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Aaaand 2015 is almost over. Wut? I say this every year without fail, but where has the time gone? And what on earth have I done with it? Well, quite a bit, actually.

2015 was a year of change for me. I moved into a new house with new people, I visited new places, and I have new projects to tackle at university. On the whole, I've been the calmest and happiest I've been for a very long time, and I hope that continues in 2016.

Some Highlights

  • Passing my second year of uni with a 1st, and coming top of my Writing Non-Fiction class
  • Volunteering at Cancer Research
  • Work experience at Buzz Magazine
  • Going to Parklife Festival in Manchester
  • Exploring Wales with my family
  • Spending quality time with my friends over the summer
  • Moving into a new student house, and being happy there

Lessons Learned

  • If you can survive going to the toilet in a portaloo at a festival, you can survive anything the world throws at you. You got this.
  • LUSH Dream Cream is an excellent treatment for beard burn.
  • Good company can cure a multitude of ills. Likewise, being around negative people saps your energy and makes everything feel worse than it is. It's okay to walk away from the negativity.
  • I love coffee, but coffee does not love me. It may leave me buzzing, energized, and bouncing off the walls, but it also makes me feel shaky and sick. No more frappucinos for me.
  • It's more than okay to take some time out if you need to.

New Years Resolutions 2015  How Did I Do?
I make resolutions every year, but whether I stick to them or not is another matter entirely. I always end up forgetting what they were about halfway though the year in February so it's an interesting surprise when I look back at them  I went through the same thing last year.

Focus on the things that are important to me
I think I did that, on the whole. Perhaps with a little bit of a slump in the summer, but it's easy to get stuck in a rut when you have five months off.

Speak up
Meh. I'm improving all the time, but there are still days when I'd rather sit quietly and go unnoticed. Which is natural, I guess, but I think half of the battle is pushing through those barriers. One to work on. I tried, at the very least. 

Get more work experience
Done, and done better than I dreamed of. I had an amazing week at Buzz Magazine and I also learned a hell of a lot at Media Wales. Sending those emails is always nerve-wracking but I'm glad I put myself out there because I've had some wonderful opportunities. 

Get stronger
Hmmm, I'd say if anything I'm actually weaker than I was at the start of the year. The stress of going into third year has meant that I've had to prioritize, and time in the library is currently more important than time spent working out. But I'm trying to get in a couple of workouts per week, so I'm not letting myself feel too guilty. The gym will always be there, whereas I've only got a few months left at uni.

Quite a mixed bag, but I think I've done alright! Do you ever make resolutions? Do you keep them? Let me know in the comments, and have a happy New Year!

2015 — Highlights, Lessons Learned, and a Look Back at My New Year's Resolutions


Aaaand 2015 is almost over. Wut? I say this every year without fail, but where has the time gone? And what on earth have I done with it? Well, quite a bit, actually.

2015 was a year of change for me. I moved into a new house with new people, I visited new places, and I have new projects to tackle at university. On the whole, I've been the calmest and happiest I've been for a very long time, and I hope that continues in 2016.

Some Highlights

  • Passing my second year of uni with a 1st, and coming top of my Writing Non-Fiction class
  • Volunteering at Cancer Research
  • Work experience at Buzz Magazine
  • Going to Parklife Festival in Manchester
  • Exploring Wales with my family
  • Spending quality time with my friends over the summer
  • Moving into a new student house, and being happy there

Lessons Learned

  • If you can survive going to the toilet in a portaloo at a festival, you can survive anything the world throws at you. You got this.
  • LUSH Dream Cream is an excellent treatment for beard burn.
  • Good company can cure a multitude of ills. Likewise, being around negative people saps your energy and makes everything feel worse than it is. It's okay to walk away from the negativity.
  • I love coffee, but coffee does not love me. It may leave me buzzing, energized, and bouncing off the walls, but it also makes me feel shaky and sick. No more frappucinos for me.
  • It's more than okay to take some time out if you need to.

New Years Resolutions 2015  How Did I Do?
I make resolutions every year, but whether I stick to them or not is another matter entirely. I always end up forgetting what they were about halfway though the year in February so it's an interesting surprise when I look back at them  I went through the same thing last year.

Focus on the things that are important to me
I think I did that, on the whole. Perhaps with a little bit of a slump in the summer, but it's easy to get stuck in a rut when you have five months off.

Speak up
Meh. I'm improving all the time, but there are still days when I'd rather sit quietly and go unnoticed. Which is natural, I guess, but I think half of the battle is pushing through those barriers. One to work on. I tried, at the very least. 

Get more work experience
Done, and done better than I dreamed of. I had an amazing week at Buzz Magazine and I also learned a hell of a lot at Media Wales. Sending those emails is always nerve-wracking but I'm glad I put myself out there because I've had some wonderful opportunities. 

Get stronger
Hmmm, I'd say if anything I'm actually weaker than I was at the start of the year. The stress of going into third year has meant that I've had to prioritize, and time in the library is currently more important than time spent working out. But I'm trying to get in a couple of workouts per week, so I'm not letting myself feel too guilty. The gym will always be there, whereas I've only got a few months left at uni.

Quite a mixed bag, but I think I've done alright! Do you ever make resolutions? Do you keep them? Let me know in the comments, and have a happy New Year!
Hello everyone, how are you all? Did you have a good Christmas? Mine was quite relaxed; we sat and chatted, ate a tonne of food, played card games, and then watched the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special (so glad Harry won, his dancing was stunning!)

I also had a mini Christmas with my friends on the 23rd, which involved Monopoly, Cards Against Humanity, Love Actually, Secret Santa presents, a candy cane hunt, and more Chinese food than four people could ever want or need. I had a lovely couple of days and it's definitely left me feeling recharged after a busy term at uni. But before we move on to 2016, it's time for Part 2 of my Products of the Year series. This time I'll be looking at hand cream, hair products, and make-up.

If you missed Part 1 you can catch up here.)

Products of the year (hands and hair)

Products of the Year — Part 2

Hello everyone, how are you all? Did you have a good Christmas? Mine was quite relaxed; we sat and chatted, ate a tonne of food, played card games, and then watched the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special (so glad Harry won, his dancing was stunning!)

I also had a mini Christmas with my friends on the 23rd, which involved Monopoly, Cards Against Humanity, Love Actually, Secret Santa presents, a candy cane hunt, and more Chinese food than four people could ever want or need. I had a lovely couple of days and it's definitely left me feeling recharged after a busy term at uni. But before we move on to 2016, it's time for Part 2 of my Products of the Year series. This time I'll be looking at hand cream, hair products, and make-up.

If you missed Part 1 you can catch up here.)

Products of the year (hands and hair)


Hello everyone, how are you all?  It's very nearly Christmas, so thought I'd share the love with a list of some of my most-read and most-loved blogs. One of the best things about blogging, in my opinion, is chatting to everyone on Twitter and leaving comments for people; it's a whole other community and I know that if I've been having a shit day then I can log on and be cheered up almost instantly. These ladies write wonderful posts and are all absolute babes to boot, and I hope you find some new favourites (that is, if you're not following them already!)

