Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Let's talk about Instagram

(Me from 2014, how cute)
There's been so much talk about the negativity of online tools such as Instagram lately. With the issues of the 'Instabots' (if you don't know what I'm talking about, where have you been?) and the pressure to make your Instagram look prettier than everyone else's (#instagoals am I right?), Instagram isn't always the positive and useful thing it can be.

I've always enjoyed using Instagram. I love being able to flick back down through my pictures from 2/3/4 years ago and see how I've changed and remember some of the really fun things I've done in the past, it's like a visual diary which is quite cool, especially to someone who loves reminiscing

I have a personal account and a blog account and enjoy having that separation and being able to tailor what I post on each one. For example: it might not be appropriate for me to post a picture of my friends on my blogging Instagram because you're probably not all that interested and they might not want their picture being accessible to people they don't know. In the same way I probably won't go posting EVERY SINGLE make up product I buy on my personal account because that's not what it's there for and I honestly doubt my friends care about the latest edition of Glossybox no matter how hard they try. However, that's not to say there's no crossover at all!

The thing I noticed once I started posting more on my blogging Instagram again was, in a way, how rigid and structured some people's accounts are. I'm that kind of person that just posts whatever they feel may be relevant even if it doesn't stick to a 'theme' or look particularly 'aesthetically pleasing' because I'm trying to come across as genuine as I can. That's not to say that people who have these beautiful themes aren't, it just is perhaps a more rose tinted version of their lives, which I can understand.

I applaud any blogger who manages to keep up an Instagram theme because honestly I don't have the time or the patience. I'm a full time student who barely gets her work in on time, an Instagram theme is the least of my worries!

Another thing I worry about with Instagram is the idealist image that some (bigger bloggers mainly) give out to their followers. They always have perfect hair, outfits, all the latest products and some really pretty backgrounds. As someone who has always really struggled with self-confidence and body-image, I do find myself getting jealous of people who seemingly have it all, don't we all? However, I love seeing bloggers living their dream and am so proud; that 'jealousy' definitely drives me forward and makes me want to do bigger and better things!

Oh and as for the Insta bot thing, I kinda get why people do it, the pressures can be so big. However, what I don't like is people who have been working hard for years get opportunities snatched off them from people who've made it big in a very short time frame from using these methods. Some of my favourite bloggers are honestly people with 2/300 followers who have absolutely amazing content. I respect people who have gone about blogging in entirely honest and authentic way because I have so much respect for people who've worked hard to make their dreams come true.

There's definitely some more things I'd like to address in the future but these are just a few of my current thoughts on the topic. let me know what you think!

To sum up:

You are not defined by how many followers you have on Instagram
You don't always have to look 'perfect' on camera, nobody does all the time
Post what you want and do it for yourself, it's your account after all!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

My favourite palette ever?

I love eyeshadow palettes way to much for my own good. This one in particular is the Stila 'In the Light Palette'. I have raved about Stila a lot on Twitter to people looking for new brands, as Stila is a UK brand (stocked in store in M&S and I also think some Boots stores?) but I also feel that it's so underrated due to the amazing quality of all their products! 

I bought this palette around a year ago as it was on sale on their website and could finally justify buying it, so it's a bit of a throwback! However, it's not all good news as this palette as well as the 'In the Garden' palette are no longer stocked by Stila, I guess to make way for bigger and better things... how exciting!

This palette features 10 shades, a mixture of matte and shimmer including everyone's favourite nude shimmer 'kitten' and a host of other super pretty colours. These are all super pigmented and long lasting and the top left shade 'bare' also makes the perfect eyeshadow base for any look. I love how well all these shades blend together and compliment each other amazingly. It's the perfect kind of palette for lovely summer day looks but the shimmer shades give it that sense of glam as well.

Did I mention that it also came with a free eyeliner stick (which is amazing btw)

All in all, this palette is beautiful and I'm super sad they don't stock it anymore. However, having looked at their newer palettes I think I know what will be in my shopping bag once I've finished this one!

Have a lovely weekend

Lottie x

Sunday, 16 April 2017

UNI TIPS: What I've learnt in first year

Hi everyone! Hope you are all happy that it's the start of spring and the rain that's come with it and having a lovely Easter. I've (very) nearly finished my first year at university and as part of my uni tips series I thought I'd share with you a few things I've come to realise (it's a bit Kylie Jenner-esque really isn't it).

