Thursday, 13 October 2016

Top Non-Touristy Things To Do In The Meatpacking District - New York

You may have read my Letter To New York post last week which gave a little indication as to why I love the city so much, especially since I went off the beaten track and kept away from the obvious tourist spots. Over a number of posts I'll be giving my opinion of the top things to do that aren't so well known in the big apple. Things that you don't hear about as much, but all things that are so amazing and (if I dare say it) better than the top attractions in the city.

The first instalment of my top non-touristy things to do in New York is exploring the Meatpacking District. The most common thing to do here (which probably is starting to verge into tourist spot status but I still highly recommend doing) is walking along the High Line. Although very popular now, it really is a must when you're in the area. The walk itself is across an old elevated abandoned train track which has a beautiful changing view of Lower Westside New York with lots to see along the way. 

Making your way along the 1.5 mile track you get to see so many different things, from beautiful greenery, interesting art, busy streets and an amazing skyline across the Hudson River. You also have constant little reminders that where you're walking was once a live train track, as little bits of old rail lines pop up along the way. I highly recommend having a bite to eat beforehand at Bubby's which is just by the start of the High Line. Bubby's does amazing breakfasts and has the most beautiful bakery at the back where you can pick up great coffee and refreshing juices to set you up for the long walk.

Once you've filled yourself up and started making your way along the High Line I highly recommend stopping off at Chelsea Market to grab some lunch from any of the independent cafes there. I had an amazing Oreo cookie ice cream sandwich which was totally worth the hundreds of miles flight from the UK alone. Whilst you're there make sure you take a look at all the lovely little unique shops, and if you've got time, you must pop into the flee market to browse all the vintage pieces; from clothing through to decorations and furniture. Chelsea Market starts about half way along the High Line at breaks up the walk and the most perfect time.

I highly recommend walking the whole way down the High Line, even though the scenery starts to get a bit cold towards the end, just bare with it. As you get right to the end you reach a holding ground for hundreds of subway trains which are all lined up perfectly and, if the sun is shinning, glimmer beautifully in the light. Then you turn to see the most beautiful skyline.

Once you've made it to the end of the High Line you could just jump on the subway and head off somewhere else but I highly recommend exploring the rest of the Meatpacking District. The restaurants and shops around this beautiful area of New York have the most gorgeous architecture that can only be described as a much prettier Spitlefields Market. Shopping around the Meatpacking District is a great experience. It has a mix of boutique and branded shops but all have a unique quirkiness to them. Shopping in this area takes you away from all the hideously lifeless and busy stores in Central Manhattan and allow you to actually enjoy strolling in and out of the shops at a very relaxed and calm place.

Finally, if your wanting to spend the whole day exploring the Meatpacking District then you must check out its art scene. There are some great galleries to explore with The Milk Gallery and The Whitney Museum of American Art being the top two to visit. 

So that's it, my first instalment of my top non touristy things to do in New York. What are you favourite things to do in the Meatpacking District? Or what non-touristy things would you recommend doing in NYC?

Thanks for reading 
Hannah xxx


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Review and Swatches

Long lasting liquid lipsticks is a market that all brands are wanting to break into at the moment, and not everyone is doing it right. The NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams however tick most of the boxes when it comes to being top of the drugstore ranks. They certainly match affordability with quality and instead of doing my usual long winded intro into why I picked these up I thought I'd just go straight into the review. Feel free to skip to the bottom for a real quick run down of my thoughts.

The shade range NYX offers is incredible. With 31 shades to pick up at Boots (for UK buyers) it's safe to say you'll be at the NYX stand for a very long time swatching and deciding which ones to take home. But, at £5.50 a pop I'm pretty sure you'll easily be persuaded to take a small handful home with you.

The NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams are a perfect balance between lip stick and lip gloss and settle into the lips without any shine or shimmer. Although described as being highly pigmented, I can only agree to this after I've applied a number of layers. Don't get me wrong, once you've done two to three applications you do get a totally amazing pay off, but higher end brands do only need one coat. Although a little bit annoying, there is a plus side to this. The Soft Matte Lip Creams give us more control over how opaque or bold we apply the colour. You can go from subtle hint to full blown impact depending on your mood; and you don't get that freedom with higher, more extreme pigmented brands. 

These matte lip creams are great at settling into the lip, they do take a few seconds to dry which can mean a longer application process but it's worth it for the colour payoff. They aren't as long lasting as the higher end brands (but I never really expect that from a drugstore lipsticks anyway) and they can wear off after a few hours. Saying that, the do hold up well against eating and drinking, it's just natural wear off that is the issue here.

One other little issue I have with these lip creams is that they tend to clump up on the lip after a while. The don't stay completely in place all day and I sometime find myself having to wipe off build up around the corners or middle of my lips after a few hours. However, on the other hand, that does mean that the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream's don't dry out your lips in anyway; which is totally amazing for how matte the overall effect is. There is absolutely no transfer or smudging within the first few hours or wearing either. 

I picked up 4 different shades with Abu Dhabi being my favourite as it is a lovely subtle brown shade. Cairo has a creamier look to it, being very light brown, Tokyo is a lovely bright bold pink shade and Buenos Aires is a nice faint coral colour.

If you're just wanting a quick summary of these liquid lipsticks then this little section is for you:
1. They're not drying at all
2. NYX have a great shade range
3. Good pigmentation but could be better - does allow you to create own levels of opacity
4. Doesn't transfer
5. Last's about half a day without any top ups
6. Can occasionally clump or gather on the lips

If you were to ask me if I preferred these to higher end brands, like Kat Von D for instance, I wouldn't be able to agree...but, that doesn't mean I don't love the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams. They're so well priced and have such a great shade range that I can forgive them for any of the points that they drop on a little. These are 100% the best matte liquid lipsticks in the drugstore market and I will certainly be buying more.

