Sunday, 20 January 2019

A Fantasy/ Dystopian Book Haul - January 2019

Considering it was only Christmas less than a month ago, you would think that I wouldn't be buying much, however, at the start of January, I started reading the first Harry Potter book. To my surprise, I loved it and read it in a few days so that is what started off this order, as I was desperate to get my hands on the rest of the series. Saying that though, I obviously can't just buy the books that I went on to buy, so I had a bit of a browse and picked up some others too and so I thought that I would talk about all of them in a haul post today!
All of the books in this haul, I bought from MusicMagpie.com which is basically an online shop where you can buy second-hand books as well as other stuff, so in total, I bought 11 books for £26.25 which is an absolute steal, especially since some of these books were free because of some of the offers that were on. I did ask in my last book haul post if you wanted a dedicated post on MusicMagpie, and a lot of you seemed interested so I will be posting that very soon so keep your eyes peeled if you are interested in that.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J. K. Rowling  (£20.44)
Honestly, I didn't really want to have to talk about all of these books separately because I will end up repeating myself a lot so I thought I would just merge the rest of the Harry Potter series into this little section. Anyways, I really loved Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone, which is obviously the first book, and so I wanted to finish the rest of the series. I do plan on doing a whole blog post about my thoughts about the Harry Potter series as a whole but you probably won't see that for quite a while. Saying that I am loving this series much more than I thought, so much so, that I read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets across two days which is pretty quick for me. I am currently reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban but hopefully, I will fly through the rest of the series. I feel like I am the last person to have bought the Harry Potter series but at least I have it now and all of the books I bought are in amazing condition. Some are obviously better than others but for such an inexpensive price, you really can't complain. I will say though, some of these books are so much bigger than what I thought, the longest book being around 700 pages, which now makes it as the longest book I own, crazy I know.
Fallen - Kate Lauren (£2.89)
There is a bit of a strange story behind buying this book but basically, I watched, on Netflix, Fallen, the film and I was slightly confused by the end so I talked to my friend about it because I still thought that it was pretty good and she told me it was based on this book series. From that point, I knew I had to read the series because the film did end on an abrupt note and so I do want to know how the story carries on. It will be interesting to see for me how this book compares to the film but I did only pick up the first book in this series, just because, I want to make sure that I will want to carry on the series instead of just diving into it head first. To try and summarise what I already know of the plot, it is basically a YA fantasy revolving around angels, particularly fallen angels. The story starts when this girl joins a reforming school and feels inexplicably attracted to this boy so it does seem quite romance heavy but I am excited to see how the book portrays it.

Uglies - Scott Westerfeld (£2.99)
Like most of these books, this is the first book in a series, but this is actually a dystopian novel. This series basically focuses on the concept that when you turn 16, you will go from being an 'ugly' to being a 'pretty', however, the main character of this book goes against this concept. This concept is so interesting to me and I cannot wait to see how this plot turns out. I also think that there will be some really important underlying messages in this book about our society and how we view ourselves. This is definitely going to be a very unique read and I really hope I like it.

Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater (£2.99)
This is the first Maggie Stiefvater book I bought but the two I did pick up are both starts of different series so I am not sure which one I will get to first but I guess we will have to wait and see. From reading the summary, it seems like another fantasy romance but this one focusing on werewolves which excites me greatly. I genuinely think that werewolves are my favourite supernatural creature (mainly because of Teen Wolf) but I have never read a book about them so I am super excited to see how this one turns out. This is part of a four-book series and from just googling it now, there seems to be a film also which I am now desperate to watch after reading this. I definitely think that I am going to pick this book up after finishing the Harry Potter series as I just think that I am going to love it. Also as a little pointer, the main character in this book is called Grace which I just think is super ironic as I didn't know that until this arrived at my house, so I guess you could call it fate.
Lament - Maggie Stiefvater (£2.99)
As for my second Maggie Stiefvater book, this seems to be a part of a three-book series all about faeries. This sounds like it includes a lot of romance but also a lot of danger and action considering that it also includes assassins and hunters so I will be interested to see how easy I find this book to follow. This book also seems quite short but I am not sure I am going to love it as much as Shiver, but I guess we will see with time which one I prefer.

