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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Halloween Lookbook

Halloween is fast approaching so you have to go all out and dress up, right? Wrong. You can still have fun with Halloween looks without splashing out on a crazy costume you'll never wear again. The high street has exploded with spooky prints and colours that you can work into a boring outfit. After scouring social media and magazines, I've picked out some of my favourite pieces for you.

First up, a simple bat print tee (HERE) from ASOS. This is perfect if you're only looking to add a hint of Halloween in your wardrobe. You could definitely get away with wearing this all year round with a skater skirt, patterned tights and buckled ankle boots to give a casual outfit an edgier look.

Every girl needs a little black dress (if you'll excuse the cliche) so why not vamp it up by opting for a cobweb style lace design? Classic and chic, there are so many flattering choices to suit all body shapes such as this elegant piece (HERE) from Boohoo. Perfect for a night out or pair with cute cat ears and whiskers for an easy costume idea.
If you're a little more adventurous with fashion, try a pair of pumpkin orange jeans. This pair from ASOS (HERE) can be elegantly styled with a simple black or white shirt and heels for an effortlessly cool daytime look, popular with the likes of celebs such as Victoria Beckham and Eva Longoria. 

As the weather's getting colder, waterproof boots are an absolute essential to keep you dancing through the winter. For an edgy look go for a sturdy pair of Doc Martens (HERE). Try a ghostly white teamed with black shorts and tights and create a rock chic look. 

The easiest way to add a bit of spook to your outfit is to accessorize. Since the release of the iconic Alexander McQueen piece, skull print scarfs are a massively popular trend. This design, again from ASOS (HERE) is a much cheaper alternative to add a little extra statement to your outfit.

Polish up your look with a pop of colour on your nails. If you're creative with a nail pen, try some of these spooky ideas. 

Love Anna x

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

October Favourites

I can't believe it's already November, where did October go? Did it even happen? Where has 2013 gone? Is this an existential crisis? I'd better get on with the post before December 2072 arrives!

So over the last month i've acquired two new pieces of fashion jewellery featuring pearl designs (all fake obviously do I look like the sort of person with money to spare on real gold and pearls?). The first is a ring I got from Miss Selfridge (£6) and the second a bracelet my boyfriend bought for me from one of my favourite websites, Etsy. I've been wearing both a lot as I feel I need a bit of girly elegance in my boringish outfits. If you saw my last favourites post you may notice a theme occuring with harry potter related jewellery!

I was introduced to my next favourite by other beauty bloggers. I'll let you take a moment to absorb the prettiness of it... Basically it's an app called CocoPPa which lets you download shortcuts to your smartphone apps. There are lots of different designs to choose from to style up your homescreen to look something like this. You can find this on the App Store, Google Play or Android Market and it's absolutely free!

In my ongoing battle against my skin, I'm constantly on the hunt for a product that will actually help me. This month I bought the new L'Oreal Skin Perfection Purifying Gel Wash (£4.49) with fading hope. It could be a placebo effect, but I'm pretty sure it's making a difference to my spots, the unlucky few who get to see me bare face have also noticed the difference - which is excellent! I'll definitely be using this again. *Tip - I've recently discovered Calamine lotion works wonders on soothing reddish acne scars to reduce uneven complexion*

I wrote this post before going to bed and so didn't have time to paint my nails for a photo so this photo is courtesy of

Another beauty pick is the Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint (£2.79) in shade Passion Fruit. I love love love this range because they're so shiny they're practically reflective. The pigment is very strong with only one coat (although two coats are needed for staying power) and the Passion Fruit colour is a gorgeous corally orangey red, perfect for brightening up a dull misty morning.

One last thing I've been loving in October is an old school classic - Refreshers! I have no will power at all and got through maybe ten sweets at a time after realising they'd been released in these huge tubes for Christmas *hint hint*. YUM.

