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  • 08/22/14--23:00: WEAR LIFE EATS: PARIS EDIT

  • As you'll see in next week's vlog, I spent the day in Paris this week! Here's what I got up to...

    WEAR //
    For a day of walking and eating, I wanted to wear something comfy. At 5am it was hard to dress myself but in the end I went for my skinny black jeans, NIKE trainers, striped COS top, ASOS leather jacket and Chloë bag. Not forgetting my Ray Bans...

    LIFE //
    The reason I was there was to meet up with My Little Paris, a company that started small and has grown to something really spectacular. It started with a newsletter sharing Paris' best kept secrets and now offers an app, their own products and even a beauty box. It's a beautiful company and I loved exploring their incredible offices. The box is quite different to the others we've seen before and it'll be launching here in the UK in September. So more on that then...

    EATS //
    We were taken to Café Pinson and I LOVED it. Vegetarian, healthy but substantial delicious food in a cute Parisian cafe down a quiet street. I'd definitely recommend visiting next time you're in Paris - we loved it! 

    Have a great weekend! 

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  • 08/23/14--23:00: Soigné Glacage Bleu

  • I have been loving Soigné nail polishes recently. Cute bottle? Check. Wearable shades? Check. Lasting formula? Check. 

    The shade Glacage Bleu is my perfect blue, light with a hint of purple. I found the formula to be a little more watery than most polishes so although I had to have a steadier hand to apply it, with two coats it looked opaque and glossy on the nails. Soigné is quite hard to find in the UK but it's available online here

    What do you think of this periwinkle blue? 

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    I'm guilty... again. On a spontaneous shopping trip with Anna, I picked up a few beauty bits from Boots and Superdrug and popped into my favourite store, Tiger, too. 

    Wanna take a rummage through my shopping bags? Just click play. 

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    I've always dreamt of going to a makeup factory, but being able to actually make my own lipstick was a dream come true. Last week, Anna, Ruth and I headed to the Max Factor lipstick lab and spent the entire day mixing pigments to create our very own personalised lipstick shades. 

    I found the whole experience incredibly fascinating. We learnt about what goes into making a lipstick, which in this case is a mix of butters, white, yellow, red (and sometimes blue or black!) pigments, caster oil and something called MICA which helps it all stick together. We learnt that nude lipsticks are the hardest to make so I stuck to my original plan of making one orangey red, one berry and one coral/pink. 

    Max Factor have always had a huge involvement with the evolution of lipstick. They created the first Lip Pomade in 1928 as a way to provide a glamorous, glossy appearance to movie actresses' lips on film. At the time it was a much better option that simply licking their lips, which is what they had to do previously. In 1929 lipstick was made available to the public and by 1940 Max Factor had created the True-Colour lipstick, tested by "The Kissing Machine" to last well on the lips. 

    As I said, I created 3 of my very own shades. Phi Phi Sunset is a sheer, coral pink and definitely my favourite of the three. Raspberry Fields is a soft, buttery berry shade and One More Slice is a pizza topping, orangey red and we doubled the pigment on this one to make it opaque and slightly matte. 

    So who wants to win a Phi Phi Sunset lipstick? I have a few to give away so all you have to do is enter using the Raffle Copter form below! These lipsticks aren't going on sale, so apart from me you'll be the only ones to ever own them - that's pretty cool eh? 

    Good luck and let me know what you think of the three shades I made! 

    *This post was sponsored by Max Factor as part of their 100 Years of Glamour Campaign

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    For the past two weeks I have been spiralling into some kind of crazy blogging funk. I'm pretty sure it's a just a mix of post-holiday blues and my natural ability to be disappointed in myself, always. I think it's pretty normal though to go through phases of feeling uninspired, a bit fed up, stressed or just maybe boredom. With any job or hobby, there will always be times like this... 

    So I thought for anyone else out there who needs help getting out of a blogging funk that I could tell you a few ways I'm trying to get my blogging mojo back. 

    Don't Look At Statistics // 
    It's easy to become obsessed with stats and whether they're dropping, keeping steady or are growing. Not only is that not what blogging is about, it can literally drive you crazy. During a blogging funk, ban yourself from checking stats and not until you are passionately back in the blogging mood should you check your analytics again.

    Spend Some Time Offline //
    When you have a lot of catching up to do it's hard to tear yourself away from the computer, but writing waffle and rushing posts isn't going to get you anywhere. This is something I really need to focus on. It's not about making sure there's a post up every day, it's about making sure you're writing great posts that you're proud of. Taking a break every now and again, switching off from the online world can really help clear your mind. 

