What's In My Makeup Bag: 5.30am Wake Up Edition

I adore makeup and especially since starting blogging I've become more adventurous with my makeup, having a bit of a play with makeup is one of my favourite things to do. However, since starting working full time my makeup routine has had to change a little bit. Getting up at 5:30am has meant spending hours on my makeup isn't a possibility because sleep definitely comes first! This has meant my daily routine has a bit of an overhaul and therefore what is in my makeup bag has changed. I thought now would be a perfect time to show you what products I'm using every day. 

Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream // Maybelline Fit Me Concealer // Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer // Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder // Maybelline Master Sculpt // Natural Collection Blush in Peach Melba // L'Oreal Brow Artiste Pencil// Maybelline Colour Tattoo // Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara // Urban Decay Naked 2 // The Body Shop Strawberry Lip Butter // L'Oreal Colour Riche Exclusive Lipstick in Julianne's Nude

This Bourjois CC Cream is the perfect base for work, it's quick and easy to put on, a good colour match, it's a light coverage but gives a nice base for the rest of my makeup and doesn't feel heavy on my face during the day. For concealer it's always going to be m favourite ever concealer the Maybelline Fit Me, and I've also been using the Rimmel Match Perfection concealer for brightening under my eyes. As I've got pretty oily skin I always like to powder and the Bourjois Healthy Balance powder does a great job at mattifying without looking cakey. Although I'm pushed for time in the morning I give my face a bit of shape with the Maybelline Master Sculpt which is a great contour for pale skin and the highlight is gorgeous. My favourite blush is this Natural Collection bargain, Peach Melba is such a gorgeous peachy natural shade, that adds a hint of colour.

Eyes are my favourite makeup area to 'play' with, but eyeshadow takes time and at 5:30am my priority isn't ensuring my eyeshadows are perfectly blended, however I still like to put a bit of something on. The Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze is a beauty blogger essential and I can totally see why, its so easy to use and gives such a beautiful bronzed eye look that take seconds! When I have a few extra minutes to play with I'll use a few shadows from my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette which will always be a favourite thanks to it's beautiful range of neutral colours and it's amazing quality.

On my brows I've been using the L'Oreal Brow Artiste pencil, as it gives my brows some colour and a bit of definition quickly. I'm looking to try some other brow products soon though. My current mascara is the Max Factor False Lash Effect which I really like, it defines my lashes really well and gives a nice amount of volume and curl without being too intense for such a minimal makeup look. Finally I'll moisturise my lips with The Body Shop's Strawberry Lip Butter, and then if I'm wanting some lippy my go to is definitely this L'Oreal Colour Riche Exclusive Lipstick in Julianne's Nude, it's the perfect nude shade for me and feels lovely on the lips.

My weekends are now spent putting on far too much makeup to make up for my lack of it during the week! How much makeup, if any, do you wear to work? Do early starts stop you from wearing more like me?

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It's a 'Welly' Great Competition

If you know me then you will know I love to win things, in fact I'm sure most people like to win things! So when I found out Joules, one of the best casual countryside clothing brands was running a competition to win a £5000 Luxury Break I had to let you all know about it. Not only does this competition have an awesome prize it's also a pretty fun and creative one. To enter you've just got to design your own pair of wellies which will then be put into production! 

Not only will your design be available to buy, but all proceeds will be donated to charity! As well as the winner receive a luxury break but 10 runners up will receive a £250 gift voucher to buy multiple pairs of wellies! Or any other items from Joules. All the information you need to enter can be found here, and you can check out Joules's already amazing range of wellies for some inspiration. 

I'd love to hear about your ideas or your favourite pair of wellies from the Joules site. Good luck to everyone entering and go get creative! 

You can find me in all of these places:

If you enjoyed this post you might like to check out Keeping it Simple // Cooper & Hill: My Purse, My Way // The Netflix Tag 
*Joules provided me with a gift voucher for posting about this competition. I have not and will not be entering the completion myself due to this. 

