Wednesday, 30 September 2015

September in Instagram



1. September was a good month, started off with the Blogger's Festival in London with Scarlett London events.. Read my post here - Blogger's Festival with Scarlett London.

2. Blogger's Festival was followed by a night out in London with my favourite blogging girls, Karis and Tanya.

3. Dirty Martini in London was the venue for the Ldnmeetup blog event with the Southampton blogging girls. 

4. My mother and I spent the afternoon with Jo from Espa Southampton learning more about our skin types and being shown how to do at home facials. 

5. I love Starbucks new Autumn cups! 

6. A group of girls from the Southampton Bloggers network were invited to Grand Harbour's cocktail reception for the Southampton Boat Show opening weekend #fillmeup

7. The Artisan in Southampton had their grand re-opening and invited a Gordon Ramsay lookalike. 

8. We held our fifth event with Southampton Bloggers for the Macmillan Cake Morning. An afternoon eating cake, raising money and drinking shots. 

9. I said goodbye to my favourite pub, Avondales. I have been going there for many years and I'm so sad to see it go! Boozeday Tuesdays will never be the same.

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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

September Empties



I've been on a mad mission to use up every half empty bottle, sample, make up and god knows what else this year because in my first year of blogging I bought so much crap I didn't need. I've done pretty well, my draws are getting emptier and my purse is feeling better for not buying so much. Here is what I've used in September! The box I keep my empties in was bursting with empty products and it feels much better chucking them all out. I may just continue these posts till the end of the year and then trail them off as keeping a box just to keep finished products in seems a little crazy. Let me know what you think :) 

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Monday, 28 September 2015

September Favourites





I haven't done a favourites post in so long but I've been loving these five products this month so I thought I'd throw one together. Also, how is it October in a few days?! Argh, this year has gone so fast! First up is Daisy Eau So Fresh by Marc Jacobs. It is possibly the most instagrammable perfume ever designed and the fragrance isn't half bad either. I'm almost out of my bottle which is just in time considering the Christmas (shudder) sets are out soon. If you haven't ever smelt it then hop to your nearest Boots and have a whiff, it's light, floral and oh so pretty. 

Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder is my hair hero. Dry shampoo and instant style extender in a puff of deliciously smelling powder. It's pretty pricey for what is essentially a dry shampoo but it works wonders, the reviews are fabulous and rightly so. Morgan Taylor nail lacquer in Plumped Up is from their Cinderella range. It's a pastel, grey pink which lasts for days without a top coat. I'm currently on day 5 of this polish and still no chips! 

The new Sleek Solstice Highlighting palette is stunning! The baked powders really remind me of Hourglass at a fraction of the price and it hasn't left my dressing table. I reviewed this last week so if the photos aren't enough for you to purchase it then maybe the review will tip you over the edge. Seventeen Beauty Balm was my V Festival essential and I haven't stopped using it since, part bb cream, tinted foundation and skin food, it also claims to clear skin in four weeks. I can't vouch for that because I don't get really noticeable breakouts just the odd one or two but my skin has been so much clearer the last month. Maybe just a coincidence but one I'm loving plus the coverage is light and dewy! 

Lastly is Mac Brave. This has never been on my Mac wishlist but after using my friends after I left my go to nude at home I fell in love and went and bought it less than a week later. It's a muted minky, pink that hasn't left my lips since it came home with me and it's one that will be seeing me through Autumn. What have been your favourites this month? Let me know in the comments or tweet me.

Some items in this post have been gifted but not for this specific post. I just really like 'em!
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Sunday, 27 September 2015

For the Love of Disney





Sunday has been Disney day for me for many years. I've grown up watching my favourites on good old VHS and even now as I get further away from being a kid, I will still turn to Disney when I'm having a bad day or feeling a bit poop. I thought as we're heading into the colder months I'd share my top five favourite Disney films because everyone loves Disney right?! 

The Little Mermaid has seen me through many a colds and piles of tissue. Sebastian is my favourite character in it and I will happily sing along to this. Plus... Ariel's Hair! Aladdin is another film I've loved from the moment I saw it and I've always wanted to be Jasmine. A Whole New World gets me every time. Bedknobs & Broomsticks is a classic, if you have never watched this then you need to go and buy a copy immediately. It's just so British and it will always be a favourite. 

Lady and the Tramp was released in 1955 but it never gets old. It's such a sweet story and makes me a little gooey. The last in my top five is Ratatouille. I have watched this more times than I want to admit. It's a story about a rat who is a culinary genius and it always gets me in the mood for cooking. 

What are your favourite Disney films? 

