Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Huge Autumn/Winter Primark Haul


Well, I've gone and done it again, I've spent my life savings in Primark. Having easy access to at least three Primark's is not good for my lack of self control when it comes to shopping. Every time I walk in there, there's always something brand new that catches my eye and I just can't say no because I know I'll regret it when I can't find said item on my next trip (I have such a problem, seriously!). It's not only the shop themselves that encourage me, however, it's the Primark website, their Instagram and Twitter pages filled with fresh new stock and style inspiration. Not to mention, the bloggers and the YouTubers who coax me into taking another trip into town to see if I can find the gorgeous pieces they've displayed. In my defence, everything I bought has been in moderation from the end of August/beginning of September up until now but to put it straight, I am just purely an openly admitted Primark addict. Yep, that's me all over.

Their Autumn/Winter range has seriously impressed me this year. The prices do keep rising but the quality is well balanced and I do think as a whole the concept of what Primark has to offer has changed. It's not seen as tacky anymore and Primark's become a more enjoyable experience (apart from maybe on a weekend or in the school holidays when it's a children running riot and clothes shoved on the floor kinda day). Anyway, on to what I bought...

Tile Print Shirt - £10 | V Neck Top - £5

Nude Collared Lace Trim Top - £8 | Pink Tartan Scarf - £5

Check Trousers - £12 | Pink Fluffy Skirt - £8

Rose Print Dress (sale) - £5 | Black Fluffy Skirt - £8

Tartan Night Shirt - £7 | Burgundy Jumper Dress - £8

Taupe Jumper Dress - £8 | Dogtooth Dress - £13

White Quilted Dress - £5 (sale)

Monochrome Skirt - £10

Camel Skirt - £10

Pink Cardigan - £9 | White Duster Coat - £17

Monochrome Scuba Jacket - £20 | Pastel Blue Boyfriend Coat - £23

Tote Bag - £10 | Dog-tooth Satchel - £6

Brown Fedora Hat - £7

Grey Fedora Hat - £7

Black Mule Boots - £16

Boots - £15 | Brown Shoes - £12

Statement Necklace - £6 | Set of Three Necklaces - £3 | Earrings - £1 each

Coconut & Vanilla Candle - £1.00 | Silver Glass Candle - £1.50 | Gingerbread Headphones - £3

Long Necklaces - £2 each | Pink Purse Bag - £1.50

My favourite of the bunch has to be the shoes, hats and bags. The accessory and footwear section in Primark at the moment is so on point and I could have picked up so much more (but the stop sign inside me did make an appearance eventually). Also, the sale items I picked up were such a bargain and I think they'd be great staple items which can be dressed up or down. In particular, I have an image of the rose print dress being a dress I wear for the Christmas party/get together season. Topped with some jewellery, high heels or blocked ankle boots and a monochrome clutch, it would be my ideal festive outfit. Speaking of Chritmas, Primark have just about released their Christmas collections and oh my god, everything is so so cute. I already have a Christmas/homeware haul in mind where I purchase way too many Christmas decorations and candles but for now, I need to put a limit on my spending habit!

Have you picked up anything in Primark recently?

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Saturday, 25 October 2014

What I wore: roll neck and stripes

Sweater - Mango | Striped Dress - She Inside | Boots - Primark | Bag - New Look | Hat - H&M

Roll neck, turtle neck, polo neck, whatever you want to call them, I'm loving them and living in them! They're all I seem to be wearing at the moment and I can't seem to stop buying them (good job they're only cheap) and surprise surprise, here I am featuring one of many roll necks in a black and white outfit. I don't think you can ever go wrong with stripes, or jumpers over dresses for that matter. Unfortunately it's come to that time where I daren't go out without tights now; black is very flattering for the legs and the weather hasn't been overly bad for October so I won't complain but the clocks go back tonight and as much as I love layering up, all I wish for is one more day of daylight before the darkness at 4pm and warning signs of snow and ice come into force. If it wasn't for Christmas, I'd so volunteer if there was ever to be an experiment for human hibernation!
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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Beauty: Merumaya Integrative Skincare


