I went to IMATS!

So yesterday I headed to London (again) to go to IMATS with my friend Emma from Cheekysmiles101 and her sister Amy! We'd been wanting to go for ages so we were super excited- I didn't get too many pictures at IMATS unfortunately but I did film a Vlog which I will link down below! We had an amazing time, it was absolutely mad and I was quite glad that we went on the Sunday because the queues on Saturday must be even more of a nightmare.
I was initially quite sad that we didn't get to go on Saturday because lots of bloggers I really wanted to meet went that day but I suppose this way we just had more time to shop! Emma and Amy did some serious damage at Inglot, so much that they got a fancy little Inglot shopping bag, and I also put together a little palette, which was super fun! I bought a few things that I'm really happy with and it was definitely worth going for the discounts and the atmosphere. I actually felt totally normal walking around vlogging, which was nice because normally people stare at you like you're crazy, and being surrounded by so many makeup addicts was quite an experience! Lots of places were also doing crazy body paint which was incredibly impressive- makeup really can be an art!
After IMATS we headed to Covent Garden for lunch to check out the Benefit pub called Gabbi's head! It's such an awesome place and I definitely recommend you go if you're in the area! It's completely pink and you can get your brows and your makeup done for only £5! Emma and I both had a Rasp-Bene Mojito and we all had a chicken burger with the best sweet potato fries I've ever had! We also had a lovely chat with Meg (she has a blog, check it out here), who does social media for Benefit! Everyone was so friendly there and we even got little lanyards- mine is definitely going up on my wall!

I had such an amazing day and will definitely go to IMATS again! If you want to see more of my day, go watch my Vlog on my YouTube channel, and don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss my IMATS haul going up on Wednesday!

June Favourites

I forgot to do monthly favourites last month because I was stressed about exams, but this month I'm back and I have lots of favourites for you! Excuse my shiny face, it was very very hot in my room. I also forgot to take a thumbnail photo (again) so I chose this little screenshot of me sharing the popchips love! I hope you enjoy this video and don't forget to subscribe to my channel if you do!

Sensationail Gel Nail Kit Review and Demo

I've owned and loved this kit since before Christmas now but just haven't gotten round to doing a review yet, but I am finally doing it! I got my kit as part of the offers that Boots do before Christmas so it was around £50 instead of £100, which is just an amazing deal!

I got arrested...

... for having fabulous eyeliner. Today the long awaited They're Real! liner launched in stores and obviously I had to go and check it out to let you know what I think. Now first things first: I'm quite hard to please when it comes to liners. I don't like the Soap and Glory Supercat Liner. I don't even like the Eyeko liner (*gasp*) and I am very content with my Maybelline Gel Liner and Real Techniques Silicone Liner brush combo and extremely sceptical about this new wonder liner that Benefit claim to have. I'm also not one to spend a lot of money on one item and I definitely think that Benefit is notoriously overpriced.
That said, this liner is awesome. One of the girls at the counter put it on me and it was so quick! And this stuff is black. I mean like really black. The tip is actually a lot finer than I thought so you can still do quite a fine line although I don't think you'll be able to get a super sharp point with it, but I'm not too bothered about that. It also seems really easy to create a flick with this, I haven't tried it myself but I've heard other people say it and it did take the girl at the counter like five seconds. So let's have a closer look at the result:

The liner is slightly different than I would normally do it but I actually quite like it... Now again can I just mention how black this stuff is? She didn't go over the line twice so obviously it's super opaque which I always look for in an eyeliner. The whole concept of it is that it's a gel liner but in pen form which I am seriously surprised no one has thought of before... 
Whether or not I will purchase this will depend on how much money I spend at IMATS this weekend (god help my bank account), but I think that if you love gel liner but you don't like faffing around with a brush all the time then this might be for you! Definitely head down to your local Benefit counter and try it!

Have you tried the new They're Real! Liner yet?

