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I'm Mollie, a photographer and a self-confessed makeup hoarder with an addiction for spending.

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20.6.16

ROME SEPHORA HAUL

Sooooo I went to Rome, fell head first into Sephora and came out with a huge bag full of stuff. A quick side note, if it wasn't for the lovely lady at the Piazza di Spagna Sephora, the Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette would not have been mine! I owe her my life. 
As you can see from the questionably clean beauty blender, the messy palette and a bronzer that's taken a battering, I have been using these for the past couple of weeks! So apologies I couldn't snap these in their pristine state but I just couldn't wait. But this means I will be able to give you a low down of what I think of the products so far so you guys are the real winners here.

Let's start with two concealers that have been on my wishlist for a long time, I know you can get them in the UK but ya know Sephora made me do it. I picked up the Urban Decay Naked skin Weightless Concealer and I got it in the lightest possible shade, as I'm very pale and highlighting is no easy task when your own skin colour is white. This concealer is thin in consistency so I find I have to swipe a few coats on before I get the coverage I need. But so far so good! I also picked up the Makeup Forever Ultra HD Concealer, again in the lightest shade I could get my hands on! You only need a little bit as it is pretty thick but it immediately awakens my under eyes and covers my dark circles.

I know I'm pretty late to the party but I thought it was about time I had a Beauty Blender in my life! I'm still testing it out and comparing it to my Real Techniques Complexion Sponge so we shall see, watch this space.

The Too Faced Hangover Primer was a bit of an impulse buy and so far, I do really like it! Anything that promises to boost radiance and hydrate the skin, I am immediately drawn to. This acts like an energy drink, keeping my makeup looking fresher for longer throughout the day.

After hearing Jaclyn Hill raving about it, I picked up the Makeup Forever Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzer in 20M. Hands down, one of my favourite bronzers to date. It's really creamy so doesn't break up or separate on my face throughout the day, dry skin gals I know you feel my pain. It's such a lovely shade, just gives the skin a gorgeous natural glow. It also claims to be waterproof, I haven't put this to the test yet but I'll let you know how I get on.

I'm a self-obsessed sheet mask lover but the ones I find in Boots are just so expensive! I saw Sephora did their own and for a pretty good price so I picked up two, the Pearl Face Mask to perfect and brighten and the Lotus one to reduce signs of fatigue and strain. I am yet to try these but I've heard great things about their other masks so I am pretty excited.

How could I leave Rome without getting the Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette?! I was so close to not getting my hands on it as they all sold out, so I had to trek to another Sephora where there was one put aside for me and I am so happy I managed to get this! It is the most beautiful palette like ever. The shades are so creamy and pigmented, I have been using this every day without fail. I am completely in love, my dogs love it too as it does smell like peaches!

The Sephora in Rome didn't stock all the brands I had wanted! But, I still managed to come home with two bags full of bits so I can't complain too much. What do I need from Sephora next? 


xo
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16.6.16

THINGS TO DO WHEN IN ROME

Rome took my breath away as soon as we arrived in the city in our taxi, I was just glued to the window. It really is a beautiful place and one I hope I return to. The best thing about Rome are the little things you can discover, on every street there's something lovely to look at which made the 10 miles we covered each day, so worth it. I've been back from Rome for a couple of weeks now but having only just found the time to sort through my pictures, I'm ready to show you what we got up to on our whirlwind four-day trip. 

WHERE WE STAYED

I didn't actually take pictures on my camera of our hotel which is a bit of a bummer, I do have a few shots over on my Instagram if you want to see. We stayed at Suite Sistina, just a 2 minute walk away from the Spanish Steps and Piazza Spagna. I would highly, highly recommend staying around this area. We were a 15-minute walk away from everything and who doesn't love to be surrounded by designer shops? 

FONTANA DI TREVI

The first stop on our itinerary was the Trevi Fountain and oh my god, I didn't realise it was that big. Like, it's huge. We kept on coming back to the Fountain on our trip because it's just beautiful. On our last evening, we were huddled around the fountain and someone proposed! It was the most romantic thing I've ever seen. 

THE VATICAN CITY

The ancient city was a 40-minute walk from our hotel and this was the longest journey we took, I was well and truly dead by the end of the day. They're plenty of 'hop on and hop off' buses that tour around the whole city but we prefer walking, just so we can take everything in and experience the city. We arrived at the Vatican Museum at 11 in the morning, at this point the queue wasn't that long! We did pre-book our tickets so we didn't queue and I'd recommend you do this where you can because you don't want to waste your trip stuck in long queues. The Museum is just spectacular, every step I took, I was in awe. It is extremely busy inside and you'll soon learn to hate tour groups but nevertheless, just smile through the pushing and shoving because the Sistine Chapel is worth it.
Unfortunately, you're not allowed pictures inside the Chapel so we took our time so we could soak it all up.
What better way to spend an afternoon than in St Peter's Square? We sat on the steps and just lapped up the sites where we recharged ready to enter St Peter's Church. The Church is free entry but the queues are enormous and in the blazing sun, that is the last thing you want to be doing. We pre-booked our tickets with Get Your Guide, yes we did pay to enter the Church but it was worth it as we missed all the queues and this meant we could have longer inside. I highly recommend Get Your Guide, I booked all our tickets for Rome and Paris through this company and I've never been disappointed.

