The Confidence Givers.

27 January 2016

There's a constant debate about whether makeup hurts or helps self-esteem and mood, but there's no doubt that looking and feeling our best with the outside can affect what's going on inside as well. My heart lies with the 'you do you' argument, if it's a red lip that makes you feel great, then rock it. That isn't to say that makeup will cure all your ills, there's not much that the new Naked Palette will to do solve a deep-rooted issue in your life, but on particularly bad days, it can at times boost your spirits and give you the oomph to get you going.

I'll always be an advocate for minimalist approach, heavily caked on makeup just isn't me, and I generally subscribe to the 'less is more' school of though, although you'll still catch me with a bold lip every now and again. That said, I prefer subtle enhancement products that aren't necessarily makeup but reside firmly within the general beauty area.

Tanning lotions are one such area, legs just look better a little bronzed up. The Madame LA tan has just been launched in Boots and gives legs a beautiful subtle glow that will have you feeling like a greek goddess, despite the weather. Well worth a try, and a lot more flawless than some of the mishaps I've had in the past.

My pearly whites are the other area I tend to focus on when I want to feel more confident. HiSmile's system uses bicarbonate instead of peroxide so is far gentler on your teeth, and doesn't irritate even my sensitive gums. I'm happy to say that my teeth have gone up a shade or two since using it, and it's vegan status just add to the plus points.

So my advice? Wear what makes you feel happy, but do it for yourself. What products do you use to make yourself feel more confident?

Lifestyle Changes for 2016.

17 January 2016

PINK SODA range from JD Sports can be purchased here 

It may be clich├ęd to start making lifestyle changes in new year, but if it's what motivates you to make a change, then so be it! This year, I wanted to avoid the 'new year, new me' moment, making drastic changes, which I then find I can't stick to, instead making smaller steps to becoming a healthier person. It's about time I upped my activity level to more than just pressing the button to the next episode on Netflix and reincorporated some proper exercise back into my life so as we move into 2016 I'm excited to document my fitness journey with the Pink Soda range

I'm not a stranger to fitness, in fact, during a lot of last year I was in a pretty good routine. However, as school work and illness got to me I slowly let it slip. This year, I want to drive myself more from the positive feelings that exercise gives me, rather than the aesthetics and am hoping that this will be motivation enough in itself. From mental health to physical problems, exercise can be a medicine in itself when used properly. However, I also want to learn to take less of an all or nothing approach. Not everyday has to be some crazy HIIT Insanity style workout, yoga or pilates are just as valuable for your body. 

You can expect plenty of updates from me over here on how I'm doing, I'm starting off with trying out a new range of sports wear - always a great motivator for me! The Pink Soda range is full of amazing prints and colours, as well as more loungewear appropriate items which I will 100% be sporting on my rest days.

Have you set yourself any fitness or lifestyle goals for 2016? I'd love to hear them! 

Going Cruelty Free.

15 January 2016

Announcement time: I'm going cruelty free with my makeup this year! Over the last couple of months, transitioning to a mostly vegan/vegetarian lifestyle I've also become increasingly uncomfortable with the use of animal testing in makeup. It's a difficult and somewhat controversial topic to broach, so I'd love to hear all of your opinions on the matter but morally I can't justify the torture of animals for our own aesthetic purposes despite my current stance of supporting it medically. 

As of late, I've changed my attitude to shopping in general anyway, cutting down the amount that I buy and seeking quality rather than quantity, so I'm hoping that this will make it easier to go the whole way. I love budget beauty, and going cruelty-free will wipe out a whole load of options for me, but I'm excited to discover new ones and share them with you all. If I do occasionally make a mistake (I'm only human after all!), please do tell me but know that it wasn't intentional and don't be a dick! 

I'm aware that you may be concerned about how the content on here will change, and happily for you, it won't. I don't want to appear preachy, so won't be talking about it that much in other posts, but if I can open your eyes to the great options out there, and it results in a few small swaps, then the impact is still worth it. In addition, I still have a large stash of makeup that are non cruelty free that I will be continuing to write about until they are used up in the interest of not being wasteful. 

I'd love to know your thoughts and can't wait to show you some of the amazing things I have discovered so far. Do you have any tips yourself for me? 

Zoeva Rose Golden Brushes.

12 January 2016

I've had a couple of sets of the Zoeva brushes before, but none have ever spoken to me like the rose gold set. It's my favourite type of metal and from the moment I first set eyes them I knew that they had to be mine ... and sure enough, no regrets. 

