January Favourites.

So I plan on doing this type of post on a monthly basis, just to share what type of products I have been using a lot of. I don’t intend for this just to be beauty based – however I will warn you that I have a love of make up and beauty products in general so they will probably be a heavy feature in these posts! Here’s what I have been loving so far in 2015!

1. LUSH

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I have tried to shop in LUSH several times and always come out empty handed because the choice in there is just overwhelming. However, towards the start of January I spent some time on their website, reading up on their range of products and what they do and I made some purchases. I have to say I am really impressed! For those of you who don’t already know, LUSH specialises in cosmetics and beauty products which are made totally from natural ingredients. As a result, pretty much everything is fresh and has a sell by date but don’t let that put you off! I have bought quite a few things from them this month and I will do a full post reviewing them at a later date but my two absolute favourite items are:

1. Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser  (www.lush.com)

2. Silky Underwear Dusting Powder (www.lush.com)

I have used these daily since I bought them and have just fallen in love with how brilliant they are. The cleanser is made from lavender, chamomile and rose absolute and claims to even skin tone and make your face glow, which it certainly does! I originally bought it because I had lots of blackheads on my nose which I have been trying to get rid of for a while (nothing so far has worked!). I will say that although they haven’t completely disappeared, if I use this product morning and night I do notice a massive improvement. The dusting powder is basically just like talc. I haven’t used anything like this for years but I love how it smells. It’s great to use after a shower, just before getting into bed, to soak up any excess water and to give a subtle, sexy scent to your skin.

2. From the make up  bag.

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There are a few products I have particularly loved using this month and the first is an old favourite of mine that will probably remain a permanent feature in my make up routine.

3. Chanel Illuminating Base (www.boots.com)

3. MAC Powder Blush MARGIN Frost (www.mac.co.uk)

4. Bourjois Paris Bronzing Powder and Highlighter (www.boots.com)

5. Real Techniques Powder Brush (www.superdrug.com)

Chanel’s Illuminating Base is just divine. I use it as a primer before I put on my foundation and it literally melts into the skin. A tiny bit of product goes a long way and so the bottle lasts a long time. It gives my skin a beautiful dewy look and I will often mix it into my foundation on a night out to provide an even better glow. Plus, it makes my make up last a lot longer and I find I don’t need to reapply during the day.

The blusher is my second one from MAC – I also have a mineralize blush in the colour Dainty which is a lot more pink. I wanted to get something more suitable for winter and this was the winner. It looks gorgeous with my bronzer and can easily be built up for a bolder colour. My bronzer of choice has always been the chocolate scented blocks from Bourjois but I recently noticed this duo and just had to buy it. I love that I have 2 products in one and although I am no expert at contouring, they are easy to use on a daily basis to add definition to your makeup.

Lastly is the powder brush. I have a few Real Techniques brushes but this one is by far the best, it is really soft and is literally a treat to use! I also like how big it is – it now takes me half the time to apply face powder and anything that is a time saver in the morning is going to make me happy!

3.  A book and a pen.

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6. Parker Urban Ballpoint Pen (www.thepenshop.co.uk)

7. 365 Days of Wonder by RJ Palacio

I have mentioned in a previous post (here) that I bought this pen on a complete whim and it was one of those outrageous impulse buys where you spend way too much money on something you don’t really need. But it is so pretty! I keep it in my handbag and it comes everywhere. And when I whip it out to sign something at work or in the bank etc, it does get the most admiring glances ever and I can literally feel the jealousy coming from the person I am stood with. So yeah, totally worth it!  Plus, it writes really nicely and is refillable.

Last of all is this book – 365 days of wonder. It’s a collection of quotes, 1 for each day of the year. It lives on my desk and I always look forward to seeing what it says. Here is today’s  one I think is particularly inspirational for me right now!

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So that’s my first ‘favourites’ post done and dusted! Hope you enjoyed it!

L x

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What’s in my handbag?

