365. Happy New Year | 365 Complete & Goals for 2014

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Do you think I've changed much over the last 12 months?
Last year i decided to challenge myself to a 365 challenge - i challenged myself to blog every day throughout 2013 and by some miracle we have somehow reached post number 365 and i have officially completed that challenge. I'm not quite sure how i managed that but i am insanely relieved as towards to end it was starting to become difficult as i needed to have photos at the ready and i was starting to struggle with post ideas and it as just quite tiring to do overall as it required me to constantly be organised and know exactly what i wanted to post and when, so I'm very relieved to go back to posting as and when i feel like it. Of course i will still be posting regularly, i don't think id be able to stop myself from doing so but it just won't be every single day and i think I'm going to take a week off from posts - well I'm going to try!

As we prepare to leave the year behind; it usually around this time that everyone starts those 'new year, new start' epiphanies and whilst I'm looking forward to a turning over a new leaf I'm not under any illusion that the change in year means everything else changes too. I'm also not going to set any new years resolutions instead I'm going to set some goals that i hope to achieve.

In 2014 I want too:

Start my Driving Lessons:
I still kick myself for not starting my driving lessons as soon as was of age too, instead i kept putting it off, I'm now 22 and i have a monthly wage so now is a better time than any to start. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to send off for a new provisional first but this is one of my main goals this year to at least start my lessons.

Make Some Blog Changes:
I have a made a list of plans/goals that i want to do with my blog - no major changes of course, only improvements. Things like buying my domain, i want a brand new layout redesign and i want to improve on my photos, writing style and some of the content too.

Redecorate My Room:
As i still live at home with my mum and sister and I'm the youngest i have the smallest room that ever existed. I did decorate it when we first moved in last year but I'm sick of it and i want to completely re-do it all, including getting new furniture. My room is so cluttered with things and I'm tired of it and i just want it to be more grown up and more of a place to relax - i may consider creating a blog post/series out of it and show you how i plan to change it all or maybe ill do a room tour before and after kind of thing - let me know what you think?

Save Up & Invest in a New Camera:
Ive been using my bridge Camera for over 5 years now and i think it's on its way out, so I'm hoping to save up and upgrade to a DSLR. Ive been pining over one for absolutely ages and its something i now really want not only personally but i also feel that my blog will really benefit from it.

Read More:
This was a goal i also set for this year but realistically blogging everyday and trying to increase reading time wasn't going to work so well. So this year, i plan to read more and hopefully spend a little less time on my laptop. It'll be difficult because i practically live on the thing but i really want to read more and for that to happen i need to spend less time on here and find a way to balance between the two. I'm going to set myself a reading challenge over on goodreads (here, if you're interesting in tracking my progress) I'm going to start small and aim for 20 books and if i pass that i will then increase it.

Pay Off my Overdraft:
Deciding to live out during my second year of Uni was one of the worst decisions i ever made as i decided to get an overdraft and I've been in a constant battle to get out of it - so far i managed to decrease it by 50% but I'm hoping to get rid of it completely at the start of this year!

Start a Youtube Channel:
Ive mentioned this so many times on here before and I'm sure you lot are sick of me constantly ooing and arring over whether or not to do it but it's definitely something i hope to finally do in 2014. For me personally i find it scary because its showing more of me and its opening up that option for judgement and that it what scares me about it the most. I also worry people i know in real life won't understand it and ill judge me for it. It's something i really really want to do and i hope to battle with those inner demons that stop me from just doing it.

There's a few other goals like continuing to complete more of my 101 things in 1001 days list as that ends in December 2014 and also my 'kind of' make up ban but I've mentioned these multiple times before on my blog.

With my goals i decided to take a different route with them and avoided the usual banning of items or claiming to go on a diet because as much as i hope to make myself healthy, i just feel that setting them as a resolution automatically dooms it to fail so i just wanted to focus on the things i want to do in 2014.

Before i end this post, i just want to say a massive thank you to the people that have stuck by me during the 365 challenge it means a lot to see you commenting on my posts and i do recognise the people who frequently comment on them too, I'm so grateful to all of you, I look forward to see what the new year brings i hope that it presents itself with as many opportunities as 2013 did especially in terms of blogging. I really appreciate your support and i hope you continue to enjoy my blog as much as i enjoy writing it.

Have you set any New Year Resolutions/Goals for 2014?
Hope you have a lovely New Years Eve and 2014 treats you all well!
Happy New Year!
Natalie xx

364. Memory Jar 2013

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I purposely blurred this out for personal reasons.
Can you believe that this is the penultimate post of 365 challenge because i seriously can't? One of my resolutions this year was to keep a memory jar; filling up a jar with notes of all good things that happened no matter how big or small so that when the year ended I'd be able to remember all those little things that made me smile.

I was a bit lazy with the memory jar at times and would sometimes have to spend a bit of time recapping and writing down some of the memories and all the different things that made me smile which means i probably did miss some out but regardless of that i loved reading through these and seeing all the little things i got up to throughout 2013 and all those little things that made me happy.

