Celebrating the Champagne Season with Farfetch!

Christmas is approaching fast, and the champagne glasses are filling up quickly as we get ready for the festive party season that this time of year brings to us. 

Wether you're attending someone else's party, or hosting your own, you're probably looking for some ideas on what to wear.

farfetch.com have gorgeous, feminine designer wear for all year round, but their editorial feature for the Champagne Season is beyond beautiful!
It's filled with pretty pinks, and glistening black dresses, shoes, and my personal favourite, skirts. The skirts shown in this feature are so frilly, flowy and beautiful, perfect for this time of year.

You'll be paying for designer pieces, which is something that i personally wouldn't be able to afford, but for something as classy and gorgeous as these, i'd say it's worth it for a special occasion, something like the Simone Rocha tulle skirt, is so versatile and stunning, it can be worn for many occasions, not just a Christmas party!

I was memorised by the collection, so i created a wishlist for my ideal party outfit which you can see in the picture above this text. I'm so excited to get involved with festive celebrations, it's my favourite time of year. 

So if you have a few parties on your calendar, and all you can think is 'what do i wear?!" I think you'll find this collection 'Champagne Season: Cocktails in Wonderland' visually captivating.

Champagne Season: Cocktails in Wonderland

Taking Little Breaks

I really envy most bloggers, i'd love to be consistant with my posts but it's not always possible. Sometimes all i need is a little break.
Blogging is my hobby, and as soon as i start feeling any kind of pressure to blog, i'll stop. I don't want blogging to become a chore. 

Believe it or not, writing a post takes quite a lot of effort, taking the perfect picture, which is always far from perfect, (but hey, i try my best!) planning the post, and then writing it. 

I've come along way with my condition, but my body still doesn't let me do all the things i wish i could do. Recently i've been suffering from migraines, which are more frequent than usual, this makes it difficult to read and write. I also suffer from nausea if i'm staring at my laptop screen for too long. As i'm not working, blogging has become a great hobby of mine, i can do it from my bed if i'm not having a great day, it's something that most of the time i'm able to do. I've fallen in love with everything it has to offer, especially the people that i meet. I'm so grateful for the friendships i've made online. 

I just wanted to write a little post to say i'm still here! I love my blog and how it's developed and i love reading the kind comments you leave.

A little update on POTS: Things are getting easier for me, i'm having more good days, i'm still using my wheelchair to get out and about, and i don't regret it one bit. It's given me more of a social life, and freedom to get out of the house, without the worry of fainting. I still can't go out by myself, as i don't have the energy to wheel myself as far as i'd like to. But i'm getting the hang of it, and i'm walking whenever i feel i can! I've had a few hospital appointments, and my specialist thinks i'd benefit from a new medication, which i'll trial in February, it's designed to narrow the blood vessels, to increase blood pressure, which will hopefully mean i can stand for longer without fainting! I've heard great things about this drug, and i'm hoping that it'll benefit me in the way it has other people. He also thinks there's a chance i have EDS, it's possible as 90% of POTS patients also suffer from it, and it's usually the cause. I recently met up with someone i found online, she lives close, and she also has POTS and EDS, it was really great to meet someone who was in the same situation, and she's kept me positive that things will get easier!

I hope you're all well, and enjoying this festive time of year, my decorations are up, i'm feeling cosy and Christmassy, and i'll be uploading a post soon so i can share some photos of my tree!

Thanks for reading! Lots of love, Hollie

Miracle Romance Waterproof Eyeliner*

I was very lucky to have the opportunity to choose 2 products from Born Pretty, an online store filled with beauty & lifestyle products. I picked the Miracle Romance waterproof eyeliner, and a stunning eye shimmer eye shadow palette which also claims to be waterproof.
Unfortunately i had some sort of reaction to the palette, most likely due to my sensitive skin, so i wasn't able to leave it on long enough to review. 
I swatched the 3 colours on my hand so i could still show you.

I used all 3 colours, using the lightest shade to highlight the inner corners of my eye, and subtly under my brow bone, the medium shade i used as a base, and i applied the darkest shade to my crease, and blended outwards. They are very pigmented, very shimmery, and so easy to apply and blend, it was just a shame i had a reaction to the product!

