Wednesday, 5 December 2018

True Crime Podcasts I’m OBSESSED With

True Crime Podcasts I’m OBSESSED With
Wednesday, 5 December 2018
Read post

’Tis the season to be jolly! Fa la la la la and all that! BUT, forever being a contrarian, I’m not quite ready for all this festiviness. It just feels too early in the year, and I don’t feel like I made the most of Halloween. I didn’t even watch Hocus Pocus this year guys! I KNOW! So now, in the midst of all this Christmassyness (not a word but I'm going with it!) I'm just not feeling it yet. I haven't decked the halls, I have yet to watch The Grinch or The Nightmare Before Christmas or Elf, and I haven't even been keeping up with I'm a Celebrity in a timely manner (sidenote: Nick Knowles x Biffy Clyro is fucking hilarious!)... it's like it's not even Christmas at all.

Instead, I've been embracing the bleak midwinter - be more emo, Lauren, I dare you! - and consuming all of the true crime podcasts that I can handle. Come January I'll regret this grinchiness but for now I'm quite content being a ghoul and listening to all these grisly crime podcasts. It's the worst kind of voyeurism, luckily, due to the sheer volume of true crime podcasts in existence, I'm definitely not the only one who finds murder fascinating. Anyway, if you like me aren't quite ready for Santa Claus to be coming to town - literally, never, ever thought I would type those words - then here's a list of some of my absolute favourite true crime podcasts to keep you busy.


Set in the rural Irish town of the same name, West Cork explores the grisly murder of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier, a French holidaymaker, who was found brutally beaten to death just two days before Christmas in 1996. Hosted by husband and wife team; Sam Bungey and Jennifer Forde, West Cork is a compelling and addictive listen. It's fascinating and sad and intriguing and strange and I couldn't stop listening to it. It blow my mind, especially when considering the sheer amount of research, time and attention to detail that went into it.  I've listened to it twice now - sidenote: I've listened to most of these twice! - and it's still just as surprising and devastating the second time around. It's amazing!



Escaping NXIVM (pronounced Nexium) is the first season of Uncover, a CBC podcast hosted by reporter Josh Bloch. It tells the story of Bloch's childhood friend Sarah Edmondson, who was heavily involved in and escaped from a cult. It is as batshit crazypants as it sounds. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, I just think you need to go and listen to it because it is fucking insane. It's also a superb example of awesome storytelling. It's bizarre and compelling and actually really quite scary. When Bloch was explaining how the cult worked and the ideas and theories that it espoused there were some things that I could see myself buying into... it's fucking weird! 

Dirty John is one of my all time favourite podcasts. I don't say that lightly.  Produced by The LA Times and Wondery, Dirty John is a fascinating and horrifying story told by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Christopher Goffard. Goffard - who is in possession of the most soothing yet irritating voice I've ever heard - investigates the titular Dirty John, real name John Meehan, and his relationship with Debra Newell, who he marries and ultimately tries to con. It's full of sickening twists and turns and is incredibly frustrating at times, mostly because Newell, whilst a victim, isn't particularly likeable, so it's hard to be on her side. Having said that, it's completely addictive and I was hooked from the first episode. Also it's set in Newport Beach, as in the one from The OC. So cool!


Hosted by Hedley Thomas, a seasoned reporter at The Australian,The Teacher’s Pet is an examination of the disappearance Lynette Dawson, a devoted wife and mother, who vanished in January 1982. Lynette hasn’t seen since and is widely believed to have been murdered by her husband, Chris, so he could be with his school-girl lover. It’s a horrific story that only gets worse the more I listen, I haven't finished listening yet, but it’s also fascinating and sad.


Narrated by medical journalist Laura Bell, Dr Death investigates Dr Christopher Dunstch, a neurosurgeon with a hideous track record of making ghastly mistakes, leaving his patients paralysed, in terrible pain or dead. Is Dunstch really just inept? Or does he have deadlier motives? Like Dirty John this is an addictive listen. It's difficult to listen to in places because it does go into quite a lot of detail about how much damage Dunstch inflicts on his patients and the awful things he does to them in surgery. But it's brilliant. And terrifying.