I know to some people this might seem like such a lame idea but when you've had a bit of a shoddy year or you're feeling a little down it's really nice to pull some of the memories out and remember those little moments that did make you smile.

This is a tradition i intend to keep up and i will definitely be filling a jar for 2014.
Do you have a memory jar?
Natalie xx

363. Review | Seventeen Lip Crayon Kit

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When lip crayons started to become really popular i wasn't all that interested; of course, i was curious to try them but not so much that actively went out and bought one - i don't know why but i just wasn't all that bothered about them and then i picked up one of the Bourjois Colour Boost Lip Crayons and since then i just can't get enough. Whilst browsing what was left of the Boxing Day Sales in my local Boots - it was pretty poor, my local Boots is quite small compared to others so there wasn't as big a selection and come boxing day there isn't always much of the good things left. I did originally want to get my hands on the Ted Baker Lip Crayon set but of course they didn't have it, then i came across the Seventeen Lip Crayon Kit. A lot of the colours in there were quite similar to the ones in the Ted Baker set and at £5 i just couldn't put it back so it came home with me!

In this set you get 4 lip crayons; a mauvy pink, red, orange and purple fushcia type shade - my main gripe with this is the lack of names for the shades - it really winds me up. Other than that these are actually pretty damn good, they actually took me by surprise at how good they are. Ive tried a couple of them out and they apply quite sheer but they have really good colour pay off (seriously, my swatches don't do them justice) so you still get the effect of a bright colour just without it being really bold and in your face - i often prefer a more sheer application as it's a more comfortable way for me to wear brighter shades without feeling too on show.

They are easy to apply and just glide along the lips and they last for a good few hours too - i think this is a brilliant little kit because not only is it super affordable and the lip crayons good products, the range of shades you get are really versatile and there is something for all seasons - although that's not an essential reason for the items i just think its great that they've selected such a range of shades.

I'm really impressed with this little kit and would honestly recommend it, if you can still get your hands on it as they are brilliant lip crayons and it works out at about £1.25 per lip crayon, which is pretty good if you ask me!

Now before some of you comment with; what happened to your 'kind of ban' it is still going to happen but i had a seriously shoddy Christmas eve and i wanted a little bit of retail therapy (and i couldn't miss out on the sales) so it will start properly for the New Year!

Have you tried the Seventeen Lip Crayons? What goodies did you pick up in the sales?
Natalie xx

361. Overview | Boots Beauty Advent Calendar

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If you follow me on instagram or twitter then you'll know that i treated myself to the Boots Beauty Advent Calendar and I've been posting daily photos of what beauty item has been hiding behind each door - i thought it'd be interesting to do an overview here on my blog to share what was in it, my thoughts on it and whether or not its worth the money.

The advent calendar cost £30 which is quite steep for an advent calendar, i know that when i told my friend about it she thought i was absolutely crazy spending so much on an advent calendar but when you add up how much it all comes too - i believe it adds up to around £60+ it works out pretty good.

This advent calendar actually made me really excited for Christmas as each day it was really exciting knowing i was getting a new product each day! So what did i get?

Day One: Soap and Glory Clean Girls Body Wash
Day Two: Coconut Balmi Lip Balm
Day Three: Mavala Polish in London
Day Four: Nina Ricci Fragrance Sample
Day Five: Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation in Ivory
Day Six: Vichy Idealia Life Serum
Day Seven: Paco Robanne Black XS Fragrance Sample
Day Eight: Umberto Ginannini Hair Tie
Day Nine: Seventeen Supreme Shine Nail Polish
Day Ten: Orly Bonder Base Coat
Day Eleven: Ghost Fragrance Sample
Day Twelve: Boots Salon Nail Shine Solution
Day Thirteen: Vichy LifeActiv Serum 10
Day Fourteen: Juicy Couture Fragrance Sample
Day Fifteen: Seventeen Tattoo Me Liquid Eyeliner
Day Sixteen: Dotty Nail File
Day Seventeen: Soap & Glory Scrub
Day Eighteen: Ghost Fragrance (Different to the first one)
Day Nineteen: Classic Calmex Moisturising Lip Balm
Day Twenty: Mavala Polish in Pure Diamond
Day Twenty One: Botanics Heat Protection Shine Serum for hair
Day Twenty Two: Nails Inc Porchester Square
Day Twenty Three: Umberto Giannini Glam Hair Back comb in a Bottle
Day Twenty Four: Seventeen Blow Out Mascara

I actually gave two of the items away; the Balmi to my sister and the Backcomb in a Bottle to my mum just because i have a million and one lip balms and i already own the full size backcomb in a bottle so i figured I'd give them away.

