The Sunday Post: Things That Made Me Happy This Week #28

What made me happy this week...

- I had a massive spring clean at home and weirdly it's made me happy to make my house all lovely and organised! We had a house inspection that we were preparing for that turned out to last a grand old total of 2 minutes (!) but I'm glad we got all the tidying out of the way and I can just relax when I come home!

- Making plans! I've made lots of plans for the near future and for summer this week and I'm really excited to be busy! It's the first year that I'm actually looking forward to summer and warm weather (mainly for my wedding, eek!) and even writing about it now is getting me all giddy!

- Tonight I'm going out with the girls and I'm looking forward to having a few (okay, more than a few) cocktails and dancing until my feet hurt! Am I the only one who enjoys getting ready more than the actual night out too? An excuse to use all of my new makeup, woo!

- The weather is getting warmer we're having more sunny days which is definitely making me happy! It's the best mood boost in a morning to open the curtains and have sunlight flood in and I'm hoping it lasts for longer than just this bank holiday weekend!

I hope you've all had a lovely long Easter weekend up to now, and let me know in the comments what's been making you happy this week!
Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' too and keep up to date with all of my posts.

Always, Alice x

Beauty: March Birchbox + First Impressions

Another month, another Birchbox delivery, and this month's is one that I've really been enjoying so far! The concept of the March box is searching for your ultimate beauty discovery (hence the wordsearch box design, so cute!), and I've definitely found a few gems that have made a difference to my beauty routines this month!

The first product inside is the Philip B Drop Dead Straightening Baume (RRP £20). I have fairly straight hair naturally, but I thought I'd give this a go as it claims to help shorten blow-dry time which for my long hair is a NIGHTMARE. After rubbing a bit of this all through damp hair, I put the old hair dryer on it and the end results were lovely. It's not a massively ground-breaking product but blow-drying my hair was a lot easier and my hair looked a lot sleeker so it does what it says on the tin! 

Next up is the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray (RRP £16) which I was SO excited to receive! I've wanted to try this out for so long and see if it actually works rather than being another one of those gimicky products that everyone raves about but I can happily confirm that this works bloody wonders! It promises to help calm the mind in order to fall asleep quicker and stay asleep for longer, and although I don't have any trouble falling asleep quickly (head hits pillow, I'm dead to the world...) I always wake up in the middle of the night and feel groggy in the morning. I've been using this for a week or so now and I've never slept better or felt more revitalised the next day- even my boyfriend has asked for a couple of spritzes on his pillow! I can definitely see me purchasing the full size when this is up!

Another hair product in my box was the Amika Nourishing Mask (RRP £19.99). I'm waiting to use this until my hair needs a little TLC, as its supposed to intensely hydrate the hair and seal split ends and I really hope it follows through because that sounds fab! While I'm disappointed the sachet sample is probably only good for one use, I love the packaging design and am looking forward to seeing the results.

Next up is the Arrow Boost Color Enhancing Lip Balm (RRP £11) which is a product from Birchbox's new vegan brand! As well as protecting your lips from nasty dryness, it also doubles up as a balm stain which adjusts to the PH of your lips and gives you a unique colour wash! I've used this a handful of times and I'm not disappointed - the colour it gives my lips is gorgeous and once it's stained your lips, it doesn't move an inch! It's been a fab alternative to wearing lipstick, and perfect for those no-makeup makeup days!

Another VERY exciting product this week is the ModelCo More Brows tinted brow gel (RRP £13) which looks like a perfect dupe for everyone's favourite Gimme Brow by Benefit! I've never actually used Gimme Brow before so can't compare, but I'm loving this offering and it's made doing my brows in a morning so much quicker and easier! It's a fab match to my natural colour which is a lucky fit and the brush wand sculpts them perfectly. If you're after a slightly cheaper alternative to the Gimme Brow then I'd definitely give this a try instead!