However, i did get to use the waterproof eyeliner, several times may I add! I am so impressed by this, i'm always on the hunt for liquid, pencil and gel eyeliners that make applying winged eyeliner a little easier, as i'm useless at it. It takes so much practise, and patience, something i lack in! It glided over my lid so easily, leaving a clean line. One of my favourite things about this, is that once i had applied it and perfected it, it didn't smudge as i opened my eye, something i really struggle with, i find myself waiting ages with one eye closed, waiting for it to dry to avoid ruining all my effort! The tip is ultra thin, it's described as a gel formula, which provides the precision of a liquid liner. I much prefer to use felt tip liners, it's much easier to hold, and a lot less messy. I love the look of liquid and gel, but a felt tip and pencil is just the neatest way to go in my opinion.

As it's a waterproof eyeliner, i found it quite difficult to remove, which is expected with a waterproof product, but i'd much rather struggle with the removing of it than keep having to reapply my eyeliner throughout the day if i get caught in a light shower of rain. 

I applied my eyeliner in the morning, at around 11.30am, by 7pm it was still very much on my lids, I had a tiny bit of fallout and smudging underneath my eye, but in all honesty it was hardly noticeable, I was looking in a magnified mirror! 

Born Pretty were kind enough to give us a 10% discount code to use on their website, just click the link and it'll guide you to the products! I wasn't sure if they deliver to the UK but they do! Just choose your currency in the top right hand corner, and have a look around!

Thank you Born Pretty for the discount, and for the products i was sent, i am very happy with what i received! :)

I apologise for not posting for ages, i've been very poorly, but hopefully with lots of rest i'm slowly getting there, i just keep wanting to fall asleep in the middle of the day! 
I hope you're all well, and i hope you enjoy this post and the discount. 
Lots of love!

Garnier Exfoliating Scrub

As i've mentioned before, blackheads are my absolute nightmare, i can't stand them. (Who can?!)
The Biore pore cleansing strips have done me so many favours, but seeing as you're only supposed to use them 2 times a week (maximum) i need to find something to keep them away until i can have my next strip session. (that sounds kinda weird) 

The Garnier Exfoliating Scrub is designed to help remove impurities and fight spots. Personally, if i have a nasty red spot, i tend to steer clear of this scrub, or any sort of scrub, mainly because they're abrasive, and scrubbing a spot tends to irritate it and make it angry, therefore making it even redder! It's like it wants revenge, you try so hard to scrub it away that it comes back bigger and nastier!

I use this every 3 days, whilst staying away from big spots to prevent irritation. I target the areas of my skin that are prone to blackheads, for example my nose, chin and forehead.

Exfoliating can damage your skin if you do it daily, so even if a skincare product says it should be used daily, i never listen!

Blackheads come from excess sebum (natural oils) and dead skin cells, which is why people that suffer with oily skin are so prone to getting blackheads.

This scrub keeps my skin thoroughly cleansed, it helps keep the surface of my skin soft, and gets rid of any excess skin or dirt, which is what forms a blackhead in the first place.

Has anyone else found this helps with their oily and blackhead prone skin?!

Charity Shop Challenge

Recently i've really been enjoying charity shopping, or as Macklemore would say 'popping some tags cos i've only got $20 in my pocket!'

Except i'm changing dollars to pounds. £20.
My outfit came to a total of £21.49, i know i know, i went a little bit over!! But, you'll be shocked at the stuff i picked up, £21.49 is a bargain, and not only did i pick up great clothes, it felt so good knowing my money was going to a good cause. (or causes!)

These brown lace up heeled boots cost me £4! They weren't in great condition, but for £4 you really can't go wrong, especially with Autumn and Winter approaching.

This gorgeous bag was £6.99, and the most expensive item i purchased, but it was so worth it, as its a bag ill use again and again.

The polka dot blouse (£3.50) i paired with a navy skater skirt (also £3.50) and i think they go really nicely together. I think a shirt or blouse tucked into a skater skirt is such a simple yet classy pairing. 

Not only did i get a pair of boots, a bag, skirt and a blouse, i happened to come across this little beauty of a coat, worth £3.50!! YES, you read that right, a coat for £3.50! It is missing a button but i could easily find another and sew it back on, but it's hardly noticable when i wear the coat unbuttoned.

What do you think?! You'll be surprised at what you can find in a charity shop if you look hard enough. I love it, and the majority of what you'll find, is pretty unique and not something everyone on the highstreet will be wearing.

I hope you're having a lovely week!! Lots of love x

My 'No Makeup' Selfie

Why are we all so self conscious without makeup? It's a question i ask myself daily. Whenever we look at ourselves, we only see our flaws. For example, when i look in the mirror, i see a nose covered in blackheads, oily skin, dark circles under my eyes, spots, veiny eyelids, and a horrible eye shape, and don't even get me started on my weight, another thing i'm very self conscious about. And it's not just us women that feel this way. Men can be self conscious too.

