My End of Summer Faves 

Oh hey. This will probably be one of my last Summer themed posts before my blog goes full on Autumn mad guys. If you know me, you’ll know that I am literally all set to say goodbye to the ‘summer’ months (lol) & get myself back into cosy knits, berry lips & buying an endless amount of candles. In fact – as I write this I am burning a ‘Halloween’ candle. I know – I’m nuts.

So – that aside, I thought I would share the things I’ve been loving through summer.  I’ve never been one to do monthly faves – just because I tend to fall in love with something and then use it for months on end – so you would get pretty bored of seeing the same old bits!

I actually have a mix of skincare, beauty & fragrance bits – and I’ve been using these SO much for the past few months.

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Palmers Facial Cleansing Oil

I was lucky enough to receive the new Palmers skincare range and was BEYOND excited to try it. I am such a fan of their body products, so had high hopes for their skincare bits. The first thing is the Cleansing oil – and I actually was so pleasantly surprised with this. The Body Shop Camomile balm is my holy grail – and for me to find something else that I use just as much is a HUGE DEAL. I use a few pumps of this and massage over my face & eyes to melt my makeup away. I then wet my hands and rub the oil into my skin – it actually forms a lather which is fab too! I then rinse my skin & am left with soft, cleansed skin! It smells amazing, is so gentle on the skin and doesn’t clog my pores up – it is also really quick to melt all my makeup which is a plus when I’m having lazy days!

Palmers Facial Oil

I have been using facial oils in my skincare routine for quite a while – and this one has slowly become my favourite to use. It does take slightly longer to sink into your skin – but my face is always glowing the morning after! And the best bit – it smells like chocolate ! Although – if you’re not a fan of that, I’d suggest you steer clear of this stuff.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir

I was so excited when this little baby came through the post. I am such a massive fan of Caudalie products – they have always gotten on with my skin and I’ve never had any issues when using them. The Beauty Elixir is definitely no exception – bloody hell this is some good stuff. I am such a fan of finishing/toning/brightening facial sprays, and this is by far one of my faves. I usually use this after I’ve washed my face & before moisturiser, and even sometimes spritz a little bit when I’ve finished my makeup. It has a minty, almost herbal smell (it smells so good though), and really brightens up my skin. I’ve definitely noticed a difference in how ‘glowly’ my skin looks after using this – so it’s going to be a definite keeper in my winter skincare routine!

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Zoella Jelly & Gelato Range

I’ve actually done a whole post on this range because of how much I loved it – but there are a few products I’ve been reaching for non stop, especially during the last few weeks. The body pudding is hands down my fave moisturiser after showers in the morning. It is so refreshing & quick to sink into my skin – not to mention the scent is AMAZING. And of course – drowning myself in the Body Mist because it smells SO BLOODY GOOD. This little diamond has been living in my handbag too – and will do until I’m ready to crack out my Gingerbread Body Mist. Tehehe.

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Lush Sleepy Body Lotion

You’d be surprised to know that the Lush Sleepy Lotion actually made the news a few weeks ago – and as named a ‘miracle’ product because it apparently helped people who were struggling to sleep – seriously google it if you don’t believe me. Now – I don’t actually struggle to sleep, but I definitely find that I have a much deeper, peaceful sleep when using Sleepy. It’s been my go to after evening showers, and I honestly could not be without it now. Fan of the Twilight bath bomb ? You need this is your life. Thank me later.

Twilight Body Spray

The last bit of the above paragraph – read it again. The same applies to his body spray. I cannot even tell you how AMAZING this smells. Also, it’s pretty strong stuff so you don’t need to use a lot at all. I think this will be perfect for using during the colder months too – it is such a ‘cosy’ scent. It’s pretty reasonable at £20 too, especially for how long it lasts.

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Polynesian Island Perfume – The Body Shop

If there is a perfume that takes you right back to your earlier summer holiday on the beach – it’s this. Seriously, it is summer in a bottle. I absolutely loved using it with the Pina Colada range – they literally went perfectly together. Think coconut, pineapple & a slight floral scent. Yum.

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I’ve absolutely loved using all these products throughout the whole summer – I love using seasons to try out new products – so you bet I’m already scouring out what new things I can use for Autumn ! Eek!

Expect my next post to be very autumnal. Yaaaaas.

