Self care, skin care,
& nurturing Mother Nature.

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

August 31, 2015

365 Days | 036 : 042

036.| 365
I feel like the amount of "sky" pictures I take is getting a little bit silly, but it always seems to change to such gorgeous colours, I couldn't resist another one. Besides, I did absolutely nothing on this day as I wasn't feeling myself so its much better than a photo of me in my pajamas!

037.| 365
On Tuesday, I got up and ready really early to head into university to try and be somewhat productive. I got there, realised there was scaffolding/building work surrounding and blocking the entrance to the library, swore under my breath, and turned around to go back home. Turns out, in the 3 years I've studied in this library, I didn't realise there's another lower floor entrance to the building so it wasn't actually out of action (doh). It did mean I got a couple of nice pictures of my walk home before the rain set in though.

038.| 365
The weather on Wednesday was so bad. Wind and heavy rain should never go hand in hand and it leaves me panicking about what to do with my hair. I had just dyed it the day before, so there was no chance of scraping it up into a bun as my neck and ears were a lovely shade of purple, so this was my next best option as a hat would have blew away.

039.| 365
I picked up a lot of books yesterday at university to help with planning for my course and well, they were all a bit rubbish *massive thumbs down emoji*

040.| 365
Matt & I went to get some breakfast at our local diner. I had a huge stack of cinnamon pancakes with bacon and maple syrup and went into a food fueled high-carb coma. I had to get a photo of one of the many buildings in Winchester on the waddle back home, though.

041.| 365
After getting a little bored with our usual meals, myself and Matt decided to give this recipe a whirl and it was delicious: Polenta "tart" with rosemary, mushrooms and mozzarella, with a side salad & raspberry dressing. Mm-hm!

042.| 365
Matt has his master's dissertation due in less than a month's time so he's been going through his drafts to make sure it's perfect whilst I, on the other hand, have been being annoying. (Please ignore our washing in the background... The cons of living in a small flat with no dryer: having to hang bedsheets etc. on anything and everything in the house for them to dry)

- A.
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August 28, 2015

The Double Wear Dupe

Some of you might remember a little while ago I mentioned that I tend to lean towards the medium to higher coverage foundation most days as they even out my skin tone, give me makeup/oil-free security throughout the day, and do a bloody good job of hiding my acne. You might also remember me saying that I've never found my "holy grail" foundation yet and therefore like to trial some now and again and well this time, I found a diamond.

I've went through my fair share of budget and high end foundations and one that I always sing the praises of is the Estée Lauder Double Wear. Most people will know this gets rave reviews and as one would expect, it is extremely high coverage (possibly the highest I've ever found thus far) and does a great job of ticking all the boxes you'd want a high coverage foundation to tick. The only one it doesn't tick for me is the price tag. Looking at around £30 per bottle, its not ridiculously expensive, but if you wear a full face almost every day of the week like I do, those thirty pounds start to add up quick and using it as your daily foundation gets a little ridiculous. So I felt a dupe was needed and I think I found one purely by accident.

Armed with my "£3 off No.7 makeup" voucher that I was adamant to actually use as usually I miss the use by date on these things, I picked up the No.7 Beautifully Matte Foundation in the shade "Warm Ivory". First up let's talk about that. I am a pale pale girl, but I also have very yellowy skin and most drugstore foundations don't usually cater for the two. This is the third lightest shade. Did you read that? third. That is so novel for someone who tends to buy the palest shade and its sometimes too dark/too pink. So that was a winner instantly.

Now let's talk about the foundation itself. As its drugstore, the fact that it says it is full coverage and will give you "14-hour anti-shine protection" should be taken with a pinch of salt. Its more medium coverage but very buildable, and as an oily girl, it gave me maybe 2-3 hours coverage before the blotting ensued. That being said though, I have quickly fell in love with this stuff. It is hypo-allergenic, contains salicylic acid for aid against breakouts, and contains SPF 15 and therefore is all-round a pretty good foundation for various skin needs and conditions. Although it is aimed at normal to oily skin, I think if you're looking for a matte finish if you're a dry skin lady, this may still work for you as it is no where near as drying as the Estée Lauder Double Wear. It gives a gorgeous velvet finish, does a noticeable good job at covering large pores, and I find it extremely comfortable/hydrating to wear even on long 9-5 type days.

