31 August 2016

For the first time in my life, I'm actually so stoked that Summer is (more or less) over and it's finally time for my beauty favourites from August! The weather turned cold a rainy for a couple days the week before last and I've been dreaming of thick woolly jumpers and Chelsea boots ever since. Let autumn commence, but first...

August Beauty Favourites

So without further a due, here's my favourite products from the past month...

Kat Von D // Tattoo Liner


I bloody love this eyeliner and I wish it was more accessible in the UK because every time I pick one up, I run it dry so quickly and am left devastated by the lack of dupes over here.

The pen style liquid liner is, in my opinion, the easiest to use. If you're a little new to the liquid liner trend or, like me, suffer from shaky-hand-itus, then these style of liners make life a lot easier. And the nib on this one in particular, is an absolute game changer! It's so pointy. I'm really serious about this one, it's so bloody pointy which makes for precise, perfect flicks a dream! The formula is great too, a perfect copy of the Soap & Glory 'Supercat' Liner, just with a much more accurate nib! And slightly more expensive!

Essie // Limo-Scene Nail Polish


This year I have been loving the light nude trend on my nails because it's so much less obvious when it chips! Which on long holidays where you don't want to be painting your nails every few days, is a much necessary cheat! However, my Barry M polish in 'Like a Nude' leaked in my suitcase on the way home from Thailand. Just my luck. So as a treat, I thought I'd push the boat out a bit a try something new. Now, I was a little reluctant to try a sheer Essie shade because after the awful experience with their 'Gel Couture' range. However, the shade 'Limo Scene' is beautiful and doesn't streak at all!

August Beauty Favourites

BECCA // Liquid Shimmering Skin Perfector


I talk about the Shimmering Skin Perfectors all the damn time, I love them. Honestly, love them. I love the pigmentation, the bendability and the lack of necessity to be any good at applying makeup to make these work! So I picked up the liquid version in the Singapore and haven't put it down.

Really, there's not an awful lot of difference in the liquid vs. powder alternative which isn't something you see often. The shades are pretty much identical, the stay power is amazing on both and the colour pay off is amazing too. What's been great about the liquid one, however, is it's so good to throw in your bag. You don't need a brush to apply this one!

Pearl // Portable Phone Charger


I think this may be the first time I've ever mentioned a non-beauty item in my favourites. I received this for Christmas last year and never really got much use out of it. My phone's battery is fairly reliable but since I've upped my Twitter game and become slightly addicted to Pokemon, the battery hasn't been quite the same.

This portable charger by Pearl works a charm! It's gold so naturally, fits my aesthetic, but also charges my phone quickly. What's also pretty cool is it has a built-in compact mirror and mirror light. The only negative is this particular charger comes with two separate cables, one for charging your phone and one for charging the device. A universal one would have been much better!

So that was my favourite beauty products that made August! But get ready, because September is about to get very Autumnal up on the blog and I expect my favourites next month to reflect that!

I'm so excited!

Love always,
Melissa

22 August 2016

There's no style of post that I love more than a good tag post. I love reading them because you get to know the author better but I love posting them too because you learn a lot about yourself that you might not have realised! Well, I do anyway!

The beautiful Iga Berry tagged me in the Travel Tag earlier today, and I thought why the hell not...


You are leaving tomorrow to start a life in a new country, where do you go?

After the result of the EU Referendum back in June, I'd decided it wasn't something I wanted to be a part of anymore. I did some very serious research into moving to Canada. I have friends and family over there so I wouldn't be completely alone. Plus I love the idea of hot summers and snowy winters and never being too far from a mountain I could ski down! Whilst I've put off moving there for the time being, I'll be visiting Canada next year!

You can take someone for a weekend away to the place you had the best holiday, where would that be and who would you take with you?

George. Obviously. There's nowhere I'd want to go without him, so that one's kind of a given. I reckon Barcelona, that was where I was when I first realised I loved him, really loved him, so I'd love to go back! Plus the city is incredible and Gaudi, well Gaudi is out of this world!

