Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Life lately in photos

I love posts like this, being a bit nosy and seeing what people have got up to and the places they've gone. I love it. 

The photo above is me and my handsome man at our Summer Ball, it was my very last one as I finish Uni this Summer and it was great. I'm wearing a white off the shoulder dress which is from Boohoo - only 15 pounds! Coral wedges from Primark and Miss Selfridge "Arm candy" bag, also in Coral. My lipstick is Morange, an Amplified lipstick from Mac, of course.

I've spent a lot of time here recently sunbathing and having a general wander around. This is Richmond Park, it's absolutely gigantic and less than a 5 minute walk away from my house in Roehampton (South West London). Perfect for a run, walk, cycle, rounders and it's also full of deer!

My Mum had to send me something from home and she wrote me this little note. What a cutie. I have loads of them on my uni wall, they just make me happy.

On my way to perfecting eyeliner flicks! I bought a 1 pound thin, angled eyeliner brush from ebay and it makes liner a dream. Post on this soon!

This little cutie is a Pandora bead given to me by my boyfriend. The other day I applied for my first Newly Qualified teaching job and got it, so this little Wise Owl was to celebrate that. What a babe.

For my Mum's birthday we went to Great Yarmouth, had a nice walk around and lots of seaside snacks.In my opinion this is one of the nicest beaches near me, it has a sandy beach, a pier, a mini theme park, shops, the lot.

What have you been up to recently?
cottonandcandie x

Monday, 25 May 2015

Everyday jewellery

Some people say jewellery makes an outfit. You can have a standard dress and the jewels you pair it with can really alter everything - that's the beauty of accessories, a dress can be worn more than once to different formality occasions just by changing how you wear it. 

Here's the accessories that I wear every day and pretty much never take off. 

The Pandora bracelet - everyone and their Mum has got one of these (apart from my Mum, who said she wanted a gold one which I said I'd get her without realising it's 1k. Woa.) I've always loved the idea of charm bracelets and Pandora really is the King (or Queen) of charm bracelets. There's so many charms to choose from including coloured glass beads as well as silver ones of pretty much whatever you can think of. They also have summer and winter collections which always bring out some real beauties - like my Santa and the sleigh. I love that each charm tells a story of why the person got it for you and who it was that bought it for you.

The rings - so the ring on my finger is another Pandora piece. I adore this ring, I got it for my 21st and it's just so pretty. I love the singular gold heart. These are known as stacker rings so you can pair more rings together with them to create your own signature look. The blue ring is H. Samuel I believe and was also a birthday present (16th - so nearly 6 years old!). The central stone is blue topaz with sapphires and diamonds on either side. So special.

The last one was a 21st gift and so I'm not sure where it is from. It's a bracelet which my Uncle's girlfriend bought me - as well as a bottle of bubbly! I love how delicate it is with the amber beads and the cute little silver heart. I think this goes well with my Pandora bracelet because it's really simple.

Do you have jewellery that you wear everyday?
cottonandcandie x

Friday, 22 May 2015

Mac Toledo ombré blush in ripe peach

I'll be impressed if you didn't let out an "Ooh" or an "Aah" when walking past the Mac Toledo ombré blush collection. Three beautiful shades to choose from with Kindergarten red - a beautiful cool pink, Azalea Blossom - a delicate lavender and Ripe peach - an orangey coral which I picked up and am reviewing here.

Looking at it I just couldn't resist. The packaging is so unique with the Toledo design and the actual ombré blush itself is just so pretty I could look at it all day. 

I have to say I didn't realise it is the only blush out of the three that had a little shimmer in it, which I'm not too fond of but it's only subtle, thankfully. When swiping your brush across the whole palette you achieve a warm, subtle glow which is really buildable - in fact I don't even think it's possible to over apply this product which is really failsafe. 

I've already used the word "subtle" twice reviewing this because that is something to really bear in mind, it really is subtle. For me, the pigmentation isn't brilliant so you'll need to really load up your brush to get some colour to your cheeks. Another little thing is that even when concentrating my brush towards the coral end of the palette, I really couldn't pick up much colour. However the palette saved it with the beautiful golden shade, it really is gorgeous and can look pretty just on its own.

