High Street v High End: Eyeshadow

 This month I'm comparing eyeshadow palettes - these palettes are both intended to create a brown smokey eye, which is my favourite eyeshadow look to wear!

High Street: Bourjois Smoky Stories in Upside Down Brown - RRP £7.99

I adore the gold shade in this quad, it's so beautiful! That's the shade that I use for my base and it looks lovely by itself too! For this look though I used the lighter brown for my crease, the darker brown to line both lash lines and the white shimmer for my inner corner so there really is a shade for everything! I went quite subtle, but these can be built up to create a more dramatic look. The one bad thing about this eyeshadow quad is that the fallout is quite bad and I hate having shimmer down my face! The staying power is good though - this look lasted all day even though I didn't use any eye primer. 

High End: Benefit Big Beautiful Eyes - RRP £25.50

This palette comes with three eyeshadow colours and an under eye concealer (which I've used up!). The pigmentation of the shadows is good and also buildable, which I like as you can wear a more subtle look for everyday. The colours themselves are really lovely, they have a bit of shimmer but not too much - I use the lightest colour as the base, the middle colour for my crease and outer corner and the darkest colour to line both lash lines. The only downfall of this product is that there is a bit of fallout, particularly on application.

Winner: Bourjois Smoky Stories. I experienced fallout with both of these palettes, but I prefer the colours and the staying power of the Bourjois palette - that gold shade is dreamy!

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

Amy x

Late to the Culottes Party

Yes I know, it's nearly the end of summer and I've only just cottoned on to a very summery trend - culottes. I always thought culottes looked good on other people, but really thought they were something I wouldn't be able to pull off (hello short legs) so I steered clear until I spied these in the Asos sale and thought why not? I can now safely vouch that culottes are the comfiest way to feel stylish!

Culottes - Asos (link)
Vest Top - New Look (old)
Cardigan - H&M (link)
Shoes - F&F (old)

What do you think of culottes?

Amy x

OOTD ft. Happiness Boutique

When it comes to jewellery I tend to stick to classic pieces that go with everything and can be worn everyday so I was thrilled when I was contacted by the lovely team at Happiness Boutique who sent me this beautiful Marble Stone Boho Necklace*. I can wear it with so many different outfits yet the necklace itself still manages to make a statement. As well as a huge range of gorgeous jewellery, Happiness Boutique also has a very affordable (and very cute) clothing range. Pairing that with the fact that they offer free worldwide shipping I can see myself with a dangerous new addiction on my hands! They also run bi-monthly giveaways on their website here which I will definitely be entering. 

The necklace came beautifully packaged in a little bag and cute box, which I personally think would make it a lovely gift for a friend (or yourself of course!). The necklace itself is absolutely beautiful and seems like really good quality. I like to style it with block colours so that it stands out and I've found that wearing it with black is the best way to make a statement. 

Top - H&M (here)
Trousers - H&M (here)
Necklace - Happiness Boutique* (here)

What type of jewellery do you like for everyday? 

Amy x

Tips on Buying a House

I thought it might be helpful to put together some tips because it can be really disheartening looking for a house - it's something that you think is going to be exciting but actually it's just very stressful!

1 - Trust your gut. Sometimes you'll look around a house that's really nice, in a good location and is an affordable price, but for some reason you just don't want it. If you don't get excited while you're looking around it, it's probably not for you.

2 - Try and see potential. This is something I struggled with when we first started looking and actually we may have found somewhere sooner if I'd managed to see past some of the cosmetic issues! We've actually ended up with a house that needs a lot of cosmetic work, but when I imagine what it'll look like when we've put our own stamp on it I get so excited!

3 - Do your sums. Work out realistically what you can afford. Before you start looking it's really helpful to go for a mortgage meeting with a bank to see how much they would lend you and also how much your monthly payments would be - then whenever you look around a house you can add on council tax depending on the band it's in and bills depending on it's efficiency rating. It's a pain, but worth it in the long run.

4 - Stay positive. Buying a house is really exciting once you've found the one for you, but when you're looking it can be really stressful if you don't immediately find what you're looking for. Instead of feeling disheartened at looking around so many houses you don't want, turn it into a positive - at least it helps you narrow down what you do want!