Favourite Summer Nail Polishes

I'm not normally one for colour but the one place where I like bright things is my nails- especially in the summer. I love how bright nail polish can immediately make you feel happier and more summery, so today I'm sharing my favourites with you!
Essie's 'Mesmerized' is a beautiful royal blue colour that I like to wear all year round but I just had to mention it because I absolutely love this colour. I did a whole post on it here so I won't bore you too much with the details but it's a really lovely opaque colour with the usual amazing Essie brush that I love, which makes application super easy!
Obviously no spring/summer nail polish post would be complete without a mint colour- I think they're pretty much a staple in any beauty blogger's collection. I don't own the famous Essie 'Mint Candy Apple' but I do love the Maybelline Super Stay Gel Nail Colour in 'Mint for life', which is very similar. It has a great wide brush very similar to the Essie one and it lasts extremely long on my nails, which is a massive plus for me!
I recently picked up this purple nail polish called 'Good to grape' from Sally Hansen at Poundland so I got it for only £1! These Sally Hansen Salon Manicure polishes are definitely my second favourite polishes and I own quite a few of them- and this colour is no exception! It's almost opaque in one coat (I always do two anyway, just out of habit), the brush is fantastic and easy to use and they're really glossy and long-wearing. 
Last but not least we have a purchase enabled by Vivianna does Makeup- that girl will be the death of my bank account. It's the Rimmel Salon Pro nail polish in 'Hip Hop' which is a really bright orangey red. Again it has a lovely wide brush (can you sense a trend here?) and is opaque in one coat. It's also super glossy and looking at it just generally makes me feel happy!

What are your favourite summer polishes?

German Flag Inspired Make-Up Tutorial

I uploaded a tutorial for this look on my YouTube channel about a week ago but haven't actually mentioned it here on the blog yet! If you're supporting Germany tonight (which you all should because Germany is awesome and we are going to win that World Cup!) then this is the perfect look for you! It's quite simple and subtle and a nice alternative to painting a flag on your face... I hope you like it!

Cosmopolitan Superblogger Masterclass

On Monday afternoon, Jordan and I hopped on a train to London to go to the Cosmopolitan Superblogger Masterclass! It's an event put on by Cosmopolitan in association with next where a few professionals from the industry spoke about all sorts of things ranging from SEO advice to contacting companies. I was very excited to go to this event as two of my favourite bloggers (Rock'n'Roll Bride and FleurDeForce) were speaking!
The talk was great and covered a range of topics which was really informative. I liked that as well as bloggers, there were some SEO professionals and Vicki who works in social media for next.co.uk! I feel like although some of the advice was quite straightforward, I learned a lot about some more specific behind the scenes things in blogging, such as monetisation.
Jordan and I walked to the event from Victoria Station found ourselves in a lovely neighbourhood so we decided to take some outfit photos! My crop top and my jeans are from Primark, my shoes are from New Look and my kimono is H&M. My bag is my usual Alexander Wang Rocco Duffel dupe that I posted about here!

This house was really random and didn't fit in at all so obviously I had to take a picture of it!

Then we found a park so naturally, we needed to take more outfit photos! 

And let's not forget the obligatory Starbucks before the event.

All in all I had a great evening and it was fantastic to see so many bloggers and speak to some people that I really admire! I also vlogged the day, so make sure you check out the video on my YouTube channel!