Claire De Lune - Christine Johnson (£2.19)
Like I said before, I love werewolves and this is another novel about them and this one seems super similar to the plot in Teen Wolf so I am definitely excited to see if I can find any links between the two. Anyway, this is a stand-alone book which I guess might make this book easier to read than the others I have mentioned but it basically follows Claire who finds out that she is a werewolf but has to disguise it due to the recent werewolf attacks in her town. It does seem to include some romance but also a lot of adventure. Hopefully, I am really going to like this book because of the romance and the fantasy aspect in it but it will be interesting to see how it compares to the other books in this haul.
As you can probably tell by this haul, I am very much trying to expand my collection of fantasy YA fiction but I have also gone for books that seem quite romance heavy as they do tend to be some of my favourite books to read. Like I said, you will probably be seeing these books being reviewed on my blog throughout the year as I do plan on doing much more reading this year, especially in genres that are fairly new to me.

Do let me know in the comments if you have read any of these books and if so, what your thoughts on them were.
Grace xx

Saturday, 12 January 2019

The Hate You Give - Angie Thomas // Book Review

I wanted my first book of 2019 to be a five star read and so to nearly guarantee that, I decided to read one of the most hyped up books of 2018, The Hate You Give. It is safe to say immediately that it did not disappoint me one bit and that it definitely was a 5/5 read for me and in this post, you will hopefully, be able to tell why I love it so much. 

If you haven't heard of this book then where have you been? This book is all about the Black Lives Matter movement and this book discusses multiple racial issues in modern society. The main plot of this book is that our main character, Starr, is the only witness in the shooting of her unarmed black friend, which was done by a white police officer. From this point on, you see Starr discovering the injustices surrounding her town and where she lives, you see her cope with grief but you also see her learn how to stand up for herself and the people she loves. 
This story is so impactful, it is devastating and heartbreaking but the message it delivers is so relevant, it is a story everyone should read. The issue of violence towards black people is still a huge problem in modern society and this story does a really good job of demonstrating that. It is set in the present tense, in modern society and you read from Starr's point of view just how unfair it really can be.
One of the reasons I love this book so much is because of the characters. You are exposed to such a wide variety of characters all of which are from different backgronds, have suffered through different problems yet they all find each other. The relationships and friendships in this book are so prominent, you feel like you are with them. I particularly love Starr's family because they are each problematic in their own way but they always work it out as a family, which is so heartwarming to read.
Another element of this book which I love is how it discusses young interracial relationships as well as how other people's opinions can effect it. Without saying too much, Starr's boyfriend is white and throughout this book, you see Starr follow this journey where she faces judgement and disapproval which leads to some of her opening up about her difficulties, internally, when handling this relationship. It was definitely really insightful, for me, to read because it reminded me that there is still prejudice surrounding race and even though I am not in an interradical relationship myself, it gave me just a small taste of what it would be like for someone, which has made me think more carefully about the way our society can be. I definitely did not expect this book to tackle an interracial relationship but I think that it was very educational and I think it could benefit a lot of people if they were to read this book. 
There are so many moments I love in this book and I loved them so much that I actually went back and markeked them in the book because some little moments just had such an impact on me, that I would love to go back and revisit them at some point. 

I don't really want to spoil anymore on this book but I think everyone should go and read it. The topics this book discusses are so relevent, important and are areas that need to be discussed more. I'm sure a lot of you have read this book so do let me know in the comments what you thought of it. 
Grace xx

Thursday, 10 January 2019

After The Fire - Will Hill // Book Review

Sadly, this is not the first book I have read this year as I did finish it on the 30th of December but I have to talk about this book, so I hope you don't mind that I am going to be reviewing it today. Anyway, I am sure some of you will have heard of After the Fire because it was quite a popular YA read back in 2017, but I finally got around to reading it and it is safe to say that I loved it. 

