities didn't quite match. I wasn't happy and trying to settle in to a big new city in a house I wasn't happy in was hard. I was finding every excuse not to be in the flat and I let the blog fall by the way side.
Last April I managed to move out and in with a friend. My new place is a much warmer, happier place to be (yay!),  although it is about an hours commute into uni everyday. Unfortunately I just don't have the time to spare doing my makeup, and trying out new products like I used to (if only I could master putting my makeup on the tube like so many other woman, I mean how do they do that?!) It also cost me a lot of money to move out and, quite frankly, I just didn't have the money to spend on new bits of makeup, skincare, body bits etc etc so I just removed myself from the blogging world. I stopped spending my evening watching videos on YouTube just so I wouldn't be longing for all the wonderful items I heard everyone raving about and tempted to spend a small fortune in Boots when I just needed some cotton pads... (Don't judge me, we've all been there!)

Roll on towards the end of 2013 and I'd started to find my feet a bit more in good old London town. In the run up to Christmas I started making the time to read my favourite blogs and watching YouTube again. It reminded me of how much I missed writing my own blog. So I'm back, and eager to get writing again.

I want to change the focus of this blog and branch out to other aspects of my life. Since moving to London I've picked up a few new hobbies and interests that I'd love to share alongside all the beauty and makeup bits. There's more to life than your favourite lipstick right? In about 24 hours I will be running my first marathon (eep!), something I'm super excited and also petrified about. It's moments like this I want to keep track of, and I'm sure I'll be filling you in on the details soon enough.

It feels good to be writing again, and I can't believe I stopped. If there's any particular posts you'd like to see then do let me know, but in the mean time I have a few ideas up my sleeve and I can't wait to get everything together.

R x

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Combating Tired Eyes

Early morning view at the elephant sanctuary

Long time no see! It’s been so long since I’ve sat down to write a blog post, since well before I went off travelling at the beginning of August. But I’m back and on a blog post writing roll!

My travels around SE Asia were amazing and I had so much fun. I learnt so much at the elephant sanctuary, where I was a volunteer, and will hopefully return there in the near future. I would love to do a whole post on the subject, please let me know if you'd be interested.

I’m now settled in London and it still feels so strange having Oxford Street on my doorstep. Luckily my bank balance hasn’t really been affected (so far!) but I have discovered a few new shops and some favourite new clothing items. I also completely under estimated how much time a PhD takes up and have been really struggling to balance work, socialising, hobbies and sleep. I think I’m starting to get into a routine and still get enough sleep.

So the main problem I’ve been had to deal with is having, on average, around 5 hours sleep a night. I’m a girl who needs her sleep and I can get very grumpy if I haven’t got my full eight hours! Not only that but a lack of sleep causes me to get very dark very puffy eyes. Not a good look. However I have found 3 products that I think have really helped to keep the zombie eyes looking a little less, well, zombie like.

The first product is the Kiels Eye Alert eye cream. Now this is actually from the Kiels men’s range, but if it works then what does it matter! This eye cream claims to be an energy booster to combat puffiness and dark circles and I definitely notice the difference when I use it. A little while after I pat it under my eyes I feel the skin start to cool and tighten but it feels so hydrating too. It’s a little pricey at £22.50 for 15ml but you only need the tiniest amount so it will last a good while. It’s definitely a winner for me.

Next is the YSL touché éclat in shade 1. I had never laid hands on this product until a couple of months ago (I know, shocking isn't it!). When I was in the duty free this summer I thought it was about time I checked this raved about product out and treated myself. This has been great at lifting and brightening the dark shadows in the inner corner of eyes. Ultimately this just makes me look so much more awake. I now realise why this is such a cult product and will definitely be keeping this in my makeup bag for the foreseeable future. 

Lastly is a product which I have mentioned before, my Look Beauty eyeliner in shade number 6. This is a flesh coloured eyeliner that I place on my water line. I love how flesh coloured eyeliners can help counteract redness in the eyes and instantly make you look more awake. This one is super soft and creamy so doesn’t drag on the eyes and lasts quite well. It’s definitely not the longest lasting of products but it’s not the worst either.

Swatches of YSL touché éclat in shade 1, top, and Look Beauty Eyeliner in Shade 6,  bottom

I think I’ve finally settled into a routine where I’m getting my usual 7-8 hours sleep a night so hopefully I wont be reaching for all these products on a regular basis. What are your go to products on those days when you could do with an extra couple of hours of sleep?


Rae xxx

Saturday, 1 September 2012

FOTD: Everyday Summer Makeup

This summer hasn’t been a great one in terms of weather. Lots of rain and little sun which isn’t the most enjoyable combination, but I live in England so what more can you do? I wanted to share with you my current go-to makeup look of late. I’ve never done a post like this before but I really love this look and wanted to share it with you. I’m by no means a makeup expert, but I love playing around with eyeshadows and (trying) to switch my look every now and again.

I’ve been toning down the amount of makeup that I have been wearing recently, settling for one all-over eyeshadow colour, if any, and brown kohl eyeliner instead of the two or three eyeshadow shades I normally wear with lashings of gel eyeliner. I’ve been enjoying the softer look, and the fewer products I have needed to use. I’ve also been trying to make myself feel a bit more summery, by switching my usual blusher for my Bourjois soleil bronzer, which I find provides a natural looking bronzed look (at least I’ve been getting complements on how tanned I look so I guess I can’t look too orange!). 