Have you tried the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams? What are you thoughts? Which shades should I be picking up next? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading
Hannah xxx

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

The Most Inspirational Magazine for Bloggers

For all you magazine lovers out there you'll know there is a lot of competition and loads of different publications trying to catch your eye; it can all get a little bit confusing right? Although I still love the some of big named magazines, as I'm getting more and more into the blogging scene I feel the old glossies are moving further away from what I personally relate to. 

There's also been a lot of controversy recently with popular publications, let's say, not really backing bloggers (to put it very politely) and this case sadly hasn't been a stand alone one. That's why I started to branch out into more specialised or independent magazines. I could list off loads of names here (and maybe that's an idea for another post) but the one I want to rave about today is Blogosphere magazine.

I'm pretty darn sure most of you reading this have not only heard of Blogosphere magazine but probably have every single edition sitting on your coffee table. But, despite that, I still wanted to tell you the reasons as to why I absolutely love this magazine and why it's done wonders for my blog.

1. It gives me so much inspiration to write and create more posts. Whenever I'm lacking motivation, inspiration or dedication to my blog, picking up Blogosphere always inspires me to create content again. It's also great for giving me ideas for posts I wouldn't have thought of before. As a (mostly) beauty blogger I can sometimes stick to the same ideas and I also tend to only read similar themed blogs to mine. Blogosphere magazine provides me with different genres and different categories I wouldn't normally find or think to look at and the ideas and inspiration I get from these is totally amazing. I would never have thought to write lifestyle posts or even 'letter' posts if it wasn't for picking Blogosphere up.

2. The advice Blogosphere gives to bloggers is really great. The Blogosphere team are always dedicating articles to help you out with social media or provide you with tips for managing your blog whilst working full time (something I really struggle with). Blogosphere magazine has helped me pick up some great advice along the way and that's something I really appreciate.

3. It's helped create an amazing community. Not only do you have a sense of blogging pride, and feelings of "these people are blogging badasses" as you read the magazine, but they also provide weekly chats (#BlogosphereChat - 8pm on Sunday's). These chats really help build an amazing little space on the internet where people can chat and share their thoughts, feelings and advice whilst getting help and encouragement from other bloggers out there. I know there are many other chats to get involved in during the week but I think the Blogosphere chat is one that allows bloggers of all different talents and genres to get together; getting us all interacting as just bloggers; not beauty, fashion, lifestyle or parent bloggers.

And these are just three of the reasons why I totally love Blogosphere magazine and why I won't be missing an issues. Do you read this amazing magazine? Which other magazines inspire you? Let me know below, I'm always looking for new things to read.

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx

Monday, 10 October 2016

Perfect Autumn Perfumes

There are a number of reasons as to why I love Autumn, I even listed some of them in a little post here, but one of the things I look forward to the most is Autumn scents. Pumpkin and Vanilla scented candles are something that gets me very excited about the months where the days get shorter and the air gets colder but swapping up the perfumes I use is also another scent experience I look forward to.

Gone are the months of fruity, florally and sharp scents and in come the musky, woody and cedar like aromas that I completely love. I totally love androgynous scents that are the perfect mix of feminine beautifulness with masculine warmness and these two hit those requirements perfectly. So, here are my perfect Autumn perfumes.  

Diptyque Philosykos and Elizabeth and James Nivarna Black

Diptyque Philosykos is a lovely deep scent that has the perfect balance of fig and cedar undertones. Although it has an underlining muskiness to the scent it also gives a great freshness that brightens up this perfume; which is totally welcomed. Philosykos also gives off the perfect amount of woodiness and hints of bark that warms the undertones of this scent. With ingredients including fresh leaf and green fruit, this fragrance really is the perfect combination on deep and crips that eases you into those full blown winter scents.

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black is another wood smelling scent which incorporates sandalwood with vanilla to create a sweet but warm combination of undertones. This scent does have more floral incense with hints of violet that brightens up the deeper tones of this perfume. This is definitely the more androgynous of the two and is perfect for an Autumn evening.

So here are my top two perfumes for the Autumn months. I love them both so much and couldn't possibly choose my favourite between them. Have you tried either of these? What are you favourite perfumes now the year is coming towards the end? Let me know below.

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Makeup Revolution Precision Pro Oval Brush Review

Make up brushes aren't things I buy too often. I seem to fall in love with a hand full and stick to them until they either completely fall apart or something really sparks my interest. The latter was definitely the case with the Makeup Revolution Precision Oval Pro Brush.

Since oval brushes swept the blogging world about a year ago I have been totally intrigued. I kept reading reviews of different brands left right and centre and couldn't decide if they would work for me or not. The reviews were all very mixed with some people swearing by them and other swearing off them for life, so I came to the conclusion I just had to try one for myself. 

Makeup Revolution Precision Pro Oval Brush

The Artis brushes were far too expensive for me; especially if I wasn't sure if they would work for me or not, but the cheap ebay alternatives that were floating around just didn't appeal to me. I just couldn't see how a make up brush costing roughly £2 would leave my make up looking good on my skin. So I was looking for a happy medium.

That's when I spotted how Make Up Revolution were branching into the oval brush craze and, to my delight, for a reasonable price. They aren't expensive but still not stupidly cheap that they had me automatically assuming they'd be crap. So off to Superdrug I went to pick one up.

Makeup Revolution do have a number of brush sets so you can buy a handful of different sized oval brushes and although this is a cheaper way of doing it, I didn't want to buy more than one brush until I knew if I liked them or not. The Precision Pro Brush is only £10 which is a great price for a brush, especially one that looks this pretty.