Last but not least is the Polaar IceSource Moisturising Gel (RRP £25.50) which is taking pride of place in my skincare routine this month! Suited to all skin types (which is amazing!), the gel-like product hydrates the skin like a dream and cools it down, getting rid of any redness and inflammation. It's got lots of natural goodness in it too and I've been using it religiously morning and night since I got it and it's made a real difference to the appearance of my face! Although the full-size is a little pricey, I'll definitely be looking into buying it!

What do you think to this month's box? Is there anything you want to try?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with my posts.

Always, Alice x

Beauty: Underrated Products You Need To Try

Already this year, I've tried quite a lot of new products and I've been playing around a lot more with my makeup routines and trying different things. So much so that I've found some products that I just want to shout from the high hills to everyone and tell you that you NEED.TO.TRY.THEM.

I'm not really one who follows the hype (except for anything Charlotte Tilbury, cos I'm ALLLLL over that), but rather I like to find products in my own time or find hidden gems that people have forgotten about or aren't really spoken about but...probably should be.
A brand I've been really impressed with for the last part of 2015 and all of this year is Seventeen. It was always the stand that I used to overlook when on one of my crazy makeup buying days in Boots, or at least until I picked up the Define & Conquer contour palette. This is so friggin' good! I've been so loyal to my CT Filmstar Bronze & Glow for a year or so now that I really didn't want to entertain the idea of using anything else to chisel my face and make me look beautiful. But I picked this up on a whim and it's so bloody good and pigmented and all the feels that I think I love it just as much as my CT offering - if not only for the fact that it's a tenth of the price! It's so travel friendly and comes with a little mirror too and the packaging is so sleek and NARS-esque. Big thumbs up from me!

A new favourite of mine from Seventeen are their The Cheek Of It powder blushes. I picked a couple of these up in one of those blind 3 for 2 moments and they're the best high street blushes that I've tried. I work long shifts so am always in need of makeup that stays put, but always struggle to find a blush that doesn't just dissolve the moment I step outside, but these stick around and the colour choice is lovely! For only £2.99 as well, they're an absolute bargain and I'm so happy I found them!

If you're a friend of mine, you'll know how gaga I am about GOSH's Velvet Touch Matt lipsticks. The formula is so creamy and non-drying for a matte lipstick yet it sticks around for hours and hours and when paired with their range of Velvet Touch lipliners, they do not budge! My all-time favourite shade is 002 Rose which is a gorgeous mauve-pink that is very flattering on pale skin, and my new favourite is 012 Raisin which is a classic brown-nude that I am OBSESSED with!

Lastly, and something I haven't heard people talk about for a while is the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance. I got this by redeeming my Birchbox points (such a great idea!) and considering it's the first Laura Mercier product that I own, it's safe to say that it's changed my makeup routine. I apply this before my foundation and it literally just brightens and lightens my whole complexion and makes even the worst foundation look amazing on my skin! I've had so many people commenting recently on my "glow" and how healthy I look and I'm putting it down to this badboy!

What products do you love that you think are underrated? I'd love to try some!
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with more of my posts.

Always, Alice x

Fashion: Getting Sun Ready For Summer

Ironically, I type this whilst wearing 2 pairs of socks and the heating on full (and still freezing!), but believe or not summer is around the corner, and the way this year is going it'll be here before we know it!

I'm always so reluctant to start shopping for summer clothes as I cannot bear the thought of parting with my all black errrrrythang and having to shave my legs on the regular so I can wear dresses. I am, however, excited to bring sunglasses back into my life and I was delighted when I was contacted by the lovely people at to pick out a brand new pair to style!
I'm a massive lover of big round quirky styles, so picked out this gorgeous pair with mirrored lenses and tortoiseshell effect frames.