Love,

Saira x

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How To Motivate Yourself To Blog

Do you ever get those days where you want to sit down and write down all the blog posts you have in mind – but it just does not happen. No matter how much you want to, the words just don’t come. Your motivation is non existent, and everything else just seems so distracting. You spend hours scrolling through the internet, watching cat videos & conspiracy theories (ahem, not me), but you know you should be typing up that review of your new makeup brushes…

Now – in the (almost) 2 years I’ve been blogging (wow has it been that long?!), I have found that certain things really help me get in the right blogging mind, not just the inspiration side but also writing. Of course – whenever I find certain things that help me blogwise -it’s always a good idea to share them. I know that most bloggers go through the same thing (we rant about it on Twitter all the time right guys) – so ya gal here as got some things that can help you feel inspired & motivated when you are in a bit of a slump.

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Have a blog set up

For some people, they can find the inspiration to write anywhere – whether that is on the bus/train, on their lunch break or on the sofa whilst watching TV. For me – I need a proper set up. I’m talking cosy pillows & blankets, a cuppa & plenty of candles & fairy lights. Even in the summer, I love having candles & a warm drink. I find just being in this sort of chilled environment helps me stay motivated and want to write. It also inspires me to come up with ideas too. If I’m ever feeling a little lost for ideas, I just get in my cosy environment & think about the things that have effected me recently & what I’ve been loving – and some ideas always spring into my head !

Pinterest is your SAVIOUR

Pinterest has so many ideas & inspiration – if I’m ever stuck for ideas I always have a trawl through Pinterest. Whether it is inspo for some post ideas or blog/Instagram shots – Pinterest always has something to help. Plus – making season themed boards is SO much fun – have you SEEN the Autumn ones?!

Sometimes your thoughts/feelings are the best posts

For a while, I’d only feel motivated to blog if I had new beauty products/an interesting, hot topic to post about – simply because I felt like that was what brought in the most views. This eventually made me stress out when I didn’t have anything ‘exciting’ to post about. Then one day – I just literally sat down & wrote a whole blog post about everything that was on my mind. It was almost like a diary entry – and I posted it – and not only did it get a good response, but I felt like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders too. I actually LOVE reading personal, diary-like blog posts too – I think they help you really connect with the blogger too. So, don’t feel disheartened if you don’t have any new products to talk about – your thoughts are enough loves.

Read other blogs & gain inspiration 

Now – I’m not saying go and copy another bloggers post idea – they probably worked their ass off to not only come up with the idea, but to put the whole thing together. But – getting inspiration from other blog posts is definitely a way to motivate yourself and get some ideas. I always feel so out of the loop when I don’t read other blogs, so I always make sure I set aside some time every few days to have a scroll through my fave blogs. Funnily enough – I always find I miss writing blog posts when I read others – so that always helps me get motivated!

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Lastly – blog for YOURSELF & because you LOVE it

Sometimes – no matter what you do – the words/motivation just don’t come to you. If this happens to me, I find taking a few days out really helps. This usually leads me to find inspiration and realise how much I miss blogging. Also – blog because you LOVE to, not because you’re trying to get the next PR package or some extra followers. Blogging is so much fun & it should be something that you do to relax & unwind – but if it is becoming something that stresses you, it’s time to take a few days out. Trust me – you will come back feeling more motivated than ever!

There we have it – a few little pointers that I always find help motivate and inspire me to write when I am having one of those rubbish, slump moments with my blog. If you have other tips you use – make sure to let me know !

Guys – I can’t even tell you how excited I am for the next few months – it is almost AUTUMN – I am already planning my “reasons to be excited for Autumn” post – as well as some other content. I have a few Summer themed posts coming up – then it is ALL about Autumn (how many times did I say Autumn then!?).

Take care m’loves – and I will see you all in my next post!

Love, Saira x

How To Up Your Blog Photo Game

Well hey.

How you all doing? Survived Storm Doris? Seriously though .. DORIS.  The amount of times I’ve seen this name on SM is insane ha. Anyhoo… blog post time, woop. And it’s a good one. Ya know why? Cos a crap load of you have requested it… CHECK ME OUT GETTING REQUESTS FOR POSTS. 

So… I’m finally writing a blog post all about my photography & upping my game. I did a blog post on photos when I first started blogging .. but recently I’ve really been trying hard with my photos, both on the blog & my Instagram (totes should follow me on there if you don’t already .. shameless plug.. I’m at @throughtheglitterglass). And you know what I love? So many people have noticed too. I thought I’d talk you through some of the things I’ve done to up my game, and also just some general tips too.. and I hope it helps some of you out!