This brush is actually really great and I fell in love after just one use. The brush gives amazing coverage and you don't have to take ages blending to get an even finish. The bristles are really tightly packed so don't soak up a lot of the product. It took me a little while to get used to having to do circular motions instead of the buffing motion in order for this brush to reach it's full potential but once I got comfortable, I really loved the pay off it gives.

The Makeup Revolution Precision Pro Oval Brush is also super soft. I know most brushes are beyond soft nowadays but I find the cheaper brands don't quite get this softness right. This brush however is a dream to touch and feels amazing on the skin. The only negative thing about this brush is that it's a little difficult to clean, but for the shamefully long lengths of time I go between washes, this shouldn't be too much of an issue for me. 

So, not only is this brush gorgeous to look at and will most definitely be featuring in a lot of my Instagram pictures (no doubt you'll get bored of seeing it) but it is also an amazing brush to actually use. It provides great coverage and gives a beautiful finish with real ease. 

Have you tried any oval brushes? How about this range from Make up Revolution? Let me know your thought's below.

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip Lipstick in Coy Review and Swatches

I did something out of the ordinary the other week. Something I never really do and something that I shocked even myself by doing; I bought a non matte lipstick (*huge gasp*). 

If you're a long time reader of my little space of the internet you'll know that matte is a description I could use for 95% of the products I own and shimmery, glittery or glossy are almost swear words in my world. But, there I was, finding myself saying "yeah, go on then" to a creamy lipstick. I was off to a wedding and my usual dark, brown and, well, a little lifeless lipstick don't quite work for such a joyful formal occasion so I agreed to go for something different. Obviously (by the title of this post) Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip Lipstick in Coy was my weapon of choice for such an occasion. 

Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip Lipstick in Coy

This lipstick is a beautiful darker pink shade with a tiny hint of a brown undertone. It's very much a shade that is a (and I really hate using this phrase but sadly it sums it up entirely) 'your lips but better' one. The consistency is very buttery and creamy. Once on the lip the Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip lipstick gives a subtle hint of shine but it isn't in your face glossy. I mean I didn't want to stray too far away from my comfortable matte lip look now did I? 

This lipstick last amazing on the lip for something that isn't matte. Eating and drinking don't seem to effect it too much and you only have to reapply once or twice in a night. No, it's not going to last half as long as a matte shade or a liquid lipstick but for a sheer formula, which are nuturiously bad for longevity, the Laura Meecier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip lipstick does a very decent job. 

Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip Lipstick in Coy swatch

The pigmentation is also really great for a creme product. You only have to swipe two or three layers on the lip to get a strong pay off. Again, it doesn't compare to the one layer you need from a liquid lipstick but it's really great non the less. 

All in all I am very impressed and was totally won over by the Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip lipstick. I have to admit, I don't think it's completely convinced me to leave my matte obsession behind but I certainly wasn't disappointed with this lipstick. I definitely don't regret buying it and have worn is several times since the wedding, which I didn't really expect to do. Big thumbs up from me.

Have you tried the Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip range? Which Laura Mercier lip products are you favourite? 

Thanks for reading 
Hannah xxx

Friday, 7 October 2016

Bobbi Brown Instant Detox Masque Review

Who doesn't love a good face masque. I mean, a masque is an integral part of having a perfect pamper night right? Everything else; tanning, doing your nails or deep cleansing your hair changes from session to session. But a face masque; well that's always on the pampering agenda. 

Now I'm not one to indulge in the luxuries of face masques too often so when I do, I like to have one that does a really good job. That's why I tend to go for higher end brands over drug store alternatives (although there are some high street masques I love out there). This is also why, when I saw the Bobbi Brown Instant Detox masque when in The Cosmetics Company Store the other month, I just had to pick it up. 

Bobbi Brown Instant Detox Masque Review

The instant detox part of this masque was definitely a selling point for me. As I said, I don't get to treat myself to a face masque very often so I want its effects to be instant, and the Bobbi Brown Instant Detox masque certainly gives impressively fast results. My skin is always super smooth as soon as I wash this off. 

This masque is charcoal like and I find it's great for giving your skin a new lease of life. My skin always looks healthier and clearer after using the Bobbi Brown Instant Detox Masque. I find with a lot of masques, although eventually leaving my skin looking amazing after a few days, they can make me break out a little the day after using; but not with Bobbi Brown.

Bobbi Brown Instant Detox Masque Swatch and Review

The masque dries really quickly but doesn't crack or tighten on the skin at all. It's really comfortable to have on; to the extent where I sometimes forget I'm wearing it. It sinks into your pours quickly and deeply, which always means great results to me. It gives a deep clean and helps reduce oil and, as an oily skinned gal, anything that does that gets a big tick from me. Usually some masques can strip the skin but the Bobbi Brown Instant Detox Masque leaves it fully moisturised whilst being deeply cleansed; perfect match! 

Have you tried any of the Bobbi Brown masques? Which is your go to product for a pamper night?

Thanks for reading
Hannah xxx

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Coconut Lane Marble Loves

As Coconut Lane had its first birthday this week I thought this would be a great opportunity to express my love for them and the girls (and guys?) in the team. I also though it would be great to show the goodies I've picked up from them so far and give these (noticeably all marble) things a little bit of love in blog form. 

If you haven't heard of Coconut Lane (where have you been) they are a lovely, kick ass company who stock and sell amazing accessories from stunning jewellery to Pinterest worthy cushions. They sell things that can being described as dainty and pretty alongside things that are full of character and totally sassy; and here's what I picked up. 

As you can see, my favourite categories from Coconut Lane's offerings were the phone cases, notebooks and jewellery. You can also see that I was going through a very marbled themed phase at the time of my order!

