Self care, skin care,
& nurturing Mother Nature.

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Living life with good intention, loving with soul, and consuming with a conscience

July 31, 2015

St. Faith's Cemetery

I know some of you will be like "what." at this, but I love graveyards/cemeteries. Those reading who know me will find that hilarious because I'm always "the goth" of my groups of friends, but I really do love them. There's just something about how calm they are and on a sunny day, they look gorgeous and full of nature.

St. Faith's cemetery is somewhere Matt and I have passed a couple of times and I've always wanted to have a nosy look inside. Its only small, but as its quite hidden by a main road near the city centre, I've always been intrigued. Recently, I finally conned Matt into taking a peak inside but unfortunately, it wasn't all that interesting. I'm always on the hunt for interesting headstones and graves when I'm in a cemetery but this one was quite old so many of the headstones had deteriorated, but it was still a quiet and tranquil walk around in the blazing sunshine.

GraveyardWinchester GraveyardSt.Faith'sGravesSt.Faith's GraveyardCeltic CrossGraveShakespeare QuoteTreeCemetery

- A.
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July 30, 2015

Summer Setting Powders

If you caught my last post on my picks for summer foundations, it only made sense to follow up with my favourite powders to cement those bases in place. Again drugstore, again great quality for a minute price. As I'm very oily skinned I prefer a matte finish which isn't too matte and I need a powder that doesn't turn too powdery or cakey as I often need to touch-up throughout the day. In steps these guys:

L'oréal Nude Magique BB Powder - This powder is one of, if not, my most favourite drugstore powder. It is essentially translucent however it does come in a couple of shades of which I wear the shade Light. This powder doesn't transfer any colour, but its great for setting a base or concealer as it leaves a nice velvety feel to the skin and doesn't allow your base to crease up. The compact comes with a mirror and sponge too which isn't actually too bad to use if you find yourself without a brush for application.

Bourjois Healthy Balance Unifying Powder - Perfect for those who want a little something to help set their makeup but they don't want to mattify it. This is the lightest powder I've used and is a staple choice for me in the summer. I would use it all year round, but I find it tends to darken my base foundation quite a bit, so naturally I can only really use it when I've somehow caught some sort of a "tan" (I use tan very loosely because I mean, you've seen how ghostly I am right?). This is great for keeping the skin hydrated too as it doesn't dry you out like some other powders can.

Lily Lolo Mineral Powder - I stumbled across the Lily Lolo site a few years ago now, and still believe their mineral makeup is some of the best I've used. Their colour range is fantastic for us pale ladies and providing you're well moisturised, their concealer and powder can be used alone instead of with a base. If I'm having a long summer day and need that little bit of extra coverage however, I will reach for this just for a light dusting all over the face. Extremely breathable and light yet somehow medium to high coverage, it ticks so many boxes for me in hotter weather. This will always be what I take on hot holidays as it keeps the oily sweat shine at bay. If you want to set your base but don't want any extra colour or coverage however, they also do a fantastic translucent setting powder which is also a firm member of my holiday makeup arsenal.

What powders do you like to use for setting or do you prefer sprays?

- A.
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July 28, 2015

Novella Royale Budget

ClogsNovella Royale StyleNovella RoyaleFestival Style

Bonjournoo! One of my all time favourite brands is Novella Royale. I love their gorgeous prints and effortlessly bohemian items that don't need any added extras to pull the whole outfit together. Living in England and doing things on a student budget means I can't always afford such prices so that's where this baby steps in.

This dress is from Forever 21 and at first, I thought I was going to hate it. Lusting over the prints of Novella Royale and actually having a dress in a very similar style in front of you are two very different things, but then I put it on and it was love in an instant. I love mustard yellow and burnt rust orange shades so the colour of this is perfect. Paired with my everyday bag and my favourite shoes, its fast become one of my favourite outfits. The only down side? No food babies can be going on in this tight number but I went and ate burgers in it anyway *insert sassy emojis here*

Forever 21 Dress (similar but better) | Fringe Bag (gift, but something very similar) | Office Clogs (similar)

- A.
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July 27, 2015

365 Days | 001 : 007

After being an avid reader of The Dainty Squid blog for years, I fell in love with her weekly posts showing a photo for every day and I've decided to follow suit. My posts aren't going to be anywhere near as organised considering I've started this towards the end of July instead of oh I don't know, the 1st of January? But let's just roll with it!

001.| 365
A roast dinner has got to be one of the best meals, even when it is lacking gravy.

002.| 365
When Matt and I were out for a walk, a swan family passed by down the river and so naturally I chased them to try and get a picture or two - just look how cute those babies are!
Swan Family

003.| 365
I always want to snap a photo of this church in Winchester city centre but I get too self conscious as the area it is in is usually pretty busy. The area was dead on this day, so I took the golden opportunity to get a quick, imperfect shot.
Winchester City Centre Church

004.| 365
This poor guy wasn't alive as he'd gotten a little tangled up in cobwebs. I wish I knew how to mount bugs because I would have took him home. He had gorgeous markings.

005.| 365
More food. What can I say? We love food! Matt's been on a slight health kick and is currently experimenting on the Palaeo diet which basically eradicates a lot of carbs in your diet. Grains, bread, pasta, rice, cheese, sugar, basically anything that wouldn't have been accessible to a cave man can't pass your lips. So Matt made a cauliflower base for his pizza and got rid of the cheese. I had our usual pizza and I've got to say, I was kind of jealous because his was surprisingly delicious!
Cauliflower Pizza

006.| 365
Our landlord is pretty good to us.

007.| 365
Matt and I went have just got back from a long weekend stay with Matt's parents. His granny celebrated her 75th birthday and I had to take a quick snap of Matt's parents' lovely garden when we arrived.