I picked up After the Fire before Halloween and yes, I did only finish it right before the new year, but I didn't read it faster because it was boring, it was the opposite actually, I just really wanted to take my time to really enjoy what was going on. This book is also quite intense, so I found it best by reading a few chapters at a time because it can be mentally straining at times. 
Before I go any further, I did give this book a 5/5 rating but I will get into why afterward. 
As for what this book is about. It is written in the first person, from the perspective of Moonbeam who is a 17 year-old girl who has just been saved from the cult that she lived in. The book alternates between before and after the fire, which was the event that brought this cult to an end. In the present, Moonbeam is in a facility that is providing her with support but they are also investigating the cult that she lived with. The flashbacks, however, cover a long period of time of all of the things that happened while Moonbeam was in this cult. 
This plot is definitely very unique and it is unlike anything else that I have ever seen or read before and even the messages that it sends across are very unique but also very relevant. After reading this, I am definitely fascinated by cults and the psychology behind them because before reading After the Fire, I really didn't know much about them. This book definitely talks about a cult that was very harmful and toxic and I understand that not all cults are like that so I would bare that in mind if you read this. 
So much happens in this book and I will say now, that if you are easily triggered by rape or suicide then I would be wary of that before reading this just because suicide and a sexual assault does take place in this book. This book is so well done though because the order in which this story is told at, is what makes it so intriguing and it makes you want to carry on reading. Throughout reading this book, I had endless amounts of questions but what made it so fulfilling was that all of those questions were answered by the end.
I love Moonbeam so much as a character, she is so well developed and seeing her at the start of the book to how she turns out, in the end, is so heartwarming. The cult that Moonbeam lived in was very strict, it was violent and some people would call it immoral, I definitely would and you discover that when everyone else was loyal to their cult and to the Lord, Moonbeam was starting to lose her faith without even noticing it. Saying that though, when you read the present day scenes, you will see that Moonbeam is very skeptical to be truthful to her Doctor and the Investigator but as you progress through the book, you see that what Moonbeam was told about the 'outside' was all a lie and that they really are trustworthy. 
There are so many characters I love in this book also, particularly Nate, who I am not going to say too much about but he is one of the last people to join the cult and, from Moonbeam's perspective you definitely view him as brother-figure to Moonbeam. 
This book definitely does intend you to dislike some of the characters and I guess that is the point because it shows how this cult has indoctrinated these innocent people but it is done in a way that is so realistic and cleverly written. 
The layout of this book was tackled perfectly, the fluctuation in tenses is done so fluid and easy to follow. I love that it is in Moonbeam's perspective because you really do get emotionally attached to this story. This book was so easy to follow for me and I also love that the chapters are very short, because like I said at the start of this post, elements of this story can be really intense and so reading a chapter or two would be enough for me and it wouldn't take to long. 
Let me know if you have read this book, and whether you agree with my thoughts or not. And if you haven't read this book, then I would highly suggest you do!
Grace xx

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Why I'm not ready to talk about my mental health

Mental health surrounds us. Although it isn't something you can see or recognise, numerous people suffer from mental illnesses but we see it everyday, on the news, on twitter, it is everywhere. Endless amounts of brave people have spoken up about their own mental battles and struggles and have helped spread awareness. On the other hand, it has led others to believe that it is 'trendy' or that mental illnesses like depression and anxiety are 'not real' because 'we all have bad days'.
A mental disorder can be diagnosed, it can also be self-diagnosed but people can be so quick to label themselves as 'depressed' even though they may not, yet by the same token, some people suffer exactly the same as someone who has been officially diagnosed but are too scared, so they just rely on their self-diagnosis.
I am scared to talk about my mental health because I am scared people won't believe me. I am scared people will laugh at me. I am scared people will start making jokes. But I know how I feel and I know it's not normal. Yet, is self-diagnosis enough? Is it enough for people to start taking you seriously? Can I talk about my mental health if I have not been officially diagnosed?
I know that what I am battling mentally isn't 'eveyday problems' or 'normal anxiety' but I'm not ready to go and talk to someone about something I can't explain.
Someone in my life sees what's going on, how I am effected and although they want me to speak to someone, I can't. I have this inability to talk about what goes on in my head because I can't seem to explain it and I breakdown everytime I try and talk about it. Just writing this post is making me cry.
I wish someone would reach out and ask what was going on but I know they wouldn't understand and I know I wouldn't be able to explain. 
Whenever someone asks me 'are you okay?', I will also respond with 'yes'. I could be having the worst day and I will still tell someone that I am completely okay. It's wrong, I know but I am suppose to just load all of my problems onto someone else. There is nothing I hate more than feeling like I am a budren to someone, like they feel like they have to look after me even if they don't want to. And that is why I am not ready to talk about my mental health. 
I feel like if I talk about my mental health, people will either treat me like I am made of glass or they will make a joke and shrug it off. It's easy for someone to say, 'how do you know that's what would happen?", the answer is, I don't but at the same time, I am not ready to trust someone when it comes to this.
Sorry if this post seems a bit random and pointless but I really had to get these feelings down for myself and I wanted to post it to see if anyone feels the same.
Grace xx

Sunday, 6 January 2019

The Top Ten Books I Want To Read In 2019!

