Monday, 6 February 2017

What I Got For My Birthday 2017



Hi everyone! I cannot believe it is February 2017 already! The beginning to my year has been a bit of a blur however my 26th Birthday falls in January so that always makes things a little brighter (would have loved a mid year birthday though, Thanks Mum and Dad).

I am usually a bit of an ambiguous person when it comes to gifts, and usually let people buy me what they want, however this year there was some stuff I really wanted so actually made a list which I haven't done in years. For some reason I feel like it's rude and a bit presumptuous to make a list, but I know whenever I go to buy presents, I would love the person to just tell me what they want.
Makin a list however, meant I got some really lovely gifts, and I thought I'd show you them as they're quite fitting with my blog because I am a proper beauty junkie and will never have enough products. Ever.

So first up is the Molecule fragrance 01, and I absoluetly love this. It has become huge that I am sure you have probably heard of it. If you haven't however, this fragrance is designed to blemd in with your natural scent. So you know when you go to a friends house or borrow their clothes, it alsways has that distinct 'them' smell. Well this blends with that, so this fragrance will never smell the same on anyone.



As for the smell, we all now I have a terrible track record of trying to describe smells, but this is quite musty and woody and whenever I smell it on someone, I always go out of my way to compliment them because it is such a good conversation starter.

They say because it mixes with your own scent that you can't smell, that the molecule is quite week, and to layer it with the matching 'Escentric' fragrance, however I can smell the 01 on me perfectly and I love it so much.

There is also a 02, 03, and they will shortly be bringing out the 04 which I am beyond excited to smell.

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Next is such a beautiful present I could have cried when I opened it.
So a little back story... when I went travelling with my boyfriend last year, we did indeed stop in Byron Bay, the momst chilled and wonderful place in Australia. On leaving, I discovered a nail varnish brand that is made in Byron Bay which has the most gorgeous drift wood like lids, and it's a really cool sustainable brand.

Fast forward a year on, and my lovely boyfriend ordered some of the polishes all the way from Australia for my birthday, along with a few extras.



The whole idea behind this brand just makes me smile, and the nail varnish remover is made from soy so is completely chemical scent free. The nail file is really gentle and the poilishes are to die for, I'm just gutted I can't buy more!


The colour my boyfriend got me is called 'Gypsy' and to me, it just sums up Byron Bay in a colour. The teal glittery colour takes me back to my first surf lesson in Byron, and just looking at it makes me so happy.
The blue base coat is sticky so the polish stays on for longer, and he also got me a top coat and a cuticle oil.


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I can always rely on my Beauty retail girls to pull gifts out the bag, and my best bud Sophie spoiled me as per usual!


Just opening the classic maroon and rose gold box, I knew it could only mean one thing... Charlotte Tilbury.
Now I haven't actually tried any Charlotte Tilbury makeup, and as my best friend is my number one fan, she had seen it had never featured on my blog so I obviously needed to try some!

The main event is yet to come but the lovely luxury size samples that went in are so exciting, and a really indulgent addition to the gift!


My friend got me the Dolce Vita eye palette, as she thought the colours would suit me (n'aw)



This palette is BEAUTIFUL and I had a hard time bringing myself to use it as it is perfection.

The look can be worn casually using the two top colours, or if you want to go full on Penelope Cruz Dulce Vita Charlotte suggests amping up the drama and using all four colours.
I watched this YouTube tutorial to see how Charlotte does it herself.



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Another bit of makeup I recieved was this Mac Lipstick from my sisters in the shade 'Ruby Woo'. I am an absolute sucker for a red lip and actually have a few red ones from Mac, however this is the colour that always wins awards, and it is more of a blue toned red which goes well with fairer skin.



It's a matte finish and I love it.
Another gift from my scrumptious little sisters is my L'Occitane Almond shower oil.


I think I have talked about this brand before but this oil smells divine, and as a marzipan lover, I could bask in it all day long.

The oil formula means it is super hydrating  and goes onto the skin in this form, however once mixed with water it turns into a really light cream, and a little goes a long way. It means you don't have to moisturise after the shower, because all that moisture is locked in already.


