Sunday, 30 September 2018

What I Read This Summer

I am going to start off this post by saying just how sorry I am for how bad these pictures are. This post is already delayed and I just want to get it up now, but when taking these pictures, the weather was not on my side and so they turned out a little rubbish so I appologise. For the point of this post though, I am basically reviewing the four main books I read in August and at the start of September. Ideally, I would have liked to have read more but never mind, however, this post does contain quite a mix of books covering all sorts of topics within the Young Adult genre. I also have a lot of thoughts about all of these books so the reviews are a little long but I just have so many feelings about each story that they just had to be said. 
This will also be the last book related post for a while now as now that I am back at school, I am no longer reading much fiction as my TBR now consists of a bunch of historical non-fictions in relation to my history A-Level. Saying that, I also think that if I do fancy talking about any books, I might start doing individual book reviews just because these posts are getting quite long in terms of content, and sometimes I feel restricted as I never want to go into too much detail in case it makes the post too long, but let me know what you think in the comments. 
The One Memory Of Flora Banks - Emily Barr
This is a book that I never really saw much hype around but I wanted to give it a read as I liked the synopsis on the back. As for a summary, this book is written from the perspective of Flora who is seventeen and suffers from amnesia. The story follows her as she begins to learn she is more capable than what she ever thought she was and it is all started because she remembers kissing a boy. For me, generally speaking, this was a fairly average read and it is probably a book I won't read again, but I will go into detail why now. 
Starting with the characters, obviously, the main one is Flora. I both like and dislike Flora as she is quite a vulnerable character which is due to her amnesia. However, Flora is also very exciting, she is unpredictable and she takes risks which make for a really exciting plot. She is quite emotional and it does get quite consistent but it all fits with the storyline. As for the other characters, her love interest is portrayed as very romantic and caring especially towards Flora's condition. A character I really love though is Flora's brother, he sees past her condition and helps challenge her herself which makes for a beautiful relationship that you get to experience. Obviously, you do come across other characters throughout the books but my favourite one is definitely Flora's brother and for me, their relationship made the book that bit more enjoyable for me. 
For the plot, it is very unique but it was a slow burner for me. The book follows Flora from living her daily life to doing something she had never even dreamed of. Flora experiences this because of unusual circumstances which you do follow and they eventually get resolved. For me, the start was super slow and so it was not gripping whatsoever but when it got to part two, it started to pick up a bit. I definitely think that this book is not gripping, but there are a few twists and turn, especially nearing the end of the book which did manage to catch me by surprise. I have definitely never read a book like this before and I think that the story is very unique especially for what appears to seem like a typical love story. 
Just to finish off, as for the author's writing, it is very easy to read and to follow. The book is written from Flora's perspective entirely and I feel as though Barr really encaptures Flora's personality throughout the book. Her thoughts are well described, just like her actions and the way she writes adds mystery as Flora sometimes struggles to determine true or false and real or imaginary. The writing makes the story for me but sometimes it gets long-winded, especially close to the start for me. The book, however, is split into three parts and as you jump from one part to another there is a bit of a time jump but it is very easy to follow and there was not one point that I felt confused. 
Generally speaking, it was an average read for me but it has taken me a while to complete because it was not gripping and therefore, I would not really recommend it unless you are looking for a super unique storyline. 
Moxie - Jennifer Mathieu
Rating: 5/5
I was so insanely excited to read this book as I had heard quite a few things about it. From what I had heard before going into this book, it was basically about a young girl called Vivian who used forms of protests in order to create a feminism movement within her high school. To be honest, that is a pretty great summary of the book and I do think that's all you need to know. 
Starting with the characters straight away, I loved the main character, Vivian. She was so relatable at times and you really see her grow throughout the story as she gains confidence and learns to fight for what she believes in. I found that I related a lot to Vivian as she starts off quite timid but become more and more ambitious because of the people she surrounds herself with. She reacts to situations in a way very similar to how I would of in that situation and so I found it to be a very realistic perspective. The other characters I also found really amazing too, Vivian's friendship group and family make for a great story and their individual stories and experiences all add to the main plot of the book. One character I really loved was Seth and the main reason for that is because he is a male but he is one of the few that stands with Vivian in the feminist movement and I think it's great that a character like Seth was included in this book as it just goes to show that feminism is for all genders. 
Onto the plot, I actually thought that it was fairly unique. Personally, I had never read a book about feminism until this one but I thought that it was a great place to start as I think that high school is one of the first stages of recognizing the difference in how males and females are treated. This story is also set in Texas and the high school that it is set in is also so unbelievable with their sexist policies except I am pretty sure a lot of people could relate to it  which although is disappointing, it makes it quite motivating as you see what Vivian does in order to make a difference and so it goes to show that you could do it too. I enjoy the build in this book, how one small protest starts to build up into something with a huge impact. Although the main point to this story is the protest for feminism, you also see a lot of character development, you see Vivian grow as a person which I think a lot of younger girls could really relate to. You see her become her own person in front of both her family and friends but you also see her start new relationships, particularly with Seth who plays her love interest. The book does have a few smaller plots in it but I won't spoil anything, however, the great part is that they all get revealed in a way that is satisfying for the reader. 
Finally, for the writing style, it goes perfectly with the book. It is fully from Vivian's perspective but because she is such a great main character, I really enjoyed reading fully from her point of view. The book has a great pace to it, there is nothing that is really skipped or brushed over and the descriptions are just enough to maintain the interest of the reader. I really love how the book unravels and how some of the little mysteries along the way get revealed, it is quite predictable but yet enjoyable. Mathieu also talks about feminism in a really great way, the emotions portrayed by Vivian are so accurate and well described that it makes for such a great read. The chapters are fairly average in length but I found the writing style so easy to read that it made for a pretty quick book, it probably took me about three days. One thing I also really loved was that at the end of some of the chapters, there would be some illustrations of the posters Vivian created for the feminist movement and I think that those drawings just really bring the whole idea and concept to life. I have also never really known a book to do something like that, so it just really made it interesting to read. 
This was probably my favourite book that I read in August and I think that everyone should read it. It is so inspiring and motivating, especially with sexism still being a huge issue today in society a book like this needs to be shared more often. 

