Tuesday, April 30

Review: Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler


Okay, so let's get one thing out in the open; this was a naughty treat for myself as I was in desperate need of an eyelash curler. I had heard nothing but raves and praises about the Shu Uemura eyelash curlers, so I decided to pop into good old Selfridges and indulge myself in a spanking new pair of eyelash curlers. However when I saw that they had a limited edition gold coloured eyelash curlers I just couldn't resist. Within the box you receive one pair of eyelash curlers and two separate removable white silicone pads in a mushroom shape which cushion the lashes when using this product.
You can simply apply with or without mascara, however if you are going for an eye opening, dramatic effect, I would advise to have mascara already applied. I find that using Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara and then using the eyelash curler gives a dramatic effect. However, of course it is personal preference as to which mascara you like. The Shu Uemura eyelash curler gives you wide-awake eyes all day, with absolutely no need of reusing. A handy step-by-step guide in also supplied on the back of the packaging whether you're a eyelash curler first-timer or you want to perfect the curl.
Not only do these eyelash curlers do-the-job; they also are undeniably beautiful to look at and fit perfectly into my cosmetics case. I like how the gold complements the other black and gold cosmetic products within my makeup case (OCD much?!). The eyelash curlers are easy to clean, given that mascara does quickly build up on the white silicone pad. I also think that for such an amazing product, £20 is a bargain for a high specification eyelash curler, as these limited edition gold Shu Uemura eyelash curlers have upgraded design and features, giving you even more of a uplift in your lashes. But if gold doesn't float your boat, Shu Uemura also offer silver eyelash curlers which are just as beautiful!

Monday, April 29

Motivational Monday


A few motivational quotes I found lying around on the internet which I think are appropriate for a Monday afternoon, lugging along doing my assignments. I think that motivating yourself to do something is crucially important, and although some of these do not fit into what I am doing now (writing an essay); I still think that they are important. I would love to know what mantra you live by?

Magic Chocolate Cake


I personally think that it is nice every once in a while to cook up a delicious desert from scratch. So for a Saturday night dinner with B, I made Magic Chocolate Cake (recipe from Mary Berry's Complete Cookbook) which, and I don't mean to blow my own trumpet here, but it was absolutely ah-maz-ing. If you are looking for something to seriously indulge in or you want to make a desert for a dinner party - definitely give this a go! It tastes delicious warm, fresh out of the oven; however cold is also yummy. I prefer this without any ice cream or creme fresh, I just think you can taste the cake better and appreciate all of the different flavours. I will be making this again, that's for sure!

Sunday, April 28

Instagram: April


1: My ever growing MAC lipstick family, Snob and Ruby Woo (Review on MAC 'Snob' here)
2: A chocolate for Easter, how could anyone possibly eat this little cutie?
3: Me and B relaxing together after a long day
4: Working up a sweat at the gym (see 'It's Not a Diet' here)
5: The view of the Lake Districts ('British Beauty' here)
6: Ready for a photo shoot, Nikon at the ready
7: Lace Waist here
8: Snug as a bug in a rug before heading off to University

It's got to be said, I love Instagram. I'm one of those people that automatically checks my Instagram account news feed whenever I go on my iPhone. It's just so much fun, an easy way to document things and share them with your friends & followers. I also love being able to follow the bloggers I am obsessed with and nosey into the lives of celebrities. Having said that, I like to think of my Instagram as my photo diary. Follow me on @andkateblog to keep up to date on what I get up to as a University student/fashion blogger.

Saturday, April 27

Red, White & Blue

{River Island Blazer, Vintage Shirt, Hollister Super Skinny Jeans, Zara Pumps, Kurt Geiger Clutch, Chloe Sunglasses, Michael Kors Watch, Tiffany Ring, Topshop Necklace, MAC 'Snob' Lipstick & Essie 'Fishnet Stockings' Nail Polish}

So happy it's Saturday, this week has been especially busy, with assignment deadlines and my final few weeks of University are steadily coming to an end (however I do have two more years of my degree - only in first year!) So I decided to go for a comfortable, yet put-together look for a long day at University; and feeling quite patriotic I wore red, white and blue colours. I love folding my sleeves back on my shirt over the blazer so give it an unusual pop of blue. At the moment I am really into wearing shirts with vertical lines and I have had this one for quite a while now but it never disappoints! I have to say, I adore this perspex clutch as well, it is on trend, but not completely see-through so I can keep some privacy over what is inside my bag. Thank goodness for the sunnier weather as well as I can start wearing my sunglasses all the time (I do wear my sunglasses all year round but some styles are better for spring/summer). I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday!

