April Favourites 2016

April Favourites 2016Hey everyone! This month has zoomed past and I feel like April has been a bit of a blur. Personally, there’s been some huge changes at work but everything seems to be settling down and getting back to normal. I’ve also changed up my exercise routine, I’m now cycling three days a week instead of five and doing yoga the other two. I feel it’s important to give a little lifestyle update at the end of each month along with my favourites as it gives you an insight to what’s been going on personally as well.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in Hazel – I picked up this Rimmel eyebrow pencil in March and I have been using it to fill in my brows for the past month and I love it! I’m lucky that my brows are naturally quite thick and dark and I don’t need to do a lot to them. The hazel colour is lighter than your usual brown and has a slight red tone to it which ties in well with my hair. One thing I’m not a fan of is eyebrows looking thick and unnatural and this pencil enhances my brows without doing that. If you’re new to filling in brows, give this a product go! It’s so easy to use and doesn’t wear off during the day.

2. Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick – 077 Asia – I purchased this lipstick last month upon recommendation from Claire (Eclairs Cares). I saw a post on her blog and the colour looked so beautiful. Asia is a pinky/brown nude and I have been wearing it a ton over the past few weeks. The formula of Asia is incredible and comparable to that of a much more expensive lipstick. I’d say this lipstick could almost be called a demi-matte. The colour is very creamy and easy to apply but it’s also very pigmented. Asia has made such a good impression, it even featured in my Nude Lipsticks 101 post along with three of my other top nude lip products.

3. Skechers Flex Appeal Sweet Spot Walking Shoes – I purchased this pair of trainers over Easter weekend and just thinking about wearing them fills me with excitement! These are so comfortable and stylish and I know I will get a lot of wear out of them. CLICK HERE to read my First Impressions on these shoes and a more thorough review.

4. Olive Pomegranate Hand & Nail Cream – Recently I finished up my Shea hand cream from The Body Shop and I started using this one from New Zealand based brand Olive. We sell this at work and everyone always remarks how lovely it smells so I had to smell it myself. I ended up loving it so much I had to buy it! This product contains 50ml as opposed to The Body Shop’s 30ml meaning, it’s almost twice the size so should last twice as long. I’ve saved the best point about this hand cream until last; it smells like bubblegum. It’s not a sickly sweet smell and lingers for a good while after application. This soaks in quickly and keeps my hands nice and moisturised.

5. Zayn – Mind of Mine – I reviewed this album on Monday (CLICK HERE to read that post) so I will keep things brief. I have been listening to this album non-stop over the past month and I still haven’t gotten sick of it. The slick, sexy R&B tones are not normally what I listen to but something about Mind of Mine intrigues me. Zayn has made a stellar debut and I can’t wait for his second album! Standout Tracks: Pillowtalk, BeFoUr, sHe, Borderz, TiO and Like I Would.

April’s Spotify Playlist:

This month’s playlist is all about good vibes!

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Album Review: Zayn – Mind of Mine

Album Review Zayn - Mind of Mine

Zayn - Mind of Mine     Zayn - Mind of Mine Tracklist

Friday, March 25th 2016; presses play and listens to ‘Mind of Mine’ on Spotify for the first time.

It’s a year to the day since Zayn Malik left One Direction and his debut solo album is unveiled upon the world. Let me start by saying I have always adored Zayn’s voice and I was intrigued to hear his sound and how his music comes across. I use the term come across loosely as I believe one of the most beautiful things about music is that each person can interpret a song and a lyric in a completely different way that makes sense to them. Over the past month I’ve watched and read interviews with Zayn where he’s discussed the album and one thing (pardon the pun Directioners), I’ve picked up on is Zayn’s genuine passion for the songs and the whole process of making this album. I wasn’t sure what to expect prior to listening to the album but lead single Pillowtalk is a good indication; sexy, honest and very much in the pop/R&B lane.

Zayn himself has described the album as, “weird, alternative R&B” stating, “it’s all sparse and random.” Each song has a different story to tell and while there is a mix of genres throughout Mind of Mine, the album still feels cohesive and works. A big part of that is down to production. The select number of producers alongside Zayn work together to achieve a collective sound, one complimenting the other. Zayn’s vocal ability is showcased and demonstrates diverse aspects of his voice. There are the typical R&B elements on tracks such as Drunk and Wrong (a duet with American singer-songwriter Kehlani), and more experimental elements on tracks such as Truth, Lucozade and the Intermission: Flower which is sung in Urdu.

