Things I’ve Been Loving | February 2018

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts, which are basically favourites but I don’t do them as often as everyone else. In fact, my last one was way back in November 2016! So it’s certainly about time I do another one.

There’s been such a mixture of things I’ve been loving recently and I hope you can take some inspiration from it to try something new for yourself.

  • I Like Big Books Mug

I received this mug off a lovely friend for Christmas and I haven’t stopped using it since. I drink a lot of tea and this mug is the perfect size for a cuppa. I feel like it’s very ‘trendy’ and the slogan still makes me laugh months on.

  • Hamilton Soundtrack

I’ve been kind of obsessed with Hamilton for a quite a while now, but who isn’t these days? I go through phases of listening to the soundtrack and I’ve recently been going through it in it’s entirety again. It’s just so clever and catchy, some of the songs are genuinely my favourites of all time. If you haven’t listened to it already, get yourself to it now – you won’t regret it!

  • Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine : Gail Honeyman

I read this book* at the back end of January and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. I fell absolutely in love with the main character, Eleanor, and couldn’t put it down. Yet at the same time didn’t want it to end! It’s a heartbreaking story but it’s so fuelled by hope and I just love it. I’m definitely going to reread it sometime soon, already.

  • Gold Hoops

I really like the whole nineties trend thing that’s going on at the moment, and one of my favourite things about it is the gaudy hoop earrings. I bought a pair in Primark for literally £1.50 last month (see similar ones here) and I’ve worn them so much. I feel like they make any outfit trendy and I’m all about that.

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  • Peel Off Face Masks

Did anyone else really enjoying peeling PVA glue of their skin or their desks at school? Cause I was definitely that kid and I think that’s why I’ve been loving these kind of face masks. I just buy drugstore – own versions, the cheap ones in little packets, and my skin has been feeling so fresh. The best one I’ve tried so far is this ‘For Mens’ one from Superdrug – it’s got mint in it, so it kind of burns at first but my skin feels so clean after. It’s cruelty free too!

  • Pink Hair

While I was wrapped up in the whole ‘new year, new start’ kind of thing I decided to dye my hair. I bought the cheapest rose gold dye I could find and, despite an initial accident (it went sorta orange), I love having pink hair. It’s not too dramatic but this little change has made me feel more like me, if that makes any sense. I feel like any small thing you can do for yourself that makes you feel good about the way you look is valid and for me this year, pink hair it was.

  • Serial Podcast (series one)

At the beginning of the year I started listening to the podcast Serial, by This American Life, and I became obsessed. Every minute I could spare went onto this podcast, from bus journeys to tea breaks at work, and I was actually gutted when it ended. I have yet to fully dive into series two because I’m still thinking about the first series. If you need something to keep you occupied on your commute, I’d highly recommend it.


What are you loving at the moment? Let me know so I can get some inspiration!

Speak soon,

Rachael.

* affiliate link used

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Top Seven Books of 2017

According to this list I made on my phone, I read 43 books this year. That’s insane! The majority of them were rereads and, I’ll be honest, I did abandon a couple – but as someone who loves books an ridiculous amount this makes me so happy.

Anyway, because this was the first year I actually recorded what I read I can now finally talk about my favourite reads of the year. Despite the fact I read a lot, I only have a handful of really brilliant reads. I loved these stories a lot and I think you might like them too.

Lily Alone: Jacqueline Wilson

I know I’m a 21 year – old, but I still love Jacqueline Wilson. I bought this book in a charity shop, as it was one of her newer ones, and I just devoured it. I fell back in love with Wilson’s writing once again and reading this got me back into reading full stop.

#Girlboss: Sophia Amaruso 

Following the hype I’d seen around the blogosphere, I was so excited to read this and I’ve read it several times since. Sophia’s writing style is a little bold and I think you need to take some things she says with a pinch of salt, but overall it give me a good kick up the arse and left me feeling inspired!

The Handmaid’s Tale: Margret Atwood

I finally decided to read this book once the TV show aired, as I didn’t want to be spoilt. I’ve been meaning to read this book for absolute years and I don’t know why I put it off so long. It’s pretty dark and unnerving, but I honestly think it might have changed my life a little bit.

