August Favourites

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1. Lush's Mask of Magnaminty: I picked up this face mask in LA as my skin was feeling a little undernourished due to hours of travelling, so I needed a little something to rejuvenate it. While it took me a while to adjust to its scent, the mask certainly leaves my skin feeling refreshed and ultra clean, so I've been reaching for this product if my skin needs a bit of a pick-me-up or if I've been lazy and not done my usual skincare routine the night before. Considering a little goes a long way it's definitely worth the money, and since it's not the kind of mask that needs to be kept in the fridge it's incredibly easy to store.

2. Primark's nail polish twist pot: I'm including this in my favourites this month although this type of product in general has been a favourite of mine since I discovered it a few months ago. I can confidently say that I'm never looking back- gone are the days of pesky liquid nail polish removers! I find that the twist pots are completely hassle free and remove my nail polish in mere seconds, meaning that it's no longer such a chore. This Primark version is a great cheaper alternative to Bourjois' 'Magic Nail Polish Remover' which I believe retails for around £6, whereas I picked this one up for a bargainous 99p.

3. Eyeko Alexa Chung Eye Do liquid liner: While in San Francisco I popped into Sephora on the hunt for a new liquid eyeliner. It was a toss up between this one and Benefit's new 'They're Real Push Up Liner', but I opted for this since I have a massive girl crush Alexa Chung. I'm not exactly skilled in the winged liner department, but this is incredibly easy to apply and can be used to create a narrow or bolder line. I've found that it doesn't dry up and crack as the day goes on like some liquid liners do, but it has amazing staying power and still looks flawless even when it's time to remove my makeup.

4. Bath and Bodyworks antibacterial hand gel in 'Sweet Pea': I couldn't resist going to Bath and Bodyworks while I was in America since we aren't lucky enough to have it in the UK. I must admit I went a bit wild but among my purchases were some of their hand sanitisers, and this one in the scent 'Sweet Pea' has been a particular favourite of mine. I can't leave the house without throwing a hand sanitiser in my bag and this one is the perfect size to do so, plus it smells absolutely divine. I'm forcing myself to use it sparingly because I wont be too pleased when it runs out and I can't repurchase it.

5. EOS lipbalm in the scent 'Sumer Fruit': If you hadn't guessed already the majority of the products in this month's favourites were purchased during my visit to California (photo diary here), and this lipbalm is no exception. In the UK I've found that they are extortionately priced for what they are, but in Walgreens this one only set me back $3.50, which equates to around £2, so I couldn't resist. The round shape of it somehow makes it really satisfying to apply and it smells good enough to eat, I just regret not buying more!

6. NYX Matte Blotting Paper: I spotted this in Walmart and since NYX products are hard to come by in the UK I decided to try it out. I took it to Leeds fest with me and it was a great alternative to face powder, and much easier to carry around too. If I remember correctly it was pretty cheap, and I'd definitely recommend it if you're frequently on the go and suffer from oily skin.

Hugs and kisses, Sarah xo


Photo Diary: California Road Trip

If you follow me on Instagram you may know that I recently visited California with my family, and so I thought it'd be a fun idea to show you some of the photos I took on my trip. I also did a fair bit of shopping while I was there, so if you'd be interested in a haul let me know in the comments below! (p.s. please pay no attention to the grubby marks which appear on some of the photos later in this post. My lense got quite dirty but I stupidly forgot to bring my cleaning equipment along with me!)

We started off our holiday in Los Angeles although unfortunately I didn't take any pictures on my camera since we were mostly being cliché tourists and visiting theme parks, although I have a few on my Instagram which you can take a look at. LA is a city which I'd love to visit again and see more of, although I enjoyed visiting Disneyland and Universal Studios (where we even bumped into Steven Spielberg!), and seeing the Hollywood sign and Walk of Fame, as well as having a tour of the stars' homes in the Hollywood Hills (me, stalker? Never!)

Driving down the famous Big Sur which consists of miles of scenic coastline views- after seeing it in person it's easy to see why Californians brag about it so much. We travelled down this road from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, and later Monterey, and even spotted a few whales and dolphins on the way. 

As a bit of a golf enthusiast my dad insisted that we visit Pebble Beach on 17 Mile Drive, which is also where we saw the 'Lone Cypress', perhaps the most photographed tree in America and a western emblem. 

We took a quick stop-off on our travels at the small agricultural town of Salinas, which earned its fame for being the place in which John Steinbeck grew up, so it was only fitting that we visited the Steinbeck museum, especially after seeing Cannery Row in Monterey. 

