Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The positive New Year's resolutions

I read somewhere: why stop doing something you love when you can add something to your life instead? The standard New Year's resolutions are usually to lose weight, go to the gym or to start saving money. If you really believed that your aim was crucial then let's be honest, you would have started doing it by now rather than waiting for January! Instead of these resolutions which are hard to keep because you damn right don't like eating lettuce or not buying that lipstick that you really want, try a New year's resolution with a difference.

Here are my favourites which I have found browsing around the internet:

Travel more - The next time someone suggests a road trip to the other side of England (or the world!), take them up on it. I truly believe that we weren't meant to live in one single town for the whole of our lives.

Listen to your favourite music more - When I do listen to my iPod it's usually when I'm putting on my make up, and when I do it really puts me in a good mood for a while. Sometimes you just need a good singing sesh to brighten your day.

Dress more like my style - This one I love. Whatever job you have usually has some form of dress code which you have to stick by, which means weekends are usually lazy clothes days. I'm not saying turn up in inappropriate clothes to work, but feeling comfortable in what you're wearing on an off day or adding a little twist to your regular work clothes can make you feel more you. 

Validate people in your life more - I remember my Mum felt sad once and I went out and bought her three pairs of pretty pants from New look and she almost cried. Proving that you're thinking of someone and that you're not taking them for granted can really strengthen the relationship, and it's such a nice feeling making someone else smile, isn't it?

Be more adventurous/take chances - There's always these adverts about which are like "say yes more!" but honestly, that's pretty much it. Taking yourself a little out of your comfort zone by saying yes when invited places or going to a class on your own or can open you to some really cool experiences and the chance to meet new people. 

Stop worrying what other people think of you - This is so important. Difficult, but important. As long as you love yourself and surround yourself with people that love you for who you are, does it matter what others think? And if you come out of your room wearing something which your family or friends think is totally weird (often for me), but you like it, don't change. If you like it and feel comfortable and happy then that is all that matters.

My personal ones are to plan more things in advance with people, concerts, days out etc. and to have the confidence to talk to new people, whether it's introducing myself to a newbie at work or telling someone who's stood next to me at a bar that I like their shirt. 

Do you have a positive New Year's resolution?
cottonandcandie x

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Cottonandcandie in blog post shocker

Everyone experiences the dreaded blogging lull, where you feel entirely unmotivated to write and have no time organisation. Then there's me, who takes the blogging blip to an absolute extreme and manages to not write a single blog post for over a month. 

So just a little update: I'm sorry I have literally dropped off of the face of the Earth. My long term boyfriend and I broke up, my Grandad passed away and during all this I had to write 12500 words worth of essays. But now I'm back. Thank you in advance for being patient with me!

cottonandcandie x

Monday, 24 November 2014

Pleathered and quilted

I got this jumper for Christmas last year and recently jumbled all my drawers around so that all the clothes at the top (which I wear all the time) where now at the bottom, and everything that I rarely wear is now at the top.

More on the jumper. It has a thin quilted torso with pleather sleeves - I love this contrast! You can feel a bit warm on the arms though in comparison! This jumper is a dupe I got off of ebay, I asked for this exact jumper from either Boohoo or New look and when my Mum tried to buy it it was completely sold out. Good news is it's exactly the same and around half the price! 

On rediscovering this beauty I paired it with a black bodycon skirt (H&M), Asda pointed flats which you can barely see in this picture but if you've been following me for a long time I'm sure you've seen before! I also put a woolly snood on to keep me warm, I've had this scarf forever now so much so that the writing on the label has actually worn off, so I have no idea where I got it from! My Marc B Topshop bag is my regular uni bag as it's big enough to fit an A4 notebook in, the plus is that it's super sturdy and just so pretty. I really need to do a separate post on this as I just love this bag so much!
I literally just pinned back the two front sections of my hair and got so many compliments off of it, it really is the little things!
Do you think the contrasting sleeves of the jumper? What have you been wearing to keep you warm?
cottonandcandie x

Saturday, 22 November 2014

What should be on your to do list this weekend

Ever get to Sunday night and wonder what on earth you did the whole weekend? I hate that feeling when someone on a Monday asked you what you got up to and you literally cannot remember! So here are some fairly inexpensive ideas to get you up and about this weekend to help you be able to say something different when you get asked what you've been up to on Monday! 

