CURRENTLY LOVING

16 Aug 2017

 

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

As my B.Beauty Blender looked as though it was coming to the end of its life and there was a 3 for 2 offer on in Superdrug, I had to finally give this ago and I wasn't disappointed. While slightly more expensive, I still love this sponge. When damp it becomes a super soft and super easy to use sponge that makes blending foundation hassle-free. It works great for full coverage foundations that need an extra bit of work and leaves me with a great looking base. 


Morphe Bronzed Mocha Palette

This is my first impression of Morphe and I'm impressed. The array of shades that came in this palette and the quality is great and definitely worth what I paid for it. The colours add a warmer tone to my usual browns and golds that I opt for and has made me use more burgundy and orange in my eye looks which I love at the moment. Sadly this palette, I think is now sold out as it was limited edition but the Morphe 350 Nature Glow palette is a good alternative.

The Body Shop Blending Brush

Helping out with the eyeshadows, in the blending brush. I always wanted a Mac 217 blending brush but due to the price and them testing on animals, it was out of the question. I was so excited to give this a go when it was first released and since buying a few months a go, it's become a go-to to aid my more heavier eye looks to make sure there are no sharp edges in sight. 

Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalene Solution 

If you saw my CRUELTY FREE BEAUTY: SKINCARE SAVIOURS post, you will have seen me mention this. Since using this, I have notice a slight difference in the way my skin reacts to my moisturiser in terms of helping my skin feel and look more hydrated. I can't say it's a miracle worker as some days my drier patches are still visible. However, it's a great addition to my skincare that has helped me over the last month. 

I don't really mention food favourites but I can't not mention these. If you follow me on instagram (@distortings) you may have seen these on my story when I picked them up. While expensive for a sweet, they taste amazing and are vegan which is an added positive for me. I actually picked these up in Superdrug for cheaper stockists such as Topshop so I'd try there first if you want to give these a go which I suggest you do!

Zara Mustard Frilled Jacket

Since picking up this coat, I haven't stopped wearing it. It's perfect for this time of year. For something so thin, it keeps me warm as I walk to and from work as well as looking really nice and being something a little different to my black bomber jacket or yellow raincoat. It's a great piece that, even though it's mustard, goes with so many outfits and looks as though you've made more effort that you actually have which I'm all about. 

Oliver Bonas Marble Geometric Phone Case

I've only had this phone case a week but I'm so glad I picked it up when I saw it on sale in Manchester. Going from a cheap marble phone case to a bulky holographic case, I'm glad to be back on the marble trend with a twist. They had some really nice phone cases so they're definitely ones to check out! This is another that is now sold out but Coconut Lane have some great Marble phone cases. For a 20% discount use my code saraheliza20!

So that's everything I've been loving recently!
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

ULTIMATE PALE APPRECIATION: CRUELTY FREE EDITION

2 Aug 2017

Here's a run down of all the products by brands that are perfect for paler skin that are also fab and cruelty free. 

Back in 2015 which seems like quite along time ago in blogging terms, I created a few posts centred around being a super pale gal and the problems that comes with (finding the right shades, limited choice etc.) and from that I created a post entitled PALE APPRECIATION POST followed by another one a year later called MORE PALE APPRECIATION. In these posts, I narrowed down  and shared with you the best products and companies for the fair ones of you. I said on monday in my CRUELTY FREE BEAUTY:WORRIES AND SOLUTIONS that something I was concerned about was limiting myself too much and not finding products that were both perfect for the paler person and didn't test on animals. I can say, I needn't have worried and so today I share with you ALL of my make-up products by companies that cater for us pale 'uns. While some of these products are ones that are repeated from previous posts, I thought it would be worth having them all in one place. 

FOUNDATION

This is the hardest and, I think, the most crucial product to find in the right shade and, so, a lot of this post is going to be dedicated to the different cruelty free foundations I use as well as some I've heard good things about that you may find useful to check out. I'm someone who likes a different foundation for a different situation so here's the run down. 

THE FULL COVERAGE: KAT VON D 'LOCK IT FOUNDATION' 

I'm not going to say much on this one as I feel this foundation has taken up a lot of discussion on my blog recently. I think that's because I'm so happy to have found a foundation that is perfect not only in finish but also in the shade. If you want to read my full review to see whether this foundation is for you, see it here. It's very rare I'm not the lightest shade so this is one to be able to cater for super fair skin tones. 

Similar cruelty-free options: Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation, Too Faced 'Born This Way' foundation (Just added an even paler shade!). 

THE EVERYDAY: THE BODY SHOP FRESH NUDE FOUNDATION

As the name of this foundation suggests, it offers a fresh-face feel with the palest shade being perfect for little pale me. As I am the palest shade, anyone more pale than me may have trouble but it's definitely one to give a go and the body shop staff always seem happy to help. The coverage is light to medium making it perfect for an everyday make up. 

THE BARELY THERE: THE BODY SHOP ALL-IN-ONE BB CREAM

Here's another that needs no real introduction to long term readers. This is my base of choice daily because it's a stress free, easily applied base. It is said to adapt to the skins tone as it's worked into the skin. I don't know how much I agree with that but it does provide a fair, thin base for my foundation as well as a great way for me to add a subtle glow and a dewey look to my make up. 

Similar cruelty free options: Illamasqua skin base, bareMinerals Complexion Rescue BB Cream. 


OTHER 

There are other products that skin colour needs to be accounted for such as concealer and contour so I thought I'd share with you my favourites as well as some recommended to give a go if looking for pale, cruelty free products. 

