Monday, 1 September 2014

Less Glam Girl: The Party Dress Edit ♡

I am not a very glamorous person - there isn't a sparkle or sequin to be seen in my wardrobe, and although my wardrobe is full of dresses, not one of them is really party attire.  Then I find out there is a Freshers Ball at the university I'm going to.  I look at my wardrobe in a huge panic as there is nothing in my wardrobe that says "ball".  There was a lot of talk on how formal people were dressing for this, and my understanding is that it's general party outfits - nothing too dressy.  But still, my clothing collection has nothing to offer.

After scrolling through all the dress retailers I could think of, I came across a few that seemed occasion appropriate and that wouldn't have me feeling super self-conscious the whole night.  I still want to feel like me!  I thought I'd put together a little list of dresses that might be ideal for people like me - wanting to dress up, but not wanting to look super dressy!

1 - £15.00 - (buy here)
Chiffon always says formal.  I love this super cute floaty number, and it would look great with a pair of white or cream heels, or flats if you're not up for heels!  At only fifteen pounds it's an absolute steal for a party dress!  It says party without being to 'in your face'.  Sometimes simple is best!

2 - £62.00 - Oasis at ASOS (buy here)
If you're not feeling something typically 'partyish', go for a classy, more sophisticated cut.  This is a bit of a sixties chic look, and paired with a pair of bright heels and a matching clutch would be a killer look!

3 - £14.99 - New Look (buy here)
Another bargain at under fifteen pounds!  This is ideal for a pop of colour.  Pair with stacks of gold bangles for a stand out look!

4 - £50.00 - Topshop (buy here)
A slightly edgier take on the LBD - from afar this looks like your average black dress, but close up, the pleather pleated skirt gives it a whole new look.  The cut outs on the side are also a great way of showing some skin without going too OTT!

5 - £39.00 - Miss Selfridge (buy here)
Personally I don't really go for bodycon dresses, but this print is so cool!  If you want to make a statement, then a printed dress is the way to go.  You needn't even accessorise with this - this dress does all the work for you!

Hope this helped any of you reluctant part go-ers!
Sorry for the lack in posts lately - everything is very chaotic at the moment!

Friday, 22 August 2014

First Timers: Buying High End ♡

I can't put my finger on what it is, but there's something so daunting about the first time you go to a high end beauty counter intending to buy something.  Buying high end make up seems to be a bit scary at first.  Obviously high end make up is a little pricey, so before making your first purchase, there are a few things you can do to make sure you won't regret splurging on cosmetics!

I feel like so many of us start blogging with a 'drugstore only' mindset, then it turns out every single beauty blogger is a huge enabler, and before we know it, we're all toying with the idea of maybe just spending that little bit more.  There's nothing wrong with treating yourself, after all!

Do some research!
For example, if you want to invest in a high end foundation, look at your options.  We're lucky that beauty blogging exists, as it's so easy to find people with similar skin types and tones, and what works for them.  Look at different brands, what kind of coverage you want, and how much you really want to spend.  There are plenty of YoutTube videos that review and show you exactly how a product works, for millions of products.  Thank god for beauty gurus!

Don't trust eBay!
I know eBay might offer some mega beauty bargains, but the chances are these aren't genuine products.  Most of the time it's just not worth the risk, as the rip-off versions are likely to be bad quality, and may even cause bad reactions with your skin!  High quality products unfortunately come with high prices, but if a product works really well, it's worth the extra pennies!

It's best to buy in person!
This kind of links to my last point, but even if you trust a website, I still think it's best to go to a counter and see the product before the splash out on it.  Sometimes colours might not be what you're expecting, or the size may be totally different.  Especially if you're going for a base product, go to a counter and get colour matched!  It doesn't cost any extra, and in all my experiences, staff have been happy to answer questions and see if the product is right for me.

Test products out!
If you're going out for a day of shopping, and are after a high end foundation, for example, go to the counter at the beginning of the day!  This way you can get colour matched and then test out the foundation for a couple of hours.  The staff on the counter will be happy for you to do this!  If it gets to the end of your day out and you're happy with how your face looks, go back and treat yourself to the product!  I've also found a lot of counters are happy to give samples if you ask, and if you buy something they may throw in a few samples.  

Hope this leaves you feeling a little more confident on your next trip to beauty counters!  Happy shopping!


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

New In: Beauty ♡

You're going to have to bare with me for the next few weeks - everything is a bit chaotic!  I'm moving in about a month, so I'm busy getting ready for that!  I did have my birthday last Sunday, which meant a few new beauty treats, and I thought I'd share with you what I got.

I've really been bitten by the MAC Lipstick bug, so I added two more to my collection.  This time I got Vegas Volt and Plumful. Here are some swatches!

Vegas Volt is an orange coral kind of colour - not something I'd usually go for as I'm all about a pink lip, but I actually love it, and I think it suits me really well.  It's definitely one for the summer!

I'd wanted Plumful for a very long time, but had struggled to seem to find it.  My mum actually managed to find it on a duty-free counter for me, and I'm so thrilled to finally have it!  It's a perfect everyday berry lip - nothing too dramatic, but still noticeable.  

Finally comes an adorable lip and cheek set from Benefit!  I'm a huge fan of Benefit cosmetics, they're probably my favourite high-end brand, so when I received this gift set for my birthday I was super happy!  It's a collection called Sugarlicious, and has the perfect combination of products to create a natural glowy look.

At the moment I'm loving using the Sugarbomb blush and the High Bleam highlighter to give my face a natural glow.  I could not recommend Benefit products enough, especially their powder boxes!