10 Blogs I've Loved This Year


Hello everyone, how are you all?  It's very nearly Christmas, so thought I'd share the love with a list of some of my most-read and most-loved blogs. One of the best things about blogging, in my opinion, is chatting to everyone on Twitter and leaving comments for people; it's a whole other community and I know that if I've been having a shit day then I can log on and be cheered up almost instantly. These ladies write wonderful posts and are all absolute babes to boot, and I hope you find some new favourites (that is, if you're not following them already!)

Hello everyone! How are you all? Maybe it's a bit early to be doing a round-up, since Christmas hasn't even happened yet (four days!) but I thought I'd get going with a Products of the Year series all the same. The original post was so long that I've split it in two  try as I might, I couldn't narrow it down to a list of five (or even ten) favourites; I've found too many gems this year. This is Part 1 (stating the obvious, good writing there, Beth...) and Part 2 will be up next week. Enjoy!

Products of the Year — Part 1


Hello everyone! How are you all? Maybe it's a bit early to be doing a round-up, since Christmas hasn't even happened yet (four days!) but I thought I'd get going with a Products of the Year series all the same. The original post was so long that I've split it in two  try as I might, I couldn't narrow it down to a list of five (or even ten) favourites; I've found too many gems this year. This is Part 1 (stating the obvious, good writing there, Beth...) and Part 2 will be up next week. Enjoy!


Hello! How are you all? I've flung myself into the Christmas holidays the best way I know how  by going out for food, and seeing everyone from home so that we can catch up. My week has basically consisted of eating, with the odd bit of Christmas shopping and writing thrown in for good measure. I've been so busy over the past term that I don't want to put too much pressure on myself to get work done over the festive period  I'll get off to a better start in the new year if I actually let myself have a break.   

The topic for the #bbloggers chat a few weeks ago was 'pamper nights', and I soon discovered that I wasn't the only one who doesn't normally have the time for a full-on spa evening, as lovely as they are. But I do like to spend my Sunday evenings looking after my skin and painting my nails, when I can, so I guess that's a pamper night of sorts? It's just my normal skincare routine with a face mask thrown in, but it feels like I'm doing something for myself, and that's enough to help me de-stress.   

The Sunday Night Beauty Routine



Hello! How are you all? I've flung myself into the Christmas holidays the best way I know how  by going out for food, and seeing everyone from home so that we can catch up. My week has basically consisted of eating, with the odd bit of Christmas shopping and writing thrown in for good measure. I've been so busy over the past term that I don't want to put too much pressure on myself to get work done over the festive period  I'll get off to a better start in the new year if I actually let myself have a break.   

The topic for the #bbloggers chat a few weeks ago was 'pamper nights', and I soon discovered that I wasn't the only one who doesn't normally have the time for a full-on spa evening, as lovely as they are. But I do like to spend my Sunday evenings looking after my skin and painting my nails, when I can, so I guess that's a pamper night of sorts? It's just my normal skincare routine with a face mask thrown in, but it feels like I'm doing something for myself, and that's enough to help me de-stress.   

It all started with a face mask. Over Autumn, I noticed the same product popping up in blog posts, over and over again: the Aura Manuka Honey Mask by Antipodes. I was curious for two reasons. One, because I'd never heard of Antipodes before. And two, because the Aura mask is supposed to be very good at calming down spots. After reading a few more reviews, all positive, I finally caved, and thus my love affair with Antipodes began.

Cruelty-Free Brand of the Month: Antipodes


It all started with a face mask. Over Autumn, I noticed the same product popping up in blog posts, over and over again: the Aura Manuka Honey Mask by Antipodes. I was curious for two reasons. One, because I'd never heard of Antipodes before. And two, because the Aura mask is supposed to be very good at calming down spots. After reading a few more reviews, all positive, I finally caved, and thus my love affair with Antipodes began.
Hello everyone! How are you all? I got home for Christmas last Friday and I'm so happy to be back. I ended up meeting my brother in London and we caught the train home together, then our parents met us on the platform which was just the loveliest thing. Proper Christmassy, actually.

It's been a while since I've done a post like this, so I thought I'd give you all a peek at what's inside my everyday make-up bag at the moment. Putting on my face almost (almost!) makes early starts bearable; it just gives me a moment to sit and breathe before I get going with my day.

Base products (December 2015)

In My Make-Up Bag: December 2015

Hello everyone! How are you all? I got home for Christmas last Friday and I'm so happy to be back. I ended up meeting my brother in London and we caught the train home together, then our parents met us on the platform which was just the loveliest thing. Proper Christmassy, actually.

It's been a while since I've done a post like this, so I thought I'd give you all a peek at what's inside my everyday make-up bag at the moment. Putting on my face almost (almost!) makes early starts bearable; it just gives me a moment to sit and breathe before I get going with my day.

Base products (December 2015)

I've mentioned my love of berry lips many a time but something I haven't talked about so much is the sheer joy that bronze and gold make-up bring to my life.

Barry M Eyeliner, Nars Illuminator, elf Mineral Eyeshadow


Gold and Bronze EVERYTHING

I've mentioned my love of berry lips many a time but something I haven't talked about so much is the sheer joy that bronze and gold make-up bring to my life.

Barry M Eyeliner, Nars Illuminator, elf Mineral Eyeshadow


LUSH Candy Mountain

Hello everyone, how are you all? I've just about recovered from my timed assignment last week (task set on 9am on Day 1, must be complete and handed in on Day 2, just as stressful as it sounds) and Christmas shopping on Saturday (Cardiff was heaaaving). Now that's out of the way all I can think about is going home for the holidays. Five days, people, five days! 

The Seven Deadly Sins of Beauty is a tag, and I found a draft for it in my documents when I was having a clear-out a while back. I must have forgotten to add it to my blog schedule originally (oops) but better late than never, right? I can't remember whose blog I found it on originally, but thank you, whoever you may be! 

The Seven Deadly Sins of Beauty

LUSH Candy Mountain

Hello everyone, how are you all? I've just about recovered from my timed assignment last week (task set on 9am on Day 1, must be complete and handed in on Day 2, just as stressful as it sounds) and Christmas shopping on Saturday (Cardiff was heaaaving). Now that's out of the way all I can think about is going home for the holidays. Five days, people, five days! 

The Seven Deadly Sins of Beauty is a tag, and I found a draft for it in my documents when I was having a clear-out a while back. I must have forgotten to add it to my blog schedule originally (oops) but better late than never, right? I can't remember whose blog I found it on originally, but thank you, whoever you may be! 

Yes To Blueberries Hydrating Body Wash

Treats For the Evening, with Yes To Blueberries and Lush

Yes To Blueberries Hydrating Body Wash
Wales can be pretty damn beautiful at this time of year. This was the first day of November, and the sun was out all day. Pity it didn't stay that way!
November was a ridiculously rainy month, but I tried not to let that get in the way of anything (although I did discover that my boots aren't actually waterproof...). I've spent most of my time trying to get my coursework written, and then either collapsing at home in front of the TV, or collapsing in the pub. Crazy student life, right?  

What's Made Me Happy This Month? November 2015

Wales can be pretty damn beautiful at this time of year. This was the first day of November, and the sun was out all day. Pity it didn't stay that way!
November was a ridiculously rainy month, but I tried not to let that get in the way of anything (although I did discover that my boots aren't actually waterproof...). I've spent most of my time trying to get my coursework written, and then either collapsing at home in front of the TV, or collapsing in the pub. Crazy student life, right?  
Barry M Bold Waterproof Eyeliners
Barry M Bold Waterproof Eyeliners. They cost a mere £3.99 each!

