24 April 2016

My Standard FOTD (Face of the Day)

I always see bloggers do these kinds of posts and I don't half find it intriguing. (It doesn't help that I'm a nosy so and so.)

As I grow older, I find that I'm getting more and more interested in make-up and experimenting with different beauty brands.

Fashion will always be my primary interest; however, as fashion and beauty often go hand in hand, it's impossible to care about fashion without caring about cosmetics just a smidgen as well.

On a day to day basis, it seems what women wear on their face varies astronomically. Some women put a full face of slap on, some use minimal make-up and some don't bother at all.

When I'm at work, I find that a BB cream, spot of concealer and slick of mascara does the job quite nicely.

But on my days off, when I'm going out to see friends or popping out for lunch with the family, I often find a need a little somethin' somethin' extra.

I usually wear a thin layer of foundation - my favourite is MAC Studio Sculpt - with a touch of Collection 2000's bronzer to define my cheekbones.

Then, on my eyes, I have to do the whole winged eyeliner look (a la Adele). You better believe us, boys, when we say winging our eyeliner is an art!

Following what feels like a thousand minutes perfecting the wings using Rimmel's liquid liner, I usually pile on a bit more Maybelline mascara than usual and finish off my brows with a bit of Benefit Brow Gel.

The final touch is to line my lips and whack on a MAC lipstick. My current everyday lipstick is Velvet Teddy because it's true that there ain't no girl that can resist that bronzey badboy.

Then, after this, my face is ready to... er, FACE the world!


(What do you wear for your standard FOTD? Thanks for reading! Katie-xo)

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16 April 2016

What To Do With a Weekend in LDN

Last weekend I went to visit a very good friend of mine in good ol' London Town.

I always enjoy heading to London because it really does feel like another world down there with its chaotic city atmosphere compared to the calm serenity of the Yorkshire countryside.

It's a great contrast to what I'm used to but sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed with the amount of footfall (and general franticity) which makes me wonder whether I'd ever be able to live there. It's so much hustle and bustle and people are always in a hurry to get places. I'm quite laid-back and leisurely so sometimes it feels like I don't belong - like the city wants to swallow me up and spit me back out.

Anyway it's still a pretty cool place to visit from time to time and I find that, now that I'm older and have previously visited a handful of times, I've done the main touristy things which leaves room to do the 'not quite as' touristy things.

On Friday night, my buddy took me to Limehouse - an area I'd never been to before.

It's kinda low key and chilled compared to other areas of London. The places we went to were busy, but not overly busy, and the streets were practically deserted more often than not.

We went for dinner at this cute little Italian called 'La Figa' before heading to the 'The Narrow' - the Thameside gastropub that Gordon Ramsay owns.

It has beautiful views of the river, especially at night while the skyscrapers are alight. (I'm a poet but, yes, I do know it.)

We had a cheeky tipple in there before proceeding to Ian McKellen's part-owned pub - The Grapes.

This is a small, old-fashioned watering hole that resonates Britishness down to its very core. However, the most exciting thing about it is the fact that Gandalf's staff takes precedence on the wall behind the bar. *Fangirl squee!* It was just perched there looking at me while I was casually sipping my Kopparberg Strawberry and Lime which was pretty cool.

My friend also said he was once having a drink in there and Ian McKellen was sat right behind him #notjealousatall.

After the excitement and tipsiness of Limehouse, we headed back to my friend's place in Canary Wharf where we could crash and sleep off the alcohol.

Then, the next day, my friend took me to The Breakfast Club in Canary Wharf which is about a 15 minute walk from his flat.

It's basically decorated all 70's-American-diner style with wood panelling, cheap chandeliers and leather booths with a jukebox on the wall. Oh and did I mention that the breakfast is AWESOME?! My friend had pancakes with bacon and maple syrup which was yummy (I sampled some, obviously) then I had Eggs Royale with smoked salmon on a toasted muffin. 100% NOM-tastic.

After breakfast, I had an urge to visit Camden again. I had been once before with Uni peeps but I'd forgotten about its many charms and wanted my memory refreshing.

The markets were just as cute and quaint as I remember.

We went to the psychedelic monstrosity that is 'CyberDog' (basically the gadget, clothing and sex shop that's on drugs) just because you've got to - then decided to find somewhere to perch besides the canal with a drink in hand where we could watch the world go by.

Camden was buzzing with crowds, as always, so I really enjoyed people watching. You find the best characters in Camden.

We then walked along the canal, past many boats decorated in weird and wonderful ways, towards the delight that is Primrose Hill.

I'd heard of Primrose Hill (doesn't it sound the prettiest?!) but never been before. It's basically a massive park with a hill at the end of it (as the name suggests). At the top of that hill awaits an incredible view. Hello, London skyline! You little beauty, you.

