Easy Photo Background Ideas

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Marble has taken over the blogging world by storm. It's everywhere, and I cannot deny it I am absolutely in love with the trend. I don't care if that's cliché at all, I think marble is so pretty and whoever thought of using it as a photo background is an absolute genius. I recently bought a marble background, and I'm forever getting questions about where I bought it, so I thought I'd do a post on it. 

How Not To Apply False Eyelashes

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In my 18 years of life, false eyelashes is something I've always wanted to get into but never really been too fussed. In my mind, I've always thought they'd take too long, and I salute girls that wear them every single day because they look sassy as hell but seriously where do you get the time? I don't get a lot of sleep so I cherish every second and getting out of bed earlier just to apply false eyelashes does not appeal to me.


Threads sent me some eyelashes to have a play with, and I must say I was excited to try them! I really wanted eyelashes to be a thing that works for me, but I'll admit it, I cannot apply false eyelashes to save my life. No matter how long I spend practising I cannot manage it at all. Here's a run down of how my false lash application went:
  1. Ooo these are all so pretty.
  2.  So what do I start with?!
  3. Ok so I have to trim them, lets measure it up against my eye.
  4. How do you measure your eye? Seriously this is difficult
  5. I think I've got it, ok now to trim them, where are my scissors
  6. They're not the same size but that's ok I must have different shaped eyes, let's roll with it
  7. Now for glue, like how much do you need, can you apply too much?
  8. Is it tacky yet? Tacky like my ex's girlfriend? I did not just say that.
  9. I think it's ready, now time to attempt to apply, what do I use my hands, tweezers?
  10. Tweezers are apparently the best way to apply I'll try that
  11. *stabs self in eye with tweezers many times* 
  12. Maybe tweezers weren't such a good idea, they're pretty sharp
  13. The glue is way too tacky now, it's pretty much all over my eyelid anyway
  14. So all I have achieved is sore eyes, eyelash glue everywhere and no pretty lashes, I give up

This went on for some time. I seriously did try to make it work but I have decided that I am absolutely useless when it comes to eyelashes and I should just stick to the natural look until further notice. As the lashes didn't work for me, I got my friend who is very capable of applying lashes to try them out for me and she loves them. They stayed on all night, with no lashes peeling away or slipping off at all which was fab. If you can apply eyelashes do not be put off by my disaster, it is definitely me and not the lashes. Threads lashes are all so pretty, I love the look of them all especially the Rock Chic Lashes as they're so simple. I am going to keep practising applying lashes and hopefully one day I'll master it so I can be a bad ass bitch with nice eyelashes.

You can find Threads products in Harvey Nichols so pop in and check them out!

Things To Do When You're Sad

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Over the past few weeks I have been feeling sad rather a lot, after breaking off things relationship wise and then grieving the loss of a friend, on top of stressing about my A Levels, I've had quite a few reasons to be feeling sad. As time has progressed, I've realised feeling sad is ok, it's healthy, it's a part of life. I won't lie to you, I'm the first one to start crying when things go wrong, which is also very healthy and I do find crying helps. This does not mean that you permanently have to feel sad. I've compiled a list of things that I will be doing everytime I get sad from now on, and I thought I'd share them with you too!



Apply some makeup | When I'm feeling down I love to complete my full skincare routine and apply a face of makeup, even if I'm not going anywhere. It instantly perks me up and makes me feel fresh. Failing that, grab your credit card and go wild buying all those makeup items you've been lusting over. You may cry at the end of the month when your bank balance is a little worse for wear, but you'll have lots of new makeup to play with to keep you distracted from being sad. Make sure you only buy things you desperately want though, because I am the queen of impulse buying crap and I usually hate all of it, that doesn't make the end of the month crying any easier.

 Go outside | What you do when you get outside is completely up to you, but I find there is nothing more refreshing than going for a run when I'm feeling sad. It takes my mind away from everything and at the end of the run I always feel like I've achieved something. Exercise makes your brain happy, and doing something with your day will make you believe that you're not wasting away your days, no matter how you choose to spend the rest of the day. If you're not a fan of running, go for a walk, it really does help.

Turn off your phone | I am absolutely addicted to my phone, but it is usually the cause of my sadness. It's taken me a while to realise it but social media doesn't always help. I love all my friends, especially my blog friends because they're always there, but there's times that your phone can actually be doing more harm than good. Turn it off, take a break, do something else with your day and come back to it when you're feeling better. Your friends. twitter followers, and that cute guy you're stalking 24/7 will still all be there when you turn it back on.

