April It List

First and foremost, I’d like to apologise for being a bit well… slack. You see, I’d love to be able to blog all day everyday, but this damn frustrating concept called ‘doing your GCSEs’ exists. I’m trying to balance out blog-life, social-life and work-life all on top of revision and it’s proving a little tricky… Me time? What’s that? So, take this as a pre-warning; over the next few months you’ll be hearing a little less than usual from me. No worries, quantity may reduce but no way will quality be slipping!

This post, as many of you accustomed readers will know, is all about my favourite things for the upcoming month – the things you NEED to go and buy/do/wear. April’s, in tune with the current weather, is a lighter, brighter theme – products that will work even as it gets warmer. Enjoy!


Rosie HW for Autograph Creme Blush in Camisole Blush

To be honest, ‘celebrity’ lines aren’t usually high in quality when it comes to cosmetics – and I don’t particularly rate the Autograph make-up range anyway, so it was a fabulous surprise when this product actually turned out to be as good as high-end products like MAC Cremeblend Blush (£18.50). The formula is better than anything I’ve tried previously – Bourjois, MAC, Revlon. They’re all so ‘unblendable’ compared to this! This blush is a long-lasting, super easy to apply option, perfect for those who aren’t so confident as well as those who are. It comes in a range of 4 colours – Camisole Blush is a perfect coral-toned blush for fair skin – which all blend out to a silky, powder-like finish. I highly recommend trying this and I’ve heard that the lipsticks in this collection are equally as wonderful!

Decorative Hoops

Hoops? Meh… They’ve been around for ages. But dainty little hoops with decorations make the whole concept a lot more exciting! Perfect for the boho vibe of the warmer weather, just like the earrings below – a high-street option from Topshop. So, let your jewellery take centre stage this spring and get experimenting!

Hey Honey Good Morning Facial Serum

This came in my most recent Glossybox, as it’s supposed to be great for all skin types – even sensitive. Weirdly enough, one of my close friends, Grace, had recently been raving about the benefits of honey for the complexion and I was eager to give it a try. There’s no denying, this serum feels absolutely gorgeous on the skin. Also, using it along with my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish (staring from £6) made a noticeable difference to the brightness of my complexion – people even commented that I looked healthier! For me, although it isn’t a miracle worker for my spots, I can see it being a favourite amongst many people without the issue of teenage skin. It’s nourishing, but non-oily properties make it a great option for a lighter, summer serum.

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Beyonce Ivy Park collection for Topshop

I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about a clothing line, honestly – I mean it’s QUEEN B who wouldn’t be?! Beyonce has announced that her sportswear collection, ‘Ivy Park’, for Topshop will be released on the 14th of April. This 200 piece collection ranges from around £20 to £150; there’s something for every budget. In addition, she’s created leggings for every body shape and activity, low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise – HOW BLOODY AMAZING! Get ready for some serious shopping, girls, this is one thing you won’t want to miss.

Open-toe Boots

Although they may come across as slightly impractical (surely if you need boots on, you can’t afford to have your toes out?), I think that open-toe boots will be the item that get’s you through the winter-summer transition that we have here in the UK. I picked up these suede, chunky-heeled beauties from M&S for just £35, as I can wear them with pretty much anything – jeans, dresses, shorts. If you’re liking the sound of it, take a look at the following: Hustle Open Toe Boots (£85), Call It Spring Tan Boots (£40), Miss Kurt Geiger Saana Boots (£65).

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Paul Green Trainers

I recently came across this footwear brand in House of Fraser, whilst I was supposed to be looking for prom shoes but instead was drooling over super-cool trainers. I first became a little obsessed with the idea of dressed-up trainers when myself and my mum took a trip to London Fashion Weekend. Many designer brands have always had jazzed-up trainers in their collections, but the high-street hasn’t caught on until very recently. Hi-tops, low-tops all in muted pinks and blues with the occasional pop of colour… if you’re a fan of Superga or the new Reebok ‘Spirit’ collection, I can guarantee you’ll fall in love with Paul Green.

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Alright, I’ve already raved about this in my Natural Beauty tutorial, but seriously, I can’t exclude it from the It List. Similar to a BB Cream, in the fact that it’s much less heavy than your average foundation. But there is absolutely no compromise on coverage or lasting-power (which, along with shade, was a bit of a problem with bareMinerals Complexion Rescue). Even if you prefer a heavier foundation for nights out or winter, this is totally the one to get you through the summer months. Believe me, I sat in Space NK and pretty much tried every foundation in there on my face; Nars, Hourglass, Laura Mercier, Shiseido, you name it, I tried it. But, this was a definite winner.

