Saturday, March 30

Current Favourite Neutral Nails

 Barry M Gelly High Shine in the shade "Lychee" has very quickly become my favourite nail polish at the moment. I was so bored of my nails being funny lengths and chipping all the time, so I glued on some clear nails from Boots. They're fantastic, and I always get compliments asking if I've just had my nails done. I absolutely love this neutral colour, it has a hint of brown and matches everything I wear. It even looks lovely against the silver jewellery I wear. I added a coat of Models Own "Champagne" on my ring fingers which I thought complimented nicely. Finally, I popped on OPI "Top Coat" so they aren't budging for a few days! I love this combination and had to share with you. What do you think?

ps. my mum bought me gorgeous pink Roses for my birthday, sad they're slowly dying!

Tuesday, March 26

london birthday weekend

Hello, long time no see! I feel like I've been away from blogging/tweeting/filming for aaagggeess! I've been in a massive happy bubble and I'm sad it's kinda ended. It was my 19th Birthday on Sunday and I started celebrating on Friday, as you do. I was gifted so many lovely things which I'm saving for a haul video. I was treated to a lovely birthday lunch with my family at the Captain's Club Hotel in Christchurch, a really lovely place right on the water. I had balloons, cocktails and creme brulee! 

On Saturday, Rich took me away to London for 3 days. As my family have headed off to Dubai without me (don't even ask, I'm jobless and was uninvited!), we wanted to do something nice. I didn't carry my big fancy camera (honestly, couldn't be bothered), but I thought you might like to hear about what we got up to. We stayed in a Tune Hotel in Paddington, which is a chain owned by an Asian company I believe. Its basically super cheap (for London anyway!), £60 each for two nights but it's really basic; you only really get a bed and bathroom and have the option to pay extra for towels and TV. The room was small but absolutely fine for our quick break.

After a two hour journey, we arrived to thick heavy snow so decided to visit Madame Tussauds. We queued for ages (don't go on a Saturday!), but really enjoyed it. Rich had never been before, although we probably wouldn't rush back again. The 4D Marvel Superhero show at the end is AMAZING. It's only 10 minutes, but set in a Dome shaped room where they blow air in your hair and run vibrations through your back, pretty cool. We had 2for1 vouchers which I recommend printing off from here.

For food, we found Weatherspoon's (a chain of pub like restaurants) to be the easiest and cheapest for London and we visited twice. A burger and a drink is £6; the Tennessee one with Jack Daniels sauce and onion rings is so yummy. Saturday night we walked around China Town and realised shops stay open until 10pm in London, so did a cheeky bit of shopping. 

Sunday was my b'day, and we headed over to Laduree for breakfast. I went on my birthday last year and had to show Rich this time. For those who don't know, its a little French shop in Covent Garden which is the marker of luxury cakes and pastires. It's well known as the inventor of the double-decker macaroon, 15,000 of which are sold every day! We had "eggy-bread" and a Vanilla milkshake in their tearoom, it was absolutely to die for. We mooched around the shops before heading to the Lyceum Theatre to watch The Lion King! We actually went to the ticket booth the day before and asked for their best price/seats. We managed to get great seats in the isle in the stalls for £45 each. The show was absolutely amazing; the costumes, music, characters and production were better than I ever imagined. So glad we went, it was a very memorable birthday. Rich also spoilt me with a Tiffany Necklace, luckiest girl ever!

On Monday, we visited ZSL London Zoo and despite being freezing cold, we saw almost every animal. It took 3 hours to walk around the whole thing! My favourites were the Giraffes, Meerkats and Tigers. Rich and I love doing trips like the Zoo, it was nice and quiet on the Monday too. Afterwards, we took a visit to Camden Market as we'd both never been, a whole experience in itself! I love how unique everywhere is, so much to see. We finished by more shopping (poor Rich was dragged into Abercrombie AND Victoria Secret without moaning), but I didn't buy that much, promise ;)

Overall, I had a fabulous weekend in London. Before heading home, we got off at Embankment and walked along the Bridge, passing the London Eye and Big Ben all lit up at night. Despite spending lots of time together anyway, it was so nice to go somewhere and do something different together. We both agreed we should visit again as theres so much more for us to do! If you've got any questions, tweet me @brogantatexo and I'll try and reply. 

