UK Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle

Sunday, 31 May 2015

May Favourites

This month has been a very May-ish's always exam/essay/stress month, so there's not usually much fun in it- but I've certainly found some great favourites that have helped in keeping me sane. Keep reading to see what I've been loving.
Balenciaga Makeup Bag I love this stylish bag/clutch (I don't quite know how to use it!) Right now it's my travel makeup bag: it's so soft and spacious.

Tresemme Sea Salt Spray If you have naturally curly hair, you need this! Sometimes I like to embrace my wild hair, and this stuff really helps in minimising frizz. It also smells sensational. Apparently it's great for creating curls in straight too!

MUA Lipstick in Coral Flush I rave about these lipsticks all the time but didn't think a coral/red would live up to be anything special. I was wrong. Pigmented and smooth, it's a bargain.

MUA Bronzer I've been trying to resist purchasing a new Hoola bronzer, and whilst I'll probably cave eventually, this has been seeing me through. It's warm-tone but not too warm, and perfect when applied with my next favourite...

Primark Kabuki I have found myself in Primark's beauty section many times (their acrylics were my favourite things when I was about 16- before I realised how much they destroyed my nails) but haven't been drawn to anything other than this. For £2.50, this is a really nice brush! It's pretty big so bronzer is pretty much its only friend but that's exactly what I wanted one for.

Garnier UltraLift Cream I admit, I wasn't a fan of this when I first bought it. It's very thick: I felt like I was putting on a mask that would need washing off! Nevertheless, whilst the texture is pretty intense, I love the results this gives. My skin has a visibly improved in tone. I recommend it!

Have you tried any of these? What are your May favourites? xo

Friday, 29 May 2015

Pins of the Week/Weekly Chit Chat #2

Back with my weekly loves and an update! I've been at home this week and have had a blissful time drinking wine in the bath, walking in the sunshine, seeing best friends and generally lazing around... but today I am back at university eagerly awaiting the end of (everyone else's) exams so that we can partaay! Let's get cracking:

  • My current fashion 'want' is a lace-detailed cotton blouse. I went to see the charming Hunter Hayes in Birmingham this week and I spent half the time admiring the country-inspired outift choices in the crowd! Seriously...this one girl had on a pair of electric blue Hondos and the whole queue waiting to go inside literally stopped still and stared. All I want to wear now is a cotton blouse, denim shorts and some snazzy cowboy boots. Working on it.
  • Every single time I see beautiful makeup storage, my heart goes all a-flutter. Up until pretty recently I hadn't even got a method to my storage: I really need a top that says 'Pinterest Made Me Do It' because I've seriously hopped up onto the bandwagon. I've already got some clear storage off Amazon- namely a large lipstick holder and a brush holder- both of which were super cheap but took an age to arrive. So this weekend I purchased a big holder from TK Maxx and now all I need is a set of draws like this. *Prowls away in search.*
  • I forget how pretty my hometown is until I actually get there. Birmingham is generally a bit of a (lovable) concrete jungle but inside the suburbs there are some lovely places. I live near Bournville (chocolate factory land) and the flowers were all out this week! 
  • Oh, Atticus. I love this. Give people comfort. What a nice sentiment. Working on that one too. 
How's your week been? As always, just click here to find me on Pinterest.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

#MOTD Spring Pinks

Getting pretty in pink for Spring today! This eye look is done entirely with the Revlon Colorstay Blushed Wines palette...which apparently has been discontinued (a shame seeing as I have a few of them that I use religiously.) The Colorstay shadows are still available but in different shades: looking at them, I reckon Decadent is the best contender for achieving a pink-toned look.