The Brushes: 

104 / Buffer
Buffers are my brush of choice for foundation application, and this one does not disappoint! It works really well for sheering out higher coverage foundations and giving a nice soft finish. My only gripe - the brush head is too big to do any of those hard to reach places. 

126 / Luxe Cheek Finish
You may think the more product a brush can pick up the better, but for blush I would definitely disagree. The dome shape on this brush gives a nice sheer finish and is a great shape for bronzer as well. 

109 / Luxe Face Paint 
Probably my favourite brush from the whole set, this one works so well for contouring and definition. Sometimes a little buffing is needed around the edges though to stop it from looking too harsh. 

228 / Luxe Crease
Eye makeup is a massive weakness of mine - (please someone teach me how to do it!) - but this brush works really nicely for buffing out the harsh edges of shadows to a soft finish. If you're wanting to do more precise work though, this is not the one! 

234 / Luxe Smoky Shader 
This brush is more precise than the above and really nice for blending two colours together. Not much more to say here!

226 / Smudger
A really heavy eye makeup tends not to suit me as much (or maybe I'm just doing it wrong) but as a consequence I don't get as much use out of this brush. If dark eyeshadows are your thang though, this one would be brilliant for you.

317 / Wing Liner
I break the rules a little here and actually use this one for my brows. It gives a nice precise finish which allows a lot of control to get the shape that I'm happy with. Win. 

My overall thoughts - if you have the original sets already, this one isn't a must have. However, for the aesthetics and quality, for a true brush addict like me, this collection can not be beaten. What do you think?

A few new wardrobe updates.

10 January 2016

A new year is always a great time to inject some new pieces into your wardrobe, especially if you can hunt out some bargains in the sales or spend some Christmas money. As ever, I'm still working on creating a wardrobe where I wear everything, rather than just the same things over and over again. I didn't want to mindlessly spend money in the heat of the moment, convinced that the 'new me' would get a ton of use out of more extravagant items, however, I did think it would be nice to add some accessories to mix up the usual black and white that I have going on. 

First and foremost this ring from Gemporia, which I finally settled on after trawling through pages and pages of their online collection. I tend to stick to silver normally so it is nice to mix it up and add in some gold, and the metal isn't too gaudy which makes it perfect for pairing with other pieces. Another jewellery piece that has been added recently as well are this little sleeper hoop earrings. I really love fine jewellery and these two nestle into the ear so well, are really comfortable and subtle enough for my liking. 

My Daniel Wellington watch isn't new now, but I thought I'd take the opportunity to mention it again.  The designs are so classy and elegant and I really like the smaller face on this one for the comfort. If you're interested, my code 'maddycane' will get you 15% off until January 15th. My Rayban Gold Round Sunglasses are also a favourite, and would be great if you are hitting the slopes some time soon. Finally, this Louche Jumper from JOY Store. It's a really nice quality, weighty knit which will keep you warm through the colder months, and the colour will pair well with anything and everything. Plus, you can grab it for half price at the moment! 

What do you think of these picks, have you added anything nice to your wardrobe recently? 

For When You're Stuck For Blog Ideas.

04 January 2016

Writer's block hits even the best of us, and man is it a bitch. Problems can arise from anywhere, from lack of ideas, to ugly photo - for me, it's generally the writing - and before you know it you've reached a stand still with no motivation left to blog. I've been struggling to get the posts out recently, so thought I'd write this more for myself than anyone else. A little kick-start can never be a bad thing though, so here are 16 ideas of things to right about to help you back on track again. 

01. Things you wish you knew when you started blogging
02. A round up of the best posts you have read this week or month
03. An interview with a blogger you admire
04. A playlist
05. A recipe that you've loved recently
06. Favourite Instagram accounts
07. The best apps for blogging
08. Blogging process (eg. photography)
09. Your must-have blogging tools
10. Thoughts on a current affairs topic
11. Tutorial post
12. A handwritten post (scan it in!)
13. Book or film reviews
14. Product reviews
15. An inspiration or wishlist post
16. Favourite outfit of the moment

They may not all be the most creative, but they're guaranteed to give you something to talk about. I know I'll be referring back to this next time I have no ideas! What about you? 

P.S. This gorgeous cactus print is from the new start-up shop - make sure you go and check out the lovely range of products and give Natalie some support!