30 September 2015


Tk Maxx is probably my all time favourite store, everything is such good value for money and it's all brands that you otherwise wouldn't be able to afford. Which is great, if like me, you're gearing up ready to pay back your student loan but are a shopping addict.

Over the summer I found some absolute cracking bargains, including a pair of Kurt Geiger heels for £40 down from £120. So I thought I would share with you my most recent bargain purchases from TK Maxx...

Emma Hardie - Amazing Face Body Cleanser

Perusing the beauty aisle in TK Maxx is my favourite, so when I whipped around a corner and spotted this is was straight in my basket. I've only tried Emma Hardie products once before and with a fairly large price tag for skincare, there's really no surprise. But it'd never tried her body washes before. The smell is, beautiful, very typical of her products. I haven't yet used it as I was waiting to take these photo's but a review will be on it's way once I've had a good try. I picked this up for £9.99 (RRP £26)

Illamasqua - Nail Varnish


Illamasqua, like the Emma Hardie range can make quite a dent in your bank balance. I picked up two shades of nail polish in 'Raindrops' and 'Hemlock' for £3.99, which is an absolute steal considering the registered retail price is £14.50. 'Raindrops' is a pale, mutes blue with teeny, tiny white glitter and 'Hemlock' is a holographic pink shade. I've only tried 'Hemlock' so far, but I was so impressed with the durability. I didn't have time for a top coat and lasted 4-5 days before it chipped.

Yes to Grapefruit - Facial Wipes

I have been meaning to try these for so long but I just can't seem to face spending £3.99 on 25 face wipes when I could spend £1 on 50. These were on offer for £2.99, which understandably wasn't a huge difference, but at the time it clearly made the world of difference. Good jon there Melissa. Regardless though, I'm pretty chuffed I tried these. I struggle to find face wipes that can tackle my liquid liner and waterproof mascara but these did a pretty good job with very little efford on my side which meant I could spend longer on the following stages of my skincare routine!

Do you shop in TK Maxx? I know it sounds ridiculous but some of the bargains you cangrab in there are incredible. My local one is selling Michael Kors bags at the moment.

Love always,
Melissa


26 September 2015


September has been such a bizaar month, the feeling of not going back to school for the first time in my entire life was weird. The weather was horrible and I pretty much spent the entire month willing the tree's to turn orange and frost to sit on the window sill. And I reckon my favourites this month reflect that...


1. Tealight Candles

I wasn't ready to crack out the cinnamon and pumpkin spice candles just yet but this month was all about feeling cozy so I dig out a set of vanilla tea light candles from last autumn. They added that autumn atmosphere without the full on 'I live in a gingerbread' factory vibe.

2. KIKO Infinity Eyeshadow - 

I have a make-up look scheduled for mid-October ish, which is based off of this one eyeshadow shade! It's so beautiful, a burgandy plum shade which I think is perfect for the colder weather.

3. MAC 217

I'm sure I mentioned this in a favourites a couple months ago, but this brush is hands down my favourite makeup brush of all time. Bold statement, I know. But i'm sold. I've grown so much the past few months to love experimenting with my make-up (I'd never have worn that Kiko shade before) and the right brushes really help.

4. Stripes T's

I think my autumn staples this year are going to be striped t's and cute chelsea boots. Every time I do a little online browse or go window shopping on my lunch break I feel myself gravitating towards things with stripes and cute little Chelsea boots. I lived in this 3/4 sleeve, striped crop top from Brandy Melville this month.

5. Taylor Swift - Wonderstruck Enchanted Perfume

When I want to get in the autumn spirit this perfume paired with a listen to Taylor's RED album is all I need. It's got quite a subtle but spicy, woody smell with hints of vanilla, all my favourite things to get me excited for autumn.

6. Maybelline Colour Tattoo - Pink Pommegranate 

I mentioned in my favourites last month about my new found love for the Maybelline Colour Tattoo cream eyeshadows, and honestly nothing has changed. I've worn this shade just as much this month as I did last. The colour is really vibrant and works great as a base, I've been pairing it with the Kiko shadow I mentioned a lot. .

