Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Garden party plans

For my birthday I wanted to do something a little different than the usual night out, my cousin had the amazing idea of a garden party and seeing as where I live has quite a big garden it was definitely able to happen.
Seeing as this birthday I was 22 I wanted it to be mature and "grown up" enough yet I wanted to do games to get people talking and break the ice between people that didn't know each other.
We overloaded on crisps, popcorn, peanuts, cupcakes and barbecue food as standard and prayed for the weather to hold off.
As far as games were concerned we tied doughnuts to the washing line and you had to eat them without using your hands. It was a jammy nightmare and most of them fell to the floor. Definitely try this it's absolutely hilarious.
Me and my Mum and boyfriend also set out an assault course where you had to put on two different sized wellies, go under an army net, step in and out of a ladder, go through a hoola hoop, down a drink and then go round a broom five times with your head down before going back to your team in a wibbly wobbly state. It's amazing how a bit of team building can really bring people together.
We also had wheelbarrows to sit in, twister, roasting marshmallows, board games and loads of other silly things. Lots of people came up to me just to say they were having a really good time, it definitely made a difference from the usual parties where you're standing around a little awkward!
Have you had your birthday recently? What did you do?
cottonandcandie x

Monday, 27 July 2015

Beauty birthday presents

It was my 22nd birthday yesterday and those that knew me well (or perhaps not so well as it's a little obvious!) bought me some beauty related gifts. Just looking at these photos makes me weak at the knees.
Before I get into the main bit of the post this is in no way meant to come across as me bragging about what I have got or how much people have spent on me or whatever, I'm just using this as a way of showing almost like a haul post of lots of beauty bits grouped together.
 For some items I will be posting a more detailed post at some point but this is almost like little mini first impression reviews for now.


Urban decay all nighter make up setting spray - First impressions are pretty good! Doesn't leave my face feeling sticky or tight at all but I can't honestly comment on it extending my make up wear for now, will do a full review later.
Benefit Hoola - Lovinggg the Hoola. I've been after this for a while and seeing as my Body shop honey bronzer completely cracked and smashed to bits (sob) this was something I was really looking forward to. The shade is quite subtle and buildable even though it looks quite dark which is great for pale girls like me that don't want to look too faked.
How cute is the French bulldog wrapping paper?!
Bodyshop's raspberry eau de toilette - This was a complete surprise and a beautifully smelling one. I can't get enough of this, it's a real sweet summer fragrance which lasts an impressively long time!
Maxfactor pan stik - I was really intrigued by this as I haven't heard of or seen this before. My boyfriend did lots of research and bought me this, isn't he the best? It's a full coverage foundation stick which is quite thick in consistency, good for covering any spots or redness. I've also tried using it for contouring but I'm not sure it's the right shade for me for that.
Maybelline cover stick - Another stick-like product! I've always been a bit nervous when it comes to concealer as whatever I buy doesn't seem to cover up me under-eye area quite right so I tend to go for the cheapie Natural collection one. This is very very similar to that from what I've used so far!
Oatifix by Lush- Haven't used this yet but gosh do I dislike the smell. I'm glad it's only meant to go on for around 5- 10 minutes! I've heard good things though, cleansing and moisturising in one!
YSL touche ├ęclat - I can't believe it's taken me so long to buy this or put it on my birthday list. This is such a game changing product, no wonder it has won so many awards.
Rimmel Stay matte pressed powder -  This is described as a translucent powder so just gently mattifies your face without adding too much colour. It would also be perfect for adding on top of a shiny lipstick if you want the colour without the shine.

Make up revolution Mermaids are forever palette - I've been hunting this down foreverrr and now it's finally mine, eek! The colours are beautiful but they really vary in pigmentation sadly.
Calvin Klein lipstick - I definitely need some alone time with this one. It's a beautiful shade but I nightmare to apply. The actual lipstick itself is quite a strange shape and it was quite difficult to get a smooth application. Definitely will write more on this one at a later date.
Roots by Lush - Anything by Lush gets me excited so something which combats thin and fine hair had my name all over it. Again. not sure about the smell but I'm sure I can forget about that if the results are good!
Real techniques powder brush - A great fluffy, large headed brush perfect for bronzer or powder.
Dior mascara - So the wand for this is really wide and big in general but I find that this doesn't get quite enough product on the brush. It does give your lashes a nice subtle look, nice for days where less make up is required.
Smashbox primer - This little tube of loveliness was a complete surprise, again well done to the boyfriend. Will be doing a full post on this soon to reveal its secrets.
Rimmel 25 hour foundation - I've been looking for a new foundation as my No7 one just isn't winning me over anymore. This one is just fantastic. Again, will be doing a full post on this.
Escada turquoise sunshine - I don't think there has been an Escada perfume released that I haven't liked. They're so fun and fruity and sweet and just amazing. The packaging is cute and I find the scent lasts a good while.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

