Monday, 28 August 2017

The Palette That Started It All | Urban Decay Naked


Hello Everyone,

I hope you're all well and have had a great summer, I can't believe Autumn will be upon us soon, especially since we haven't really had a summer here at all, it's been rain, rain, rain here.

With the poor weather and the inability to go outside, I've spent a large amount of time sorting through my belongings lately, donating things to charity, binning things, ebaying other things and rediscovering old favourites and one item that got me thinking was my trusty old Urban Decay Naked Palette

The Urban Decay Naked palette is more than just another palette in my collection to me, it is the palette, the one that started it all and became an accidental symbol.

I had always looked at the makeup stands in the lovely shops that I couldn't afford, I loved everything about these stands, the perfectly made up sales assistants, the beautifully packaged products, the huge range of shades and the boxes of things that I wasn't quite sure what they actually were but I wanted them. 
At the time I was using an old white eye shadow that I had been given free with a magazine, I didn't own a blusher and my mascara did nothing for me, these makeup halls were filled with promise, of the woman I wanted to one day be and at the center of it all was the Naked palette. I had watched a girl online using this palette in a tutorial (this was waaaaayyyy before YouTube is what it is now) and my mind was made up, I would own this palette.

I got myself a nice little job and with the first pay day I treated myself to the Naked experience, and it didn't let me down. Naked 1 (which, at the time was the only naked palette) was everything I had hoped it would be, highly pigmented, wearable, beautiful and so very very smooth. Even a novice (like I was at the time) could create something beautiful using this palette. My favourite shades were Sin and Naked, and I would pair them together most days for work.
The palette above isn't instagram ready, it's very used, has traveled the world with me and has been with me through some of the hardest and best times.

It is currently well out of date, but I just can't part with it, I know it is a bit silly to be sentimental over makeup, but this isn't just makeup to me, this little box of nude shades is a symbol to me, the girl then wanting to be the woman I've become now, the gateway to makeup love and the ability to exercise my own creativity in thinking up looks that match my mood.

The reminder that once I was stood there on the outside looking into a world I couldn't understand but years later I was stood with an overnight bag stuffed full of my favourite products doing my best friend's makeup for her wedding day along with the other bridesmaids (and yes, my bag contained in-date Urban Decay products!). Sometimes things can seem unattainable, impossible at times but if you work at them, they can stop being dreams and become a reality.

My collection of pretty things and special makeup may be a lot bigger these days, but I'll never forget the day I grasped that brand new Naked palette in my hands and started on the next stage of my life journey.

Do you have a special item you just can't part with?

Rosy xx

Monday, 21 August 2017

Girl's Day Out | Waterstones Fort Kinnaird


Hi Everyone,

Today's post excites me very much because it combines my favourite things, books and my little lady.

Girl's days are something me and my little girl look forward to, we take ourselves off somewhere nice together to get some quality time in, sometimes we go swimming, sometimes we visit tourist attractions, other times we hit the shops for a spot of retail therapy and one type of shopping we are always both excited by is book shopping.

I was invited to visit Waterstones in Fort Kinnaird Edinburgh with my mini me to check out their new store layout, Waterstones in Fort Kinnaird used to be situated on the opposite side of the retail park but recently moved into another building. I used to visit the old store quite a lot and I (like many other people) believed that they had closed down at this location, I can't tell you how happy I am that this isn't the case!

Upon arrival we spotted the new school book section, having just started school, my little one is excited by all things 'school' and instantly spotted the Topsy and Tim Start School book that has been a staple in our house at the moment! If you have a child due to start their first term soon I really recommend this book, it goes over the feelings of nervousness and the excitement of starting primary school.

If you're a book fanatic like me, being surrounded by all the titles of books you are yet to read is an exciting prospect, I remember spending literally hours a day of my late teens in Waterstones and that excitement for a shop filled with literary treasures has never left me and I'm so excited that this bookish love is passing down to my daughter too.

Each section in the Fort Kinnaird Waterstones is perfectly stocked and there are loads of little reader tips with various recommendations and added information about various books (in the pictures above you can see what looks like post-it notes on the shelves, they're what we are talking about here) which I love reading and have picked up some great new books this way in the past.

