High Street v High End: Primer

This is another new feature to my blog - in my last post of each month I will be reviewing and comparing two different products that claim to do the same thing - one high street and one high end - and share with you which one I think is the best. This month I will be comparing two primers that both claim to minimise pores. I have quite large pores on my nose which I hate so if either of these products actually do minimise them then great!

High Street: Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser - RRP £7.99 for 22 ml

When I tried the tester of this in the shop on the back of my hand it both felt and looked amazing so I had to get it. It makes my skin super soft and it not only minimises the look of my pores, but it also evens out my skin tone, which makes for a great primer. The only criticism I would have about this product is that you have to be careful about how much you apply because a little too much actually makes your face quite slippery (if that can be used to describe a face!) which makes it a bit difficult to apply the rest of your make up. But even just a tiny bit makes a real difference so I can definitely see myself adding this to my everyday make up routine.

High End: Benefit the POREfessional - RRP £24.50 for 22 ml

I've only got the sample size of this that you get in kits, so it's good that I'll get to try this one out before deciding whether to invest in the larger size. I was quite surprised to find that this is slightly coloured rather than clear, which is nice as it really evens out skin tone, to the point where I could see myself wearing just this and concealer on a really good skin day. It also had better staying power,

Winner - Benefit the POREfessional. This is the clear winner, however it is rather a hike in price and I really would recommend both products as they are both good at minimising pores.

Have you tried either of these products? What did you think?

Amy x

Quick and Easy Hairstyles

I have to admit that my hair is the one thing that I sacrifice in the morning to get that few extra minutes of shut eye. I'm right in the middle of one of my grow-it-really-long-then-chop-it-all-off cycles so it's a funny length to style. This means that it tends to be left down and to its own devices, sometimes still wet (ultimate laze!) or shoved up in a (genuinely) messy bun. Recently I've been trying to be a bit more adventurous and have put together some quick and easy hair dos. These literally take 5 minutes or less so hopefully they will inspire some of you!

A fishtail plait

If you don't know how to do one of these there are plenty of tutorials on Youtube. It's a plait using two strands of hair rather than three. Once you know how to do one it's really simple and quick and makes it look like you've put a lot more effort into your hair than you really have! Tie with either a clear elastic band or mix it up with a bit of ribbon.

Beachy Waves

This is a super quick look to achieve. I slept with a plait in my hair and then spritzed some Schwarzkopf got2b Texturizing Salt Spray through my hair in the morning. Et voila!

Half up twist

The ten second hairstyle, just twist the top half of your hair into a bun and secure. 

A plaited fringe

You can get away with this being a bit messy so depending on how much time you have you can make it as neat or keep it as messy as you want! I started right round at my left ear and french plaited across my head, pinning at my right ear. 

Big fringe

This is actually a bit messier than I would usually want it but I was in a real rush this day! Just back comb as much of your fringe and top of your hair as you want, spray and pin.

Amy x

6 Wardrobe Staples

There are some items of clothing in my wardrobe that I couldn't imagine not having and that I know I can always turn to. These are the items I think every girl should own as they'll never grow old and suit everyone...

A White Shirt 

White shirts are such an easy option to throw on when you don't know what to wear. I own three different white shirts, but this is one I wear the most as you can wear it in so many different ways. In the summer it can be worn as a cover up on the beach, but in winter I prefer to tuck it in for a more classic look. This one was from Topshop last year.

A Breton Top 

I own six different breton tops as they're so versatile and easy to wear, but this is by far my favourite. Dress a breton top down during the day with jeans and trainers and then in the evening switch your jeans for a high waisted skirt and your trainers for heels. Easy. This one is from Boden and you can get it for £25.

A good pair of jeans 

I won't specify what kind of jeans you should own because different styles suit different people. For me, it's high waisted skinny ankle grazers as they make my unfortunately short legs look a bit longer. The most important thing to me about jeans is that they are comfortable and durable. I find that Topshop jeans last me ages, these are their Jamie jeans, which you can get here for £40.

