Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Where else to find me.....

Come along and say hi :)
Nikki x

Saturday, March 28, 2015

My Bucket List

I spent a fair few uni seminars compiling this list. There are obviously things not on this list that I'd like to do and things that are on this list that I don't think I'll ever end up doing but it's just a rough idea.

  • Get a tattoo
  • Visit Alcatraz
  • See a moose
  • Hold a sloth
  • Live abroad (preferably Canada) for 6+ months
  • Learn how to knit
  • Go to a drive in movie
  • Grand Canyon Skywalk
  • Finish the Keswick to Barrow
  • Visit an abandoned theme park
  • Flatten a coin on train tracks
  • Visit Dollywood
  • Get my nose pierced
  • Drive a tractor
  • Go to Eurovision
  • Go to an American football game
  • Visit a ghost town
  • Book the next flight out of an airport
  • Ride a segway
  • Taylor Swift Concert
  • See a musical on Broadway 
  • Learn Archery
  • Get into university
  • Visit Ginger Island
  • Be in the audience of a tv taping
  • Visit Monet's garden in Giverny
  • Attend a House of Holland Fashion Show at LFW
  • Ride in a rickshaw
  • Stormchase
  • Be in the audience of Ellen
  • See the Peter Pan statue
  • Volunteer with Orangutans in Borneo
  • Climb a volcano
  • Edgewalk on CN Tower
  • Meet Julie Andrews
  • Drink Butterbeer


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


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Summer Polish Favourites

I've skipped a season and gone straight to Summer with these colours. I don't often stray away from dark nails but when I do, I go hard. My two favourite coloured polishes scream sunshine and I get a lot of compliments about both of them.
They also happen to be from my two favourite brands when it comes to nail polishes.

Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Green Berry.

Models Own polish in Beach Party.

I find the formulation of these polishes to be fairly similar. They are quite thick in comparison to other polishes I've tried which means that one coat is usually enough. It also means that they aren't going to chip easily - they are probably my two longest wearing polishes. I can get an average of a week before the tips start fading away.

What are your favourite polishes for hotter weather?
Nikki x


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

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Plumped lips in minutes....no injections necessary!

I have always had a complex about my top lip. If I ever win the lottery, the first thing I would do would be to get my top lip enhanced but, alas, I've never even won a tenner! 
So recently I did quite a bit of research into products that would amp up the volume whilst not breaking the bank.

I saw quite a few reviews on DuWop and decided this 'Venom' lip plumper was the product for me.
The product itself is a clear gloss which is applied with a tiny lip brush. It comes in a tiny 3.5ml tube but I honestly can't see the day when I'll run out of it as a little really does go a long way.

As soon as I applied this, the very first time, my lips started to tingle - yaay! As I want maximum effects, I apply this all over my top and bottom lips (as I would a normal lipgloss) about half an hour before I'm going to be applying my lip colour of the day. If you wanted, you could just leave this on and be good to go for the day. I'm not a fan of the clear lip gloss look so I tend to blot off any product that hasn't soaked in. The result doesn't disappear once the product has gone which I love but obviously they'd be prolonged if you just left the gloss on.

I thought the effects might just be in my head to begin with, that the tingling had made me exaggerate the results but the lips even feel fuller to touch.

One problem I have had with this product is that I have to be careful not to get it on the skin around my lips. I've found that when I get in on my skin it creates blotches. These do fade and disappear within the hour but obviously if I'm going out, it's not ideal.

Have you ever tried any products like this? Did they work?
Nikki x


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) Instagram

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 20, 2015

Maybelline Dream Flawless Nude Foundation

I love the packaging of this product. I think that's what drew me over to it in Boots. That's about all I like though.

I feel like I need to point out at this point that I'm not saying this is a bad product, at all. Makeup, especially base products, is never going to be to everyone's taste. All of my opinions are based on how it performed on my skin but I've seen plenty of people raving about this. 

The consistency of this is a really thin liquid. It is easy enough to blend but I find it sits on the skin, never really sinking in which makes trying to build coverage pretty impossible.
Whilst being called 'fluid touch' I find that this dries fairly quickly but, on me at least, it slips and slides all over the place. I've worn this without primer and I've worn it with my Laura Mercier primer and it still started fading, in parts, within the first hour leaving me blotchy.

The applicator is a strange concept. It comes with a solid dropper which I imagine is meant to stop you using up too much product. Due to the consistency of this foundation, I felt like this took more time than necessary to get the right amount of product for a decent coverage. However, I do really like the idea and think it would work really well with a thicker product.