Grow Gorgeous Cleansing Conditioner First Impression

I was originally going to wait until I'd used this a few times and then write a full review but I thought it might be nice to do a first impressions post on this and then follow it up with a proper review in a few weeks time. This Grow Gorgeous Cleansing Conditioner has been popping up on quite a few blogs recently and since I first heard Claire Marshall talk about cleansing conditioner (she uses Wen by Chaz Dean), I've been really wanting to try one! So when I saw people talking about this I knew that I had to give it a try.
First things first, it's bloody expensive. It's £17.99 for 190ml which is a lot compared to the usual £6 that I spend on big tubes of shampoo and conditioner! I was hoping that it would be one of those products where a little goes a long way but unfortunately you cannot use this sparingly as it doesn't lather at all, so you need quite a lot of product to cover your hair.
I found that the application of this was quite awkward, as I have quite thick hair and it's really hard to distribute shampoo even when it lathers well, but with this it was pretty much impossible. It was weird putting it on the ends of my hair because it doesn't have the same slip as a normal conditioner does... The way you're meant to use it is to massage 'a generous amount' into your scalp and then through your lengths, leave it on for about three minutes (time which I used to do fun things like exfoliating!) and then rinse it out- that's it. 
After it had dried, my hair didn't feel particularly great... the roots felt quite heavy and greasy, especially in the back where I couldn't get the product distributed properly, and my dry ends didn't look particularly nourished. As much as I wanted to love this product, I think it will be really difficult for me to use because of my thick hair and I will use it up extremely quickly because you need to use so much product.
I don't think it's a bad product in general but I think it may be better suited for finer hair and bigger budgets...

Have you tried the Grow Gorgeous cleansing conditioner yet?

What's on my nails #7- Nude with a twist

In preparation for tomorrow's Cosmo Superblogger Masterclass, I decided to take the time to do something nice with my nails today! I wanted something simple but with a bit of a twist so I did a gel manicure with my Sensational set (full review and demo coming soon!) using the shade 'Taupe' which is a really pretty nude colour. I love the effect of gel nails because they look so thick and glossy, plus they stay on for ages so they will hopefully still be intact a week from now when I go to IMATS... Fingers crossed!
I wanted to do something a little more edgy so I decided to add a few rhinestones- three on my ring finger and then a drop shaped one on my thumb. I really love the effect these give because they add so much interest to a simple nude manicure, although I wish I'd arranged the three on my ring finger slightly differently... better luck next time. I got these rhinestones in a nail art set from Primark which is an entire little wheel of different shaped rhinestones and studs for only £1!
I only ever use rhinestones on gel manicures because they really seal them in and they won't come off before the rest of your manicure does!

Do you like the look of nude nails with black rhinestones?

A Not So Positive June Birchbox Review

Warning: if you don't like negativity then you may want to stop reading now, because I have some not-so-nice things to say about this month's Birchbox. After last month's Harper Bazaar box I was really excited to see what they had in store for me this month, but I was massively disappointed.
First off, I had massive problems with the delivery-again. Since I was super excited about receiving my box, I tracked it after getting the email saying it has been dispatched, only to find that it had been delivered and signed for already! So far so good. When I got home, I frantically searched the entire house for the box, thinking that one of my housemates must have signed for it. As it turned out however, no one had received or signed for my Birchbox. Funnily enough, the tracking even said that "Cleve" (my last name) signed for the box, so I was confused. I contacted Birchbox via twitter and they took a few days to reply but then agreed to send me a replacement box. No one knows what happened to the original box- it shall remain a mystery.
Now on to the actual products I received! MissBudgetBeauty did an unboxing video as she received her box early and I was absolutely blown away by the contents! A Beauty Blender! The Caudalie Divine Oil! An OPI nail polish! Safe to say that I was extremely excited when I finally received my box, only to be extremely disappointed upon opening it. No Beauty Blender. No Caudalie Divine Oil. Instead I got a cheap looking Ives Rocher lipstick that applies extremely patchy and a boring body lotion.
I know that the whole point of these subscription boxes is that you don't know what you're going to get and some people get different things, but I feel like the quality of the boxes this month has been incredibly divided. If you're going to include a cult product like the Beauty Blender in a box then I would expect everyone to get one. The alternative in my box was clearly the Ives Rocher lipstick, which has a similar price point but is incredibly disappointing with its cheap looking packaging and patchy application.
Will I end my subscription because of this box? No. But consider this the second strike- if I get another disappointing box or more trouble with the delivery then I will be moving on to a different subscription service.

Do you have a beauty box subscription? Which one would you recommend?