Like I said in my previous blog post, today I am going to be running you through the top ten books that I want to read this year. I have chosen these ten books specifically for all different reasons but some of them will be re-reads, some of them will have a film adaptation coming out this year and others will just be the ones that I am super keen to get to.

All The Bright Places - Jennifer Niven
This is a re-read that I really want to get to because when I read this book for the first time, it took me so long because I was just not that into reading and as much as I did like it the first time around, I think I would love it more reading it a second time. I think I will find so many more links in this book to my own life, after some of my past experiences of the past two years but I would love to go through and annotate it properly. This book is so well loved by so many people and I guess I just want to revisit this story and fall in love with it all over again. 

Letters to The Lost - Brigid Kemmerer
I read this book back in February last year and I decided to call it my favourite book of all time, so I really want to revisit it and see whether that statement still stands. Last time, I read this book in one sitting because I was so captivated in it, however, I think this time I want to take it slower and to, once again, go through and annotate the parts that I really love. There were so many elements to this book that I related to deeply, the plot is incredible and I love the characters so I think I will find it really interesting to go back to it and just remind myself of why I loved it so much. 
To All The Boys I've Loved Before - Jenny Han
Part of me wishes that I had read this book before I watched the film, but I guess it is never too late and plus, I really want to read the whole series just because I had so many questions after the first film. As I already know most of the plot, I think it is a beautiful story and I would really love to make the connections between the film and the book. 

P.s. I Still Love You - Jenny Han
This is the second book in the To All The Boys I've Loved Before series and it had been made official that the second movie will be coming out this year, and so I would love to read this before watching the second film. I am so super excited to get into this series, I think it will be the perfect summer romance read this year.

The Hate You Give - Angie Thomas
I have actually already started this book and it will be my first finished book of 2019 and that is all because I want to join the hype around this book. This book, from what I've heard, delivers such an important and relevant topic that I would love to educate myself on more, so I am starting with this book. I also know that at the end of 2018, they came out with the film of this book and I really want to see that also, but, I wanted to read the book first. I probably will do a whole separate post reviewing this book, but so far I am loving it and I can see why everyone loves it so much. 
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J. K. Rowling
I am pretty sure I have said this in a few blog posts now but I have never read any of the Harry Potter books nor have I ever seen any of the films so one of the things on my 2019 bucket list is to read and watch all of the Harry Potter series. I know it is a little late considering I turn 17 this year, but I think it is a series that is timeless and so I would love to experience the magic everyone goes on about. Obviously, the whole series would be in this post, but right now, I am just going to start with the first book and see where I go from there

The Book Theif - Markus Zusak
This book is loved by so many people and I always think that books based around war, particularly World War Two, can be very impactful. I don't know a lot going into this book, but I really hope I love it and the message it sends across. Markus Zusak also came out with Bridge of Clay at the end of 2018 and so I think that if I really love this one, then I will pick up his second novel. I will say though, this book kind of intimidates me because it looks a lot bigger than what I expected it to be, but hopefully, I won't find it slow going. 

The Sun is Also a Start - Nicola Yoon
I had no idea that this book was being turned into a film this year and so now, it is near the top of my TBR list. I loved Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon when it first came out but the film was a total disaster for me, so now I can't bare to read the book again. I really hope that isn't going to happen with this book but I guess we will wait and see. From what I've heard about this book, it seems like it tackles quite current issues in society, especially immigration and so I think that this book is going to help expose to some of the harsh truth that can happen in this world. I have a feeling I am going to fly through this book because it is set over a whole day and I know a lot of people have read this in one sitting, so I guess I might end up doing the same.
Ink - Alice Broadway
This book, if I read it, will officially be the first dystopian I have ever read and I am so intrigued by this genre so I really hope I love it. From what I've read about this book, it seems super interesting and I am definitely intrigued but I guess I mainly want to read it this year because its sequel is coming out at some stage this year, I think, so it would be really nice to finish this one in time for me to pick up the sequel to it. 

Snow Like Ashes - Sara Raasch
The final book in this post is another start of a series and it is a fantasy novel. Fantasy is a genre I really want to dive into this year because so many people love it and I want to love it too. This seems like a pretty simple fantasy book and so I think that it will be a good place to start, I also know that quite a few of my friends love it, so I trust their recommendations. 

