19:36

Beauty // Huda Beauty London Pop-Up Purchases

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                                                                                                            Hey lovelies,

A few weeks back I headed to the Huda Beauty Pop-Up in Covent Garden - of course I couldn't just browse and not purchase anything. It was like makeup heaven inside with everything and anything Huda Beauty on display!

I ended up picking up a new Obsessions Palette in 'Topaz' I already own the Warm Brown Palette which I'm obsessed with, hence me wanting to add to the collection. Along with my new palette, I picked up one of the Power Bullet Matte Lipsticks in 'Graduation Day.' 

Huda Beauty - Topaz Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette - £25.00
Huda Beauty - Graduation Day Power Bullet Matte Lipstick £22.00

I really wanted to break away from a pink based palette, I literally have a pink eyeshadow on my lids 95% of the time - so it's nice to have a different palette which can mix that up.

The palette is full of a mix of five mattes and four shimmers, which is literally my perfect mix. The Topaz Palette has such autumnal vibes to it! In regards to the actual application of the shadows they are super creamy and pigmented. The shimmers and mattes blend so well together for the perfect look!

The lipstick is surprisingly creamy for a matte lipstick. It's the perfect shade of dark purple/brown and compliments my skin tone well. Sometimes I find it hard when trying to purchase a lipstick in store/online because in most cases, unless I can test it out beforehand, I just can't tell whether the shade will be a match for my skin tone or not.

Deciding to pick up one of these lipsticks was due to being inspired by the recent everyday makeup routine video by Molly Mae - I think she's truly fabulous and now I want to own everything she talked about in her video!

Do you own any of these Huda Beauty products?



22:30

Lifestyle // Schwartz Chicken Casserole with a twist*

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Hey lovelies,

When I was contacted to ask if I'd like to write a post about the Schwartz Chicken Casserole Mix, I knew full well it was an offer I just couldn't refuse.
I've wanted to start incorporating cooking posts on my blog for so long now. So, here we go...
Schwartz Chicken Casserole Mix - Tesco

So the briefing for this collaboration was to use one of the not just follow the instructions word for word, but to actually try to do something different with it.

At first I wasn't too sure, then my idea finally came to me. I properly started getting into cooking when I started university, I knew I didn't just want to live off frozen and ready meals during my time as a student as I genuinely enjoyed making meals and cooking for my friends.

One of my all time favourite uni meals was fresh chicken with veg and rice - which meant I really got into trying out different seasonings. So I knew instantly that instead of using the seasoning in the way as instructed that I'd rub it over the chicken, leave it to fry a little bit and then roast it in the oven for an hour.

Ingredients:
- 5 x boneless chicken thighs
- Vegetables 
- Olive oil
- Dumpling mix
- A weak stock
- 1 x  Schwartz Chicken Casserole Mix

Step 1: I seasoned my chicken with my normal seasonings and poured my casserole mixture into a bowl. I took each boneless chicken thigh and coated it into the mixture. At the same time, I had some olive oil heating up in a frying pan. Once sizzling, I popped each chicken thigh into the pan and let them brown a little on both sides.

Step 2: Whilst waiting for the chicken to brown for around 10 minutes, I saved a little bit of casserole mixture and added into my dumpling mixture, to come back to 35 minutes before the chicken and carrots would be done.

Step 3: I then used another hob to create a slight watery weak stock mix, so that the chicken wouldn't dry out in the oven and to retain as much flavour as possible.

Step 4: It was then time to preheat the oven as the chicken and stock mixture were almost ready to be combined. For this I set my oven to 190 fan or Gas Mark 5.

Step 5: I combined everything together, ready to cook for 1 hour before being served.

Step 6: When there was 35 minutes left, I then began to knead the rest of the casserole mixture, dumpling mixture and water together to make a dough. I managed to make four large dumplings all together, all in all it took under 10 minutes to prep. I then took the food in the oven to turn over the chicken and add all four dumplings to the top of the mix.

Potentially not the most delicious looking but I can assure you both my boyfriend and I absolutely loved it. As there was just two of us eating and the portions were rather big, we didn't have anything else with it - however if I was to create this meal again for more than just two of us, I would have most likely served it with either rice or new potatoes (all the carbs).

We loved how all the flavours just worked so well together. Agreeing equally that the chicken was so juicy and flavoursome but our favourite was hands down the dumplings - there was a hint of spice we felt that the casserole mixture added to the dumplings, which is why we loved it!