  1. Have a night without phones. I could have been really mean and said no technology at all! But going out to dinner or simply staying in and leaving your phones behind is something that rarely happens anymore. Grab your partner, your family or the girls and have an evening of actual real talk. 
  2.  Go on a bike ride. Yes it's cold but wrap up warm, get the exercise and then  stop off at a pub before going back home. This is definitely best done with someone else to motivate your cycling!
  3. Make pizza from scratch. This is so underrated. I remember making pizzas so much as a child for parties and things and no one ever does it anymore! It's always fun to see them rise and someone will always do a happy face or burn their pizza which always adds to the fun. 
  4. Write a bucket list. See my post on this, here.
  5. Do a hair/face mask. The time for chilling is definitely a Sunday. Try a hair or face mask (or both!) and really relax knowing that you're absorbing pure goodness. Monday blues won't be so bad when you're looking and feeling flawless! 
Let me know if you plan to do any of these this weekend!
cottonandcandie x

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Cagecity: My first blogging shoot.

So here I am outside Cagecity's pop up store in Brockley, South East London just after I had a lovely hour or so with them checking out their incredible unique clothing and having a laid back photoshoot with the girls from Cagecity, Nadine and Imogen. 

Cagecity approached me via bloggerbase inviting me to come in and have a look at their brand and to ask if I would like a photoshoot with them. This being my very first blogging shoot and the very first organisation that found me through my blog I eagerly emailed back yes.

For the shoot I was able to pick three outfits of my own choice from the rails, this was a very hard decision I can tell you! There was a mixture of graduates' creations as well as Cagecity's beautiful prints and I picked a mixture of the two.

For look number one I chose these amazing brightly coloured shorts paired with a cropped white shirt with sheer panels. These shorts were the first thing I picked up, the colours are so vibrant and I love how one leg of the shorts has vertical strokes and the other leg has horizontal. I veered towards a more formal approach for styling these shorts but I also think they'd be a cute pair to wear along the seafront when we see the glorious sun again! This shirt is to die for, I love the simplicity of it and the sheer panels also give it that edge so it's not your standard office worker's simple shirt.

Yes I should have worn a different bra. Let's overlook this. How gorgeous is this dress? I mean you literally do not need any form of accessory with it. I love everything about it and now looking at the photos some more I've just opened up a tab to find it and put it on my Christmas list. Long sleeves which are practical for Winter yet the cut out keeps it from being too conservative and let's be honest, in a print like this I think it would be hard not to turn heads.

This top is another piece I desperately need to add to my wardrobe but I believe it is a graduate piece so I think this means there is only one of these that has been made! The material is exquisite and the colour and cut of the neckline are really unusual, I honestly I can't say I've seen anything like this! I wish the trousers I'm wearing here where a little higher waisted as I think the photos draw eyes in towards my stomach rather than the blouse! These trousers are also the comfiest things ever, and the tie dye almost misty looking effect was really cool.

It was great going to Cagecity's cute little pop up shop and so much fun shooting with all their beautiful clothes, still can't believe someone as unphotogenic as me was asked for a photoshoot but hey I enjoyed every minute.

There will also be a feature of me on "Cagecity meets" I'm not sure when it will be up so if you happen to have a little look and see a silvery haired girl then give me a shout! 

cottonandcandie x

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Where you're going wrong with cleaning your make up brushes.

(photo cred http://www.jerseygirltalk.com/2014/01/03/7-cruelty-free-makeup-brushes-brush-sets-top-picks/#.VGua6smh7Ho)

Waking up and realising you really should clean your make up brushes today can put a real downer on your day, but what's worse than that is cleaning your brushes and not realising the damage you're doing to them. Here are a few don'ts (and do's!).

Don't wash with hot water. This can damage the bristles and may mean that the adhesive wears off so your brush could shed. Wash with lukewarm water instead.

Don't put the barrel of the brush (where the bristles meet the brush handle) under the water. This can again, damage the adhesive and can lead to shedding. To avoid getting the barrel wet, try cupping water in your hand and swirling the brush in that or using a shallow bowl full of water.

Don't use washing up liquid. In fact, anything you wouldn't use to wash your face, don't use on your brushes - makes sense right? After rinsing my brush with water I use Simple soap and swirl my brush in it until it makes a good lather and then rinse out. 