Anne of Green Gables: L.M Montgomery

2017 was the year I finally decided to read books I’ve been hoarding for years it seems. I was never into classics when I was younger, which is a shame because I absolutely loved Anne. This wonderfully heartwarming story came to me at just the right time (in my post uni crisis) and I will be forever grateful.  

The Girls: Emma Cline

This may be my favourite book of the year to be honest. Heavily inspired, I believe, by the Charles Manson case, The Girls is a look into cult mentality. Similar in tone to The Kite Runner and Atonement, in terms of being stuck in a past you can’t change, it’s so interesting to pull the pieces of the story together. It was just exactly my cup of tea and I loved it.

It Only Happens In The Movies: Holly Bourne 

Now hang on, cause this one might also be my favourite book of 2017. I absolutely adore Holly Bourne and her writing and I’m so frigging happy I decided to pick up her books. They’re YA that feel like real life. Her characters always feel so real to me and often have amazingly deep conversations about feminism and so on. This book in particular is a hilarious but interesting look into rom com movies and how crop they actually are.

No Filter: Grace Victory 

And finally, this was a book I was so excited to get in 2017. I have loved Grace (formerly Uglyfaceofbeauty) for years and years, as she was one of the furst people I discovered on YouTube. She never fails to inspire or uplift me, and her life story did just that!

 

What was your favourite book of 2017? What are you excited to read next?

Speak soon,

Rachael.

Current Skincare Routine: Glossier UK Review

Despite my love for all things beauty, I have never had a proper skincare routine. My skincare for the past six years or so has just included the cheapest items I could find, because my God can skincare be expensive!

However, I recently decided to properly treat myself and bought a selection of things from Glossier. Glossier is a pretty new brand, I believe, from the US that have just recently started shipping to the UK – hence why every beauty blogger you might have encountered has gone crazy for the stuff. I normally get excited by hypes, but can never join in as the brands are usually so expensive. But now I’m in a point in my life where I am receiving a regular wage and just wanted to do something nice for myself, because why not?

I was genuinely surprised by the prices of Glossier. They are by no means as cheap as I am used to, but after having a look around their beautifully designed site, I was excited. I could actually try some of these things!

What I really liked about Glossier is the fact that their whole brand is based around simplicity. If you’re also a beauty fan you might understand what I mean when I say that cosmetics can be so confusing sometimes! There’s so many lotions and potions for different things, that somehow sound the same but aren’t. I for one get very overwhelmed, which is another factor into why I’ve never branched away from my discounted products.

So imagine my joy upon discovering Glossier, who’s philosophy is to bring beauty back to simplicity. All of their products are designed to simply enhance what you already have.

Glossier

Skin first. Makeup second

THE PRODUCTS

I decided to purchase the Phase 1 set , which is a collection of their three main skincare items.

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  • milky jelly cleanser
  • priming moisturiser
  • balm dot com (birthday)

Apparently you save £8 when buying them all as a set, which totals at £35. Now this sounds like a lot of money, I know, for three items, but considering each one is around £18 I thought I’d give the bundle a go.

You can see the details here

Note: I need to say I was super impressed with the shipping! It was free as I’d spent more than £25 and came exactly five days after ordering (the shipping rate is 3-5 days). Brill!

THE REVIEW

For the record I have normal/combination skin. I occasionally suffer with dry patches on my cheeks, especially during this time of year, and have a slightly oily t-zone. My skin, like everyone’s I feel, is also breakout prone although I no longer suffer with acne.

These products have not broken me out, which is amazing. I am always worried when trying something new that my skin will throw a fit. But after weeks of using them regularly I have not suffered once.

The cleanser does have a slightly floral scent to it, which worried me at first, but it is incredibly gentle and leaves my skin feel hydrated and fresh. I have not tried using it solely as a makeup remover, but it can be used for this apparently. I’m not sure how it would tackle waterproof mascara and the like, but I feel like it would do a decent job at getting rid of your face makeup at least.

My favourite product by far, however, is the priming moisturiser. Now I have never really gotten on well with any moisturisers, as I find that they often leave my skin greasy and shiny. I would definitely never use one prior to applying makeup. However, the priming moisturiser in this set is designed to be a base for ‘makeup and/or life’ (which is cute as, don’t you think?) and let me tell you, I am in love with it!

