28 August 2014

Payday is in T-minus 1 hour 45 minutes and I am in dire need of some new make-up. The beauty buzz this month on the blogsphere has been crazy with a bunch of new releases and re-visits to 'must try- products. My beauty wish list has got fairly lengthy over the past 5 weeks. So I thought i'd share with you a few of the things i'm going to treat myself to this this month.

Real Techniques Stippling Brush

I have quite the collection of real techniques brushes and to say I love them would be an understatement. The stippling brush is one i've heard so much about but never got around to getting.  But when i've seen others use it, it looks like the perfect foundation brush for seamless coverage.

Rimmel 'Wonderfull' Mascara

Argon Oil is all the rage at the moment and if you read my post 'No.1 product for damaged hair' then you'll already understand my love for it. So when I found out Rimmel have found a way to infuse it into there mascara, then I couldn't exactly ignore it, could I. Luscious long lashes are a girls biggest dream. Right?!

Revlon 'Colorstay Moisture' Lip Stain

I was incredibly impressed with the Revlon Parfumerie Nail Polishes so when Revlon announced on Twitter that they'd be releasing the American favourite lip stain range, well, let's just say I got a little giddy. These particular lip stains have been raved about by beauty bloggers and the reviews on Boots.com are just as positive. I have a good feeling about these...

Bourjois 'Declice de Poudre' Bronzing Powder & Highlighter

I already own the single brander in 02 and absolutely love it. For a first time bronzer, it's fairly sheer, easy to build up and smells like chocolate. What more could you want? Now we're getting into the colder months, investing in the lighter 01 shade would be a good idea, so I don't look permanently sun kissed and chissled all year round. Whilst that might sound good for some, it's just not a good look when it's clearly obvious from the rest of your body you haven't been somewhere tropical for quite a while!

Love always,

25 August 2014

So I know that I did a best dressed post only a couple weeks ago for the Teen Choice awards, you can read it here if you missed it. But, I had so much fun doing it that I thought I would do a round up of my favourite outfits from the MTV Video Music Awards 2014, last night. The show is currently airing for the first time in the UK so i'm writing this as I see it 'live' (sort of)...

First up is Demi Lovato. Demi was all over Twitter when I woke up this morning because she took everyone by surprise with that beautiful post box red, floor length gown with a plunging neckline. Demi's hair is super short now which suited the look perfectly and her make-up was nice a simple which complimented the bold dress beautifully. Without a doubt, Demi owned it on the Red carpet last night!

Next up is Kylie Jenner. I feel like being a part of the Kardashian crew she can't get it wrong and she certainly didn't last night. Looking flawless in a black jumpsuit with a mesh top, the outfit was classy but not prude and sexy but not slutty. Paired with Kylie's classic dark smoulder and gold accessories, she came in as a very close second.

Gwen Steffani, need I saw more. At 44 this women looks damn right incredible, if I look half as good as her when i'm that age I will be very pleased in deed. She's still - as always - channeling the pin-up girl pop look which really worked for her on the carpet last night. Gwen also wore a jumpsuit but was more bold with the half bright pink half black colour scheme. If you read my last 'Best Dressed' post you'll recall me mentioning that block colour is really on trend at the moment and Stefani really worked it!

Love always,

23 August 2014

Taking off your make-up is one of those dreaded tasks that I spend hours avoiding every night, i'm definitely one of those people who go to sleep with my make-up on on a regular occasion. But that is bad. Don't follow in my suit.

I have been on the search for a while now for a good make-up remover. I have tried so many, some of which I had allergic reactions to and now have fairly sensitive eyes for. This is where Bioderma came in and saved the day. If you're a regular beauty blog reader then you will have heard of Bioderma before. I took me quite a while to actually try is because it's quite difficult to get hold off but it definitely made the world of difference to my skincare routine.

Bioderma, looks and acts just like water and contains no soaps, alcohol, fragrance or phenoxyethanol meaning it's super gentle and cleansing on the skin. The directions advise you to use it twice daily, however I use it in the evening as the first step to cleaning and cleansing the skin and follow with my Liz Earle skincare after. You can read my blog post about that here, if you have't already.

