The Sunday Post: Things That Made Me Happy This Week #21

What made me happy this week...

- I started off the week with a brunch date between me and my other half at the lovely little tea room that's just opened where I live! We enjoyed some gorgeous Bakewell Tart tea and cake and crumpets and it was DIVINE.

- I also got a new job! At the tea room no less...apparently my love for all things coffee, tea and cake is going to be put to good use and I can't wait to get started. I'll be working non-stop at 2 jobs again though but holla at all the dolla.

- I dyed my hair again and went back over to the ginge side. The best part though, being auburn makes every one of my lipsticks look so much better...winner!

- My other half. Cringe alert, but I'm literally the luckiest girl in the world and this week has had a few downs that have made me realize how good I've got it. Best hubby to be ever.

What made you happy this week?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' if you'd like to keep up to date with my posts!

Always, Alice x

Beauty: Speedy Quick Nail Fix

(l-r Sprint Finish, Dragster)

I love painting my nails. Nothing makes me feel like I've got my shit together more than having a nice manicure that is chip free and gorgeous and shiny. But let's be real gals, ain't nobody really got time to hold down a full time job (behind a bar no less), run a blog and a home and still be looking all perfect. There just isn't TIME.

Enter the new Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Autumn range...

I have a couple of shades from when the first collection of pastel assorted colours were released back in February and while I love the pretty lavender shade 'Lap of Honour', the rest just weren't really my cup of tea. The Autumn range though, features 4 more dark and vampy colours which are more up my street and it didn't take long for them to make their way into my stash.
I picked up a statement slate grey shade in the colour 'Dragster' and my recent can't-get-off-my-nails favourite, 'Sprint Finish' - a GORGEOUS berry red shade.
The formula of these is the same as the first offerings and while they don't last as long as their Gelly Hi-Shine sisters, the colour pay-off of these alone make them well worth buying! The best part though? It takes literally 30 seconds for these badboys to dry before you can go ahead and apply a second coat making them the holy grail for those with Busy Life Syndrome and lazy gals everywhere!

Have you tried this collection yet? What is your favourite shade?

Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' if you'd like to keep up to date with more of my posts :)

Always, Alice x

Happy Birthday Always, Alice + What Blogging Has Taught Me

Always, Alice is 1 today!
I can't believe I've been blogging for a whole entire year - as someone with the attention span of a table leg, it's a massive achievement for me!
I've loved pretty much every minute of it though and while it's been hard work and admittedly there have been a couple of times where I've thought of packing it all in, I'm proud of where I've gotten to so far and I'm happy to be going onwards and upwards!

In light of spending a whole year blogging, I thought I'd share with you some things that I've learnt along the way and maybe the things that people don't reaaaally tell you about blogging...

- It is a COMMITMENT. Yeah sure, blogging is a fun hobby and can be incredibly rewarding but nothing happens overnight and it takes long hours of writing posts and taking those perfect photos to get to the end result. Oh also, running a full time job whilst trying to write 4 posts a week...not easy!

- It's hard to be "original". That might be a bit of a controversial statement to make but with all the millions of bloggers out there these days, I've found it's very unlikely that you're writing a post that hasn't been done before. But I think the best thing you can do is inject some personality all over your blog and make it your own with some amazing photography, and even it's a makeup haul that's been done a thousand times before, it'll be different because you made it YOURS.

- It's the best place to speak to people and make friends! I've met so many different people at blog events and spoken to heaps of lovely gals on blog comments and in twitter chats and it's amazing just how friendly our little community really is! Twitter chats are definitely the way forward, and even if you're the busiest person ever, there's one on practically every night of the week so there's something for everyone!

- It's all a learning process. There's been times I've been massively unhappy with all different aspects of my little blog - the layout, the photos, the content. But with each post comes a chance to learn from it and find new ways to do things, and it's always interesting looking back on my first few posts and noticing a difference. Here's my very first post (don't judge...I was really proud of it at the time!)