Marble Products from Coconut Lane

Seriously though, the mobile phone cases Coconut Lane sell are all amazing and I'd buy them all if that wasn't totally ridiculous and completely excessive of me. The styles include comical cartoons, bad ass slogans and darn right beautiful patterns. I wanted the palm leaf case as it's gorgeous but sadly they were sold out of the iPhone 6 model when I ordered. My next choice was this beautiful marble effect one; I mean, I am a blogger after all so what else would you expect! 

You also have to check out their notebooks if you place yourself on any end of the stationary fan scale. I love that the notepads aren't too thick either as I never fill them up and I always feel guilty for wasting paper if I don't reach the end. 

Then we move onto the jewellery. Well, where do I start? I had to be really strict here as I'd told myself I was only allowed one piece when I placed my order, but my god was that a difficult rule to stick too. There are so many beautiful pieces to choose from, from the Turquoise Anklet to the Feather Earrings. However, I settled on this Marble Cube Bangle. I was after something classic and pretty that still showed the androgynous style I always go for when it comes to jewellery. This bracelet certainly ticked all those boxes. 

As I'm trying to be sensible will my money at the moment I stopped myself after adding 3 items in my basket. But, if I gave into my inner shopaholic I would totally order myself one of the amazing marble Mac Skins and the brand new Pom Pom Keyrings. I'll also be ordering some (probably all) the prints when I get my house so I can add them to my picture wall I'm planning to create. 

I'm also very honoured to be a Coconut Queen which means I get to offer you lovely lot at healthy 20% off your order if you enter the code northern20 at the checkout. If that's not tempting you to fill that virtual basket with goodies; I don't know what will. 

I'll end the post with a huge Happy Birthday to Coconut Lane and a huge thank you to the team for being such a great bunch and creating a lovely community to be a part off. 

Thanks for reading 
Hannah xxx


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Four Reasons Why You Need Essie in your Life

I have to note a little disclaimer here; I'm not the biggest nail polish person (great way to start a nail polish post Hannah!). But wait, hear me out, I don't mean I don't like nail varnish, hell I love having my nails all pretty and I have a good 60 polishes in my collection. I just find it really difficult to actually sit down and spend the time putting layer after layer on to make my nails look perfect. I get bored and it always ends in one or two very smudged nails because I've given up on waiting for them to dry. However, I have come to the conclusion that there is one way to make this process a little easier; and that's Essie. 

I used to have the mentality that the cheaper the nail varnish the better. Let's face it, I wasn't wearing nail varnish enough to justify spending more than £2-£5 on a polish. But then I did something very out of character; I went to get my nails professionally done. Of course they weren't going to use some cheap ass polish on me so out the Essie bottles came. I won't go in to detail about the manicure (although if you live in Sheffield you need to go to The Salon on Eccelsall road; it's brilliant and very Instagramable) but here are the main reasons why I swore, from that day on, only to buy Essie polishes.

Neutral Essie Nail Polishes Review

1. The shade range is amazing. I'm not just talking about Essie having a large variety of colours, although that is something they kick ass at. I'm talking each shade being beautiful and extremely wearable. Yes Essie have a great variety of bold, out-there colours that we all know and love; but only actually wear when we're feeling adventurous. But Essie are totally amazing at creating neutral shades that are all 'must haves' for your collection. Each cream, grey, brown and pink is just as beautiful as the next but still different enough to justify spending a small fortune on shades that have the same undertones. 

2. The pigment is amazing. Yes if you're going for a lighter shade then you'll have to add a number of layers to pack a punch (nothing new there) but when you compare Essie to cheaper brands, you're looking at three coats max rather than the four or five for the likes of Barry M. If you've got a darker shade you can 100% get away with one layer to give great pigmentation and one coat means quicker application and a speedier drying process...can I get an amen?! 

3. My god do Essie polishes last a long time. For anyone that hates doing their nails there is nothing more annoying then giving up 45 mins of your time (from first stroke to totally dry) just for the varnish to chip the next day; meaning redoing them a few days later.  Not a problem with Essie. Even without a top coat your looking at a full week no chips. If you do put that extra layer on then after 8 or 9 days your still laughing. Less chips means less reapplying and for someone as nail lazy as me, this means going much longer between fist pump. 

4. Finally the brush!! The Essie brush makes it soooo much easier to apply these polishes. Their sturdy bristles ensures better direct application, no stroke marks and way less spillage onto my fingers, which all in turn help with a speedier application process. 

So that's it, that's why there is no turning back now I've discovered the wonderful ways of Essie! You really can't go wrong with these polishes. Essie, I salute you and I bloody well love you. Thanks for being great.

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Kat Von D 'Lock-It' Liquid Foundation Review and Swatches - Light 45

If you follow me on social media then you'll know the constant love and raving I've been giving Kat Von D Beauty at the moment. Hell I even did a post the other week about Kat Von D beauty hitting the UK and what I thought you absolutely must add to your make up collection, so you could say I'm a big fan of the brand!

I ordered a number of things on the day Kat Von D Beauty was released and I had tried all of them before, apart from one little product. The Kat Von D 'Lock-It' Liquid Foundation.

Kat Von D Lock It Foundation Light 45 Review

I have to say I was a little sceptical about ordering a foundation online that I 1) hadn't tried before and 2) couldn't test which shade matched my skin tone. However, I pulled together all my blogging tips and knowledge and did all I could to ensure I picked up the best shade possible. If you want to know how I did this then check out my Top Tips for Ordering Foundation Online post.

After a bit of research, and feeling confident I'd picked the shade that was (hopefully) the best for me, I hit add to basket. Two days later my new foundation was sitting on my dressing table, ready to be tested, and thankfully the shade was pretty darn perfect.