Bake something | Focusing on something like baking can make you feel better, especially if what you're baking turns out to be amazing and you want to shout about it from the rooftops. Grab a good cook book and spend an afternoon baking, invite a friend over so you don't have to eat it all to yourself. Or if all plans fail and your baking turns out terrible, drown your sorrows in some chocolate.

Run a bath | Having a bath is my escape when I'm feeling down. I love baths, but there is nothing I love more than popping a bath bomb in the bath, lighting a few candles, putting on my favourite music and just laying there. If you're seriously overthinking something then don't let your mind focus on it, read a book or watch some Netflix. Overthinking is the worst possible thing to do when you're feeling down.

Sleep | I love my sleep, I really do, but saying that I never get enough of it. I rarely get an 8 hour nights sleep, more between 3 and 4. Evenings are my worst enemy because it is so easy to get trapped up in your thoughts and I find it ridiculously hard to fall asleep most of the time. I find it hard to switch off, and my mind is constantly over-stimulated. I try to take time before bed off my phone and laptop but we all know as a blogger this is near impossible, and if you do manage it, I salute you. If you have trouble sleeping like me, I've found that deep sleep spray and a sleep app on my phone have become my best friends lately to attempt to get a longer nights sleep. 

Spend time with your friends | If you're feeling sad, being alone can be your own worst enemy. Text every single person you can think of until you find someone who is free. Get out of the house and grab a coffee or lunch, or if you're not up for leaving the house, get them to come over and have a day binge watching Netflix. Do not dwell in the things you're sad about, have a massive heart to heart about everything and then leave it in the past. Give yourself a pep talk, remember you're a bad ass bitch and get on with your day with a smile on your face.

Write a list of reasons to be happy | Thinking about things to be happy about when you're sad is never easy, but dwelling on the reasons why you're sad isn't doing much help either. I find writing down a list of things I have to look forward to over the next few days, weeks or months really helps me. At the moment my list is full of gigs and trip to Amsterdam, this always reminds me that there are brighter days ahead.

Tidy your room or workspace | I am a very messy person. Anyone who knows me can confirm that I am terrible at keeping my room tidy and there is no kind of organisation to anything at all on my desk, it's all just one pile. The days that I'm feeling particularly sad are usually the days I have a massive tidy up and clean my whole room. It may take me forever because I find things I haven't seen for weeks and procrastinate, but by the end of the day my room is clean along with me feeling fresh and ready to tackle anything.

Bingewatch Netflix | Sometimes there are days when nothing will fix the sadness except binge watching your favourite series on Netflix with a tub of Ben and Jerry's. Grab the tissues, stick on your favourite films or series and waste the day away. I wouldn't recommend this if you have a to do list as long as your arm, but that never stops me. I'm currently rewatching Gossip Girl, and I couldn't count how many episodes I've watched in the past two weeks.

What do you do when you're sad?

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette

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Urban Decay palettes are my favourite high end palettes that I own. Nothing beats them for me, so when I saw that Gwen Stefani was working with Urban Decay to bring out a collection I was praying for more palettes. The collection did not disappoint, launching with an eyeshadow palette, later to release a blush palette, 8 lipsticks and 6 lip pencils. You can view the full collection here.


The eyeshadow palette was on my wishlist for so long before I purchased it, and I finally took the plunge towards the end of January just before the rest of the collection launched. First things first, the packaging is gorgeous. I love Urban Decay palettes because their packaging is always so unique, and it's always sturdy with that satisfying click when you close the palette. I also love how Gwen included a little 'Magic's in the Makeup' quote in the bottom corner of the mirror, it's so cute. The small things really do make a palette for me.

As for the shades in the palette, there couldn't be a better variety. It's the perfect everyday palette, that can be built up to create something bolder if that's what you're looking for. The only two shades I can't ever see myself using are the baby pink and deep blue in the bottom row, this is because I am not a pink person at all, and that blue scares me a lot more than it should do. It just reminds me of my very early years of makeup when bright blue eyeshadow was something we all tried to rock, and it looked awful on everyone. I think it's put my off for life. I am a neutrals kind of girl through and through, no matter how many daring palettes I buy, I always come running back to my trusty neutral shades. I don't think Gwen and  Urban Decay could've done a better job at picking shades for this palette at all, there is something to suit everybody.

