Friday, 2 October 2015

September Favourites

Hi all! It's been a while. Although I hate that first day of anew month 'Hello *insert month here*' tweets, I can't quite wrap my head around the fact that it's October and that there's a quarter of 2015 left. Like, what? 

It's been bloomin' ages since I did a only favourites post, mostly because some months there's nothing new I'm obsessing over and I don't want to write about something I don't really love. However, September saw a lot of amazing things come my way so that I wanted to share!

The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub
I'm not a spa girl at all, but one thing I would absolutely love is to get microdermabrasion. Problem is, it's really expensive, so when I saw this scrub in The Body Shop, I thought I'd try the at home version. It's very finely milled but leaves my skin, especially my nose feeling so smooth and clean. It says to use once a week, but I'd say every few days is better.

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter Body Butter
An old favourite that I've rediscovered recently, Soap & Gory's Righteous Butter. The scent is strong and perfumed which might be too much for some people, but I really like it, it smells luxurious and comforting and the formula of the product itself is rich and creamy. A great allrounder for a drugstore product! 

Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel
Oh my, is it really the time of year for Lush snow fairy again? Sorry folks, I'm afaid it is. If you cast your mind back to my January sales haul way back at the start of the year, you'll remember I stocked up on Snow Fairy for the year ahead and this half a mini bottle is all I have left. It's a product I never ever tire of and I know I'll be stocking up again this year. Sweet yummy sugary goodness, it's hard to believe it's not edible!

Yes To Cucumbers Daily Calming Moisturiser
If there's one thing my skin often needs, it's to be calmed the hell down. Much like myself, it's always irritated by something. This moisturiser is all natural and really cools and calms my face down. It sinks in really quickly and doesn't feel at all greasy. Added bonus too - it smells amazing! 

H&M Beauty
I'll keep this short and sweet. You may know that H&M have recently relaunched and hugely expanded their beauty line. I did a launch and review of some products here and I cannot get enough of the collection. 

Real Techniques Buffing Brush
Back in August, I jumped aboard the bandwagon and purchases the Real Techniques Core Collection while it was half price in Boots. I'm not normally all that passionate about face brushes and before this, had always just used my fingers for my foundation. This little baby though has totally changed how I apply it. It creates such a smooth and even finish and keeps everything else is place all day long. I've gotten so many compliments on my skin since I started using this too which is always nice. The only downside if that it needs watched quite regularly (every 4 or 5 days) but I absolutely adore it, I can't believe I've only just discovered it.

What products have you been loving throughout September?

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

My A/W Fashion Picks

Hellooo! If you know me well, you'll know that when it comes to fashion and style, Autumn & Winter are my favourite seasons. I much prefer clothes for this time of year. 

Although it's only mid September and the odd sunny day still leaves me with a false sense of hope that it's still Summer, it's getting colder and colder every day. I even wore a parka to work yesturday. A parka! 

Here's a few pieces I've picked up for my A/W wardrobe so far which I'm looking forward to wearing over the coming months...

This baaag! I cannot tell you the joy when I saw this gorgeous black leather and pony skin bag in New Look (£29.99) a few weeks ago. You see, last year, they did this very same bag, and I always meant to go back and get it and I never got round to it. Then, one day, when I actually had an occasion for it and went in with the intention to finally treat myself, it was gone. I tried several branches of New Look. Gone. Online. Gone. I was heartbroken, so you can only imagine the whole 1 second of thought I gave it this time when they brought the same style back before I snapped it up. 

It's a great size for day time or nights out and it's real leather on one side and real pony skin on the other. I love it just as much as a clutch with the strap removed. I've added this cute little faux suede tassel from Primark (£1.50) to the zip too!

Typical of a Scottish lass, I love a good tartan scarf. I have a classic red one which I get loads of wear out of every Winter so when in Edinburgh for the Fringe recently (you can read my post all about it here!) I bought this purple and blue one as an alternative. It was only £7.99 from a Scottish tourist shop, is genuine lambs wool and I can't wait to wear it with a black or navy coat when the weathers cold!

Not the most Autumnal shoes ever, but I couldn't not mention this grey suede loafers from Primark (£14). I bought these in July and has worn them almost every single day. They are one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I've ever worn and they go with everything. I've even bought a back-up pair for them these ones bite the dust and they come in navy too.

