Make London Glossier!

We aaaaall know who Glossier is! How could we not? The cruelty free brand has taken instagram by storm with its millennial pink packaging and skincare-first attitude, and it’s a definite favourite of mine to read up on (along with Milk makeup, I gotta say! They need a lil mention, too). Glossier’s essential products replace the drugstore storm of too much choice. Rather than every colour in every formula, they’ve found the handful of Best-Ofs that work for as many as possible. It’s back to make up basics – the white tee for your face. It’s an approach that must be effective, cos I feel like more and more brands are doing this, and not because they’re just starting out or want to eliminate risks, but because it’s a totally effective and marketable approach. (Asos face and beauty, for example! Makeup staples only, for now).

Anyway, the aesthetically pleasing Glossier has popped over to London and has been pleasing us W1 dwellers with velvet settees and fresh flowers the last five days. I’ve been watching queues to their previous pop ups on their insta story, and desperate to get a look in I walked up to Portland Place today (the last day of the pop up, tragedy!) for a little looksee, and to swatch products that I’d been positively gasping for via screens. One of my friends had put an order in a couple of weeks ago (free shipping over £25, and they’re very generous with the freebies and samples) and I’d just done lots of staring instead of sampling, so was very very ready to get hands on.

I don’t know much about merchandising or branding or the real power it plays on consumers, but it must be a lot. Glossier is two parts pink one part a white that’s so bright it’s almost antiseptic. The historic house of 34 Portland Place had been taken over with velvet furniture, all real signature pieces, flower displays, a massive mood board, and mirrors with lil slogans on. Downstairs was the room seen above plus the shopping space, and upstairs was a room dedicated to their heady and delicious perfume, as well as another shopping space. Orders were placed via iPad, and their staff were dressed in pink jumpsuits.

The two rooms with the products were big and bright white, and as Glossier doesn’t actually have a huge range of products there were lots and lots of repeats on the tables – which was perfect seeing that it was quite busy, and it gave you the chance to have a quick try of everything.

Today I did kind of stay clear of the real skincare products as I’ve finally managed to get myself into a skincare routine that works for me and my long-suffering, breakout prone, red and blotchy face. I tend to get over excited when shopping for skincare, and so I really did steer clear for the most part, except to use the milky jelly cleanser to clean up my swatch covered hands. I absolutely loved the cleanser (as expected) and will probably put an online order in to pick it up in the £35 pack which also comes with a lip balm (for me it would be birthday cake, which is my favourite smell E V E R, and was a delight to try today .. so glittery!) and the priming moisturiser. The moisturiser I did buy today, and I picked one up for a friend. Not at all oily, it left my dry winter hands smooth and supple, and blurred the lil wrinkly bits. I used it as a base for all my swatching and was just delighted, and it so improved the coverage of the skin tint too (which I also, shamelessly, bought).

Something I’d love to try eventually would be one of their serums! That said, I have been eyeing the Abnormal Beauty Company’s for about six months, and my best friend swears by them. It’d be super helpful to do an ingredient comparison I think, especially because Abnormal’s are so much cheaper – literally a quarter of the price.

So, what did I actually buy? A better question would be what did I intend to buy .. cloud paints! I had wanted to buy all four cloud paints for the special deal of £45, and they were the main reason I wanted to go in. Interestingly, they were basically the only thing I didn’t buy! I picked up the priming moisturiser which I was just so impressed by, boy brow in blonde even though I wasn’t even bothered to swatch it initially (I’m so pleased with my current brow routine: filling in with 3ina, brushing with Barry M clear gel), and skin tint in the fairest. I don’t currently have a go-to primer so that’s pretty justified, but the boy brow and skin tint I don’t need .. but too good to miss! As someone with such fair eyebrows, if I find a blonde eyebrow product that works, I grab it. The skin tint I couldn’t say no to based entirely on how beautifully it applied with the priming moisturiser. So smooth, instantly diminishing any redness.