I Wanted To Be... #WEChildhoodDream

As a child I always knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, I was going to be a teacher. I was never drawn in by the more exciting jobs like astronaut, pop star or artist, possibly because I didn't care about space, couldn't sing and my drawing skills weren't anything to stick on the fridge, although my mum still did of course! I think the main thing I wanted to do when I was an adult was help people, I was never sure in what way, but once I stumbled upon Human Rights and started my degree I knew I'd found what I was meant to do.
Although teacher was always my top choice I also considered musical theatre (despite not being the greatest singer), being a lawyer and working with animals. Instead I've ended up using my blogging experience to get a job working in online content creation, not exactly a job I dreamed of doing as a child, but hey, blogging will do!
Workwear Express realised that as bloggers, we don't have a uniform, so they wanted to provide us with one, and they got it just right. A big comfy hoodie is exactly what I wear when I blog, so this hoodie will be the perfect uniform to pull on when I'm getting my blog on! They also sent me over a few bits and bobs to add to my desk for added blogging inspiration!
Blogging has given me a chance to get a job doing something I love, although at the moment I'm not working in Human Rights I know that this job will take me a step closer to getting the job I want and helping people across the world. My dream job now might not be a teacher, but I still have a desire to help people and hopefully make a difference.
I'd love to know what you wanted to be when you grew up, and you can use the #WEChildhoodDream hashtag to get involved. Also let me know what you think of having a blogging uniform? Do you wear comfy clothes to blog?

You can find me in all of these places:
If you enjoyed this post you might like to check out #BloggersSleepover // Being a Better Blogger: My Products Wishlist // 15 Goals for 2015
*Workwear Express sent me the #WEChildhoodDreams pack in exchange for a post discussing the pack.

#SwitchToWitch: Witch Skincare Challenge and Giveaway

Witch Skincare Spots

Witch Skincare Spots

It's no secret that I suffer from spot pone skin, it's something I've spoken about multiple times on this blog, and one of my favourite brands that helps me deal with this problem is Witch Skincare, their products have been a staple in my skincare routine since I was a very young teenager, I've even posted about my spot fighting dream team which included two of my favourite Witch products.

So when Witch got in touch and asked me to take part in the Switch to Witch challenge I had to say yes. Witch are big fans of switching things up, not only your skincare but also changing your outlook on things or trying out a new look. So along with providing me with the products I need to give my skincare routine a switch up, I'll also be taking part in their other challenges, so keep an eye out for blog posts, instagrams and tweets with the #SwitchToWitch or #SwitchItUp hashtags.

Witch Skincare Spots

Witch Skincare Spots

Along with all the Witch products for my skincare switch up, they've also included some other bits so I can switch up other areas of my life. The Hair Chalks, Mindfulness book and the £20 Asos voucher were included along with 5 tasks cards challenging me to various things to help me switch things up this Autumn. So along with giving my skincare a fresh feel, I'll also be getting creative with hair chalks, embracing my mornings and pushing myself out of my fashion comfort zone!

The kit of course contains a whole bundle of Witch Skincare products, included lots I haven't tried yet and some brand new products. The Blackhead Clearing Gel is something I'll definitely be trying out as I've yet to find anything to effectively gets rid of pesky blackheads, they also included their Gentle Exfoliating Face Wash a brand new product. Along with this was a pack of their Cleansing & Toning Wipes, their Cleansing Lotion and the Oil Control Foaming Face Wash. I also received some sample sizes of their Overnight Clearing Serum.

Witch Skincare Spots

Being the lovely people that they are, Witch have kindly given me the opportunity to give away a  #SwitchToWitch box to one of my readers! So if you'd like to be in with a chance of winning a box of Witch goodies to switch up your skincare then enter the rafflecopter form below. The giveaway is UK only and the full terms and conditions are at the bottom of this post.

