Saturday, 27 June 2015

Where have I been? An Explanation

So the one day I hadn't blogged in a week and then suddenly I hadn't blogged in 3 months. All the days blurred into one super quickly and it literally just hit me yesterday how long it had been since I sat down and wrote a post. I never meant to go so long without blogging but life kind of piled up on me and I could barely cope with the amount of stuff I had to do without having time to try and make content worthy of publishing; so I took a long impromptu break from blogging and pretty much abandoned apieceofelish. I'm super sorry for not posting and I really really want to make it up to you all with some fab content (at least I hope it will be fab) over the summer. 

For my first post back I thought I'd kind of sum up what I've been up to (all the stuff that has made me so MIA) over the past couple of months with a few photos so you can get a feel for how busy I've been. 

I spent a bunch of time prepping and revising for my GCSEs in May and June (which saw me give up all hobbies and become a hermit for a good 6 weeks) so when I finally finished on June 19th, I was so excited to head to leavers night and get my social life back. All in all leavers night was a bit of a let down (just a bunch of kids drinking in a field with a fire) but it was nice to see all my school friends again as some of them had already left school on the 12th. I left my secondary school forever on June 19th and the teachers organised an amazing leavers day where we got shirts signed, cried at form tutors soppy speeches about how much they would miss us and released balloons with our 'hopes and dreams' tied to them to symbolise us 'going out into the world'- to be honest the balloon thing was a bit far fetched but it did make for some hella good Instagram photos of them flying away. 

In the middle of exam season, my netball team was lucky enough to compete in the U16 national club finals in Essex after qualifying from our region. It was a weekend of tough matches (I definitely couldn't move on the Monday and I was bruised from head to toe) but it was amazing! I was super grateful to be picked to captain the team and it was an amazing experience. We came 13th (18 teams competed at the finals but hundreds of clubs has entered at the start) so we were definitely proud of ourselves and our performance. For those of you who don't know, I play netball religiously for my region and my club as GK/GD/WD and I couldn't get by without it, I have so many fab friends through it and it helps keep me fit (which is a bonus considering I love Nutella too much to eat healthy 24/7).

Following exams I've also been going to a few parties which have been pretty amazing for an antisocial person like myself. I recently went to one of my netball friend's parties where I barely knew 5 people and I came away with about 10 new friends who are all super lovely. I was definitely a little nervous before the party (I think anyone would be going into a place where there's 40 people you don't know) but I enjoyed it so much and I'm definitely excited to go to a few more parties in the summer- hopefully. I've also been to a few of my friends prom's to see how beautiful they look and it's got me super excited for my prom next week, ahhhh I'm so excited to get all dressed up and see everyone in heels and dresses instead of knee length skirts and blazers! I also recently met up with the girls I went to India with in York and we had such a good day. We hired two speed boats and we split ourselves between them and then spent an hour driving like lunatics up and down the river. The weather was amazing and admittedly I did get a little sunburnt (which didn't leave the best tan lines since I was wearing a cutout shoulder top). I honestly love all the India girls so much and I'm super excited to be planning another meetup for this summer.

The definite highlight of my summer so far (which is 11 weeks long thanks to GCSEs finishing in June) was when me and my bestie Amy went to see Taylor Swift in Manchester. I was so happy when Amy offered me the ticket and it honestly was amazing and so worth the long journey there. Taylor was fab from start to finish. I've been obsessed with her 1989 album since I got it for Christmas but I was beyond happy when Taylor played some of her older stuff too (like love story and we are never getting back together) because her older stuff honestly make up some of my favourite songs so I'm glad she dug it up from the archive. The concert had incredible lighting as each person was given a chunky white bracelet taped to their seat which, when the first song began, lit up and alternated colours to the beat which looked incredible as the whole stadium was aglow. As if it couldn't have got any better, Vance Joy opened the concert. I didn't know much of his music aside from riptide but his voice is heavenly and he honestly seemed so sweet and lovely- I'd totally recommend giving his song Georgia a listen to if you've got a minute, it's sooooo calming and beautiful.

My summer so far has been amazing and I'm hoping it will only get better. I've got so many things to look forward too- a holiday to Spain and work experience to name a few- and I'm betting this is going to be the best summer yet.

Wow that was a rambly and long first post back and if you've made it to the end then congratulations because you've definitely got a bunch of patience and determination. 