Macaroons

I’ve always loved macaroons, no matter how crazy expensive they can be to buy – I think they’re an ideal summer treat, as they’re not too stodgy or large. One of my best friends, Evie, frequently bakes (and will probably win GBBO one day) and made some gorgeous macaroons as cake decorations. And, well, I’ve fallen in love all over again. If you live in Norwich like me and love macaroons, I suggest you try Macaroons & More or Harriet’s Tea Room.

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 I hope you enjoyed this post and that I’ve given you a little April inspiration! What are you loving this month? Let me know below!

Emilia x

 

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February It List

Ahh, February, that delightful month where absolutely nothing ever seems to happen. Except from rain and the occasional spot of sleet, that is. Everyone’s tired from the few weeks back at work or school, everyones fed up of following their New Years resolutions,  and there’s generally not much happiness brewing around. Do not fear, however, because I am about to tell you all the things that you should be doing this month (instead of miserably staring out of the window). February wil no longer be the month of nothingness. Mark my words.


 

Too Faced Peanut Butter & Jelly Eyeshadow PaletteToo-Faced-Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly-Palette-Review-2

What could possibly be more exciting that a new Too Faced palette release?! The queens of eyeshadows have treated us to an exciting mix of colour pop and neutrals all in one place and we couldn’t be more grateful. This little beauty is due to be welcomed into the world on the 28th of February in the UK and luckily enough, I’ll be in London all ready to get a glance. Chocolate Bar? Or even Choco-Bonbons? Pfft.. That’s so last year – you’re going to want to get your hands on the latest edition ladies, trust me.

 


Accentuating the waist

Every little detail in fashion at the minute seems to be heading towards this; using old-style tricks to create the illusion of a thinner waist. Move over ‘over-sized’, no more hiding away – we’re about to show it all off! Wrap coats, high-waisted culottes, belted pinafores, midi-skirts – they’re all in on it. It’s time to create some curves, girls, and below are some suggestions as to how to get started…


The New Pancake

As everyone should be well aware of (if you’re not you’re slightly crazy), next Tuesday is the beloved Pancake Day. I.e. it is law that you eat pancakes all day. (Okay, not quite.) Anyway, this year it’s all about changing it up; try something new, the whole lemon and sugar thing is a getting a little ancient. Chocolate orange, Pear and Maple Syrup, arrot Cake, the list goes on. Find all the best and most invent recipes for this year in the following links!

Red VelvetCarrot CakeLemon and BlueberryGinger BreadBirthdayPeanut Butter CupPear & Whiskey Maple Syrup.


Mini-bags

This season some accessories seem to be growing, whilst others seem to be shrinking; it’s an odd notion. Last month I spoke about big earrings, they’re totally coming back in. Don’t be afraid to let your ears take centre stage! But, on the other hand, bags are one of the ‘shrinkers’. Mini-backpacks, mini-satchels, mini-duffels, they’re everywhere! Long gone are the days of the Mary-Poppins-style shopper, from now on there’s only space for your phone, a cardholder and, of course, a lippy. Unsure on how you could channel this trend? Just take a peek at the ideas below..


Love Me Beauty boxes

Upon receiving this month’s Elle magazine, as I opened the pages, as always, a multitude of leaflets fell out. Usually they’re the same sort of promotional thing, as Elle tend to keep the same partners, but this month, a new slip of card fell out! This was advertising yet another ‘beauty box’ brand on the market called ‘Love Me Beauty’ and, what’s better, you can get your first month for just £1 with Elle! £45 worth of beauty products for £1, you’d be insane not to buy one. Of course I’ve already gone ahead and ordered one, woopsy… Expect a review coming soon!


Oxford Circus Topshop Store

Despite having been to London countless times in recent years, for some reason, I’d managed to never ever set foot in the flagship Topshop store! It’s almost an offence. So, this month, for the first time ever, I paid this shop a visit (a 2-hour long visit, as it happens), when I went to London with three close friends. And, oh my, it was amazing. A nail bar, a hair salon, a smoothie bar, a fro-yo bar, Brandy Melville and many beauty brands from abroad too – all in one store! It is truly shopping heaven – if you haven’t been you should put it straight on your to-do list for 2016.