Another Edinburgh find, this amazing black leather and copper necklace I found in the Topshop sale (from their Premium range) for £10 reduced from £50. It's amazing quality, really heavy and sturdy and I love the chunky, industrial vibes.

Finally, my first piece of knitwear for A/W 2015 is this teal green jumper from Primark (£10). Although I'm not normally a jumper girl, this is a nice thin knit with fitted sleeves. It comes in loads of colours and I'm eying up the grey one too!

What fashion pieces are you loving for A/W 2015 so far?

Monday, 14 September 2015

H&M Beauty Haul

H&M is undoubtedly one of my favourite shops. Affordable, stylish, great selection of basics and statement pieces and fabulous accessories to compliment any look so a few months ago when I heard that they were releasing the makeup line, I was instantly excited. Technically they already did some makeup, but it was a small, low key offering which was never really what I went in for.

Last Thursday, the H&M just along the road from my work launched their new beauty department and I have to say, the collection is far more amazing than I ever dreamed. Not only is the product selection fantastic (basics like lipstick, nail polish and eyeshadow to more unusual finds like lip scrubs, a colourless lip liner to suit any shade and individual pods of face masks for travelling) but the huge variety of shades is astounding too. Here's what I picked up...

Firstly, I bought 4 of their high impact eye colour eyeshadows - left to right, we have...
Way Past Midnight- A browny purple
Anthracite - A super glitter dark gunmetal grey
Mojave - A pale warm toned taupe
Sun Worship - A bronzy gold with a slight hint of khaki

All of the colours I picked are shimmers and I tried to go for quite Autumnal shades that I can get a lot of wear out of. I adore the cream and gold packaging but the product inside is what sealed the deal for me. The colours are beautiful and blend together really well and how highly pigmented they are is amazing, especially for drugstore products. The range of eyeshadows is so huge that there's so many more I want ('Cinnamon Roll' and 'Fig Figment' are next on my list) mostly more neutrals but a few amazing glitzy blues and purples too!

I also bought 2 lip products, their lip definer pencil in 'Bramble Ripple' and their Cream Lip Colour in 'Brunetter Ambition'. I've been after a berry lip liner for a while, one that I can wear with reds, purples and berries and this colour is a gorgous in between which could work with a lot of shades. The formula is cream which I really like in a lipliner so it doesn't pull or drag and once on, it doesn't budge at all. 
The lipstick is a stunning nudey-brown. Although I love nude lipsticks, I've never gone quite this brown before but I'm so glad I did, I'm obsessed with it! Like the name of the product suggestions, the formula is so creamy and applied like a dream, but it still very opaque in colour. 
As you can see, both extremely pigmented! Over all, I'm so pleasantly surprised by H&M's amazing new beauty range. Beautifully pigmented products, huge variety of shades and pretty gold and white packaging. There's so many more pieces I want to try but for now, I can't wait to play around with my new bits and create some Autumnal looks!

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Beauty Empties & Mini Reviews

Of all the years that I've watched beauty related YouTube videos and read beauty blogs, I never really got the whole thing with empties videos and posts. Why do you need to show them? If there done, just bin them! Recently though, I've seen a few people doing empties along with mini reviews and whether they'll be repurchasing so I thought I'd show a few things that will be heading for the recycling and what I thought of them...

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water
Micellar waters are the skincare trend of the moment and this is by far the best one I've used. This super gentle water removes any and all makeup (including waterproof mascara) with no scrubbing involved at all. I use it to remove my makeup every night, to refresh my face in the morning and I even keep a spray bottle of it in my makeup drawer to dampen brushes or bring dried out products back to life. A great multi use product!

The Body Shop Banana Shampoo
I've said it before and I'll say it again, not enough products are banana scented. I love the smell of bananas and while I'd heard good things about this shampoo, I bought it mostly for the smell. I do like it, it feels lovely on your hair in the shower but doesn't leave it feeling as squeaky clean as I like and can make my hair a little tangly. I've repurchased it, but it's not my absolute favourite of mine and getting through my second bottle much slower than I did my first.

