Outfit posts are actually one of my favourite kinda posts to share on my blog but because I don't really have a decent camera/tripod/etc I find it quite a chore to snap photos of what I'm wearing! Dom often helps out but I'm trying to be more productive during the weekdays on my days off & whilst he's at work I obviously can't ask him to take any photographs. Today I tried & pretty much failed, all you fashion bloggers make it look so easy! I'm sharing the best of a very, very bad bunch & they still really aren't great but lets hope this is a one off & next time will be a little better... they say practice makes perfect anyway! I used to share the occasional outfit in the past & always had a good response to them so I do really want to keep trying rather than give up completely, any useful tips will be much appreciated! Also... how on earth do you fashion bloggers photograph black outfits/clothing so well!? Please let me know! Anyways, Tilly wanted to say a little hello & joined in on the photos - maybe I should just post pug outfit photos rather than my own outfits haha, she does have quite a big wardrobe for a little doggy!
My usual weekly wishlist consists of expensive candles & high-end beauty products I am dreaming of owning, but "growing up" & trying to be sensible with money means I will have to carry on dreaming... I can only imagine how incredibly delicious the Jo Malone Sweet Almond & Macaroon Candle smells, it's literally like this candle was made for my sweet tooth! The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushers are all beautiful & pretty, if I had an endless amount of cash I'd be purchasing the whole range. I actually don't own very many blush products & I'm in serious need of a pretty cheek colour, one of these beauties would certainly fill the blusher shaped gap in my makeup collection! YSL Touché Éclat foundation is possibly one of my all time favourite foundations & I feel the next appropriate step to take would be to welcome the highlighter into my life. When FleurDeForce described Diptyque Duelle as a Vanilla based scent I made a mental note to give it a smell next time I was in a store that stocked it. I've still not smelt it in real life but I'm so excited to, I've never found a nice vanilla perfume! I will definitley need to stay away from the Space.NK/Debenhams/Boots website now I've created this post otherwise I think I'll end up doing some damage to my bank account!
Wearing a full face of makeup is actually quite rare for me, I'm pretty lazy with putting makeup on & will often go for days without putting any products near my face. For the days I do want to wear a little bit of makeup I find myself reaching for the same few products. The first product being Collection's Lasting Perfection Concealer, which unless you've been living under a rock you'll have heard plenty about it! I'll dab a bit of this under my eyes, around my nose & any blemishes I have, I'm quite happy to go without wearing any foundation so this product is ideal to cover up any areas of my face that need it. Adding blusher to my cheeks gives a little bit of colour to my ghostly complexion, although I don't mind being pale & quite often skip this step so really this should be called the four product face! I guess the HD Brow Palette could be considered a cheat product as it's a 3-in-1 however I find it a handy addition to my minimal makeup routine, not only is it perfect for filling in my brows but it also acts as a highlighter & eyeshadow palette. If I fancy adding some definition to my brow bone or putting a little more effort in & creating a smokey eye look then the palette can help me achieve just that! Benefit They're Real Mascara is amazing at adding volume to my lashes making them look thick & full but also helps to lift them & give them a natural curl. Last but by no means least my fifth & final product is lip balm, my favourite one being the Burt's Bees' Mango one. Lip balm is just one of those products I absolutely cannot be without, I'm forever applying the stuff!
What products do you use on your minimal makeup days?
From about the age 14 I religiously straightened my hair every single day & was forever dying it different colours which really took it's toll, resulting in very damaged hair. About a year ago I decided to try & fix my hair, it was so unmanageable, a huge frizzy mess & it needed bringing back to life! I've become more dedicated to using products that benefit my hair & I can honestly say I've seen huge improvements since doing so.
