On Thursday, myself and 7 other ladies were invited down to Harvey Nichols (!!!) to take a sneak peak at the new Stila Spring collection. I'd not yet tried anything from them, but I'd heard good things about their products and so I thought this would be a really great introduction to the brand. 

The new Spring collection consists of 4 Kajal Eye Liners, 14 Liquid Eye Shadows, and 18 Liquid Lipsticks! Thats a lot of swatches, believe me! The collection is based around 'Bohemian Beauty' which is evident in their choice of shades and the shade names. Part of the new collection was even specifically designed with Summer festivals in mind.

Throughout the afternoon the products were passed between us so we all had  the chance play around and take some snaps. Whilst we oohed and aahed at the sparkle and shades of the products Sascha, the Stila Makeup Artist, ran us through the range and demonstrated how each of the products worked. 

Being a novice to Liquid Eyeliners I'll admit I was unsure about how I would be able to use them, I mean I can't even apply liquid lipstick without smearing it all over my face, so how would I fare with using a similar product on my eyelids? But after swatching the products and being shown how to blend them I'm fairly confident even I could wear them. Despite being liquid, the formula blends really well and can easily be built up if I wanted to go for a really striking look. I was instantly taken by several of the shades in the Eye Shadow range, however the two that really caught my attention were 'Jazabel' which is a warm rose gold tone, and 'Carefree' which is a fantastic coral shade. I'll definitely be getting my hands of those beauties as soon as possible!

As for Liquid Lipsticks, they are a product I've always struggled with. In the past I've found them gloopy and time consuming to apply. That being said I don't think I've purchased a Liquid Lippy priced over £5 and I think that might be the problem. Although there are some great budget products our there, I do think you do get what you pay for with makeup. So with that in mind, I paid special attention to the formula whist swatching the new lipsticks. Straight away they seemed a lot less thick than the previous products I'd used and they also dried a lot quicker too. As well as a standard formula Stila have also released a range of sheer Liquid Lipsticks which are a godsend for someone like me. Instead of applying like a block of colour, these Lippys are less opaque and dry very flat to the skin. They too can be built up quite easily. I was lucky enough to be gifted one of the Sheer Liquid Lipsticks in the fabulous shade 'Patina' so I will be trailing and testing that out over the coming weeks.

The last products to be passed around were the Kajal Liners. I've been a big fan of really thick pigmented Eyeliners since my teen years. I've worn a smokey eye for most of my adolescent life and so I was excited to be introduced to a high end version of a product that I've almost always used. I definitely wasn't disappointed. The Liners come in a twist up case which makes them really easy to apply, and they also have a smudge tip on the end making my go-to smokey eye a piece of cake. Now I clearly didn't listen properly during the demonstration because I attempted to pull off the lid around the smudge tip but ended up pulling off more of the case than I bargained for. I thought I'd broken it to be honest, and it wasn't until literally 5 minutes ago that I realised I had actually pulled off the built in sharpener! Yes they really did think of everything! The Kajal Liners come in 4 shades, a blue, a brown, a black, and a nude shade to be used on the waterline to really open the eye up.

Overall I pretty much fell in love with the new collection. The selection of colours and the vividness of the them all was just unreal. I'm a sucker for anything sparkly, and considering most of the products contained a large helping of what I can only assume was fairy dust, I think its safe to say I'll be back to purchase a few pieces in the near future.

Have you tried anything from the new Spring rang? What was your favourite product?

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Mother's day is almost here and like many others, I still haven't purchased my mom's present. I've been deciding what to buy her for a couple of weeks but now I'm running our of time to get her something really nice. Whilst on the hunt for the perfect present I thought I would put together a little gift guide for anyone else in the same position as me.

- Gifts for Mom -
What have you decided to get your mom this year? I'm still pretty undecided, but as I wont actually be here for the big day I'll probably grab some flowers and celebrate with her when we both have the time.

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- Shop The Look -
These boots are made for walking! Well I mean aren't all shoes really? Anyyyyway, I finally got around to shooting another outfit of the day! I leave it way too long in between outfit shoots, and I don't know why because I find them so fun!