I'll be back soon with some different posts!  See you then,

Friday, 15 August 2014

Instagram Diary ♡

My blog has been a little slow over the past week, but it's truly been a hectic time for me.  I thought I'd get you up to speed by sharing my instagram photos.  You can follow me on instagram here!

From left to right: An outfit post from London  

A touristy snap from London 

Me and my mum on the train

My favourite bargain brush set!

Treated myself to some MAC lipsticks

Me and my youngest sister Connie

Photo from my post about blonde hair

Sunbathing with Sam on Felixstowe beach

A weird painting in the window of a charity shop in Kesgrave

A super friendly cat that I fell in love with

There are a lot of amazing childhood photos at my boyfriends house

I tried to do something cute with my hair!  (A little more practise and a tutorial may be coming up!)

Me and Man Yee enjoy the iPad photobooth

Man Yee got super buff

A nice view from the top of the hill in Felixstowe

My family are a lot more tanned than me!

My parents literally got me a bucket of Nutella for getting into uni!!

An outfit photo taken at Southsea Coffee

I hope you've enjoyed catching up with my life!  If you don't already follow me on instagram, you can search for me at 'ellajean'.

My blog may be a little slow for the next few weeks - choas is ahead!  I actually got into the University of Kent to study religion and I honestly couldn't be more excited.  Bare with me, I'll be back to normal soon enough!  I'll probably do a room tour post once I've moved, I love organising new spaces.  Sad - I know.

It's also my birthday on Sunday, so I'll probably be back with a brithday outfit and make up look!

Did you get any A Level results? How did you do?

Lots of love

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

OOTD - 12/08/14 ♡

Jacket - Matalan // T-shirt - H&M // Shorts - Boohoo // Shoes - Dr Marten // Bag - H&M // Necklace - Accessorise // Sunglasses - Vintage Market

Thought I'd share my outfit with you today!  It's pretty simple, but I'm absolutely obsessed with my pink leather jacket.  I'm a bit of a fan of adding a pop of colour to an outfit, especially when that colour is pink.  My shoes are from Dr Marten, and after a bit of wearing in, they have fast become my favourite shoes for everyday.  

Will be back with some beauty posts soon!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Maintaining Blonde Hair ♡

I've been colouring my hair blonde for a while now, and I know how much of a nightmare it can be it keep it looking good!  I thought I'd share with you the products I use to keep it looking good!  My hair is naturally a very dark brown colour, so I get my hairdresser to dye it for me.  Because of this I don't know exactly what colour I use - sorry I can't be more helpful!  Although I do know that it's all coloured by toner - no bleach involved!  I know I could probably get better results with bleach, but I'm happy with the colour my hair is now and I'm not keen on damaging it too much!  Here's an old photo of me with my natural hair - so you can see what I'm working with.

I naturally have a lot of red tones in my hair, so when I have it lighter these tend to get a lot stronger and my hair can go quite ginger.  In order to combat this, there are a few products I find helpful.

A brightening shampoo is a must-have if you have blonde hair!  I find the Provoke Touch of Silver range are perfect for my hair, and also super affordable!  I use the Twice a Week Brightening Shampoo (buy here) every other wash with whatever frizz control conditioner is in my shower, and then I use the Touch of Silver Daily Shampoo (buy here) and the Touch of Silver Conditioner (buy here) together on the other washes.  I find these products are fantastic for stopping any brassy or ginger tones in my hair!

Since my hair is coloured, I think it's even more important to protect it from any further damage!  Heat protectants are essential for me.  I'm not hugely fussy on what on I have, I usually just go for whatever's cheapest where I'm shopping when I need it.  At the moment I'm using the Got2b Guardian Angel (buy here) which is getting the job done- no complaints.  I also like to use a hair oil, just to keep it in good condition.  I'm using the Pantene Pro-V Smooth&Sleek Dry Oil (buy here) which I'm really loving.  It leaves my hair super soft and easy to style!

Hope you've found these tips helpful!

How do you keep blonde hair look bright?

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Bargain Buy: eBay Brushes ♡

Brushes can be pretty pricey - even in the drugstore.  I'd been lusting after the rose gold Zoeva set for a while, but it would set me back about fifty pounds - which may not be a lot to some, but for me, that's a lot of money just on brushes!  I'd seen a few other bloggers talking about brushes from eBay, and at first I was unsure.  It seemed like they'd be the kind of brushes to start malting all over your face after one use.  This actually happened with one of my Real Techniques brushes!    I started to look at a few different sets on eBay, and after some thought, I decided there wasn't much to lose - it was a fifth of the price of the Zoeva set.  I'm so happy I decided to go for it!

I ordered mine from this seller, and they were at my door within three days!  I'm so impressed with this buying experience overall, and the quality of the brushes is amazing!  You get a ten piece brush set for just under ten pounds - all the brushes are so soft and apply make up really well!  There are five face brushes, and five smaller brushes for eyes or concealer.  I've been using them for a few days now and I'm really in love!  They also arrive in a little cotton bag, which I think is a nice touch.  When you pay bargain prices you don't expect to have nice little touches like that, but I've actually found the bag handy to keep my brushes in for travelling!  The brushes don't look cheap at all, and I must admit I wasn't expecting them to look as good as they do.

Overall I'm so pleased with the set, and I'd definitely recommend having a look on eBay before you splash out on some pricey brushes!

You can find the set I have here!

Have you tried any brushes from eBay?