The Miracle Moist range from Aussie have been a firm favourite of mine for a good while now, the bubblegum scent is addictive & makes washing my hair seem like less of a chore, I really hate washing my hair!! I've tried loads of different shampoo & conditioners from salons & supermarkets but I've never really liked anything as much as Aussie. You can almost always pick up 3 items for £10 so I opt for the 3 Minute Miracle to create my perfect Aussie trio! I use the 3 Minute Miracle every other hair wash for a more intense conditioning treatment to help repair my hair from the heat damage I've subjected it to! I would like sample some Ojon haircare though but the price makes my bank account cry so that will have to wait! After towel drying my hair I will spritz a good amount of the Dove Nourishing Oil Leave In Conditioner to the ends & brush it through. I also use it on the days I don't wash my hair to help detangle & get a brush through without getting it stuck midway! Every few weeks I like to use a hair mask or more intense treatment, currently I'm using the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer. It's formulated to help reduce breakages & I've definitely noticed I have less split ends since using this. It also helps to add bounce back to your hair - something my hair was lacking & in dire need of, it now feels much healthier & isn't as 'lifeless'. Everyone & their mothers seemed to be raving about Moroccan Oil but my student budget couldn't justify the £20+ price tag. After some research I discovered that the magic ingredient in Moroccan Oil was in fact Argan Oil & Moroccan Oil was actually just the name of the brand, so I hunted down a bottle of this 'Mircacle Oil' which I happened to find at Aldi for only £4! It's basically a dupe for Moroccan Oil anyway, the bottle is practically identical, the product smells the same & it does exactly the same job. I either use this or the Vo5 Nourish My Shine Miracle Concentrate, which I recently mentioned in my January Favourites post. They both help to keep my hair sleek & frizz free after I've washed it & make my hair much easier to style.
These are my favourite haircare products at the moment, although I'm always on the look out for new things to try so if you have any recommendations please let me know!
A few of my favourite photos of little squishy from the past few weeks! She has been a monkey again recently & to my absolute horror she sat on me & did a wee the other night. I literally couldn't believe it, I was so so shocked, she has never done that before, not even as a baby! I have no idea what made her do that, naughty little pug! We've been playing lots of fetch with her indoors today, for a little dog she has a ridiculous amount of energy & hardly stops all day, she's even had 3 walks! Does anyone elses dog refuse to play fetch outdoors but will cry until you play it with them inside? She's so demanding, our living room is huge luckily so we can get away with throwing her toys across the room although Dom did almost send my vase of flowers flying! Honestly I didn't expect pugs to be so active, although she loves a good snooze too & will often not wake up until after 11 each morning!
Two weeks ago Dom & I took her to a pug meet up, she had SO much fun & I was in heaven surrounded by all the pugs, chatting away to their owners & sharing advice etc! If you have a dog I'd highly recommend joining groups on Facebook specific to the breed you have, it's amazing talking to like-minded people - similar to blogging in that sense! I've been to two pug meet ups now, the one we went to a few weeks ago was actually partly organised by me... I won't lie I did turn into a bit of stalker trying to hunt down pugs in my area, but it was so worth it & nobody thought I was crazy or weird, infact everyone was so excited about the idea! It's amazing seeing all the doggies together, I'm almost sure all the pugs knew they were the same as each other!! They're hilarious little things & all do the same funny little things, e.g stand & lick the air! I might share the photos from the meetup if people wouldn't mind even more pug spam!? Let me know (:
I'm a big fan of nail art but hardly have the time to paint my nails these days, so attempting to paint a design onto my nails is a very rare occurrence! I often look for simple & quick ways to make my nails look pretty without having to spend ages on them & I hadn't tried out polka dot nails yet! I chose pastel blue, lilac & pink with white dots as I prefer lighter coloured nail polish atm. Obviously you can try this with any colour combination I just chose these 3 to show my favourite colours! Having nice nails is a lovely finishing touch to an outfit or even the perfect accessory as you can match your nails to your outfit or even use your nails to add a pop of colour to your look!
