Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Winter sky's and a 2015 reflection





The process of the sun setting or rising always triggers a photography spark within me. There's just something fascinating that I find about how the sun can manipulate the sky to produce a million and one colours. 


On another note, I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas, and I hope to have a 'What I got for Christmas 2015' post published soon. Considering this is my last post of 2015, I thought to take this opportunity to reflect on the year. 

What I am happy about:
After receiving my new DSLR camera last Christmas, I feel that it has definitely altered my photography, and the quality has increased. As well as this, I am happy with the uniqueness of my posts, before this year I would tend to just follow the usual trends of the blogging community but this year I feel that I have stepped out of my comfort zone a little more. 

What I am not so happy about:
There's only one main thing which I wish I could go back and improve, and that is the quantity that I publish. Especially towards the end of the year, I had many exams which took priority, which is something I fear for 2016 because the whole exam period will be much longer and much more stressful.

My favourite post of 2015:
Summer, Kind of Wonderful. Not only did I name this post after a Gossip Girl episode (favourite. show. ever.) but every time I look back at the post everything about it makes me smile. It incorporates all of my favourite things: the beach, the sun, Pull and Bear clothing, and I was rather happy with the quality of my photos!

I hope you've all had an amazing 2015, and continue to read my blog next year. :)

Thursday, 24 December 2015

The Night Before Christmas

Christmas is tomorrow. 

CHRISTMAS IS TOMORROW! 

So, that makes this evening, the night before Christmas. Exciting, huh? 

I suppose my family don't have any Christmas Eve traditions, I know we like to spend time together as a family, but nothing major happens. The bigger picture concludes that this makes perfect sense, after all you must rest before the most exciting day of the year! My evening is going to run as follows: snuggling down in my Shein new sweater (buy here), drinking delicious rocky road hot chocolate and watching classic seasonal films with my family. Not to forget, spoiling my cats with cuddles and love.




I wish you all a lovely Christmas, don't eat too much!
What do you do the night before Christmas? 

Sunday, 6 December 2015

The Best of December Magazine Freebies


It would not be a lie to say that around a quarter of my make up collection is magazine freebies. Furthermore, at least 80% of these are either Clinique or Benefit. Now those figures are out of the way, you can probably imagine how excited I was to see what Glamour and Elle magazine were offering in their December issues. 

Let's start with Elle, because the Benefit release was something quite spectacular: a brand new product available for purchase 9 weeks before it actually launches. Hands down to Benefit, they do produce a few of the best mascaras in my opinion, I have previously loved the Roller Lash and the They're Real, so I was eager to try the latest edition to their They're Real range. As expected, this mascara primer works a treat, I tend to wear it on it's own to create a more natural, brown lash look. I hope to purchase the full size, so keep your eyes peeled for a more in depth review. 

Glamour magazine's December issue was one to engrave a smile into my face. Not only did the fabulous Tanya Burr rock the front cover, but the company offered a range of four different Clinique freebies. Typical me grabbed one of each, justifying my decision with the thought that I was supporting Tanya. Anyway, I have been extremely impressed with all four products: the moisturiser is my go-to one on a daily basis (which saved me a few pounds of having to buy a full size), the mascara can be layered to create a very full-eye effect and both lipsticks have a great colour pay off, especially the red one. 

Have any of you picked up these issues? 

Sunday, 22 November 2015

A Jumper To Help You Survive Exam Period



Exams, at some point, will lead you barricaded in your bedroom, the floor flooded with text books and revision guides. Well, this describes my current state, With my 11 exams the week after next, I've found myself spending less time on the internet and more time studying, (writing this post is an exception).

My experiences have led me to strongly believe that comfortable clothing is an important aspect when revising. Now the weather has turned (did it seriously snow in England yesterday?!), I have waved goodbye to my running shorts and strappy tops, and welcomed my winter jumpers and joggers. One jumper in particular has stood out as being the comfiest, hence why it is the one I will opt for on a daily basis. It is from a brand called Romwe, who sell a wide range of clothes, shoes and accessories for a fabulous price.  


At first glance, I had thought I'd unexpectedly bought a jumper from American Apparel, considering it has that authentic feel. The boxy sweater is cropped, making it the perfect top half to an outfit of high waisted jeans. But, in this case, I was half way through enduring a day of revision, so I had just slipped on a pair of Gilly Hicks joggers to keep me extra comfy! You can view the jumper here, and at the moment it's half price ($10 from $20).

