Laura Loves-December 2015

IMG_1924December was a mixture of emotions for me.  Obviously the Christmassy atmosphere helped the days when the dark and cold outside was not so inviting.  I had a month off of college and should have done a lot more work over this time.  It’s good to remember that you are allowed to relax and indulge.  I just need to learn the middle ground I either over indulge or run myself into the ground doing too much.

Mac Highlighter: Soft and Gentle Mineralize Skin finishIMG_1922

I may be a bit behind on this one.  I have heard a lot about this product and finally decided to give it a go when I had a Mac voucher to spend.  I love the look that it creates.  It will be a handy product when strobing becomes ever more the thing to do.

PINK Leopard Lace Lightly Lined Bra in Neon CoralIMG_1918

I only got this bra for Christmas and I can already say it’s one of my favourite things.  I may be slightly swayed because it’s been a while since I’ve worn a bra that fits properly.  Even so I love the colour which I’m sure will look even better with a tan and the band at the bottom is a simple design yet eye catching.

Remington Silk Curling Wand

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Usually I tend to curl my hair with my straighteners which can give a nice affect however I wanted to have more control over the result.  The wand gives me this as I can either wrap the hair round at the thick end for larger curls or the thinner end for ringlets.

My one is good as well because you can change the temperature which is especially great for me as  I have thin hair so can be easily damaged.  It also comes  with a heat resistant glove which is great as I don’t have to be to worried about burning myself.  I haven’t tested many wands, however this one has been proving good so far.

Redness Solutions Daily Protective Base SPF 15 by CliniqueIMG_1920

The review of this is to come but it has been a definite can’t live without.  Whether I am using it as a base under a mass of make up or as a key part of my face make up with just a light layer of powder on top it has been a great buy.

Christmas

A bit cheesy I know.  I was working on Christmas so it wasn’t even what it normally is.  However spending time with family and friends, watching soppy Christmas films and eating probably too many chocolates was much needed.  My Christmas dinner with my friends was just Pizza as no one had the time to cook, but in a decorated room with crackers was just as good for celebration.  Christmas dinner is my favourite dinner, it just made it that bit special on Christmas day as that was my only one of the season.

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So that’s my December favourites.  I am looking forward to see what I enjoy next month, and next year.  I haven’t been blogging for very long at all so I look forward to continuing and developing this venture.  I hope everyone enjoys welcoming in the new year.

 

laurajoan

 

Making the Most of 2016

Since 2015 is coming to an end and everyone is coming up with resolutions that they may or may not break, I thought I would jump on the band wagon and think about if I wanted to change anything or do anything differently.  And of course, the answer was yes because I am not perfect, though I do try hard to be sometimes.  Here is a list of what I want to make more time for in 2016 and beyond.

ReadingOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My problem with reading is that I tend to get so engrossed in a book that nothing else matters. So I end up only reading when on a break from regular life.  I might try either reading more poems or perhaps an article every now and again as then I can read without the problem of getting stuck in another world.  I’ll probably leave the fiction novels until I have some time where I can allow myself to be absorbed, so my aim is to read more fiction during the holidays.

Friends Friends

The people that mean so much to me (not the TV show, if anything I spend too much time on that). They are the ones that have chosen to be there for me in the past and surprisingly seem to understand me. Both my school friends and my university friends have done a lot for me in different ways. I do not want to lose touch with the people that actually make me feel as though I fit in for once. I don’t have to apologise for who I am or be worried about what I do or say because I have been both the best version of me and the worst around them and they are still there for me. Making that extra effort for a weekend visit or putting aside an hour for a Skype session is not a high price to pay to keep them in my life. Sometimes I feel as though I have no time for anything. And it’s great that I have friends that I can get on with just as well having not seen them for a year. But I don’t want it to end up being a whole year every time. 

TheatreTheatre masks

Try to find cheap ways of actually going to see some of the shows I am dreaming of being in. There was a reason I chose to train in performing arts. It’s taking up so much time and money that I find myself not immersing myself in the world as much as I can. Whether it’s watching a fringe show which I might be able to afford or watching the live recordings at the cinema.