I don't know about you, but there's something about winter that just makes me want to use more of a heavy hand when it comes to make-up. I don't mean that I start to cake it all on. It's more that putting a bit more effort in when it comes to make-up makes me feel happier when the weather outside is cold and miserable. There's something about a polished base, bold brows, defined eyes, and dark lips that can make an ordinary day or night seem that bit more special.

I'm also more likely to experiment with colour, and that's where these Bold Waterproof Eyeliners by Barry M come in. As much as I adore and rely on black, black, and more black, it's also fun to go out of my comfort zone and try something new. (Although the Bold Black liner is great  a true black rather than a wishy-washy dark grey.)

Barry M Bold Waterproof Eyeliner

Barry M Bold Waterproof Eyeliners
Barry M Bold Waterproof Eyeliners. They cost a mere £3.99 each!

I don't know about you, but there's something about winter that just makes me want to use more of a heavy hand when it comes to make-up. I don't mean that I start to cake it all on. It's more that putting a bit more effort in when it comes to make-up makes me feel happier when the weather outside is cold and miserable. There's something about a polished base, bold brows, defined eyes, and dark lips that can make an ordinary day or night seem that bit more special.

I'm also more likely to experiment with colour, and that's where these Bold Waterproof Eyeliners by Barry M come in. As much as I adore and rely on black, black, and more black, it's also fun to go out of my comfort zone and try something new. (Although the Bold Black liner is great  a true black rather than a wishy-washy dark grey.)

Hello everyone! I hope you're well?

It's time once again for Cruelty-Free Brand of the Month, and today I'm talking all things Weleda. I'll admit, before I started spending a lot (a lot) of time browsing websites like Naturisimo, I'd only really heard of Weleda in passing, and it was always the same product that was mentioned: Skin Food.

When I finally took the plunge and bought something from Weleda, though, it was the Gentle Cleansing Milk that caught my eye, simply because that's what I needed at the time. It was a purchase made out of necessity, rather than curiosity, and little did I know that I'd find a new favourite brand... 

Cruelty-Free Brand of the Month: Weleda


Hello everyone! I hope you're well?

It's time once again for Cruelty-Free Brand of the Month, and today I'm talking all things Weleda. I'll admit, before I started spending a lot (a lot) of time browsing websites like Naturisimo, I'd only really heard of Weleda in passing, and it was always the same product that was mentioned: Skin Food.

When I finally took the plunge and bought something from Weleda, though, it was the Gentle Cleansing Milk that caught my eye, simply because that's what I needed at the time. It was a purchase made out of necessity, rather than curiosity, and little did I know that I'd find a new favourite brand... 
Naturisimo Samples


Hello everyone! How are you all? I'm gonna be honest: I'd planned to have a really productive week, but it all fell by the wayside by the end of Wednesday and I just couldn't get much written. Writer's block is a thing, people, and it's shit. I had an amazing dissertation class on Friday morning though  we talked about stupid boys being stupid, and then cried over poetry. I swear it's just a therapy session in disguise.

Anyway. I bought a few things from Naturisimo a while back, and jumped at the chance to get some extra samples with my order. All of them are from cruelty-free brands I haven't really tried before, so I thought I'd do an un-boxing post (although I admit that I couldn't wait to try the hand cream before I wrote this). Let me know if you'd like me to review anything. 

Naturisimo Treats For Hands, Skin, and Hair

Naturisimo Samples


Hello everyone! How are you all? I'm gonna be honest: I'd planned to have a really productive week, but it all fell by the wayside by the end of Wednesday and I just couldn't get much written. Writer's block is a thing, people, and it's shit. I had an amazing dissertation class on Friday morning though  we talked about stupid boys being stupid, and then cried over poetry. I swear it's just a therapy session in disguise.

Anyway. I bought a few things from Naturisimo a while back, and jumped at the chance to get some extra samples with my order. All of them are from cruelty-free brands I haven't really tried before, so I thought I'd do an un-boxing post (although I admit that I couldn't wait to try the hand cream before I wrote this). Let me know if you'd like me to review anything. 

My hair always frizzes up (well, more than usual) and gets extra dry when the weather turns, so recently I've been taking extra care of it. I'm trying to keep things simple, and I've been avoiding heat styling as well (it only makes things worse, I find, especially in Wales where my hair gets extra parched). Three products in particular have been stand-out for me, so I thought I'd tell you why.

3 Vegan Products to Help Combat Dry Hair


My hair always frizzes up (well, more than usual) and gets extra dry when the weather turns, so recently I've been taking extra care of it. I'm trying to keep things simple, and I've been avoiding heat styling as well (it only makes things worse, I find, especially in Wales where my hair gets extra parched). Three products in particular have been stand-out for me, so I thought I'd tell you why.


People's reactions are very mixed when they find out I do a Creative Writing degree. There are those who immediately think it's the coolest thing ever, those who are surprised that such a degree exists and wonder what the hell I'm going to do with it, and those who are very confused as to what it is that I actually do. So I thought I'd do a Day In The Life kinda post to shed a bit of light on my student life. (There are also some very rude people who assume that just because I'm not setting myself up for a specific type of job that my degree is a waste of time; I'm not so fond of them. I've learned a tonne from my course and I don't regret enrolling at all.) 

The 16 Stages Of... The Day Of A Third Year Creative Writing Student


People's reactions are very mixed when they find out I do a Creative Writing degree. There are those who immediately think it's the coolest thing ever, those who are surprised that such a degree exists and wonder what the hell I'm going to do with it, and those who are very confused as to what it is that I actually do. So I thought I'd do a Day In The Life kinda post to shed a bit of light on my student life. (There are also some very rude people who assume that just because I'm not setting myself up for a specific type of job that my degree is a waste of time; I'm not so fond of them. I've learned a tonne from my course and I don't regret enrolling at all.) 


My affair with Lily Lolo is relatively new, but I can assure you that the love is all-too real. I first tried their products in September, and I've been singing their praises ever since. My entire base, bar one under-eye concealer, is now Lily Lolo, and it's mainly because my sensitive, spotty skin responds well to it  everything is just so breathable. Here's what I've been wearing on a daily basis: 

The Lily Lolo Base


My affair with Lily Lolo is relatively new, but I can assure you that the love is all-too real. I first tried their products in September, and I've been singing their praises ever since. My entire base, bar one under-eye concealer, is now Lily Lolo, and it's mainly because my sensitive, spotty skin responds well to it  everything is just so breathable. Here's what I've been wearing on a daily basis: 
LUSH Shoot For The Stars

(Just sorting out this post ready to be published and I'd love to say the stars/sky theme was planned... but I've only just noticed it. As you were.)

I have no self control when it comes to LUSH. There, I said it: I am a full-blown addict. I should have known better, really, than to walk into the store to buy only one thing; it's impossible to leave without a bag of treats. But I reviewed them all for you, because I'm nice like that.

Lush Bath Bombs — Twilight, Intergalactic, and Shoot For The Stars

LUSH Shoot For The Stars

(Just sorting out this post ready to be published and I'd love to say the stars/sky theme was planned... but I've only just noticed it. As you were.)