After spending several moments staring in wonder at the view, we walked from Primrose Hill to Regent's Park next door - so much greenery and so much gorgeousness!

The sun kept peeking out of the clouds throughout the afternoon and, when it did, all felt right with the world. You can't beat vitamin D's on your face as you're strolling through picturesque nature.

After Regent's Park, we walked past Sherlock Holmes' house on Baker Street before hopping back on the tube to Canary Wharf.

My friend took me for an early dinner at Gourmet Burger Kitchen because I'd never been (yes, I live a sheltered life) and then we mooched through the financial district of Canary Wharf to soak up some more skyscrapers and canals.

There's a really cute park which runs through the buildings before you reach the tube station with trickling fountains and trees that are almost in blossom.

We sat there for a moment and pondered about life before heading back to my friend's place for a chilled out evening of copious amounts of cups of tea, M&M's and Peter Kay.

My friend worked out that we'd walked 12,000 steps that day which was a surprise - that's more than I'd usually do in a week! (COME AT ME, skinny summer body.) It's so easy to get carried away with walking in London because everything is so spread out and there's so much to explore. The tube network definitely helps to get places and fast.

After a good nights sleep of being knocked out from exhaustion, I headed back up North late morning on the Sunday. 

Then, before I knew it, I was back in the homeland.

London, you were a fun one. Hope to see you again soon! And thank you to my friend for having me.

(Have you been to London much? What's your favourite parts of London? Thanks very much for reading! Katie-xo)

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6 April 2016

The Kylie Lip Kit Review: Posie K

I decided not long ago that it had to be done. I had to conform to the masses, sell out, ignore any nagging doubts telling me I was stupid to do it just because I wanted Kylie Jenner lips, bite the bullet and purchase one of the famous Kylie Lip Kits.

I'd seen these 'Lip Kits' doing the rounds on social media. YEAH - the colours looked pretty nice, the product was reasonably priced, the fact that it comes with both a liquid lipstick and lipliner made it good value for money... But I never thought I'd feel the urge to tap into the trend like so many bloggers before me.

However, that all changed when I started reading the reviews online; 'beautiful, deep colour that lasts for hours', read one... 'the liquid lipstick is moisturising to the lips', read another... 'a must have in the world of make-up' said somebody else, etc ETC.

I knew it was time to swallow my pride.

But, unfortunately, these little babies are very tough to get hold of.

You can only buy them from the official Kylie Cosmetics website, however the Kylie Lip Kit team only restock every month or so with a limited amount of product which means that everything tends to sell out in a matter of hours.

The Lip Kits are all over eBay though, which is where I got mine from, but you should expect to pay more than the original price of $29 (about £21) plus shipping. (I won't tell you what I paid...)

All of the colours are available, including the new dark purpley shade of 'Kourtney K', but I decided to go for the gorgeous dusty pink little number by the name of 'Posie K'.

I was like a little kid at Christmas waiting for my Lip Kit to arrive - and then, when it did, my first thoughts were how impressive the box and packaging looks. Everything about this product oozes 'cool' - from the dripping lips logo to the silky smooth finish of the liquid lipstick.

The lipliner looks like a MAC product and outlines the lips like a dream. The colour just glides on really strong without being too cakey,  and then you simply have to use the liquid lipstick to fill in the rest.

The liquid lipstick smells INCREDIBLE. It really does. It's potentially the best-smelling lip product I own - all fruity and NOMMY.

It tickles the lips it's that light, but not light as in watery - it's easy to apply and provides great coverage in rich block colour.

It's very wet when first applied, but soon dries to a matte finish. The only thing I'd say is that, if your lips are not moisturised well enough beforehand, the product will dry them out slightly.

I found this out once first-hand but then just popped some vaseline on top - the colour wasn't spoilt, my lips were back to their smooth selves and ALL WAS RIGHT WITH THE WORLD.

I have fallen head over heels in love with the Posie K colour - so much so, that I am considering investing in another Lip Kit in a different colour variety.


But yeah - great product, Kylie. Girl done good.

(Did you manage to get hold of one of the Kylie Lip Kits? What colour do you have and what do you think to the product? Thanks for reading! Katie-xo)

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30 March 2016

My New Favourite Place

If you've been reading my recent blog posts, you'll know that I was struck down with tonsillitis again at the beginning of the month. This then accumulated into a viral Upper Respiratory Tract Infection.

Basically, I've been a very poorly girl and - yes, I admit - I have felt sorry for myself.

In all honesty, I've never been THIS ill THIS frequently in all of my twenty five years. It started back in October when my doctor referred me to A&E after I had breathing problems. It was there that I was told I had a Lower Respiratory Tract Infection which could have turned into pneumonia if it had got any worse.