We all compare ourselves to our idols, models, people we see in magazines, who are photoshopped and airbrushed until they're flawless.
I bet women such as Lily Collins, Scarlett Johansson and Emma Watson, who are flawless and my idea of perfection, still look in the mirror and can point out something they dislike about themselves.

I love that many celebrities these days are embracing their flaws, I loved the idea of the no makeup selfie to raise awareness for charity, and it showed us our favourite celebrities without makeup and editing, and we saw their faces underneath all that makeup, and they were all still gorgeous.
Don't get me wrong, i LOVE makeup, but it shouldn't be something we have to wear, it should be something we choose to wear. 

Posting a selfie without makeup is not a pleasant thought for me, and i'm sure it's not a pleasant thought for most of you, as so many of our generation feel the need to look good constantly. I love no makeup days, but if i was ever to pop out to town, i always feel the need to cover myself up.

I want to start seeing my imperfections as what makes me, me. I think for some people, their imperfections are what make them, well, perfect.

I remember seeing the media slam Scarlett Johansson for being over weight and showing stretch marks in a bikini picture, but i look at her and think she's gorgeous, flawless, and perfect.
Why can't we think that about ourselves?

I took this selfie without any makeup, in natural lighting, and without any editing or filters. 

I really hope whoever is self conscious about their imperfections, can start to see them as just something that makes you who you are. I'm working on it myself, and this is the first step.

Say 'ALOHA' to Healthy Skin

Healthy, clear skin is something everyone would be grateful for, but we aren't all that lucky. When it comes to my own skin, I love looking for natural ways to keep my skin looking healthy, I love trying out lots of different skincare products, but it's not always necessary to spend a fortune on skincare, most of what you need, is all through lifestyle changes, and what you put into your body.
I'm going to share with you a few tips that help me personally, and i really hope they benefit you in some way!

Drink plenty of water

Everyone knows that your skin benefits from keeping yourself hydrated, if you don't drink enough water throughout the day, not only will it make you dehydrated, it will also make your skin dehydrated.

Protect yourself from the sun

Sun exposure, over time, can give you wrinkles and age spots. To prevent this, always use sunscreen, and maybe invest in a cute floppy hat, you can protect your skin in style.

Don't forget your neck!

A bit of a random tip, but a lot of us forget that our neck is a very delicate area, i've realised that the hard way, i've always neglected my neck, and the skin is starting to line. It can start to sag and wrinkle if you neglect it for too long.

Take off your makeup before bed

Most of us beauty lovers take great pleasure in using lovely cleansers, toners, and other skincare products, but i think you'll agree with me that occasionally we will get lazy, and resort to a makeup wipe before bed, which is fine, i'm guilty of doing that a lot, as a lot of the time i'm too tired! But taking your makeup off with a wipe, is much better than not taking it off at all, who wants clogged up dirty skin when we wake up?!

Don't Smoke

Did you know that smoking not only affects your teeth, nails, hair and overall health, it also affects your skin, it can leave your skin looking heavily wrinkled and sallow over time, it affects collagen, which gives your skin elasticity. It can make you look so much older than you are.
I know, I know, it's not easy to give up smoking just like that. It's a habit that some people just can't break. But think about your overall appearance, skin, and most importantly your health.

My 'i can't live without you' skincare products:

Clinque Cleansing Balm
Origins Ginzing Moisturiser
Dr Organic Rose Otto Eye Serum
Nivea Lip Balm

Eat a well balanced diet

Eating a well balanced diet is important, in so many ways. Eating too much of one thing is never good for you. I'm going to share a few of my favourite foods with you, and each food has a load of benefits to them. 

Did you know Vitamin C helps to heal blemishes? You can find Vitamin C in a variety of foods, for example Stawberries, Blueberries, Oranges, Broccoli and sweet potatoes!

I know a lot of people try and stay clear of fatty foods, and too much fatty food is never good for you. But certain fats, for example the fats found in fish, act as a natural moisturiser for your skin.

Has any one tried nettle tea? Personally it doesn't appeal to me, but i've recently found out that they have an anti inflammatory affect and will help calm down breakouts and acne. Who knew?!

Beetroot is one of my favourite foods, mix it in with a nice salad, and i'll demolish it. It is high in Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Potassium and also sodium, and probably much more. Beetroot is not only super delicious, it's a must for skin health.