Don't leave your brushes to drain upright. This can damage the handle.

Don't leave your brushes to drain on a towel, this can cause mildew!

Do leave your brushes to drain off of a counter so that the bristles are exposed to the air and are not in contact with a surface.

Do wash your foundation and concealer brushes once a week.

Do wash your bronzer, blusher and powder brushes once a fortnight.

Do wash your eyeshadow and brow brushes once or twice a month. 

Were any of these a surprise to you?
cottonandcandie x

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Creating a bucket list.

(Photo cred: https://www.ipoll.com/blog/2013/05/the-best-bucket-list-lists/)

Things to do before you die. It's a scary concept, but you don't want to get to 100 (I will get that card from Queen Liz!) and think about all the things you wished you had done, learnt or visited. 

Be as ambitious or reserved as you like, my very first one is to go to Hong Kong and recently I ticked off Ride a mechanical bull, completely different things. Think about things you would like to own, become, drive, collect, master, who you would like to meet, anything!

Here's my list, I hope you get some inspiration to create your own!

- Visit Hong Kong:
I don't know what my obsession is, but I'm so desperate to go. That skyline!

- Have green hair:  
I'm talking mint green, not bright lime, here!

- Go/learn to ski or snowboard

- Go scuba diving

- Visit Thailand 

- Learn to surf
I have family in Cornwall, I just need to brave the cold!

- Ride an elephant

- Learn sign language/makaton: 
 I know real basic makaton but want to be able to hold a conversation.

- Sky dive:  
Or rather have someone force me out the plane.

- Learn to skate and skate along a promenade:  
They do this in a music video and it just looks cool as.

- Watch all of the Fast and furious films in a row: 
 I just love them, okay?

- See the Northern lights

- Watch the sun rise: 
 I've seen it set but never rise!

- Visit New York:  
Need I say more?

- Own my own dog
- Have a job which I love:  
That job where you feel sad that you have a bank holiday Monday and can't work.

- Do the colour run

- Go to Glastonbury
I've been to Latitude, Reading, V and Wireless, just Glasto to go!

- Drive a golf buggy

- Visit Las Vegas 

- Make an item of clothing

- Learn to do the scorpion 
You know the yoga position where they're on their forearms and doing a handstand with their legs touching their head?

- Take a class in something random

- Have my portrait painted

- Go zorbing
That one where you're in a big ball and roll down a hill. 

- Visit a rainforest

-  Learn to do the splits
See my latest "wishes" post here of my hopes for the month! 

- Take a food challenge
Like one where you eat a ridiculous amount and if you can finish you get it for free.

- Visit 50 countries by the time I am 50
 I'm doing well! I'm on either 21 or 20 and I'm 21!

- Go jet skiing

- Visit every continent
So there's mine! Are any of your things to do before you die the same?
How are you guys liking my more frequent lifestyle posts?
cottonandcandie x

Friday, 14 November 2014

What's in my bag?

Having a little peek inside someone's bag can tell you a lot about someone. It allows you to recognise what that person cannot go a single day without. For example before cleaning out my bag you could tell that I am someone who has an unhealthy chocolate addiction and a never-ending cold.

Firstly, my bag is a Next one by a brand called Dixie Rose. It's a really pretty quilted black bag with a nice big buckle at the front. If you look closely at it it really is a worn out bag, but I haven't yet found a replacement, I love it too much!

So, the things I cannot go a day without. Emptying out my bag I was not surprised to see seven different lipsticks and balms in there. Lips are my thing. I have too many lipsticks to count and when I'm not wearing lipstick I will be wearing a lip balm, I'm loving my cocoa butter Vaseline one at the moment. From memory I think the lipsticks are Kate Moss 107, a deep pink which is my all time favourite shade, Mac Viva Glam II a bright retro matte red, a more subtle pink from Maybelline and Kate Moss 111 another bright red. I pretty much have lipsticks for whatever I could be wearing at the time. 

These photos were taken a while ago and my pretty tortoiseshell Topshop sunglasses have now been swapped in favour of an umbrella, sadly. 

My tangle teaser like most girls goes everywhere with me. I've only recently hopped on the tangle teaser band wagon but I can safely tell you I'm never coming off. Even my boyfriend thinks it's amazing. I have the standard sized green one as my bag is fairly big and because green is my favourite colour. 

