Monday, 29 June 2015

Current Favourites: Makeup

Today I thought I would share with you my current favourite pieces of makeup. On a day to day basis I usually just wear a bit of mascara and a base but I've included all the bits and pieces I'm liking at the moment. To be honest, I don't experiment too much with makeup, I know what suits me and I stick to it. I own quite a lot of makeup but there's a lot of similar item in my collection. 
Here's what I'm loving at the moment:

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation - I'm not loyal when it comes to foundations I like to try different ones and this just happens to be my current one. It's light but covers imperfections fairly well and I like that it comes in a light enough shade for my pale skin. I'm the lightest shade - Vanille Clair (Light Vanilla).
Seventeen Stay Time Concealer - this is a pretty good concealer, for a long time I was a huge Collection Lasting Perfection fan (like a lot of people!) but I find this a bit creamier than the Collection one so it goes on nicer. I have a small patch of redness low down on my left cheek that I really don't like and this does a good job of covering it up, no it doesn't get rid of it completely but it really does tone it down. I'm the shade Fair in this.
Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot - Again, like foundations I'm not really loyal to powders. One Heck of a Blot is certainly a nice powder, it does the job of setting my makeup and absorbing oil. I do have to reapply though as I do get a oily forehead and nose again after about 4 or 5 hours.


MUA Blush in Shades 5 (left) and 3 (right) - These are the original blushers from MUA, one of the first products they released. I absolutely love the original MUA blushers and I have every shade apart from shade 1 as it's too pale and pink for my liking. These only cost £1 each and they're so pigmented and long lasting I just cannot rave about them enough. Shade 5 is one I tend to use all year round and it's a coral/peach with gold shimmer. Shade 3 is a firm favourite in the summer months, it's a peachy/apricot colour that adds a nice bit of warmth and tan for summer, it does have a little bit of gold shimmer in it but nothing like shade 5.


MUA Baked Trio Eyeshadow - This eyeshadow trio in the shade Chocolate Box is pretty much the only eyeshadow I use. The bronze and the darker taupe shade are perfect for my pale blue eyes. These apply smoothly and last a decent amount of time.
Loreal Mega Volume Miss Manga Mascara - I use the 'extra black' version of this mascara called Black Angel. This is my second tube of this stuff and I can't see me giving it up anytime soon, it's amazing. One coat makes my lashes lengthened, volumised and nicely fanned out, my eyes really 'pop' with this. Two coats adds sooo much volume and length, it's pretty amazing! I usually stick to one coat for the daytime and two for at night.


MUA Sweet Sheen Lip Balm in Coral Reef (left) and Peach Dream (right) - For tinted lip balms these actually pack a decent punch of colour. I really can't find a fault with these, they're light weight, silky smooth and comfortable to wear and the colours are so pretty especially in summer, though I may have to buy one of the red shades for the colder months because I just love them so much.

So that's all the makeup I'm loving at the moment, as you can see I really like MUA makeup and I can promise this isn't a sponsored post or anything, I did buy everything myself but I do think they are a great brand and for such cheap prices the quality of the makeup is outstanding.

Let me know what your current makeup favourites are or if you love any of the products I've featured. I'm also after a new high street / drug store foundation (medium coverage for combination skin) so leave your recommendations in the comments too.


Friday, 26 June 2015

Having your sh*t together

In just over 4 weeks time I'll be 24, I am very quickly approaching my mid 20's and I am therefore plagued by the daily thoughts and worries of not having my shit together. A quarter-life crisis if you like. Thoughts such as 'I'm skint', 'I really should get a better paid job', 'I still live at home', 'I desperately want my own place', 'I haven't even learnt to drive yet'. On top of that you see everyone else around you and they seemingly do have their lives together, people I went to school with are now married, having kids, getting a mortgage or you read blogs/browse instagram and are bombarded with images of beautiful holiday's people are on, stunning interior design in someone's new home etc.

Just the other day though it occurred to me that I've never really thought about what it really means to ME to have MY LIFE together. We constantly judge our own lives by other peoples standards and what they've achieved when in reality they're probably having the same thoughts and feelings as you. 