In the meanwhile, I'm coming BACK to London beginning of April for #ldnbbmeet (so excited) and then again in June for IMATS. YAY!

I'm sad my birthday is over, but I couldn't have asked for a better day (or weekend in fact!).
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ps. excuse the repetitive instagram photos, I didn't take my camera!

Wednesday, March 20

My Everyday Make Up Routine

Finally, I filmed this 3 times before uploading this version. Make Up 'tutorials' or 'routines' are really hard work and I get a little nervous however, I think this came out okay. Lots of you saying you like the birds in the background haha! 
Here's a list of the products used:

Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro Primer
Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation - Shade 51
Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki Brush
Collection Lasting Perfect Concealer - Light 2
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder - 01 Translucent
Sleek Brow Kit - Light
MUA Clear Mascara
MAC Paint Pot - Bare Study
MAC 217 Brush
Urban Decay Naked Palette - Sin & Buck
Real Techniques Brushes - Base Shadow, Deluxe Crease, Detailer & Brow Brush
L'Oreal Super Liner Perfect Slim Liquid Eyeliner
Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette - Blackout
Sleek White Eyeliner Pencil
No7 Eyelash Curlers
Benefit They're Real Mascara
Benefit High Beam Highlighters
NARS Laguna Bronzer
NARS Orgasm Blusher
Real Techniques Brushes - Buffing & Powder Brush
Elf Kabuki Brush
Nivea Lip Balm Original 
MAC Fix+

Hope you like this video!
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Saturday, March 16

Current Beauty Favourites

Recently, a few products have been really standing out to me and I've found myself reaching for them time and time again. I was thinking of making this a regular thing and then doing a round-up on my YouTube at the end of each month. 

Bioderma Créaline H20
- A very gentle, fragrance-free micellar solution that cleanses impurities and removes make-up without affecting the skin’s natural balance

My dry, sensitive, eczema prone skin has been so grateful for this. I love using it to remove make up and to cleanse before applying it. A little goes a long way meaning it lasts ages. I just pop some on a cotton wool pad and it picks up every little bit of dirt. Luckily, my lovely friend Megan picked me up a new bottle so I'm stocked up for a while!

Philosopy Sweet Creamy Frosting
Sweet creamy frosting body lotion melts onto skin to moisturize and leave it feeling silky soft. 

I recently purchased this in 'The Bake Shoppe' Set which I reviewed here. It contains macadamia seed and olive fruit oils, shea butter and antioxidants to help hydrate, soothe and soften skin. The smell is absolutely amazing, so sweet like icing I almost want to eat it! It doesn't leave my skin greasy and absorbs quickly.

MAC Fix+
- An aqua-spritz of vitamin and minerals, infused with a calm-the-skin blend of green tea, chamomile, cucumber, topped off with the fresh, natural, energizing scent of Sugi. 

I've been using this for ages (I can't believe I still haven't had to repurchase it!) and it's definitely a holy grail product for me. I use it every morning to set my make up and it help it stay all day. It helps stop my foundation drying up, adds radiance and obviously sets 
make up. It's great for any skin type, I honestly love it.

MUA Mosaiq Blush English Rose

- Combines four gorgeous shades that when swirled together create the perfect natural blush shade

I bought this ages ago but it lives in a draw with many other blushers and bronzers. Recently I've been really into highlighting, and wanted a shimmy blush to pop onto my cheeks. I tried this and fell in love again. It's so pretty and so cheap too, £2.50!

Benefit They're Real Mascara 
- A jet-black mascara that lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts, and separates lashes for a spectacular "out-to-here" look

This is my favourite mascara in the whole world. At £18.50, it isn't exactly cheap, but the results are amazing. I love the plastic bristle brush and the shape of the wand helps separate and lengthen my lashes. I just repurchased and brand new one which you can see in my new haul on YouTube here

Sleek Brown Kit
- Apply the shaping wax following the natural shape of your brown to define the shape. Then using the setting powder, apply across the brow sparingly to fill any gaps and create a fuller brow.
I'm really pleased I purchased this. I have the shade light and it seems to be a pretty good match. I love how easy the duo is to use, I can create lovely brows. I like the little brushes and tweezer you get inside but mine keep falling out, oops!

