Saturday, 5 September 2015

August Favourites

Hello lovelies! 

I've only done one "Favourites" post before but that was a looooooong time ago and I feel like I need to update you guys! However, to add a little twist I thought I'd add a couple of non-beauty favourites, so here we are! 

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - £4.19

I can't tell you how much I love this product. And if you don't believe me, ask the likes of Zoella and they'll tell you how amazing it is! Its staying power is beyond that of any other concealer I've tried, it lasts for ages AND it's a bargain! You can't go wrong! There are only 4 shades which is a little disappointing but overall it's a really good budget product. Also, one tube lasts quite a while because you don't need much to achieve standard coverage, particularly under the eyes. 

Rimmel London Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves Mascara - £6.99

I love this mascara! My lashes are curly but short so mascara instantly opens up my eyes and this one does a great job! After a couple of layers my lashes are nicely fanned out and look longer and thicker, and all with a very reasonable price tag! 

Benefit Gimme Brow - £18.50

Definitely one of my more high-end products, but this is amazing! Check out my blog post here for the full review! 

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water - £4.99

This is another product that has been recommended by many bloggers, and I for one am a huge fan! It's gentle on the skin (which is good because I have dry/combination skin) but does an amazing job at removing makeup - my chances of having panda eyes the following morning have been significantly reduced! Also, a 400ml bottle lasts for ages - I started using this last year and I'm still only on my second bottle! 

MAC Lip Pencil in Whirl - £12.50

Again, not exactly a cheap product but this is one of my favourite lip liners. It's a little bit darker than a nude tone so it still gives the lips some colour and definition (particularly good for me because my natural lip line disappears towards the corners of my mouth... Very annoying!) and it's easy to wear with either a smokey eye (if I still want something on my lips) or as part of a more natural makeup look (think 'my lips but better'). It's relatively long-lasting but if it wears off and you don't have the pencil with you to top up (which is something I've done far too often) it doesn't show very much so you don't have to worry! 

And now for the non-beauty section...

Pretty Little Liars 

My friends Georgia and Michaela got me into this series (and I simultaneously love and hate you both for it!). The show follows four friends - Aria, Emily, Spencer and Hanna - as they try to find clues to explain the disappearance of their leader, Allison. I'm currently on Season 4 and Season 6 was put on Netflix in June so I have some catching up to do but I'm hooked! Expect lots of drama, terrifying encounters and, let's face it, some incredibly attractive male characters! (seriously, Ezra and Wren are welcome in my house any time...) 

5 Seconds of Summer

Possibly a surprising thing to write about (if you don't really know me - my friends will probably roll their eyes haha), but I first started becoming interested in these guys when their single She Looks So Perfect was released early last year. I know, I know, they've been around since 2011 and believe me, I've watched enough YouTube videos to understand the inside jokes, but in the last couple of months I literally can't get enough of them. As I write this I'm listening to their songs on Spotify... They've just released a bunch of new material and my favourite at the moment has to be Jet Black Heart - words can't describe how good I think it is! Other personal favourites are Disconnected and Wrapped Around Your Finger - seriously, go check them out! And of course it's always entertaining to see what colour Michael's going to dye his hair next... 

Let me know if you like this style of post, and share your monthly favourites in the comments below! 

Lots of love,

Fliss xx

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Everything Happens for a Reason

Hello lovelies! 

I've got a bit of a philosophical post for you today. I was never really one of those people who believed in fate or destiny but lately I've started to think that there might be something to it. I was on the Tube today (I know, an odd place for such an epiphany) when I started thinking about this concept of things happening for a reason and was inspired to write this post. 

My first choice of university was Southampton, because I loved the atmosphere of the city, and the fact that it was on the coast also made me feel somewhat at home. And of course, the actual English Literature course appealed to me and I thought I would enjoy my time there. However, when I opened my A-Level results and discovered that I hadn't done quite as well as I thought I had, I contacted Southampton to try and see if they would still accept me. When I realised I wasn't going to be attending, I was understandably upset. 

But, as they say, every cloud has a silver lining. My insurance choice was the University of Westminster as their entry requirements were slightly lower and the course also appealed to me. So, once the wheels had been set in motion, I started preparing myself for the next three years of my life (and maybe more) that were to be spent in the Big Smoke. And this is where things changed. 