The birthday playsuit

My last fashion post was also about playsuits, it really is an endless love affair! 
It's my birthday on sunday but I'm having a birthday garden party on saturday - pictures to follow! This is what I'll be wearing for the day, a beautiful bright floral piece from Miss Selfridge

It's called a keyhole dress, with one slit the front and one at the back, but as it's quite flowy they're not too revealing. I adore the neckline on this but oh my goodness it's going to be a nightmare to go to the toilet as it's a tiny little material button at the nape of my neck; will be nominating a loo partner haha. 

The bright orange is what makes this I think, I think if it was just blues it wouldn't be anywhere near as pretty, it's like exotic! 

The playsuit is also petite which is great for me, I'm really loving Miss Selfridge at the moment and their petite section is always so on point. 

Do you have a Summer birthday too? What will you be wearing?
cottonandcandie x

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Top tips on making a good impression | University, School and Work

Making an impression can take seconds to make and seconds to break. 
For everyone starting something new in September this is for you! Or for everyone who wants to try and change the perception of themself in the workplace, this is also for you haha! 

  1. Say good morning to everyone. - Better to be the person to say hello than the person who didn't say it back! People will be a lot more friendly and welcoming to you if you greet them before it gets too awkward and they've been in the same room as you for too long. I've become really friendly with the caretaker of my school and he looks after me so much now! 
  2. Dress to impress. - If you dress like a girl that doesn't look prepared for the job, you will appear it. My sister literally does power dressing. She's quite a young trainee accountant at just 20 years old and rocks up in midi skirts and heels every day, she gets s much respect its unreal. In the same respect, have a look at what others are wearing so you don't massively stick out.
  3.  Ask as many questions as you can while you are new. Once you've been there a few months you won't be able to get away with it so do it while you can!
  4. Join in! Really push yourself to get involved in things: clubs, nights out, etc. Being present for more social things will really help you to make some new friends, as sickening as that sounds, haha. 
  5. Manners cost nothing. Pleases and thank yous are everything. If someone even does a little favour for you, a thank you goes a long way; and they'll remember it, too!
  6. Smile!

So here are my tips for the general newbie. Have you got any other useful tips?
cottonandcandie x

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Mac Morange

I was after a real bright orange shade of lipstick to go with my white Summer ball dress, you can see the full outfit here. And bright was definitely what I got. 

Morange is described as a "loudmouth orange" by Mac, that's literally all the description they give. But to be fair does it need a description? 

On Mac's website it looks almost a tomato soup orange but I can assure you it's not.
I personally love the shade, it's fun, Summery and a nice change from the standard red lip. In fact it's actually yellow based.
I've never tried amplified creme before, or amplified for that matter. It's suuuper moisturising but a real nightmare to apply, this really isn't a slick on and go lipstick; you definitely need a lip brush for this. It's not as pigmented as you'd think for an amplified lipstick as it tends to lean more towards being 
 creamy and slightly glossy. However, this does mean you can build your coverage to make it as opaque as you'd like. 

Have you tried an amplified creme? What do you think of Morange?
cottonandcandie x

Friday, 17 July 2015

OOTD: Playing in playsuits

Playsuits > Dresses. 
Always have always will, why would you wear something which you have to worry about whether it's too short, if it's going to blow up, you can still sit cross legged or like a man (cough) and no one will bat an eyelid.

It even has play in the name, I can't see what not to love. 

This playsuit is from H&M, they do lots of patterns in this sort of style but I wanted a fairly simple monochrome one so I can really make it my own with jackets, shoes, lipstick, etc. 

Tights were necessary as it was one of those days where you just can't tell if it's going to absolutely lash it down and there you are, a bare legged idiot. 

These are shoes I bought from Matalan when I did my big work capsule wardrobe haul, glasses are from Crete (who knows, you may be going!) and denim jacket is my vintage Miss Sixty one which I just know I'm going to be wearing to death this summer. 

Are you a playsuit girl or a dress girl?
cottonandcandie x

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Green tea lovin' | why you should make the switch

There's a million and one of us harping on about Green tea, and with good reason to.