However, mourning aside, I simply wanted to show you how I wear pink. I have a very pink undertone my skin so I have to be careful with the shade (keeping with pale sheer pinks instead of hot pinks, for example) but I adore the colour in the sunnier months. I've named all the pink products I used in the listing below!
This eye look is really simple. Start with a pale pink all over the lid then build a more wine-tone shade to the outer V and wing this shade out. I like to skip eyeliner with pink shadow for some reason: I prefer the look of fluttery lashes with such a pretty colour!
Blusher: MUA Candyfloss
Lipstick: MUA Nude
Lip liner: Max Factor Colour Elixir Mauve Moment

What's your favourite kind of pink to wear? And have you tried the new Colorstay quads? Let me know below! xo

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Recipe: Chocolate Guinness Cake

This cake is one of my favourites: Nigella's recipe and one of my mum's classics. You don't even have to like the drink to enjoy it (you can't really taste just gives the sponge a deeper flavour.) Trust me, this is the moistest, spongiest cake you will ever try! I myself love Guinness (if you've been to Ireland then you'll know that the Guinness over there is infinitely better) so I thought I would share this recipe. Here's one I made earlier!
For the cake you'll need:
250 ml Guinness
250 grams unsalted butter
75 grams cocoa powder
400 grams caster sugar
142 ml sour cream
2 large eggs
275 grams plain flour
2 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (or use self raising and leave out the bicarb)

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/350ºF, and butter and line a 23cm / 9 inch springform tin.
  • Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter - in spoons or slices - and heat until the butter's melted, at which time you should whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the brown, buttery, beery pan and finally whisk in the flour and bicarb.
  • Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack.

the uncooked mixture also tastes like heaven
Now on to the cream cheese icing... (it doesn't taste of cream cheese- promise!)
For the icing you'll need:
300 grams cream cheese
150 grams icing sugar
125 ml double cream (or whipping cream)
  • When the cake's cold, sit it on a flat platter or cake stand and get on with the icing. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sieve over the icing sugar and then beat them both together.
  • Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the black cake so that it resembles the frothy top of the famous pint.

There you have it! I decided to add some chocolate shavings...spur of the moment baking decisions, eh.

This cake is seriously delicious. Let me know if you've tried it!

Friday, 22 May 2015

Pins of the Week/Weekly Chit Chat #1

Hey y'all! I'm trialing a new feature I've seen floating around...sharing the stuff I've been loving on Pinterest this week. I'm pretty much addicted to Pinning, but figure it's a brilliant source of inspiration- for everything from fashion to baking to interiors to blog post ideas. I reckon this feature is going to give me a chance to just have a general chit-chat too, which is always nice. Here are my faves from this week! (numbered clockwise.)

  1. I know everyone already has too many mugs (*cough* me *cough*) but I've been obsessing over cute ones with quotes on recently. Even better if they're Game of Thrones related, but this one from Anthropologie has such a pretty design. I'm thinking of using mugs to store makeup brushes-I can't be bothered to wait the ridiculous shipping time on the clear holders from Amazon, no matter how cheap they are- so I figure this could be the way forward.
  2. I've begun the sandal search for summer and these seriously caught my eye! I may end up purchasing two new pairs seeing as sandals like this aren't great for summer sightseeing etc (granny sandals anyone?) I adore anything with a lace-up feature like this though. 
  3. I don't know about you, but I hate finding myself guilty of not living in the moment. People who have to photograph, snapchat, and tweet everything- from dinner to filming a gig instead of just watching and listening- seriously? It's so important to enjoy things just... because.
  4. This pin gives me life! Oh how I love a clean, well organised dresser! I seriously want a tray like this but wouldn't even know where to start looking. Suggestions? 
If you're on Pinterest too...let's be friends! I'm over here. Happy Pinning and happy Friday! xo

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Eye Look: Inspired by Taylor Swift's 'Bad Blood' Music Video

I'm not a massive fan of Taylor Swift after she stopped making country music but the 'Bad Blood' video (though just a bizarre series of cameos with no story line- am I wrong or am I right?) does indeed contain some kick-ass looks. Everything was black, smokey and winged: so instead of just doing one specific look, I did a look inspired by the makeup throughout the whole video.

