Essential Winter Blog Props

Hey there !

Remember me? It’s been a while hasn’t it! Apologies about the MASSIVE break in my posts … I’ve just felt so uninspired recently which is very unlike me… especially at this time of year when there is so much festive inspo flying around ! I’ve just been SO out of the loop… BUT I am glad to be sat down writing up a post for you all.

So.. how have you all been? I’ve just been SO busy settling into my new job and trying to get back into the swing of blogging. If you didn’t already know.. I recently brought the ever so dreamy Olympus Pen camera.. which of course meant that I spent the majority of my weekend having the biggest blog photo session ever. I also spent my Saturday morning trawling the shops looking for some winter blog props… and then I thought to myself that would be such a fab idea for a post!

 

Now.. blog props for me are something that is so essential if you really want to up your photo game .. they just make your photos look so much more interesting and you can really show your personality through them too! So guys .. I have a whole load of things that you can go out and find that will make your photos look perfect for winter and also add that special festive touch!

Blankets

 

We all know blankets are an essential when it comes to winter time (who doesn’t love to snuggle in one after a long day!).. so why not incorporate that into your blog too? I find grey, white or cream blankets are perfect for this time of year to use as a backdrop and just to add some “texture” to your photos (if that makes sense!). Mine is actually a £4 one from Primark… but you can definitely go all out and pick up a fluffy one too. I think they look adorable and give a real cosy vibe to your pictures!

Fairy Lights

 

What even was my life without fairy lights? I can’t believe that I ever used to take photos without fairy lights! They instantly make your photos look amazing and so so cosy! I picked up some adorable red ones from Home Bargains and they are SO festive! They also jingle .. but that wouldn’t be very effective in a blogpost, ha. Seriously though, get yourself some… they really make all the difference.

Candles

 

Ahhhh candles. I’m obsessed with candles anyway so it was only obvious I picked up some wintery ones to go in my photos. Check out Home Bargains or B&M for some adorable, festive ones… and they can work either lit or just as a prop in a flatlay… either way looks faaaaabulous. Also .. HOW CUTE is the one shaped like a Christmas tree! I doubt I will ever actually burn it because I don’t want to ruin the beautiful shape it has.. but it definitely looks adorable in the background.

Mugs

 
I’ve become a little bit obsessed with mugs recently and thought they would look so cute as props! I feel like they add such a homey, comfortable feel to your photos, and there are so many festive ones that just add something special to your photos! The Christmassy one is from Home Bargains, and the kitten one (although not vey festive by frickin’ adorable) is from the Velvet Ghost range in Primark by the stunning Gabby… and when I saw it was only £2… I HAD to have it.

Zoella Range

 

Let’s be honest guys… all of the Zoella beauty/lifestyle range is absolutely beautiful and SO instagrammable! I am in LOVE with the gingerbread body mist/cream… and they look so adorable as props, especially as they are SO festive. In fact, any perfume bottle can be added to your photos and look gorgeous!

Pinecones/Berries/Wreaths & Room Sprays

All of the above just scream Christmas & winter to me.. and adding them to your photos instantly makes them look SO winter ready. They are so affordable yet add so much to your images .. definitely worth picking up! I got my mini wreath thing from Home Bargains & the pinecones are from some old pot pourri.. which I am so sure you’ll have lying around somewhere!

There is something so beautiful about room spray bottles .. and this one from Home Bargains caught my eye as it was so classic yet perfect for winter time! Added bonus … it smells absolutely divine!

Candy Canes

 

I am OBSESSED with candy canes.. and they literally add the most beautiful pop of colour to an all white, winter-y photo! I love seeing these little gems pop up in the shops, and as soon as I saw them, I knew they would be perfect for photos! They are so so affordable too… and it means you have a little treat to have after you’ve had your photo taking session!

So guys… they are the few items I have picked up that I think will make my photos look so festive and perfect for winter! It definitely is worth picking up a few bits.. I find they really help me enjoy taking photos even more! You can get as creative as you want… and even make your own Winter props too! Pinterest is your best friend for this🙂

I’m going to be off now… hope you enjoy the rest of your week! I am in the midst of editing a weekly vlog so I am hoping to get the up this weekend!! Fingers crossed for me to actually upload a video this time ha!

Lots of love,

Saira

Xx

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥

How to: Have the most relaxing evening EVER..

Hi all!

How has your week been so far? I can honestly say it has been very productive but TIRING guys! Starting a new job is hard… especially when it is something that you previously have no experience in whatsoever so every single thing you learn is something new and exciting. But do you know what.. I am happy and loving all the new things I am learning!

Have you been caught up in the storm we are having? It was the first time in ages that I had to literally run like a mad woman to my car after work yesterday because the rain was SO bad. Hope you’ve all stayed safe… let me tell you strong rain/winds can be JUST as scary to drive in than snow!

 

So the idea for this post actually came to me a few nights ago before I went to bed.. and I honestly do not know why I have never written a post like this before. I am the biggest lover of relaxation, pampering, feeling cozy and having “me time”. Now, whether you have had a crappy day and need cheering up, or if you just fancy a few hours to yourself… I’m going to talk you through the things that are essential to me for a good old relaxing evening.. and ones that you should definitely try!

A good pair of PJ’s

 

Let’s be honest guys.. who would ever feel comfortable in a pair of jeans that feel a little too tight around your tummy because of that extra pizza and cheeky cake you had? Girl.. get them OFF and chuck on your PJ’s… whether you are a fluffy or silky PJ lover… as long as they make you feel good & comfortable… they are the FIRST step. Put them on and you instantly feel relaxed. Trust me. The best place to pick up cute PJ’s (besides Primark … which FYI is where my onesie is from).. your local Asda. Guys.. I got some fluffy reindeer print bottoms and a REINDEER DRESSING GOWN WITH ANTLERS AND EARS.

Get those candles lit

Turn off your main lights, and get a lamp & your favourite candles lit. It instantly creates such a relaxing ambience, not to mention making your house smell bloody amazing. You try and tell me someone who can have a proper relaxed evening without candles? Nope.. it just doesn’t happen… the pair go hand in hand guys.