5 - Speak to other people who've done it. Especially if they've bought recently. They will already have shopped around for the best mortgage provider, best solicitor and best surveyor. All the solicitors we found were quoting around the same price and then I asked a friend who had recently bought who she used. They quoted £300 cheaper - win!

6 - Lists are your best friend. There is a lot to think about when you buy a house - as well as all the general things you have to think about when moving usually (moving your internet, your bills and changing your postal address on everything) you also need to think about everything you might need from the previous owners like gas safety certificates, boiler guarantees and a lot of boring stuff! Make lists for everything!

7 - Get excited. It may be a very stressful time in your life, but it's also bloody exciting! Pinterest away to your heart's content, plan what you're going to do with each room and prepare to be excited about things you've never been excited about before like tiles and dado rails (yes I am excited about dado rails).

I hope this post was a little bit helpful if you're thinking of buying now or in the future - and good luck if you are! Let me know your experiences in the comments. 

Amy x

My Top 5 All Year Round Nail Varnishes

Confession: I wear too much nail varnish. In winter (especially near Christmas) I lean towards glitter and in summer I lean towards pastels, but there are some shades that I feel suit every season and they are they ones I find myself reaching for the most all year round. Behold my top 5 all year round nail varnishes!

Red | Red is definitely my number one favourite nail varnish colour to wear - it;s bright but classy and I always feel like a bit more of a grown up when I wear it. It's definitely a classic colour for all year round. My favourite red at the moment is from the Barry M Daylight Curing range - it stays put for ages!

White | Another classic that I feel is maybe more obvious for S/S than A/W, but I wear it all the time. It's a perfect colour for accentuating a tan in summer and the perfect base to add a bit of glitter or nail art to in the winter. Plus white nails go with everything so you really don't need to worry about clashing your clothes with your nails!

Orange | Being such a bright colour I think most people may associate orange with summer over any other season. The brightness of the shade does lend itself to summer, but in the autumn it makes me think of leaves and in the winter it's nice to have a bright nail to lighten up dull and dark days!

Gold | Gold is definitely one of my favourite colours to paint my nails - it just makes them look like you've put more effort in than you have! I think this looks good all year round especially for nights out or special occassions.

Teal | I don't know if this is cheating because the colour in the picture is my S/S teal and then I have an A/W teal that's got a bit more sparkle in it. So technically I'm wearing the same colour all year round, just adapted! It's the same kind of effect as orange really, lovely and bright to match the summer sun and also to counteract the winter non-sun! 

What are your favourite nail shades to wear all year round? Do you think I missed any good ones?

Amy x

Swim and Tonic

I'm not usually one for slogan t-shirts, but when I found one that was literally a description of my life I had to have it! I've gone really casual with outfits recently and this is the perfect top to throw on with some leggings. To make it slightly more feminine I added my lace up sandals and I was good to go!

Top - Asos (link)
Leggings - Asos (link)
Sandals - River Island via Asos (link)

What do you think of slogan tees?

Amy x

Night Cream from Aldi?

This is my first dive into the world of anti-ageing and I only really took the plunge because it cost £1.99 and I was curious about the Aldi skincare range - can something so cheap really be any good? 

Anti-ageing products are a bit difficult to review I suppose because by the time you know whether they've worked or not it's a bit too late! So I won't talk about the anti-ageing perspective and just focus on the cream itself. 

The first thing that surprised me was the packaging - I've used much more expensive moisturiser that's just come in a plastic tub, yet this one comes in a frosted glass jar, which I find so satisfying to hold! (weirdo). The cream itself is very thick and lovely to apply. It sinks into the skin fairly quickly and leaves skin feeling nice and soft. The scent maybe isn't to everyone's tastes - I quite like it, but it's a very perfumed smell that you wouldn't usually expect from a skincare product. The one thing I'm not 100% sure about yet is that it might have broken me out. My skin had been OK for a while for once, but after starting to use this I had a breakout - this might not be from this product so I will continue to use it and only stop if it happens again! 