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It is honestly such a wonderful base and helps keep my makeup looking fresh for around three hours. For me, that is a miracle. My makeup only lasts around an hour even with a primer and setting spray. But when I used this moisturiser, I was overjoyed to see that even my highlighter and blusher still remained hours later!

THE CONCLUSION

Overall I am chuffed with my purchase from Glossier. I think they are an incredibly modern and attractive brand (I mean, take a look at that packaging!) that lives up to the hype. I think it’s because they are so simple. My skin doesn’t have to deal with too many conflicting products, which can be a problem sometimes. Basically I was genuinely so surprised with everything, from the shipping to the quality. And amazingly they are cruelty-free too!

I’d say if you fancy trying Glossier, you won’t be disappointed. Of course I’m not saying it’ll work for everyone but I am currently a very happy customer!


Will you be trying out these products?

Speak soon,

Rachael.

*Please note this post was not sponsored (duh). I paid for everything with my own, hard-earned money and all opinion are my own.

The Beauty Edit: Best Of 2016

I haven’t done a beauty post in a little while, but my love for makeup hasn’t subsided any in that time! Today I want to do a little round-up of some of my favourite products from 2016.

These products may be ones I have tried for the first time this year and have loved or ones that I may have used before but for one reason or another stood out majorly in 2016. This might help you find some new products to try in 2017 (God, how scary is that?) if you haven’t before, because I’d highly recommend them all.

I am a natural blonde but this year I lightened my hair a little and this shampoo has been an absolute wonder for me. Even when I was all my natural colour, this shampoo would turn the lightest points in my hair a lovely grey/silver colour which is very in right now. This is the only product of it’s kind that I’ve tried that doesn’t just tone your hair but gives it the silver shade everyone seems to be after.It’s such a dark purple shampoo that works instantly!

Even though I have oily skin, I much prefer this foundation to the matte version. It’s a completely different product with a better colour range (I am speaking for my pale people here though. I’m not 100% about the darker shades, unfortunately) and a much better coverage. This foundation makes your skin look flawless without being too cakey and looks amazing in photos. It is a bit more pricey that what I’d normally like to pay for a makeup product, but it’s amazing and lasts for ages that I won’t hesitate to pick it up again.

I love Makeup Revolution and I’ve mentioned them in all my past beauty posts, I’m sure. This year I’ve been obsessed with their eyeshadow palettes and they’re really the only things I use now. I have Flawless, Flawless Matte and Fortune Favours The Brave. Priced between £8-£10 for 32 shadows, they’re are such good value for money. They’re great quality and with a variety of shades they’re brilliant for people like me who like to experiment with makeup but don’t have a lot of money to do so. They also make brilliant gifts!

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I told you I love this brand! I mentioned this product in a post I did back in the summer (read here) and I’m still using it now. When it comes to contouring and all that, I’m not technical with it and just tend to wing it. This little product makes the process so simple. All the colours blend so well together and look so natural on the skin. The highlight is actually amazing and will give you that perfect glow. And at only £3.50 this little kit is a steal and perfect for any kind of look.

For years I’ve relied on wipes to remove my makeup. Then in 2016 I discovered Micellar water and my skin has been never been so happy. You can get this Garnier version everywhere now and I really like it. It manages to remove even waterproof mascara and leaves my skin feeling so fresh and clean. Even though it’s quite tough on makeup, it’s a really gentle formula for your skin and doesn’t leave you all red and rashy like some products.

So those were my top picks from 2016. Have you tried any of them? What are some of your favourite products from this year? I’d love to know.

If you have anything you’d like to share you can tweet me. You can also follow my blog on bloglovin if you fancy.

Speak soon,

Rachael.

Cool Things I Did In November (Alternatively Titled: How To Escape)

I know I said this in my last monthly post (read here) but it’s just been another weird month. I think with the end of the year approaching, workload picking up and the general state of the world (*cough* Trump) it’s understandable that a lot of us are feeling a bit shit right now.