The Kat Von D 'Lock-It' Liquid Foundation, like with all of Kat Von D Beauty products is designed to be long lasting, high pigmented and provide full coverage and I can certainly confirm all three of these statements.

Not only is the coverage amazing but a little really does go a long way; I only need 2 pea sized pumps to cover my whole face. It gives a velvet matte finish, which is exactly what I'm looking for. I've heard people who don't usually go for a matte look say that using setting sprays before hand, skipping primer or adding highlighter can really make this foundation work for all desired effects. 

When it says it lasts 24 hours it really means it. I decided to live tweet my first day trying the Kat Von D Lock-It Liquid Foundation and this is how it went: 

Used my Kat Von D foundation for the first time today and so far so good
4hr update on my 1st day of Kat Von D foundation. Still great coverage and very limited amount of shine 
6hr update for my 1st day of Kat Von D foundation: no oxidisation and still great coverage. Only needed one shine dabbing so far 
Nearly 10 hrs wearing the Kat Von D foundation and I've only blotted once and still have full coverage. I'm falling in love guys 
After 13 hrs my Kat Von D foundation it's still pretty darn good on the skin. No extra blotting needed & the coverage is going strong 

As you can see by my tweets it was love at first use and I can confirm, 20 days later, I'm still head over heels; this ain't going to be no short love affair I tell you. Just a small amount evens out skin tones, hides pours and pretty much eliminates shine.

kat Von D Lock It Foundation Light 45 Review and Swatch

I didn't think there would be a day where I would find a foundation that could make me even pick flaws in my Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation, let alone replace it, but the Kat Von D 'Lock-It' Liquid Foundation has done just that. Although still an amazing product I had noticed how the Vichy foundation transferred when I touched my skin but I thought that was something that just came with any full coverage or long lasting foundation. Turns out I was wrong! Once on, the Lock-It Liquid Foundation doesn't come off until you get the cleanser on it. What more could you ask for from a foundation?

To sum it up this is the perfect foundation if you want a soft matte finish (although you can add dewyness to it if wanted), full, and I mean full, coverage and one that lasts from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep. It does this all whilst reducing pretty much any shine (even for the oiliest of skin types) and never transferring. If you're not sold after that then I don't know what will make you happy!

Thanks for reading
Hannah xxx

Monday, 3 October 2016

A Letter To New York

Dear New York,

I know we've only met two times (I'm ignoring that 3 hour stop over 13 years ago when we used you as a emergency stop off point to escape a hurricane in Florida; I don't think you really noticed me then) but I really can't stop thinking about you.

I think it may be because it's almost been a year since we last met that I'm really starting to crave your attention again. I keep remembering the amazing times we had together and I'm lusting after your presence and all the things you have to offer. It was the trip last year where I really appreciated your beauty and uniqueness. It's not that I didn't notice these the first time I visited, but I was younger and naive then and wasn't so wise to your ways.

Brooklyn Bridge

Maybe it was because the first time we were in each other's company I only brushed your surface. I prejudged you on what others had said about you and therefore only saw your obvious characteristics. I didn't really get to know the real you; the you the locals get to see everyday. The you that isn't all bright lights, green goddesses and tall buildings.

Last year I sat down and dug a little deeper into your personality. I saw your quirky streets, your hidden bars and your clubs echoing with soul which put Shoredich to shame. I saw your character filled backstreets, I saw the local personalities that call New York their home; not their stage and I saw you with your morning face on; not in your dolled up, dressed to impress costume. I have to say, I prefer you in your natural state. 

Maybe it was because the first time we met it was Christmas and I was so drunk on festive spirit that I missed what you really had to offer. Perhaps you knew we only had a short few days together so you did what most people do at Christmas parties and put on a fa├žade, only showing me what you think I wanted to see. Only showing the side of yourself that people give the most attention to; thinking that was your best. Don't get me wrong, I loved that side to you. In fact it was one of the best Christmases I've ever had and I have you to thank for that but my second visit made me realise you had so much more to show me and so much more to offer. 

I think I'm craving you more now it's Autumn and I'm remembering how your leaves were starting to turn every imaginable shade of orange and yellow. I'm remembering our last day walking in Central Park together; all the way from one end to the other. Happy to be together but sad because we knew our time was ending. As the leaves are just starting to turn here I'm realising there is no place that will look quite as pretty as you did on that day. 

Central Park in Autumn

Most of all it was because you showed me things I've always wanted to see. You've showed me architecture that was so stunning it took my breath away, you showed me little pockets of character that you just wouldn't see anywhere else in the world, you showed me a skyline that went from metal and busy to stunning brick work and peaceful. But most of all you showed me my idol and the best gig I have ever been to in my life. For Christ sakes you showed me Stevie Wonder and for that I will be eternally grateful. 

So, New York, I just wanted you to know I miss you. You're always in my thoughts somewhere and, as we move closer to November, now more than ever. Let's not leave it too long before we see each other again. 

All my love,
Hannah xxx 

I have to give credit to Ryan at Lost Boy Memoirs who's post 'A Love Letter to New Zealand' in Blogosphere magazine gave me the inspiration for this post. You should go check it out, he does a much better job then I did. Thanks Ryan 

Sunday, 2 October 2016

3 Top Tips for Picking Foundation Shades Online

On a recent online shopping spree I decided that not only must I order as many of the Kat Von D Beauty products as I possibly could as soon as they hit the online shelves, I decided that this had to include the foundation too. And what's your point I hear you ask? Well I've never tried, tested or even looked at the shades of the Kat Von D Lock-It In Foundation before; which threw a major spanner in the works when it came to deciding which shade to choose! There's 17 for Pete's the hell was I meant to get this right?