If any of you are about to face exams then I wish you the best of luck, go and smash them! :) 

Sunday, 15 November 2015

20 Hours In Paris | #prayforparis

Last Saturday my family and I ventured to Paris, as a 16th birthday treat to me. I can't really comprehend how lucky I feel to have gone last week, six days later and I would have been affected by the terrorist attacks on Friday the 13th, which were utterly horrendous. I have thought long and hard about what this post's purpose will be, I had previously planned to make a photo diary of my trip until the attacks struck. After sleeping on the thought, I've realised that Paris is still the beautiful city I saw last week, and its beauty should be encouraged. I refuse to alter my memories because of some sickening individuals, Paris is a fabulous city which didn't deserve any of the terrors that it received  on Friday. 


THE JOURNEY
As of last week, I had never taken the Eurostar, so this was a whole new experience in itself. I am still unable to get my head around how you can travel from London to Paris in under two hours, which in fact flew by as I found looking out at the French countryside fascinating. 















THE HOTEL
We stayed in an exceptionally beautiful hotel, called La Demeure. My parents surprised me by booking a cinema suite, however as we were only  in Paris for 20 hours, the film consumption was minimal. All the same, I would recommend this hotel; everything was immaculate and felt a lot more expensive than it actually was. 






THE VIEWS
Paris is a city full of memorable views, every building screams uniqueness. Walking along the Seine gave me an insight of Paris' beauty and the little things I'd never notice without visiting. For example, how fascinating it is that Notre Dame itself is built on an island on the Seine. The weather was a factor which impacted how much I enjoyed the city, the first photo on the second row shows a pharmacy sign alerting people of the 22 degrees heat which surrounded us- crazy for November!




SHOPPING
What would a trip to Paris be without shopping? It simply wouldn't be a trip to Paris! We trekked for well over an hour to Galeries Lafayette (I would recommend the Metro, especially if you are stupid enough to wear heels like me). I must say that the long walk was incredibly worth it, I have never set foot in such a exquisite shopping centre. Sorry Selfridge's, but your window displays simply do not compare to the French! The only thing I failed to realise was that everything within the walls of the paradise were exceptionally expensive, so it was no surprise when I ended up purchasing only one make up item (expect a review very soon).




The Eiffel Tower
To end the perfect day, we explored the city from another angle: up the Eiffel Tower. This attraction itself is astounding, nothing can quite compare. What's more is that when we reached level two, we were presented with the sincere enjoyment of watching a man propose to his girlfriend, which was rewarded with surrounding smiles and applauses.  




I would like to reiterate my sorrows for any unlucky individuals who were involved with the terrorist attacks on Friday. My heart goes out to the city, and I pray that such asinine acts refrain from happening again. Paris is not a city which deserves barbaric violence, it's rightful traits should remain at beauty and romance. 

Mankind must put and end to war before war puts and end to mankind. #prayforparis

Sunday, 25 October 2015

What I Got For My 16th Birthday | Pandora, River Island and.. Paris?!

Birthdays are always my second favourite time of the year (after Christmas that is), but not because of all of the presents, but because of the celebration. On the 8th of this month I turned 16, some people would say a birthday bigger than the previous, and I had such an enjoyable time with friends and family.

I am always a bit iffy with doing these sorts of posts, what if I receive negative comments complaining I am bragging about what I got. But on the other hand, I, myself, love reading through what other people have got for their birthdays, it's the easiest way for me to find gift inspo for myself and others.
 
The first gift was a very special ring which my grandad treated me to. I have always awed and ah'ed at the pieces in Pandora, everything looks so delicate but is always out of my budget. So, when I was thinking about what I could ask for, a Pandora ring shone in front of my eyes. I would be lying if I said that I chose quickly, and wasn't in the store for more than an hour, but then a girl can never rush into things like choosing a precious piece of jewellery, can she? I ended up purchasing the Alluring Brilliant Marquise Ring, as I fell in love with the simplicity but alternating detail of the ring. Furthermore, I felt this ring was suitable to stack, so for Christmas or at a later date I can purchase more rings to wear with this.




