Wednesday, 31 January 2018

January Round up - a catch up

Hey guys! January has nearly ended and it feels like it has been going on for ages! I feel like I have done so much this month and theres a lot that has happened this month that I am really proud of and I wanted to write a little catch up post on what I've done this January! I think sometimes it's nice to look back on a month and think "actually, I am doing okay!" and that's really what I've felt like this month and we are so used to being critical of ourselves and focusing on what we haven't done, that I really want to talk about what I have done! This month I really felt like Woah...what happened to Eleanor and where did she go? Because I've stepped so far out of my comfort zone.






First of all, to kick start the new year I bought my own blog domain! I have talked about this a lot on twitter already so I won't bang on too much about it! But I am so proud to have finally done it and I feel way more professional now! I also finally made a media kit! I have wanted to for ages and I sat down and spent a few hours making one and I really love it, again it just makes me feel a lot more professional as a blogger.

So I decided to stay on to do a masters for next year. I was going through a bit of turmoil over Christmas and I was really struggling (honestly made kind of worse by my family) about what I want to do next year, so I bit the bullet and made the decision to apply for two masters at the Uni I am currently at. One in clinical psychology and the other in mental health and wellbeing. They both look really good so I have written an application and will hopefully get that sent off next month!

Another related thing is that I have secured a house for next year. I get a lot of anxiety about student houses and the costs and deposits so I was really dreading doing it again for next year but I have done and me and two other girls have a house sorted out which is pretty exciting and I am really proud that we got it sorted out so quickly, we literally viewed one house  and just went for it!

Another thing I am really proud of that I had to mention was that I went to my very first blogging event! I wrote a blog post all about it on Monday which you can read about here. I had a really lovely time and I was a little nervous going to an event on my own. Again I'm not going to blab on about this as you guys are probably sick of hearing about it now! But definitely a big step for me!

Another random thing I did this month that was way out of my comfort zone was going Paintballing. I was pretty nervous, and it was pretty painful! But I did it despite feeling really scared about it but I pushed past it and went for it!

I received a mid 1st in my biology essay (a critical evaluation of an elevated negative feedback system in the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis towards post-traumatic stress disorder, just in case you were wondering which you probably weren't). I honestly was so scared about this essay I did not do well at bio in high school so this essay was the bane of my life for so long but I felt like I really pulled it out of the bag and I know it's annoying when people bang on about grades but I just feel so proud that I managed to do that!

Other uni-related accomplishments is that I have begun drafting my dissertation and I am hoping I am in quite a good position for February!

I hope you enjoyed this little catch-up post! What have you done this month that you're proud of?
Lots of love,
Eleanor x

Monday, 29 January 2018

My First Blogging Event

Hey guys! I hope you are doing well. I have some pretty exciting news because on Saturday I went to my first ever blogging event in Nottingham! I was pretty nervous but it it was a really good event and I had so much fun and even met up with some bloggers after the event for coffee which was really nice. So I thought I would talk about the event and share some of the photos I took on the day.









So the event was held by Jess Berry (http://www.jesswho.co.uk/) at the flour mill in Beeston in Nottingham which is a really cool photography studio. I'm not familiar with the area so I was a bit nervous about getting a tram on my own and walking! But I found it pretty well and Jess and the rest of the girls had set up the room in such a nice way with balloons and fairy lights and such cute pots of sweets and pop! It was adorable and so Instagramable! Jess is the Nottingham Queen Bee for the  Bumble app, which is a great app that can be used for meeting people in a variety of ways, to date, to meet friends or to network. I have been playing around with this app and finding people to talk to on it and it's honestly so much fun and completely free!





So we had two guest speakers on the day. The first was Holly from A branch of Holly (http://abranchofholly.com/). She was speaking to us about SEO and improving our content and getting ourselves into a better position on search engines. It was so good to have a little crash course in how to improve our blogs and content and it was so nice to listen to someone who knows so much about blogging and I really picked up a load of tips from her that I definitely want to put into practice!