I've found it works best with a beauty blender rather than a brush, but if you have time to do some extra buffing, a brush would do the job perfectly well too. As it comes in a pump dispense bottle, you also don't waste any product like you can do many many times with the likes of the Double Wear and Clinique glass bottle foundations. It is also one of the few foundations I use that doesn't oxidise on my skin or change colour after my powder has been applied which makes it the most perfect colour match for me. It has taken some getting used to as it is actually the right shade for me and I'm so used to my foundations being slightly off, but I could not recommend it enough. And at £13.50 per bottle, its better than half the price of its high end counterpart so what's not to love?

*The current No.7 £3 off makeup voucher is active until the 31st August so grab one now!

- A.
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August 27, 2015

Lazy Girl Nail Varnish

Once upon a time, I loved nail art and I could and would spend hours doing my nails. I would paint my nails at least twice/three times a week so they would always be pristine and if I had a free afternoon, I would spend even longer layering up nail decals, doing patterns with some trusty scotch tape, or sticking all manner of gems etc. to them *Cue cheesy pictorial evidence*

Nowadays, I'll be lucky if I do my nails once a week and when I do eventually do them, its usually a one coat job with little attempt to make them look remotely nice. I've been trying to rectify this, but being super busy full time can make taking a couple of hours to do your nails quite difficult. So in steps the quick drying nail varnishes.

My nails always take an eternity to dry, but quick drying varnishes make my life a little easier. I like fuss-free application so I'm going to quickly run through some of my fave polishes for any fellow lazy/impatient ladies who are looking for some new colours/brands to add to their collections.

Sally Hansen Double Duty Base & Top Coat - One step I cannot miss out of my mani routine, no matter how lazy I'm feeling, is applying a base and top coat. Not only does it protect your nails, it prolongs the life of your freshly painted claws and gives them a lovely gloss. I started using this Sally Hansen all-in-one saviour around a year ago and have never looked back. One major issue I have with my nails is that they're incredibly brittle and prone to snapping, and this base & top coat combo helps strengthen and nourish them a great deal. It's a winner for other impatient nail-painters as it is super quick drying and convenient as its all in one bottle. Winner winner.

Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paint - I'm sure you all have witnessed hype around this product by now, but it is still one of my faves for those days when I need my nails done ASAP. The formula is extremely quick drying - so quick that by the time I've painted my thumb on one hand and gone back to my pinky for a second coat, its 100% dry. I also love the pastel range as there not you typical pastels and are somewhat muted making them a little closer to Essie in their shade range. I also love the application because the brush is wider than their usual brushes, making a quick sweep of colour a doddle.

Rimmel 60 Second Super Shine - The next drugstore contender is the Rimmel 60 Second Super Shine range. Again, the colours are great and I especially love this bright "Danny boy" blue but if its not to your taste, they have other 30 colours in the range so there's definitely something to suit everyone. This is another polish with a wide applicator, but these ones do need a couple of coats at least for them to be fully opaque. Each coat dries extremely fast though so layering up those coats doesn't take long at all. At around the same price as the Barry M Speedy Quick Dry's, they're a good alternative if you are after some brighter or darker, non-pastel shades.

Nails Inc. Magnetic Polish - These polishes are some of my faves and are great for girls who want to make a little more effort with their nail art but don't have the time, patience or creativity. This particular Nails Inc. range comes with a magnetic lid which you hold over the freshly applied coat of varnish and it creates a two tone wavy pattern, creating the illusion you've made an effort! My only gripe with Nails Inc. is they tend to chip pretty easily on me, but they're great for those days when you need to glam those nails up a little.

- A.

