Thursday, 29 September 2016

Zoeva Coral Spectrum Blush Palette Review

We all know the brand Zoeva for the incredible, high quality brushes that they provide for us make-up addicts, and rightly so because they are gorgeous. But how many of you actually know that Zoeva does infact produce and sell make-up? Most probably a lot of you, but I bet that this statistic is much lower than the number of people who are aware about this brand because of their brush sets.

I am still yet to purchase a collection of their brushes simply because, I cannot justify splashing out that amount of cash, all in one go, on some brushes that I don't need, I simply just want. However, I have managed to get my hands on a part of their Spectrum Collection.

Within this gorgeous collection there is the Coral Spectrum Blush Palette, the Pink Spectrum Blush Palette, the Nude Spectrum Blush Palette, the Contour Spectrum Palette and the Cool Spectrum Eye-Shadow Palette; all retailing for just £15 from Beauty Bay as well as their Concealer Spectrum Palette which is slightly more pricey at £18. I went ahead and purchased the Coral Palette which I have been obsessed with ever since. I actually use the shades inside of this palette more than I do my Benefit Rockateur and Dandelion blushes.

Lets talk about the packaging because I just cannot deal with how sleek and sophisticated this packaging is, Zoeva have got it so right. The product comes in a square, matte black palette. The front is so simplistic with a rose gold line running down the center with the brand and product name in between, again in a rose gold font. This palette opens from the side rather than the front like most palettes within the industry and once opened up, the name of the product is written on the left, with the four gorgeous shades on the right with the brand name written largely across the center. The back continues to have the same theme as the front with the ingredients and product information written in small, rose gold font.

Moving on to the product. I love how these four shades are so different and so unique to any other blush palette. All of the shades within this palette are powder, making them so easy to work with. The first shade 'CR010' is a very bright shade of coral and would work perfectly in the summer months. The second shade, 'CR020' is a much more neutral shade but still contains very pink pigmentation and is probably my favourite out of the four. Next, the shade 'CR030' is again, much lighter yet has a shimmer hint which works so well and can be used as either a blush or a highlighter. Finally, the last shade 'CR040' is a nude with a pink and coral undertone. This shade is much more subtle and although it is very pale, still shows up incredibly on the skin. I find that the formula of these shades makes the skin feel light and silky, they haven't irritated my skin at all. The pigmentation is so, so, so good. I wasn't sure if they would show up properly on my skin or last for very long but I was pleasantly surprised. (I will include swatches at the end of this post).

On the other hand, my own fault with this product would be that it doesn't come with a mirror which can make things a bit difficult when wanting to do your make-up on the go whilst travelling. However, for the price, you really can't go wrong with this product and I would recommend this to everybody. I haven't tried out the Pink Spectrum Palette as pink can sometimes make me look too washed out but I can only guess that the formulas are the same as within this palette. If you are somebody who prefers cream blush, then this may not be for you, but I cannot explain how happy I am with this product, especially for the incredible price. You can purchase this product from Beauty Bay; a site that sells foreign products to the lovely people living within the UK. I hope to try out their Contour Spectrum Palette and hopefully purchase some of their beautiful brush sets within the future.

Shades from top to bottom: CR010, CR020, CR030, CR040.

Do you own this product? What do you think? What is your overall favourite blush?

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Sunday, 25 September 2016

September Drugstore Haul: L'Oreal, Tanya Burr Cosmetics, Elizabeth Arden

Yesterday, I braved the city with my lovely friend Leah on a beauty bargain mission. We both decided that we wanted to get some new make-up despite the fact that we defiantly didn't need anymore. We started the day with a Weatherspoons lunch and of course, a 'Blue Lagoon' and 'Very Cherry' cocktail. We next went into a number of different stores and I did defiantly spend far too much money, but I will put a small breakdown of what I purchased below, in more of a look-book style. I hope you enjoy..

Elizabeth Arden Highlighter in the shade 'First Mate' - RRP £25, bought from TK Maxx at £7.99 and not only is this product gorgeous, yet so is the packaging!

