The Dream Team

Meet Brave. Meet Soar. Otherwise known as the 'Dream Team' because combined together, they just create all sorts of beautiful magic. Worn together, I can't help but feel like a bona fide bombshell (excuse my pathetic attempt of channeling my inner Megan Fox in the photo above) Between you and me, the obsession with achieving the Kylie Jenner lip was and still is beyond my understanding. Back when the whole thing kicked off out of nowhere and quickly spread like wildfire, I was ready with my fire blanket to put out the flames. Why did every single girl suddenly wanted to rock brown nude lip shades? I guess the influence of the Kardashians/Jenners over our lives was greater than we thought. To the point that young girls were risking their health and safety by participating in the #kyliejennerchallenge .People, why?

I never meant to join the bandwagon, but the constant raves about Mac Soar (as per Kim, this is one of the lip liners that Kylie wears regularly) got me searching for this most wanted convict (Clearly I've been watching too many episodes of Prison Break. Lincoln Burrows, call me ;) ).  Seriously, it was constantly sold out E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E. I managed to track this elusive lip pencil by stalking Brown Thomas religiously for weeks until one blessed day, it finally arrived on my doorstep. So what exactly is the deal with SOAR? And more importantly, is it worth the hype and trouble of tracking it down? The answer? YES!

Soar is a cool toned deep mauve-pink. The rosy tone of the shade stops it from looking ashy and washing out my complexion. Soar is not my first lip pencil from Mac. Cherry got there first, but as of writing, it's been missing for the last 8 months. (I'm still grieving. It's pretty hard to move on from that one). The texture and formula of Soar quickly reminded me of what I have lost and come to love about this offering from Mac. In terms of formula, Mac lip pencils are on top of the lip liner hierarchy. Smooth and creamy, it glides easily without tugging on the lips. Despite a matte finish, it's pretty non-drying. All that and it's incredibly pigmented and long-lasting? No wonder why I'm happy to sport Soar on its own.

Whilst I enjoy wearing Soar by its lonesome, it's twice as fun having Mac Brave around. Brave is a soft medium pink  with a satin finish. It leans fairly on the cool side when I wear it on its own, but paired with Soar's deep rosy-mauve tones? They're best friends for life. Truth be told, Soar is that kind of shade that would simply get on well with just about any pink-toned lipsticks. It's also the perfect companion to Patisserie. It looks amazing when put in a tandem with a nude, but looks equally beautiful and wearable on its own. Defining and making lips appear fuller in an instant.

I am madly in love with this lip combination, hence why I am getting through them at a worrying speed. Must I try to put a stop to this love affair for the sake of the well-being of my purse? I don't think so.


Lily Rose Co.

Just like any girl in the world, I have a deep appreciation and love for all things beautiful. I love looking at pretty things (duh, who doesn't?). There's one online shop in particular that I enjoy stalking visiting because I'm guaranteed to fall in love with every single item. The one and only Lily Rose Co formerly known as Gift&Pieces. Run and owned by the lovely lifestyle blogger Abby this one stop shop to satisfy one's lust for items worthy of the heart-eyed emoji offers a range of modern and chic home decor, beautiful gift ideas, stationery and even wedding supplies. My self -control is always tested whenever I click on the website. If only I didn't have to be a responsible adult, I'd happily spend my monthly wages. But my guilty conscience always prevails. However, there were two occasions when my inner Becky Bloomwood came out to play. The items featured here were purchased way back in September 2014 and February 2015. (Links to items still available are included).