What are your favourite podcasts? Send me your recommendations x


Wednesday, 21 November 2018

November Goals

November Goals
Wednesday, 21 November 2018
Read post

It's November. I'm just gonna let that sink in for a minute. November. It's not even just November, oh no, it's nearly the end of November. Where has this month gone? Where has this year gone? I just... I don't know. Anyway, this month has been a super busy one. I've moved house, I've done other things too but that's the most important thing. Anyway, while it's still November I should probably set myself some goals, even if I only have nine days left of the month to do them...

Be present

I’m one of those people who’s either constantly reminiscing about times gone by OR fantasising about the future. I never, ever think about the present, because I kind of just see it as a means to an end rather than something that should be embraced and enjoyed. As a result, I live my life almost completely inside my own head. And recently it’s occurred to me just how sad that is. It’s really fucking sad. It means I can’t enjoy anything, but I also don’t want to miss out on my life because I'm spending all my time thinking about how it could be rather than enjoying it for what it currently is. I've always had a really overactive imagination and am something of a fantasist and these are good things, IMO, but the challenge is keeping those things whilst also keeping myself firmly grounded in my present? Answers on the back of a postcard... 

Declutter (again)

Guys! I've moved! It's been a really busy couple of weeks but I’m happily ensconced in my new room. Side note: I have a gallery wall! You can’t know how happy it makes me. Anyway, even though I’ve moved out of my mum’s now, I still have a ton, I’m not joking it could easily be a ton, of stuff at hers that I need to go through and either pack up or get rid of. Luckily, I quite enjoy a good sort out. Unluckily, I don’t want to actually do it, but you know, needs must. 


Apply myself

I’m one of life’s muddlers - evidenced by the fact that we are 3 weeks into November and I’m only just setting my goals now - I just muddle my way through, with the constant feeling that I could be doing more, that I have the potential to do really cool and amazing things, but never quite managing it. Let me tell you it is no fun thinking that I’m not achieving the things I could be.

I think there are probably three things responsible for these constant feelings of inadequacy. 1. I can be quite lazy. I’m a human sloth that likes sleep and netflix. 2. Social media. I think it’s quite hard to be happy with your lot in life when you constantly compare yourself to others on Instagram. Which I do. ALL THE TIME! 3. Time. I don’t have a lot of it and I probably don’t make good use of it.

For the rest of the month/year I’m going to apply myself to the things that matter most to me, learn to prioritise so I don’t waste time I don’t have on bullshit things I don’t care about and make time for the things I do care about. It’s gonna be a tricky one, especially now my favourite time waster, I’m a Celeb, is back on our screens! 

Book my driving test 

It’s taken two years of lessons, with one particularly memorable lesson where I turned the wrong way on a roundabout, got spooked and burst into tears, but I think (whisper it) that I’m finally nearly test ready. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not a fan of driving, but it’s time. Plus it will save me so much time! Just need to get the bish booked now! 


Start Christmas shopping

For someone who loves Christmas as much as I do, I always leave my Christmas shopping until the last minute. Thank God for Amazon Prime. Except not really because we know there’s a human cost, despite how bloody convenient it is. Anyway, to save myself the hassle of running round the shops on Christmas Eve I’m planning to make a start on my Christmas shopping, even if it's just a few bits and pieces. Anythings better than nothing. Sidenote: who else cried at Elton John x John Lewis ad... because I was a wreck!


What are your goals for the rest of this month? xxx






Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Autumn Reads

Autumn Reads
Wednesday, 31 October 2018
Read post




It's that time of year where all I want to do is curl up in a cosy corner with a mug of tea and my dog and read all of the books. I just love the idea of sitting by a window, with the leaves falling, and getting completely lost in a book. But in all honesty it's been a very long time since I've done that. And this year, for the first time in a very, very long time, I’ve actually done it. I  have read loads! Loads!  I haven’t read like this since before I went to university, and ultimately, destroyed my concentration and ability to focus on anything that wasn't instagram for longer than 30 seconds. Over the last six weeks I've made reading a serious priority, and have really reminded myself of how much I fucking love books and reading. I love it so much. Why did I stop? Anyway here's just some of the books I've read and loved recently.