A couple of weeks ago I broke my blogger event virginity and attended my very first get together at John Lewis in Sheffield. The event consisted of me, my mum (long story short, she didn't want me travelling on my own so we decided to make a day of it and go shopping beforehand and then she joined in with the fun - a mother's place to worry no matter what your age, right?), Georgina from She Might Be Loved, Tracey and Liz from The Naughty Forty DiariesLekha and the wonder woman herself, Maleka. It was so lovely to meet everyone! I definitely didn't think I'd have been only 1 of 4 to be asked along, it increased my feelings of honour up by a considerably large amount. As this was new to me, I wasn't sure what to expect but the couple of hours spent as a group around a table on a rainy afternoon was actually really pleasant and I came away from there feeling inspired by her work and like I'd certainly gained some helpful knowledge and handy skincare tips. I hadn't particularly heard much about Merumaya before but I was excited to find more out about this independent range and it didn't disappoint. 

Maleka spoke about her dream fulfilled brand for the duration of time. She started off by telling us why the name "Merumaya" and how did it come along. The first impressions were all positive, she said the name develops from her family's name cropped and made into a new name - a touch I felt was sweet and special. The personal side of things developed as she began to talk about her life and how she'd got to this stage. Maleka has over 30 years experience with many different beauty brands and has had success in various areas of the industry but she always knew she needed to create something fresh and new for the audience she wished to delight.

Maleka's mission is to produce integrative, effective, evidence based, anti ageing skincare products that are valued for the active ingredients she puts in, rather than the ingredients she leaves out. Basically, she wants women to feel good about themselves. This showed as she was explaining what benefits she hopes people get out of her products. During the talk, Maleka allowed us to test each product as she went along the list and gave us her insight. She also did this thing where she gave us a pictured scenario related to each product she placed in front of us. Maleka wanted a woman to feel the radiance when she looked in the mirror, and she could see a woman with a busy schedule applying a product, whizzing round the house completing chores and then finishing with a fresh face. Maleka said she saw her products acting as a gym and I came to realise the words she spoke were so true; every part of the skincare makes you feel like you've torn off a new layer and are presented with a better, more glowing face (but I'll get on to that later.)

Maleka believes in the 5 P's - protect, prevent, pleasure, performance and price. Protect the skin, prevent any signs of ageing, impurities and breakouts, allow the individual to feel pleasured and pampered without the stigma of what should be contained in a beauty product, make sure the performance and effectiveness of the products work to their best, and maintain affordable prices. The motto is pretty straightforward and she (and I) truly believe her products meet this standard. Speaking of the products, these are what the brand has to offer:

- Overnight Recharge Night Cream: helps to restore skin density and firmness and helps to repair skin whilst reducing the signs of fatigue.

- Iconic Youth Serum: an exclusive complex of 10 active ingredients, acts as a bodyguard to shield your skin against premature ageing symptoms.

- Melting Cleansing Balm: a luxurious and sensual formula that gives you a makeup removal and cleansing product all in one.

- Pure Radiance Mask: the perfect pick me up treatment for rapidly improved luminosity, formulated to rapidly restore a radiant complexion.

- Skin Brightening Exfoliating Peel: a must have treatment which restores a more youthful appearance and vital glow. Retexturises all skin types to reveal a clearer, brighter, more vibrant complexion.

- Youth Preservation Moisturiser SPF15: provides rapid moisturisation, long term hydration and repair with efficacious sun protection. Enveloped in a luscious, beautifully textured emulsion which leaves behind a plumped, velvety softness.

- Intensely Youthful Eye Cream: a robust combination of eight active ingredients at potent concentrations, works integratively to help reduce the signs of skin ageing around the delicate eye area.

- Treatment Toner: a next generation formulation which is not only refreshing but helps provide immediate hydration, plumpness, softening and a youthful brightness to skin.

- Luxury Facial Wash: caressing, clarifying cleansing for those troubled by blemishes at a time when anti ageing is priority.

- Concentrated Spot Treatment: uniquely formulated to soothe, reduce redness and irritation. Helps dry spots without crustiness while helping to repair and minimise scarring.