With the help of Lily Rose Co, I'm:

Sipping on my favorite beverage-hot chocolate from these two adorable mugs. The Polka Dot Monogrammed Mug with my initial D caught my eye first. The distinctive gold handle and aqua coloured polka dots just melted my heart. As for the Hello Beautiful Powder Blue and Silver Birdy Mug  (£9.20) I can't help but smile whenever I drink my daily dose of coffee because the Hello Beautiful message engraved inside is an instant mood booster. My very own cheerleader. :)

Preserving my favorite memories with the Rustic White Square Photo Frame. I have yet to actually print out a photo to place here, but I have every intention of doing so ASAP. Because as much as I love Instagram, I long to go back to old fashioned ways of admiring photos. And this one is right up my alley because I'm loving its vintage shabby chic look.                                                                                                            

Holding small tea light candles in this cute Watering Can Tea Light Holder #toomuchcuteness #icant

Displaying my favorite nail polishes on this Eiffel Tower Jewellery Dish. Since I'm allergic to nickel, jewellery is pretty much a no go for me. So I thought of using this dish as a beautiful way to showcase my nail polish picks (Yep, Essie Fiji occupies a permanent spot here)

Keeping random knicks- knacks such as bobby pins out of harm's way in this simple but useful Everything Starts With A Dream Storage Box (£3.00)  because I have a habit of losing pins all the time. While I've owned about 190582364745 bobby pins, on any given day, I'm left possessing only two. How it happens will forever remain a mystery to me.

Speaking of keeping things out of harm's way, I'm keeping a close eye on my iPhone with the help of this White Wooden iPhone Stand (£4.00) because while I'm an adult,  there are days when I lose my iPhone right in the comfort of our home. Then a mini heart attack ensues. To prevent that, this chic stand serves a very useful purpose. No need to ask my family to give me a call to locate my missing phone. Hallelujah.

Storing my eye brushes and favorite eye and lip products in these clear Decorative Glass Love Birds Small and Medium Vase. The love birds perched on top of the glasses is enough to make you believe in love and squeal with delight. I love these storage solutions for how elegant and sleek they look on top of my dressing table.

My collection of gorgeous Lily Rose Co items stops here. For now. Come payday, I think my inner Becky Bloomwood is coming out to play once more. Damn. #dangerdanger I'd highly recommend browsing through Lily Rose Co. as the items are just to die for and would instantly beautify your home. As for their customer service? I've had several issues including one broken and missing item, but Abby was always helpful and attentive with quick responses, offering a refund and replacement. Good customer service is what keeps customers coming back and I'm happy to report that Lily Rose Co. have it in spades.


I spy.... a rather big Boots haul.

Breaking news: I can't set foot in Boots unsupervised, because left to my own devices, I'd end up shopping for the entire of Ireland. I'd end up walking away with a million and one products I truly don't need which brings us here, folks. I call it the got to catch 'em all syndrome. It's pretty bad and there's no cure. Not like I'm going out of my way to find one. In fact, I've spent some serious amount on cosmetics in the last few weeks. Let's just say that the word regret is not in my vocabulary.

While I have a solid base wardrobe that's currently serving me well (I'm still 1289745 inches deep in love with Bourjois CC Cream) the beauty addict in me wanted to road test other foundations. L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hour Foundation in 235 Honey is a pretty reliable option for evening out the complexion and covering blemishes without masking. The thick consistency is not something I'm normally used to. Most of my favorite bases such as Bourjois CC Cream and Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum have a runny consistency that blends so seamlessly into the skin. but surprisingly this offering from L'Oreal blends easily as well. It provides a medium to high coverage without leaving the face in a cakey mess. As it's enriched with hydrating hyaluron, I find that it's very comfortable to wear and very forgiving on the ol' dry patches. Plus points? My dry skin is loving the radiant finish. I'm rather besotted with it. The consistency of Maybelline Dream Flawless Nude Foundation in 40 Fawn is the complete opposite. It's definitely more watery, hence it applies so easily. I prefer using my fingers with this one as the heat from my fingertips just makes it easier to apply.For a foundation that is so weightless on the skin, it offers an impressive virtually flawless coverage. Although gals with acne scars etc may need to enlist the help of concealers.