Here is a picture of everything that I used to create this look. I know that the amount of products shown still looks like a lot (and I was surprised when I gathered everything up to photograph!) but I find that it takes no time at all to apply and I can be ready to leave the house in around 5 – 10 minutes!

What is your go-to makeup look for summer?

Love Rae

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Project Pan: Update 3

It’s been a while since I’ve done a project pan update and I’ve got a stack of items which I’ve used up. I’ve now moved back home and my project pan is officially over, however I still have a lot of products and I definitely want to keep going on with trying to use them all up! I think I may try and do some monthly empties posts (maybe in video format, let me know what you think!). Anyways onto the update!

I’ve managed to use up a few more of the Body Shop Seaweed Range: the cleanser and the night treatment. I do quite like the seaweed  range from the body shop. I think there are other cleansers and definitely night treatments which I prefer and so I don’t think I will be repurchasing either of these anytime soon.
Now another cleanser I have finished up is the Neutragena grapefruit daily exfoliating wash. I love this face wash. It smells great and I think it works really well with my skin. This face wash does contain small exfoliating beads but it is definitely a gentle exfoliant. Whilst using this I noticed that my skin looked so much better, I had fewer breakouts and my skin was less shiney. If you have combination skin then I would definitely, definitely recommend this. I tried to get hold of this again when I ran out but it was out of stock so I had to settle for the standard Neutragena daily exfoliating wash, which is good, but I’m definitely not as fond of.

I managed to finish a few makeup products. One of these was the Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer, which is an amazing concealer. I consider this to be one of my holy grail products and I think I will continue to repurchase this again and again! It lasts so well on the skin and covers imperfections really well. If you haven’t tried this and are on the hunt for a new concealer then I urge to try this one out!
The other makeup item I finished was a Rimmel Blush in Autumn Catwalk. This blush contained 3 different pinky peach shades, too matte and one shimmery one, which I used swirled together. I did really like the shades contained in this blush and the product was very pigmented and so a light hand was definitely needed. I think this was a great highstreet blusher and I would love to try out some more blushers from Rimmel.

Lastly I finished a sample of the Lancome miceller makeup remover solution, for eyes lips and face. This was the product which converted me from facewipes to micellaire solutions and I enjoyed how easily this removed my makeup at the end of the day. I have since been using Bioderma and have a large stock of this, but as Bioderma isn’t quite so easy to get hold of I would definitely consider repurchasing the Lancome version.

So that’s the round up of this project pan update. Have you used any of the projects mentioned, if so what were your thoughts? 

Love Rae

Sunday, 12 August 2012

July Favourites

 So August is here and it’s time for another monthly favourites! July was a busy month for me as I graduated from university, moved back home and spent a week in Germany. This month has flown by and I’ve barely had time to stop and catch my breath! Because of moving home I haven’t really switched up my makeup products and have been sticking to a lot of the same products which you saw in my last monthly favourites, but I have discovered a few new products this month too which I’ve really been enjoying using.

There haven’t been many new makeup loves this month. I’ve moved away from the BB creams and have gone back to my Clinique Moisture Surge tinted moisturiser. I love the light consistency of this tinted moisturiser and it really does moisturise my skin well. For mascara I’ve been wearing my MAC Dazzle lash mascara. I bought this when I was in Vietnam last summer as my lash tint had worn away and I hate how light my natural lashes are. MAC was a familiar brand to me and I bought it without really thinking. Initially I didn’t like the formulation as it was very wet and just clumped my lashes into one big clump so it’s been sat in the back of a draw. At the beginning of the month I thought I would give it another try. Once the mascara had dried out a bit it applied so much better and it now makes my lashes look really good! Lastly for makeup is a new product and it one of the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic. I bought this to wear for my graduation as I didn’t want to have to keep applying lipstick throughout the day. This definitely lived up to the job and I now reach for it on an almost daily basis.

For my nails I am currently obsessed with French manicures. I love how simple and polished it makes my nails look. To create this I have been using Essie Mademoiselle and Rimmel Tip Whitener, which together make the perfect French manicure. At the beginning of the month I ran out of nail varnish remover, so went out with the intention of picking up the new Bourjois miracle nail varnish remover, but it was out of stock. Instead I saw this little tub of Pretty Quick Instant nail polish remover which retails for around half the price of the Bourjois one. I love this little pot and it makes removing nail varnish so quick and easy!

This month I have been completely in love with the Burberry Body fragrance. This is just a free sample I got through Facebook, quite a few months ago now but this month I have been reaching for it almost every day. I’m going to be sad when this runs out as a full sized bottle is so expensive so I’m just going to enjoy it whilst it lasts!

Finally for body and skin care items I have been loving my Body Shop Warming Mineral Face Mask. When applied to the face it really warms up and I find after using it my skin feels so much softer and that it really helps to calm down any breakouts. Lastly is the Lush Lovely Jubblies breast cream. This is supposed to be a firming cream and can be applied all over the body (not just the breasts!). I find that it works really well under the eyes if I’ve not had enough sleep and I’m looking a bit puffy. I love the scent of this and how soft it leaves my skin afterwards, it’s very hydrating but doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy or waxy which I love.

So that’s it for my July favourites. Have you tried any of these products and what have you been enjoying this past month?

R xxx