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

- A.
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July 24, 2015

St. Catherine's Hill

When the weather is good, walks are a must for Matthew & I. We like to wake up really early and set off on a good 8+ mile walk to one of our favourite nature spots and just enjoy the quiet before everyone else follows suit.

Last Sunday, we got up relatively late for one of our walks (6:30am) and hot-footed it to St. Catherine's Hill. Living in Winchester means you have the luck of an extremely bustling city centre and a calm countryside literally a matter of minutes away from each other if carry on walking in one direction. St. Catherine's Hill is a hotspot for just about everyone in the area as a site of an old hill fort, it provides amazing views across the whole of Winchester and the surrounding area.

RiverTree HouseSt. Catherine's Hill Tree RootsSt. Catherine's HillSt . Catherine's Hill ViewWinchesterLeavesMycologyWinchester Countryside

After a very sweaty walk (it was horrifically hot for that time of the morning!), we needed refueling so we made a pit-stop at Ruby Reds. Ruby's is a rustic diner/burrito place and we frequent it regularly for their mouthwatering burgers and sweet potato fries. However, we realised we'd never actually been there for breakfast?! Shocking I know. After much deliberation which was the better option, cinnamon waffles and ice cream or pancakes with bacon, Matt and I ate ourselves into very satisfying food comas. You know its love when your boyfriend tells you he's proud of you for polishing off a plate of 5 pancakes without a second glance.

Full English BreakfastPancakes with Bacon and Maple Syrup

If you'd like to see more photos of our walk, head over to my Flickr!

- A.
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July 23, 2015

Drugstore Summer Foundation

When it comes to my base, I dabble a lot in both drugstore and high-end foundations and I guess its partly down to still feeling like I haven't found the *perfect* foundation mixed with a constant need to buy makeup? (please tell me someone else suffers from this??)

So, with that being said, here are some of my favourite foundations for the warmer months. As I've suffered with acne from around the age of 12 and have pretty oily skin, I always want some sort of good coverage, so I tend to steer away from the typical lighter, BB cream-style bases. So if you're looking for a lighter foundation to combat the heat but still want a somewhat flawless base, I've got you covered!

Revlon Colorstay Foundation - Straight up one of the best drugstore foundations there has ever been and ever will be. Providing oily/combination and dry/combination options is only just the first bonus as a pretty damn good colour range and medium to high, non-cakey coverage follows. Although I want a lighter, more breathable base in the summer, I've never found this to be heavy on the skin considering its coverage and thickness so I still reach for this on my longer, 9-5 type days. This is the most expensive of the foundations in this post retailing at around £10-11, but it lasts a long time and it is certainly worth every penny. Oh, and it has SPF 15.

L'oréal True Match Foundation I’m sure it’s no surprise that this puppy has made the shortlist. This line is perfect for anyone and everyone with its extensive range of shades, designed for one and all. Now here’s the funny part. None of the shades as standalone shades are actually a perfect match for me. *Alanis Morisette’s “Ironic” begins to play*. I sit somewhere between Neutral Ivory and Golden Ivory, but the pump dispenser bottles make mixing shades easy. The coverage of this I would say is a sheer medium, but it builds beautifully and it is feather light feeling on the skin with SPF 17. I've found that it doesn't have the staying power of the Revlon Colorstay, but it definitely gives you that "your skin but better" look and its a great drugstore dupe for the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation.

L'oréal Infallible 24H-Matte Foundation Another L'oréal winner here. This foundation isn’t the perfect match for my skin tone, but I don’t mind having to buff a bit of bronzer and coloured finishing powder to get it there. Some in the blogosphere have compared this to Nars Sheer Glow and I would completely agree. The differences? A cheaper price tag, a less than desirable colour range, and a slightly more matte finish (as the name would suggest). This is a great foundation for a matte but not “too matte” finish which oilier skin types might desire in the summer months. Again, like all L'oréal foundations it would seem, its longevity is great and it has a really manageable formula. Winner winner chicken dinner.

L'oréal Nude Magique Eau De Teint - I swear this post isn't sponsored by L'oréal, they just really nail the foundations. This is the wildcard for me. Remember what I said about liking the higher coverage bases? This is not one of them. This "lighter than water" foundation doesn't really provide any coverage, but it evens out the skin tone and with a few dabs of concealer where it's needed, it really works for the days when you just don't want to wear makeup. The colour range again isn't too great, and if you're a pinkier toned pale lady, be cautious as the lightest shade Porcelain is preeetty yellow, and if you suffer from dry this will cling to every dry patch like no one's business. The formula so light and quick-drying, you have no choice but to apply with your fingers as there is certainly no time to buff this stuff, but that makes it the one and only foundation I reach for on rushed mornings.

What foundations do you like to wear during the sweatier months?

- A.
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July 21, 2015

Double Denim

Double DenimDouble DenimA-Line Denim SkirtButton Down SkirtTan Leather BagPrimark Skirt
It's only right that I start off this fresh blog wearing a fashion faux pas combo that I cannot get enough of. I love denim. Like I mean I really love denim and wearing two winning shades of it together? I can't think of anything better. My luck has been in this year as denim has been at the centre of what's on trend, and I guarantee that you will be sick of the sight of the stuff over here on Northern Blood as the months roll by (unless you're another denim bummer, then hi, you're a welcomed a friend here, compadre). I also kind of love a good socks and sandals combo, but I don't think I have the English dad on holiday in a hot foreign country sass that is needed to pull those off.

What's a fashion faux pas you admittedly actually kind of love?

Topshop Denim Shirt | Primark Denim Skirt (similar) | Primark Belt (similar) |
Primark Bag (similar but way better) | Office Sandals (similar)

- A.
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