Delivery was super quick considering they came all the way from the US, and within only a few days of placing my order they'd arrived! I was really impressed that they came in this cute map print hard case too, which will make them perfect for travelling, and they even come with a handy little cleaning cloth too.
The quality of the sunglasses themselves is pretty great as well, and although I was dubious at first as I hadn't heard of the company, they look very well made and far more expensive than they are. The site offers non-prescription and prescription sunglasses and eyeglasses, most of which will set you back as little £12 and there's so many styles to choose from in alternate colours - bonus!

For once I'm actually looking forward to a bit of sunshine and warm weather so I can take these beauties on a day out, and I might be placing another order before long too...

Where is your favourite place to shop for sunglasses?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with my posts!

Always, Alice x

*Post contains a PR sample, but all views and opinions are my own!

The Sunday Post: What Made Me Happy This Week #27

What made me happy this week...

- We have FINALLY booked our venue and sorted all the major bits out for our wedding and I'm getting so excited! It's also time to buy my wedding dress, and I'm so excited try it on for the first time woooo!

- I've been practising yoga all week and I'm able to do some of the hard poses! Sounds sad but I've never been the sportiest of gals so to find some exercise that I'm actually good at and enjoy is fab! Yoga With Adriene is my favourite way to spend evenings at the minute.

- After feeling down at the start of the week as explained in my recent Life: post, I spent some quality time with my other half and I feel so much happier and positive. A good cuddle and cup of tea is seriously under-rated!

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

Always, Alice x

Beauty: Neal's Yard Rehydrating Roses

Don't hate me, but I've always had good skin - I've got my mama's amazing genes to thank for that. I've never suffered from breakouts except the occasional McDonald's induced spot, and I never really had many blemishes to speak of. My skin was always super soft and yeah, I had dark circles (nobody's perfect!), but overall I was happy with my skin.

Then BAM.

My face was no longer baby soft and instead was replaced by a horrible dry mess. Serves me right for bragging! My makeup wouldn't sit right on my face, I had horrible patches and blemishes and my skin was so dull and grey. It was like all the Winters of horrid skin had hit me at once and I felt so gross and self-conscious.
I was in town one day with my other half and I thought I'd have a cheeky browse in Neal's Yard and see what I could find. I'd heard loads of positive things about NYR from reading blog posts and watching Youtube videos but I wasn't feeling hopeful that I'd find anything that could help me.

The lovely lady who worked there though swiftly came across to ask me what my skin concerns were and after about a 10 minute rant on how I was hating life and my skin was GREY, she pointed me in the direction of the Rehydrating Rose collection. To be perfectly honest, I wasn't really expecting much but to test the range out I picked up the Rehydrating Rose Regime Kit (£15) which is full of 5 minis from the collection - a facial wash, toner, facial oil, daily moisturiser and facial polish - and I also took home a full size of the Eye Cream (£24) to match.

I've been using it for a month now and I actually love it all! Lets be completely honest, it hasn't totally transformed my skin or anything but it's definitely done what it says on the tin and completely and utterly rehydrated it! My skin is back to it's near best and not quite as grey as before and I LOVE applying the steps morning and night. I really like that everything is organic and natural and cruelty free too so I've been getting all of the good stuff. The Facial Oil is the real star of the show too, filled with so many essential oils, and even when I skip the rest of the steps and just apply this before bed, my skin still feels hydrated in the morning. A little definitely goes a long way with each of the products too, and even though it's a month on, I'm still nowhere near to finishing the majority of the kit! Since I only received two small sachets of the Facial Polish though, I've since repurchased the full size and it's firmly cemented it's place in my skincare routine to brighten and cleanse and my skin.

I'm excited to have another forage in Neal's Yard again soon and I hope to pick up a few more fab skincare products to add into my routine! I've already got my eye on half of their bath and body this space.

Have you shopped at Neal's Yard before? What would you recommend?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with all of my posts!

Always, Alice x

Life: Why It's Okay To Not Have A Plan

I write this post on the back of a debbie-downer day. A day spent wallowing in the same position for hours on end doing nothing productive and instead watching episode after episode of One Tree Hill whilst hating on myself.
I'm not really sure what it was that exactly triggered this stint of self-pity but after finally dragging myself into the shower at 10pm, I had a thought...