Last but not last, good ol' greens. Runner beans, Kale, Spinach, Lettuce, Cucumber, all help towards healthy glowing skin, and a healthy body.

ALOHA is a fantastic website designed to provide you with healthy recipes, all needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and healthy skin. This includes, smoothies, breakfast ideas, snacks, meals and my personal favourite, puddings.

All of these recipes contain super foods that your body screams out for! And they are all combined into a delicious meal for you to devour.
Many people think it's not possible to eat healthy AND deliciously, but it is!

Would you believe that you could enjoy these Ice Cream Sandwiches without having to worry about what it's doing to your skin?!

Currently they only ship throughout the US. But they are working on shipping to us international people very soon!

Check out the website for recipes and also tips!
What are your essential foods or products to keep your skin healthy?

Seventeen 3 Way Highlighter

I quickly chucked this into my Boots basket thinking it was a primer, as the only thing that i'd read on the packaging was the word 'prime'. When it was delivered to my front door, i was disappointed to find it was a highlighter (because i really needed a primer!) 

BUT, i'm extremely glad i accidentally picked this up, as it is a gorgeous highlighter, i mean, look at the shimmer!! It is described as a 3 way highlighter, in the description it says you can prime, add to your foundation, or apply onto your cheek bones for a lift. Personally, i wouldn't use this as a primer for my skin, nor would i add it to my foundation, mainly because of the shimmer, i do not want to look like Edward Cullen, or Rumplestilksin (for you Once Upon a Time fans out there.)

It is a really lovely liquid highlighter, and such good value for money, £5.99!
I add this to my cheek bones, my brow bone, and my cupids bow, it does a great job at lifting and waking up my skin, it's been amazing over the summer, when i wanted a natural finish, and paired with a dewy moisturiser it's been my summer staple.
It's brightened my complexion and made me feel more 'alive'. I have found that i need to powder more throughout the day, as my face can get very shiny, especially with this highlighter, but i'm really impressed with this and will continue to repurchase as long as it's on the shelves! 

If anyones on the hunt for a new highlighter, i highly recommend you try this out if you haven't already!

Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips

Blackheads are a nightmare. Who's with me? 
When it comes to my skin, blackheads are my most common problem. My nose and chin are covered, and no matter how much I exfoliate, and take good care of my skin, they still seem to stick around.

I've always heard mixed reviews about the Biore Pore Strips, i've tried them in the past, but back then I didn't take very good care of my skin, so i stopped after a while as i couldn't be bothered.

But now my interest in beauty and makeup has grown, I take great pleasure in taking good care of my skin, and it's very beneficial as i need a good canvas to work on when experimenting with makeup.

I bought a pack of 14 strips, 7 nose strips, and 7 face strips. They are currently priced at £10.99 at Boots, which i have to admit, is a little bit steep. Luckily i bought them a few months ago, when they were knocked down to £6.99.
The strips are designed to clean and unclog your pores, it works like a magnet, pulling out dirt, leaving your skin cleaner and clearer.

I use this weekly, sometimes 2 weekly (if i can be bothered, i know, my laziness is still an annoying trait of mine!) I find it so satisfying pulling it off and seeing everything thats come out of the skin, is that gross? Probably, but i guarantee that i'm not the only one who finds it satisfying.

I think it's a really great product, but the only disadvantage would be the price, i think it's a little high for the amount of strips you get!

Vive La France Glossybox

Recently I received my July Vive La France Glossybox, a little late than i expected, but thanks to the Glossybox Customer Care Team, they made sure i received it. (better late than never!)
I was gutted when mine hadn't arrived, weeks after other peoples had. So i got in touch with Glossybox, and i was so impressed with how quickly they responded. So friendly and apologetic (even though it wasn't their fault, these things happen unfortunately!)
Before it arrived, i'd seen other peoples instagram posts, tweets, and a few blog posts, and i had a feeling, that it was going to be my favourite Glossybox i've received so far. Can we just appreciate how gorgeous it looks on the outside?? Let alone the inside!

So when the postman finally knocked on my front door, handing over the beautifully decorated box, i couldn't wait to open it up and see what beauty treats i had inside!!

I was pleasantly surprised when i opened the lid, and found a little note with an apology from the Glossybox team! Not only did i receive the lovely note, i was also gifted with a lipstick! Yves Rocher in the colour mauve. It's so gorgeous and i can't wait to wear it! Thank you so much Glossybox!