COLAB Extreme Volume Dry Shampoo in 'Rio' 
I've reviewed the normal version of this before (catch up here) but have since discovered the volume version which I much prefer. It makes my hair feel and look fully and thicker and doesn't leave any residue or whiteness. I use it almost every day and although it's a little pricier than the normal version (this one is £4.49 compared to £3.49 for the non-volume one) and than most drugstore dry shampoos, I think it's worth it. It comes in a mini handbag size too which I also have and it's so handy for mid-day top ups!

Nivea 'Happy Time' Shower Cream
Finally, one of my all time, favourite but lesser known shower products. This stuff is so silky and creamy on your skin that you'd swear it was at least 5 times the price and it smells lovely too, like oranges but not in an artificial way. For only £1, it's such a drugstore steal!

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in '1 Fair'
The ultimate cult drugstore concealer, I must've gotten through at least 8 of these in my time. Very high coverage which I love, long lasting, blends nicely and doesn't crease. The only downfall is that it only comes in 4 shades and even the lightest shade is a tiny bit dark for me but nothing too I can't work with.

MAC lipstick in 'Brave'
If you saw my MAC lipstick collection post, you'll see this is by far my most used shade. In fact, I think this is the only time I've very full finished a lipstick. It's a pinky nude (perfect for that 90's nude lip look) and doesn't bleed or fade unevenly. I've already repurchased another and will hold onto the tiny little stub for nights out so I don't loose my new one. If you're new to MAC lipsticks, this is the one I'd recommend for everyone. 

Maybelline Lash Sensatioal Mascara

I have a full review of this product here but I can honestly say that this is one of the best mascara I've ever used. It's buildable, doesn't dry out easier and works equally as well on the bottom lashes as the top. I've already repurchased and would recommend it to anyone!

What products have you finished up recently?

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

My 4th Birthday

Good morning all and a very happy Wednesday to you all!
Today is my birthday! I am 4! I should clarify that I mean my blog birthday, not my actual birthday. Sadly, my actual age exceeds my blog age by two decades! Yep, it was exactly four years ago today that, after much deliberation and doubt, I finally put pen to paper (metaphorically of course) and started my own blog. 

I was in 3rd year of university and I was desperately longing for a way to express my love of fashion without it being graded or having a word count or a deadline date. I want free reign over my love of writing without judgment or approval. While blogging isn't what I expected in most ways (not necessarily I'm a bad way) I think than 4 years later, I have managed to create someone close to what I'd envisioned and I am very proud of my little corner of the web and all I've achieved. 

When I first started blogging, I had no idea. I had no structure to what I was posting, I didn't really care too much about photo quality or blog design and I was certainly blissfully unaware of the entire blogging community. There were a few people I knew ran reasonably small local blogs, but other than that, my extent of bloggers all had hundreds of thousands of followers and I didn't know that it was something 'normal' people (for lack of a better word) did alongside their everyday jobs, hobbies, families, friends and personal lives. Considering how unaware of all this I was, I guess it was ridiculously brave to try my luck at something that, as far as I knew, only consisted of Zoella et al. Why did I think stood a chance?

The first fashion blog I ever followed (and I did so religiously) was a girl called Jessica, from the blog The Vintage Virgin. While she doesn't blog any more, at least not under that name, her posts are still up and her style continues to amaze me. She was who I longed to be. She always looked flawless and always had the most original pieces from thrift stores, vintage boutiques and independent fashion brands. Again, I was aiming extremely high but I had this idea in my head that I was some cool fashion student who people who care what I wore. I wasn't. I was a skint fashion student when occasionally picked up the odd scarf in a charity shop but who mostly shopped in Primark & H&M. I was, and still am, no different from any other 'normal' fashion blogger out there.

My blog started out as a place to share my outfits. Looking back, what I wore, how I photographed outfits and how awful the posts where, I'm surprised anyone gave a damn about my terrible excuse for a blog. It wasn't until I discovered the wonderful world of social media, mostly Twitter, that my blog started to get any followers or recognition. I remember how happy I was when I got my first comment. It still amazes me to this day that with so many, quite literally hundreds of thousands of bloggers out there, that people care what I have to say, enough to comment on it and share it. That's such a fantastic thing that I ever imagined blogging would give me.