There we have it, my current favourites! What are yours?
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Thursday, March 14

my birthday wishlist

Next weekend, I turn 19 (yippeee!). I absolutely love birthdays (especially my own), and I'm finally getting excited. Rich is taking me away to London for three days which will be so lovely. We'll do plenty of shopping and plan on seeing a show. I had The Lion King in mind, but has anyone seen any amazing ones? 
This wishlist is definitely a little on the pricey side but that's okay because a girl can wish, right? 

Top left, I adore these Cath Kidston Pj bottoms. I'm a sucker for comfy clothes but I like to be pretty too. I blogged about my favourite new s/s picks last week which you can read here.
The brown bag is from Jack Wills and although I agree it's overpriced, I still love it. I've had my eye on this bag for months but I can't justify the £198 price tag (WHAATT). Hhhm, maybe I'll go and peek at it in Covent Garden.
Coco Mademoiselle is my absolute favourite perfume by Chanel so I'll be needing a new bottle however, I also am lusting over the Soleil Tan De Chanel. With Summer swiftly approaching, I'd love to get my hands on this for contouring, so pretty.
My iPad is in need of a pretty protective case, and of course, keeping with the floral theme I love this from eBay! Its £24.99 and had a little stand and front cover which I really like. I'm taking my iPad to London with me so might have to treat myself before I go.
I've liked Ted Baker for ages and had my close eye on a purse, but something draws me to the pretty bow make up bags they have. I love the black too but my favourite colour at the moment is grey, I need to pick this up!
Finally, a beautiful Tiffany necklace. I'm going to buy this as a gift from my Mother. It's special and I love it. 

What do you think? Are you lusting after anything recently?
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Tuesday, March 12

50 Things About Me | Tag

Hello! This is my 50 things about me, I'm not quite sure if it's actually fifty but its there abouts! It took ages to edit and put together and it puts a massive smile on my face watching it. I hope you get to know me a little bit better and you enjoy the embarrassing cute old pictures.
lots of love,
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Monday, March 11

Outift: Grey Longline Waterfall Jacket

You know when you see a piece of clothing you love and instantly know its you? That's exactly how I felt about this jacket. I saw a friend recently wear the black version and it looked gorgeous on her. I went in store and noticed the grey one, but I didn't buy it there and then as I wasn't sure on the price. However at the weekend, I took my mum into River Island (they've got some lovely things atm!) to show her and she agreed it's what we call an 'investment piece'. At £60 I know it isn't cheap, but theres so much material and has leather look pannel sleeves, so pretty. The shape is 'boucle waterfall' and cuts in the right places. It's a great transition pieces from winter to spring and I've already paired it with jeans and leggings too. You can tell I love this as I rarely do outfit posts! I also noticed Billie from TOWIE was wearing it last night too, yay!
My scarf is Primark, Boots are from Amsterdam, Zara jeans, Hollister top and The Beauty Closet jewellery. 

What do you think? Also, do you have snow like this today?


Friday, March 8

favourite s/s Cath Kidston picks!

As many of you may know, I absolutely lurrveee Cath Kidston*. I own quite a collection of pieces and in particular, my oil cloth bag is great for taking down the beach in the summer.

If you haven't been into a store, it's a joy, and I could probably spend a good few hours browsing the shelves (until Rich drags me out!). I was mooching on the John Lewis site and realised theres tons of new designs, styles and colours for Spring/Summer eekk! Postage is only £3.00 or free with 'click and collect' too. Tempting, I know.

I love the 'Spring Flowers' print with a white background and dainty flowers, I couldn't help admiring the keyring (£4.50), travel card holder (£6.00) and posay zip bag (£24.00) in this print. I've had two previous keyring's which I have to own on my keys, they're just so pretty. I like this new 'square' shape too.

The spotty purse almost matches my iPhone case and I really like the contrast navy and brown. I already own one of their purses in this style and it's so sturdy and holds lots of cards. 

They also sell handy little umbrellas from £22.00, something I've got my close eye on. This ditsy superslim print is much prettier close up! With the English weather being such a let down, carrying an umbrella is definitely an essential.

Finally, my absolute favourite pick is the Daisy Rose Print Cotton Small Tote Handbag (£38.00). They also sell an oil cloth version similar to my own one, however I love this one. It has a spotty print inside, definitely worth checking out.

You can buy all these Cath Kidston pieces online from John Lewis.

What do you think? Have you got any favourites?

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*disclaimer - this is a sponsored post which I rarely do unless I believe it fits within my blog & you'd like a read!