- You might develop a slight shopping addiction. This might just be me but I've noticed that it's become increasingly harder to walk past a Boots and not leave with a massive full bag of lipsticks and nail varnishes...all for blog post purposes of course though!

- Most of all, it's FUN! I love nothing more than sitting down in front of my laptop in my little office space that I've set up an writing to my hearts content. Here's to the next year of blogging!

How long have you been a blogger?

Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' if you'd like to stay up to date with more of my posts!

Always, Alice x

The Sunday Post: Things That Made Me Happy This Week #20

What made me happy this week...

- I started off the week with a lovely little visit from my mum and best friend and best of all, baby Luna! We had coffee and cake and some yummy food and had lots of wedding chat! I really need to get my arse into gear and start doing some more planning...

- Me and the other half have started the ball rolling and we're now looking for a place of our own! I've never been so excited IN. MY. LIFE. (Soz wedding), but I've always been one of those weirdos who has dreamed of decorating their own house for EVER and it might be happening sooner than I thought.

- We also went to look around my boss's house renovation and it is amaaaaazing. The work that has gone into it is is beautiful and I'm really excited to see the finished product! Definitely inspired me to become rich so I can do the same...

What made you happy this week?

Let me know in the comments below and don't forget there's still a couple of hours left to enter my GIVEAWAY if you want to win some Lush, MAC and Benefit goodies!

Always, Alice x

Interiors: New Home Wishlist Ft. Asda Living

So THE most exciting thing is going to happen...WE'RE MOVING OUT! Me and the other half have been living with his parents for the last 2 years (and we're super grateful, obvs), but we thought it was time to fly the nest and get a little place of our own before we get married! 
And obviously my inner interior design freak has been going cray-cray about the idea of decorating my own little place - spoiler, I want all the candles.

The first place I headed to do a bit of internet window shopping was Asda! I'm a big lover of supermarket home ranges as I think the stuff they stock is super chic and v.affordable - and Asda is definitely my favourite. Here's my wishlist of things that I just LOVE. Everything I chose is under £20 and is bloody gorgeous! I will definitely be purchasing the majority when we find a house and I can't wait to have a cosy little living room filled with candles and loads of cushions and throws! My favourite thing out of everything is the terrarium style table lamp which is such a steal at £17 and would look great on a coffee table surrounded by lots of cosy candles.
I can't wait to keep you all updated on the house hunt and to show you a work in progress of the inside when we finally move in...

Where is your favourite place to pick up homeware?

Let me know in the comments below and don't forget there is still a couple of days to enter my GIVEAWAY to win some MAC, Lush and Benefit goodies!

Always, Alice x

Beauty: My September Birchbox + First Impressions

First of all, let my take a minute to introduce to you the new look Always, Alice blog! I've been a bit here and there with blogging lately (nothing new there!) and decided enough was enough and it was time to get back on the horse, and the best place to start and give myself a kick up the backside was with a beautiful new blog design!

I've been drooling over the Pipdig blog templates for some time now and while at £29 they don't exactly break the bank, I just couldn't bring myself to hit the purchase button...until now! It was so easy to install too and I couldn't be happier with my new little corner of the internet - hopefully I won't be as neglectful in the future!


The latest Birchbox offering fell on my doormat recently it's probably one of my favourites so far! The September Birchbox (UK) came as a celebration of the brand's 5th birthday, with birthday inspired packaging designed by lucky Birchbox subscribers - I received the birthday balloon variety which is gorgeous and I'll definitely be re-using it for something else.
To top it off, each of the products inside this month hailed from the US, which was very excited as I've never been! (Sephora, I need you in my life...)
But what was inside?

The first thing that caught my eye straight away was the 'Birchbrush' - basically Birchbox's version of the popular Tangle Teezer! I've never jumper on the TT bandwagon as they're a littttttle bit pricey so I was glad to have one of these in my box for a fraction of the price! It's the perfect size for my handbag which is handy as I've got A LOT of hair on my pea head that needs constant detangling.
Next was the Benefit Porefessional License to Blot oil-blotting stick. I've been a fan of the original Porefessional balm for a while and while I don't have particularly oily skin, I think this will be fab for use as a base before applying my makeup!