Another product I’ve been desperate for is their perfume, You. I did get a little whiff from my friends tester when she put a big order in a couple weeks ago, and had been thinking about it ever since. I don’t tend to go for heavier scents, though I did enjoy Paco Rabanne’s Olympea for a while, but I’d received it as a gift and never had the intention of buying it for myself. At the moment I’m wearing D&G L’Impératrice, and I am on my second bottle I love it so much. It’s the only perfume I’ve ever bought myself twice. You is like L’Impératrice’s much more grown up, adult and sexy sister. The sister that you look up to, want to be like and steal wardrobe pieces from. I can’t tell you how unusual it is for my to so enjoy something so heady! At the moment they give you a sample of it with everything you buy, so I didn’t buy it for myself today (and it is rather pricey), but certainly have the intention to.

But why didn’t I buy cloud paint? Honestly, they really didn’t seem to show up that well on my skin? The colour is meant to be very buildable, but I put a usual swatch sized portion on and giving it the littlest blend made it rub off. I feel like if I had been more set on them I’d have asked a member of staff to help out and swatch them for me to see what I was doing wrong, but it was quite busy and I was quite put off by my favourite (Dusk) being so weak looking, and it really made me question how long lasting the colour would be. I think I’d more than happily go back, should another London pop up happen, and give them another go, especially given how much I’ve enjoyed their other products today, but I was pretty surprised. Looking at other reviews it seems like it’s totally just me that feels this way, so even more reason to give them another go and to try find out where I went wrong!

In all, a lovely visit, and so excited to unbox my products from today! 💞

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Damaged: hot oil hair treatment

As someone who four years ago had a black bob .. I’m pretty tough on my hair regime now. Having really long and thick hair is a total blessing and though I get a weekly urge to either cut it all off or bleach it again, I keep myself in check and remember that I’m lucky to have great quality hair, and also have a really lovely natural colour. The one thing I do need to do is keep my hair moisturized, particularly the ends which are still the remnants of my bleach/bleach/colour strip/bleach/box dye cycle (eek, eek). I have a lot of broken hair (baby hair) and so I have found myself blow drying and straightening my hair more often than usual, and that really adversely effects the quality of my hair, even if I’m using protector sprays.

I went into my favourite little Lush (in Waterloo Station, it’s the smallest Lush in the country!) and was looking to branch out in my Lush products anyway, so asked the lovely girl (Amy, we now follow each other on Instagram haha, oops!) for some recommendations. I came away with Damaged, a hot oil treatment priced at £6.50, and a little tester pot of R&B (which by the way, I really did enjoy and actually preferred to Damaged – found there was a more immediate difference and I preferred the scent). Anyway! Here’s a bit of a photo journal of the steps it takes to use the product, and then a little before and after.

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3CE’s Back to Baby Glow Beam in #White

Yeeeessss back on the bblogger train! I miss you guys. Going home for Christmas means a couple things, including: SEPHORA HAUL. Except I was so restrained, my god! I only picked up one product (!!), and just two in duty free (!!!!!) Though I did also try and swatch a couple out and am currently keeping my eyes on three new foundations (..not excessive at all): Estee Lauder’s double wear with the cushion applicator, Clinique’s blemish corrector, and Armani’s latest silk finish. My goodness, too lovely. But, foundations aside, I’m back to priming properly, and this Korean, Sephora-exclusive got me just so excited. My skin’s been really clear recently – cue me vigorously touching wood – and so I’ve been enjoying wearing thin foundations for minimal coverage and just light colour correction. So, to keep things a little more exciting, I picked up this baby: 3CE’s Back to Baby Glow Beam in #White, and oh man it is an utter delight. Just look at that shine!

A look at the packaging. Minimalist box (with instructions for use in English on the back), product in a tube reminiscent of watercolour paint (everything on the back in Korean), and then a twist cap. You only need a tiny amount of product, and as its brand new you really don’t even have to give it a squeeze to get any out:

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Bath cocktail: Comforter, You’ve Been Mangoed and Yoga

Two of my main things in life: I have to smell good, and I have to have soft skin. As I harp on about, I am so proud of my super soft skin! Keeping it soft isn’t something I necessarily need to work at, but it’s something I really enjoy working at. After a 9-5 I was very ready for this.


Some plant life had to be involved (of course). Candles because I’m a sucker for a good candle. And wine, because .. because wine. Always wine.