You can get married wherever you want to, your budget is limitless, what is your choice?

New York. George knows this. I'd absolutely love (even though I know it's not possible) to get married under the Gothic Bridge in Central Park, surrounded by fairy lit tree's! If you've seen this video of Taylor Swift performing Back to December, then you'll know the bridge! I'd then like to head to roof top bar someone and dance the night away as the skyline changes colours!

I've got the fantasy wedding all planned out :P


During your travels, you bring home one animal as a pet, which one would you pick?

An Elephant. I love Elephants.

You can go back in time and relive one family trip, which one?

Rhodes, Greece, 2003. I didn't get to go on many holidays as a kid, but this one with the entire of my Dad's side of the family was the best, without a doubt!

What is the first thing you would pack for a one year travel around the world?

Underwear. Lots of it. Even in my hand luggage. After travelling 18 hours across the world, landing in Bali and spending 5 days with no suitcases, there's nothing I would be more keen to make sure I had than a clean pair of knickers! TMI?

In an ideal world, though, where suitcases don't get lost, it'd be my camera! I'm extremely forgetful and like to take pictures so that I can remember when I forget!

What would your fantasy 100th birthday destination be, and why?

Assuming I'm old and not very mobile anymore, Italy. I love the food, it's not too hot and the country is just beautiful.

If by some miracle I was old and decrepit, a first-class ticket to Thailand. The country is what sparked my love for travel and will always hold a piece of my heart!

During your travel you can learn one sport to become a pro, what would that be?

Probably Scuba Diving, I was hoping to get my first Padi qualification in Bali last month but didn't get the chance. I have mild panic attacks when I snorkel so to be a pro at Scuba Diving would be incredible. I love skiing though too, so to be a pro (and at an equal level to George) would be a dream!

I'm going to keep it super simple, Rhaea it's your turn!

Love always,
Melissa

17 August 2016

* I wrote this post back in June and it got lost in my drafts until just now. I thought I'd share because I know in the future someday I'll love to read this back. And maybe it'll help you if you're stuck in a bit of a blog rut. It's all still very relevant to me now, with the new design and everything so, I hope you like.  *




Somehow lately things just tend to get so jumbled and lost. I can write as many to-do lists as I like but there's so much stuff I want to do and so much stuff I need to do and. Well, there just aren't enough hours in the day for me to get everything done. I'm working on so much for the blog at the moment and am so excited to share everything but It's kind of overwhelming thinking about priorities and the bigger picture.

One day I want to be my own boss, I've always wanted this, but the final picture has always been different. In college I wanted to be Photographer, in Uni I wanted to be an Artist. Now, I'd love to be a full time blogger. People change and so do their aspirations but I'd be willing to bet a lot of money this one won't shift anytime soon. The only time I've ever wanted something more was when I wanted to meet Taylor Swift and well, that happened so this has top prioties now (Beacuse my being best friends with Taylor Swift is a little farfetched, I guess). And I'm willing to work my butt off to get there!

But recently I've been working so hard and added so much to my to-do list that priorities have gotten  blurred. It's hard to focus on making dreams happen with a jumbled head. But Thailand always seems to sort that out! Which is why I flew over the other day, I need to sort through this mess in my head. So bear with me, things are changing and I'm working incredibly hard to make things less 'protocol' and more fun. I'm figuring out what I want to achieve in the remaining months of 2016 and how exactly I'm going to get their. Because Goals are important and that's what I've been missing lately, specific things I want to achieve!


* Fast forward to present day, 17th August 2016 *

I've finally figured out what exactly I want to work on in the next few months, what I think my help me on my way to eventually being a girl boss. I've just re-launched my blog with a whole new look and it looks pretty snazzy if I do say so myself! But what I'm mainly here for, and what this whole post is about, is I want to share with you my goals for the remainder of 2016. Because writing them down is great, it makes you more likely to achieve but sharing them with the world. That's either crazy or really, really brave if it doesn't work out but maybe you can help me make it work...