Thursday, April 25

Long Day

{Zara Peplum}

Wow, it's been such a busy Thursday! I have a love/hate relationships with Thursdays, I enjoy them because it's the nearly the end of the week. However I find them so difficult to get through as I am always so tired, ready to jump into a bath and have a long soak (which is what I did this morning if you follow me on Instagram and Twitter). Anyway, just popping by to wish all of my sweeties a wonderful Thursday or maybe even Friday morning?!

High-Street Look of the Month


This month it's all about pastel shades and floral patterns for me. I think that it is essential to have a pair of skinny white jeans and a basic sandal as these two items are so versatile. This month for the high street look of the month, the shop which I am loving is Kurt Geiger, as their accessories are amazing (as seen previously here). I've kept it simple with both looks, with one item of clothing which has a staple pattern and breezy materials; French Connection being perfect right now for this type of clothing. Hope you've had a wonderful April (so far)!

Wednesday, April 24

Review: Real Techniques Expert Face Brush


Gone are the days of applying foundation with fingers, resulting in a uneven application of coverage and left with fingers covered in liquid foundation. I discovered this brand, Real Techniques from my make up artist friend who had nearly the whole collection of brushes. However, me being me, a non-makeup artist; I started with the basics - which is the Expert Face Brush. I knew already what this clever brush could do as my friend had used it persistently on me so I gleefully snapped one up. Although I must admit I was extremely tempted to purchase the whole collection as they seem far too good to be lying around on the shelves! My brush came in at just under £9 which is a steal if you ask me, considering the prices other brands ask for for the same/similar brushes. 
It's simple to use as well, all you need to do is apply directly onto the bristles the amount of foundation you want on each section of your face and then in circular motions, massage into the facial area and neck. The results are flawless, it literally looks like a professional has done your makeup for you and then you've been airbrushed! There are no lines, streaks or signs of application of foundation and not once since I purchased this brush has one single bristle came out. You can apply nearly anything with this brush, from highlighting liquid, cream blush or any powdered cosmetics. 
I've got nothing but praise to say about this brush and the collection as a whole - I am now looking into buying a Stippling Brush for application of cream blush so that the pink colour from the blush does not mix in with the foundation brush.

Tuesday, April 23

Lace Waist


You know what they say, opposites attract and that's definitely the case here; with a bold red lip, jet black dress but breezy material and lace detailing. I love wearing a statement colour on my lips, and this red Barry M colour is no exception. Oh, and how could I not wear my favourite jacket, which is currently this nude coloured leather jacket?! Can't believe I'm finally going out in dress/skirts/shorts without the need to wear tights! Spring really is taking a long time this year to arise isn't it.

Monday, April 22

Beauty Bargain #5


A few weeks ago I started to notice that my hair was becoming dead at the ends and loosing its softness. So I snooped around the drugstore, looking for the perfect solution. I have been a huge fan of Herbal Essences for years now so when I came across this red tub of joy, I had to buy it. Not only was it as cheap as chips, a steal if you ask me(!) at just under £4, the intensive mask works a treat on dry or damaged hair. This product is really simple and a quick solution to conditioning, probably taking about 7 minutes in total to apply and wash out. All you need to do is massage the mask from roots to ends and then comb through (using a wide angle tooth comb) and then leave on for 5 minutes. I would advise applying a generous amount, you'll know for yourself how much you should apply. After this, thoroughly rinse off, making sure all of the product is out, otherwise your hair (roots especially) will feel greasy. Repeat this once a week, however after one usage, you will definitely notice the difference and the raspberry extracts leave your hair smelling like a field of flowers! There are is also a matching shampoo for extra moisture and defense against dryness. I definitely think I will be investing in the other types of intensive masks from the Herbal Essences range very soon.

Friday, April 19

Splurge or Save


A classic black tote is an essential for anybody's wardrobe. So when it comes to deciding which black tote you want to invest in, you've got to choose carefully. What I love about these two bags above, is that they are a hybrid of a classic satchel with a modern twist. Okay, so not everyone can afford to indulge in the beautiful Proenza Schouler number, but why deprive yourself of a staple piece when you can get a similar version elsewhere for a fraction of the price? Kurt Geiger has a great alternative, still keeping to the same theme but it has areas with embossed snakeskin pattern which gives it an original look.

Thursday, April 18

Thursday

{Hollister Shirt & Jeans, River Island Tee (seen here) & No7 Nail Varnish in Grey Skies}

It's a beautiful Thursday morning and I am officially back at University. I love getting back into the routine of going into University to study and see my friends. I am really excited for summer now I must proclaim! The weather is drastically improving and it's getting much closer to my summer vay-cay with B. All I need to do is reorganise my wardrobe, replace the winter clothes with summer clothes - woohoo!

