If I Could Only Wear 5 Lip Colours

It’s no secret lips are my favourite part of any makeup routine and lip products take up the most space in my makeup collection. I love bold, bright colours and am not afraid to wear them! I was scrolling through a list of blog post ideas recently and this one immediately jumped out. It honestly wasn’t difficult to pick only five and I didn’t um and ah over any of these. Let me clarify, all of my choices are lipsticks, no lip balms or lip stains.

The lineup!

1. MAC – Show Orchid

Let’s get the semi-obvious fuchsia lipstick out of the way first! Fuchsia is my absolute favourite colour to wear, it works so well with my skin tone and hair colour and it isn’t a shade that ages me – it makes me feel youthful. The reason I labelled this semi-obvious is because my favourite fuchsia of all time is by a brand called BYS but I went with this great alternative from MAC because it’s a more well known brand and the packaging is more luxurious. MAC is easier to get a hold of so if BYS discontinued their fuchsia shade I’m covered. The formula of Show Orchid is also less slippy than the BYS alternative though both are comparable in terms of wear time.

2. Australis – Gangsta Rap

Gangsta Rap was one of my very first lipstick purchases a couple of years ago and it is still a shade I love to wear often. Again, this is a shade that makes me feel youthful and purple suits redheads. The formula of this lipstick is so comfortable to wear and the pigmentation and wear time are outstanding. I’d say the formula of this is similar to MAC’s satin lipsticks; creamy lipstick with a soft cushiony feel and buildable coverage.

3. MAC – Brave

I had to include a more neutral, everyday shade in this list and it’s another offering from MAC. I won Brave in a giveaway and it has become one of my favourite lipsticks in the short time I’ve had it. I say short because I haven’t had it as long as the other shades mentioned. You all know how Syrup from MAC is my jam and holds a special place in my heart because it was my first MAC lipstick. The reason I opted for Brave over Syrup is simply down to wear time. Brave is a satin finish whereas Syrup is a lustre meaning it is more sheer. Brave is Syrup’s slightly darker, more pigmented cousin.

4. Rimmel – Asia

I included this nude as well because every time I wear it I’m reminded how beautiful it is. This is more of a brown toned pink compared to Brave. Asia is similar to a few other MAC shades (Mehr, Twig and Faux) at a fraction of the cost. This lipstick has a lovely demi-matte finish and the wear time is decent too.  It’s one of those shades that fades discreetly and can be re-applied with ease.

5. Bourjois – Frambourjoise

I have fallen a little bit out of love with red lipstick lately but this shade I always come back to and can rely on to look good. Frambourjoise is more of a raspberry red and has pink undertones as well as red. The formula is like a mousse and not like a liquid lipstick. The mousse formula allows you to perfect your pout as it dries down slower and the formula doesn’t feel drying as it wears throughout the day.

Swatches:

Top To Bottom: Show Orchid, Gangsta Rap, Brave, Asia, Frambourjoise.


Did any of these choices surprise you? What lip products would you choose if you only had five?

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Products I Want To Finish In 2018 Update #1

In January I talked about 18 products I want to finish up in 2018, kind of like a project pan. Originally I was going to do updates on how I was progressing every two months but the more I thought about it, the more I decided seasonal updates would be better instead. Without further ado let’s get into the first update. I will list each product, how full it was at the beginning of the year and how many times I have used each product in a month.

Face:

1. Makeup Revolution Ultra Face Base Primer – 1/3 full in January
Number of uses in February: 9 | Number of uses in March: 9

I really do think this is a nice primer. It works particularly well with the Rimmel foundation (also one of my 18 products). A little goes a long way.

2. The Body Shop Vitamin C Face Mist – 1/3 full in January
Number of uses in February: 4 | Number of uses in March: 5

I haven’t used this as much as the primer but it is good when I need an extra hit of hydration. The fresh, citrus scent is lovely.

3. MAC Studio Moisture Cream 30ml1/3 full in January
Number of uses in February: 5 | Number of uses in March: 18

This moisturiser was a saviour when my skin went through an extremely dry patch a few weeks back. To ensure I don’t waste product I have cute the top of the tube off and there is still so much product inside. I doubt I will be able to Back To MAC the packaging now though.

4. MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NW10 – Mostly full in January
Number of uses in February: 14 | Number of uses in March: 11

This concealer will take a while to use up but I am starting to see a dent in the product. This concealer doesn’t work the greatest with Rimmel’s Match Perfection foundation so it does limit when I use it. I will try the combination again to be sure but if it doesn’t work out I will only be able to use one or the other each time I do my makeup.

5. Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation in 010 Light Porcelain – Nearly full in January
Number of uses in February: 5 | Number of uses in March: 8

I feel like I have talked about this foundation a lot over the past month. It used to be my favourite but now I find the formula thick. Used in conjunction with Collection’s Lasting Perfection concealer it’s fine for everyday use. I can now see glass where the level has gone down from use.

Eyes:

6. Max Factor Excess Shimmer in Copper – 1/2 full in January
Number of uses in February: 3 | Number of uses in March: 6

I didn’t just want to try and use up products that aren’t my favourite so I included some I really do like too. I have used this eyeshadow pot regularly since I bought it two years ago and continue to do so.

7. Rimmel Professional Brow Pencil in 002 Hazel – 1/2 left in January
Number of uses in February: 18 | Number of uses in March: 20

This pencil is starting to get quite small now. It is the only brow product I use it and I like it because it’s quick and easy.

Lips:

8. BYS Fuschia Fusion – Almost empty in January
Number of uses in February: 2 | Number of uses in March: 1

This is still almost empty. I have a feeling the last little bit will take the longest to use. I wear this shade regularly and it is one of the best lipsticks in my collection.

9. MAC – Syrup 1/2 full in January
Number of uses in February: 1 | Number of uses in March: 2

I’d say this is definitely heading in the direction of 1/3 full now. Another one of my well loved lip products.

10. MAC – Patisserie – 1/3 full in January
Number of uses in February: 1 | Number of uses in March: 1

Patisserie is my favourite nude lipstick that doesn’t have a hint of brown or mauve, it’s pure peach-pink nude and is so pretty. I love this shade with a sparkly eye and my NARS Orgasm-dupe blush.

11. MAC – Blankety – 2/3 full in January
Number of uses in February: 1 | Number of uses in March: 0

I think I have come to realise by the evidence of having barely worn this shade that it isn’t my favourite nude and in all honesty if I didn’t have it it wouldn’t be the end of the world. It’s still a nice shade but I don’t reach for it often.

12. Lancôme Juicy Shaker in Berry In Love – 3/4 full in January
Number of uses in February: 1 | Number of uses in March: 0

I don’t tend to use this product very often unless I am running errands and want something on my lips or I really feel like wearing it. It’s a pretty colour but it isn’t the longest lasting and it is better suited to chilled out days for me.

13. Elizabeth Arden Luscious Raspberry (Sample) – 1/2 full in January
Number of uses in February: 1 | Number of uses in March: 1

A good wear time for this product depends on how much I eat. If I am at work all day and have a decent sized lunch I notice this can wear off and start to feel a little drying. If I’m just having a snack though it’s fine and lasts all day.

14. MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencil in Revved – 1/2 full in January
Number of uses in February: 1 | Number of uses in March: 2

In terms of peach this is the most peach shade I have in my collection and it is really nice. The staying power isn’t that of a normal lipstick but because it’s a light shade it fades evenly. I have enjoyed reaching for this over the past few months actually.

Body/Fragrance:

15. The Body Shop Sparkler – 2/3 full in January
Number of uses in February: 5 | Number of uses in March: 1

This glitter looks so nice on black clothing. I have black shirts for work and have worn this over them a couple of times. I haven’t tried it on my skin as a body glitter but I really should.

16. Bath & Body Works Waikiki Beach Coconut Fragrance Mist 3/4 full in January
Number of uses in February: 2 | Number of uses in March: 1

The staying power this mist has is really good. I haven’t been reaching for it as much as I would have liked.

17. The Body Shop White Musk Fragrance Mist – 3/4 full in January
Number of uses in February: 6 | Number of uses in March: 6

I have been using this and the Black Musk mist first before going in with a few spritzes of my perfume. I would normally use Impulse but I’ve got these so I may as well use them instead.

18. The Body Shop Black Musk Fragrance Mist – 3/4 full in January
Number of uses in February: 5 | Number of uses in March: 7

See above.


I am making good progress with the base products and the body mists from The Body Shop but I need to be more consistent with the lip products otherwise I don’t think they will get finished. I do only wear makeup for 50% of the week so I am pleased with how I’m doing.

Are you doing a project pan this year, how is it going? What are you trying to finish up?