Moving on to the rest of the box, I was delighted to find 3 more french finds, all skincare! And a beautiful French inspired travel pouch/makeup bag. (I think she looks like a prettier version of Yzma, from The Emperors New Groove.. See for yourself)

The box includes a noxidoxi enchanting serum base, a serum which hydrates the skin's surface as well as the deeper layers, while a cocktail of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories protect the skin.

The Teoxanne Cosmeceauticals Perfect Skin Refiner has hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate the skin, 10% glycol acid to help resurface the skin and calming ingredients to reduce irritation.

Lollipops Lip Balm Delicieuse looks lovely, its packaging is adorable, and any lip product i'll benefit from, as i suffer with very chapped lips. The lip balm is described as perfect for the summer, aswell as soothing and softening your lips, it also helps protect them from UV damage.

I've heard of the French brand Vichy, but never tried one of their products, the Aqualia Thermal Light Cream is described as lightweight, which is my ideal cream. It boosts hydration allowing the skin to get on with its natural repair process.

Last (but certainly not least) is the Glossybox Exclusive Travel pouch, designed by fashion illustrator Jamie Lee Reardin.
It's the perfect pouch to keep anything from my skincare, to my makeup in. (It'll come in handy this weekend, i'm off camping!!)

What did you think of your French inspired Glossybox? 
I can safely say this is my favourite Glossybox i've received so far. Thank you again Glossybox!

Charity Shop Bargain

You'd never guess that i purchased this cute orange knit, high necked top from a charity shop, it looks so pricey, would you believe that it cost £3?! YES, £3!!

You can find all sorts in a charity shop, if you look hard enough! I adore hunting around charity shops, it lets me get creative and i get the chance to pair things that i wouldn't normally pair together.

I chose to wear ripped cropped jeans, from eBay (again, these cost me £6!) And my heeled ankle boots are from choice, for £25, roughly.

My bag is from New Look, i bought it just before Christmas, and it really classes up this outfit!
I can't believe i'm not wearing anything from Boohoo.com, i think this is unheard of!!

What Am I Reading?

There's just something about snuggling up and reading a book that makes me feel so good.
Especially during the colder months where it's cold and wet outside, and i'm tucked up in bed with a blanket, feeling cosy,  and reading a good book. (with a cuppa tea, of course)

I've just finished reading Alexa Chung's 'It'. If you have an interest in Alexa Chung and fashion, it's a great and very interesting read. The pages are filled with pretty pictures, doodles and memories, and i love a book with loads of pictures to break up the writing. 

I love Alexa Chung and I really admire her style, so reading about some of her icons, and her views on fashion was really interesting. Her look is so effortless, (in the book she explains how looking 'effortless' takes a lot of effort.)
So many people would LOVE to be her, she is just too cool.

I've also been reading Tess of the d'Urbervilles written by Thomas Hardy. Not my usual choice of book, but it's a classic, and i felt like challenging myself.
It's written in traditional English, which is quite difficult to understand at times, and thats why it's so challenging for me, as usually i read a book that's not too difficult to process.

However it's still wonderfully written, and i can't wait to finish it!

What are you currently reading?

Etre Belle Aloe-Vera Moisturizing Gel

I'm going to be honest, and say this moisturising gel did not appeal to me when i first tried it. It has a really sticky texture to the gel, and it didn't spread well over my skin. 

I received this in my May Glossybox, along with the Philosophy moisturiser, so after testing this out for just over a month, i can give you my honest opinion, and wether or not this product was for me..

The full version for the Etre belle Aloe Vera gel, is worth £15.93, considerably less than the Philosophy moisturiser, which is priced at £35.50.
I definitely preferred applying the Philosophy moisturiser, as personally i prefer something creamy, that will spread easily and make me feel like my skin is getting all the love and care that it needs.

Applying the Aloe Vera gel, felt very sticky.. but i have to say, after a few days of using it, i got used to that feeling, and it wasn't so sticky once it had dried, once it was applied it sunk into my skin leaving it feeling very soft and smooth to the touch - with no greasy film over my face. 
It's also really helped to calm the redness on my face. Due to sensitivity, i usually look like i'm sunburnt! (or constantly blushing!) So i was very pleased with how well it helped.

Gel moisturisers are usually better for oily skin, and with combination skin, i wasn't sure how it would react to my very dry nose, but it really helped hydrate it. 

Overall, i would say this moisturiser is a good one to use for all skin types, it doesn't dry your skin out, and it doesn't make it any oilier, definitely a good moisturiser for people with combination skin! It's such a pain trying to find a one that helps with both skin types.

What are your thoughts on this moisturising gel.. if you've tried it?