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

Rating: 3.5/5
I feel like this book is such a classic within the YA genre and I was still yet to read it. This book is targetted towards people a little younger than me and I did notice that as I started to read it but never the less, I did enjoy it. To quickly summarise what this book is about, it's written from the perspective of Charlie, who is starting a new year in high school and it is basically a coming of age story covering things from friendship and relationships to anxiety and growing up. 
Starting with the characters, with it being from the perspective of Charlie, you almost have to like him. The main way I would describe Charlie is innocent, he starts his new year with such a positive and naive outlook on the world which makes him annoying at times, I won't lie, but mainly he makes you feel sympathetic towards him. Charlie's development throughout this book is so great to read about, he meets this new group of friends, he does a lot of growing up and the way he changes is so fulfilling as an ending. As for the other characters, Charlie's family grows on you as you reader onwards, I particularly found this to be the case with his sister and their relationship. However, my favourite character is probably Sam, she is one of Charlie's new friends along with Sam's stepbrother, Patrick, both of which are very outgoing and fun characters. They, to me, make this book very amusing to read and they are a huge part of Charlie's development.
For the plot, it is pretty simple and predictable in terms of your typical high school issues and encounters. It is definitely relatable to the majority of people but I did find that Charlie's experiences were things I had already sort of learned from so that is why I would recommend the book to someone younger. A lot of the topics are very current and still issues that young people deal with today like grief, sexuality, and relationships. Honestly, this is just a great coming of age story. 
Finally as for the writing style and so on, I love that this was a short book. In case you didn't know, this book is written in the form of letters (more like diary entries) which I was quite skeptical about as I thought that I could get on board, but to my surprise, it was actually quite easy to follow. The letters act like chapters and they range from all sorts of lengths but this book is pretty quick to get through although I would say that at times, it got a little too boring. The writing style was not as easy to read as what I am used to, I found particular parts a little more difficult to get through as they were either boring, unnecessary or just difficult for me to get my head around. I mainly put this down to the book being written from a complex character's perspective. Mostly though, the writing style was good, the story has a great way of revealing itself and the way certain topics are written is very well done on behalf of the author, as they are sensitive but realistic and hard-hitting. 