The second speaker was Rys (http://www.rhysthe.com/) who is a professional photographer and who was giving us tips on how to take flat lays and other photos for our blog! It was really interesting to listen to him speak and to give us some tips for taking photos which is definitely something I need to improve on this year!

After the event, I went with Beka and Sam to get a hot drink (it was quite cold in there!) we went to this cute tea shop and I got a latte! But I spilt it all over the table which was quite embarrassing! But it was really nice to meet some new lovely people! It was so refreshing too as I spend most of my time in the library or chilling at home so it was nice to spend some time somewhere new!

I really enjoyed this day and I am definitely keeping my eye out for more events with Bumble in the Nottingham area to try something new!
Lots of love,
Eleanor x

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Mini-Reviews: Selfie Flick eyeliner, Freedom curl mascara and the Ciate mani-marker

Hey guys! I hope you are doing well and getting through January! It's actually my birthday in a few weeks so I am looking forward to that, but for now, I am just slogging through! Today I wanted to review three things, the first is the selfie flick eyeliner by Tanya Burr and the second is the Freedom Pro Curl mascara and finally the Ciate Mani-Marker. I didn't think I would have enough to say about these products to dedicate one whole post to them so I thought why not start a mini-review series on my blog where I do a few reviews in one post! I'm often put off reviewing a product because I want to talk about it but it would be a really short post, so this way hopefully I will be able to review a lot more products!




I love a good eyeliner and I am always on the hunt for a new one. I don't really hold any loyalties to one particular eyeliner and I enjoy trying new ones out! After my N07 stay precise liquid eyeliner ran out which I loved, I wanted to try something similar. The Tanya Burr Selfie-flick eyeliner is about £4 cheaper too so I decided to go for it.
First of all, the packaging on this eyeliner is lovely, I love the gold and black and I think it looks really luxe. I also really love the actual applicator. It's a really thin brush that makes flicking your eyeliner quite easy and gives a nice precise application. However, I am not 100% sold on the actual formula which is a shame because I really wanted to love this. I just find it to be quite patchy and when it goes on the eyes it doesn't go completely black like there are still white bits. You can only really tell up close but I personally wouldn't buy this again I don't think despite loving the applicator.




The second product I wanted to talk about is the Freedom Curl Mascara. If you have seen my previous post, you may remember that this was something I actually got when I won Soph does nails Giveaway. (You can see everything else I won here). I really like this mascara for what it does. It is extremely lengthening and separating and doesn't smudge at all. However, I was not blessed by the eyelash god and I have very straight short eyelashes and unfortunately for me, this mascara just is not volumizing enough. Despite it being called a curl mascara I find that it doesn't lift or volumise my lashes at all. I think if you had curly eyelashes already you might really love this as it really is so lengthening and separating, it's just not volumizing enough for me!




Finally, I wanted to discuss the Ciate Mani-marker. This is a really cool idea for a nail polish. It looks like a magic marker obviously and you apply it using a flat nib like a marker pen. I did like that the applicator meant that it was really easy to cover all of my nails, I normally get polish all over my fingers but it was really clean!
However, I found this nail polish quite difficult to apply first of all, because you have to press the nib down to release some of the product and it hurt to press it down on my nail so I pressed it down on a cotton pad and I found that the nib went a bit frayed quite easily. Then I was really unsure about how much product apply to my nails. Because of the design of the nib, it means that I needed to put the polish on in stripes, but when I would go to do another stripe next to the one I made, the edge of the nib would scratch the polish meaning that my nail polish ended up looking really scratched on my nails if that makes sense. Either way I wasn't really impressed. Also, this polish sells for £10 on ASOS and it says on it that it should give 25 uses, which doesn't seem like a lot to me! I am used to paying less than a fiver for a polish and it lasting me forever! So I personally won't be picking up any other shades!




I hope you enjoyed this post guys, have you tried any of these products? What did you think?
Lots of love,
Eleanor x

If you liked this post you might like...

My best of beauty products in 2017

Solait dry oil review- £5 tanning oil?

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 author 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