A pen. Just the one. I am the definition of the typical student. Occasionally there will also be a notepad in their as well, joking. 

A cute little compact mirror which my friend got me which is so tiny and slim that it takes up next to no room and you never know when you may need it!

My keys. And this is just my door key for my flat at uni. I have this many keyrings because they're so heavy that I always know that they're definitely in my bag. And the owl is dead cute. 

Where would a girl be without at least 47 kirby grips in her bag?

My ipod, mainly used at the gym because my walk to uni isn't that long at all and if I kept it anywhere else I would definitely lose it. 

An entirely real Michael Kors purse which is bright orange which I love. Staple pieces like coats and bags for me have to be dark but purses, gloves, hats, they have to be bright. I've actually had loads of compliments off of this as well!

The weird little contraption in the bottom left is a lipstick holder. You can get them from the little quaint Chinese shops or off of ebay or amazon. They fit most size lipsticks and have a little mirror when you unclip it so you can apply on the go. I know, why haven't you bought one yet?

What's in your bag? Is there anything you think I'm missing out on? 

cottonandcandie x

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

OOTD: Yes shorts in Winter.

Yes I do feel the cold, quite a lot actually. The other night I went out to go clubbing and when I came back I was so cold that I wore to bed: my onesie with a jumper over the top and the hood up, thermal socks, a blanket, a duvet, an extra cover and then I put my hairdryer on under my duvet to warm it up a bit. After I woke up in my hungover state I realised what a dangerous thing this was but just to get the point across yes I do get cold. 

Anyway, this won't stop me wearing shorts in Winter. If we can wear slightly thicker dresses surely we should be able to get away with shorts too, right? (Someone please agree with me here, now I'm writing this I feel like I'm really flogging a dead horse). 

I wore a Hildamay vest which is a small band from where I live at home. I got it so long ago I don't even know if they're still together but they were good at the time and they supported Mallory Knox a while back who made it to Reading this year. I tucked this into a pair of standard black high waisted denim shorts from Primark with a pair of black tights. I did consider wearing black knee high socks to make me a little warmer but I can never fully decide if I like that look or not? Over the top of this outfit I wore one of my boyfriend's shirts (Hollister) which he didn't know I was wearing/have nicked until I sent him a snapchat. Yep I'm that girlfriend. Boys' shirts are always so much warmer and they have that slouchy look which you just can't seem to get with a women's shirt. 

I was wearing this with a pair of chunky black boots however my housemates don't know I blog (in fact pretty much no one does) and I knew they would think it was weird if I went back downstairs to put shoes on to then go back upstairs again when they knew I'd finished lectures for the day. I don't know, maybe one day I'll tell them!

Are you a supporter of wearing shorts in Winter?
cottonandcandie x

Monday, 10 November 2014

November wishes

I wrote a post last month called "Ocotober wishes" which  was basically what I hoped for during October and what sort of goals I could think of to set myself off for the month with a positive and productive vibe. You guys seemed to like it so I thought I'd make this a monthly thing.

Last month's were:
  1. Say yes more. - Okay so at the moment I have 34 pounds to my name so saying yes to more things and to be a bit more outgoing is not at all possible right now. But I guess having such little money meant I did lots of things in October to make me so penniless?!
  2.  "Me time" - I did it! I've actually been sitting down and taking time out from essays to paint my nails, have a play on my ipad and to blog - honestly I consider this as me time as I enjoy it so much. I've felt a lot less overwhelmed and have still been getting all my work done so I'm really pleased with this one and hope to carry this on in October. 
  3. Get a blogging notebook/diary. - So I went to Asda. I bought it (It's pretty it's green). I haven't opened it yet.
You can read my full post for last month here.

Considering I technically only completed one of my three wishes for last month I think I'll make this months a little more achievable. Here are my three for the month of November:

  • Being thoughtful 
For me, making someone's day a little brighter is magical. It's part of why I want to be a teacher. Praising a child and seeing them beam from ear to ear and knowing they are going to go home and tell their parents about how proud they are of themselves has got to be up there with one of the most rewarding things. This month I want to make a special effort to be more thoughtful. Be that to compliment someone you may not know very well on how their hair looks or texting someone just to ask how their day is. Being positive around people will mean they enjoy being around you, and may eventually mimic your ways, making your life a hell of a lot happier.