 

Make-up OFF

The easiest/quickest way to take your makeup off when you have had a poopy day? Micellar water. Usually, I would use a cleansing balm and melt all my makeup off.. but when I just want to relax.. I break out the micellar water. It’s quick, effective and requires literally zero effort.. perfect for when you are fed up/tired.

Hot baths

When I have had a crappy day… there is nothing better than picking out some Lush bath bombs and fixing up a right bath cocktail for me to relax in for the next 45 minutes. It is the perfect time to clear your mind, forget about the world and just focus on yourself. Slap on some deep conditioner and a face mask and let them do all the work. Also quick tip guys.. keep our PJ’s/dressing gown on the radiator whilst you are in the bath so they are all toasty for you when you put them on. If ONLY they stayed that warm.

Moisturize

I think this is a definite when it comes to relaxing as it is like giving yourself a personal massage AND it makes your skin feel amazing. My favourite for YEARS had been the Palmers solid formula cocoa butter.. but recently I have been obsessed with the Lush massage bars (the love heart one that smells like chocolate is my FAVE). I find them SO easy to use and they make my skin super soft.. AND smell delish.

Good skincare routine

 

Going all out with my skincare routine really helps me wind down and also makes me feel so so much better. I can always tell the difference in how my skin looks & how well my makeup applies/stays on when I have done a really good routine the night before. This means a good cleanse (using none other than the Liz Earle C&P… If you have not tried this guys you have not experienced a proper hot cloth cleanse.. I LOVE this stuff). It also has hints of lavender in it.. which we all know is perfect to relax you ey? I always use a facial oil, eye cream and a good moisturizer on these particular days.. they really do make all the difference in how fricking gorgeous your skin looks.

Have a drink

Now I am talking hot chocolate with plenty of marshmallows or something a little bit more herbal. There are so many types of tea out there.. fruit tea, peppermint tea, green tea.. you have so many to pick from but I can guarantee they will make you feel so relaxed. My favourite has to be either green or peppermint tea.. both of which help with any bloating you may have which can be uncomfortable!

Gather up the pillows & blankets

 

Make yourself as comfortable as possible with your favourite blanket & plenty of pillows. Grab your laptop (or a book… whichever you fancy) and spend as long as you want watching your favourite series/reading. My favourite thing to watch at the minute is Friends… although it is making me want to move to NYC SO bad! Make sure to switch off the computer at least half an hour before you go to bed so your well needed sleep isn’t disrupted!

Put that bloody phone away

As hard as it may be… once you settle down ready to get some zzzzz’s, you need to avoid picking up your phone. Use it to set your alarm and PUT IT AWAY. All that action on social media & the staring at your bright screen will trick your brain into thinking it is no longer time to sleep.. which could lead to you struggling to get some shut eye (NOT what we want after our relaxing evening).

Use a Pillow Mist

 

Last thing I do… but definitely one of the biggest essentials! I have literally fallen in LOVE with pillow mists.. I used to use one a few years ago, but once it ran out I never bothered to pick up a new one (I do not know why I didn’t either!). I bloody love these things… I have one from Avon that I spray all over my pillow before I settle down to sleep and I find it relaxes me so so much. I definitely recommend picking one up… I find they do an amazing job at just setting you up for sleep (if that makes sense!).

So there we have it.. all the essentials you need to have the BEST relaxing evening ever. Once winter comes around (ahem.. which it definitely has), I like to do this routine at least twice a week… and it gives you a little something to look forward to during the week if work/school/life stresses you out! 

I will see you all in my next posts guys. FYI.. I have ordered an Olympus Pen (eeeeeek.. FINALLY!), so hopefully I should be filming more YT videos and doing more blog posts. I really have missed you all .. let me know how life is for you and if anything exciting is happening!

Lots of love,

Saira xx

 

 

 

Why Winter Is The Best Season EVER

Why I LOVE Winter Time … (and you know you do too!)

Hey there…

It’s come to that time of year guys … Halloween and Bonfire Night have passed (just about!), the clocks have gone forward, and we are all dealing with darkness approaching by about 4pm. The days are starting to feel nippy, and all we keep hearing in the news is ‘be prepared for the COLDEST WINTER IN DECADES’. Although let’s be fair – Yorkshire has already had its first snowfall of the season – so it may happen. I know so many of you are probably thinking why the HELL can we not go back to Summer time.. I’ve seen quite a few tweets of people already getting fed up of the colder weather, even though we probably have a good few months of it yet!

Now… I am definitely a colder weather girlie .. I LOVE the Autumn/Winter time for SO many different reasons! I thought it would be fun to list down why I love the colder months so much.. and maybe cheer up some of you who HATE winter time!

Lush baths become more bearable AND enjoyable

During summer… most of us prefer to have a quick shower as the thought of sitting in a hot bath for half an hour seems like an absolute chore… but when the days get colder (A LOT COLDER) and darker, there is nothing better than lighting some candles, getting a face mask on and settling down in a relaxing bath with your favourite book – absolute bliss!

 

Shaving your legs = Doesn’t happen for the next few months

Lets be honest here guys, not many of us bother with it in the winter time. Nobody sees them..and it provides some extra warmth right? So pack up your razors for the winter ladies and don’t worry about those razor cuts on your ankles for a while!

The feel of a hot drink in your hands

 You’ve been out in the cold for SO long and you finally settle down with a brew… and warming up your hands with a hot drink is literally the best feeling EVER

 

Speaking of hot drinks – The festive drinks menu is back!

Guys … have you SEEN the Costa cups and drinks menu?! I am definitely a Costa girl over Starbucks.. and I think they have definitely outdone themselves with their drinks this year. The only disappointment? The Lindt hot chocolate. And I KNOW most of you agree (thanks to Twitter). It is definitely my aim this year to try EVERY drink on that menu!

Winter mornings are beautiful

How stunning are foggy, frosty mornings? There is nothing better than snuggling up in your fave coat and cosy scarf and heading out for a walk (and picking up a hot drink on your way out to keep you toasty whilst strolling!).

