30 May 2015


May has been a weird month, i’ve spent the majority of the month make-up less, hair in a top knot, wearing clothes I normally wouldn’t be seen dead in. There has been many sleepless nights for my final hand in and many tiring days setting up my final exhibition at Uni and I think my favourites this month are really going to represent that!

Primark Sports Bra

I bought this teal sports bra from Primark but never in a million years would I wear it as a sports bra, it’s just not supportive/shock absorbing enough. However, I have pretty much lived in it this month as a comfy alternative to my everyday t-shirt bra. It’s got this inch thick elastic band just under the bust which alongside the racer back straps gives the same support as my normal bra’s just without the discomfort of a wire!

Handy Gurugu - Lush

I mentioned this in my February Favourites, I think. There has been so much building, sanding, painting and constructing for the degree show exhibition that my hands bared the entire brunt of it. I decanted some of this into a little pot and took it around with my in the back packot of my jeans and probably applied it on the hour every hour for a good two weeks solid this month.

Urban Decay - Naked 2

I ran out of my favourite eye pencil very early in the month and haven’t been able to purchase a new one because i’ve been so busy and low on cash. ‘Tease’ from the Naked 2 palette is my perfect eyebrow shade and the flat applicator on the double ended brush is great for getting the right shade. Because i’ve had the palette out for my eyebrows all month, i’ve rekindled my love for it and used pretty much every shade on my lids this months too!

Liz Earle - Instant Boost Skin Tonic

Like I mentioned, there have been countless sleepless nights whether they be tactical productivity measures or kept up from worry and panic about deadlines and grades. But in the morning when my face looked like i’d had all the life sucked out of me, this toner was what put it back! It’s called instant boost for a reason and that is something I appreciate when i’m tired, emotional and have 5 minutes before I need to be out of the door.

Nars - Creamy Concealer

For the days when the instant boost wasn't quite enough this concealer was perfect for covering those dark under eye circles making me look like a radiant goddess who's got everything together. For normal everyday makeup this product might be too heavy for some but it's a miracle worker when you've had less than the recommended sleep intake.

May has been a tough one, I start my job full time on June 2nd so I can imagine the tiredness isn't going to improve greatly until my body adjusts to the changes but i'm looking forward to it.

Love always,
Melissa


27 May 2015


I recently signed up to a gym with the intention to get fit, healthy and combat my constant need to sleep all of the time. In the past i’ve tried exercising from home and never really been dedicated enough to stick to a routine, signing up and actually investing in my fitness is hopefully the push I need. Either that or i'm throwing £20 in the toilet each month!

So going to the gym requires gym acceptable clothing, to which I have the pair of trainers I wore for P.E. in high school 6 years ago and the sports bra I bought this time last year when I decided to get fit then too. I was in dire need some gym wear that was going to push me to step into the gym but not drain my bank account baring in mind this might be just another whim. So I headed over to trusty old Primark.

Currently, Primark has the most exciting range of gym stuff available at the moment. A wall of coral, teals and peachy tops with matching bottoms and socks! Where could I go wrong, even the sound of it sounds like a summery fitness dream!

I picked up two tops, a simple grey cami for £8 and teal crop top £6. Now I know what your thinking, I was a little skeptical of the grey at first too, no one wants sweat patches but the material is quick dry and I’ve had no problems so far. I also picked up and pair of black shorts for £4, I started my gym kick in leggings and my oh my did it get sweaty up on that elliptical, grabbing these shorts were a blessing. I purchased two packs of trainer socks, they come three pairs in one pack for £2, bargain. And finally a small towel for £2.50. All of that for under £25!

If like me you want to give exercising a go but don’t have the appropriate clothing then Primark is definitely your place to go. I'm not going to lie, I have been eyeing up a pair of Nike Pro leggings to go with the Nike Run trainers I have permanently burning a hole in my online shopping basket but I think i’ll give them a miss until I know this isn’t just another phase.

Let me know if you have any great (budget friendly) places to shop for gym attire or have any tips for staying motivated when exercising. I need all the help I can get!