Become more consistent at creating posts I love

Now, I don't upload content unless I really believe in it, which means that every now and again I miss a post. My ideal is to post 2 times a week, once on a Wednesday and once on a Saturday. I'd love to become more consitent at that. I've started planning further ahead, so hopefully that'll help!

Have an Online Shop

I'm really proud of the visual aspects of my blog, I take a lot of care in that. I'd really love to be able to get back into creating Art and maybe sell prints as a side projects. We'll see, that will take a long, long time to work out. What do you think?

Expand my reach and content

I love blogging but I've gotten pretty comfortable and I like to challenge myself. I've thought about YouTube but I'm a little scared about that. But I feel like if I want to grow my blog, it might be the next step. We'll also see about this one...

Reach 500 followers on Twitter & 1300 followers on Bloglovin

It's not all about the numbers, it's about how much you enjoy what your doing, which I absolutely do. But I don't think Taylor Swift would be her own kick-ass Girl Boss and doing what she loved for a living if 56,000 people didn't buy her first album in the first week. Or 5 million copies of her latest album 1989 to date. As much as crunching numbers is bad, knowing what you've got helps you plan for the future. Plus it's great to know other people are loving what your doing just as much as you are!

So that's that. This is where I am with my blog at the moment and where I hope to be sometime soon. If you want to help me, I'd love for you to leave a comment below. Or if you'd like to follow me on Twitter and Bloglovin to stay updated on how I get on with my goals...

Speak soon,

Love always,
Melissa

15 August 2016

I don't know if you've noticed but my blog has had a pretty radical makeover. I'm honestly so excited it's finally done and I can share it with you. I have been keeping this a secret for the longest time and I'm the absolute worst at keeping secrets! So, to celebrate I thought I'd do something fun. Who likes the sound of a MAC Lipstick Giveaway?

Thought you might!


All you have to do to enter, is follow me on Twitter (@melharding) and share this tweet. You can share it as many times as you like between now and 6pm on the 31st August! The more times you enter, the more chances you have of winning.

Each winner (they'll be THREE of you!) will get to pick a MAC lipstick of their choice, which I'll send absolutely anywhere in the world, no matter the cost!

:)

With winning in mind, to help get you thinking about which lipstick you might pick if you win, here's a little root around my MAC lipstick collection...


Ruby Woo

I picked this shade up on my 22nd birthday, just before heading to my Taylor Swift themed party. How bloody perfect!

It's definitely one of those 'must have' shades for your collection. If there is ever a perfect red lip, then this is it! It's super bright so great for summer, it's part of the Retro Matte collection so lasts all day too. But, it's also the perfect Christmas red too! It made it to the top of my top 5 Xmas Red's, last Blogmas!

Dark Side

I talked about this lippy recently in my 'All time Favourites' post. Of all the MAC shades I own, this is without a doubt my favourite one! It's a vampy, plum shade which is a staple in the Autumn and Winter. I'm actually fairly surprised I haven't dramatically dented the nip yet! Mind you, it is my second stick, I seem to loose things a lot!

Verve

This was the first nude-esque shade, I ever picked up. If you can call it a nude as it's a fairly dark, teddy bear brown colour. Definitely not your average nude but I'm definitely more of a bold lippy kinda girl anyway. I don't have a swatch for this one because even though I wore it just the other week, I seem to have placed it somewhere and forgotten where that somewhere is! Praying it pops up soon and doesn't end up in the same place my first Dark Side bullet did.


Evening Rendezvous

This shade is a little bit more out of my comfort zone than I'm used to. It's a blue toned pink with hints of purple in there too. It's harder to wear because of the cold hues to it, I have a fairly warm skin tone so I reserve this shade for the pits of winter! You know, when you're dressed all in black and snuggled in woollen hats and scarves. It's a great pop of colour then when Dark Side is too dark, works beautifully...