I'll Give You The Sun - Jandy Nelson
Rating: 2.5/5
This book initially, I hadn't heard much about it. The main reason I had bought this book was that I read another one of Jandy Nelson's YA books and really liked it so I wanted to read some of her other work. Starting off this mini-review though, it is not as good as The Sky Is Everywhere which is her other book I have read. I will get into why this book I didn't love this book as much as the other in a minute but let's just say that it got better as you read on. This was the book I took with me to Florida and surprisingly I read it in two weeks which is a really long time for me as I tend to get very involved in books, but not this one. To quickly summarise though, this book is about twins, Jude and Noah and the book changes perspective between Noah at 13 years old and Jude at 16 years old. Between those three years, a lot had changed, the main one is a tragedy that I won't spoil. The book basically follows both of their lives and how they have changed over the three years. Some topics they cover is sexuality, friendship, and faith. 
As for the characters, obviously you get to know Noah and Jude the best as it is from their perspectives however my opinion seemed to alternate a lot between them both. Noah, for example, is very emotional but initially I really liked him, however as I read on further, he seemed to have changed for the worse. Jude on the other hand, starts out quite abnoxious but you start to learn that she went through a lot as a woman, which I wont spoil for you. Jude is an interesting character as she puts a lot of trust into her faith, which does also make her quite emotional. As for the other characters, the twins' family is very interesting as it is so complicated which gives the author lots of opportunities to add to the plot. The family though is complex in the way that makes it upsetting for the reader to read sometimes. Other characters include the love interests for both Jude and Noah, which are super cute and form great relationships by the end however, you don't really find out too much about the love interests which I thought was a bit of a shame. 
For the plot, to quickly summarise, Noah and Jude are both inspired by their mother to apply for the art college, CSA, but as you read on you learn that both the father and the mother have a favourite twin and this forms Jude and Noah to act and behave a certain way. As you follow Jude and Noah at different times of their life, they both meet people they later fall for which is one of the themes in this book. Both Jude and Noah also meet the same person, at different times of their life, and because of this, secrets later get revealed. I really want to keep a lot of this a mystery as I think that this way is the best way to approach this book. All I will say is that, the ending was so surprising for me and that it was so cleverly thought out. As much as I loved the concept of this story and the overall plot, it did take a while for it to start picking up. 
Now, the main reason I disliked this book so much was because of the layout of the book. This book is of a pretty average size for me but the chapters were so incredibly long that it took me just over two weeks to finish. I am the sort of person that loves to stop reading a book once I have finished the chapter, however, I just couldn't do it with this book. Combined with the long-winded descriptions of this book and the chapter lengths, I just found it so boring to read at times. It wasn't until about halfway that I could actually maintain the pace I was reading at as the action started to pick up then. The author did do a great job at making the writing styles unique to each of the twins, but I did find that I just really didn't enjoy reading Noah's chapters as they were too lyrical, confusing and not to the point. This book would have been so much more enjoyable to read if the long chapters had been divided into smaller, more tolerable chapters.

If you just read all of that, then thank you so much, I know it was a long one. Let me know in the comments if you have read any of these and what your thoughts on them are, I would love to know!
Grace xx

Sunday, 23 September 2018

New York Photo Diary 2018!

I know it has been a while now since coming back home from an amazing holiday to Orlando and New York, but I still really wanted to share with all of you some of the pictures I took while I was in the spectacualr Big Apple. I have honestly never been to place like New York and it has quickly became one of my favourite places I have ever been too. As a way of documenting my trip, I gathered up a few of my favourite pictures, mainly all from the typical tourist attractions, to put into this post. 
If you have been to New York yourself, you will probably recognise majority, if not all of these images, so hopefully you will reminise with me through these pictures. If you are still yet to go to New York then hopefully this gives you an insight in to the beautiful city that it really is. 
I know this post was super short and sweet but hopefully this gave you just an idea of some of the things and places I got to see while I was in New York. Right now, looking at these images, I just want to go back there now, but we will have to see. 
Grace xx

Monday, 17 September 2018

I'm Back For Good!