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August 25, 2015


Crochet and lace up necklines have been big this summer and whilst I surprisingly never got into the whole rat and boa, psychedelic coloured crochet pieces, I have lusted over many minimal palette dresses and tops sporting the trend. This dress is no exception. It's a flattering fit and is a nice dressed-down piece that I can just throw on and it looks like I've kind of made an effort.

It will be a little number I keep in my summer wardrobe arsenal for as long as it is fit for wear as I think it is the perfect beach holiday dress and city break number all rolled into one. And for once, I've found a dress from the *normal* section that doesn't swamp my petite height *cheers sound from all directions*

Topshop Denim Shirt | Topshop Crochet Dress (similar) | Primark Bag (similar) |
Miss Selfridge Watch | Office Sandals (similar)

- A.
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August 24, 2015

365 Days | 029 : 035

029.| 365
I went to Newcastle with my little brother, little cousin and my dad to visit the Game On 2.0 exhibition at the Centre for Life Science Centre. It was a really great chance to read up on video game facts, play some games I've never even seen or heard of before and of course, it was hilarious watching my dad try to play pro bass on Guitar Hero.

030.| 365
My last full day with my mama and brother was spent spending all the money in the world on food and sweets and oh my goodness gracious, I managed to get a Topshop dress in a size four and it fits like a glove. I'm not sure how it happened, but I had 2 cheeseburgers for dinner to celebrate the small victory.

031.| 365
I had a great time visiting family at home *home*, but home was calling to me. Even though I'm terrified of flying (I blame my mam's fear rubbing off on me,) I actually love being in an airport and watching the planes take off/kids getting excited about their holibobs.

032.| 365
Okay so the anniversary flowers are looking worse for wear now, but I can't be the only person who kind of likes the look of dead roses? No? Just me then?

033.| 365
Some of today's purchases include: A bottle which Matt & I bought with no real purpose for it (I think it will look beaut with just a couple of sunflowers in it because just look at that colour!) and a new fave foundation - a review is on the way...

034.| 365
Matt & I woke up quite late on Saturday morning (9:30, that's damn late for us) so after lazing around in bed for a further couple of hours, we decided we couldn't give the glorious weather a miss and went for one of our usual walks to le pub.

035.| 365
Oh look at that, yesterday's weather was obviously a freak accident because now we're back to the good ol' British summer!

- A.
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August 21, 2015

We're Going to the Zoo Zoo

**Warning, this post is picture-heavy and full of adorable beasts**

You may recall a couple of weeks back that I mentioned Matt and I went to the zoo for belated anniversary celebrations and let's just say, I had the best time. We headed to Marwell Zoo as early as physically possible, and spent a good 4/5 hours there making sure to explore the whole park.

The zoo itself was great, and was kind of a breath of fresh air as the majority of the animals were ones I'd not ever seen before in zoos and appeared to be well looked after, in enclosures which were more than spacious. I tried to take a disgusting amount of photos, but as the weather was quite overcast, a lot of them came out rather dark and couldn't be saved. But here's a few of my favourites which came out a treat:

GiraffesZebraMarwell ZooMeerkatMeerkat GrinZooMother and Baby

If you couldn't tell, I really loved the meerkats during this trip. They're not an animal I usually get excited about at the zoo, but they're just so charismatic - they're great for photographing! I also fell in love with the modelling contract-worthy shy lemurs as you will see...

LemurMadagascarKing JulianAntlersExotic BirdsBird NestWallabyBirdMonkeys

The park is great for families, couples or groups of friends as the manor house grounds provide a gorgeous place to sit in relative quietness and have a picnic away from the busy crowds. The gardens are great for those who are interested in gardening and landscaping too as they have everything from cucumbers to strawberries to lavender growing in a deadly quiet fountain area. They also have a fantastic botanical/tropical centre full to the brim with bugs, the biggest fish I've ever seen, and some pretty crazy plants.

Marwelll ManorWater FountainBotanicalCrocodileFoliageTropical PlantsPlants

And if you haven't had enough yet, head over to my Flickr for yep you guessed it, even more photos!

- A.
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