It feels so good to be getting back into the swing of blogging and I hope this post wasn't too boring (I know my life isn't the most exciting one).

Whilst I've been gone, what have you been up to?  

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Elish xo

Sunday, 1 March 2015

The Netflix Tag

As a self confessed Netflix addict, in desperate need of a Netflix anonymous meeting, when I saw there was a tag going around about Netflix I knew I had to it. I honestly can't get over how much I love Netflix. It's the one thing I'm actually happy to pay for each month, which is saying something because I'm pretty tight with my money (I'm not so tight with other peoples though). So here I am breaking the rules having not been tagged and answering the tag anyway, Netflix has made me into an anti social rebel and I regret none of it. 

1) What are you favourite series' to watch on Netflix?

When I say I've watched a bunch of series' on Netflix I should probably actually say pretty much every series. Some of my absolute favourites are The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, White Collar, The Good Wife and House of Cards.

2) What are you currently watching on Netflix? 

I'm currently working my way through The 4400 which I'm loving, it's a sci-if drama about 4400 people returning from the future with mysterious powers, it sounds a bit far fetched but it's actually surprisingly good. I'm also coming to the end of season 4 of White Collar and I'm praying Netflix upload season 5 and 6 too because Matt Bomer in a suit has become my life.

3) If you could have any series, old or new, put on Netflix what would it be?

I actually think Netflix is pretty good for the variety of TV shows it's the films they need to start uploading more of- I mean I've heard rumors that the Canadian Netflix has The Fault In Our Stars, Netflix UK needs to pick up its game. But if there's one series I did wish Netflix had in the UK it'd be Grey's Anatomy (but maybe it's a good thing because if it was on a Netflix I'm pretty sure I'd never leave the house).

4) What is your one peeve about Netflix?

That the US and Canada have so much more to watch than the UK. I'd like to start a petition for Netflix equality in every country so we can all have the same choice. The day when I can watch Grey's Anatomy in the UK will be a very happy day indeed (and probably a long day too as a Netflix marathon would definitely be needed).

5) What are your essentials for a perfect night in with Netflix?

Fluffy socks to keep my toesies warm, chocolate to soothe the pain when I realise my life will never be like Blair Waldorf's and on point brows so in the few seconds of darkness between episodes when I see my reflection in the screen I'm not totally horrified.

6) Recommend one series or film for someone.

White Collar. It's honestly the best thing I've watched in ages and the thing is it only gets better with every season. Oh and Matt Bomer is an absolute babe. 

All this talk about Netflix has inspired me to go and watch some more Netflix. I'd love for you to give this tag a go if you too watch Netflix a little bit too much and could do with some help curbing the addiction but can't bring yourself to do it.

What's your favourite show on Netflix? 

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Elish xo

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Thursday, 29 January 2015

Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Blusher Stick in Onomatopeacha

I don't think there's a thing from Soap and Glory that I've tried and haven't liked. My latest pick-up from Soap and Glory was from their makeup line which I seem to be a little bit obsessed with recently. The 'Sexy Mother Blusher sticks' are gorgeous little cream blushers in a matte black twist up tube. At £9 they're a lot more affordable than higher end products which do just the same as this (I'm talking about you here Clinique chubby sticks). They currently come in 3 colours, Onomatopeacha (which I knew I had to get immediately), Berry Jamm and Pinker Belle. As ever the names are super cute and creative and they definitely match the products.

Onomatopeacha is an absolutely gorgeous coral peach shade. It looks a bit bright in the tube and swatched but when on the skin it blends to a gentle glow which looks gorgeous on any skin tone. There's not a hint of shimmer in the blusher which I love because I find when blushes have shimmer in them it just ends up looking too shiny on your cheeks- I'd much rather use a highlighter to give my cheeks a bit of a glow than a blusher which tries to be a 2 in 1, so shout out to Soap and Glory for giving me that option and not making me look like a disco ball.

The formula of these is fab. It applies on the skin as smoothly as a foundation and blends out just as easily as one too. I do love a good cream blush because they seem to last so much longer that powder blushes because it's so much easier to build up a strong colour with less product. The pigmentation of these is also amazing, just one swipe of the blush is enough to create a subtle peachy cheek which looks so natural and definitely warms up the face. However I would be a bit careful when applying this as too much and just look like you've used your blusher as war paint. If you're a bit nervous about it being too dramatic I find it works just as well to pat it onto a brush before and then blend it into your cheeks. But I'm usually too lazy for that extra step and to be honest I find drawing the lines on my cheeks kind of fun- just me?