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March Favourites 2018

My March favourites are very beauty oriented, I have been using some great products and purchased a few new ones too! I love putting on my makeup, creating looks and seeing the final result. I’ve got a couple of fashion bits to share as well. This month compared to some others really made me think about what I’ve been using and what would warrant being included. It’s not always easy to include new things that I haven’t previously mentioned if I haven’t acquired anything new.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara – I have had this mascara for a fortnight now and I blimmin’ love it! All the good things people say are true and I highly urge you to pick this up if you get the chance. I’m not normally a product pusher but this is a really great mascara. I’m not sure how long the formula will stay ‘good’ for but I can see myself repurchasing this if it continues to impress me as much as it already has. It may even knock my favourite Rimmel mascara off it’s perch if it lasts as long as that one does.

2. MAC pigments in Tan and Silver – I bought both of these off of New Zealand’s eBay equivalent. Tan is the type of shade that would suit most people and has hints of pink, bronze, gold and brown. Silver is pure silver, no grey or blue tinges. The colour payoff is incredible and my favourite way to apply these is with a finger. If you want a hint of sparkle brush application is good but not as good as a finger in my opinion. I haven’t tried applying either of these wet but that is something on my mental makeup to do list.

3. Glassons Black Cropped Jeans – These jeans arrived on the same day as the L’Oreal mascara and they are just as wonderful. The jeans are 97% cotton so they are comfortable and stretchy. They are a skinnier fit but they’re not tight. Black pants go with everything and these can be dressed up or dressed down. Even though they are cropped they are the perfect length for short girls like me. I have already worn these a bunch in the two weeks I’ve had them.

4. The Body Shop Mango Hand Cream – I know in my Autumn Beauty Edit I mentioned I would be reaching for The Body Shop’s Frosted Plum hand cream but I have had this mango one longer than some of my others and I wanted to use it up first. I’ve had it open for a couple of weeks now and when I opened it the weather was still very much warm and the fruity scent suited the weather. I haven’t tried anything else from the mango range but I will take a closer look at it in future.

5. ASOS Grey Fluffy Twosie – I made my first ASOS order of 2018 back in January and I am still in love with the fluffy twosie I got. The material is super soft and cuddly and I have found myself wearing the jumper quite a lot already. This will keep me toasty in winter and I look forward to putting it on on chilly evenings after work.

March’s Spotify Playlist:


What were your favourite things in March?

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Casual Makeup + OOTD

Sometimes even on my days off I wear makeup if I have things planned or I want to look nice. Last Thursday I went into town for my first visit to Kmart and did a little bit of shopping. I opted for a casual, comfortable outfit and simple, pretty makeup. Hope you enjoy this post!

Outfit:

Can’t go wrong with stripes and monochrome!

  • Top: Dannii For Target
  • Jeans: Glassons

Makeup:

Products listed in order of application:

  1. Makeup Revolution Ultra Face Base Primer – This primer helps my foundation apply more smoothly and keep everything in place longer.
  2. Rimmel Professional Brow Pencil in 002 Hazel – You know how much I love this by now! Look how small the pencil is getting.
  3. Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation in 010 Light Porcelain – Despite this no longer being my favourite foundation it is still good for everyday wear and one of the best colour matches for my skin. It looks nice with the primer and I notice the difference if I don’t use the primer.
  4. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer – 1 Fair – This concealer is my all time favourite. It blends like a dream and the colour match is perfect.
  5. The Body Shop Honey Bronzer in 01 Light Matte – I love pairing this bronzer with the Rimmel foundation as it warms up my skin ever so slightly and still looks natural. The bronzer is extremely difficult to overdo. It also makes a good base for eyeshadow which I used it for on this day.
  6. Max Factor Excess Shimmer in Pink Opal – I applied a small amount of this on the inner corners of my eyes to make them stand out more.
  7. MAC Pigment in Tan – I applied this over the rest of my eyelids with my finger after going in with the Max Factor shadow. It gives the most beautiful sparkle. I love how you can go in light or heavy handed with this depending on the look you’re going for.
  8. L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara (Blackest Black) – This mascara makes my lashes look long and full and black – it is amazing! I apply two coats to my top lashes and one coat to my bottom lashes.
  9. Dainty Doll Powder Blush in You Are My Sunshine – This gorgeous peachy-coral is my favourite blush. It gives the prettiest flush to the cheeks and I only need a small amount as it is pigmented. I love to apply this with my Real Techniques Setting Brush. It is small and fluffy and allows me to be precise with my application.
  10. Dainty Doll Lipstick in Material World – This is quite a warm shade of pink but it’s extremely beautiful. I think of this lipstick as ‘my job interview lipstick’ because it is a neutral, sophisticated shade. The formula is nourishing and has a kind of demi-matte finish. It’s very comfortable to wear and stays put and doesn’t slide around.