The two photos above show a collection of the items I, very kindly, received from other family and friends. This includes a selection of vouchers (two weeks later and they are pretty much all spent out.. whoops!), the cutest pair of Jack Wills undies, two MAC products, to much of my surprise from my brother, a couple of beauty bits and the most adorable Cath Kidston tissues- so beautiful I am torn whether to actually use them.



From my Auntie, Uncle and cousins, I was kindly treated to a new handbag. Unfortunately, it was a limited edition one, however if you are in need of a new bag then I would one hundred percent recommend you browse through the River Island collections, honestly this bag looks three times more expensive than it was!



The last present I received was a complete and utter surprise. I opened it and my jaw dropped.. I AM GOING TO PARIS! Bless my parents for organising a family trip to Paris without me knowing. We go next month, for two days, and I cannot wait to just lose myself in the city. Think a river trip up the Seine, staring out across Paris from the Eiffel Tower in the evening and browsing in the Golden Triangle Boutiques, I am honestly so grateful.

Once again, I am extremely thankful of everything I received, if any of you have been to Paris then please leave a comment with any sort of recommendations or opinions, thanks!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

The Naked 2 Palette Review

Ten months, over three hundred uses. Not once has this palette appeared on my blog. Why? That is a question I simply do not know how to answer, but yes, I am extremely ashamed.
 
I believe this palette is £36, and before any of you wince at the price, totally forget about it. I would have payed up to £100 for these shadows! (oh and before anyone thinks this is a sponsored post, forget about that as well because it's not). Anyway, the box included the palette, a double ended UD brush and 4 sample UD primers.
 
The palette itself is about a 20cm wide metal tin, with a large mirror, a double ended brush and 12 different shadows. The metal casing is very practical, closing with two clasps unlike a magnet (which the first Naked palette had). Although it isn't the smallest of palettes, it is surprising light meaning it's that one bit easier to travel with, however fitting this in your makeup bag will most probably prove a challenge.

The majority of the shadows in this are cool toned, taupe neutrals. 9 out of the 12 are shimmery, some more than others.   

 
FOXY

Whenever I decide to wear eye shadow, this is the first shade I will apply, considering it is the perfect matte colour to smother across the whole lid. This pigment has a distinctive yellow undertone, easily erasing any redness from my eyelids.

HALF BAKED

This is the only shade in the second palette which has been repeated from the first, but this makes no difference to me as I don't own the original Naked palette. All the same, I'm glad it's been carried over because it is the perfect shade to apply to create a subtle eye; think a light and airy summer or school-appropriate look.

BOOTYCALL

All hail one of my favourite shades from this palette: Bootycall. It's a gorgeous shimmery, light pink shadow which I make sure I apply to highlight my brow bone and the inner corner of my eye, but it can easily be used as a base as well.
 
CHOPPER

In ways, Chopper is quite similar to Half Baked, just a little more orange toned and definitely more of a metallic colour. I still apply this the same way though, running it through my crease and outer corner of my eye. The only thing I would say is that this shade probably has the most fall out out of all the shadows, but, then again, this only depends on how you apply it.
 
 
TEASE (scroll up to first photo)
 
Just like Booty Call, this shade is another one of my favourites. In the palette, it looks like a light purple/brown colour but as soon as this is applied is turns into a darker more defined shadow, the perfect crease shade. Also, this shadow is one of the 3 mattes, something I love to make a look less shimmery and 'in your face' so to say.
 
SNAKEBITE (scroll up to first photo)


In all honesty, this shade is probably the most underused by me as I tend to only use dark browns when creating an eye look suitable for a night out. All the same, it is a dark bronze, shimmery colour with a heavy metallic undertone, perfect for defining a smoky eye.

SUSPECT
 
This golden beige colour is the perfect everyday, any occasion shade. I apply this all over my lid and it looks great alone or layered with other shadows.

PISTOL
 
Unfortunately, I don't tend to use Pistol that much, I suppose a dark, shimmery grey is one of the harder colours to pull off in this palette. However, when used, it creates a dazzling, shimmery look, one for the evening I would have to say though.

VERVE
 
This is a shimmery oyster colour, a shade easily blended across the whole lid for a natural look.

YDK
 
YDK has been, in the past, one of UD's best selling individual shadows, and I can see why! I love this cool, metallic brown shade with a plum base as it's easily buildable on the outer third of the lid.

