A look back at 2014

Today I thought I’d take a look back at twenty fourteen before the new year appears at our door steps next week. This year has been a roller coaster of ups and downs for me. I had a clear plan of what I wanted to achieve this year however sometimes things don’t always go as planned. The biggest thing that changed was my plans to go to university. I ended up deciding that I actually didn’t want to go to university this year and so have taken a year off to reapply to different universities as something just didn’t feel right. However, 2014 has all in all been a good year for me. I think it's important to look back at your year before the new one rolls around to appreciate what happened, the bad times and the good times, in order to make the most of the next year ahead.

Makeup Menu #1 | Festive Beauty

As the festive party season is upon us I thought I’d share with you all my beauty essentials 
for this time of year that will see you through any festive occasion from a 
Christmas meal to a New Years party.


At every event this party season there’s going to be pictures taken so to prevent yourself looking overly shiny never go without powder - I’m forever in love with the Rimmel Stay Matte - even if you usually would skip it as you may look great in person but the camera will pick up any shine and multiply it by ten. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add a little highlighter to still have a healthy glow - I’m currently loving the Topshop highlighter, review here. You also want a good concealer as the same with shine the camera will pick up any blemish even if its only small. For this I love the Collection lasting perfection concealer but I don’t need to go into detail as everyone and their mother knows about it by now.


For eyes I’m still loving my Stila in the light palette - review here - as you can create subtle, natural looks perfect for a low key affair but you can also create serious glamour which would fit perfectly for a New Years bash. I’ve also been loving the Maybelline master drama chromatic pencil in vibrant gold for a hint of gold sparkle under the eyes. If you’re going for winged liner this season then you have to get your hands on the L’Oreal super liner perfect slim, I’ve never used a product that makes winged liner so easy and I’ve repurchased this countless times.

The Red Lip | L'Oreal & Max Factor

Left to right: L’Oreal 'Liya' red lipstick, Max Factor lip pencil 'Red Rush'

I love a red lip, there’s something about a red lip which is so classic, sleek and sophisticated to me. I could be having the worst morning or a bad skin day but as soon as I put on my favourite red lipstick I instantly feel better and like nothing could hurt my day.

L’Oreal recerntly launched their ‘Exclusive Pure Reds’ collection which is the sister line to their ‘Exclusive Nudes’ collection which was released a while ago. The range contains four reds specifically designed to match different skin tones so theres a red for everyone. Choosing the ‘correct’ red can be a hard task, as if you get the wrong undertone it could wash you out. The Pure Red line makes it easy with two reds to suit warm undertones and two reds to suit cool/neutral undertones. The formula is semi matte so it’s not overly drying but will still last without having to keep topping up the colour. The campaign is headed by Blake Lively, Eva Longoria, Julianne Moore & Liya Kebede. I picked up Liya’s shade and I’ve been loving it.

To prevent my lipstick from moving around or bleeding throughout the day I’ve been using the Max Factor Colour Elixir Lip Liner in Red Rush. It’s a beautifully creamy formula so it’s easy to apply but still sticks around for hours making it a great base for lipstick, I’ve also worn this on its own.

Do you love red lipstick as much as I do?

~ Jade xx

Blackpool | The forgotten post

Today, let’s take a step back a few months to summer - I was going to write this post a while back but for some reason just never got around to it. 

Back in July my family and I decided to take a 'mini holiday' to Blackpool. As my Nanna had many happy memories there and my Dad was born there we wanted to take the trip up north with my Nanna to see it all - which was quite the task I must say. As we only went for 3 days we stayed at The Imperial Hotel, which was truly stunning but was under construction and covered in scaffolding so I couldn't get a good picture. The hotel was just across from the beach so was only a short walk for a - rather chilly - paddle in the sea, minding the trams on the way! I would highly recommend a stay The Imperial Hotel, the food was amazing and the staff were so friendly.
A night time trip down to the beach to see Blackpool tower lit up - although unfortunately the tower was under some construction work so it wasn't as spectacular as it usually is
We took trip to the UK's most famous Theme park- Blackpool Pleasure Beach (including the most famous ride from the park 'The Big One'...which I didn't have the courage to go on). The Pleasure Beach Amusement Park was a really fun day out with all sorts to do whether you enjoy rides or not.
Light effects in the jellyfish tank at the Sealife Centre Blackpool
I found Nemo!
The picturesque sights of  the Blackpool Tower, one of the piers and the beach