Get your feet summer ready

It's summer time and the sandals are starting to come out, so it's time to get our feet summer ready! I'm quite low maintenance when it comes to my feet, but there's two things I like to do to get my feet ready to see the light of day again.
To pamper my feet a little I like to put on a generous amount of Soap and Glory Heel Genius, put on some old socks and then leave it on overnight. The next morning, my feet are nice and soft- easy peasy.
One thing that I like to spend time on is my pedicure- I like to do a proper gel pedicure with my Sensationail kit, because it lasts for weeks and I don't have to worry about chipping! I actually use normal nail polishes for my gel pedicures because I don't want to buy lots of gel nail colours. It works really well, just make sure that the colour is completely dry (I like to wait for 5+ hours, or let it dry overnight), before you apply the gel topcoat because otherwise the nail polish will bubble and look horrible. The colour I'm currently wearing is Mint for life by Maybelline, which is a really pretty mint colour that looks really great when you have a bit of a tan.

What do you do to get your feet summer ready?

Favourite Summer Lipsticks

summer lipsticks

I didn't use to be one for bright lipsticks but this summer I've branched out a little and found some really great lipsticks that are perfect for summer, so today I wanted to share them with you! I have some brights, a slightly more plum toned offering and a perfect nude to offer- so let's get started, shall we?
For something that's very much within my dark plum-toned lipsticks comfort zone but with a more summer appropriate finish, I like to wear the Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Broadest Berry. It can be worn quite sheer or you can build it up for a more opaque finish. It's really moisturising and stays well on the lips!
I've done an entire post on the Bourjois Rouge Velvet Edition lipstick in Pink Pong already (read it here), so I won't go on about it too much now. It's a stunning bright pink matte shade that feels weightless on the lips and stays on all day- what's not to love?
If you're a nude lover then you need to get your hands on the NYX round lipstick in Pumpkin Pie- one of my all time favourite nudes. It's a lovely peachy nude that's not too nude so it doesn't wash you out, and it looks absolutely fantastic with a tan in the summer!
My new absolute favourite lipstick is Heroine by MAC. It's an incredible bright purple colour that looks slightly intimidating and probably isn't for everybody, but I adore it. It's a very matte lipstick so make sure to exfoliate your lips and use a good lip balm, but because of the matte finish it has an incredible lasting power.
Last but not least, I had to mention a red of course. I love this gloss called 'Perfect Red' by NYX because it's so opaque but can be sheered out and gives a beautiful glossy finish (it's a gloss... duh). The scent of these glosses is quite strong and lots of people love the sweet scent, but I'm personally not a big fan. However if you don't mind the scent then it's a fantastic budget gloss!

Below I have some swatches for you, so you can see what the formulas look like:

swatches clinique chubby stick intense broadest berry, bourjois rouge edition velvet pink pong, nyx round lipstick pumpkin pie, mac heroine, nyx lip gloss perfect red

What is your favourite summer lipstick?

The Video- My Boots Collection

As you have probably figured out from the name of this blog, I absolutely love boots and wear them every day, so I decided to make a little video sharing my collection with you! I'm really happy with how this turned out and it's definitely my favourite video to date! I hope you enjoy!

Am I asking for it?

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with this post, it's just an example of wearing provocative(ish) clothing.