The Finished Look:


What items of clothing and makeup products do you associate with a casual look?

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Autumn Beauty Edit

In September 2017, I published a Spring Beauty Edit which featured a handful of products I wanted to use during New Zealand spring time! I did find myself using those products in spring and I thought it would be fun to do another post for autumn. In autumn I tend to gravitate towards berries, darker lip shades and warm, musky, non-fruity fragrances.

LIPS

L – R: Rimmel – 107, Revlon – Raspberry Pie, Revlon – Sugar Plum, Urban Decay – After Dark

Autumn is when I tend to wear berry and red lipsticks more. Rimmel’s 107 is a classic berry shade in the blogging world and the pigmentation is really good. Sometimes these dark, berry shades can be patchy but not this one. Revlon’s lip butters are perfect for cooler days if you want a pop of colour, the formula is so moisturising and won’t leave the lips dry. Raspberry Pie is a pretty berry-red and Sugar Plum is a perfect pink-mauve everyday shade. The names are the cutest too! After Dark is more of a purple berry and it’s such a beautiful shade.

NAILS

L – R: Essie – Bahama Mama, Rimmel – Bestival Blue, OPI – Tiramisu For Two

I have a number of neutral polishes which work all year round but I only selected one for this edit. Tiramisu For Two is one of the newest shades in my makeup drawer and I want to wear it more which is why I chose it. Bahama Mama follows the berry theme and Bestival Blue is a lovely pastel blue that doesn’t look summery and suits the cooler vibe of the weather.

Fragrance & Body

Cooler weather can be harsh on the skin so I’d really like to try The Body Shop’s Almond Milk & Honey shower cream. I have sensitive skin and I have been hesitant to try this so far but my skin is in an okay place at the moment. I got the small size so if I react to the shower cream I’m not wasting product and I may be able to pass the product along. The black musk fragrance is one I first tried last winter. Black musk is spicier and warmer than white musk and less floral, making it a good match for the cooler months. I always have a tube of hand cream on the go and this frosted plum scent from The Body Shop’s 2017 Christmas range is my pick. The purple tube is a neat colour and the scent isn’t overly fruity.


What’s your favourite berry lip colour? Do you associate any particular products with autumn/fall?

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Beauty Bean + Glassons Haul

Hi everyone!

I have been on an unintentional makeup low buy this year and have barely purchased anything new… until last week. I first heard about Beauty Bean through a work colleague. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular at the time and it wasn’t until I was Googling foundations that the website popped up again.

Long story short, I made an order and purchased three items. The prices are really reasonable and if you buy three or more items shipping is free. Everything is stocked locally in New Zealand and shipping was a breeze, my order arrived within days.

1. L’Oreal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup W1-2 Porcelain Ivory

If you saw my recent post about Rimmel’s Match Perfection foundation you’ll know that I used to adore it until the formula changed and my shade was discontinued. I’m not a fan anymore and I am simply using it up because it’s not bad enough to throw away and I don’t like wastage.

Buying foundation on a whim isn’t something I normally do but I know a lot of people enjoy L’Oreal’s True Match and I’m guessing this is meant to be the more dewy, luminous version. According to the ingredients the foundation is 40% water for all day hydration and contains antioxidants, Vitamin C and Vitamin E for improved clarity. Sounds like a dream for dry skin, right? I was a little worried about the colour match but I looked up swatches online and they don’t look any darker than my Max Factor foundations which I’m a big fan of.

First Impression: The shade doesn’t look dark for me at all. The formula feels light and blends easily. It seems to layer nicely as well. I’m impressed!

2. L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara (Blackest Black)

Ever since this mascara launched I have heard nothing but rave reviews for it! The mascara goes under the name Paradise Extatic if you live in The UK and it has gold packaging. I recieved the American version of the mascara in a gorgeous, metallic light pink tube which I am glad about – I love pink! This is supposedly a dupe for Too Faced’s Better Than Sex and while I haven’t tried that, this L’Oreal mascara is half the price of Better Than Sex (in NZ). The wand isn’t plastic and is big which I like – I am used to working with a similar size wand on my favourite Rimmel mascara. I ordered the washable mascara and opted for blackest black because I love my lashes to be super dark.