I love the ease of these little blush sticks. You can just dot it onto your cheeks and blend it using your fingers which gives you a gorgeous natural glow without a streak in sight (unless you've been a bit heavy handed which I'm definitely guilty of). I'm also a bit obsessed with the packaging, the matte black stick really does give it a high end look and I love the little touch of the coloured writing and lid matching to the colour of the blush. Packaging is always something Soap and Glory know how to do well and the matching blush/lid colour definitely saves me a few precious moments on a morning.

Soap and Glory have definitely done it again with this one, the packaging is gorgeous and the product is even better. I'd love to see a few more shades added to the range because I'd definitely be getting my hands on them ASAP.

What's your favourite Soap and Glory product?

Thanks for reading lovelies,
Elish xo

Saturday, 24 January 2015

A Little Boots Haul: Soap and Glory and Boots Botanics

Usually I'm not a fan of online beauty shopping, I prefer to see products in store to make sure I pick a shade that suits my skin to avoid a fatal oompalumpa situation which I think everyone has experienced at least once (me more than most having such pale skin). However I was having a little scroll of boots online after regretting not picking up something from their botanics skincare range when I was last in store. I then also managed to stumble across a £3 off selected soap and glory products promotion code, and on top of this soap and glory was already having buy one get one half price. So somehow I managed to purchase £32 worth of products for £17, I'm now online shoppings biggest fan (and I now have a bunch of boots points to spend too!)

The first thing I picked up was something I've heard every man and their dog talk about in the blogging world: Soap and Glory brow archery. I honestly think brows can make or break your face and if I had to only choose one product to take with me on a desert island it would definitely be a brow product, and I'm pretty sure it would be this one. For £10 (or £7 with the promo code) you get a brow tint and a brow pencil. The brow tint is out of this world, it's so simple to use and it makes the sleekest and most natural looking brows with just a swipe of a hand. The only bad thing about this product is that it doesn't come in more shades but for now brownie points matches pretty well to my brows.

Also from Soap and Glory I picked up a sexy mother blusher stick in the shade onomatopeachia for a whopping £1.50. Somehow all the promotions reduced this blusher by £7.50, I have literally never been happier because this blusher is beautiful and definitely worth it's full price. It's a gorgeous peachy coral which looks good on all skin tones and gives you that soft glow without being too in your face. I love the creamy formula and I especially love how it's in a stick! I'm a massive sucker for gorgeous packaging and this one ticks all the boxes.  

Onto what I actually set out to pick up: Boots Botanics Rosewater Toning Spritz. I've been looking to try and improve my skincare routine for a while instead of just staring at products I don't actually use. I tried this out on my hand in store and it just felt so light and refreshing that as soon as I got home I knew I should have gotten it. I love it's light rose scent, it's not too heavy that it smells chemical but still smells delicious when sprayed onto the face. It's definitely refreshing and super soothing to use and I look forward to it being a regular in my skincare routine- oh and did I mention it's 100% organic?

Another Botanics product I picked up was the shine away ionic clay mask. It's pretty much your typical clay mask, it sets on the face and then you wash it off. I haven't been able to give this a go yet but I'm excited to because I've heard it's just as good as higher end products. I don't really have oily skin but recently my foreheads been looking a bit shiny and clogged and this mask is also supposed to be created at unclogging pores so I really hope it lives up to my expectations.

I'm so excited to get using all of these products and hopefully get some reviews up on all of them so I can let you know what I really think of them rather than just a first impressions. Also I forgot to mention but Boots delivery and online service really is fantastic. I made my order on a Saturday, received a email saying it had been despatched on Monday and then a text on Tuesday to say it would be with me that day. Also the website is super easy to navigate which is always great since I'm a bit of a dummy when it comes to finding my way round (online and in real life).

Do you prefer to shop online or in store for beauty products?