I couldn't agree with the statement above more, in my 20's I don't want to be worrying about everything. OK so there's a long list of things I haven't achieved yet, getting my own place been number one on that list, but the time will come when those things will happen. In the meantime I've realised that this year is shaping up to be one of the best ever, I'm happy, secure and creating amazing memories and what more could I ask for really? For me right now my life isn't completely together, no, but are a lot of things are heading in the right direction and the things that aren't? Well I'm learning to be OK with that and remembering that things work out in the end. So your life doesn't match other people's lives, but who cares really?! As long as your happy then I'd say your life is coming along just fine.

So hey, it's OK to not have your shit together because guess what? No one really has!


Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Book Review: One Hundred Names

Kitty Logan has lost her way...

As a journalist, she's spent the past few years chasing the big scoops - no matter the consequences. When she makes a terrible mistake, she finds herself mired in scandal, her career implodes and even her personal relationships are tested to the limit.

At a loss, Kitty finds distraction in a list of one hundred names that her late mentor and boss, Constance, has left her. Kitty's been given one final chance, the most important assignment of her life - to write the story behind the one hundred names as a tribute piece to Constance. As she tracks down the people on the list and tries to work out what connects them, Kitty meets some extraordinary people.

Can these strangers' stories help her finally understand her own?

 I don't normally do girly books and I certainly don't do chick lit but this has been sat on my shelf for quite some time now and I was after something simple but enjoyable to read.

When Kitty Logan makes the biggest mistake of her career, her life rapidly falls apart until she takes on the task of finding out the meaning behind the list of one hundred names that her boss and mentor had drafted. With each person she meets she discovers they may seem like ordinary people but they all actually have extraordinary stories to tell. 

I quite liked the idea behind this book, the we are all unique and interesting individuals with our own stories to tell, it made for a heart-warming and pleasant read. I probably would read more Cecelia Ahern books in the future if one caught my eye and I was after an easy read but girly novels still aren't the first genre I turn to. 

It had the typical happy ending you would expect but it was enjoyable, the characters were interesting and well thought out and it all tied together nicely in a neat little bunch as these kinds of novels tend to do. In all it wasn't anything groundbreaking but it certainly wasn't a bad read by an stretch of the imagination. 

Rating: ★★

Friday, 12 June 2015

Reintroducing goals before I'm 25

Since I turned 20 back in 2011 I've had a little page at the top of this blog entitled 'not quite 25 before 25' my ode to the popular list of 25 goals to achieve before you're 25, except I could never quite think of 25 things. With my 24th birthday quickly approaching I recently went back to have a look at this list and I realised it just didn't represent me anymore. I felt weighed down and a little trapped by the list and surely that isn't the point of it at all. So I've decided to revamp it, I've kept some of the goals I'd already achieved on there but then I've scrapped the ones that weren't making me happy and added some new ones. There still aren't 25 goals which is why it has also been renamed 'goals before my 25th'. You can access my list at anytime here (and using the link at the top of my blog) to see what I've already achieved and to keep up to date with the things I'll be ticking off but the list now looks like this:

  1. Get my own place with Josh
  2. Graduate from university (completed)
  3. Go on holiday at least 3 more times with Josh
  4. Get a cat
  5. Have more mini breaks
  6. See a show in London (completed)
  7. See Paul McCartney live again (completed)
  8. Take part in the race for life
  9. Get a tattoo
  10. Get some work published (completed)
  11. Stop biting my nails (completed)
  12. Learn to cook/bake at least 10 homemade dishes
  13. Visit at least 10 new places
  14. Let go of fear
  15. Do something that scares me
  16. Exercise more


Tuesday, 9 June 2015

FILMS: What We Watched #11

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
1975 | 100 min | Musical / Comedy / Horror
J: So this is one of those films that my shorter half has been pestering me to watch for years and years. No exaggeration! So I decided that we'd give it a go...and I was totally unphased by it. It's meant to be this huge cult classic that Lauren's been hyping up for what seems like ever, and it was just a dated, not particularly good film. I've seen it, I can tick it off my list, but I won't be watching that again. 