Why am I putting so much bloody pressure on myself?

It was one of those days where I punished myself. Firstly for not going to the gym, then for eating a whole pizza for dinner followed by a tub of ice cream and so on and so on. I did pretty much nothing all day due to feeling so down and unmotivated and I was punishing myself for sitting on the sofa for hours on end when in actual fact it was probably just what I needed and my lack of energy and motivation was probably my body's way of telling me so.

I think one of the main reasons I was feeling so low was thinking about what I'm doing with my life. While I wouldn't exactly count myself as a massive failure, I am not where I thought I would be at this point in my life and everything I aspired to be throughout school and college has not happened for me (I'm neither a famous fashion designer nor a forensic scientist, sob!). I've constantly found myself thinking about what my future holds and what I'm going to do career-wise and how I'm going to get there - and it's been wearing me out.

And it's dawned on me that I'm taking the wrong attitude. 

While I completely admire people who have their shit together from primary school and know what they want to do and who they want to be and how to get there, I've also realised that there is nothing wrong with the people who don't. I'm sure I'm not the only one who'a had a quarter-life crisis and is freaking out about what my purpose in life is but in the same way it doesn't feel like it's worth getting upset over anymore.
I don't have a thriving career or a mortgage or even a pink driving license. But what I - and I'm sure many of you - forget is that there's still plenty to be proud of and to look forward to.

So in fear of going off on a ramble, the main point of this post is to say that it's okay. It's okay not to know where you're going in life and it's okay to be okay with it. I don't have a career plan yet, no. But I've worked a few different jobs and I've built up my experience and done a lot of amazing things in between. It's okay to have a lazy day for yourself if you need one, without punishing yourself for it and it's okay to not be everything you dreamed of when you were 6 or even 16.
While I'm willing to work hard at any opportunity that may come at me, it's kind of exciting not knowing what those opportunities are and just enjoying the journey along the way.
(Plus it's never too late to start something new, AMEN to those who apply to university at 30!)

Always, Alice x

Beauty: Red Lipsticks That Last

Anyone who knows me knows how fond I am of a bold, matte red lip. It's become my little signature and I'm rarely seen without one unless I'm feeling really ill or I've had a rough night before! Since I work such long shifts at work, I want my lip colour to stay, and while matte formulas generally last longer on the lips than a sheerer satin formula, I always like to go that one step further and find those shades that really stick around and barely need to be re-applied...cos lets face it, ain't nobody got time to be fixing their lippy every 20 minutes.

In the last year or so I've discovered some gorgeous shades all from different brands that go above and beyond to leave their mark on my lips and they're all at different ends of the price spectrum too!
We'll start with the most expensive one in Charlotte Tilbury's Love Liberty (£24). As part of her Matte Revolution range, it does what it says on the tin and more. This is normally my go to deep red lip colour on a night out as I know it's low maintenance and I don't need to worry about the colour escaping down my chin and all over my teeth after a few vodkas!
I'm also completely on the bandwagon of MAC's Ruby Woo (£15.50). It's probably the most drying of lipstick formulas that I own given that it's from the Retro Matte collection, but I find with a little lipbalm before and after, this ones a godsend! The colour is gorgeous too - a real classic, pillarbox red!

l-r: Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Love Liberty, MAC Ruby Woo, Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Grand Cru, Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Hot Pepper, L'Oreal Colour Riche Blake's Red, Rimmel Kate Moss 107 Wine, Maybelline ColourDrama Red Essential

When Bourjois released their Rouge Edition Velvet liquid lipsticks a couple of years ago, I was ALL over the reds and I picked up two for my collection in Grand Cru and Hot Pepper (both £8.99). One is a dark red รก la Love Liberty and one is a bright, true red like Ruby Woo, and both of them have the same fab staying power. These were the first liquid lipsticks that I tried and I haven't looked back since! Again, they tend to be quite drying but nothing some Carmex can't solve!
My holy grail red lipstick has to be L'Oreal Colour Riche Blake's Red (£6.99). I've always raved about this to anyone who will listen that it's an almost perfect dupe for MAC's Ruby Woo at a fraction of the price and it's one I reach for more frequently than the others. It has the same extremely matte formula like Ruby Woo and again is a true red and it stays on the lips for a bloody lifetime. I can easily work a 9 hour shift and this badboy won't budge an inch!