Soap & Glory 'Thick & Fast Mascara', a product that I have not tried before and look forward to giving it a go - Boots, £10.50.

Freedom Pro Lipstick Kit, Red Collection containing five lipsticks - Superdrug, £5.

Make Up Gallery 'Angled Blush Brush' & 'Angled Eye Brush' which I have heard very good reviews from and you can't go wrong with a pound -  Poundland, £1 each.

Make Up Gallery Eyeshadow Sticks in a gold and white shade, both of these products are so creamy and pigmented - Poundland, £1 each.

L'Oreal Pure Clay Face Masks in 'Detox Mask', 'Purity Mask' and 'Glow Mask' which I have been dying to get my hands on in forever yet have had no luck with finding them in stock - RRP £7.99 each, Superdrug, £5.29 each.

The final beauty purchase that I made was for the Tanya Burr Cosmetics '12 Days of Christmas Beauty Calendar' which I saw and could not resist buying as I want to review some of these calendars this year and I feel that they are such a lovely extra for the festive season. RRP, £25, Superdrug, £15.

I hope that you enjoy seeing what bits and bobs I managed to pick up! If there are any products that you would like to see a review of or featured in a look then please just leave a comment! Do you own any of these products? Which beauty advent calendars are your favourites? I look forward to trying each and everyone of these products out and will feedback the outcomes.

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Friday, 23 September 2016

The BEST Milkshakes: BellyBoos Review

It was only this morning when I was searching through my camera roll that I rediscovered the incredible milkshakes that me, my boyfriend and best friend had back in July at BellyBoos; a sweet shop based in Gorleston, Norfolk which sells everything from american, limited edition and even gluten free sweets as well as being a cafe where you can order a hot drink or one of their incredible milkshakes.

BellyBoos have a list of milkshakes that they sell, all currently pricing at £4.50. Joe went for the Chocolate Orange which is a milkshake made from chocolate orange ice cream, with a chocolate orange doughnut on top and a pile of whipped cream. Elle went for the Kinder Surprise which is a milkshake made from ice cream of your choice, with a kinder surprise on the side and various kinder chocolate bars on top, again completed with whipped cream. I went for the Waffle and Pancake stacked milkshake, where I had an Oreo flavoured milkshake, followed by a heated waffle, a pancake and a scoop of ice cream. 

All of these shakes came in cute jars with a spoon and saucer and chocolate sauce dribbled all over them. They were so filling and I must say, it was a struggle to finish them but were such a lovely addition to our day and I am so glad that I finally had the opportunity to go and try them out. I would highly recommend this shop, all of the milkshakes are made quickly and the only downside I have, is that they don't currently have a card machine.

If you would like anymore information then check out BellyBoos here, and if you have been, which milkshake did you choose?

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Why Creative Courses are Beneficial to those with Mental Illness

Hello lovely people, I hope you are all well! I thought today that I would create a rather chatty yet opinionated post about education, whether it be A-Levels, College or University and how creative courses have been beneficial to myself and many other fellow fighters of mental illness.

In today's society, there is such a wide variety of 'creative' subjects that can be chosen for an individual to participate in within education. I have also found that the higher up you go with your education, there is a much wider range of specific courses available to apply for. I am currently in Sixth Form and the creative courses that my specific college has to offer ranges from Art, Fashion and all the way through to Media, Photography and even Performance Studies. The subject that I found a passion for a few years back was Textiles Design which I took for one of my GCSEs and came out with an overall A grade. I then took this same subject as an AS in my first year of sixth form yet unfortunately this year didn't work out for me and I therefore dropped out and restarted in the following year. By this time, the Textiles Design AS and A2 Levels had changed to a Fashion & Clothing BTEC which I must admit, due to this new course being much more based on art, I was fairly anxious for. I am now in my second year of this course and I cannot explain how much I adore it, even more than I used to.