If you love a slightly trashy but compelling crime novel (my fave!) then look no further (is that a pun?!) Told from the perspective of both sides, No Further Questions is a courtroom drama, about sisters, Martha and Becky, who are embroiled in a court case, where one of them - Becky - stands accused of murdering the other’s baby. Despite the quite dark subject matter, not going to lie I don’t love reading about children being murdered, I was completely consumed by the story, which drew me in from the very first page and kept me reading until the bitter end. It’s a fantastic read.

What Would The Spice Girls Do? by Lauren Bravo

What Would The Spice Girls Do? is an exploration of the Spice Girls and their undeniable impact on pop culture and, not to be overdramatic, the world. More importantly, it's about the Girl Power generation and how we grew up. 

I was only five when Wannabe came out and set the world on fire, so I am a fully paid up member of the Girl Power generation and a former Baby Spice wannabe. I grew up with the Spice Girls. I was obsessed with them. I loved them! And I loved reading this book because of that. Reading it was so nostalgic, because I lived it all. I was obsessed, I had the dolls, I had the photo cards, I had the Impulse body spray, I ate the crisps and I even had an unofficial blue Spice Girls t-shirt that my mum got me from the market. And you probably did too. 

Now even if you didn't love the Spice Girls - you did, you know you did! - it's still a fascinating and hilarious read. It's whip-smart, hilariously funny and stridently feminist without being preachy. I'm a total Lauren Bravo fangirl, and the way she writes is just *italian chef finger kiss* It's brilliant.


Set inside a Women's Clinic in Mississippi which has been taken over by a shooter, A Spark of Light is an incredible book about abortion and the different arguments on either side of this very contentious topic. Starting at the end, the story works backwards and is told from multiple perspectives, including that of the shooter. It's very cleverly and sensitively done, but it's also incredibly well written. I'm reading it at the moment, and I'm about half way through but I'm finding it to be a really compelling read. It's utterly addictive and compelling but thought provoking and incredibly relevant. I think it's amazing and I can't wait to find out what's going to happen. 


You don't have to be a fan of Lily Allen's - I wasn't particularly, I am now - to think that her autobiography is a spectacular piece of work. It's honestly incredible and I wasn't expecting to be as emotionally invested in it as I was. My Thoughts Exactly is Lily's answer to all the tabloid stories and trolling and all other horrible bull shit she faces on a day-to-day basis. It's her story told  in her words, and those words are bloody brilliant. She's very open and honest, to the point where it's painful  at times, but she's also funny and warm, and her story is really moving. I loved it.


Okay, so this is the only one I haven't read yet, but it's next on my reading list. Lately, like the rest of the world, I've become a bit obsessed with Busy Phillips. Her autobiography, This Will Only Hurt a Little, from what I've heard, is funny, brutally honest, refreshing, heartbreaking and awesome. I cannot wait to get stuck in. 

So those are my reading recommendations, what are yours? Let me know xxx











Wednesday, 17 October 2018

October Goals

October Goals
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
Read post

Time has just slipped away from me these past few months. Everytime I think I’ve got a second to slow down and take a breath, another three weeks flies by. Honestly, cliched as it may to be to start a blog post this way, and it bloody is let’s be honest, but the speed at which this year has gone is nothing short of terrifying. But seeing as we’re here, already two weeks into October, let’s talk Goals shall we? 


Be happy 

I’ve realised recently that I spend a lot of time doing bullshit things that actively make me unhappy. Things that don’t make a lot of sense. Like waiting until the absolute last minute to get up in the morning so getting to work is a stressful, rushed mess, or not eating particularly well, or most frustratingly, spending hours and hours mindlessly scrolling through twitter or instagram. It’s exhausting. And the worst part is that I’m so busy doing bullshit things that I’m neglecting to do the things that I like and  that make me happy. Like going to the gym and playing my guitar. So I need to do more of the things that make me happy, less of the shit that doesn’t and maybe get a bit more sleep. That’s the secret to happiness, right? 

