February Favourites

Hello all!

This blog post I am wanting to share the products I have been absolutely loving throughout February and want to rave about it to you all. Read on for some secrets and product recommendations on how I nourish my hair and skin. And who knows, you might be loving it this March!

Haircare

bumble-bumble

Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil

Okay, so I could not rave about this product more if I tried. This little magic potion is called Bumble and Bumble (or Bb.), and will do absolute wonders to your hair. Before I first used this brand, I had read that the ‘invisible oils’ consisted of Coconut Oil, Argan Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Safflower Seed Oil, Grapeseed Oil – all great for your hair, however it did make me wonder how that would sit my hair. I was worried it was going to be a greasy, oily product that leaves an unwanted residue in your hair. Oh how I was wrong. So very very wrong.

I have always desired to have silky-smooth hair, however bleaching my hair has left my strands quite textured rather than soft. Yet after using this product, I have had comments about how soft and nourished my hair look/feels (which is always a brightener to my day may I add).

The only down-fall to this product, I’m afraid, is the price. I stumbled upon Bumble and Bumble through receiving it as a free gift from Stylist Live, however since looking into this brand, this miniature travel pack costs a whopping £33. WHAT?! This leaves their bigger bottles retailing at £23 for shampoo (sulphate free), £25 for conditioner and £20.50 for heat/UV protection hair primer spray. Ouch. £68.50 on hair products + student budget = I don’t think so. Although the price is a little steep, this product really is that brilliant, and I will definitely be purchasing it at some point. Even if it is with Boots points!

Shop Bumble & Bumble here

Skincare

Clarins.jpg

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

I’ve never actually used a Clarins product before, however I have fallen in love with this facial balm. I have been using a small amount of product before I apply my make up, and its thick formula almost sets a base for my make up. Half a pea-sized application and this miracle product brightens, tightens and preps my face, smoothing out any pores before applying my foundation. Anything else to rave about? Yes, you can also use a little more than usual and it will also act as a facial mask. Uhh… how brilliant is that?!

I also received this product from Stylist Live’s goodie bag that came with the Bumble and Bumble set. If I’m honest, a product like this normally wouldn’t have caught my eye (especially at £30), but being lucky enough to try this little gem out for free, perhaps I won’t be so quick to judge a product by its price. I am absolutely loving it.

Shop Clarins here

791114c9281e333688c9482a7349fd6d-6

NSPA Skin Glow Mud Mask

By far the best face mask I have ever come across. And I’m really not exaggerating! This mud mask is my go-to when I fancy pampering myself. The pot of goodness dries on your face (and cracks when you make a facial expression. Top tip: Don’t look in the mirror with it on – you will crack up, in both senses).

Removal with warm water and a damp flannel leaves your face feeling incredible. Smooth, tight and cleansed are the right words. Not only is this a pot of genius, but it is also cost-effective as you get multiple uses out of the pot. Not to mention it’s only £8. I have roughly had about 4-5 applications and I’m only half way through the pot! Definitely worth a purchase.

Shop NSPA here

Make Up

ud

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

img_0353.jpg

Urban Decay Ultimate Basics Palette

Urban Decay. Where do I start? Perhaps at the fact that it’s possibly my most favourite make up brand of all time. And this palette is no exception. I received this as a gift from Harry for Christmas, and it was by far one of my favourite presents. A palette of colours anyone would ever dream of, all with pigment that holds more promise than a pinky finger ever will. Whether it’s a natural day-time look, or a dramatic smokey eye, this palette is a MUST for your make up bag. Trust me on this one.

Shop Urban Decay here

 

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

This is a potion, UD got that right! I can’t tell you enough how much I love this eyeshadow primer. Its purpose is to prevent your eyeshadow from creasing or smudging, which is especially vital if it’s a special occasion and you need your eyeshadow to last! Although £17 may seem a little hefty, I can promise you it is worth it. And the great thing is, you only need a tiny bit each use so it lasts ages!

Shop Urban Decay here

Let me know if any of my February Favourites have made it into your March Favourites at all, or if you already dig these products!