If you’re looking for a fun beach holiday in the UK, Blackpool is at the top of my list. It has something for everyone and there's always something to do. Blackpool has such a great atmosphere to it. I really love it there and I’ll definitely be going back.

What is your favourite beach to go to in the UK?

~ Lucy xx

A Lush Christmas

Christmas is my favourite time of year, it’s October and I’ve already begun my christmas shopping. Lush stocked all of their christmas goodies yesterday so I had to have a browse and ended up buying more than I intended to - but what else is new. So, I thought I’d share with you all what I picked up as Lush have brought out a few new things this year as well as bringing back some old favourites.

Snow fairy shower gel | This is an old favourite, I still have my bottle form last year which is why I didn’t photograph it as the bottle has seen better days. Snow fairy is a very sweet scent without be overly sweet. It lingers on the skin and lathers so well that you only need a drop.

Afternoon tea with homemade jam & scones

Afternoon tea is a British tradition that has been around for centuries. It’s one of my favourite affairs, there’s something about sitting down in the early afternoon for tea and cake that seems very indulgent especially during the week when everyone else is at work. A few weeks ago I decided to make my own afternoon tea as I had a few hours spare and was in the mood for baking.

Victoria Plum Jam recipe
I N G R E D I E N T S :

1 kg (35 oz) plums (or any other fruit you wish)

2 kg (70 oz)  caster sugar

150 ml (5 fl oz) water

100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) lemon juice

2 sachets pectin (optional)

M E T H O D :

1. De-stone your plums, the easiest way to do this is to cut around the outside of the plum all the way around and pull the top half off and then take the stone out. Be warned, if you de-stone plums with bare hands they may be temporarily stained orange. I used Victoria plums which are smaller and sweeter than regular plums but any kind of plum will work for this.

2. Add the plums, sugar, lemon juice and water to a large stock pot and bring to the boil. If you'd rather a more tart jam opposed to sweet - like myself - don't use all of the sugar.

3. Leave the mixture to boil for at least ten minutes.

Berry Season

Left to right: meteoric matte, 107, Sloane’s plum
It’s officially Autumn which brings with it my favourite makeup trend, berry lips. During the summer I tend to wear more nude or pink/orange toned lipsticks to suit the season and although I love a good bright lip I always look forward to the day I can begin to wear my favourite darker toned lipsticks again, whether they’re purples, full on reds or something in-between. The key to wearing a wintery lip is a good coverage base, which is hard to wear during summer as we all know that things turn into a big sweaty mess if a full coverage foundation is worn (we’ve all been there, lets not try to hide it) so when the weather takes a dip colder we can begin to put on the fuller coverage foundations, go crazy adding shadow to the eyes and of course lacquering on the perfect bold lip to match. I’ve edited down my favourite three berries, which coincidentally all happen to be from the same brand but are all different shades and different textures, so there’s something for everyone.

Rimmel Apocalips Matte Lip Lacquer ~ Meteoric Matte | Recently released as part of the the new matte line of apocalips this raspberry shade is a matte liquid lipstick which is non-drying and long lasting due to the matte finish. It’s easy to apply because of the doufoot applicator and isn’t expensive at £6.49. This is a good shade if you’re new to the berry trend and don’t want to go all out on the first go or if you have very fair skin this is a good one too as the warmer tone won’t wash you out. A shade similar to this is available in the high gloss formula if matte lips aren’t your thing too, Across the universe.

Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss Matte Lipstick ~ 107 | This is a classic. A cult loved lipstick which if you haven’t heard of it, you must live under a rock. Out the three this is the most true berry shade. It’s not too purple, it’s not too red, it suits everyone. It’s long-lasting as it’s matte however it’s not completely matte. It does have a slight satin finish so it’s not overly-drying or uncomfortable to wear. Due to the longevity it’s also fuss free as you don’t need to worry that it’s smudged onto your chin during the day either.

Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick ~ Sloane’s Plum | Out of the three, this is probably my favourite of the favourites. This is the most purple of the three and also the most moisturising - as the name would suggest. It’s a very deep purple berry which looks great paired with a smokey eye. Although it’s a very moisturising formula its longevity is impressive and it doesn’t smudge all over your face either. The best way I’ve found to apply it is to put on a thin layer and blot it to create a stain and then apply another layer. 

What’s your favourite makeup trend for the colder months?

~ Jade xx

Personalised star bracelet | NotOnTheHighstreet.Com

I love buying presents for people. I always prefer giving to receiving - with Christmas shopping being my favourite ‘to do’ of the year, and something that I start thinking about in August. When it comes to birthday and Christmas presents I like to put a lot of thought into it - I take it very seriously - and like to find things a little special. It was recently one of my best friends birthday and I thought I’d do a post on the bracelet I found for her.
The bracelet is from a seller on notonthehighstreet.com called ‘J & S jewellery’ and it’s fully customisable, you can choose the colour of the chain & beads, the charms and even the card background & packaging. I was really impressed with the quality too as it feels a lot more expensive than it really was. The only I would say is that if you have very slim wrists - like myself - or are buying for someone who has, the bracelet is a little big and will fall down onto your hand slightly - something which I find really annoying but luckily it fit my friend perfectly.
J & S jewellery have an entire range of beautiful jewellery pieces to suit everyone and I would highly recommend taking a look at the shop, it’s free - and fast - delivery to mainland UK too.

~ Jade xx

Repurchased products

I often post my favourite products in ‘current favourites’ posts however I’ve never mentioned those products which may not be the most exciting or new to the world but are so good that I’ve had to repurchase them, some of them not just once but time-and-time again. So, I compiled a list of some of the products that I’ve repurchased over the years, some of them I’ve mentioned before, others I haven’t and some are necessities which you may not traditionally think of as being favourite products but you repurchase them anyway.

L’oreal Infallible foundation | This is a product which I have spoken about before and written its own post on - which can be viewed here - it’s an all round great foundation that I’m currently on my third bottle of.

Revlon Colorstay concealer | Again this is a product that I’ve written its own post on - which can be seen here - but this is my favourite concealer which I don’t think I’ll be leaving behind anytime soon. As soon as I ran out of this I had to go and buy a new one, and to my annoyance Boots was sold out.

Rimmel Stay Matte powder | I’ve used this product for years and so have lost count of how many times I’ve actually repurchased it. I’ve differed before but this is a product that I always go back to.

Boots Botanics Shine Away Moisturiser | This product has featured in a previous ‘current favourites’ post - which can be seen here - and after using it all up I had to buy another right away. I’ve tried many moisturisers in the past that are all directed at oily skin that all promise to give shine control but none have ever followed through until I came across this baby. 

Batiste dry hair shampoo | For the days when you can’t be bothered to wash your hair or your between washes but your roots are looking a little greasy dry shampoo is always the answer. Batiste is a dry shampoo I’ve been using for years and although I’ve tried others none quite eradicate oil like Batiste does.

Bio-oil | One of those master oils which vanishes hyper pigmentation, scars and marks but also adds moisture to the driest skin. I’ve gone through a few bottles of this and it’s great. I love a good multipurpose a product and I’ve even used this on the ends of my hair when things are looking a bit dry but I don’t have a hair oil on hand.

Toni & Guy Glamour drops | My favourite hair oil. Perfect if you have frizzy hair or if things are looking a bit dry, also great to smooth down anything that keeps sticking up. Its also not heavy so it won’t weigh down your hair.

What are your repurchased products? 