Along with the standard book covers for casual reading, there was also a sizable range of more gift worthy editions of books from classics to children's books all beautifully bound with the most beautiful covers, I occasionally treat myself to such prizes and I definitely buy them for my daughter for Christmas gifts too but I always like a browse, how beautiful is that hardback copy of 'A Little Princess'? I am adding that one to my wish list!

I couldn't write a post about visiting Waterstones and leave out my book shop ritual of hunting out the Enid Blyton selection, I have some serious nostalgia of autumn evenings as a kid reading about the Malory Towers capers and they still hold a special place in my heart even after reading thousands more books since those long cosy nights.

The Magic Faraway Tree was another obsession of mine as a little kid and I often think of this book on my many woodland walks to this day and if you have a child who loves a bit of magic and adventure, you can't go wrong with this story of a trio of siblings who move to the countryside from the city only to discover an enchanted wood full of exciting secrets, magic lands and quirky forest folk.

For those of you looking to buy a bookish gift for a reading obsessed friend or loved one, look no further than the gift section in your local Waterstones, there is always a plethora of goodies from Penguin Classics themed mugs to playing cards to tote bags to local themed items.

I do love seeing a bit of personality in shops and I always find things to suit the local area when I'm browsing a Waterstones store, Fort Kinnaird has loads of lovely Scottish items being that we are in Edinburgh here but when I travel up and down the UK, I have found books and gifts proudly showing off the area you are in at the time.

The range of kids character toys is fantastic, I have a fair few at home myself for both me and my daughter, I don't know about any of your children but my little girl loves picking a character soft toy to take to bed and then we read a story or two featuring the toy of the night, it's a little ritual we both enjoy immensely, my cottage however, is at serious risk of overflowing with the amount of cute things we both insist on collecting and perhaps we should rein it in... (as I look down at my new pusheen themed slipper socks Mr Sparkles brought me two days ago).

After our little browse I went to speak to the manager of the Fort Kinnaird store, Keith Cooper.

If ever there was a man to ignite a passion for books, Keith is your man. I asked about their Scottish author selection and was thrilled by all the information I was given whilst being shown various books around the store, I learned about Scottish folklore that I had never heard of before (although I live in Scotland now I'm originally from Newcastle) including a story of the Kelpie which was such an interesting legend, forget your Loch Ness, read up on The Kelpie! I also saw a Scottish Fairy Tales book I'll be going back to get next month!

I also discovered that some of our favourite kid's books have been translated into Scots now too, such as the Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson who now has a pizenous plook’ on his neb thanks to James Robertson, a Scottish writer of several short stories, poetry amd novels, who translated the book. 

I discovered Keith also had a liking for crime novels (which as many of you will know are a favourite of mine) and he pointed me towards some of his favourites from Scottish authors, there were so many exciting sounding stories to pick from but I finally settled on Black Widow by Chris Brookmyre as it came highly recommended, it is the story of a blogger who upsets a few people with her sexism posts and has information leaked about her online, then she meets Peter who knows nothing of her past and they marry after a whirlwind romance but before long Peter is dead and the press are calling her the Black Widow, but did she do it?

I can't wait to read this one, I'm excited to read more from Scottish authors as so far I've not come across many and living in Scotland I should remedy that asap.

My daughter picked up Princess Evie's Ponies: Willow The Magic Forest Pony which is her second book from this series now. She also latched on to a Mog teddy after being a huge fan of the Mog series by Judith Kerr and we went upstairs to the cafe to have a look at our books and have a hot drink, this is another ritual of ours on our 'Girl's Days' and I love that Waterstones at Fort Kinnaird have a cafe in the building because it is a perfect way to relax with your new read, little one had hot chocolate and I had an Earl Grey tea.

We were very kindly gifted our books and drinks and even Mog too which was a lovely surprise and I can't thank Waterstones enough for having me but in particular, Keith Cooper for taking the time to talk to me and give me loads of information and exciting recommendations, we had a lovely time.

I'd love to know how any of you blow off steam when you want some quality time.

Do you visit Waterstones yourself? Let me know if you've been to Fort Kinnaird!

Bye for now,

Rosy xx

*As stated above, books and refreshments were provided free of charge (Mog too!) but all opions are my own.
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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Things I've Been Loving Recently | Favourites


Hello Everyone,

This past month has been one hell of a month for me, it's been a very testing time indeed and I think that when you're having a rather terrible time of it, you just need some things that make you happy which is the inspiration behind this post, I decided to share with you some of the things I've been loving lately because sometimes you really need the little things that cheer you up.

