29 September 2013

Sunday Post #15 | Night In, New Flat.

As a lot of you might know, I have recently moved from Manchester to the Midlands. So far, I'm loving it, I especially love my flat! Ladbrokes Bingo recently did a survey and it said that 80% of girls in the East Midlands would prefer a girls night in to a night out. Now that I live on my own, away from parents, I definitely think I will be having lots of girl nights in! I want to have a cocktail night, using some of the ideas from the post I wrote last week which you can read here. I do enjoy a night out but nights in can be just as fun and much cheaper! And when my flat looks as pretty as this who wouldn't want to stay in?!

This week I started my first week at work (which is why posts have been a bit sparse, sorry!) so when the weekend rolled round I was very excited to celebrate surviving week one of my graduate job. Instead of going out we had a night in at my best friends house, admittedly there were boys there, so not technically a girls night. But it was so much fun to just relax with all my besties.

On Saturday I spent time with my boyfriend and we had my favourite food ever.. NANDOS. We just relaxed, watched football and tried not to think about how soon Monday morning rolls round! I'm going to turn into one of those people who live for the weekends.

Hope you liked this post, a little snippet of what I got up to this weekend.


PS, how cute are my plates?!

*In Collaboration With Ladbrokes Bingo

28 September 2013

Review | theBalm Nude 'tude

theBalm Nude'tude palette £26 FeelUnique

I bought this palette after reading this post from Estée. I am a huge neutral eyeshadow fan and I was debating buying one of the Urban Decay Naked palettes but then I saw this for £10 cheaper and I fell in love with the colours. I can't decide whether I prefer matte or shimmer shades, this palette is mainly shimmery shades with four matte colours so a good mixture. The shades are all really soft and easily blendable. With the exception of Silly, all the shimmery shades have very minimal fall out. Estée mentioned in her post that the shade Silly has quite big chunks of glitter and has a lot of fall out and I have found it to be exactly the same.

My favourites are Snobby, Sophisticated, Sultry and Seductive. The packaging is okay, it is cardboard which means that the shadows aren't that well protected but it has a huge mirror which is always handy! There is also a brush that comes with it, I was glad to see it wasn't the foam little things. I have used it a bit, it isn't great but a big improvement on the foam applicators that come with a lot of palettes.

What do you think of this palette? I'm still tempted by the Urban Decay Naked palettes, even though I definitely don't need any more variations on the colour brown!!



23 September 2013

Cosy Night in with Cocktails

A cosy night in normally includes a big cuddly dressing gown, a fire, a cup of hot chocolate and a cheesy rom-com. But I'm talking about cosy nights in with your best friends, having a takeaway, gossiping and making some delicious cocktails! You can read my post on Amaretto Sours here and find out how to make them, they are so simple and a bit different as they aren't as sweet as most cocktails. Here are a few more cocktails you could try.

Image credit Flickr: Pina Colada by Randy Robertson
Pina Colada
  • 2 oz pineapple juice
  • 2 oz light rum
  • 1 1/2 oz cream of coconut
  • Pineapple or cherry for garnish

Image credit redhot-worldbuffet.com/
Rum Martini

  • 2 1/2 oz light rum
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry vermouth
  • Lemon or lime for garnish
Image credit The Kitchen Prep Blog
Woo Woo
  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1 1/2 ounces peach schnapps
  • 3 ounces cranberry juice
  • Lime wedge for garnish
Image credit About(dot)com
Espresso Martini
  • 2 shots espresso
  • 1 1/2 ounces espresso vodka 
  • 1 ounce vanilla vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Frangelico
  • 3 coffee beans
On my next night in I think I'll try to make some pitchers of cocktails for me and my friends! Give it a go, and obviously all the measurements don't have to be really precise - do it to your personal taste.


*Reciepe's taken from About(dot)com & picture credit underneath each image

22 September 2013

Sunday Post #14 | House-Warming

One of my best friends has moved into his first house which is very exciting. And he had a little gathering to celebrate, so today's post is just a couple of snaps from the night. As always with us, it got a little out of hand, as the last photo shows!

I'm starting to feel like I'm finally getting older. I'm not going back to uni now and I've just moved into my very own flat (although this post is scheduled so I've technically not moved in quite yet). Scary! Posts may be a little scarce this week as I don't have any internet in my flat. But I'm staying in a hotel with work during the week so I will see how expensive the WiFi is. I have been very unorganised and this is my only scheduled post at the moment, it has been a bit hectic so I just didn't really think! I am going to try to get a few more written, but I am currently feeling sorry for myself as I've hurt my back carrying boxes of my stuff downstairs. So no promises.