L: This is one of my favourite films and I've been trying to persuade Josh to watch it for years even though I knew he just wouldn't appreciate how amazing it is! I mean come on this film was made in 1975, it covers a whole load of taboo subjects for the time and no film has done since what Rocky Horror managed to do. Tim Curry is absolutely brilliant as Dr Frank N. Furter, a transvestite scientist and for me the elevator scene (watch here) when he first appears has to be one of my favourite movie scenes ever. It's weird, fun, camp and kitsch and completely amazing!
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
2006 | 96 min | Horror / Slasher
J: I really enjoyed the remake of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I thought it was well done and every bit as scary and suspenseful as the original. The acting was much better in the new one too! Therefore I enjoyed the Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning just as much. It fleshed out a lot of the backstories of characters and gave them more depth to the point where you can kind of sympathise with some of them. Kind of. To a degree. 

L: Not the worst horror movie I've seen but not the best either. I quite like the original 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre and then the 2003 remake. This is a prequel to the remake and to be honest it just falls a little flat on all fronts. The acting could be better, the plot could be better and it's just not that scary. It's a little predictable and lacks any real imagination.
The Cat From Outer Space
1978 | 104 min | Science Fiction
J: Yeah...The Cat From Outer Space. How did this happen?! We were looking for some classic to watch and we ended up watching this. It's totally dated and odd and, but it was surprisingly funny and entertaining. An alien cat that can talk via its collar and fixes basketball games and snooker matches to win money to get home?! Sounds like a winner to me! Also Lauren was totally impressed with how well behaved the cat was, though she did at one point ask how it learned it's lines... 

L: I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this on Now TV. A film that's entire plot centres on a cat from space, I knew I was instantly going to love it! To be honest it's actually not a bad film, Jake the cat is super cute and the film centres around him crash landing on Earth and trying to return to his home planet - a place where by using special collars cats have telekinetic and telepathic abilities (I know you're sold already!). I'm sure I'm not ruining anything by saying this but in the end Jake decides to remain on Earth after escaping criminals and the military. Crazy cat people need to watch this film!

Scary Movie 3
2003 | 85 min | Comedy / Parody 
J: Okay so this was just a something-to-watch movie. Its not good, it's not bad, it just is what it is: a fascicle parody of scary kinds of movies. There's a fair few chuckles to be had at the ridiculous childish humour, but there's nothing hilarious or edgy enough there to make it worth a repeat watch. 

L: I know Scary Movie films aren't meant to be groundbreaking works of cinema but I was left a little disappointed with this. It's the first in the franchise that wasn't worked on by the Wayans brothers and I think you can really tell. The Wayans family do naff films well (I mean that as a compliment) and this was definitely missing something. It parodies The Ring, Signs, The Matrix and Green Mile. While I did laugh here and there I feel it could have been funnier.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
1977 | 135 min | Science Fiction
J: I like a good space film, anything to do with aliens or anything like that is a winner, so Close Encounters of the Third Kind is right up my street. While it's kind of dated (a running theme of a lot of this months films now I think about it), it's still a great film with some wonderfully mystical elements to it. You can see why Spielberg went on to make ET. So for the pure fact it carved the way for the magically awesome ET to be made, it's a pretty high ranking film for me! 

L: We've decided to try watching more 'classic' films so this was the next one to tick off the list. Now sci-fi isn't my favourite genre at all but I like to keep an open mind and bearing in mind this is viewed as a classic film I have to say I was often left confused by this film. There was more than one occasion when I didn't really know what was going on. There's so much happening and yes I know it's sci-fi but it was weird and far-fetched. I really don't know how I feel about this film, I can't say either way whether I like or dislike it because I was just left confused!

If you only watch one of these films it should be...
J: Close Encounters of the Third Kind
L: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Friday, 5 June 2015

Birmingham, Liverpool and 2 Paul McCartney Concerts

Earlier in the year Josh and I got pretty excited when we heard that Paul McCartney was finally heading back to the UK for a tour, the last time he performed in the UK was at one off charity gig in 2013 and the last actual tour he did in the UK was all the way back in 2011 (which Josh and I also went to and you can see my post on that concert here). Now we wanted to do it right and see him in his home town - Liverpool - one because we love Liverpool and two because home town concerts just have an amazing atmosphere, so when we got tickets we were pretty chuffed. 