Velvet Teddy

If you read my 'What I bought in Duty-Free' then you'll know all about this one already, so I won't go into it in too much detail, you can check out more over there. It's pretty new to my collection (obviously) and unlike anything I already own, as you can see from the swatches above. I love the texture, I love the shade, I love the durability. I love this lipstick. It's my runner up, favourite!

Plumful

This was kind of an impulse by in New York last year. It's part of the Cremesheen range from MAC which comes off a lot more sheer than I tend to like. However, if you're not quite as brave with bold colours, then a shade from this range would be great to help you build up your confidence!

This particular shade, however, is such a pretty rose pink, you can wear it with anything and absolutely anywhere! So, so versatile. Like a nude but prettier!

Speak Louder

I'm not going to lie, this is without a doubt the least worn shade in my collection. It's a bright, fuscia pink shade. Very, very pretty. But it's just not very 'me'. Like Plumful, this one is part of the 'Cremesheen' range too which would be perfect if you prefer a little shine to your lips. I'm just more of a no-fuss matte sort of lipstick!

I've also since picked up Rebel which is kind of similar to Dark Side and Evening Rendezvous. In fact, if those two lippy's had a baby, it would be Rebel. It's more blue toned than Dark Side but darker than Evening Rendezvous. I don't have a swatch because I naughtily picked it up after taking these photo's but you should definitely Google it. It's so, so beautiful! I can't wait for Autumn, because I'm pretty sure I'm going to live in it!

Love always,
Melissa

10 August 2016

I've been pretty spendy recently and I'm not even ashamed to admit it. Last week I gave you a pretty lust worthy Sephora Haul and this week, well this week I'm going to share where I splashed the cash (or saved it, guess it depends which was you look at it!) in Duty-Free. So without further delay, here's what I bought...


I always hit up the MAC counter in duty-free, it's the one place I know I'll go and not be disappointed. Duty-free shopping can be a little hit and miss, you have to pay close attention because with the exchange rate, depending on where you are it can be more expensive. MAC however, are great at keeping their prices level to currency fluctuation. So £13 for a lipstick, yes please!

MAC // Satin Lipstick - Rebel

If you know me, then you know I love a bold lipstick. I've never really been into nudes that much, I kind of, maybe, never really saw the point of them. The 'your lips but better' thing, I ain't got time for that. But I'll get back to that later... Rebel is this beautiful, purple toned plum shade. And don't take it lightly when I say beautiful because I really mean it.

I've heard a lot about this shade but never really thought to pick it up because I have Dark Side which is kind of similar. But I swatched it before boarding my plane and couldn't leave without it. It's lighter than Dark Side so in effect a little more vibrant.

MAC // Matte Lipstick - Velvet Teddy

So, you know I was saying I've never really been a nude sort of person, I don't get it. I've got Verve by MAC but it's such a dark toned brown, it's kind of hard to call it a nude really. But I totally get the hype now after purchasing Velvet Teddy. It's switched my opinion on nudes completely.

I mentioned in this post about having heard the hype for this lipstick but never having the want to pick it up. I swatched it at the counter in Heathrow not knowing what it was and only finding out on the plane waiting to be taxied for take-off. VT is kind of like the Kylie Jenner of nude's and as much as I hate that association; it's matte, it's teddy bear brown and it's Kylie Jenner in a lip bullet. Unlike the previous lipstick, I've pretty much lived in this since I bought it, if you've seen my Instagram lately then you'll know that already!

MAC // Lip Pencil - Whirl

Being a new nude type of person, it'd be silly to leave without having an appropriate lip pencil to wear it with. That's what I told myself anyway. Whirl is a dirty, rose shade which works great with Velvet Teddy but I also think will look beautiful with future nudes (which I'm sure they'll be many because I'm a changed woman!) It's incredibly creamy but doesn't wear down really fast which is a constant battle I've found with lip pencils.