There was a couple of items in here that really didn't impress me for instance the Umberto Giannini Hair Tie and the Dotty Nail File - i almost feel like they were just included for the sake of it, to build up the product list a little as to be honest they are pretty poor products - especially the Dotty Nail File, so i wasn't impressed with that. I also wish that they didn't include as many perfume samples as they did, I'm glad that they are scents i like or are familiar with and i will get use out of them as i always keep a mini perfume sample in my bag just in case I've forgotten to spray myself so they will come in handy but i would have preferred less.

Now, my biggest gripe with this is that one of the products was a sample of Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation, now don't get me wrong as i do really want to try this out but with the likes of a foundation the shade of it differs for every single person so how can they guarantee that it'll be suitable. Luckily, i have quite fair skin and i usually match with 'ivory' shades which this is but not every person will - what if i had a darker skin tone? It's not very fair it is? I definitely think for the likes of an advent calendar it should consist of products that can be used universally and not one that should really be matched with the individuals skin tone.

Other than those issues; i do actually really like everything else that i got - there are so many products in here that I've never tried before so i really like that I'll get the chance too. I'm absolutely thrilled with some of the products that I've got and I'm so excited to try them all out - i don't think you can go wrong with the likes of Soap and Glory products as it's a very rare occasion that I'm disappointed by them, there are also the items like the Orly Bonder Base Coat and the Nails Inc Nail Polish that really make this Advent Calendar worthwhile.

Minus the few hiccups that i mentioned earlier, i think these are brilliant advent calendars and it really makes that build up to Christmas even more exciting as you get a new product each day - I'm so glad i tried this and next year I'm definitely going to get another one, maybe this time ill branch out to one of the even bigger ones but either way i would honestly recommend an advent calendar like this especially if you love beauty items like i do!

What advent calendar did you have this year?
Natalie xx

360. FOTD | Christmas Day

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Firstly, can you believe that their is five days left of the 365 challenge because i honestly can not and i have no idea how the heck i have managed to maintain posting each day! Secondly, can you believe that Christmas is pretty much over already? To attempt to relive Christmas day for a little bit longer i thought I'd show you how i did my make up. I did plan to go for a proper bold lip but come Christmas day i just didn't feel like it so i kept it pretty simple (as usual).

My base make-up consisted of Benefit Fake Up Concealer* to cover my under eyes and YSL Youth Liberator Serum in B30 for my foundation, i added a Bourjous Delice De Soliel Bronzer onto the cheeks and blended it up into the temples just to add some colour into the face, and i blended a small amount of Etude House Watercolour Blush in Coral to add a little flush of colour to the cheeks - i then set everything in my place with my usual Benefit Hello Flawless Custom Cover Up Powder*

I kept the eyebrows very simple and just groomed them with Maybelline Brow Drama in Dark Brown and i created the eye look using Urban Decay's Naked 3 Palette - i used the shade 'Strange' all over the lid and the shade 'Limit' into the crease and then i took my Mac Eyeshadow in 'Satin Taupe' and blended it into the outer corner and used a clean fluffy brush to blend it all out and make sure there is no harsh lines. I lined the eyes with Rimmel Scandaleyes Micro Precision eyeliner and applied Maybelline the Falsies Mascara to the lashes.

I was intended on a big bold lip but i just wasn't feeling it so instead i went with Sonia Kashuk Tinted Lip Balm in Hint of Red.

I hope you liked this post; i tried to keep the description and process much more brief than my usual FOTD post, so please let me know if you prefer this more brief format. As i mentioned it was a very simple make up look and i used my new Enrapture Jumbo Waver on my hair and i really like how it turned out!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!
How did you wear your make-up?
Natalie xx

*This item was either gifted to me or sent for review

358. Christmas Eve Preparation

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Image Source

Before i even delve into this post I'm sorry Ive used a stock image (source link it in the caption) ideally, i would have used my own images each to accommodate each thing i do but Ive been working today and not had chance to take photos and i was so busy yesterday doing all last minute bits that it completely slipped my mind so this is going to have to do. I don't know why but every Christmas eve i have a little routine i like to do - i know it may seem daft but i just like to go all out for it and pamper myself a little too but as Ive been working today it was needed even more than usual to come home, relax and pamper myself with my little routine.

First things first, i like to tidy up my room - usually in the weeks leading up to Christmas i have a bit of a sort out and get rid of or donate some bits that I'm no longer using just to make it look more tidy and of course to create some space for some of the new things. Unfortunately, as work as been taking up a lot of my time lately i haven't had chance to have a proper sort out but i do  like to tidy it up a little and get rid of my usual floordrobe that's lying around and make it look a little more appropriate.

A staple item in my Christmas Eve routine is to change my bedding, i don't really know why this is a step i do but i love the feeling of clean sheets so i guess its more to do with that and its one of those special nights, It's all exciting and filled with such anticipation so i like to go all out with some new fresh bedding. I recently bought some bedding that looks a little christmassy that I'm going to use so I'm actually really excited to put this bedding on.