Snow

You might love it, or you might absolutely DESPISE it.. but you’ve got to admit it is bloody beautiful right). FYI – I LOVE IT🙂

SO MANY FESTIVITIES

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, NYE… not to mention all those extra bank holidays. WIN.

 

Buying New PJ’s

I don’t know about you guys but I always stock up on snuggly PJ’s … especially those Christmas ones ! I am after the most adorable tartan PJ’s in Primark … they just scream Christmas to me!

Watching ALL your fave programmes

When there is an absolute STORM going on outside and the temperature has hit below zero degrees, there is nothing better than settling down in a cozy blanket and binge watching all your favourite programmes (AND Christmas movies!)…. something that just doesn’t feel the same in the summer! I am currently working through the full series of Friends!

Extra Calories Are Allowed

It’s Christmas time, so technically you are allowed all the chocolate imaginable. AND those cosy, over-sized sweaters mean you can afford to let yourself go a little bit. You can worry about shifting those extra pounds when the new year comes around (hehe).

I could probably go on forever but they are definitely my top reasons why I love Winter. Are you a winter girl? I’d love to know the reasons why you love Winter! I am off now to have a chilled Sunday … hope you all have a good one!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xxx

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥

Life Update … & My Favourite Purchase

Hey!

So .. I know I have been a little bit of a stranger to the blogging world recently (slap on the wrist I know!)… but I have a genuine reason .. promise. If you follow me on Twitter you would have known that a) I have started a new job recently, and b) my husband had major knee surgery last week. So… a combination of these has meant my little blog has unfortunately been pushed to the back of my mind – but hey, life gets in the way sometimes and guess what… that’s OK. It took me a while to really get that in my head because every time I didn’t take my blog/Instagram photos for that day or draft up my post, I felt guilty. But what you have to remember is that certain things in life are more important than that perfect Instagram shot or getting a post up at a certain time … I blog as a hobby, not a forced activity. So taking time out helps you realize that and for a long time I have had the mindset ‘quality over quantity’, which has really helped me because I never rush my posts and love every single one I put up.

Also … another thing that has probably led to my lack of posts is that I am getting slightly bored of the layout of my blog… but I have done some research and am actually going to (finally) self host.. AND get a whole new theme! I am also on the hunt for a new camera (yes I know I still have my £40 Samsung), but I am so torn as to whether I want a Canon or the Olympus Pen (help me!).

Phew.. that felt good to get off my chest! That is what I love about blogging .. you can literally pour your heart out on a post and instantly feel better about it.  

Now … another reason why I want another camera is because I really miss doing fashion posts… and I just feel my camera is not up to taking shots that I am happy with. When I first starting blogging, it was completely fine and I was happy with it, but now that I want to up my game slightly (eeek), I want to invest in a camera that will give me shots I will be happy with and proud to put on my blog.

Speaking of fashion posts … I HAD to share with you probably the best purchase I have made recently. A few reasons why I love it.. it’s velvet, it’s black, it’s over-sized, and… it cost me £2.50 (!!)

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This the reason I love charity shops so much … you can literally pick up some of the nicest, most unique things ever. As I was trawling the rails, I spotted this little velvet beauty and just fell in love. Velvet is absolutely huge this season… both for clothes and accessories… in fact I have velvet ankle boots on my wishlist because I just NEED them. There is something so luxe about velvet .. it is honestly one of my most favourite things to wear!

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Sometimes velvet can be seen as something that is worn mostly for evenings out… but I wanted to show you that paired with the right things, you can rock velvet during the day. In fact.. I’ve been nice enough to come up with some helpful tips:

  • Wear something over-sized (over-sized tops, swing dress etc) I think it’s best to save the body-con stuff for the evenings guys (although if you feel like you want to rock it.. you go girl.. fashion is all about personal preference and being unique)
  • Make it casual by wearing it with some black jeans/trousers and boots/trainers
  • Try mixing up textures … velvet and knitwear are gorgeous together… especially if you have a velvet dress with an over-sized cardigan (ultimate Autumn outfit goals)
  • Velvet blazers are so easy to style and go with so much (a lot more than you would think!)
  • Personally.. my favourite colours in velvet are black, burgundy and forest green. What are yours?
  • If you want to incorporate a little bit of velvet, get your hands on some loafers/boots or a bag

So guys ..there are some of my tips for  wearing velvet … I really want to pick up some more velvet things and show you how easy it is to style them up!

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Details

Top – Charity Shop
Trousers – H&M
Trainers – Topshop

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I went for a really casual look and just love how comfortable this whole outfit was. The only thing I WISHED I had was a metallic backpack … I feel like that would have just completed the outfit SO well (I can imagine right).

I know I’d definitely be able to take this look into the evening by pairing it with some heeled boots and a bold lip (perfect!)

Right girls and boys … I think I have rambled on enough .. I hope you enjoyed my little life update and also tips on bringing some velvet into your wardrobe! I am off to watch Friends and cuddle up with my poorly hubby! I will see you all in my next one!

Lots Of Love,

Saira

Xxx

Are You Obsessed With Your Phone?- Feat. CaseApp*

Hiya guys

Hope you are all fab! I feel like it has been an absolute AGE since I sat down and had a catch up with you all… I am planning on doing a whole post on how my first week at my new job went, what I have been up to and also any updates in my general LIFE that you guys may or may not really care about, but I will still chat about anyway (hehe).

Now… let’s sit down and get real for a bit… our phones are probably one of the most important things in our lives (as sad as that sounds), we use them for EVERYTHING. My phone is always right  by me.. and ever since I started blogging it has only become more essential to have it right there.. and I know almost everyone reading this is the same (I hope so anyway). Of course, it only makes sense that your phone case should represent your personality right?

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So…. I was contacted by the lovely people at CaseApp* a while ago who offered me the opportunity to design my own phone case (!!!), so of course I jumped at the opportunity (I’d have been daft not to guys).