THE ULTIMATE CONCEALER: COLLECTION LASTING PERFECTION

After writing this post, I sadly found out that Collection do actually test on animal. Therefore, if anyone has any cheap cruelty free alternatives they would be much appreciated!

Similar cruelty free options: Urban Decay Naked concealer, Tarte Shape tape, Kat Von D 'Lock It' concealer.

MY ULTIMATE CONTOUR PICK: SLEEK CONTOUR KIT

There are so many great cruelty-free pale contour kits out there on the high street but the Sleek Contour Kit is still my one and only. It's got a perfect colour that doesn't leave me looking muddy and gives me a great contour with a highlight to compliment. Definitely worth the purchase every time. 

Similar cruelty free options: Make Up Revolution Contour Range, Freedom Make up Contour Range, The Body Shop Honeycomb Bronzer, Nip + Fab contour palettes. 

TRANSLUCENT POWDER: SOAP & GLORY "ONE HECK OF A BLOT'

Another product I've exhausted talking about on my blog but one I feel I should mention again. The translucent shade makes this a great universal powder and it doesn't run the risk of adding extra coverage in the wrong colour. It's such a great setting powder that works well on my skin. 

Similar cruelty free options: Make Up Revolution Translucent Pressed Powder, MUA Translucent Pressed Powder, Collection Invisible Setting Powder. 


So there's my complete run down of all the products that not only I love but I've heard others love that are cruelty free and have a decent range of shades (some more than others) for pale, fair skin. I hope this may have helped some of you!
What are some of your favourite cruelty free brands?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

Shop for products mentioned here: 

CRUELTY FREE BEAUTY: SKIN CARE SAVIOURS

1 Aug 2017

Here are some of most loved and most-reached-for cruelty-free skin care products when my face is in crisis.

A big transitioning point for me when it comes to cruelty-free is the skin care; skin care is something I regularly like to switch up. Luckily, almost all of my favourite skin care products are cruelty free and which made my life much easier when switching out those that weren't cruelty free. For me, my main problem is retaining moisture along with battling the odd breakout and so below you can find all the products I find work a treat!

FOR DRY SKIN DAYS

THE ORDINARY 100% PLANT-DERIVED SQUALANE

This is the newest edition to my favourite products that work wonders. The Ordinary is a company that has received a lot of attention over the past year and I was happy to jump on that band wagon to see what all the fuss is about. I can say that, with this product in particular, I see why people love it so much. While the formula to start felt as though it was just a layer of grease on top of my skin, after a few minutes that grease was gone and my skin felt just as, if not better than, when I apply my moisturiser. And with moisturiser added, my skin was on top form in terms of keeping that hydration. 

NIP & FAB DRAGON FIX SERUM

This has been a staple for me for the last year as you may have seen in my previous CRUELTY FREE SKINCARE FAVOURITES. It has similar benefits to that of The Ordinary serum but while that is more of a skincare aid, this is one that helps my skin appear flawless when it comes to applying my make-up and is one I grab for more on a daily basis. Applying before moisturiser and make-up makes my skin look smoother and even as well as giving it that extra moisture boost for the day. 

THE BODY SHOP VITAMIN E OVERNIGHT MOISTURE MASK

Also a previous favourite in my most recent CURRENTLY LOVING, this moisture is a great cruelty free alternative to other, even more expensive, hydrating masks such as the Origins Drink Up Mask which I previously owned. While appearing tacky to start, I can feel the hydrating benefits before I go to sleep and even more when I wake up. With The Body Shop always having sales, this is one to definitely snap up when an offer is on. 

WHEN MY HEAD BECOMES A SPOT MINEFIELD

THE BODY SHOP 3-IN-ONE TEA TREE FACE MASK, EXFOLIATOR & WASH

This is another one to get your hands on when there's a fabulous "30% Off Everything" sale that The Body Shop like to grace us with quite often. I love the Lush Mask Of Magnanimity mask but when, being on a budget, this works just as well acting not only as a mask but also as face wash and exfoliator to really get into those pores and get all the nastiness out. It's such a refreshing wash and mask that I do notice a difference in after I use it. 

SOAP & GLORY NO CLOGS ALLOWED EXFOLIATING MASK

Staying on the same subject of unclogging pores, this Soap & Glory mask is one I grab for on special occasions when I seemed to have a real build up of nastiness. For me, the texture of this mask and application was one to get used to but the heated properties of this feel really soothing on my skin and with the exfoliation it gives,  draws out everything hiding away.

LUSH TEA TREE TONER TABS

I can't go through this cruelty free week without mentioning a lush product. Even though a small one, it's definitely a nice little purchase. With the tab, you add it to hot water and steam your face over it. The smell is lovely and we all know how good tea tree is for spots. While, thankfully my blemishes haven't been too unbearable over the last few years, tea tree products were always a saviour and lush, along with almost all skincare brands, have products dedicated to tea tree and it's definitely a cruelty-free and natural method of drawing out the toxins from your face. 

So there's a run down of my continued favourite skin care products that really help tackle my skin's problems. 
What are some of your skin care saviours?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x


Shop the products mentioned/cheaper alternatives below x 



CRUELTY-FREE BEAUTY: WORRIES & SOLUTIONS

31 Jul 2017

It's been almost a year since I started my transition into cruelty free beauty and over the year I have definitely experienced some ups and downs with choosing to do this. While, now, I couldn't imagine going back to purchasing products from brands that do test on animals, I know it has it's challenges. So, I thought, for those looking for some help in deciding whether cruelty-free beauty is something you can do, I'm going to share with you some of the problems I found a long the way, how I solved these as well as some of the fabulous perks to cruelty-free beauty!