Fashion and beauty were the main topics I wanted to write about. I've always love makeup and experimenting with new products but with so many beauty bloggers being professional makeup artists, I was initially put off sharing my love of cosmetics on my blog through fear that people would think I was conceited or shallow. Two of my friends from uni, the ever lovely Sami & Lisa from Beauty Aesthetic were nominated for a blog award and were planning a trip to London for the weekend to attend the cereomy shortly after I started my own blog. They were my first tangible example of 'real' bloggers who wrote a blog alongside their own normal lives. I remember one day at uni Lisa asked if she could take a photo of my nails for something for their blog and it was from there that I thought, if they're interested in my nails and they run a blog successfully enough to be nominated for awards, maybe there is a place for my amateur love of beauty on my blog.

Lifestyle blogging was something I had absolutely no idea about until at least 2 years into my blogging 'career' - again, for lack of a better word. I had a very black and white idea of what blogging was. Either it was based on materialism like makeup and fashion or it was serious stuff like current affairs, politics and social issues. Despite having huge passions for both, I somehow never imagined that the two could ever live happily in the same blog. The first 'lifestyle' bloggers I ever remember reading were two people who I now consider to be a blogging friend of mine, the fabulous Becky from Becky Bedbug and the lovely Sophia from Tattooed Tea Lady. Their blogs struck me as such amazing collection of variety - everything from beauty and fashion to travel and food to books and films. They had so much variety yet still maintained a continued theme throughout and I was amazed. Becky and Sophia's blogs are still an inspiration to me and I know a lot of other bloggers today, but finding their blogs lead me into discovering the whole world of lifestyle blogging and from there, I felt like that identity allowed me the freedom to write what I wanted without backing myself into a corner or a genre.

In the time since I began to break up the fashion and beauty with other topics, I've felt it only like I enjoy blogging more and have a ton more ideas, but that people seem to enjoy and share my blog more too. Since then, I've covered food, travel, culture, art, feminism, politics and mental health and this variety has only helped me to build my blog.

This year has been the most incredible year so far in regards to my blog. While I don't quite have my own ghostwritten book quite yet, I have had some great opportunities to work with amazing brands, meet a ton of fantastic fellow bloggers who I now consider friends and increase my scope as a freelance writer as well as blogging as a hobby. At the start of 2015, I began to take blogging more seriously if you will, I now post on set days and make more of an effort to get involved in chats as opposed to just takin part if I happen to be on Twitter. I've even hosted a chat for the first time too!

I started my blog during a really uncertain and testing period of my life and retrospectively realise just how much it helped me to come through that time stronger. Now, 4 years on, I am once again going through quite a tough time but now I cannot imagine my life or my daily routine without my blog. Having been a lover of writing all my life, blogging gives me complete control to share exactly what I want and channel my thoughts into something productive and proactive. The community that I'm now a part of is so unconditionally supportive and amazingly accepting and without a shadow of a doubt, Filthy Paws & Silky Drawers would've quickly burned out very early on without the community.

Armed with support, confidence in the huge skillset that I'm proud to have taught myself via blogging and an overflowing brain full of ideas, I can't wait to see what the next 4 years has in stock...

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

How I Store & Organise My Make-Up

Hi all - hope youre all having a merry Wednesday! Apologies for no post on Monday. If you know of recent goings-on on Twitter within the blogging community, you'll understand. 

Last week while I was off work I had a massive clear out of all my make-up, body stuff, skincare and hair products and threw a whole load away and totally reorganised, so I thought I'd show you how I store my make-up. I love reading posts like this and seeing all the creative and innovative ways that people keep their stashes orderly and while my make-up collection isn't huge, I think I've got it organised pretty well now and thought it'd be fun to share mine too!

I store the majority of my make-up in one drawer. I have IKEA wardrobes with build in drawers and I've dedicate one entirely to make-up. To some, one drawer might not seem like a lot, but it does me just fine. It's definitely way more than I need, but hey, what can I say? I love make-up!

The only products that I don't keep in here are... 

  • My make-up brushes which I keep on pots on my dressing table
  • My MAC lipsticks which I have a cute little display stand for (you can see my MAC lipstick collection here
  • My everyday makeup which I keep in my make-up bag
  • Products that I'm planning posts about - they live in my 'big box of blogging' temporarily!