So.. CaseApp is basically a website where you can create your own custom iPhone case (or Samsung if you are not an iPhone user!), or use one of their pre-made cases if you prefer that🙂. Now.. my first idea was that I wanted a beautiful, Autumn inspired phone case.. but then I thought against it as I would only be able to use that for a few months before it got to the cold, festive season (autumnal leaves on my phone would not really fit then would they?). So of course.. I opted for something more season-friendly and decided to create a phone case that was very “me”. So… what did I create? Have a peek…

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If you know me.. you know that I am OBSESSED with cats.. so what a surprise that my case would have some cats on it! The image of the cats is from google (disclaimer), however the paw prints are clipart used from CaseApp! I love the fact that you can virtually put any image/background onto your case, whether that is an image you already have saved, or something off the website. You really can create whatever sort of case you want.

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I was also so impressed with how quick I got the case (within 4 days … despite the fact that my case is custom-made!).. and also how crisp and clear the images came out. The case itself feels very sturdy and good quality… so I know I will have no problems with my phone getting damaged if I was to drop it (being the clumsy type).. so it definitely serves the main purpose that a case should do!

I would definitely recommend checking out CaseApp if you are after an easy to use site where you can get as creative as you want with your case, or simply choose a pre-made design (FYI to all my bloggers out there.. they have marble cases!).. I think this would also make a lovely gift for someone too!

Speaking of being obsessed with your phone… I am sure we can all think of a million reasons as to why we love our phones, so I thought it would be fun to write a list (because we all love a good list ey) of all the signs that you are addicted to yours.. and lets be honest guys, most of us will agree with the majority of these right? So go through these and make sure to let me know how many apply to you (and it might make feel better about my obsession).

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  • The first thing you see in the morning is your phone screen.. and after scrolling through Twitter/Instagram you realize 2o minutes have already passed and you now have to rush to get ready…
  • As above.. the same applies before you go to bed. Somehow.. it has become essential that you spend about an hour on your phone before you finally force yourself away from those addictive videos on YT (I am talking cute kittens and “the most satisfying videos in the world”… seriously just search them.)
  • Your phone will never last a day without the battery dying at least once. Keep those portable chargers handy guys.
  • You take your phone to the loo. Just admit it we all do this.
  • Whilst watching Great British Bake Off or The Apprentice… you are live tweeting at the same time… even though you should actually be watching the TV, not your phone…
  • Even when having your breakfast/dinner/Nando’s… you will still be on your phone. Despite the fact that you have 5 people around you… those of which will probably be doing exactly the same thing
  • Phone’s don’t belong in bags or pockets anymore… they are always in your hand. Where they should be.
  • That sinking feeling you get when you realize you have left your phone at home… and have to turn straight back to get it

So guys.. I hope you enjoyed that light hearted list … we can all be PRETTY obsessed when it comes to phones but it can be nice every now and again to put our phone aside for a few hours and spend some time actually TALKING to the people around you!

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I hope you all enjoyed this post guys.. and make sure to have a go at creating your own phone case, you will have so much fun! I will see you all in my next post guys which will definitely be a good old catch up🙂. Have a lovely Sunday!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥ 

 

*Post in collaboration with CaseApp

Autumn Essentials: Beauty, Fashion & Makeup

Hiya loves

Hope you have all had an amazing weekend! I have spent it catching up on ironing (exciting I know), going to see the Blackpool Illuminations (a tradition me and my family have), and taking some Autumn inspired outfit pictures (which you guys will see soon!). What have you all been up to?

Now.. I am sure you all know I was ready for Autumn WAY before it was acceptable (I am talking end of August guys)… but I think now is an appropriate time to do an Autumn essentials post right? I got you covered for beauty, fashion and makeup… so if you want to know what my essentials are for this season… have a peek🙂

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Make Up

To me.. Autumn makeup is all about dark lips, matte skin and TONS of highlight. Basically… makeup that resembles a vampire’s is what I am talking about. And of course you know me and my drugstore OBSESSION when it comes to make up – so of course I have a whole load of my fave bits that I always have on hand for my Autumn makeup.

  • Seventeen Stay Matte Foundation

I have raved and RAVED about this foundation for so so long… it really is one to try if you need a long lasting, matte foundation that has amazing coverage. You really need the smallest amount of this, as it goes SUCH a long way. And, at a little over a fiver… it is SO affordable and is a right hidden gem too. It’s worth a try girls, so pick it up on your next trip to Boots

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  • MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighter – Pink Shimmer

Can you believe that this time last year I did not use highlight (GASP)… it is now one thing that I never miss out when doing my makeup … it makes such a HUGE difference to how healthy your skin looks. And of course.. when it comes to Autumn time, the days are getting darker, your skin is not getting as much sun anymore and can tend to look a little dull. Your best friend? Yep.. highlighter. This little baby from MUA is one of my faves.. as is is SO affordable yet has the most amazing pigmentation. This one is more pink toned, but there is also one that is more on the gold side if that is what you prefer.. but I think I much prefer more cool toned highlights for the colder months (something about them just reminds me of frost on your skin.. and I LOVE that).

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  • Sleek Matte Me – Vino Tinto

I have done a whole post on these guys, so I will link that here… but I LOVE these so much. Dark lips and Autumn just go hand in hand (ahem… like candles and Autumn.. FULL POST on that here too guys). I adore Vino Tinto as it is the right mix of berry and dark purple… it requires a little bit of practice to get a smooth application, but with a little bit of time and a good lip liner, it gives the most gorgeous, vampy finish.

Clothes

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  • Faux Fur

I always pull out the faux fur when the days start to get colder. Autumn is all about feeling cozy… and I like to feel snug when I am out as well as when I am inside. Having a faux fur scarf, coat or gilet means you can do EXACTLY that.. you literally feel like you have a blanket around you and I am all about that. I am one of these people that would go out in my PJ’s every single day if I could (I am not lazy.. I just like being comfy, hehe).

  • Tartan

Regardless of whether you like to follow trends or not.. I can guarantee that tartan prints (just like fur) will always be popular for Autumn. Whether that is a tartan scarf, dress or shirt… you will DEFINITELY feel Autumnal when you rock it. I picked this beautiful, ruffled top from Zara (which I have currently become obsessed with)… I have been rocking it with a grey or black top underneath and love the layered look it gives. ANOTHER thing I can start doing is LAYERING… I will probably do a whole separate post on this because I could babble on about that for ages HA.