"THERE'S LESS CHOICE"

When it comes to trying to find the perfect foundation, cruelty free or not, I struggle. Therefore, when searching for one that was not just pale, hydrating and good coverage but was also cruelty free, this was something else to add to my tick list of things I needed. 

SOLUTION: Yes, your choices are narrowed but I actually found it made my decisions a lot easier. When toying between two foundations, one cruelty free and one not, it helped me make that choice much quicker and I ended up with a fab foundation! 

"IT'S MORE EXPENSIVE"

This was my biggest worry when stepping into cruelty free beauty. All the blogs I was reading seemed to be including fabulous products from brands such as Anastasia, Urban Decay, Kat Von D etc. But, these were products I just can't budget for as a nineteen-year old student. 

SOLUTION: If you're in the UK, you should count yourself lucky! There are so many cruelty-free brands waiting for you to discover them on the high street. Brands such as Make Up Revolution, Freedom, Sleek, Collection, Barry M; They're all brands that you can find in your local Boots and Superdrug and all are cruelty free. If it's skincare you need, of course there's lush and the body shop but Superdrug's own ranges in skincare, haircare etc. are all fabulous and all cruelty free with many even vegan and all reasonably priced. 

"I CAN'T FIND AN ALTERNATIVE"

This one's been the trickiest for me and for things such as toothbrushes, toothbrushes, feminine care, razors etc that are cruelty free are hard to come buy unless you're looking at certain stores online. But, if you're anything like me, some products you can't find a suitable alternative that cuts it as well or that you trust. 

SOLUTION: When in doubt; Superdrug. Everything from their razors to toothbrushes include a cruelty free logo on the back of their products and work just as well as big companies such as Colgate and Venus. You may also be surprised to find that a lot of these are cheaper than big name brands while working just as well. 
Sometimes, there is a lot of trying and testing but it's definitely worth it! If you're going try one thing from Superdrug, I have a real love for their own brand aerosol deodorants; I'd definitely give them a shot! 

These are just some of the worries I had when starting out eliminating products that test on animals. I do still have a way to go in eradicating all traces of products testing on animals but it's not something I can do overnight. The positives to cruelty-free living are endless and maybe I'll share those with you soon!
Do you have any worries about cruelty-free beauty? Do you have any positives to share about shopping cruelty-free?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

WHAT I ATE IN A DAY #3

26 Jul 2017

In this What I Ate In A Day, you can see what I eat when all I want are some fail-safe favourite comfort foods. 

BREAKFAST

To start this day I had one of my Tesco dairy free mango yoghurts along with sainsbury's simple granola and a nectarine. While it may not look like it, minimal effort is needed to make this super summery, simple breakfast that will keep me full all the way to lunch. 

LUNCH

I've been having a constant obsession with the Covent Garden Slow Roast Tomato Soup; it's definitely more of a luxurious soup and I always snatch it up when it's on offer as it's the only soup I like. This doesn't scream summer but it's a fab one for the english summer day's when it's on the cold side and a little rainy out as this day turned out to be. I also make my own crouton style-bread bites. I do this by cutting, usually, 2 slices of bread into square shapes which I place in a shallow pan along with some melted butter, garlic and mixed herbs. I wait until the bread started to crisp and brown before turning them out and serving with my soup.



TEA

For me, this is the star of the show. I shared my quick chilli recipe in my first WHAT I ATE IN A DAY. So, I took that fail-safe chilli recipe and instead of just serving it with rice; I added a few tacos as well as some lettuce. On other occasions I add more veg such as carrot and pepper. Along with a small portion of rice, I assemble my so-called tacos. It's such a fun twist on a plain chilli and with those little extras making it my chilli version of a Buddha bowl, it's become my go-to easy meal and is definitely a favourite. 

Hope you enjoyed reading a little about what I've been eating recently. 
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

KAT VON D "LOCK IT" FOUNDATION

20 Jul 2017


Hear my thoughts of my most recent purchase of the Kat Von D Lock it Foundation and why I decided to splash out on a more high-end foundation as well as my experience at the Kat Von D counter in Manchester. 

As you may be aware, I'm making the transition to a fully cruelty free make up collection. One thing I had been yet to part with, however, was my well-loved L'oreal True Match Foundation. This has been my constant go to for years when I'm wanting a higher coverage for a night out. I've had trouble in the past finding a high coverage foundation that doesn't cling to my dry areas as well as not lasting long enough. The last time I decided to splurge on a high-end foundation, it didn't end well as it still sits on my shelf being used a grand total of once (I'm looking at you Illamasqua). This has since given me apprehensions of buying foundations as well as being colour matched.

THE INITIAL PURCHASE

I decided it was finally time that I venture out and find a new foundation. I did a lot of research prior and had intentions of buying the Nars Sheer Glow before they decided to be annoying and start testing on animals. The Two Faced "Born This Way" foundation, as a lot of the reviews suggested, had a great finish for those with drier skin. However, when I went to buy it, the lightest shade stocked in the Debenhams I went to was not light at all and they didn't stock the actual lightest shade. This wasn't going well in terms of hunting down my perfect foundation.