BUSTED
 
Busted is one of my most used shades, whenever I am going for a smoky look, this will be the shade I run through my crease and along my lower lash liner. Sometimes I also run it across my upper lash line, instead of using eyeliner or Blackout, as it creates a more subtle defined eye.

BLACKOUT
Last but not least, is a pure, matte jet-black colour, perfect for running around my upper lash line to create a very messy, smoky eyeliner effect. There isn't much more to say about this shade, oh, apart from I am very impressed with how little fall out it produces.

Overall, I am very impressed with this palette, Urban Decay have created something spectacular. The only thing preventing this product from further success is the price tag, at £38.00 I know there are many dupes out there, but nothing can simply beat the quality of this palette.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

What I Eat In A Day

Most of you will know (of) Niomi Smart, and a large majority of you will have probably seen her What I Eat In A Day videos. First things first, I am not vegan, and what I eat is no where near as healthy as she eats, but recently I've wanted to change up my diet, and what is more motivating than to blog my experiences, where I can look back on in the future.  p.s thanks for the inspiration niomi!
 
BREAKFAST
Breakfast and I have a love hate relationship. Most weekends I skip this meal (which I know if awful) and replace with a large, unhealthy brunch. However, my Nutri-Bullet has been a life saver, every morning I actually get excited thinking about what fruits and veg I am going to blend for my morning smoothie. This particular morning I chose to have a avocado, banana, spinach, nectarine and apple smoothie (or it could possibly be a juice because I blended it with water). Anyway, I deliberately made a large cup of this to keep me going for the next few hours, and I must add that it was surprisingly filling.
 





LUNCH
Lunch is a meal which also varies from day to day. At school, I will normally consume a sandwich or some sort, but at home I tend to stick with cooked lunches, and the majority of the them contain eggs.
I made this scrambled egg on toast from scratch *pro chef?* and piled it onto two slices of white bread. Something I do want to change in my diet is swapping white bread for brown bread, but this will have to be a gradual change.
 
 
 
 
DINNER
In celebration of my mums birthday, I accompanied my family to a dinner at Cote, which was lovely. In some ways this doesn't fit the post, of course I do not eat out every single night, nor do I have a starter at home, however the food quantities and types are similar. For starters I ordered the Pork Rillettes with Sourdough Bread, not realising that the meat came in a pâté form. I ended up swapping my starter with my dad, who had ordered calamari, and gosh that was a gorgeous dish! For mains, I ordered the Chargrilled Chicken Breast with Garlic Butter, and that was divine, I've never tasted chicken that good. Now, because I was following a set menu, a pudding was obviously obligatory. The 'Crumble Aux Pommes' took my fancy, and like the other dishes, it was very delicious.
 




Saturday, 3 October 2015

What's On My IPhone 6 + How I Edit My Instagram Photos

 
I was lucky enough to upgrade my previous IPhone 5C to a 6; my contract had run out and I saw an early birthday present opportunity! I had gone into EE expecting only to upgrade to the 5S, but with the 6 being only an upfront cost of £10 more and the same contract, I thought that everything really was in my favour. As you can see from the photos, I chose the white front with the gold back, but in my opinion it's more of a coppery, faded rose gold which I love. The storage is only 16GB, hence why I spend hours deleting pointless photos, but the next capacity was 62GB, which enormously bumped up the contract price, and quite frankly I wouldn't ever need that amount of storage. I finally wanted to add that Apple, I salute you for the Touch ID, do you know how satisfying it is not having to enter a passcode every time you want to unlock your phone?!?!

The first page of my IPhone is near enough the original set out, however I have added more bits to the Productivity and Extras folder as I like to have not the whole screen covered in apps. I don't intend on going through every single one of these apps, as quite simply you would be bored to death, but as a quick overview the apps which get the most use on this page are weather (I like to fantasise about all of the hot places I'm not currently at), maps (for whenever I'm lost, which happens quite a lot), photos and camera (photography is everything, as you should know!).

The docked apps are the bottom are also Apple's original set out, but as it stands they are my most used apps, hence why they stayed put. (Saying that I have 12 emails to see to..) I tend to stay away from buying music on Apple, considering I have Spotify (we'll come to this later), and if I payed 99p for every song I would be in a hella load of debt. As for the phone icon, it's handy being there as, let's be honest, I don't use it that much but it's a nice touch. On the other hand, I am constantly using Safari but you know how online shopping makes girls feel..