Fast forwards a few months and we found out that extra tickets had been released for his Birmingham concert at a pretty decent price. To be honest I wasn't up for going to the Birmingham one at first but Josh slowly brought me round to the idea, I mean we're huge fans and who knows when he'll next come back to the UK. So last week we had a packed week of visiting Birmingham on Wednesday and seeing the first McCartney concert that night then going to Liverpool on Thursday to see the second concert. 

To be honest I was pretty excited about the whole thing especially Liverpool, but a week before the Liverpool concert Josh gave me some even better news. For a few years now Josh has been in contact with someone close to Paul McCartney (I can't really mention names!) anyway they had kindly arranged to get us backstage passes. I could've died with excitement! When we got to the concert though we discovered not only had they arranged us the backstage passes but got us better seats for the concert too! I genuinely couldn't believe it. Unfortunately we didn't get to see the band as apparently they were in a different room and not many people managed to find them, not even the ones who'd paid for backstage passes. To my amazement though Paul himself came in the room, we didn't really get any photo's or anything though because he was there to see family and everyone was playing it cool. Another backstage surprise came in the form of Peter Kay and this time we did get a picture, there was no playing it cool with him! The backstage experience was amazing and one I'll never forgot and the better seats we got meant we had a brilliant view of the concert. I still can't get over how lucky we were and we are so grateful for what was arranged for us.

Of course both concerts themselves were amazing but Liverpool far outweighed Birmingham, the atmosphere alone made it. I've not included any photo's from Birmingham in this post as although we weren't really far away the photo's from Liverpool are just much better because of how close we were. We actually have hundreds of pictures but I thought it best not to bore you with that so I've just included a couple from Liverpool itself and some of the Liverpool concert.

We also filmed some bits and pieces at both concerts which I've put into a vlog so I hope you enjoy that too.


Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Book Review: The Uninvited

A seven-year-old girl puts a nail-gun to her grandmother's neck and fires. An isolated incident, say the experts. The experts are wrong. Across the world, children are killing their families. Is violence contagious?

As chilling murders by children grip the country, anthropologist Hesketh Lock has his own mystery to solve: a bizarre scandal in the Taiwan timber industry. Hesketh has never been good at relationships: Asperger's Syndrome has seen to that. But he does have a talent for spotting behavioural patterns, and an outsider's fascination with group dynamics. 

Nothing obvious connects Hesketh's Southeast Asian case with the atrocities back home. Or with the increasingly odd behaviour of his beloved step-son, Freddy. But when Hesketh's Taiwan contact dies shockingly and more acts of sabotage and child violence sweep the globe, he is forced to acknowledge possibilities that defy the rational principles on which he has staked his life, his career and, most devastatingly of all, his role as a father.

I've read quite a few Liz Jensen books now and I don't think I've ever been disappointed by one of her novels. The Uninvited has been on my to be read pile for a short while now. 

 Around the world children are committing terrible murders and retreating into their own world, at the same time acts of sabotage to major companies are happening with the adults carrying out the crimes then committing suicide. Something links the two extraordinary events and threatens to change the world forever.

What struck me first with this book is a found it to be quite similar to the first Jensen book I ever read, The Rapture. The stories are different but there's something I can't quite identify that made them seem pretty similar. Maybe it's the psychology aspect and the use of children again, I'm just not sure. I was a little disappointed though that this seemed like a revisit to a previous book, I would have liked something a little fresher and more unique.

The book spends a long time exploring the children and the change in them and tries to develop an answer as to what has caused the change but then by the ending  was left feeling as though it was a little open ended and that I just had to accept things had changed with no real explanation as the how the world went on. 

For those unaware of Jensen's work this is worth a read but for fans of her previous novels you may be left feeling a little disappointed by this book.

Rating: ★★