If you’re a fan of Zayn’s poppier sound, you will not be disappointed. Zayn displays a bit of classic pop and has a One Direction-esque moment on Beatles inspired ballad Fool For You. His gorgeous falsetto features on a number of tracks including, It’s You, BeFour and She – further illustrating Zayn’s talents. Note: The “flashing lights” falsetto in the middle eight of BeFour is my favourite of the whole album!

If you’re looking to compare Zayn’s sound to another artist you will be hard-pressed to do so. While there are elements of Zayn’s influences throughout the album (Usher – Drunk, The Beatles – Fool For You, The Weeknd – TIO) it doesn’t sound like Zayn is trying to imitate those artists. The lyrics and thoughts are completely his. You can’t dispute the honesty in the lyrics and where they’re coming from.

It’s no secret that Mind of Mine is a rather sexual album with Zayn admitting himself that Pillowtalk is about sex. In my opinion this makes the album more endearing as Zayn writes about a topic we all want to hear about and know more about. It would be easy for these lyrics to come off as cheap and distasteful but something about Zayn’s voice and the way they’re worded make them beautiful. Zayn sings about getting to know someone, discovering what they’re really like and getting them to let their guard down in Borderz, “So take it off, let’s break down all of our walls. He also hints at being interested in more than looks in TIO, “Take off all your makeup baby take it off. A man who enjoys the no makeup look gets extra points in my book!

While Mind of Mine is a shift from Zayn’s former 1D days, he hasn’t lost his boyish charm and good looks that made teenage girls go crazy. I hold my hand up and admit I’ve never been a One Direction fan but the success the band has achieved is pretty amazing! I mentioned previously, Fool For You is the closest to a One Direction moment you will get on the album but the pop sensibilities of She are also not far off. You could suggest lyrically Rear View and Truth are about the band and perhaps the spelling of BeFour is a reference to the band’s album ‘Four’?

As you can probably tell from my glowing review, I am completely in love with this album! I have been listening to it non-stop for the past month and it will easily be one of my top albums for 2016. Again, I had no idea what I would think or if I’d even like Mind of Mine before listening to it but it really has surprised me. Discovering something left-field to what you normally listen to and ending up loving it is another thing I adore about music. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m a similar age to Zayn but I feel like this album is right for me at this time of my life. While our lifestyle choices are worlds apart, the truthfulness and raw lyrics connect with me. A couple of years ago I might not have listened to Mind of Mine and appreciated it. Zayn has always had this mysterious persona surrounding him (though not created by him) and this album really sees him break down a few walls of his own and cement his place as a credible artist.

If I could describe the album in 5 words: sexy, honest, eclectic, captivating, beautiful.

Standout Tracks: Pillowtalk, BeFoUr, sHe, BoRdErZ, TIO and Like I Would.


Have you listened to Mind of Mine? What’s your favourite track? Also, be sure to let me know if you enjoyed my review!

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What I Do In a Day #1

What I Do In a DayHey there! A couple of weeks ago the lovely Kaily left a comment on my What I Eat In a Week post and said I should write a “What I Do In a Day” one as well. I took her suggestion on board and basically this post will be me showing you what I get up to on a daily basis and what my normal routine is. I have included pictures as visual aids but mostly for Kaily’s benefit!  😉

Note: The day featured is Monday, March 28 2016. Due to Easter I had the day off work and this is not how I spend every Monday. Times and activities may vary.

What I Do In a Day

11:20am Wake up

11:25am  – Water, vitamins, antihistamine

11:33am – Exercycle – 10km

12:07pm – (Late) breakfast – crumpets with butter

12:16pm – Shower

1:00pm – Dry and straighten hair

2:15pm – FOTD, apply makeup

3:00pm – Went into town

4:30pm – Purchased suitcase

5:20pm – Weekly organising and blog planning

5:50pm – Listened to Mind of Mine on Spotify

7:00pm – Eat dinner and watch TV

8:50pm – Online shopping – biker jacket and beanie

9:37pm – Paint nails – Essie ‘Ladylike’

10:00pm – Computer/catch up on vlogs

11:57pm – Bed

I realise lunch is missing from that list but that’s because I didn’t have any and had a late breakfast. Also missing from the list is my nightly ritual of applying hand cream before I go to bed. I didn’t apply any on Monday night as I didn’t want to ruin my nails. #priorities

I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you found it interesting or would like me to turn it into a series!

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