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  • Pinafores

Ahhhhh PINAFORES.. I am so so so glad these came back into style this year because guys they are honestly one of the EASIEST things to style, both for work and casual wear. These two beauties are the ever so popular, £10 pinafores from Primark that EVERYBODY has become obsessed with. They are a gorgeous velvet/suede.. which again is HUGE for this season, and look fab with jumpers, button up shirts or t-shirts underneath. Seriously, if you do not have a pinafore yet.. GET YOURSELF ONE.

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Beauty

  • Lush Snow Fairy  – Shower Gel and Body Conditioner

Now this might be a little controversial because we all know Snow Fairy screams Christmas time.. but I am a LITTLE bit in love with it so I have already whipped it out and become obsessed with it ALL over again. I am sure you are familiar with the beautiful pink, candy floss scented range from Lush.. but if not and you love your sweet scents, you have to pick it up! This year.. Lush have released a Snow Fairy body conditioner which I have fallen in love with. I find it really helps prolong that lovely candyfloss scent and makes your skin feel so so soft!

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Another essential item is of course Lush bath bombs.. but I think they deserve a post all of their own right? I will definitely do a fave bath bombs post soon.. because there are SO many  that I love… in fact I could easily talk about each and every one ha!

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Thank you so much for reading this guys… do you have any essential items you love for Autumn time? Let me know… and I may find some new things to try too! I will see you all in my next one🙂

Lots of Love,

Saira

xx

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥

Autumn Candle Collection – UNDER £10

Hey hey!

Hope you have had a fab week! Are all of you feeling autumnal yet? If not I can guarantee this post will help AND it will make you WANT to go shopping. I apologize in advance (hehe).

Now… if there is one thing that goes hand in hand… it is Autumn and candles. AM I RIGHT OR AM I RIGHT?  There is just something about getting in after a long day, getting into your PJ’s and lighting a candle. They just make you feel calm and relaxed… and most importantly.. SO FRICKIN’ COZY. I don’t know about you… but I love having a variation of candles to pick and choose from… sometimes I am feeling a fresh, clean scent (apple scented candles are AMAZING), and sometimes I fancy something a little on the spicier side (yep.. gingerbread I am looking STRAIGHT at you). Whichever you fancy… I have a candle JUST for you. So… pack away those summery, floral, pineapple scents.. and get yourself some spicy, pinecone-y (is that even a word) autumn-y candles.

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FYI.. everything I talk about is under a tenner.. and easy to find in your local homeware shops. Thank me later.

Wickford & Co

Where: Home Bargains

How Much: £2.99

Scents I Have: Gingerbread & Apple Cinnamon

This is probably the biggest bargain I found… I actually showed them in my recent haul and I am honestly obsessed. Gingerbread is a beautiful, spicy/sweet scent and literally makes your room smell like you have just baked a batch of gingerbread men. Apple Cinnamon smells exactly like apple pie… I can imagine your room would smell like a bakery at Autumn time if burnt at the same time. If you love your foodie scents (ahem.. my fave type of candle scent).. these are perfect. They also make a nice change to the usual vanilla cupcake/cookie scents that are popular.

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Village Candles

Where: Hallmark

How Much: £5.99 for a small jar (when on offer, usually I think they are £7)

Scents I Have: Crisp Apple & Peppermint Bark

If you want a candle that is an exact dupe of Yankee Candles… you need to get your hands on some of these guys… they are FAB! The scent of these is POWERFUL… you can definitely smell this one for hours after you have blown out the candle. Crisp apple is my fave for burning on a Saturday morning during Autumn time… I just feel like it sets the mood perfectly! Peppermint Bark is perfect for evenings when you are in your PJ’s with a hot chocolate.. feeling ALL cozy. I absolutely LOVE that about candles.. they really can help set an amazing atmosphere, whatever your mood!

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Essence Candles

Where: B&M

How Much: £2.99

Scent I Have: Brown Sugar Allspice

I desperately wanted to get more of these because they look absolutely stunning on your coffee table/dresser… but there was only one scent I liked! The jar and lid combination of this is just absolutely gorgeous (the lid is metal with leaves imprinted on it!)… It is practically a dupe of the Bath and Body Works candles! Now… I was not the biggest fan of this scent when I first tried it.. BUT it has definitely become a favourite of mine! It is the perfect mix of sweet and spicy… and just reminds me so much of a cinnamon hot chocolate! This candle is an amazing dupe for the BBW candles.. but literally at a fraction of the price! They unfortunately do not burn as evenly as the others… but the scent is just as good! I just WISH I could get my hands on more scents!

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Better Homes

Where: Home Bargains

How Much: £2.99

Scent I Have: Pomander & Pinecone

This is probably the spiciest candle of them all… and it literally makes your room smell like a forest at Autumn! I think this would make an amazing candle for your hallway.. so every single person that walks through your home gets the STUNNING scent of Autumn. The only way I can describe the scent is that potpourri that lived in a ceramic bowl when you were younger that had a mix of pinecones, dried leaves and oranges. Yum.

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SO…. these are all the candles I have picked up for Autumn.. I was so tempted to get more.. but I had to stop myself. After all, I’ll  be getting more for Christmas time right?

Thank you SO much for reading.. and let me know if you have picked up any candles for Autumn too! I’ll see you all in my next one!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

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Getting Your Dream Career & My Story♥

Happy Friday guys!♥

Now.. I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts that I had some news to share with you.. and that is.. I HAVE A NEW JOB. This post is going to be telling you ALL ABOUT how I researched to find the career I wanted AND how I landed my new job as a Buying Assistant.. and hopefully some motivational tips to help you get your career going!