Five years ago, I never would have pictured myself living in London. And yet here I am, about to embark on my second year at uni and go on even more adventures. I've lived in the city for almost a whole year and I'm so glad I chose to move away from home (although I do still like going back to my parents and being looked after once in a while) to become a fully-fledged adult individual. Part of me thinks I may never have enjoyed Southampton, but of course there's no way of knowing for certain. On the other hand, I wouldn't swap my time in London for anything. 

Attending Westminster means that I have met some amazing people who I know will be friends for life and I am incredibly lucky to have met them. If I didn't come here I wouldn't have met my lovely boyfriend (in October we will have been together a year... that's crazy!) or any of his equally lovely friends and family. I wouldn't have been able to have the opportunities and experiences that London has offered me and will continue to offer me over the next few years. 

I've started to think that things have worked out this way on purpose. I was meant to meet people who will make me laugh until I snort/cry (whichever comes first), people who will challenge me and encourage me to be the best version of myself that I can possibly be. I was meant to meet people who create opportunities that will develop my skills in areas such as leadership, communication and teamwork. And most of all, I was meant to be thrown into a city that can literally make my dreams come true. 

Okay, now that I've finished writing and read back through this post I realise this sounds incredibly corny, cheesy, whatever you want to call it. But I genuinely think that I'm meant to be on this path in my life. 

What are your thoughts on this? Let me know in the comments! 


Fliss xx

Monday, 27 July 2015

Meeting Giovanna Fletcher!

Hello lovelies! 

It's taken a while to write (moving into a new flat and not having any internet for over two weeks didn't help either... More on that later) but now I'm finally doing it. This post is all about my amazing experience meeting Giovanna Fletcher! 

Some of you may have heard of Giovanna. She's an author (of three and a half novels), a blogger for Hello! magazine, and she has her own YouTube channel! She's also married to Tom from McFly/McBusted and mum to the absolutely gorgeous Buzz. If you haven't heard of this family, seriously... Have you been living under a rock?! 

Anyway, I've loved all of Giovanna's books (Billy and Me, You're the One that I Want, Christmas with Billy and Me, and her latest novel Dream a Little Dream), and just over a month ago she released a few dates for book signings for Dream a Little Dream. The first one took place in Waterstone's in Covent Garden and I couldn't miss the opportunity! 

The evening started with a mini interview with a lovely lady called Anna James, followed by a Q&A session with everyone who attended, and of course the actual book signing. And I was so pleased that, just like me, Giovanna pictures the beautiful Eddie Redmayne as Billy Buskin, the male protagonist of Billy and Me! She was just as down to earth, bubbly and generally lovely lady that she appears to be in her videos and I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a few pinch-me moments! 

I may or may not have mentioned it before but I am an aspiring writer (and of course I love books) so to meet one of my favourite authors was incredible! 

Okay, I'm going to stop rambling now. Here are a couple of photos:

Me and the lovely lady herself!

The message inside my copy of Dream a Little Dream

If you want to check out Giovanna's novels, here are the links! 

Also, I mentioned earlier that I've moved into a new flat, so I was wondering if you guys wanted me to write a post about that? Just let me know! 

Lots of love,

Fliss xx

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Review: Benefit Gimme Brow

Hello lovelies! 

I haven't done a beauty post in a while so I thought I'd write about a recent purchase of mine, Benefit's "Gimme Brow" brow gel. I'd seen several bloggers rave about this and I thought I'd give it a try. 

This "brow-volumising fibre gel" can be used on its own to create the "my face but better" look, or on top of brow powder to keep it in place... And as someone who always struggled with patchiness towards the end of the day, I'm extremely impressed! 

There are two shades of this product, light/medium and medium/deep. I feel like it might be better to have a more varied range as not everybody's natural brow colour will fall into these categories. I bought light/medium (it was a no-brainer, really, seeing as I'm a blonde). 

Aside from the product, I like the simple packaging. Also, how nice is the bag?! 

I took some photos to see the difference:

 Without "Gimme Brow"

 With "Gimme Brow" on its own

With "Gimme Brow" on top of "Naked 2" from the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette

Aside from the very natural finish that you get from this product, I love the fact that you only need a tiny amount to achieve a good result on each brow, meaning that it will last you a long time before having to buy a replacement, which makes the £18.50 price tag more justifiable. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, if you've bought it, or if I've persuaded you to go out and get one of these yourself! Let me know!