  • Get into coffee
I know this is entirely different to my first wish but I did say I wanted them to be achievable! I hate coffee. The smell of it, coffee cakes, coffee sweets, general coffee is just a no to me. But know what I hate more? People asking to meet up to go for a coffee and having to order a smoothie when it's so cold outside that dogs start wearing those cute little fluffy coats. There has to be some form of coffee I like and I'm going to find it. My sister started work as an accountant, it's early starts and really cold in her office and she basically forced herself to drink it and now she loves it. Even if it's the milkiest, sugariest coffee it will at least help me to wake up when I start placement and have to get up before 6 every morning. 

  • Be able to do the splits
When I was little I used to be able to sit and watch telly sitting in the splits. I'm quite a flexible person, I can touch my toes and everything (in actual fact I can put my hands on the floor) but the splits is something I've always wanted to be able to say I can do again. My friend is a dancer and has shown me the stretches you can do every day to get you closer to doing the splits and I'm definitely getting there!

So these are the three wishes I hope to say I have achieved by December. These aren't anything to do with assignments or followers or anything, I wanted them to be purely about me as a person rather than on numbers as it were. 

What are your wishes for November?
cottonandcandie x

Saturday, 8 November 2014

The answer to those Wintery dry lips.

I always seem to have dry lips. Winter or Summer I am the girl who slathers on a load of Vaseline before I go to bed and yet I still wake up without the Angelina Jolie pout I so desperately want. Okay, so Vaseline doesn't make your lips plump and perfect, but it should at least soothe that horrible dry chapped skin, right? 

Think about it. When you have dry skin on your face or body we usually exfoliate and then moisturise to ensure that the dry skin doesn't keep creeping back. This is the same for your lips. How can you expect your lips to become smooth and supple if you're only covering the skin and not technically treating it?

Soap and Glory's mighty mouth smooth and soften is a little gem. It has an exfoliating side as well as a balm so it's two amazing products in one. This also means you don't have to carry around an awkward exfoliating mixture of sugar, water and honey which most bloggers hype about. So you exfoliate first with the rougher scrubby side pictured on the left before applying the softening balm over to lock it all in. Doing this prior to lipstick or as your daily lip balm will see your lips looking baby soft in no time. 

Sadly Soap and Glory no longer sell this, I have no idea why! But you can get it on the likes of amazon and makeupalley. It also comes with a lip plumping gloss which I personally didn't really get on with (tingly, swollen lips isn't my thing!), but the smooth and soften is worth the money (just ten pounds) on its own!

Have you found anything that beats those dry Wintery lips?
cottonandcandie x

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Liebster award!

I've been nominated for the Liebster award by the lovely Katarina from State of Cate and Miriam from It's My Life here is a bit about the rules of the Liebster award and what it means:
The Rules
1. Thank the person/people who nominated you and link their blog in your post ^ as above.
2. Display a picture of the Liebster award in your post, you can copy and paste this one if you like.
3. Answer the 11 questions given to you by the person/people who nominated you. 
4. Provide 11 random facts about you.
5. Nominate 5-11 blogs who have less than 200 followers - this is to help out other new bloggers trying to get out there!
6. Make up your own 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer.
7. List the rules in your post so they know what's the Liebster award means.
8. Don't forget to let the people you nominated know that they've been nominated and send them a link to your blog so they can get the information.