I have no doubt that I will be filling you in on all of my thoughts on these books once I have read them and I can only hope that I get to all of them this year. Let me know what book you mainly want to read this year!
Grace xx

Friday, 4 January 2019

What I want to achieve in 2019?

Happy New Years Everyone!
I love starting a new year because I always think that it is the perfect opportunity to set goals and make plans for the rest of the year. I understand that not everyone believes in resolutions and that you can create goals and aims at any point in the year, which is true, but I always like starting the year with a few aims in mind. This year I actually have a lot going on and so I have got quite a few goals that I would love to achieve by the end of the year. 

1. Get a job
I tried so hard to get a job in time for Christmas but I guess you could say that I was just unlucky. When I turned sixteen back in July, I was so determined to get a job but somehow I just ended up forgetting all about it. Obviously, I would love to earn a little extra money and save for my future but I also think that getting a job would be a huge learning curve for me. I have never had a proper job before so the experience I would gain would influence me massively, or so I believe it would. I would also love to step out of my comfort zone more this year and I think that getting a job is the perfect way to do that. I am definitely not a very confident person when you meet me at first, I can definitely be very shy and so I think a job could really help to boost my confidence and improve my skills. 

2. Go out more with my friends/ do new things
I'm not sure whether many people reading this would know this about me, but I am not very social, to say the least. I sometimes find it really hard to stick to plans and go out, and a lot of the time, it can end in me cancelling. This year though, I really want to further expand my comfort zone and go out more. I love going out with my friends and I always think that I should do it more often but I work myself up about it, but I really want to avoid that this year. Also though, I would like to go to new places this year, see new things, experience new things with my friends and family. I definitely think that I should do some new things this year whether that be trying new restaurants, or going to a new city or doing something completely random and spontaneous. I have already got a few ideas in mind but I want to document my new experience this year also, so I guess you will have to wait and see as to what I get up to in 2019. 

3. Take more pictures to document occasions
I have never been a picture person and although I am a 'blogger' I actually hate people taking pictures of me too, how ironic. However, looking back at 2018, I realised that I did so many amazing things but I had nothing to account for them and so I want to change that in 2019. I want to take more pictures with my friends and family, I want to photograph all of the amazing places I visit and I want to document it all whether that be on here or in my own little scrapbook. Photography is something I would love to be good at and so I really want to make a conscious effort to improve this year  
4. Learn to drive
In July, I will be turning seventeen and although I feel ready and unprepared at the same time, it should be an exciting age to turn because I will finally be allowed to drive. Not that anyone would want me on the road, but I am so excited to get behind a steering wheel and learn. It will be a journey, but I guess it's going to start in summer this year. 

5. Treat my favourite people
I love to spoil people whether that be for their birthday, Christmas or just a random occasion but I wish I did it more often. This year, a lot of my friends are actually going to be turning 18 which is kind of crazy but also super exciting and I'd love to be able to treat them all just to show them how much I appreciate them, I know it's cheesy but it's true.

6. Start running (try at least once a week)
At the start of December, I actually quit my gym membership and although I plan on starting out somewhere new, I would also like to use the facilities that are completely free, that I can access. In 2018, I discovered that I was not as bad as running as I thought but I do know that running on a treadmill and running on a road are two completely different things, so this year I would really love to get outside more and go on a jog. This is definitely going to be a habit that I need to form but I really want it to happen because I love how I feel once I've come back from a run and it is a feeling that weight lifting doesn't always provide. I've been a little overambitious for setting the goal of once a week because I know I'm just not going to be up for it that often, but we are going to give it a go and see how I find it. 

7. Read 24 books
In 2018, I really discovered my love for books. I was never much of a reader growing up but I feel like now, I have a real appreciation for them. I have set my goal at 24 books this year after reading 11 in 2018. 24 seems pretty realistic to me though as that is 2 books a month which I think is really achievable. I also have so many unread books on my bookshelves, that I sort of need to get reading at a quicker pace. You are probably going to be seeing many more book reviews on my blog this year because I love discussing them, I think it is so cool seeing how people's opinions can differ. There is also going to be a blog post going up within the next few days talking all about my top 10 books on my 2019 TBR, so I guess you can look forward to that. 

8. Post more, but to a standard that I am proud of
I think it is safe to say that I definitely slacked on my blog this year, but I don't want to fall into that habit again this year. I want to find a balance between posting consistently but also posting to a standard that I am proud of. I have had my blog for over four years and it is safe to say that the person I am now, is not the same as 12 year old me, back in 2014 and so my content is changing. I change what I talk about all the time on my blog and I want to keep on experimenting because I won't lie, I do feel a little lost right now because I don't know what content I want to make. 