For over a year now, I have worked in HR in a busy head office.. and at first, I REALLY enjoyed it. There was so much to learn and I felt like I had found the profession I wanted to make a career out of. However, a few months in.. I found that I was just not loving what I did anymore.. I was becoming bored of the same queries, there was no place to move up and improve my skills, and I just felt I wasn’t getting anywhere in my job. Now.. I am not the type of person to just grin and bear it… I have always believed that if you are not happy with something.. you need to go out and fix it. Nobody is going to do it for you.. YOU are in charge of your life and how successful you become. So… I thought to myself, I need a career goal to focus on… something that I can be passionate about and love what I do too.

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That is when I came across the world of Buying. I was familiar with the ever so popular career of “Fashion Buying”, ( I am thinking Rachel from Friends here guys).. I did my research.. became familiar with the type of skills/personality qualities that you need.. and do you know what? I knew it was what I wanted to do. So… I am going to give you some tips that I personally picked up on how I found out what was for me, how I went about getting a job.. and even some tips for that dreaded interview (Ooooh, aren’t you all lucky, hehe!).

Do your research

I cannot stress this enough.. sure we can all think about a job we want to do.. and googling it in itself is not enough to go off completely. However.. it is a good starting point. I googled general information about Buying, what industries there are, how to get yourself into the industry, what qualities/skills are required  and whether or not I needed a degree/further study to land a role. Then.. I looked up interviews of people who were already buyers in a variety of fields (fashion, beauty, food) and got an idea of what it would be like day to day. Once I was set on what I wanted to do… I spoke to a lady at work who looks after careers/early training and got some advice from her. The first (and most important) thing she said to me? Network. Onto my next point….

Network

Oh my goodness guys.. I cannot even tell you how important it is to network… now more than ever people are landing jobs because of WHO they know.. not what. This was actually how I found out about my new job (more on this later). Nothing will help you get a job you want more than putting your name out there and making the effort to speak to people you want to work with. So, I got a list of people who were currently buyers at the place I work (including managers), and sent a good 20 emails out to arrange a catch up with them. I probably met with a total of 5-6 people (I also found out buyers are VERY busy and hard to get hold of).. but these catch ups were probably the best thing I did. I got SO much valuable information from them, and it also helped get my name out there and show them how passionate I was to land a role in buying. Meeting people who currently work where you want to be helps you know the in’s and out’s of the job.. all the good and bad bits that articles on Google won’t tell you and helps you decide if it is what you want to do.

Check for internal positions/training schemes

I am lucky in the sense that I work in a head office of a massive supermarket branch.. meaning I was in the same building as the traders, so it was easy to set up meetings. However if you are not in the same position.. email is your best friend. It is so easy to find details of managers/recruiters.. and to be honest the worst thing that can happen is you do not get a response. If you are in a position where you can change roles internally.. check them out. You are more likely to land a role if you are internal.. companies prefer these to external candidates as they are easier to get hold of, they also know the business and have that loyalty to stay with them too. It is also worth checking if your company offers any sort of training/graduate schemes… again if you are internal it helps because you are able to get your contacts together and you will have the advantage of knowing how the company works beforehand. I originally tried to get myself onto the graduate scheme, and met with people who had been on it. However… I actually started my research a week before the graduate scheme started.. so I think it had gotten too late to get myself onto that. BUT… whilst I had been networking, I met a buyer who was actually looking for a buying assistant. THIS is how I found the role I have got … it meant I had a good starting relationship with the buyer, and she knew that I was interested. She was actually one of the ladies that interviewed me too.. which I think helped massively in me landing the role (talk about good timing ey).

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SO… that is how I decided what role I wanted and how I got myself the interview… now for some tips for the interview itself!

Preparation is VITAL

One of the worst things you can do is go into an interview without doing some sort of preparation…  this sort of thing stands out by a MILE when you are being interviewed… TRUST ME. Obviously.. every interview is different but doing some research about the company and the role itself, and also being clued up on your CV and how it matches up with the role profile will definitely help you feel prepared! Also.. finding out what type of interview it is will help (group, value based etc)… mine was actually value based meaning I was asked questions about the values the company holds and how I would fit in and deal with any issues. Giving examples is always really good in these types of interview… so this is where your prep will come in very handy!

Eye Contact

There is nothing more important than making eye contact in an interview… I KNOW how nerve wracking and scary they can be.. but it is your chance to show off your skills and knowledge you have. Making eye contact shows confidence and the ability to hold a conversation well… just don’t stare with wide eyes for too long guys.

Dress Well

Again.. there will be a difference in what to wear to interviews depending on what industry it is.. but for the most part, a smart shirt/dress will work fine. JUST DO NOT WEAR JEANS/TRAINERS.

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OK guys… so that is the advice I have about interviews.. if you want me to go into any more detail.. just let me know and I will be more than happy to help you!

Now … just a few points that I think are so important to consider when trying to find your career path.. again these are all based on my personal experience and is just some general advice! If there is anything that you have picked up … I would LOVE to know!

Take a chance

There might be a job you really want to apply for or get more information on.. just take that chance. You really have nothing to lose.. especially if you are currently employed. If you get it.. WELL DONE.. if not.. you still have something to fall back on. You will not get very far with “what if’s”.. if you are passionate and want to change something enough, go for it girl.

Start from the bottom

Everyone has to start somewhere… so don’t be disheartened if you just start with some filing or picking up the phone. This is your chance to show people you are going to work hard and you can achieve what you have your heart set on. I think this is the same in any sort of job, whether that is buying or even blogging… everyone has to start somewhere right? People will see your effort and it DOES pay off.. I am SUCH  firm believer of this too.. I don’t focus on “good things come to those who wait”, no no noo… “good things come to those who work their ASS off”. Also… another good thing about starting from the bottom.. it means you have access to the industry you want to be in.. so you can focus on research and networking (see above!).

You know what? I feel like that was probably one of the most serious posts I have written.. but I really hope it helps some of you! I am actually starting my new role in a few weeks so will definitely keep you updated on how things go! Thank you SO much for reading.. and I really hope it motivated some of you! Let me know if you have a career you really want to go for..OR if you are already doing something you love!

I will see you all in my next one!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

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Spectrum Brushes – Worth the hype?

