Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Beloved Books Tag

My darling wifey, KatieKinsDuncan, tagged me in this at the end of October so it's about time I got to it! As far as I can tell the premise of this tag is just your five favourite books, so, in no particular order, here goes!

Paper Towns by John Green

This was the first John Green book I fell in love with. I've watched John and Hank since 2007 (I just caught the end of 2.0) and I was a huge part of the hype that led up to the release of Paper Towns. I can still remember watching a video of Kristina, Kayley and Lauren (I think? And maybe Hayley too?) meeting John and getting blacked out copies of Paper Towns from where edits had been made since the first proof run. I pre-ordered this book and was SO HAPPY to receive happy Margo. I still haven't seen the film as I'm scared it will spoil the beauty of this book.

The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

I cannot express how beautiful this little book it. It's super quick to read but urgh it's so poignant and just stunningly crafted. I've read it a number of times and always found something new in it. It was the inspiration for my dissertation and I love it!

NW by Zadie Smith

I read this book during the summer of first year of Uni. It was a time in my life where I'd hit a reading slump and felt directionless. It was also the first truly 'adult' book I'd picked up of my own accord. I was blown away by Smith's playful use of language - this book reads how London feels to me - and I thank it so much for getting me back into loving literature and words.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

This book was so hyped in early 2014 and it did not disappoint. Another superb construction of literature, and a book I'll definitely return to (although I haven't yet!). I loved it!

Excuse the lack of photo, I own this book on Kindle and it was out of battery when I was taking these pictures!

Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone by J K Rowling

This book. This book! This is such a well thumbed edition, and I would love to know how many times my mum, my sister, and me have read this book. It's one I'll definitely be smuggling out of the house when I move out!

There you have it! It's by no means an exhaustive list but I tried to stay true to myself when I thought about books that had really snuck their way into my heart!

Let me know your beloved books! Tweet me, comment below, or tag me in an Instagram picture! I'm @VickiMaitland everywhere!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Cruelty Free Autumn Make-up Look (2 ways)

I love both of these make-up looks - one lends itself to evening, the other to everyday. I've worn them both loads over the past month or so, and it's really easy to turn the everyday look into the evening one as they use almost all of the same products.

All the products I've used are cruelty free, with the exception of Collection products. Collection have an unclear cruelty free policy, and, whilst I consider them to be a cruelty free brand unless they are proven of animal testing, I know some people are dubious about their cruelty free stance so choose to avoid them.

Look 1 - English Rose - Everyday

I love how simple and plain this make-up look is. It's all about highlighting the cheeks, lips and lashes. The very lovely lady who served me in Topshop actually wrote down what lipstick I was wearing when I was shopping in this make-up!

This is the elf. Lip Gloss Stick in Sangria Starters.

This blush is brighter than I normally wear, but it's perfect for this rose look.
It's elf Cream Blush in Seductress.
I apply it with a brush as I find it gives a subtler wash of colour.

I use two mascara's for this look. I apply Better Than Sex on my top lashes, then cover with a coat of the elf Waterproof mascara. I use the elf mascara on my bottom lashes too.

This combination creates a really natural finish. I apply the B. Moisture Gel first, then I massage in Lush Colour Supplement whilst the moisturiser is soaking in.

I use the fourth colour in (Chocolate Mink) all over my lids. This is the Collection Nude palette.

Look 2 - Vamp - Evening

 This look is a lot more intense than the everyday look, but uses most of the same products. The focus of this look is the vampy lips and dark eyes. I emphasise my brows more in this look too.

I paired up these two lip-liners in order to create the vampy lip.
Bottom: elf Long Wear Lip Liner in Bitter.
Top: Barry M Lip Liner in 11 (Wine).

This is with Bitter just on it's own. It was brighter than I expected it to be, but with the lipstick on it looks lovely.
It also works really well with Sangria Starters over it.

I then shade in the corners and run faintly around the edges with Wine.

I top the whole lip with M&S Matte Mulberry. The moisturising element of this lipstick blends the lip balms together.
Using the same Collection palette I take the shade darker (Brown Sugar - second from right).

I use the darkest contour shade in the Barry M Chisel Cheeks palette to deepen the crease of my eye - taking the colour up onto my brow bone and far towards my nose.
I also lined my eyes with this elf Liquid Liner. However it also works well without the extra line!