9. Apply for university/ apprenticeships
September this year, I will be in my final year of school and I will be getting ready to sit my alevel exams and so that means, I will be looking at my next step in my life. Right now, I have no clue what I am going to end up doing but I really hope that by the end of 2019, I will have settled on what's next for me after alevels. University or an apprenticeship is looking very likely right now and so a huge part of my 2019 is going to be applying for the places I want. I am not going to get too hung up on it just yet, but that is definitely what's in store for my year this year. 
10. Learn to cook
I'm ending on quite a random note, but my brother actually inspired me to have this as a little goal of 2019 and that is because I am super lazy. I depend on my mum's cook and takeaways way too much and I think that it is about time that I learn to cook and that I start taking better care of my body and what I put into my body. There are so many meals I want to try and cook, so this is my year to do it all and to really teach myself something completely new to me. I have never really attempted to cook, I can peel potatoes and I can make a cheese toastie, but that's about it so I would love to come out of 2019 saying that I could survive on my own if I needed to!

I hope this post has given you some inspiration on what you might want to achieve in 2019. Let me know what your goals of the new year are as I would love to know!
Grace xx

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

My Favourite Beauty Products of 2018!

Last year, honestly, makeup and beauty was not a priority. As much as I loved it, I couldn't be spending my time constantly testing and reviewing new products as I had other things to be getting on with. Just to add to that, I also started wearing makeup a lot less. With exams between late spring and early summer, I barely even moisturized, never mind putting on makeup and so when I did put on makeup, it was my essentials that I know I love. Saying that I did manage to try out a few new products and although they weren't all successful, I did find some new staples for my collection. 
The Revolution Pro Foundation Drops must be my favourite foundation I think I have ever worn and as much as it is a commitment saying that, it's so true. I tried these at around summer time and I have never looked back. The main thing I love about this foundation is how natural it is. You still get medium coverage but the finish is a natural dewy look and you don't feel it on the skin whatsoever. I have worn this foundation to death in 2018 and I definitely think it is about time I repurchase it. 
This has also been a good concealer year for me as I have found two new favourites and combined, they make the most beautiful highlighted undereye. Starting with the first one though, I think everyone fell head over heels in love with the Revolution Conceal and Define when it first came out but it took me a few months after it was released for me to finally try it. I am so glad I tried this concealer because it is definitely one of the best, most affordable ones available. The shade range is what makes this concealer so great, I think because it is affordable so anyone could buy it but the shade range is also so generous that anyone, of any skin colour, could wear it. I find the formula of this concealer to be very hydrating and for the coverage to high but not cakey looking. This concealer is so versatile as I find that I can prime my eyes with it, carve out my eyebrows with it, use it as a foundation and obviously, conceal with it. I definitely want to play around with it in a contour shade in 2019, but for now, it is a solid favourite of 2018. 
As for the second concealer, the Barry M All Night Long Concealer was well loved by me for nearly all of last year. I haven't heard so much about this concealer as I think that it could intimidate some people. This concealer definitely is very thick and full coverage, which I think can scare people sometimes in case it makes you look cakey. I, however, have actually never worn this concealer on its own because it is very likely that it will crease on me, but mixed with another concealer in my collection, it makes the perfect addition. I love this as a mixing concealer because the shade of it allows me to really brighten the undereye and combined with the coverage it gives, it just makes your skin look flawless. 
It seems like a bit of a cheat that I have included this product, just because I have only had it the last half of the year, but it is that good, it needs a mention. The Natasha Denona Duo Glow Mini was an impulse purchase for me while I was in America over summer but I am so glad that this is now mine. There is something so beautiful about this formula that just makes you look so ethereal but in a way that is natural. You get both a blush and a highlighter in this duo and I love both, which can sometimes not be the case. I love wearing the blush when I don't want to wear and highlighter as it kind of acts like a two in one, as for the highlighter, I wear it when I want some more natural and more like a 'glow from within' appearance. Both of these powders are just so beautiful and they were such a game changer in my makeup. 