Finally, you may have noticed some little additions in the back of my pictures, and in true blogger style I have a little trio of succulents. My boyfriend also got these from me, and they're from a little place in Soho called 'Barry the Cactus', and I just love the concrete pots they come in.

Expect to see a lot of them in Instagram posts in the future.




Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Deciem - The Ordinary


Hello everyone!

Today's post is one I'm a little apprehensive to post as it is going to feature some pictures of my skin at the end of last year when it was the worst it has ever been, so please be nice or I'll cry!
If you saw my 2017 New Years Resolution post then you would have seen the first thing I wanted to do was sort out my skin. I was so self conscious about it, and even though now it is is not half as bad as it was, it still makes me feel a little vulnerable putting up pictures when it was at its worst.

That being said, I am going to be showing the products that transformed my acne skin back to being way more manageable and that is exciting, so I hope you enjoy this post and it helps you if you are having skin issues and feeling a little low too.

So I'll just go right ahead and show you my skin before.



I know I look miserable and my hair is a mess but I felt so ugly with bad skin, it just made me want to give up on everything else. Although I didn't have lots of spots, the ones I had were huge, painful and impossible to cover up. I was getting them a lot on my cheeks too, which is such an obvious place and I felt so so down about it.

I did a lot of research about face mapping and how to decipher what was making my skin so bad and improve it. Cheeks for example can be down to having a dirty phone which rests against your face a lot of the time, so I was cleaning my phone more regularly, and trying to drink more water. I do believe you should listen to your skin, as it is a good indication of what is going on inside your body. However when you read things like 'stress can make you break out' that is a little harder to control.

I stripped back all my skincare to basics, with just a cleanser and moisturiser which I know had worked for me in the past, however it still wasn't clearing so I decided to take matters into my own hands and try a new brand I had heard so much about.

Enter Deciem, and in particular the Ordinary range.

I had read so much about this range, as it provides top notch skincare but at a quarter of the high street price and is sold at cost price. This sounded perfect as I did't want to splash out on a product that I wasn't sure would work for me.

I had a scan of the The Ordinary range and read every single description of what each product did.
It is also worth mentioning that I purchased my products from victoriahealth.com and Gill who runs the site puts out a newsletter each month which is so so helpful so shes is worth subscribing to because she wrote some amazing stuff about The Ordinary which was really insightful.

They sell lots of different strengths of retinoids at a really low price, and they are great for acne, however my skin is very sensitive and although my spots were bad, I didn't think they were acne worthy. After a long think, I decided that the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% was the treatment I needed to sort my spots. It reduces congestion and the appearance of blemishes and can be used as an acne treatment. For just £5, I put it in my shopping basket and then looked for the Pure Rosehip Oil. I knew they sold this and for the very lovely price of just £9. Organic rosehip oil can be as much as £40 because the process of creating it is so delicate and slow. How they can justify this price tag I don't know, but rose hip oil is great at targetting redness as well as reducing scarring, and as I am someone that can't leave my spots alone, I do tend to have a lot of scarring.

When they arrived, I was so excited and started using them straight away.
The first thing I should say is that I love the packaging. It is clean and simple, and I think it looks really professional.


I use the Niacinamide every morning in replacement of my serum as it soaks into the skin and allows me to put my moisturiser on top.
I will admit that the consistency of this product is really strange! when it first goes onto the skin it almost goes a little foamy, but once it is rubbed in it soaks in and leaves a dry sort of residue.

After just a couple days of use I could see it improving my skin, and I was so happy. The only thing I would say is that it does dry my skin out a bit but that is expected of treatments designed to look after spots, so I have upped my moisturiser to a super quenching one and it is absolutely fine now.



Combating the dryness is the Rose Hip oil as well, I use this at night as it is a bit unsual walking around with a thick layer of oil on your face in the day. It is so hydrating and it is slowly but surely reducing my red scars and blemishes. I also love that they have dark glass to preserve the oil as sunlight can ruin oils like this. As I said before, this product can be so expensive so I love using this little slice of luxury for the small amount of money I paid for it.

So how is my skin now?