    Spend Your Time Online Wisely // 
    During a blogging funk I find myself procrastinating in every way possible. Browsing Twitter, watching random YouTube videos, buying stuff I don't need on Amazon. Instead of wasting my time I should really be using the Internet to find some inspiration. I find reading great websites and blogs can sometimes give me that light bulb moment that will trigger everything off and get me back on track. 

    Blog Off-Peak // 
    I'm definitely a night owl, so I find blogging in the mornings really hard. I can also be quite  hard to blog during the day when there's so many things going on. Between checking emails, tweets, making and taking calls, there always seems to be so much happening during the day. Sometimes I like to sit at my computer and work in the evenings - it's so much more peaceful and you can escape into your own little blogging world. 

    Change Your Environment //
    The days that I spend working out of my own environment are usually the most productive. I usually have to pre-plan and take photos or film beforehand, but sitting in a room with other people can often give you the motivation you need to get stuff done. I often buddy up with Anna and take turns spending the day at each others' places. You can also go and sit in a café - it really does help! 

    So those are just some of my tips for getting out of a blogging funk. I feel like this has been some kind of self-therapy blogging session - I really need to take my own advice! So whilst I try and get out my blogging funk, maybe these tips have helped you get out of yours? 

    That's all for now. And let's hope I'll be back to my old blogging self in no time! 

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  • 08/26/14--23:00: A CHAT ABOUT UNIVERSITY

  • It's coming to that time of year where some of you might be heading to Uni, you might not, you might be deciding whether to apply next year or maybe you're already at Uni and are still not sure how you feel about it...

    I thought it might be helpful if I shared my University experience, how I applied, my struggles at the beginning and how I feel about it all now looking back. 

    I hope it's helpful to some of you or even just a little bit interesting! Good luck if you are starting Uni this September! 

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    Did I get your attention? If you've watched my videos for a while you'll know that I am controversially not a fan of the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. Despite every other blogger loving it, I've always found it far too cakey and drying for me. It's always been everyone's first choice drugstore concealer though, so I'm happy to have finally found what I think is a better alternative. 

    The Revlon Colorstay Concealer is a great dupe for the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, although slightly less coverage. It's moisturising enough to use under the eyes but has decent enough coverage to cover blemishes too. The doe-foot applicator makes application a breeze and with a £6.99 price tag, you can't really go wrong!

    Definitely one to pick up next time you're browsing the aisles of Boots... 

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    Last week I was lucky enough to get whisked away to Paris for the day with My Little Box. I had such a fun day with Anna, Ruth and Caroline - we laughed a lot. We visited the Little Paris offices, went for a delicious lunch, stopped by Sephora, failed at a river boat ride and sped around Paris in crazy old cars. 

    I also spent a really nice weekend with Rich at home. It was a weekend of eating, that's for sure. I only vlogged the Saturday but we tried a new Mexican in East London so have a watch if you wanna see what it was like! 


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  • 08/29/14--05:00: FLAWLESS BLURRED SKIN

  • When this tiny 30ml tube landed on my desk I didn't really make much of it, but the simplistic packaging was deceiving because the product inside really did wow me. 

    The idea of the Kiehl's Micro-Blur Skin Perfector is to refine the skin's texture and minimise the appearance of pores. Now, to be honest, I don't have very visible pores at the moment but what this product does to the texture of the skin is something that any makeup wearer can benefit from. The formula contains lipo hydroxy acid as well as bark and lentil extracts. 

    A small amount of the beige tinted lotion smoothes over the skin easily and dries very quickly. After just using a small amount you're left with a smoother texture and primed skin ready for makeup. 

    It's a really nice product and for £23 it would be worth using instead of a primer, especially if you have uneven skin texture. 

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  • 08/29/14--23:00: WEAR LIFE EATS

  • WEAR //
    I needed some shoes that weren't sandals, weren't boots but were somewhere in between without being uncomfortable, rubbing pumps. I found these black faux leather lace ups in Topshop and they're perfect! With rolled up black jeans they still look smart but they're flat and easy to run around London in. They were also a bargain at £22!

    LIFE //
    Exciting news! Anna and I are going to be back in Paris for the weekend next week! Our boys are doing charity bike rides from London to Paris in 24hours. They won't get there until the Sunday so we're going to do a meetup on Saturday 6th to hopefully meet some of you guys! We haven't quite decided where would be the best place to do it (if you have any suggestions, please let us know!), but to keep updated with our plans you can follow the #lilyannaparis hashtag on Twitter. 

    EATS //
    Whilst browsing one of my favourite London high streets I came across this patisserie on Marylebone High Street. La Patisserie des Reves is impossible to miss, it's pink and looks like an art gallery inside. Each homemade, perfect dessert is displayed under a glass dome and when you know what you want (it's impossible to decide) you order at the desk where it's likely a pretty French girl will be waiting for you. It is quite pricey but you won't be disappointed by Philippe Conticini's creations - they're delicious! Definitely worth a try next time you're in the Bond Street/Selfridges area.