The Church was my highlight of the trip, it is absolutely breathtaking inside. It is well worth visiting if you're going to the Vatican City. You can also climb right to the top of the dome, this is something we didn't attempt but if I return to Rome this is something I'd definitely do. You have to pay to climb to the top and it is a heck of a lot of stairs so make sure you're prepared!

COLOSSEO, FORO ROMANO, PALATINE HILL & THE PANTHEON 

The last few things on our list was the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and the Pantheon. A very busy day indeed! Rome just has so much to offer. We didn't queue for the Colosseum as our tickets let us head straight in! It's hard to wrap your head around that the amphitheater was built around 70-80 AD. Next up was the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, it is just so rich with history, you can visit the Temple of Caeser where visitors still place flowers and coins to this day. Make sure you climb to the top of Palatine Hill as the views overlook the rest of Rome and it's definitely worth seeing. 

The Pantheon is only a 20-minute walk away from these sites and was back in the direction of our hotel so we decided to go here last. The Piazza della Rotonda is a lovely, lively place perfect if you want to grab a bite to eat and visit the Pantheon. Around the corner is the famous Della Palma Gelateria where they have 150 different ice cream flavours to choose from! If you love gelato like me, you will love this place. The Pantheon is free to visit and you do have to queue but it is totally worth the wait. This is the best place to get to the Piazza Navona as well which is just a 5-minute walk, another lovely place to chill and eat pizza. 

Rome is one of my favourite cities by far, I'm missing the tortellini already! I hope this little guide of our trip helped anyone who is looking to go themselves. I'm happy to answer any questions you have, just leave them in the comments below. 

xo
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22.5.16

NEW IN: NYX LINGERIE LIQUID LIPSTICKS


I love me a liquid lipstick and I love me a bit of NYX. Hearing that they are now available in Boots stores makes me super duper happy! Where I live they haven't come in yet but I cannot wait for the day they do. But I can still shop online and I picked up the two new NYX Lingerie Liquid Lipsticks in the shades Teddy and Beauty Mark. These shades are completely out of my comfort zone as they're colours I don't tend to go for but I love these! and NYX are killing it with their lip ranges.

If you're looking for a good liquid lipstick and you're on a budget, I'd suggest picking these up! I absolutely adore the shade range, they have loads of gorgeous nudes and browns which are so popular right now. The ones I've picked up, I've worn on loads of night outs where I've been drinking (lol) so they've been put to the ultimate test! I can happily say that these last so nicely. They don't crack or flake off which is just amazing as It's hard to find a liquid lip that doesn't do that. I also don't find these that drying either but make sure to always exfoliate and condition your lips before applying anyway!

I do find the wand is quite big, it's bigger than the Kylie Lip Kit's if you've tried those! But it's nicely tapered on the end so you can still fit along the edges of your lips nicely. I will say as it's quite a thick formula, one layer tends to do the trick! But it does take around 5-10 minutes to fully settle down and dry as it can still feel a bit wet and sticky when you first apply it. If you want to see a picture of me wearing Teddy on my lips click this link here, to go to my Instagram.

Have you tried these before? I always absolutely adore the Soft Matte Lip Cream range too! 

xo
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4.5.16

CONTOURING STAPLES

I love these little contour products but not because they're in rose gold packaging (ok maybe) but because they're just fab and I thought it was about time I told you about them. I've been contouring using a mix of cream and powders this way for a while, I just love using a cream because it looks so natural but the powder helps to set the cream to keep it there all day. So let's get on with the products!

I'm sure everyone was just as excited as me when Rosie Huntington-Whiteley released her makeup range with Autograph because let's face it, she's bluddy gorgeous. The one and only thing I picked up from her line was the Starstruck Contour stick and what came as a surprise to me was how dark it was! It's not so much a contouring stick but more of a bronzing stick, it is a deep colour and more on the orange side of things which is why I don't necessarily 'contour' with this. Warning if you are pale use this sparingly! Or better, don't use it at all. But, when I'm tanned this is a beautiful shade and it really brings warmth to my skin making me look sunkissed and chiselled. I love how easily this glides into the skin and how beautifully it blends out. I mainly use it across my cheeks and forehead to bring some colour back into my skin. I will say that it does set very quickly, so you do have to keep going back in and out to apply, blend, apply, blend so I'd say it's better to do one part of your face at a time.