Due to the illnesses that I am battling on a daily basis, I find it extremely difficult to concentrate and I already knew that I liked Art Therapy as it gave me an opportunity to express myself and divide myself from the constant mess inside of my head. However, when I learnt that our sketchbooks were pretty much up to us to create based on just a few guidelines that we need to follow, I soon learnt that doing this coursework was not a chore at all, it was actually a really good way for me to express my ideas, become an overall more decisive individual and to distract myself from the hard stuff. 

This also applies to hobbies or activities, everybody has their own interests and talents and if there is something that you are passionate about, then please keep doing it as it will end up being so beneficial. I still sometimes find it difficult to motivate myself to do my work and to concentrate but I have managed to teach myself that when I am working in my sketchbook, it is a safe place for me and a place where my other emotions are less likely to get in the way. 

I also feel that these subjects are helpful for individuals with low self-esteem as it really allows you to find out what your true weaknesses and strengths are and a couple of years ago would have been a different story but I am now able to flick through pages of my sketchbook and come across pieces of work that I actually like. This also may take time and is a long process as there are even more pieces of work in my book that I dislike but I never thought the day would come where I actually find a piece of work that I have completed that I am proud of. I also still have issues within this subject, I am still not completely confident on a sewing machine as not only am I a perfectionist, but my head constantly tells me that I can't do a task despite all of my greatest efforts.

Being honest, if you feel that you are stuck with what paths to take with your education then I highly recommend either a subject that you know you enjoy or a creative subject which can allow you to escape the real world and stresses of every day life. Taking this course has really allowed me to come out of my shell. It is also worth mentioning that I never used to be a creative individual at all, I would find it extremely difficult to come up with ideas but with time and practice, I became better. Inspiration can be found in absolutely anything which is what I love about these types of courses. You don't have to be an artist to be good at a creative course, I am by no means an artist at all, I just have a passion for it and I express my ideas in my own, unique style. Of course, these courses aren't for everybody but I wanted to express my opinion on how they can be helpful.

What do you think about this opinion? Have creative courses benefited you in anyway? Feel free to leave any comments or even (constructive) criticism down below, I always ensure that I take the thoughts of you into consideration. I have included some pieces from my fashion sketchbook within this post to give you a rough idea of how expressive and creative you can be.

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Starting & Surviving Sixth Form: Tips & Tricks

The 'Back To School' season can be extremely daunting, especially if you are moving up from taking GCSEs to A-Levels. After already doing two years at sixth form and being halfway through getting my overall A-Level grades, I have found a few trips and tricks along the way to help me be more organised and less stressed. The jump from GCSE to A-Level is big and the workload is ridiculous but with a bit of organisation, it can be easily solved so without further ado, lets get straight into my top ten pieces of advice.

  1. You will need both folders and refill pads during both AS and A2. Many people use A4 Ring Binders but I find for the subjects that I am studying, they aren't thick enough and prefer to go for the A4 Board Lever Arch Files. As for paper, you will need it as teachers are no longer responsible for providing you with work books and stationary.
  2. I know that it is already stressed enough and has probably been drilled into your mind all of your life but a good night of sleep is essential. Being sleep deprived and having to study is both difficult and frustrating. I know that when I haven't had enough sleep, I can barely concentrate and spend at least the entire morning being miserable. I would recommend going to bed at a reasonable time and creating some sort of night routine.
  3. Get your outfit and bag ready the night before. I cannot even explain the amount of times that I have been late to sixth form due to getting changed eight times. I am indecisive as it is and therefore it is important for me to check the weather forecast and pick my outfit the evening before.
  4. Don't spend your free periods having naps, playing games or watching Netflix. I tried that in my first year and ended up dropping out as A-Levels don't complete themselves.
  5. Create a study timetable from early on in the year where you dedicate different time periods over the week where you can prioritise work from specific subjects. I am still useless at this but it is so important to ensure that not only are you studying outside of sixth form, but to make sure that you aren't slacking in your less favourite subjects. After all, you should be equaling the hours spent in lessons with independent study.
  6. Try not to skip assemblies which is something that I am trying to do this year as although they can feel like a waste of time, they actually usually contain a lot of important and crucial information regarding university, working and other opportunities and events.
  7. If you have a part-time job, make sure that you are clear with your management about how many shifts you would like each week and for how many hours as you need to remember to leave time to study.
  8. Make friends with other people on your course. I know it is easier said than done, but chances are that if you and your friends from school are going separate ways, you won't be very close in a few months down the line.
  9. If you do have any queries or concerns then make sure that you are communicating with your teachers, tutors or head of years about them as they will most likely be able to help and support you or even lead you in the right direction. If you have any medical conditions or events which have caused you to have some time away from sixth form, then tell them about it if you feel comfortable enough because they will be supportive and more understanding.
  10. Ensure that the subjects you are choosing, are right for you. There is no point in choosing subjects that you don't enjoy, as it will only make it harder to learn. On the other hand, if you've changed your mind about your chosen subjects then there is always time to switch over, especially within the first few weeks of term. 
I hope that this post was at least slightly helpful and have given you a few tips for starting A-Levels, if you have any questions then please don't hesitate to contact me or leave them below.