Black Trousers 

Black trousers go with everything and that is why they are such a staple. Go all black for a classic look or use them to even out a brightly coloured or patterned top. I'm living in these black slacks from H&M at the moment, they're now in the sale (*annoyed face!*)  here for £7.

A Pencil Skirt

A lot of people think pencil skirts don't suit them either because they have no hips or their hips are quite big. I disagree - people just need to find the right pencil skirt for them. Black is the best option for slightly larger hips as it's slimming whereas slimmer people can get away with more brave options such as vertical stripes. As you can see I've opted for black, which is a really flattering option for work paired with heels. I got this from H&M yonks ago, but you can get a similar one here for £7.99.

A Denim Shirt

This is probably my favourite item on this list. I would live in a denim shirt every single day if I could and love using them as layering to an outift. If you dare to do double denim (which I don't!) a denim shirt looks great tucked into high waisted jeans. I prefer to wear mine loose with leggings for a casual weekend look. This was from H&M years ago, but there is a similar one here for £12 in the sale.

What are your wardrobe staples? Let me know if you think I've missed anything off my list!

Amy x

Review: Benefit's Feelin' Dandy

I received this for Christmas and wasn't going to review it, but once I'd tried it I had to as it creates such a lovely look. Benefit includes a handy 'Tips & Tricks' booklet inside which tells you how you can use all the products at the same time. The packaging, as is usual with Benefit products, is so pretty and bright. The set includes miniatures of High Beam, Posie Tint, Dandelion blush and Dandelion lip gloss.

High Beam - I've used High Beam for a long time and had just run out of my full sized version when I got this kit. I love how subtle it is, while still giving a lovely highlight and slight shimmer to the face. I love wearing this on no make up days to give me a glow.

Posie Tint - this is probably the least useful product in the kit. I much prefer it on lips to cheeks, but to use all the products at once it suggests using it on cheeks. The only problem I find with it on the cheeks is that it doesn't blend all that well so can look a bit streaky! It is a nice tint for lips though.

Dandelion Blush - I have quite pale skin so this is such a lovely pale pink shade for me. I use my own brush for it though, as the one that comes in the kit is too small and doesn't cover a big enough area for it to look natural. I would definitely buy the bigger version of this blush.

Dandelion Lip Gloss - I'm not usually a lip gloss person, but I love this at the moment and wear it pretty much every day! It's so smooth and tastes really good too (although that's not the best reason to wear it!). It's got a very subtle colour, which is really nice for everyday wear. I love this kit and would definitely recommend it, particularly if you have pale skin like me.

When wearing this kit all together I apply a bit of Benefit's POREfessional along with a bit of Rimmel Hide the Blemish Concealer and Rimmel Stay Matte Powder before applying the kit. I keep eyes natural with just a dash of Rimmel Volume Flash Mascara and just brush brows into shape. It creates a lovely girly but natural look which I love. I would definitely recommend this kit as a great way to try out some Benefit products.

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?

Amy x

Sock Lovin'

So this may be a bit strange, but one thing I can't get enough of at the moment is...socks. Ankle socks with boots, long socks over leggings/tights, big fluffy socks around the house. These are some of my favourites:

Houndstooth: Topshop

Frilly: Topshop

Over the knee: H&M

Glitter: Topshop

Furry: Topshop

Bedside Table Essentials

I'm sure everyone has staple items that they like to keep on their bedside tables - I love organising my bedside table so I thought I'd share my essentials with you. The best thing about my bedside table is that it's actually a chair! My grandad made this for me when I was little and obviously I'm now well past the size to be able to sit in it so I've made it into my bedside table instead.

Lip balm - if you've read some of the other posts on my blog you'll know by now that I'm a lip balm addict! I always keep one on my bedside table and at the moment it's this vintage tin of aloe vera Vaseline.

Hand balm - I always apply hand balm before I go to bed so it's handy to have one right by my side! The one I'm currently using is Burt's Bees Hand Salve, which you can read more about in my previous post here.

 A notebook & a pen - I scrawl to-do lists and ideas in this notebook and keep it here because I often need to scribble something down in the middle of the night so I don't forget it!