I always like reading this sort of post- maybe I am just nosey! So I thought I would do my own, just in case anyone out there is genuinely interested in what I cart around with me all day. And if not… it was good for me just to see exactly how much stuff I probably don’t need to have with me!

So first things first – The Bag!
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This particular one is from Oasis and has a smaller compartment inside which can be brought out and used as a shoulder bag on it’s own – a feature I LOVE. I always go for this type of bag, wear them until it literally falls apart and then spend a good few weeks searching the shops until I find another one just like it. I prefer tan because the colour tends to go with everything I wear. It’s versatile, big enough for all my crap and easy carry- perfect! Anyway, rant over – here’s what I keep inside…

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A bag inside a bag – does anyone else do this? This cosmetics bag is by Pauls Boutique and I love how bright it is- it’s really easy to spot when I need it. It’s also a cute square shape which you don’t often see so it leaves plenty of room surrounding it (which I then fill with more stuff!).

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Inside that I keep all the kind of beauty stuff that I use throughout the day: face powder (Rimmel),mirror, plasters, bobbles and hair grips. I also carry eye drops (for those days when I’m super tired) and 4head because after a day in the classroom with 31 kids, headaches can occur! The hand/face wipes are from H&M and I have about 5 packs to get through because I bulk bought them in the sale. I’ve recently discovered Lanolips and have two of their lip balms as well as a hand creme. I also have a Clinique ‘Almost Lipstick’ – I’m not sure of the shade it came in a gift set.

I do have a few more beauty items which can’t fit into this cosmetics bag. I adore Chanel Mademoiselle and never leave the house without this. Plus the bottle is super lovely. I have a tangle teezer – one of my best purchases this year. Mine is the travel version and has a cover with it. Lastly, I found a random lipstick at the bottom of the bag – Kate for Rimmel (08) – a gorgeous nude.

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Aside from beauty products, there are other things that feature in my handbag. I carry my iPad, Kindle, Journal and a gorgeous Parker pen which was one of those way-too-expensive-accidental-purchases which I absolutely

    do not regret.

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And then for the junk. It looks like I have a bit of an addiction to chewing gum as I have 5 and a half packs sitting at the bottom of my bag. I actually have a big thing about always having fresh breath. Working in a school, coffee is my saviour but no-way do I want to be one of those horrible teachers with bad breath that you always remember for the wrong reasons. Fresh breath is a must for me! I have an umberella at all times – living in Manchester means it is essential. You will notice my keys have a HUGE keyring on them. That’s because I always end up digging around in the bottom of my bag for them and it drives me nuts. I have tissues, powder brush and my glasses which I am supposed to wear for reading and being on the computer because I get headaches but I always forget I own them.

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I should be a dreamer.

Dreamer: To wonder aimlessly with your head in the clouds.
That is what the jumper I am currently wearing says. I bought it because it’s one of those really soft thin cotton tops that slouch over your shoulder and make you look like you made no effort in your choice of bedroom outfit, but actually you know it looks cute and sexy with a pair of shorts and bed socks. I don’t know why I bought it with this in mind because a) I have no-one who will see my “cute undone” look and b) I’m always too cold so end up wearing it under a fluffy dressy gown and with long pj bottoms which probably should have been thrown out a long time ago.
Anyway, I noticed the definition and it made me smile because that’s exactly how I would describe my life right now. I have no idea what I am doing or where I am going. Usually, I would read a statement like this and think of it as whimsical and romantic, imagining a young woman on her travels with no ‘life plan’ or worries about where she will end up. But that’s not me. Instead my clouds are grey; student debt to pay off, a house to find, promotions I should be fighting for, the tiny voice which talks about going travelling which I keep choosing to ignore because the idea is too scary – all of these clouds surround me and I’m just plodding on with day to day life, ignoring them all for now.
The problem is that I had a plan. I knew what was going to happen in my immediate future and I always thought myself lucky- looking at other people my age with no idea of what they want or how to achieve it. And suddenly my viewpoint shifts and I no longer have the house and family on the horizon. So many people have told me how amazing this opportunity is; how I don’t have to consider anyone but myself and that I can do anything I want to do with youth on my side. I feel like this should be the beginning of something amazing but I have no idea how to make these things happen. I don’t know what I want. The most adventurous I ever got was joining a yoga class.