Another little something from Zoeva (surprise, surprise) is the Zoeva Rose Golden Blush Palette and the contouring shade in this palette which is called 'Heavy Crown' is spot on. It's much more of a cool, ashy shade which suits me when I'm pale and when I'm looking for a bit of definition when I'm tanned. This has become my go-to contour shade because the colour is fab and it creates a really natural, shadow on your cheekbone to make them look believably sharper than they are. Plus the highlight and blush in this palette is pretty great too.

What are your contouring staples?
xo
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2.5.16

SPLURGING IN KIEHL'S


When I saw that Kiehl's had 20% off in Fenwicks, I rushed to my local store and splurged... a whole lot... I've been lusting over Kiehl's for quite some time but could never take the plunge to pick up a few products. So with a little 20% off it nudged me to try a few things! You've probably already heard so much about these products I'm about to tell you about but oh well.

I did indeed pick up three things and I've been using these three over a month now so I'm ready to come at you with my thoughts and opinions! I picked up the Kiehl's Creamy Avocado Eye Treatment  because if it's good enough for Kylie Jenner then it's good enough for me and actually, it's bluddy brilliant. It's texture really surprised me, it's something I have never come across in an eye cream before. It is super thick, like crazy thick and you only need a teensy bit to cover your under eyes so I can imagine this lasting me ages. 

On the subject of eyes, I next got the Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Circle Perfector which really stood out to me! My dark circles are the worst so I needed something to correct them asap plus it contains an SPF of 30 so I snapped it up. With high hopes, I wasn't that impressed with this. It's not as hydrating as I thought it was going to be considering it's an eye cream, it's actually quite drying on the under eyes. I do, however, like to mix it up with a bit of the Creamy Eye Treatment first just to get some moisture back in. 

Saving the best til last, the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturiser and I know tons of people have the cream version of this which I was super close to getting but after swatching them in store, I settled for the moisturiser version. Just because it was so much lighter, it dried in quicker plus it comes with an option of SPF 30 which I got. I love this stuff! I'm so glad I got the full-size version too because I'd be lost without this. I've been on the hunt of finding a good moisturiser for years and I mean years, I gave up for a bit just living on the oils and serums but I have finally find a moisturiser that works for me. 

I hope you enjoyed my little Kiehl's haul/review! What do I need to try next? 

xo
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29.4.16

NEW IN: ZOEVA GRAPHIC EYES

I just need to pinch myself. This huge albeit beautiful box arrives at my house and inside is a another lovely new in product from Zoeva! They're smashing it with their new arrivals. Meet Zoeva's new Graphic Eye Pencils, these gorgeous things are ready for you to purchase so don't you worry. These came out, I believe, March 21st so after of nearly a month holding on to these bad boys, I'm ready to share my thoughts on these.
Here I have 16 shades, yup that's a whole lot of eyeliners, I don't think I'll need to purchase any more for quite a while! I love these because not only of the impeccable shade range to suit every personality but how versatile they are. I don't just use these for lining my eyes but to create an eye base, they are waterproof so they last a heck of a long time on the lids! So, it makes whatever you pop on top just as long wearing. I glide it all over my lid and get my finger or a fluffy brush to just blend out the edges then going in with other shadows to complete the look. The formula is so creamy and these are so pigmented so it makes them super easy to work with. There is a mix of mattes, shimmers and glitters which are all so gorgeous! The shimmers are my favourite because I love the subtle sheen they leave on the lids. But when they dry, these really cling on so you do need to work fast and with precision. So, all that being said! Meet the collection: 

They look so beautiful! Pick up the box yourself for £65. Have you tried Zoeva's Graphic Eye Range yet? 

xo
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22.4.16

HOW TO TRAVEL FOR LESS

We all love going away but sometimes it can be downright expensive. Last year, I visited Hurghada, Amsterdam and Paris all whilst having a part-time job and being a student. Saving up isn't easy especially when you're addicted to makeup and clothes like moi! I've been asked a few questions about where and how I book so I thought I'd show you how I travel without compromises. I've put together a few bullet points which I hope help, so you can still have an amazing holiday without spending a whole lot of money.

- Shop Around. 

When booking for city breaks, I normally check websites such as Lastminute.com and Expedia. I've booked lots of trips on those particular websites before so I trust them and I know how they work. I always book the flights and hotel altogether, you can normally grab some really good deals. There's a huge range of flights and hotels to look at as well so you can find something perfect for you and for a cheap price. For summer holidays, I stick to Thomson or First Choice. I've travelled with them for years, I know sometimes it can be pricey but with the following points I'm about to come onto you can save money. 