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Friday, 2 September 2016

Gorgeous Gel Nails: Prom & Holiday

Just like most teenage girls, there is nothing that I love more than having pretty coloured nails. I used to wear nail polish all of the time, especially within years ten and eleven during school. However, I have now been working for two years and both of the jobs that I have had required me to wear no nail polish which did crush my soul a little bit at first. As I usually work at least every other day, I can't really get around to painting my nails for me to have to remove it the following day. Acrylic and Gel nails were something that I hadn't really put much thought into due to always maintaining my nails at a nice length, meaning that I had no need to use false or acrylic nails. 

Having said that, in June of 2014 I decided that for Prom, I was going to get gel nails done. Fortunately for me, my aunt owns a salon and was willing to fit me in. I was expecting just a standard shade but she looked at my dress (which was a dark turquoise) and found a couple of shades that would match, resulting in my nails being purple with turquoise glitter and diamond gems on them. I was so pleased with them and they lasted for at least two weeks (usually up to three before starting to grow out) before I took them off which is the difference between gel polish and standard nail polish. I find that gels don't chip at all and make your nails feel so much stronger, which is why they cost more money as they are essentially much better quality. I have also heard that gel is bad for your nails, which is some cases is true but the most damaging part is when they are being removed. My aunt paid for my prom nails as a present which I am super grateful for and I got so many lovely compliments on them.

As I am going on holiday tomorrow, I went into the salon again this morning to get both a manicure and pedicure of gel nails. I chose a coral colour which is so bright and looks gorgeous, I believe the shade being from the Bio Sculpture 'Carnival Collection - 172 Favela Sunrise'. Each set cost £28 which is such a good price for incredible quality. I find that no matter who you are, the salon is always a friendly and comfortable place to be and the conversations aren't awkward at all. 

I would highly recommend Nail Solutions which is based at:

9 The High Street
Norwich, Norfolk
NR12 7AA

and is where you can find Debbie and Jan who are both incredible at their work where they offer a huge range of treatments with the help of a few specialists including; Manicures, Pedicures, Acrylics, Acrygel, Botox, Fillers, Fibreglass/Silk, Bio Sculpture Gel and San Tropez Tan as well as beauty treatments too.

Both times that I have been to this salon, I have received sets of Bio Sculpture Gel Nails and I think they are worth every penny as they leave your nails looking absolutely stunning. Even their incredible range of O.P.I polishes leaves me satisfied. 

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Pack with me: Holiday Essentials

Hello lovelies, I know that summer is coming to an end and that most people have already been on holiday but now that my holiday is only two weeks away, it is time to go through my holiday essentials, both my hand luggage and my suitcase and I decided that it may be a bit more interesting if I shared it with you. I will be doing this post within two parts to ensure that it isn't extremely long and I will be showing you which items of clothing I will be taking with me in the other post.