Cocoon Coats

Here in the UK, it usually isn’t worth ditching our coats until at least mid-April, so with the new season stuff in store, there’s a real urge to invest in another new piece ‘just for spring’. If your shopping habits are along the same lines as mine, then you’ve probably already bought yet another coat, but if you’re still deliberating, listen up! The cocoon coat, as it’s so aptly named, will literally cocoon your body, wrapping you up and giving the oversized look that we’re still addicted to in outerwear styles. What’s more? There’s loads of lovely versions of these left over from the Christmas sales! Snatch them up whilst you can.


Spring Cleaningil_fullxfull.636776034_9i5s

Alright, maybe it isn’t the most thrilling thing to do, but on one of the classically drizzly days, I promise you this is one of the best things you can do – you’ll be happy with the results. Whether this means clearing out your wardrobe, make-up collection, skincare, rearranging your bedroom or just giving your make-up brushes a good old clean, it’s refreshing to do something like this once in a while. Now that you’ve cleared out, you could do a car boot, sell on eBay or Depop or even take your stuff to the local charity shop. After all, getting rid of old things can only mean one thing, right? More space for new things!

December It List

Halfway through December, an examed-out, exhausted girl looks at her phone screen and realises “OH BALLS! IT’S HALFWAY THROUGH DECEMBER AND I HAVENT PUBLISHED THE IT LIST!” In case you’re wondering, that girl is me. I’ve just finished doing my mocks at school, but there’s still lots of deadlines for coursework and stuff; it’s been a bit of a tiring term. So, unfortunately, because grades on paper matter more than doing something you love apparently, I’ve had to put blogging to the side a little. But, no fear, I can guarantee that over Christmas I will be blogging away my boredom, you’ll be sick of me by January. Anyway, here’s the It List for this month!


Vanilla Chai Tea 

One of those people who can’t cope without sugar in your tea? Yep me too. However, by complete impulse, I purchased this box of Vanilla Chai Tea from Tescos because it looked pretty (I’m a sucker for marketing, I know) and amazingly it totally removes the need for sugar! So, if you’re in need of a change, and a healthy one at that, which is rare around the Christmas season, I highly recommend you pick up one of these.

Sledging

Alright, this one is kind of in the hope that it snows this year… It hasn’t snowed well in my region for probably about 3/4 years now, but whenever it does, my friends and I return to small excitable kids, whip our sledges out and spend the day in the snow. There’s nothing like it – and with our classically British climate, snow is rare, so we have to make the most of it!

Toni N Guy Heat Protection Mist

As per normal, when I’m trying a new type of product I’m dubious; will it even do anything? This one, as I’ve discovered is a little gem! You know those girls you see on adverts with gorgeous shining locks, not a bit of grease or frizz in sight? Well this simple heat protection spray will bring you one step closer to that! My crazy-thick hair never seems to be happy, whether it’s winter or summer, it’s always too dry and blow-drying it never helps, so this product has been a bit of a star-find for me. Also, this came from a very affordable gift set!

The Purse Project

I recently came across this idea when scrolling through Twitter (which is approximately 90% of my day). Basically it involves filling an old unwanted bag with things such as festive foodie treats, sanitary products and little gifts and giving it to a homeless woman on the streets as a Christmas gift. I personally think it’s a wonderfully kind idea of what to do with stuff you don’t like/use and, of course, it could be adapted to suit men as well as women.

Bomb Cosmetics Choc Around The Clock Brûlée 

I’ve always purchased Lush bath products when in need of a bit of a pamper, simply because my local Lush store is right in the centre of the city. I do love the colours and scents of them, but none of them ever seem to do anything for my skin. I was expecting this little bath melt to be exactly the same, maybe even worse than Lush because it’s a less known brand – but oh how wrong I was! This rich chocolately-scented bath melt fizzes gently to produce a creamy colour in the water, then once you’re in, the cocoa butter content moisturises the skin. Afterwards the difference in your skin’s moisture levels is very noticeable, it’s fair to say I love it. If you’re suffering from the usual dry winter skin, get yourself one of these. Has anyone tried any other products from Bomb Cosmetics? What do you think of the brand?

Good Things Five Minute Facial Mask

I’ve mentioned this previously in a skincare post, but I hadn’t actually tried it until recently. Due to Christmas, I am now slightly, if not totally broke, so spending on myself has had to be reduced majorly. As much as I would have loved to repurchase the Clarins Pure and Radiant Face Mask, this one was a quarter of the price and contained similar ingredients. After all, if you don’t try new things, you’ll never discover some of the best products. Anyway, I’ve been using this green-clay-based mask around 3 times a week for the past 2 weeks now (my skin’s been awful so excessive use has been necessary) and I have to say, it is up there is the ranks. Maybe it doesn’t give you the same glow as Clarins and maybe I don’t love the smell as much, but it will do and it’s very good at minimising pores and drawing out impurities for it’s price (there’s £2 off at the moment too)! If you’re looking for a new bargain face mask to try on sensitive but troublesome skin – this is the one for you.