It was then I spotted a Kat Von D stand. It turns out they'd only recently launched at this Debenhams branch in Manchester and, as I'd been eager to look at the Kat Von D range, I headed over. I immediately saw the "Lock It" foundation and saw the fabulous range of shades. A lovely girl came over after my friend and I had looked for a few minutes and I asked if she could colour match me. She started to take a small section of my own make up off and swatched three of the shades onto my face. We, together, decided that two of the shades were too dark and too yellow toned but the last one was a perfect match. I appreciated that she didn't pressure me to rush to make a descision and let me almost come to the decision myself that it was the right shade. After my Illamasqua experience -where the lady there chose a shade 3 shades too dark and she decided that was right only for me to discover it wasn't right at all- I was happy that I had chance to view the foundation for myself. 

Like I said, she didn't make me rush my decision. She next took off my make up on one side of my face, applied some of the "Lock It" primer (which is now on my Lust List; it was so soothing) and applied layer by layer the foundation to one side of my face. She stopped between layers to let me have a look and decide whether I wanted her to add moreas she knew I was after something full coverage. After I got the desired coverage, she then removed my make up on the other side and evened it out. Because I now just had a flat face of foundation, she offered to contour my face which excited me because I loved the look of the "Shade and Light" palette and it looked so lovely on my skin!

There was no doubt I was going to be buying the foundation and the experience left me wanting to return to buy more Kat Von D products in the future. The time she took to make sure I was really helped me make my decision and this experience has restored my faith in make up counter service.

THE REVIEW

The shade I bought was Light 44 Cool  and it's a perfect match to my skin and of very similar shade to that of my L'oreal True Match in 1C Rose Ivory. It is described as a matte finish which did have me wary as that's something I usually steer clear of. However, I could see from application, with a good moisturiser and primer, this wouldn't be a problem from my skin. I can now say, that's exactly right. On it's own it looks as though it is clinging but after finishing my makeup, it's not noticeable and has a lovely finish. 

It's easily buildable foundation and, while the formulation is thicker than any other foundation I've used before, it doesn't feel thick on the skin but instead feels surprisingly light weight and almost skin-like which I love. 

I also believe this foundation stands the test of time. When on a night out with this one and, 8 hours or so later, the only thing to have budged was my eyeshadow; everything else was intact and not much shine was showing through.

All in all, I feel this is a fabulous foundation that I will definitely be reaching for every time I need a more full coverage base and it was worth spending the extra money on. I'm now one step closer to having a fully cruelty free make up collection. I also can't wait to try out other Kat Von D products in the future!

Is there any Kat Von D products you think I should try next? What is the full coverage foundation you usually grab for?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x 

Products mentioned/similar to: 


SOME INTERNET THINGS

17 Jul 2017

I'm constantly discovering new faves on the internet and so I thought it would time to share some of those with you. 

SOUL PANCAKE: TELL MY STORY

One of the episodes to this series popped up onto my suggested on YouTube and I quickly found myself watching each episode in the series. The premise of this is a blind date where one has to guess the other's answers to the questions presented before they answer for themselves. I love seeing the variety of answers and it's such a great way to get a feel for different people's stories from all different backgrounds. 

@ATTNdotcom

This is an online magazine but I personally love their Instagram. It documents the kind of stories I love and promotes positive messages of equal rights and environmental issues which I am always willing to take some time to read. Their Instagram posts and stories are always worth a read and gives a short snippet of stories. It's definitely an account to give a follow.

FURRY LITTLE PEACH

Also know as Sha'an, she is what is inspiring me this summer to crack out my paits that I haven't reached for in a while and get creating. Her work is unique and lovely and her youtube videos give us a glimpse as to what it is she's been up to They also proved a nice little watch to keep me inspired and smiling.

BOOKSANDLALA

If you're as much of if not more of a book enthusiast than me and want to stay on top of bookish news, I always find myself looking towards the fabulous Lala. I particularly love her "Bookmark'd" series; she releases a video each month giving a run down on all book news she's interested in as well as book adaptation news. While she just includes the books and films she's interested in herself, I am thankful we have similar bookish interests so I get up to date through her on a lot of the authors that I love. Lala has really nailed it with this series and, along with all her other videos, she's become my favourite book related youtuber.

So here are just a few internet bits I've loved and I hope you enjoy them too; let me know your thoughts if you check any of them out!
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x 

RECENTLY READ #20

10 Jul 2017

It's taken a while but here some mini reviews for the books I've been reading. 


follow me on goodreads for more recommendations and reviews! 


A QUIET KIND OF THUNDER // SARA BERNARD 

 ★★★☆☆


This was the perfect book to pick up after being deep in uni work and reading. A story of a girl who doesn't like to speak and a boy that can't hear, they're little journey is sweet and makes for a great twist to the usual young adult fiction. I have to take points off it though for being highly predictable and clich├ęd in some aspects. Overall, I loved this book, the little bit of sign language seen throughout added a extra quirk to the book that I really appreciated. If your up for some lighthearted teen romance this summer, I'd give this one a try. If you were a fan of Jennifer Niven's Holding Up The Universe  I think this would be a great one for you.

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE // J.K ROWLING

★★★★☆

This one took me a while to get through and not the fault of the books but more my timing of reading it. However, once I hit a hundred pages I could not put it down just as I'd found the early books. It was super fast paced which I liked as well. After seeing the size, I wasn't too sure whether it would live up to being my favourite of the books as the film does. I do think I actually think I preferred previous books as there wasn't much extra in here than that of the film but I still loved the extra Dobby action that was thrown in.  I definitely preferred the portrayal of Cedric Diggory more in the film than in the book; I didn't feel he had enough of a role in the book which I would have loved. However, the final few chapter were my favourite. I'm not usually one for action but the way this was written was perfect and, overall made for a great ending to a fab book. 

