Friday, March 27, 2015

How I Save Money


I'm not the sort of person who can successfully save just for a rainy day. I envy people who can do that but I need an end goal.

1) A recent addition to my room is a goal board. I pin pictures which represent things off my bucket list. This way I've always got my eye (literally) on what I'm saving towards and I'm less likely to make that frivolous ASOS purchase.

2) I've run out of storage for products and instead of buying more room, I'm currently limiting my makeup purchases (99% of the time). For example, I can only buy a new makeup product e.g. foundation when I finish one I already have. There are obviously slip ups. The Max Factor Creme Blushes were too pretty to resist and let's be real, who ever actually finishes a blush?

3) I've had a savings account for about 8 years now but it's linked through online banking to my everyday account so I can transfer money out of my savings just as easily as I can transfer money into them. This obviously means that my savings aren't looking too healthy. At the end of last year I had the genius idea of giving my money to someone I trusted so that it I didn't have access to it. Since January I have been giving my nanna money regularly with the instructions that I can't have it back until my birthday in July. If it gets to July and I still don't have enough for what I'm saving for then I'll give it back to her and give her a new end date. She's probably the only person I would trust to not cave into my pleas.

4) I save all my loose change in a piggy bank. Actually in my case it's an empty 3L Vodka bottle my mum got from her local. Since having it, I never spend coins less than £1, they go straight into the jar. I'm going to be loaded when it's full, it's actually massive!!