I have no self control when it comes to LUSH. There, I said it: I am a full-blown addict. I should have known better, really, than to walk into the store to buy only one thing; it's impossible to leave without a bag of treats. But I reviewed them all for you, because I'm nice like that.
Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask
Never mind the mask itself, how gorgeous is this packaging? *swoons*

I don't know what the hell is going on with my skin right now. I got my usual deadline-induced bout of acne in April, and then instead of fading once uni was over for the year, it just stuck around. For months, I was convinced that all I needed was a healthier diet and a gentler skincare routine, but I have both those things and there hasn't been much improvement until recently.

The Antipodes Mask That's Saving My Skin

Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask
Never mind the mask itself, how gorgeous is this packaging? *swoons*

I don't know what the hell is going on with my skin right now. I got my usual deadline-induced bout of acne in April, and then instead of fading once uni was over for the year, it just stuck around. For months, I was convinced that all I needed was a healthier diet and a gentler skincare routine, but I have both those things and there hasn't been much improvement until recently.

So, last month I spent a week doing work experience in a newsroom, and it was something of an eye-opener. I don't really have a career path in mind that I might pursue after I graduate, I just know I want to be able to write non-fiction in one form or another. Local journalism, however, is not the one. The hours are long, it's stressful, and, with a couple of exceptions, you can't really be creative.

The week was by no means a waste, though. First of all, I have a clearer idea of what I want for post-grad life. And second, I noticed that you could apply the way the journalists approach their news website to running a blog. Here are three things I learnt:

3 Things I Learned From Working In A Newsroom and How to Apply Them to Blogging


So, last month I spent a week doing work experience in a newsroom, and it was something of an eye-opener. I don't really have a career path in mind that I might pursue after I graduate, I just know I want to be able to write non-fiction in one form or another. Local journalism, however, is not the one. The hours are long, it's stressful, and, with a couple of exceptions, you can't really be creative.

The week was by no means a waste, though. First of all, I have a clearer idea of what I want for post-grad life. And second, I noticed that you could apply the way the journalists approach their news website to running a blog. Here are three things I learnt:
LUSH Sparkly Pumpkin

Damn, it got cold in October! The scarves are out, the heating's on, and I've been looking up recipes for soup (salad is the last lunch you want when it's chilly). I've had a tonne of work to do for university, not to mention a week of working office hours like a proper adult, and frankly, I'm shattered. But despite that, I've always had a soft spot for this time of year, and there have been plenty of lovely moments in October.

What's Made Me Happy This Month? October 2015

LUSH Sparkly Pumpkin

Damn, it got cold in October! The scarves are out, the heating's on, and I've been looking up recipes for soup (salad is the last lunch you want when it's chilly). I've had a tonne of work to do for university, not to mention a week of working office hours like a proper adult, and frankly, I'm shattered. But despite that, I've always had a soft spot for this time of year, and there have been plenty of lovely moments in October.

Winter Essentials

I'd wager that I feel the cold more than your average twenty-something, and it shows. The skin on my hands gets cracked, my lips get sore, and I find myself reaching for moisturisers that are a lot, lot richer. Winter products may be very functional, but they are by no means boring, so I thought I'd share some of my favourites with you all.

Winter Essentials

Winter Essentials

I'd wager that I feel the cold more than your average twenty-something, and it shows. The skin on my hands gets cracked, my lips get sore, and I find myself reaching for moisturisers that are a lot, lot richer. Winter products may be very functional, but they are by no means boring, so I thought I'd share some of my favourites with you all.
Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in Black Pistachio, Mustard, and Chilli

Generally, I don't really follow trends that closely, I just pick and choose what I like, but all of that goes out of the window at this time of year. The berries, the camel colours, the copper... and also less-raved about shades like these.

I found Barry M's Gelly Nail Paints to be a little hit and miss when they were first released, but they've most certainly perfected the formula by now because all of these apply very smoothly (as long as you don't get too much paint on the brush). Boots had a 3-for-2 offer on recently (it might still be going) so I picked up three shades: Black Pistachio, Mustard, and Chilli

Autumn Nail Polish Shades By Barry M

Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in Black Pistachio, Mustard, and Chilli

Generally, I don't really follow trends that closely, I just pick and choose what I like, but all of that goes out of the window at this time of year. The berries, the camel colours, the copper... and also less-raved about shades like these.

I found Barry M's Gelly Nail Paints to be a little hit and miss when they were first released, but they've most certainly perfected the formula by now because all of these apply very smoothly (as long as you don't get too much paint on the brush). Boots had a 3-for-2 offer on recently (it might still be going) so I picked up three shades: Black Pistachio, Mustard, and Chilli


After all the stress of last week's post about feeling the pressure, I thought I'd start the week with something a little more positive, and the little things list was born. It is by no means exhaustive, I just let my mind ramble and these are the fifteen things that I thought of first. Enjoy!

15 Little Things That Make Me Happy


After all the stress of last week's post about feeling the pressure, I thought I'd start the week with something a little more positive, and the little things list was born. It is by no means exhaustive, I just let my mind ramble and these are the fifteen things that I thought of first. Enjoy!
Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia; Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Dare; GOSH Velvet Touch Lipstick in Matt Plum

I'm quiet and baby-faced, and I use nonsense words when talking to dogs I come across in the street, but berry lips make me feel like I'm absolutely ruthless. I've said this many a time, especially on Twitter, but I'm gonna reiterate anyway: berry lips make me feel like I have my shit together. Make-up doesn't just transform you on the outside; it also has an effect on your state of mind, and I love that.

The Berry Lips are Back

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia; Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Dare; GOSH Velvet Touch Lipstick in Matt Plum

I'm quiet and baby-faced, and I use nonsense words when talking to dogs I come across in the street, but berry lips make me feel like I'm absolutely ruthless. I've said this many a time, especially on Twitter, but I'm gonna reiterate anyway: berry lips make me feel like I have my shit together. Make-up doesn't just transform you on the outside; it also has an effect on your state of mind, and I love that.
I picked this photo because there are few things that intimidate me more than a blank page (or screen!)
By pressure, I mean the pressure I put on myself. The things that I feel like I should be doing, and therefore fret about when I don't get them done, or don't do enough of them. This list includes, but is not limited to:

Pressure

I picked this photo because there are few things that intimidate me more than a blank page (or screen!)
By pressure, I mean the pressure I put on myself. The things that I feel like I should be doing, and therefore fret about when I don't get them done, or don't do enough of them. This list includes, but is not limited to:

I first became familiar with Neal's Yard Remedies when I picked up their hand creams as magazine freebies. I love their hand creams, but I'd never really considered looking into any of their other ranges until recently. This, I quickly discovered, was a damn shame, because Neal's Yard make some excellent products. Curious? Here's what I've been loving.

Cruelty-Free Brand of the Month: Neal's Yard Remedies


I first became familiar with Neal's Yard Remedies when I picked up their hand creams as magazine freebies. I love their hand creams, but I'd never really considered looking into any of their other ranges until recently. This, I quickly discovered, was a damn shame, because Neal's Yard make some excellent products. Curious? Here's what I've been loving.
Umberto Giannini Curl Friends

My hair is a bit of  a contradiction: fine but wavy (with the odd most-definitely curly section thrown in), it hangs somewhere between straight and not. Products designed for curly hair are usually too heavy for me, but products made for fine hair don't always calm the frizz I'm prone to getting. This means I'm often in a bit of a hair dilemma, with no idea what to use.