- Don't Go During Peak Times. 

One of the pluses of going to University is the month's holiday you get off after every term. So we usually manage to dodge travelling during peak times such as school half terms and normal school holidays where the prices get pushed way up. If you can avoid travelling at these times, you'll automatically save money.

- Don't Eat Around The Major Tourist Sites. 

Basically don't get lunch around The Eiffel Tower and expect to pay £15 for it. Go down the back streets and eat away from these main areas so they won't be so expensive. 

- Walk Everywhere! 

In Paris, we literally walked 13 miles a day but nothing a warm bath and a pain au chocolat can't fix. Obviously, Paris is huge so we got the Metro where we needed too but insisted on walking most places so we could really experience the city. The Metro is cheap as chips anyway but in most cities it's not, so save on travel and get walking. In Amsterdam, we never even stepped foot on a tram! Amsterdam was so easy to get around and make sure you download City Mapper so you don't get lost. 

- Bring Food With You.

Now don't diss it but yes bring food with you! When we went to Paris and Amsterdam we didn't pay extra to get breakfast so we brought our own! Some mornings we did go out for breakfast if we fancied a fry up or pancakes but most of the time, we had breakfast on the go and just munched on a cereal bar we had packed in our suitcase. 

- Getting Money Back.

I've always had mixed emotions about websites like these, do they actually work? But yes they do. Whilst my boyfriend and I were in the process of booking our holiday to Hurghada last year, we joined up to TopCashBack and received £80 back after a couple of months which is better than nothing! We still saved money on our holiday so we were happy with that and split it between us.

I'm planning my next city break away as we speak! Stuck between Rome and Barcelona. Where are you off to next? 
xo 
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18.4.16

FOR WHEN YOUR SKIN SUCKS

So, a few months ago I decided enough was enough and I took myself off the contraceptive pill. Whilst the pill was great in many ways like dealing with spots and acne, coming off it gave me a wake-up call and the kind of one that took over my whole face. I've had dry skin for as long as I can remember but now coming off the pill, my face actually produces oil! It has made my dry skin a little bit more manageable but lots of unwanted blemishes have now pitched their tents all over my face. 

These couple of products have helped me immensely and I constantly use these in my daily routines! Some of these products are quite drying so make sure you have a thick moisturiser to nourish your skin afterwards. 

After cleansing, I like to start with the Pixi Glow Tonic* to exfoliate! It contains glycolic acid that works to gently exfoliate revealing radiant, fresh skin. I can see why this is such a cult favourite! It works wonders on my dry, dull skin. I also love how it can diminish signs of sun damage, fine lines and scarring. It's oil-free and alcohol-free so fab for every skin type! It's much more gentle on the skin than normal face exfoliators with those little beads in because it's easy to over exfoliate and scratch your skin. This always makes my skin feel so fresh afterwards and helps any scarring I may have from blemishes. 

Next up are these two favourites of mine from La Roche Posay, I usually begin with the Effaclar Duo(+) which is an anti-mark, anti-blemish cream. It helps to correct the appearance of blemishes, unclog pores, refine skin texture and controls appearance of shine - phew! I just work a little bit in my skin covering any areas I need it and I use it once a day either morning or evening. Another one from LRP is the Serozinc Spray and let me just say, they do the best sprays! It spritzes out the perfect amount and you can hold it down continuously so you can just drown yourself in it. It's so refreshing and soothing on my skin which helps any red, angry blemishes. It also helps to mattify the skin, prevent excess oils, tighten pores and helps spots begin the healing process. I know I have mentioned these two products plenty of times before but they are just really great! 

Lastly is one powerful product and something you should definitely use sparingly as this stuff is pretty intense! If nothing else is working for you and your spots are getting you down, I'd recommend to try this as a last resort but please do your research before purchasing. Also, steer clear if you have sensitive skin and I'd recommend plenty of moisturiser and a high SPF if you go into the sun after application. This is something I picked up when I was in New York a couple of years ago as I don't even think you can just pick this stuff up here in the UK as I'm pretty sure you need a prescription. But it's the Benzoyl Peroxide Maximum Strength Gel which I got from Walgreen's. I squeeze out just a teeny bit and dot it onto any blemish I have that's been bothering me. This stuff whilst powerful, works. It has amazing antibacterial properties that work really deeply right into the pores and acts as an anti-inflammatory. Just a couple of warnings, wash your hands afterwards, make sure you're very careful when coming into contact with clothes or any materials as it'll bleach and leave marks! (trust) and use plenty of moisturiser. 

Oh spots, I wish they would just get up and leave. What are you favourite products for when your skin sucks? 

xo
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