You are all probably so sick of these posts of just me rambling about literally nothing at the moment, but I'm aiming for this one to be the last one for quite a while now. The main reason for me writing this post now is just because I am posting it tomorrow night so it will be a very current update which I think you all deserve. 
Unlike my other updates, this one is just about my blog. My blog has been something I feel as though I have neglected for quite a while now. Although you saw (somewhat) consistent posts, mainly throughout August, what you might not have realised was that they were all pre-written about a month and a half in advance, so realistically, I haven't written a bulk of current and consistent posts in forever. As for September, I came back from my holiday at the very start and then I sort of just jumped head first straight into my sixth form work. That roughly brings us to now. Last week was my first full week of sixth form and it hasn't taken me that long to notice just how much the work load is and just how much time my subjects are now going to occupy. Although I love the form of education I'm in, I do still need that escape and once upon a time, that was my blog, and I want it to be like that once again. 
I am finally now back in the headspace where I want to blog, I want to put 100% into this again. My blog will definitely take some time to get back on its feet again but I am so desperate to balance this with my school work and I just think that with practice and routine, I will get there. 
Saying that, I do currently have two finished posts that I want to post before my new content, just because I did put a lot of time and effort into them, and although they are not the best, I still want to have them on my blog for me to look back at, more than anything. Therefore, for the rest of September, I will be posting the rest of my pre-written content but from October onwards, you will be seeing new content, talking about things I have never spoken about before and I will be writing posts that I have always want to do. This is super exciting for me and I hope you are excited too!
As for the 'routine' side of things. For my pre-written content until the end of September, it will all be going up on Sunday at 10am. As for October onwards, I am going to stick to posting once a week, just so that I can really focus on making it something I really love and want to upload and that will be on Sundays at midday. 
Although I say it a lot (but also not enough), thank you to the people who do stick with me and who continue to support me, even through these little blips, I love you always!
Grace xx

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Florida Outfits 2018

So, I have been the worst blogger since I have come back from my holiday but I really want that to change so I am going to try and get as many posts out as possible over the next few weeks. Starting with some of my Florida and New York posts, the first one being this little summary of some of the outfits I wore in Florida. Sadly I didn't get that many pictures while I was away but I did get a few so hopefully you like them. Also, you will see a recurring person in some of these pictures, in case you don't already know, it's Penny, who is one of my best friends and she actually came on holiday with me, but I will not be linking her clothes but if you want an idea of where they are from, I will link her Instagram and Youtube below in case she has mentioned them there. 
This holiday was pretty chill and so most of my outfits are very casual and comfortable which is usually my go-to anyway. An outfit like this was my go-to for the evening when we just went to the local restaurant. I love wearing oversized t-shirts with more fitted bottoms, like these shorts as I find that it just looks super effortless yet flattering. I will also point out now that the shoes I am wearing in this, are in nearly all of these pictures because I am so fussy when it comes to shoes, and these are my favourite. Plain white trainers are my favourite as they are so versatile and so comfortable. 
T-Shirt - Levis
Shorts - River Island
Trainers - Adidas
While I was in Florida, we went to quite a few theme parks and so I always tried to wear some super comfortable but also something that wasn't going to make me too hot. I found my obsession with cycling shorts through this as they were perfect for wearing in the heat but they were crazy comfortable. My favourite way to wear cycling shorts is by having an oversized t-shirt with it, this way, it looks super chill but because nothing is clinging to me, I don't get super hot in it either. Once again, the trainers have appeared because they are so perfect for everything. 
T-Shirt - Missguided
Shorts - Missguided
Trainers - Adidas
This outfit is so unlike me as I usually don't like super cropped things but I just tried something new and I actually love how this outfit looked. Although I am still wearing denim shorts, I find that a black pair just looks a little more dressy than a blue pair. I also love how this tie front top looks, it is definitely too revealing on its own but with the bandeau, I think it looks really put together. Floral prints are definitely not my usual, but it was nice to venture out and I think I might buy some more pieces in similar prints.
Bandeau - Topshop
Tie Front Top - Shein
Shorts - River Island
Trainers - Adidas
Once again, another Universal picture so, of course, there are more cycling shorts and also you will have probably guessed it, I love wearing men's t-shirts too as I just think that they look more oversized. I love this bright orange t-shirt as I just think it is so fun, especially in the warm weather, my family could also find me really easily in this too which I guess is a bonus. 
T-Shirt - Calvin Klein
Shorts - Missguided
Trainers - Adidas
The final two outfits are a little more dressy but sadly I cannot find the link to this dress anywhere. However, I'm sure you could find something similar. However, I love this dress because of how unique the shape is. Although it is a mini length and is bodycon for the most part, the frill at the bottom looks super flattering and just makes it a little more summer appropriate, I find. The print is also so beautiful as the colours are neutral and super summery. I also know that you can't see the shoes I wore, but I just wore this with some plain white Vans. 
Dress - Guess
For the final outfit, it was actually a purchase I made while I was in Orlando and I am in love with it. I did manage to find the link to it too as I would recommend it to anyone. Playsuits are some of my favourites as they are so easy to style as it is basically your outfit in one piece. This playsuit, however, is unlike any other in my collection, it is much more glamorous than my usual but I also think that this piece could be worn in loads of different ways. Once again, I wore this with a pair of plain white Vans. 
Playsuit - Papaya

Let me know if you liked this post and whether I should do more of them. I am thinking of maybe doing a 'what I wore to sixth form this week' blog post as I have picked up some new pieces for school this year that I want to share with you, so let me know!
Grace xx

Penny's Links:

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Staple Makeup Bag Products!