~ Jade xx

For those who struggle with sleep

I’ve struggled with sleep for years. I go through fazes of waking up constantly throughout the night or not sleeping at all, to sleeping soundly. I’ve been going through a phase of not sleeping again so I thought I’d write up a post on a few things I do to help when I’m not sleeping so well.

Get in a routine | Try to wake up and go to sleep at the same time everyday, even on weekends if you can. Doing this will train your brain so it knows when it should be resting and when it should be awake. 

Relax | It’s impossible to sleep or get to sleep if you’re stressed, even if you don’t realise that you’re stressed. Before bed light your favourite candle and just chill, don’t do anything strenuous and don’t start over-thinking - easier said than done, I know. If you wake up during the night don’t sit and look at the clock, if you’re aware how long you’ve been awake you’ll become anxious which will make your body tense and make it harder to go back to sleep. If you’re awake for a while get up and do something that isn’t very active, read or take a bath for example and then try to go back to sleep.

Light/dark | Make sure you’re subject to enough sunlight during the day and avoid using artificial light during the evenings. A chemical in your body called melatonin regulates your sleeping pattern and is triggered by light. If you don’t get enough light during the day then you’ll feel sleepy and will want to nap but if you’re exposed to too much light at night you’ll be wide awake when you should be going to sleep. 

Avoid caffeine/alcohol | Avoid drinking caffeine before bed, if you really want a coffee or tea make sure its caffeine free. Also, cut down on caffeine during the day, it may have more of an effect on your body than you think it does. Avoid alcohol during the evening too. Although it does make you sleepy it affects the quality of your sleep so you won’t benefit from the sleep you do get.

Don’t take naps | If you have had a bad nights sleep avoid having an afternoon nap as much as possible as it will just throw your sleep schedule. If you must take a nap try to limit it to 30 minutes before mid afternoon, that way it won’t affect your brains sleep schedule.

Avoid backlit devices | Don’t use your phone, laptop, iPad even your e-reader if it’s backlit up to two hours before bed - this one is what I struggle with most. The light emitted from backlit devices stimulates your brain, in turn making you more awake instead of sleepy.

Environment | Make sure your room is dark, comfortable and the right temperature. You can’t sleep in a bright room or in an uncomfortable bed, and if you're room is too hot or too cold you won’t relax.

How do you avoid a bad nights sleep?

~ Jade xx

The best drugstore concealer

It’s been known for a while in the beauty world that the best drugstore concealer is the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer, which is most likely why you can never find it in the aisles of boots for it’s always sold out. However, I’ve recently been trying out a new concealer which I prefer to the Collection one *gasp*.

The Revlon Colorstay concealer is more moisturising and less thick than the the Collection concealer, meaning it isn’t drying on the skin and doesn’t emphasise any dry problem areas - which is my biggest niggle with the Collection Lasting Perfection, it covers a lot but if you have a blemish thats drying out or your skin is on the dry side it just emphasises that. The Revlon Colorstay is also suitable for under the eyes and for the rest of the face because although it is lighter in texture and more moisturising it still packs a lot of pigment to cover dark circles, blemishes and redness. It is slightly more expensive though and I also struggle to find this in my shade in Boots as well - it’s always when I’ve completely ran out too.

What’s been your latest discovery from the drugstore?

~ Jade xx

A day at the beach | Bournemouth

Last week Lucy & I went on our first road trip down to Bournemouth beach. Over the summer we wanted to go to the beach at some point, however we never got the chance. Recently though, the sunny weather has returned to England so we decided to take the opportunity and drive the two hours south. As we live in the country side we don't often get to see the coast so we took the opportunity to do everything. We obviously had fish & chips and ice cream, went for an obligatory paddle - although the water was very cold, had dinner at a beachside restaurant called HotRocks (I had a red Thai curry - along with a piña colada - & Lucy had Fajitas, which were both mouthwatering but not expensive), had a look around the Oceanarium and had a lovely walk along the waters edge - there's something very relaxing to me about sand between my toes and a sea breeze in the air, it just makes me happy. The weather was also surprisingly lovely for September in England which made the day even better.