These are all the products I used - with the exception of the eyeliner and the blusher.
 I used the same cream blush as before.
Let me know if you try either of those looks by leaving a comment below, tweeting me @VickiMaitland or tagging me on Instagram!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Autumn Lush Haul

This blog post is coming earlier in my plan than expected, again mostly due to awful November lighting meaning I couldn't get decent photos that reflected the colour of my make-up looks - here's hoping for a brighter next weekend! 

I was determined, after a month of bookish posts, that this week would be something different - so here's my Autumn Lush Haul.

I visited London at the start of October, and I had to visit Lush Oxford Street! I picked up a couple of things that are exclusive to the Oxford Street store - although I believe the entire range is available online.

1) T for Toes. I hate not wearing socks with shoes, or wearing just nylon tights and shoes, so I picked up some of this foot powder to keep my feet feeling fresh all day. I think it works relatively well, but it is a bit messy!

2) Light Pink Colour Supplement. I was surprised this colour was the one that best matched my skin tone as I have fairly yellow/orange undertones. This colour complements my skin tone really well, though, and it's a nice, light, alternative to foundation. You're supposed to mix this with moisturiser before applying it, but I actually prefer wearing it overtop of my moisturiser (not allowing the moisturiser to skin in too much before applying the product). The effectiveness of this product really relies on the moisturiser you use, but I've found it settles in to my skin perfectly.

3) Flowering Tea Bath Dunk. I wanted to get this tea-bag bubble bar ever since I heard about it. I haven't tried it out yet, but it had a very strong floral smell (there are dried flowers inside the 'bag') and a silver lustre on the outside. I'm hoping to get three or so uses out of it - I just need to make time for the bath!

I also picked up a couple of other things throughout the month.

4) Rehab Shampoo. I sent my parents into Lush to pick up the Jumping Juniper shampoo bar (it's my favourite) but they were all out. A very lovely lady who works there gave them three sample pots of Rehab because it has similar properties to Jumping Juniper. I had always been skeptical of buying Lush liquid shampoo because spending over £10 on 250ml of product seems a little bonkers to me. However, after these three tiny (and I mean tiny) tubs lasted me three weeks, with excellent results, I thought I'd take the plunge. The smell of this product is beautiful - rosemary and mint are two of my favourite scents and they are mixed beautifully in this product. I LOVE IT.

5) Coal Face. This is a facial soap. I've been wanting to try it for a while now, and finally picked it up this month. I'm still undecided about it at the moment, and I definitely prefer my coconut oil cleanser for the evenings (I've actually changed brands and am currently adoring the Vita Coco oil). However I'm going to start subbing this in for my morning shower, so I'll keep you posted!

6) T'eo Deodorant. I'm actually going to do a cruelty free comparisons soon with this deodorant featured, so I won't go into too much detail. I will say that I love the smell of this product, it keeps me smelling clean all day, although it is a bit scratchy on freshly shaved pits.

Have you tried any of these products? What do you think of them?

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Let's Write #NaNoWriMo2015

As Father John Misty once sung 'I'm writing a novel, because it's never been done before!'

A photo posted by Vicki Maitland (@vickimaitland) on

It's November, which means it is National Novel Writing Month - the one month of the year where everyone puts down their social life and picks up their fingers to their keyboards and writes.

NaNoWriMo (or NaNo, as I call it) is a wonderful time of the year. I love writing - I studied creative writing for three years at university - but I never seem to find the time to actually sit down and do it. Having hardly written a word since handing in my last assignment the better part of half a year ago, my fingers are itching to get going again! I've got a notebook slowly filling up with half formed ideas, so I thought NaNo the perfect excuse to put pen to paper (or rather, fingers to keys).

Over my time at univeristy I discovered that I wrote fairly naturally to the short story form - trying to create anything of great length (for me, over 10,000 words) ended up feeling forced and wishy-washy. So, rather than writing a novel, this month I'm going to write a series of unconnected short stories.

'But how will you manage to write 1,667 words a day when you can barely put out your weekly post on time?!?' I hear you cry.

Well, dear reader, never fear. I have a whole month worth of blog idea's stacked in my head, so you'll still be getting your weekly fill. Next week will be my Autumn Make-Up look (two ways), the week after will be my turn at The Beloved Books tag (which Katie tagged me in last week), and the week after that will be a Lush haul and mini-review.

Till then, you can follow my writing progress on nanowrimo.org - my username is CurlyWurly and I'd love to be your buddy if you're taking part. I'm not too worried about hitting all the targets, but if I can write each day I'll be very happy with myself.