Well, after pulling all my blogging, make up and research skills together I actually managed to nail it! I got the shade pretty much spot on from solely using these three little tips below. So here they are, my tips for the best way to help choose your perfect foundation shade online.

3 Tips for Picking Foundation Shades Online

1. Look at all the foundations you already have. No I don't mean just stare at them and hope that, by some miracle, the right shade will pop into your head...that's certainly not going to happen. I also don't mean look at the shades or swatch them on your skin; although this will come in useful at a later stage. I mean look at the description of these foundations and use them to help. Usually the bottles or tubes don't have a full description on the product, and the names of the shades are normally so obscure that they have no relevance to the actual shade at all. So what I mean is; go online, look up the description of the shades you already have and match them to the closest description of the new foundation you're wanting to order.

For example, if your normal foundation has pink undertones, go for a shade that is described to have the same. If your usual foundation is described as having warm, cool or neutral tones, go for one that matches this. If there's a shade that has both of these; you're onto a winner. 

2. Look up reviews and swatches of the foundation online. There are many posts about your new foundation out there and some will even have great swatches of, not just one shade, but all of them in the range. If after reading the descriptions you still have a number of potential options to choose from then seeing the swatches next to each other will help you see how different they are in comparison to each other. 

Another great thing about online reviews is that they will hopefully let you know if the foundation oxidises once on the skin. If this is the case, you can figure out if you need to pick a lighter shade than you had originally expected. If it doesn't, then you're probably good to go with the shade that matches your previous foundation description.

3. Finally this is where you can get swatching! Put a bit of foundation on the back of your hand and take a picture. Then screen shot a picture from any posts that have swatched any of the potential shades that you think may match you skin tone. Next, open them up in a collage app (I use Photo Collage) which allows you to add photos together, side by side. Once you've done this you can check if these shades look similar when they are next to each other. It can be difficult to judge by eye if two different swatches look similar, but once they are side by side it makes it much easier. 

After these three steps you should be in a position to choose the best foundation for you. These top tips certainly helped me pick a shade that matched my skin tone almost perfectly, so no more shying away from ordering base products online. Most of all, no more dreading that you've just spent a lot of money to look orange.

What are your tips for choosing products online? Do you take the risk or is it just a big no no for you? 

Thanks for reading
Hannah xxx

Saturday, 1 October 2016

I'm Doing Blogtober...or at Least I'm Going to Try

God knows why I am deciding to do this and, let’s be honest; looking at my blogging history I'm probably not going to succeed, but for some reason I've decided to do Blogtober. 

If you've not hear of Blogtober before then it is basically a bunch of bloggers who blog every day for the month of October. I'm not sure how Blogtober kicked off, who was first to do it or what year it actually started but this year I've decided to take part.

I'm not the best at sticking to a blogging schedule as, some of you may have noticed, I tent to go through waves of posting weekly to suddenly going AWOL for a few weeks; sometimes even months. I've not got the most confidence in myself for actually being able to blog for one whole month straight but I'm hoping it will help me get into a good routine in the future and encourage me to become better at blogging weekly (maybe even biweekly) after October finishes. 

I love my little blogging space and always feel so guilty when I neglect it for long periods of time. I've even got to the stage where I feel I'm falling out of the loop with the blogging community and noticed friendships in the blogging world slip. I'm hoping being a part of Blogtober16 will get me back into the swing of things and get me back in the blogging game. Most of all, I'm hoping it will help me find new great bloggers and build some great blogging friendships. 

So what sort of things will I be blogging about? Well...I'm not quite sure yet; which is a little worrying as I'm writing this on the 1st of the month, but I'm guessing it will include a lot of beauty, some reviews and some general chit chat or hints and tips. I'm planning on getting a schedule together but if you have any particular posts you would like to see from me, or any recommendations of posts that would be good to read, than let me know below or drop me a tweet

You can follow all the lovely bloggers doing this with me by using the hashtag #Blogtober16 on twitter. I will certainly be checking this tag to see whose participating and to find great bloggers I don't already read. If you're doing Blogtober this year, leave you link below so I can keep up to date with your posts. 

Wish me luck :) 
Hannah xxx 


Sunday, 18 September 2016

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate Review

For many years I'd been looking for one thing and one thing only. I'd been searching for that single product that would totally transform my skin and change it from the oily mess it had been since I was 13 to something much more tolerable. I'd tried many different things, most of them being different primers or powders, and then one day I did something I don't normally do; I gave into the hype. 

Normally I am one to wait for new releases to settle down in the blogging scene before deciding whether to buy it or not. If a product still gets major attention 6 months after launch then I will look into whether it would suit my skin type/tone or not before, most probably, purchasing. I don't know what it was about The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate that made me act so out of character (maybe it was the word 'youth' or my oh so desperate attempt to not get wrinkles as I approach my 30's) but for some reason I picked this up not long after launching. 

I wasn't expecting this Concentrate to have any effect on my oily skin, but little did I know, this one product would change my skin type for the better. But more on that later. 

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Review - best moisturiser for oily skin

Firstly let's get into a little run down of what this product is and what it claims to do. What's probably most important to note is that this Concentrate is organic which means now nasty surprises in the ingredient's that could irritate your skin.  

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate is designed to, in the words of The Body Shop, enhance your surface skin condition, leaving it looking smoother, fresher and healthier and I can confirm it does all this. The Concentrate sinks into the skin straight away and leaves it feeling fully hydrated in a matter of seconds. A little goes a long way with this one and you only need a drop or two to moisturise the whole face and neck. 