I don't want to be repetitive but, once again, I was naive about the colour. I think this product has a wider colour range in the USA but the tester for 10 Ivory seemed ok enough in the shop. 

Any pale people have high street favourites or do I really need to start splurging?
Nikki x

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

If It's Good Enough For Emma Stone.....

I'm pretty sure the only product I've tried from Revlon is their Nearly Naked foundation (which I love by the way) but they've never been a brand I gravitated towards in a shop.
I heard a lot of my fellow ghostly people say that Colorstay was a great match. Then....in true Superdrug style, they had a 3 for 2 offer on. It would have been rude not to buy more.

Insert crappy quality webcam picture!...

Colorstay Foundation in 110 Ivory
This comes in two formulations. They do combination/oily skin and normal/dry skin, which is the one I picked up.
The shade of this foundation is absolutely ideal for me. When I first started blending it out it looked scarily white but the more you blend, the more it became a natural match for me. 
I've tried this with my fingers and a sponge and really didn't like it. I find it works best with a flat top brush. 
This is buildable but I think only up to medium coverage. It covers a lot of redness but you definitely still need to go in with a concealer for any problem areas.
I set this with the Collection Loose Powder. On a slow day, it has pretty good lasting power but on a working day, it starts fading after 4/5 hours. Still not too bad.

Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen in 01 Blackest Black
I don't like this. The pen is scratchy, the formula is weak and the colour isn't the most pigmented.
I really like the packaging of the product. It's your standard felt liner pen but when you take the lid on and off it clicks into place so you know it won't be drying out anytime soon.
The nib of the pen itself is really long and so it doesn't take long at all to get a line drawn but it's also really scratchy.

Colorburst Matte Balm in 245 Audacious
I'm not going to lie, I got this for my sister for her birthday but she leaves the house before me and it's just sooo pretty! I actually really like it. This is super pigmented and once applied to the lips has an almost minty taste. It's quite cooling and makes the lips tingle. I went in with two coats of this and got about 90 minutes wear before it started to fade in the centre. My lips, at the moment, aren't in the best condition so I'm sure it would last longer on those of you who don't constantly bite all the skin off. I'm so into this that I've already added every other colour to my wishlist!

What are your favourites from Revlon?
Nikki x

Sunday, March 15, 2015

New Shoes!

I'm not one for heels, of any variety. I simply cannot walk in them. Sometimes, I can't even stand up straight in them but
I have been pining for heeled ankle boots for a while now. I convinced myself that I just needed to find the right shoe and all my balance issues would vanish.
Well, it happened. I found them.
(OKAY! I probably do still look like Bambi)

Say hello to my dream shoes!

Aren't they beautiful? I will not be argued with on this one - New Look footwear can't be beaten. It's super cheap, amazing quality and bang on trend.

What store is your favourite for footwear?
Nikki x


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My Evening Skincare Routine

It's only been 3 months since I did my first post on my Evening Skincare but every product has changed since then so I thought there'd be no harm in writing up another. I use a few more products depending on the day and the type of day my skin is having but these are my current staples. My skin isn't anywhere near perfect but, whilst I still have/get spots, I find that this combination takes away any irritation or soreness.

So in order......

Liz Earle Cleanse + Polish
I am years late to the Liz Earle party. I used my Birchbox points towards the Cleanse + Polish starter kit, so it was a bargain really. I apply this all over my fave in a thick layer and leave it for a few minutes before washing it off with the muslin cloth provided. I really like the Liz Earle cloths, they are thicker than ones I've previously bought.

Mild Dermabrasian Face and Body Scrub
The skin around my nose gets fairly flaky (gross, i know) so I use this once a week to fix this problem. It helps get rid of my dry skin so my makeup applies more smoothly.

Good Things Bright Eye Cream
This is a fairly new addition to my collection but I'm really liking it. I tend to only use this under my eyes because my lids are oily enough without adding anymore moisture. I've found the skin under my eyes has been a lot more hydrated, staying soft throughout the day.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane
I'm not overly sure what this is doing exactly but I really like using it. It feels soothing and I think that it's calming my redness down. I have found that I've been reacting less severely to new products, which I guess is it's job.

Cattier Masque Argile
This is my favourite face mask. I try to use it once a week, at least but I find that it does dry pretty quickly so I don't have it on for long. That being said, I find that in the couple of minutes I do have it on for, this is really gentle and takes any swelling out of spots I might have making them less painful.

What are your skincare favourites for sensitive skin?
Nikki x
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