Camera

Now.. I recently invested in the EVER so popular Olympus Pen because I knew I really wanted to focus on creating high quality images and this one is so highly raved about in the blogging world. And oh my goodness I can see why.. not only is it the most instagrammable camera EVER.. the photos it can produce are AMAZING. So many of you have complimented my pictures since getting this camera, and it definitely was the first step for me in upping my game. If you also want to do the same .. I highly recommend investing in a good camera.. as the difference is crazy. In fact .. I’m also going to be picking up the 30mm lens too because I want those beautiful, blurred background photos! Another thing I LOVE about this camera is the Wifi feature… it means I can easily send myself photos and post these directly onto my Instagram! If you’re not really feeling the whole spending £400 on a camera, fear not, because my babe Holly over at TheKittyLuxe uses her iPhone for her photos and my GOD her imagery is stunning. She did a whole post on it too.. so make sure you check it out.

   

(Taken on iPhone)

Play around with manual mode

Not gonna lie.. manual mode on my camera scared me at first. All it seemed to do was make my photos blurry and dark.. not a good look. BUT..  a little bit of research really helped and now I refuse to use the auto settings on my camera! A few tips I’ve picked up:

  • Lowering the ‘F’ feature when you want a close up for that gorgeous blurry background. This reduces your focal point, meaning your camera will focus on a small part of your image, and slightly blur out the rest. This is amazing if you want to do a close up of something (i.e. lipstick/bathbomb). I also find it helps when I’m filming YT videos.. as the camera will focus on me and blur out the background. Yay!
  • Increasing/decreasing aperture based on how much natural light you have – this helps so much if you are taking photos on a cloudy day. This allows more light into the lens (if it’s dark) or less if you have a lot of sun.
  • Increasing ISO – Again.. this helps if you do not have a lot of light coming through (this is more about the sensitivity of light). Be careful with this one though.. as a higher ISO means grainier photos.

These are basically the only settings I’ve got to grips with .. there is so much more but I’m learning! If you need more in depth info, Lydia Millen did a fab snap story on the Olympus settings (I think you can find this on YT), as well as an amazing post by Robyn.. who has fab tips on getting to grips with manual mode, and her photos are absolutely STUNNING.

Natural Light

I’ve definitely had my fair share of having to photograph with artificial light and natural light .. and to be honest, natural light wins by FAR. Of course, with it being Winter, we get like 5 hours of light and even then for most of the time it horrible & cloudy… so we don’t really have a choice but to pull out the soft boxes. Where possible though.. I always photograph by a window… and even on cloudy days I can faff around with my camera settings and make it work. The best times for me are between the hours of 9am-11am, and 3pm-4pm. And the best tips for soft boxes? Use 2 and extend them quite high to get as much light as possible (rather then up close & using just one).. I find this helps so much with getting rid of shadows and too much brightness. Instead, you get a nice glow. Perfect.

Have a good backdrop

Since I’ve developed a ‘white theme’ for my Instagram… I needed a good sized backdrop. My solution? A double sized duvet/white sheet. I use this as my base, and add blankets/scarves as needed. This means I have a huge drop to work with and can get really creative with my photography without worrying about anything getting in the way/having to crop anything out.

Get yourself some props

Props. Are. Everything. Literally the most important thing ever if you want to up your photography game. One thing I love to do is match up my props with the type of photo I’m taking/what season it is etc. A few of my favourite props are:

  • Blankets
  • Fake flowers (essential)
  • Small trays
  • Cute bowls/mugs/plates
  • Bows
  • Candles
  • Perfume bottles
  • Fairy lights
  • Plants/cacti
  • Cute notebooks

Literally ANYTHING can be used as a prop… and you don’t even need to buy anything extra if you don’t want to – you probably have plenty of stuff that you can use! The key is to experiment! I’m still learning on how to get my perfect flatlay.. but once I’ve worked it out.. I will definitely do a post on it!

(Taken on iPhone)

Get your editing right

Editing really doesn’t have to take you hours..I honestly think it takes me about 10-15 minutes to edit all my photos for a post/weeks worth of Instagram shots. And you know why? Because I do more or less the same thing for all my pictures:

  • Increase Brightness – but not too much where you can’t see certain things (i.e. images/writing). Just enough to highlight your picture and not make it so dull
  • Increase Contrast – just enough to make the darker things in your photo be slightly more prominent
  • Increase Highlight – this gives your pictures a little but of a “glow” – again increase slightly, not too much otherwise your image becomes too bright
  • Increase Sharpness – to make small details stand out nicely
  • Decrease Temperature – this is a personal thing for me because I like my pictures to have a slightly cool tone to them
  • Whiten Whites – this is where my fave app FaceTune comes in. It is especially helpful in making my backgrounds whiter and giving them that lovely crisp look. It has been my saviour since developing my white themed Instagram too!