It's pretty simple because nothing has to be neat! There's a step-by-step guide and more pics below.
  1. I began with priming my eyes (with Urban Decay's Primer Potion) and a neutral shadow.
  2. I then added Urban Decay Buck into the crease and Sidecar onto the outer corner.
  3. I then cat-eye lined my eyes. Don't make it neat as it's going to be smoked out in the next step!
  4. I then smoked out the liner with a matte black shadow, bringing the black colour no further than in line with my pupil.
  5. I added a liquid line to my lower lash line and smoked this out with black kohl.
  6. Finally I added mascara, false lashes (these were applied pretty lazily, apologies) and a little more Sidecar to give the lid a glitter finish.
Watch the video here if you haven't already- even if it's just for the makeup! Which is your favourite look? Let me know below!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Gel Polish Review: NYC Gel Gloss

I'm obsessed with gel nail polishes. They're pretty much all I use on my nails these days. I stumbled upon this one whilst shopping in Superdrug and thought I would give it a spin. I tried out this purple shade, Bronx Paparazzi- it claims it can last up to 10 days, so I put it to the test.
First impressions: 
  • I really like the packaging of this polish. I know it's nothing special, but it's a large bottle for the price and I love the matte black lid. 
  • This shade is so perfect for Spring. I love most pastel shades, but lilac is such a stunning colour. Especially if, like me, you've started building up the tan- this is going to contrast so nicely! 
  • This polish has a brilliant thick brush, so in just a few strokes your nail is coated. It also dries super quickly for a gel polish and only requires 2 coats. 
  • I love the way this looks. It's gel, hi-shine and a really vibrant colour.
Does it last? 
Seeing as I have long-ish nails and I have been furiously tapping out 14,000 words for my end of year essays recently, this might be unfair but...this did not last ten days (typing definitely chips nails by the way!) It was three days when the chips began to show. Okay, so if you're not too fussy about chips this will last longer, but if I can I like to redo my nails when they chip (I'm not precious about much, but I am when it comes to nails!)

Nevertheless, I'm not all that fussed. If your nails are short this might last longer for you, but I don't really mind if the polish looks this pretty! Three days isn't terrible wear in my experience anyway.
Let me know if you've tried this or if you have any other gel polishes you'd recommend. Have you read my Barry M gel polish review? (It might just fare a little better.) Til next time xo

Saturday, 16 May 2015

#OOTD Casual Friday

A casual kinda eve. The sun has disappeared again, so I've retreated into jackets. I'm obsessed with this hat but can only wear it on calm days as it's slightly too big for me! This was heading out to go and see Pitch Perfect 2. Outfit details below!
Hat: H&M | Top: Topshop | Jacket: Whistles | Jeans: Asos | Shoes & Bag: Primark

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Got Me A New Blog Name: Introducing Getting to Nomi

Hi lovely people! Just thought I'd let you know that I've (finally) chosen a 'real' blog name! I've had my title set as my name ever since I began blogging this year so figured it was time to 'name my baby' and get a more professional looking header to celebrate. If you want to read the (very simple) reason behind it then swing by my about me page.

Unfortunately my url has not yet been changed as someone already owns the blogspot version. Sad times. I'm keeping it as my name for now but hopefully I'll make some changes in the future.

Some of my social media @s have changed (not that it makes a difference if you're already following.) I've put the links below. If you don't already follow me, let's link!
I'm also on Polyvore (I've never shared this link before as I seriously don't understand Polyvore...but it's so much fun!)

Thought I would also take this opportunity to thank all my readers who tune in, comment or just follow. I seriously never thought I would encounter so many lovely people in such a short space of time. I'm so excited that I've finally got a 'brand name' and can't wait to see what the future holds! Bear with me whilst I get this space looking the way I want it (I'll probably mess something up in the process.) 