San Francisco was probably my favourite of the places we visited, and it's definitely somewhere I'd consider revisiting. Our four day stay was made memorable by activities such as a tour of Alcatraz; shopping around Union Square; watching the sea lions of Pier 39 during sunset; a delicious meal in San Francisco's incredible China Town; a drive over Golden Gate Bridge and an afternoon spent in Sausalito; numerous guided bus rides around the city (including a hippie tour which gave us an insight into some of the movement's roots, including the Beatniks and Haight Street, where we saw Hendrix's beloved red house), and of course a ride on one of the city's famous cable cars. I wish we had the opportunity to stay a little longer as I'd have loved to see more of what the city has to offer.

It's almost impossible to comprehend the vastness and sheer beauty of Yosemite National Park, and to at least do it justice through photos. We were lucky enough to go on a hike one morning with a ranger, where we were given merely a glimpse of the scale of the park. On the second night of our stay we were supposed to be going stargazing in a meadow with another ranger, but unfortunately the activity was cancelled due to ash in the air as a result of a huge forest fire happening just miles away. This also meant that our original three hour journey to Death Valley the next morning was extended to eight hours due to road closures. While taking in the beauty of such landscapes it's easy to forget the difficulty places like Yosemite face due to the dry climate, and we even passed through a few small towns suffering from water shortage due to summer temperatures and the lack of rain. It strangely made me appreciative of the wet British weather!

Despite the long drive we finally made it to Death Valley, where we stayed for one night on our way to Las Vegas. I definitely couldn't have lasted any longer as temperatures soared up to almost fifty degrees Celsius! While there we made a quick detour to Badwater Basin, which is 282ft below sea level, making it the lowest point in North America. 

While in Vegas my dad had organised a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, which also passed the Hoover Dam. This was a once in a lifetime experience and I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to do it- if you ever get the opportunity I'd highly recommend you seize it!

It rapidly became evident why Vegas is famous for its ridiculousness and novelties, although I could see why some people develop a love for it.

After leaving Las Vegas we headed towards San Diego, although first we paid a visit to Peggy Sue's, an original 1950s diner on Route 66. Everything about the diner was authentic which created a great atmosphere and induced a sense of nostalgia in me, despite having been born in the 90s.  

After a hearty lunch we stopped off at Calico ghost town, which was formerly a mining town established in 1881. I must admit I was rather disappointed to see it so commercialised since being purchased by Walter Knott, although it was interesting to see nonetheless. 

Finally we rounded off our road trip with a few nights spent in San Diego. Highlights for me included a guided tour of the city (including a quick cross over to Coronado) and delicious meals in the Mexican Old Town and Little Italy. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you would like to see more of a similar nature in future please let me know below!

Hugs and kisses, Sarah xo


June Favourites

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I cannot believe we've already reached the month of July and how fast this year seems to be going. I've never done a monthly favourites post before, however after regularly seeing them on Youtube and the old blogosphere I thought I'd finally give it a go; so here you have it, my favourite beauty and non-beauty items of June!

1. George Orwell's '1984': I recently finished reading this book and it has totally altered my outlook on life. I haven't read many dystopian novels so I was unsure about this one at first and it took me a little while to get into, but as soon as I did I thoroughly enjoyed it, which was definitely helped by Orwell's beautiful and eloquently written prose. I'm sure many of you will have already read this novel since it's a classic, but if you haven't I'd highly recommend it. In fact, reading as a whole has been a favourite of mine this month. Since I've now finished my exams I've been able to properly get back into it as a hobby, which I've found to be extremely satisfying and rewarding. I currently have a huge list of books I'd like to read over the summer, which you can check out by following me on Good Reads.

2. Primark's strappy sandals: To me these shoes really have a certain Alexander Wang-esque vibe about them and are a great alternative to Zara's famous strappy sandals at a small fraction of the price. Primark's version usually retail at £12, but when I took a recent visit to my local store I was delighted to find them in the sale for £6! I think they look much more expensive, and I've loved pairing them with my white Topshop Joni jeans and a pastel blue bralet, which you can find a photo of on my Instagram. Although they only had one pair left in a size too big for me I can't really complain considering their bargainous cost, plus they're super comfortable regardless. They come in numerous different colours so it's definitely worth checking them out.

3. MAC Fix+: This product is raved about in the beauty community, and although some critics claim it's nothing more than glorified water I beg to differ. I use MAC Fix+ after applying my foundation, concealer, powder and blusher to give myself an overall dewy look. It really helps my makeup to stay put throughout the day, which is essential during the hotter months when your makeup is likely to stray due to sweat. Another perk of this product is how refreshing it is to apply on a hot day as it's relatively cooling- I'll definitely be repurchasing it!

