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Ciate X Olivia Palermo - Smoked Out Eyeliner: Review

Sunday, 13 March 2016
Olivia Palermo Ciate Smoked Out Eyeliner Make Up Review Gold

Calling all beauty readers: I have found the HOLY GRAIL of all eyeliners. Trust me when I this: I am an eyeliner addict. When I was at school all my friend's were shocked at how far I'd go to find the perfect product. I'm (very) ashamed to admit that I turned to using felt tip pens to colour my upper lids, long before felt-tip eyeliners were available in my high street. I can never bring myself to spend lots of money on eyeliners, so it was always the 'drugstore' brands. Natural Collection, Maybelline, Barry M, Soap & Glory; I've tried them all. I found this hidden in TK MAXX recently, and without even opening the box, I took it to the counter and took it home. And I was not disappointed. 

Olivia Palermo Ciate Smoked Out Eyeliner Make Up Review Gold  Satin Kiss Lipstick Cashmere

It is described as a gel-kohl hybrid and it is exactly that! It slides onto my waterline like kohl never could, and applies onto my upper lid as beautifully as gel (minus the fiddly-ness). The pencil form makes it so easy to apply and is hidden so beautifully under the gold lid. On the other side of the pencil is another, smaller, lid which hides a small, angular brush. You can use the brush to create that smokey eye effect that we all know and love.

And isn't the packaging just to die for? 

As you can tell, I've really fallen in love with this eyeliner and it's already replaced my trusty Barry M Waterproof Kohl liner as my number one liner. Plus, it matches the Satin Kiss Lipstick I also purchased. They've both become trusty new additions to my everyday make up bag.

You can get yours over on Ciate for £15.00.

Have you tried any of this collection? What's your favourite eyeliner?

University and Blogging

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Some of you guys may know that I'm a bit multi-tasker. Don't get me wrong, I'm still the laziest multi-tasker that you will ever meet! But I do have a quite lot on the go at once. I'm a student at the University of Exeter (which I LOVE) and have been since last September. That same month I also got promoted to a manager at my current job (which I also love, lolll). In the months since them I decided to (re)start this blog! Commuting to uni also means I spend 12 hours a week on trains :):):) .... so it's safe to say I'm a busy gal, and I know that so many of my fellow bloggers/readers are! We all have social lives that also have to fit into our schedule somewhere. That being said, I'm only in my first year of uni so I'm hardly juggling dissertations and mountains of work! But as exam season looms and my stats deadline is fast approaching I thought I would share a few things that I'm learning as I go.

This is the main thing I've learnt in the last few months. Albeit following last minute, midnight essay writing and covering other people's shifts when I really should be revising. If you're attending university chances are you're paying £9,000 a year. No one's paying me that much to blog (unfortunately!) so that has to come first. If you slack and need to repeat a whole year for failing one little module, you'll be feeling hella bad next year, trust me. If blogging is a hobby and not your full time job then it has to take a back seat, whether you like it or not. It's mostly not for me.

I think this next point has to be taken with a pinch of salt. All degrees are different, but mine is pretty spread out. I have two quiet months, a month of deadlines, then a quiet month, followed by two weeks of exams. This is repeated twice a year, before I have a five month long summer. If you buckle down when you need to and keep on top of your reading/revision during the quieter months, there's no reason that for several months of the year blogging or outside work can't be your focus. This probably won't apply for your more intense course, or your third year.

Everyone gets stressed and has bad days, it's all part of life. But it shouldn't be ruling your life. If something's getting you down then take a step back, schedule your social media well in advance and leave your phone behind. Run a bath. Or have a nap. Or a snack. Whatever it is that will make you feel like you again. Then be that badass multi-tasker and tackle that task head on! (Unfortunately I seem to only be able to work under pressure so I just wait until the last minute, knock out a few pages of work and then have a breakdown in the bath. At least I smell like I've raided a Lush store though...)