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Elish xo

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

My Top 5 Healthy Snacks

Like the majority of the population, one of my New Years resolutions is to try and eat healthier. I don't want to deny myself anything- I love Cadburys chocolate too much for that- but I am trying to get my 5 a day and eat healthy for most of the week. However the same can't be said for Saturday and Sunday, when the weekend comes so do the calories- I'm talking takeaways and McFlurrys. 

During the week, when I'm trying to stick to my healthy diet, I find myself (especially after spending the full day at school) craving something to eat way before dinner time. I usually find myself making myself an almost healthy snack that still tastes quite nice- like I said I don't want to deny myself anything, especially when I have such a sweet tooth.

Apple slices with peanut butter

I cannot express my love for peanut butter. Even though I'm usually a Nutella girl through and through, peanut butter is a little bit healthier- especially the organic crunchy stuff- and I love to throw it on the side of anything. I love slicing up an apple and dipping it in some peanut butter, and if I have a little extra time I absolutely love making little apple and peanut butter sandwiches by slicing the apple horizontally and then spreading the peanut butter across- yummmmmmy.

Ryvita pumpkin seeds and oats crispbread 

Pretty much the only savoury snack on the list (which shows my sweet tooth) but I love the ryvita crispbreads. They do them in a bunch of flavours but my favourite has to be the pumpkin seeds and oats. They basically taste like a cracker but they're so much better for you at only 44 calories a slice. I love them dry but I also think they taste amazing with a bit of philadelphia or if I fancy something sweet (which I always do) I love to butter them up with peanut butter and slice a banana on top, it's so good! I'm making myself hungry just thinking about them.

Low fat Greek style natural yogurt with fruit and golden syrup

To be honest I love all yoghurts- especially the frozen type- but I'm seriously natural yogurts biggest fan. It's super healthy and so multi-purpose. One day it'll be on my curry (which obviously needs to be made milder than it already is because even after a summer in India, I'm still a wimp when it comes to spicy food) and the nest I'll be chucking some grapes and syrup on it. I know I should really use honey as a sweetener since it's more natural and better for you but I just have too much of a sweet tooth and I can't say no to a bit of golden syrup- especially when we have 3 jars of it in the cupboard.

Nākd bars

I've looked at this little lovelies on the shelves of tescos for ages and just haven't picked them up. I was really unsure about them at first- considering their main ingredient is dates regardless of the flavour- but I've been pleasantly surprised. Nāked bars are 100% vegan and have a chewy cake like texture, the flavours vary but they're all natural and pretty good for you! Each one is one of you're 5 a day which can't be bad for something which tastes like cake! I recommend the apple pie and Bakewell tart flavours if anyone's interested, they're to die for.

Mixed nuts 

Another sweet snack which I'm obsessed with is a mixed nuts. I grab a handful throw them in a tub and eat to my hearts content. Nuts are an amazing source of fibre so help maintain a healthy digestive system but they're quite fattening (even if they are good fats) so watch out. I love the nuts with dry fruits as well because you get a little bit of sweetness but it's still healthy! What's not to like?

Needless to say, after writing this post, I'm off to make all 5 of my favourite snacks and attempt to eat them all at once without feeling guilty! I'll let you know how it goes!

I'd love some more healthy snack recommendations, what are you favourite go to healthy snacks?

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Elish xo

Sunday, 18 January 2015

All About That Base: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

I'm not really a big foundation wearer to be honest, half the time I don't have the patience to blend it nicely at 7am and usually my skin's not too bad so I don't feel the need to cover it up- but, unfortunately, not everyday is a good skin day. I still wear foundation a bit when my skin's just not looking 100% or for a special occasion to give me a flawless look to my face. When I do wear it, I've been using the real techniques foundation brush from the core collection to apply it but even though it is a great brush, I personally find it too small for applying foundation and it takes soooo long because it's so small. However the quality of the brush is fabulous and I'm a massive real techniques fan so when I saw they did sponge for applying foundation I picked it up ASAP.

The 'miracle complexion sponge' is undoubtably a dupe for the beauty blender but at a much more affordable price of £5 compared to £14. The sponge has 3 different ways in which you can use it. You can use the sides to quickly blend over large areas of the face, the pointed tip to cover small imperfections precisely and lastly the flat edge to apply foundation or concealer around the nose and eyes. I seem to use the flat edge the most because it's the most versatile. It fits perfectly under the eyes to quickly blend concealer but it also is big enough to do the rest of your face too if you work quickly. 