Kiehl's // Midnight Recovery Concentrate

I have wanted this since I went to Thailand in January 2015. It's got such incredible reviews scattered all across the blogosphere and every time I went into an airport, either there was never a Kiehl's counter in sight or the exchange rate made it ridiculously overpriced. Finally, I manage to pick it up on the way to Bali a couple weeks ago. But being just my luck it leaked on the plane and not even one drop was left when I landed home back in London last week. I'm sure I'll pick up another bottle soon, just how annoying! I didn't even get to take it out the box.

Kiehl's // Ultra Facial Cream

This product has more of a happy ending. It didn't leak on the plane and I have had a chance to use it a few times in the past week. So it's not all bad.

I have somewhat dry skin and I'm always looking for new products to neutralise the balance and pop a little more moisture in there. I don't tend to buy much, particularly that with high price tags without scouring the blogosphere for positive opinions I trust first. And this had a plethora of them, all coming from girls who have said it's worked wonders for their dry complexion.

And that's that. All my money gone but to worthy places none-the-less and my inner beauty addict is momentarily happy. We'll see how long that lasts' though. Hopefully at least until payday as I'm overwhelmingly poor and back on my spending ban now the holidays are all over!

Speak soon,

Love always,
Melissa

6 August 2016

In England, makeup and beauty shops are far and few between so when I'm on my travels and Sephora pops up, I'm not one to feel guilty about being a bit spendy. I was in Singapore for a couple of days last week after finishing up my trip to Bali and may or may not have visited every Sephora Singapore had to offer! Oops. It's haul time...



Kat Von D // Tattoo Liner - Trooper

I'm almost 100% positive that this is my absolute favourite liquid liner eyeliner. As far as cat eyes go, they're not the easiest thing to apply, and whilst this eyeliner doesn't make it any easier (nib is way to bendy for shakey, nervous hands) it's by far the best I've tried when you consider the results. It's great because it's got the bold colour, stay power and smudge-less properties of a gel liner but in liquid form! And the nib is slimmer and pointier than other pens I've tried, making it much more precise!

I wrote about my 'All time Favourites' beauty products last month and it didn't quite make the list purely because it's so heard to get hold of when I'm on English soil.

Kat Von D // Everlasting Liquid Lipsick - Lolita

In all honesty, I didn't actually pick this up in the Singapore Sephora. Georges sister picked it up for me somewhere in Europe but still, at a Sephora none-the-less. I've wanted to try these "everlasting" liquid lipsticks for so long! They're pretty much a cult product the amout they're talked about in the Blogosphere. In fact, I'm actually a little surprised it took me this long to pick one up. Mind you, I'm always late to the party so I guess it's not much of a surprise at all.

Anyway, the colour is beaitiful, it's sort of like a Mauve with purple undertones when you swatch but on the lips it looks more like a dark nude. In regards the the 'everlasting' tag, I can't say I can comment on that yet, but I'm sure I'll get back to you on that in the future...


BECCA // Shimmering Skin Perfector - Opal

When I first discovered Sephora in Singapore my first thought was that I could finally replace my broken Becca Highlighter. It was the only thing I was sure I had to pick up. And I did, once in the powder and once in the liquid. I didn't mean to pick up both, it was a mistake but we won't get into that!

Being the same shade, they're actually quite different. The liquid version swatches much pinkier than the golden hues I'm used to in the powder version. It's a little more subtle and would be so, so pretty in Spring when paired with Daniel Sandler 'Watercolour Blush'. It's soft enough to give you a slight dewy look with a subtle golden, metallic shimmer.

I kind of wish I'd gone in a little more prepared. Sephora is always so overwhelming, there's so much to look at and so much to decipher through. Don't get me wrong though, I'm over the moon with what I did come away with, so excited to experiement with the Kat Von D 'Liquid Lipstick' and see if it's worth the hype. I'll keep you updated on that one!

Love always,
Melissa