If you feel like you need to take a step back from blogging, but you force out posts because you feel obligated then what are you going to achieve? Probably not as much as you want to. If your hearts not in it and you're worried about other things, your posts probably won't be up to your usual standard. Plus, forcing yourself to post is more likely to make you fall out of love with blogging than anything else. I'd rather lose a few bloglovin' followers than my sanity. If you need to take a step back, then go for it, no one can/will blame you.

..... aaaand if you do need to step back, that's what scheduling is there for! Spend a day taking blog photos/writing posts when you're in a blogging mood. You can even build up a little stash for rainy days. Then schedule them in advance for days when you want to just curl up in a stress-induced ball. Use Buffer or HootSuite to schedule your social media posts in advance and you won't have any excuse to stop that essay because you were "just quickly checking twitter" for 2 hours. (I'm so guilty of this!)

Please let me know in a comment the lessons you've learnt so far balancing uni/socials/blogging/school/work/anything-else-you-busy-people-do, and give me a shout if you have any tips for me! (You can even distract me from essays on twitter for an even quicker reply ;) )

My Make-up Newbies

Sunday, 6 March 2016
Chanel Illusion d'ombre apparition eyeshadow, olivia palermo, ciate, satin kiss, smoked out, bareminerals, chanel

Happy Mothering Sunday lovelies! Hope you've all well and truly spoilt your mums this weekend (or even better, been spoilt by your own little ones!). My mama's away, but we went for a nice coffee & a little shop with my partner's mum. I have also picked up a couple of pretty little make-up bits and bobs recently so I thought it was about time I broke out a good ol' flat lay & share them with you all. Unfortunately, I'm living in a bit of a bachelor pad at the moment (don't ask!) with all black surfaces, so my window sill will have to make do for now! I've got reviews of most of these coming up soon so I'll go into a little more detail then!

I'm not entirely sure what I make of this yet! It's a night treatment, in powder form and comes in different shades for your skin tone. It has a really densely packed brush inside which I already love, and promises cell renewal, minimised pores and luminosity. I'm a major sceptic of these things, but I am a bareMinerals fan, so we'll see...

I purchased this today in the shade Cashmere. I'm really hard to please with lipsticks! I want pretty packaging, a pigmented shade & a not too drying formula. I've also been moaning over on my twitter recently about being bored to death of my Mac Velvet Teddy lipstick, and this is a perfect alternative. Think VT but a little more of a fair-nude shade. My lips were super dry when I quickly tried this on and it still didn't cling to them. Anyway, I could sing my praises for this all day, but I will post a more in depth review later on.

I have this in my favourite shade 'Black', what else? I honestly love the packaging of this product. It has two gold lids, one's close to the same length of the product! It's a gel kohl hybrid, so I'm really excited to try this one out. It also has a cute little brush to create a smokey effect.

How incredible is this shade? It's Apparition and I also talked about it in my last post; my night out make up look. It's creamy, pigmented and long lasting, what more can a girl want? Plus it comes with it's own little brush, so cute! 

I also purchased this little beauty blender set for £6 as I hate my blender's getting too grubby. I got this in TK MAXX, but I can't find this set anywhere online right now, sorry! 

Anyway, hope you've enjoyed this little insight into my make up bag. Can't wait to try some of these out and share them with you! Hope you all have a fantastic weekend, and let me know what you think of these products!

March Goals

Friday, 4 March 2016

So, first things first, happy Friday lovelies! The weekend is nearly upon us, although when you have a couple of shifts to get through it's not quite so exciting! But first, I'd thought I'd share my new month resolutions (doesn't quite have the same ring to it eh?). Last month's post got a good reception, with lots of you letting me know one way or another that we shared the same aims! If you were hoping to achieve something in February I hope that it went well for you. Let's find out how mine turned out, and what I'm trying to achieve over the coming month...

