3 February 2016

Book Review - This Raging Light

This Raging Light* - Estelle Laure
"How is it that you suddenly notice a person? How is it that one day Digby was my best friend's admittedly cute twin brother, and then the next he stole air, gave jitters, twisted my insides up?
Lucille has bigger problems than falling for her best friend's unavailable brother. Her mom has gone, leaving her to look after her sister, Wren. With bills mounting up and appearances to keep, Lucille is raging against her life but holding it together - just."

I had heard so much about this book.  There was so much hype at the end of last year about how this was going to be one of the must-reads of 2016 and every time I went to my kindle to read it something kept putting me off.  Whenever a book is hyped up as amazing and 'the new John Green' I instantly take a dislike to it and just thought 100% that this could no way live up to the hype.

But last week I went for it and started reading it and just a day and a half later I had finished it and instantly couldn't wait to write this review.  It was such a lovely, sweet sort of heart-breaking read and I couldn't wait to tell you all about it.  It more than lived up to the hype and I just wish I hadn't put off reading it for so long...

I love a simple story and that's exactly what this is.  Its just about a girl trying to find her way through a super hard period of her life and it chronicles what she goes through and how she gets herself out the other side.

There is something so special about the writing, I get why its being compared to John Green because of the lyrical, beautiful way its written.  Its sort of got a poetic feel to the way the sentences flow and its one of those books that you need to read with a pen and paper next to you so you can write down all the quotes from it (like my favourite one above).  I don't think the story is similar to John Green though in the sense that most of his stories have a sort of sad/depressing/upsetting (delete where applicable) theme running through them (Big fan though of his books, I don't mean it in a negative way its just that the things he writes about always have quite a dark element to them at times, basically what I mean is you don't read them when your looking for a wee laugh, you know?) Anyway, this book doesn't have that darkness to it.  I mean some of the subjects covered in the book, are certainly really serious but the author really didn't write about them in a depressing or gloomy matter.  She just wrote about them in a really realistic, real way and that's why I loved the book so much. 

I was rooting for the main character all the way through the book and I just loved the ending, it was just perfect.  I know this book has sort of been pitched as a love story and I think it is just not in the conventional sense.  I think its a story about love, the love that you find, the love that should be there unconditionally but sometimes isn't and the love that you have to have for yourself to make you believe you can get through anything.  Lucille learns that love and family don't always come in the traditional form and I think that is the biggest love story of all in the book.

This was a really short book but it was the perfect length for the story it was telling.  I totally get the hype for this book now and I'd be surprised if it doesn't get turned into a movie in the next few years as its the kind of story that would just be perfect as a film.

I can't urge you enough to read this if you like simple stories about real life.  It's such a beautiful book and one that I hope you love as much as I have.

You can buy it on Amazon HERE and Kindle too.

P.s. How stunning is the cover, I think this would look absolutely amazing as artwork, its just perfect!

1 February 2016

Benefit Watt's Up Highlighter Review


I am obsessed by highlighters, seriously obsessed.
It is my must have make-up item.  That whole what 'beauty item would you take to a desert island question', my answer is always highlighter.
It just makes you look better, you know?
You can use it everywhere, legs, arms face wherever and it just makes you look healthy and glowy and makes your makeup look flawless too.

Since I started wearing makeup when I was about maybe 14, my makeup for school everyday used to consist of black eyeliner with a flick, mascara, bronzer, blusher and high-beam highlighter from benefit.

Since day one I knew I couldn't live without my highlighter and I used high-beam for about 10 years straight.  It was and is just so amazing.  Also highlighter didn't seem to be a part of everyones routine back them so there wasn't as many on the market but any I tried were just not as good as high beam at all.

Fast forward to now and there seems to be a new highlighter launching everyday.  I am now the proud owner of many highlighters but most I haven't spoke about on here as I have such a high standard for them and if it doesn't make the cut I just don't feature them.
So any highlighter I feature on here is because its genuinely amazing.

Obviously I still love and use high-beam all the time and I am also still continuously blown away by how amazing my Mary-Lou manizer is (My review of it is HERE) so I didn't think I would be needing another highlighter in my life any time soon but then I started to see all the hype about Benefit's Watt's Up and knew I needed to try it.

So my awesome mama got me one as part of my Christmas, and here is my review...

The highlighter comes in a creamy stick with a little sponge applicator on the other end.
The plan is that you draw on a line or two of highlighter wherever you want it on your face and then you blend it in with the sponge.
I did this the first handful of times I used it and it works fine and does really blend and blur the highlighter.
Although I feel personally for me I like to use my fingers or a brush as I feel that blends it into my face a little bit more seamlessly but that is just personal choice I guess and I think its good that you do get the sponge to use as an option.

