Wednesday, 17 January 2018

The Underground Railroad- Colson Whitehead review

Hey guys! I hope you are doing well! I am officially back to uni now and I am so tired already! Feeling ready for easter and I've only been back a few days! Today I am going to do my first book review of 2018 and it is on the Underground Railroad which is a novel by Colson Whitehead.


This book is mainly centred around a girl called Cora who is a slave in America who makes a bid for freedom along with fellow slave Ceaser. It is about her life on the cotton plantation and then her escape from the slavecatcher Ridgeway to get north where black people are treated slightly better. This book brings to life the "underground railroad" making it a physical entity in this book, a physical train running underground, rather than a route.

For obvious reasons, this book is highly emotive and moving. There is danger and heartbreak at every turn through Cora's journey to safety and it is definitely a really gripping book. I thought it was really well written, I had never heard of this other before but I would read more of his books as I think his writing is really good. There were a few twists and turns in this book, and I was never sure what was going to happen to Cora and if she'd make it out alive or if she would manage to escape. and it really kept me reading until the very end.

I think this book is a really important one, especially in this day and age and we don't often talk or read about the harsh realities of the slave trade and it really put everything into perspective and imagine yourself in Cora's shoes. I actually think that in 5 years time this book will be a classic and they will be studying it at A-level. Now that I have finished it i feel like telling everyone to go and read it!

The only thing is that nagged me a bit with this books was I felt some characters to be underdeveloped, even when Colson goes into backstories about the characters, he states facts where I want to hear emotion to really connect with the novel. Furthermore, because it is written in 3rd person, it is just a little bit less personal and connecting than if it had been in first person and there are times which I thought I felt too disconnected from Cora when I really didn't want to be. I personally really liked that he made the railroad in the book real, I thought it was clever of him and there is so much truth in this book apart from that.

I think that everyone should go and read this book I think that it is powerful and moving and an important read. I mean if it's good enough for Obama it's good enough for you!

Have you read this book? What did you think?
Lots of love,
Eleanor x

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Soph does Nails givaway

Hey guys! I hope you are doing well and are settling in back to work or uni or school! I have this week off actually still and I am back properly next week! You may have seen if you follow me on twitter (ellie_smithxo) that I was lucky enough to win a giveaway from one of my all-time favourite youtube SophDoesNails. I won a box of beauty goodies and I wanted to do a post on it in more detail because I thought some of you guys would be interested! Plus I have now tried out a few products so I can tell you a little bit about what I think about some of the things I won.

Firstly, I won some cool eyeshadow stuff! Two eyeshadow palettes, the first being the Freedom pro 12 stunning smokes palette. I actually have tried this one out and I love it! the colours are so pigmented and such lovely shades for the day time I think! The other palette which I am yet to try is the Sleek I-divine palette in Diamond Decade, this has some gorgeous looking smoky grey shades and a few pretty pink ones too which I think willl be amazing for a night time look! I have swatched a few shades and they seem so pigmented and such gorgeous colours. The things I am most excited for are these NYX eye-pigments. I love the look of these but I need to have a play around and see which colours I like! Finally, I also got this little NYX single shadow in dark swan which I am yet to put on my eyes but looks like such a lovely colour.

I also received some more eye products. Firstly, this freedom Curl Mascara. I have been using this for the past few days and I have to say it is really lengthening and separating, but doesn't have enough volume for me personally! I also got this E.L.F shimmer white eyeliner pencil which I am extremely excited to try! And another pencil eyeliner by KIKO in a really gorgeous dark green which I also can't wait to use in a makeup look! Finally, I got this little liquid eyeko eyeliner.


Moving on to the face products I received! I got some really cool things! Firstly, I got these three NYX illuminating sticks in sandy glow (which I can't wait to bronze with) and two blush colours in brick red blaze and coralicious. I have swatched them all and I think sandy glow will be a really nice bronze shade for me and coralicious is such a lovely pretty blush colour but think red brick blaze might be a bit too dark for me as a blush but I am still going to give all three a go soon! I also received this pretty pink Freedom blush in Lethal Weapon. Two things I was really excited to see was the NYX away we glow liquid highlighters. At first, I thought they were lipsticks! I have the shades daytime halo and rose quartz. They are both really shimmery and pretty! I think rose quartz will be too dark for me as a highlighter, but I am excited to try it as a pretty shimmery blush! Finally, I received this really cool sleek strobing souffle which is a little cream highlighter in a pot!