4. Ebay Beauty Blender dupe: I'd wanted to try a Beauty Blender for quite a while but didn't want to invest too much because I wasn't certain it'd be for me. I opted for a cheaper Ebay dupe (similar one here) which cost me under £2, and it's become a regular part of my morning beauty routine. It blends my foundation perfectly and leaves a seamless finish, and I'd even go as far as saying it does a better job than my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush! Although this one didn't break the bank I'm definitely considering buying an actual Beauty Blender since I've been super pleased with the results of this one.

5. Coconut body butter from The Body Shop: I've been using this product religiously after shaving or showering, as it leaves my legs feeling silky smooth and smelling like a tropical breeze, which is a scent everyone aspires to have during the summer, right?

6. 2 in 1 cleanser and toner from Nivea: Lately I've really been getting into skincare and I've made it a personal mission of mine to improve the quality of my skin, especially since I'm going to California in less than two weeks and I wont necessarily want to be wearing too much makeup in the heat. I bought this 2 in 1 cleanser and toner on a whim from Boots and it's rapidly becoming one of my holy grail items. I usually remove the vast majority of my makeup using a makeup wipe before using this product, which removes any excess and moisturises my skin, making it feel incredible afterwards. It was within the low price range so it's definitely worth picking up, especially if you're on a budget. I've definitely noticed a reduction in the number of blemishes I have after using it!

7. Clinique's self sun tinted body lotion: It's no secret that my skin tone is pretty much as pale as it gets, and don't get my wrong I love being fair skinned, however during the summer when it's time to get the legs out I'm not such a fan of purple knees, so I turn to this product to give me a little glow and confidence boost. I use the lightest shade to ensure it looks totally natural, and I've found that it blends really easily and doesn't tend to look streaky, especially when applied with a mitt. Since I find it impossible to tan this item is a staple for me during the summer.

Let me know if you've tried any of the products I mentioned in this post, or if you have any recommendations you think I'd enjoy!

Hugs and kisses, Sarah xo


Current Music Favourites


Since purchasing a Spotify Premium membership I've recently started getting back into discovering new music, and nowadays you'll never find me on public transport without one of my Spotify playlists playing in my ears. I thought it'd be fun to share with you what I've been listening to lately, so if you'd like to see more of these posts in the future then tell in the comments below and I'll consider making it a regular occurrence on my blog!

1. Feels- Giraffage: I found out about Giraffage because they were playing in the background of a YouTube video I was watching. I was determined to find the artist and ever since I've been obsessed. 'Feels' and Teen Daze's remix of 'Even Though' are particular favourites of mine, so if you haven't heard them already I highly recommend you do so. 

2. Morning Kisses- Theophilius London: I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something about that song that simultaneously puts me in a good mood while making me want to get up and dance. If you're in desperate need of an instant pick-me-up then this one is for you. 

3. Ready For Your Love- Gordon City (MNEK remix): In my mind this is the perfect chillout song, and the video for the original is just as incredible. Sit back, light some incense and relax.

4. West Coast- Lana Del Rey: I went off Lana Del Rey a while back since I thought her music wasn't varied enough, and while her newest album as a whole hasn't really done it for me I've really been enjoying her recent single releases. 'West Coast' is probably my favourite of the few: it has an ethereal dreamy vibe going on and I currently have it on repeat. 

5. How's That- FKA Twigs: I discovered FKA Twigs a while back but hadn't listened to her in a while; that is until I heard this song playing in Urban Outfitters and was reminded of her genius. Her music is strikingly distinctive and definitely worth a listen. 

6. Sweatpants- Childish Gambino: My boyfriend introduced me to Childish Gambino and ever since I've been hooked. 'Sweatpants', '3005', 'The Worst Guys', 'Fire Fly' and 'Outside' are among some of my most played, although the list could go on. Donald Glover, I take my hat off to you.

7. Giving It All- Bondax (Joe Goddard remix): It's not often I find a remix of a song I prefer to the original, but this one falls into that category without a doubt. I'm ridiculously excited to see Bondax at Leeds fest, and I'll definitely be dragging my friends with me so they can understand my love for them.

8. Yet Again- Grizzly Bear: This song was probably my most played last summer, which is why it holds a special nostalgic significance for me. In fact, it's probably one of my all-time favourites. Grizzly Bear have immense talent and I urge you to check them out if you haven't before.

Let me know what you think of this style of blog post, I'd love to receive your feedback!