Have you ever made a casserole?

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Schwartz, however all opinions are my own.




22:24

Beauty // NYX Cosmetics Eyebrow Fill & Fluff Review

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Hey lovelies,

Better late than never for a new post, right? well, I'm back with a whole heap of new beauty recommendations. 
NYX - Fill & Fluff Eyebrow Pomade Pencil. RRP: £10.00

I've been on the hunt for the few past years for the perfect eyebrow product. Boy Brow by Glossier is also one of my all time faves but having to continuously order a new bottle every time, just wasn't convenient for me.

Whilst browsing in Boots a few weeks ago, I came across this product in the NYX aisle. It's available in 8 different shades in Ash Brown, Auburn, Black, Blonde, Brunette, Chocolate, Espresso and Taupe. It's actually quite refreshing to find a product that's darkest shade is actually black. I personally think my face better suits dark eyebrows rather than a dark brown. It's actually quite rare to find a high street brand that's eyebrow products shade range goes up to black.

It's dual ended, with a pomade pencil on one side and a brush for blending on the flip side. I'm already on my second one, which shows just how much I love it! I think it's super easy to use and leaves your eyebrows looking professionally done.

Pros:
  • Easy to use to create immaculate looking brows
  • A variety of shades
  • Great formula
Cons:
  • Product runs out quite fast
  • Can smudge a bit
Overall score: 5/5
What's your favourite eyebrow product?



17:35

Beauty // Primark Beauty Lipsticks Review

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Hey lovelies,
   
I guess I'm a blogger again? hello and welcome to my blog. I'm Vanese a 24 Londoner and I've been blogging on and off since 2012. I kind of fell out of love with blogging and got busy trying to figure out proper adult life after uni. However, the past few weeks I just couldn't help but notice that there was such a lack on platforms giving suggestions to WOC on beauty products. 

I have always been a beauty lover and I seem to accumulate so many beauty products every year, so I really wanted to create my little space on the internet that could potentially help other women looking for great beauty recommendations. 
PS... Vintage Rose £1.50
PS... Naked Flame £1.50

I am literally such a fan girl for anything and EVERYTHING Primark. I've had a few of their beauty products over the years but I'd say the last year or so Primark's PS... beauty section has really come thruuu. The prices and the quality of the products I've tried have truly been amazing.

I picked up these two shades whilst picking up some last minute holiday essentials. I'm actually quite surprised at just how much I've used these. As you can see, I've used Vintage Rose a heck of a lot and Naked Flame only once, I just find that Vintage Rose went a lot more better with my makeup looks, which is usually a bold pink look. It's weird to me because when I was around 16-18 I enjoyed spending my weekly college money on makeup, I'd always try to save for brands like MAC because I thought the higher the price, the better quality. Ha, I remember when I got my first job in my first year of uni and spent £26 on a Chanel lipstick that was so overpriced and just not that great. However, nowadays I live for Primark, Revolution, NYX and Fenty Beauty... just to name a few. I've realised it's not about the price but the actual formula itself.

These were such a steal for £1.50 and I also got two lip liners to go with my shades too. The lip liners are so creamy and just glide on so beautifully. I can feel that big things are coming for Primark! So, my overall thoughts? I would rate these 9/10. My reasoning is because they feel just as great as high end brands I've tried. I wasn't really sure what to expect when I picked them up but they've given me the urge to do an ultimate PS... splurge. The only criticism I could give is that they are meant to be matte but the formula isn't that matte. I usually test this theory by kissing my boyfriend when we part ways to work (l o l) on the occasions I've worn one of these shades, my boyfriend ends up with a fade of rosy lips.

Have you tried any products from the PS... range?


21:56

Lifestyle // Lindt Bear Advent Calendar Competition*

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                                                                                                      Hey lovelies,

My favourite time of the year is finally upon us. CHRISTMAS! I love that in England as soon as Halloween and Bonfire Night are over, the Christmas preparations finally begin. My all time favourite way to countdown is with a good advent calendar. 

The lovely WOW FreeStuff currently have the most fabulous Christmas competition on at the minute. It's a chance for you to win your very own 
Lindt Bear Advent Calendar. Having actually been given one of these advent calendars last year by my boyfriend, I can confirm that it was incredibly delicious and made the countdown even better.