I received a Laqa & Co Cheeky lip pencil in a peachy-coral shade called 'Cray-Cray'...not sure I love the packaging on this one as it rattles around a little bit and sounds a bit cheap BUT saying that, the colour is gorgeous! I haven't tested it out fully but it looks like a perfect everyday your-lips-but-better shade.
A product I'm not really sure on is the Citrus Neroli Detangler by John Masters Organics. Being from the US, it's not a brand I've heard of before and while I love the fresh scent of this, I don't know if I'll have much use for it! I'll get back to you...
I love the idea of the liquid exfoliant from Paula's Choice. I've heard them raved about and while I'm not really sure how this works, I'm excited to try it as I'm too lazy to exfoliate the old fashioned way!
The best of them all is the Beauty Protector Beauty Wash body cleanser which smells frickin' AMAZINGGGG. I'm going to save this little mini for the gym (motivation to go, right?!) but I used a little and it makes my skin feel so clean and soft. WINNER.

Overall I'm quite happy with this months box and I'm counting down the days until the next offering!
What is your favourite beauty box?

Let me know in the comments below and don't forget there are still a few days to enter my GIVEAWAY to win some Lush, MAC and Benefit goodies!

Always, Alice x

The Sunday Post: Things That Made Me Happy This Week #19

What made me happy this week...

- I met my newborn nephew for the first time! Me and the other half went on a little road trip down to Southampton to visit my sister-in-law and her beautiful little family and it was so exciting to meet the newest addition, baby Freddie!

- Whilst down south we may have also made a cheeky trip to IKEA and Tiger and I bought ALL the home things to make our little room at home a lot more cosy!

- I've taken to completely gutting out our room - a weird thing to make me happy but it's amazing how much stuff two people can accumulate and I thought it was about time to throw a load of stuff out, put unwanted junk on ebay and make our little space a haven!

What's made you happy this week?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget there is still time to enter my GIVEAWAY to win some Lush, MAC and Benefit treats!

Always, Alice x

August Favourites

Where the heck did August disappear to?! It was a hectic month for me, especially at work and it being our busiest period and I feel like August was just completely non-stop! Not that I'm complaining though because September = AUTUMN!
Anyone that knows me knows that I absolutely hate Summer (pale skin problems) and I have been wittering on for ages how I can't wait for Autumn and Winter to arrive and now it has and I'm so bloody exctited!


 My first favourite of August is the Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion and this has helped with the dreaded panda eyes that take over my face. I've been applying a little bit to a cotton pad every morning and night and it instantly cools and soothes the eye area and I've noticed A LOT of brightness already and my under-eyes are looking less panda-like...YAY!
Next I've been absolutely obsessed with Nakd fruit and nut bars and Urban Fruit packets! Since turning veggie, I've made a real effort to keep up with eating healthy but I've been significantly lacking in the snack department (I like biscuits. Don't judge.) until I met these babies! Yes, they're expensive and some of them taste really really gross but I am constantly craving the Cocoa Orange & Bakewell Tart Nakd bars and the Smashing Strawberry Urban Fruit packets!

A couple of makeup faves this month include a new and oldie! My new find is the Topshop Glow highlighter in 'Polished' which is a quick and easy fix to add some glow (geddit?!) to my makeup routine! My old favourite is the Collection Fast Stroke eyeliner which I have used on and off for the last 10 years or so and I keep coming back to cos it's just THAT GOOD! Cheap as chips too.
My favourite scent of the moment has to be my Vikor & Rolf Bon Bon Eau De Parfum which was my birthday present from my lovely other half! Aside from the gorgeous packaging, the scent itself is absolutely amaaaaaazing and the staying power is fab. I like to savour my perfumes so I've only been wearing this on special occasions but I always get lots of compliments and my other half loves it!