Rach x

Advertisements

My Hair Confession

So here’s a little bit about my life:

Age 5: First time I went swimming

Age 8: First time I got my ears pierced

Age 12: First time I owned a phone

Age 12: First time I got a detention (and cried so much she took it back lol)

Age 13: First time I went abroad without my parents

Age 17: First time I started working  (paid)

Age 18: First time I bought my own alcoholic beverage

Age 19: First time I got my hair cut in a salon

Age 20: First time I will worry I’m getting old

Wait, what?

Rewind back to 19. First time I got my hair cut in a salon. WHAT?

Yep, it’s true. And I sincerely apologise to any hairdressers reading this. I am ashamed. I am ashamed that I have completed thirteen years of compulsory education, drank (probably too many) shots of vodka, maintained a hobby of swimming for twelve years, passed my driving test, moved away from home to attend uni – all before I have had my hair cut in a salon. And to rub a little more salt into the wound, when people asked me how I have managed grow my hair so long, I would have to embarrassingly reply about how I hadn’t had my hair cut for a year and a half.

But before you jump to conclusions and pity-close this tab, I’m going to save my ass and say it doesn’t mean I’ve never had my hair cut. Now that would be silly, right? The entire time up until I reached secondary school, my mum used to cut my hair for me. So for 7(ish) years, she worked her magic with a pair of scissors, giving me plain, simple, shoulder length hair. Possibly with a full fringe if she felt adventurous, making me look like a real-life version of Boo from Monsters Inc. However, when I reached secondary school and I undeniably became pickier, she handed over the responsibility to my cousin, and also hairdresser, Lauren. Coming to my house for (yearly – and I take full responsibility for the lack of) hair appointments, meant that I had never undergone the full salon experience. So with the inspiration of a new hairstyle, and cringing at the state of my dry split ends, I decided that I should make a change.

Cutting Edge

Uni friend, Abbi, decided she wanted her hair done too, so we both spent a good few hours hunting online for an adequate yet relatively cheap salon (#StudentProblems). Eventually, we stumbled across a salon which is 5 star rated, and only a 20 minute walk from our halls – Precision Designs Cardiff. I guess you could say I booked the appointment pretty quickly, which is kind of a big deal as you can probably guess how easy I find putting off making hair appointments. *A YEAR AND A HALF! the voice inside my head screams*. So when Friday came around, I was ready to say goodbye to my very own lion’s mane.

I did feel a swarm of anxious anticipation whilst sat waiting for my appointment, and I’m not afraid to admit that. Why? Because being daring with my hair has gone about as far as being absolutely ludicrous and asking for layers. Or breaking the law and ombréing the ends of my hair myself. Get the picture? I’m not daring at all when it comes to hair. What if I don’t like my hair short? What if I can’t pull off my new hair change? What if too much gets cut off? ran through my head like a stuck record, however when I was called into the Chair of Change – I shall call it – I knew it would be a positive experience when they offered me a latte… the key to my heart.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
Look at how gorgeous that latte looks. Can a latte even be described as gorgeous? Looks like it just has.

 

Side note: I am aware I have taken plenty of pictures for this experience, however this was a very exciting time for me. And yes, I won’t deny possibly squealing “I’m so excited” to Abbi before the appointment. Please don’t judge me. Besides, it makes your reading experience on this blog much more visual… it’s a win win if you ask me.

Hair Re-Vamp

Seeing as I have had long hair for such a huge period of my life, I felt like I wanted a change. However umming and ahhing whether to actually go short was a bipolar decision for me. I would convince myself short was the way to go, yet I would find myself fiddling with my hair, appreciating how long it is, wondering if I will regret it soon after it gets the chop. But as soon as I plunged in the deep end, telling Shauney (my hair Stylist) that I wanted to go a lot shorter, I had no choice but to have faith in my decision.

So what did I actually have done to my hair?

Step 1: Bye Bye Hair

Well, my limp and lifeless hair had even looked like it had enough of being long and neglected of care. I guess I would too, so I understand. Sorry, hair. So it was time to say good riddance to having to brush out weekly knot clumps, and malting more than an animal. No seriously, some flatmates have told me they have found my hair around the flat and in their rooms, even when I haven’t even stepped foot into their rooms. My hair has a mind of its own, and now apparently can grow legs too.