Witch Skincare Spots

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find me in all of these places:

*Witch provided me with this #SwitchToWitch box and are providing one to give away. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

UK entrants only. Giveaway will run for 3 weeks from 12:00am 26th October 2015 to 12:00am 17th November 2015. Winner will be randomly selected through Rafflecopter and must have completed all mandatory entries. The winner will be contacted via Twitter or email within 7 working days of the competition ending. If the winner does not respond within 5 working days a new winner will be chosen. Witch Skincare will provide and post the prize themselves on receiving the winner's details from myself. I hold no responsibility to provide a prize in the situation Witch Skincare can not.

Life Lately: Attempting The Adult Life


So. It's been a while I know, in fact it's a good few months since I properly did this whole blogging thing. I'm not one for excuses, and I'm not going to apologise because this little space is all mine and I can do with it as I please, and part of doing as I please is allowing myself to take breaks and not feel guilty for doing so.
My main news is that I am officially employed! I am a Junior Content Producer for an online content creation company which basically means I write online content and do social media for other businesses, amongst other things. I'm really enjoying it so far, we're a small team but we have a good laugh and get on well which definitely makes the 5:30am starts a bit more manageable!
Probably the main reason for my distance from blogging and the internet is my recent heartbreak. Josh and I broke up and although it was very sad and my heart hurt a lot, it was the right thing to do for both of us right now. I still love him, and he will always have a space in my heart, but sometimes love isn't enough. Timing and personal problems meant it just wasn't the right thing for us to be together and although I've accepted that its still pretty difficult. I'm hoping more than anything that we can stay friends as he means the world to me. We're still on really good terms as there was no anger between us, it's not going to be easy but we both want to try and make it work as friends so hopefully we can.
Despite it being a kind of sad few months it's also been pretty great. I got to attend the Bloggers Blog Awards which was such a fun event and some of my favourite bloggers picked up awards, and I got to finally meet some lovely bloggers I've been talking to and admiring for a long time! I've also joined and then deleted tinder after realising I can not be bothered fighting through the assholes to find a good guy to talk to. I've also started Slimming World with my mum so hopefully I'll loose some weight and start feeling more healthy and better about myself.
So, sorry for the distance, for not replying to comments or reading other blogs, I needed some time, but I'm ready to get myself back into the swing of things, although now I need to learn how to manage a blog while working full time! So if you've got any tips, please send them my way!
Thank you for being such a supportive bunch, blogging and the community and the friends I've made genuinely mean the world to me and I've really missed being a part of it all recently.

Lots of Love.

You can find me in all of these places:

If you enjoyed this post you might like to check out Life Lately: Lush, New Starts and Bumble & Bee // The Food Bank Donation Challenge // My Photos of Happiness

Serenata Flowers Review & Giveaway

Flowers are something that I really love receiving, or even buying for myself. They make me feel happy and they add such a lovely touch to a room. They're also the perfect gift, whether you're saying happy birthday, get well soon, i'm sorry or I love you, they can get a message across and I don't know many people who wouldn't appreciate being given a bunch of flowers. Being a gift that is best received when they're fresh sending flowers used to be an impossible, or expensive option. However, now sending flowers is a possibility, with online retailers such as Serenata Flowers able to deliver fresh flowers to loved ones across the country. 

Serenata Flowers kindly sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers* to review, and I was very impressed. They arrived, well packaged, fresh and ready to bloom and also came along with a box of chocolates! My bouquet contained pink lisianthus, white chrysanthemums and white lilies that bloomed a day or so after arrival. The flowers also came with instructions on how best to look after them, which for a flower novice like me was very helpful. The chocolates were also delicious, and definitely a nice addition for a gift. 

Serenata Flowers offer an amazing range of not only beautiful bouquet's but hampers, chocolates, wine and plants. They're a really great service especially for sending thoughtful gifts to loved ones. I'd definitely consider using them for sending gifts, or even for treating myself! Serenata Flowers have also kindly offered one of my readers the chance to win a £40 gift voucher to spend on anything on their site! 