First Impression: The formula isn’t wet which I like and the mascara doesn’t smudge or flake as the day goes on. My lashes look similar if not better to how they do when I use Scandaleyes Lycra Flex from Rimmel.

3. Real Techniques Sculpting Brush

This brush was added to my cart because I needed a third item for free shipping. It was a toss up between this brush and the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. Since I prefer to apply foundation with a brush I went for this. The brush has really good reviews and like many of the Real Techniques brushes has multiple uses. This brush can be used to apply foundation and also to highlight and contour. The shape of the bristles means the brush fits perfectly under the cheekbones.

First Impression: The bristles on this brush are so soft! It blends foundation quicker than my Expert Face Brush also from Real Techniques and doesn’t eat up product. I haven’t tried to contour or highlight yet but I will.

Onto the Glassons part of the haul:

Glassons is a popular clothing store across Australia and New Zealand and price wise I’d say it’s mid-range. You get stylish, quality items for a good price, clothing isn’t cheap but isn’t expensive either. I have shopped in Glassons for years and have made numerous online orders and in store purchases in the past year. Shipping was also free as I spent over $40 and the order arrived less than 48 hours after I placed it.

1. Seagrass Sloppy Cardi

This is described as a lightweight, sheer cami for the trans-seasonal weather which is exactly what New Zealand is going through right now. The mornings and evenings are cooler but the days can still be warm. I really like the colour of this, it’s almost a light khaki and I love the way it was styled online.

2. Black Flare Sleeve Knit Jumper

I love my cosy jumpers and this reminded me of one Lily Pebbles wore in THIS VIDEO. Black is a staple colour in my wardrobe but I think I only have one other black jumper. I like the flared sleeves and the material is super soft.

3. Black Cropped Jean

I have a pair of these jeans in white already and they are super comfortable. As I am short these are full length on me and the jeans are stretchy and really nice to wear. I bought these to replace a pair of black jeggings I intend to get rid of. Black pants/jeans go with just about anything!

I shared this Instagram snap of me wearing the cardi and jeans:


Have you tried any of the makeup items?

What did you purchase in your last haul?

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Rimmel Match Perfection 2 Years On

One of my most popular blog posts is Rimmel Match Perfection Old vs. New. When Rimmel changed the formula and packaging of their Match Perfection foundation I did a comparison post comparing both products. When I first purchased the new formula I noticed a few differences. I have had plenty of opportunities to wear this foundation since that post and I wanted to compare my thoughts from two years ago to how I feel about the foundation now.

I am currently on my third bottle of Match Perfection. I have used up one bottle of the old formula and one bottle of the new formula. I purchased my second bottle of the new formula in April 2017.

coverage and consistency

Out of the three bottles I’ve tried the consistency has been different in all of them. The old formula was the thinnest and the easiest to blend. My first bottle of the new formula was still easy to blend but slightly thicker. My current bottle has a really thick formula and it doesn’t pump evenly or blend as nicely as the previous two. I’m not sure whether the formula has changed again or if I just got a bad bottle.

Despite the thick formula this is still a good light-medium coverage everyday foundation and I will use up this bottle. I have discovered one layer is better to work with than two. This isn’t layering as well as previous bottles so I simply apply a little more concealer to hide any redness the foundation doesn’t cover.

You can see the thickness of the foundation from this small pump.

shade

When Rimmel changed the formula they also discontinued my shade. I previously used 081 Fair Ivory and following the re-formulation had to buy the lightest shade, 010 Light Porcelain. I feel Fair Ivory was a better match for me than Light Porcelain. (Maybe I should have gone one shade darker than Fair Ivory and tried that instead – it just would have meant applying less product to avoid looking orange). Light Porcelain has more of a pink undertone compared to Fair Ivory. I have both cool and warm undertones and have come to realise neutral undertones suit me best.

Unblended arm swatch.

Dewiness

In the post from two years ago I said the old formula could sometimes look too dewy but at that stage I didn’t have a setting powder. In hindsight, some of that dewiness is missing from the new formula. The old foundation gave natural, healthy looking skin without having to apply highlighter.