Step 2: Highlights

Chopping my hair to an inch or so below where I wanted, I then had highlights (half a head) of blonde put in my hair. Considering my desired style, Shauney faded my highlights from my roots to allow a less obvious, and more sun kissed look of blonde to gradient throughout my hair. The inspiration of my hair colour is called “bronde”, and for those of you who are thinking “what the hell is that?“, it’s brown hair with the subtle gradient of blonde – beautifully worn by my favourite blogger, Lydia Elise Millen. However, due to my hair being such a dark colour, my hair didn’t take to the blonde dye as strongly as I intended. To cool down the blonde that had worked, I had a toner put on my hair, and my hair Stylist assured me that it will be a working progress to get it to the bronde colour I had wanted.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
Highlight of my week. Ha.

Step 3: Tone, Wash & Dry

I sat through reading trashy gossip magazines – my pet hate, sorry not sorry. But hey, at least I am all clued up about Liam Payne and Cheryl’s X-Factor sparked relationship. And how Leonardo DiCaprio is bouncing from chick to chick at parties and clubs. *Grimaces weakly*. And after my brain was transformed to slosh from reading gossip stories, slightly burnt around the edges from the smell of bleach dye, my favourite bit finally arrived – wash and blow-dry. Therapeutically revitalising and relaxing, my head was smiling again, surrounded by soap suds.

 

IMG_0883.jpg

Step 4: Style & Curl

After framing my face with a subtle fringe, my hair was treated, curled and styled. And voila! 4 hours later, and my new ‘do was complete. Smiling like a cheshire cat, both Abbi and I were pleased with our bouncing curls.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

IMG_0782.jpg
Hello, hydrated locks

 

So there you have it, my hair confession. And if you hadn’t already gathered by the amount of pictures I had documented, which were obviously taken for blog purposes – I mean, who gets that excited about getting their hair cut, to need to take pictures? Oh, me apparently. So I think that it’s safe to say that my salon experience lived up to my expectations (and more), and I felt incredibly pampered as I walked out. Belly-button length hair is now no more, and I am loving the change.

Links to those mentioned:

Precision hair Design Cardiff website: http://www.precisioncardiff.co.uk 
Lydia Elise Millen blog: http://lydiaelisemillen.com
All images above: Taken by Rachel Jefferies

P.s. I don’t know about you, but I could not relate to something more than this.
6af5ee875868d8f9f5befbf5f4750179

Guide to Finding Your Own Style

Hello all, firstly I hope you all had a lovely Easter break, and haven’t drowned in too many chocolate eggs. I certainly didn’t, because my two (*crying emoji*) lasted me about 10 minutes. And if you think I’m eggxagerating, then the yolk’s (joke’s) on you. Eggxcuse the awful puns. I’m here all week… *tumbleweed travels across your screen*

Sorry. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce a new section to my blog: Fashion. (Well, that a dramatic entrance). I have always been interested in fashion, but never passionate enough to stamp and rave about it due to difficulty in finding my own style. However I feel like I can comfortably say that I have found my inner fashion frenzy that has been flowering for a while now, so I though why not make a section of my blog for it. Now let the stamping and raving commence.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

 

Fashion Fix

As you’ve probably guessed by this blog title post, I will be talking about how finding your own style can actually ruffle some feathers. Growing as a person and being surrounded by different styles, well… it can appear to be dauntingly overwhelming to say the least, and trying to depict which style you prefer can be more confusing than you realise. Looking back over the years (and hatefully cringing at tragic old photos, eugh) I can certainly see how my own style has changed and developed. You’re probably all-too familiar with the “ew what was I thinking, going out of the house looking like that?” panic thought, reflected in your widened eyes when reminiscing with old photographs. Yep. Me too. However it’s only taken me until the past year or so to realise that looking back on your style change, accompanied by these epiphanies, really does allow you to find your feet. And not the ones that are wearing a sickly lilac coloured pair of Crocs. (OK, I was 10… moving on VERY swiftly).