#GetYourCurlsOut with Umberto Giannini

Umberto Giannini Curl Friends

My hair is a bit of  a contradiction: fine but wavy (with the odd most-definitely curly section thrown in), it hangs somewhere between straight and not. Products designed for curly hair are usually too heavy for me, but products made for fine hair don't always calm the frizz I'm prone to getting. This means I'm often in a bit of a hair dilemma, with no idea what to use.

We're taking a trip back in time to my teenage years today  hence the clock. (I couldn't find any stock photos of smushed lipstick and there was no way I was ruining one of my own.) My experiments with make-up have definitely helped me to (slowly) learn what works and what doesn't, and I pick up new tips all the time. It was, and still is, a trial and error approach, and I will be eternally grateful that I went through my early teens before social media became the huge thing it is today. Since there are no photos (none I'd be willing to share, anyway!) I made a list instead. Here are my beauty mistakes.

8 Beauty Mistakes I Definitely Made


We're taking a trip back in time to my teenage years today  hence the clock. (I couldn't find any stock photos of smushed lipstick and there was no way I was ruining one of my own.) My experiments with make-up have definitely helped me to (slowly) learn what works and what doesn't, and I pick up new tips all the time. It was, and still is, a trial and error approach, and I will be eternally grateful that I went through my early teens before social media became the huge thing it is today. Since there are no photos (none I'd be willing to share, anyway!) I made a list instead. Here are my beauty mistakes.


I found my favourite undereye concealer months ago, but I've had less luck when it comes to a concealer for blemishes. When you suffer from breakouts, this can be a problem. When you only buy cruelty-free products, this can also be a problem, because you can't just pick up any old thing while you're shopping  you have to research it first. Oh, and I'm incredibly pale, so unless I go high end the chances of finding a decent shade match are slim. But I can't afford to buy high end base products on a regular basis. My mission? To find a decent, spot-covering concealer that's a) cruelty-free, b) pale, and c) affordable enough for me to make part of my everyday make up routine. 

(In case you're wondering just how pale I am, I wear the shade Siberia in NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, and I use their Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly under my eyes.)

Cruelty-Free Concealer

Looking for a Cruelty-Free Concealer


I found my favourite undereye concealer months ago, but I've had less luck when it comes to a concealer for blemishes. When you suffer from breakouts, this can be a problem. When you only buy cruelty-free products, this can also be a problem, because you can't just pick up any old thing while you're shopping  you have to research it first. Oh, and I'm incredibly pale, so unless I go high end the chances of finding a decent shade match are slim. But I can't afford to buy high end base products on a regular basis. My mission? To find a decent, spot-covering concealer that's a) cruelty-free, b) pale, and c) affordable enough for me to make part of my everyday make up routine. 

(In case you're wondering just how pale I am, I wear the shade Siberia in NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, and I use their Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly under my eyes.)

Cruelty-Free Concealer


I've said previously that I don't want to make too many changes to my skincare routine, but my skin always needs that extra something at this time of year. I've added two products: Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, and Dirty Works Perfecting Eye Cream.

Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil

Skincare: New In For Winter


I've said previously that I don't want to make too many changes to my skincare routine, but my skin always needs that extra something at this time of year. I've added two products: Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, and Dirty Works Perfecting Eye Cream.

Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil

The Kent Wheel

September has very much been a month of two halves. During the first half, I spent most of the time sorting out the last of my uni stuff and spending as much time with friends and family as possible, and then the latter half has been spent settling into my new house and catching up with everyone from uni, as well as meeting my new housemates. I've also been enjoying bringing out all my autumn sweaters  and window shopping for more... 


What's Made Me Happy This Month? September 2015

The Kent Wheel

September has very much been a month of two halves. During the first half, I spent most of the time sorting out the last of my uni stuff and spending as much time with friends and family as possible, and then the latter half has been spent settling into my new house and catching up with everyone from uni, as well as meeting my new housemates. I've also been enjoying bringing out all my autumn sweaters  and window shopping for more... 



Before we get into the bulk of today's post, I have a confession to make. I had originally planned a post about Superdrug's cruelty-free false eyelashes, but after buying two packs and failing to apply the lashes successfully, I had to admit defeat. That's right: I've lost my ability to apply false eyelashes.

Anyway. In all the fuss of packing and re-packing and travelling back to uni, I forgot to bring my ultimate holy grail product back to university with me. I'm talking, of course, about the Ultrabland cleanser by LUSH, and when I realised I'd left it behind I nearly wept.

Shopping My Stash: A Mousse, An Eyeshadow Palette, and a Lifesaving Cleanser


Before we get into the bulk of today's post, I have a confession to make. I had originally planned a post about Superdrug's cruelty-free false eyelashes, but after buying two packs and failing to apply the lashes successfully, I had to admit defeat. That's right: I've lost my ability to apply false eyelashes.

Anyway. In all the fuss of packing and re-packing and travelling back to uni, I forgot to bring my ultimate holy grail product back to university with me. I'm talking, of course, about the Ultrabland cleanser by LUSH, and when I realised I'd left it behind I nearly wept.


Yes, I keep my make-up on my bookshelf. There wasn't really anywhere else for it to go (my room's smaller than it was last year) but I don't mind, because at least this way it's all in easy reach. Naturally, I also keep some of my books here  a large portion of them are back home  and my aim is to gradually add more to the shelf; it's one of my ambitions in life to have a killer book collection, and it makes me sad to think that I'll never get to read everything. Just me? Anyway, here's some of the stuff you can find on the shelf.

10 Things You'll Find On My Bookshelf


Yes, I keep my make-up on my bookshelf. There wasn't really anywhere else for it to go (my room's smaller than it was last year) but I don't mind, because at least this way it's all in easy reach. Naturally, I also keep some of my books here  a large portion of them are back home  and my aim is to gradually add more to the shelf; it's one of my ambitions in life to have a killer book collection, and it makes me sad to think that I'll never get to read everything. Just me? Anyway, here's some of the stuff you can find on the shelf.
Neal's Yard Remedies Nourishing Lavender Shampoo; Yes To Coconut Ultra Moisture Conditioner; Neal's Yard Remedies Rosemary & Cedarwood Hair Treatment; OGX Coconut Water Weightless Oil Mist

My hair frustrates me no end. Oily roots, dry ends, and a little halo of frizz mean that it never looks quite the way I want it to. I've also never been particularly skilled at styling it. I thought it was about time I showed my hair a bit more TLC, so I invested in some new products and I'm planning to cut down on heat styling.

A New Hair Routine, featuring Neal's Yard Remedies, Yes To Coconut, and OGX

Neal's Yard Remedies Nourishing Lavender Shampoo; Yes To Coconut Ultra Moisture Conditioner; Neal's Yard Remedies Rosemary & Cedarwood Hair Treatment; OGX Coconut Water Weightless Oil Mist

My hair frustrates me no end. Oily roots, dry ends, and a little halo of frizz mean that it never looks quite the way I want it to. I've also never been particularly skilled at styling it. I thought it was about time I showed my hair a bit more TLC, so I invested in some new products and I'm planning to cut down on heat styling.