Box Contents 
Lindt Bear & Gold Reindeer Milk Chocolate
Lindt Swiss Milk Chocolate Napolitains
Lindor mini milk Chocolate Truffles with a Smooth Melting Filling (44%)
Milk Chocolate Snowdrops with a Creamy Double Milk Filling (44%)


Terms  & Conditions for the competition 
This competition ends on 24th November 2018
By entering you agree to sign up to WOW FreeStuff Newsletter 
Must be over 18 and based in the UK




22:37

Lifestyle // Things I've Learnt Since Moving In With My Boyfriend

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Hey lovelies, 

Long time no blog. Do I even still count as a blogger? Uni life really took its toll on me the last four years and I am so pleased to have officially finished. So whilst I look for the perfect job in Beauty PR, I have more free time to do the things I used to love.

If you don't follow me on social media, you probably won't have seen my continuous postings of myself and my delicious SNACK of a boyfriend, Dan. It's crazy how life works, this time last year I was pining for boys with questionable intentions, wondering if I would ever find love. THANKFULLY, life gave me a break and with the help of Bumble and my opening liner of 'Hey Dan' I managed to secure the ting (lol). Fast forward a few months, we'll be celebrating a year together next month which makes my heart so happy and last month we moved in together! So I thought this post would be perfect as a kind of  memory of what I've learnt so far whilst living with Dan and as a little note to any couples who might not know what to expect when moving in together.

1/ Everyone will automatically assume that you're expecting or engaged
This is certainly not our case. We just both personally felt like we were ready to take the leap into living with each other. Over the past almost year we pretty much spent every day of summer together and every weekend together whilst I was in High Wycombe for uni. We learnt that we loved being together but we were desperate for our own space. However, this doesn't stop us being asked constantly whether we're expecting or when wedding hats should be bought... Not anytime soon.

2/ Relationship weight gain is REAL
My goodness, when my friends talked about gaining weight whilst especially in their first year of a relationship, I didn't realise how much I would relate to it. On my first date with Dan we went to a food festival and I refused to eat because I was so nervous, as well as it taking me five hours to finish a cider because I was so damn shy (I didn't even finish it). Our first few dates were pretty much spent awkwardly playing around with food and deeming ourselves 'not hungry' when we both knew it was just nerves. I honestly thought I would never be able to eat properly in the relationship but that suddenly changed.

 I am literally so greedy, I inhale my food, Dan's food and still have the cheek to tell him I need more food. Thankfully I don't deem this as a bad thing at all. I am glad that we're more than comfortable eating around each other and that a Deliveroo or Just Eat are ok to eat more than once a week.... :)

3/ I always seem to be cleaning
This is more of a shady point for whenever Dan reads my blog. I am someone that pretty much can't handle a plate sitting in the sink over night, so I prefer to get all the cleaning out the way. However, how many times am I going to have to tell this boy to help out. I always seem to be washing his dirty pants or something whilst he sits and plays GTA. In all honesty, I got a bit stressed at first but thankfully Dan came through and helps out more. Plus, cleaning has its perks of receiving flowers or getting a Chinese bought for you!

4/ It was the best decision!
Lastly, I've come to realise that moving in together was honestly one of the best joint decisions we've ever made. As anyone would, I thought about the possibilities that things could instantly go wrong, however I am loving every minute of living with my best friend. It genuinely feels so exciting going to bed together and waking up together. Even little things like having dinner and talking about how both our days were. If you both agree it's what you want, then bite the bullet and go for it!


Do you and your partner live together yet? 




16:35

Lifestyle // Photo Diary - Northern Ireland

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Hey lovelies
My first post of 2018. I've given up trying to apologise to myself and anyone who continues to stop by, for my declining rate of posts. Life is busy, especially considering there's just weeks to go until i am finished with university life forever. Anyway, i will save that for another post.