Well it is far from perfect and you can see my scars are going to need longer to heal, but as for the spots, they may look raised in pictures but I can assure you my skin is even, and smooth. The redness can be easily covered by makeup and it is something that takes a while to heal so I am not worried about that.

I am so happy with the results of these products in just a short space of time. I've been using these products for about four weeks now and the results are amazing.

If you are having problems with your skin and you don't want to break the bank, the The Ordinary is the way forward. They are also launching so many new products so keep an eye out!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Papaw Ointment




When I went on my travels, I wanted to make sure I kept up blogging by trying different beauty products from around the world. From shampoos made from plants, to moisturisers made from coco beans, I still hadn't found the product that I would want to import and use for the rest of time. That is until now.

Australia being a very western country has a plethora of beauty products. I wish I could have tried more but my backpacker budget didn't allow me too! One affordable item I could purchase was this Lucas Papaw ointment. This $6 cult product that all Aussies have in their handbag, is this little multipurpose wonder balm.


Made from papaya extract, this natural balm is great for everything, and I have used it for a multitude of issues.
Number one mainly being for cracked lips. I always find muti purpose items like this are a great alternative to lip balm. This one isn't tacky and doesn't really taste of much which means it stays on for a long time! I can put it on before bed and still feel it on there by morning time.

Secondly, it is great for any little cuts. Although I think its meant to be pronounced pa-paw, my boyfriend and I have lovingly called it 'paw paw which is great for sore sores'. That's a bit gross and cutesy sorry.
But in all seriousness, this balm keeps moisture and bacteria out, and allows any wound to dry up and heal itself.

And one thing that I think papaw really excelled at curing? Bites!
One thing that you never see on the #wonderlust instagram posts is bright red bites all over your body which are sadly a hard reality of travelling. Not only have I been bitten by mosquitos, I had the horrible experience of being bitten by bed buds in one particular hostel (not at all glamorous!)
I went to the shops to buy a multitude of anti itch creams to sooth my crazily itchy bed bug bites, however the thing that worked best was my paw paw! hurrah!

I understand that we have Pawpaw in the UK now which is great, although I would fly to Aus again for more of this miracle cream!

Sunday, 1 January 2017

New Years Resolutions for 2017

I have said it once, and I will say it again. I LOVE New Years. Not just because it is the perfect full stop to a party riddled season of over eating and gifts, but because I always become really reminiscent about my year and I think it is healthy to have a point where you start a new chapter with new goals.

2016 for me was a transition period. I finished the huge one year travelling trip I always wanted to do, and had to adjust back into reality. Just in the last half of 2016, I had already forced myself to try new things, such as moving up to London and trying to find myself a career path . Mostly, I had to get into the mind set of trying to start being a proper adult (about time as I'll be 26 by the end of this month)

I never try and set myself unrealistic goals, but that being said, I always do try and give my self a challenge. I like to set myself lots of small manageable goals rather than one big one, and I try and spread them across different aspects for my life, so without further ado, here are my New Years Resolutions for 2017.

Beauty

Now this may seem like a silly or 'vain' goal, however it is something that has recently taken over my life a bit recently so I want to sort it out ASAP. I have never had problems with my skin as a teenager apart from the odd pimple here and there, but recently, I find every morning when I wake up my first reflex is to check my face for anymore spots. I don't know why I have suddenly developed some kind of adulthood acne, but it is something I really want to sort out soon, as it is affecting my confidence and I find I can't leave the house without makeup on, which is a stark contrast to when I was away travelling and went a year without a speck of foundation.
I don't know whether I need some more of that sweet Vitamin D to restore it, or perhaps some dietary changes, but it is something I want to fix soon so I can start the year feeling good about myself.

Health


This kind of brings me onto my next point of healthy living. Now if healthier living hasn't been the golden New Years Res of all time, then I don't know what is. Everyone becomes a gym bunny in the new year with hopes and expectations of shedding pounds and all that Christmas weight. Unfortunately I have never been one of those people who enjoys healthy eating and exercise. Believe me, I would love to get addicted to going to the gym, but I just get no pleasure out of it whatsoever. That being said, I'm not going to set myself an unrealistic goal that will only disappoint me in the future, so rather than giving myself a set weight I want to lose, I just want to set the goal of being comfortable in my own skin. If I could put on a bikini and feel confident, that would make me really happy. It's not that I really want to lose weight either, I just want to eat better to reflect in other areas (such as my skin!), and I should probably drink more water too.