Lily Lolo Make Up
Clockwise: Natural Lip Gloss in English Rose; Mineral Blush in Beach Babe; Mineral Powder in Translucent Silk; Mineral Foundation SPF15 in Porcelain
Something I've been really keen to do recently is branch out and try some more cruelty-free brands. I like to think that people can come to Toasty and see that cruelty-free beauty isn't always difficult to find, but I also want to draw attention to brands which aren't as well known as your standard high street staples (or are well known but sometimes overlooked). And so, the idea for Cruelty-Free Brand Of The Month was born, and it's as straightforward as it sounds: each month, I'll be discussing a brand whose ethics I admire and whose products I haven't really tried before.

Cruelty-Free Brand of the Month: Lily Lolo Mineral Cosmetics

Lily Lolo Make Up
Clockwise: Natural Lip Gloss in English Rose; Mineral Blush in Beach Babe; Mineral Powder in Translucent Silk; Mineral Foundation SPF15 in Porcelain
Something I've been really keen to do recently is branch out and try some more cruelty-free brands. I like to think that people can come to Toasty and see that cruelty-free beauty isn't always difficult to find, but I also want to draw attention to brands which aren't as well known as your standard high street staples (or are well known but sometimes overlooked). And so, the idea for Cruelty-Free Brand Of The Month was born, and it's as straightforward as it sounds: each month, I'll be discussing a brand whose ethics I admire and whose products I haven't really tried before.


So yesterday I made the journey to university, and I'm so happy to be back. The five hours or so that it takes to travel between England and Wales can be a bit of a faff, so I thought I'd liven it up with another The Stages Of... post.

I did a post like this way back in April, and had a lot of fun writing it, but I haven't done one since. It means constantly taking notes, and that can be quite disruptive, not to mention it can stop you fully experiencing whatever's going on around you. However, I think we'd all agree that train journeys are generally pretty unremarkable, unless you're taking the scenic route, so I was able to make my notes without feeling guilty.

The 23 Stages of... Going Back to Uni


So yesterday I made the journey to university, and I'm so happy to be back. The five hours or so that it takes to travel between England and Wales can be a bit of a faff, so I thought I'd liven it up with another The Stages Of... post.

I did a post like this way back in April, and had a lot of fun writing it, but I haven't done one since. It means constantly taking notes, and that can be quite disruptive, not to mention it can stop you fully experiencing whatever's going on around you. However, I think we'd all agree that train journeys are generally pretty unremarkable, unless you're taking the scenic route, so I was able to make my notes without feeling guilty.

Skincare by The Organic Pharmacy

I don't really test out new skincare very frequently  what I'm using at the moment seems to be working *fingers crossed* so why mess with it? But I made an exception for The Organic Pharmacy (Elle gave away three of their products as a freebie) because I've heard such good things about the brand, including rave reviews of their most well-known product, the Carrot Butter Cleanser. I also love that their products are free from artificial colourants, fragrances, petrochemicals and preservatives, and they're a cruelty-free company too.

First Impressions: The Organic Pharmacy Skincare

Skincare by The Organic Pharmacy

I don't really test out new skincare very frequently  what I'm using at the moment seems to be working *fingers crossed* so why mess with it? But I made an exception for The Organic Pharmacy (Elle gave away three of their products as a freebie) because I've heard such good things about the brand, including rave reviews of their most well-known product, the Carrot Butter Cleanser. I also love that their products are free from artificial colourants, fragrances, petrochemicals and preservatives, and they're a cruelty-free company too.


So last month Kay tagged me in one of her posts (check out her blog for a really interesting mix of all things lifestyle, including feminism, beauty, and politics). The challenge? To make a list of ten things I love, and ten things I hate. It sounded like the kind of post I could have fun with, so I got thinking. Challenge accepted.

Love/Hate


So last month Kay tagged me in one of her posts (check out her blog for a really interesting mix of all things lifestyle, including feminism, beauty, and politics). The challenge? To make a list of ten things I love, and ten things I hate. It sounded like the kind of post I could have fun with, so I got thinking. Challenge accepted.

Products for Copper Eyes

As soon as September arrived, it was only a matter of time before I broke out the eyeshadow palettes. I rarely wear much eye make up in summer (too risky with all the hay fever struggles) but as soon as the air gets crisper and the wind gets a little bit colder I know it's safe, and my collection of products comes out of hiding. High on my list of favourite autumn looks is copper eyes, so I thought I'd show you what I use to create them. It does take a little bit of effort (as we all know, eyeshadow looks best when it's been blended) but I promise you it's worth it.

Copper Eyes and Long Lashes

Products for Copper Eyes

As soon as September arrived, it was only a matter of time before I broke out the eyeshadow palettes. I rarely wear much eye make up in summer (too risky with all the hay fever struggles) but as soon as the air gets crisper and the wind gets a little bit colder I know it's safe, and my collection of products comes out of hiding. High on my list of favourite autumn looks is copper eyes, so I thought I'd show you what I use to create them. It does take a little bit of effort (as we all know, eyeshadow looks best when it's been blended) but I promise you it's worth it.

So the other day I re-enrolled on my course, picked all my modules (all three of them), and checked out my potential new timetable. Then it hit me: it was the last time I would ever do any of that. I'm a third year now, and my life, which has mostly been dictated by university over the past two years, is going to change again after I finish in April. In a lot of ways, this is quite difficult to come to terms with, because I feel like I finally found my feet in second year, and I'm not sure if I'm ready to move on yet.



I'm a Third Year (Why Does Time Go So Fast?)

So the other day I re-enrolled on my course, picked all my modules (all three of them), and checked out my potential new timetable. Then it hit me: it was the last time I would ever do any of that. I'm a third year now, and my life, which has mostly been dictated by university over the past two years, is going to change again after I finish in April. In a lot of ways, this is quite difficult to come to terms with, because I feel like I finally found my feet in second year, and I'm not sure if I'm ready to move on yet.




Believe it or not, I've never actually done an empties-type post before. I tend to make my way through products quite slowly, and although I'm guilty of the odd impulse buy I generally stick to the same kind of thing  there's no way I'd have enough material to put together a monthly empties post.

On this occasion, however, I seemed to run out of a lot of products at the same time (why does this always happen when your student loan is starting to run out?) and I fancied writing about everything before I threw it in the recycling bin. I think it helps to stop and think about whether you'd actually buy a product again, so you may well be seeing more empties posts in future! Let me know what you think. 

Empties and Products I've Hit Pan On


Believe it or not, I've never actually done an empties-type post before. I tend to make my way through products quite slowly, and although I'm guilty of the odd impulse buy I generally stick to the same kind of thing  there's no way I'd have enough material to put together a monthly empties post.

On this occasion, however, I seemed to run out of a lot of products at the same time (why does this always happen when your student loan is starting to run out?) and I fancied writing about everything before I threw it in the recycling bin. I think it helps to stop and think about whether you'd actually buy a product again, so you may well be seeing more empties posts in future! Let me know what you think. 