Thursday, March 7

do we need degrees?

This month I turn 19, but not only does this mark my last year as a teenager, I hoped I'd find a job and career I absolutely loved.

Whilst completing my A Levels last year (which I hated every minute of), I had a part time job at a children's shop. Two months later, I helped open their second store and became Store Manager by default. It then became my full time career. After a year there however, the pressure piled up and up and up. No disrespect to her, but my boss was constantly messaging me on Facebook at the weekends, days off and evenings and I never got a break! I was doing so much from managing the shop, customers, orders, website, stock control, shoe fitting, staff training, deliveries and more. The pay I was receiving just didn't justify the amount of work I was putting in. It got out of control when I was told by a doctor I had eczema due to stress.

I could have stayed there and stuck it out until I found another job, but I was just so unhappy. With the support from my mum, we decided I took a short career break to find something else and in the meanwhile, I've been working on my own business and finding another job.

It is proving much more difficult than I thought though. 

Over the past month, I've applied for tons of jobs, been for 5 interviews and offered 2 roles which I declined because they weren't quite right. The interview I went for yesterday was for a job I was so excited about. It was working as a booking co-ordinator in a college alongside the beauty salon, meaning I did all the behind the scenes business stuff in a sector I loved. The interview went great, I even did a 10 minute presentation on how to promote their salon however, I didn't get the job.

Why? Because apparently I didn't have the relevant qualifications or training, despite there being none desired in the personal specification.

This got me really thinking. Do people like me; who don't want to continue in education, have a passion and strive for business, are well-motivated and ideal for a role, still need a degree or higher qualification? I asked what specific one was needed, and she replied "maybe customer service". Erm, I've just done two years in retail and a year as a manger, is that not good enough experience? Do I really need to sit in a classroom and be taught how to deliver customer service? 

If they didn't think I was right for the role than that is absolutely fine, however I am not fine in feeling put down about the fact I don't have a further qualification, because I genuinely thought I was ideal for the role. The employer also told me I was "brave" in what I was trying to do, but why?! Don't get me wrong, my closest friends have all gone to University and I support them with that decision (especially if you are training for doctor, teacher etc), but why can't more employers support young people? I just want to do well with experience behind me, instead of a degree which cost me £30 - £50k debt. The worst thing is, people finish these degrees every year and aren't guaranteed a job either!

I don't think anyone has the right answers or advise to give to young people like me, however I definitely think I am an employable person and I'm not giving up. I did get offered roles within marketing and events (I only declined because I wasn't happy with the commission based salary!) so I know it's possible.

Today, I'm visiting a 'Job Fair' which covers all areas of Bournemouth and Poole in the hope I might meet someone, get some advise or even some inspiration. I'm still applying for jobs and waiting to hear back, but it really is quite hard. I'm so motivated and ready to start my career, I just need someone to see that and give me a chance.


Tuesday, March 5

Philosophy The Bake Shoppe Set

 Philopsophy The Bake Shoppe - RRP £18.00, TKMaxx £12.99

I absolutely love TKMaxx. When I go on my own, I can have a field day browsing the beauty bits and I usually scan the same isles about two or three times. It does take patience, but you can find some gems! This set from Philosophy had £5 off RRP and includes two full sizes of:

Christmas Cookie Shampoo/Shower Gel/Bubble Bath
Sweet Creamy Frosting Body Lotion

The Christmas Cookie smells identical to the Yankee Candle, so yummy and a smell I enjoy all year round. I'd never heard of the creamy frosting lotion, but I popped it on today after a shower and my skin is still smelling wonderful. I love the little gift box too, would make a great gift for someone. I haven't really tried Philosophy much so I will definitely keep a close eye in TKMaxx in future.

Have you tried this set?
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ps. I hit 1K followers today, thank you SO much!


Monday, March 4

What's On My iPhone?

After what felt like hundreds of requests daily, I finally updated my 'what's on my iphone' video with all the apps I currently use. I hope you like it, and let me know what apps you like too!
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Saturday, March 2

Joma Jewellery & The Beauty Closet

Just thoughts I'd stop by and introduce you to a gorgeous range of jewellery I stock on The Beauty Closet from designer brand Joma Jewellery. 