Next, onto the lip products, I received! Obviously, if you watch sophdoesnails you know she loves lipsticks so I was really excited to receive all of these! Firstly, I got this body shop lip Palette. I have not tried this on the lips yet, but it swatches as quite sheer and glossy and I think they will be really pretty for everyday use! I also received two NYX liquid suedes! These are in the shades Amythyst and Foul Mouth! These are a purple and black and I am not 100% sure if I will use these but they might be quite fun for halloween! I also got two NYX cosmic mental lipsticks. These are in the shades cyrsailised metals and metropolitan night. I think these will be so much fun for nights out! I also got two NYX lingerie liquid lipsticks. These are in the shades cheekies and french maid. I already loved the formula's of these two lipsticks and for me they are every day shades! I have already worn french maid and I loved it. I also received a Miss Sporty really me lipgloss which looks so cute and a super lovely bright red lipstick my Sarah Hill which is a brand I have never heard of before but the lipstick looks stunning. I received a Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Lipstick in Heatbeat which I wore yesterday and fell in love with! I love this formula and can't wait to pick more up! And last but definitely not least, was a Ciate glitter flip lipstick in Fortune. This is a glittery deep purple lipstick and I am probably the most excited about trying this out!



 Soph was also kind enough to send some nail products over!  Firstly this Ciate mani marker in smitten kitten which I have tried the other day and I'm not sure if I'm using it wrong but I am not so sure about it! And also this Miss Sporty precious pearl nail polish which looks like a cute colour!



Finally, I got two makeup applicators which I have tried and love both! First the E.L.F massager brush and the I heart makeup teardrop silicone sponge. The elf brush was so lovely for applying my foundation and I can't wait to try and contour with it! Also, I love the silisponge too! It gives a surprisingly nice effect when applying makeup!



And that is everything I received in this giveaway! Thank you so much to soph and I feel so lucky to have won all this and I am beyond excited to keep trying everything out!
Lots of love.
Eleanor x


Friday, 5 January 2018

Best of beauty 2017

Hey guys! This is my third post this week can you believe it! Unfortunately, I go back to uni this weekend so I will be going back to one post a week as of next week! I am definitely not ready to let reality sink back in yet. Today I wanted to talk about my favourite beauty products in 2017. I didn't do this post last year and someone asked me to so I really wanted to do one this year! So these products aren't necessarily new releases although some of them are, they're just new to me! So without further ado...


Eyeshadow Palettes:
So two eyeshadow pallets that really stood out for me this year are the Sophdoesnails x revolution palette and the MUA burning embers palette! I love both of these eyeshadow palettes so much and they're both really affordable and both have a really lovely selection of eyeshadows that are perfect for day and night looks!


Brow Products:
The main brow product that I loved this year was my Revolution eyebrow pomade! I think this gives a really lovely look!

Mascara:
My favourite mascara this year has to be the L'oreal Miss Baby Roll! I adore this mascara and I think it is amazing for my straight short lashes!

Eyeliner: 
My fave eyeliner this year that I discovered was the N07 stay perfect liquid eyeliner. Mine has just run out too but I found it to be really black and non-smudgy and it stays all day long! Really good! and considering I apply eyeliner every day it lasted me a really long time. I didn't picture my brow mascara and eyeliner because they all look worn and tired and I didn't think it would be a pretty picture!

Bronze, contour, blush and highlight:
The main apple of my eye in 2017 has been the freedom pro blush palette in bronzed and baked. In this palette, we have my two favourite blushes for this year and my favourite highlight discovery too! This is so affordable at £6 and I know I talk about it a lot but its amazing.

Another highlight I have loved this year has been the PS pro strobing cream in pearl. This is like £3 and gives such a fun blinding highlight and I honestly love it for night time!

My go-to bronzer this year has been the essence luminous matt bronzing powder in 01 sunshine. It's the perfect bronzer and again it's only around £3. It's amazing!

Finally, my fave contouring product is the beauty UK ultimate contour palette. This has completely turned me into a cream contour gal and I think it's the perfect colour for me and is just so natural! 