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Saturday, 26 September 2015

Friday, 25 September 2015

Blogger's Festival with Scarlett London



On the 5th of September, 250 bloggers and vloggers descended on the Conrad St James in London for the Bloggers Festival organised by the lovely Scarlett London. I went to one of her events back in April this year and really enjoyed myself so after arranging to stay in London for the weekend with Karis and Tanya, I was really looking forward to it. Myself and the girls grabbed lunch in Trafalgar Square before the event so we could have a huge catch up before walking to the venue.
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Thursday, 24 September 2015

Current Shower Favourites





I use a lot of different products daily and have the most ridiculous collection in my bathroom that I rarely get a chance to do a post like this. The beginning of this year I vowed that I would use up all those part empty bottles and start using the products I've had stored for months. I've been using the above solidly for the last month or so and I've found some real faves.

Chill*Hair Ed Repair was gifted to everyone in the goody bags for the #sotonmeetup and it is incredible. It smells sweet, like cocoa butter and it leaves my hair unbelievably soft. Bee Good have been a constant show in my bathroom for well over a year now. I would not be without their Cream Cleanser and I'm really liking their new exfoliatorMolton Brown Pampering Body Polish in fiery pink pepper smells amazing, so amazing that my Soap & Glory body polish has had to take a back seat.

The Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment is a product I bought after trying a sample sachet. My hair gets really dry and I need an intensive treat at least once a month and this always does the trick and if I'm ever short of some I use coconut oil with it aswell. Lord of Misrule shower gel is one of Lush Cosmetics new releases of my favourite bath bomb that is usually a Halloween  Edition. The scent isn't quite right but I still love it and it'll see me through until the Halloween launch this year. Lastly, my Magnitone Lucid is always to hand. I never understood the fascination with cleansing brushes until I used one and OMG, I love it. I also wouldn't be without muslin clothes. They've completely changed the way I remove my make up. What are your shower essentials? 




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Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Autumn Lip Favourites






As today is officially the start of Autumn I thought I'd share my favourite Autumn lip colours because we all love a berry lip, right?! I tried to throw in at least one high street lip colour but it turns out  I don't really own any. Seems I need to hit the high street and pick up so new faves. Glo & Ray Tender is the cheapest lipstick of the bunch retailing at £12. Tender is from their La Amo Creamy Shimmer range which has just been repackaged in time for Autumn in sleek, red packaging. Tender applies smoothly to the lip leaving a moisturised slick of colour which goes perfectly with a bronzed make up look.

I had to throw Charlotte Tilbury Glastonberry in because it really is a beautiful shade, I'm just not a fan of the so called revolutionary matte formula which I don't find to be very matte at all. Because I love the shade, I put up with it's rubbish wear time and tend to mix it with Lipcote and a bit of powder for extra wear time because it's berryness really is something special. 

Obviously MAC is making an appearance, with three matte shades in my favourites that can be worn day or night. Private Party is limited edition and not available anymore but it's my favourite Autumn shade. EVER. The day I run out of this will be a very sad day. Diva needs no introduction, it's one of their best known shades and rightly so, it's beautiful. Dark, seductive and the quickest way to vamp up any make up look. Chili is a dark, brownish red and the one I opt for in the colder months. Paired with Mac Brick lip liner, it gives a dulled down pop of red, perfect for when you want to go red but a little darker. 

What are your go to Autumn lip shades? 

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Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Seventeen Define & Contour Kit





I have been a fan of Seventeen products for many years, my favourite ever nail varnish is a lilac one I've bought countless times and I wouldn't be without their false lash mascara so it was inevitable that I'd try their Define & Contour Kit. I was sent through a bumper box of Seventeen products and I felt like a kid at Christmas, I love their products so much and couldn't wait to delve in and try them all.

The Seventeen Define & Contour Kit* is a bargain at just £5.99 and the majority of the time Seventeen have offers on such as Buy Two For £8 so you can always grab an extra treat for yourself. The contour kit comes in two shades, fair and medium. I feel like they need to throw a darker set in to cater for everyone. I have the kit in fair and both shades are a soft, buttery powder which apply easily with a brush or sponge. The highlight doesn't show up too well on my skin in the swatches above but it leaves a healthy looking glow on my cheekbones and cupid's bow. 

I've found some bronze shades in contour kits a bit muddy in the past which this thankfully isn't. Applied softly in the hollows of your cheeks following the step by step guide and blended out, it leaves a perfectly contoured finished look. Blending is your best friend with contour kits and if you're looking for a something to practise with then Define & Contour is exactly what you're looking for.

*PR Sample
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Monday, 21 September 2015

MAC Lady Danger







If you've seen my MAC lipstick collection you'll know I'm partial to a lippy or ten. I recently added Lady Danger to the collection after I won Toni's giveaway on www.clarkecouture.co.uk so after giving it a trial for a few weeks I thought I'd share my thoughts on here because let's face it, we all love a new lipstick especially when it's in black bullet packaging. 