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Placid Sweats Vs Pretty Shirts

Looking back, I remember it being particularly frustrating how I could wake up one morning and feel like chucking on a boyfriend tee (the only type of boyfriend in my life lol) and jeans, and the next morning channelling my girly style, choosing to wear a pretty lace top. Makes sense, huh? No. It absolutely  infuriated me how polar-opposite my fashion style would change on a day-to-day basis, and how I would feel confident in one style and perhaps a little more shy in another. And one of the worst parts about it was that I was aware I was doing it, making it even more annoying, not cool. Not to mention how stressful shopping became, falling in love with an item to then find myself looking at it in my wardrobe with remorse a few months down the line, when I’m flaunting a different style. But despite the tantrums and heartbreaking waste of money, I am actually glad I can say I experimented with my look, and even if I was an innocent teen, ignorant to what I should and most importantly shouldn’t wear, I put (mostly) down to the fact that I wasn’t confident with my undecided style. Instead, I resulted to hiding behind what I thought was “me” during finding my own style, which seemed compatible at the time.

This Day and Age

Age is a HUGE factor when it comes to fashion, and growing in and out of styles really is a thing mentally, not just physically. Playing such a strong impact on finding your individual appearance, and deciding whether to follow the crowd or be slightly more unique is completely your decision to make. I am going to put my hands up now and admit that I look back at old photos and have to chew my own lip to stop myself from blurting out a sentence that sounds a lot like “what the f*** was I wearing?“. I have never dressed in bright, pretty, pink floral patterns, and I realise now that I don’t think I probably will. I’m not saying I can’t dress girly, as my style has definitely become more of exactly that over the years, however I have found my own twist of personality within my style, feeling confident in my blossoming and maturing style.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

How I Would Describe My Style…

Although I will have the odd item that might make my style slightly more interchangeable, I would say the general gist of my own fashion consists of plain or minimally detailed items. The colours of my wardrobe tend to follow a monochrome theme (black, grey and white), and nature related colours (khaki green, beige/ nudes, browns, navy blue, and creams), along with the odd and very rare splash of colour when I’m feeling bold and adventurous. I’m not one for bright colours unless it’s a statement item, and the only type of pink you will ever see me in is pastel pink. Other than that, pink has never been a fond colour of mine.

I have recently found a love for structured items, especially blazers/ structured coats or pencil skirts. I am absolutely digging the whole casual-yet-formal look, and I always feel good wearing something that makes me look sophisticated and well-dressed. Alternatively reflecting this style into a slightly more chilled look, is another favourite with a turtleneck jumper that I pull out from the abundance in my wardrobe, particularly on a crisp morning. But aside from the (slightly more relaxed) Office Girl look, there certainly are days where I push my boot heels aside and still rely on the comfort of my Converse or Nikes.

Anddd You’ve Still Got Mixed Fashion Feelings?

So if you’re like me and have found yourself bouncing along in booted heels one day, and the next you’re wiggling your toes in a pair of Stan Smiths, your style is a learning curve so (try to) embrace it. And you probably most definitely won’t have a eureka moment about your style overnight. It is okay to not know where you stand with your style, and experimenting with different styles will enable you to shape your style within time.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
#Throwback to when I was tanned (sigh)

 

Images: All images are my own.

#STYLISTLIVE Magazine Event

Only in the past six months I have discovered Stylist magazine, and Saturday 17th October, I had the immense pleasure in attending their very own StylistLive magazine event in (my favourite place in England; London, of course). Rewind back six months, where my motivation for my summer beach bod was ridiculously sky-high, and after every Monday session at the gym, my favourite familiar post-workout feeling was always accompanied by picking up my free weekly Stylist magazine. During my gym body blast, I aimed to workout five times a week and eat endless vegetables, but inevitably that was short-lived. Want to know why? Cake. Always. Wins. So when my morale proved to be low and Netflix got the better of me, the thought of receiving my Stylist magazine would somehow dig out an ounce of motivation to go to the gym. Too many times I reluctantly pulled the warm quilt covers off, let my feet touch the chilly laminate flooring and brushed the biscuit crumbs off my pyjama shirt to go to the dreaded Place of Sweat. The Gym. However I finally approved my once-thought reckless decision when my exhausted body was sat in my pyjamas with my freshly washed hair wrapped in a towel, reading my copy of Stylist. I introduced Stylist to my best friend, Charlotte, and she would also religiously pick up a copy each time she went to the gym. We would even pick up a spare copy for one another when we were on holiday, unable to access the Stylist magazine pile in the gym (now that’s commitment, if you ask me). With an abundance of copies of Stylist stacked up on my bookshelf, each week would welcome a new member to the pile; and when I found out about Stylist Live, I knew it was something I couldn’t miss out on.