There are 3 versions of Bioderma, for oily skin, for sensitive skin and for dry skin. Currently i'm using the one for sensitive skin but since I've seen improvement in the sensitivity of my skin, I might look to try out the hydrating one next.

You can get hold of Bioderma online at Escentual.com for £9.99 for the 250ml bottle. Let me know your skin care and make-up removing tips and whether you've tried Bioderma before. Now i've tried it, i'd swear by it!

Love always,

20 August 2014

I'm a particularly happy person generally, I mean why wouldn't I be but some times I do forget to look at my life and actually experience it when it's happening and it just sort of flies by. I mean look at this year, we're 8 months through, it's almost Christmas and New Years feel's like it was just a couple of days a go. What have I got to say for the past 8 months?

So, I have decided to start the '100 Happy Days' Challenge, i'm sure you've heard of it. My friends on Facebook have been doing it on and off for the last couple of years now and i've never given it much thought.

But here is to 100 days of happiness, whether they are consecutive or not. I am going to be sharing my happiness over on Instagram, so if you fancy keeping up with my progress head over to @melharding. I'd also love to keep up to date if you're doing the challenge to. Here is my first post:

Love always,

19 August 2014

So for those of you who are Taylor Swift fans or just anyone not living under a rock then you'll be aware that Taylor just turned her fandom upside down and shook it a round a little in the form of a worldwide live stream with multiple surprise that have been 2 years in the making. And my dear, did she title her new single correctly, Taylor really does like to shake it up.

Lets start from the beginning...

'Shake it Off' is brand new sings from Taylor's fifth album '1989' which will drop October 27th. Taylor explained that the music on the album is inspired by 80's pop and is her first official pop album. During the live stream Taylor played the video for her brand new single 'Shake it Off' which based around the idea of false rumours and how she deals with it. She is basically just telling the haters that they're missing out on all of the fun! Go Taylor 'cause the haters just gonna hate, hate, hate. This new single is completely unlike anything Taylor has ever done before, it sort of resembles 'Mean' in a big, more fun sister sort of way. It also has hints of Christina Aguilera, Cher Lloyd and Katy Perry in it which is quite the girl power pop super group if you ask me.

The first version of the album has 13 songs, 'Shake it Off' being number 6. However there is going to be a deluxe version (always my favourite) which will include 3 extra new songs PLUS 3 early development recordings of songs from the first version of the album. This is cool. There's something about knowing what happens before that really interests me. I have a bunch of unreleased Taylor demo's from when she was 13 on my computer (I know, naughty oops) and at times these can be my favourite because they're so raw and literally just Taylor, her guitar and a voice recorder. I'm looking extra forward to this little bit gold. I also kind of reminds me of Taylor's debut album where they included things like 'Taylor's first phone call with Tim McGraw', home movies and the GAC short cuts.

A new addition to Taylors albums this era is going to be a set of collectible photo prints. Seeing as the album cover is a polaroid and Taylor loves polaroid cameras at the moment, there will be 1 of 5 sets of 13 photographs to collect. Now I know this is a very clever way to get you to buy more CD's but I never just buy one version of Taylor's albums anyways so this is very exciting. It's like each CD will be gifting me a new present each time. Mind you, I dare not look at how much these 'collectable' photo prints are going to sell on eBay for! Mine - even if I get doubles which I will because i'm the mots unlucky person in the world - will not end up on eBay.

Last but by no means least, for people who haven't met Taylor yet, she is introducing a competition (of sorts) called the '1989 SwiftStakes' where 1,989 opportunities will be given away to meet Taylor in various scenario's. This could be in the form of at shows or at meet and greets, it's unsure how exactly things are going to take place, but as we've learnt from tonight and over the past 8 years Taylor is an incredibly creative person and loves her fans so the Sweep Stakes could be life changing. But as much as I would love to meet Taylor again, I won't be entering the Swift Stakes because I want others to have the chance (plus like I said, i'm super unlucky) however i'm wishing all of you whose biggest hopes and dreams are for a Taylor hug (trust me they're the best) the best of luck.