  • There will be people from home who you'll fall out with and grow distant from, and potentially never see again - I mean we might as well start it off on a light-hearted note... I've had a couple of friends from home who I've fallen out with massively since starting uni and plenty more who I've grown distant from just because of well, the distance! I feel very lucky that I still have a lovely core group of friends at home who I see a lot of when I'm back and all my friends at uni too but there are some people who I've pretty much completely lost contact with which I'm fine with.
  • Budgeting is so important - This may sound fairly obvious but I've been so bad at budgeting in first year. I've been the kind of student to always rely on the fact I have an overdraft to get me through the term. I also can't stress enough the importance of planning ahead. Plan all your meals to make sure you a) don't waste food and b) have enough food to last the week. I'm such a culprit of convenience food but I'd say the best way to budget food is to factor in an amount to spend on a big supermarket (in store or online) shop every week so you know exactly how much you have left for other things
  • I work very well under pressure - I am one of those people who if I've been told to do something will put it off until the very last minute, which rings true for uni work also. I am one of the kind of people who will smash out a 2000 word essay in a day or 2 and still get a fairly good mark! (disclaimer: would not recommend this strategy at all)
  • I'm extremely indecisive: I've considered dropping out/transferring universities at least 50000 times in first year. My uni is great and I honestly can't imagine myself somewhere else which is fundamentally the reason why I chose it and why I've also chosen to stay there for good! 
  • You have to take risks and come out of your comfort zone in order to get noticed. For example: I'd been on the mailing list for content calls from my student newspaper since freshers but didn't write any actual articles until around February time because I thought my writing would be crap and no one would want to read it! Every little thing like this will show people who you are and get your name out there as well as boost your confidence: be brave!

Hope you've enjoyed reading this post, it's not a very long one but hopefully somewhat interesting? I think I'm going to do a post about results day tips soon so if anyone would like to read that let me know!

Lottie x

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Glossybox March 2017 - Review: Spring has arrived!

Hey everyone! 

Today's post is on the March Glossybox UK edition, I'm so excited to tell you all about it because it's a good'un.

After February's Glossybox I was worried that it would go downhill in my expectations because last month's was SO GOOD. Thankfully, they've kept up their high standards into March and I've got some fantastic products to share with you all!

Firstly, we have a lovely hand cream from Crabtree and Evelyn called 'Somerset Meadow Hand Therapy' which sounds positively spring-like! It comes in bright yellow packaging signally the start of those sunny days, however knowing Britain, it's still going to be cold for a little while which means the hand cream is a perfect addition to my handbag this spring. It has a lovely subtle floral scent and goes onto the hands so easily without being sticky like some other cheaper hand creams are! With the key nourishing ingredient of shea butter in, it feels genuinely like it's doing some good which I can't say for many hand creams I've tried and for the very reasonable price of £6 you really can't go wrong!

RRP - £6 for full size (currently on sale for £4.20 on their own website!) Shop:

Next up we have the 'Eye Love' eye cream from oOlution (I promise I spelt it right). It contains 100% natural ingredients and is full of hydrating and rich antioxidants which promises to get rid of dark circles and puffiness around the eyes, perfect for a uni student with a rather messed up sleeping pattern... The product feels really nice around the eyes and definitely feels a lot better on my skin than some which are full of synthetic ingredients! The inventor of this brand wanted the products to be luxury and it has a price tag to match, so perhaps not something I would purchase myself just because I don't really use eye creams that much, however I will be using it until it's empty; I can guarantee!

RRP - £30 for full size (which is included) Shop:

The next product is one I am super excited about, it's the 'In transit camera close-up' primer from This Works. Glossybox reports it to be loved by stars such as Victoria Beckham so it certainly has a lot to live for. As well as a primer it claims to balance, plump-up and brighten the skin leaving it ready for the camera! Any primer that acts as a moisturiser is great in my books however I'm unsure I'd be willing to pay £30. I'm looking forward to giving it a try and see if it is any good!

RRP - £30 for full size (sample size worth £15) Shop:

Next up, Skinfix Foaming oil cleanser, something that to be honest, doesn't particularly thrill me a great deal. As someone who has fairly oily skin already, I really don't delve into any cleansers that are oil-based because they just don't feel right on my skin. However, this is a foaming cleanser which is then washed off afterwards and has a coconut base so perhaps this will be more gentle than some of the other oil based make up removers/cleansers. I do really like foaming cleansers as a concept because my face always feels so clean and fresh afterwards so I'm definitely going to give it a go in the hope that it won't leave my skin feeling more oily!