FRESHERS // TOM ELLEN & LUCY IVISON* 

★★★★★

I don't want to say too much about this book just yet as, from what I gather, it is not out until August but I absolutely loved it! It's the first book in a while that had me laugh out loud. It was such a fun read and I ended up finishing it within a day because I enjoyed it so much. Weirdly, I connected to this book because the writers went to the University of York where I go and they drew upon things that, as a student there, I understood. My friend asked me if I would have enjoyed just as much had I not gone to the uni it basically surround? That, I can't really answer but I think the universal nature of Freshers is one that all students can relate to and I think it would be a great one for those wanting to feel nostalgic of their first term at university or want a tiny insight into some of the shenanigans that go on. This is not Ellen and Ivison's first book so I will no doubt be pick their other book soon. Watch this space for a more in depth look of this book in a future post. 

So there are some reviews of the books I've read recently. What books would you recommend I check out next?

Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x 

Those products marked (*) have been kindly gifted to me. However, as always, all opinions remain my own! 


CURRENTLY LOVING

7 Jul 2017

Until a few months ago, I felt I was doing so well in keeping up to date with my monthly favourites posts. However, this didn't last but I still want to share with you some fab things I've found recently that I think you may like.


PS... DOUBLE ENDED MAKE UP BRUSH

I've always loved my angled brush for everyday contour and bronze, it started to look a shabby and when I saw this in Primark for just short of £2 I thought it was worth a go. Not only is the bristles super soft, you get two brushes for the price of one. I use the angled side for bronzer and contour while using the other for highlight. This is a perfect little compact brush that I'd recommend to anyone. 

REVOLUTION BAKED HIGHLIGHTER IN PEACH LIGHTS

I'm usually one to reach for a golden/yellow-toned highlighter but I thought this would make a nice change for nights out. The pigmentation is perfect and gives me that bit of shimmer we all love. It's another cheap alternative to a lot of more pricey highlighters. I mean, why waste your money on something better when you can get just as good at a fraction of the price. 

SUPERDRUG FACIAL WIPES FOR SENSITIVE SKIN

A bit of a boring one but a definite necessity. As the end of uni grew nearer, I got lazier and lazier with make up removal and these were my trusty sidekick to make sure I got it off. They are the perfect wipes for me as they don't react with my skin like a lot of wipes (including others that are supposedly sensitive), the remove my make up quickly and easily and are another cheap purchase. 

THE BODY SHOP VITAMIN E HYDRATING SLEEPING MASK

Boy does this hydrate. I've not woken up with softer skin as I have since using this product. While the moisture I find only seems to last a day, the effects are the best. From someone who struggles to get a perfect base to apply my make up on top of, this has really aided my smooth base perfect to apply make up on top of the next day. Beware, it is quite heavily scented but I don't find it to react with my skin in a way that is harmful or annoying. This is quickly becoming a skin care saviour. 

TOY STORY MOLESKIN // BULLET JOURNALLING

I saw these in the Moleskin store in London back last year and, while the colours are a bit out there, I fell in love with it. My sister held on to this and went back to pick it up for my birthday. That was in January and now, months later, I decided to start a form a bullet journalling. While it's not as strict as some people's are with day to day logs, I'm more using it as a way to bullet point weekly to-dos as well as tracking things such as blog posts and reading; if you're interested to see some of the other page ideas, I'd be happy to make a post!

MISSGUIDED MAUVE MIDI SKIRT

When it came to my end of term ball, I was a bit stuck on what to wear that wasn't too expensive. I've recently been obsessed with clothing that are a mauve colour and so when I saw this on Missguided I thought it would be perfect. While the pictures aren't the website didn't look exactly like that of what I received, I loved it either way. To see what it really looked like, here are some photos from the ball. (I'm going to be posting about first year very soon so more photos to come then!)



So that's all I've been loving for now but they'll definitely be more to come over the next few months which I'll be making sure I share with you!
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x 


    Shop products mentioned/ similar to below: 


WHAT I ATE IN A DAY #2

29 Jun 2017

Home from uni and I had free reign of the kitchen; here's what I cooked up after waking up late. 


BREAKFAST

As a student I tried my best to get my fruit in but a bunch of apples a week couldn't rival a fruit salad. So, after waking up late and it being near to lunch, I whipped up a quick fruit salad with my favourite fruits; nectarine, honeydew melon, strawberries and mango. I alway drizzle over some orange juice as well. This kept me topped up until lunch which, on this day, was only a few hours later. 


LUNCH

I wanted something filling for lunch that would last me through to the evening. I heated up a bread roll along with some of the Quorn Southern Fried Chicken bites which are a real veggie favourites of mine. I put three of these on the hot buttered bread along with some lettuce and a dollop of ketchup; I decided to add this one my dad brought home from Nashville- it added an extra spice but plain ol' tomato ketchup is just as nice. 


TEA

It had been a while since I'd cooked up a stir-fry. To a small wok, I added around a half a tablespoon of sesame oil to a pan which I then heated up before adding carrots, many coloured bell peppers and broccoli (I sometimes add red onion and sugar snap peas are a favourite of mine). Meanwhile, my noodles would be boiling up. Once all cooked, I added my stir-fry sauce to the veggies and served. Like a bad blogger, I'd grown too hungry to wait to take a photo...oops. 


So there was what I ate in a day. I hope you enjoyed this and let me know if you did as I would love to post these more frequently. 

Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

HOW TO ENJOY SUMMER ON A BUDGET

26 Jun 2017

Unlike the last few summers, I'm staying grounded in the UK this time around. Not only did I just not fancy the hassle of planning a trip abroad but also I wanted to save money this summer. I finished  my first year of university just last week and I now have 3 months to kill before I'm back there. So, while wanting to save as much money as possible, I want to enjoy these next 3 months of freedom. Here are some of the ways I'm going to enjoy this summer while on a budget that may inspire you. 

GREAT WEATHER IS FREE SO ENJOY IT

Yes, I know, it's a British summer. Yet, while it does come with its rainy days, there are always a great few shower-free, beautifully sunny days. So, when the sun's out, I try to make sure I'm making the most of it. Whether that's just sat in the garden with a book on the grass or meeting friends. You might as well enjoy the sun while it lasts. 

CUT DOWN THE EATING OUT

If planning an outing for the day or just sat in the park sun bathing, you may be tempted to pop to the shops for something to eat which could lead to a few cheeky impulse buys. I try to take my lunch with me and, paired with a sunny day, a picnic is a great way to enjoy the sun while minimising costs of eating out. But, I mean, treat yourself to an ice cream of course!



DAY TRIPS > LONG STAYS

I've come to love day trips; I can get enough of a new place in a day to not be bored and, many times, leaving me wanting more and returning in later months. For me, this is a better way of getting more in to your summer and this doesn't have to mean it costs more. With trains and coaches able to take you to many places there and back for a reasonable price, it saves on costs of hotel rooms overnight. 

NOT ALL FUN COSTS

This could include a whole load of things. For example, you don't have to even leave the comfort of your own home to have a fun summer. Catching up on episodes of your favourite TV shows or, like me, trying to read the 30 books you promised yourself you'll make time for this year. These are easy alternatives rainy days spent paying for days out. 

For the drier days, I'd recommend checking your local council's and city council's upcoming events if you're looking for something to do; a lot of these tend to be free and is another way to fill your time. Something like a food festival, while maybe paying for a snack or two, is a fun way to spend a few hours.  

If you like to take in a bit of culture at museums or art galleries, while certain exhibition may require a paid ticket, many local museums and galleries are free entry and may just ask for a small donation if you so wish. This is something I'm definitely going to make more time to do this summer.




This is only a few ways to save money this summer but please don't feel there is nothing to do if you're staying at home trying to save your pennies. Let me know if you're interested in hearing some more ideas for ways to save money this summer. 

Do you have any plans for this summer? I'd love to know!
Hope you're doing great,

Sarah x

5-MINUTE MAKE UP LOOK

27 May 2017

Here is my "I rolled out of bed five minutes before my lecture but my bags are too big not to hide" look. 

If minimal effort, minimal blending and minimal make up is what you strive for on a day to day basis I may just have a solution. Over the past year or so day make up has become something I don't have the time for sadly; I'm forever looking for something that will make the time it takes to do my make up that little bit shorter. So I thought I'd share with you so far the products that have made my dreams come true where I am able to do my make-up in five minutes. 

A lot of these products probably aren't new to you including my base; The Body Shop All-In-One BB Cream. Super sheer, really light weight and even offers a slight summery bronze to my milk bottle skin. Blending takes less that 20 seconds with the help of my Elf Blending Brush; perfect!

While I want this too be fast, I have to make time to conceal the craters that appear on my face after a stressful week or a greasy takeout with Collection's Lasting Perfection Concealer. I apply this under my eyes and then basically over the rest of my face focusing mostly on my chin and forehead. Eye brows are the most time consuming but The Soap & Glory Brow Archery isn't a bad shout- it shaves seconds off by not having to root around for my eyebrow brush and an eyeshadow of the right colour. 

Contour and highlight is the same as always with the Sleek Contour Palette.  These days, I tend to forget about powder but if I do Soap & Glory's One Heck Of A Blot is what I grab for. 

An extra step but, if I'm feeling cocky about having enough time, I'll add is a recent favourite; Superdrug's Vitamin E Refreshing Toning Mist. It's so nice in this humid whether and gives a little bit of a dewey look to the skin. I also feels it's stop me fearing scratching my face in worry my make up will slide off with it as it helps set it in place as well. 

Mascara is a no go with me. I'll end up sneezing before it's set and adding an extra two minutes to my time as I try to find a cotton bud and attempting to remove the black bags that have now formed under my eyes without making it any worse. 

And, if I have even more time to spare, I'll choose a lipstick; another current favourite is the NYX Lip Lingerie which is easy to apply and last a decent amount of time.

And then I'm done and heading out the house with time to grab a slice of toast on the way. 
Any tips to make my morning make up even faster?
Hope you're doing great and sorry I haven't posted in a while, 

Sarah  x 

WHY NOT GIVE THESE A WATCH?

14 Apr 2017

If you want to procrastinate anymore than you usually do, here are some of my recommendations of series you should watch. 

BROADCHURCH
After finally finding the first two seasons on NowTV and managing to binge-watch those before catching up to season 3 which airs now on ITV, I was hooked with the storylines. At points, it screams middle-aged serial drama but I still loved series to series and showing how nothing is always perfect even in a small coastal town. I'm really enjoying the current season which is focussed on a lot of issues relevant today such as rape, victim blaming as well as issues that have been affecting young girls. 

RIVERDALE

This has pretty little liar vibes written all over it. With a great cast and great storylines, it makes for a great teen drama which I can't wait for a new episode every week to appear on Netflix. There's not much to really say on this one other than give it a go if you're a PLL fan and need something to fill that void while PLL isn't on. 