Love always,

P.S. 'Shake it Off' is available from iTunes right now for 79p. Or you can pre-order album for £11.99 and get the single as a free instant download. You can also view the music video on Vevo or YouTube as of this very second. 69 days till the album drops! Hmm, do you think she did that on purpose?

16 August 2014

If you read my past post 'Let's get Personal' then you'll know that number 5 of my 13 point list of fun facts about me was:

"5. I'm a big Taylor Swift fan and have seen her live 7 times."

Now you could have taken that in the "fan girl alert!!!" term of things or you may have taken it in the way I actually feel: its honesty. To me Taylor is a huge inspiration, correct I do love her music, I do follow her on Instagram and Twitter and I do have a picture of her on my wall in my bedroom but there are other things that I love about Taylor that the 'fan girling' term just does not cut.

Taylor has a way with words. Need I really say much more?

There is just something about the way she writes that has me 100% on board, understanding and feeling exactly what she felt when she wrote those words the first time. Her music yes, is the best example of this. But (with a little internet trolling) you'll start to find things that make you realise there's more to Taylor than the catchy pop beat of 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together'.

I first heard of Taylor's music, I think in 2006, the summer before her second album 'Fearless' dropped (note point 10 of my last post). At that point I was in the midst of my High School drama's and related to Taylor's music in ways which I didn't really think was possible in a time where you honestly believe you're all on your own. Since then I have grown up alongside Taylor and her music and it feels as if she's always there telling me "we're in this together" like the best friend I never had. It's the way that she can take a scenario like breaking up with someone and turn it into a lyrical masterpiece that is far beyond my literate capabilities. Take Dear John or Back to December for example, Taylor has taken a emotion or event that most people go through in their lives, some more than once and turned it into something that actually makes you feel better about the whole situation. Does that make sense? I'm trying my best to say this in a way that will make sense to more than just myself when I read this back in couple months times.

Anyway, what I was trying to get at is that it doesn't stop there either. Taylor recently wrote an article for 'The Wall Street Journal' (You can read it here.) Which admitedly is the reason i'm sat here writing this now. The article titled 'The Future of Music is a Love Story' is all about the impact of the 21st century on the music industry. There are things that Taylor touches upon where I was just like "oh yeah, I hadn't even realised" or "Yep, you got that spot on" which makes me think more about how Taylor's way of writing is impeccable and way beyond her years. It's really quite hard to explain in a a way that will make sense out side of my jumbled head so I guess you should just go read the article for yourself (if you haven't already.) If you're not a Taylor Swift fan, then it's more important for you to read the article because I feel you'll learn so much about yourself as well as Taylor.

Sorry but not sorry for the ridiculously long post, but sometimes things just need to be said.

Love always,

13 August 2014

The schools in and around England are all on summer vacation and most people are preparing to jet off to somewhere hot and exotic. Myself on the other hand has been on summer break for the past 2 months so finding things to keep me occupied has been difficult. Aside from blogging and working super hard at my part time job (harhar), all I have been doing is reading an awful lot of books. Well a lot more than I normally would read. So this Wednesday I thought i'd bring to you 5 books which I think are perfect for your summer holidays...

We Were Liars - E.Lockhart

I found out about this book after watching the Essie Button's video 'Easy Reads with Booksandquills' on YouTube. The book is about a girl called Cadence whose family is rich, blonde and perfect. The family come together every summer on her grandfathers private island, but one year something goes horribly wrong and on Cadence's return to the island the following year she is left to try and figure out what happened.

The Perks of being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

I was pretty late on the band wagon with this book and seeing as the movie came out not too long ago, I thought i'd pick it up and give it a go. My book of choice is normally a 100% cheesy romance novel told in 1st person so this book was a welcome break. Charlie is just starting high school and finds it difficult to make friends before he is taken aboard by brother and sister seniors who introduce him to a larger different world. The book has a much deeper meaning and stronger emotion than any other book i've read previously but also connects with you on a more personal level.