That's about it for my slightly random selections of October favourites, sorry I've not had many but i'm trying to cut back on mindless spending as I'm saving for driving lessons! Do comment below so I can have a nosey into what everyone else has been enjoying this month. :)

Love, Anna x

Monday, 28 October 2013

Song Of The Month | October

My favourite song this month comes from an artist relatively new to the UK, Lorde. Unless you've been in hibernation lately, you're probably familiar with her debut single, Royals. Despite looking about twenty six, she's actually only sixteen. Even more impressively, Lorde wrote the lyrics herself. This gives me a huge sense of failure as i'm seventeen and my closest achievement to date is receiving a smiley face sticker in year two for a stick people drawing of the royal family, *sigh*.

She has such a unique vocal that seems to appeal to a variety of music tastes. Not only is the tune both catchy and calming, the lyricism is fantastically truthful and down to earth. An unusual topic for a song, she sings about the unnecessary extravagant lifestyle of modern celebrities. Let's just hope she stays true to herself and doesn't do a Miley Cyrus.

Have a listen here if you haven't already.

Love, Anna x

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Being Seduced By Alex Turner | AM Review



For some years now I've been a huge Arctic Monkeys fan. In early September this year, they released a new album simply titled, AM. I've unashamedly not done a lot with my life other than listen to it solidly for the last two months.

From the first listen, Do I Wanna Know has been my definite favourite track because Alex Turner's voice is even more seductively moody than usual and his lyricism is sublime. The riff is a close rival to those in older songs such as I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor and makes me want to move to Sheffield, wear copious amounts of leather, learn guitar and be cool (something i've sadly not yet achieved). 

I really cannot fault the album and I'm so happy R U Mine is included because that has of course been one of my favourite ever songs since its release early last year. I recommend Snap Out Of It if you're having a bit of a down day because if a cheeky portion of apologetic Alex Turner doesn't make you smile, nothing will. Also worth a mention are Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High, Arabella and Knee Socks - all perfection! For a change, the whole album has a fairly continuous tone and the transition between songs is deliciously smooth. Dare I suggest that AM is the first Arctic Monkeys album where not a single track lets them down? If you've not yet bothered to listen to the whole album (seriously what have you been doing?) you should probably do so immediately, you owe it to your ears.

While i'm here, I can't help but express how utterly gorgeous Arctic Monkeys' cover of Drake's Hold On We're Going Home in the Radio 1 Live Lounge was. I didn't expect much from it as I'm really not into Drake at all. However, Alex Turner made it sound like some sort of beautifully composed piece of art. I'm so obsessed with this cover I now know a Drake song off by heart which is a bit embarrassing...

I'm sorry for unleashing my inner fan girl but sometimes these things can't be helped.
Love Anna x

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Maybelline Colour Tattoo Gel Cream Eyeshadow | Review

As usual I am absolutely skint. However, that's no excuse to miss out on a new season of makeup, so I decided to browse the high street for a cheap fix. Of course I marched straight into Superdrug (student discount anyone?). Since it's Autumn I felt I needed to to bring some warmth into my daily makeup routine, any shade of brown or burgundy has my vote and you can't go wrong with a smudge of glitter!

After seeing beauty bloggers rave reviewing Maybelline's Colour Tattoo Gel Cream Eyeshadow, I simply had to try it out. I'm not overly adventurous with make up so I plumped for the shimmery On and On Bronze, £4.99 - Bargain! I absolutely love this product already because the pigment can be applied lightly to give a delicate, natural glow yet is strong enough to be built up for a night out. A natural bronze eye suits absolutely all skin tones and hair colours and is perfect for a cosy yet glamorous look. It's also so easy to apply, I don't use a brush as I find it smooths on easily by finger. It claims to last for 24 hours. but that's a little longer than I care to wear make up for, so I can only report back that it stays put and crease free for a good 12 hours. I definitely recommend this product if you're searching for budget beauty this season.
Love, Anna x

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Bargain Beauty Essentials

As a student, my part time job only just stretches to covering the cost of learning to drive. The change is split between savings, food, clothes and makeup which means I have to buy everything on a budget. I find the high street caters to my every need and drugstores offer a wide selection of affordable, great quality makeup. I stick to a £10 maximum budget per item, but my favourites all come in under £7. Here are my bargain essentials!