Giveaway will close in 3 weeks at midnight on 21st October 2015. The winner will be announced within 1 week of the closing date, if the winner does not reply after 72 hours another winner will be chosen. I hold no responsibility for producing this prize, the winners details will be passed to Serenata Flowers who will provide the prize. No alternative is available. The winner will receive a £40 gift voucher to spend at Serenata Flowers

*Serenata Flowers sent me the flowers & chocolates to review, and are providing a gift voucher to giveaway to one reader. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can find me in all of these places:

If you enjoyed this post you might like to check out Clothes Show Live 2015: Ticket Giveaway // Stress Free Personalised Calendars // My Top 5 Ultimate OTPs

The Clothes Show 2015: Ticket Giveaway

I've never been to The Clothes Show but I've heard really great things, so when they got in touch and offered me a chance to come along this year I immediately said yes! I can't wait to check out all the independent brands and hopefully pick myself a few pieces. With a catwalk, independent and well known brands, a pamper lounge, style studio and a wine bar (I know where I'll be!), there is so much to do it's going to be a great experience. 

Obviously, there is something in it for my readers, and The Clothes Show have kindly offered a chance for one reader to win a pair of tickets for the Monday! (8th December 2015) This is definitely an event to be at, especially if you're a fashion lover. Make sure to enter the giveaway below for your chance to win. Good luck! 

Giveaway will close in 3 weeks at midnight on 19th October 2015. The winner will be announced within 1 week of the closing date, if the winner does not reply after 72 hours another winner will be chosen. I hold no responsibility for producing this prize, the winners details will be passed to The Clothes Show who will provide the prize. No alternative is available. The winner will receive 2 tickets for the Monday show and will have to provide their own transport to the venue in Birmingham.  

*The Clothes Show provided me with a ticket to this event and also provided 2 tickets for one winner  to win via this giveaway. 

You can find me in all of these places:

If you enjoyed this post you might like to check out My Bag Online Event // Autumn Ready with George at Asda // Valentines Date Night Outfit 

Autumn Ready with George at Asda

Autumn is coming and I couldn't be more ready, give me jeans, boots, jumpers and scarfs and I am a happy girl! However September is notorious for being an in-between month where we can have warm sunny days but also start to feel winter with rain, wind and cold. To prepare for this George at Asda challenged me to make a Summer outfit Autumn ready with their range of denim and knitwear. I was definitely up for this challenge and chose my items ready to get into that Autumn vibe. 

George at Asda A/W Clothes Review

George at Asda A/W Clothes Review

My first key item for transitioning into Autumn is these Wonderfit High Waisted Skinny Jeans* in a dark blue, they fit amazingly because of their stretchy material, and they're thin enough so you're not sweltering on those warm September days. High waisted jeans are my go to item of clothing, casual or a bit more dressed up, they work just as well with converse as they do with some high heels. My second staple item comes from the knitwear section. This lightweight Patterned Wrap* is that perfect throw on for when you need an extra layer but it's not time to dig out the thick woolies. I love the print on this, and the colours are so gorgeous, not your classic A/W shades, but I think the darker blue brings it into Autumn nicely. 

George at Asda A/W Clothes Review

George at Asda A/W Clothes Review

Summer often means casual tops with denim shorts, something like this 'I like you a Latte' T-Shirt*, which as a Latte lover totally called to me. Paired with jeans instead of shorts, a pair of converse and the gorgeous blanket wrap over the top as an added layer this outfit is definitely my easy Summer to Autumn look. The top is a really nice quality, however I did size up from my normal size and I'm glad I did as this isn't a top I'd want 'hugging' my curves. I paired the outfit with this Fringe Bucket Bag*, a trend that has been pretty popular this Summer but will easily work for so many Autumn outfits. 