My last favourite of the month is my MASSIVE striped scarf from ASOS! A steal in the sale for only £10 or so, I've been wearing it non-stop as the days and evenings get cooler - the perfect Autumn accessory!

What have you been loving recently?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget there's still plenty of time to enter my GIVEAWAY to win some Lush, Benefit and MAC goodies!

Always, Alice x

Product Empties #1

As a beauty product HOARDER, bringing you my first empties post is quite an achievement! I'm finally getting myself in a proper skincare routine and since starting my blog, my makeup collection has quadrupled so it's about time I used up some things and cleared some much needed space on my shelves (so I can go buy more, OBVS)!

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water x2 (£4.99 for 400ml)
My holy grail! I've been using this for the past year and am nearly done with my third bottle - I can't get enough of the stuff. I work late nights so it's a god-send to be able to come home and take my makeup off with just a quick swipe of a cotton pad. I've noticed that pretty much every skincare brand is coming out with their own version too, so once I've finished my current bottle I might be swayed to try a different one but I know the Garnier micellar water will always be a firm favourite.

Garnier Ultimate Blends Argan & Camellia Oil Conditioner (£3.89 for 400ml)
Okay, this one wasn't technically empty but I just didn't get on with it at all and could only manage around 4 uses before I gave up! As it claims to be specifically for dull and dry hair I thought it would work perfectly for me but it just seemed to make the problem worse! I know everyone raves about some of the other Ultimate Blends range and I've had a few other good experiences with those but this just did not do it for me one bit.

Lush Snow Fairy Limited Edition Shower Gel (£6.85 for 250ml)
I know, I know, it's AUGUST, but I'm still working my way through my Lush Christmas stash! I finished this 250ml bottle a month or so ago after a whopping 7 months worth of usage! The Lush shower gels seem quite pricey on first look but you only need to use a tiny bit each time so even the tiny 100ml bottles last ages and the product inside is fab! The scent is my fave too and I'm not embarrassed to say I'm now working my way through another bottle...

Origins GinZing Moisturiser (£24.00 for 50ml)
I LOVE THIS. Not just cos it smells like oranges which is probably the best bloody scent ever but it feels like a dream to apply to my skin and it lasts a lifetime! It's supposed to brighten up the skin and give it a boost which I'm not entirely sure of but it definitely made my skin silky smooth for hours on end. I loved it so much I bought 2 more at the same time. DON'T JUDGE.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Primer (£6.99)
I bought this on a whim as I wanted to see if a primer would actually make a difference to my makeup - and it did! Don't get me wrong, this doesn't work miracles or anything but I noticed that my makeup applied a little more smoothly than usual and lasted a little longer too. Not sure I'll repurchse just yet as I want to see what else is on the market but for a bargain price you can't go wrong!

Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara in Ultra Black (£9.99)
Simply put, my go-to mascara. I've repurchased this countless times and haven't got bored yet. It makes my lashes look separated and full without being clumpy and with minimal fall out too, WINNER!

Soap & Glory Supercat Liquid Liner in Carbon Black Extreme (£6.00)
Again, another product I'll probably keep buying until they discontinue it! It applies beautifully via the felt tip pen type nib and the pigment is awesome. The only downside is it does dry up quite quickly but I can get a good couple months out of only spending £6 so it's well worth the money.

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in 'Mont Blanc' (£31.00)
Lastly, blogger's favourite Sheer Glow has been a breath of fresh air into my makeup routine. I was quite reluctant to part with that sort of money on a teeny bottle of foundation but this one lasted me a good 8 months and the quality is fantastic! My natural skin is pretty much translucent and grey at the best of times but this makes me look like a human being again and my skin looking flawless.

What have you used up lately?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget you can still enter my GIVEAWAY to win some MAC, Benefit and Lush goodies!

Always, Alice x