It feels like forever since I last wrote a makeup-themed blog post so don't mind me if this post goes a little downhill. However, this year has definitely caused my staple makeup bag products to just change and change again. With the amount of new makeup coming out constantly and the great publicity, those makeup products get, of course, I was going to wind up buying them and loving them. Saying that some favourites have been here for a while that will always be favourites so I thought I would bring them all together for this one post. I really tried to narrow down these products so that you know what really are essentials in my collection. These are the sorts of products that just have to be in my collection. 

Firstly, the only tool in this post is obviously going to be the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. This sponge is just great, it's affordable so therefore you don't have to fork out a bunch of money on the real BeautyBlender and it does a great job of blending in cream products. I use this sponge for basically all of my cream or liquid products, from foundation to cream contour to liquid highlighter. The shape of this sponge is really unique as you have curved edges, a pointed edge and a completely flat edge, and I actually find that I use all three of these to helps blend out my makeup. The number one reason I love a sponge so much is that It just makes my base look so natural. When it is damp, it soaks up loads of excess which allows your base to look like skin while wearing foundation which is always an aim of mine. 

Next up is my favourite liquid highlighter ever! It is the Iconic London Illuminator Drops in Original which is so hyped about over social media, but it definitely deserves it. I won't lie, initially, I didn't think that this product was worth the hype but now that I have played around with it, I have found what works best and now, it's a dream product. As much as I love powder highlighter, I think a liquid highlighter is great as it can intensify the powder but also just work great for a more glow-from-within look. I find that liquid highlighter is a little more flattering as it doesn't pick up as much texture as a powder but the intensity remains the same as a powder. Particularly this shade, I love, because of its neutral undertone, however, I do find that this works best when I have a bit of a tan, otherwise, you can sort of see the colour on the skin which can look a little weird sometimes. To summarise though, my favourite way of applying this is by picking it up on a damp sponge and just slowing building up the intensity on the high points of my face, making sure that I blend out the edges. I know some people like to wear this mixed in with their foundation or before their foundation, however, this way works best for me as it gives the most intense finish. It definitely is more of an investment purchase, however, it will last a very long time and will give you the most gorgeous highlight. 

The next product is marketed as a concealer but this is not something I could wear under my eyes on its own and I will get into why. This is the Hard Candy Glamoflauge Concealer and mine is in the shade Ivory. This concealer is so thick which is why I wouldn't wear it under the eyes to conceal without mixing it with something thinner. However, this concealer is my favourite ever for priming my eyes and carving out my eyebrows as it is so full coverage. Personally, I have a lot of veins on my eyelids and I also get loads of freckles there so for me to get a clean canvas, I need something heavy duty. My favourite way of using this is by applying the concealer with a flat brush, carving out the brows and taking some all over my eyelid and then blending it out with a damp sponge. This maximises the coverage but also prevents creasing, which I won't lie, this concealer can do so just be aware of this. I think that this concealer would work best on oily skin but that isn't to say it would look bad on dry skin as it does work on my dry patches, however, too much of this can make it feel very dry on the skin. I have been known to mix this in with a more lightweight concealer for my under eyes, just to add coverage and it does make a difference, it is a very flawless looking concealer. Sadly, I don't think that this is easy to buy from the UK so if anyone is ever in the States, I would definitely pick it up, especially because it is less than $10.

For eyeshadow, I didn't really know what to include as I love so many eye palettes but I did conclude with the MUA Matte Essentials Eye Shadow Palette which, yes, it probably is the most boring, but I also think that it is my most useful palette. I say this because these shades allow me to not only create a simple eye look, but I can also set my under eyes, my eyelid base and also fill in my eyebrows with these shades too. Even though this palette is crazily affordable, the powders themselves are pretty good and work really well. They are all matte shades which I think is super important when creating an eyeshadow look but they blend nicely and apply pigmented which is all I really look for in a matte shadow. You can get this six-shade palette in a bunch of different colour schemes however this is my favourite as it just contains the bare essential shades for me. I really don't here enough people speak about these little palettes but I would definitely recommend them.