I rarely use powder to set my make-up in place as I constantly suffer from dry patches (I swear I drink my 8 glasses of water a day) but I also suffer from oily t-zone throughout the day. The majority of the time, I'm usually in the comfort of my own home when my face resembles a frying pan but for days when I'm 99.9% sure I'm going to need some mattifying action, I purchased Bourjois Health Balance Powder in 53 Light Beige to help combat shine and this lightweight, finely milled pressed powder does a stellar job. Banishes any unwanted shine, it sets foundation beautifully (This is a must-have when I use the Healthy Mix Serum) whilst still retaining some sheen thus my complexion never looks flat. In short, this baby mattifies, but it knows where to draw the line. Awesome. 

These past few weeks, I barely recognise myself in the mirror anymore. What makes me say that? Well, I've gone from not wearing mascara at all, to wearing it every. single. day. Trust me, I'm very suprised too. Gone are the days when I wouldn't give them the time of day. I never bothered with them as I found them too time consuming to apply and for what? In exchange of little to no effect on my lashes? Hell no, this girl ain't got the time. But then I picked up Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde mascara and now I'm freaking obsessed with lashing on the stuff as if there's no tomorrow. To make up for lost time, I went ahead and picked up two more mascaras in the form of Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara and Max Factor Masterpiece Glamour Extensions in the span of a week. Yes a week. The Bourjois mascara is great at volumising and lengthening. The thick wand grabs every lash, coats them with the jet black formula  and leaves them looking ten times better. My only gripe with the formula is that it smudges so at the end of the day, I've to be prepared to say hi to panda eyes, but I can live with that. The Maybelline one is rather clever. The wand contains small inner bristles that captures each lash even the teeny tiny ones, lengthening them in the process. Simply rotate the wand to use the outer bristles and it builds up where the tiny bristles left off. Volumising thus creating fuller looking lashes without clumping. As for the Max Factor? I haven't tried it yet so I can't give my two cents.

Speaking of not trying products yet, I purchased L'Oreal Infallible Mattifying Base and Bourjois Happy Light Matte Serum Primer but haven't given them a try. I don't know why I went for two mattifying primers considering I love a good dewy complexion. Told you, I don't recognise myself anymore. WHO are you?!?

I'm a massive fan of the Bourjois Color Boost Crayons and for good reason. Glossy, pigmented and hydrating, it's easy to see why I'm smitten. Bourjois brought out new shades earlier on this year and Sweet Macchiato a brown toned warm berry shade joined Orange Punch and Red Sunrise in my collection. Like its siblings, it's a must-have.

Are french manicures and pedicures still a thing? According to Sali Hughes it's a resounding no and I quote from her Pretty Honest book ''French manicures are absolutely not invited to join the twenty-first century'' I love Sali, but I beg to disagree. Call me old-fashioned, but a couple of weeks ago, I felt nostalgic and as a massive throwback to my 15 year old self obsessed with pink nail polish combined with bright white tips, I bought the Bourjois French Manicure Kit. Because sometimes, you have to be a rebel.

From the moment Essie Fiji entered the scene, I've spent quite a lot of time day dreaming about the next shade deserving a place in my collection (only A-listers are allowed). It was a close fight between Mint Candy Apple, Bordeaux and Lilacism, but in the end I ended up going for the Essie Wedding Collection because hello, the cuteness. This mini set includes Hubby For Dessert (love the name) a pale milky lilac, Vanity Fairest a sheer shimmery baby pink and Brides No Grooms (Essie is killing me with the cuteness) a bright pink.These trio got me wishing I was heading to the altar already. Question is, which shade is the ONE? All three shades are super duper easy to apply. I like that a lot.

Because I live by the mantra that a girl can never have enough brushes to paint her daily masterpiece, as soon as I found out that Sam and Nic Chapman were releasing the Bold Metals Collection, a new line of luxe brushes, I knew it was only a matter of time before I succumbed. Out of all the brushes available, the 301 Flat Contour brush got my full attention. I suppose, a never ending contouring obsession does that to a person. Honestly, I haven't given this a road test yet as I'm saving it for when I get my hands on the Charlotte Tilbury Norman Parkinson Filmstar Bronze and Glow. I have the powder version , but I see this brush working best with cream formulas, hence the waiting game. July, pls come soon. A full report card will be up when I finally put it to the test, but for now? Let's just admire the pretty rose gold packaging.