Although amazing for hydration and keeping my skin looking and feeling soft and healthy, this little miracle in a bottle has totally transformed my skin. It was not something that I had expected from this product as I wasn't looking to it as a tool to improve my skin type, but this little bottle has made my oily skin soooo much less shinny then it has ever been before. Gone are the days of constant blotting, powdering or screaming bloody murder at my, can't even be passed off as very dewy, skin. Sometimes, if I've forgotten to put this on before bed, I can even look at my skin in the day and think it looks a little dry. This is not something I ever thought I would say.

Now I do have to be honest with you. I've been using The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate for almost nine months now and my skin has started to ever so slightly slip back to its oily ways, but a huge emphasis on the slightly. Maybe my skin has just got used to the product and I could do with having a break from it for a while or maybe it's because I'm doing long commutes and once I settle in Manchester my skin will calm down. Either way my skin is nowhere near as bad it was a year ago. Yes I have to occasionally powder or blot my face but it's only once or twice a day; not every time I go to the ladies like before. 

As far as I'm aware this Concentrate is helping my skin stay youthful and no fine lines have appeared since using, but at the ripe old age of *coughs* 27, I won't find out if this is really working for a few years I guess. My skin does look healthier and much more hydrated than before and most of all...much less shiny. 

Basically, if you're looking for a quick run down, I would highly recommend his Concentrate to anyone who wants a great moisturiser that quickly impacts the skin without a huge price tag (£32 for a 50ml bottle). But most of all, The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate is an absolute must for you oily skin people out there who are desperate to reduce that shine. 

Have you tried The Body Shop Drops of Youth range? Are you as much of a fan as I am? What's your moisturiser of choice if not and, to anyone with oily skin, what products do you use to keep the shine at bay?

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx 

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Kat Von D hits the UK

If you haven't been living under a rock over the last week you will have heard the news which is like music to any beauty bloggers ears. You'll know that Kat Von D beauty is now, fiiiinally, available in the UK thanks to Debenhams online. 

If you didn't already know, Kat Von D make up has a super cult following in the US due to its high pigmentation, amazing longevity and great coverage. The fact we can now pick it up in the UK makes me happier than words could ever describe. 

I am very lucky to have been able to pick up some Kat Von D make up when I visited New York last year and here are the products that I recommend you defiantly pick up now we don't have to pay crazy delivery charges from Sephora. 

Kat Von D Beauty hits the UK

If you only pick up one thing then you need to get the Shade and Light Eye Contour palette. I haven't seen any other palette that has such lovely shades where each one is actually wearable. Not only are they amazing quality but truly last all day. The range of colours go from neutrals to rusts to your standard smokey eye shades. To me, this palette has all the crucial shades you need to make any amazing eye look. They blend amazingly, have a lovely soft buttery feel and have no fall down when applying. Even better, they're laid out in a style that makes it easy to pick shades that go well together. Also, just a little note, all shades are matte which is an absolute must for me. 

Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye Shadow Palette Review

My next recommendation would be that you pick up any of the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks. Although these aren't as long lasting as the Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain, the longevity of the Kat Von D Everlastig Liquid Lipstick is incredible. They don't dry the lips out at all and have never creased or cracked on me. The shade range is amazing too. You've probably heard all the buzz about the shades Lolita and Lolita II and if you want my honest opinion, if you were only going to pick one, I'd go for the Lolita II because it's a much more flattering shade - for all skin tones. I also have Beloved, a lovely pinky/orangey shade, which I'd definitely recommend. 

Kat Von D long Everlasting lipstick review

You've also probably heard all the hype about the Kat Von D Shade and Light Contour palette and yes it is incredible, but...if I was very honest with myself I could have probably lived without picking it up. Don't get me wrong, I use Subconscious and Shadowplay (the two lightest matte contour shades) all the time and totally love them, but Sombre is way too dark for me. I do try and use the highlighter shades and, although I'm not one for adding shimmer to my already shiny face, I do occasionally like to add a bit of extra glow. These highlighters are super matte and I think they don't really seem to do what they are meant to. I don't really notice when I'm wearing them and can't see the difference from when I am compared to when I'm not. Lyric is great for setting concealer as is almost like a banana powder, but if Subconscious and Shadowplay were sold separately I would be much happier with just having those two shades. Obviously if you are an MUA or hugely into contouring then you would 100% benefit from having the Shade and Light Contour palette in your kit. 

Kat Von D Shade and Light Contour Palette Review

Finally, the Kat Von D Lock It Creme Concealer is a great one for those who have dark circles and want their concealer to last all day. This concealer blends into the skin lovely and doesn't cease at all. Like with all of Kat Von D's make up it's known for being extremely long lasting and very high coverage. It really is a great concealer but features at the bottom of my recommendations as I am a huge concealer addict and although I love this one, I do have others I prefer as my dark circles are beyond extreme. Saying that I do use this everyday with other concealers, you know, to really build that coverage. 

Kat Von D Lock It In Creme Concealer Review

So that's it, my top picks for what you should be buying now we have access to the wonder that is Kat Von D Beauty. I have just order some of the foundation, fingers crossed I picked the right shade, so I will have to let you know my thoughts on that. Update from when I drafted this post this morning, it turns out there was an issue on the website and the pictures didn't match the actual shade so I'm getting it for free, plus the shade I actually want - that's amazing customer service if you ask me. 

Have you tried any Kat Von D make up? What are you favourite products and shades? Have you ordered anything from Debenhams today or will you be making an order soon? Let me know below. 

Thanks for reading
Hannah xxx

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo Review

You know something is really working when it leaves your skin tingling in a good way and that is certainly the case when it comes to Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo.

