Friday, 27 February 2015

Friday Five: TV Shows

Hey guys!

I don't watch a lot of tv, i'd much rather be curled up with a hot chocolate reading some of my favourite blogs, but there are some shows that I shut down everything else for, and these are the shows that I absolutely love.

1. Suits

I'm currently on season 4 episode 6, which is the most recent episode in the UK and I seriously can't get enough. 

The first two seasons are on Netflix and I watched them in about 4 weeks, which is quick to say I was working and doing uni stuff at the same time! The third season I had to buy on itunes as it wasn't on catch up or Netflix, and now the fourth season is on Dave and every week I can't wait for it.

Without ruining it, Suits is about a law firm in NYC and focuses on two main characters Mike and Harvey. Though to be honest, my favourite character is Donna, she is amazing. Harvey hires Mike after he is the only one who impresses at the interviews, despite never having studied at Harvard Law School, a requirement of the law firm.

I'm always attracted to characters that are sure of themselves, and that can just bounce off each other, and this show is full of this, really really good.

2. White Collar

White Collar is one of those shows that once you've watched one episode, you just want to watch them all. For me anyway! I'm still catching up on Netflix and it's one of my favourite things to do. 

FBI agent Peter Burke has finally caught criminal mastermind Neal Caffrey, but he manages to escape from jail with only months to go until the end of his sentence. Agent Burke finds him and they make a deal where Neal finishes the rest of his sentence working for the FBI as a consultant, helping with forgery and art theft cases.

It hooked me in straight away, and I love the character of Mozzie, one of Neal's friends and a fellow con man. So funny.

Also, Matt Bomer is just beyond beautiful, and to be honest i'd probably watch for that reason alone. 

3. Revenge

Revenge is a show about just that. The main character Emily Thorne is seeking revenge for the injustice that her father suffered at the hands of a rich and powerful family who live in the Hamptons. 

You really feel for Emily, though sometimes she can seem a little crazy, Emily VanCamp plays her character in such a way that you really want her to succeed and finally be happy again.

There's lots of ups and downs, and things that you really don't want to happen, but it does a good job of showing that if revenge is the path you go down, you will hurt people you love and it might not be the best option!

I love it, 100% recommend.

4. The Great Comic Relief Bake Off

I've loved The Great British Bake Off every since the first episode aired back in 2010. People apply from all over the UK to be the best amateur baker and many contestants have gone into baking and cooking careers afterwards.

This year there has been a spin off for comic relief (it has been done before for sport relief too) and it has been so good so far I can't wait for the next one.

The photo i've put up is from my favourite episode of the celebrity comic relief version so far with Jonathan Ross, Zoe Sugg, Abby Clancy and Gok Wan. It was hilarious. Jonathan Ross was terrible and it was so funny to watch, it really puts you in the mood to have a go, because they laugh it off when it goes wrong for them too.

I really recommend you look it up, I don't know if you can watch it outside of the UK, but I hope you can! Whilst you're watching you could also do your good deed of donating to Comic Relief too! 

5. Greek

I've only started watching this fairly recently, but i'm already on season 3. I've always had a soft spot for shows about sororities/university/high school (I was obsessed with 90210, gossip girl and privileged) and I love this one.

It's basically about Rusty, a freshman studying Polymer science who wants to join a fraternity. His older sister Casey is in a sorority and doesn't think he has what it takes to join the greek system, but he makes it in and thrives.

Whilst centering on some main characters the main theme of the show seems to be the rivalry within the greek system, and I think I love it most because we don't have anything like that in the UK, and I really wish we did, it looks like so much fun! (Other than the hazing).

And those are my favourite shows at the minute!

Do you watch any of these? What are your favourite things to watch, i'd love some new recommendations!

Love Amylou x

Monday, 23 February 2015

Monday Make-up

Hey guys!

For today's post I thought i'd share with you just the make-up that I wear on an every-day basis, and now looking at that photo, it looks like a lot!

I think that's ok though, because I don't wear make up if i'm just in the house, and I take it off when I get in after a day at work/uni as it just feels so much better for my skin when it's just got moisturiser on it, so I don't have it on all the time.

It's taken a while of trial and error to find different brands and shades that work the best with my skin, but now that i'm sorted, I thought it would just be nice to tell you about it (mostly because I'm really nosy and love knowing what other people use and love, so if you're anything like me then you can have a nosy too).

My make-up bag was a gift for my birthday from my sister and I absolutely love it. It's the perfect size to fit all of my everyday make-up in and it's from Kurt Geiger, they actually still sell them, so if you want to take a look you can get it here :) 

I really need somewhere separate to keep my brushes, but I can't seem to find anything I like, so at the minute i'm just using the bag I got my last foundation in, but it's the perfect shape for standing the brushes in so I can just pick out the one I want.