RRP - £14.99 Shop:

Finally, the product which I think is the highlight of the box, the Sleek 'Dancing til Dusk' Palette! It's a beautiful eye and cheek palette which has a couple of lovely pink/peachy blushers and some nude-toned eyeshadows also. I'm so excited to try this because I love Sleek's products so much. (if you haven't tried the Cleopatra quad highlighting palette do it right now) It's always good to a product from a brand you already adore in a box so I'm super pleased it was something I didn't yet have and can't wait to try properly!

RRP - £10 Shop:

Verdict: This is a good box which is particularly good value for money, as the products together are worth around £65. I am really looking forward to using my Sleek palette as they are perfect shades for my skintone, I personally like to see more make-up over skincare in a box so it's lacking slightly, however I think all these products set us up well for the start of spring, which in England is still pretty cold so the inclusion of more skincare is probably very sensible!

Hope you've enjoyed reading about the products included in my March Glossybox! Have you tried any of the products above? What do you think of Glossybox?

Lottie x

Monday, 13 March 2017

Norwich Fashion Week #NFW

I was lucky enough to be invited to come along to the Hair and Make Up show last Friday as part of Norwich Fashion Week sponsored by local opticians Dipple and Conway. As you can tell from the pretty close up photos I also got to sit in the front row which was a fantastic experience! I had never been to a fashion show before and thought 'It's hardly going to be London Fashion Week' but by the way it was produced it really could have been!

After a pre-show G&T (in the VIP area even) we made our way to our seats. The show started with local opera singer Emma Nuule providing a sensationally dramatic opening which set the scene for the rest of the show perfectly! 

As you can tell, the effort that the various groups put into. The one which I think caught everyone's eye in particular with their breathtaking detail was a group called 'Paintopia' where the artists had depicted all sorts of images and colours onto their models which had some somewhat mad but sensational results! 

The thing that struck me the most was the confidence and professionalism of all the models that ran the catwalk. Going up there in itself is daunting but everyone looked so cool and comfortable up on the runway (Special shout out to the group of women styled in burlesque clothing; I'd never have that confidence)! 

There were so many wonderful looks showcased which perfectly fit the dramatic and bold theme. Everything seemed so original and authentic and I love how daring some of the looks were. It's brilliant for artists to be able to show off their creativity with this freedom. 

Also I got the chance to meet another Norwich based blogger (at last!) the lovely Kerry from Sparkle with Kerry  so do take a look at her blog! I think it's fantastic that this event collaborated local MUAs, designers and salon stylists. It was a perfect opportunity for people based locally such as Lowestoft College, The Cottage, Millie Rose, The Norwich School of Beauty (and much more!) to show off their stunning work and talents that they may not be able to show off in other ways.

I really hope you enjoy looking at the various looks and I want to thank Norwich Fashion Week for inviting me to view their show as it was truly wonderful! 

Monday, 27 February 2017

UNI TIPS: How to eat well on a budget

Hi everyone!

I'm really keen to do a series about uni, a sort of university survival guide if you will?

This week's post is about how to stick to a budget.when it comes to buying food and still eat plenty.

It's so difficult at university to not only stay on budget every week, but also to avoid temptation of easy to reach takeaways and the convenient, but normally much more expensive student shop. I've picked up some ideas in my first and second semesters about how to try and not overspend while still eating well.

How to stay on budget

1) Something I have started doing recently which I've found works quite well is taking out a set amount of cash each week to spend on food and drink and not spend anymore. It's meant that I don't spend more than necessary because I'm more aware of exactly how much I'm spending.

2) Top up shops vs Weekly shops: I'm still not sure which one is the best. Some of my friends get their food delivered to uni and that's all they will buy for the whole week whereas some others just are constantly topping up what's in their fridge every couple of days to complete their meals. I've still not worked out what is the best to do but I think if you're living in a flat or student house where you're quite close and get on, then a weekly delivery is your best option because you're then not overspending on essentials and can probably make more use of multi save deals online saving you more money overall.

3) Plan your meals!! I cannot stress enough how helpful this is, it means you're thinking about what you'll be eating over the course of the whole week and then making sure you buy enough to sustain you through the time.

4) Things in the cupboard you forget most of the time even exist can form the basis of so many meals. My cupboard has a mix of dry foods, tinned foods and seasoning which will all last for ages! A lot of these things you might only use a tiny bit of at a time but they're so worth having as you never know when you might need them!