Right at this point, I think it's time I surrender my debit card and Boots Advantage Card to someone, but not before I pick up more Essie polishes. #noselfcontrol


The Gym Playlist

Gym. I love and loathe it in equal measure. Nothing beats the high you get after a good session of sweating your derriere off, owing to that quick burst of endorphins that floods your bloodstream.  But the actual process of lifting your ass off  the couch and drag it all the way to the dungeon of terror? (yes, I sometimes refer to it as that) is another matter entirely. THE EFFORT!!!!! But you know what helps to set the wheels in motion?  A reliable playlist that you can rely on to support you in your quest to become the next Victoria's Secret Angel (I'd just settle for looking less like a big toe). Below are my picks. The songs included either have a sick beat or inspiring and motivational lyrics.

When you'd rather pull both eyeballs out than run like an eejit on the treadmill: 
Work Bitch by Britney Spears
I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas
Let's Go by Calvin Harris ft Ne-Yo
Masterpiece by Jessie J
I Will Never Let You Down by Rita Ora

As you enter the gym, you want to raise your morale as high as it could go, fake your confidence and pretend you know exactly what you're doing by listening to:
Who Dat Girl by Flo Rida ft Akon
This Girl by Laza Morgan
Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani
Hypnotized by Plies ft Akon

Working on your glutes, quads and hamstrings? Work through your squats with:
Booty by Jennifer Lopez ft Iggy Azalea
Booty Wurk by T-Pain ft Joey Galaxy
My Humps by The Black Eyed Peas
With Legs Like That by Zebrahead

For that moment you find yourself in pure agony, going _ km/hr on the treadmill, dripping in sweat, cheeks so red, heart beating so fast and your mind screams ''Pls, no more. I beg you. You ain't an Olympian sprinter. Who do you think you are? Usain Bolt?'' 
Bounce by Iggy Azalea
Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding (that 3rd round of chorus after the verse that starts with 'Yeah, I'll let you set the pace?' Works like a charm. Every. Damn. Painful. Time.) 
Dirrty by Christina Aguilera 'sweat dripping over my body'
Church by T-Pain
You Gotta Want It by Jordin Sparks
Shawty Get Loose by Lil Mama ft Chris Brown and T-Pain

We all know that cardio is boring, so spice up your workout and power through the elliptical/ stationary bike/rowing machine with these jams:
Mama by Christopher
I'm A Freak by Enrique Iglesias
Bailando by Enrique Iglesias
La La La by Naughty Boy ft Sam Smith
Show Me The Money by Petey Pablo
Dangerous Love by Fuse ODG ft Sean Paul
Break Free by Ariana Grande ft Zedd
Last Friday Night by Katy Perry
Fire Burning by Sean Kingston
369 by Cupid ft B.o.B
Ayo by Chris Brown ft Tyga
Papi by Jennifer Lopez
Famous by Charli XCX
Goodies by Ciara ft Petey Pablo
1, 2 Step by Ciara ft Missy Elliot
Timber by Pitbull ft Kesha

You're down to your last few reps of lifting weights etc, but while your mind is crying out for you to keep pushing, deep in your heart you just want to walk out already. Push through that boundary and train like a breast by bringing out the big guns:
Numb by Linkin Park 
Lose Yourself by Eminem
Fighter by Christina Aguilera 
More by Usher ''I'm a beast, I'm an animal, I'm that Monster in the mirror.... Gonna push it to the limit, give it more''

At last you've finished your workout. It sure wasn't easy. You're sweaty Betty, but boy does it feel so damn good. Bask in your hard-earned post workout glow by blaring out: 
Pretty Girls by Britney Spears & Iggy Azalea
Fancy by Iggy Azalea ft Charli XCX ''hot girl, hands off, don't touch that. Look at that, I bet you wishing you could clutch that''
Beautiful by Akon ft Colby O'Donis
On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons

You've earned those sweat patches, go rock them girlfriend....