Are you any good at saving? What methods are your favourite?
Nikki x

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Musical Theatre Tag



What was the first musical you ever saw? I went to see Cats and Starlight Express in the West End when I was in year 5 (so 9 maybe). I'm not sure which I actually saw first but I fell in love with musical theatre there and then. I have to admit that I think I preferred Starlight Express as I quickly persuaded my dad to take me to see it again and got told off by the girl next to me for singing along loudly. When I say told off, she actually asked me nicely but I didn't even realise I was doing it. Whoops!
2. What was your favourite musical growing up? I'm honestly not sure. I've always been a theatre fangirl so it's hard to pinpoint my favourite. Probably Les Miserables. I loved that from the moment that I bought the 10th Anniversary Concert, although I didn't actually go to see it until I was 21. It might have been Mamma Mia though because I saw that one a few times throughout my early teens.
3. Were you ever in a musical? Nope. I have none of the talent required for musical theatre. I can't sing, dance or act - never mind the combination. I often pretend I'm a one woman musical when I'm alone in my room, though. That's between me and my mirror.
4. What was the first musical you saw on Broadway? Sadly, I’ve never been to New York so I'll have to wait to cross Broadway off my bucket list.
5. If you could be any female character in any musical who would you be and why? Elphaba. Isn't she the dream? She gets to Defy Gravity. But Galinda sings my favourite Wicked song so that's a tricky one. I'd love to be Molly in Ghost, Mrs Wilkinson in Billy Elliot, Kim in Miss Saigon, Scaramouche in WWRY....The list is literally so long we could be here forever. In case you haven't cottoned on yet, I just really love musical theatre and could not be more envious of those who have the talent to bring these magical characters to life on stage. I'm going to stick with Elphaba though, as my ultimate.
6. Which male character? Tony in Billy Elliot or Javert in Les Mis.
7. Favourite musical song to sing in the shower? Probably anything Legally Blonde. 
8. Who is your favourite theatre actress? Kerry Ellis. Hands down. I actually sobbed when I got to see her Elphaba. Like, I'm talking for the whole of the second act. I got through a whole pack of tissues. I just really love her, ok?!
9. Actor? Oliver Tompsett. He's absolutely incredible. He was the first Fiyero I saw (...I think I've seen 5) and he's remained my favourite. I've also been lucky enough to see him in Rock of Ages and We Will Rock You a few times and he never faulters.
10. Favorite film adaptation of a musical? I'm not a massive fan of film adaptations of musicals because I don't think there's anything better than the atmosphere of watching the story play out live. It's different everytime you watch it, especially if you get a different cast, so it's like a a whole new show. That being said, I do think some musicals adapt better to film than others. Mamma Mia is a a good example of one I think adapted to the screen well. I think a major factor with film adaptations is choosing a great cast and that's not something everyone will agree on.
11. What do you think is most underrated musical? I've seen a couple which didn't survive very long in the West End. I'm going to cheat here because I've got two which I think are ridiculously underrated. 
The first is Viva Forever. I saw this with a couple of my girl friends for Valentines day a couple of years ago and we had a bloody good night. The show was so good! We were even up dancing at the end. I know different people have different ideas of theatre etiquette but I think it depends on the show. Viva Forever had a solid storyline, relevant in that it was about a talent contest and it left the audience in a good mood at the end. I hope it tours. 
The second show I don't think gets the love it deserves is Ghost. I saw this with the original London cast so I got to see Caissie Levy, which crossed seeing her off my theatre bucket list. The technical aspect of this show was magnificent. Seeing people touch things without moving them and moving things through 'doors' etc blew my mind. Not to mention I love a good cry so the emotional rollercoaster Sam and Molly took us on was incredible. It is such a brilliant show that I recommend anyone go and see it if they get the chance. 
12. Overrated musical? This is killing me. I literally can't think of one. There are so many which aren't appreciated as much as they should be but I can't think of one which I think doesn't deserve every bit of its success. 
13. What musical made you cry? Oh my god! You should have asked what musical doesn't make me cry. The last time I went to Billy Elliot I cried at the opening score. It was cast change. I was emotional, ok?
14. What musical made you laugh? I probably laugh as often as I cry to be fair. I think Galinda should be able to make me laugh, I laugh at the Hula Song in Dirty Dancing, Express Yourself in Billy Elliot but the most I've ever laughed in a theatre would have to be The Book Of Mormon. That show is literally hilarious! Like, the stitches hurt.
15. Are there any musicals you saw and hated? None that I can think of. I can generally find aspects I love even if it isn't the whole thing. Like, even if a story is weak I'll latch to a character or vice versa. Sometimes I'll dislike a performers interpretation of a character but that won't ruin the whole show for me. A good example of this for me would be Wicked. I've seen five different Fiyeros so obviously there's a comparison there and some weren't my cup of tea. That doesn't mean they weren't good, just that it's human nature to compare and maybe I didn't like their Fiyero as much as anothers.
16. What musical do you want to see as a film? I would much prefer to have recordings of stage versions such as Love Never Dies and the recent Billy Elliot. I haven't got a dream adaptation but I'd really love Wicked to be filmed on stage.
17. Which musicals are you dying to see? I've got a bucket list of musicals and musical performers. From musicals that are currently in the West End, I really want to see Jersey Boys, The Lion King, Phantom and Miss Saigon. There are so many more that just aren't over here though.
18. Any movie or book you think should be turned into a musical? There's literally nothing I can think of. For a feel good, probably limited run I'd go Mean Girls but I can't think of anything with longevity.
19. What is your all-time favourite musical? Usually whichever I've seen most recently. I always leave the theatre and I'm like 'oh my god! That was the best thing I've ever seen'.
I'd probably have to go Wicked because it's the one I choose to go and see regardless of cast. I tend to go and see musicals based on which shows my favourite performers are in when I get to London but I'll always go to see Wicked regardless of who is in it.
Are you a musical theatre fan? What's your favourite show?
Nikki x
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Monday, March 23, 2015

20 Facts About Me


Hey all, I thought it would be fun to share some things about myself. Beauty posts don't really show personality but I'm hoping to share more lifestyle posts so this seemed a good place to start.
Some of these are fairly hard to phrase so bear with me.

1.When I'm eating a bag of skittles I have to empty the bag and separate the skittles into groups containing one of each colour. When one colour has run out, I can't eat any left over skittles. 

2. When I was little I used to sit with my tape recorder and record my own mix tape of the songs I liked off the Sunday charts. I can't imagine how much time I wasted doing that.