 Washing my hair is a must on Christmas Eve as i want to look my best the next day (possibly a really obvious step but bear with me) I did actually wash my hair yesterday as i wanted to have a lovely relaxing Lush bath because i still have some of the Christmas Lush Stuff and it just feels like the right time to use it and i also really want to have a lush bath because after a day in work it's a lovely way to relax and unwind!  I think I'm going to use my Lush 'Cinders' Bath Bomb, which is just lovely and it smells so good - I'm getting all excited just thinking about it.

After a lovely relaxing bath ill be getting straight into my christmassy pyjamas, I don't always buy new pjs for Christmas (shock horror) but this year i seem to have been bit by the Christmas bug, I'm usually a bit of a scrooge at Christmas but this year I'm actually really excited and i found myself purchasing some very christmassy pyjamas that i can't not wait to wear.

Once I'm all snug in my pyjamas; I'll paint my nails - i always paint them before special occasions and especially for Christmas day. This year I'm keeping it very simple with a red and glitter top which you can see in this post here, if you are interested in seeing what it'll be like!

As soon all those other steps are finished; i like to light some Christmas candles and chill out by either watching some christmassy movies, tv or vlogmas (anyone else freakin' obsessed with watching vlogmas or is it just me?) and of course an important step is to get to bed at a reasonable time ready for Santa to visit, don't want to be staying up all night and getting put on the naughty list now do we?

Do you have any little routines or traditions you do on Christmas Eve?
Natalie xx

357. My Christmas Nails

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A very quick post for you today as Christmas Eve's Eve is proving to be a very busy one but i thought id show you how i plan to paint my nails for Christmas Day. It's not fancy or any intricate nail art or anything in fact compared to others its probably quite boring but it's a little festive nonetheless. When it comes to special occasions like Christmas i always like to make the effort and one of the things i love doing is painting my nails.

This year I'm keeping it very simple with red as the base colour and glitter in the top to make it look a little more festive. The red i used it Mavala Nail Polish in London and the Mavala Nail Polish in Pure Diamond, i got both of these out of my Boots Advent Calendar and I'm really impressed with them, they apply so easily and dry really quickly so I'm really chuffed with those!

So yeah, a really quick post today but i thought you might like to see how i plan to do my nails for Christmas day!

Will you be painting your nails especially?
Natalie xx

356. Pen Pal Haul #7

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When it comes to Christmas I'm one of those people who likes to go a little bit overboard when it comes to presents and i always like to send more things to pen pal as a little Christmas treat too. I received a package off my pen pal yesterday and as you can see from the photos she really really spoiled me, I'm actually in shock as to how much she sent me, anyways i thought id do a little pen pal haul and show you all the goodies she sent me!

I received some of the basics like a letter, xmas card and also a couple of postcards from Texas - my pen pal lives in LA but her family live in Texas so she got these on a recent visit there. Also the little beaded ghosts and the robot her boyfriend sent to me as i sent a couple of sweet treats for him as he seems to enjoy all the things i send Ale.

She sent me a tonne of sweets, so rather than talk about each one individually I'm just going to list them all here:
- Ramune Carbonated Soft Drink
- Ramune Carbonated Soft Drink in Strawberry
- Twizzler 'Strawberry' Twists
- Charms Blow Pop Minis
- Palmer Peppermint Bark
- Dark Chocolate Covered Graham with Holiday Sprinkles
- Sour Patch Watermelon
- Wonka Chewy Spree
- Klik Cornflakes
- Twix Santa
- Snicker Peanut Butter Santa
- Nestle Crunch Crisp (I got two of these but i ate one - tasty!)

As well as all those lovely sweet treats; she also sent me Bath petal Vanilla Spice Body Lotion and Shower Gel and a couple of Sonia Kashuk products which made me so excited as it's not a brand that's available in the UK - she sent Sonia Kashuk Moisture Luxe Tinted Lip Balm in Hint of Red and Sonia Kashuk Eye Definer in Purple Passion. I love absolutely everything Ale has sent me and i can't not wait to try everything out.

I feel like I've been well and truly spoiled these past couple of days as not only did i receive this incredible package off Ale but i was really fortunate to win Emma from Glossy Boutique's giveaway (Thank you!!) and i received that the other day too and the prizes are just incredible, i feel so spoiled and so lucky and its not even Christmas yet!

Have you received any lovely packages lately?
Natalie xx

355. Review | YSL Youth Liberator Serum Foundation

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I've been wanting to invest in a new expensive foundation for the winter time and after spending a little while reading many reviews and debating which one to buy i settled on the YSL Youth Liberator Serum Foundation and i picked it up when i went to Liverpool at the end of last month - just a little disclaimer; I'm aware that these photos aren't the greatest but i found this really hard to photograph so they'll have to make do :(

I picked mine up from the YSL Counter in Debenhams and i was matched to the shade B30 Beige - i was a little worried because the lady that matched me literally had the worst make up ever, her red lipstick was pretty much all around her lips and it was rather dodgy looking, thankfully my sister was with me so she helped me to choose which shade looked better on me as well and so far I'm pretty happy with the shade; it's a little (emphasis on little) darker than a shade id normally go for but the shade lighter was way too light for me, however once it's blended in properly though (especially at the neck) i don't think it's too obvious and it actually looks nice - ill do a face of the day soon, showing you what it's like on as i didn't get chance to take photos for it and i was in work early today and the lighting was all funny when i tried to take them this morning!