Be organised

I’m moving house in five weeks, and I’ve done nothing. Not a thing. I’ve started buying stuff, because obviously, but other than that nothing. And I just know that the next five weeks are going to fly by. The worst part is I’ve been living in my current house for 20 years and there is so much stuff shit that needs to be sorted through and got rid of. Dreading this already. 

Commit

It’s time I put my hands up and admit that I’m not very good at commitment. Not in the relationship sense, or in any other sense for that matter. My mind is incredibly changeable. I pick things up and put them down again in seconds. It’s like I’ve got the world’s shortest attention span. BUT I am quite a creative person and have tons of ideas and things that I want to do that won’t ever get done unless I actively commit to them and myself. So commit, Lauren, you silly arse! 

What are your goals this month? Xx


Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Nars Lipstick Haul

Nars Lipstick Haul
Wednesday, 26 September 2018
Read post

If you watched my Menzingers vlog you might recall me coming out of Nars in Covent Garden with  a big ol' bag of goodies. Well, I've left you in suspense long enough, it's time to reveal the contents of that bag. Surprise, surprise it was full of lipstick! Sidenote: remember last year when I went through my non-lipstick wearing phase? That was super weird! Thankfully, that phase is well and truly over, especially now I’ve got these bad boys hanging around in my make up bag. Let's dive in, goggles at the ready kids



Sex Machine (Christ! I hate the name) was the entire reason I went into Nars in the first place, and therefore the subsequent lipstick haul is entirely its fault, and not mine. SM - I don’t want to have to say Sex Machine again... damnit - is the most incredibly wearable mauve pink shade that  has already made its way into my everyday rotation. It’s a velvety soft matte, my favourite kind, with a creamy, smooth texture that applies beautifully and effortlessly, just gliding onto the lips. It even has reasonable wear time, especially when considering how creamy the formula is, and it fades down into a nice even stain. If it wasn’t for the stupid name I’d say it was damn near perfect. 

Nars Lipstick in Barbarella

Whilst something of a Nars cult classic, Barbarella was a bit of a risky purchase for me. I’ll be honest, I was talked into it by the impossibly cool make up artist, who was so cool I probably would’ve bought anything she told me to. Barbarella is the exact shade of peachy orange that I, with my pasty blue-toned complexion, would normally avoid like the plague. It’s far too orange and doesn’t work well with my skin tone. Or so I thought. In reality, despite the rather aggressive shade in the bullet, it’s actually really wearable, more of a mellowed out peach tone than an out and out orange. It’s also worth noting, that when layered over Nars’ Cap D’ail Lip Liner - I’ll get to that - it’s transformed into a rosy pink which is right in my wheelhouse. I do love a rosy pink. Now my only gripe with it is the finish, which is super glossy and really not my thing. Honestly, I probably shouldn’t have bought this... and this whole paragraph has just been a massive justification to myself. Lol. 


Another spur of the moment purchase, but this time in a shade I love/will wear a lot and therefore worth the money, unlike Barbarella, which on reflection I shouldn’t have bought and will be giving to my sister. Anyway. Let’s talk about Anna. Because Anna is a total fucking babe of a lipstick. Matte, like I like them, with excellent colour pay off and an opaque yet creamy and comfortable texture Anna pretty much ticks all my boxes. She, yes she’s a she, even has good wear time, doesn’t need reapplying every five minutes whilst still adding a layer of moisture to the lips. Seriously, she’s perfect, and that’s BEFORE I’ve even talked about the colour, which is a mauve-purple-pink hybrid that is both statement and wearable and looks amazing with fresh skin and smokey eyes. I love Anna. I just do. There, I’ve said it. I think, it’s safe to say that more of the Audacious lipsticks will be making their way into my collection. And I’m not even sorry. 