- Bi-Phase Plus Eye Makeup Remover: an effective, gentle and hydrating product that provides a buffered, moisturising feel and swift removal of eye makeup without drying.

- Confidensual Handwash: not your ordinary handwash, one which puts the pleasure, sensuality and femininity back into skincare.

- Skin Brilliance Supplements: an exclusive and clinically trialed complex to help restore dermal tissue, increase skin elasticity and moisture to help keep skin looking more youthful. Contains RevitELex Nutra 200mg and Vitamic C, 18mg.

- Daily Cleansing Cloths: heavier than a muslin cloth so that they retain the warmth from the water, these cloths help you achieve a thorough, facial quality cleanse and mild exfoliation every day.

- Manual Cleansing Brush: a main charge/battery free brush that encourages gentle exfoliation and effective cleansing, right to the hairline and under jaw.

From what I remember, the top 5 of the above list were and are the most popular among the public. This is another addition that Maleka gave us - she gave feedback and individual opinions from people who have contacted her to tell her what they thought. It was so intriguing to find out what everyone is loving and how their skin reacted (which was all positive may I add) and it made me eager to try out the rest of the products. One thing that stood out for me was the distinctive scent the range of products had. All of the ones I tested had such a comforting, refreshing smell which drew you in for more. The sensuality and softness the products gave me (just by applying on the back of my hand) also made me gleam.

The products I was given in a lovely. thoughtful gift bag were the Skin Brightening Exfoliating Peel*, 1 sample of the Melting Cleansing Balm* and 2 samples of the Iconic Youth Serum*. Upon first use of these, I noticed a huge difference and even had compliments from my close ones; it certainly didn't take long to improve the performance of my skin. They described my skin as looking radiant and smooth and I felt this when going to cleanse my face and apply my makeup - I actually liked how the condition of my skin looked for once! The Skin Brightening Exfoliating Peel has kind of become my holy grail. I rely on it to provide that dewiness, hydration and brightness that my skin lacks sometimes and it helps reduce dullness for a long period of time when used frequently. When left on the skin for the required time you can really feel the immediate gratification, and when removed my skin instantly glows with a healthy shine. It feels as though it does much more than what a mask does with the calming sensation this leaves. This does get rid of bad skin cells that aren't wanted when you desire nice skin! My pores are nowhere near as visible, the excess sebum which can creep up and produce bumps in the skin are gone, my blemishes are less prominent and it truly does makes me feel alive.

The Melting Cleansing Balm is the first cleansing balm I've used and I'm so impressed with how functional it is. This rich and silky cleansing balm easily applies, melts right into the skin and erases all traces of makeup and hidden dirt which can build up and cause bacteria, but it also gets down to the job right away. I love how when mixed with water this produces a milky texture and is also easy to rinse away with no form of greasiness left behind. It's so simple to use and saves a lot of time. My skin feels incredible once this has been used, that velvety smooth feel you reach for so often appears in an instance. It allows my skin to breathe and feel refreshingly clean and comfortable whilst still locking in the moisture. Not to mention it's in a squeezy tube so makes it ever so convenient.

I only got a couple of uses out of the Iconic Youth Serum but it only took that amount to notice and feel an instant effect and there's no doubt about it that it is worth paying the full price for this luxury. I applied this after I'd used the cleansing balm and my skin felt amazing, as though the softness, vibrancy and plumpness had improved within a click. It didn't take any effort to blend and sink into the skin and left no heavy feeling. Although at the ripe age of 21, I can't really comment on the youthful, ageing side of things I do believe this refines the elasticity and hydrating softness of the face and makes you feel revitalised and rejuvenated.

One thing I love about the products available from Merumaya is that there is no age limit, although some may be aimed at certain ages, they are just as suitable for anybody younger and for any skin type. I do have very sensitive skin which is why I'm often dubious about trying new things but I'm so glad I got the chance to research and trial these gems. The products which are now on my list (and are currently screaming "buy me" repetitively) are the Overnight Recharge Night Cream, the Pure Radiance Mask and the Concentrated Spot Treatment. One comment that stuck in my mind was how I was told the night cream seemed to help with acne and prevented spots from becoming angry. Although it isn't officially proven, I have high hopes for this with what was expressed. I'm always on the look out for spot treatments and the Concentrated Spot Treatment is bound to provide results if I'm going by the rest of the products. Same with the Pure Radiance Mask, I imagine this provides the same brightness and freshening feeling I yearn for.