Two weeks ago was a big weekend for me, I went on my first EVER HOLIDAY. Aside from a family trip to Great Yarmouth that i vaguely remember when i was younger, holiday's haven't really been a thing for me. This was such a special holiday for me, for many reasons. Not only was it a first proper one, which meant actually going to an airport and getting to explore the whole of duty free. It was so special to me as it was my first holiday with my boyfriend and a special occasion to meet family members of his that i hadn't met before. *SIDE NOTE: who knew going through security could be so weird? during our first security search through Heathrow i was told by a member of staff to lift my hands up and say 'Tupac is alive... and during my security search in Belfast i got stopped as i forgot to put my hand sanitiser in with my liquids.. Oops.* 

We were so lucky to be greeted with sun as soon as we touched down in Belfast. It pretty much stayed sunny for the majority of our weekend, aside from a few rainy spells. We stayed in the cutest little pink Airbnb in Dundrum with the most gorgeous view of the beach out back. We really made the most of our holiday with so much exploring and SO much food. I had the most amazing breakfast and dinner cooked by Dan's family and on the day his family were all heading back home, we stopped for lunch at a place called The Bucks Head, I've never had such an amazing three course meal in my life! If any of you ever find yourself over in Dundrum, you must stop by!

My boyfriend has been to Northern Ireland on a number of occasions, so we definitely weren't short of places to visit. One of my favourite places to visit had to be Castlewellan Forest Park and trying to find our way out of the Peace Maze.. yeah, i sucked at trying to get us out. We almost headed to Tollymore Forest Park which some scenes of Game of Thrones were filmed at, but the bad weather let us down.

One of my favourite things about this holiday was getting to be behind a camera. Whilst my blogging hasn't been the best over the past few months, i feel like my photography skills are getting somewhat stronger. I had such an incredible time and i'm hoping it isn't long until i'm back in Northern Ireland or onto my next adventure!






09:34

Lifestyle // My Beauty PR Summer Internship Experience + Tips

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                                                                                                             Hey lovelies,
It's been ages since I last sat down and wrote a proper post. Over the summer I interned for PR agency CCD PR in Soho, London. I can honestly say I by far had one of the best summers EVER!! They specialise in natural beauty, health, fitness, food and drink. I interned for the beauty team alongside my two colleagues Amber and Amanda, who were incredible to work with. I just wanted to write this post as firstly a way of looking backing on a really great experience and also a bit of a look into what I got up to during my internship, for anyone who might be considering an internship or specifically a Beauty PR one.


How did you get your internship?
I was coming to the end of my second year at university and knew that I really wanted to gain some form of experience in PR, considering next summer I should *hopefully* be in a real adult job after completing my third and final year of university. I finished my second year of university last May and started looking around for internships at the start of that month. I managed to come across an ad on Indeed for a beauty intern at CCD PR, I then sent over an email with my CV and had an interview with the beauty director and a colleague the following week. 

I was only meant to be interning for two weeks but was kindly asked if I'd like to stay on until I started university again in September.

Was your internship paid or unpaid?
Mine was a travel expenses paid internship, which was great because London travel really adds up. The majority of the internships that I came across were either travel expenses paid or a weekly pay. There has been a lot of talk for quite some time now on banning unpaid internships that last over a month, which I highly agree with. Some people may be able to afford to intern without getting some form of pay, but for a lot of people and myself especially, If I wasn't able to get my travel paid for then I definitely wouldn't have been able to intern for as long as I did. 

What did a typical week look like?
Every week was so exciting, I can genuinely say there wasn't a single day where I was bored. Each morning would start off with checking to see if any of the beauty team clients had any coverage for the day in different publications. Then other day to day tasks could vary from writing blog posts for clients, sending out samples to bloggers and journalists, picking up supplies, updating the Instagram, writing communications, liaising with bloggers and so much more. It was so nice to be in Central London too, I really made the most of the beautiful summer evenings after work and met up with friends I hadn't seen for months and also finally got to meet up with the lovely Roxii after literally speaking for years. 

What did you wear?
The dress code in the office was really chilled. So I mostly chose to wear skirts and dresses because it was absolutely scorching HOT. I really felt like I was channeling my inner Carrie Bradshaw. There was a really big mirror as soon as you stepped into the building and every morning, I was no stranger to taking a selfie or 10...

Do you have any tips on how to land an internship?
I would firstly say that the best sites I would recommend for finding internships would be Indeed, Internwise, Brighter Box and Fashion Workie, along with searching on Twitter or brands websites. New internships are advertised daily, so just keep on the lookout. It's also such a good idea to link to any of your personal work that your chosen internship might enjoy having a read of. When I applied for my internship I mentioned my blog when I applied and went for my interview. It was great to talk about my blog and how I thought it could benefit me in my internship role.

I had such a wonderful time interning and I am so thankful to everyone at CCD PR for making my internship so enjoyable and for all the giggles!