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  • 08/30/14--23:00: DIOR MASSAÏ

  • Seeing as I am a self-confessed nail polish addict with an edited down collection of 135 polishes, it's surprising that until now I'd never tried any from Dior. I think it's because I've always been so content with low end polishes that I never felt the need to see what the super high end brands had to offer for nails. 

    I'm happy I did though. There's definitely something different in the way that this polish applies and sits on the nails compared to even the gel textured budget polishes. The perfectly shaped brush meant I could easily paint the nails without messing up and after one coat the paint looked super glossy and opaque. I applied two coats for the sake of it but it really didn't need it. I think it's the gloss that really wowed me and made me see the difference in the quality of the polish. 

    The shade Massaï is a sophisticated, deep red that'll be gorgeous in the Autumn. I always thought Dior nail polish bottles were a bit too small but I actually found it really easy to hold and it's kinda cute! 

    I'm impressed. Damn... Now I'll have to check out the other shades. 

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  • 08/31/14--05:00: AUGUST FAVOURITES REMIXED

  • I spent the first part of this month on holiday so when it came to writing up a list of favourites, apart from swimming pools and lilos, my list was pretty empty. So I decided to change up my favourite this month and add in some other categories as well as beauty. 

    There's a mix including music, London restaurants and home. Enjoy! 

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  • 08/31/14--23:00: MINI SEPHORA HAUL

  • How is it that even when I only have 15 minutes free time in Paris I still manage to spend a small fortune in Sephora? That officially makes me a beauty nut right? I think so.

    There are a few things on my Sephora list that I repurchase every time I go. The 4-way nail buffers are the best I've tried because they are rough enough to get the job done but feel soft on the nails at the same time. Also for nails I chose just one (wasn't I well behaved?) Formula X polish as they don't ship these to the UK. I went for an easy to wear, greige shade called "Virtuoso". I had to pick up another Make Up For Ever Full Cover concealer as I'm nearly out of mine and it's one of my all-time favourites for covering blemishes. 

    I also wanted to pick up another Sephora Lip Cream after completely falling in love with my red one. The formula is ridiculously long lasting and matte, so I picked up one in "Strawberry Kissed" which is a matte, bright pinky red. Finally, my splurge, the Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Ro(Cocoa). It's a super soft eyeliner in the most gorgeous bronze shade. You know when you just know you're going to love a product. 

    So that's what I picked up on my recent trip to Sephora. It's such a shame that the European ones are missing so many of the amazing American brands but hopefully next year I'll be able to visit the mothership and go wild!  

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  • 09/01/14--23:00: YOUR INNER STRENGTH

  • When it comes to de-stressing and taking long, well-deserved baths there is only one brand I reach for and it's always Aromatherapy Associates. I hoard these bath oils like some kind of crazy bath lady and if anyone else in the house uses one, things get vicious. 

    As if the miniature set of oils wasn't perfect enough, they've now added 'Inner Strength' to the collection and a scented candle to go along with it. Inner Strength is supposed to fortify and restore in periods of extreme emotional trauma. Ok so maybe that's a bit heavy for a post about bath oils and I'm not sure how much a bath can really help with emotional trauma but on days when you're annoyed at life and just want to zone out, it's bliss.

    The candle burns really clean and fills the bathroom with the most relaxing scent. I'd rely recommend the miniature bath oil set and they're great for presents. From this month on, all sets will come with the Inner Strength oil and it really is beaut. 

    Any other crazy bath ladies out there? Or just me?

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  • 09/02/14--23:00: 5 NEW BEAUTY PRODUCT REVIEWS

  • It always seems at this time of year there is an influx of new, shiny beauty products. There have been some big launches recently and there's more to come, so I thought I'd give you my thoughts on a few to help you finalise your wish list. 

    I'm reviewing products from Chanel, Stila, Real Techniques, Clinique and Bare Minerals so if you want to know which products disappointed and which one's blew me away... watch the video above. Enjoy! 

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    When you find a good flannel shirt, it can stay in your wardrobe for years. I found this one in Monki a couple of years ago and I wear it all time. There's so many ways to wear a flannel shirt, so I thought I'd show you some of my favourites...

    The easiest option is to just throw it on, undone on top of a tshirt and jeans. It's comfy, it's casual and I like to roll up the sleeves so that the arms aren't too baggy. 