To create these polka dot nails I used a dotting tool that I picked up from eBay for 99p, but you can just use the brush of the polish your using or even a bobby pin! The colours I used are: Models Own Snow White, Blueberry Muffin, Lilac Sheen & Pink Veneer. I dab a little blob of polish onto a piece of card & dip the little tool into it & then dot wherever I feel like it! It's super easy to do & looks really cute, I'll probably be seen wearing polka dot nails for the next few months now! I tend to get stuck in a rut with my nails & will do the same design or colour for ages once I find something I really like, does anyone else do that!?
Each night after work this week I've found myself browsing in Topshop trying to kill some time before I get the bus home. I've been drawn to all of the Gingham prints & pastel colours, the Topshop displays are so dreamy at the moment *insert hearts in eyes emoji*, I much prefer shopping in store than online for this reason! I'm in need of a few new statement pieces in my wardrobe so I think I'm probably going to have to go buy the Gingham jeans, I can see these being easy to dress up or down. Topshop geek shoes are the cutest shoes ever, I wish they would bring out a pair in white like they did a while ago, literally all my shoes are black & as much as I like these nude ones I think they would clash with certain colours! I'm obsessed with anything pastel, I love soft, pretty colours for Spring & I'm looking forward to wearing some nicer colours now the days aren't as dark & gloomy!
What was the inspiration behind starting your blog?
One day I stumbled across llymlrs blog & Zoella's YouTube videos which then lead me to discover the beauty blogging world where I found loads of bloggers &amazing beauty gurus on YouTube. I decided I wanted to get involved & write my own blog as I already had a passion for makeup & fashion! My friend Abi & I decided to start blogging pretty much the same time & I have to say she was also an inspiration because she encouraged me to start a blog too!
What Inspires you to take your blog further?
My followers inspire me to take my blog further. Each day I receive lovely comments on my posts & have Twitter conversations with people who tell me they enjoy my blog, it's so motivating to know people like my content & I really appreciate my readers!
Who / what are you inspired by?
I'm literally inspired by so many things when it comes to blogging that my mind goes into overdrive sometimes & I have to jot down things on my phone or into a notebook whilst the thought is still with me! I join in with as many of the Twitter chats which are also a great source of inspiration when I want to know what kind of posts people enjoy the most etc. Of course there is also endless inspiration on Pinterest, I've seen lots of DIY ideas I want to have a go at & hopefully share on my blog! I'm also really inspired by lots of the blogs I read, a few favourites of mine are: Fleur De Force, milkteef, etcllymlrs, milkbubbletea, Ellie's Favourite Things, PaintPotted, describe the sky
Out of your blog goals, what have you achieved so far?
I never really set any blog goals in particular apart from to create content people enjoy. I blog because I love it, it's my little hobby & anything I gain from it is a bonus! Although one thing I do have to say is I never expected to gain so many followers so that is definitely something great that my blog has achieved!
What does the future hold for your blog plans?
My future plans are to carry on blogging & interact more with my followers. I want to know what they love about my blog the most so I can ensure that I keep them interested. I'd also like to get more involved with other bloggers, perhaps by having some guest posts on my blog or attending blogger meetups. I'm trying to build up my confidence & get over being awkward around new people so I'm sure going to a meetup would help!
What is your ultimate goal for your blog?
The absolute ultimate goal would be for my blog to be noticed by my all time favourite bloggers & YouTubers, especially considering I started my blog all thanks to them! Also it would be an absolute dream come true if my blog & I ever got featured in a magazine!
Thanks to Abi for creating this new tag, I'm not going to tag anyone specific but feel free to join in & leave me your post in the comments or tweet me @loulabethx or let Abi know you've joined in her tag @kemples1 :)
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish is probably one of the most raved about skincare products in the beauty blogging world, I'm aware there are about a million other posts but one more review won't hurt! I've mentioned it a couple of times on my blog already in my monthly favourites post, it really is an absolute gem of a product in my opinion & deserves all the recognition it gets & more.