Working out

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Yes my course consists of a ridiculous amount of hours of physical exercise. However everyone on my course is doing the exact same. If I want to get ahead I’m going to have to do more than everyone else that has done the same training as me. If it’s getting up slightly earlier to go for a run or filling my lunch with some sit ups. I have chosen to be in this competitive world. I might as well do everything I can to get what I want. 

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Of course there is also the obvious being more healthy and doing what I can to be happy but that’s what I aim for all the time even though it doesn’t always pan out.  I hope the goals I’ve set out here are actually achievable.  Putting my plan of action out into the world hopefully means I will make even more of an effort to actually stick to it.

laurajoan

Christmas Film Favourites

Since we are now only a few days away from Christmas I thought I’d share some of my favourite Christmas films.  This list could go on and on, however these films tend to stay in my top spots.

It’s a Wonderful Life

It's a Wonderful Life

This is my all time favourite Christmas film.  When a man believes he is worthless an angel shows him what an impact he has made on others and that his life is worth living.  It has everything you need romance, family, snow and an angel.

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Muppets Xmas Carol

The great story of Scrooge and the ghost of Christmases past, present and future is best told by the muppets. 

Edward ScissorhandsEdward Scissor hands

Maybe not the most obvious Christmas choice, however it is such a good film about family, love and acceptance.  

Beauty and the Beast:  The Enchanted ChristmasBeauty and the beast

Beauty and the Beast has always been my favourite Disney film so when this film about the much loved characters at Christmas came out I played it on repeat for several Christmases.  Now I don’t watch it quite as much, but it still holds a special place in my heart.

Jack Frost Jack Frost

This is a film that I both love and hate at the same time.  Such a heart warming film that all should see at least once (you will need to have the tissues on standby)

laurajoan

Gift Idea for Her

Since Christmas is around the corner I thought I would post a gift idea.  This one is for my mum (actually giving it to her for her birthday) but apart from changing the wrapping this gift would work well for both.

I decided to go for some face and body lotions and potions.  When I was younger I used to get all these lovely gifts but never appreciated them.  Now I would love some relaxing, cleansing or exfoliating face and body products.

This whole gift came to around £25 and would work typically for any girl/woman or anyone who would love to pamper themselves.

I love wrapping the gifts as much as the buying and the giving.  All these boxes, bows and ribbons look good but can cost a mini fortune.  I always keep bags and boxes people give me so I can reuse them for my gifts.

In my collection I found this lovely pastel floral box which was the perfect size for the items.floral box

I had recently received an order from Estee Lauder where the package was filled with crinkled paper.  I decided to use this in the gift box to give a nice back drop to the gifts as well as hold them in a place where they look presentable.

The first item I went for was the Handy Gurugu hand cream from Lush.  In Winter, hands can become dry and rough so I thought it would be a nice gift as it isn’t always something we see as a necessity but something that is needed.  This is a heavier cream so not so much one to carry around but one to intensely treat the hands.hand cream

The next item was the Rub Rub Rub Body Scrub, again from Lush.  Despite the shop being quite overpowering with the many scents the products are appealing.  This block is a sea salt scrub which exfoliates your skin.Rub Rub Rub body scrub

The last lush products for this gift were a few dream steam tabs.  These are used by dropping into hot water which releases beneficial oils which you can then inhale.  As an added benefit you can also use the remaining water as a cleanser.dream steam

Then of course to top it all off a few Galaxy ripple bars.  Galaxy is my mum’s favourite.  I tend to sway towards Cadbury’s however I too do enjoy a Galaxy now and again.IMG_1215

I love making presents look good, focussing on the presentation shows that you are willing to spend some thought into the gift which is especially great when you don’t have the money to put into it.

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Hope this inspires some of you to reuse old boxes and bags, they can cost so much money, yet you are given them most birthdays and Christmases.

laurajoan

Back to Brighton

This week I finally had enough time to go back to Brighton.  I only lived there for a year but it was probably the best year of my life so far.  It holds so many memories for me, so it was great to go back and visit some friends.

I was only there for a day and lots of catching up was done.  Also lots of shopping.  Well at least window shopping.  I took a couple of pics of things that I have put on my wish list.