I almost always start with my Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, though sometimes I forget, or if i'll only be wearing my make-up for a few hours I won't usually bother, but of all the primers i've tried this is definitely my favourite, and definitely makes my make up last longer.

I've been using Chanel foundation for years now, I love it and when you've got something that works, why change! I used to use the Matte Lumiere but it was discontinued so these days I use the Perfection Lumiere in shade 20 beige. I usually apply it with the Real Techniques expert face brush.

It took me a while to find the right shade as they range from yellow to pink tones, and I was always matched with a pink tone and didn't really like how it looked, but I switched to the next shade along and it was more yellow based and i've been using this for over a year now, and I think it would take a lot for me to change it!

If I need a good coverage from a concealer i'll usually use my MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC20 (not pictured above) but most of the time I just want to add a bit of light under my eyes so I use the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat on a day to day basis, and I love it.

It isn't too thick but still hides my bags! It's also good if I have small blemishes to conceal too. I usually apply it direct to my face and then blend it with the Real Techniques Stippling Brush.

Finally, as i'm not using a matte foundation and I have quite oily skin, I use a matte powder to set my foundation and reduce shine. I love the MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in Light, I can actually see the pan through the powder so I need to go and get a new one soon! 

I apply it using my Urban Decay Big Buddha Brush, which is absolutely huge, but so soft.

I absolutely love the Sleek Palettes, this is my second Sleek contouring palette and it's the Medium 374 palette. (did I say palette enough in that sentence?!). The darkest brown is matte, and the other two have a slight sheen to them. If i'm trying to minimise what I carry i'll use one of the dark browns for an eye shadow too! I usually apply it with my Urban Decay Good Karma Blush Brush.

I'm not a huge fan of blush, so I like one with a subtle colour and this one from MAC is perfect. It's the Mineralize Blush in Simmer. It has a high sheen to it, almost sparkles without any glitter. I like it most because it gives a highlighter effect as well as a rosy blush. I've been using my French Connection blusher brush which is really soft, but can lose bristles quite easily.

As I said in a recent favourites post, I am loving my Naked One palette, and I use it every day! I use the Urban Decay Good Karma Shadow Brush which is actually a vegan brush to apply it! Sidecar and Smog are my favourites to wear everyday. When i've applied my eyeshadow I like to use my French Connection eyeshadow brush to blend out any hard lines around the edges.

I use the YSL Shocking eyeliner in shade 1 above my lash line on my top lid for a winged look, and the bareMinerals Lasting Line in Absolute Black under my lash line under my eyes as it can be easily smudged for a smoky eye. I absolutely love both of these, and i'm on my second one of each!

For mascara I was using the Bourjois volume 1 seconde mascara and the bareMinerals Lash Domination but ever since trying the Benefit Roller Lash mascara i've been absolutely loving it. I won't go on about it as i'm sure you've read a million reviews already!

For my brows I like to use the Clinique Superfine Liner for Brows in shade 03 deep brown. This pencil is really easy to use as it's soft so you can have a light coverage or heavy line depending on how hard you use it.

Finally (you're almost at the end I promise!), I have been wearing my YSL Rouge Pur Couture in shade 9 Rose Stiletto most days, and this is all that's left of it! So I definitely need to get another one of these! It's a dark pinky red, and good if you like red but don't want to go too bold.

The lipgloss is the one I mentioned in my last favourites post, and actually looks the correct colour in my photos today! It's the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre in Unleash Me. Such a gorgeous burgundy colour. I love it, but it does stain your skin superfast, I got my hair caught in it in the wind, and I had a stripe on my face for soo long. So as much I love it, it needs careful attention!

That's it! That was very long, if you stuck with me this long, thank you!

I saw an interesting post on the Crafty Fox blog by Hannah (link) where she worked out how much her face costs, and it thought it would be fun (or traumatic) to work mine out too! So if I lost all of my makeup including the bag and had to buy all of this at once, it would cost me £406.47 excluding the Big Buddha Brush because it's been discontinued, and that's a bit of a scary thought!

Do you use any of these products? If you've done a similar post link it in the comments i'd love to read it!

Love Amylou x

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Friday, 20 February 2015

Photography Walls

Hello there lovelies!

For the longest time i've wanted a wall filled with different sized photographs and quotes, much like this:

I'd mix it up with some mirrors and I think i'd have some colour in there, though I really do like the black and white/sepia theme in that photo.

I thought i'd share with you some of the photos and photo styles that i'd want to have up on my wall. Maybe i'll do a post another time with the quotes and mirrors! :) 

The photos below aren't mine and the links to the source of each one is under the photos.

I'm a real sucker for a sunset. I can just look at photos like this and imagine myself sat on a beach wrapped up in a blanket watching the sun go down listening to two door cinema club and the thought of all that just makes me so happy.