First things first guys… HEYA! I am literally having the perfect evening right now.. my PJ’s are on, fairy lights are lit, I have a Brown Sugar Allspice candle burning (HELLO… autumn in a candle guys)… I literally am ALL SET TO BLOG!

I honestly feel like I have my mojo back… I felt like I lost it for a while but I think there is something about the cozy evenings that just makes me want to curl up in a blanket and WRITE! I think most of you will agree with this ey?

So… having a quick peek of the title again.. it is probably something that most of you are familiar with. You have seen them popping up ALL over social media and they have become quite popular with beauty bloggers recently! Now… I am talking about the beauties that are SPECTRUM BRUSHES*. I will be honest with you all.. I actually sent a cheeky email to their PR inbox.. NOT expecting a response at all.. but they literally got back to me within a few hours saying they loved my blog and would love to send me some of their products to try! Safe to say I was GOBSMACKED… yet so excited at the same time!

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Now… you have seen all the beautiful pictures of them.. BUT… are they really worth the hype? Well ladies & gents.. I tested them out for a few weeks to ensure I could give you all an in depth review…SO let’s see how I got on!

Firstly… some details!

  • Spectrum are vegan and cruelty free.. this ALWAYS makes me love a product/range more
  • You can either buy individual brushes or sets
  • They are only available online (I am 99% sure of this!.. Let me know if you know otherwise!)

What I Got:

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So…I received the 10 piece essential set (retailing at £39.99) which contains face and eye brushes. You are literally covered for tools for your base, blush/bronzer, eyeshadow, brows and eyeliner. They also come in a cute little pink, see-through case (ahem.. which I didn’t actually take a photo of).

First Impressions

Now… let’s admit it guys.. these brushes are FRICKIN’ beautiful. Whether you love them or not,  you have to be insane to not think they are beautiful. They are literally the most stunning brushes I have owned… I almost cried a little when I used them for the first time.

Guess what? They feel damn good quality too.. they feel quite heavy compared to other brushes I have tried, and they also are so much more sturdier and good quality. I know you are probably sick to DEATH of bloggers describing brushes like this.. but they are honestly SO soft. I literally could not wait to use them on my face, ha.

They also make amazing blog props too (when they are freshly washed may I add)… I SO badly want to get my hands on the Marble range JUST so that I can take those stunning Instagram shots with them!

Face Brushes

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Powder Brush: I LOVE this for applying  bronzer all over… it is literally the perfect size and.. as already mentioned (hehe).. it is SO SOFT.

Angled Brush: This little baby is perfect for applying blush… I did try for highlighter but I think it is a little too big (It left me looking like an OVER THE TOP glazed doughnut). It applies JUST the right amount of blush on the apples of your cheeks.. and it is also so easy to blend in product with this!

Flat Top: I decided to use this for my foundation instead of my RT miracle sponge (gasp!)… yes if you all know me, you will know how obsessed I am with my sponge.. so the fact that I have been using this buffing brush for the past month says A LOT about it. Guys.. my foundation has never applied so quickly and seamlessly. I did not have high expectations because I have never been a massive fan of brushes for my foundation.. but this brush has become my new fave for application! It also feels so soft on my skin and doesn’t drag or leave any sort of streaks, which is a massive WIN for me.

Small Flat Top: Now…  I never thought I would find a brush that would apply concealer as perfectly as my makeup sponge..  but I started to use this little baby.. and I have become OBSESSED with it. For those of you who use the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer (let’s face it.. this is more or less everyone) , you will know it can be a LITTLE tough to blend. BUT.. this brush has made the blending process so much easier… and works so well for blending in awkward places (under eyes, around your nose etc!).

Eye Brushes

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I never have been much of an eyeshadow girl.. but I am always up for trying new looks out.. so my beautiful Spectrum brushes were the perfect thing to experiment with!

I love the fact that every type of brush needed was included, a dome brush to apply eyeshadow, a fluffy brush to blend, a tiny brush for inner corner highlight, an angled brush for sharper lines, and an eyeliner brush (which FYI.. is FAB with gel liner!). Each brush is so gentle on your eyes and blends eyeshadow perfectly and SO quickly too.

My Final Thoughts

Honestly… are Spectrum brushes worth the hype? DEFINITELY YES.. I never thought I could love a makeup brush range as much as I love this one. I feel as though they really have made these brushes with beauty bloggers in mind (they know how much we love unicorns and instagrammable things). Not only do they look gorgeous, they also are amazingly quality. I had no issues with the brushes shedding, and even washed the face brushes and had no problems with the brushes losing shape or hair. Seriously guys if you are considering them.. just take the plunge and buy them.. I am so sure you will love them just as much as me. Makeup brushes can make such a difference to how good your skin looks overall, and using the right tools can really shorten the amount of time it takes to do your makeup!

ALSO… who wouldn’t want brushes that are unicorn themed?

Right guys.. I am going to love you and leave you.. REALLY hoped you enjoyed this review of the ever so STUNNING Spectrum brushes.. make sure to check them out if you are after a new set… I am so sure you will love them!

See you all in my next one!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥

*Products have been sent for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own

Matte Lips 101: My Faves & Some Tips

Hey strangers.

You good? I AM! I have a big life update that I am SO excited to announce hopefully in the next few days (nope.. I am not pregnant ha)… I also think this particular thing will be a good thing to blog about too… so keep your eyes peeled for that guys!

ANYWAY… how are you all? I feel like it has been so long since I had a normal chat with you all… are you all excited for the next few months? Some of you might have started Uni/gone back to school… let me know! I’d love to know if you have had any big life changes too.

So.. I feel like I am a LITTLE late to jump on the bandwagon but I don’t really care HA.. I wanted to blog about it so HERE I AM. I am the biggest lover of writing about things that I have become obsessed with.. especially when they are beauty related. SO… I thought it would be fab to talk about MATTE LIPS.

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There are SO many matte lipsticks to pick from .. it can be a LITTLE bit tough to know which ones do work and suit you.. and I have found my firm faves (and erm.. some not so good ones). Lets see what made it to my list ey?