I do love the shop layout at Urban Outfitters.  Their set up makes their already appealing stock even more desirable.cute setup  There were loads of great gift ideas, this one I rather liked and would be a good present for quite a few of my family.

Good gift idea

URBAN OUTFITTERS

I also treated myself to an early Christmas present from my Gran, which I will be wearing before Christmas.  It was in the sale and although its quite a simple t-shirt I thought it was quite versatile as I could dress it up for drinks with the right skirt, casual with jeans and can also wear it to college. UO teeI also had a Mac voucher from my birthday which I allowed myself to spend, looking around the shop with the idea of actually buying something was a welcome change.  Although I have always wanted to try lots of the different lipsticks I went for a highlighter.  It was something I needed and could wear all the time.  Whereas a bold lip colour I would not use everyday.  I decided to go for the ‘Soft and Gentle Mineralize Skin finish’ which I have grown to love even more since purchasing.  I would definitely recommend it.New purchase

Whilst in Brighton I enjoyed a lovely night in with my girlfriends where we had fajitas, which is a great meal to have especially when you’re all students and skint.  It’s easy to make just having to cook the chicken, pour in the fajita mix and add anything else you fancy such as peppers or onions-and if it wasn’t obvious the tortillas.  I also use an avocado paste, sour creme and salsa for extra flavourings .  Then all you need is the cheese and some salad and you’re good to go.  Well hopefully you know how to wrap a fajita properly (you have to remember to fold up the bottom!)

Before I left I managed to meet up with another friend, catching up during a short walk through the lanes followed by lunch at a lovely little cafe, Farm on North Road.  They have a good selection of light bites as well as heavier meals.  I went for the chicken panini which was delicious and some chips on the side because I just couldn’t resist.

My visit was short but sweet, I loved being back in Brighton and hope to be back soon.  The only thing that annoyed me was the darkness which descends way too early.  Then that is happening all over the country, not just Brighton.

laurajoan

Packing for a Short Trip

I always find packing a nightmare.  I am only away for two nights, so it shouldn’t be as hard as it was.  I had to fit everything in a bag that I could easily walk around carrying.   Therefore everything had to fit into my fairly small rucksack without anything getting too squashed.Stuffed bag

Deciding what to wear before I have to wear it is always a difficult one for me, especially when I don’t really know what I’ll be doing.  I often regret my decisions.  For the first day I decided to wear my dungaree dress from Forever 21, which I have only recently worn in Winter with my black roll neck from Urban Outfitters so it feels like a new look despite owning the dress for a couple of years.  Roll neck and dungareesI packed my rust skirt from Topshop.  It is still fairly new so it still gives me that special I’m wearing something new feeling.  With that I wear a plain black long sleeve tee from Urban Outfitters.  What makes this outfit especially good for the trip is that the materials both survive being crushed into a bag.  Skirt and teeOn the way home I can reuse the roll neck with the rust skirt so it’s three outfits as I’m rotating the tops.

I decided to stick to one pair of shoes.  I am not going clubbing so no need to prepare for sticky floors.  These shoes are flat, so work for lots of walking around during the day, yet still classy and smart (or in other words: my only pair of shoes that aren’t trainers or heels) so work for drinks too.Shoes

My make up bag was hard to cut down as I like to decide on my look the day of.  However tough decisions were made.  Eyeliner didn’t make the cut as recently it has been crumbling (therefore am in search for a better one)  so it was easy to remove from the shortlist.  I took my trusted Estee Lauder concealer and powder, some bronzer (Benefit’s Hoola) and a few options for lips so I at least have some creative control on the day.  I also packed some moisturiser (a freebie from a magazine to save space) and my anti redness cream from Clinique which has so far proven well, review to come.Make up bag

Then of course I had my necessities such as toothbrush, hairbrush, grips and bands, deodorant and dry shampoo.  I also took my camping towel as I always forget to pack a towel but a regular one takes up too much space.Little extras