1. Lose Weight

This went a lot better than expected. I had so many deadlines this month so I've been eating lots more fast and (inevitably) unhealthier meals. It was so difficult to not look at the scales all month, but I thought leaving it till the end of the month would be much more rewarding, or crushing (lolzzz)! Fortunately it worked out well & I've lost a few pounds. I feel a little bigger, but I have problems with bloating so not much you can do about that! 

2. Stop Spending

I have definitely done so! Unless you count my beauty box... or takeaway... or skincare. Okay, now I look bad, ahah! Honestly now, I really did spend a hell of a lot less than I normally do. I'm pretty pleased with how much I've saved, & I'm going to try and keep on top of this next month too!

3. Find a False Lash Effect Mascara

Oops. I did get some great suggestions after my last post so I have plenty more ideas in mind, thanks ladies! But due to my self-imposed spending ban I couldn't bear looking at the price tags. Didn't really think that through did I? I'm waiting until my next student loan for this one.

4. Cook More (From Scratch)

I haven't really done this, between deadlines and work I have been rushed off my feet. All the good intentions in the world won't cook you dinner though, am I right? I did try a new recipe last night though, I might have to check out the foodie blogs for this one!

5. Rotate My Wardrobe
I re-discovered my casual wardrobe this month. I haven't mixed it up enough, but I have dug out a few little gems this month! I have been stuck to my grey and monochrome so maybe I'll search for some colour for Spring? (Groundbreaking, I know!)

Blog Wise:
I'm just under 350 bloglovin' followers, and have hit my 250 twitter follow target. Considering  I only created the twitter account at the beginning of Feb I am super pleased with this! I'm still hoping for 500 on each though!

So for the rest of this month, I'm aiming to continue with all of the above and cut out fizzy drinks! I'm a slave to coca cola, so doing this will be super hard. I'm going to start out slow by stopping buying it at home, and then I will gradually cut down on my intake while I'm out and about too!

Please leave me a comment with your goals for the month and let me know what you think!

Night Out Make Up Look: (Ft. Chanel Illusion D'Ombre)

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Eyeshadow, Chanel, Illusion D'Ombre, Double Wear,Estee Lauder, Girl, Night Out, Make Up

If you know me, you'll be well aware that there is nothing I like more than to cuddle up, order a takeaway and have a night in. I'm 2/3s through my first year of University and I can count my nights out on my fingers (that's commuting for you)! Don't get me wrong, in my teens I would drink far too much, too often. I started to develop an unhealthy relationship with alcohol (blackouts are so not cool) so now I only drink on special occasions. One of my closest friends turned 21, so what better occasion?! We left our little, cosy Cornwall & headed up to Cheltenham to celebrate with her.

Eyeshadow, Chanel, Illusion D'Ombre, Double Wear,Estee Lauder, Girl, Night Out, Make Up, H&M, Lace, Dress, Fashion

I bought this little lace H&M number for £19.99 last year, but I have never had the chance to wear it! (Unfortunately it's not stocked in the UK at the moment!) I've lost a little weight since 2015 so I embraced it. The bardot style isn't always flattering, but I think it ended up looking not too shabby, if I do say so myself, ahaha. The thing I was most looking forward to was doing my make up. We were staying in a hotel so I had multiple mirrors (and lots of time!) at my disposal. 

Eyeshadow, Chanel, Illusion D'Ombre, Double Wear,Estee Lauder, Girl, Night Out, Make Up

I'm wearing:
Smashbox Primer - Boots, £25.50

This was my first time using Chanel eyeshadow & I was very impressed. The formula is odd, like you've already applied water to a wet/dry shadow but it was fantastic! It was blendable, buildable and beautiful. 

I choose Double Wear in this case as I wanted long lasting coverage and it matches my notably paler skin tone perfectly. I tried to ignore it drying out my skin and it ended up being the perfect match for the night!

Friends, Night Out, Bar, Drinks,

We ended up in a Hawiian themed nightclub in a VIP booth. Our champagne was fantastic (although I'm more of a cockail girl myself). It was an amazing day & I had the chance to meet another friend's newborn baby the following afternoon (more on this later), so, all in all, a great weekend! 