Thanks for Getting to Nomi. Til next time xo

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Emily Blunt Inspired Look

I've become a bit obsessed with Emily Blunt recently- so when I stumbled upon her Golden Globes 2015 look, I just had to recreate it! This look is actually so simple (if you can plait!) I'm not amazing at doing hair so this is just proof that anyone can do this look. 
  1. Part your hair down the middle. You might like to use a texturing spray as this look isn't supposed to be too neat. 
  2. Do two reverse French plaits (so that the plait is outside your had, not weaved into.) There's a good tutorial here.
  3. Tie at the ends and loosen the plaits. You want them a bit messy.
  4. Secure each plait to the opposite side of the head with bobby pins.
I love this makeup look and it's so easy to do. Big brows, gently bronzed skin, orange eyes and nude orange lips: perfect for Spring.  More pics and full product listing below!
Products used:
Foundation: Revlon Color Stay
Concealer: L.A Girl Pro Concealer
Highlighter: Benefit High Beam
Bronzer: MUA Shade 1
Brows: MUA Pro Brow
Eyeshadows: Revolution Iconic 2 Palette & MAC Mythology
Mascara: Benefit Roller Lash
Lipstick: 2True Lipstick in No6
Lip gloss: Benefit Hoola Gloss

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Lush Review: Buttercup

I received this for my birthday (a whole 3 months ago) but only just got round to doing a review! This is the Lush Buttercup box (plus a little Whip Stick pot that doesn't come with it but thought I'd throw it in the review as well) which includes a soap and a bath bomb.

Honey I Washed The Kids Soap: I love this soap. It's kind of caramel/honey scented and contains sweet wild orange and bergamot oils as well as the soothing properties of honey and aloe vera gel. It doesn't lather much but leaves your skin squeaky clean. 

Butterball Bath Bomb: Sadly, this isn't one of those really snazzy bath bombs that erupts into sparkly multi-coloured craziness. It does however leave your skin feeling super soft. No, it's not the nicest thing in the world- the cocoa butter pieces just sort of drearily float around- but it certainly smells nice and leaves your skin feeling great.

Whip Stick: This chocolate orange lip balm is so addictive. It contains Fair Trade shea butter and beeswax to seal in moisture, plus honey and oatmilk to calm and soothe cracked lips. The texture is slightly weird but not unpleasant.

There we have it! I really love this Lush box and definitely want to get hold of at least the soap again. Til next time xo

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Product Review & 2x #MOTD: Maybelline Colour Tattoo

I finally tested out the Maybelline Colour Tattoo and have done two looks with it: one a very simple, everyday winged look and the other with a bit of colour! I'm using the shade On and On Bronze

I'm gonna go right ahead an say that I love this product. Best applied with fingers, it glides on and sits beautifully. It's hi-shine and pretty creamy in texture, but even for people with oily lids (me!) it seems to sit tight. Try and prime it first if you do struggle with shadows moving. I used Urban Decay Primer Potion and it sat tight for a long time (no, I did not test it on its "24 hour" claim because that's plain silly. Be my guest though.)

Here's the Maybelline Colour Tattoo with Winged Liner:
Here's how I decided to use it. I used it kind of 'neatly' but this could also be used for a messy 'greasy' grunge kind of eye. 
  1. After priming my lids, I applied the Maybelline Colour Tattoo to my lid.  Look at the job I made of though *lol* It really doesn't matter though as I was always going to put shadow over it anyway.
  2. I then took a beige shadow through my crease and applied a dark brown to my outer V
  3. I then added a little more of the colour tattoo to replace any lost in the shadow, lined my eyes and added mascara and Wet n Wild Bare It All to my lips
Here's a the Maybelline Colour Tattoo with a dash of purple: 
Here I've followed the exact same process as above but added purple shadow (Urban Decay Grifter) to my lower lashline, forgone winged eyeliner and added false lashes instead. I adore colour on the lower lashes at the minute, and so do a lot of beauty youtubers/bloggers...I have a feeling it's going to be big for Spring/Summer.
On top of the nude shade I added the purple shadow to create a soft purple lip. This is a great trick if you want a lip colour that's bright. Whilst it's not the most comfortable of lip looks, it still looks great for a night out. 

I'm a massive fan of the Colour Tattoo formula and can't wait to get my hands on some more. This shade is really versatile though so if you haven't yet purchased one, this is a great starting point. 

Have you tried any of the colour tattoos? What kind of lip colour do you pair it with? Let me know!