There is a perfect mixture of shimmers and mattes throughout the palette, which make it brilliant to be the only palette you need in your makeup bag. As for the quality of the shadows, they're the normal incredibly creamy, pigmented and easy to blend shadows that you'd expect to find in an Urban Decay palette.

Skimp and Stark are shades that I already love from my Naked Basics 2 palette. My favourites of the new shades are Punk, a matte muted plum, Steady, a peach copper shimmer, Baby, a rose gold shimmer, and Anaheim, a soft taupe matte. I have been putting Punk through my crease most days since I got this palette, it's become a staple for me. I don't see this palette making it's way out of my makeup bag anytime soon, it's a perfect size, full of a variety of shades to transition between day and night.

You can purchase the palette for £40 from Urban Decay here.

February Favourites

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February was the month that I was supposed to be saving money and not buying unnecessary things. It couldn't have gone more opposite to the plan at all, I indulged and treated myself rather a lot throughout the month to pick myself up a bit. It definitely worked but my bank balance isn't too healthy right now, roll on payday. Picking up new things meant that I had a lot to try throughout the month, and I definitely found some true favourites along the way.


The Balm Mary Lou Manizer | This was a purchase heavily influenced by bloggers, Everyone raves about it, and I can definitely see why. I'm a massive fan of highlighting as I'm not an avid blush wearer, so my highlight is where it's at really. This offering from The Balm is the best I've tried, it's so easy to get the amount that you want on your face, and it's very easily build able if you're a fan of strong highlight. The product itself applies to the skin evenly and I don't find it fades throughout the day or goes patchy like other highlighters I've tried. If you need a new highlight product, pick this up and shine like a unicorn, or just shine a little bit if that's your thing.

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette | I am a lover of eyeshadow palettes, I own way too many for it even to be acceptable to buy more, but that never stops me. Gwen's collaboration with Urban Decay has been one of my favourites, and I've bought most of the collection. I've been getting a lot of use out of the eyeshadow palette especially, I love that most of the shades are neutral so it makes for easy everyday wearing but if you wanted to spice things up a bit there are a few darker and more out there shades. The shadows themselves live up to Urban Decay quality, applying and blending easily. My favourite shade has to be the burgundy brown in the top right corner called Punk, I run it through my crease most days now. I just cannot get enough of this palette, there will be a full review with swatches very soon.

La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum* | Recently I've been suffering with incredibly dry skin. I'm pretty sure it's due to our terrible weather, and all the stress I've been under. My skin is in a horrible condition at the moment, so I jumped at the chance to try this intense hydrating serum. I'm not a skincare person, to be quite honest I am useless with it, but the days I remember to apply this serum it works wonders for my skin. It's a gel formula, like a gel moisturiser, which I find cooling on the skin which is refreshing. It reduces my dry patches and creates a more smooth base for makeup application. I will be using this until my skin returns to it's normal oily self.

L'oreal Million Lashes Mascara | I've recently rediscovered my love for this mascara, Boots were out of stock of my usual Max Factor mascara and there was a 2 for £12 offer on all L'Oreal so I decided to pick up my old mascara alongside a new foundation. I'm really glad I picked it up again, I am all about rediscovering old favourites, but I was shocked at how good this mascara really is. The thick plastic wand separates and curls the lashes giving volume and length easily. I apply 2 or 3 coats as anything more can make it a little bit clumpy, but this mascara is definitely back in my top mascaras.

Zoeva Nude Spectrum Palette | Zoeva are a brand that I've only gotten to know about through blogging, and I can't believe how long it took me to actually purchase something. I was browsing Beauty Bay and saw they had a new palette out that wouldn't break my bank account. It contains 15 shadows, which are a range of neutral shades. Along with my Gwen palette, I haven't used anything else on my eyes this month. The shadows are incredibly pigmented and I just can't stop using the copper shade in the middle of the bottom row. I need to invest in some more Zoeva products very soon, look out for a full review with swatches of this palette up on my blog too.

What were your favourites throughout February?

February Advertisers

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BECKIE ESCHLE 

I'm Beckie, a 21 year old from Birmingham, UK. I'm also a final year Criminology student. I created this blog back in 2012 under 'girlswithblondecurls', but I stopped after 2 years, and started up again in May 2015 under the name 'Beckie Eschle'. I blog about recent beauty finds, my latest outfits, books, recipes, travels and hauls.I originally started my blog back up again, so I could help others manage their mental health. I suffer from anxiety & depression, and I have a variety of posts on how to manage that, and what works for me! Enjoy folks.

