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24 June 2016

Rediscovering my love of reading

Rediscovering reading

Ever since I was little I have absolutely loved reading. I have saved all my childhood books (I'm not quite sure why) in a huge box that I can't lift anymore and I have stacks of the things on my shelves in my living room but over the past few years I guess life has taken over and reading has been pushed to the side quite a bit, so much so that I was picking up a book but just couldn't get into it anymore. I would keep getting distracted, skim reading and just generally not enjoy it. With blogging, the internet in general and working full time the chances I got to read were pretty few and far between until very recently when I picked up Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

Now, this post isn't a review of the book but it's about how the book got me back into reading. After years of picking up and putting down books and being unable to really get into them, this book changed it all and I literally couldn't put it down.

My mum had bought The Girl on the Train and literally read it within two days (she absolutelt whizzes through books, even reading more than one at a time!) so I borrowed it from her and one Sunday afternoon I decided I'd give it a go. Before I knew it I was chapters into the book and loving the way it was written, from the different character's point of view.

I finished it probably within less than a week and it was one of those books where I could read it on the sofa, with the TV on and with Vince chattering away, yet I could still concentrate on it. I managed to block everything else out and get lost in this whole other world, which is why I loved books in the first place.

I also know when I really, really love a book because once I've put it down, I literally can't think of anything else and I'm constantly waiting to just pick it up again and get stuck in again.

I found that I made time for reading with this book. When I'd usually pick up my laptop and browse the internet, I would instead pick up my book and curl up with it on the sofa. Having previously read a lot of YA fiction in the past, it could be the change of genre that really did it for me - perhaps I was getting tired of the fluffy stories and needed something a bit more grown up to really open that door again to wherever my love of reading went in the first place.

This post is a bit rambly and I'm not quite sure what the point of it is but I felt like I wanted to get my thoughts down somehow. I am now so much more determined to read more and make more time for reading in general. I want to discover new favourite authors and genres so if you can recommend anything, please let me know in the comments.

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22 June 2016

Beginner beauty: Natural Collection (plus giveaway)

Beginner beauty Natural Collection

Do you remember when you first discovered make-up or when you first popped into your local Boots or Superdrug and saw the rows and rows of make-up stands and all the pretty colours and products staring back at you? I'm pretty sure my first make-up experimentations included some awfully bright colour of Barry M Dazzle Dust smeared across my face.

My first foray into face products such as moisturiser/foundation/blush etc all started with Natural Collection, which is a brand that has been a staple at Boots stores for the past 25 years. When I was recently sent a little goody box of products from the brand it took me right back to my early teens and the idea for this little post came together.

Beginner beauty Natural Collection
Beginner beauty Natural Collection

You can discover make-up at any age of course, you don't have to be young. Some people don't discover it properly until they're much older but a brand like Natural Collection is such a good place to start as the products are so straight forward, from their uses right down to their simple packaging. Everything is super cheap too so it's great for children/teens who want to spend their pocket money or just great for those on a bit of a budget.

Beginner beauty Natural Collection

The Natural Collection Tinted Moisturiser was always a holy grail product for me as I wasn't a big fan of wearing foundation all day every day. Using a tinted moisturiser gives you a little bit of colour if like me, you're super pale. I usually have to go for the lightest shade as they can come up a bit orange, but you could counteract by mixing a lightener or even adding more moisturiser to it to even the colour up a bit.

As I mentioned Natural Collection really focuses on the basics of make-up and carries a range of bases, bronzes and blushes to enable you to get a simple, radiant look. They're all only £1.99 each, which is a complete bargain. The blushes are my absolute fave, they're small enough to pop in your handbag or even purse and give a lovely pigmented but natural looking peachiness to your cheeks.

The brand is really great at not making its products look intimidating. The pressed powder is great for reducing shine and fixing make-up in place. You just need a simple sweep of the brush and your done. The same goes for the bronzer. I'm not a fan of bronzer personally, they are always way too dark and scary looking but this one from Natural Collection is lovely and pigmented and gives a soft, natural glow thanks to the slight shimmer.

Altogether these Natural Collection products are so simple to use to create an every day look and they're great for beginners or for anyone who is scared of using certain products/doesn't use things like bronze and blush very often. I'd definitely recommend them to anyone who isn't confident with make-up.

This is a brand that a lot of people pass by when in Boots but I'd definitely recommend giving it a go, even if you're accomplished at applying make-up. I swear by the brand's lash length mascara, I use it everyday and it's absolutely brilliant!

Have you tried anything from Natural Collection before? Let me know in the comments.

If you want to win all the Natural Collection products featured in this post then just follow the below: (UK only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*This post contains PR samples.
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20 June 2016

Manicure Monday: Colour pop nails from Maybelline Color Show

Maybelline Color Show 60 Seconds Nail Polish
Maybelline Color Show 60 Seconds Nail Polish

Back in April I featured Maybelline's Color Show Blushed Nudes polishes and they were a huge hit with me (and you!) so this time while browsing the Maybelline stands in Boots, I decided to go for some bright, fun and funky polishes to create a bit of a 'colour pop' look on my nails. Perfect for summer, even if the sun doesn't come out!

I feel like pink and mint nail polishes always work well together so I picked up two of the Color Show 60 seconds polishes in Roof Terrace (mint green) and NY Princess (pink) and well, I hate to say I told you so but these work brilliantly together. I think the label colours are really true to how they actually come out once on the nail, they're super bright and fun and have a lovely, shiney finish to them.

Maybelline Color Show 60 Seconds Nail Polish

The application was good, I would have liked more fanned out brushes, but I say that for all polishes without a fanned brush, and I only needed two layers or each polish to get a good coverage. They did dry super quickly. Unfortunately I didn't actually time them (I know I should have) but they were really fast drying, so no annoying hanging around waiting for your nails to dry before you can do anything. I was going about my usual business within a matter of minutes...one minute in fact.

Maybelline Color Show 60 Seconds Nail Polish

I think these are absolutely perfect for brightening up your mood as well as your nails. I pretty much have a different polish on my nails every week and the thing I enjoy most about nail polish is when you're typing at a computer (I work on a computer all day) and you can see your coloured nails bouncing off the keys, giving you a little flash of colour every now. These are the perfect pick-me-up colours and a great little colour pop for your day.

Have you tried the Maybelline Color Show polishes? What nail polish colours brighten up your day? Let me know in the comments.
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