The Revolution Pro Pigment in Saint has got to be one of the most versatile products in my collection and I love it for that. I mainly love this pigment because of how blinding it is on the inner corner. One of my favourite parts of doing my makeup in my inner corner highlight, I just feel like it can change the whole look. Anyway, this pigment is so bright and when it's on the inner corner, it draws all of the attention to your eyes, which I love, as I tend to play around with my eyeshadow the most. These pigments are so affordable and I don't think I will ever buy any other pigments because these ones are just so good. 
I sort of struggled picking an eyeshadow palette just because I love and use so many but as for a palette I have discovered this year that I have loved, well, that had to go to Huda Beauty Warm Brown Obsessions Palette. This colour selection is so dreamy to me and the formula is even more amazing. The pigmentation of these matte shades is just unlike anything else I have ever tried and they blend beautifully too. To be honest, the shimmer gold shade in the middle, I don't think too much of, just because I find it awkward to apply but the mattes are just insane. This was definitely my travel buddy for 2018 because it has every shade I would want to create any look whether it'd be natural, smokey or colourful. 
Eyeliner has always been a weird product for me, as much as I love the way they look, I find that some of them just get on my nervous whether that be because of their formula or their packaging but I think I have found my new favourite. The Lottie London Am to Pm Eye Liner in Smoke is well loved by many and I totally understand why. This formula is so creamy and soft which just makes it so easy to apply but it also sets and doesn't budge so you get the best of two worlds. Although this shade would not have been my first choice, because it is a dark grey, I don't actually mind it that much because it is borderline black, but that makes it not super intense. 
Lip products will always be my hardest decision to choose between but I think I have narrowed it down to my two favourite liquid lipsticks from last year. The Huda Beauty Liquid Lipstick in Wifey was another impulse buy but this shade was just right up my street. It is such a perfect, neutral, nude shade and the formula is what tops it off for me. I find this liquid lipstick for easy to apply, it is comfortable as well because of how creamy it applies and it also lasts a super generous amount of time. 
I mainly love this liquid lipstick because of the colour it's in and that's the NYX Matte Liquid Lip Cream in Cairo. I love this colour so much because it is the palest nude I have ever seen and when this is paired with a dark lip liner, wow, it's just stunning. The formula of this, I won't lie, it not my favourite but it is super comfortable and almost has a moisturizing feel to it. I also love how travel-friendly this packaging is because I took this travelling with me all year, in my handbag or in my suitcase and it was just so handy to have at all times. 
I love moisturizers but at the same time, I find it really hard to find a formula that is flawless. Even though I don't think I have made it there yet, this one is not far off. The Soap and Glory Smoothie Star Body Milk was a discovery for me in 2018 and I was mainly attracted to it because of just how good it smells. I love the scent of this so much because it is so sweet but it is not overwhelming, plus I think it is really unique as it is not sugary sweet smelling, it just smells like cookie dough or something along those lines. The formula does not disappoint though, it is super hydrating but it also absorbs so quickly which I always think is hard to find in body lotions. I have used this a hell of a lot in 2018 and I think I am going to end up repurchasing it in 2019. 
Another Soap and Glory product I have loved is the Soap and Glory Scrub Of Your Life. This has been a staple for me for so long but during last year I had just found myself depending on it much more which is why I have put it into this post. This scrub paired with an exfoliating glove is the perfect combination. I am really bad when it comes to exfoliating on a regular basis, but when I do get round to it, I always reach for this one because I know that it won't let me down. I can't even explain why I love it so much, it is just amazing. 
As for skincare, the Superdrug Vitamin E Face Scrub stands out to me just because it had replaced my previous scrub that was not cruelty free. I love Superdrug's Vitamin E skincare range because it is cruelty free, affordable and amazing quality and this scrub did not let me down. Scrubs like this, I only tend to use once or twice a week because they can be intense, however, they do the job perfectly. I won't lie, the smell is not my favourite but it does the job and it has been the perfect replacement of my previous favourite face scrub
The final product I am going to talk about in this post is The Body Shop Himilayn Face Mask which has been well loved by me over 2018. This face mask is so good at just making your skin feel super clean. It is definitely very intense so if you have sensitive skin, I would give this a skip, but if you wear a lot of makeup or you just want to give your skin a good cleanse every once in a while, then this is the best way to do it. I love this face mask because of how fresh it makes my skin feel, it also has exfoliating pieces in it which you scrub as you wash off the mask and it just helps to make your skin feel so super soft. This is definitely more of a luxury face mask to me, but it is definitely worth the price as I still have it now, after having it over a year now, and it is still going strong. 

Comment below your favourite beauty product of 2018!
Grace xx