The highlighter is a cream and the description says it turns to powder when applied.  I would disagree with this slightly though.
It definitely is a straight-up cream when its own your face and I understand what they mean as it does have a more powder look on your face when applied but its definitely not a powder in the traditional form.
If your not a fan of a powder highlight please don't let that put you off this as it still has 100% the texture of cream on your skin just not the full look.
I was so happy with the finish and feel of the highlight and was so happy that is wasn't a full powder finish either.

I find the hardest thing to photograph when I'm taking pictures of my make-up is the highlight, so I really hope I've managed to catch it enough so you can see it in the above picture.  I took a few pictures of it in the stick whilst it was hitting off the light to show you just how crazy amazing the reflection of light and highlight is.

The highlight is the most perfect warm, champagne, golden colour. It is one of the strongest highlights I have used and its very similar in highlight to the Mary-Lou Manizer although I think this one might even be the slightest bit stronger and a wee bit warmer in colour too.

The colour is perfect for my pale skin tone I find, not too bronze but still warm enough to give me a beautiful glow.  But I have also seen this on much darker skin too and its equally as beautiful.

The staying power is amazing as it keeps its cream like texture so really sticks onto your skin and stays so bright and vibrant all day long.

I can honestly say that if you are looking for a really strong, powerful golden highlight then I am so sure you will just fall in love with this.

I am so, so happy with it and I have wore it non stop since I got it and its officially joining my 'can't live without highlighters' club (yes, that is a real thing)

You can buy this from Benefit for £24.50

29 January 2016

The Song List #1

I love music and I love my 'Songs That May or  May Not Change Your Life' posts too, they are some of the posts that I get the most tweets and emails about than nearly anything else.  It is the nicest thing ever when some of you guys tweet me to say that you found a new song to love after listening to one of these posts or that you have found a new album to listen too, it makes me feel so happy that you love these posts as much as I like to make them.  So I came up with a new music feature to go along side those posts.  And here it is, its called The Song List. 
At the end of every month I will make a list of the songs that I have been obsessed with that month.   Its a way of sharing more music with you.  Because I am lucky enough to get sent some music in advance of their release dates, some of the music I feature will be available to buy in the coming months but you will be able to get a sneak peek here, some of the songs will just be songs that are out at the moment that I love and others will just be random ones that I just cant get enough of.  I am putting links to either the music video or the soundcloud as I thought that would be easiest and you can pick or choose your favourites.  I think I will also put all the songs onto a spotify playlist too but I haven't been able to do that this month but I will do it starting next month. 
So without further ado here is The Song List #1....

1.  Rosie Lowe - Women - A dreamy song that will make you feel all 'I am WOMAN' Rosie's voice is really beautiful and I really love the words.  Her debut album is coming out Feb 19th.

2.  Stealth - Intro - I fell in love with this song a while ago but didn't feature it on here as I just really didn't like the video but I can't stop listening to this again lately and I think his voice just sounds so good.  I can not wait to hear what else he releases.

3.  Alessia Cara - Seventeen - I know that she has been everywhere for the past little while but its only been this month that I took the time to listen to her music and I really, really like her sound.  This song is definitely my favourite of hers I have heard so far.  Just such a fun pop track, with a super cute video to match.  Her debut album Know It All is out March 11th and it's definitely on my must buy list.

4.  Kelvin Jones - Call You Home - I have featured Kelvin on my blog before HERE.  I was in LOVE with the song I featured the last time and its ones of those songs that once its in your head you just can't get it out.  This is his second single and I really like it too, a bit more mellow than the first.  I just really like his whole vibe.

5.  Malka - Wonder Why - Weird, fun, dance-y, pop music.  Its just exactly that and it will make you smile and want to do a little dance at the same time which is never a bad thing, right? This is released on Feb 12th

6.  Shawn Mendes - Stitches - I have no words for how big my love is for this song, I am obsessed by it.  If I had done a 'Songs That May or May Not Change Your Life' post this month, this would have been in it.  Its just a freaking awesome pop song.  Its one of those songs though that I know I am going to over play it and listen to it so much that I'm not going to be able to stand it in a few months time but I honestly can help it, I just keep hitting repeat. I feel like I  want to listen to every single thing he has ever sung after falling in love with this song...Its just too good.

7.  Hannah Boleyn - Insignificant - Beautiful, beautiful song and a stunning voice.  It comes out on Feb 5th and you can check out her album already.  So simple and perfect if your having a chilled out moment.

8.  Zara Larsson - Lush Life - I am the biggest fan of Zara.  She sings/writes really really good pop music, like 90's era good you know? And being a pop obsessive I do not say that lightly.  Definitely someone who I think is going to release a ton of awesome stuff this year.

9.  Snakehips - All My Friends - Love this, its so trippy and mellow too.  Just a really great song.

10.  Raelynn - Careless - I am the biggest American Idol fan, I always have been, I don't watch any of the other talent singing shows here anymore but something about American Idol always pulls me in.  I am such a massive fan of country music and one of the things I love about watching idol is I always find new country songs from watching it and one that I just fell head over heels for this week is this one.  Such fun, real country music.  This is such a summer song.