A good book - I'm a total book worm and always have to be reading something. Right now I'm reading Trust In Me by Sophie McKenzie which is a whodunnit page turner that I can't seem to put down!

A magazine - The latest issue of Glamour is on my bedside table at the moment. I've already read it but I always keep a magazine by my bed to flick through.

Phone & charger - I rely on my phone for my alarm so always keep it by my bed and charge it overnight (I've read lots of horrible theories about how that is really bad for you, but here's hoping those theories are proved wrong!)

What are your essentials to keep by your bed? I'd be particularly interested to hear if any of them are different from mine!

The Liebster Award

This is an extra post as I've been nominated for the Liebster award by Shannon from Carlyle Style - thank you very much to her! I didn't know much about this until I read her post, but it seems like a really nice way to get to know more new bloggers and find out a bit more about people!

The rules are:

- Thank and link the person who nominated you.
- Answer the questions given by the nominator.
- Nominate 11 other bloggers (who have less than 200 followers) and link them.
- Create 11 new questions for the nominees to answer.
- Notify all nominees via social media/blogs.

So firstly I will answer Shannon's questions:

Why did you start blogging?
I love to write and I'd been reading other blogs for ages. I'd think of ideas for blog posts, but I didn't have a blog so I eventually got round to starting one! It's great to be writing again as I don't really get to write in my job and it's one of my favourite things to do.

Who is your idol?
This is a really difficult question and I'm sure most people would say celebrities that they aspire to be like, however I would have to say that my idol is my sister. She has severe learning difficulties and has been through much/goes through so much every day yet she always stays happy and strong. She puts everything into perspective for me.

Who is your favourite blogger?
This is another difficult question as I love to read so many different blogs, but at the moment I love Hannah Gale. Her posts are interesting and about the things I love and she writes in such an effortlessly hilarious way - I think I laugh out loud at every post, it's very refreshing to read a blog like this.

Where was your best holiday?
In 2009, which was my summer between sixth form and university, 11 of us went to Barcelona for just over a week - Barcelona is an amazing place, sun holiday and city break in one - and we had such a fun time because we knew it would probably be our last holiday all together.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Who knows? I don't have a 5 year plan, I take each day as it comes!

What is your dream job?
I recently visited the Harry Potter Studios and it confirmed my dream to be a film make-up artist! I'd love to learn prosthetics and all that jazz. I'd also love to write for Glamour Magazine. Completely out there dreams include acting and showjumping professionally - ha!

Heels or trainers?
Trainers! My heels probably come out twice a year!

What is your favourite place to shop?
I'm completely loyal to Topshop, although I do cheat on it with H&M if they do similar things for cheaper!

Salad or fast food?
I'd love to say salad, but...fast food.

What is your favourite film?
I could watch Where the Wild Things Are every day.

What is your favourite season?
Summer for sure! Get me some sunnnn!

Now I nominate:
Kate from My So Called Life
Chelle from Destination 22
Sarah from She Enhances
Charlotte from The Homely Chic
Jacklyn from JACKLYNV
Sarah from Sarah Scribbles
When She Writes

OK big fail, I know that's only 7 people but these were the only blogs that I actually read with under 200 followers that hadn't already been nominated and I didn't see the point in nominating blogs that I've never read before just for the sake of it! Also apologies to any of the above if you do actually have more than 200 followers, I went off Bloglovin' rather than Google!

My questions for you are:
- What is your favourite type of blog post to read?
- What's your idea of a perfect night in?
- Where is your favourite place?
- If you could only choose one item to keep out of all your belongings what would it be?
- Sunshine or snow?
- What's your favourite meal?
- Which three people would you choose to be stranded on a desert island with?
- Where do you get your inspiration for blog posts from?
- What's your favourite book?
- What is your favourite blog post you have ever written and why?
- One weird fact about yourself?