I really didn't know what to choose when Toni first contacted me but after having a look at the matte range on the website I settled on Lady Danger, which is incredibly similar to my all time favourite, So Chaud. When in doubt always go red! I've seen some great reviews on it and as matte is my favourite finish, I was very happy with my choice. When the familiar black package arrived I took it straight out, Instagrammed it (obviously) and put it on, LOVE at first application for sure. 

Lady Danger is described as a vivid, bright coral-red and that it is! Vibrant and beautiful. Matte formulas can be a little tricky but I found this applied with some ease and I didn't need a lip pencil either, win! I've worn this out a few times now and it has definitely shot to the top of my favourites list. The above photo is Lady Danger after six hours wear, two coffees, a slice of cake and a bottle of water with NO touch ups! Impressed? I was.... Is it in your shopping basket yet?

What is your all time favourite MAC lipstick?

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Sunday, 20 September 2015

Autumn Clichés We All Love to Hate


Autumn is in the air, the leaves are falling, the air is getting crisper and with that comes some of my little peeves about Autumn and the clichés that come with it. Through talking to people on Twitter I know I'm not alone so get comfy, sit back and have a read...

Pumpkin Flavoured Everything - 
I don't know when this started but I blame Starbucks for making the trend even bigger. Pumpkin's smell and taste vile, the only thing they're good for is carving to make lanterns for Halloween but everywhere I look now it is Pumpkin flavoured something, Pumpkin pie, roasted Pumpkin seeds, Pumpkin muffins and the main culprit, the Pumpkin Spiced Latte. I tried it, I wanted to throw up and then moaned about the £3 or so I'd just spent on a cup of puke. Hand me a boring old latte any day.

Autumnal -
That bloody word! I didn't even know it existed before I started blogging, if anything I used the word Autumny but everywhere you look is the damn word. The first time I ever said it out loud I received a look of disgust from a friend, the same look she would've given me if I'd run over a squirrel. If there was a blogging dictionary, this word would be in it along with a  photo of a woman straight off the boards of Pinterest looking very Autumnal. (Ps. Of course a blogging dictionary would have pictures...duh!) 

Berry Lip Posts - 
I'm not going to lie, I have one going up this week (on the official day of Autumn) because we all love a berry lip right?! I almost feel like the minute the clock strikes 12am on the 1st September all the blogging elves in our heads start thinking of all our favourite Autumn shades in prep for the Lipstick post we all have to immediately post the first week of September. Mac Diva? Check. Charlotte Tilbury Glastonberry? Check. We've all done it and yes, I've included both of those shades in my own post...

Instagram Autumn Overhaul - 
The jumper photos, Starbuck's oh so beautiful new cups, downward boot shot in crunchy leaves, your new wooly hat and gloves, Autumn inspired quotes, Halloween, sparklers, fireworks, the list is endless, just take a quick look at Instagram and you'll see what I mean... We are all so guilty of it #autumnclichés #autumn #autumnvibes #autumnfeels #cosy #blablablablablablablabla.

If there are any other Autumn clichés that you can think of please let me know in the comments below as I'm sure there are plenty more! 


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Saturday, 19 September 2015

Post Holiday Blues // Jet2Holidays




The evenings are getting darker, the nights getting colder and the last of the festivals have come to an end. If you're lucky enough to still be on holiday countdown then I'm incredibly jealous, but spare a thought for the rest of us who are massively suffering from post holiday blues. Jet2Holidays* recently conducted a survey which found 85% of 18 - 24 year olds suffer from post-holiday blues. My Instagram feed is enough to give me the blues at the moment with the whitewashed streets of Santorini and the sunsets of San Antonio Bay being shared.

I was sent a post holidays blues kit by Jet2Holidays recently and it got me thinking about how I can combat those feelings. With a full day of Alice time ahead of me and with the sun thankfully shining I did what any beauty blogger would do and had a pamper before a cocktail session with the girls. One long, hot shower later, a coating of golden fake tan and a splash of coral nail polish on my nails, I was feeling ready for a night in Barcelona, or the next best thing I had on offer, Southampton. Being right on the coast means there are plenty of restaurants and bars by the water where you can enjoy a cocktail and watch the sun go down. 

I'll try not to go back into holiday grumble mode but if I feel it coming another date with the girls and a takeaway should set me back on the right path. Failing that, I'll buy an inflatable palm tree for my bedroom.

Do you have any tips for getting over the post holiday blues?

*Sponsored post
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Friday, 18 September 2015

Merumaya Everything Everywhere Beauty Oil






I took the plunge with facial oils earlier this year and I've been so surprised at just how great they are for the skin. Having suffered with oily skin for years I was under the impression a facial oil would just worsen the situation. Oh how wrong was I?! Turns out facial oils do the wonders for oily skin when applied within in a skincare routine. Most say to use twice daily but I only ever use mine at night before my moisturiser. Merumaya have just released their Everything, Everywhere Beauty  Oil* which is the multi purpose beauty oil you need on your dressing table. 