The sponge can be used wet or dry depending on how smoothly and seamlessly you want the application to be. The sponge pretty much doubles in size when it's fully saturated with water. I find it easy to use it dry or just a little bit damp because I find if it's wet the foundation can go on a bit patchy which is never good. However if you are working with a really quick drying concealer or foundation just dampening the sponge a little can be a miracle worker.

I never thought a sponge would be able to achieve such a flawless finish on my skin but this little thing sure does, it creates a flawless finish which really does look like skin. I love how quick and simple it is to use this sponge and it's so much easier to clean than brushes. It's suggested to wash the sponge ever 1 to 3 uses so to stay safe I picked the middle and wash mine every 2 uses which works a treat. To wash you simply run it under the tap and use a bit of soap in your hand to get rid of all of the foundation and bacteria it's absorbed. Then when the bulk of the direct is gone just squeeze the excess water out and leave it to dry. Drying literally takes 20 minutes which is so much quicker than how long it takes my brushes to dry.

I know a lot of people are a bit hesitant of using a sponge to apply foundation because it seems like it would absorb all your foundation and attract bacteria but as long as you don't use too much foundation and keep it washed regularly I don't find any problems with using this little baby. I've been completely converted to using make-up sponges, they're so little hassle compared to brushes!

Have you ever tried a makeup sponge before?

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Elish xo

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Budget Beauty: Collection 'Work The Colour' Eyeshadow Pencil

On what seems like my weekly stroll through boots I was pretty disappointed to see the 3 for 2 offer on makeup was nowhere in sight. I always pray for the 3 for 2 deal to be on, but usually I'm disappointed and am left having to pay full price on cosmetics or trying to be super patient and wait for the 3 for 2 offer to eventually reveal itself which seems to never happen. Anyway after sulking my way through the makeup section I was beyond excited to see an offer on collection's range. A bunch of the products were half price or had a couple of pounds off which was enough to convince me to pick up a bunch of collections products and give them a go.

One of the products I picked up was the 'collection work the colour eyeshadow stick' which I immediately thought looked like a cheaper dupe of the NYX eyeshadow sticks. Needless to say I was a bit overwhelmed, having never been able to get my hands on NYX before, I picked up 3 of the range to try out. I mean for £2.50, why not?

I picked up the shades 'vintage blush' , 'vanilla sky' and 'hot chocolate' which are beautiful everyday neutral colours which look great on their own or fab together to give a subtle smoky eye perfect for school or work. 'Vintage blush' (on the far right below) is a soft rose gold pink which looks great all over the lid and is pretty much identical to NYX's 'Yoghurt'. 'Vanilla sky' (in the middle below) is also another NYX dupe for 'milk', it's a shimmery white which is absolutely perfect as an inner eye highlight and a brow bone highlight too. 'Hot chocolate' (seen far left below) is your typical brown eyeshadow which adds lovely depth to an eye look in the crease, it's definitely one of my favourites.

The formula of the product is just like your typical cream eyeshadow but in a stick, which I prefer because it'a just so much more fun than a tub. The sticks are so easy to use, you literally just have to swipe them where you want them and they transfer right onto the skin. You don't have to press down super hard, however I do find it helps to warm them up a little bit on the back of your hand to make the application even smoother than it already is.

Once on the eyelid the product is surprisingly simple to blend, I usually just use my finger to blend out the edges of the colour but I'm sure a brush would work just as well. Something I do find though is that the product seems to dry quite quickly after it's applied which I find happens a lot with makeup from collection- particularly the lasting concealer. Although it dries pretty quick it's not really a bad thing because once it has dried BOY has it dried. The eyeshadow pretty much lasts all day without creasing which isn't too bad for £2.50. To deal with the drying, I work on one eye at a time and getting blending almost immediately after applying which seems to work a treat.

Currently these are part of my favourite go to eye look. I work 'Vintage blush' all over the lid and then run 'Hot chocolate through the crease before finishing off with 'Vanilla sky' as an inner eye highlight. I'm obsessed with pairing them all together to make this neutral, natural eye look which is so simple for mornings when I can't quite get my brain to work before 8am.

For £2.50 these little wonders did not disappoint and I can't wait to get my hands on some more of the range.

What's your go to eyeshadow product?

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Elish xo

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