That is literally the quickest way to tell you how I edit my pictures – let me know if you want anything in more detail though gals!

 
OK -I think I have covered everything? These are basically the things I have been doing to really up my photo game – and it has helped too because I receive so many compliments on my pictures recently (you guys are DA BEST). If you have ANY more questions about my pictures, make sure to let me know in the comments and I will help you out 🙂 For now – hope this post helped you!

I’m off sofa hunting with my parents & hubby – so hope you all enjoy your weekend!

LOTS OF LOVE,

Saira

xo

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

BEAUTY FIX: Get RID of Large Pores

Well guess who’s baaaaaaack! Back againnnn. Ok sure you’ve realised by now it’s me ha. Hey guys. It’s been way too long I know.. but I am so excited to be back at yaaaa with none other than a beauty post. ‘Cos everyone loves a good ramble about beauty ey? Well I know I do.

So .. today ladies & gents (if any gents even read my blog), I am going to be talking about pores. Wow.. how much of an obnoxious teacher did I sound like then (seriously, say it out loud in a demanding voice and you’ll get me). Seriously though… pores are a pain. Yep I know they have a use… but my goodness if you have oily skin (like moi), they are pretty annoying.

Let’s have a little lesson in pores shall we? Pores are basically little openings in your skin which allows the release of sebum… and of course, oiler skin can mean larger pores. Also.. picking at your skin/spots can damage your pores too making them more noticable. DON’T do it… I picked at a blackhead and it literally scarred my skin for over a week. I WISH I left the bloody thing alone.

So… that’s my little bit of background .. now it’s time to get to the best bit. MY tips on de-clogging your pores (ew that sounds gross), reducing your pore size, and in turn helping to keep your skin clear!

Thoroughly cleanse your skin

 

You gotta get your skin feeling clean AF girl. Things like makeup, heavy moisturizers and the general environment you’re in all clog up your pores. So firstly, make sure you cleanse your skin really well. I’ve been OBSESSED with removing my makeup with a cleansing balm & going over it with a miceller water. The Body Shop Chamomile balm has been a long term fave of time, and then recently I’ve been enjoying the Soap & Glory Drama Clean 5 in 1 Micellar water to remove any last bits of makeup. Then… I use another Soap & Glory product (FYI.. LOVE the S&G skincare range)… the Fab Pore Purifying Foaming Cleaner, it is AMAZING. There’s just something about foam on my face that I love (lol).. it makes it feel so clean & refreshed! In fact .. to make the most of my cleansing, I use my Magnitone Facial Brush too! And that my friends, is how you cleanse your skin. Boom.

Steam the s*** out of your face

Whether you do this by having a really hot shower, or having your fave over a bowl with hot water… you gotta steam your face guys. This opens up your pores and helps us move onto the next step. EXTRACTION. Ew .. I love/hate this part.

Removing all the dirt from your pores

 

I can’t even remember where I read/saw this.. but one of the best ways to remove dirt from your pores is using Wisdom Clean Between flossing brushes. Yup you read that right. Don’t bother with cotton pads between your hands.. use the brushes. I use them by ‘dragging’ them across my nose/cheeks .. or anywhere you have larger pores. You’ll notice after a while that you are clearing them. I was so surprised by how well they worked .. seriously try it guys!

Rinse & Exfoliate

Right.. after you have cleared your pores as much as possible .. it’s time to give your skin a quick rinse and exfoliate! This will help remove any dirt left over & also remove dead skin cells. I’ve been loving the Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix scrub.. it works so so well .. although does make my skin tingle a little bit (but not too much.. don’t worry!). I love the scent of this too… it’s really citrusy and makes your skin feel so soft after using!

Get That Mask On

 

What would this routine have been without a mask ey? I feel like a mask is ESSENTIAL after you’ve cleansed/exfoliated. I finally got my mitts on the L’Oréal Pure Clay Purity mask and guys let me tell you. They are worth the hype. Oh yes. This mask is frickin’ amazing! I got the purifying/mattifying one and it does a fantastic job at just that. I like to leave this on for around 20 minutes.. and find it really helps to close all my pores and ‘tighten’ my skin up.. if that makes sense?! It also makes my skin glow afterwards which is what you all want from a mask! Definitely try these guys .. they are pretty affordable too ! I want to pick up the other two in the range and see how they work together!