7. Throws

All I've spoken about in the post is being warm, cosy and feeling autumnal. And throws are the epitome of that. I've had a elephant printed, fleece one for a couple years and it doesn't leave my side for 6 months of the year. I picked up a new one early this month, which is so, so soft and like the last one, has spent every moment I've been at home with me.

Love always,
Melissa


23 September 2015


Back in May I wrote a post about Barry M's new nail polish release, their cheaper, less time-consuming dupe for Gel nails (you can read it here). The 'Like a Nude' shade was my summer staple for the entire of summer, it's not often I love something for that long. The only downfall to the range was that there were only 5 colours, most of which were a little lacklustre and just not that great for Summer. But just last week, Barry M tweeted about 4 new shades joining the Sunset range for Autumn. And I love all of them.

They're very fall tones, red-y browns and plummy purples. These are my sort of shades and were pretty much my go to shades up until 'Like a nude' came out. It's as if the range was designed specifically for me. Thanks, Barry M. haha.


'Vengence is Wine' is a deep purple with much more red and brown tones to it. This colour is autumn in a nutshell for me.

'Dark side of the shroom' is the lightest of shades which I picked up, it's a nutty, dirty pink. If you're not normally a person for pink, I definitely think you should try this out. It has lilac tones in it making it borderline purple but it's really pink.

'Plum on Baby', I have this shade on now. I think it may be my favourite but I'm yet to try the others so who knows. It's the richest purple of the set, still very dark but so, so beautiful.

'Do you pink I'm sexy'. I didn't pick up this shade, I'm not much of a pink person and don't reckon I'll get much wear out of this shade, especially when the 3 other new shades are right up my street! But I love this range so much I reckon I'll pick it up eventually, spring maybe?

Have you seen the new Sunset shades yet? If not I recommend heading down to your local boots pronto, you can't get more autumnal shades that this. Unless maybe a rusty orange but I probably wouldn't wear that on my nails anyway. Kudo's, Barry M. Kudo's.

Love always,
Melissa


19 September 2015


I've mentioned a few times in the past when I've been travelling, how much I love palettes that can be used for more than one thing. It's a great way to travel light but it's an even better way to maintaining a healthy makeup addiction, if that's possible! So I thought I'd share with you a bunch of great palettes that could be used for more than their original purpose...

Naked Flushed

I talked about this palette back in my February Favourites whilst I was in Thailand (you can see the post here). The palette consists of a bronzer, blush and highlighter, which is multifunctional in its own right. But that's the way it was designed, so nothing special. I use the highlight all the time as an eye shadow; it's a pretty, sparkly pink which looks great as an all over base, on the inner corner or even as a highlight to the brow bone. I also occasionally use the bronzer to as a crease shade but it could also be used to fill in your eyebrows, understandably this won't work on everyone but it's a great tip to try if you have warmer tones in your hair!

Naked Basics

This palette is the ultimate everyday travel palette. It's designed for eyeshadow but I use the shade 'Frisk' and 'Cover' for my eyebrows every day! 'Undone' is a great shade for a dark smokey eyeliner and 'Skimp' for any sort of highlighting you need to do all over the face. This palette is not as 'one look' versatile as the Flushed palette but it still does more than what you pay for which is 'a-ok' in my books!

Naked 3

This is probably my least favourite Naked palette out of the 4 available, don't get me wrong the shades are beautiful and pigmentation is so strong just like the other palettes but the colours just aren't really me. I am in love with the rose gold trend, but I look better in warmer, earthy tones so the palettes not great for me. However, it's probably the one I use the most. I've used 'Strange' as a highlight before and I even used 'Dust' as a super subtle, transitional blush and highlight once, when I was really in a rush to get out of the door. 'Nooner' is a great eyeshadow shades for dark headed brunettes, and 'Factory' 'Darkside' and 'Blackheart' are all great eyeliner shades! You could probably even use 'Burnout as an autumn blush if you're really careful and don't mind the small pans. Granted, though, this isn't the most travel-friendly palette but if you like to get more for your money then you should give this a go.