You can find Beckie's blog at www.beckieeschle.com or follow her on Twitter here and Instagram here.


RENATE LIJERKA

Hi! I’m Renate (pronounced Ren-ar-ta). I’m currently living in Southampton and saving to start my travels in 2017, when renatelijerka.com will hopefully become a lot more exotic! Right now though I’m a Marketing Exec by day and attempting to be a blogger by night. I write about whatever comes to my mind, but mainly focus on beauty, fashion and feminism related posts. So if you’re looking for pretty things mixed in with the odd rant or two, I’m your gal x

You can find Renate's blog at www.renatelijerka.com or follow her on Twitter here and Instagram here.

ITS KIA ERIN

Hi, my name is Kia Erin and I'm a beauty and lifestyle blogger and tea lover from Derbyshire. I blog over at www.itskiaerin.com and will welcome you with open arms. I also add fashion, baking and books to my blog occasionally. I'm known for my smallness as i'm only 5ft 1in and everyone is usually taller than me. I am student in college until June then can't wait to see where my blogging adventure takes me! Have some great things coming up on my blog so make sure you take a peek!

You can find Kia's blog at www.itskiaerin.com or follow her on Twitter here and Instagram here.

HER PRETTY STATE OF MIND

I am a bit of a perfectionist with a great love for good books, cups of tea, wearing oversized sweaters, and little cute things. I am currently a second year university student studying primary education and still trying to find my feet in what feels like a fairly chaotic life, learning some life lessons along the way. This is just a little space that I can call my own for me to share my ramblings, the little things that make me smile, my thoughts, feelings, and rather strange curiosities.

You can find Eidilh's blog at www.herprettystateofmind.blogspot.co.uk or follow her on Twitter here.

POUT TO PERFECTION

Hey! My I'm Yasmin, a 22 Year old from London, UK. I'm a newbie blogger and only started my blog 'Pout to Perfection' a few months ago but have loved watching my tiny space of internet grow these last few months. My aim is to fill the pages of my blog with ramblings about beauty products that I love, as well as the occasional sneak peek into some of my adventures as I stumble through life as a london graduate working in fashion. 

You can find Yasmin's blog at www.pouttoperfection.wordpress.com or follow her on Twitter here and Instagram here.

BEAUTY, BOOKS & BABBLE


Hi, I'm Ashton! For a long while I'd always wanted to start a blog, but didn't like the idea of being a newbie with no audience. I finally found five minutes with nothing to do and createdBeauty, Books and Babble in December 2014. I blog about all sorts of things here on Beauty, Books and Babble. You can expect to find plenty of books reviews and although I wouldn't consider myself fashionable or particularly skilled with make-up, I also write about beauty products I like, fashion and comestic wishlists, or suggest outfits for occasions. As well as the above, I post pretty much anything else that takes my fancy through the weeks, hence the 'babble'!

You can find Ashton's blog at www.beautybooksandbabble.co.uk or follow her on Twitter here and Instagram here.

73-95
73-95 is a mother/daughter blog posting everything from beauty, lifestyle and more but giving two opinions from two different ages. We like to have fun, spread lots of love and positivity on our blog and hope you love reading it as much as we love writing it!

You can find Alison and Olivia's blog at www.73-95.blogspot.co.uk or follow them on Twitter here.


BUBBLYBEX3

Hi, I'm Bex, a 28 year old from Manchester. My blog is all about my journey to healthy with chit chat thrown in. From reviews, hauls and make up must haves to clothes and films. I also have personal posts about my up and downs, it's a mix of everything. Grab a brew, get comfy and enjoy this ride with me :D

You can find Bex's blog at www.bubblybex3.co.uk or follow her on Twitter here and Instagram here.


#TheStableWassail | The Stable, Winchester

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If there's something I'm bad at, it's trying new restaurants. I'm a fussy eater, so I tend to stick to the same places in fear that I'll go somewhere new and not find anything I like on the menu. When Lana from Fashion Fake emailed to say there was a bloggers event happening at a restaurant in Winchester that I hadn't yet tried, I knew I just had to pop along and see the menu for myself.