Despite this foundation no longer being my favourite it still has things going for it. The packaging is sturdy and the glass bottle allows you to see how much product is left. There is minimal wastage as the pump reaches all the way to the bottom of the bottle. This foundation contains SPF 20 so it helps protect from the sun. The shades cater to those with pale skin and those with deeper skin tones, there’s at least 12 different shades.

I’m not sure whether I will repurchase this foundation when I finish my current bottle. I may come back to it in future but for now I’ve got other bases that perform better.

Have you tried this foundation?

Is there a foundation you’ve fallen out of love with?

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February Favourites 2018

February’s favourites are representative of the things I enjoy most in life, beauty/makeup and music. I have been putting Morphe’s 25A Copper Spice palette through it’s paces and the heat/skin rash on my arms seems to have cleared up so I am now able to apply lotions and moisturisers again. February has been all about Shania, tickets for her NZ concerts went on sale and I have been singing along to her music a lot!

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Revlon Fire & Ice Rollerball  – I got this rollerball in a Revlon set a couple of Christmases ago and only recently began to discover how much of a gem it is. In the same set there was a bottle of Fire & Ice perfume (long finished) but the rollerball scent is nicer and lasts all day. I spray body mist all over and apply the rollerball directly to my neck for an added layer of scent. This is travel friendly too which is great.

2. Morphe 25A Copper Spice Palette – This eyeshadow palette was a Christmas present from my brother and I had used it a few times but not properly tried more than a handful of shades. I was a little intimidated having 25 shades to choose from, I’m used to 12 or less. This palette is pretty much all I’ve been reaching for in February and it is great for everyday, work looks. The fourth row of shimmers are beautiful! My go to is to apply one of the lighter shades as a base, one of the many browns up into the crease and use my finger to apply one of the shimmers over top. The shades blend well and I can’t see myself getting sick of using this anytime soon.

3. Shania Twain T-shirt – I got this shirt as part of the Now album bundle I ordered last year and the quality of this t-shirt is lovely. The material is super soft and the sleeve length and the way this sits on me is perfect. I was missing a nice white t-shirt and this filled the gap. I also wore this when I bought Shania concert tickets earlier in the month!

4. The Body Shop English Dawn Gardenia Body Cream – The heat in summer makes my skin hot and itchy and for a while I couldn’t use anything on my arms after a shower because it would irritate the already dry skin. I am glad there has been some cooler weather lately and I can get back into my after shower routine. I purchased this body cream around Boxing Day and it is creamier than The Body Shop’s normal body butters – it feels velvety soft. The scent is floral and gorgeous and lingers for a long time (in a good way).

5. Mini golf – To celebrate Valentine’s Day my boyfriend and I played a game of mini golf. I had never played before but had always wanted to. I found a place that is open in the evening and we went after 8pm so the golf course was lit up with fairy lights and it looked so pretty. There were also bunnies hopping around throughout the game and they were adorable! Despite never having played before it was a close game, at the halfway point we were tied but in the end my boyfriend won by five points.

February’s Spotify Playlist:


What were your favourite things in February?

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How I Edit Instagram Photos

Instagram is one of my preferred social media platforms. I upload what I want and don’t plan pictures very often. I don’t stick to a specific theme or schedule and I like that the majority of my photos are taken in the moment. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a routine for editing photos and there are certain things I do to make sure photos look their best!

Note: The following process refers to photos taken on my iPhone.

Step One:

Think about the image, how it will look and the subject.

Step Two:

Choose a camera mode. If it is a selfie or an outfit picture I will mostly use ‘photo’ and if I am taking a picture of my nails or one object I will use ‘square’. This allows me to see how an image will look when it is uploaded to Instagram and there is minimal cropping.

Step Three:

Take pictures using the phone’s camera rather than the camera in the Instagram app. I find the phone camera is better quality and you get different mode options, I think the app only allows you to take a square photo.

Step Four:

Editing time! I do very minimal edits and like my feed to have a clear, bright look. To achieve this I play around with three of Instagram’s editing tools: brightness, contrast and warmth.

  • Brightness: I will increase the brightness somewhere between 30 and 60.
  • Contrast: I turn the contrast down slightly, usually -10 or -20.
  • Warmth: Certain lights can cause a yellow tinge and turning down the warmth makes the cool tones in an image shine and also adds to the bright, crisp effect. Again, I turn the warmth down -10 or -20.