Maybe I do this because I'm lazy but who wants to spend and extra 5 minutes in the morning sifting through the make-up drawer when you could grab one palette and be done. An extra 5 minutes in bed, yes please. Have you ever done this before? If so let me know what palettes you've used and what for, I'm definitely a palette hoarder, especially when it comes to eyeshadow so if I can convince myself that I'm getting more for my money then I'm totally going to jump on that train!

Love always,
Melissa


16 September 2015


I've spent a lot of time researching who I should do my style icon post on this month. I really wanted someone who was really great at making casual wear look high fashion. With the fact most people are either back at school or working and the weather getting much colder, the idea of styling yourself and making an effort is so much harder than it is in the summer. Especially when it's colder and you want to be warm. So for this month, I picked Emma Stone. Honestly, I was browsing some of her candids on Google images and just knew she was perfect. She is great at dressing up casual jeans with staples such as jumpers with peter pan collars, oxfords or an oversized jacket and scarf. She's definitely going to be one to watch over the coming months, and will most certainly be influencing my style this Autumn.


1. Premium Wool Longline Coat - $188

Longline coats are so on trend at the moment, they're flattering on all body types and turn any outfit from slouchy to street casual. They're a great asset to any wardrobe to take an outfit from day to night too. I bought a beautiful cream longline jacket in the Zara sale and I receive so many compliments every time I wear it.

2. Dr Denim Mom Jeans - £29

I've never been much of a fan of the boyfriend/baggy jean trend. However, Emma Stone wears them a lot and always makes them look so flattering. Maybe I haven't much liked them because I have a very straight up and down frame and they wouldn't do much for my figure but with this outfit they look so great. Perfect for autumn.

3. Daisy Street Loafers - £19.99

I love these. Unlike boyfriend jeans, I have always been a huge fan of loafers and moccasins. Nude shoes are great because they brighten up dark outfits and transform an outfit which would otherwise look a little bland.

4. Dip Hem Roll Neck Jumper - £11

Roll neck jumpers are so cosy and warm, I'm so glad they've come back into fashion. Grey is a great go-to colour because it's easy to style but not as dark as black. I love the speckled grey trend and you can find it in pretty much anything, but this jumper is such a bargain.

Honestly, I can't believe I hadn't stumbled upon Emma's style sooner. She's so great at making casual, everyday clothing items look 100% on trend, something I struggle with daily. What do you think?

Love always,
Melissa


12 September 2015


I remember being in high school and sifting through my Mums nail polish collection to find a natural colour that wouldn't get me detention. It was quite the weekly struggle. So to end my 'Back to School' fortnight, I thought I'd share with you my favourite natural nails that shouldn't get you in trouble when you're back in the classroom.

Ciate - Amazing Gracie

Ciate, are probably runners up for my favourite nail polish brand. The packaging is cute and minimalistic, the brush is great if you want to do your nails in a hurry and the array of colors to choose from is pretty spectacular. Amazing Gracie probably being my favourite light nude! It's a very light shade with a subtle hint of baby pink and sparkle. Because it's so light, I'd say it's a more daring option or for schools which are a little bit more relaxed where nail varnish is concerned.

Rimmel London - Caramel Cupcake

Definitely the darkest of the shades that I've picked. Caramel Cupcake would look great if you have darker, naturally tanned skin. It's a muted, dark nude pink which will be great going into the autumnal months and through Christmas.

Formula X - Strengthening Top Coat

If you go to a school that's pretty strict then a clear nail varnish is probably the safest option. But being safe never has to be boring, try picking a clear varnish that can benefit your nails whilst you have it on. If you have brittle or weak nails try a strengthening one, for dry nails try something a little more hydrating. What's more is clear varnishes always make your nails look super shiny, who doesn't want shiny nails!