Tuesday, April 16

Review: Clinique Take The Day Off

{Clinique Take The Day Off Make Up Remover & Cleansing Balm}

I have to say that these two products work wonders for your skin (as do all Clinique products in general) and you get quite generous amounts of actual product. However there is a reason these products are not in my 'Beauty Bargain' category - and that is due to the price with the Make Up Remover (125ml) being £16 and the Cleansing Balm (125ml) being £20.50. Yet the saying - "you pay for what you get" applies greatly to Clinique products as they honestly exceed expectations and these two products get every little speck of dirt and make up off your face. The Make Up Remover is completely amazing, even when you think you've removed all visible signs of make up off your face, this product, smeared over a cotton bud gets the equivalent of a whole other layer of make up you didn't even know existed!! And as for the Cleansing Balm - well this soothes the skin and leaves your skin feeling fresh, replenished and completely clean. I would advise to use a flannel to remove this product after you have massaged it into every nook and cranny. Clinique is an amazing brand, and when you consider the price in relation to the longevity of the products and the quality of them; it honestly is worth every penny. Goodbye dirty skin and mucky pores with the 'Take The Day Off' range from Clinique.

Monday, April 15

Lemon Water


When I wake up in the morning I always have lemon squeezed in hot water with my breakfast. I find it instantly refreshing and tasty. As I am eating far healthier than I ever have before, this hot lemon water drink is part of my breakfast routine now. There are numerous benefits with drinking it as well, which is an added bonus.

a) Balances pH levels: although you would instantly assume that as lemons contain citric acid they are therefore high in acidity, you couldn't be more wrong. In fact lemons are the most alkaline food you can possibly have and consequently reduce your body's acidity.

b) Immune system booster: due to lemons being high in vitamin C, you therefore reduce your risk of getting a cold. Not only that but lemons are great for your brain and nerve system, meanwhile also helping to control your blood pressure.

c) Lemons are diuretic: this means that lemons increase the rate of urination which therefore means that your urine is purified and stimulating your bladder which is great for your health.

d) Aids digestion: this means that unwanted materials are flushed out as the liver produces more bile which is needed for digestion.

e) Helps weight loss: as lemons are high in pectin fibre which helps combat those hunger cravings. It is also worth noting that those who have a more alkaline diet will loose weight faster.

f) Clears your complexion: as already stated, lemons are high in vitamin C and therefore reduces wrinkles and blemishes. Not only that but you can apply it directly onto scars to decrease their appearance.

g) Goodbye coffee: drinking lemon supplements the need to have coffee.

h) Fresh breath: however be careful of your intake of lemon water as the citric acid erodes your enamel. 

i) Calmness: vitamin C, contained in lemons, reduces stress throughout your mind and body.

j) Relieves respiratory difficulties: say goodbye to chest infections, whilst also helping those with asthma and allergies.

Sunday, April 14

Seeing Double

{Oysho Jacket, Zara Peplum, Hollister Jeans, Tiffany Jewellery & Michael Kors Watch}

Woah, what's going on! Two Kates? No, it's Photoshop! There's something great about editing photos and seeing what they'll turn out like; even if you do go a tad too crazy. For some reason, however I think this looks good, me (x2) looking back, flipping my hair ... although it is a little bit strange seeing two of me I must admit. I wore this outfit to my mum's birthday meal the other night. And yes, I did wear jeans again. I must confess that I am a little too obsessed with skinny jeans and trousers! So much so I have promised myself that I have to buy a skirt next time rather than another pair of jeans because I've got too many pairs to choose from and they're all very similar (majority from Hollister as well as they are the comfiest jeans in the world & not to forget, very flattering!)

Saturday, April 13

Nude

{Vintage Dress, Miss Selfridge Sandals & Mulberry Clutch}

The summer dresses and sandals are officially allowed to come out of the closet and flourish in the warmer weather. I love wearing nude and pastel shades in spring & summer, however what I love the most is being able to not wear a jacket out and about! I love the dress as it has a waterfall skirt and two different textures, the top being lace and the skirt being pleated. Oh, and as for the Mulberry clutch? Well lets just say I am in love and my Mulberry Bayswater (review here) is no longer alone. 