Friday, 8 May 2015

How To Style An Everyday Red Lip

I adore red lips but often feel overdressed if I wear one during the day. I generally disagree with any beauty advice that tells you a look is 'day time' or 'night time' (if you feel it, wear it!) but I feel like in general there is a distinction between a dressed up red lip and a more casual one. I have figured out some tricks and tips to make your red lip that bit more wearable.

(I'm wearing No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Ginger Rose on top of Clinique Berry Freeze)

Pare the eyes down. A gorgeous mascara and a white eyeliner will make your eyes pop but not battle with the red. Liquid eyeliner and a red lip is nice but it's so much more 'day time' without it.

Think about hair. I like to wear my hair in curls, but curls plus red lips can be a bit 'vintage' and hard to dress in a casual way. Go for a messier look (any excuse): messier curls, a bun or a braid work nicely.

Bronze. I think bronzed skin works great with a red lip. The paler my skin, the more I feel a red lip looks a little doll-esque.

Skip the lip liner. This can be tough (especially if your lips are like mine and don't have 'distinct' that just me?) but over-lined lips can look extremely overdone.

Think about the shade. Try and pick a medium red that suits your skin tone: I like mixing colours as seen above to get the perfect shade. For me, orange reds minimise the red undertones in my skin and are a great compliment to green eyes.

But obviously, werk your red lip as you feel appropriate. Confidence is key! xo

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Product Review: Stella McCartney Nail Polish

Hey there lovely people, today's review is of the Stella McCartney nail polish in shade 17. I actually won this polish (I'm on a lucky streak at the minute...have you seen my new banner? I won a chance to design that too!) but thought it was so nice I had to review it.
I don't know about you, but I always find purple nail polishes never come out the same shade as in the bottle...they're always much darker. Don't get me wrong, I love vampy nails, but seeing as I usually wear black/grey I like my nails to inject some colour into my outfit. This however turned out to be the perfect purple- less wine and more grape- which was just what I'd hoped for.

I square shaped my nails for the first time in ages and I just love the look of them with this high pigment colour. It requires just two coats to get a fully opaque shade that lasts pretty well with a top coat. Love!

Let me know if you've tried this. If you have any go-to purple nail polishes that actually turn out a medium purple I would love to hear from you! xo

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

My Go-To Breakfast Bowl

Inspired by the new 'trend' of acai and smoothie bowls, I'm currently making a much easier alternative for breakfast/lunch/snacks. Making a smoothie isn't too much hassle but using yogurt is just so much quicker. It's the perfect amount of sweetness and goodness in a bowl to give you energy in the morning or be tasty snack during the day. Because I suffer from IBS I often make a dairy-free version, which also makes it a great vegan lunch (note: if you have any kind of digestive troubles or syndrome, I can't recommend kiwis enough!) If anyone takes a 'raw til 4' approach then this fits the bill perfectly. And most importantly: it certainly brightens up your day if your meals are pretty!

What I use:
Dairy-free cherry yogurt
1 kiwi
A handful of blueberries
A cupful of muesli
A mixture of pumpkin, sesame, linseed and sunflower seeds
Of course you can mix it up and use different fruits and flavours to make your own! Let me know if you make smoothie/yogurt bowls, or any kind of healthy breakfasts because I would love some new things to try. Til next time xo

Sunday, 3 May 2015

My Holy Water: Avene Eau Thermale

This is a remarkably simple product. It's water. In a bottle. Yeah okay, call me crazy, but I'm pretty addicted. This is the Avene Thermal Spring Water Spray: here's why I love it.

This stuff is directly source from thermal springs in France and filtered to make it the purest form possible. It's pH neutral, making it perfectly adapted to help sensitive skin keep calm and soft whilst restoring hydration. My skin type is combination but sensitive with patches of redness that emerge after washing (no matter how gently I cleanse!) or general irritation. I hoped a bottle of this stuff would calm my skin. I also read that it made a great makeup setting spray. It is slightly pricey for a bottle of water: but I hoped I would gain two uses out of it, and do my skin good instead of risking it with a 'traditional' setting spray (I have a feeling a lot of them would break me out.)