I’m, personally, really looking forward to the end of the semester and the end of the year. Although I hate New Years and January, I feel like we all need a chance to let off some steam over the Christmas and start afresh.

Although this month has been a bit poop and I’m still feeling weird about a lot of things (2016, man) I did some really cool things throughout November. These things, I noticed, helped me escape whatever was going on around me and although I want to share with you the events, because they really were cool, I also want to talk about escaping and looking after yourself too.

  • Bastille Concert

On Remeberence Sunday me and my brother went to see Bastille in Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena and they were phenomenal. Seriously. Bastille are a band that seem to always be there when I’m going through a weird or difficult time and I was so happy to find that my love for them hasn’t disappeared over the years.

The arena was bouncing and the guys were amazing. I’d totally recommend you guys give Bastille a listen, especially if you’re struggling to cope with what’s happening on the news right now. They sing about now and the struggles we’re all facing. Wild World is such a relatable album and sums up all our feelings on this year, basically.

Stand Out Tracks You Need To Hear: Fake It, The Currents, Warmth, Snakes .

  • Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a new love in my life. It’s something I’d seen in the past but didn’t really get. But now for some reason it’s become a great love of mine. In my university flat, there’s nothing we enjoy doing more than watching a version of this weird and wacky show together. And luckily we had a chance to see it this month!

It was hilarious, as expected, and brilliantly performed. It was basically a wonderful excuse to get dressed up and giggle like a schoolkid about sex. And there was something so wonderful going to see it so close to the shocking news in America as Rocky Horror is basically a celebration of all genders, sexualities and, well, species. Ha! It was the perfect escape and just a chance for us all to laugh about silly things.

If you haven’t seen Rocky Horror or have and just don’t get it, then I’d highly recommend you watch the BBC America’s 40th Anniversary Special (you can find it on YouTube). Seeing it live is a totally different experience and I’m sure you’ll love it.

  • Durham

This month I went home for a week which was so lovely. I’ve been feeling really homesick this semester, which is unusual for me, so it was so nice being back home and getting some TLC from my family.

While I was at home, me and my mam took a little day trip to Durham as, despite how close it is to where we live, we had never done that together. It was such a lovely day (as you can see in the pictures) and it was nice exploring somewhere new with my mam, who I don’t get to see much when I’m at university.

Going somewhere new and exploring was such a nice boost and made me feel like a completely different person. I know it did me and my mam the world of good being out of the house and having a little walk around. You don’t have to go far, but dedicate a day to explore and be outside. It’ll make you feel so much better, I promise.

So that was my November. This is kind of a different post for me and I’d love to hear your feedback on it! How was your month?

Speak soon,

Rachael.

Things I’ve Been Loving: October

October was a frigging long month wasn’t it? Unlike previous months, which seemed to fly by, I thought it would never end.

Now winter is basically here, Christmas  is coming and we can all breathe a sigh of relief that this weird year is coming to a close.

October was an odd month for me and not a particularly good one, but these little things made me happy throughout so I though I’d share them with you:

Dangerous Woman: Ariana Grande

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I have never really been a fan of Ariana Grande and I haven’t gotten the hype that’s surrounded her since she first hit the charts. But for some reason I was drawn to this album and I have basically listened to it non-stop all month. It’s so good and I feel like whatever mood I’m in I turn to it. There’s some belters that I love screeching along to and a couple of sassy tracks that make me feel like I’m way cooler than I am.

Chokers

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I’ve had a (none sexual) thing for chokers for a little while now but this month I just stepped it up a notch. I ordered a bunch off eBay (unfortunately not all were what I expected. Lesson learnt there) and have been wearing them more often. I feel like they add an edge to a basic outfit and can look so cool with so many different things.

Toasted Teacakes

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A random mention but this month toasted teacakes have been my snack of choice. Especially now it’s getting colder and the days are becoming greyer, I really looks forward to cuddling up with a cup of tea and a teacake. I feel like such an old lady talking about this but it genuinely has been one of my favourite things to do this month. I know, I’m such an exciting human being!

The Manifesto on How to be Interesting: Holly Bourne

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This was the first full book I had read in such a long time and I just devoured it. I started it when I went away to Manchester for the weekend with my boyfriend and one of my closest friends and just whizzed through it. I have to confess I love a bit of YA and this one was so clever and interesting.