I am firstly travelling to Spain at the beginning of September with my boyfriend and his family before visiting France in October as my dad lives there and then finally Sweden in November to visit my boyfriend's brother who is at a university over there. I am going to be packing for my first holiday, talking through my absolute essentials although knowing me, this will probably end up as an entire list of what I am taking away with me. 


Firstly, my suitcase was purchased from Debenhams by made by the company 'Tripp.' It is a hard suitcase and is so ideal for holidays as it has four wheels and handles on both the top and side. It is purple with pink outlines of flowers which I think is super cute and is part of their abstract flower collection. The first thing that is already inside my suitcase is a European travel plug adapter which is an essential if you want to be able to use English electrical appliances without having to hunt around a foreign country for an adapter. I actually only currently have one of these so will need to buy a couple more before I set off. These are super easy to find, I know that Argos and Wilko sell them very cheaply and although they probably aren't an absolute essential, it will make your life less stressful.

Swiftly moving onto the Health & Beauty range, the next two essentials within my suitcase are in fact sun-cream and after-sun spray. The sun-cream which I currently have is the
'Nivea moisturising sun spray' with SPF 50+, ideal for people like me who burn easily. This is so light and ideal for travelling. The after-sun spray that I have is the 'Lacura sun-care after-sun spray' which contains aloe vera. Many people don't take after-sun on holiday, but I would hate to be burnt after a few days with no way to soothe my body. As well as both of these, I also have the 'Hawaiian Tropic Tanning Dry Oil' as I feel that having tanning oil will just ensure that I actually manage to get somewhat of a tan whilst away. However, what I will say is that this product only has an SPF of 12 so it is important to ensure that you also have strong sun-cream with you. I first bought this product when I went to America back in 2013 and have been in love ever since. Another skin care essential is of course moisturiser. I will always be a huge fan of cocoa butter and therefore, my go to product is the 'Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant Butter' which leaves my skin feeling so soft and silky and is reasonably priced.

The next two products are actually hair related and these are leave in conditioning spray. I have two of these; the 'L'oreal Paris Elvive Conditioning Shine Spray' and the 'Nicky Clarke Frizz Control Conditioning Spray'. I purchased the L'oreal spray absolute years ago when the product was first being trialed and it has been an absolute life-savior every since although, I don't actually think it is sold anymore as I have never seen it since and unfortunately I have very almost ran out. My Nicky Clarke spray is a more recent purchase which I love equally as much yet I think is a bit pricier. I defiantly prefer the scent of the L'oreal product but I think that the Nicky Clarke one smells like warm weather. The reason that these have made it into my holiday essentials is because there is nothing that I hate more than getting out of a pool with absolutely ragged hair. I find these products useful to just run through your hair if you're out or don't have time to wash your hair straight after. Another holiday essential is dry-hair shampoo which I must admit, I am not a big fan of but if you feel that your hair needs a quick refresh then dry-hair shampoo is defiantly the product to reach for, keeping your hair looking and smelling fresh until you have an opportunity to wash it. I don't use this product that often but when I do, I usually reach for the 'Batiste' collection and as mine is far too big and too full to take on holiday, I may purchase a travel size one just to make things easier for me.

The next little bundle of bits and bobs that I would class as holiday essentials includes; both roll-on and spray deodorant. I am personally more of a fan of spray deodorant however, I feel that on holiday roll on deodorant is absolutely essential as I think that it is more waterproof than most sprays and is often smaller than sprays, enabling you to easily carry it around in your handbag. As well as a razor as lets face it, if you're on holiday, you're going to want to shave your legs. I often only take cheap razors abroad with me to ensure that if I lose them, it isn't a big deal and also meaning that I can dispose of them before I come home. I also always make sure that I take body sprays and mist with me as I prefer taking these on holiday instead of expensive perfumes due to the fear of breaking a perfume bottle. I find that most body sprays are strong enough to be worn without a perfume and are usually scented rather fruity and summery. They are also rather light, so wont weigh down your suitcase.