Following this LRTI, I was struck down with tonsillitis a few days later. I seemed to have recovered for a few weeks and then got a viral chest infection over Christmas. From the end of December to the end of January - I was finally in good health. Then, at the beginning of February, I got tonsillitis again. I took a week off work to recover but - lo and behold - the tonsillitis came back a couple of weeks later (which takes us to the beginning of the month) before turning into a viral URTI.

We can draw the conclusion that my immune system SUCKS! But the good news is that I'm feeling a lot better now.

While I was off sick, I was mostly bed bound. It was only towards the end of that final sick note period that I was up and about on my feet again. I remember popping out to our local farm shop with my family the weekend before I was due to return to work and, even though I was only out for two hours, I was SOOOOOO TIRED.

To build my strength back up in those last few days off, I went for a couple of little walks near my house. It was on one of these walks where I found my new favourite place.

My house is about a 10 minute walk from the village bridge which goes over the River Wharfe. There are some houses that overlook it - one of them even has its own private dock:

(Isn't it just the cutest?!)

There's also some public stone steps hidden around the same area that you can go down and they bring you right alongside the river edge.

On this particular crisp, sunny Sunday morning - I stumbled upon these steps without even knowing about them. It took all of my energy to go down them (I had not yet conquered stairs after being laid up for two weeks) but, BOY, am I glad I did.

What I found at the end was ultimate peace, tranquility and serenity.

Hidden away, surrounded by trees and overlooking the sparkling river in the spring sunshine, I sat down on one of the steps on the river edge and felt like I was the only girl left on this planet.

I was only there for a few minutes but it was so therapeutic to just sit there, alone with my own thoughts, encircled by endless beauty. It was there, in that moment, where I felt like I didn't have a care in the world.

I forgot everything.

I forgot where I was, what had happened to me in my life - I even forgot who I was.

I was just a girl - a tiny, insignificant being on one of the many planets in our colossal universe.

I could have stayed there forever.

This spot, a 10 minute walk from my house, will now be my safe haven.

It's comforting to me that I know exactly where I can go henceforth, if I ever need to put my problems in perspective...

I'm so glad I found it - my new favourite place.

(Do you have a favourite spot where you live? What do you think to mine? Thanks for stopping by! Katie-xo)

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23 March 2016

The Return of the Blondie

This post is the sequel to 'Blondie' which I wrote back in 2013.

I've dyed my hair several different colours in the past but the one that my family always said that suited me the most is (dot, dot, dot)... BLONDE.

I had blonde highlights for a large part of my teenage years (probably from around 13 to when I went red for Uni at 18) and I have found in the past, when experiencing a bad hair day, that I missed my blonde locks a HELLUVA lot.

After being a red head for a year during my first year of Uni, I decided to go over to the dark side and embrace my inner goth with almost black hair (cue all of those Katy Perry comparisons), followed by a random purpley tint, before settling for a dark brown with light brown ends dip-dye look circa 2013.

It wasn't long before I lightened the dip-dye hair up with blonde ends instead of light brown and then, in a moment of temporary insanity, dyed these ends pink because I thought I was a unicorn OBVS (read all about it here). Following this crazy experiment, I asked my then-hairdresser to whack in some honey highlights and - HEY PRESTO - I was an all-over blondie again.

Soon later, I did what a lot of young girls my age do... I got lazy. I stopped having my hair coloured because 1) I couldn't afford it and 2) I started to work full time - and who wants to sit in a chair for hours on end making mindless small talk at the weekend when you've got a boyfriend to please, a flat to clean and errands to run?! NO SIR, not me.

Fortunately, I was lucky and my highlights grew out to create this natural ombre effect with my real hair colour (which is brown).

I kept this look for the year I was travelling and then some, before deciding I would like to go lighter all over in late 2015 and be a good and proper blondie again.

At first I thought I'd like to keep the ombre effect to consist of dark brown roots with the colour gradient gradually increasing to blonde on the ends (a la Lauren Conrad):

However, this time around, I decided to have highlights further up so the whole look feels a lot lighter. I took inspiration from a certain Miss Khloe Kardashian. After reading her book and watching her family's TV show, I've become a big fan of Khloe and her entire look. Her hair, in particular, always seems to be ON FLEEK:

(Image Source: Glamour Magazine Online)

This is still technically ombre with the natural hair colour showing at the roots. I liked this idea because it means that the roots are less noticeable when they grow out.

This was the final result:

Hair Cut and Colour - Westrow, Wetherby

I'm really pleased with the colour - I may even ask to go a little lighter next time! Either way, the Blondie is here to stay and I couldn't be happier.

(Do you like my new hair colour? How many times have you dyed your hair in the past? Thanks for reading! Katie-xo)

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