Hugs and kisses, Sarah xo


Accessorise with your Smartphone

With rapid developments in technology and the use of smartphones on the rise, I thought it'd be a fun idea to come up with a look coordinating with the new Samsung Galaxy S5 metallic handsets, especially since the 'matchy matchy' aesthetic is currently on trend. I created this gold based smoky eye using MUA's Undressed palette, which is one of the products I reach for most in my makeup collection. It's a really inexpensive dupe for Urban Decay's Naked 2 palette, and with highly pigmented shades I'd highly recommend it if you're on the market for a cheaper alternative. Since metallic hues can be rather garish if you overdo them, I thought this look would look best with subtle gold accessories, so I opted for this studded Primark clutch bag and one of Barry M's instant nail effects in the colour 'gold foil'. How would you style a look surrounding this concept? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

Hugs and kisses, Sarah xo

Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post.


Wishlist #7

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

1 & 6: Lately I've been looking to update my very limited clutch collection, and while frequenting the usual online stores these bags recently caught my eye. I'm particularly obsessed with this dupe of the Vlieger & Vandam 'Guardian Angel' gun embossed clutch on the right, and at only a mere fraction of the original price I may have to get my hands on it. 

2: Another dupe I've been loving lately is this copy of Zara's eye print dress, which you may recognise considering it's currently a favourite amongst fellow bloggers. It's a bit of a love or hate item, as proven by the controversy that ensued when Lena Dunham posted a photo of it on Instagram, but I happen to adore it. 

3: When perusing SheInside I spotted this beauty of a bralet. My recent purchases all seem to revolve around the minimal aesthetic, so I think this piece would be the perfect addition to my summer wardrobe. 

4: I've been lusting after an oversized striped tee for the longest time now, and the fit of this specific one looks ideal for what I had in mind. In my opinion it's a universal basic that everyone should own, as it's one of those items that you can lazily throw on with a bit of jewellery and a red lip yet still manage to look put together. 

5: A girl can never have too many pairs of denim shorts, right? 

7: As I recently mentioned on my blog I'm currently addicted to basic slogan tees (the wittier the better). This is another blogger's favourite at the moment, and I think it's another one of those effortless pieces that you can manipulate to look as though you put in much more effort than you actually did.  

8: I've been eyeing up these shorts for several months now, and since it's getting closer to the summer I thought they'd be perfect for my upcoming road trip around California. It looks as though I'll finally have to add them to my online basket!

Hugs and kisses, Sarah xo


Tennis Skirt

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Jumper: H&M
Skirt: H&M
Sandals: Birkenstocks
Necklace: Vivienne Westwood
Watch: Casio
Rings: Topshop

My love for H&M is ever growing as I'm hugely impressed with their current collection, especially for basic monochrome pieces. The vintage aesthetic I usually opted for last year has taken a back seat lately, and instead I've been obsessing over a more sleek and minimal look, as you may have noticed in my last few outfit posts.

The skirt and jumper in this outfit are two of the most recent additions to my wardrobe, and I couldn't wait to photograph them to share with you. When wearing this skirt I feel as though I should be playing tennis, and I love the quilted detail and dropped waistline which makes it so unique from other skirts on the highstreet. As for the jumper, I think it's essential that everyone has a substantial collection of basic knitwear, as I always find that they're the items I reach for most frequently. This particular jumper is ideal for the current weather, being breathable but not too lightweight either, making it the perfect piece for the transition between the cooler and warmer months. As a matter of fact, all of the items in this post are new to my collection, and I bought this controversial pair of Birkenstocks yesterday. When I first noticed their revival taking place I was relatively apathetic about the whole thing; however the number of times I've seen them featured by bloggers is directly proportional to how much they've grown on me, proving that I'm a slave to trends and mass hysteria. Love them or hate them, but as I mentioned in my recent wishlist post I have a bit of a penchant for ugly shoes, so I couldn't resist purchasing them when I found a pair for £25 on a spontaneous trip to Tk Maxx whilst I had an hour to kill. Plus did I mention how comfortable they are?!

It was my seventeenth birthday on Friday, and my boyfriend kindly surprised me with this beautiful Vivienne Westwood necklace (he persuaded me to include a cheeky shameless plug, so you can find him on Instagram here). I've been lusting after one for well over a year, and now that I own one I can confirm that I am obsessed. I love how it's so dainty and intricately detailed, yet with a subtlety about it that ensures it doesn't cross the line into garish territory. I highly doubt that it'll be leaving my neck any time soon, so expect to see it cropping up in future posts.

Hugs and kisses, Sarah xo