After purchasing the Stylist Live tickets online with Charlotte, it was only the matter of waiting (eagerly) until the special weekend arrived. Even though it was just a day trip to London, I still had an appearance of Early-Morning-Before-Holiday-Excitement that everyone’s experienced, knotting inside of my stomach when I woke at 5am to depart for London. When we reached the Business Design Centre in Islington, huge images of Stylist Live advertised the event, making the experience seem much more professional and official. I’m pretty sure I squealed with excitement as well. Multiple times. I felt somewhat exclusively important. I felt official, attending the event of a magazine I (much like so many others) read on a regular basis.

When we walked onto the top floor balcony of the main building, we were greeted by the most phenomenal view. Giant characters spelling out ‘STYLIST’ and blown up canvases of Stylist magazine front covers were hanging from the ceiling. The open ground floor below us was maze-like with the booths containing mini boutiques and well-known brands such as Clarins and Benefit make up stalls (I felt my purse wince slightly). A complimentary glass of champagne and Stylist bags were given out to every Stylist Live ticket holder. The enthusiastic atmosphere unwaveringly buzzed throughout the entire day, and at least everyone seemed to be inspired by the busy events which were taking place. Who wouldn’t when you have a make-up artist from NARS showing you how to achieve an autumn berry smokey eye? I wanted to whack out my make up bag there and then and try it out! Workshops, talks and make up tutorials were held throughout the day, as well as a catwalk show in sponsor of Swarovski Crystals. The catwalk was one of the highlights of the day for me at Stylist Live, as not witnessing a catwalk before made the new experience seem much more surreal and impressive. I felt like I was part of the Made In Chelsea cast (which felt incredibly good I must say). Due to the high popularity of the workshop talks, it meant that they were first come first serve; however we managed to get into the How to Write a Crime Novel talk by Kate Griffin, where she discussed her experiences, dos and don’ts, and advice on how to write a gripping crime novel. The engaging discussion was hugely inspiring for every single person in the room, and I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t the only one who walked out of the talk wanting to immediately sit down at a desk and start writing my own thriller crime novel.

Stylist was definitely an event that I shall never forget; the organisation was so well thought out and every single member of staff were friendly and animated. I hope that Stylist Live is an event that will occur yearly- I’d definitely be there without fail! I have a lot to thank Stylist for; for forcing me to stop being so lazy, for providing my evenings with something to read after my dreaded workout, and most importantly, for not only putting on such a fantastic event, but for also providing me with such motivation and inspiration to continue working hard to work in the magazine or publishing industry. Thank you, Stylist.

Photo 17-10-2015 10 26 24 am  Photo 17-10-2015 5 53 31 pm  Photo 17-10-2015 10 48 40 am  Photo 17-10-2015 1 41 19 pm Photo 17-10-2015 1 29 04 pm Photo 17-10-2015 1 41 23 pm 

Photo 17-10-2015 10 22 15 am  Photo 17-10-2015 10 48 45 am

 

Photo 17-10-2015 10 55 09 am Photo 17-10-2015 11 06 11 am

Photographs by: Rachel Jefferies

BOOK BARN INTERNATIONAL

The other week I had a few days off of work and I decided to take a trip to the Book Barn International on Wells Road in Bristol/Avon. The sun was shining and I had such a tranquil afternoon, browsing through the thousands of books and endless shelves. I went alone because I love exploring new books alone, having quiet time to myself to engross myself in potential new reads. I sat down in the vintage cafe that is located in the Book Barn, where I ordered some crumpets and a cup of afternoon tea. I read a few pages of the books that I had picked up and put in my basket, deciding whether the books were suitable/interesting enough to purchase. The cafe even included computers where you can search up a specific book you may be looking for, and you can request them to look for it in their warehouse if it comes up on the computer. I came away from the Book Barn almost four hours after arriving, feeling pleasantly relaxed and a carrier bag with thirteen new books to add to my full bookshelf at home. I would definitely recommend the Book Barn International for second-hand books (and they even have some brand new books) for just £1 each. Bargain if you ask me! An afternoon well spent.