Lipsticks:
I have a few favourite lipstick discoveries in 2017! I genuinly couldn't narrow it down anymore so I'll do a little list of all of my favourite lipsticks this year!
MUA Lipstick in shade 7
MUA Lipstick in Coral Flush
MUA Lipstick in Necter
NYX Lingerie in Corset
Makeup Revolution Salvation Velvet Lacquer in "Keep Trying For You"
Maybelline Colour Sensational in coffee craze
Makeup revolution lip kit in Echelon



Beauty tools:
There have been a few new beauty tools I have loved in 2017! These include the Lancome eye brushes, 8, 17, 13 and 11. I have also loved the real techniques setting brush for my highlight!



Fake Tan:
I have two fake tan products I want to mention, they are the solait dry oil and the Garnier sun-kissed body moisturiser! I loved both of these products this year.


Skin-Care: 
There are a few skincare goodies that I loved this year! The Naturally radiant hot cloth cleanser and eye cream, the vitamin E intense moister cream and the Pixi Glow Tonic! I also fell in love with the Loreal Clay brightening Scrub which I forgot to picture, doh!


Perfumes:

There are two new perfumes I loved in 2017! The first is Calvin Klein Eternity perfume and the second Ellie Saab's girl of now. The last one I just got for Christmas but I love it so much I had to mention it!



Haircare:
There are three products I loved this year in hair care! The first two are shampoos, the palmers coconut oil shampoo and Selsun anti-dandruff shampoos have been absolute saviours to me this year! And the final thing is the Babyliss tight curls wand, which is a style I have been loving on special occasions this year!

And that is my Beauty roundup for 2017! Did you love any of these products?
Lots of love,
Eleanor x

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

2017 book roundup

Hey guys! This is officially my first post as self-hosted! I finally bit the bullet and bought my own domain and it feels really good actually to be able to say .co.uk instead of .blogspot.co.uk! Anyway, today I am doing my favourite post of the year which is my 2017 book roundup! This is where I go through all the books I have read over 2017 and then at the end discuss which books I liked the most and least! I did quite a lot of reviews over this year of books so if I have reviewed the book I will link it. So this year I read 28 books which I am really pleased with actually and I know everyone reads different amounts and this may seem a lot to some and barely anything to others but for me that's pretty good! Especially as I have been busy at university and whatnot! So I will go through all the books I read in 2017!




1) The Girls- Emma Cline
2) A Little Something Different- Sandy Hall
3) More Than This- Patrick Ness
4) The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1)- Patrick Ness
5) The Ask and The Answer (Chaos Walking #2)- Patrick Ness
6) Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking #3)- Patrick Ness
7) The Rosie Project- Graeme Simsion
8) The Rosie Effect- Graeme Simsion
9) We Were Liars- E Lockhart
10) The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice- Katarina West
11) There's a Boy in the Girls Bathroom- Louis Sacher
12) Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children-  Ransom Riggs
13) Hallow City- Ransom Riggs
14) Library of Souls- Ransom Riggs
15) Johnathan Strange and Mr Norrell- Susanna Clarke
16) Me before you- Jojo Moyes
17) The Sky is Everywhere- Jandy Nelson
18) Astonishing Splashes of Colour- Clare Morrall
19) The Taxidermists Daughter- Kate Mosse
20) Everything Everything- Nicola Yoon
21) My Not So Perfect Life- Sophie Kinsella
22) The Sun is Also a Star- Nicola Yoon
23) Under Rose Tainted Skies - Louise Gornell 
24) Big Little Lies- Liane Moriarty
25) Love, Rosie- Cecelia Ahern 
26) Capture your Style- Aimee Song
27) Nerve- Jeanne Ryan
28) My True Love Gave to Me- Many authors!

So that is a complete list of the books I read this year and the links to all the books I reviewed! So, now onto my general review! Firstly, I'll talk about some of my favourite books this year. My favourite books that I read have to be the Chaos Walking Trilogy, I honestly loved these books so much I found them really gripping and such an immersive story which made me laugh and cry throughout. If you haven't already, I would really recommend! The book which stood out most to me this year has to be Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. This book took me the longest to read too, it's quite a long book at over 1000 pages but it is so worth it and I thoroughly enjoyed this book and thought it was so imaginative and well written. Another book I really enjoyed was Me Before You. This book surprised me a bit and I already knew the storyline but I really loved it and it's a really easy read too. I also loved My Not So Perfect Life. This book is honestly hilarious and so relatable and such an enjoyable read. Another book I really loved was Bit Little Lies, I found it so gripping and funny but with some really dark moments and a really satisfying ending. Finally, We Were Liars and More Than This are two books that kept me hanging on till the end and that I really enjoyed reading.