The packaging for this is just gorgeous; like seriously the nicest foundation bottle i have ever owned. It looks so luxurious and i almost want to keep it out on display because it's just so pretty - it's a glass bottle which isn't too great if you are someone who travels a lot because i would be insanely paranoid about it smashing. However, i am extremely impressed with this foundation because it has a pump! I've noticed a lot of the more expensive foundations tend not to have pumps and you are expected to purchase a pump as well and then the lid of the foundation never bloody fits it which is super annoying so I'm really glad that this has a pump already.

The coverage of this foundation is a lot heavier than I'm used to, normally i always go for a very light coverage as i like a really natural finish, the coverage of this foundation is medium to heavy. Usually, the idea of a heavy coverage scares me and i always imagine it feeling really thick, heavy and just generally rather uncomfortable on my skin but this really doesn't feel heavy at all, in fact it feels quite light and nice on the skin which was a really pleasant surprise. It covers my imperfections, blemishes and evens out my skintone really well, i love using my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to apply this and I've found this to be such a great combination. I absolutely love how this makes my skin look; i feel like it makes my skin look quite flawless (not to sound big headed or anything) but it still looks really natural too which i really love about it! It blends out so nicely, it does take me a few minutes longer than usual but that's mostly because i like to be sure that I've blended it out properly so i like to spend a little bit of extra time on it.

This foundation is a little on the expensive side and it cost a whopping £37 so it's definitely a very luxury treat. When i bought this; i had a couple of vouchers so i managed to save a little bit of money on it but i honestly would pay the £37 for it as I'm rather impressed with it. It may be expensive but it's offers such great coverage, its not heavy on the skin, it leaves my skin looking flawless and just look at that bottle - its so beautiful.

Have you tried the YSL Youth Liberator Serum Foundation?
Natalie xx

351. Review | Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

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Normally when i buy a product i like to give it a good two to three weeks worth of testing but after getting this product last week i couldn't wait any longer to share it with you. As soon as i heard that they were releasing a Naked 3 palette i knew that i had to get my hands on it.

The Naked 3 palette consists of 12 rose/pink toned neutral eyeshadows - this could possibly be my favourite one so far, the range of shades are absolutely gorgeous and i think it has come at the perfect time as these could create some lovely autumn/winter make up looks. The packaging of this is the same tin design as the Naked 2 but this is more lighter in colour and has a ridged design on top which i really like.

Like all other Urban Decay Eyeshadows these are amazing quality. They are super pigmented (my swatch photos, do not do them justice) and they blend out really well and are really easy to apply. They last all day without creasing - i always wear an eye primer when i wear eyeshadow so i can't comment how they are without - I really love Urban Decay Eyeshadows and this palette does not let them down at all.

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Along with the palette you got a few dual ended eyeshadow brush and some samples of all their primer potions - including original, sin, eden and an anti ageing one - I've only ever tried the original one and i love it but I'm looking forward to trying the others out too and i think its great that they give you little samples and the sachets say that each one should last you a week so i think that's really great!

Overall, this palette costs £37 which is quite expensive but i think these palettes are worth the money, regardless of whether you get the Naked 1, 2 or even this one they are a worthwhile investment to your collection and they are so versatile with the looks you can create with them. I own all three and i absolutely love them all.

I'm loving this Naked 3 Palette and I'm so happy i was able to get my hands on one as no doubt they be selling out pretty quickly over the next few weeks!

Will you be getting the Naked 3 Palette?
Natalie xx

350. Review | Maybelline Brow Drama

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So ill be the first one to admit that when it comes to eyebrows I'm still a bit of a novice; i probably don't help myself because although i may tweeze the few stray hairs that appear i tend to leave them to do as they please (I'm sorry, but it hurts) so although i do fill them in and neaten them up, they never look as amazing as I've seen other people get theirs. My usually brow routine would be to fill them in with HD 'Foxy' Brows Kit and set them with a clear mascara which ill be honest is a routine that works absolutely fine with me.

Then Maybelline released their Brow Drama and it threw a little spanner into the works because its like a mascara for your brows and the weirdo in me was extremely intrigued by it, it's described as ' a tinted brow sculpting mascara', i opted for the shade dark brown because when i compared it to the  medium brown i felt it would be more suited to me.

If worn alone it doesn't really make a great deal of impact on your brows as it doesn't transfer a great deal of colour but its not to bad if your just looking for a more natural look and just wanting to groom and neaten them up. I personally fill in my brows with my HD Palette and then apply this on top so it's basically replaced the job of the clear mascara but this just had a hint of colour in it.