13 REASONS WHY

This one I feel I need to give no introduction to as everyone seems to be watching this. For me, a friend told me to watch it a week after release date and, by that time, I had already watched it. Having read the book years ago, of course, I was going to give this a watch and I think it really did the book justice as well as adding more drama to the storyline.
In the book, I sadly found myself unable to sympathise and empathise with Hannah Baker which is rare for me. However, the show gave me a whole different feeling. As with the book, I wasn't keen on the overall ending and, yes there were parts I disagreed with happening, but I completely understood the reasons behind the choices in order to let this be a completely real depiction of high school suicide. 
*Warning* The Show contains extremely triggering scenes as well as plot points. This, I feel, is a really important series that if you can, I would watch. If you are wary about what parts you feel may affect you, this link here is a tweet that you should definitely check out. 

DESIGNATED SURVIVOR 

This is the type of show I live for; crime-fighting, government-centred drama. When, in a terror attack, most of the congress is killed, the role of President is passed to an unlikely man. He has to juggle bringing America together as well as uncovering what caused and who was behind the terror attack. This is another Netflix watch that I can't wait to watch every week. 

11.22.63

This has to be one of my favourite series I've watched in a long time. Based on the Stephen King book, a modern English teacher is set the task of travelling back in time and stopping the assassination of JFK from happening. He was to work through it to solve who was really behind the assassination as well as dealing with threats to stop the plan from working. It has such a talented cast I couldn't not watch it and I was so happy I did. While, like any show, there were plot points I thought were weak or weren't carried out in such a great way, I really loved this series. Some people have asked for a second series to be made but I don't think it needs it. With such a bittersweet ending, I think it rounded off the series perfectly.

So there are some of my picks for you to give a go and give a watch, what have you been loving to watch recently? 
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

MARCH FAVOURITES

1 Apr 2017



NYX LIP LINGERIE

I'm definitely late to the matte lip/liquid lipstick trend but, when I saw these in Boots, I had to give it a go. I chose the shade "Push-Up" which is a different twist on my usual dark nude choice. I was a bit wary about how this would pair with my always chapped lips but with a bit of lip balm before applying, it works! I have had a fair few compliments on this shade so that's a plus. Also, while not lasting all day long, it does leave a nice tint to my lips. It's also very easy to re-apply and layer without looking too much.  

LEWIS WATSON // MIDNIGHT

Yes, Ed Sheeran's album was an absolutely fab release this month but I've got to hand it to my fave, Lewis Watson, for releasing his second album this month which I've been loving. He has a great voice for those more chilled days which I've definitely needed in March. If you want to hear more about this or maybe want some other music recommendations, check out my articles here at Mytacism Music. 


VITAMIN E SPRAY ON MOISTURISER

After sharing my love for Superdrug's Vitamin E refreshing toning mist as a great, cheap cruelty-free spray for the summer, I discovered this spray on moisturiser. Last summer, I really enjoyed using the Vaseline spray on moisturiser but, as a cruelty-free alternative, this will be one I'll be loving these coming months. It's more hydrating and leaves my skin super smooth just as my thicker moisturisers do expect this is a little more hassle-free. 


LUSH ARGAN SHAMPOO BAR

I included this in my "CRUELTY-FREE HAIR CARE FAVOURITES' where I raved about my Jumping Juniper Shampoo Bar and how I'd recently received this shampoo bar that I couldn't wait to give a go. I'm happy to report back great things; it leaves my hair super soft, smooth and tamed. It really feels like a luxurious product. 


SLEEK CONTOUR KIT

An old favourite was my Sleek Face Form Kit. If you've been around for a while, you're probably sick of me featuring it in posts but also sick of the fact the packaging had broken; I know it annoyed me. I finally thought it was time to grab a new one and, as I used the blush a minimal amount, I thought I'd opt for the contour kit which includes the same contour bronzer and highlight that I love. So, if you were sick of the face form kit, you should be prepared to get annoyed at this contour kit's presence in future posts.

What have you been loving this month? 
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

Products mentioned/ similar to try: 


RECENTLY READ #19

27 Mar 2017

Is there really anyway this counts as a series if the last time I managed to read enough books to tell you what I've read was back in September. I'd say I've just not been reading I have- just books that dull even me as I read them for my course. I've found it hard to find time for reading what I love. Here are the only three books I've managed to read in the last 6 months (wow, that pains me to see how little I've read).

follow me on goodreads for more recommendations and reviews! 

HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE // JENNIFER NIVEN 

I had this on preorder and it was released within the first month of me starting to uni. I'd tried to read other books before this but this one seemed like an easy read. After loving All The Bright Places I really couldn't wait for Jennifer Niven's last book. Ironically, as I tried to escape from psychology reading, this focused on a problem I cover in one of my topics. Jack has a condition where he is unabe to recognise faces even his own mother but no one knows; not knowing who everyone is doesn't seemed to be something Jack thinks will gain him popularity. Then there's Libby; a girl who everyone sees her as nothing more than the big girl. Both of them have secrets but they become unlikely friends. This was such a typical teen romance that was pretty predictable but that didn't stop me enjoying it. There were parts that I could relate to and parts that I laughed at which gave me the perfect release from my work. If you've not already, this would make a perfect easy read as we head into spring/summer. 