I would have to have a photo of the Eiffel Tower on my wall. I have such fond memories of Paris, even though I was ill the last time I went, it will always have a place in my heart as one of my favourite places, it's such a beautiful city.

The architecture is beyond amazing, and there's just such a wonderful vibe to the city. I definitely walked around in awe. I definitely want to go back many, many times in the future.

I had the best holiday of my life when I stayed in New York City the summer before last. Call me a googly eyed tourist, but honestly it was so much more than I expected.

The first day walking around I fell in love. I would absolutely love to live here for a while, even if just for a year. It's just one of those places you walk around and think, yeah, this feels right.

It's just the mix of people you see. Tourists in their I heart NY t-shirts, and the business men and women in their suits, runners in their gym gear, and then people like me just walking round amazed by how tall everything is.

A lot of things went wrong for me after I got back from new york, and whilst everything is better than ever now, when I was in that down time I could always look back to how amazing those three weeks were, and it's a time I really appreciate, and I have such good memories with my family there.

So that's why I need NYC on my wall!

This one is pretty self explanatory and follows on from my other New York photos. I saw my first baseball game at Yankee Stadium and I was sold, it really is the best game. 

So much team spirit and so much fun to watch. I definitely want reminders on how amazing that day was!

I love Vegas. Some parts are tacky, and some parts are amazing.

Again, part of the most amazing holiday, but one of my favourite places to travel now. I went to the best asian restaurant in the Venetian called Tao, which is also a nightclub I believe, but the food was so so good.

I was only there for 3 days, but it was just such a good 3 days. It's a holiday I want to remember forever (broken record I know) but so many good memories.

I would, of course, need a photo of my favourite flowers in the whole world. Peonies.

This one was taken in a Parisian market. Aren't they just the most beautiful flowers? I've loved them ever since I was a little girl.

No one has ever bought me peonies *cue worlds tiniest violin* so until they do, a photo on my wall will have to do!


I love beach huts. Always have, always will. There's just something so serene about a row of beach huts at the seaside. They are adorable, and they just make me happy.

I plan to live by a beach one day soon, so hopefully i'll be seeing a lot more of these!

I just want photos that are either of things I love (i'd also include a lot of family and friends) or ones that remind of places i've been and the memories that come with them. 

I couldn't find a good one, but i'd love a photo of a quadracycle. When we were in California we drove down the west coast, and in one of the towns we stopped off in, me, my sister and my parents drove one along the beach front and it was so. much. fun.

If you get the chance to ride one, do it!

If you had a photo wall what would you include on yours? 

Would you have photos of things you love, places you've been, or would you prefer paintings from your favourite artists?

Love Amylou x

Monday, 16 February 2015

Current Beauty Favourites

Hey lovelies,

I haven't shared any of my favourites in a while so I thought i'd just share with you my four beauty favourites of the moment!

Sorry about the photos in advance, when I got up for uni this morning the sun hadn't risen yet and it was setting by the time I got home so had to take them quickly whilst there was still some natural light!

Garnier Skin Naturals Pure Active Intense Charcoal Scrub

I am loving this face scrub at the minute, it's my new absolute favourite and i've put away my Kiehls face wash for the moment so I can use this instead!

The Garnier website says that it protects against the appearance of imperfections, blackheads and marks.

At first I was not convinced at all, I started using it and my skin got worse, but I thought i'd stick with it and i'm so glad I did, after the first few days my skin started to clear up and it's never felt so soft without having to use a clay mask during the week too.

I've been using it daily for a few weeks now and I love it. I'm on my second bottle!

It contains 2% salicylic acid which is often used to treat acne and warts as it breaks down tough skin and (as gross as it sounds) shed the tough outer layer, so your skin feels soft and new. The charcoal is meant to draw out impurities and my googling tells me charcoal face washes are twice as powerful at doing this than other washes!

It's only £4.99 from Boots and i'd say it's definitely worth it, as my skin is better than it was when I was using high end expensive face washes.

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb

This is my favourite fragrance ever. I bought it a few years ago for a friend for her birthday or christmas and I remember thinking how much I loved it, but at £50 for just 30ml I thought it was a little pricey to just buy myself.

Luckily it ended up in the sales just before christmas at debenhams I believe? (It could have been house of fraser, one of the two) and I ended up getting it, and saving it until christmas day anyway!

It's such a lovely floral scent, it's not overpowering and still light enough to be a day scent that can just as easily be worn at night. I've worn it pretty much every day since christmas and i'm always getting compliments on it.

I'm absolutely terrible at describing scents, but I recommend you have a try the next time you see it!

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre - Unleash Me

This lip gloss is amazing, and you can tell by the scratches it's had some use!

It is part of the Vintage Vamp collection at Charlotte Tilbury and I bought this late autumn I believe from Selfridges in Manchester when we were shopping for a new bracelet for my sister and I got my watch that day too! It was a good day.