Love Letters to the Dead - Ava Dellaira

This book popped up into my Amazon suggestions and after months of looking at the promo pictures I took the plunge and bought a book i'd never heard of before with little reviews. And am I glad I did. It is about freshman Laurel, who like Charlie from 'Perks of being a Wallflower' struggles to interact with other people her age after her older sister dies. On the first day of school, Laurel is set an assignment to write a letter to a dead person, which soon turns into a year long project in accepting things she can't change and opening up to people who want to love her.

The Fault in our Stars - John Green

I thought long and hard about whether to include this book. It is as the peak of it's hype at the moment as the film version has extended it's cinema viewings in order to let more see it before it's ripped from scheduling. But, if it took me this long to read it then there will still be someone else who needs convincing. Hazel is a kid with cancer and doesn't have much ambition to make anything or her life since diagnosis of being terminal. But things look up when Augustus shows up on the scene.

Across the Universe - Beth Revis

I am definitely not someone to pick up a sic-fi novel and enjoy it but this book changes things. Amy is on a 300 year long journey to a new planet when she is woken up early and forced to live life without her parents on board a ship of people who don't understand her and want her parents dead. The book is an interesting combination of friendship, romance and mystery which really makes you think about life in a light hearted fashion.

If you're looking for a book to read this summer then I hope I have helped you to find something you like.

Love always,

11 August 2014

Last night was the 2014 Teen Choice Awards due to the time difference, I spent my morning catching up on some of the nights blue carpet styles. I think if I had to choose one, the Teen Choice awards would be one of my favourites because of it's informality. The celebrities that attend have a chance to 'let their hair down' so to speak and be a bit more fun with their style themselves. I mean don't get me wrong, I love pretty ball gowns that make you look like a princess but the less conservative look is a welcome uniqueness in the award show world. So, I thought I would share with you some of my favourite looks of the evening...

It's summer and what is more fun that crop tops and co-ordinating bottoms? Not really anything to be honest. At the moment crops and co-ords are my favourite summer staple so it would wrong in every way not to bring up Nina Dobrev and Taylor Swift's beautiful ensembles. Nina's paint like patterned outfit is the sort of thing i'd be proud to wear to a party, it makes her look stylish but sassy al together. Whilst on the other end of the spectrum, Taylor's outfit is super classy but that flash of midriff skin offered through the crop brings it back down from that formal level it would otherwise be. And the yellow shoes, she knows what she's doing here!

On the other hand, a pretty dress has been and always will be my favourite thing to wear, ever. The way that a classic scater dress can make me feel girly and beautiful is something I really like and last night Bella Thorne and Katherine McNamara really shone for me. They took two dresses, completely different in every way but managed to make them look fun and feminine. Bold colours and big prints are at the forefront of fashion at the moment and both girls have styled them in a way that is perfect for the atmosphere of the Teen Choice Awards.

Did you watch the Teen Choice Awards last night? Was there anyone else who's style really stood out for you? Lea Michelle's outfit was pretty too.

Love always,

9 August 2014

When it comes to hair care I know my stuff, or like to think I do anyway. I have wanted to have long hair for years than I can even remember and whilst i'm still trying to get it to a length i'm happy with, I have built up a routine of things to help my hair along the way.

1. Water

Probably the most important thing, hair like the rest of your body needs to stay hydrated in order to grow and replace damaged cells. If you're not drinking enough water you will notice your hair become dry, brittle and as a result break more easy. It's something that is so simple to introduce into your hair diet if it isn't already and it will benefit more than just your hair too, so win win right?!

2. Balanced Diet

I am most probably the worst example of a balanced diet. When I am at home I get very distracted by the cupboards full of chocolate, crisps and fast food. But since I have started staying at my boyfriends more often, eating more regularly and healthier I have noticed a huge difference in the state of my hair. It's getting more of those essential vitamins that it needed to be healthy and grow. I think I read somewhere a while ago that raspberries and blue berries are good for your hair. Another option would be to start taking vitamin supplements, which provide you with the vitamins you need daily in order to have a healthier body altogether. Obviously these shouldn't be used as your diet, just a supplement towards it.