Questions I was asked by Katarina:
1. Favourite movie director? Has to be Tarantino, Pulp Fiction: need I say more?
2. Favourite movie and quote from that movie? Snatch - "Sorry I didn't quite get my binoculars out in time"
3. The most amazing book you've ever read? Paul McKenna - Instant Confidence. This book completely changed my life, it's like a self hypnosis book which encouraged you to be confident in every aspect of your life - it's amazing!
4. One word that can describe you? Fun-loving. I guess that's two words but gosh that's hard!
5. Put your favourite black and white photograph. 
This is a great one! This photo is "The Kiss", a man passionately kisses a lady he had never met just after everyone is told that World war II is over.
6. Do you have any pets? I have a dog called Rodney who's a staffy and two cats, one called Lilly and one called Ginny (my sister is obsessed with Harry Potter.
7. What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you? When I was in primary school my class teacher was keeping caterpillars so that we could observe their life cycle and how they turn into butterflies, I was watching one of the cocoons on my own during lunch break and I saw a butterfly break out of it for the first time. 
8. The most amazing place you've visited? In Rhodes I visited the place where two seas meet and you can walk on the sand in between them. 
9. What you didn't know about blogging before you have started and what you do now? I'm actually doing a series of posts where I write about what I have learnt about blooging, beauty and fashion so far, check out my first one here
10. Advice for future bloggers? Write about what you love and you'll never get bored of blogging.
11. What inspires you the most? Bloggers such as MelonLady, LlyMlrs and Inthefrow, I look up to them all so much, all so different but all amazing!
 Questions I was asked by Miriam:

1. Why did you start your blog? I looked at other blogs (such as the bloggers I've named above) first before I created mine and felt inspire to write my own posts. It's also a great excuse to expand my fashion and beauty hoard ;)
2. What to you is the hardest thing about a blog? Finding the time to write posts, read posts and not neglect my uni work!
3. Where do you get your inspiration? I follow a lot of fashion and make up brands on Instagram and like to see if I can recreate looks with similar products/pieces I have. 
4. What is your favourite kind of food? Either Indian or Italian, I love spicy food and can never get bored of pasta.
5. What is your preferred lipstick colour? This is the most difficult question ever but I think I'd have to choose a real deep pink like Rimmel's 107 or Mac Twig. 
6. What is your favourite book? Has to be Bobbi Brown's make up manual doesn't it?
7. Where do you picture yourself ten years from now? Hopefully I'll be married with children (if anyone will put up with me that long!) and I'd love to still be blogging!
8. What is your favourite item of clothing? Probably my really oversized shirt from Camden market, I featured it in an OOTD post, here
9. Cats or dogs? Dogs forever!
10. What is your favourite memory? I actually have the worst memory ever and couldn't possibly think of a favourite one! I've actually just been sitting here for ten minutes thinking, sorry!
11. If you were only allowed to wear mascara or lipstick for the rest of your life what would you choose? Definitely lipstick cause you could wear different colours and lipstick looks like you've instantly made an effort!
11 random facts about me
1. I am terrible at time management no matter how close I am to lectures/work I will always be only just on time.
2. A day without a nap is a wasted day to me.
3. I used to be able to just sit in the splits whilst watching telly and am stretching everyday to get back to that!
4. My guilty pleasure is rap music, it's just so good. Not so good living in a house full of boy band lovers though..
5. The majority of people call me Em, when people call me Emily I usually panic about what I might have done wrong. 
6. I'm an absolute stress head, if there's something worth worried about I've definitely already worried about worrying about it. 
7. I am fairly sure I have ADD, my attention span is terrible and I was sent to have a hearing test at school because teachers thought I just couldn't hear them, oops.
8. I'm a real gamer and am currently addicted to the Family Guy game and Kitchen scramble on the ipad.
9. I don't really have any shame, I'll quite happily do yoga in front of my housemates and slide across laminate flooring without a care in the world. 
10. My handwriting is like Disney style and I love it.
11. I used to have thirteen piercings before I had t take them out for placement. 

My questions to you!
1. What is the story behind your blog name?
2. What would you have as your very last meal including a drink?
3. What can you not leave the house without besides your phone and keys?
4. Who inspires your style the most?
5. What is your guilty pleasure?
6. What have you achieved which you are proud of?
7. What would you tell your younger self?
8. Current beauty favourite?
9. What is your favourite quote?
10. What made you start blogging?
11. If you could repeat one day in your life which would it be?
And the nominees areee...

cottonandcandie x



Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Brow power//Gel liner for brows?!

I needed a brow revamp. Fast. They were looking messy, powdery and what I was using just wasn't long lasting at all. I went to Nars to ask for ideas and advice and they gave me loads of options. Firstly, there's a velvety retractable brow pencil, eye shadow which can be used to shape brows and gel liner. 