George at Asda A/W Clothes Review

George at Asda A/W Clothes Review

Maxi dresses are definitely a Summer must have, but they're not something I'd usually think about wearing in the cooler months, however I think I've been proven wrong. This Black Maxi Dress* instantly becomes Autumn ready with the blanket wrap, a hidden pair of tights if needed and any pair of shoes that keep your toes warm. The fringe bag also brings this outfit into the Autumn. As soon as I put this maxi on I fell in love, it fit beautifully, and with the gathered waist it gave me a lovely shape. The material isn't too thin but also doesn't feel heavy. If you're looking for a maxi dress that would work well for this season I'd definitely recommend checking it out. 

George at Asda A/W Clothes Review

I can't wait for Autumn to be in full swing so I can't start bringing out my jumpers, boots and scarfs. Until then I'll keep these transition pieces at the front of my wardrobe! I'm really impressed with George's new season items, I really want to get my hands on some more bits! Check out George's DeminKnitwear for some really lovely pieces. Whats your go to season transition piece? 

You can find me in all of these places:

If you enjoyed this post you might like to check out Holiday Style for Plus Size // Cooper & Hill: My Purse My Way // Embracing the Winter Sun 

Balance Active Vitamin C Power Serum Review

Balance Active Formula Vitamin C Power Serum Review

The world of serums is something I've only recently begun exploring. I wasn't sure what to expect from them, or whether they were just going to be another unnecessary step added to my skincare routine. The Balance Active Formula Vitamin C Power Serum* claims to brighten your complexion, even out your skin tone, decrease appearance of age spots and smoothen the skin. For all skin types, it contains Vitamin C to improve the complexion for younger looking skin. 

From the description of this product I think it's clear I'm not exactly the target market, it might be more appropriate for my mum! However, my skin can always do with some brightening and keeping it looking young. The serum is very lightweight and non greasy, it skins into the skin quickly without leaving any residue or tackiness. I apply this all over my face and the top of my neck both morning and night and one full 'tube' of the pipette easily covers it all. The thing I like about this product the most is the smell, it has a refreshing, orangey smell that really wakes me up in the morning!

Balance Active Formula Vitamin C Power Serum Review

Balance Active Formula Vitamin C Power Serum Review

I guess the main question is, does it do anything? Now I've already said, I'm not exactly the target market for this product, I don't have any age spots, my skin doesn't particularly need firming or to look much younger! Therefore I can't really comment on those aspects, however I have found this to make my skin feel a bit smoother and it gives a nice extra layer of hydration before I go in with the rest of my skincare. I'm not sure if my skin is looking any brighter in the 4 weeks I've been using this, however I will be continuing to use it, as it's a lovely fresh scent which really rejuvenates me and wakes me up. 

Balance Active Formula Vitamin C Power Serum Review

At £5.99 this product is a really good price as it lasts for ages, I've been using it twice a day for a month and I'm about half way through. I was lucky enough to be given another one of these at the Bloggers Festival I attended recently, so I'm going to be passing that over to my mum to see if she notices any improvements with her slightly older skin. Unfortunately, this isn't a holy grail product that I will swear by and send everyone out to buy, however it isn't a bad product and I've been enjoying using it. I think for someone who may benefit more from some it's actions would love this. If this sounds like something you might be interested in trying you can buy from Beauty & The Bunch.   