Unfortunately, there were a few books this year that I personally didn't really enjoy or that weren't really my style. Firstly, The Girl's I, unfortunately, didn't really enjoy. I know so many people who loved this book but I just don't think it's really my cup of tea so I wasn't the biggest fan of this book. Another book that disappointed me this year was The Sky Is Everywhere. I was looking forward to reading this but it wasn't really what I expected I guess and I just didn't really enjoy it actually I found it frustrating. Finally, the book Nerve I was really disappointed by. I go into a lot of detail about why in my review of it but I wasn't the biggest fan of this book!

So I hoped you enjoyed this post! Have you read any of these books? What did you think?
Lots of love,
Eleanor x

Monday, 1 January 2018

2017 round up and 2018 goals

Hey guys! And happy new year! I am actually writing this on the 31st of December and I am very excited to be going out tonight to a ball with my family! What did you do for this new years? I wasn't actually going to do much of a 2017 round up this year but then I thought that actually, I would do a quick one before I talk about my goals for next year!



Overall, this year has been really mixed, with lots of ups and downs. First of all, I'll talk about the not so good things that happened this year to get them over with! Firstly, there were quite a few deaths this year which I struggled with, mainly as you guys know, both of my two lovely cats which was a huge blow. I know they had a good long life but it's still really hard knowing they're both gone. Also, really recently my uncle died before Christmas which was also sad and Christmas started with a definite gloomy premise. I have also been struggling a lot this year with thinking about what to do after I finish university and that has been causing me a lot of grief! I think that might be something to go into in another post though!

However, there have been some really lovely moments too. I went abroad with my boyfriend for the first time to Lanzarote this summer.  I also had another lovely holiday with my family down in the Cotswolds. I finished my second year of university with a 2.1 and I am so far enjoying third year a lot, despite it being really difficult! Also, my blog and my social media's have grown so much this year! I know it may still seem small to *some*, but the fact that I'm getting 80+ views on every post now and the fact that I have nearly reached 1600 followers on Twitter and 600 followers on Instagram is actually really amazing to me. I also read the most books this year that I had read in a while, and my next post will be all about those books! I also got to see Mama Mia on stage which was amazing and Cirque Du Soleil as well early this year, as well a Jools Holland recently.

My Goals for 2018:
So for 2018, I have set myself a few goals which I am really excited to complete!

1) To take driving lessons pass my driving test. This one has been a long time coming, but this time I seriously want to do driving lessons and to pass my driving test! It's about bloody time.

2) To buy my blog domain. This one I am actually going to do pretty soon I think and finally buy it!

3) To take blogging more seriously. I want to continue to grow my blog and platforms and to continue to create content I really love on here next year! I would also maybe like to get a bit better at coding so I can finally change my theme...

4) My final goal for 2018 is to seriously try and control my worrying and to try and not let my brain panic about pointless things and to try and cope with situations no matter how uncertain they are.

And they are my 2018 Goals!
I wish you all the best for the new year!
Lots of love,
Eleanor x

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

What I got for Christmas 2017

Hey guys! I hope you are doing well and had a lovely festive period! I know I did, I am not looking forward to going back to reality now! I thought I would share with you what I got for Christmas! This is not to brag or anything like that, but I just wanted to share some of the lovely things I received for xmas this year!




So firstly, my main present this year was a new laptop! I'm actually writing my first ever blog post on it! It's a HP laptop, and I am so far really liking it! I had my previous laptop for about four years and although it was going fairly strong, it was slowing down a bit and I thought it was time for a change! I also got a blue mouse too which I love, I didn't have a mouse for my last laptop!


Then I was kind enough to receive some more little bits and bobs from my family that I thought I would show you!
I got this lovely diary and planner which will be so useful for planning blog posts1 I really like its big size to keep on my desk and it has a large section for monthly tasks. I also received this Italian food hamper bag! With pasta, a cake, biscuits and snacks and some tomato sauce and some truffle oil! It will be useful for next term at uni!
I also received some Lint chocolates, gourmet lollipops, and one of my fave presents, a new soap bag! I really like this soap bag because it fits in my toiletries and my makeup too! Perfect for weekends away.