Once I pat my face dry, I spray the water all over my face. The great thing about this is that the spray is gentle- I was terrified it would be like a hairspray blast- and the application itself is really soothing. Avene advises that you leave your skin like this for a few minutes before patting your face dry. Unless you were going heavy on it, I don't personally feel this leaves your face 'wet'. Instead, it absorbs into my skin after a minute or so. I moisturise straight away instead of patting off excess. 

It's amazing how quickly the redness is eradicated. After that one minute, my complexion becomes even. I would actually argue that it's improving my complexion with time. It's pretty magic.
As for use as a setting spray, it's sadly not one for elongating makeup wear-time. However (this is a big however) it can be used over makeup for a nifty lil trick that's going to help anyone with combination/oily skin. If your skin produces excess oil, you obviously have to set it with powder. I hate powdering my makeup. I feel like my face can look cakey until it's been worn for a few hours. I always resent any powder I use, but if I skip it I'm an oily messy once I'm out and about. This is where this spray can help!

After powdering, once everything is set and you're done with your makeup, spray your face like you would directly. I know, it's scary (the first time I was totally ready for my mascara to run and my bronzer to move like a messy landslide.) But this does not alter your makeup at all. Instead, that initial powdery look that comes with preparing oily skin to hold its makeup completely vanishes. Your makeup looks smooth but still set. Thank me later!

So that's all the raving I have to do. I seriously love this. If your skin is normal then it's probably not really going to aid you in any way, but for dry sensitive/combo skin that needs calming or combo/oily skin that needs help with cakey makeup, this is a life saver.

You can purchase it here or in Boots stores (UK.) Til next time! xo

Friday, 1 May 2015

Desk Tour

Hey lovelies! I adore reading nosy posts like this so I thought why not write one myself? I've done a tour of my desk at my Nottingham 'uni home.' It's not perfect by any means (I'm genuinely addicted to the Pinterest 'beautiful desk' search) but seeing as it's essentially not my 'own', it's not how I'd quite like it to be: I can't put stuff up on the walls or light candles, for instance. Nevertheless, I like my little space and I think having a clean, organised place to work and write is essential. Here we go!
This white surface is, for one, impossible to keep clean...especially with all the makeup and nail varnish I go through. However, I do think it looks really nice, and it encourages me to tidy! My desk chair itself is actually a nice one but I like to cover it in a throw and cushion just to keep it cosy. This is where my laptop lives: I love laptop stickers and this one can be found here.
I keep a few nail varnishes on my desk, simply because there's no room for them elsewhere! This is probably 1/8 of my entire nail varnish collection (oops) but I go through phases of favourites. I also have some flowers (real ones are obviously nicer but they don't last forever so fake is the way!) and I'm the kind of person who never throws a card away so there's usually one that makes me happy on my desk.
I keep my kindle on my desk as well as my reading glasses (I wear Gok Wan model 56 if anyone cares to know!) At the minute I'm reading Atul Gawande Being Mortal. Reading novels full time as my degree has kinda meant I've fallen out of my love affair with reading fiction for fun. However, over the past year or so I've definitely found my non-fiction niche; it just so happens to be anything on mortality/death theory/all that cheery stuff. Keeping my kindle next to me means I'm more encouraged to read and take breaks from work that don't involve (wasting time on) the internet. 
And then I have a pretty random selection of stuff on a cork mat! I'm usually drinking Earl Grey, I've got a pot of pens and highlighters, some Body Shop Coconut hand cream, a selection of rings and to top it off, a purple sparkly Jesus who has kinda become my mascot. 
I love staying organised. My planner helps me with where I need to be and when and I love using Muji to-do lists to plan my work and errands. Meri Meri note sheets are the best for other reminders and general shopping/reading lists. Jack Wills post-its are great because they contain big stickers as well as tiny tabs, which are great to mark out places in books.

That's about it! Hoped you enjoyed snooping round my desk. Til next time xo
© Getting to Nomi

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