This is my favourite mascara full stop so it had to make this list. It is clearly the Collection Volumax Waterproof Mascara as I really struggle to not mention this in any makeup-themed blog post. Waterproof mascara is generally all I wear because it lasts longer, holds a curl and obviously, it's waterproof so my collection does only consist of waterproof mascaras but this one is my favourite. I would be lying if I said I knew why this was my favourite mascara but all I know is that it is super black, lasts ages and makes my eyelashes so much longer and a little thicker which I love. This mascara, I can wear all day and it will still look great, plus it is so affordable so there is no reason not to try it. One this I will say though, this mascara is a pain to remove but it's totally worth it for how it looks during the day. 

As for lips, I really struggled to identify what products I use religiously but I think I did a good job of choosing these two. The first one is the Misslyn Lip Liner in Rosewood. This was the biggest impulse purchase ever, however, I am so glad I bought this because it is so good. Not only does this shade take me back to Pretty Little Liars but it is the perfect nude shade. Ever nude lip I own matches this, trust me I've used it with nearly everything but the formula is great too. I find that it is super easy to apply, it is creamy feeling and it gives off a generous amount of colour. I love lip liner because it is so easy to wear and I find that I can no longer do my makeup without wearing one so clearly a lip liner had to make this list. You do have to sharpen this liner which can be a bit of a chore, but I find I use less product with a regular pencil than a retractable one. This is definitely a product I would recommend to anyone, especially this shade, as I think it would look so good on so many skin tones. 

To conclude this post, I am finishing off with a gloss I love, the Buxom Full-On Lip Creme in White Russian. I love lip gloss, I think it looks so much better than a matte lip and it is more comfortable in my opinion too. However, some glosses I really can't get on board with because they are either too thick, sticky or pigmented. My perfect gloss would have a little pigment, an intense glossy finish but it would also be super comfortable to wear which, all of those things define this Buxom gloss. The shade itself is a pale nude which just looks good layered over anything, or even on its own. It does give off a little colour so it does help to lighten a lipstick underneath it but the finish is also very intense, which I love. Something to point out though is that, if you don't like mint or a bit of that tingling sensation, you probably won't like this, as it does contain plumping properties which are done through this tingling sensation. This is more of a luxurious gloss but I have tried other high-end glosses and this is my favourite but also the most universal, as you can wear it in so many ways. 

Comment below your makeup staples as I would love to try them for myself!
Grace xx

Monday, 3 September 2018

Let's Chat - Results Day, New York, Sixth Form?

To say that this post was spontaneous would be an understatment. Basically I feel like I owe you all a bit of an update as a few things in my life right now have changed. I am actually currently writing this post on a Sunday night while watching X Factor, so hopefully you are reading this Monday morning as I want this to go up ASAP. 

The main thing I want to address in this post is what my plans are for sixth form. If you read my last few chatty posts you will know that I got into a local fashion college to study a Btec in fashion this September and I was super excited to go but it turns out that I have actually declined my place there. I actually recieved my GCSE results while I was on holiday and to say the least, they were not what I expected. It turns out that I did much better in my GCSEs than what I had expected and so I made a decision to stay at my high school's sixth form to do my alevels. Moral of the story is that I just have to make a last mintue decision apparently. My thought process behind this is simply that I want to get a more acedemic qualification before fully commiting to a career in fashion. I have always found that I am quite a naturally academic person so I want to persue that for the time being and keep fashion as my hobby. Fashion is something I have been passionate about my whole life but where I'm at right now, I don't feel ready to commit to something just yet so I'm keeping my options open for another two years and then hopefully I will have a better understanding then. With that being said, for my alevels, I am now taking maths, economics, history and fine art. I do plan on maintaining my fashion as a hobby as of right now and continuing to educate myself. I know not everyone will undertsand this decision and will not agree with me but just know that I didn't make this decision lightly and it have looked at it from multiple perspectives and this is my final decision. I do have the ability to change my mine, I can reapply for the fashion college if I find that I don't like sixth form but as of right now, I am super happy with my decision. 
However that now means that I start Alevels a little sooner than I had first anticipated so that means it has taken a priority as of right now. I actually start this Wednesday and since I wasn't really expecting this I haven't really formed a routine for my blog yet so I may not be postting very frequently for a few weeks. I hope you don't mind but I have got to prioritise settling into my new routine. There are lots of posts I plan on doing this month and as much as I want to do those posts they are going to have to wait a little bit but I promise that they will be worth it (I hope).
On the topic of upcoming blog posts, I have just came back from my holiday and so I would love it if you commented what you would like to see from me, whether it is a holiday haul or a summary of everything I got up to, I'd love to know. 
I know this post was a little short but I did just want to fill you in on my current state and my plans for the very near future.
Grace xx