MILK & HONEY // RUPI KAUR

This is a book so raved about across social media. When I received it for my birthday, I thought it would be a great one to dip in and out of. It is split up into sections; I read the first two in one night and the next the following day. It was so easy to read. It explored topics of mental health, relationships, sexuality and feminism. I would like to add a trigger warning to this book as some topics may hit a little too close to home with some readers. Overall, I did enjoy the poems however some came across a little too angry for the message they were trying to make or a little too self-obsessed. While I did like this book and would recommend it for those first starting out reading poetry, I don't think it deserves the massive hype it has behind it. 

BOOK OF LONGING // LEONARD COHEN

 

I saw this book in a discounted bookstore just the other week and seeing as poetry has become the best and only thing I have time to read recently as well as hearing a lot about Leornard Cohen's work, I decided to pick it up. It followed him as he travelled around countries focusing a lot on sexuality in the poems which I didn't realise was on the main topics but oh well. I loved the contrast of thought-provoking poems mixed with the light hearted ones with some poking fun at the seriousness poetry readers take to finding out the underlying meanings. I had to giggle at that because that's exactly what I was doing. While I'll admit, I didn't read it from start to finish, it's defnitely one I'll be dipping in and out of again. It's one I'd definitely recommend if you stumble across it. This has really made me want to continue picking up poetry to read over the next year. 

What have you been reading recently? I'd love to know some easy read recommendations!

Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

FEBRUARY FAVOURITES

26 Feb 2017


I don't think I'm cut out for this monthly favourites malarky because a lot of the things I love from one month are the same for the next. Either way, there are a few bits I've been loving this month especially that I want to share with you. 

The Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray has been a god send for night's out at uni and it's sad that this has finally come to the end of its life. For the £8 present I got for my birthday it has lasted exactly a year running out on my birthday. I've mentioned it numerous times before but I thought I'd mention it one last time. I'd say I'd be buying it again but I'm not 100% sure I need to as I now have my next favourite. 

Superdrug's Vitamin E Refreshing Toning Mist has a similar feel to the Urban Decay setting spray as well as a cheaper, cruelty-free alternative to my Mac fix+ that I feel has now had its day. It gives my make up an extra dewy look to finish my face off as well as giving it a refreshing tone before bed, as well as pre and post-make-up application. Such an affordable extra to add to my everyday routine. 

Last on the make-up front is a rediscovery with the Elf Cream Blush; I've never been a blusher lover but this gives my cheeks that extra flushed glow for every day. It is quick and easy to apply so great for on the go. 

My 5-year-old purse had been looking a little worse for wear but I couldn't find one I loved. I was ready to splash the cash on a DKNY purse I saw when I saw a less expensive alternative in Accessorize. While on the smaller side for what I'm used to, I'm so glad I finally have a purse that doesn't spew change all over the bottom of my bag and I think I'll be using this one for the next 5 years. 

I've been getting bored of jeans and when I saw these trousers in these dark navy pinstriped trousers from H&M, I thought it was a great chance to step out of my jean comfort zone and try something different. I think I've now been converted; they are super comfy! It's like wearing your pyjamas out in public but in a more socially accepted fashion. With a plain black top and trainers, I think it's a great look and one I'll be wearing for a while. 

Above all, my favourite item of February has to be my Dark Grey Adidas Gazelles. Super comfy and, with the blessing of small feet and student discount, a decent price which tempts me to pick up another pair. Since I accidentally dyed my white vans pink, I have not taken these trainers off; they are a perfect everyday pair of shoes and a colour that goes with most. 

So there are a few things I've been loving this month. What have been some of your favourites of February?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

Products mentions & similar to.


CRUELTY-FREE HAIR CARE FAVOURITES

16 Feb 2017

Last month I shared with you my current skincare routine in my "CRUELTY-FREE SKINCARE FAVOURITES". Moving away from skincare, I thought I'd next share with you my hair care favorites and the products I love to use. 

SHAMPOO

For a while, I have been loving using my Lush Jumping Juniper Shampoo Bar. While an exclusive to the Lush Oxford Street store, you can still pick this up online here. I find I have quite oily hair and this really has helped rein the oil in and giving my squeaky clean hair. It's also great for helping any dryness on my scalp as well as help sooth. The shampoo bars are definitely worth the money as I've found them to last a long period of time. I've also picked up the Jason and The Argan Shampoo Bar for my birthday. If you're looking for a shampoo bar to soften hair and restore shine maybe check this one out. I'm yet to give it ago but will report back when I do. 
If you're looking for cheap cruelty-free products, Superdrug is the go to and when looking for an alternative shampoo I found Superdrug's Extracts Aloe Vera and Mango Shampoo for oily/normal hair. This reminds me of my childhood shampoo Alberto Balsam and I love it. Similar to the shampoo bar, it leaves my hair perfectly clean and helps control oil. 

CONDITION

I don't think I'll ever need another conditioner again other than the Kind Natured Nourishing Ylang Ylang & Sage Conditioner. I stumbled across this in boots and it's been a gem. I mentioned this is my JANUARY FAVOURITES but it's been great at restoring hydration to my ends due to the change in water. While the smell to some is a little funky, I think it adds the natural nature of the conditioner. It works really well and, while seem to be sold out every time I go to repurchase, I think I'll be sticking with this one for a while. 

EXTRAS

Batiste is still a staple. From my research, I've found this to be cruelty-free to my happy surprise. I've not found a dry shampoo that lifts and restores my worn hair better than this. If I come back from a day of lectures and don't have the time to re-wash my hair before going out with friends, this gives it back the life that the lectures have drawn out from it. 

My hair care is as simple as always but it works for me. What are your current haircare staples?
Hope you're doing great,

Sarah x

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