Friday, April 12

It's Not a Diet

{Feeling nostalgic about last year's summer vac-cay with B}

With summer on the horizon and after about 10 months of eating healthily, I am now taking it to a whole other level. When I say a "whole other level" all I mean is that I am focusing on eating vegetables, fruit, taking my vitamins, drinking lots of water, eating nuts and doing the appropriate exercises. I think that it is important to stress that this is not a diet I am undertaking, it is just an alteration of my eating regime for the better. Remember - a diet is a label which results in you negatively psychologically believing that you are depriving yourself of junk food and the like. This is something that I am not depriving myself at all. In fact I am helping myself to feel healthier and therefore happier. Of course i will have a desert every once in a while, but I won't be scoffing my face with unnecessary nasties (junk food) anytime soon.

Healthy eating: have three meals a day avoiding unnecessary junk food eating in between (which is the most difficult part!) Look forward to each meal that you have, so here's a step by step:

Breakfast: have your favourite healthy cereal like Special K or Weetabix with chopped fruit in their as well. I would advise to eat something which is high in fibre for your breakfast as you need to be full for the good half  of the day until lunchtime. For a drink I would either have half a lemon squeezed in hot water (I'm going to do a post on lemon water and it's advantages so keep updated!) or have green tea. A hot drink will wake you up and consequently feel refreshed.

Lunch: for some reason I never want to eat much at lunch, I normally munch on a wholegrain bar, have a fruit salad or two boiled eggs on one wholemeal piece of bread with no butter. I normally rotate this, it really depends on how hungry I am as this can vary day-to-day.

Dinner: This is the triumphant part of the day when you can really relax with your meal and put a lot of effort into it. So what I love to eat is a pasta dish, a fish meal or a chicken dinner, such as this one (here), however I would not have the chips/fries as this is unnecessary. Really it's about researching meals which suit your appetite and personal preference.

Snacks: If you're going to snack and there's a chocolate bar or a packet of crisps starring at you, think twice about how difficult it is going to be to burn off at the gym and how it makes you feel after. I know I feel unhappy when I eat something unhealthy, especially when I know I didn't really need it. So, instead I would opt for a banana as they are very filling, high in potassium and reduce the risk of getting dementia by 25% if you eat a banana once a day.

Exercise: If you have concerns about exercises or if you have preconditioned health problems, then you must always consult your doctor before undertaking any type of fitness regime. Just for a guideline, I like to go to the gym about four times a week and I have set routines for each day I go.
           - Saturday: Legs.
           - Sunday: Abs
           - Tuesday: Arms.
           - Thursday: Swimming.
I also like going on hikes and long bike rides outdoors so I do not just focus my exercise in the gym!

Remember it is not all about whether you will fit into a dress or a pair of super skinny jeans, it is rather about your long term health. But also, it is important to feel comfortable in your own skin and feel confident.
So go on, dive into healthy eating and see how much better you'll feel in yourself!

Thursday, April 11

Happy Birthday Mum!


It's my beautiful mother's birthday today and I am so excited to celebrate with the family. I love birthdays, they're such a happy time where everyone gets together and eats a delicious cake. Tonight we're having a lemon cake for her to blow her candles out on. I will supply the recipe later in the week sweeties! Although I do love it when it's my birthday, I actually think it's much more fun to give presents and watch your loved ones open them. I seriously cannot wait to see the look on her face when she receives the diamond & rose gold necklace (seen here). Now that's a beauty! Anyway, I'm off to have a nibble on the cake and have a glass of bubbly! 

Black & White

{River Island Blazer, Topshop Silk Tank, Miss Selfridge Jeans, Tiffany Jewellery, Michael Kors Watch, Mulberry Bayswater & Chanel Le Vernis 'Holiday'}

I love wearing simple, yet sophisticated outfits when I am running errands. My go to look is usually a pair of skinny jeans with an understated top and my Bayswater. However as we are getting deeper into Spring and eventually summer, I will swap my casual look for dresses and lightweight skirts to keep me cool on the go.

Wednesday, April 10

Your Song


This song is wonderful, as is the music video. Ellie Goulding has such a delicate voice which inevitably cheers you up instantly. I always attempt to sing along with this song (as you do when you're listening to music) but I am afraid I can't hit the notes like her. Anyway, I just love the video, very British heritage. It really does remind me of my own experiences in the British countryside. The lyrics are also so sweet, they are (in my eyes - and ears) all about B.

Three Cheese Tagliatelle


This meal is absolutely delicious, filling and nutritious. I like to make my own meals as I know exactly what is going into it and I am in control things which I want to avoid. So for a quiet night in with the parents, my mother and I cooked up this delicious recipe, which you'll find here by the very talented Delia Smith. The cheese sprinkled on the top of the dish really gave the meal a kick in flavours and textures. We also added some basil which gave it a summery flavour (if you get my jist). I would certainly recommend this dish to anyone who wants to eat a healthy, high in nutrients meal!