In the last year or so I’ve become a total lip liner convert, because they really do make my lipstick last longer. Plus it’s a part of my make up routine that I really enjoy doing. I find it weirdly satisfying. So with that many lipsticks already in my basket, a lip liner was inevitable. Enter Cap-D’Ail, a smooth, pigmented and easy to apply dream of a liner. Similar to Mac’s Soar, which is a firm favourite of mine, Cap D’Ail is a dusky pink mauve - are you beginning to see a pattern here? - with an excellent formula, that is both long-wearing and comfortable and provides a great base for lipsticks to grip on to. It’s awesome! 

What have you been spending your money on? Xx
Wednesday, 19 September 2018

September Goals

September Goals
Wednesday, 19 September 2018
Read post

September! Oh September! I could write a love letter to this wonder, wonderful month! I know I'm probably alone in this, but I'm SO happy that summer is finally over and we're now in Autumn. Autumn is my favourite time of year. I love it! In fact,I've been so busy enjoying the past month that I haven't had a minute to sit down and write a post. But I'm back now and with a post I originally meant to upload three weeks ago. Oops. 

Read more!

Reading is, and has always been, one of my favourite ways to spend my time. From when I was a really little girl and memorised all the words to Dear Zoo so I could read it to myself, right up until I chose to do a degree in English Literature, and essentially murdered my love of reading. It’s no fun reading book you have to read! Especially when one of those books is Moby Dick! But recently I’ve read one or two INCREDIBLE books - Promising Young Women by Caroline O’Donohue, I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter and Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton -  that have completely reignited my love for reading and books. I also read a piece in The Times, cuz I’m so fancy, by Laura Freeman that was completely incredible. She argued that immersing yourself in books and art and music is actually better for mental wellbeing than meditation. And I completely agree. Meditation has never worked for me, my heads not a particularly safe place for me to be, but reading has always settled my mind, and calmed me. So for both my mental health and just my general development as a human I’m going to be hitting the books pretty hard this month. 

Up my guitar game

I've been playing guitar for over two years now and I've totally plateaued. I can play and I sound alright but I want to be really good. It doesn't help that I've let life totally got in the way of me playing, I used to play everyday for hours but lately it's more like a couple of times a week, if that. I want to learn at least one new song before the month is over, and *whisper it* try Drop D tuning. All the best songs are in Drop D. 

Book driving test 

I passed my theory test back in July and have been throwing myself into my lessons because I just want to be able to drive now! It's been two years! This is the final hurdle and I'm terrified but it's about time. 

Start packing/declutter

Big news folks! I'm moving! I'm not sure when because I'm moving into a shared house, but I'm pretty sure it will be sometime in October/November. Which means I have some serious clearing out and packing to do. Better get started! 

Gym 

I'm ashamed to admit just how long it's been since I last went to the gym. It was May. I need to go back. I sleep so much better when I'm exercising, I feel better both physically and mentally and it's just a really good thing that I need to make sure I'm doing. 


Not much new for this month, which I suppose is good because we're literally three weeks into it but they're all still worth a try and manageable. What are your September Goals? 
Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The Summer Foundation Smackdown

The Summer Foundation Smackdown
Wednesday, 15 August 2018
Read post


L-R: L'Oreal True Match, L'Oreal Infallible Total Cover, CYO Lifeproof

Welcome ladies and gentleman, boys and girls to the Summer Foundation Smackdown! Where I explore three foundations to see how they hold up in this unbearable heat. Hint: It's not well!
Wednesday, 1 August 2018

August Goals

August Goals
Wednesday, 1 August 2018
Read post

Another month has just completely flown by. This time in a blur of intense heat, near constant sweating, all of the birthdays and if I’m honest one too many twister ice lollies. July was a busy but really good month, but I have to say I’m really glad we’re into August. It feels like we’re finally on the home stretch people! Just one more month and then summer will be over! I can’t wait. 

Live better

I know, I know, this, or some variation of this, is a goal every single month and yet I continue to be a nightmare human. I don’t sleep enough. I don’t drink enough water. I don’t eat particularly well and some days I just exist on Jaffa Cakes and Hula Hoops. And it’s catching up with me. I’m perpetually knackered, knocking back endless mugs of tea and bottles of Coke Zero - which is way worse for you than normal Coke by the way, but has less calories - just to keep myself awake and honestly, I look and feel like shit! So my main goal this month is a fairly simple one: Drink more water, get more sleep and maybe eat some vegetables. I swear one of these days I’m actually going to achieve this goal, and on that day I will go to sleep promptly at 10:30 and get up at 6:30 feeling refreshed and human, whilst starting the day with a hot water and lemon. Maybe that’s a bridge too far....