Love always,
Melissa


23 May 2015


Ok, I have to say this first off, I have never had Gel Nails because of how time consuming it is to do but the results are beautiful. I always find myself complimenting customers on their nails at work and 9/10 times they have Gel nails. So when I heard about this so called, Gel Nail dupe I had to give it a go.

Barry M have just this month released their 'Daylight Curing' range. The idea is, you apply two coats of the daylight curing nail polish followed by the top coat from the same range, the polish then naturally cures in daylight. The nail varnish is advertised to give high shine and the durability of gel nails just without the expense.


The polish is shiny that's for sure but I have achieved similar results from a normal top coat, the durability however was what I was most interested in. I work a lot with my hands; typing for this blog, at university making art and at work merchandising etc. My nails take an awful lot of battering, it's often not worth wearing nail polish because it's chipped and looking awful in just hours. However, I applied this nail polish on Friday afternoon and it lasted an entire weekend at work, plus a solid 3 days of exhibition building at Uni. I only took it off on Thursday to apply a fresh coat for the fancy Degree Show party I was going to that night. I wish I had thought to take a picture because there was very few chips, i'm talking one or two over all 10 fingernails. Amazing. I'm so impressed.

The only downside is the range of colours available, they are beautiful don't get me wrong, very bold and strong but not hugely summer oriented which is a shame. The peachy/coral shade 'Peach for the stars' and the teal shade 'Way You Make Me Teal' are most versatile for summer but the rest are deep fuchsia, red and navy shades. Just a little too dark for me this season. I picked up the shade 'Do It Like a Nude' which is a beautiful muted pink, it did take 3 coats to get a completely opaque coverage but I am assured by friends who are also in love with this collection that they didn't have that problem. Must just be me or a dud bottle.

I think this is a great a alternative for those of you who want to try/love gel nails but don't quite have the time for them. Or even if your like me and love having your nails painted but hate having to do them, this polish increases the time in between re-painting which is great. Perfect nails for longer!

Love always,
Melissa


20 May 2015


I don't know whether you guys remember, but a couple of weeks ago I did a review on how much I loved the Vitamin C Serum by Oz Naturals. Since then they've gotten back in touch and to know whether I'd like to try another product of theirs. Needless to say I jumped at the chance after being so over the moon with the results of the previous serum.

This time around it was the Hyaluronic Acid Serum with Vitamin C. Let's take two steps back for a moment, if like me when you read the word acid your heart dropped. No way was I going to put something on my body, let alone on my face which could potentially do so much harm. However after a lot of research, i'm talking days and days, I came to realise that it could only do more good than bad. 

Hyaluronic Acid is a natural, gel-like liquid that can actually be found in between the joints in our bodies. Hence why Oz Naturals are sporting it in their collection, it's 100% natural from the body. According to my research it, similarly to the Vitamin C Serum, is great for scars and wrinkles with the additional benefit that it doubles as a hydrating moisturiser. 

Like I said in my last review, I'm only 22 so wrinkles isn't something i'm paying to much attention to but it's great to have something in my skincare regime that targets ageing just in case. As a precautionary measure. I also have a scar on my forehead, smack bam in the middle. I'm not particularly bothered by the scar but to have it gone from my face would be amazing. 

I've been using the Serum straight after applying Toner in the morning as per the instructions on the bottle. I don't need to add moisturiser afterwards because of its incredible hydrating properties which makes it a great primer for make-up too. 

For now however, I don't think i'll continue to use the serum on a daily basis. It's qualities were very similar to the VitC Serum in regards to the results that I got. I preferred the formula of the Vitamin C Serum over the Hyaluronic one because of ease of use.

Have any of you tried the Oz Naturals collection since I posted my first review? I'm so impressed by their products but their customer service is some of the best i've encountered also. I highly recommend you give them a second next time you're looking to update your skin care regime, they're a staple in mine. If you do, you can pick up both serums on Amazon here

Love always,
Melissa



*Sponsored Post

16 May 2015


The last time I did a lush haul I told you all about how I don't have a bath so have to base my purchases around shower related items however in the comments (and on twitter) you were all so adamant I had to give them a go regardless. So I made it happen.