Maleka has so many high quality products to offer but she also values the fortes of a person when stepping away from the skincare. She is a stimulation to those who have dreams, she has worked so hard to get to the stage she's at with only good intentions in mind, challenged herself and her products and continued to revolutionize. "If you are wondering if you will ever get your happily ever after, don't give up, keep believing, constantly visualising and create a positive environment to facilitate your dream, your miracle" - such a delightful quote from Maleka and one which you should always bear in mind. If Merumaya products and Maleka's kind nature and determined attitude could give a hug, they'd definitely give the most reassuring hug. 

Have you ever tried any of the Merumaya range? You can purchase any of the products directly from the website or they are widely available at John Lewis stores with future plans to hopefully extend.

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Sunday, 19 October 2014

What I wore: grid print trousers

Top - Boohoo | Fur Gilet - Primark | Trousers - Primark | Boots - Forever 21 | Bag - Primark | Hat - H&M

I'm aware I look like I'm about to kill someone here and for that I apologise. I'm still trying to master the range of acceptable blogging faces (and it's certainly not these). Anyhow, these trousers are the best things in my wardrobe at the moment and would you believe they're only Primark? They're so versatile and can be teamed up with almost anything. Not to mention, they fit me just right; everyone who knows me will know I struggle to find trousers that are in proportion with my waist and hips but these are perfect. 

I'm also loving how it's now justifiable to bring out the faux fur, and the bigger and snugger, the better! Gilet's are such a great throw on item when you want to insulate the warmth but don't fancy being cooped up with a coat. I could so cope with winter if it stayed as mild and 'chilly in the evening but not teeth chattering chilly' all through like it currently is. The only problem is, the nights are drawing in earlier and there's no more quick 6pm last minute outfit photo snaps. Indoor locations, I'm on the hunt to find you! Either that or I'll just try and find the time in the afternoon...

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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Beauty: Current five face favourites


It feels good to actually be able to sit down and write a blog post. Everyone has those manic weeks where stress takes over and switches the place of any hope of leading a simple life - this week has definitely been one of those weeks for me. Luckily, we have beauty products as our pick me ups and this time I want to talk about my current face favourites which have made their way into my routine. I think it's so important to pamper your face and use the products that make you feel a bit more uplifted than you may feel. When you feel sluggish, your face can mimic, then you feel more run down and the cycle continues...

As far as skincare and cleansing go, there's that "cliche" blogger oil, The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil. I grabbed this when there was a discount code (I'm such a cheap skate, it's ridiculous) and I'm so happy I did. I'd have never thought that putting an oil on top of my already oily skin would do it any justice whatsoever but this has proved me wrong. It's such a lovely, soothing cleanser that not only smells delish (like delicate flowers should I say) but is also effective in doing its job AND it's quite a large bottle so lasts a while (although the fast pump isn't always an advantage). Upon applying it on the skin it's a thin, clear oil but it's not the sort that runs straight off the face, once emulsified it provides a decent texture which is also easy to rinse off when you're done. It's such a light, refreshing formula and leaves my skin feeling super soft and moisturised. It gets down to action and effortlessly melts away and breaks down your makeup as soon as you apply. It doesn't leave behind much residue but I wouldn't say it removes every inch of your makeup. I do have to use a toner on top of this but it does eliminate a good proportion and the feeling it leaves the skin alone makes this a worthy cleansing oil.