The Everything, Everywhere oil is perfect for face, body, hair, cuticles, lashes, the list is endless and with the super ingredient Kahai Oil you'd be silly not to add this to your routine. Kahai Oil contains more essential fatty acids and Vitamin E than Argan, Borage and Hazelnut oils and three times more Retinol than Rosehip Oil all of which help soften lines and wrinkles, boost radiance and give lasting hydration. 

As I said above, I use my beauty oil before my nightly moisturiser, one small drop is enough for my face and it soaks in effortlessly leaving no residue. I've also been using this in my hair over night and it's really helped any frizz I suffer with while also teasing down a kink I have on my right side. The Everything, Everywhere Beauty Oil has really impressed me, I love Merumaya products because they just work and this oil is a welcome addition to their ever growing beauty range especially as the beauty oil has the familiar Merumaya scent, same as with all their products. If you're looking for a multi purpose facial oil then make sure you look into this little wonder. Available online and selected John Lewis stores retailing at £26.

*PR Samples
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Thursday, 17 September 2015

Bee Good Raspberry & White Chocolate Lip Balm






Bee Good have recently released another product to their already incredible product line in the form of a new lip balm in the flavour Raspberry & White Chocolate*. Throughout the year, Bee Good have been running a competition to find the next Great British Lip Balm asking Beauty Bloggers to submit their ideas and favourites where they were then put through judging stages and a public vote. 

Raspberry & White Chocolate was inspired by Beauty Vlogger Joseph Harwood with thousands wanting to see this on the shelves. The lip balm is packed with intensive and soothing ingredients to help keep your pout super soft and nourished as we go into the colder months. The Raspberry and White Chocolate scent is oh so sweet but in no way overpowering which is exactly how I like my lip products. I can't liken it to anything else currently on the market and I don't think it'll be long before this tube of pinky goodness also receives a gold in the Natural Beauty Awards. 

Available to buy from Bee Good and in selected Waitrose and Urban Outfitters for £4.75, this lip balm is definitely going to become a staple handbag piece this Winter.

*PR Sample
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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette






When I first saw the Sleek Solstice Highlighting palette* my first thought was Hourglass at a much more affordable price. I've embraced the love of highlighters the last few months with The Balm's Mary Lou Mannizer and Benefit Cosmetics Watts! Up being two of my favourites. This versatile highlighting palette is meant for all skin tones and can also be used on the body to get the perfect highlight on your décolletage. Housed in a gold, mirrored palette (fingerprints everywhere) you'll find four shades, one cream, one shimmer powder and two baked highlighters, which are all equally beautiful, I wouldn't waste your time with the brush that's included though. The shades are as follows:

  • Ecliptic - cream highlighter
  • Subsolar - shimmer powder
  • Hemisphere - baked highlighter
  • Equinox - baked highlighter 
The cream highlight, Ecliptic, is so luxurious and soft. You need the smallest amount for across the brow bone to give a silky, smooth highlight. Ecliptic also blends really well, much easier than Benefit's Watts! Up and for a fraction of the price. The shimmer powder, Subsolar is my least favourite in the palette, it leaves a silver shimmer which I just can't pull off, it seems too cool for my skin tone but it does make a nice shadow for the inner corners of your eye. 

The two baked highlights, Hemisphere and Equinox are what make Solstice for me. They are stunning shades in the pan, and apply even better to the skin leaving the most perfect highlight on your cheekbones. I also apply to my chin, nose and cupid's bow. They're not too much, they don't make me look like a disco ball and again, they blend perfectly. The Sleek Solstice palette is THE highstreet highlight palette you need to treat yourself with and for just £9.99 it doesn't break the bank. Available early October.

*PR Sample
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Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Glo & Ray La Amo Creamy Lipsticks






I have posted on Glo & Ray many times on Annie Writes Beauty because I genuinely love their products so when newly packaged products arrived on my doorstep I did a little squeal of excitement. New mirrored boxes, sleek red lipstick cases and the Glo & Ray logo printed on the side of each lipstick. I had the shades Honey* and Tender* sent through both in the La Amo Creamy Shimmer formula which has a subtle shimmer and fail proof formula to give you naturally plumper lips. 

The La Amo range has had a makeover just in time for Autumn in seven different shades. The sleeker packaging makes them an extra treat for the lips and the red toned tubes make a nice change from a standard black bullet meaning you can whip them out and show off while reapplying. 

All lipsticks are £12 and will be available at the end of September exclusively on www.glo-ray.co.uk. 

*PR Samples
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