Books are always a good idea when going on holiday, especially if you are a big book lover. I have recently purchased a whole range of new and exciting books so as well as popping one into my hand luggage, I will ensure that I pack a couple more for when I am trying to catch a tan and wanting to read. I am currently loving 'All The Bright Places' by Jennifer Niven.

I always find that a decent sized cosmetic bag is also an essential when travelling. You want to be able to ensure that all of your beauty products are together and easy to access as you will most likely have to move your liquids when going through airport customs. When I went shopping, I could only find one relatively big make-up bag but didn't want to pay over £30 for it so I opted for a luggage bag which will easily fit all of my toiletries as well as my make-up.  

Please make sure that whenever you are leaving the UK (or whichever county you live in), you have travel insurance. It can be easily forgotten but even easier to sort out by either completing it on line or within a local travel agents. Usually, travel insurance isn't very expensive but it is best to be covered, just in case that you do have to make a claim.

Another essential is money which has been converted into the correct currency for the country that you are visiting, as using a bank card abroad can come with hefty charges. Money can be converted within supermarkets, department stores and inside travel agents. I have had to change my money into euros, and I would always rather to take too much money than too little, although the spending money will depend on your holiday type, if you're all inclusive then you may not need as much money.

The final absolute essential for your suitcase when travelling is a luggage lock and tag. These are so handy because they avoid anybody trying to break inside of your suitcase and having a tag means that you can easily pick out your suitcase from the rest.

Whenever travelling, I would always advise to keep a list of your personal essential items as we all have different products in life that are maybe more beneficial to us, than they would be our friends. My essential products include my contact lenses, glasses, medication and teeth retainers.

Hand Luggage

The bag that I will be taking for my hand luggage is my black tote bag from The Clothes Show which I thought would be ideal as it holds many items if required yet also can be used for only a couple of essential items. I find tote bags super summery and just thought it would be so suitable.

The most important items that you will need is your passport and European health insurance card if you have one. Make sure that both of these haven't expired as you wont be able to travel with an expired passport and they take up to a couple of months for new ones to arrive.

Another item that I carry in my hand luggage is my hair brush as well as some hair ties ensuring that you can brush your hair if it gets too tangled and that you are able to put your hair up if you feel too hot.

I also always take a book inside of my hand luggage, usually a book that I have already started and am aiming to finish before starting on a different one. I find that this is a good way to waste time without feeling bored as being stuck inside of an airport for hours on end can be pretty daunting. 

Headphones are another common one as if you have music on your phone and you are going to be miles up in the air with nothing to do, you might want to listen to some music. This can bring your mood up as well as getting to listen to your favourite artists without anybody complaining.

You are best to keep your purse which contains any money or personal cards within your hand luggage just in case somebody does break into your case or in case it got lost whilst your suitcase is being checked. And after all, how are you going to buy products in duty free without a purse?

Of course, another essential item within my hand luggage is sunglasses because how can you even go abroad without sunglasses? My current sunglasses are from New Look and although I don't remember how much they were, I think they cost something in between £10-£15 which I don't think is too bad considering that I can very rarely find a pair of sunglasses that actually suit me.

If you are a smoker, then you may want to pop your cigarettes or tobacco inside of your hand luggage ensuring that you are able to easily find them when you get outside of the airport you have flown into. Please remember that you are not allowed to smoke within an airport or on a plane.

My final essential for hand luggage, is my notebook and at least one working pen which ensures that I am able to make notes and think of blog ideas whilst on the plane. I can also set some holiday goals of things that I want to blog once home. 

(I think my cat felt a little left out when I was taking photos and packing but although I would love to, I'm not allowed to take her with me. She is always a bit annoyed with me once I come back from spending some time away from home but at least she'll have my bed to herself. She also saw me packing and has literally been attached to me all day.)

Thank-you for reading, Tay x
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