Freederm Perfecting Moisturiser - £6.49

Over the years I've tried and disliked many moisturisers from No7 to Clinique and noticed that more expensive brands don't do a much better job than cheaper alternatives, so you don't need to waste money there. I found the Freederm Perfecting Moisturiser when I was looking for a face wash and was surprised as I'd previously only used 'makeup brand' moisturiser so never considered choosing one from a skincare brand. On reflection this seems idiotic, of course skin care experts will be better at helping your skin! At £6.49 this is one of the cheapest moisturisers i've purchased, but the best by a long chalk! It's oil free and claims to reduce spots, perfect for breakout prone skin like mine. I've been using this twice daily for months now and I still haven't run out so you really get your moneys worth. Although I've been doing lots of other things to help my skin, I've definitely noticed an improvement since using this product. It also helps makeup to sit better as without the oil, it doesn't slip right off your face by lunch time!

Vaseline Lip Therapy - £2.18

Forget all these new age 10 in 1 miracle lip treatments splattered all over the beauty counter, you can't go wrong with a trusty old tin of Vaseline. I apply this to my lips every night to stop them becoming dehydrated and to soothe any chapping. It's quite slippery so it's not the sort of thing you'd use under a lipstick but it does its job and keeps your lips lovely and kissable. I have the Rosy Lips version (the pink tin) which works great as a subtle tinted lipgloss and the Aloe Vera (green tin) which has better healing properties and smells really fresh. Other uses for this classic product include moisturising dry, bitten nails and (according to Georgia Nicholson) strengthening and lengthening your eyelashes!

Natural Collection Moisture Shine Lipstick - £1.99

I'd always been dubious of the Boots own brand Natural Collection, associating it with the sort of makeup experimental pre teens use. However, when I saw these lipsticks I couldn't resist - you can't go wrong for £1.99! There is actually an incredible selection of wearable shades for a value brand, mostly pretty pinks and nude tones. I picked up Rosebud, a natural medium pink with plum undertones and Raspberry, three shades darker pink with red undertones. I find the shades to be aptly named and well describe the colour. My only criticism is that these lipsticks only last a couple of hours before you need to reapply, but for £1.99 that's not a lot of bother and they fade equally rather than leaving the evil ring of doom around the edge of your lips so you don't look ridiculous.

Rimmel London Clear Complexion Clarifying Powder - £3.99

Welcome to the new and improved version of every girl's go to finishing powder, the Rimmel Stay Matte. I'd used that product for pretty much my entire makeup wearing life so to discover an updated mineral version designed to minimise outbreaks caused a very uncool mini jump for joy in the middle of Superdrug. This powder hands down the best in the business for reducing shine and helping your foundation to last longer. It promises "a shine free finish for up to 5 hours" which is true for my oily t zone, although it lasts even longer on the rest of my face and a quick touch up is no problem. I use the shade 021 Transparent which is good for all skin tones and doesn't counteract your foundation. Even the big beauty gurus love this one alongside their luxury brands, a unanimous 10/10!

Maybelline 24 Hour Colour Tattoo - £4.99

I've raved about these many times before so for full details see my main review. I love cream eyeshadows as they're much easier to use and this product is an absolute bargain for its amazing quality and durability. My favourite shade is On and On Bronze for a summery smokey eye but I love Pink Gold for a feminine touch and Timeless Black doubles up well as a gel eyeliner.

L'Oreal Superliner Perfect Slim - £6.99

This is my holy grail eyeliner, I have no idea how I survived the business of 'putting stuff on your face to make you pretty' before. If you like a bold, statement eye, this is the product for you. I've always found liquid eyeliner impossible to use, it's very wet and runny and just ends up printing a big mess on my lids. The Superliner has a much better formulation in the style of a felt tip pen, it's so easy to apply and the narrow tip makes cat flicks a breeze. I use the version Intense Black for an even stronger look. It will not budge or smudge all day, especially when combined with an eye primer and setting powder, yet washes off without any scrubbing needed. Dramatic eyes have never been so easy to achieve.