 

Moisturize WELL

After all of that… you gotta remember to moisturize your skin well! I love using an oil free moisturizer… just something simple as you don’t want to be clogging up all those pores again! My favourite has been the Neuotragena Visibly Clear Oil Free Moisturizer…. it sinks into my skin quickly and leaves it feeling soft and moisturized, but not greasy at all. It’s a fab one if you have combination/oily skin! And another good point about it guys, it’s dead cheap :).

 

Woo! Check you out with those clear pores & that beautiful skin! This whole process took me around 45 minutes so it’s definitely one to keep for those pamper evenings. I also only do this once a week because it’s a pretty intense, deep cleanse you give your skin. It definitely works amazingly though … so you have got to try it!

Ah.. it felt good to just babble on about beauty after so long .. remind me to do these more often guys. Do you have anything you do to reduce your pores? Any fave products? Make sure to let me know.. I’m always on the hunt for new skincare things to try (products strictly for oily/combination skin though, Ta).

Let me know your feedback once you’ve tried this… I’d love to know if it worked for you!

Lots of love,

Saira

Xxx

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

My Plans for 2017

Hiya guys…

Here I am.. being basic AF and writing up my 2017 goals.. but you know what? I actually love posts like this.. both reading and writing them. There is just something so satisfying about writing out a list and planning things you want to achieve in the new year.

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Now, I know that so many people have the mindset that if you really wanted to make changes to your life then you would do them whenever and not wait for the new year… but I personally think there is nothing wrong with setting some goals/making changes if you want to… it is always nice to have things you want to achieve. Some of my goals might be small, others bigger.. I might achieve them, I might not.. but I am going to try my best. That’s what is important… I think it is all about the effort that is put in, and I am a firm believer that if someone tries their hardest and puts in the effort you really can achieve.

Lets see what I have on my 2017 goals/to do list ey?

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Make more of an effort with my YouTube channel

I love making videos… and in 2016 I started my YT channel, and before the end of the year I literally was *touching* 700 subscribers.. which to me is a phenomenal amount, considering the fact that I went almost a whole 3 months without uploading! In 2017, I definitely want to make more of an effort to upload regularly and creating exciting content! I think there is such an amazing YT community with so many supportive/inspiring people, so I definitely want to carry on uploading as many videos as possible!

Stop giving a s*** about followers on Instagram

I think I speak for the majority of people when I say Instagram has been an absolute b**** in 2016.. with the introduction of the algorithm, followers/interaction on Instagram has dropped dramatically. This can be so disheartening especially when you put so much effort into your Instagram feed. Recently though, I have been trying my hardest to stop focusing on followers, and just on creating my feed and making it something that I love. I also have become part of some blogger commenting groups on Instagram, which means I get to see all my fave blogger’s feeds and we have the opportunity to increase each other’s interactions. Also.. the amount of follows/unfollows that happen can get pretty ridiculous, but again I am focusing on my feed and not numbers!

Get fit & eat healthy

Ohhhh this always seems to be on the majority of people’s goals for new year and I feel like it is a given when it comes to them, hehe. But you know what? I am going to give it my best shot and really try. I am not going to try anything drastic at all, because let’s face it, I love chocolate and sugary cups of tea way too much. A few things I am going to do though? Start drinking green tea again, have healthy dinners (I am planning on making full use of the slow cooker I got) and cut down on the amount of takeaways I consume on a weekend. As for exercise, I am aiming for once a week, and gradually increasing to either 2 or 3 (I definitely need to be realistic!).. exercising puts you in such a good mood too so I am going to try my hardest to fit it in!

Go to NYC

This has been an absolute dream of mine for a while now.. and I really want to make it happen this year.. I know it can be a pricey trip, especially when I am trying to save for a house too… but I would LOVE to see if I can find a good deal! I have never been to NYC, and all I seem to do is watch vlogs of people’s trips there.. I don’t think my obsession with Friends has helped this either!

Come out of “bad” fashion habits

I wasn’t really sure what to call this besides a “bad” fashion habit… but I am in such a rut when it comes to clothes. All I ever seem to wear is black leggings or jeans (my Joni jeans are my most worn item), and I really want to start wearing other things. In fact.. I have already got myself on the bandwagon by purchasing a pair of “Mom” jeans (and yes I feel weird calling them mom, not mum). I think it has been years since I purchased a pair of bottoms that weren’t skinny… in fact these are BLUE and EMBROIDERED. I am so excited to style them more, and purchase more pairs!