In my drawer, I have 4 storage boxes - they're from IKEA and come in packs of 6, 2 small, 2 medium, 2 large and zip across the bottom so can be packed flat when not in use. You can buy them here for only £6 and come in 4 colours. Retrospectively, I wouldn't recommend white for storage make-up in!

The two large ones I use for another purposes, but in the two medium ones, I keep all my lip sticks, lip glosses and lipliners in one and in the other, all my eye products - mascaras, eyeshadows, liners and brow products. 

In the two small ones, I store all my face products in one (foundation, powders, concealers, blushes, bronzers, contours and highlighters) and in the other I keep all the products that don't have another home - lip balms, primers, lipstick sealers, loose glitters, that type of thing.

On the left of the drawer are all my eyeshadow palettes. I'm a self-confessed neutral eyeshadow addict and have way too many - my favourites at the moment are the Make Up Revolution Mattes palette but I have a review of a great all-rounder drugstore palette coming up soon...

Finally, down the front, I have some false eyelashes (which I never ever wear as I really suck at applying them!) and a couple of other products and tools which I like to keep handy...

  • Garnier Micellar Water decanted into a spray bottle. Great for cooling down irritated skin or to spray onto brushes to help apply certain products
  • MAC Strobe Cream. Highlighter, illuminator, whatever you want to call it. I like to apply this under certain foundations for a bit of a 'glow'.
  • Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. A great multi-use product - moisturiser, lip balm, hand cream, the list goes on.
  • A couple of face brushes - one by Soap and Glory, one by Hydrea. 
  • Nivea Cream - much like Eight Hour Cream, the uses for this stuff are endless.
  • Tweezers and sharpener. Just because they're always useful to have nearby.


That's all - here's how it all looks together. Organised chaos, if you will!

I love seeing how other beauty lovers store their makeup, partially to pinch ideas but mostly just because I'm nosey! If you have a post about your makeup storage, please share, I'd love to see!

Friday, 21 August 2015

The Edinburgh Fringe 2015

Hi all! On Sunday, and then again yesterday, I undertook a Summer ritual which has been a part of every August since I was a child, the Edinburgh Fringe. The Edinburgh Fringe, sometimes called the Edinburgh Festival is the worlds biggest arts festival, bringing hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world to Edinburgh every August for 3 and a half weeks of comedy, music, performance, art, song, dance, food and entertainment. 

With quite literally thousands of things to see and do, and a lot of them either free, or much cheaper than usual, it's always a good way see performance in intimate settings or previewing new material. This year, my choices seemed to specialise in female comedians - I saw Katherine Ryan, Laura Lexx and Mae Martin all doing stand-up. I'm sure you all know who Katherine Ryan is, but if you don't know Laura or Mae, you absolutely need to check them out. Before you go any further with this blog post, click their names for a little cross section of their comedy. Thank you, now we can continue!

While I adore comedy, I hadn't actually seen any live stand-up until about 5 years ago. I believe that stand-up comedy is a highly underrated art form though, can you imagine how difficult it must be to stand up front of a group of people with only you to make them laugh and nobody to bounce off of? I find it incredible to watch, even more so in person.

As well as seeing these amazing shows discussing important topical social issues like the much-disputed gender spectrum, #BlackLivesMatter and the internal battle of wanting to be a 'good feminist' and the desire to be a housewife, the buzz of Edinburgh during the Fringe is like nothing else. Every street you go down has something happening, the streets are full of performers, art & craft markets, street food and just generally, Summery positive vibes. 

As so much to do and see is completely free, I do recommend planning your time well and getting to venues/shows early and please oh please, if you enjoyed a free show, give a little to the performers. Do you know just how many performers actually loose money by coming to the festival? The money for travel and accommodation doesn't come from people taking advantage of free shows, and as Mae Martin said, people are paying upwards of £10 to see Ted 2 at the cinema right now. Think about it like that! 

I'm lucky to live only a little over an hour away from Edinburgh on the bus and can get there and back for under a tenner (if you're thinking of going, MegaBus all the way!) but even if you don't, I can't recommend both Edinburgh as a city, but especially the Edinburgh Fringe highly enough. Rich in Scottish culture (not that I'm biased or anything!), arts and beautiful scenery and buildings, what's stopping you?