Superdrug Vitamin E Bodycare Duo

Let's be honest: if someone asked us to pick between Boots and Superdrug, we would probably know exactly which one we'd choose. And, until I went cruelty-free I would have said Boots. Hell, I still enjoy wandering the aisles and browsing the many, many types of products they sell (a hobby which is always dangerous for the bank balance). But when it comes to cruelty-free products, Superdrug have the edge, with every single own-brand product bearing the Leaping Bunny logo. This means the products have been approved by Cruelty Free International (previously known as the BUAV). Cruelty Free International only permit brands to put this logo on their products if they don't conduct any animal testing whatsoever, so it's a quick and easy way to find out if something is cruelty-free or not. For more information, you can head over to Cruelty Free International's info pages..

The other good thing about Superdrug's own-brand products is that they're all reasonably priced, and as a result I've been buying all my everyday products there more and more. I do love a little bit of luxury now and again, but I also like to get good value for money, and the duo below provide just that. My winter skincare is already sorted.

The Leaping Bunny-Approved Bodycare Duo I Can't Live Without

Superdrug Vitamin E Bodycare Duo

Let's be honest: if someone asked us to pick between Boots and Superdrug, we would probably know exactly which one we'd choose. And, until I went cruelty-free I would have said Boots. Hell, I still enjoy wandering the aisles and browsing the many, many types of products they sell (a hobby which is always dangerous for the bank balance). But when it comes to cruelty-free products, Superdrug have the edge, with every single own-brand product bearing the Leaping Bunny logo. This means the products have been approved by Cruelty Free International (previously known as the BUAV). Cruelty Free International only permit brands to put this logo on their products if they don't conduct any animal testing whatsoever, so it's a quick and easy way to find out if something is cruelty-free or not. For more information, you can head over to Cruelty Free International's info pages..

The other good thing about Superdrug's own-brand products is that they're all reasonably priced, and as a result I've been buying all my everyday products there more and more. I do love a little bit of luxury now and again, but I also like to get good value for money, and the duo below provide just that. My winter skincare is already sorted.


Cruelty-free nude lipsticks for under £5
Barry M Matte Lip Paint in Palest Nude; MUA Luxe Whipped Velvet Lips in Spry; Makeup Revolution Amazing Matte Lipstick in Nude

I'm beyond fussy when it comes to nude lipstick. Too pale and it washes me out; too brown and it just looks very, well, brown. I own a few lipsticks which have a hint of coral or pink, but I wanted a genuine nude nude to go with a red dress I bought recently, and I also didn't want to spend a fortune. With this in mind, I hit Superdrug, who I find to be far better when it comes to selling cruelty-free products than Boots.

3 Cruelty-Free Nudes For Under £5


Cruelty-free nude lipsticks for under £5
Barry M Matte Lip Paint in Palest Nude; MUA Luxe Whipped Velvet Lips in Spry; Makeup Revolution Amazing Matte Lipstick in Nude

I'm beyond fussy when it comes to nude lipstick. Too pale and it washes me out; too brown and it just looks very, well, brown. I own a few lipsticks which have a hint of coral or pink, but I wanted a genuine nude nude to go with a red dress I bought recently, and I also didn't want to spend a fortune. With this in mind, I hit Superdrug, who I find to be far better when it comes to selling cruelty-free products than Boots.

Quotebook Co

August seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye, but I'm not complaining because I'm getting a bit restless being home for the summer. It's got to the point where I'm finding really little things irritating, which is always a sign it's time to leave! My train ticket back to Wales is all booked, so I just have to enjoy the remaining weeks I've got with my family and friends before term starts and I set up camp in the library (though I may have to take a few study breaks to watch the rugby world cup in the pub  I'm so excited!)

I don't like it when small things start to bother me, because they really don't matter in the grand scheme of things, so writing this post has been a gentle reminder that life is good, and I'm lucky.

What's Made Me Happy This Month? August 2015

Quotebook Co

August seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye, but I'm not complaining because I'm getting a bit restless being home for the summer. It's got to the point where I'm finding really little things irritating, which is always a sign it's time to leave! My train ticket back to Wales is all booked, so I just have to enjoy the remaining weeks I've got with my family and friends before term starts and I set up camp in the library (though I may have to take a few study breaks to watch the rugby world cup in the pub  I'm so excited!)

I don't like it when small things start to bother me, because they really don't matter in the grand scheme of things, so writing this post has been a gentle reminder that life is good, and I'm lucky.


Is the end of August too early to start thinking about Autumn? I'm not sure. It certainly doesn't feel like it with all the windy, rainy weather we've been having. Yesterday I went out for lunch and because there were no seats left indoors in a gallant attempt to embrace the spirit of summer we ate our food outside, and it was freezing! And although I'm not a fan of being cold, it got me thinking about my favourite seasons of the year. 

Anyway, I'm going to fulfil several blogger stereotypes in this post, and I'm not ashamed; in fact, I love that so many of us get excited about the same stuff. It's the little things in life, right? Despite the weather, the A/W season makes me happy, and it's all the things you'd expect that brighten up those cold days and nights: tartan scarves, Starbucks, and cosying up under the duvet. Enjoy.


10 Reasons Why I Can't Wait For Autumn & Winter


Is the end of August too early to start thinking about Autumn? I'm not sure. It certainly doesn't feel like it with all the windy, rainy weather we've been having. Yesterday I went out for lunch and because there were no seats left indoors in a gallant attempt to embrace the spirit of summer we ate our food outside, and it was freezing! And although I'm not a fan of being cold, it got me thinking about my favourite seasons of the year. 

Anyway, I'm going to fulfil several blogger stereotypes in this post, and I'm not ashamed; in fact, I love that so many of us get excited about the same stuff. It's the little things in life, right? Despite the weather, the A/W season makes me happy, and it's all the things you'd expect that brighten up those cold days and nights: tartan scarves, Starbucks, and cosying up under the duvet. Enjoy.


NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl (?)

Never in a million years when I added this product to my NARS order did I think that it would prove to be controversial. But the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl has been nothing but.

It started with my nan. I asked her, quite innocently, what she thought of my lipstick. There was a very awkward pause  well, it was awkward for her, I thought it was hilarious  and then she goes "I shall be honest, I prefer you in paler colours, with your skin". Fair enough.


The Lip Pencil That Divides Opinion

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl (?)

Never in a million years when I added this product to my NARS order did I think that it would prove to be controversial. But the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl has been nothing but.

It started with my nan. I asked her, quite innocently, what she thought of my lipstick. There was a very awkward pause  well, it was awkward for her, I thought it was hilarious  and then she goes "I shall be honest, I prefer you in paler colours, with your skin". Fair enough.


Toasty could easily become a Lush fan blog and I make no apologies for that. I love the brand's ethical stance, the vast range of products, and how open they are about the ingredients in every single thing they sell. I love that whenever I go into a store, whether I'm in South Wales or South East England, the staff are always polite, helpful, and happy to share their tips and recommendations with me  it's like going beauty shopping with a (very fragrant) friend.

LUSH Celestial Moisturiser

LUSH Celestial Facial Moisturiser (v)

Toasty could easily become a Lush fan blog and I make no apologies for that. I love the brand's ethical stance, the vast range of products, and how open they are about the ingredients in every single thing they sell. I love that whenever I go into a store, whether I'm in South Wales or South East England, the staff are always polite, helpful, and happy to share their tips and recommendations with me  it's like going beauty shopping with a (very fragrant) friend.