To start with I apply the creamy cleanser to my forehead, nose, cheeks & chin in circular motions & then move onto my eye area. It's very gentle & doesn't hurt or sting my eyes at all but is really effective at removing all my eye makeup, even mascara which I always find tough to get off completely. Once I've rubbed it all over my face I take either a muslin cloth or flannel that has been run under the hot tap & leave it on my face for about 10 seconds & then I use it to buff all my makeup/dead skin cells/dirt/etc away. My skin feels soft, fresh & 'polished' without having to use anything harsh like a scrub. Price wise I originally thought it was expensive to spend on a face wash, I wasn't really into skincare & used to take my makeup off with a wipe. However when the first bottle I ever bought last year lasted me a good 5 months with everyday use (apart from the occasional lazy day - we all have them!!) I realised it was much better spending £14 every 5 months rather than £2-3 on a pack of wipes every couple of weeks! Plus I can't stand the feeling after using a wipe anymore, I much prefer using a product full of natural ingredients that leaves my skin feeling lovely & fresh!
Have you tried the popular Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish?
I find myself looking at the homeware section of shops more & more, for as long as I can remember I've always been interested in Interior Design & now that I have my own place with Dom I'm constantly on the hunt for things to make our flat more homely! This week I decided to dedicate my usual wishlist post to some lovely home products I'm lusting after. My taste is quite girly with a mix of vintage/shabby chic so I'm aware not everyone will like what I pick but I'm lucky in the sense that Dom doesn't mind floral bedding & a pastel themed kitchen!
It would be such a dream to own a Kitchenaid, I pointed them out to Dom at Christmas time & he almst died at the price, to be honest the price is insane but it's so pretty & I love baking so that completely justifies it, right!? I have an obsession with cushions, I love having a big pile of them on my bed, it makes it look so much nicer plus it's cosy & a couple of floral cushions helps make our sofa a bit more 'us' (or should I say 'me'!) - one of the many downsides to renting is not being able to have freewill over the decor & furniture, it drives me mad! I just want to paint the walls, hang up pictures & buy some beautiful furniture, wah, one day hopefully!!
One of my very first blog posts was a 'Whats In My Bag' way back in Summer 2012 so I thought it was about time to do an updated version. My everyday bag is the Zara Chain Bag which my Mum got me for Christmas 2012 so sadly it's unavailable now, I can't believe how well it has lasted it's still in great condition considering how bashed it used to get on the London Underground! It is the perfect size to fit in my essentials plus a little extra as it is quite roomy!
These are the bits & pieces I tend to always have in my bag. The journal is handy if I have anything I need to jot down & is always useful to plan blog posts in if I have some time to kill whilst I'm out & about. I don't carry a purse with me anymore, I just put all my cards in my Cath Kidston Travel Card Holder & chuck all my change into the bottom of my bag. It's a super bad habit but my other purse got wrecked holding so many things in & I am so fussy with purses that I just won't be happy until I own a Mulberry one ;) I'm also silly & don't like keyrings on my keys atm, I think this stems from me having a ridiculous amount on my keys when I was younger & forever getting annoyed when they got caught on things in my bag. I now keep my lose key in the small zip pockets, I should really attach it to something though as it could easily be lost! My Nana sends me letters quite regularly as I don't live nearby currently & occasionally she will pop in a little gift, the latest one being a packet of Pug tissues! Every time she sees anything with a Pug on it she will send me a text or write about it in her letters, she's so cute (:
Here is my adorable makeup bag I take with me, my friend Abi got it me as a gift it's so so cute I absolutely love it & it's just the right size for holding a few bits of makeup. I don't take too much makeup just the necessities as I rarely touch up my makeup anyway but I have it just incase!
I also had a pile of crumpled receipts, loads of hair grips & dog treats in my bag but I didn't think it was worth photographing those! Is there anything that you always make sure you have in your bag? Oh & don't forget to enter my giveaway!