Sunday, 2 September 2018

LA Girl Pro Matte Foundation Review

I am a huge LA Girl fan, I find that I get along with majority of their makeup products, at least the ones I've tried, and one of my all time favourite products from them is the LA Girl Pro Coverage Foundation so when I found out that they had released a new foundation, I was so excited to try it. It is definitely on opposite ends of the spectrum to the Pro Coverage foundation so it will be really interesting to see what I think of this foundation.

In case you didn't know, you can get LA Girl products from Beauty Bay and they are super affordable as a brand. This foundation retails for £10 which I think is pretty reasonable for a drugstore foundation, especially because of the luxurious packaging and the amount you get. Beauty Bay sells 14 shades of this foundation and I'm not sure if that's it but from looking at the selection, they have definitely improved their range of shades for more pale, fair-skinned people but I do still think that they could have widened their shades for more deeper skintones as there only seems to be two from what I have seen. The Pro Coverage foundation definitely had more of a dodgy colour range as their palest shade was too dark for me and I'm not even that pale so they have definitely taken that feedback on board but I still think that there is more room for improvement.
As for a brief description of the product itself, Beauty Bay describes the product as "Lightweight and long lasting, Pro. Matte HD Long Wear Matte Foundation features a creamy formula that glides onto the skin for a smooth, suede-like finish. Effortlessly blendable, this mattifying foundation minimises the appearance of pores and fine lines to deliver a flawless, soft focus effect."
After looking at all of the shades I chose the shade Beige which is described as "fair to medium skin with warm undertones". I definitely agree with this description except, I think it is definitely suited to more fair skin than medium skin. As for how well it matches me, it is almost perfect as the undertone it quite yellow and once this is on the skin, it matches my chest perfectly. I do love that LA Girl really cater to people with a more olive/ yellow undertone as I find that not a lot of drugstore brands do that.

I think that the packaging of this product is super luxurious. It comes in a frosted glass bottle with black branding and a black lid. As much as I love the glass bottle as I think it just makes the foundation look so much more expensive, it does make it that little bit harder to travel with. This foundation also comes with a pump which I think is great as I find that a pump is the best way to distribute the product.

As for the formula of this foundation, it is definitely a little thick but it is definitely not the worst I have came across. I find that when I apply this to the skin, it does blend but you definitely need to be quick as it set fairly quickly. You also don't need a lot of this which is the mistake I made, so defintiely start with a light layer and build it up as when you apply too much, it does start to go cakey. I would call this foundation medium coverage but it could quite easily become full with a second layer. As you can tell by the title of this product, the finish is matte but I would also say that it is not 'flat looking', I would actually describe it more as a satin finish as with the right primer underneath, some luminosity can shine through. One thing I must point out is that if you have dry skin or dry patches then this foundation does cling to it slightly so this is definitely for people with more oily skin. I do think you could avoid this my using a more hydrating primer and moisturizer but it is something to keep in mind.

My favourite way to apply this is with a buffing brush and then to go over it with a sponge to absorb the excess. For me, the buffing brush blends the foundation much quicker but the sponge allows the finish to look a lot more natural and smooth-looking.
As for how long it lasts, it definitely lasts longer than other foundations I own. As you probably know, the UK is having a slight heatwave at the moment and I wore this foundation on one of the hottests days and it still lasted multiple hours. Even though it lasted, it definitely caused some of my oil to seep through the longer I wore it but it was nothing a little powder couldn't fix. 

Overall, I would recommend this foundation to someone with oily skin as it definitely does wear really well throughout the day, even with the heat. If you do have dry skin though, I still think that you could get away it but by using a more hydrating base to avoid the foundation clinging to your dry patches. I also think that this is great for day or night. At the moment I have been wearing this foundation a lot but mixed with some moisturizer for something a bit lighter and daytime appropriate and it is amazing for that. On its own it definitely is more of a heavy, intense foundation but now that I know it works well mixed in with a moisturizer, I would also recommend that too.
Let me know if you have tried out this foundation and if so, your thoughts on it. 
Grace xx