It goes into mental health and self-harm but is ultimately the tale of a girl who discovers herself while going through an extreme personality change. It’s quite raw and honest which I absolutely loved. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I put it down.

Primark Embroidered Jeans

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I managed to find these jeans in the sale when I went back home for the day this month. I have been looking for some ripped jeans for a while now, as well as being slightly in love with this whole embroidered trend going on. So imagine my excitement when I found this beauty, which has both! I haven’t wore them everyday, but just knowing they’re now in my wardrobe has made me so happy.

Fortune Favours the Brave Palette: Makeup Revolution

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I treated myself to this palette on a student lock-in night at my local shopping centre and I don’t regret it one bit. I know I mentioned another Makeup Revolution palette in my last Loves post but that’s only because they’re so good! They’re pretty cheap (this once was £9.99 FYI) and they are fantastic. They’re so pigmented and offer a wide range of colours, so if you’re someone like me who likes to mess about with makeup I’d give them a go. This one also can in handy on Halloween when I was experimenting with various looks.

And finally:

American Horror Story: Season 6

I have been so obsessed with American Horror Story this month! Have you been watching it? It’s been amazing- I can’t get enough of it to be honest.

Me and one of my very good friends (who also happens to be my flatmate while I’m at uni) have gotten into the routine of watching it together and it’s been such a lovely part of my week for this past month. As I’ve already said, this month has been a bit crap so it’s so nice to have something to look forward to every week.  If you’re a bit squeamish like me then watching this show with someone else can be pretty useful!

I don’t want to get too much into it, as I feel like it’s best to not know anything if you fancy watching it but I will say it’s such a dark and disturbing show. It’s also very unique and clever too. I’m really enjoying it anyway and if you fancy something to watch in the darker nights then this is for you.

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So those were the things that have made this month a bit better. What have you been loving?

Speak soon,

Rachael.

 

 

 

 

Four Small Things I’m Loving Right Now

Things have been a bit odd for me these past few weeks. I moved back into university accommodation and have just started the final year of my degree (*que hysterical shrieking*). Most of my time is now spent trying to settle back into a normal routine and getting stuck into work.

So when there’s lots of things going on in my life, I try to focus some attention on the little things that I enjoy on a day to day basis to keep me sane.

Here are four things that I am really enjoying at the moment:

  • Revolution Flawless Palette

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I showed this palette in a haul a couple of months back (see here) and I have been using it constantly ever since. I’ve been using even more recently as it is one of the only palettes I allowed myself to bring to university and I don’t regret that decision one bit. I’m not very adventurous when it comes to makeup and neutrals will always be my favourite. With it’s warm coppery theme, this palette is perfect for the new season and can be used to create so many different looks.

  • Jersey Bedding

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As I’ve just explained, I moved back into student accommodation a couple of weeks ago now which meant I had to go out and buy a few new homeware bits (any excuse really). One thing I got was this new bedding set from ASDA and I freaking love it. It doesn’t seem like much just to look at it, but  it’s made from this wonderful jersey material making it so soft, cosy and warm. This is a big deal when you’re living in student accommodation which seems to always be freezing no matter the season!

  • Big Magic Podcast

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Listen here. I was obsessed with this podcast around about this time last year. I had recently just finished Elizabeth Gilbert’s book of the same name and was so interested in the whole creative conversation. So imagine my joy when I recently discovered it had a second season! I listen to these podcasts on my little commute to my campus and with every episode I feel myself becoming more and more inspired. It never fails to lift my spirits and make me feel hopeful, something I’ve need these past few weeks!

  • Primark ‘Stay All Day’ Primer

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I love Primark. As someone with a small budget and an ever-growing appetite for clothing, it’s one of my favourite stores. Last time I was there, I picked up this product on a whim. I was running out of my current primer and just wanted something to use for the time being. Now, I never seem to get on with primers but I have really enjoyed this one. I’m not saying its the best product in the entire world, nor will it keep your makeup on all night but for £3 it’s pretty good and I like it.

I hope you found this post interesting. What are you currently loving?

Speak soon,

Rachael.