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Spotify

Music;  who doesn’t love it eh? With the high costs of iTunes these days, Spotify is my go-to alternative. With almost every song out there on here, you can create your own playlists, listen offline and even discover new music that Spotify caters especially for you. Can’t get enough of the new Bieber tracks? (Who would’ve though, eh?) Need a bit of Bublé in your life around Christmas time? Download Spotify. To add to this, Spotify currently have a deal on for you to get 3 months of Spotify Premium for just 99p – an unmissable deal when usually 3 months would cost £29.97!

notonthehighstreet.com

The perfect site for secret santa, personalised gifts or just something a bit different. You’ve probably heard me mention it millions of times before – and that’s because, it’s my go to gift-site. Alright maybe some things are a little overpriced, but others are great value; you just have to search for them. Also, there’s an option to search just UK brands – what better thing to do than support local businesses? Delivery is fast and there’s truly something for everyone. Make sure to check it out, particularly if you’ve still got some of that dreaded Christmas shopping to do!


 

What are you loving this month? Do you have any suggestions for things I need to try out?

Let me know below my lovelies,

Emilia x

Norwich Cafes

This week marks a lot of important historical events in my country; Guy Fawkes ‘Bonfire’ Night to name one – but this week is also know as “Gingerbread Latte” week in my mind because the Starbucks Christmas drinks menu is officially available! Which is of course way more important that anything else. However, I have realised that there is a phenomenon which happens to many of us, which I like to call ‘Starbucks-itus’; we get bored. There’s only so many gingerbread lattes you can down, only so many turkey and stuffing paninis you can stomach (although, admittedly I could probably eat 5 in one sitting) before it starts to get a little tiring. So, today, I’ve designed a post specifically for my local readers of alternative, but equally fab coffee shops to visit in the city of Norwich. Feel free to take a look even if you aren’t local to the area; I’d love to know what cute coffee shops there are in your area!

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Strangers are renowned for their picture-perfect setting and gorgeous coffees around Norwich. Many of my friends swear by it! Here is a little picture of what I had when I popped in for a coffee and cake with my good friend Alex a few weeks ago. As you can see, the design is very alternative, but also refreshing and very calming – in the centre of the ‘pretty streets’ of Norwich, as I like to call them. Offering all types of hot drinks and delicious hand-made cakes – why not give it a try?

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Admittedly, I had not heard of this little place before I started to do some research for this blogpost! Artel – such a snappy and individual name and, by the looks of it, the place itself looks rather funky too! Offering an edgy take on classics and Instagram worthy surroundings, as well as adorable little gifts and trinkets for sale – I’m loving the sound of Artel! This is definitely somewhere I will be trying out in the wintery weeks to come!

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Out of all of these wonderful little shops, The Waffle House is probably the one I’ve known for longest. Why? Because the waffle-focused menu and extraordinary flavour combinations can’t help but be the talk of the city! Who would of thought I’d like a garlic and rosemary waffle? Not me! Here there is something for everyone and it’s surprisingly affordable; hence why my friends and I regularly visit.

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I have many friends who love this little cafe –  it prides itself in offering a wide range of gluten-free cakes with no compromise on flavour and texture. Ingredients are fresh and local and the atmosphere is ever so friendly – it’s a no brainer!

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The Playhouse, famously home to Norwich’s slightly smaller theatre, but also a great place to kick back, relax and have a coffee. For the colder winter days, there is a cosy indoor area, which you can see above, which breathes eclectic vibes. Also, their website is beautiful (this is very important to bloggers!) and with free-wifi it’s the perfect place to do some work or do just about anything.

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Well, this little place is rather new to Norwich, as myself and a couple of friends spotted it a few months back when we spontaneously decided to go for lunch. Above, you can see my, unfortunately rather crap, picture of the roof lights and modern, but cosy feel to the place, as well as a picture taken by Alex of myself and Evie in the area. Furthermore, they offer about every type of tea and coffee possible; last time I ordered a jasmine tea and fell in love! It’s a must try for you cafe-lovers of Norwich, like myself, and this new-kid-on-the-block is proving to be just as great as some of the oldies!

What are the best coffee shops in your area? Have you had your first Gingerbread Latte of the winter yet?

Emilia x