I’m not going to lie; this is probably the first of many, many H&M haul posts since I started working there again – but more on my new job later. In the meantime, having worked there for around two weeks now, I finally gave in and used my staff discount for some goodies.
The make-up I’ll likely be keeping spare at my boyfriend’s house, but first it’s a nice little haul for our upcoming holiday in two weeks time (speaking of which, I’m looking for guest post’s if anyone is interested…)
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I actually only planned to buy a bikini and tried a bunch on before eventually settling on this beautiful printed one. I was quite surprised; most I tried on fit really well which I always find surprising in shops. It’s always tough enough trying on bikini’s in the horrible lighting in changing rooms and most shops have a lot of varied sizing but H&M was really good for sizing this time. I have two patterned bikini’s to take away with me but I’m going to still keep an eye out for a more simple plain one too.
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I do really love the detail on this one and the bottoms fit really nice without showing too much. I remember how much I hated shopping for swimwear ready for my Mexico trip as everything in the shops was just really revealing and skimpy so I’m glad H&M has more variety.
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I bought these cute glow/highlighter pens just because they’re so damn cute. I like the idea of using a ‘crayon’ as a highlighter as I haven’t much experience with highlighters before. These look super easy to use and really versatile and subtle too.

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I also purchased this simple highlight palette which has more of a variety of colours; a couple of which that can be doubled up as a blusher. I like the look of this but they looked quite glittery in my swatches so I’ll likely just use this palette for an evening look as opposed to a day-to-day one.

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I’ve been after a new liquid eyeliner or so long now as the one I currently use is one I’ve had for years. I like my eyeliner to be like a felt tip and loved the look of this one, although when I took a swatch on my hand, the line seemed thicker than I originally thought. Still, with practice I think this will serve me well.

Finally, I also picked up a super cute mini brush and makeup sponge kit from the sale. The brush is sooooo soft and I chose to get a sponge too because a) it’s cute and b) currently I apply my makeup with like..I don’t even know what to call it but probably also a type of makeup sponge but it’s really flat and just ugh. So I figured I’d jump on the beauty blogger band wagon and try one of these.

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I’m pretty pleased with my purchases and I think they’ll serve me well; then again I still need to actually try them out so once I do I’ll ensure I get a review up. I think they’ll do the job for the price that they cost = I’m not expecting amazing results but I am also only after make-up for an everyday look and it’s not like I’ll be putting together creative out there looks inspired by Instagram. So for what they are, they’re exactly what I need.

What do you think? Have you tried any of H&M’s beauty/make-up range? Let me know!

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Despite calling myself a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog, I don’t really blog much about beauty.

It’s not that I don’t want to – I love experimenting with eye shadow looks and trying new products, but I guess I just don’t have the expertise to do so. For example, I can’t take decent photographs of make-up AT ALL.
Or maybe I just like the way ‘fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog’ flows – if I were to remove the beauty part, what would I put in its place?
Anyway. I digress.
Inspired by Rhian Westbury’s recent post, I thought I’d do something similar but with my own twist on it (even though essentially this post I’m doing right here has been done to death.)
Nonetheless, here’s five make-up products I just couldn’t live without.

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MAC STUDIO FACE AND BODY FOUNDATION
Concealer is a necessity for me, but only when it comes to make-up. As in – I’ll happily go bare-faced and out of the house without make-up if I’m feeling it. I’m very lucky that since adopting a skincare routine that works for me, I have the confidence to go make up free. It wasn’t always like this though! But, when I do make the effort to wear make up, this product is a must have. I love this concealer in particular because it’s so lightweight – it literally covers up blemishes and smooths out my skin – and that’s all. It’s super natural looking and that’s what I like about it. It’s the ideal base that works well enough on its own, but can easily be built up.
RIMMEL LONDON EYELINER EXAGGERATE SMOKE’N SHINE
Eyeliner is pretty much a life changer for me and when I don’t wear it, I actually feel like a tramp. I think it makes such a big difference, so much so that on more than one occasion, I’ve put eyeliner on and it’s made such a difference to my eyes that I’ve forgotten to add mascara and haven’t even realized till way later. If I ever feel like toning it down, I’ll just use concealer, eyeliner and maybe a subtle lipstick, forgoing eye shadow and mascara and such. Eyeliner is like my vice and probably my favourite make up product ever. I’m not always fussed with the brand, but this is a favourite of mine because it comes with a little smudger on the end.
BLUSHER
I’m pale af so I need some sort of colour to my cheeks – and unfortunately I just don’t get on with bronzer. I’m still after the perfect blusher, though I do enjoy any Benefit blushers.
LIPSTICK
Lipstick! Oh my life! Although I have yet to find a nice collection of lipsticks for day-to-day wear (they’re either too bold or too subtle!) – lipstick is my vice for a night out. I feel, like eyeliner, lipstick can transform a whole look. Give me a dark, gothic red or purple lipstick on a night out anyday and I’ll feel like a million pounds. Often I’ll throw on something ever so casual to wear and instead pair it with a bold dark lipstick to do the talking. 
A NAKED PALETTE
I have yet to be able to afford the actual Naked Palette, and tend to go for cheaper dupes such as W7 In The Buff  Palette, but in general, a palette with some nude colours is a must have for me. The colours are always great for everyday wear – and with them and a smudge of eyeliner, mascara isn’t even necessary. Likewise, the colours can also be used for an evening look too. I love how versatile naked palette’s are.

So there you have it – five make-up products I simply could not live without. What are yours?!