Have you entered the world of Serums? Do you have a favourite or any recommendations? 
* I was sent the Balance Active Vitamin C Power Serum in exchange for a review, however all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

You can find me in all of these places:

If you enjoyed this post you might like to check out MooGoo Blemish Cleansing Moisturiser Review // My Oily Skin Life Savers

Summer Beauty Favourites

Summer Beauty Essentials

Summer is over, and I'll be honest, I couldn't be happier. Summer is probably my least favourite season as I just don't enjoy being hot! It's sweaty and uncomfortable and I much prefer the other seasons. However, there has been a few beauty products that have been my saviours during the sweaty summer months. First up is the MooGoo How Now Brown Cow gradual tan which is hands down the best gradual tan I have ever used! I've spent most of this summer inside so my legs are as pale as ever, this tan is so easy to apply and I never get any streaking, and I can promise I am no tanning pro. When I first tried the Rimmel Wake Me Up mascara I wasn't that impressed, however I've grown to like it and I've found it to be the perfect everyday mascara. When I just need something on my lashes, but don't want them super thick and heavy I go for this, it's a really lightweight consistency and it feels like there is nothing on your eyelashes, it also smells like cucumber which I love! 

The Loreal Infallible Mattifying Primer has definitely helped keep my makeup in place when normally it would be sliding off my face in a hot sweaty mess. For those days when I haven't had enough sleep I've been turning to the Rimmel Scandaleyes Liner in Nude to brighten up my eyes. Put this on your waterline for an instant brightening effect, it works, I promise. To add to that brightened look I've been loving the Collection Gorgeous Glow Blush Brick, it's a shimmery golden blush that gives such a gorgeous highlighted effect while also adding a bit of colour. So quick and easy and makes me feel very summery. 

On my lips I've been mostly wearing nude lipsticks all Summer, and my favourite has to be the Essence Long Lasting lipstick in 07 Natural Beauty, it's a gorgeous nude muted rose shade and is a really lovely moisturising formula. The whole range of lipsticks are such a great price for the quality so I'd really recommend checking them out. I also love lip balm and always have one on me, this Nivea Lip Balm in Peach has been my top choice in the Summer months, mostly because it smells like peach which I adore, it also gives a light shine and peachy colouring which is nice. 

I was recommend the Lush No Drought dry shampoo by Rhianna and I've been very impressed with it. Basically a scented talcum powder type product it soaks up any grease in your hair and doesn't leave any residue and has a lovely lemony smell. Much better than the aerosol options. If you saw my review of the Zoeva Cocoa Blend palette then you will already know how much I love it, and it's pretty much all I've been using this Summer, and I know it's going to continue being used throughout Autumn. My final saviour product this Summer has to be the Bourjois Healthy Balance powder, this does such a great job at setting and mattifying without being cakey or heavy. A lifesaver in the hot weather which makes me skin even oilier. 

Have you tried any of these products? Make sure to let me know what products you've been loving this Summer, and any products you think are going to be favourites for Autumn. I'm looking forward to dark lipsticks!

You can find me in all of these places:

If you enjoyed this post you might like to check out Spring Beauty Favourites // Zoeva Cocoa Blend Eyeshadow Palette Review // The Spot Fighting Dream Team  

Life Lately: Lush, New Starts and Bumble & Bee

Things have been a little bit quiet over on Essays & Wine the past month, but it's been a very busy month for me, if you've been following me on social media then you might have kept up with whats going on with me. I figured that you might have missed a few important life updates so it's time for a little Life Lately. You can check out my previous updates here.  

Finishing Uni 

I FINALLY finished Uni! It's taken me a bit longer than most people, but I finally handed in my dissertation and took my final exam and I am now done. It's been a hard year, but I've managed to get through it and I'm pretty proud of that. Now I'm no longer a student and I'm officially an unemployed adult. Time to get my life together I guess! 

Lush Milton Keynes 

I recently attended my first Milton Keynes blogger event at Lush. It was a really fun night and I got to meet some lovely fellow MK bloggers and also learn about some of the new Oxford Street exclusive products that have been rolled out into other stores. After a game of throw the jelly where we all introduced ourselves we split into groups and heard about the new bath products, face and body products and soaps. The experimenter (first photo) makes an amazingly colourful bath and i'm so excited to try that out when I need cheering up! 

I fell in love with so many products and picked up a few bits, as well as coming home with a little goodie bag. I'm hopefully going to be showing them in a haul soon (on youtube!) so look out for that. 