One thing i have noticed it that once you've applied this and it's set in place it doesn't budge and pretty much holds your brows up until you remove it. For people who want to create a really full brow i don't think you'll be as keen on this but i personally like it because i got for a very subtle brow anyway so it works fine for me.

Have you tried the Maybelline Brow Drama?
Natalie xx

349. Happy 2nd Blog Birthday | 10 Things I've Learned About Blogging

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Can you believe that my blog turned a whopping two years old today? Because i can't, i guess its true what they say time really does fly when your having fun. I just want to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to everyone that follows my blog whether its by GFC or Bloglovin', I'm so grateful to everyone and i appreciate all the support and lovely comments I've been left over the past to years and i look forward to blogging for many more. Seeing as I've been here for a little while i thought I'd share with you 10 things I've learned about blogging.

1. The Community is Amazing...
I've mentioned this so many times but the community that surrounds blogging is amazing, for a subject that could result in so much hate and bitchiness it's amazing how supportive everyone is to each other. I love how interactive it is and i honestly think that the community is one of the reasons i continue to blog.

2. Their are so Many Opportunities...
If you'd have told me when i first started blogging that i would have been invited to a Benefit Launch or receive some of the wonderful things i have done, i would never have believed you. Blogging really opens up the door to so many opportunities - it makes me really proud of my blog when people contact me in regards of my blog, it makes me feel like I'm doing alright and like its appreciated and i love that.

3. I Find Myself Surrounded by Lists...
It's quite ridiculous how many lists i found myself with when it comes to blogging - i have lists of post ideas, list that has a schedule of when to post,  lists of post i want to draft and when i want them publishing, lists of photos i need to take and i also have lists that might aid a post (i.e. a fotd post, ill make a list of the make-up) it's insane how many lists i find.

4. You Can't Please Everyone...
It's so easy to fret about whether everyone will like what you post but I've come to accept that not everyone is going to love it - you will never be able to please every single person so if you want to post something, just do it.

5. People Always Get My Name Wrong...
People get my name mixed up all the time - i understand that 'youralmostalice' may mislead you into thinking I'm called Alice but i sign off every post with my name and it says it in my side bar and on my about me page. I don't to come across as rude but its so annoying sometimes because i hate having to correct people and it irritates me sometimes because it just suggests to me that the people have actually read my blog properly.

6. It's Very Time Consuming...
I spend so much time on my blog; whether its dedicating a few hours to taking photos, spending an evening drafting up posts or even planning what posts to do - it takes up so much of your time. Even if I'm not dealing with my own blog, I'm reading other peoples it's surprising how much time it consumes.

7. You'll Want Everything...
If you read as many blogs as i usually do, you'll end up with wishlists as long as our arm. I only need to read one or two reviews of a product to convince myself i need it in my life, its ridiculous.

8. Your Bank Balance Suffers...
This is a continuation of the last one - these wishlist you make and all these products you find yourself wanting, they bully your bank balance and make it suffer.

9. You Don't Use New Products Until They've Been Photographed...
I have a little box in my drawer that homes brand new products waiting to be photographed - it's torture as i really just want to try them all but i just can't bring myself to do it until they've all had their photos taken and it takes me even longer to be able fit little photo sessions in as work takes alot of my mornings and by the time I'm home its miserable so i usually have to wait til Sunday!

10. It's so Rewarding and Definitely One of the Best Decisions I Ever Made...
I will hold my hand up and say there have been days when i feel like giving up (especially during this 365 challenge, roll on the end) or when I've felt so uninspired but with blogging the good seriously outweighs the bad, it's so rewarding - whether it be the opportunities that come along with it or all the amazing support and response you get from the readers and i can honestly say that starting my blog is one of the best decisions i ever made and I'm so proud of it.

Happy 2nd Blog Birthday, youralmostalice - i look forward to celebrating many more!

Natalie xx

348. FOTD | Updated Everyday Make-Up

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It's been a while since I've done a face of the day; I've been finding myself reaching for the same selection of products for the past few weeks so i thought id share with you an updated everyday make-up routine, funnily enough this is probably going to change quite soon as i may have treated myself to the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette and i can't wait to try it out as soon as its been photographed! (#bbloggerproblems)

As always my make-up is pretty natural - the middle photo isn't the greatest but its the only photo that gives an inkling to the eyeshadow I'm wearing, I'm hoping to invest in a better camera soon as mine seems to suck at picking up colour and not to mention this crappy lighting isn't helping so much but to achieve this look i applied Monu Calming Cream to my chin and a little the faded burn marks on the side of my face to reduce the redness there, i primed with Sheer Cover Base Perfector and pre-concealed my under eyes, chin and the burns with Benefit Fake Up Concealer in Light*, I've rekindled my love for this concealer lately as the hydrating ring around the concealer is really moisturising and great to use especially with the weather being colder and it's covering my dark circles really well too. My go to foundation at the moment is also my newest one (and most expensive) the YSL Youth Liberator Serum Foundation in B30 Beige and so far I'm loving it, it has great coverage and leave my skin looking so nice - I'll be doing a full review on it soon!