I love seeing Valentines gifts in the shops, probably because I think hearts are really cute & my flat has loads of little heart decorations hanging around! Anything pink & girly really appeals to me so I get a bit obsessive over all the Valentines stuff, even if I just nip to Sainsburys I can't resist having a look at the gifts available! Also I swear everything becomes really adorable & cutesy, look at the Pug heart cushion it's so so sweet. Dom & I never do anything ridiculously romantic for Valentines but we use it as an excuse to cook our favourite meal & buy a few little treats, because why not!? Even if you don't like Valentines day you could have a girly day with your best friends, get some yummy chocolates, loads of films & have a pamper session. Valentines Day doesn't just have to be for couples (:
Have you got any plans for Valentines Day this year?
Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion is a new addition to my skincare routine but it's become very loved in such a short space of time! I dab a few drops onto a cotton pad & hold them over my eyes after removing my makeup. It's gentle yet refreshing & soothing & is also amazing at calming my puffy eyes in the morning. I have been using Vo5 Nourish My Shine Miracle Concentrate Elixir with Argan Oil to ensure my hair won't turn into a frizzball after I've washed it & it has helped a lot. It has left my hair smooth & silky soft, I really love the Vo5 hair treatments especially the hot oil shower treatment! I was rummaging through my stash of hair products to find a new conditioner & discovered LUSH American Cream which I've been loving mostly because of the strawberry milkshake scent! It's quite a thick conditioner but doesn't leave my hair feeling heavy. Marc Jacobs Honey Perfume is quite a summery scent with the fruity & floral honey fragrances although I've been wearing it anyway! I did say I would save it until Spring/Summer time but it's too nice to not use! Soap & Glory Clean On Me Shower Gel has been my most used shower gel this month, it helps moisturise my skin thanks to the built in body lotion, it lathers up loads & leaves me feeling squeaky clean. I have a silly amount of lip balms but the Balmi Strawberry Lip Balm has found it's way into my favourites this month because I like how it's quick to apply, hygienic because I don't have to dip my fingers into a pot & it has a yummy strawberry taste. My lips have been suffering really badly from chapped skin so the LUSH Popcorn Lip Scrub has been my saviour! I started a new job this month & wanted to keep my nails clean & neutral but still have them a pretty colour, Ciate Cutie Pie Nail Polish has been my favourite, it's quite sheer but builds up to a soft baby pink. I'm not a fan of my natural brows & I'm always looking for the perfect brow product so when the HD Brown Palette 'Foxy' came into my life I can finally say I've found it! The medium brown shade is the best match I've found & the shadows are so pigmented & long lasting I can't fault it! I also use the lightest shade as a highlighter or a base for my eyeshadow, it's such a good multi-use product!
I really tried to resist this sale as my nail polish collection is out of control but somehow I managed to end up buying 5 things but I did justify each one! Models Own tend to do these sales every year when their Facebook page reaches a certain amount of likes, this year the sale began at 250,000 likes. Infact my nail polish addiction began a few years ago when I first bought a silly amount of polishes from the 50,000 likes sale! I've wanted to get a quick drying top coat for ages now but the £9+ price tags of the ones available in Boots put me off, so when I saw Express Dry I added it to my cart straight away! I decided to repurchase one of my most favourite polishes of all time, Utopia, the photo really doesn't do it any justice though! I also wanted to try out some of the new HyperGel polishes & I wear a lot of blue polish so I picked Blueberry Muffin as my final choice. I've tend to wear pastels the most & already have shades similar to these in my collection but I decided to buy some new ones as most of mine are getting gloopy now so I have some nice fresh pretty pastels perfect for Spring time!
The sale is on until February 4th, simply pick £25 worth of products & enter HALFPRICE at the checkout! I ordered mine on Thursday evening & it arrived this morning, very speedy service considering the volume of orders they will have had because of the sale!
Have you picked up anything from the Models Own sale?