                                           




16:20

Lifestyle // Winter Night In - Essentials*

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Hey lovelies,
Well, my favourite season is finally upon us. There is nothing I love more than the lead up to Christmas and all the cosy little nights in. I wanted to write this post and give you guys some recommendations and inspiration if any of you are stuck on what to do for nights in.


- Netflix 
I think I have near enough watched everything on Netflix, no joke. I just finished watching season 2 of Stranger Things the other week and am living for the weekly episodes of Riverdale (highly recommend) recently I have loved getting super cosy up in my room when my sister or boyfriend have been over, with a warm hot chocolate in one hand and my 10th snack of the day in the other (LOL, I wish I could say I was kidding) along with the super cool multicoloured lamp gifted by my bae and some speakers to make the experience even better. If you too want to make your Netflix binge watching experience even better, than I recommend checking out some of the Panasonic Wireless Speakers* to help with just that.

- Meal 
I have really fallen back in love with cooking over the past few weeks after moving back to uni. After getting together with my boyfriend over the summer and him probably thinking that my diet really does only consist of chicken nuggets (partly true) and no cooking, it's been nice showing him what I can actually whip up in the kitchen. One meal that we have both recently been obsessed with is our own take on Nando's chicken thighs, peri salted chips and garlic bread. It's a cheaper alternative and taste even better knowing that we made it.

-  Christmas Prep 
Did I already say how freakin' excited I am for Christmas?? sorry to mention the fact that I actually have a BOYFRIEND again.. (another human actually thinks I'm beautiful and wants to spend his time with me shock...) but his birthday is a few days before Christmas, so I have been having the time of my life sorting out what to get him for both occasions.. He is in for a real treat! with it being so cold outside, it's nice to just be inside and start planning for Christmas! 


How do you like to spend your Winter nights in?







 

16:52

Summer Wardrobe Tips for UK Men*

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The other day I was thinking about how tricky it is to put together the right summer wardrobe. When you live in the UK, you are never sure what the weather is going to do. As a result, you really need to be ready for pretty much everything. There is plenty of advice about how to put together a versatile and smart summer wardrobe for women, but not much advice on this subject for men. So,today, I have decided to feel the gap and come up with a few summer wardrobe tips that you can share with the men, and boys, in your life.

Capsule swim shorts 
For warmer days, a pair of capsule swim shorts, like the ones you can buy here, is perfect. The fact they are made from lightweight fabric means that they can easily be slipped on under a pair of jeans or joggers. When the morning has warmed up, the jeans or trousers can be removed to reveal the shorts underneath. Plus, of course, these shorts make great swimwearIn fact, if you are planning a holiday it is well worth getting your man, or boysto pack a couple of pairs of capsule swim shorts. Best of all, these versatile shorts do not take up much space in the case.

Chinos
This year, chinos are very much back in style. They look good on practically any man. Now that you can buy them in a range of colours and cuts it is easy to find a style that works for practically every age group. A pair of classic five-pocket chinos is a particularly good addition to a man´s summer wardrobe. They are smart enough to be worn with a jacket for a meal in a nice a restaurant, but can just as easily be worn with a t-shirt as an alternative to jeans. The other nice thing about chinos is that they are traditionally made from 100% cotton, which allows the skin to breathe naturally. Something wearers really appreciate on the days the sun pops out from behind the clouds.




Polo shirts
Polo shirts are also traditionally made from cotton. The fact that the fabric is loose weave makes them especially comfortable to wear when it is hot. This year, men´s fashion designers have had a bit of fun with this classic. There are some really great polo shirts available, so there is no need to just wear a boring plain one. 


Long sleeved shirts
Given the fact that the UK weather is so changeable it really is wise to have a couple of long-sleeved garments on hand. A good quality denim shirt can easily be slipped on over a t-shirt and worn as an alternative to a jacket, which is great on a day whenthe weather is variable. There are plenty of nice-looking and affordable men´s denim shirts available in UK shops, right now.

hat or baseball cap
It is also worth wearing a hat. On a hot day, it keeps the sun off of the head, and if, (or should I say when)it rains stops the wearer´s hair from getting wet.

Where to get more ideas
If you have enjoyed this post, and are looking for men´s fashion tips to help your man to look as good as possible, try this article. It is all about putting together a stylish minimalist wardrobe for a man. Interestingly, a lot of the tips in the article apply equally to both sexes, so it is well worth browsing through.