LUSH Celestial Moisturiser


Not discovering brow make up sooner is a regret and a half I think nearly all of us have. As someone with fine hair and very sparse eyebrows, I remember being delighted when I first tried filling them in and discovered what a difference it made to my face; it gives it structure, definition... and just a more put-together feel. Now, if I do nothing else before I leave the house, I always make sure I've done my brows.

Revisited: Seventeen's Brow Kit


Not discovering brow make up sooner is a regret and a half I think nearly all of us have. As someone with fine hair and very sparse eyebrows, I remember being delighted when I first tried filling them in and discovered what a difference it made to my face; it gives it structure, definition... and just a more put-together feel. Now, if I do nothing else before I leave the house, I always make sure I've done my brows.
I've only really dabbled in high end beauty before. Very few pricier brands are cruelty-free so that limits my options somewhat, and I couldn't afford it anyway until I taught myself how to budget properly.

Luckily, NARS have got my back: they're cruelty-free and they sell make up that caters for a wide variety of skintones, which means I've found a base that's pale enough but doesn't wash me out. So, when I successfully completed work experience I decided to treat myself. Quite a bit, actually, but I was proud of the fact I had pushed myself (plus it all worked out, budget-wise).


Treats from NARS


Things I Bought From NARS

I've only really dabbled in high end beauty before. Very few pricier brands are cruelty-free so that limits my options somewhat, and I couldn't afford it anyway until I taught myself how to budget properly.

Luckily, NARS have got my back: they're cruelty-free and they sell make up that caters for a wide variety of skintones, which means I've found a base that's pale enough but doesn't wash me out. So, when I successfully completed work experience I decided to treat myself. Quite a bit, actually, but I was proud of the fact I had pushed myself (plus it all worked out, budget-wise).


Treats from NARS


Like two-day hangovers, budgeting, and how to set up a direct debit, adult acne is one of those things that no one really prepares you for.

I was lucky throughout my teens. I got approximately one blemish a year, always in the same spot on my chin (same spot... see what I did there? Ahem). When I hit sixteen I started getting a few stress-related spots on my forehead, but they always disappeared after my exams were over, and that was that.

Then I hit my twenties and BOOM: spots everywhere. First on my forehead, then on my chin. So far, just an exaggerated version of what I used to get in my teens. But then I started to get spots on my cheeks and around my hairline as well.


Adult Acne is a Pain in the Proverbial Arse

Like two-day hangovers, budgeting, and how to set up a direct debit, adult acne is one of those things that no one really prepares you for.

I was lucky throughout my teens. I got approximately one blemish a year, always in the same spot on my chin (same spot... see what I did there? Ahem). When I hit sixteen I started getting a few stress-related spots on my forehead, but they always disappeared after my exams were over, and that was that.

Then I hit my twenties and BOOM: spots everywhere. First on my forehead, then on my chin. So far, just an exaggerated version of what I used to get in my teens. But then I started to get spots on my cheeks and around my hairline as well.


What's up with sulphates?

You've heard me complain many a time about how difficult it is for me to find a shampoo I like and will stick with. After trying out tonnes of products, I'm pretty sure that the ones which contain sulphates (foaming agents, usually Sodium Lauryl Sulphate) are no good for my hair or scalp  they cause too much irritation. Sulphates get rid of dirt and grease, but they can also get rid of natural oils, which leaves your hair dry and your scalp itchy (sounds familiar...)


What's up with silicone?

The beauty world seems to be waking up alongside me when it comes to sulphates, with several brands releasing SLS-free shampoos, but I hadn't heard much about silicones until recently. Found in many conditioners and glossing products such as serums, silicones create a shiny look and feel, and give hair that post-shower slip. However, over time, some silicones create build up which weighs the hair down and makes it look dull. Dull hair is the last thing I want, so I started wondering if it'd be worth looking out for silicone-free products too.

(It's worth noting that not all silicones are bad: have a read of this very helpful article for more information.)

The Body Shop Rainforest Shine Shampoo and Conditioner

The Body Shop Rainforest Shine Shampoo & Conditioner — Free From Silicone and Sulphates

What's up with sulphates?

You've heard me complain many a time about how difficult it is for me to find a shampoo I like and will stick with. After trying out tonnes of products, I'm pretty sure that the ones which contain sulphates (foaming agents, usually Sodium Lauryl Sulphate) are no good for my hair or scalp  they cause too much irritation. Sulphates get rid of dirt and grease, but they can also get rid of natural oils, which leaves your hair dry and your scalp itchy (sounds familiar...)


What's up with silicone?

The beauty world seems to be waking up alongside me when it comes to sulphates, with several brands releasing SLS-free shampoos, but I hadn't heard much about silicones until recently. Found in many conditioners and glossing products such as serums, silicones create a shiny look and feel, and give hair that post-shower slip. However, over time, some silicones create build up which weighs the hair down and makes it look dull. Dull hair is the last thing I want, so I started wondering if it'd be worth looking out for silicone-free products too.

(It's worth noting that not all silicones are bad: have a read of this very helpful article for more information.)

The Body Shop Rainforest Shine Shampoo and Conditioner

I can't pinpoint what exactly made me decide I wanted a Foreo Luna Mini.

Maybe it was the extra spots I seem to be getting these days, coupled with me wondering if my skin was getting enough of a deep clean each evening.


Whatever it was, when some extra money came my way over Easter I found myself walking into Boots and picking up the magenta version.


"You do realize how much that costs, don't you?" the woman behind the till asked me nervously.


Yep. £99. Gulp.


The Luna Mini is a sonic cleansing device. It has two sides, each covered in touch-points rather than the bristles found on similar products.


One side has smaller touch points and is more gentle, and one side has larger touch-points which are designed for a deeper cleanse.


The device has two speeds and the charging port is waterproof, which means you can use it in the shower if you prefer (and also rinse it without worrying). Once fully charged, it lasts for up to 300 uses.

Foreo Luna Mini (front)

Review: Foreo Luna Mini

I can't pinpoint what exactly made me decide I wanted a Foreo Luna Mini.

Maybe it was the extra spots I seem to be getting these days, coupled with me wondering if my skin was getting enough of a deep clean each evening.


Whatever it was, when some extra money came my way over Easter I found myself walking into Boots and picking up the magenta version.


"You do realize how much that costs, don't you?" the woman behind the till asked me nervously.


Yep. £99. Gulp.


The Luna Mini is a sonic cleansing device. It has two sides, each covered in touch-points rather than the bristles found on similar products.


One side has smaller touch points and is more gentle, and one side has larger touch-points which are designed for a deeper cleanse.


The device has two speeds and the charging port is waterproof, which means you can use it in the shower if you prefer (and also rinse it without worrying). Once fully charged, it lasts for up to 300 uses.

Foreo Luna Mini (front)

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Beth, 23, South East England. I'm a writer with a love of books, lipstick, and the Oxford comma. I love beauty and I also love animals, so I only buy, use, and feature products from cruelty-free brands. (Seriously though, I am the person who stops to fuss over every dog she sees.) You can also expect posts about vegan/vegetarian food, and plenty of musings about life as a 20-something. Want to get in touch? Email me at beth.toasty@gmail.com

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