Lots of love,

Fliss xx

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Shopping: Online vs In-Store

Hello lovelies! 

Like a lot of my blog posts, today's topic has come from a spot of daydreaming. I was having my breakfast and was in my own little world when an advert came on the television promoting an online women's clothing brand. This got me thinking about the pros and cons of online/in-store shopping (and not just for clothes) and I decided I should write a post about it. 

Disclaimer: These are my own personal opinions/experiences. I'm definitely not saying that you should only shop in-store or only shop online because they both have their uses! 

Let's start with clothing. Personally, I prefer to shop in-store. The reason for this is because my body will not co-operate with any old item. For example, I have an extremely curvy back and so jeans from most places will have an irritating gap at the back... Needless to say I can't just buy jeans online because there's no guarantee that they'll be a comfortable fit. The one store I have found (so far) that sells well-fitting jeans is Primark. And of course I have to go in-store and try them on just to double check that they're right. Comfy and inexpensive? Count me in! 

The other reason I have for shopping in-store is that my figure in general can be frustrating at times to clothe. I have what is commonly known as an hourglass figure - big in the boob department, a comparatively smaller waist and relatively wide hips (as well as a sizeable behind). And although there is nothing wrong with being this shape (or any shape for that matter - love your body!), it does make clothes shopping a tad difficult. Let's think about a shirt/blouse - they're a flattering fit but in order to avoid an embarrassing incident of button-pinging and boob-flashing I sometimes need to buy a size 12-14 (depending on the store). Most tops will fit my waist at a size 10 but to accommodate the chest area I need to go up a size or two. Therefore it is impossible to buy a form-fitting top online as there is no way of knowing which size will fit me the best. The same goes for dresses - I tend to steer clear of bodycon styles as I know they will most likely cling to me in all the wrong places so my preferred style is a skater dress - fitted at the waist and flaring out at the hips. I find this style flattering as it shows off my figure the way I intend (mind you, if you're not wearing tights with one you'll need to be careful of the wind - I've had many awkward experiences with poorly-timed gusts!). 

For things such as books or CDs/DVDs (yes, I still buy them!), it's a case of whichever is more convenient. I do quite like going to bookshops because I enjoy the atmosphere of them and like other bookworms I love the smell of actual paperback books (does that sound weird?), although my Kindle comes in very handy. However, I do like to use websites such as Amazon (other sites are available of course) if I can't find a book in-store. Also, they give you the option of gift-wrapping the book if it's for someone else (the lazy girl in me loves this feature...)! It's the same with CDs and DVDs - while I love physical copies, if it's hard to find I can normally rely on websites to point me in the right direction. 

Online shopping is also very helpful if you don't have easy access to a high street or if you simply don't have the time (or energy - let's face it, traipsing from store to store when it's pouring with rain isn't fun for anyone) and you can do it from the comfort of your sofa/bed/soft-furnishing of your choice... What's not to like about that?

The other great thing about online shopping, though, is that you can refine your search to save trawling through an entire website to find one item - or walking round a whole store to find something. You can specify size, colour, price, style... It's so easy! I tend to look online for something first and then if I might need to see it in the flesh I can then go in-store and see for myself. See, told you they both have their uses! 

I hope this post isn't too boring or lengthy/bulky! I just thought it would be good to share my views on this issue. What do you guys think?

Lots of love! 

Fliss xx

Thursday, 7 May 2015

University: A Transformation

*Peeks out from behind pillow/duvet/other method of defence* 

Before we get started, I have been away for FAR too long and I am SO sorry! My New Year's resolution to be more organised has been successful in some parts but not so much in others, and my university assignments had to take priority. 

But now all my assessments are out the way and I'm freeeeeeeeeeee! So, without further ado, I feel like I can now talk about the difference in me that university has made.

Before I go any further, I am well aware that university is not for everyone and I am in no way telling you that this is your only choice. It's highly likely that some of the changes I've noticed in me would have happened regardless of whether I'd attended uni or not, and instead are down to becoming an adult and being able to see things differently. 