Hope you've had a great weekend!


19 September 2013

TAG | What's In My Bag

My new bag arrived today and I posted a picture on Twitter and so many people seemed to love it! So I thought this was the perfect time to do my first What's In My Bag post. I love reading these and/or watching YouTube videos of them, I am basically really nosy, and I thought some of you might be too! First up the bag, it's from Next and was only £30. I think it looks and feels much more expensive that this. I really wanted a structured bag, and I bought it with my job in mind. It is pretty spacious but still looks smart. For some reason I can't find it on the website anymore, but have a look in store!

In my bag I carry all the standard stuff really. My phone case is from Castegram and my diary is from WHSmiths. The only make-up I have is MAC lipstick in Creme Cup, Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 02 and Benefit Watts Up highlighter. Obviously I carry an umbrella, the UK weather is now very depressing and it's been raining almost everyday! I don't always have my iPad with me, especially at the moment as I have somehow lost the charger and my iPhone charger takes ages to charge it for some reason. I also have my headphones which I use with my phone and iPad. Finally is my book, which I've actually just finished. It was a really good read, it's about a woman whose sister has died, the police think it's suicide but she is convinced it isn't, so she is trying to find out what really happened. Usually in these kind of books I have a vague idea of who I think it might be, but I literally had NO idea. I would definitely recommend this book!

Hope you liked this little nosy into what I carry around with me!


16 September 2013

Autumn Wishlist

Okay, I probably don't need anymore clothes but it's a new season. And as much as I wish I could buy a whole new wardrobe full of clothes each season, I definitely can't. But here's a few things I've been putting on my wishlist.

1. ASOS Scarf
2. Topshop Lipstick in Hazard
3. Equestrian Clearance Boots
4. ASOS Jacket
5. Zara City Bag (new version)

Not too long a wishlist at the moment so maybe I should treat myself, I mean there's only 5 things.. All essentials for the weather we're having at the moment. Well maybe a lipstick doesn't count as an essential but everyone wants to rock a vampy lipstick in Autumn, right? I love Topshop lipsticks, there formula is amazing and for only £8 they are a bargain! A huge scarf from ASOS (although it calls it a snood on the website, so I'm not sure) definitely is a necessity right now and love the print on this! These gorgeous lace up boots are from Equestrian Clearance, I am always on the hunt for new boots and I love the structured look of these. The jacket, also from ASOS, is a 'wax finish', I've seen these kind of jackets all over the place but never bought one. I think it would be perfect for the weather now, before icy winter weather properly hits. Finally is the new version of the old cult blogger bag, the Zara City bag. I've not seen this one in store but I really like the winged out sides and I need a new bag for work.

I think my next wishlist post might be home-ware, ever since I've found my flat I've been obsessing over all the home-ware in John Lewis!



Blog Love #2

The second installment of my Blog Love series, you can read my first one here! I've picked out another 3 blogs that I love to share with you all. Also, since my last blog love post, I have added a Blogroll page which you can find on the right underneath my picture. I've put loads of links to some of my favourite blogs on there so go have a look!

A Rosie Outlook
First up is Rosie's blog. I love everything about this blog from the style of writing to the photography and most of all I love the variety. Rosie posts about her outfits (and not ridiculously over-styled that you see on some fashion blogs, these are real outfits that you could actually wear!), her days out, fitness updates and some home-y posts too! It's one of those blogs where you can just get lost for hours scrolling through. So go check it out, but make sure you have a spare hour or so!

Fashion Fade
If I could steal someones wardrobe, it would be Penelope's. I thought she might have stopped blogging but it's okay, she's back and hopefully here to stay! Her style is gorgeous, it's exactly how I want to dress, but somehow I just can't pull it off. I also have serious hair envy!!

Little Winter
Whenever I read Katy's blog I get life envy. Everything about her life seems perfect (I know it's probably not, but that's the beauty of lifestyle blogs - She actually wrote a post all about Perfect v Reality). Katy and her boyfriend do outfit posts together which I think is adorable. But I also love how there is usually a lifestyle element involved, they don't just post the outfits, they tell you what they've been up to.

All three of these blogs of must-reads of mine, so please go and check them out :)


15 September 2013

Sunday Post #13 | Moving Out

Photo by Sophie Cunningham
Yesterday my boyfriend made the big move to London to start his new job. As you all probably know, my job is based in the Midlands so we're going to have to do the long-distance for the foreseeable future. Although I'm not sure it counts as long distance when the train journey only takes an hour! I have been super sad all week and there were a LOT of tears which is why my blog has been a bit quiet. It's a really exciting time for us both, I just wish that it could all be happening in one city.