Barry M Daylight Curing - Like A Nude

You know I love this one, I've written a review about it and posted swatch photo's on Instagram so many times. The Sunset Nail Curing range is incredible, lasts a solid 7 days without chipping which is perfect for school, you don't want chipped polish giving you away! This colour is great too, it's a fairly light nude but not so white that it's obviously nail colour, does that make sense?

Ciate - Ivory Queen

I said Ciate are one of my favourite brands, hence why I've popped them in here twice! Ivory Queen, ironically, is a darker shade to Amazing Gracie. It is much pinkier and probably the most natural shade on this list.

Over the summer, nude nails were my favourite, they're easy to style and look beautiful. Honestly I'm a little jealous that you're heading back to school and have an excuse for a pretty nude nail. I've got nothing stopping me going into the deep purples and black now that the weather is much colder.

Love always,
Melissa



9 September 2015


I understand what it's like to have to do something that you don't want to do and whilst you might not believe it at the moment, you make some of the best memories whilst at school. I also understand it's hard to stay patient and motivated in school when the times are exactly the best that you've been promised. So as part of my back to school fortnight, I wanted to put together a bunch of tips to help you stay motivated and see the bigger picture...

Values

Knowing why you are at school is important to make the most of your time there. Don't get me wrong, when you're told you have to be somewhere every day for 10 years of your life, the will to make the most of it isn't strong for most people. It wasn't for me. But as soon as I realised that if I didn't get focus on school then in half a decade or so I'd be in a job I hated even more than school.

Get a good night's sleep

Getting up at 7 am on a Monday morning when you've slept in until 11 over the weekend is hard. But it's not as hard if you've rested you body. Giving into the 7 am alarm when you went to bed at 10 pm the night before is much easier than if you stayed up that extra hour chatting to your friends on Facebook. I learnt that the hard way.

Work then play

Getting home from a long day at school, all you want to do is lounge in front of the telly. But then suddenly it's 10 pm and you have an essay due first thing the next morning. I found in school, that if I did my homework as soon as I got home, the work was still fresh in my brain from the lesson earlier that day. It meant that I even finished my work faster than if I left it until later that evening giving me more time to myself afterwards.

Reward Yourself

See a movie, bake some cupcakes or just sit and play the Sims 4 for a while. Studying is important but so is getting in some 'me time'. You could even set up a reward system "For every 300 words of the essay I write, I will get 20 minutes of watching PLL on net flicks. Treat yourself like you were training a puppy, a treat for every achievement.

Discover your learning style

Whilst you can't control the way a lesson is taught to you, you can make notes and refresh your brain later on in a way that is best for you and knowing what type of learner you are helps this process. There are 3 types of learners; visual, tactile and audible. I'm a visual learner, meaning I respond best to images, pictures and creative ways of learning. This wasn't great in lessons like English and Science, but it meant I could go home and re-teach myself in a way that stuck.

Do you have any more tips for staying motivated? Whilst school isn't something I have to worry about anymore, staying motivated to job hunt and complete other tasks I don't particularly want to do is difficult. I hope you've like my 'Back to School' series so far, there's one more post left, stay tuned, it'll be up on Saturday at 7 am.

Love always,
Melissa


5 September 2015


I remember the first week of high school this girl coming up to my best friend and I and saying that the next 5 years were going to go by so fast and be the best 5 years of our lives. At the time, I laughed and carried on my day but looking back that random girl was so unbelievably right. In high school, you make some truly incredible friends and create some incredible memories. If I could go back in time and relive any point in my life so far, it would probably be to when I was 14.

Don't get me wrong, though, school was hard! People can be so mean, so can the teachers sometime too. You get into fights and scuff your knee's. You fail tests and argue with your parents about how much effort you put in. You fall deeply in love in the blink of an eye and then out of it just as fast.

And in all honestly, I think the main thing that got me through school in one piece was music. Music is always going to be something that is there for you when no one else is, or understands what your going through like no one else. So, I wanted to create a playlist that might help you at some point through your high school/college/university life.

For when it feels like no one is on your side...