Moving onto where I spend the majority of my time on my phone, say hello to my social media apps. I started off arranging them in usage, but that didn't go to plan when I used Instagram more than Facebook yet I still wanted my editing folder to be next to the Instagram app *life struggles*. Anyway, that said, there now is no specific order to this page and all of the apps I use regularly, (whether that be a good or bad thing?!)

Oooh, an in-depth view of my editing folder. For my instagram pictures (you can follow me here @heyitshannaah) I first import them to Camera+. Here, I brighten them using the 'Night' effect, followed by re saving it. Sometimes, just that app creates the perfect photo, however when I am not entirely happy with it still, I upload it to Afterlight, where I make adjustments to the colours, highlights and exposure. The additional apps in this folder aren't used on every photo: PicsArt and Layout are used for photos on my personal account, and Touch Blur is used for blurring out any backgrounds from the hundreds of selfies I shamelessly take! Finally, I have an app for speeding up footage, and Followers+ is used so I can keep exact track of my insta followers.
 
Some of the apps which I still need to download are Blogger, Pacer and of course, the Dominos pizza app.
 
What are your favourite apps? Do you have any that I don't that you'd recommend?

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Anyone can rock the Kylie Jenner lip look

The craze of Kylie Jenner's dark yet nude, daring lips was a hit this Spring, and my bets are on that it will return this Autumn and Winter, and it will be bigger than ever. So, that said, I decided to recreate her giant pout, using a combination of high end and drugstore products.

Without jumping ahead too quickly, if you don't know Kylie Jenner and her lips, then take this post as my go to Autumn and Winter lip look. Who am I kidding, everyone knows that girl.

Before anything, it is vital for me to moisturise my lips. I do not understand how lipstick can be applied to dry, crusty lips? I forgot to photograph my moisturiser, but I am currently using a pink lemonade Chapstick which my friend brought me home from The States.



The next step is to outline your lips, and for this I used the Rimmel 1000 Kisses Stay On Contouring Pencil in Tiramisu. I find this product works wonders, with the added bonus of it only being £2.99. I like to overline the middle section of my bottom lip, a smidge over the middle of my top lip and just follow my natural lip line on the outer corners. This gives the effect of natural looking bigger lips. After my lips are outlined, I go ahead and blend the product, with small strokes, using a cheap lip pencil which I received years ago in a magazine. (Anyone will do!) To do this, I start from the edge of the outline - nearest my skin - and bring the brush towards the centre of my lips. By doing this, it ensures that all product is blended but at the same time the outline is still fine and crisp.

After the outline of my lips is no longer as harsh (yet still visible), I take my MAC lipstick in the shade Velvet Teddy. This is the shade that was the hit with Kylie, and MAC describe it as deep toned beige. Just out of habit, I start the lipstick on one side of my upper middle lip, bringing it to the upper corner. I repeat on the other side then finish by applying to my bottom lip. Because this lipstick is matte, I find blending key with this look. So, after I am happy with the amount of product on my lips, I take my lip brush and begin blending out the two colours with short strokes.
 
 
If, like me, you want your lips even more matte than the current result, I suggest you take a loose (preferable transparent) powder and dab it all over your lips. Then take a larger brush to fluff all the excess product away, leaving you with a much prominent, matte lip look.
 
On the contrast, if matte lips just aren't for you, take a piece of tissue and gently dab at your lips. This will remove just enough product for you to apply a shine gloss over the top.
 
Let me know what colours you will be rocking this Autumn, or if you will be following in Kylie's footsteps!
 
 

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Summer, Kind of Wonderful

If you know where I received the inspiration for this title from then I am impressed, you obviously know your Gossip Girl just as well as I do! (No, of course I am not re watching the entire box-set for the second time)

Anyway, I think the time has officially come to say our farewells to the summer of 2015. Unlike Blair and Serena's summer, I was not prancing around New York or The Hamptons, *sigh*, but instead, I did have a lovely six weeks off, spending quality time with the people I love.  In celebration of this, I headed down the beach with my camera, and what more would you expect than handful of photos?!


Jeans, belt and top / Pull and Bear

Who of you are looking forward to Halloween and Christmas, because I know I definitely am!

But finally, in celebration of a wonderful summer, comment below your favourite memory of the past season...