Photo Credit: Becky
The event was held at The Stable, Winchester, which is a restaurant that I've heard about but never really looked into it. After walking through the door I instantly regretted it, the inside decor is lovely. I loved how you could watch your pizzas being made, and the idea of tables and benches is always a winner with me. The interior has lots of the original features, with high ceilings and old wooden beams. In my mind, if the interior of a restaurant is nice, the food usually matches up to the standard. 

Photo Credit: Becky
Photo Credit: Becky
As the event happened around the time of the Wassail celebrations, we started off with some cider tasting. If you don't know, Wassail is a celebration where people would dress up, singing and dancing around apple trees in hope for a good cider crop. Two local cider companies, Fosseway and Tutts Clump, came down to take all things cider with us and give us a sample of their range of ciders. Although I am not a massive lover of cider, I tried a fair few of the different ciders and I think I may have been converted a little bit as shop bought cider is usually around 70% water, whereas true cider is made from pure juice. I couldn't tell you my favourite from the day as half the time I had no idea what flavour I was drinking, but there wasn't anything I disliked.

Photo Credit: Becky
Photo Credit: Becky
After the cider sampling, I was happy to see the pizzas emerging from the kitchen. As I said before, I am incredibly fussy, so I think I only tried one or two of the pizzas on offer to us but they all looked incredibly tasty. A lot of the pizzas are locally themed, with names such as The Buttercross Clucker. My favourite pizza was defintitely the one pictured above, The Blazing Saddle, I'm not a fan of all things hot so I removed the jalapeños but other than that it was perfect. I will definitely be coming back soon to have it again.  

Photo Credit: Becky
When the staff came out again with a round of brownies I could not say no. I was sceptical when they mentioned that they were gluten free as I've tried gluten free brownies before and I wasn't impressed but these were the best brownies I've ever tasted. I'm pretty sure I ate a few more than I should've done, but I couldn't resist them. 

I had such a lovely afternoon catching up with some of my blogging girls, and meeting some new faces too! Thankyou to Lana, Fosseway, Tutts Clump and The Stable, Winchester for putting on such a nice and relaxing event. I will be back to The Stable for pizza soon!

February Instagram Catch Up

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February has been a bit of a weird month for me, it's been full of highs and lows. I'm really not quite sure how to some up the month at all. Saying all of that I did manage to upload to Instagram a bit more than usual, so I'm back with my monthly Instagram catch up. Be warned, I may have treated myself a little too much this month, but it was definitely needed.


1. Gwen Stefani's Urban Decay palette finally made it's way into my life. I can't get enough of the burgundy brown shade in the top right corner called Punk. I can confirm that since the start of the month I did make another order, which consisted of the blush palette and two lipsticks. They're just as good and I cannot wait to start using them more.

2. I seem to have a Lush haul photo every month. I just can't help it. Who doesn't love Lush? This was a very late Lush haul, full of a few of my Boxing Day sale items, and their shower creams that I cannot get enough of. 

3. Two Lush photos together? What a shocker. I attended the Lush Southampton Valentines Day Get Ready with Me Event and I had a lovely evening sampling products and catching up with my blogging girls.

4. I spent Valentines Day away and although it was one of the best weekends full of things that I always wanted to remember, things have unfortunately changed. The photos from the weekend are a part of my year, and although it's been rough since then, I do not regret a thing. This was taken at the end of an incredible weekend, just catching some lunch at Joe's Kitchen in Derby before getting the train home.

5. Every year I treat myself to Valentine's Day presents. This year that consisted of the Zoeva Nude Spectrum palette, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer, The Balm Mary Lou Manizer and two Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Lipsticks, in 714 and Rocksteady.

6. My favourite purchase of the month has to be these lace up heels from Missguided. I need them in every colour. They're absolutely gorgeous and so comfortable to wear. Nude heels are becoming my thing now.

7. I turned 18 in February, I kicked off my birthday celebrations with Becky for lunch and cocktails. Becky was driving, so I can confirm both of these cocktails were for me. You only turn 18 once right?

8. After having some shitty news, I decided to treat myself again. I picked up the MAC x Ariana Grande lipstick. I'm yet to wear it, but the colour is stunning. MAC did good.

9. Becky and I, enjoyed 2-for-1 Starbucks Peppermint and Vanilla Hot Chocolates thanks to Benefit and Starbucks having their best friends offer on. I have a new favourite drink, it tastes exactly like mint areo!

Although I'm not ready to talk about the low points in my February, I surely made up for them in cocktails and lots of treats for myself. Who said money couldn't buy happiness? Let's hope March is a bit more settled.

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