A trip to Wollaton Hall | Nottingham

Lucy and I recently took a short trip up to Nottingham. As mentioned in my ‘Plans for twenty fourteen’ post - which can be seen here - I wanted to visit more of Britain this year with Nottingham being part of the list of places for me to visit, as Lucy has family in Nottingham and regularly mentions how much she loves it there. This trip we were only in Nottingham for just over 24 hours so Lucy didn’t have much time to show me around however we did squeeze in a trip to Wollaton Hall. Wollaton Hall is an old country house built in 1588 and was used as Wayne Manor in the Dark Knight Rises, its set in a large deer park and is currently the Nottingham Natural History Museum.

Real luxury | Neom

Neom is one of my favourite ‘treat yourself’ brands. It’s always the first place I go if I need to buy a present for someone but don’t know what to get them because they do such a vast range of products that’s theres something for everyone and because they aren’t typically the type of products you would buy for yourself generally the gift receivers are always excited to receive a Neom parcel - over the years I’ve learned that they make the best birthday and mother’s day presents for any ladies in your life - but it is also a great place to go if you want a pick me up for yourself, you’ve had a stressful time recently or you just want to reward yourself with something you wouldn’t generally buy.

Neom as a brand is also great. They use 100% natural ethically sourced ingredients in their products so not only are their products good for your skin - away from any artificial perfumes, harsh preservatives, paraffin's or any petrochemicals - they are also ethical in how they source their natural ingredients.
Neom recently went through some re-branding so I thought I’d show you all a few products from my favourite scent - Real Luxury - though Noem also carry many different scents for different needs. They provide scents to de-stress, to aid sleep, lift your mood and boost your energy. Real luxury is one of the scents in the ‘de-stress’ range containing lavender, jasmine and Brazillian rosewood which is perfect to use in the evenings to unwind before bed. 
The first product I wanted to talk about was the scented candle with 3 wicks. Neom have three different types of candles, the three wick, the one wick and the travel candle all made in each of the scents. I usually light the candle when I’m winding down a few hours before bed and due to the organic nature of Neom’s candles they don’t smoke which can give a grey cast to any walls and you only need to burn them for a maximum of two hours. If you burn them for any longer you end up just wasting them as the scent will remain in your room for many hours afterwards so its unnecessary to burn them for longer than you need.
The body & hand lotion and body & hand wash are again packed with scent so only a small amount is needed. The body & hand lotion is packed with moisturising properties which leaves your skin smooth and soft with a lingering scent. The body & hand wash lathers nicely and the scent, like the body & hand lotion, lingers on the skin. These are perfect gifts or a treat for yourself for when you need a pick me up or when you’re going to a special event and you want that little something extra.

What’s your favourite ‘treat yourself’ brand?

~ Jade xx

Current favourites | #6

Rimmel instant tan | Instant tan is an ingenious product which I only discovered this summer. It's great for when you you're going out and don't have time to actually fake tan but want some form of tan or when you only want a subtle glow and not the hassle of actual fake tan. You can also use it between fake tanning to 'top up' your tan when it begins to fade (this is how I generally use it). The Rimmel Sunshimmer instant tan is great. There are many different types, light colours and darker colours, matte and shimmer formulas and also a waterproof version, so there's something for everyone and it's not expensive! 

Revlon moisture stain ~ London Posh | Revlon recently launched their new moisture stain lip products. London posh is the perfect nude with subtle shimmer - which isn't a 90s throwback. The formula is somewhere between a liquid lipstick and a gloss, it's not quite one or the other however they're 100% non sticky. I think I'm in love. 

Avon ~ Sparkly citrus Eau De Toilette | My current favourite and everyday perfume is Scent Essence sparkly citrus from Avon. It’s very affordable and despite the low price tag lasts well throughout the day. As the name suggests the perfume has a light fruity scent which is great for everyday wear if you like to savour your more expensive perfumes like I do.