Follow me on Instagram @aztecmess
I was so proud of this meal that me and Tom made. We marinated chicken in the hot Nandos sauce, grilled some halloumi and I made sweet potato and normal potato chips, it was so tasty! Nandos is my favourite fast food so I'm trying to perfect my homemade Nandos!

Another selfie, as always! I'm in love with my neon jumper, I bought it from Depop and it is a beautiful colour - although Tom's mum did ask me why I was dressed as a giant tennis ball haha so you can imagine how bright it is!! Both rings were gifts, but I think the triangle one is from Pandora.

Hope you've had a great week!


14 September 2013

Skincare Essentials

I don't try too many skincare products as I seem to have figured out pretty much what works for me, this post is about my skincare essentials. These four products have all been repurchased and I can notice a difference very quickly in my skin when I don't use them.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir £28.80
A cult product, this first burst on to the blogging scene when Victoria Beckham said in an interview how much she loved it. I wasn't sure if it was going to be one of those over-hyped products but it isn't. I get a lot of redness in my skin and this really helps to calm it down. I use it as a toner, so after cleansing but before any serum or moisturisers. It also has a really calming effect so I use it when I'm feeling stressed as it can be applied over make-up too.

Caudalie Vinosource Serum £26.10
Another Caudalie product. I really love Caudalie as a brand, I'm currently trying out a night cream from them, so I'm sure that will pop up in a post soon! I've never had dry skin, but it is very dehydrated. If you're not sure what the difference is between dry and dehydrated skin then I would recommend reading this post by Caroline Hirons. This serum is really lightweight and absorbs really quickly but it works so well. It really helps to plump my skin and makes it look a lot more glowy.

Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream £20.00
I had a sample of this in a glossybox and used it up but didn't repurchase. But a couple of weeks after I'd stopped using it I'd started to notice that the dark circles under my eyes were looking really bad. I remembered really liking this so I bought it again, and it is definitely a product where you can see a difference. I went from applying really heavy full coverage concealers under my eyes to only using a highlighting concealer. I definitely will repurchase this again and again.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat £11.90
Last but not least is this mattifying moisturiser from La Roche Posay. As it's mattifying, it isn't very moisturising so I tend to make sure I apply it after the Vinosource Serum. If I want my make-up to last all day then this moisturiser is an essential in my morning skincare routine. It helps keep oils at bay and gives a really lovely base for make-up.

I am reasonably happy with my skincare routine, I just need to find a good night cream and invest in a couple of masks. Recommendations would, as always, be appreciated!


10 September 2013

Some Over-Night Essentials

I'm always packing an overnight bag to go and stay with my boyfriend and I thought I'd give you a look at some of my essentials. My phone and phone charger are must haves, although it is quite rare I actually remember my charger! I obviously can't be without my make-up bag. I've got my MAC Studio Sculpt foundation, Nuxe Reve de Miel, Rimmel Stay Matte Powder and my MAC quad (post coming soon) amongst other bits. I also always bring whichever nail polish I'm wearing, which is currently Rimmel Celebrity Bash which is an old fave, I'm not sure if it's available anymore but it's a really nice dark red.

Onto the outfit.. I have just got back into wearing my Topshop Mom jeans, blogger cliche or what?! But they are just so comfortable! I'm wearing it with a plain grey vest, also from Topshop, and a neon jumper from Zara which unfortunately isn't available anymore, I bought mine on Depop.

Finally onto my accessories and handbag essentials. I am wearing my Marc Jacobs watch, 2 pandora bracelets and lots of rings. My rings are from llymlrs shop and ASOS. I am obsessed with my Benefit Watts Up highlighter and I carry it round just incase I'm looking a bit worse for wear, it just fakes a glow. Only 2 lipsticks which is pretty impressive for me, they are MAC Shy Girl and Chanel Boy. I always have Batiste in my bag for overnight stays cause sometimes I just can't be bothered to wash my hair! Bit gross, but true. My perfume of choice at the moment is Stella by Stella McCartney. And finally my purse is Chanel and I love it even though it is slightly battered now!

Hope you liked this post, a bit different from me. Have a great week!


9 September 2013

Current Go To Hair Products

It's been a while since I've done a hair care post, I mentioned a couple of products I liked in my Summer Saviours post, but I've been using some different things recently so I thought I'd update you! Hair care isn't something I tend to spend a lot of money on. I don't know why, I just don't find it as exciting as make-up and skincare. Also I think there are lots of great products available in Boots and Superdrug. So all of the products I'm going to talk about are very affordable.