How did you spend your last weekend? And what do you think of my evening look?

3 Beauty Rules To Live By

Sunday, 14 February 2016

When it comes to beauty, we can all agree that less is more. Now, I'm by no means an expert in the world of beauty, but I have had my fair share of mishaps and disasters over the years (no photos included!). So, down below are the rules that I am try to stick by, let me know what you think!

1. Moisturise & Prime. Always.
I have awfully dry skin, particularly during these duller seasons. Now, this may not apply so much to other skin times, but I always moisturise. I wake up, apply moisturiser (& lip balm!!) and wait for it to sink in for a few minutes. If I skip this step then I notice it, big time. I'm also a slave to Smashbox primer. I apply this before foundation and my skin feels smooth and my foundation applies so much easier. For those of you who don't prime, I promise you it is worth it! Your base will last so much longer, plus it's a little barrier between your face & make up, for some unknown reason this makes me feel so much better about applying a face full of 'slap'.

2. Maintain your Brows.
Brows literally frame your whole face. I don't know what it is, but having plucked and defined brows makes my face look 1000 times better! It doesn't matter if you wax, thread or pluck them, there's nothing quite like looking at the finished product. Personally, I pluck mine as I hate growing them out for a wax. If you want to know how I define my brows, check out my post on Anastasia Beverly Hills' Dip Brow Pomade. Whether you like yours full and natural, or thin and defined, just keep your brows in tip top condition and you'll feel fabulous.

3. Invest in Quality Brushes.
I cannot say this enough, do not skimp on brushes! When I was a (young) teenager, my mum would buy me expensive brush sets and I never cleaned them, lost half the set and now have nothing to show for it. She never wore make up, but she knew how important quality brushes are for those that do. Whilst it may have backfired back in the day, her words stuck with me & now my brushes are some of my prized possessions. My personal favourite is Real Techniques as they are thick and fabulous, although I love The Body Shop's collections too.

What beauty rules do you follow?

5 Reasons Your Bounce Rate is High

Monday, 8 February 2016

Now, I want you to be honest, how many of you have logged into Google Analytics and held your head in your hands? *Throws hand in the air* It's so complicated... Don't get me wrong, it is such a useful tool. It tells me nearly everything I need to know about my traffic, but some days it just isn't worth the headache!

Before starting my blog I couldn't begin to tell you what Bounce Rate was, but I've managed to pick up some little tricks along the way. For those of you who don't know, your Bounce Rate is defined as "the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page."  Whilst I'm still an amateur in the blogging world, I consider myself a bit of an expert in reading other peoples blog posts! I can easily pick out the reasons I will leave your blog, and not come back.

Misleading Headlines
This one is a pet hate of mine... Why would you title your blog post "Thoughts on Charlotte Tilbury's Lip Cheat" if you haven't actually tried the product. The reason I clicked on your post was to read your thoughts, not to see a stock image and you talking about your wishlist. Pleeeeease can we be done with misleading titles? If you want to post your wishlist, that's great! If you want to post a review, brilliant! So long as the 'headline' matches up, I'll be happy! If I'm looking for photography tips but I find a camera review, I'm almost certainly going to leave the page there & then. If I find what I'm looking for I'll be much more likely to view other linked posts on your page! 

The goal of decreasing your bounce rate is to encourage people to explore your blog posts and increase readership. The more pages visited means a longer time spent browsing and more opportunity to win readers over with your witty words & fancy photos, am I right?!

Block Text
If I've come home from a long day at University, or better yet a lazy day spent binge-watching House of Cards, the last thing I want to do is read a whole bunch of words (or at least notice that I am)! Naturally, us bloggers tend to write 300+ words, which is fine provided they are broken up! If I click on your post and find a whole page of block text, then I'm going to click right back off again. Do all of us lazy readers a big favour and break up your text! Bye Bye high bounce rate.