Barry M ~ Rosehip | I've spoken numerous times about how much I love the Barry M gelly nail polishes but I'm going to mention them again. The formula is great, we all should know that by now. My current favourite shade is a pastel pink which goes by the name of 'Rose Hip' (which was originally from the spring collection but isn't limited edition). This colour looks great with a tan but also without so it's a great summer colour for all skin tones.

MAC eyeshadow ~ Woodwinked | Woodwinked is a beautiful burnt gold shade and when blended turns into a matte burnt brown. It’s perfect for if you’re in a rush for you only need one shadow to create a lid and crease colour. I forgot about wood winked for a while but picked it up again recently and I can’t get enough.

What are your current favourites?

~ Jade xx

Mallorca | 2014

Last year I shared with you all a few snaps from my holiday to Mallorca - which can be seen here -, so I thought it only right to do the same thing again this year. This year however our holiday was slightly different despite us being in the same place. On and off we've been coming to Mallorca for eight years and as you would've seen from last years post we tend to very much have a 'water holiday' of jet skiing and boating. This year however we decided that we were going to see more if the island, since we only ever go to the same places and never explore. We visited two previously unexplored places this year, Sóller and Alcúdia.

That time of year

It's that time of year again when A-level results are released in the UK and second year college students (like myself) learn their fate on whether they're going to university or not. It can be an incredibly scary, intense and pressurised time for some or a fairly relaxed time for others (especially if you've received an unconditional offer, which I wish I had, or you have plans for a gap year, which again I wish I had). Even if you find yourself not going to university because you don't want to it's still that point where you have your results and it's time to enter the real world, away from education where there's no teachers to guide you, no routine of lessons and homework. It's time to grow up. And it can be scary. But everything will be okay. If you don't get the grades you want and don't get accepted to your first choice there's always your insurance choice, or you could take a year to re-sit some exams and end up at your first choice next year. There's a lot of pressure put on to young people nowadays to do well in education and get into a top university and get a good degree and although it's great if you do that (I know I'm going to try) it's not the end of the world if you don't or you get there and it doesn't work out. Good results are helpful to get to where you want to be, however it's not the be all and end all. 

I hope results day isn't too scary for you all and you all get the results you need/want. Good luck. 

~ Jade xx

Inside my holiday makeup bag

When packing for a holiday you have to be cautious of the weight of your suitcase and cosmetics and toiletries are really what weighs down your bag. This means that you have to streamline your makeup bag which can be quit difficult. To help make this easier I thought I'd show you all what I will be taking on holiday with me this year.

Foundation | I reserve foundation for night time when I go out for dinner opposed to wearing it throughout the day for it would just melt off. One without SPF is also great for night time as it is more likely flash photography will be used and a foundation with SPF will reflect the flash resulting in a washed out face opposed to showing off a bronzed goddess | L’oreal infallible ~ review here

A day at Longleat

Since Jade and I have finished our A levels- and it had been my 18th birthday the previous week- we decided to have a celebratory day out at Longleat. We had such a lovely day with the drive through safari in the morning, a tasty picnic and then explored the house and its grounds in the afternoon. For me, a huge animal lover, Longleat is the perfect day out- and of course we took full advantage of Jades bad boy camera lens!

Here are some pictures that we took throughout the day.
We dared to drive through the monkey enclosure where the monkeys are free to go wherever they want... luckily Jades car came out undamaged.
What I loved about Longleat is that they provide the rare chance to see an elephant - which isn't common in most zoos/safari parks in England - Anne, Longleat's elephant, was rescued from a circus.
I would definitely recommend Longleat as a day out for everyone.

What would your ideal day out be?

~ Lucy xx

Photography information

Canon 600D with 18-55mm lens, Canon 24mm lens or Sigma 70-300mm lens. Canon EOS M with 18-55mm lens or Canon 24mm lens. Any edited photos are edited using Photoshop CS6. Picture source is given for any photo used that is not directly ours.