It looks quite bright on this photo (sorry, sunset) but it is a deep burgundy colour, I'll insert a photo from the Charlotte tilbury website here:
It really is a beautiful colour. I wear it over the top of my Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick in Night Crimson for a deep burgundy lip, or on top of my YSL Rouge Pur Couture in the colour 9 Rose Stiletto for a more pinky red.

It's really long lasting, and isn't sticky at all. The colour does transfer very easily though, and the high pigmentation means it will stain your skin for a little while, so i'd be careful for smudging it!

The Naked One Palette

I know every blogger and their dog talks about this palette but I wanted to say in particular that i've been loving the Sidecar shade (as you can probably tell from the photo i've hit the pan!) It's a shimmer shade, and usually I prefer a matte finish, but for some reason I just love this!

I've been wearing it pretty much every day and blending it with the Smog and Dark Horse shades somedays when I don't want a flat colour.

It's so easy wearing, and I just think it looks great with my YSL shocking liner and Benefit Rollerlash mascara for an everyday casual look.

So that's it! They are the four things i'm absolutely loving at the moment.

Have you tried any of these? What beauty product could you not live without at the moment?

*disclaimer - all products were bought by myself and all views are entirely my own*

All my love, Amylou x

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Friday, 13 February 2015

Valentines Day

Hey guys!

Thanks to old Saint Valentine, February is celebrated as a month of love in many countries, and although the history of St Valentine isn't known absolutely, Valentines day is still one of the cutest holidays.

Whilst February 14th is a day that everyone feels like they should show how much they love someone, you shouldn't confine it to one day. If you love someone, you should show it all year round!

But I still love a good excuse to celebrate anything, and I love all things to do with love, so of course Valentines is high on my list of favourites!

Plus it gives more excuses for cards with puns on, and they really are the best type

There's way too much importance put on having the perfect valentines, when all you need to do is spend it with the person, or people, that you love! :)

There's so many different things you can do, depending on how you want to spend your day/night! :)

One of my favourite ways to spend a date night is to make a pillow/blanket fort (because i'm an adult) or push two sofas together and make a little blanket den in there, so cosy. Then get out some chocolates, some drinks, and put a cute romcom on.

Going out for dinner is always a good option, but it's also just as much fun to make your favourite dinner at home together :) You could always mix the two together and make dinner at home then just get dressed up to go out for dessert. I actually really want to do that now.

Whatever you do, just make sure it's something you enjoy, and with someone that makes you happy! 

I've had quite different experiences in the past, cosy nights in, going out for dinner, a trip to paris, and being asked to move out. It's always an eventful weekend, and always different from the last! 

What are you doing this valentines? Date night, or a night with friends? 

Whatever you do, I hope it's exceptionally cheesy!

Love Amylou x

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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

Hey guys!

I meant to post this last week, but I got so caught up in my uni work I never had the chance!

Baking is one of my all time favourite things to do, and I had a free night last weekend and decided to make some cookies and cream cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home cookbook:

This book seriously has the yummiest recipes

The Sponge Recipe:

70g unsalted butter, softened
170g plain flour
250g caster sugar
50g cocoa powder, sifted
1tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
210ml whole milk
2 large eggs
12-16 cookies (I used maryland cookies)

If you wanted your cupcakes to be even better, you could bake your own cookies and then put those into your cupcakes. Cookies are the one thing that I consistently fail at baking, one day I will get the hang of them, but until then, i'll be using maryland cookies or oreos haha

First pre-heat your oven to 170'C and prepare your muffin cases. The recipe makes 12-16 cupcakes, I used the recipe to make 12 and they were the perfect size. I had just found these little flower cases and I thought they were adorable so I had to use them:

I always start my cake mixes by creaming together the sugar and the butter

Then add the flour, cocoa sugar, baking powder until you get crumbs (teeny tiny crumbs in my case)

Mix the eggs and milk together in a separate bowl and add gradually, making sure you scrape the edges of the bowl as you go to mix it all together, you get what looks like the fluffiest yummiest mousse ever:

Then you need to spoon your mixture into the bun cases (I find using an ice-cream scoop makes the whole process a lot easier!) and get out your cookies and break them into four pieces each

Then put the four quarters of each cookie into a cupcake!

How good do they look?!

Bake until the top is springy (I think it recommends 30 minutes?) I ended up baking them for around 45-50 minutes and they turned out so well!

Then I just topped them with a simple buttercream made from icing sugar, butter and little whole milk and iced away!

I think really I just wanted to use the new piping set I found in the kitchen...

Then I just crumbled up some of the cookies I had left, and it was as simple as that!

Have you ever used a recipe book from the Hummingbird Bakery?

You can find the one I used here (not sponsored I just really love this book)

What's your favourite thing to bake? Would you ever make these?

Love, Amylou x