Annoying Adverts
I, mostly, keep my Adblock extension on, so I fall victim to this far less. But there is nothing worse on this planet than pop ups. Am I being melodramatic? YES. Are pop ups seriously irritating? YES. I quite frequently browse blogs on my mobile and this is where I suffer (I promise I'll stop exaggerating now). Pop ups on mobile will take me straight off your site and it is very unlikely I will make the effort to find your page again. Your bounce rate will suffer. This also goes for annoying adverts on your blog itself. There is no need for a little video to play in the corner that takes me 2405 minutes to find, I will just close the tab. Sorry, not sorry. 

Twitter & Mobile Users
This point is something I have been thinking about over the last few days. How often do you see a really interesting blog post on twitter and open it via the mobile app? I do this a few times a day but rarely do I then browse the site further. I go back to twitter, talking to you lovely bloggers and tweeting about tasty food stuffz. It could be funny buzzfeed links, serious news articles or that latest nail polish review. Regardless, it's not often I will stay on that site for more than a page. It's worth looking at the proportion of social media referrals in conjunction with your mobile readership. If most of your readers are from mobile devices & fans of twitter, you will need to find a way to keep them on your page. Internal links are your bounce rate's best friend people!

This is going to sound completely petty of me, but let's face it... looks matter. I'm not afraid to admit that bad blog photography and an awful layout puts me off. I don't know if it's just the perfectionist in me, but there's something about a pre-made theme that makes my head hurt! Unless your content is incredible, I can't stick around. Now, my photography is pretty crappy, Cornwall's not the brightest place in the world. But I work with what I've got, you should do the same. You don't need to spend money on a fancy theme, but pretty please make your page easy on the eyes. A good layout will be the perfect post for all your great content. 

*Breathes* There we go, post over, I'm sure you're all relieved. While I'm on a roll, there are a few other things that you can think about:

  • Check how quick your post loads over on pingdom. No-one likes to be kept waiting, if you find your page is taking a long time, try to fix it!
  • Make sure your blog post is responsive! If I'm on a mobile and I need to scroll and zoom to read your posts, I won't be on there for long. You can check if your site is mobile friendly over on google.
  • Who are you writing for? If you're posting blog tips and sharing them on twitter, but your twitter following comprise mostly of non-bloggers, are they going to want to read more? If you're sharing lifestyle posts on a strictly fashion forum, it may not be well received. Make sure your social shares are relevant and working for you. 
  • Internal links are so helpful. If you have a relevant post on your own blog then link to it! While you're at it, ensure all external links open in a new tab! Big rookie mistake. 

Hopefully this has given you a little insight into my personal reasons for bouncing away from your page, and will allow you to see what is affecting your bounce rate. Please leave any other tips down below and let me know what you think of mine!

Favourites: Foundation

Friday, 5 February 2016

Foundation is probably the most crucial part of my make up routine. When I was younger, we would choose a (very, very wrong) shade of dream matte mousse and pile it on with a (terrible) 99p sponge. Needless to say, this did not look good! I'm not attaching photos in this case because I can't bear to look at them myself, but it's clear that foundation can make or break your whole look. As a girl with very pale, very dry skin, I need a foundation that can compliment my features rather than draw attention to them. Since I took the leap into the world of high(-er) end foundation, I've found a whole trove of new shades and formulas. None of those perform for me quite like Nars Sheer Glow Foundation.

It is clearly described as 'Sheer' foundation, however, I find the coverage to be really build-able. For me, it's more medium - full coverage. I find it to be a slightly more hydrating version of Estee Lauder's Double Wear. As I mentioned I have really dry skin and this very rarely clings to any of my dry patches! I always moisturise and apply primer before applying any cosmetics anyway but this foundation absolutely suits my skin the most. Let's just say the hype is real! As you can see below I have a collection of different bases, but the Nars Sheer Glow clearly has the most unique shade visible.