As you can see, there's a good range of bits here but I'm going to start with one of my new favorite books that I recently finished:

I loved this book so much! It was beyond any expectations I had going into this narrative and I have to be honest, I was pretty excited when I received the package containing The Women of the Castle* which is a new release about a widow of the resistance in Nazi Germany, who, after her husbands execution for his role in a failed plot to assassinate Hitler, begins a search for fellow wives and widows of the resistance with the aim of saving them and bringing them under her care at an old castle passed down from her late husband's family.
The story of the unlikely companions is extremely absorbing and I was unable to put this book down, the women all have very different characters and secrets of their own which, when combined with the tales of their past, present and future, delivers such a compelling story that I wished it would never end.
I'm really into history and one period of time I'm particularly interested in is the World War 2 era and I'm especially interested in the lives of the women of that time period but The Women of the Castle also offered up a look at the lives of German women rather than the allied side and that to me is what made this book so unique and I rated The Women of the Castle 5/5 stars on Goodreads.

My next favourite might seem a little peculiar as I'm not sure I've ever blogged about tea before but lately I've been buying this China Rose Tea from Twinings, Twinings has been my favourite tea brand for ages but after discovering this China Rose tea, I've been even more hooked, it's a black tea (I just can't get down with green teas sadly) with a subtle but delicious hint of rose, ah-may-zing! Also, you might also be able to see my favourite cup of the moment from Cath Kidston's new Pet's Party range which you may have seen in my recent Homeware Haul (#PLUG).  

My next favourite is the Modern Renaissance Palette from Anastasia Beverly Hills which isn't a new palette but like many other beauty fans I was really excited by the release of the Subculture palette, that is until I saw the reviews (which were terrible if you missed that) and so I rekindled my love of the Modern Renaissance Palette every time I've had makeup on, I'm sure you know the score but all of these shades are really highly pigmented, blend beautifully and have an interesting colour scheme that is kind of neutral kind of not so you can either create a bold 'Look at Me' look or stick to a more everyday thing (which is what I do because I'm old and boring).

The makeup brush is from my new favourite set from Primark, you may have seen the post where I slated the newish brand Indy Luxe for producing poor quality, ebay style brushes for an offensive mark up, in that post I recommended these Primark brushes instead, they're only £10 for a set, themed and soft. Job done.

As you can see, the shade Golden Ochre is my favourite shade to use but I also love Buon Fresco which is a dusty rose colour and pretty perfect.

The final thing I've been loving is this gorgeous Rainbow Shine Wand*, you all probably know by now how much I love Lee Stafford, I've talked previously about Lee Stafford's 'The Straightener', the Lee Stafford CoCo LoCo Long Tong and the Lee Stafford CoCo LoCo Blow and Go Nuts and with all of these hair tools I have been nothing but 100% satisfied.
The Reason I'm loving this Rainbow Shine Wand is because, unlike the long tong, it doesn't have a clip over the barrel which works better for my fine hair as the clip was prone to leaving a kink.
It is taking a little getting used to using a barrel over my usual straighteners but the overall look is really pretty when I do use this wand instead, I like to brush the curls out for a loose wave and I have had loads of compliments.
I also love the handle, it is really satisfying to hold as it feels slightly rubbery to the touch, I really like the feel of it over the standard plastic finish I've had on wand handles in the past, is that weird?
The selling point for me is definitely the design though, that rainbow barrel just has all of my favourite aesthetics covered! You know by now I'm a bit of a sucker for designs and this, much like the rest of the Lee Stafford range, is absolutely stunning!

They also include a real glove to stop amateurs like myself from burning their hands styling, this has been a life saver because I'm a clumsy oaf when it comes to styling my hair as I'm usually a 'tuck it into a bun' girl, I say real glove by the way because every other 'glove' I've had with a hair tool has been a two finger shield which is no use to me when I'm burning all over the show, the glove with this little beauty is a real, full hand, five finger, actual glove. Thank you Lee Stafford! Oh and one more thing, the glove is pink... just casually throwing that in, not that I like pink or anything... 

So that's my little favourites post if you will, as always, if you've tried an of these do let me know!

Bye for now,

Rosy xx 

* = PR Sample, all thoughts are my own.

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