Friday, 31 March 2017

March Favourites '17


Two posts in two days after only posting twice so far this year wahoooo.

I'd like to think I'm back with a vengeance, but realistically that's not going to happen until I've finished uni. Absolutely terrified that I'll be done with exams in two months and all there will be left to do is graduate!

Any who, I've titled this post 'March' favourites, but really it's just my favourites of the year so far. Please feel free to let me know what you've been loving in the first quarter of 2017 and if any of your favourites are the same as mine!


Fashion


We've finally reached just-a-jumper weather, where there's far less need for a coat, so I've been taking the opportunity to show of some of my new favourites. First is a Green and Navy striped number from Urban Outfitters (link); it's a nice breathable material, perfect for layering under a jacket on colder days, and it's a super baggy fit that gives of a little bit of a grungier vibe. Next is a cute pale blue turtleneck from Topshop (link). Again, a nice thin knit, but with that extra neck coverage for windy days; also think the colour is really pretty. Lastly, a bright purple ASOS deep V neck (link). I think this is the first V neck jumper I've ever had and I love it, especially for the spring time. It's fairly thick, so probably best worn without a top underneath, and you can dress it up or down really easily. Some black jeans and chelsea boots for a super chic look, or pair with some vans for simple and comfy casual wear with a pop of colour.


Makeup


I've tried quite a few new makeup products in the past couple of months, but these are by far my favourites. First is the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly (link); it's perfect. I've been using a Nars Tinted Moisturiser for a long while now, so thought I'd try the concealer and it is the best I've ever used by a mile. It blends into the skin so nicely and doesn't dry out any spottier areas and it's as light as my pale face needs it to be - if you haven't tried it then you may well need to.

In my quest to find the perfect nude liquid lip, I've been trying all the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams, and I think I've settled on a favourite: Abu Dhabi (link). It's a very flattering shade, not too pink, orange or brown, and I really can't get enough of the formula of these. Big fan.

I ran out of my primer a few weeks back, and the thought of not having a layer between foundation and skin freaks me out, so I went out and found the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Pure Light Primer (link). And the GLOW. I certainly prefer a more dewy, radiant look, and if you do too then you'll love this. Day-to-day I generally just wear a light tinted moisturiser and this works wonders in combination. The spring glow I didn't realise I was so desperate for.

As a result of an offer on L'Oreal, I also picked up their True Match Foundation in 1N, Ivory (link). I'm pretty late to this one, as I knew people have been raving about it for donkeys years, but nonetheless, I am a fan. The coverage is really nice and I like that it's buildable but at the same time difficult to overdo it. It's a pretty good colour match for me, though I might have to try 1C for comparison.

Next up is the Rosie for Autograph Contour Stick (I don't think this is available online for some reason). It works really nicely with the True Match foundation, but being the pale person I am, a fair amount of blending is necessary to make the product look more natural, as it only comes in one shade and it's a little on the orange side. But a bit of elbow grease and you're all good. Defined cheekbones from a football pitch away. Also a big fan of the highlight stick from the same collection, so check that out too.

Lastly makeup wise, and certainly a spontaneous buy, is the Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics palette (link). I've had my eye on it pretty much since it came out, but towards the end of February I found myself with a £5 Debenhams voucher and also £5 on my beauty card, so I bit the bullet and have no regrets. This palette is perfect. It has all the right shades for me, with even a dusky pink that looks nice on my green eyes - I didn't think such a shade existed. Beyond happy with this one.


Beauty


In the beauty department I've just got a couple of face masks. To start with I've got a few sheet masks, which are a new found love of mine. The first is a Superdrug Purifying Facial Sheet Mask with tea tree oil (link). I find it brightens my skin, makes it smoother, and also works to tackle any spots I've got hanging around. Next is a Boots Lotus Flower and Tiger Lily Mask (link), which I only found about a week ago, but I really like. I felt my skin was about 5x as radiant after using it, so definitely one to try out. And, as my skin is usually bouncing back and forth between oily and dry, I've also been loving the Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask (link), which I've been using since towards the end of Autumn. This is probably my favourite of the three, and never fails to make me feel fresh and hydrated.

As well as sheet masks, I've also been really loving the L'Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask (link). I don't think my face has ever felt as soft as it does after I've had this mask on for 20 minutes. It has a similar effect to the Superdrug sheet mask, purifying and detoxifying the skin, and I always use this mask when I feel my skin needs a deep clean. I'll certainly be trying the other masks in this range.


Fragrance


Until towards the end of last year, I had been on the hunt for a perfume I truly loved. The idea of spending near enough a hundred pounds on 100ml of perfume made me certain I wouldn't spend the money unless I found something perfect. And I ended up finding two.

First was Chanel Coco Mademoiselle (link), which smells divine. It's a super fresh, everyday scent, with notes of jasmine, rose, orange, patchouli and vetiver. A really lovely oriental scent, different to any other perfume I've ever smelt.