First, the facts. Here is a huuuuge list of benefits which green tea claims to have, some have been scientifically proven:
  • Improved brain function
  • Assists wait loss
  • Lowers your risks of certain typed of cancer
  • It's full of antioxidants
  • Powerful medicinal qualities
  • Contains caffeine which promotes brain function, improves mood, memory.
  • Anti anxiety effects
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Promotes fat burning
  • Improves physical performance
  • Lowers risk of Parkinson's, diabetes and Alzheimer's
  • Improves dental health
  • Improves eyesight
  • Lowers risk of infection
  • Anti allergenic 
  • Prevents premature skin aging and helps wrinkles as it prevents UV rays
And this is why it is considered as the world's healthiest drink!
I began drinking green tea about a month ago and now I have no idea how I coped without it. I've never liked any form of hot drink, the smell of coffee was just horrible, hot chocolate never chocolatey enough and I don't particularly like milk so tea is out of the question too!

There's a lot of talk about actually how to prepare green tea; the way I do it (not obviously the only way to do it) is add water to a cup with a green tea bag and one sugar in that's a few seconds away from the boil or just cooled down from the boil. Squeeze the tea bag only a few times and then take out and drink. If you leave it to stew it can taste really quite bitter.

If you're still finding that it tastes bitter you can add more sugar or there's a variety from Twinings called Angui Province which is a little sweeter. Twinings also do mint, lemon, cranberry and even gingerbread flavour green tea!

Will you be making the switch to green tea?
cottonandcandie x

Monday, 13 July 2015

Naissant's perlabeige tone correcting shampoo and conditioner

As some of you may know the main reason why my hair got so damaged was using silver shampoo without any conditioner. I was told conditioner would wash out the silvery colour I so badly wanted, so no conditioner is what I did. What I did next was pretty much brush away and snap so much of my hair off because it was just so matted from not conditioning it.

Excuse the horror story, but this is the background behind realising that when I was sent *Naissant's perlabiege shampoo and conditioner I was a bit anxious as it was a tone correcting shampoo and conditioner which was blue in colour, similar to the silver shampoo I used.

Forget about my horror story, this is a different story. Both the shampoo and the conditioner have olive oil and honey in their ingredients to deeply moisturise as well as adding shine. Moisturised and nourished was the exact opposite of my hair after using my previous silver shampoo, so I was already being won over by Naissant.

The shampoo is what takes any brassiness out of the hair, its quite thin in consistency but a little goes a long way. A tip I will give you is that if you bleach your roots like I do, apply the shampoo to the roots for a few minutes before you do the rest of your hair as I always find that it takes a little more time for the roots to take. This way you won't be having a weird drastic ombre look.

You really do not need to leave it on that long to get a noticeable difference, my "after" picture was only after 5 minutes! Such a difference from the ones you have to leave on for an ageee.

The conditioner is equally as exciting. It's still really blue in colour so you're enhancing your hair colour as well as really nourishing your hair. It literally feels silky smooth even after you've washed it out. I'm actually so impressed by the conditioner I would say you could easily use it on its own if you just wanted to take out brassinness in your hair tone rather than opting for the real silver shade. 

Just look at that shine! I'm really impressed with Naissant and will be using this weekly to give my blonde locks a little bit of oomph in colour and a real good treat with conditioning it. It also has a beauuutiful smell. This last photo below just doesn't do my hair any justice as the lighting was a bit awkward but you can really see my enhanced colour towards the bottom of the photo. 

Naissant perlabeige shampoo is available on amazon for sixteen pounds, here. 
Naissant perlabeige tone correcting mask is available on amazon for sixteen pounds, here

Have you tried Naissant yet? Are you as impressed with the results as I am?
cottonandcandie x

Friday, 10 July 2015

My work capsule wardrobe

So I came back from uni in London about a month and a half ago now and having waaayy too many clothes meant that I just couldn't bring everything back. I got offered supply work in the school which I am starting full time in September which I happily took before realising I had next to no posh teacher-like clothes! 

I went on a spending spree to just get me a few outfits until I go back to uni to bring the rest of my stuff back. This meant I had to be really clever with what I bought so that I could mix and match to create lots of different outfits. Surprisingly, I got a lot of stuff from Matalan, which was very cheap as well as having lots of variety and good value for money. 

I've never been good at having a capsule wardrobe but in this case I've had to, here is some of the stuff I bought and some of the outfits I've put together recently. 

So for staples I bought a scalloped hem t shirt, which I created an OOTD look previously, here.
I bought one in white and one in black, there was a yellowy looking one but with all those thunder flies around at the moment I decided not to brave it. These were both from Matalan at six pounds each which you can purchase, here. For me, plain tees just isn't something I can do which is why I was glad when I saw these as they're a little different; I liked the hem on this and also the high neck which can take me round all the way to Winter, I hope! I'm also loving printed trousers this season, these hareem ones are nice and light to keep you cool in Summer and I love the pattern, because of all the colours they're really versatile. 