I was slightly disappointed by the lack of pigmentation but I definitely don't regret buying it, it does look lovely on but for me I prefer a brighter blush and I tend to feel a bit frustrated when applying this.

How did you feel about the ombré blushes?
Did you pick one up?
cottonandcandie x

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Palette display/storage

Palettes are one of those nightmares to store, you either have to hide them away and then tend to forget about them or they take up so much room.
I've gathered a fair few palettes now and wanted something to store and display at the same time. 

This was literally a little tin that had some cute little Lindt miniatures in - ah, Easter choc memories, eh? I love the way that some of them don't quite fit in so it means you can see them all, I kinda like that it's imperfect in the way that it's a little bit too small. It's like a bookcase, I love it when they're stacked in different ways.

How do you store your palettes?
cottonandcandie x

Sunday, 17 May 2015

A trip to Camden

Camden is one of my favourite places in London. The artwork, the food, the markets! Here's a few snaps of what me and my boyfriend did on that day. 

There's some amazing artwork on the shop fronts, loads of 3D stuff, so cool to look at!

The food is incredible. Everything you can think of: Chinese, Thai, Indian, Mexican, you name it. 

Found a place that sold raspberry, blueberry and mango slush puppie - brings me right back to childhood!

The Amy Winehouse statue, surprisingly smaller than I thought it would be but I think it's her actual size - cute! It's really strange how she's just in between two park benches but I think she's been moved from her original place which was on a platform.

Have you ever been to Camden?
cottonandcandie x

Friday, 15 May 2015

The ali baba trouser

When I was younger any trousers that were a bit baggy were known as ali baba trousers. You know the ones, where the crotch is massively low and you look like you've done a -

I'll stop there. I've wanted a pair for quite a while but finding a pair of trousers that fit at 5'1 is less than simple. These are embarrassingly New look 915, aka the kiddies section. At 13 pounds it was a case of shut-up-and-take-my-money. 

I adore the bright blue and coral aztec pattern and they are just luxuriously comfy. I'm loving the fact that they look really quite sophisticated yet are the equivalent of trackies. Whoever thought of these, I absolutely salute you. They're a little high waisted so look great with a cute crop top as they come over your belly button. They also have a small black rouched cuff at the end of each leg (which you can't quite see - sorry!) which means that they can't physically be too long as they sit nicely at your ankles. 

If you want to nab a pair for yourselves there's a direct link, here.
And if you're not a shorty like me, here are some similar printed trousers in the regular New look section here and here

How do you feel about these? Do you have a pair?
cottonandcandie x

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The one and only | Mac Velvet Teddy

The most perfect nude. I'm sure even just saying that the one name which would naturally come to your lips would be: Mac Velvet Teddy. It's one of those shades that beauty bloggers don't even necessarily try, they just need it. Which is exactly what I did.

My boyfriend went to Switzerland last month and me with my overexcited duty free head on thought that they would definitely have Mac Velvet Teddy in the airport. Nope. He even looked whilst he was in Switzerland, cutie. He felt so bad that he couldn't find it that he ordered it from an extortionate price from the internet. I'm talking way double than the RRP, eek. 

Wasn't it a good job that I love it, eh?
I personally think that this shade looks different on everyone; it is described as a deep toned beige but on me it is a gorgeous caramel colour which I just cannot get enough of. It has even replaced Twig, my go to everyday lispstick. I'm loving the everlasting 90s nude matte lip trend and this definitely ticks that box. For me it's the lipstick colour that if you can't decide what to wear just go with Velvet Teddy and you won't be disappointed.

For a matte finish it goes on surprisingly smoothly and lasts hours, I've actually had comments from people saying how impressed the staying power of my lipstick is even after eating and drinking.

All in all I've been far from disappointed.
Have you got your hands on velvet teddy?
cottonandcandie x

Monday, 11 May 2015


Having a blank canvas as a uni room can be massively daunting. Some uni halls of residence ban you from putting posters up, too meaning it can really feel a lot less than homely. (Although definitely try white tac!)

I didn't realise how many little trinkets I have in my room until I was showing it to someone that hadn't been in my room before. It definitely makes sense to add bits which makes the room more "you". 