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On Friday I had the amazing opportunity to go down and review a new service being provided by the team at Fresh Academy. Fresh is the largest fashion photography make-over studio in the UK with a whopping 8,000 square foot. At Fresh you’ll find an in house hair salon and make up artistry, a cinema viewing room (where you can view pictures from your shoot) and their studio has over 30 purpose built sets including a car, disco floor and even an outdoors set (which is indoors!) – how cool is that?! Fresh offer all different types of professional shoots and covers photography for all different types of things including modeling portfolios, family photo shoots and even boudoir. Fresh Academy also sponsor Miss England and sit on the judging panel too.
Lately they’ve introduced a new package which I think is an amazing idea. Fresh Style is a package where you are welcome to come in and have your hair and make up done professionally for any occasion – be that a hot date, a wedding, a gig or even just a night out – for just £50. When I was offered the chance to review this package I jumped at the opportunity because personally it is the type of package I’ve thought about so many times in the past. Although I love experimenting with make up, you all know how terrible I am when it comes to styling my hair and there have been so many occasions where I’ve had to rush to get ready for something and often wished someone would just come and do it all for me. I really love the idea of this package, it’s so perfect for when you’re too rushed or nervous to take time to doll yourself up. It’s perfect for when you’re heading out and can’t be bothered to faff around – it’s so easy to book in an appointment and have all this taken care of by someone else. You can even turn up in what you’re planning to wear for your special occasion and the team will happily make you up, knowing what would go best with your outfit, and you can even just go on from there.
I was heading out myself Friday night so knew this opportunity would be perfect for me (although I so wished I’d heard about the Fresh Style package before the gig!) and in the end it was such a timesaver. Whereas I normally take ages to get ready to go out, myself and my friend Amy ended up heading out early that night and having a great night. I felt beyond confident with how my make-up was and enjoyed my night a lot more than I did normally.
The whole experience was beyond lovely too. The rooms were set out so beautifully with deep purple walls and a plush purple carpet – I felt very VIP! The lady doing my make up was lovely and chatty and made me feel very at ease. She asked me how I’d like my make up and I explained that I’d like a deep red lipstick for my lips – something quite vintage without being too over the top. I was amazed when she finished – by using a darker lip pencil she made my lips look beautiful and full – I’ve never seen them looking so big! She made my skin look lovely and smooth as well, I know on a night out I tend to pile on my cover up a tad but she managed to cover up all my blemishes and make it look natural. The eye makeup was stunning too and I was so pleased with the over all affect. The whole process only took about 20 minutes which again made me think how ideal it would be if I was planning to head out straight afterwards. She used some setting spray on my face as I was actually heading into the town centre to do a bit of shopping afterwards but even in the pouring rain the make up stayed on perfectly across the evening and the lipstick needed minimal topping up once I was out drinking.
I know its a daft pose but it’s the only way I could show how beautiful the make up was!
The studios were based in central Watford and are easily accessible by car but personally we found it a bit hard to get to as we were traveling by bus from Luton – I think our journey time was well over an hour in the end! However we found they were only literally a five minute taxi ride from the town centre so I’d definitely recommend driving and double checking the address should you choose to come here.
I really loved the whole experience and think it’s such a fab idea. For any local ladies I would 100% recommend this package for your next night out or special occasion – you wouldn’t believe how much more relaxed you are when you’re not worrying about applying your make up just right or styling your hair.
The package costs £50 and includes both your hair and make up being done and you are welcome to bring in photographs if there is a particular look you want to achieve or way you’d like your hair to be styled. 
01923 212 673
www.freshacademy.com

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If you’re anything like me then you must too think that Models Own have an amazing and affordable makeup range. I especially love their range of constant on trend nail varnishes, so I couldn’t believe it when an email about this offer arrived in my inbox.

Models Own will be teaming up with the News of the World  and Fabulous magazine this weekend for this special offer available to fans of Models Own. For free (well, pretty much, apart from paying for two newspapers) you can be the proud owner of a Models Own make-up kit worth £24 pound! The kit will contain a cute make up bag filled with an eyeshadow, a mascara, a liquid eyeliner, an eyelash curler and tweezers all from the Models Own range (as shown in the picture above!) As well as this, inside Fabulous magazine you will also find a voucher for 25% off an order at the Models Own website.

To get these goodies, all you have to do is collect two vouchers from the News of the World newspaper (three will be printed altogher incase you miss one!) then take these vouchers into any Tesco store. The fiirst voucher will be avaiable this Sunday (9th January)! What a bargain!

And if you need any inspiration on how to use your 25% discount, here’s what I’ve got my eye on…

This bang on trend Autumn/Winter collection will be sure to keep anyone looking stylish in these last few winter months, going well with oversized, fluffy Christmas jumpers and funky earmuphs. Whats even better is the two shades ‘Grace Green’ and ‘Nude Beige’ (the first and last shades shown in the picture) will bring a bit of colour into any outfit and will also transition well from winter to summer. This set works out at only £15 pound with the 25% off discount, which works out at half price compared to the orignal £30 it was before!

And, at the top of my wishlist is this gorgeous, glamourous (and slightly ridiuclously priced – well, maybe not considering its gold!) special edition diamond inlaid Models Own nail varnish named Gold Rush!

At a whopping £83,000 the nail polish offers 1,118 diamonds in the lid alone. So, with the 25% off discount, that works out at a (not so) affordable..£62,250! On second thoughts, I think I’ll stick to the ready to wear version for £5 from the website instead!

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