Career



As I said above, I have already started to get myself on the career path, however I am still slightly unsure of what I definitely want to do and feel I still need to try out a few more things before I dive in head first. I know that I want to work within beauty for certain, however which part of it, I'm still not entirely sure. Over the next few week I will be looking at more internships so start of my New Year, but by the end of 2017, I'd love to be earning a wage, in the job I can see myself staying in for a long time.

Blogging


Although I will be on the hunt for my dream job, I really above all else want to keep blogging. I really do love doing it, and if I could forge a career out of it then that would be a dream come true. However, blogging is such a competitive world now, and you really have to stand out to get noticed. That being said, I am more than happy with where my blog is at, however I would love for it to develop more. I'm not saying by this time next year I want to be the next Zoella, however I will be setting myself small manageable goals to improve. I think I will have a bit of a blog redesign as I feel at the moment it looks a bit shabby, and I would love to grow my social media following especially on Instagram as I struggle so hard to grow that as I don't think I have the sleek blogging theme and it is not a very attractive feed (https://www.instagram.com/whatalooker/ go follow now, shameless plug). So expect a more chic and polished What A Looker in 2017.

Charity



There are a couple of things I would like to do for charity this year. The first thing that I will absolutely be doing is donating my hair to a Cancer or hair loss charity. My hair literally grows thick and fast, and I don't really like my hair long but have persevered as donating it is something I really want to do. With my Mum having chemotherapy and losing her hair, it made me realise how something we take for granted everyday can mean so much to you. My Mum has often felt really ugly without her hair, and although she is rocking a Natalie Portman style buzz cut, I know her confidence won't fully be restored until it is at least shoulder length.
Now her hair is growing back, I am in the clear for being able to cut mine, as she is becoming less precious about my hair.
Another thing I would love to do is to help the elderly more. This requires a bit more time, and with being on the job hunt it is something I can't fully commit to doing at the moment, but once I have a normal schedule, I would love to start visiting care homes or seeing older people, as I have always had a soft spot for the elderly and hate the idea of someone being alone. The charity 'Silver Line' allows an older person to call you in order to have a conversation which I would like to do, however I think I would rather see someone face to face to truly get to know them.
In the future I would also like to open my home to a lonely elderly person at Christmas.

Hair Donation Links

(these are only for UK residents)

Travel



Finally is travel, and as I said earlier, I had my fair share of travelling last year when I visited nine countries over the space of a year. I absolutely loved the experience, however it took me travelling to the other side of the world to appreciate what I have right on my doorstep. By no means do I want to go on a globe trotting tour like that (for now), but this year I would love to see more of Europe, and even the UK. The great thing about a stay-cation is that you can do them little and often. You don't have to book off a whole week at work as you could go on a long weekend jaunt or even just an overnight stay. They are also much cheaper as the UK is so tiny in comparison to the rest of the world, you can pretty much drive to wherever you want to go without having to dig out your passport.
I have shamefully never been up to Scotland, or ever been to Ireland even though I have blood relatives from those places, so 2017 I want to see a bit more of my homeland, as they do say 'Home is Where The Heart Is'. I have started to curate a Pinterest board for some places I'd like to see so feel free to pop over there if you're looking for some UK weekend retreat ideas or even a little Eurotrip.


If you have any suggestions/ hints/ ideas or just want to share your resolutions I'd love to hear!
But I'd like to say thank you for reading and continuing to support my blog, and I wish you a healthy, prosperous and happy 2017.


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Get Ready With Me: Royal Variety Show Using Smashbox 'Light It Up Set'

This time last week, I was lucky enough to attend the Royal Variety Performance 2016.
My super boyfriend is a Graphic Designer and worked on the tickets, brochure and other huge center pieces that go into the evening. Due to his hard work, he was able to nab tickets to the show and the after party, AND with a plus one. Yey for me!