Moving onto the brows; as usual i fill them in with the HD 'Foxy' Brow Kit and then set those in place with the Maybelline Brow Drama in Dark Brown - if I'm in a rush or just not feeling like it, sometimes i skip filling them in with the HD Brow Kit and just groom and set them with Maybelline's Brow Drama. After I've primed my eyes (Urban Decay Primer Potion of course) i apply Rimmel London Glam'eyes Mono Eyeshadow in Punchy Taupe all over the lid and then blend Mac Eyeshadow in Satin Taupe into the outer corner - Ive been loving wearing these two eyeshadows together, it's a really subtle neutral look but the Satin Taupe just adds a little extra definition to the eyes. Some days I'd tightline and line a third of my waterline with Rimmel London Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner in Taupe, it's still very neutral but it adds to the eye look, i mostly only wore the eyeliner on days off - to finish the eyes i applied Benefit They're Real Mascara.

I added a little Rimmel London Wake Me Up Concealer in Ivory to my under eyes and warmed up the face a little with Bourjois Delice de Soleil Bronzer, Ive been loving this bronzer lately it applies so nicely to the face and i love how it looks, after I've applied the bronzer i set my face with my usual Benefit Hello Flawless Custom Cover Up Powder in Gee, I'm Swell Ivory* and then i finish off the base with Smashbox Blush/Soft Lights Duo in Passion/Shimmer to the cheeks and this gives my skin such an amazing glow and flush to the cheeks and I'm loving using it.

The two lip products I've been wearing the most are my Barry M Lipgloss in Toffee - which is the one I'm wearing in the photo, it's has the best formula for a lipgloss and this particular one smells amazing and on the days I'm wanting a more bold lip I've been reaching for Bourjois Colourburst Lip Crayon in Red Sunrise.

So that is the make-up look I've been wearing a lot lately, its really natural and wearable. I wear this both for work and just general everyday and I've really been enjoying wearing it.

What products have you been reaching for on a day-to-day basis?
Natalie xx

*This item was either gifted to me or sent for review

347. Love Me Beauty (Edition Two) | December

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I love the concept of beauty boxes; a box of goodies sent on a monthly basis what's not to love? Ive tried two different ones and each time it didn't end well; firstly Glossybox, i was subscribed to this for about 5 months and i decided to cancel it because i was tired of being constantly sent the same thing, especially rank perfume samples. The i decided to try Carmine because i kept hearing good things about it and i was very impressed but then it announced it was going to be joining forces with Glossybox so i never re-subscribed and after than i decided i just wasn't going to bother anymore.

However, for the past few months I've been reading endless positive reviews about Love Me Beauty and I've been fighting the temptation to subscribe for a while but overtime a new post was up (I'm looking at you Birds Words) id find myself more and more tempted - then last week i decided enough was enough, i wanted in and less then a week later i had my first box! One of the amazing things about love me beauty is that you can choose from 3 different editions - they are pretty similar but all vary a little bit so if one isn't quite what you are after one of the others might be, you can also choose to receive a random one so it's a surprise which you get or if you don't like the look of it at all you can skip it. I love that its not obligatory to get it every month and that you have the option and i think that's one of the things that really made me want to subscribe because i wont have to receive one for the sake of it. I also really like that it doesn't have a proper box - as useful as the glossyboxes were to have sometimes, you end up with loads of empty ones lying around with no purpose so so far this is ticking all the right boxes for me!

I opted for edition two but to be honest, they all looked pretty good and i have to say so far I'm very impressed!

So inside edition two there is:

Lord & Berry Intensity Lipstick in Glazed Pink (Full Size)
This is a beautiful nude pink shade; i already own a good few nude pink shades but this shade is a little different to the others it's almost a 'your lips but better' kind of shade - it'll be ideal to wear for work, on natural days or even to pair with a really intense eye look. The Lord & Berry Lipsticks are enriched with macadamia oil and waterlily extract to form a really hydrating formula and to help keep the lips in tip top condition.

Lord & Berry Kiss Proof Lip Liner in Romantica (Full Size)
According to the little leaflet in the box i think this lip liner should actually be the shade 'Seduction' but i got Romantica instead - however, I'm not too fussed either way because this is a gorgeous pink colour - its almost a bubblegum pink, i have a couple if pink lip liners but i don't think i have any that are like this colour so regardless of the change in shade I'm pretty happy to have this anyway. Like the lipstick, this is enriched with macadamia oil and waterlily extract that helps create the ideal formula so its long lasting and creates the perfect lines - it can also be used as an all over lip colour too.