Sean and I popped to Leamington Spa last weekend and because its such a pretty little town I knew I wanted to get some photos there. I had planned on shooting against the lovely white buildings that line the town centre but it was just too busy and I'm not about posing in front of people! Instead I opted to flounce around in the much quieter but just as lovely, Jephson Gardens.

I'm not going to lie, I'm actually really happy with how these photographs turned out. Sean is getting pretty good with my camera and I'm actually learning how to pose? I wont be winning Britains Next Top Model anytime soon but I can definitely feel myself getting more confident with everyone outfit shoot I do!

I really hope you guys like this outfit! I'd love to see a few of your outfit posts, link them below or send them over to me on twitter!

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So I never really got into Hairspray the film, and when I say I never got into it I mean I never watched it. In fact I actively avoided it. Something about it just really didn’t appeal to me and I don't know why. Not even Zac Efron could tempt me into watching what I assumed would just be another cheesy musical.

So when I received an invitation to the opening night showing of Hairspray at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre I was unsure. I’ve seen a lot of stage shows in my time and if I’m honest there are very few that I didn’t like; I can’t actually think of any right now that I didn’t enjoy. So with that in mind, I accepted the invite and ignored any reservations I might have had about the show, and I am so glad I did. 

Now I’m no art critic, far from it, but I know what I like and this, I loved. Everything from the stage backdrops to the amazing costumes, and the dancing was just fab. Don’t even get me started on the incredible voices of the actors, there was literally not one average singer on that stage. I will say the older ladies definitely stole the show when it came to the big notes though. 

As for the story, it was all about self love and civil rights. I’m always rooting for the underdog, and being a big girl myself I really appreciated the body positivity. I left that night feeling fantastic. Equality for all is also a huge part of the show and I think one of the reasons both the production and film did so well is because unfortunately the same messages that were being pushed back in the 60s are still very relevant today. We are still not where we need to be in terms of equality.

When it’s comes to my favourite character that’s quite hard to pick but let’s be honest, we always have one. I really want to say the main character Tracey Turnblad was my favourite, her voice and mannerisms after all were spot on but nope, my winner was her BFF. Penny, the squeaky, geeky friend brought together everything I love about theatre and I really enjoyed her performance. 

So a cheesy musical it might be, but I can now understand the cult status behind the show. I doubt I’ll be watching the movie anytime soon but the good messages and general positive vibes have stayed with me days after watching the production and to me that’s a sign of a good stage show. 

Have you seen Hairspray yet?

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I'm sure everyone and their little sister has this palette now but I'm going to throw my two pennies worth in too. The Naked Heat Palette was released over the summer and it fast became one of the most Instagramable products out there, hell I still post photos of it on my own account to this day! So is it really worth the hype?

The Retail Price
As always with a product review I'm going to start with the price. The Naked Heat Palette is not cheap, retailing at just under £40 in most stores. It will cost a minimum wage worker about 6 hours pay. When I put it like that it sounds like a lot, almost a days wages for makeup? Really? But if you buy eye shadow singles like I do, it actually doesn't work out too bad. A good quality eyeshadow single can cost anywhere from £10 - £20 so considering there are 12 shades to this palette, I don't think the price is too outrageous. 

I love pretty packaging on my makeup products, its one of the reasons I try to purchase high end makeup if I can afford it. The Naked Heat Palette definitely doesn't disappoint in that department. For one the outer casing is plastic which I think is great as it is sturdy and easy to clean. I'm not about cardboard packaging at all. The case is also super aesthetically pleasing, and the best looking of all the Naked Palettes in my opinion. 
Its all well and good having a nice looking product but what is the quality like? Well its actually pretty decent too. Urban Decay is known for its pigmented high quality products so I'm really not surprised how vibrant to colours come out on my skin. That being said my Naked Three Palette didn't live up to my expectations so I wasn't sure how this palette would compare. The eyeshadows are fairly creamy whilst also being easy to blend and I don't feel that they crease up on my eyelids either. I do apply a fair amount of primer before using the palette though so that might have an effect on it. 

