Instagram Validation

The amount of times I've sat refreshing my Instagram notifications after posting one of my strategically edited flatlays or 'makeup of the day' posts can't be normal, right? 

With Instagram now being a major source of income and platform to promote almost any venture, I imagine we are all a little guilty of obsessing over how many likes our last photo got or whether your caption was witty enough. Over the years of creating and deleting numerous accounts I've learnt to post only what I myself would love to see and what's "true to myself" as cliché as that sounds. I know fellow bloggers can relate to being focused on the numbers, whether or not you want to care. the swirling vortex of Sports Illustrated worthy bikini shots and luxury makeup collections you'd have to sell a kidney to afford can make anyone's passion for photography turn sour. That's not to say I feel bitter, I've learnt the hard way to not compare myself or find flaws in others, but it can be hard not to feel competitive with others who are "killing the game" as we would say on Instagram. 
So, what should we do? 

The answer is, whatever the hell you want
Thats something I realised not long ago. I'm trying to put it into practice as we speak (the man next to me on the train is definitely reading over my shoulder). 

You can't compare your chapter 1 to someone's chapter 20, which means that we don't know how different their online growth process was, and just because they get 50,000 likes per photo doesn't mean your content isn't good enough or that you'll never "make it". I promise that once you stop overanalysing your feed you'll create a much more positive experience online. I honestly have so much to say on this topic, so watch out for more rants to come. 

If you take one thing away from this, and this is as much advice for myself as it is for you,  create content that inspires you because you're the only person that you should compete with in life.    When I find myself comparing my curated online presence to that of a blogger with 1m followers, I try to remind myself that to succeed the only person I need to be better than is who I was yesterday. 


Summer Beauty Essentials

Today I wanted to share my favourite nail polishes and beauty products that I've been reaching for during the daytime. The polishes, of course, are all pink. You can definitely get away with more vibrant bright shades during the summer, so those are the colours I've been reaching for!

Below are my favourite shades, sometimes layered with one another or as a pedicure for a little more subtlety. These also happen to be drugstore brands; L.A Colors, Models Own, Barry M, Nails Inc, Milani. My favourite is probably the models own muted mauve shade as the application wand has a rounded tip so its easier to apply, and the formula is thick so you get a quicker, even application.

Below is a little flat-lay I put together, showing my go-to products. Left to right;

  • Victoria's Secret Be Seduced body lotion
  • Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
  • Kylie Matte Lipstick in Candy K
  • Bvlgari Mon Jasmin Noir Eau de Toilette

These all happen to be small products, so they fit perfectly into a Celine Nano Tote. I usually stick to just three beauty products for top-ups, one always being for lips. 

What do you guys bring with you?


BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel Palette Review

This palette originally retails for $20 but is on offer currently for $14. I ordered this early this year but have only just gotten around to testing out the shades. The colours are so gorgeous, my favourite kind of neutral, earthy tones. They really suit Carli in particular, if you watch her tutorial then you know what I'm talking about.

I love versatile palettes like this, where you can mix and match the shades and use for the whole face - bronzer, highlighter, eyeshadow...

Even if you're not a huge fan, this palette individually is so worth the money. Not to mention, it's actually very inexpensive but is of higher quality than the generic drugstore palettes in my opinion. The swatches speak for themselves! I also think they smell really nice, they have a powdery scent to them, which is a little added bonus.

The staying power is relatively long, but of course they won't be super thick in texture the way Kat Von D would be. I still do love it, and is a great substitute for shelling out hundreds on Kylie Cosmetics.

Here are the swatches of the highlighter shades, my favourites! They are very warm toned, and would look amazing on darker skin tones and olive tones. The highlighter is actually great for pale skin, so it won't have that awful dark pink or orange undertones that so many have over light foundations.

I also think the fourth shade would look great during the summer as a bronzer, and lid colour.

Have you tried this one yet?


Favourite Drugstore Skincare

I picked up these goodies a while ago, but it took me a few weeks of using them to see if they really work. Soap and Glory always have big claims with their products, and very snazzy packaging. Do you guys think they work as well as they say?

No7 has very sleek packaging which is part of the appeal for me. These are quite different from each other as one is for day and the other is a richer, night cream. They both retail for under £15 and are sold at Boots which I classify as drugstore.

First up is Soap and Glory Speed Plump moisturiser. This has a light consistency, and almost feels like a CC cream. It's supposed to act as a blurring effect over your skin, and give you a radiant glow. I have oily skin so I use this sparingly, but I haven't found it to be greasy. This costs £13 and a small pea sized amount is enough for your face, so this will go a long way.

I think it would suit sensitive skin as well, I haven't found its aggravated my skin nor has it broken me out.

Next up is a cream I use mostly at nighttime - No7 Beautiful Skin Night Cream. This is aimed at oilier skin types and has a much thicker consistency but isn't oily! I want to emphasise that, I have oily skin but it dries almost matte over the skin. Some days I will use this during the morning and my skin is very matte and smooth, it really depends on what foundation you're using over the top.

This is also £13 but I used a voucher from Boots for £5 off. These products are often made specifically for sensitive skin, and it feels very gentle on the skin without clogging my pores. I have been breaking out lately but it's been manageable and most probably hormonal.

Overall I've enjoyed both of these, and found they sit well on my skin. Often times I get dry patches, but these feel like they soothe my skin and balance it out - neither oily nor dried out.

Have you tried these?


High Street & High End Body Favourites

Perhaps it's the winter cold, or simply my sugar cravings, but I've been obsessed with sweet scents lately. These three products below have been my go-to for the last ten days and I'm kind of obsessed!

They do range in price, but I would say they are all worth it, from body oil to body sprays. First up is the Boots Extracts Vanilla Body Butter. This honestly smells like vanilla flavoured yogurt, and I can't stop smelling my arms!? This retails for £6 but is often on offer, so keep an eye out. This is also a very natural product, not chock full of chemicals and who knows what like many others. 

Next up is The Body Shop Shea Butter Body Oil. This retails for £11 in the UK, so a little pricier, but for an oil this is quite inexpensive. It has the texture of a dry oil, it's not at all sticky, so a few drops go a long way. Sometimes after a pedicure I like to use a few drops on the soles of my feet or back of my hands for some extra moisture. This has a very delicate scent, but is still very rich. It's also lasted me four months already!

Last but not least, Victoria's Secret Love Spell Body Mist. This retails for about £10, but I know the US has loads of deals on like 3 for $20 or something. If you want a lighter, day time scent without shelling out loads on a luxury perfume, this could be a good option. I like to pretend I'm an Angel when using these products, and it's one of those products that makes you feel a bit more girly.

This has fruity base notes with hints of floral, and would be perfect for spring. Three spritzes lasts me for the day, and the scent does linger although it's not very strong by the end of the day.

Have you tried any of these?