I haven't actually worn this outfit yet but I'm looking forward to it, again very light and airy so good in a hot classroom (or office!). I love the colour of this, too. Similar, here. This could also be put with the black and white leggings and maybe the hareem trousers above. I think it's important to have a little colour in a capsule wardrobe! I put this with a standard black midi skirt, this one is from boohoo. 

This is the other scalloped hem tee, this time in black, although this skirt could definitely be worn with either colour. I absolutely love this skirt and that it can be worn for a night out as well as to work. The midi is Topshop from a few years ago and the colours and print is just exquisite. 

Finally the scalloped white tee again as well as the leggings which I mentioned earlier. These are from the children's section but fit really well actually in a size 14-15! These leggings I think can be formal or informal depending on how you dress them, the pattern isn't too loud and I personally think they look really smart for work as they're fitted. Sadly I can't find these online! Next time I think I'll wear this with the pink blouse to add a bit of colour. 

What do you think to my capsule work wardrobe? Which outfit or piece is your favourite?
cottonandcandie x

Monday, 6 July 2015

A trip to... Sandringham palace

My Nannie turned 90 at the end of June, what an age! For her birthday we went to Hunstanton in Norfolk and whilst we were there we visited Sandringham Palace. Sandringham Palace is where the Queen stays at Christmas. We got to see all around the grounds, a little museum of gifts the Queen has received from other royalty and around the ground floor of the house, they even told us where the Christmas tree goes! Sadly we weren't allowed to take pictures inside the actual house but here are some I got of the day. 

So who knew the Queen has her own Buddha? Loved this little guy! You're meant to rub his belly for good luck which I did, I also left a coin in with all of the others, basically followed the crowd but it made me feel good giving a little bit to this happy chap. 

If you know me you will know that I love cars. Look at this bad boy. Even if you aren't a car lover I'm sure you can still appreciate this, look how big it is! There was a little story to go with each one explaining who drove it, the length, etc. 

Could you go to see the Queen's second home and not have a cream tea? I actually shared this with my Dad because it was huuuge. Obviously jam first and then cream! 

Is this somewhere you'd like to visit?
cottonandcandie x

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Summer plum pout

With fashion, everyone's trying to wear something unique to set a trend. With make up, people tend to follow the crowd a bit and there are almost unwritten rules. Eyes or lips, coral in summer, contouring upwards, etc. Another one is dark lips are only for winter; here I've done a fresh faced summery make up look using Maybelline colour drama in Berry much. 

I wore this to go out for dinner, that's how much I trust this lip colour. I always tend to have trouble, in fact I'm sure most people do, with dark lips and the colour just not transferring or staying properly on that teenie bit of inner lip which shows when you open your mouth a bit. However Maybelline colour drama is changing the game. I've never been massively impressed with lip pencils but this one is just so moisutrising and the colour lasts for ages. I'm honestly actually thinking about buying the whole lot, and at only a fiver I really don't see no reason why I shouldn't!

I put this lip colour with subtle contouring using my Barry M contour kit and Topshop's cream highlighter in Glow as well as a slight bit of colour on my eyes using the original Naked palette and finishing off with Miss Manga mascara < click for review. This was also a seriously good brow day using Nars' angled eyeshadow brush with the shade Bali.

What do you think? Plum in Summer?
cottonandcandie x

Thursday, 2 July 2015

The blogger made me buy it #2: Master precise liner

This is my second post of "The blogger made me buy it" (first post, here). I wouldn't call this a series, more just me being spend happy and believing everything people say on the internet, haha. 

Master precise liner by Maybelline, I'd heard loads of things about it. Some saying it was the holy grail of liner and that they wouldn't use anything else. People claimed it was their go to eyeliner for beautiful cat flicks. 

So naturally I wanted to get my hands on this holy grail liner, but unfortunately I was disappointed. 
Firstly I love the pen liners, I think they're so easy to use and it's definitely less messy. However, the "nib", as it where on this pen liner was really quite long and flexible, meaning it tended to drag across my eye and then once released would splatter eyeliner all of my eyes - not the look I was going for. 

Another issue I found was that the liner wasn't particularly black, and so being a pen the most you could do was just shake the liner like you would a fountain pen in the hope that more liquid would be spread into the nib. Not something I want to be doing at half six in the morning. 

I also found that going over the liner again would sometimes lead to you taking off some of the liner you already applied, so you would have to wait a while for it to try before going over again to make it a more crisp line. 

All in all I know this isn't a glowing review but this could be down to the fact that I am very picky with liners. I prefer a lot thinner applicator so I can be really, well, precise. This obviously is not to say that I wouldn't recommend buying it as so many people absolutely rave about it. But if like me you are picky with liners or don't have the smoothest or steadiest hand, I might say give this a miss. 

Have you tried Master precise? What did you think?
cottonandcandie x