Then of course I had my essentials that I cannot travel without;  headphones for when I’m too tired to keep my eyes open,  my notebook because actually writing can sometimes be more satisfying than typing, my iPad because my hand cannot deal with writing for three hours non stop and my glasses, which I guess are self explanatory.Travel withSo that’s what I packed for my two day visit.  I would have used a slightly larger rucksack if I owned one but my next size up bag was a suitcase which is too much hassle travelling with around the underground and when I will be walking a lot a ruck sack is the much easier option.

laurajoan

Victoria’s Secret:Fashion Show and Product Review

In anticipation of the show, of course I bought some biscuits and Christmas chocolates to munch on whilst gawking at the amazing bodies parading in front of me on the TV. It was great inspiration for me to stay fit over the Christmas holidays. Enough exercise for me means I can indulge without being too regretful.

 

Ellie Goulding: I don’t think the first song really worked as she was a bit over shadowed by the models (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is a fashion show) but ‘Army’ for me at least didn’t really work. Maybe it was the way it was performed, that song did need a bit more of a demanding performance when there was so much going on.  Her second song, ‘Love me like you do’ looked and sounded angelic and was really magical for the Winter section of the show.Ellie Goulding

Selena Gomez was amazing, a great performer and she looked awesome. The songs worked well for the section and it blended well with the show. She didn’t overshadow the models and they didn’t over shadow her. She looked more comfortable than Ellie interacting with the models. Maybe it’s because she knows more of them? I honestly don’t know but I do know she owned that stage.  Selena Gomez

The Weekend: were a good asset to the show. The music fitted really well, I enjoyed the set,  for me ‘In the Night’ was the stand out performance for The Weekend .the weekend

The whole show was a fun experience. They really make us mere mortals want to be up there strutting our stuff rather than just admiring the clothes themselves. What I think is great is that the majority of the girls are super strong and their bodies are toned, not just skinny. Of course they’re all still tall and born with a naturally smaller frame, but the most important thing is that fitness and health is becoming the ideal image over skinniness. We need to remember that it is their job to look that good and it takes a lot of work.  Most of us can’t afford or have the time to be in the gym all day.VS

My order from Black Friday came the same day that the show was televised in the UK so I was on a VS overload on Wednesday.  I am super happy with my purchases (see my Black Friday post here).  I was really wary about the sports bras as I ordered medium support as that’s what I could afford.  Amazingly and to my surprise I felt as though there was a great amount of support.  My only worry is that the material will stretch over time and not stay as supportive.  But for now they are truly the best sports bras I’ve owned.  I’ll have to update if they do stretch but for now I’m looking forward to wearing my new bras in class next term.  Both my jumpers also arrived and are really comfy and gorgeous and I still can’t believe I got them for the price I did.

I am looking forward to future fashion shows to watch and products to purchase but for now I’ll be doing pilates and eating healthily with the mind that I will reach a healthy and toned physique.

laurajoan

 

Asos Saved List

I thought I would share my saved items from asos.com  I’m forever saving and hardly ever buying.  I love a good daydream, before reality sets in reminding me that I can’t even afford to buy the socks right now.

Black is the dominant colour as that is what I have to wear for college and college is pretty much my life, so that’s pretty much what I have in mind when browsing.

laurajoan

 

NB. Prices/stock may have changed since publishing.

All for £54, ‘The Make Up Artist Collection’

So last weekend I ordered the Estee Lauder goody bag, ‘The Make Up Artist Collection’, full of products altogether worth over £290, and I got it all for £54.

I had heard that Estee Lauder normally do good deals but my expectations were still exceeded.  I had ordered the set still having some reservations, thinking that all of the products would be miniature, but no worry was needed.  Everything came as advertised and the only small sized products were ones that were explicitly advertised as so.  The packaging it came in just made it that bit more special.  I’ll definitely be making use of the bag it came in.

IMG_1077Deluxe Eye Palette, Blushes in Pink Kiss and Peach Passion

Recently I have been playing around with eye colour trying to find out what I like and what looks good on me.  I’m looking forward to playing around with these colours.  Recently I have been skipping out on the blush in my go to make up to cut the costs so it will be nice to reintroduce it to my look.