Essays and Wine

You will have most likely noticed that Writing Essays With Wine has had a little makeover and is now Essays and Wine. A new design, a sort of new name and to go along with that I hit 1000 followers on bloglovin! I'm so unbelievably happy, I can't believe my little blog has grown so much and I'm so proud of every little milestone I reach. I'm also in love with my new design, it's not exactly how I'd like it but that's just me being picky. 

Thank you to everyone that follows my blog, reads my posts and connects with me on social media, it means the world to me. You're all amazing. Heres to Essays and Wine growing even more! 

Bumble & Bee

Finally, let me introduce you to the newest members of my family, my baby girls; Bumble & Bee. These beautiful sisters are very tiny and very adorable. Bumble The Explorer is all black and very adventurous, she's under sofas, behind beds and always getting herself into mischief. Her little sister Princess Bee loves a bit of love, and likes being close, she naps pretty much constantly and wants to get her nose into any hot drink despite every effort to keep her away! They both love to climb all over my laptop, go crazy for chicken and have settled in amazingly. 

I'm so happy to have them and they really are my babies, when Bee meows at me it slightly breaks my heart that I don't know what she wants! However, kittens poop smells bad. I can't wait for them to be able to explore outside and poop in places I don't need to clear up! Bumble is very excited to explore the outdoors and has already attempted an escape out the back door! 

So my life has had some big changes recently. Im gradually getting back into the swing of blogging and hope to get back to schedule. I'd love to know what you've been up to recently, and please leave me links to your blogs because I really need a catch up! 

You can find me in all of these places:

Desk Makeover Challenge

Polaroid Photo Wall Display

As you'll probably know, this Summer I moved home from uni for good. This meant coming home to a room that I hadn't really lived in for 3 years. It didn't really feel me any more and needed a good organise and tidy, so when Room4 Interiors got in touch and invited me to take part in the Blogger Desk Challenge it was the perfect opportunity to sort my desk out. I was tasked with giving my desk a makeover with £20. I use my desk as both a dressing table and a desk for working at, so I wanted to try and organise things to make the most of my space, and also to add some personality and start making my room feel a bit more like me. 

This is what my desk looked like to begin with. A mess. I had letters, notebooks, makeup and perfume all over the place. It also just did look very nice, I was storing my makeup brushes in bright red cups! I decided I wanted to work on making it look a little bit prettier and finding better ways to present the things I wanted to keep on my desk. After scouring the internet for days, seriously my pinterest board was filed with photos of makeup storage and desks, although, most of those photos are serious house goals but they're not really doable with the desk I've already got and the budget I have! I eventually decided on what I wanted to do and started hitting the shops to try and find exactly what I wanted. I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out to be honest. I also moved some bits off my desk and added some bits I'd yet to unpack from moving back home. 

Polaroid Photo Wall Display Desk Dressing Table Inspiration

Desk Dressing Table Inspiration Makeup

This is the finished result. The right side of my desk is my dressing table. I've taken off my jewellery and random bits and bobs including the big photo collage I got for my 18th birthday. To display my perfumes I picked up this cake stand from Hobby Craft for £6 which is such a bargain, it's white with a detailed edge and is perfect for adding some height and displaying perfume. You could also use it for cakes I guess. For my makeup brushes I had been on the hunt for alphabet mugs for ages, but they were all expensive, so when I saw this 'e' mug in Tiger for £2 I grabbed it! I had wanted an 'm' as well but they didn't have any. Instead I picked up these white pots, also £2 each, one with a black triangle design and one with black lines. The one with black lines is being used as a pen pot on the 'work' side of my desk. I also picked up the tiny white bucket which Im storing cotton buds in, and the cardboard 'E' and 'M' coming to £2. 