V05 Heat Protect styling spray £3.69
Right lets get the boring one out of the way first. Everyone needs a heat protectant, I wouldn't say this was amazing but it does the job well and it says it protects up to 230 degrees which is really good. Any heat protectant recommendations would be great as I've yet to find one that I really like.

L'Oreal EverRiche Mask (£6.99) & Conditioner (£5.99)
After hearing so much about the new L'Oreal ranges, I caved and bought into the hype. I didn't buy the shampoo as I have a really sensitive scalp and I just know I wouldn't get along with it. I decided to go for the EverRiche range, which is targeted at dry and very dry hair. My hair probably wouldn't be classed as very dry but as I bleached it for so long, and still bleach the ends it is definitely dry. The first thing you notice is the smell. Oh wow. It is absolutely gorgeous! It says it contains botanical oils, camelina and apricot seeds. The smell really lingers on your hair which is amazing. The conditioner is perfect for use every time you wash your hair, it is quite rich but it doesn't weigh down my hair like some rich conditioners do. And I tend to use the mask once a week, you only have to leave it on for 3-5 minutes so you can do it while you're in the shower. when I wash it off my hair feels so soft and smooth

Naked Rescue Hair Treatment (£1.29 for a sachet)
For someone who has never liked doing hair masks, to now have two rotating in my routine is quite surprising! This is another one you only have to leave on for 3-5 minutes, however it recommends wrapping your hair in a warm towel, so this one is best to do while you're having a relaxing bath. I really like how this is 97% natural so no nasty ingredients. I don't find it as rich as the L'Oreal EverRiche offering, but it is a nice alternative. They don't seem to sell the big tubs of this anymore, they only sell sachets, I'm not sure why but it's a nice cheap treat!

V05 Miracle Concentrate (£5.19)
I love this so much that I've done a full review on it here. Since that review I have continued to use it everyday and I definitely can see a lasting effect on my hair, the ends are in a much better condition and aren't snapping off like they used to it also gives my hair a really nice sheen to it which makes it look really healthy.

BB Texture hair(un)dressing creme (£22 for full size)
This has been the only styling product I've been using lately, I've even been neglecting surf sprays which is unlike me. This has a texture almost like semi-wet glue, you only need to use the smallest amount, too much and you'll have crispy hair. I work this through the underneath and ends of my hair, it gives a really nice matte texture and stops my hair going wispy. This mini is only £10 and I've been using it for months, so it lasts a really long time so if you can find the smaller size then it is quite affordable.

Do you splurge on hair care or tend to stick to Boots & Superdrug like me?


8 September 2013

Sunday Post #12 | Autumn

Jumper from Topshop last year.

The weather has turned this week, it feels like Autumn is almost here. I think Autumn is one of my favourite seasons, I'm not hugely body confident so summer clothes don't quite do it for me. I love wearing chunky knits and dresses with tights and boots. I love the cosy nights in with candles, some snuggly socks and a good book. The book I'm currently reading is Sister by Rosamund Lupton, I've only just started it but I like it so far! I feel the cold quite easily so I always have a hot water bottle too, my spotty water bottle case is from Boots but I can't find it on the website, it's probably too early for them to be in the stores! Although it's not quite hot water bottle weather yet, it is definitely going that way. At the moment it is just really rainy, which I don't like if I have to be out and about but as I haven't started my job yet I'm quite happy to stay in the house and listen to the rain on the windows, which is the best noise ever.

I thought about doing the Autumn tag today but I think it's a bit early for that, so that will be coming later on in September where I will share some of my favourite Autumn beauty products. I need to get my blog quite organised for September, because as you know I'll be starting my job so I will be really busy! Let me know if you have any ideas of posts. I don't want to neglect my blog but posts will be more sparse I'm afraid. At least until I get into a routine.

Hope you've all had a great weekend! Are you excited about Autumn or just sad the sun has gone?



7 September 2013

Setting Powders

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with powders. I think they are a necessity to help set my make-up and keep it looking fresh for longer, but I hate that they can sometimes look really cakey and make your complexion look a bit dull. I have been hearing a lot of amazing things about the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders, but at the moment I am on a strict budget so can't stretch to the £38 price tag! However I do have a few setting powders in my collection that I think are all pretty darn good, so I thought I'd chat about those in today's post!

Benefit Hello Flawless Powder £25.50*
This is still an expensive choice for a powder, but still over £10 less than the Hourglass option! This is actually a multi-tasking option. Depending on how you use it, it can be a medium coverage powder foundation or dusted lightly with a brush it can be a sheer layer of powder. It comes with a sponge and a brush in the packaging, neither of which I use regularly but it is really good for putting in your handbag for touch ups on the go.

MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural £22
Slightly cheaper than the Benefit offering is my MAC Mineralize Skin Finish, I have this is the colour medium plus. This is potentially a little dark for me in the winter, but for the summer months it has been fine. This is a re-purchase for me, it works so well on my normal-combination skin and doesn't cake up when I re-apply. However I find that it doesn't keep the shine at bay for as long as the other two options.

Rimmel Stay Matte £3.99
The newest purchase of mine and by far the cheapest of the bunch is Rimmel's Stay Matte powder. Tanya Burr from pixi2woo is always raving about this product which is what led me to buy it. For £3.99 this is an amazing powder. I got the shade translucent so it doesn't add any more coverage, I only use it to set my foundation and mattify my t-zone. I don't have any complaints about the product itself, however I hate the packaging! I really don't like it when the lid comes completely separate from the pan because they always seem to open in my handbag, but for less than a fiver, I don't think I should complain too much!

For applying these powders I use the Real Techniques Powder brush when I'm at home for the first application. For touch ups on the go I use a recent purchase, the Real Techniques Duo-Fiber Face brush, which doesn't pack on as much product so it is less likely to leave me looking powdery.

I would definitely like to try the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders at some point, but I need to keep buying things for my new flat so I can't justify it at the moment! Hope you like my slightly cheaper alternatives! Also, I am sure you have all noticed, but my blog has had a makeover!!! I absolutely love it, I think it makes my blog look much more professional - please let me know what you think in the comments. And if you were wondering who designed it, it was Abby from Un-Observed who runs the design website Baggle Web and Design. I would definitely recommend her work if you're looking for someone to re-design your blog. She did everything I asked for and made sure I was happy with the end result.

Hope you're having a great weekend!


*PR sample

6 September 2013

NOTD | Models Own Beach Party

I absolutely love Models Own nail polishes, I think for the price the quality is amazing. They last a decent 4-5 days on me and the colours only ever need two coats to be opaque. My Mum actually bought this colour. She had been on the hunt for the perfect orange all summer, but they were either too red or not bright enough but this one is perfect. It's Models Own Beach Party from the Hed Kandi collection. It's a gorgeous neon orange which is really hard to photograph!! Even though summer is coming to an end I will still be wearing this colour, and orange is an autumnal colour anyway, right?!


3 September 2013

Review | Real Techniques Duo-Fiber Collection

Yes, I bought more Real Techniques brushes. Did I need them? Probably not. This is one of the more recent collections and I'm sure they were limited edition but they are still available online. It's the Real Techniques Duo-Fiber Collection, I found them in Boots but there are also on the Real Techniques website. They might have been put into the permanent collection as they have been around for a while now.

Initially I wasn't going to buy them, I have quite the collection of make-up brushes so I wasn't sure what I was going to use them for. However I've been looking for a new powder brush as I want one to carry around with me in the day but I wanted it to apply quite a sheer layer of powder so it won't cake on too much product. The original Real Techniques Powder brush is quite dense so it packs on quite a lot of product so I didn't want to buy that one again. The duo-fiber face brush from this set suited me perfectly! It isn't a very dense brush so it doesn't pick up too much product, it's also so soft and it's now a handbag staple!

The contour brush is also really soft, in fact all three brushes are very soft, I've found the contour brush really good for applying high-lighter. It gives quite a subtle application so it's great for when I don't want to apply too much in the daytime. I have used it to apply contour a few times and it works well for that too! I love how versatile the brushes are. The eye brush is probably my least favourite, I thought it would be great for blending but it doesn't do as good a job as my No7 blending brush so I don't really use this one that much.

My favourite brush from the set is the Face brush and for £20 I think it's a really good set to have. It definitely isn't a necessity though, so if you already have quite a few brushes then I probably wouldn't buy it. I just love buying make-up brushes!! What do you think of the set? Worth it?


1 September 2013

Sunday Post #11

I took this snap out of my bedroom the window. The sky was such a gorgeous colour! I can't believe it is September already, this summer has flown by. Although I love summer I'm really excited for Autumn to properly arrive. I find it hard to dress for summer as I tend to only have a few summer outfits I really love and I've worn them all far too much recently! So I'm looking forward to the Autumn trends.

Not much to update you on this week. My best friend from uni has been in Australia on a year abroad for over a year but she is finally home so she came to stay with me. We ate so much chinese food and drank lots of wine, standard! It was amazing to catch up with her and all her stories make me really want to go travelling!!

I'm currently watching United v Liverpool and getting very stressed out! But I'm off to a neighbours birthday drinks later on, so I'll drown my sorrows!! Hope you've had a good weekend!

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