3. Regular trims

I know when you read that titled you will all start screaming inside, but having your hair trimmed every 6 weeks doesn't mean cutting off all of the length or shelling out for a new style all together. I have bought my own pair of hairdressing scissors which I use to cut 5-10mm or so off every six weeks. I then go to the hairdressers every 6 months to tidy up my style. Now I have just below my shoulder and is all one length so trimming it myself in front of a mirror is super easy. I wouldn't recommend it if you hairstyle is a little more adventurous than mine if you're not a professional because things could go very wrong.

4. Avoid brushing wet hair

When your hair is wet, it is much more fragile than when it is dry so  avoiding brushing your hair straight from the shower can be the key to luscious long locks. If you have straight or wave hair this should be a doddle for you because you could leave your hair to dry naturally before brushing it out tangle free. But for anyone with even slight curls or thinner locks, brushing is a necessity to avoid a untagleable birds nest once dry. If this is you I would suggest getting hold of a wide toothed comb or natural bristled brush that will detangle without pulling your to pieces.

7. Save up for a good hairbrush

Since spending a little extra on a brush with natural bristles I have noticed the world of difference in hair shedding. Before I was getting so much shedding because the brush was cheap, plastic and generally just pulled my hair out. Now I have invested in something that had a little bit more thought into it before it was sent to be mass manufactured and glides through my hair strands and detangling. Definitely one of my top points to helping out your hair.

5. Brush from the ends up

I know this sounds bonkers but i'm not telling you to start back combing daily. The idea is to take small sections of your hair, say about 4 inches from the end and brush. As the starts brush starts to glide more freely through the hair start from higher up the hair until you get the the roots. This way you are tackling the tangles and knots one by one instead of brushing them all in together.

6. Say no to heat, but not all of it...

Probably the most obvious tip. Heat in most cases is bad for hair as it damages the folicles so blow drying, straightening and curling your hair should be at an absolute minimum to enable healthy hair. However in some cases heat does more good than bad. For instance if you are looking to grow your hair a warm (not hot) shower is good because it stimulates the scalp, a cold shower on the other hand would stunt growth.

8. Have a good massage

Like I mentioned before stimulation to the scalp is good as it brings blood to the surface providing a better environment for healthy hair and hair growth. You can do this yourself by purchasing a head massager which can be as cheap as £1 in pound stores or even Tiger. Or you could rope your other half into to doing it for you, I prefer that option to be honest.

9. Oil is good

Washing your hair everyday is bad as it washes out the natural oils in the hair which aid in healthy hair. During this summer, challenge yourself to leave your hair unwashed for as long as possible. You'll notice after leaving it for longer than normal just once that it lasts longer before it gets greasy the next time. Washing your hair every other day is 10x better than washing it every day.

My favourite products to use on my hair post shower are all oils as well as they are the most natural and provide the best benefits to my hair care regime. If you saw my Argon Oil review here, then you'll already know about how much Argon Oil has helped my hair over the past year, but other alternatives are Coconut Oil and Shea Butter.

I know this has been quite a long post, I did try cutting it down a few times but I didn't want to take out information that would be really useful to you. So if you managed to read it all or just skimmed through to get the jist of things, I hope you liked it and it helped you gain a more fluid idea on how to get healthier hair.

Love always,

7 August 2014

Going to the cinema is without a doubt one of my top 5 favourite past times and i've come to realise that this time of year is the best time to go. Last night I went to go see 'Guardians of the Galaxy' with George and a couple of friends (which by the way is a must see this summer.) Guardians of the Galaxy has only been out about a week so far and is already rated as one of the best movies of the summer alongside 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' and and the cinema was practically empty. You have the pick of pretty much any seat you want, which is great if like us you were put behind someone ridiculously tall.