This post isn't my usual beauty related post but it's something that I've seen floating about the internet quite a lot recently and that I wanted to address. I don't know if this is a recent 'trend' or if I only just started reading about it but a lot of people have been talking about rape recently, specifically about the way girls dress and whether or not it provokes men to rape them. The other day I was on facebook and saw a photo that one of my friends had shared, of a girl wearing shorts and a sports bra. In the description, the girl talked about the judgement she received when she went to the grocery store in said outfit, namely the comments along the lines of 'She's asking to be raped'. She then said that when she was raped, she was wearing a jumper and trackies. Now I don't have a problem with this post, I think it was brilliant and can show people that what you wear doesn't really matter, but some of the comments really shocked me. People said that by wearing a 'skimpy' outfit, this girl was asking to be raped. One comment actually said "You may not be a slut, but you're wearing her uniform", which really annoyed me because since when is it not acceptable to wear exercise clothing in the summer?
I personally like to dress in quite revealing clothes sometimes. I like to wear short shorts and crop tops because I work hard for my body and I'm proud of it. I do get a lot of attention from this but there's not much I can do about that because I am willingly provoking it, and I do enjoy the attention (with a few exceptions). The reason I wear these clothes is because it gives me confidence, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. This doesn't mean that I'm asking to be raped. Yes I am essentially asking to be looked at, but that does not give anyone the right to force themselves on me. And you know what? I have never been sexually harassed in my life! And that's because rape isn't about looking 'easy' and dressing provocatively, it's about having power over someone else. Who do you think is more likely to be raped- the girl in a mini skirt who is confidently walking down the street or the girl hiding underneath her hoodie?
I guess my point is that we need to stop 'slut-shaming' and we most certainly need to stop providing excuses for rapists. No girl is asking to be raped, and we should all be allowed to wear whatever we want. It's so incredibly difficult for a girl to come forward after being raped, and 'But what were you wearing?' definitely shouldn't be the first question that is asked. All victims of rape are exactly that- victims. It doesn't matter what you were wearing or that you were drunk or that maybe you even kissed the guy and then changed your mind- rape is never okay and it's never provoked.

Natural beach makeup

I am aware that wearing makeup to the beach is almost as controversial as wearing makeup to the gym but bear with me here- I'm not on holiday on a tropical island, I'm going to the beach in a seaside town in England to hang out with friends and I just want to look a little nicer than I would without makeup. It's kind of a no-makeup look (you could definitely fool most men with it), and it's really easy and quick to achieve.
First I like to conceal my dark circles with my Collection Lasting Perfection concealer, which makes a world of a difference to the way my face looks. I have very dark circles no matter how much sleep I get so this is a must for me. I'll also do a little bit of spot concealing if I have any particularly offensive blemishes but normally I just let the rest of my skin be.
I like to define my eyes a little bit by lightly smudging the Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Khol Kajal in Bronze along my upper and lower lashline (lightly being the operative word here). I then curl my lashes and apply lots of the Maybelline The Rocket Waterproof mascara, which gives my lashes some natural looking length and definition that stays on all day. I tend to just run a little bit of tinted eyebrow gel through my brows, because I think that a natural look with super defined brows can look a little strange- for this I use the tinted gel from my Revlon Brow Fantasy in Brunette. Lastly I just use the Benefit Posie Tint on my cheeks and lips for a subtle flush and tadaa- I'm ready to go. This literally takes me under five minutes to do but it makes such a difference to my face and therefore my confidence!

Do you ever wear makeup to the beach?

What's in my beach bag

Exams are over and it's sunny every day so I've been spending a lot of time on the beach! I'm lucky enough to live in a seaside town so I can go to the beach every day if I want to (although it's quite rocky but let's just ignore that for now), so I wanted to share what I carry with me when I go to the beach!
I like to take a tote bag of some sort to the beach because my normal leather bag get's really hot and just isn't really appropriate beach wear. I got this one in a German shop a few years ago but I found a similar one here. It's a really good bag, fits in everything I need and I think it's quite a funny statement!
Obviously the most important thing to take is suncream because I don't want to burn... I use SPF 50+ on my face but for my body I tend to use factor 30 when I'm not on holiday, and I like this one by Nivea because it's a really convenient spray.
I also pack the boring essentials like my purse, my phone and my headphones for the bus journey. My camera has also been going everywhere with me in case there's an opportunity for a good photo! I recently purchased the Canon Powershot SX170IS, which is a cheap but really good lightweight camera and I love always being able to have a camera with me!
I've managed to lose most of my nice sunglasses recently so I've been wearing these really cheap wayfarer style ones. I bought mine in a shop in Germany but you can get them pretty much anywhere... Last but not least I have a bottle of water to stay hydrated during the day and my Fisherman's Friends because I love them and take them everywhere!

What are your beach bag essentials?