The other was a Valentine's treat to myself, in the form of Valentino Donna (link). This one is certainly a sweeter smell, but still with the same floral and oriental fragrance. The notes include rose, bergamot, iris pallida, patchouli and vanilla. I find this one has a slightly stronger scent, but nonetheless is equally perfect for spring.


Books


As usual, I've had my reading cap on, so I thought I'd share a few of my favourite texts from the past month. To start with, I've been studying Shakespeare's Tragedies, and Antony and Cleopatra is by far a favourite of mine. I actually studied it at A Level, but couldn't wait to get my head back in it. I think it's probably my favourite of Shakespeare's plays, although Othello and Macbeth would follow shortly after. I think Shakespeare has a little bit of a reputation for being on the difficult side to read, but it's well worth putting a bit of extra time into his plays.

The next two texts are from my other module this semester, which is called Law and Literature. First up is Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow (link). This was such an interesting text to read, especially because it's more of a popular fiction text than perhaps a literary one. I was hooked the whole way through and it was probably the quickest text I read on the module. It follows a lawyer who is convicted for murder, which naturally leads you to question whether he did commit the crime and simply has the capability of hiding the fact, through his involvement in the law, or if he really is innocent, and in which case - who did do it? A really enjoyable text. Second is Ian McEwan's Atonement (link), which has been on my personal reading list for a few years now, so I'm really pleased I finally got round to reading it. I really enjoyed the construction of narrative in the text and how everything ultimately came together. The middle section of the book does feel a little out of place, as it doesn't really drive the plot on in the way the rest of the text does. What I found most interesting is the positioning of the characters and seeing how well the characters were constructed in relation to the narrative. Would highly recommend both these texts.

Finally, as I've finished all my course texts for my final year, I've dipped my toes back into the realm of recreational reading, which I almost forgot existed. I started my personal reading with a text by Colson Whitehead called The Underground Railroad (link). The text is effectively a slave narrative, following the escape of Cora, a girl who had ground up as a slave and whose mother was thought to have escaped years before. Of course, any slave narrative is going to be fairly harrowing, as it's pretty much unavoidable, and equally wouldn't be an accurate representation if it wasn't. I liked how the book was structured, moving from place to place, and also found it really interesting that the historical Underground Railroad network had been fictionalised as a literal railroad, with underground trains moving escapees between states. A really intriguing read.


Music


A few of my favourite artists this month have included The Weekend, whose recent album I've had on repeat for a long while now; my favourite songs include Secrets and I Feel It Coming (link). I've also been loving Sigrid's debut single: Don't Kill My Vibe (link). It's a super feel good, girl power song and I can't get enough of it. And of course, I've been really enjoying Ed Sheeran's new album, with some of my favourites being New Man, Happier and Barcelona (link).


I'm also loving Spring - arguably the greatest season of all.

What are your favourites this month/so far this year?

Until next time.


Contacts/Social Media:
Instagram: abbielour
Twitter: @abbielour
Email: abbielour18@gmail.com

Thursday, 30 March 2017

20 things I've learned in 20 years




Haaaaaaappy Spring everyone!!

Approaching my 21st birthday, I've been thinking a lot about what I've learnt in life so far, and thought I might share it with you. It's always ups and downs, but the more used to the downs you get, the better you are at making something positive from them, and I think I'm doing okay at that as far as things go. So here are 20 things I've learned in 20 (or so) years.

1. No one has a clue what they're doing, they're just going along with life as it happens, and that's fine.

2. You don't need to have a distinguished idea of 'who you are'; you're finding out every day.

3. A dog can be the love of your life and no human may ever compare.

4. Your happiness is not reliant on other people; don't ever let them make you think it is.

5. Finding yourself isn't something that just happens, it's a life-long process.

6. The fear of disappointment should never hold you back.

7. Your best is all you can do.

8. Anyone who thinks they can compare your journey to their own knows nothing about life at all.

9. Treat yourself - often and well.

10. Not all of your 'friends' are your friends; only make time for the real ones.

11. The more you read, not only the more you know, but the more you're capable of imagining, which is far more exciting.

12. What happens will happen, but you can help shape the future, little by little.

13. Love is scary and you should be wary of it, no matter how perfect it looks on some people.

14. Live in the moment and take every opportunity to experience life at its fullest (even if you're a meticulous planner like me).

15. You are your own biggest challenge - something I can't stress enough.

16. The feeling you get when you overcome something will change your life and make you appreciate all the efforts you make.

17. Mum will always be the ultimate hero.

18. Life is really tough and it's not getting any easier.

19. The right music will make you feel every emotion as it should be felt; entirely.

20. You are stronger than you'll ever understand or believe. And you got this.


Until next time.


Contacts/social media:
Instagram: abbielour
Twitter: @abbielour
Email: abbielour18@gmail.com