I was really interested in how the gel liner would work so I asked the Nars assistant and she made me up. She did a beautiful job taming my unruly brows and I was so amazed at how they looked! Firstly she lined the bottom to get a nice arch and then built up the shape from there; she didn't do a definite line in the top as she explained that this can sometimes come off as quite harsh. They were a bit dark at first so she used a spoolie brush as well as a cotton bud to make them look more natural.The shape was incredible and I thought the colour (after the spoolie and cotton bud!) was a lot more natural for my colouring. Because it is gel liner it means that it absolutely does not budge. So gym, rain, whatever the weather your fierce brows will stay put. I also bought an angled eyeliner brush which works really well for brows due to the shape, as it's really thin it means that there's less chance that you'll end up with accidental gigantic brows as you can build the shape up. 

But. And this is a massive but. I have tried to do them myself and I just can't!! I've tried so many times and they just look muddy and dark and I cannot do the shape as good as she did. I love the brush but it's just the consistency of the liner that I cannot get used to applying it to my brows. I am so gutted because I loved how they looked but I also really don't like the idea of using a gel eyeliner on my brows, it just seems too harsh! 

If you have a skilled and steady hand and are naturally good at shaping brows then absolutely go for this, because they really can look amazing. 
What do you think about gel liner for brows?
cottonandcandie x

Sunday, 2 November 2014

What I've learnt about beauty, blogging and fashion so far.

I started up cottonandcandie in July so I really haven't been blogging that long, but finding bloggers and reading what they have to say has been a real eye-opener; so much so that I thought I'd share with you what I have learnt so far about beauty, blogging and fashion. 


Price isn't everything
In terms of all things beauty I've definitely learnt that the price isn't everything. Often you can find almost a perfect match dupe of a product by Estee Lauder for example and they'll have something similar in, say, Topshop. Look around shops for a similar product before you commit to a hefty price tag or different blogs that specialise in dupes or bargain buys. I'm definitely happy to admit that my favourite blusher is a Natural Collection one!

A make up bag must have
Recently I've been made more and more aware of how important an eyelash curler is as a staple in your make up bag. I had a pair of No7 curlers which I barely used and reading through blogs urging everyone to get some meant I dug mine out again. Now I really notice the difference when I'm rushed in the morning and don't use them. I've also read that once your eyelashes are in the curler you should physically raise your arm to 90 degrees, as this gives your lashes more lift.

Eyes or lips
Who made this rule? Why can't we do both? Just because you're wearing a subtle pink on your lips does that mean we should wear next to no eye make up? Can we wear both eyes and lips if it's our birthday? Recently I've been rocking eyes and lips. Yes I may have a smokey bronze eye going on but I'm also going for a coral lip too. You should be the one to decide how much is too much.


 Don't set yourself up for failure
Most bloggers which give advice to newbie bloggers stress that you should write every single day and scare people into thinking that if not, your blog will get nowhere. This absolutely isn't true. What they should change this statement to is "Blog as often as you can". Emphasis being on you. Your blog needs to fit in with your lifestyle. There's no point in feeling that you have to write, because then you won't enjoy it. I started my blog in Summer, so yes I could definitely blog everyday. But with my course I knew that come September I wouldn't be able to anymore so I started from the beginning by blogging every three days and now I have built it up so that I have scheduled posts all the way until October (I'm writing this on 22/09/14).
Don't let blogging become a chore!

Dream big
Remember that we all start out somewhere. I remember my excitement of my very first follower and today I got the little bloglovin notification that I now have 40. You may be reading this and have hundreds or thousands! But for me, I'm over the moon that 40 people didn't just click off of my page. 
Everyone started out as a blogging newbie and you should not be envious of those who have thousands of followers. They have put so much hard work into it! With that in mind, dream big. Get yourself a blogging email address, instagram, whatever social media platforms you enjoy, you don't even need to use them right now. Just have them there because one day you may wish you had them so make sure you get the username you want!

Blog about what you love
Blogging will never be boring if you are blogging about what you love. It may be tricky at first, I certainly didn't love describing lipstick colour when I had no idea what undertones it had but the point is I love lipstick, so you learn about undertones and finishes so you can blog about what you love. Also remember that just because you went to a spinning class once and loved it, if your blog isn't about fitness and you don't want to direct it in that way then choose not to blog about it. Otherwise you may attract readers that may then not enjoy your more conventional posts. - I've wanted to blog about yoga and food more than once!