Whats more is there is so much on offer at the cinema at the moment, 'Guardians of the Galaxy', 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' plus other eagerly awaited titles such as 'The Purge: Anarchy', '22 Jump Street', 'The Inbetweeners 2', 'How to train your dragon 2' and 'Hercules.' There are also titles such as 'The Giver' (Taylor, Taylor, Taylor) and 'Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles' which are due to drop later this summer as well.

If like me all these movies are on your must see list then things could get really rather expensive, especially if you add popcorn and drinks into the equation which you have to, got to get that full cinema experience of course. But there are money saving options, if you are a student most cinema's will offer you money off you ticket prices. My local cinema also offers a reward scheme where if you see 9 movies you can see you 10th for free. They also do reduced ticket prices before 5pm on a Monday so it's definitely worth finding out about in house deals that your local offers. In addition to this if you are on EE, T-Mobile or Orange then don't forget 241 cinema tickets on Wednesdays which you can use alongside student discounts and cinema reward schemes. I make sure I take advantage of whatever discounts I can get, particularly on the 3D movies which seem to cost 10x more than normal tickets.

If you're planning on going to the cinema soon then let me know what you're going to see. If you've been to see any of the movies I have mentioned i'd love to hear what you thought!

Love always,

4 August 2014

I am a massive Taylor Swift fan. Full stop, no more need be said.

I don't know whether I've declared that on my blog yet, but with some of the posts I have planned for you over the next few weeks you're sure to soon realise the sincerity of that sentence! I also don't know whether i've told you this either, I mean why would I? But i'm turning 22 in little under 4 months time and if you're incredibly on the ball (or read the title of this post) then you might be able to guess what i'm to say next...


Yes that just happened. But really, what better could a Swiftie as big as I do than throw an extravagant Taylor themed 22nd birthday party where '22' is on repeat all night! Nothing. Nothing. I'm pretty sure I would be committing at least 50 different Swiftie sins if I didn't go through with this. Which is why I am, I'm not keen on going to a hell where i'm forced to listen to anything but Taylor for eternity.

So over the next 4 months as a bi-weekly segment on my blog I thought I would update you on my plans and progress towards my 22nd shindig where we are going to be dressing up like hipsters and making fun of our ex's!

Let me know in the comments or on Twitter if you have any cool idea's on how you think I could incorporate Taylor into my party. I want my guests to leave daydreaming about cute cats and singing about things they are never, ever ever going to do again.

Love always,

2 August 2014

Being sun kissed in the summer isn't easy if you live in England and don't get to jet set across the world all the time. Whilst the weather here has been super hot and dreamt lately, if you work a lot chances are you haven't really seen much of it, so how are you meant to get that glowing tan that everyone fantasises about. You've got 3 options:

1. UV Sun Beds
2. Fake Tan
3. Gradual self tanner

Whilst lying on a sun bed under a UV light and fake tanning are the faster of the available options they're not as risk free as the third option. I've not tried 'tan in a bottle' before but the idea of the streaky legs and orange palms that my friends showed off, is just not for me. Which is where the 'Dove - Summer Glow, nourishing body lotion' comes in.

It's a gradual tanner that actually does what it says on the bottle. Now in my desperation not to use instant tanners like St Tropez has meant that I have tried my fair share of gradual tanners that haven't been exactly truthful to their words. Which is why I was so excited when I found Dove's attempt.

The gradual tanner comes in two shades 'Fair to Medium' and 'Medium to Dark'. I tried the fair to medium one first last year which gave me a beautiful glow to my skin. I have more of a sheer tan to my skin naturally so it was probably to weak to give my skin a definite colour change but the glow I got was really nice and would be perfect for a year round body moisturiser.

The medium to dark version i've been using recently however has really made a difference to the colouring on my skin. It's very gradual so doesn't look as thought i've changed race over night and gives of a very natural colouring rather than the orange you get from many instate tanners.

If you're looking for a fool proof, not hassle tan then this product is the one for you!

Love always,