Sleek Matte Me Lip Creams

WHAT A SHOCKER that these are featured ey? These little babies are so popular in the blogging world.. so it is no surprise that they were the first ones I tried when it came to be picking one up. So.. let’s have a run through the shades I have in my tiny collection…

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Birthday Suit

This was actually the first one I picked up.. and to be honest.. it is my only negative one (boo!). I tried my hardest to like this but it just was not working. I think the shade of it just did not go with my skin tone. It made me look way too washed out and like I had concealer on my lips. The formulation itself is fab but the shade is a big NO for me.

Velvet Slipper

Now.. this shade is more like it. It is a stunning, dark pink, mauve colour and I am obsessed with it. It reminds me a little of my Revlon Matte Balm that you will know I am obsessed with… although it is slightly on the darker side. I think it is the perfect shade for moving into Autumn  and it is so worth picking up.

Vino Tinto

This has to be my favourite shade out of the 3 I have. It is a dark purple/berry colour… which is absolutely PERFECT if you are after that stunning, vampy look. I LOVE wearing this when I have a TON of highlight and a cat eye. I know this will definitely be my fave look in the colder months!

(Top – Birthday Suit, Bottom Left – Vino Tinto, Bottom Right – Velvet Slipper)

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WHY I love these:

  • The staying power of these is SO GOOD. Once on your lips… it is there to stay HA. I do find that with Vino Tinto, the colour fades on the inside of your lips after a few hours… but this can be normal with darker lipsticks (unfortunately)
  • They dry VERY quickly.. I find that within 5 minutes… it is literally dry to the touch and does not transfer onto anything
  • There is a fab variation colours if you like your darker, autumnal shades (which.. ahem I DO)
  • THEY ARE A FLIPPING FIVER

NOT so good points:

  • I find that if I reapply during the day .. they get very crumbly (ew), it is best to just completely remove and reapply if I need to (which is an absolute b**** because it is SO hard to take off). This is why I am chuffed that they last quite a while!
  • Personally.. the shade “Birthday suit” is WAY TOO light for me… it is loved by so many other bloggers but it just does not work for me *cries*
  • You NEED a matching lip liner. Trust me on this. The first time I applied this I did it without one and I looked like a mess, HAHA.
  • They are slighty  on the dry side.. and you can definitely feel them on your lips. This does not really bother me… but if you are not a fan.. I’d say avoid them

Bourjois Velvet Rouge Edition

I have seen these floating around the blogging world… so when my mum decided to pick a few up.. I wanted to give them a go to see if they were worth the hype they had. They are slightly more on the pricier side compared to Sleek, costing around £8 each.

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Shade: Don’t Pink Of It

I am normally not a wearer of baby pink shades.. I much prefer brown-y nudes or mauve-y pinks (or all out gothic lipstick)… so I was not sure if I was going to like this. BUT… it is a really pretty, muted pink colour. It is amazing for everyday when you want something quick and effortless.

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WHY I love these:

  • They are so easy to use and I find I do not need a lip liner for these (woop!)
  • They last for a VERY long time.. and if I need to reapply, it is easy enough and there is NO crumbliness
  • It feels so comfortable on the lips and there is no dry feeling at all
  • The consistency of these is AMAZING.. it is very creamy and almost like a mousse!

NOT so good points:

  • They are not as pigmented as the Sleek Matte Me’s, and I also have not been able to find a perfect dark shade in Boots!
  • There is some transfer when you do the “test” ..(OK that sounds weird.. I mean the test of kissing the back of your hand and seeing if there is any transfer, hehe)

Mac Matte Lipstick in Whirl & Primark Velvet Matte Lip Crayon in Dark Purple

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Now.. if you have read my previous post you will know how obsessed I have been with this little gem. I have only ever owned one Mac lipstick before (I know… slap on the wrist for being a bad beauty blogger).. but I finally caved in and purchased Whirl. This was again influenced by all you girls out there (seriously .. you damage my bank account).

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WHY I love this:

  • Let’s face it.. brown lipsticks have been HUGE this year… and this is the absolute PERFECT shade for my skin tone
  • It is so creamy and easy to apply, and the pigmentation on this is INSANE

NOT so good points

  • The only negative I have.. the fact that they cost £15 a pop (eeeek!).. but as mentioned.. the are 100% worth the splurge and I will be picking up some more!

Primark

Now.. if you have watched my last video you would have seen me using this little guy… Primark have a fab range of lip crayons… including nudes, reds and dark shades (wooo for Primark!).

WHY I love this:

  • The colour of this is absolutely BEAUTIFUL… if you love your dark purples… you will love this… it is just the PERFECT Autumn shade
  • It is so easy to use… I feel like I literally colouring in my lips with a pencil (ha).. it is effortless!

NOT so good points

  • Unfortunately.. these are not the longest lasting things (well.. I wasn’t expecting much as they only cost 2 quid)..  It’s a good thing they apply really easily ey.

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So they are my fave matte lip products that I have found and become so obsessed with (erm.. besides Birthday Suit). I’d love to know if you have tried any of these and what your thoughts were!

NOW… lets go through a few tips that I have picked up when it comes to matte lips… because COME ON GUYS.. we all know that matte lips are not the easiest to work with right?

  • Exfoliate your lips well beforehand… whether it is using a good old toothbrush, or  Lush lib scrub.. it is so essential that you remove all that dead skin on your lips to ensure you have a smooth base to work on
  • After exfoliating… use your favourite lip balm to moisturize your lips so you have the perfect base
  • I find using a lip liner is so essential when it comes to matte lips as it ensures you have an outline to work with. It also makes any matte lip last so much longer and intensifies the colour so much

Right guys.. I hope this was helpful for you all if you are on the hunt for some matte lipsticks! I have never been much of a glossy/sheen lip girlie… so it is matte lips ALL THE WAY for me. I am always on the hunt for more matte products.. so do let me know your faves girlies. I will appreciate it.. although my bank balance will probably kill me for it.

Have an absolutely AMAZING day… I am off to film a video and create my marble background for my blog photos (I FINALLY brought some marble sticky back plastic… woo!).

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