Next, there's the Lush Cupcake Face Mask which is a tub of chocolately-goodness. It certainly smells more like a mint chocolate with the peppermint scent but never the less it's such a satisfying and pampering mask. You can definitely feel the grittiness and thickness of the mask when applied but it does act as an exfoliator and it's brilliant for layering the entire face. Despite this, it's so gentle on the skin and leaves it feeling freshly clean with that added zingy touch (even if it does leave you looking like you've fallen face down in some mud). It is quite difficult to remove and takes a good few splashes of water but it's such a luxurious treat and I have seen the difference it's made to my skin. I'm very spot prone but I haven't noticed any major breakouts since using this and it does seem to get rid of any redness and help extinguish blemishes. 

Onto the makeup side of things; the Soap and Glory Solar Powder is something I've been dying to try out for a long time now. I finally got my hands on it and am seriously admiring everything about it. First up is the packaging, it's so pretty and smooth to look at that I didn't want to mess it up with the running of my makeup brushes against it but I gave in to temptation and have been using it non stop for the past few days. It's such a staple bronzing product which you can wear daily due to it's natural finish. The combination of both a bronzer and a highlighter certainly makes a difference to the shine and glow it leaves your cheeks and it is buildable so you can wear it to your desire. It's such a gorgeous, dreamy shade - not too dark and not too light, it gives the right balance between the two which makes it suitable for all types of skin colours and tones. It's not at all drying or cakey on the skin and blends effortlessly. The lasting power is amazing, the subtle, healthy glow it gives lasts all day without need to top up. The MAC Powder Blush in Fleur Power is a product I use on top of the Solar Powder as a finishing touch. I was kindly given this as a hand me down and have been using it to my full extent. It's such a pretty colour, a warm but bright pinky coral. It is highly pigmented so I only use it lightly but a dust of this silky smooth and not at all chalky powder does the trick perfectly. It's very blendable and wearable, the flush of the shade compliments my paleness and I can't help but think it would be just as lovely on a darker toned skin. As it's coming up to winter I will think about changing my blush colour to a more peachy shade but I can't and haven't been able to get enough of this over the past two months or so!

Lastly, it's the L'Oreal Superliner Liquid Eyeliner in Ultra Precision Black. This is a makeup product I seem to always revert back to. I don't always wear liquid eyeliner but when I fancy that darker look and on a occasion, I whip it out. I've currently been reminded how much I love L'Oreal's superliner when I brought it back out from my storage a week or so ago. The application is so simple, with the sponge like brush being thin it allows you to draw on the eyelid how you require. As I'm not the best at application, I end up with a thicker finish but I do think I prefer that heavier, bolder look as it brings out my eyes. As the colour is a stronger black, it doesn't take much effort (but if you're anything like me, you'll just need a bit of practice when attempting to achieve that on point flick!).

Do you have any current go to face products?

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Sunday, 12 October 2014

What I wore: Leather shorts and jewels

Sweater - H&M | Leather Shorts - H&M | Hat - Primark | Bag - Primark | Shoes - Primark

Grey and brown aren't particularly two colours I'd put together in my head but when I saw them both on the H&M website I knew I had to have them. I've been after a pair of faux leather shorts for ages and following on with the autumn theme I thought I'd go ahead and purchase another piece of brown clothing. I've decided to try spice my collection up a little. Despite how much I love the basic black for the colder months, I feel like I need a change. Wearing daily brown garments is currently this new thing I have going on, as is the light grey. I love dark grey but I never really thought of myself as a light grey kind of girl. I don't know, I guess it's hard to pull off, but these lovely embroidered jewels and the kimono sleeves which are bang on trend at the moment seem to help. Ah well, everyone is open to a small difference, right? I'm kind of making the most of the mild (ish) temperatures before I have to whip out the coat and cover up most of my outfit. Not that I'm complaining, I'm so ready!

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Friday, 10 October 2014

Life: Autumn bucket list


As Autumn is officially in full swing, I've completely wiped the thought of getting anymore nice weather from my mind and moved on to getting excited about those little things that make the A/W months bearable. The nights are drawing in and the atmosphere is turning eery but that's even more of a reason to look forward to cosy nights in front of the fire, pumpkins, horror movies, lots of food, piping hot drinks, candles, fireworks, rain tapping on the window whilst you sleep, snug scarves, oversized jumpers, wearing nothing but monochrome, bringing the burgundys and the greys out and so much more.