The Rimmel Kate Moss Wine 107 (£5.49) is a blogger staple and rightly so. It's a lot creamier and buttery than the other shades but still lasts a good couple of hours in staying power before you need to re-apply. Plus it smells like watermelons, just sayin'...
And last but not least is the Maybelline Colour Drama pencil in Red Essential (£4.99). I'm a massive fan of these lip pencils and think they easily outdo their NARS counterpart - except for the smaller shade range, but that's just being picky. As it's a pencil, it makes application a dream and so precise, and while it's got a creamy formula to it, it dries much more matte and long-lasting! 

What are your favourite long-lasting lipsticks? Any reds to add to my collection? 
Let me know in the comments and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with my posts!

Always, Alice x

February Favourites

Okay seriously, it's MARCH?! February once again flew by and I'm not quite sure what I did with my life in those 29 days. It's been a pretty chilled out and happy month though and while I haven't discovered anything life changing, I've got a little compilation of things I've enjoyed these last couple of weeks that I'd like to share!

Beauty: On the beauty front this month, the first thing that has made it's way into my regular beauty routine is the Bareminerals Complexion Rescue. I'm not really sure what the main purpose of this is (is it a primer, is it a tinted moisturiser?) I ain't got a clue but I bloody well love it! It's probably a mixture of the two as I've found I can wear it alone on those low maintenance days and I've recently been wearing it underneath my trusty Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation for some added glow and radiance to make my base stay put ALL. DAY. LONG. I've wanted to pick it up for so long now and I couldn't recommend it enough!
I've also been loving a couple of new nail shades this month in the form of Essie's Cocktail Bling and a Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Acai Smoothie. I'm not quite ready to say goodbye to my dark nails and forget about winter just set but I'm slowly edging my way towards more Spring appropriate shades with these two beauties. Paired with my Seche Vite Fast Dry top coat, they last for days too!
My final beauty of the month is actually a repurchase of my favourite drugstore lipstick - Gosh Velvet Touch in Matt Rose 002. It's the most gorgeous mauve-y pink and completely flatters my skintone!

Fashion: I've been loving accessories this month! Back at the beginning of Feb, I had a lil browse in the H&M jewellery section and literally fell in love with EVERYTHING. Their range is so underrated and so affordable for the quality you get and is always my go-to when I need some bling! I picked up this gorgeous crystal stone statement necklace for under £10, and have received nothing but compliments since I started wearing it. On a whim I also picked up these cute little triangle studs in my local Claire's Accessories for £3.50! They're really minimal and look great on and for the price, I really couldn't say no!

TV & Film: Since I'm all up to date with Grey's Anatomy (sob!) and I'm not ready to get a life anytime soon, I started rewatching all the episodes of One Tree Hill. It was my favourite TV show back in the day and I'm loving watching it all again! I've also been decorating my house this month, and watching The Great Interior Design Challenge as I went along. It's a great watch for anyone who loves interior design or who wants a little bit of home inspiration on a budget!

Books: Not exactly a book, but I was excited to pick up the new issue of Women's Health this month and get back on the fitness track. I look foward to getting these every month and read it cover to cover!

Blogs & Youtube: I've been reading Jasmine Talks Beauty religiously this month, she's fab! As for Youtube, I've been loving Becca Rose and her channel. She's so bubbly and funny and her little house is seriously goals.

What have been your favourites this last month?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with my posts.

Always, Alice x