Polaroid Photo Wall Display

The wall above my desk is definitely the main feature and I love it. For this I brought some pretty pastel coloured twine and some tiny pegs coming to £5. I then strung pieces across my wall and pegged up some polaroid style photos I had, as well as some postcards you will have seen on my uni room wall. I added in some daisy fairy lights, as well as some heart fairy lights draped around my desk and it finished it off perfectly. With my laptop in the middle and my line a day diary, notepads and pens to the left my desk was finished off.  

Altogether I spent £19 so a little bit under budget, but I'm really happy with what I've done. My desk is a lot more appealing to sit at and do some blogging now! If you're looking to give your desk a bit of a makeover, Room4 have some really nice desks, and Qwerkity have some great creative gifts that might work great on your desk. 

What do you think of my desk? Do you have a multifunctional desk/dressing table? How would you like to spruce up your desk? 
*Room4Interiors provided me with £20 to purchase these items as part of the challenge. 

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Nokia Lumia 735 Review: It's Not an iPhone

Nokia Lumia 735 Microsoft Review

I've had an iphone for the longest time, in fact my current iPhone 5 is coming up on 3 years, which is pretty impressive if you ask me! I love Apple products, my current and previous laptops have been Macs and I genuinely love how apple products work and look. So when Microsoft got in touch and asked if I'd like to get involved in their #LumiaVoicesTrial campaign with a 2 week trial of the Nokia Lumia 735* I was a bit hesitant.  Firstly, you might be wondering, Microsoft? Nokia? Well Microsoft recently brought Nokia and therefore the Lumia is a Windows phone. 

As my iPhone is on it's way out (the battery life if terrible) I decided this would be a perfect opportunity to test out something different and see if I could be converted away from my trusted apple products! When the phone arrived I was immediately drawn in by the colour, a super bright orange, you definitely wouldn't loose this in your handbag! The size of the phone is bigger than what I was used to but I was surprised to find I actually really liked the size, it's also very slim and lightweight and sits nicely in your hand. I do think it is slightly too big but as 'bigger is better' seems to be the trend with smartphones these days I can understand the size. 

Nokia Lumia 735 Microsoft Review

The windows interface of the Nokia Lumia was something totally different to what I was used to so it definitely took some adjusting! I actually quite like the layout, as you can move around the apps, change the size of them and move some off your main screen and just have them in the main menu section. My main problem with the Nokia Lumia was both the lack of available apps (no snapchat?!) in comparison to iPhones, as well as the basic nature of the apps that were available. They just felt like they didn't flow as well as possible, for example YouTube didn't have a specific app it was just accessed via the mobile website. I also found notifications didn't come through as quickly as my iPhone and in some cases didn't come through at all! 

Nokia Lumia 735 Microsoft Review

Something I loved about this phone was definitely the camera. Labelled as the perfect selfie phone the Lumia 735 has a 5MP front face camera, compared to the iPhone 5’s 1.2MP front facing camera this is pretty impressive. The back camera is 6.7MP and takes some pretty great shots, like the one of Bumble my kitten below. The photos are great quality, rich colour and the Lumia Creative Studio lets you edit and add a filter. I'd definitely recommend this phone to someone wanting to get some great photos and selfies! 

Nokia Lumia 735 Microsoft Review

Nokia Lumia 735 Microsoft Review

Overall I found the Nokia Lumia 735 to not fit exactly what I wanted. It felt like I needed an upgrade to get it where it needs to be to compete with other smart phones. More and better designed apps are needed, it needs to be faster and more responsive. However I do think the interface works well, the camera is great and the handset itself is nice. At around £140 this phone is considerably cheaper than most other smartphones, especially the iPhone! The price definitely makes the phone more appealing, and I think with just a few improvements this phone would be a really great contender and something I'd consider breaking my loyalty with Apple for! 

Do any of you have a Nokia Lumia phone I'd love to know your thoughts? Or are you an Apple lover like me? 
*Microsoft sent me the Nokia Lumia 735 for 2 weeks to trial and review. However all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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