My Verdict
So what is my overall opinion on the Naked Heat Palette? I love it. Although some of the darker shades are harder to wear with my pale Winter skin, I've really enjoyed wearing it so far. Its a good quality palette with long-wearing eyeshadows that are super easy to blend. What more could you want?

Have you tried out the Naked Heat Palette? What did you think of it? 

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Valentines Day is almost here but you don't have to wait for someone else to buy you a gift, treat yourself to something fancy from my list of goodies below! Valentines day is all about celebrating love, and who better to show some appreciation to than yourself? Am I right?!

- Bags -
- Shoes - 
- Beauty - 
Will you be treating yourself to this anything nice Valentines Day?

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Back in June I wrote down some goals I hoped to achieve by November. Well its January now so its about time I looked back over my goals to see what I achieved in the months since finishing up with university. 

My first goal was to graduate with a Merit. Maybe I should have set my sights higher but by the end of my first year I was just passing my course so a Merit would have been fab. Towards the end of my course however I put a lot more effort into my work and I completely smashed my goal! I finally graduated in November with a Distinction in HND Photography and I couldn't have been happier.

My second aim was to to move out. Well I'm sure you all know how this one ended! I'm still saving to move out with Sean only this time we are scraping together for a mortgage deposit. That's going to take us the best part of two years so don't hold your breath on me moving out anytime soon!

My third goal was to get some driving lessons. I've been putting this off for years now, its honestly getting silly. That being said, I'm really scared of being in cars, vehicles in general really since I was involved in a couple of incidents a few years back. I do still want to learn to drive, I just have to get over my fears first.

Another goal I set myself was to get a full time job. This is definitely still a work in progress unfortunatly. I've applied for a few jobs with no success, social media roles are quite competitive, but I haven't given up. I'm still working in retail for now but hopefully, with a bit of luck and a few decent cover letters to the right people, I'll be in full time employment soon!

My final goal was to visit a new country! I smashed this one too! Back in September Sean and I took a trip around Europe visiting 6 countries, 5 of which I'd never set foot in before. I think I'm going to aim to visit a new country every year from now on because you just can't beat visiting a new place.

So I managed to hit 2 out of 5 goals. Its not bad but its definitely not great. I do think setting manageable targets for yourself is such a good idea though, even if they are quite small as its such a good feeling to tick off something you really want to do!

What are your goals right now?

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Hungarian Parliament Building

Budapest was one of the most beautiful cities I had the pleasure of visiting last September. I was lucky enough to spend 4 amazing days wandering around the city, and although the time I had there was short, I did a lot. So in no particular order here are the 4 things you have to do whilst visiting Budapest!

Climb Gellert Hill - Gellert Hill towers over the city of Budapest. Standing at 235 meters tall, the walk up is not for the faint hearted, but the view from the top is breathtaking (and not just because you're still gasping for air). The Citadella also sits at the top of Gellert Hill which features some fantastic sculptures. I would recommend getting to the top about an hour before sunset so you watch as the night takes over Budapest.

View from Gellert Hill

Explore the Labyrinth Under Buda Castle - Its quite hard to find reliable information online about the Buda Castle Labyrinth, most sources say it closed in 2011, however it was very much open in September 2017 when we visited. I don't want to give too much away about this place, so I will just say this, take a torch. If you must know more about the Labyrinth, I tour it in my Budapest vlog

Cycle around Margaret Island - From what I remember hiring bikes on Margaret Island was either free or very very cheap, either way thats what we did and we had a fantastic time. The Island is quite large so touring it on bicycles cuts out a lot of walking time which is important as there is loads to see. From dancing fountains to a small zoo, the Island has it all!

Szechenyi Thermal Baths

Take a dip in a Thermal Bath - There are several Thermal Baths dotted around Budapest and you can't say your trip is complete without relaxing in one of them. I chose to visit the Szechenyi Thermal Bath which is one of the most popular and most likely the one you'll see on Instagram. The Thermal Baths can be fairly pricey, well for Budapest standards anyway, but they are well worth the Forints!

Budapest is such an exciting city filled with things to do, it was really was hard to pick just 4! I would love to know what attractions you think should have made the list, feel free to leave your recommendations below!

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