This isn't a product I would rave about or really recommend, but for the price I don't think you can really complain! It's definitely a good one for those on a budget. 

Have you tried any products from the Aldi skincare range?

Amy x

12 Petty Things That Guarantee a Bad Mood

1 - Stopping and giving way to other cars when really it's your right of way, but you're just so darn nice. Driver of other car doesn't say thank you. Cue your most annoyed sigh and a sarcastic 'YOU'RE WELCOME' spoken to...yourself.

2 - Your nail varnish is almost dry and you smudge it. Enough said.

3 - Even though you're certain you put all the food in the oven at the correct times your veg is ready 20 minutes earlier than anything else. Choice of cold veg or soggy veg means your meal is RUINED.

4 - When you've just stepped out of your front door and the friend you are meeting texts to say they will be late. This is the biggest inconvenience ever because now you're out you can't possibly turn around and go back inside.

5 - When every other girl in the gym has ten layers of make up on and zero sweat on her face, whereas you...well...

6 - People who stand on travelators and don't leave room for you to walk past.

7 - Wind + hair + lip balm = AAAAAARGH.

8 - The supermarket cafe says you can't have a jacket potato with beans and cheese because they've run out of beans/cheese/potatoes. Errrr...where are we?

9 - When you're so excited to go shopping but then you have one of those days where everything you try on makes you look fat and ugly (it's the changing room mirrors right? Right?!)

10 - When you've applied one eye's worth of eyeliner so perfectly but can't. get. the. other. one. right.

11 - When you've spent ages getting ready for a rare night out, but once you're out you realise you've forgotten to put earrings in/perfume on. Boooo.

12 - People who stop dead in the middle of the street when you're walking right behind them and then give you the biggest glare until you cave and apologise for bumping into them.

These things are all so silly that I know it's irrational to get annoyed about them, but does anybody feel me? 

Amy x

Empties #4

Time for another empties post - I didn't realise quite how quickly I get through products until I started writing these!

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water | I love this for taking off my makeup and was using it in my Skincare Routine here. I've mixed things up a bit since then so haven't repurchased it yet, but as it makes taking your make up off so easy I imagine I'll be buying it again soon! I can't fault it really!

Batiste Dry Shampoo | I always buy the biggest size of these so that they last a bit longer, but I use dry shampoo so often that they still run out fairly quickly! I raved about the Batiste dry shampoos in my Products I Repurchase post here if you want to read more.

The Body Shop Strawberry Body Polish | I love pretty much everything from The Body Shop and I think I've mentioned before that the strawberry scent is one of my favourites. The body scrubs really are amazing and this is definitely one of the best body scrubs I've tried. I tend not to buy bath and shower products from The Body Shop myself because I don't feel that I can justify the price tag so I'll just have to wait for Christmas to come around!

M&S Formula Gradual Tan | This was a really lovely product that didn't smell like fake tan and never streaked, but it didn't actually add that much colour. It was good for when I didn't want to look my usual pasty self, but I wouldn't use this if I was hoping for a tan.

Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Spot Wand | This is a double ended wand with one end supposedly for daytime treatment and one side for nighttime. If I'm honest I didn't really use the daytime end until the nighttime one ran out and I only ever used the product overnight. It didn't do amazing things for my skin and I'm not sold on the applicator wand - there's no other way to get the product out of the tube and I'm not sure it's that hygienic really! I don't think I'd buy this again.

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

Amy x

Wardrobe Staples | Ankle Boots

Ankle boots may seem like a winter wardrobe staple, but I wear mine all year round so thought I'd show you some of my favourite ways to wear them in summer. My favourite pair are these chelsea boots from Topshop, which I bought over a year ago, but they must be pretty popular because they're still online!

Outfit 1 - Everyday Summer

Skirt - H&M (old)
Top - Topshop
Boots - (link)

Outfit 2 - Summer Night Out

Dress - Asos (link)
Boots - (link)

Outfit 3 - Summer Weekend

Dress - Asos (link)
Jacket - Noisy May via Asos (link)
Boots - (link)

Which outfit is your favourite? Do you love ankle boots?

Amy x