Again a big thank you to Shannon for the nomination :)

Amy x

High Neck Line Lust

Until this year I've never really been a fan of high neck lines. Now I can't get enough of them! I've been snuggling up in them nearly every day this winter. Here are a few of my favourites:






7 uses for Vaseline

I got hooked on Vaseline lip care when I was 14 and over the past 10 years I've been using it I've found that it has other uses than just hydrating your lips and I thought I would share a few with you. Obviously it doesn't have to be Vaseline that you use - I also have a huge tub of Petroleum Jelly from the pound shop that doesn't run out quite as quickly! 

1 - Lips! I couldn't really do a Vaseline post without mentioning lips - I have a slight obsession with all types of lip balm, but I always come back to Vaseline in the end as others just aren't quite as good. I use it as an everyday lip balm or over lipstick for a glossy finish.

2 - Eyelashes. I did read once that Vaseline makes your eyelashes grow longer - I haven't found that that has happened for me, but it does make my lashes nice and soft and less brittle after a day of wearing mascara. I apply a thin layer to lashes before bed to leave my lashes soft for the following morning. I also wear it on a no make-up day to give my lashes a natural lift and a slight glow to my eyes.

3 - Hands. This is mainly useful in the winter when dry hands are unavoidable. Vaseline is great to rub in between your fingers (or wherever your hands get driest). Don't rub it in completely and it will really re-hydrate your skin. If you're suffering from really dry hands you can apply a lot and wear some plastic gloves for an hour (or longer if you have the time!) to leave them feeling extra smooth!

4 - Feet. This is the one that people might find a bit gross, but unless you are very lucky I'm sure you suffer from dry or cracked skin on your feet. Vaseline is great for this and I find it better than any foot cream I've ever used. I literally smother my feet in it (this is where the pound shop tub comes in handy!) and then wear socks overnight.

5 - Nails. I'm rarely without painted nails. It looks pretty, but it does mean my nails can get in a bit of a state. Sometimes I leave my nails without varnish on overnight and apply a thin layer of Vaseline to each nail to try and prevent splitting. Vaseline can also be applied around your nails before you paint them, which stops any varnish drying around your nails and looking messy!

6 - DIY scrubs. Vaseline can be used to make homemade lip and body scrubs. 

7 - DIY make-up. Got a nearly used up lipstick that you love the colour of? Scoop out the remnants, mix it with the same amount of Vaseline and you've got a homemade tinted lip balm that'll last you longer than the remainder of that lipstick would have!

Have you discovered any uses that I've missed? Please leave them in the comments below!

Thought of the month: January

If you make one New Year's resolution this year...then stop the hate!

I'm going to do something a little different for my first post of each month and write about an issue that's got me thinking the previous month. After starting this blog in November what's been on my mind is how I might be perceived by others and how I could be stigmatised for what I write.

I recently read an article in a magazine in which a teenage girl had written in to say that her peers at school were making her feel thick just because she was interested in fashion. It's safe to say the reply the article offered was exactly my reaction - it's outrageous that a young girl should be made to feel that way due simply to her interests.

I think most people reading this post would feel the same sort of despair as I do yet I think it is quite a common opinion. If girls or women are interested in fashion and beauty they are seen as shallow and yes, often perceived as 'thick'. This is an issue I hadn't really given much thought to until I read this article, but it's evidently quite a big one and I think it's even partly the reason why it took me so long to start this blog. I didn't want people's perceptions of me to change and was even worried that my boyfriend might think it was stupid - if he does he hasn't said anything!

Nobody should be made to feel bad because of their interests and hobbies. Fashion and beauty hasn't got anything to do with being shallow - it's a creative interest that people just don't seem to be taking seriously yet. But when you think about it, pretty much every hobby has a stigma attached to it - if I was writing a blog about science I would just as quickly be branded 'a geek'.

Hobbies are supposed to be things that we enjoy doing - so why do we stigmatise others for doing what they enjoy just because it's a little bit different to what we enjoy doing? That girl's letter shows us that there is a long way to go before fashion is considered as a legitimate hobby rather than something to be sneered at, but I'll keep on doing what I enjoy and I most certainly won't discriminate against anyone who has contrasting interests to my own.