The only flaw I can find is that it doesn't come with a pump! When you're paying £31 for a foundation, I would accept a pump. The glass packaging is sweet, but I find pumps to be far more hygienic. I buy all my Nars products at ASOS as I have premier (free next day) delivery and they offer great student discount! Have you had a good experience with Sheer Glow? What's your favourite foundation/base? 

February Goals

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

I don't know about you all, but I'm not particularly fond of January. I manage to develop a case of the post-holiday blues every year, without fail. My 'New Year, New Start' mantra never quite kicks in until February. So, for that reason I decided to dedicate my Tuesday (as Mondays are never productive) to resolutions. The sun is shining, my daffodils are in bloom and it's got me inspired! 

1. Lose Weight
My boyfriend & I booked a holiday last weekend! I'm absolutely thrilled and we're going to a quiet & beautiful corner of Turkey. Fethiye looks incredible and we've booked a 5* hotel. We don't normally go all out, but last year his work screwed him over completely. He ended up having about two weeks holiday instead of six and we couldn't get any time off to go away! Fortunately, this year we have organised the time off and what's more we get to see baby turtles!!  Anyway, I could talk about the resort for hours, but because of this I want to lose a little more weight. I lost some over Christmas (somehow?!), but we're going to get a joint membership at a small gym nearby. I want to lose thirty pounds, which sounds like a lot now. *GULP* I long for my old slim legs! For those of you who don't know, about two years ago I was given the contraceptive implant and put on two stone in 6 months. Because the weight is hormonal it's so hard to budge, but it seems to be coming off a lot easier in the last few weeks. Hopefully cutting down on some carbonated drinks (Coca-Cola) and greasy food (I'm a secret maccies fiend) will make the world of difference.

2. Stop Spending
One of the reasons I took a break from blogging last Summer was because I had developed a really nasty spending habit. That has been creeping back in recently, so I'm taking a step back. Apart from my Cohorted box, I'm refusing to buy any more make up or clothes. My student loan isn't lasting very long and I'm getting panic-y. My anxiety is awful as it is, without any financial worries thrown into the mix. So, I'm officially on a budget. I'm so fortunate I'm able to work to support myself through uni & have a very supportive and reliable boyfriend, but sometimes you need to be proactive.

3. Find a False Lash Effect Mascara
My eyelash woes are real. Nothing seems to work on them anymore! I alternate Benefit's Rollerlash and Maybelline's Lash Sensational (Waterproof & Non Waterproof) and nothing is working for me. I'm not sure if they're just stunted from my years of sh*tty make up but I need to revitalise them. The only time I like my eyes is when I pile on eyeliner and false lashes. Falsies always destroy my poor eyelashes so I think it's time to fake it. Please, please, please recommend me your favourites below, or let me know if you have any tips!

4. Cook More (From Scratch)
I am such a lazy cook. I can make a few basic meals from scratch, but nothing incredible. I'm a bit of slave to throwing something in the oven straight from the freezer. I love making soups & risottos, but anything else is entirely out of my comfort zone. My boyfriend, however, is an excellent cook but never makes us anything either! We're stuck in a rut - help! Hopefully this will increase the nutrition in my diet, I loved the salmon recipe in the photo above, it was delicious! I'll be off to browse pinterest recipes later on, wish me luck!

5. Rotate my Wardrobe
I wear the same clothes over and over and over and over... I'll buy something new and wear it to death and then dump it in my drawers never to be seen again. I've recently bought a next cardigan style coat and I have not taken it off along with a beautiful scarf. I plan to share these with you all later as they are serious Winter heaven. But every so often I will break out a dress/skirt/top that I've forgotten all about and create a brand new outfit. I love doing this, so I plan to sort through my wardrobe. I'll be depop-ing and donating some, and hopefully reinventing the others for my own future use. Is this what everyone calls upcycling? 

Blog Wise:
My blog goals are pretty boring really! I want to hit 500 bloglovin' subscribers! & I've just created a new twitter for the purposes of blogging, so I'd really like to hit 250+ followers there too. I also want to post at least every other day in February! What are your blogging goals?

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