Quite a recent one for me is this beautiful Little Mermaid jewellery box. Anyone who knows me knows I just love the idea of mermaids. They're just so beautiful and ah. Anyway. I got this as a present from one of my friends from Disneyland. And yes, it does play under the sea. - So adorable. I have yet to store anything inside it as the box itself is quite deep and I already have jewellery stands, make up drawers, etc. If any of you have any ideas  let me know!

I got given this as one of my leaving presents when I finished placement last year in a Special School. I love the rustic look of this and it's a proper sturdy metal with a hanger, too. I can't wait to put this in my future classroom, eek!

My Mum got me this and I absolutely love it. You can unclip the little handle and reattach it which is great because you'll definitely be able to find somewhere to hang it. Mine is on my wardrobe because obviously I walk past or open it every day. It's such a teenie little sign with so much meaning, I love it. 

My Dad always comes back from Cornwall (where my Auntie lives) with some random beachy weirdness and this was one of them. An actual piggy bank. I love how bright this is and I'm so glad that this one has a hole on the underside so I don't have to smash it to get the money out! I save up all my two pound coins in here and then when I have enough I buy something I've been lusting after. - Usually a Mac lipstick, haha!

Last but not least is this cute little happy Buddha. I got this for Christmas from my sister and I can honestly say it was one of my best presents. I pointed it out in a shop and had no idea that she would remember or even get it for me, so sweet! 
I personally love the idea of Buddhism and the positive vibes it brings. Not sure not many people know that Buddha isn't deemed as their God that they pray for but simply a symbol of luck when you rub their belly!

Do you have any little trinkets in your home? Which one is your favourite?
cottonandcandie x

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Fitness fashion

I was that kid that would be second to last in cross country every single year. I was pretty naff at sports and was only able to do short distance sprints and that's about it. Since starting uni I went to the gym and started loving it. I felt in control of what I wanted to do and started to go to the gym every day, like I would try to take the weekend off but got bored and ended up going anyway, I was that much of a gym bunnie. Now I'm in my third year of uni and things are a lot more intense I find myself not being able to go as much as I'd like to anymore so I've changed my routine so that when I do go I make the most out of it. 

I wear my amazingly bright Nike trainers which I got off of depop for quite cheap at 50 pounds compared to usual brand new Nikes. These are Nike free run 3 in coral. The free run collection means that it allows for flexible movement so wearing them feels close to running barefoot - more natural and not as bulky.
Trainers are so so important. If you're just starting to get into the idea of the gym and don't have much in the way of gymwear, get these first. The rest can definitely come later, you and your ankles will thank me!

When I first started off going to the gym I just wore your standard black leggings, a bra that held me in a bit and a baggy t shirt. Every time I had a little bit of money I would buy another item until I had a full work out outfit.

Now I wear a proper shock absorber sports bra in bright pink. This one really holds you in, I'm talking looking like a complete boy here. At the time I heard lots of rumours about needing to have quite a heavy duty high support bra but now I don't feel it to be too necessary. Sports bras are something you can never have too much of in my opinion. I got a bright green Nike one for Christmas which is a lighter support one and still does the job. I feel you can go really quite loud with your sports bras as you only see a peek. 

I also wear 3/4 length running leggings which I wear all year round, full length are just way too hot for me! I have a black pair which are Karrimor from Sports direct and a grey pair from Primark. Both are as good as each other but I wouldn't recommend getting a grey pair if you sweat a lot, eek! 

Lastly I wear a black sports vest, also Karrimor, I'd say this is definitely the item that is better in a bigger size. I have one which is an XS and oh my gosh does it cut into my shoulders, ouch! I prefer to wear the sports vests as they're a bit higher necked than your standard vest so you know you're fully covered with whatever you're doing.

Are you just starting up at the gym? What do you wear if you go?
cottonandcandie x

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Chisel cheeks contour kit: Barry M

Contouring. You either love it or struggle to do it. I was the latter until around a month ago when I picked up this cute little kit for just 6 pounds. 

Chisel cheeks by Barry M gives you three shades to highlight, sculpt and bronze your face to give you the bone structure of Aphrodite. I'm just guessing she had good bone structure, here.

The step by step guide of where to apply each of the three shades is super helpful, literally a fail safe method for anyone. It shows you where light should naturally hit your face, and so where to apply the highlight to emphasise this; where the sun would naturally bronze your face and so where to apply the medium brown and lastly where you can define your features with the darker brown. 