Simple Kind To Eyes Eye Makeup Corrector Pen - £4.99

For all you winged eyeliner fans out there, this is an absolute breakthrough product. A tiny smudge in your otherwise perfect wing requires some specialist handling; a cotton bud smudges, wipes are too big, back in the day this often meant having to redo the entire eye - sigh. Not any more, Simple have developed this Eye Makeup Corrector Pen which is the lovechild of a felt tip and an eraser. The narrow tip allows for easy removal of mistakes and smudges, also great for mascara prints when you open your eyes before it dries. As stated on the packaging, it is essential that you clean the tip after every single use or you'll just be adding to the mess, the easiest way I've found is with a flannel. This is such a useful product to keep in your handbag to neaten up your makeup throughout the day and the kind to skin formula ensures it doesn't irritate the delicate skin around your eyes.

So those are my bargain beauty essentials, they don't break the bank yet they're all amazing products and I'd favour them over designer brands any day. I'm also preparing an opposite post about beauty products that aren't worth their price tag so keep a look out for that. Do tell me in the comments if you have a cheap but very cheerful product I should try.
Love, Anna x

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Leather Jackets

Autumn/Winter 2013 and leather jackets are again a massively hot trend. Not only do they keep you snug and dry in the predictably rubbish British weather, they also compliment almost any outfit to make a statement. I've waited all Summer for it to be cold enough to wear mine again and my love for it is back and stronger than ever! If you haven't invested in one yet, you're really missing out so here are my top three from the high street.

                           3. New Look, £39.99                     Black (Black) Black Leather-Look Panel Waterfall Jacket | 269246501 | New Look
Flat chested ladies, this is the jacket for you! The main feature of this New Look jacket is the waterfall on the front panel (as you'd probably already noticed). The ruffles trick the eye and give the appearance of a fuller, more feminine figure, yay! Furthermore, they give it a much more interesting style which would really bring out the elegance of a simple outfit. It's also available in a creamy beige colour but I think traditional black is the way to go if you're looking for effortless glam. 

Okay so I'm a little biased towards this gorgeous jacket because it's the one I own. Nonetheless, I chose it for a reason didn't I? I love how it's figure hugging which is very flattering when worn with a thinner top underneath. The fur collar also stands out to me as I find it a lot more glamorous than the black fur collars which can look a bit tacky in my opinion. As for the price, £58 in Topshop is an absolute bargain, I've seen t shirts on sale for more than that! Unfortunately this has now been removed from the website due to being sold out so I linked you to it on eBay instead.

River Island Floral Hand Painted Leather Jacket - Lyst

I think i'm in love. The intricacy of this HAND PAINTED jacket is absolutely incredible and so unique! The design is so girly and autumnal, so so perfect for this season. Admittedly, the price is quite extortionate but if you splash out on one thing this year, let it be this timeless piece

So those are my top three high street leather jackets. I tried to find a range of prices to suit everyone but as these are so versatile and hard wearing, I definitely think they're worth their price tags.

Love Anna x

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Twenty One

Recently i've seen the '21 facts about me' tag floating around the blogosphere a lot and i'll probably join in on this at a later date. However, for now, I thought sharing my twenty one all time favourite songs with you would tell you enough about me. It took a lot of intense trawling through my iTunes library but after much deliberation I finally managed to narrow it down. *Dermot O'Leary voice* In no particular order, here are the winners!

I definitely think I have a song for every mood here; some I can sing my heart out to whilst dancing around home alone, some I can listen to peacefully when I can't sleep and every situation in between! They also span over a few decades from 1982-2013 which is interesting. Comment below if you share any of my favourite songs. :)

Love, Anna x