I don’t mean to sound all down-in-the-dumps. I just don’t really know where to find the inspiration and motivation to start getting out there! Any advice is more than welcome!

L x

Introductions.

I guess the most obvious thing to first is to introduce myself, which might actually be a little difficult because I plan to blog anonymously. I’m a primary school teacher, half way through my second year and while it is pretty obvious that teachers are also humans and have lives outside of their career, unfortunately, the education system doesn’t seem to have realised this yet. Therefore, we are expected to guard our personal lives closely, and any information that might lead to students actually finding out we drank alcohol at the weekend or that our relationship status changed to ‘it’s complicated’ is certainly frowned upon. But I want to be honest and blunt when I write and so the easiest thing to do is to keep my identity secret.

So hi, I’m L. Here’s a few things you might like (or not) to know about me.

I’m 24, living in Manchester, England (my home town) with my parent’s. My relationship of 5 years recently ended, which is okay, but I realised the hard way that when that happens you don’t only lose your partner, you end up losing your home and your independence, your financial situation dramatically changes and your priorities suddenly shift. And in this case, none of that was my own choice. But I’m not bitter about that at all – I promise.

To deal with all of that I threw myself into a project – #ProjectStopGettingFat. Basically, I needed something to fill my time and so I joined the gym and lost 3 stone. Which is a good thing because it hadn’t occurred to me that jumping up to a size 16 and eating a tube of Pringles a day was a bad thing when I was living in loved up bliss. But when faced with the impending doom of someday having to ‘get back out there’ and actually flirt with the opposite sex, you look a little more closely in the mirror and it was at that point when I decided to make the change. So yeah, I did that.

I like reading. I’ve always been a book person and dream of filling my retirement home with shelves of books I have collected over the years. Having said that, I did recently cave in and buy a Kindle because I was forced to hire a bigger storage unit not because of the furniture I needed to hide away for a while, but because I have too many boxes of books to fit in the family home.

I spend too much money. I know I should be saving, paying off my overdraft and probably topping up my pension or something but I literally cannot resist spending money. It’s a bit embarrassing really. So this month will be my first attempt at sticking to a budget. I’m not optimistic to be honest.

Which leads me to my next point – I’m waiting for a parcel to be delivered. I ordered a new coat last week and I can’t wait for it to get here so find myself checking it’s delivery status like every two minutes.

I am aware that you probably didn’t need to know that.

Right what else? I’m in the middle of series 10 of Grey’s Anatomy (please no spoilers!) and if Jackson Avery turned up at my door tomorrow – I wouldn’t say no. I prefer crisps to chocolate, hate baked beans and drink more coffee now I’ve entered the world of work. I sleep too much, would happily live in my pyjamas and tend to prefer a night in to a night out. Having said that, I am learning to handle my drink better and now manage to stay up past 1am if vodka is involved. And yes, I do consider than an achievement. I recently discovered LUSH products and now my bedroom smells like a perfume factory. Rightmove is permanently open in my web browser, I listen to Ed Sheeran’s X daily and right now, I’m procrastinating – I should be planning lessons for next week.

So that’s a better picture of me. Reading it back, I haven’t exactly sold myself but I’m edging my bets and hoping that other people in their twenties will ‘totally be able to relate’ and might even reassure me that my life isn’t as pathetic and I believe it to be. Now I’m going to get back under the duvet (despite being in my jeans) put Greys on the iPad and seriously think about walking the dog and starting on my planning. I might also text the guy I’m kind-of-seeing-but-keeping-things-really-casual-or-maybe-we-aren’t-even-a-thing-at-all again (I don’t really know what the deal is with this whole ‘dating’ thing), just in case he missed my last 5 messages he hasn’t replied to. But that’s another story…

L x