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Make the most of my evenings (and plenty of pamper time)

You know why? Because pamper days/nights make you feel so good. In 2016, I spent so many of my evenings falling asleep on the sofa, only to go straight upstairs to bad (I blame the unhealthy dinners, very early mornings, and not enough “proper” sleep).  My aim is to spend my evenings after finishing work either pampering myself (involving lush baths, face masks and plenty of blogging), spending proper time with my family, and being productive rather than just lazy!

Show more love to all you babes

I want to spend more time showing you guys more love, through commenting on your blogs/youtube videos – I absolutely love when someone leaves a really meaningful comment on my blog (I mean those REALLY sweet, heartfelt, makes me want to shed a tear comment) … so want to spend more time showing you guys love!

And I am going to stop there because let’s face it, I think that is a decent (and realistic) amount to have.

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I love you all lots. Thanks so much for all your support in 2016 – here’s to an amazing 2017 🙂

Love,

Saira xo

 

Boxing Day Beauty Buys

Hey everyone !

I cannot even tell you how nice it is to be back to blogging (I’m not even going to try and count how many days I’ve been inactive for… let’s just say it’s been a while!).

I always think a break is good for just refreshing your head .. I find I always have so many more ideas after one .. especially with it being over a Christmas & New Years!

Now … I definitely did my fair share of shopping over Boxing Day (including a huge Lush purchase – check out my latest YT video for a haul!)… and I found some little gems (beauty wise!) that I could not wait to share with you.. especially as I usually only stick to buying clothes in the sales!

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Let’s start it off with some perfume gift sets? Now .. both these perfumes are two of my FAVES … and they just remind me of when I was at University!

Diesel Loverdose

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I remember when this came out years ago .. me and my sister both saw the bottle and fell in love. We then sprayed it on our wrists (along with about 10 other perfumes) and carried on shopping. Throughout the day – this particular perfume just stood out so much…that we both actually went back and purchased it! I am SO rubbish at describing scents, but looking online the perfume has notes of: mandarin, liquorice, jasmine, amber & vanilla (yum!). It is definitely a sweet perfume that reminds me of sweets when you first spray it, then it changes to a really warm, sweet scent as it settles into your skin. The bottle is so stunning too, and with it being an Eau De Parfum, it lasts SO long too!

Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline

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Firstly… HOW STUNNING IS THIS BOTTLE. It is so unique, but really classic at the same time. This is probably the complete opposite scent to Loverdose… it is fresh and almost citrus-y. This used to be my go to scent for Spring, but I had to pick it up after seeing it on offer. Again, using trusty google, the notes in this one are: bamboo, lotus blossom, sandalwood and musk. I find this to have a really “clean” scent and think it is perfect for everyday, especially during the Spring.

Zoella Gingerbread Gift Set

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This is one scent that I had already picked up and when I saw it on sale for £4 in Superdrug I could not resist picking up some more! Gingerbread has been my absolute favourite scent this winter.. in fact I have been obsessed with everything gingerbread this winter (and am a little bit gutted that when winter is over I will have to pack up my gingerbread props, *cries*). This scent literally smells like gingerbread when you spray it, then settles into a lovely, warm vanilla scent. I do find I have to reapply this in the afternoon, but I always have the bottle handy in my bag for touch ups as the bottle is so light.

Benefit Gift Set

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I could not believe my eyes when I saw this little set .. I had already paid for my perfumes and literally turned back when I saw this. With each Benefit box powder being around £23 each, I knew it would only be smart (and better for my bank) that I picked up this set for less than £20, right? Also the powers are actually decent sized (5g compared to 8g full size), and the fact that I get a mini “They’re Real” mascara just made my day, as I have never tried it *gasps*.. I know! Coralista and Hoola are two absolute staples, and having never tried the other powders, I am excited to give them a go! Also.. the Watt’s Up highlighter has always been on my wishlist, so getting to try it beforehand means I can see if it is worth the hype! Giftsets like this are my fave because it means I can test a range of things before purchasing them.. and the Boxing Day sales are always a fab time to pick them up!

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So guys.. they were the beauty bits I picked up in the sales… I was so chuffed with everything I got and definitely was more impressed with them rather than the clothes! Did you pick anything up in the sales? I’d love to know if you did !

I’ll see you all in my next post!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

 

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

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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

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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

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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

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