Sadly I appeared to develop a dry scalp over the last year or so, and for months I wasn't able to figure out what was causing it. I'd annoyingly tried everything, using less products, washing my hair more, washing my hair less, but nothing was helping so I really needed to rethink my hair care situation. After getting nowhere fast with this, it was eventually a trip to the hair dresses where I found my hair knight in shinning armour. I was recommended the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo and, so far, it's doing a pretty decent job.

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo Review

This shampoo is designed to invigorate your scalp and wake up your hair but I've found it's been great for my dry scalp. It recommends you only use a pea size amount to wash your whole hair but I find that for thick hair like mine a small amount doesn't lather up enough to wash from root to tip. Because of this, and the fact it is a tad on the expensive side, (£11.55 - way more then I'd normally spend on shampoo) I use that pea sized amount and only wash my problem area, the roots and scalp. Of course I then wash the rest of my hair with some normal, cheaper shampoo!

I leave it on the roots for a few minutes and it really starts to work its magic by getting the scalp tingling. Not only does it smell amazing and fill you're whole bathroom with a refreshing tea tree scent, when I use it in the morning I find the tea tree smell really helps to wake me up.

Since using the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree shampoo I've noted a real improvement with my dry scalp; to the point where the problem actually isn't there anymore. I started off using the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo every time I washed but quickly reduced the use down to once a week, and my dry scalp doesn't seem to be coming back. I've being using it for a good 3 months and have barely made it half way down the bottle so, despite the price tag, it's actually worth the money.

I've seen others compare this to the Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo for the reason that they both claim to detox the hair. However, I have to say they are totally different. The Sunday Shampoo helps get rid of any build up from products such as gels, sprays and creams, and although using these products could be the cause of some peoples dry scalps, the Sunday Shampoo doesn't sooth or calm the scalp like the Paul Mitchell shampoo does.

All in all this shampoo is a must for anyone who is having scalp issues, and actually, it would be great for those that aren't too. It's made my hair shinier, healthier and I even think it's made my hair cleaner for longer. I couldn't recommend it enough. 

Have you guys tried this shampoo? If so what are you thoughts? Or do you use any other shampoo's to nourish, strengthen or help repair your hair. Let me know below.

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx 

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Why I Can't Wait for Autumn

For those of you living in England I think we can safely say that we are not going to be having a summer at all this year. Although it hasn't been the wettest we've seen in recent years, and although we have had some sunny weeks, I think I can count the amount of boiling hot day's we've had on one hand. And although I'm not complaining (too much), for someone who hasn't had a summer holiday this year, I have missed the sun and heat dearly. 

Sadly, as the nights are starting to draw in and I am less and less likely to see a nice bright sun on my weather forecaster in the morning, I have come to the conclusion that it's time to just forget about the sun and move onto the next phase of the year...Autumn.

Although I love summer and am rather resentful that my skin hasn't felt sun-kissed all year, I think Autumn is my favourite season of all.  Here are 10 reasons why I just can't wait for Autumn to fully kick in.

1. Hot drinks in takeaway cups. I think nothing beats strolling around with your favourite tea, coffee or hot chocolate in hand at the weekend, especially if you're heading off on a nice country walk...which leads me nicely to my second point.

2. Long country walks! Especially at the beginning of Autumn where it is still fairly warm and you only need a light jacket and a woolly hat to keep you at the perfect temperature. For me, you can't get better then walking down paths full of crunchy orange and red leaves.

3. The colours. Autumn brings out the most beautiful shades which can only be described as 'deep', 'burnt' or 'golden.' The whole country turns this lovely shade of dark orange and I totally love it. 

4. Woolly everything! I love that we get to wrap up warm in woolly jumpers, hats, scarfs, blankets...the list goes on. I just love being wrapped up warm in general to be honest, to be fair I am always cold so Autumn means I no longer get funny looks when I say I'm freezing!

5. It's an excuse to stay in, cuddle under a blanket and watch a good DVD. I don't know if I am the only one to do this but the amount of films and DVD's I watch during Autumn and Winter is pretty impressive. Autumn is a great excuse to get cosy on the sofa and binge watch as much Disney as I possibly can. 

6. Warm hearty foods. Although I am not one to enjoy the typical flavours of Autumn (I'm talking pumpkin, cinnamon and spices) I do love how the chilly air invites soups, stews and, most importantly, Sunday roasts to keep my belly satisfied. Noting beats gravy on every meal, and sadly you just can't do that in Summer.

 7. The Autumn wardrobe. I'm not just talking woollen tops and knitted jumpers, I'm talking the aubergine, mustard and chestnut colours that start to fill your wardrobe. Oh and layering, don't even get me started on layering all my clothes. 

8. Everything just looks prettier...there isn't much more I can say on this, it's rather self-explanatory, everything just looks beautiful in Autumn. 

9. We move from beer gardens to cosy country pubs. Any pub with a fire to sit in front of and a wooden, cosy interior becomes my new favourite hangout spot. Sitting for the whole of a Saturday evening in a warm, homely pub with a good oaky glass of wine is just my idea of heaven. 

10. Finally, my absolute favourite thing about Autumn is the scents. Any excuse to pull out a fig candle or a musk room scent and I'm one happy bunny. Not only do I get to fill my home with lovely smells, the outside because a big natural amazing place to discover with your nose. Trees after a big rain storm or crisp mornings are just some of the scents I can't wait to have get over the next few weeks.

So that's it, just some of the things that I love about the colder months and just some things that help with the change from Summer to Autumn. To me they're all things to get very excited about and I can't wait for Autumn to get started.

What is your favourite thing about Autumn and what are you looking forward to the most as the seasons start to change again? Let me know below.

Thanks for reading
Hannah xxx

All pictures came from the amazing photographers that upload to Unsplash so big thank you to them.

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