Back in the summer I made a bucket list of wishes I'd like to complete and looking back, it seems I did well at managing to stick to most of them which is why as the season has changed, I wanted to create another associated list. I love making (the non extreme) bucket lists, you can not only look back on them to see how you've managed to add the simple pleasures into your daily routine naturally, but it's something you can desire to reach when you need reminding how one small goal can keep your happiness at bay.

1) Have a dedicated duvet, fire and film day. This is something that I wish to do most days but never actually manage to treat myself with the luxury. I believe a huge duvet, a burning fire (not an actual blaze obviously) and a good rom com or two is the cure to all evil. Especially when it's cold and you've had a busy day, it's the perfect way to unwind. 

2) Appreciate the fresh air, the branched trees and the crisp, fallen leaves. Nature is a beautiful thing, especially in autumn. I don't think I ever look on the positive side of miserable weather and find myself grumbling way too often. I want to turn this around this year and take more autumnal walks in the local parks, gardens and so on admiring the lovely views and maybe even whipping my camera out.

3) Get into the Halloween spirit. Just because I've passed the teen stage, doesn't mean to say I have to be boring when it comes to Halloween. Usually I am, the furthest I go is carving a pumpkin (very badly) and then placing it on the windowsill, drawing the curtains behind me. I don't even take charge of answering the door when the kids come round, I just pinch their sweets and chocolates for myself. This year I want to at least get into the mood. It doesn't look like I'll be going to any Halloween related events but I could participate in something Halloween related at home. 

4) Attend a bonfire/firework display. I haven't been to a firework display for so long. As a youngster we always made sure we went as a family, it was tradition. Now, I just find myself rolling my eyes at the sound of non stop fireworks interrupting my nightly television watching. This year I want to go soak in the atmosphere, eat some bonfire toffee and watch the naff fireworks spiral uncontrollably. 

5) Go on a bike ride. First of all I'd need to buy a bike. It is on my list and I will get round to it eventually. I thought putting it on my bucket list for autumn will push me into buying it quicker and building my motivation to get some well needed exercise but for the kind of bike I'm looking for I think I'll have to build my bank balance first...

6) Buy more amazing candles (read: Yankee, Neom, Diptyque etc etc) and light as many as I can on a cold, dark night. I feel like upgrading my candle collection this year to something a bit more high quality which in turn means a stronger and more relaxing scent. I'm especially wanting some Pumpkin Spice/Cinnamon smelling candles because I caught a whiff of one the other day and by god, are they amazing. Candles are certainly the way to my heart.

7) Change up my choice of makeup. With the colder days drawing in comes a complete switch of makeup. Darker lip colours, a heavier base, smokey eyes, and bronzed cheeks come into force and truthfully, this is what I've been waiting for since spring. The bold lips, natural flush, topped with some extra highlights is my favourite look. I'm open to try out different shades and tones this year. I'm on the hunt for the ideal chief product, in particular a red lipstick, and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

8) Start reading a book that I can't put down. This was also a summer goal, I managed to find more than one book to fall in love with when the sun was shining but now I want to do it again, and again, and again. I'm such a book lover, once I read one and it captures my imagination, I end up spending the whole day completing every chapter. I'm planning on purchasing another couple of YA novels (my favourites) and I shall let you know how I get on.

9) Devour a hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and chocolate bits. I love hot chocolate no matter what the weather but autumn/winter is the perfect excuse for widening the horizons. A frothy hot chocolate with marshmallows, chocolate sprinkles and cream = mhmmm. That reminds me actually, I have an Options caramel treat hot chocolate in the cupboard. *off I go*

10) Base my A/W wardrobe on key staple pieces that I can mix and match. This is hard for me as A/W fashion is my favourite kind of fashion and browsing the shops at the moment tells me this task will be the most difficult. I'm so guilty of buying something I see, like and want without a second thought but this year I want to try (try being the key word here) to stick to the staple pieces that I can wear over and over again instead of wearing once and then shoving it back in my wardrobe ready for another year of no use.

Do you have any goals you want to reach this A/W?
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