Taylor Swift - Mean
Randy Newman - You've Got a Friend in Me
Taylor Swift - The Outside
Lion King - I Just Can't Wait to be King
Ed Sheeran - You Need Me, I Don't Need You

For when your heart is broken...

Taylor Swift - Fifteen
Wheatus - Teenage Dirtbag
All American Rejects - Gives You Hell
Kelly Clarkson - Because of You
Haim - Better Off

For when you're feeling low...

Sara Bareilles - Brave
Rachel Platten - Fight Song
Pink - Raise Your Glass
Olly Murs - I'm OK
Taylor Swift - Shake It Off

For when you've lost motivation...

Taylor Swift - Change
All time Low - Weightless
Daniel Bedingfield - Gotta Get Thru This
Destiny's Child - Survivor
Muse - Survival

For when it's all over...

Taylor Swift - Long Live
Avril Lavigne - Here's To Never Growing Up
Fall Out Boy - Thanks for the Memories
Katy Perry - Teenage Dream
Greenday - Good Riddance (Time of your life)

There is a song for every moment of your life and at the most desperate times can really help you along. I hope I've created a playlist that can help you in some way or another in the nect few years. I tried my best to get a good variety of music and not just fill it with Taylor Swift. Honestly though, there's a Taylor song for every emotion!

Love always,
Melissa


2 September 2015


I wish when I was 13, on my first day of school after the summer holidays, there was someone to tell me the things I would need in my school bag. And to tell me that the pink lip gloss with actual glitter in it wasn't a good look. Granted it was 2008 and that stuff wasn't long out of fashion but it just didn't look great!

So here's my guide to going back to school prepared...

Bobby Pins

No matter how perfect your hair is when you leave in the morning, it doesn't look like that come lunch time. But nothing can't be fixed with a good supply of bobby pins. TIP: tie them together with a spare hair band to keep them in one place!

Sure - Invisible Deodorant

I remember really vividly being 8, in the playground at lunchtime and giving a friend a hug to which she pulled away and said "eww, don't you use deodorant?" We were in the midst of summer and at the time I had no idea what that was, that it existed or what it was used for. I was 8! I'm sure the girl was just being mean because, kids are mean sometimes but it left a scar and deodorant became a holy grail item in my school bag from then on. I really like the Sure Invisible deodorant because, as the name states, it's invisible. White patches be gone.

Naked Basics Palette

I talk about this palette so much, in fact, theres a post coming in a couple weeks about it but we'll get on to that at a later date. This palette is perfect for midday touch ups; it's a natural makeup palette which is capable of doing a little bit of everything. If, like the school I went to, you're not allowed to wear makeup this palette is perfect for that 'I woke up like this' look, so long as you don't go overboard with the smokey eye!

Nail File

Nails break all the time and it's never when you're in a salon or at home with the nail clippers and fresh polish at the ready. Carrying a nail file around with me, is something I always forget but there is hope for you! Be nail file ready for whenever a catastrophe may prevent itself.

Rimmel - Stay Matte Powder

School is a long day, don't let anyone tell you it's not. There are people who complain about having to work fewer hours than you are at school for. You need to be prepared, and I would recommend this powder ten fold. The translucent one is great so there's no chance of turning your face an unnatural colour and tipping your teachers off to your makeup wearing rebellion. Plus it sets your foundation to stay!

Maybelline - Eye Erase Concealer 

Chances are, as much as you tell yourself that you're going to do your homework when you get it or you're going to have an early bedtime, you won't. If you do, honestly I commend you but more often than not life happens and before you know it, it's 11:30 pm and that English Lit essay due the following morning still hasn't been done. For those times, this concealer is a must have makeup bag necessity! As the name suggests, it erases those awful under eye circles and makes it look like you've had enough sleep for a thousand years.

So there you have it, the absolute essential makeup bag items that you can't start your school year without! Let me know if there are any products I've missed off that you think would be imperative to your school or college day. I was debating a nude lip, I even pictured one above but changed my mind typing this up.

Love always,
Melissa