For me, I love Topshop's glow highlighter in polish, so instead of using the highlighter in the palette I use this over my cheekbones, brow bone and cupids bow as I prefer a real shine. I'm such a highlighter girl, so I tend not to use the highlighter in this palette but that's not to say that it isn't worth using! 

The second medium brown shade gives me just enough warmth and can be really subtle when blending out with a powder brush, I have to say that applying it on your forehead which I've never heard of before really gives you that sunkissed look, I never realised! I apply this with an angled blusher brush and as already mentioned, blend out and up towards my hairline with a large fluffy brush.

The third dark brown shade I really did not think I would get on with. It's super pigmented and can come out quite dark, which for me with my real white skin was going to be a problem. Then I decided to change the brush I was using to the Zoeva face paint 109 (review, soon!) to achieve a thinner more subtle line at the hollows of my cheekbones. You only need a teenie bit of powder on your brush to do the entirety of your cheekbone. I load up the brush and then gently press the powder into the hollows of my cheekbones from the top of my ear towards the corner of your mouth. Imagine there's a line joining the two together but don't blend all the way down to the corner of your mouth. After this buff the product in with a large fluffy brush until you're happy with the shade.

Since using the Zoeva brush with this contour set I have been using it all. the. time. I absolutely love it. I cannot believe how effective it is for such a small price and that in my opinion it complements so many skin tones. - I have used this on my Mum, who is a medium-dark skin tone as well as on myself who is very fair and it works so well for both of us.  

Basically, get to Boots or Superdrug right now and pick this up.
Have you tried contouring? Do you use this palette too?
cottonandcandie x

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Workout routine

This is going to be one of two blog posts which are a little bit fitness-y, with a post on gymwear scheduled for Saturday, so if you couldn't care less about exercise and keeping healthy then don't worry this isn't a regular thing - do let me know if you like it though!

With Summer holidays coming up everyone wants to look their best while they're baring a bit more skin. My aim is generally just to tone up my lower half a bit, focussing on my legs and glutes rather than my stomach or arms. I'm not saying that what I do is the workout of the year I'm just saying that this is what I do, and it works for me!

I start off on the treadmill walking uphill; walking uphill can actually burn more calories than running, and with a steep incline you can really tone your glutes (everyone wants a bubble butt, right?) and legs. This is better for me as a person who has hip and knee trouble as it does not put as much strain on these areas. I do this for ten minutes and usually burn around 130 calories. I put the incline up to the steepest and the speed up to 5, although I think "5" is the level of the treadmill rather than the mph.

After this I go to the cross trainer and again, do this for ten minutes. With this I burn around 120 calories sometimes more if I really push myself. With the cross trainer at my gym you can adjust the "load", i.e. the amount of resistance and weight behind the cross trainer. I have my load up quite high as I would prefer to tone my legs rather than to make them smaller. If you're looking to lose weight then it would be more beneficial to go for a lighter load so that your pace is a lot faster.

I then go on the bike for a further 10 minutes, again with quite a heavy load. I find this doesn't burn as many calories for me (only around 60!) but this is the one that I really feel in my thighs which is an area which I want to work on so I keep at it! 

Then I head to the mat. It took me ages to get the courage to go and work out in front of everyone but it totally doesn't bother me anymore. Going with a friend and doing a workout together definitely helps with this side of things, too! 

I do two lots of 15 squats with a 4kg bar on my shoulders. One lot I do a sumo squat which is where you have a wide stance and toes pointed out, this is a deep squat which you can really feel in your inner thighs. Count to 3 when you're down and squeeeeze your glutes when you come up to standing. Same goes for my second lot of squats which are your typical standard squat: feet a little wider than hip-width apart and toes pointing forwards. These sort of squats you will not be able to go as low but you'll really feel them in your glutes. 

Always remember to make sure your back is straight and your knees aren't going over your toes at any point. 

I then do a set of 15 "donkey kicks" on each leg, a one minute plank which I time using my phone and then stretch - my favourite part. My typical stretches include touching your toes from standing and then sitting, standing and then sitting with feet wide apart and stretching to touch one foot and then the next. - It's so hard to try and explain these! 