Examples of foods you might keep in your cupboard:
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Couscous
  • Soy sauce
  • Oil (sunflower oil is cheapest, cooking sprays also are a great low calorie alternative and last absolutely ages)
  • Soup
  • Tuna
  • Gravy granules
  • salt/pepper/seasoning (such as fajita mixes)/spices/herbs
  • Oats 
  • Hot chocolate/coffee
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Tinned vegetables such as sweetcorn
5) Make use of the freezer. I feel like there's a reputation that some students just live off chicken nuggets a potato waffles (which for some seems to be reality), however freezing your food will save you money. I always keep loaves of bread as well as pitta/muffins to make sure they don't go out of date. The same with meat, meaning you can take out what you need at the time. Lots of my friends also make dishes in bulk so they can use them throughout the coming weeks meaning they always have something spare to eat if they're too tired to make something from scratch or are a bit strapped for cash.

6) Takeaways: We've all had the experience where we come back after having a bit too much to drink and what do we fancy? Kebabs, pizza, chips... all the carbs we can get our hands on! However, the odd Dominos every week or two can have really sting your bank account (Trust me, I know). In terms of staying on budget a friend recently told me that she has pizza/garlic bread in the freezer for when she comes back and might fancy something like that, which is probably about a quarter of the price of a takeaway and will satisfy your cravings. However, if you do reeeeally fancy a takeaway the chains always have deals/offers on ( is a fantastic website)

7) That links onto my last point, make use of offers! The website I linked above is not only great for takeaways but also has a lot of offers for restaurants such as pizza express and ASK Italian. The NUS card also offers you money off many restaurant chains making meals out that little bit more affordable. Also I would highly recommend getting a clubcard for Tesco/Sainsbury's as the points you get can translate into vouchers for your favourite restaurants as well as giving you money of food.

Hope you enjoyed reading and if this helps even a couple of people then it's more than done its job!

Lottie <3

Thursday, 23 February 2017

February Glossybox - Will you be my Valentine?

Good afternoon my lovelies!

So the other day in the post, I received my February Glossybox, which is as I'm sure you guessed, Valentines Day themed! I have subbed to Glossybox twice over the past few years and cancelled for various reasons, however was drawn back in by this box which looked extremely promising (and was also discounted, always an incentive)! I thought I would share with you this wonderful box that they managed to put together as I'm super impressed and love everything I received!


The first product included is a full-size face scrub from a French brand called 'La Theorie Des Volcans' which quite literally translates as 'the theory of volcanoes' showing that their brand is based on natural ingredients (even including volcanic sand)! It claims to cleanse, purify, plump and smooth your skin as it is also enriched within anti-aging ingredients to regenerate your skin and keep your skin looking healthy. I'm not someone who normally uses things like face scrubs because I'm pretty lazy when it comes to skincare, however I am intrigued by this so I'm sure I'll make good use of it! It's also Vegan and is silicone-free, so another cruelty free brand to add to your list. 

RRP - £26 Shop:

This next product, I am so pleased with this! Anyone who has followed me for a while will know that I am absolutely obsessed with perfumes and also worked in Boots on the fragrance counter, so I like to pretend I know what I'm talking about. This is the perfect scent for Valentines/Date Nights. It's a beautiful delicate rose scent while also smelling sweet, managing to not make the floral notes too overpowering. I am definitely glad to add this to my ever-growing collection!

RRP - £20 (for 30ml) Shop:

Next up, we have a semi-matte lipstick from MDMFlow, a brand I've seen online and caught my eye but never tried any of their products. On first appearance, I loved the gold packaging and it's definitely not something that could get easily lost in your handbag. Mine is in a shade called 'Bossy' which is a lovely brown nude colour, which is my perfect kind of shade. It's quite a subtle colour and because it's semi-matte it's a bit less striking which will make this perfect for an everyday look.

RRP - £18 Shop:

Having used the Honey Treasures range for a while, I was pleased to see a product from it in my box. It promises 'Intense care for damaged hair' which is always something I go for! As my hair has got longer I have struggled to maintain it more so anything which can add moisture to my hair and fix it up a bit is a winner for me. It tells you to use it on damp freshly-washed hair to target split-ends. Leave on for 1-5 minutes and then rinse out, leaving you with (hopefully) more nourished hair.

RRP - £4.49 (for full sized product) Shop: (or any high street drugstore)

The final product from February's Glossybox is one of Ciate's paint pots. I have quite a few of these in my nail varnish collection already so it's always nice to get something from a brand you recognise. This shade is 'Fade to Greige' which is a purple/grey sort of colour and I love it! It's not as dark as the name might suggest either. It's a lovely colour and goes really well with lots of things as it's more subtle.

RRP - £9 Shop:

 I loved this box, and was super impressed with Glossybox this time round, so I may even stick around to see what next month has in store! On a student budget however, it may not be something I can commit to but I'm so pleased with all the products I received and will let you know what I think of them in more detail in the future!