3. I love musicals and I have major envy for anyone with any of the talent needed to perform in them. I can't sing, dance or act. Life's so unfair!

4. I once got told off by the girl next to me at Starlight Express for singing along loudly. Whoops!

5. I can't ride a bike. It's on my bucket list to Boris bike through Hyde Park, though, so I'll have to learn at some point.

6. I have to have the television volume on a even number. I can't even tell you how much it irritates me when it's on an odd number. It kind of makes me anxious.

7. Spice World made me scared that a bald guy was going to come out of the toilet so I always leave flushing until the very minute I can run from the bathroom.

8. I have a crush on Kevin Bacon.

9. I've failed my driving theory test twice and my practical once.

10. It's on my bucket list to drive a tractor.

11. My favourite book is A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby.

12. Dame Maggie Smith once said 'excuse me' to me in M+S on King's Road and it was the best moment of my life.

13. I'm scared of water you can't see through. Like, what's under there?? Nobody knows!

14. My favourite song is Stars from Les Miserables.

15. I have been a vegetarian for almost 10 years.

16. I find cleaning makeup brushes really calming. I know lots of people hate it but I look forward to it.

17. Nothing makes me more anxious than hugs. I know they are a positive thing but I'd honestly prefer you stayed in your own personal space. I really need to do something about this one, it isn't normal.

18. I have one tattoo (I really need to get around to getting more, I want loads) 

19. I have a Sugar Free Red Bull addiction and I collect the openy bits off the cans  

20. My favourite event of the year is Eurovision! By far! It's kind of an obsession 

This was harder than I thought it would be. I didn't want to pick simple ones that don't really tell you anything.
What's the most random fact about yourself?

Nikki x
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Sunday, March 22, 2015

I bought some more stuff....


I'm slowly but surely getting through the Boots gift cards I received for Christmas.

Barry M Nail Paint in Pink Sapphire Glitter 
I don't often wear glitter on my nails but I'm a sucker for how pretty it looks in the bottle so when I saw this in a bargain bin at Boots, I had to have it. I have been wearing this on the accent finger over the Rimmel polish below. I does take a few layers to get any real glitter payoff but it dries fairly quickly and I love the wide range of colours in there.

Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Varnish in Mary Mary Quite Contrary
I'm not sure what attracted me to this polish. If you're a regular reader then you'll know I'm a dark nail lover. Maybe it was the price....This was also in a bargain bin and I think it was less than £1.50. Or maybe it was the name - 'Mary Mary Quite Contrary' is such a cute name. I love polishes with inventive shade titles. If I had to describe the colour it would be a super pastel cement grey with lilac undertones. I really like it.

Real Techniques Sponge
I've only really started using brushes for my foundation in the last year or two so I'm majorly late to the sponge party. I'm still more than happy using my fingers. That being said, I was really happy to receive a Beauty Blender in a subscription box a couple of months ago. That didn't go well. I tried a few times but my foundation wasn't looking anywhere near natural and then the blender started going mouldy. So, I went back to my brushes. I've been using this on days when I want light/medium coverage (usually days when I don't leave the house) and it only works for me dry. I do like this and I imagine I'll be picking up another one when this comes to the end of it's life.

Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Seductive Pink
These blushes are being raved about all over the web so naturally I was intrigued. They are supposedly a dupe for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting blushes which I'm lusting over but can't justify buying so that was another big push for me. I swatched them all on my hand in the shop and this was the shade which I thought I would wear the most. I'm really impressed with the staying power of these. The swatches on my hand needed some serious scrubbing before they disappeared altogether. I can definitely see myself going back and picking up another one (or them all).

NYX Eyebrow Powder in Auburn/Red
I thought it was about time I tried to find a brow product that would actually look somewhat natural with my red hair. I've seen a lot of people my colouring using this in youtube tutorials so I picked one up. It comes with two powders and a gel. The first powder is definitely the redder of the two and it's an almost perfect match for my recently dyed hair. I don't know how it will fair when my hair fades back to it's natural colour but for now, I'm loving it.

What have you been loving from the drugstore recently?
Nikki x
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