Photography Workshop with Currys PC World

Last weekend I was kindly invited to a photography workshop in Brighton, sponsored by Currys PC World! The workshop was held at the Brighton Media Centre and taught by Dade Freeman, a Brighton based photographer who specialises in portraits (check out his work here). It was really nice to meet some new bloggers and everyone was super friendly! We were greeted and immediately guided towards the coffee making facilities, what else could I ask for?
The main aim of the workshop was to help us use our DSLR to its full potential and get off auto mode. Dade started by telling us about different functions such as aperture, shutter speed and ISO. I knew most of the things from photography a-level but it was nice to get a bit of a refresher course and I learned that a high ISO makes your pictures appear more grainy! Grainy pictures is something I always struggle with because my room is so dark and now I know why and I can prevent it by adjusting my settings.
After learning about the technical aspects we had a little tea break and time to roam about in the studio. The Brighton Media Center has a big photography studio that you can rent out, which is pretty awesome. After I was done admiring the studio, we came back and learned more about photo composition and how a few minor changes in where you stand can often make a massive difference to the composition of your pictures. 

Here's a cheeky little outfit of the day that I snapped in the mirror in the studio:

My favourite part of the workshop was Dade showing us different settings on the same image so you could really see how ISO, aperture and shutter speed affect a picture.
After the second part, we had a lovely little lunch made up of sandwiches, crisps and some cheeky percy pigs, after which we then got a few 'challenges' for taking pictures outside. The challenges were to use leading lines, framing your subject matter, using a shallow depth of field, capturing motion, photographing symmetry and freezing fast action (obviously not all in the same photo!). We were then let loose on the beach in Brighton and tried to complete as many of the challenges as possible- below are the photos that I managed to get.

Freeze fast action

Capture motion

Shallow depth of field

Overall I had an amazing day and I'm really happy that I got to go to such a fantastic event. The workshop really inspired me to not only get off auto mode and use my camera properly but also to be more creative and get back into photography. I also met some great bloggers and just had an all around good day!

If you want to know more, here's a little summary that Currys wrote about the day:

Searching for the perfect backpack

I'm not going to lie, I'm not the biggest fan of backpacks. I think to pull one off you need to either be quite petite or seriously cool, and I am most certainly neither of those things. Having said that, they are extremely practical and I'm going on holiday to Paris and Amsterdam with friends and then Canada with family this year, so I kind of need a practical bag.

What's on my face #6 - Meeting Caroline Hirons

Yes you read that right- yesterday I met Caroline Hirons, queen of skincare and generally fabulous human being. I read that she was going to be in Space NK in Brighton on her blog and immediately told Emma that we HAD to go. Her facebook wall looked something like this:

Crazy? Me? Not at all! I expected there to be loads of people just waiting to meet her but when we walked in Space NK was empty apart from about one customer so Emma and I actually chatted to her for about half an hour, which was amazing. She completely took apart Emma's skincare routine ("You need acid!") and told us about some of her favourite products, as well as just generally chatting. She was extremely nice and just as funny as she is on her blog. The way she writes is a completely accurate representation of how she speaks.

Anyway, on to what this post was actually meant to be about- my makeup on the day. I spent quite a lot of time on my base, since I wanted it to look as flawless as possible. I used the Laura Mercier Radiance primer and my sample of the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet foundation, as it's absolutely beautiful on the skin- the only problem I have with it is that it doesn't wear particularly well on me but I only needed it to last for about three hours. I concealed some imperfections and dark circles with my MAC Pro Longwear concealer. I then set everything with the Vichy Dermablend loose powder. For my eyes I used an old L'Oreal palette and just blended the middle shade across the lid and then smudged some black eyeliner along my upper lashline. I then finished off the eyes with my They're Real mascara and filled in my eyebrows as usual with the Revlon Brow Fantasy in Brunette. The highlight of the look were obviously the lips, for which I used my trusty MAC Cherry lip pencil to slightly enhance my natural lips and make them look fuller and then just fill them in for a beautiful matte lip that lasts all day!

What is your favourite way to wear a red lip?