    This one is a bit of a 90s throwback but like with everything else, it's come back around. Wrap your shirt around your waist to make a plain outfit a bit more interesting. This is also a great option for festivals because you can throw on the shirt when you start to get cold. my tip would be not to wear it too low on your hips, it'll flatter our body shape more if you wrap it around your waist. 

    My favourite way to wear a flannel shirt is to layer it over a t-shirt and under a leather jacket.  It doesn't matter if the shirt is much longer than the jacket, I think it adds to layered look. This is usually how I keep warm in the cooler months. 

    Finally, you can button it up and tuck it into high waisted jeans. This is probably the smartest way to wear it but depending on the print, you can still keep it quite casual. I'd wear it tucked into ripped jeans. 

    So if you haven't yet found your perfect flannel shirt I'd recommend Uniqlo, Monki or Urban Outfitters! 

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    I've been really happy with my Hourglass Brow Sculpting Pencil. I reviewed it hereI use it everyday, it's lasted me ages (it's still going) and it works perfectly with my bushy brows. There was no reason to try any other brow products ever, but I couldn't help but give in to the hype of the Anastasia Brow Wiz. I've heard so many great things about this brow pencil, people literally go crazy for it! 

    On a recent trip to the Cult Beauty website, I clicked my mouse and added the Brow Wiz to my already quite large basket. So now I've tried both I'm ready to report back and I'm declaring this... Battle of the Brows. 

    First things first, let's talk formula. These are both incredibly similar in terms of product application and longevity. They both have very hard, waxy formulas that take a bit of effort to apply but stay put all day. They're both dual ended, with a brush on the opposite end to the pencil. 

    One big difference is the shade range on offer, with Hourglass only offering three shades and Anastasia offering nine! I wear Dark Brunette in the Hourglass and Dark Brown in the Anastasia. The shades are very similar with the Hourglass one being slightly lighter and cooler toned. 

    I've used both for a while now and the only real difference I can find is size. For me the Hourglass one is great because I have huge brows and I can be quite rough about application. I can see though why the Brow Wiz would be much better for those with thinner brows. The Wiz is light and easy to hold and the fine pencil means you can create really natural, fine hairs in your brows. The brush is much smaller too which means you can brush the hairs with more precision. 

    So if you're trying to pick between the two, it's simple. Brow Wiz for thinner brows, Hourglass for fuller brows. I genuinely love them both so when they run out I have no idea which one I'll repurchase. For now I'm enjoying trying something new, but it won't be long until I'm back using Hourglass.

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  • 09/05/14--23:00: WEAR LIFE EATS

  • WEAR //
    The new Chanel Rouge Allure Glosses are b-e-a-utiful! I have a full review coming up this week, so check back to have a read. Until then, I'll leave with you with this image of the most gorgeous packaging a lipgloss has ever seen. 

    LIFE //
    I still watch YouTube videos daily, I'm obsessed! During the past couple of weeks I've come across some great little videos, but here are two of my favourites. Casey Neistat talks us through his 8 year relationship. It's beautifully edited, very real and just lovely and comforting. Claire, the queen of YouTube, uploaded this quite, snappy and cute fashion video. I just love her style! 

    EATS //
    If you're a huge fan of Busaba Eathai like I am then I'd really recommend getting the app. Usually these kind of apps are useless but theirs is really clever and handy! You can get discounts, find your nearest branch but best of all you can pay your bill via the app and leave without having to wait for a waitress and card machine. The app allows you to split the bill between friends and makes a quick visit even quicker! 

    I'm currently in Paris hopefully having a great time! Hope you all have a lovely weekend. 

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  • 09/06/14--23:00: ONLY FINGERS AND TOES

  • Only Fingers And Toes is a relatively new nail brand and is pretty exclusive to Harvey Nichols, so don't be surprised if you'd never heard of it until now. 

    With any new polish I always check the same things first. Bottle design? Sleek. Brand logo? Very smart. Handle and brush? Easy to hold and standard shape. Colour? Love it. 

    'Sloane'is a beautiful, indigo/navy and I really like it on the nails. I found the application of the polish to be really nice, fool proof and a standard two coats was needed. 

    The bad news is it's a whopping £16 just for one polish from OFAT. I think that's pretty crazy for a nail polish, but it's kind of what you get if you're shopping in Harvey Nichols. If it's in your budget then it's a new brand worth checking out, but if it's a little too pricey then stick to the drugstore!

    Have you ever heard of this brand before?

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    As we head into Autumn and wave goodbye to Summer, I noticed that there were definitely some key transitional pieces missing from my wardrobe. The stuff that works for that in between weather... 

    I spent a couple of days trying stuff out and have collection a nice amount of tops, jeans and shoes for this time of year. There is NO colour in this haul so don't say I didn't warn you. I hope you like seeing what I picked up! 

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