We've got the Lou Lou Heart Necklace to match our popular Earrings, simple, pretty and ideal to complete a set.
The gorgeous Moments Necklaces features charms such as a heart and crystals, definitely one of my favourites. 
NEW Carded bracelets "A Little Thank You" and "A Little Congratulations", absolutely ideal gifts. 
Finally, we also have the Freya Lariat Necklaces, "A Little Love" and "A Little XO" all back in stock due to popular demand! 

Everything comes beautifully gift wrapped in these white boxes finished with a white bow, so beautiful. Don't forget it's Mother's Day next week, these are great gifts.

What's your favourites?

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Friday, March 1

Lush 29 High Street & Spa Re-Launch Event, Poole

Before I start, I must stress how much I genuinely love Lush. Despite the overwhelming smell of the stores, I've learnt and found products that really work for me and I can't wait to try more. When I was kindly invited down for a 'VIP Lush Preview Night' on Thursday, to celebrate the re-launch of their first ever Lush Poole Store in Dorset, I really was quite excited. I didn't even realise I lived so close to the original one, plus it has a Spa! 

I went along with fellow friend and blogger Megan (megansbeautybubble) and although 20 minutes late, we knew we were on a 'RSVP list'. We arrived disappointed to find the shop completely jam packed with people and apparently open to the general public (including children running around!) This definitely defeated the point of being 'VIP', but I had made such a journey and effort to come, I was intrigued to see inside. This was clearly more difficult than I thought, I could barely move AT ALL and Megan and I left after just 15 minutes. I am so gutted that Lush didn't keep this event exclusive as it didn't give me the chance to speak to the staff, see any product demonstrations or properly photograph the store. In fact, I'm not exactly sure how to review it for you so I'll have to visit on a quieter day.  Lush have always been so generous with samples at our blogger events and every time I visit a store, (be Bournemouth or Birmingham), I'm never left disappointed or empty handed. I'm shocked and surprised it wasn't more clearly thought out.

That being said, I hope you can kinda see from these images that it was beautifully laid out. The presentation was perfect, I like the bath bombs in image one as you can pick and choose quite easily from the holes. They had a 'retro' area filled with discontinued products, ideal for massive Lush fans. The perfumes and sprays all had the 'original' Lush packaging on, some even had the exclusive '29' and a drawing of the shop itself. The centre isle was filled with masks which really made me want to try and possibly buy one if it wasn't so busy. 
I have to admit, the Spa area was absolutely beautiful. Split into several rooms, we walked into one where a 'Synaesthesia' treatment was being done, the most expensive at £125 and designed to combine sensory stimulation with a full body massage. Before a treatment, they ask Spa Customers to randomly pick a word from a selection on how they're feeling, then use essential oils to burn a smell in the room to combine with that customers mood. The staff demonstrated how they use these particular oils, dry ice and hot water which mix together to create (what looked like a science experiment!) a unique scent to burn in the room. They also play relaxing music which is actually synced in time to the movements of the massage. Really unique and lasts for 80 minutes! The cheapest Spa treatment is 'Tailor Made', 30 minutes for £40. I can definitely see myself coming for a birthday or special occasion. There was something an added bit special about the feel of the Spa, even the decor was done like a small cottage with bricks!

I had a brief look at the make up area which featured fun wallpaper, a record player and Lush perfumes. It was far too crowded for me to properly see the final part of the store by the till, which was dedicated to many of their shampoos, conditioners and body lotions. The queue to pay was so long, so I didn't catch what products were there either (usually the lip scrubs etc!).

Final Thoughts?
Despite the fact I was left really disappointed by the event in general, the new store and spa are fantastic. They've clearly spent time listening to customers and making the place feel fun and colourful for their products, and homely and comforting for the spa. 
We were told we could have Champagne but I only found two empty glasses and no bottle. This luxury would have been nicer (and available) if the general public weren't shopping around! We were also given a dead rose, and a tag attached with words such as 'Mind Cleanser'. I believe these words are some that customers pick before a treatment, although no one really explained the concept. 
There was no real opportunity to test or get a better feel of any Lush products. I really hope that they take on board the comments and keep events like these more exclusive. I won't be rushing back tomorrow but if I'm passing, I'll take better photos and let you know how I feel second time round. Lush has 6 exclusive Spas in Surrey, London, Leeds, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Dorset in the UK plus, some in Japan, France and Korea overseas. 

What do you think? Do you like this re-design of their first ever store?
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