I picked up the Butterball which seems to be a favourite here on the blogosphere, it aims to rejuvenate the skin adding moisture to make yourself feel soft as a kitten. I haven't pictured it because I was too impatient and have used it already but I cannot wait to go shopping again and pick myself up another! It was so relaxing and made even the water of the bath so, so soft. Honestly was the best experience after a stressful day at work! 

I also bought Avobath which smells absolutely divine; sweet and sour which I love. I currently have it stored in the cupboard above the sink and even though it's locked away, it has managed to make the room and everything in it smell just as beautiful as the bomb itself. I also got the Pearl massage bar which also is supposed to be really hydrating for the skin, I can't wait to use it but it looks like a piece of art so I don't know whether I ever will. 

Next on my Lush wish list are the King of Skin butter bar, Space Girl bath bomb and another Butterball, obviously! What are your favourite lush products? I am officially addicted to the bath bombs and it's all your fault. haha. 

Love always,
Melissa


13 May 2015


So after a stressful week and a gruelling all nighter, on Monday I handed in my final piece of graded work for my degree. I'm officially completely done. I just have my exhibition and graduation left and then i'm no longer a practicing artist but a professional one instead. Daunting thought, that's for sure.

I wrote to you all a couple weeks ago, I think (I can't remember if I had the courage to post it) about how scary it is to finally after 18 years of being in education to be on my own in the big, wide world. I've been offered a full time job with promotion at the place I currently work at which is great because i'm going to be earning a living but i'm scared i'm going to get comfortable and stuck there.

On the other side of the spectrum, being a freelance artist is going to be hard. I want to work for myself, I want to create work that is 100% from my own brain not created from a brief someone else designed. I want to do that all whilst talking with you and telling you all how it's going. I've never been one for keeping a diary, diaries are for secrets and I prefer sharing when something super exciting, or mind-blowingly crazy or unfortunately sad happens.

I think what i'm trying to say is, I don't want to grow up. Despite not enjoying my university experience, I want to live it over and over again. I was pushed into pursuing mediums of art that were motivating and enticing to me, effectively creating for myself. All the while writing on here in my spare time and that was amazing.

Things aren't going to change, my regular scheduling will resume with immediate effect (Wednesday's and Saturday's). I will also continue to create art and pursue a professional career but it's going to have to take a back seat for a while whilst I secure myself a steady living lifestyle out of education. That means, earning a living, paying taxes and all the other adult things that come along with that. It's kind of overwhelming but exciting at the same time.

Here's to the future, growing up and all the scary exciting things to come. Are there any changes in your life that you're unsure, overwhelmed or ecstatically happy about? I love hearing your stories too!

Love always,
Melissa


2 May 2015


I bought some semi expensive sunglasses last year from & Other Stories. I love them. But unfortunately the bit that goes over the bridge of the nose is made from a metal that i'm allergic two. I've tried all sorts of things to combat the irritation it causes, such as clear nail varnish and tape but to no avail. And after the last two weeks of straight sun, I had to bite the bullet and by a pair of sunglasses that were going to last.

I have wanted a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers for the longest time but as a student £120+ for a pair of sunglasses just seemed a bit ridiculous. And not to mention that everyone under the sun and their dog has a pair of Wayfarers these days. So instead I picked up what I think is a new design to 2015, they are the Ray Ban Erika's.

Mine a a frosted brown tortoise shell but they come in all sorts of colours, I was torn between these and the charcoal/navy looking ones. They're fairly rounded and are a subtle cat eye shape which I think suits my small face the best. And they were only £98 which for Ray Bans, I thought was a bargain.

What do you think? Like true English weather the sun has since disappeared but i'm still wearing them everywhere. My inner Victoria Beckham is gleaming.

Love always,
Melissa

P.S. I hope you think i'm 'gangsta' from the title. ha.