WHAT WENT DOWN? FOALS IS WHAT WENT DOWN

Be known to some of you (perhaps all), but I am a HUGE fan of indie/rock band, Foals, and Friday 28th August 2015, they released their fourth album, What Went Down. I have loved Foals for years now, and the first time I heard their beautifully tranquil, Spanish Sahara, it has been my favourite song ever since. I am seeing them play on their tour in Cardiff in November and excited is an understatement. So the day, What Went Down came out, I especially went to HMV and bought my own copy. What a phenomenon is all I have to say to sum up the incredible new album.

“this is only the beginning for Foals”


The group of five; Yannis, Jimmy, Jack, Walter and Edwin formed in Oxford, England, releasing their debut album Antidotes in 2008. The band have come a long way since their first record and through various interviews, singer and guitarist, Yannis Philippakis voices that this is only the beginning of Foals.

Foals claim that their new album’s music is a step up from their previous I albums, and their “pop” songs will be “poppier” and their “heavy” songs will be “heavier” (as quoted by Yannis Philippakis). And indeed, he is right. Tracks, Snake Oil and eponymous What Went Down are definitely the heaviest tracks on the album, parallel to heavier tracks Inhaler and Providence from previous album of WWD, Holy Fire. I am impressed with the amount of tranquil tracks also, including Give It All, London Thunder and A Knife In The Ocean, tracks that sound even more beautiful at 3am in the morning. And last but not least to mention their groovy Foals-esque-trademark-type of music with their playful guitar riffs and bouncy bass in the background, Birch Tree, Albatross, Night Swimmers and Lonely Hunter, parallel to tracks such as My Number (Holy Fire album), Miami and Total Life Forever (both from Total Life Forever album).


Foals also played a secret-not-so-secret set at Reading and Leeds festivals 2015, playing six songs, some from their new album. Crowds went crazy for the five-piece band, their set looked insane. I am particularly looking forward to their concert in November that has completely sold out, Foals have yet again made us Foals fans extremely proud.


Check out Foals on www.foals.co.uk

BEERWOLF BOOK PUB

Cornwall might as well be be in the dictionary as a synonym for relaxing, because it is a place particularly attracted by slow-moving coast-loving holiday makers, dipping in and out of unique, vintage shops (like me!). Last year I discovered a cosy little pub hidden behind the buzzing town of Falmouth, Cornwall, which is not like any old pub. This pub is the most perfect pub I have ever come across; a library book pub. A room with shelves full of books, available for customers to buy or just read during their tranquil visit. Quiet music fills the quirkily peaceful home (heaven) to book-lovers just like myself. And seeing as I come to Cornwall every summer, I was surprised that I hadn’t discovered it before. I am currently sat in the chilled atmospheric pub with a cup of tea, Cornish pastries and my head buried inside of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (a brilliant read so far), escapism at its finest. Gutted that places like this don’t exist in my hometown, Bristol, so spending all day in here alone on my family holiday seems slightly more justified (however does reading and drinking tea even need to be justified?!)


  
  

CORNWALL LOVIN’

I’m on holiday at Cornwall, England, at the moment. Yesterday we travelled to Fowey Harbour where we sat in the cutest little coffee shop and ironically had tea and cake. Here’s some pictures of the beautiful streets of South England.
Fowey Tea and Cake

image

image

image

We headed to St. Ives on the Monday, where we caught the train into the harbour quay, a beautiful scenic ride. Unsuprisingly, the weather was grim and raining, however later on in the afternoon the sunshine perked up, glistening the clear sea, allowing visitors of St. Ives to paddle and surf the low tide.

image