11.  WSTRN - IN2  - A song that I've had on repeat this month too.  I Just love everything about it, it is one of my favourite songs in a while.

12.  Anne - Marie - Do It Right - Anne-Marie is someone else who I have also featured on my blog before HERE.  I think her voice is just all kinds of crazy good and I love, love, love all the new music she has come out with lately.  This is by far my favourite and I can not wait to hear what her full album will sound like and have a listen of it.  You will probably recognise her from singing with Rudimental who I also adore and I love that she is now doing her own music again too.  Also sidenote her makeup and style is always on point too so if your looking for some new style inspiration go and check her and her music out...

13.  Craig David - Fill Me In - This is my throwback song of the month.  I remember the first time Craig David (see I have to always call him Craig David not just Craig, its all about the full title here folks) was on TV and the fates aligned and I saw his performance and I was like 'um, OK so who are you?' He was the first popstar who I really loved, you know like proper fangirled over.  I was never into boy bands or anything so this was my first taste of real popstar love.  I was like 9 or something when this song was released and his first album too and still to this date I have honestly never loved an album more.  I think its part because I genuinely love his music and also part of it being the first music that I really fell in love with and totally got.  I remember seeing him in concert and everyone else was so much older than me and I was by a long shot the youngest there and it was just so crazy good, I remember being like ' oh my gawd me and Craig David are breathing the same air' I know, I know....haha!  Anyway I am super happy his comeback has finally arrived and I wanted to celebrate it by featuring one of my all time favourite songs...

I hope you like this list, let me know which ones are your faves?

27 January 2016

The Dutch Braid


 When I was really little I just loved doing all my Barbie's and dolls hair and makeup.  Everytime I changed their outfit I had to change their makeup and hair to match which resulted in some of my dolls and Barbie looking like fabulous hot messes I'm not gonna lie haha!
But as I got older and my Barbie's and dolls were put into their resting places (a large cardboard box  filled with old toys which my niece now loves although every other day she does present me with a cabbage patch kid doll that resembles Ru Paul and shes like 'whats up with its face' as its smeared with glorious blue eyeshadow and black liner haha) I still loved doing hair.  I moved onto doing real peoples hair and when anyone wanted plaits or a some curls I was the gal ready and waiting with my hair tongs.

My mama actually got me a couple of hairdressing heads, you know those things that have a face and hair on top that they give to hairdressing students to practise on, well she got me a couple as I just loved to practise doing hair all the time.  By the end of primary school I had every plait down, I could French, dutch, cornrow, make shapes with plaits.  My mum showed me how to do a normal plait and a French one and from there on I would just look at pictures (this was pre Internet peeps) and copying them until I got it right, I used to sit for hours until it looked the same and I just loved it so much but weirdly the one thing I could never do was do it in my own hair.  I can do a normal plait in my own hair and French braid it and maybe do one or two mini cornrows at the side but other than that I just could never do it without it looking like such a mess.

So fast forward to now and its been a long time since I have really practised all my braiding skills.  I still done a little bit here or there when I was at high school but plaits and braiding sort of became a bit less popular until a few years ago and its like every second person on the street is rocking some plaited masterpiece.  So I decided a little while ago that I was going to practise again but this time on my own hair so I could get my own plaits looking as nice as when I do them on other people. So I can do a good fishtail plait now on myself but the dutch one above was proving pretty hard to do it without it looking messy. 

To be honest I probably gave myself more work than I need too because the one I did above isn't just a straight dutch plait I made a sort of S shape with it as it went down my head as I wanted to try something a bit different but overall I thought these were ok as this was the second time I've done them in my hair since I was like 9 or something so after a few more practises I think I should be flying. 

It really is such a good hairstyle for when you need all your hair off your face.  I'm not going to lie I'm not the biggest fan of having all my hair scraped back like this as I think its a bit to severe for my face shape and I think the next time I do it I will make them a lot more loose and bohemian looking but it really is quick and is just a fun style when you want something different.  It took me around 10 mins probably from start to finish as I was still trying to remember how to do it but when I done them on my mums hair (again looked so good and perfect when I done them on someone else ahhh) it honestly took a few minutes!

If your looking to learn or refresh your dutch braiding skills then I would check out THIS video on youtube as I found that one the easiest to follow when I wanted to remind myself of how to dutch plait but there really are tons of amazing and helpful videos out there!

Are you a fan of braids and plaits?

25 January 2016

The Winter Coat


Coat - New Look
Tee- American Apparel
Jeans- New Look

This coat is way more structured than I would normally go for but I just love it and I love that it pulls together a super simple outfit and makes it feel that little bit more chic.  It's also so warm and cozy too.

Just a quick post today, I thought I would let the pictures do most of the talking!

I hope you like the outfit and are having a lovely start to your week.

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