IMG_1079Limited Edition All Over Shimmer Compact

I am usually have quite a shiny complexion.  Hopefully this product will give me more of a glisten than my current shine.  This has come just in time for Christmas celebrations.

IMG_10733 Pure Color Lipsticks in Candy, Fuschia Fever and Rose Tea

I was so excited opening these up.  I couldn’t believe the set included 3 FULL SIZE lip sticks when they are usually around £25 each.

IMG_10742 Pure Color Glosses in Nude Rose and Shocking Pink

These are both lovely shades which are great to use when I don’t want a statement lip but still want them looking fab.

IMG_1081Sumptuous Extreme Mascara in Extreme Black

I have always wanted to try out this mascara.  I have a go to one that I have been sticking with.  I’ll have to see if this changes my ways.

IMG_1083Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

My eyes will thank me for this as I often wake up panda eyed despite having tried to remove my make up the night before.

IMG_1075Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II, 

Revitalizing Supreme Creme

I have tried both of these before and have thought they worked well so look forward to using them again.

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Modern Muse Eau De Parfum

I love this scent, I had almost finished my previous free sample of this so it came at the right time.

IMG_1072Red Cosmetic Bag

It’s always good to have another make up bag and this one looks so chic.  I already love it.

2 free samples

Pure Color Envy Lip Potion, Enlighten Even Skintone Correcting Creme

I had already thought I had a great bargain then Estee Lauder threw in another two free samples which I could choose.  I went for the lip potion as I am always looking for new colours as I don’t have a set go to lip look.  I went for the skin tone correcting creme as I often have a red tint to my skin which I am desperately trying to remedy.  I have a couple of products lined up to try I’ll post any good finds if I do find any.

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There it is, ‘The Make Up Artist Collection’ Estee Lauder’s awesome Black Friday deal.  I’m definitely going to be looking out for next years set.

laurajoan

Laura Loves-November 2015

 

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November brought with it many things, from stormy weather to the reintroduction of Christmas 24 to our screens (it did come a bit early but I am getting into the mood a bit more as we are approaching December.)  Here is my pick of what I’ve been enjoying this month.

1) Stella & Dot ring

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My first pick of this month is my Stella & Dot ring I got for my 21st birthday.  I love the design, it’s edgy but still dainty enough to not be irritating or over bearing.

 

2) Stila lip glaze in Majest (c3)

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Recently I have been sticking with lip sticks, however this month I have been reverting back to my old ways of lip gloss.  When I wanted a neutral look without my lips looking as though they barely existed this was a good choice.  I liked the shine it gave my lips and it gave just enough colour for my lips to look interesting without being too dominant.  I will still occasionally opt for a lip stick however this is a nice and simple choice, particularly in the Winter when our lips can get dry and chapped.  I feel that lipstick needs more attention, whereas I can put some lip gloss on without much thought.

 

3) Topshop bobble hatIMG_1548

I received this hat as a Christmas gift a few years ago and has been a Winter staple for me ever since.  The black shade means it can easily go with anything, and I will wear it with anything, from a more business like coat or jacket to baggy oversized shirts.  It keeps me warm, covers my forehead and allows me to go out in public when my hair is questionable.  Win, win, win.

 

4) Estée Lauder, Double Wear, BB, HighlighterOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This has been a bit of a lifesaver for me this month.  I noticed how reliant I am on it when it ran out a few weeks ago and I looked like a zombie for a few days.  I use this under my eyes to cover my large eye circles which have been pretty prominent recently as I have been more tired than usual.  I think I am in good need of  a Christmas break.

5) Jelly BeansOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This pick is more of a love-hate relationship.  I love them and they hate me.  Probably one of the reasons I have been more tired as I have been giving in to my craving of jelly beans all month; perhaps an instinct due to the cold weather, needing to store some fat for the Winter.  All the sugar can only do me bad but I still have that voice in my head saying “but they taste so good”.  Great for a treat, this month however I think I have been indulging a little too much.

 

So there you have it.  That’s my selection of what I’ve been loving this month.  I’m looking forward to the month ahead.  I can rest up a bit and spend some time with my family and friends. Now it’s December and for me at least I have a break from college and can start getting into the Christmas spirit.

laurajoan