It was such an amazing evening. The show was at the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo, and on entering the champagne reception I knew it would be a special evening. I got to see various comedians as well as David Walliams who was the host. Performing were amazing artists such as Robbie Williams, Emeli Sande, Gary Barlow, Sting, and my absolute favourite of the evening, Lady Gaga. There were also scenes from some amazing musicals on the West End, dance performances and magicians. It really was spectacular, and I am so grateful that I was able to go.



The after party was so much fun. Hosted at The Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair, we were rubbing shoulders with celebrities (namely the Chuckle Brothers!) and were serveda huge four course dinner with bottomless wine. This is a lifestyle I could get used to. The Evening was also sponsored by BMW so there were loads of cool cars outside including an old bat mobil. One of my boyfriends jobs was to make a huge timeline for the Royal Variety and also BMW, as well as designing the large stickers that went on the sides of the cars.




Proud!


Best Moment of my life!
The Royal Variety show is a very special evening, so a nice dress and immaculate hair and makeup was a must. After all, I was in the presence of Royalty (unfortunately Harry was unavailable, so it was Charles and Camilla), so here is how I did makeup for the evening.

I bought this 'Smashbox Light It Up' set in Boots a few weeks ago which is worth about £70. It contains all the Smashbox best selling products and I thought for the price of £35, it would be a great way to explore the brand as I have never tried any makeup from them before.
The set contains the primer, mascara, a lipstick, highlighter and kohl pencil.



Because I was doing quite a bold eye look, I did them first so I could clear up any drop down later on.
I patted on some concealer over my eyes so the makeup had something to sit on, and then went in with this palette.


A friend gave this to me a while ago and I have been dying to use it. The Nude'tude Palette by 'The Balm' has a mix of warm and glittery eyeshadows, perfect for the look I wanted to create.


I started with 'Sultry' as the base, and used 'Sophisticated' to smoke in the the outer corners and crease. As that started to build, I also went in with 'Silly' to really darken the outer corners and give that extra smokey effect.
Finally I used the light pink shimmer shade 'Standoffish' in the inner corners to brighten up that area.


It is worth mentioning that I have never properly invested in good eye shadow brushes but my friend (the same one who gave me the palette- shes so good to me) told me about these really cheap brushes online. This set of gorgeous rose gold brushes cost about £2.00 on Amazon and they are really good quality! Worth a look if like me, you'd rather spend your money on the makeup not the tools.


Next, I used the Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Pencil in 'Raven', to go around my water line and smoked that out to finish of the look, and then I used my Lancome Grandiose Liquid Eyeliner for a classic flick, and a lick of the Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara which I LOVE.


The wand is really chunky so allows you t really coat every lash and open up the eyes.

So here was the finished look.





Next was my skin, and I needed something that was going to last me till the early hours of the morning.
To start of, I used the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer which makes your skin feel flawlessly smooth. I know a lot of people don't like that siliconey finish you get with primers, but I find they do work the best, and this primer does have that texture to it.


After my skin was prepped and primed, I went in to use my foundation.
I used my Kat Von D Lock it foundation which is soooooo gooooood.
I will probably do a whole post on this foundation as its so great, but it is really full coverage, long lasting, and I also got it in a warmer tone as the shades can go really, REALLY pale. This shade is Light  47 Nuetral which is probably a fraction too dark for me in winter, but as I fake tanned for the occasion I thought this would blend in more seamlessly.


I buffed this on and then used another layer of 'Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer' to cover my dark circles. I then used my Hourglass Blusher, and the Ambient lighting powder to add some shimmer.


Next was highlighter to add some more glam glow, and the Smashbox L.A Lights highlighter stick is so damn pretty. This gold shimmer shade is called 'Hollywood and Highlight'  and I think it is my favourite highlighter at the moment as it looks so natural but is really obvious too if you know what I mean?



I popped this on my cheek bones and then finished everything off with the final product from the set. A real red carpet worthy Hollywood red 'Be Legendary 'Lipstick' in the best selling shade 'Get Fired'


So here is the finished look! This would also work perfectly for any upcoming Christmas dos as you can never go wrong with a classic look like this.



I hope you enjoyed this post and also my pictures from the evening!

Oh and my dress was from ASOS!