Okay, now that's clear, here are a few things I've noticed within myself that have changed:

1) I think the biggest change in me is that I'm a lot more confident. Perhaps that is because of the amazing group of friends that I have around me who will support me no matter what (and I would do the same for them)!

2) This is kind of similar to the last point but in a way it's also different. I've become so much more independent since I've moved away from home, not only because I've had to learn how to live by myself, which makes you REALLY appreciate all that your parents did for you while you were living under their roof (and annoying the living daylights out of them at times - sorry Mum and Dad!), but also because I live in London, which is a huuuuuge city and so finding out how to get somewhere takes time and practice (I can now name a few Underground lines just by the station, go me! Buses, on the other hand, are a work in progress...). Even walking around becomes a skill - I now can't get rid of my 'London pace', so whenever I go home to Sheppey, where everything is much smaller, I end up nearly halving my journey because I can't help but walk so fast! And of course there's the personal safety factor - traffic in London is ridiculously heavy all the time so you always have to have your wits about you and be careful when crossing roads etc. Aside from that, it's crucial to be careful when walking around places late at night, or in dodgy areas (or both, but stick to safer, well-lit areas if you can) and even in daylight remember to look out for yourself and your friends to avoid putting yourself in danger. 

Okay, parental lecture over...

3) I just feel happier in general. Again, that's largely due to my super-duper friends, but I feel more self-assured and a lot more positive about life than I did this time last year. I have a more 'can-do' attitude and although I have down days (let's face it, who doesn't?), for the most part I have a lot to smile about! 

That's pretty much all I have to say right now, so I'll wrap this up. I just thought I'd share these ponderings and see what you guys think! 

Lots of love,

Fliss xx

Monday, 2 February 2015

The Theory of Everything

Hello lovelies!

So yesterday my lovely boyfriend took me to see The Theory of Everything, and there's really only one word to describe it: AMAZING.

I'd wanted to see the film as soon as I heard about it, but if you haven't seen it and don't know what it's about, I'll try and give you a brief overview...

The film is a biopic of Professor Stephen Hawking's life, starting with his days as a PhD student at Cambridge University in the early 1960s and ending with his visit to Buckingham Palace. Based on the real Jane Wilde Hawking's memoir, Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, it tells the story of how Stephen (played by Eddie Redmayne) and his wife Jane (played by Felicity Jones) dealt with the heartbreaking news that he had developed motor neurone disease and was given a prognosis of just two years. They do not let these huge obstacles defeat them and go on to get married and have three children, and Stephen continues to study the concept of time and gains many awards for his work. Help arrives in the form of the church choir leader, Jonathan, who also provides an intriguing sub-plot in which we learn that he lost his wife to leukemia and is happy to help Jane out, which consequently results in a love-triangle situation and some doubts concerning Timothy, the youngest of the Hawkings' children. Eventually, Jane decides that she can't do it on her own any more, and enlists the help of Elaine, who also contributes to the romantic sub-plot. We later see not only the deterioration of Stephen's physical abilities, but also the deterioration of his relationship with Jane, although thankfully there is no bitterness between them. 

Both Redmayne and Jones act incredibly well in this film. I am no critic, but I think Redmayne's portrayal of Stephen is perfect; it wasn't over- or under-acted in any way and he certainly threw himself into the role to get it just right. This is particularly evident in the scene when he falls and is taken to hospital, just before being diagnosed. I also think that Jones does an excellent job of reminding us that while dealing with motor neurone disease is unbelievably hard for Stephen, it also takes its toll on Jane, who fights as many day-to-day battles as her husband. 

I'm not going to lie: I cried when I watched the film. A lot. So you MUST take tissues with you if you're going to see it. I'm quite an emotional person but even my other half admitted he welled up on one occasion (and although he can be quite a soppy person - not that I'm complaining - he doesn't cry easily)! 

On a side note, I think it's incredible that Professor Hawking has achieved so much, both before and after his diagnosis, and in terms of scientific and personal achievements, and I believe he is a true inspiration to us all. 

Overall, the film strikes just the right balance in terms of the attention given to the academic and personal highs and lows of Stephen's life, and it certainly deserves the numerous award nominations. I can confidently say that it is a must-see film! 

Let me know if you like this style of post and if you'd like to see more of them in the future! 

Lots of love, 

Fliss xx