The Lush products on show today: The Comforter (one of the quintessential Lush bubble bars, also comes as a shower gel), You’ve Been Mangoed (a bath oil, and definitely smells like mango!), and the Yoga bathbomb.

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2016, bye

How do I write about this year. I don’t know where to really begin, and I kind of thought that I could just start typing on a real computer and maybe things would come kind of naturally, but they’re not. I’ve scheduled a couple more fun and typical beauty posts and one on my top 2016 tracks, but I feel like I’m skating around really talking about the utter mixed bag that was 2016.

The summer was one of the best of my life. In fifteen years I hadn’t felt so much more myself. America brings out the best in me, and that’s always been true, it seems. My family is wonderful but at times dark and a little insane, very secretive. But at face value, and I do take most Americans at face value, they are the warmest, most loving and most supportive people on the planet. It’s neoliberalism lived out: individuals, capable of unique achievements. Tailoring experiences, building people up, telling them they can be the best possible versions of themselves. This feeling, the one this summer brought back out, has stuck. And I am so fucking thankful. I’ve never felt more myself – and more just unapologetically myself. I am silly and messy, sometimes book smart and sometimes downright dim, I love to laugh and laugh often, I am an open book and honest, I dress how I feel be it skinny jeans and jumpers or dresses and dark eyebrows. I like to eat! I don’t like to feel hungry. I like to go to the gym because it is fun. Stretching makes me happy. I am proud of myself for being at university and doing well. I don’t need to win a prize to feel proud; I don’t need a boy to make me feel proud. I am looking forward to having graduation with my parents and crying with happiness that I did it, that I did this.

I am very slowly but surely becoming the love of my life, and it’s so long overdue that it cannot come fast enough. Continue reading

Tattoo Time!

This September I sat for two hours at Castle Ink in Birmingham, and had the most magnificent piece of art done! A big Studio Ghibli fan, Howl’s Moving Castle is one of my favourite films. It was my first Ghibli film, and I watched it for the first time in 2012 with one of my best friends and instantly fell in love.


I’d planned on getting another rib tattoo for a long time, and I’d also planned on getting a Studio Ghibli tattoo – but it all happened pretty quickly when one of my favourite tattoo artists on Instagram had a cancellation for the following day and posted that she’d do reduced rates for anyone who could fill the spot. It was about midnight and I just went for it, taking it as the sign I’d been waiting for. She’d only done a rib tattoo once before (she’s just an apprentice, but my god she’s brilliant) so was a little nervous, but we talked it through and I told her I’d be happy for her to have a go regardless.


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Full Circle

I was sitting in the cafe of the National Theater this morning, with a hot chocolate and a fruit and nut slice and book of poems (Leonard Cohen’s Book of Longing) and note pad and pen, and was just suddenly smacked around the head with how familiar the situation felt. Friday night I dug through a folder I have carted across the world. It is a folder of poems and short creative pieces and drawings, but mostly poems. I was looking for lines by Cohen which I’d taken note of, but couldn’t find them. I remember so clearly sitting upstairs in the National Gallery of Victoria, between shelves, and being awed by this one damn line, and writing it down. And I couldn’t find it. I went out and bought the book, and still haven’t found this line (but found lots of other lines I’ve liked; the spine is already bent, the corners of pages already turned).

But I was sitting in the cafe of the National Theater. And this is something that I spent a lot of time in Melbourne doing: sitting in a very particular cafe, Thresherman’s, with its exposed brick and long wooden tables and dark red brick floor. I would sit with readings, with notebooks. I would write poems endlessly. Some of them are truly terrible. Most of them are stream of consciousness. Most, I have in fact pulled lines from, and inserted them into bigger and better poems. But that feeling of being alone, with a book and a notepad, writing and rhyming in your head – that has not been something I’ve felt for a long time. It is an isolating but comforting feeling. I distinctly had three out of body experiences in the theater, where I zoomed in and out on myself sitting there, perfectly centered, looking out the huge windowed front, rain and grey over the Thames. Everyone with umbrellas. Everyone seemed to be a couple. Everyone in the cafe was an elderly couple (I wrote a few lines on how we are not scared of old age; we are scared of being old and alone).

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