Another present that I loved, was a new Pandora charm! This has infinity rings on it which I love as it matches another bracelet I have! Me, my mum and my sister all have this charm now so it's really special! You can see it up close in the previous picture! I also got this funny the student book and some cool tights.

Finally, from Santa I received the Beano 2017 annual which I always get! Some more chocolate and a Nivia lip balm set!

I was also lucky to receive some presents from my Sister. She got me this lovely Beauty and the Beast bag, with some Harry Potter footlets and a choker!
And from my aunt I got some bright coloured Nail polishes!



I was also very lucky to receive some presents from my boyfriend and his family!
From him, I got this lovely new perfume! Ellie Saab Girl of Now, I love it! And another lovely new pandora charm, this open works on which is gorgeous. He also got my the Sims 4 which is unpictured and city living, to go with my new computer!
From his sister, I received two new books which I am really excited to read! I'm sure I will be doing blog posts on them when I read them! From his parents, I got some lovely things. some sweets, a notebook and a mug! I also got some Pyjamas but unfortunately, they were too big so I am going to return them and get some others!
And from his Grandparents, I got a lovely snuggly pink dressing gown with racoons on it! I couldn't get a good picture of it so you will just have to take my word for it!

And last but certainly not least, my parents were very kind to get me and my boyfriend Luke tickets to go to the Harry Potter studios! Which I am very excited about!

And that's all the lovely things I was lucky enough to receive this Christmas!
I don't think I am going to get another post up before the new year, so I hope you have a nice few days in "Christmas limbo" before the New Year and have a lovely time welcoming in the new year! I will be back next week with a post all about the books I read in 2017 and my favourite 2017 beauty products.
Lots of love,
Eleanor x

Thursday, 21 December 2017

The Christmas Tag

Hey guys! I can't believe we're so close to Christmas now I feel as though we still must have a few weeks left, not a few days! I have been tagged by the lovely Anna from Actually Anna  and by Bella from Life With Bella  to do this Tag! I feel like I haven't done a tag for a while so I thought I would do it to make me get into the festive spirit!




Tag Rules:
What to do:
- Mention and link back to the person who tagged you
- Nominate as many bloggers as you like
-You can change the questions if you like to suit your audience


Questions:
What is the traditional Christmas dinner like for you in your house?
My dad makes a traditional Turkey dinner with all the trimmings! I am dreaming of it already!

Have you ever bought a present for someone and kept it for yourself?
No! I've actually never done this, I'm so tight with my money I wouldn't want to have to buy something else!

Favourite Christmas song?
I love like most Christmas songs I never get sick of them. I like jingle bell rock, last Christmas, rocking robin and more!

Favourite part of Christmas? 
I love all of it, the food, the quality time with family, the presents, the relaxing atmosphere!

Would you prefer Christmas in the summer or winter?
Definitely the winter, I think it would feel really strange having it in the summer, it wouldn't be the same!

Christmas or New Years?
Christmas! I do love new years, but it comes with a bit of sadness too, but I love all things about Christmas!

Do you like Christmas Jumpers?
Yes I love them I really want another one actually.

Do you still get excited for Christmas day?
Definitely, although probably not as much as I did when I was younger.

Favourite Christmas film?
Mine is definitely Love Actually! I love it so much!

Did you/did you believe in Santa?
I must have done when I was a child but I don't remember

Do you enjoy wrapping presents?
Nope! I am the worst wrapper you will ever come across! My family can tell which presents I've wrapped because they are the worst ones.

Favourite colour of Christmas tree? 
Green! I do think the white ones are quite pretty though but I wouldn't want anything other than green in my living room.

I nominate:
Charlene - https://charlenemcelhinney.co.uk/ 
Meghan - https://notquitealicereads.wordpress.com/
Emily - http://www.drainedbeauty.co.uk/
Lizzie- https://lizzieflorence.com/
Shannon- https://highchicblog.wordpress.com/

The next time I will be blogging is sometime next week with my what I got for Christmas post! So I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and eat lots of lovely food and relax!
Lots of love,
Eleanor x