Headline Colours Nail Polish in Quicksand (Full Size)
Ive actually never heard of Headline before, at least i don't think i have but I'm looking forward to trying this out because the description that comes on the leaflet makes this sound so good - it claims that the formula boasts a high colour pigment for a rich and intense colour and gloss. It also apparently has a blend of plasticisers that allow the nails to flex without the colour cracking, chipping or flaking - this sounds way too good to be true so I'm looking forward to testing it out, especially in work because my nail polish never survives a shift. I like the look of this shade 'Quicksand' too, it's described as a light chocolate nude and i think this will be a great colour to wear during winter!

S5 Restore Cream (15ml Sample)
This is an anti-ageing moisturiser; it contains some natural proteins that claim to increase the hydration of the skin by up to 30% - during the colour month my skin always feels really dull and dry, so I'm definitely going to see if this is really as hydrating as it claims. It also claims to help the skin adapt to stress caused temperature fluctuations as well as protect against sun damage and radiation all whilst reducing and battling against wrinkles. I think if this is good it'd be one of those 'wonder products' but at the same I'm already a little cynical because of how many things it claims to do - too good to be true?

Rodial Glamtox Day (15ml Sample)
This is another moisturiser that's used to help combat wrinkles, this apparently has micro-injected hyaluronic and myrhh extract to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles whilst hydrating and protecting the skin against moisture loss. If that was it id have been quite annoyed at receiving to samples of pretty much the same thing but it also says this is a great base for make up and a lot of people really like using it as a primer so it's kind of redeemed itself a little bit.

I'm really happy with this box; it's a great selection of products, it arrived really quickly and i just generally love the concept of love me beauty! I'm already looking forward to see what next month's box is!

Are you subscribed to any beauty boxes?
Natalie xx

345. Rediscovered | Barry M Lipgloss in Toffee

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Don't you just love it when you use a product you haven't used in a while either because its been put back into the drawer or you used it all up and took a while to repurchase it and you rekindle that love for it - well this is one of those; its probably my all time favourite lip gloss and the only one i have ever fully used up. I repurchased the Barry M Lip Gloss in Toffee (£4.49) when i went to Liverpool quite recently and i forgot just how much i loved it

Ive mentioned many times on my blog that when it comes to lip glosses I'm quite funny with them; i hate how sticky and unpleasant some can be but this is nothing like that. Barry M have the best formula when it comes to lip glosses as they are so creamy and really nice to wear on the lips, it isn't sticky nor is it too thick its just the perfect formulation.

The colour toffee or '2' as its represented on the tube is a very neutral nude shade and its the perfect product for everyday use, its currently one of my go to products for daily wear especially for work - it gives my make up look a boost whilst still being appropriate for work. It's sheer and this particular shade doesn't show to much colour but it does have a nice hint of colour. It doesn't last on the lips for a great deal of time which people might see as a negative to the product but i don't care i love this lip gloss way to much and i reapply my lip products throughout the day anyway so that doesn't make too much of a difference to me.

My favourite thing about this particular lip gloss other than its incredible formula is the scent, it honestly smells incredible - it's such a nice smell, usually with toffee you would think it would be quite a sickly and overpowering kind of scent but this is just really nice, it almost makes me want to lick my lips.

I honestly love this lip gloss and I'm so glad i decided to pick it up again because i forgot just how much i love using it. If your like me and hate all the sticky formula lip glosses or you are in the market for a new lip gloss id definitely recommend checking out Barry M!

 Whats your favourite lip gloss?
Natalie xx

343. Review | Bourjois Colour Boost Lip Crayon in Red Sunrise

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You may remember a little while ago i raved about the Bourjois Colour Boost Lip Crayon in Orange Punch (See here) and i said i really wanted to try some others, and on my recent visit to Liverpool (post here and haul here) i picked another one up, this time i opted for the shade Red Sunrise, i don't know what it is about lip product but i always seem to go for red shades i already have so many but I'm literally addicted and keep buying them - i went for this particular shade because i wanted a new (or should i just say another) red shade for autumn and winter that was a little more wearable than the likes of my Rimmel '107' - something i could put on during the day, that was easy to apply and would instantly boost my make-up.

Similarly to the Orange Punch one this is a brilliant lip product and i love everything about it; it's applies easily as it just glides onto the lips, its really moisturising to wear and i love the packaging too as its simple and sleek and it doesn't need to be sharpened as its a twist up which gets extra bonus points from me.

Red Sunrise is a very pink toned red, it's a gorgeous bold colour but its still quite muted so it doesn't feel to over the top - it's a really gorgeous colour and I've been loving wearing it as its such an easy colour to wear. It also lasts for ages on the lips, i wore this when i went watching Bruno Mars and it stayed on my lips throughout the entire evening, it does come off when you eat but other than that it does stay on really well.

I just love these lip crayons by Bourjois and i definitely plan on getting more shades - I've got my eye on Peach on the Beach or Plum Russian next!

Have you tried the Bourjois Colour Boost Lip Crayons?
Natalie xx