Occasionally I will leave a photo unedited, normally the quotes for #PinterestThoughtTuesday. I don’t use filters very often either, if I do it’s most likely a black and white one.

Step Five:

Add caption and relevant hashtags. Save post as a draft or share instantly. Saving posts as drafts is useful if you want to post the photo later on in the day or the week and it means it’s all ready to go. If you don’t have internet access and can’t share your post instantly saving as a draft is also useful as the post is ready for when you do.

Now I will share some before and after comparisons with and without editing. All the before photos are on the left and the after photos on the right.

Example #1:

The second image shows more of the plane’s colour. The background elements are easier to see too.

Example #2:

The second image makes my skin look more flawless and gives my lips and hair colour more depth.

Example #3:

I remember debating whether to use the edited version when I shared this photo. The first image gives more of a true representation of the red but the second image is brighter and the petals look sharper and more defined.

Example #4:

The white and pink colours in the second image look clearer and don’t have the yellow tinge that the first image does.


In all four of these examples the differences are subtle but it is an editing style that takes up little time and works for me.

How do you edit Instagram photos? Are there any apps you use?

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Blogger Cliches

As bloggers there are certain items and styles that we seem to catch on to. In a way it shows a connection between us bloggers, we find the same things aesthetically pleasing and feel in touch with one another. In 5 years time it will be interesting to see how the trends we associate with bloggers have changed. I am in no way poking fun at fellow bloggers, I merely wanted to share this post and play a game to see how cliche/typical a blogger you are!

#1. Copper/rose gold everything!

Over the past couple of years rose gold has become the trend. Personally I like rose gold but I don’t buy everything in rose gold and prefer to have accents of it scattered throughout my bedroom. For example, I’ve got a rose gold lamp, and a couple of rose gold baskets, one on my desk and the other on top of my drawers. I also own the rose gold makeup brush and watch featured in the main image.

#2. Fairy lights

Fairy lights aren’t strictly just a blogger thing but they are often used in blogger’s photographs as a prop. They also double as lighting and bounce light around in photographs. I have a couple of sets which I display in vases, this helps to keep the lights in one place and they look neat and tidy.

#3. Candles

Like fairy lights, candles act as a source of light. Many YouTubers have a candle lit in the background of their videos. A lot bloggers I see use candles as a photo prop and most of the time they aren’t lit. 90% of the candles I see are from Jo Malone or Diptyque. I have a few candles but I don’t tend to use them as photo props. Two out of my three I haven’t even lit yet!

#4. Flowers

Do I hear you say fake peonies? I love nothing better than a natural flower and tend to photograph them when I have the chance.

#5. Marble

Similar to the rose gold trend, marble seems to be everywhere. I much prefer rose gold to marble and don’t own anything with a marble pattern. If you don’t have a marble bench top for your photos a lot of bloggers make their own marble backdrop with a wallpaper sample and a wooden board.

#6. Lightboxes

I find these kind of cool but not not the most practical. I don’t own a lightbox but I know you only get a certain amount of letters when you purchase one so you’ve got to buy extra letters to be able to create messages. I wonder how much power these use and where people store them when they’re not in use or they’re not turned on and the message is not lit up?

#7. Trinket trays

These are really useful props because first and foremost they are used to store jewellery or trinkets in and can easily be emptied to be used in blog photography. I have a set of three ceramic trays from kikki.K and the smallest one appears in the main image of this post.

#8. Polaroid pictures

In November 2016 I purchased a pink Instax camera because the idea of instant polaroid photos seemed like a fun concept. I quickly got tired of wondering whether my picture would develop with the right exposure and I ended up throwing a bunch of pictures away because they didn’t turn out well. I actually sold my camera and the film I didn’t use and I don’t regret it. I’ve still got some nice shots from the pictures that did turn out well.

#9. Eyelash curlers

I see a lot of rose gold eyelash curlers in photos. I have a set of unused, black eyelash curlers which I did consider including in the image of this post but they didn’t sit nicely. One day I’ll learn how to get long, fluttery lashes.

#10. Thick black glasses frames

I wear glasses and it used to be considered ‘ugly’ if you wore glasses. Now it seems every second person seems to have a pair of thick black frames that they wear because glasses are cool (geek chic, right?!). I’m sure some of those pairs of glasses don’t even have lenses in them.


How many of these are you guilty of? Me, I’m guilty of about 50% of these!

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