Jeans should be washed inside out
There's no big explanation for this one, basically if you don't wash jeans inside out then that's what makes them get those weird white streaks down them, particularly black or dark blue denim. Same with logo tees, they won't peel or fade as easily if you wash them inside out. (Don't worry, this isn't turning into a laundry blog). 

You can not go wrong with monochrome. If I'm particularly feeling like I don't know what goes together and a bit uninspired I'll always opt for monochrome. Heck, sometimes I rock monochrome even when I do have inspiration! For me it always feels classy. And monochrome always means that your lipstick can never clash with your outfit, go as bright as you like!

There are no rules
Just when you think you know the rules of fashion, they change. Socks and sandals? Visible underwear? Jeans that are too short? 
My big thing is don't wear black and blue and then Kristen Stewart appears in Chanel's pre fall campaign in black, blue and brown. So now, I get it. There are no rules. Or "rules are made to be broken" if you're more daring. Wear what you feel comfortable in. There's nothing worse than seeing someone tugging at what they're wearing because they don't feel right in it. Equally, if someone is wearing orange sandals, pink socks, jeans that are too short, a red shirt and a bit of a lacy bra peeking out and they're wearing a great big grin then cool. If they're comfortable and confident in it then that's awesome. 

 What have you learnt through blogging? I'm thinking of doing this blog around every three months so let me know if you enjoyed it!
cottonandcandie x  

Friday, 31 October 2014

The only face brush you will ever need.

I jumped on the band wagon. I've walked past the range of Real techniques brushes in Asda wayyy too many times for me to ignore the urge to buy one any longer. This is my first Real techniques brush and I chose the Expert face brush. It's perfect for liquid, cream or powder foundation as well as blusher, bronzer and face powder - hence it's called the Expert face brush! This brush really is a versatile one brush fits all kind of brush, so much so that I've ditched my regular kabuki for applying my bronzer as I'm so impressed with it. 

I've only ever had one other foundation brush before and due to the flat shape of it, it made applying foundation difficult as you were unable to brush in circular motions to buff your foundation in and so you were left with the dreaded brush stroke lines. I ditched this brush fairly quickly as I found myself using my fingers to blend in the foundation anyway. 
Watching the expert face brush tutorial, which you can find here, I learnt that the reason the bristles (which are synthetic and 100% cruelty free!) are formed in a rounded and slightly domed shape is so that you can brush your product outwards towards the edge of the face as well as using circular motions to blend and buff your product in; leaving a smooth picture perfect and streak-free finish without needing a separate brush to blend. Other pros include the handle as it makes it really easy to use, the fact that it's self standing, the bristles which are super soft yet firm, and of course the price, at just ten pounds I really don't know what you're waiting for. 

Through researching I have found that some people are unhappy with the amount of bristles that have shed, however I have not had this problem at all. Some reviews which agree with me are suggesting that some could be aggressively tugging at the bristles when cleaning the brush, so of course if you pull a bristle hard enough, it will fall out. But again, this has not been an issue with me whatsoever.

I really have got excited over this brush and I almost look forward to applying my foundation because of just how perfect it comes out now by using this! I love that this is multi-purpose as well and am so pleased this is the brush I chose first, I'll never need to get another face brush again! 
I did say need, but whether I want another is a totally different matter..

Have you tried Real Techniques brushes?
cottonandcandie x

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

OOTD: Please don't tell me I look like Miley//Faux fur jacket

I have finally found a beautiful, bargain faux fur jacket. I've never committed myself to buying an expensive vintage one in fear that it isn't actually fake fur but also because they can be very pricey for something that may never be the same again if you spill anything down it. Being a well known mucky pup, I waited patiently for high street shops to start getting in the fur. It has cropped sleeves which I think look quite cute, being as short as I am I didn't want a coat to swamp me so this was an alternative which I was happy with. It does come with a rather tacky looking sparkly brooch, but I unpinned and binned this straight away.

I wore this with a Topshop crop which is from last year as the mustard patterns broke up the black on black on black. I also added a gold necklace from Primark as I felt like I needed something there seeing as I my hair was all up. With a crop top meant I had to wear high waisted jeans, I chose my black New look ones and then my Primark boots which I wrote about, here, still loving them!

Do you like the hair? Too Miley?
Are you as obsessed with faux fur as I am?
cottonandcandie x