What do you do to workout? 
cottonandcandie x

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Top 10 accessories

Accessories are what makes an outfit. I always used to forget to put them on until I moved them right where I could see them onto this heart memo board. The only thing you can't really hang on here is earrings and rings, but seeing as I wear the same rings every day and only tend to wear earrings when I go out this doesn't really bother me. You can get the heart memo board from amazon, here.

From my big collection of everything I narrowed down my top 10 accessories and here they are in no particular order. I didn't quite realise how many accessories are from Topshop here!

1. Burgundy headband 
I think I may have mentioned before that I have one of those funny shaped heads which headbands just seem to slide off, but this tie up one definitely stays put (it doesn't budge an inch if you hair grip it in, too). I often wear this If my hair is up and just needs a bit of something to brighten it up a bit. I can't exactly remember where I got this from but the last place I remember seeing them was River Island. Again, I'm sure ebay will do some cheap alternatives!

2. Triangle cut out necklace
I went through a real gold triangle phase and this was the outcome. I still wear it a lot despite not being so triangular obsessed anymore as I love the collar look to this, it goes perfectly with a buttoned up shirt. Similar, here.

3. Pandora bracelet
Everyone and their Mum has one of these - unless you're like my Mum who only wears gold and at 1k a bracelet I don't think I'll be earning that sort of money anytime soon! I have a lot of charms. I got this for my 18th and everyone jumped on he bandwagon with buying me a charm. It's quite cute because each one tells a story. Let me know if you'd like to see an individual post about it!

4. Triangle earrings
More triangles. I tend to go for these on a night out as they're dangly but not gigantic like most earrings seem to be these days. I'd rather spend more time on hair and make up than have statement earrings that stretch your earlobes. Similar here and here.

5. Tortoiseshell sunglasses
I cannot believe I'm wearing tortoiseshell again. I remember when I wore tortoiseshell when I was little and I was so uncool for not wearing your standard black. Because I have a really light eyes I was told by my optician that sunglasses are vital for me as my the pigment in my eye could lighten - scary! 16.50 from Topshop

6. That trio necklace
I've wanted a little set of necklaces that go together for ages but couldn't find any but now I have it and I'm wearing it to death. I love the little coin and how there's two chains drape either side, so pretty. I somehow cut off the third section of the necklace out of the shot but you can see and buy it from Topshop,  here.

7. Multicoloured earrings
Do these count as triangles? I'm not sure. I don't wear these much as they're a bit chunky for a stud but I love the colours. These are Topshop's around two years ago and I can't find anything similar! Definitely need to start wearing them more now!

8. Large round frame glasses
These were a real cheapie pair from holiday - you know the type. Although they are mirrored and say that they are 100 UV, not sure? Love the retro festival feel to these. Similar, here from zerouv which I have just discovered and now love!

9. Bunnie eared hairband
An update on the velvet bunnie ears I did a post on in March: summer bunnie eared scrunchies. Which I think are a lot more suitable now the weather is a bit brighter. So glad I got my hands on this beautiful tropical print, have a look at Topshop's other scrunchies here

10. The all season scarf
By all season I mean because it's white and grey these colours go with everything. It's quite thin so can be worn with a chunky coat in Winter and as a general accessory in summer. It's pretty much my only "fashion scarf" and I have loved and worn it for around five years now (wow..)

Which accessories do you prefer to wear? Which ones of mine are your favourites?
cottonandcandie x

Friday, 1 May 2015

Bodyshop Shimmer Cube Eye Palette

I bought this quite a while ago when I bought the Bodyshop honey bronzer and it's taken me forever to get round to taking photos of and swatching it. I guess it's because I wasn't reeeally that impressed with it.

For sixteen pounds, (almost half an Urban decay palette!) you get only four shadows. I really don't know how I justified buying it! Maybe there was a sale? There are seven variations of the shimmer cube quads, this one being called "Green". Hmm. 

I do loove the fact that they come in little cubes and each shadow has a mini lid so that you only need to take with you the cube(s) you've used. I like that a lot. The colours are very pretty and the shadows are long wearing. The shadows themselves are really quite hard meaning the pigmentation isn't amazing but I've made very little if any dent in them whatsoever! In Bodyshop's defense the shadows are described as having an iridescent finish so their intention is more of a subtle shimmer - hence "shimmer cube eye palette!"

Have you tried Bodyshop shadows?
cottonandcandie x