Get motivated/work harder

Lately I’ve lost my mojo a bit, and with it my motivation to do anything during the day. I blame the recent - and hideous - heatwave! (I’m not a summer person, can you tell?) It’s melted my brain! It’s miserable. Luckily, and perhaps for the first time ever, my blog hasn’t suffered but the rest of my life has. At the moment it feels like I’m stuck on a treadmill and getting absolutely no where. It feels like I’m achieving nothing between the hours of 7am and 10pm. I know that’s not the case, but it’s a really shitty feeling. Something definitely needs to change. 

Stop people pleasing

This goes hand in hand with working harder/total lack of motivation. I want to, and do, work really hard but I want to do it for me, not for other people. So much of my life and my working day is doing things for other people that I shouldn’t be doing and don’t have time to do. It is, quite frankly, exhausting. I can’t please everyone and trying to is a waste of my time and energy! 

Take no shit! 

Just no more. I don’t need anyone else’s bull shit. I have quite enough of my own, thank you very much! 

What are your goals for the month? x



Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Mini Supermarket Beauty Haul

Mini Supermarket Beauty Haul
Wednesday, 25 July 2018
Read post


On a recent trip round Sainsburys I was shocked to discover that their beauty offering was looking really rather good, it looked better than I'd seen it look in ages as a matter of face, and there was a whole host of brands, that I'd never normally associate with Sanos, that I was desperate to try. Naturally, I couldn't stop myself from having a rummage and before I knew it I was at the self-checkout, debit and nectar cards in hand, shouting IT IS IN THE BAGGING AREA, YOU BELLIGERENT BITCH! Anyway, here's what I bought.

Mane 'n Tail The Original Body Shampoo and The Original Moisturiser Conditioner - £5/£5

Originally developed for horses, no I'm not joking, Mane 'n Tail promises longer, stronger, thicker and fuller hair. And I want all of those things! It also smells lovely. Now, I'd  been wanting to try these for a while, I've heard very good things about the leave-in conditioner, which they didn't have, so when I saw the range in Sainsburys - I went in for Gyoza and came out having spent £60 on beauty products and haribo! - I snapped them up. BUT after having a quick peruse of the ingredients I'm slightly concerned as the shampoo contains 'high lathering cleansing agents' which means that it definitely isn't SLS-free, so might actually be quite drying, which I really don't want. However, the 'micro-enriched protein formula', whatever that means, also contains moisturisers and emulsifiers, so I'll just have to try it out and report back. The conditioner claims to leave the hair looking visibly thicker and healthier after just one use and contains natural oils to nourish the hair and scalp, as well as moisturisers to prevent drying and protect the hair from sun damage. Honestly, it all sounds great but I'm a bit dubious, blame it on the SLS-es, but have you ever seen a horse with bad hair? Apart from the one on the internet who was given a really dodgy haircut, obvs. Poor thing.

Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Brighten Gentle Daily Micro Polish Wash - £10

I've been looking for a new everyday face wash, after finishing my Skin Regimen Anti-Pollution Facial Wash, which I loved, when I spotted this jaunty, orange offering from Super Facialist. Designed to brighten the skin and boost radiance whilst gently cleansing the skin, this daily facial wash is formulated with vitamin C, antioxidant-rich ferulic acid and plant-based micro beads to remove dead skin cells, as well as dirt and impurities to reveal 'a fresh, glowing complexion'. It has a light gel-like texture, which I really like, and an absolutely incredible citrus-orange scent, which smells almost exactly like the Mandarin soap from The Body Shop. Very excited to try this, which I will be first thing tomorrow morning!  

Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Brighten Skin Renew Cleansing Oil - £11

As a beauty journalist by day and a beauty blogger by night I'm in the very lucky position where I sometimes get sent beauty products. So its very rare for me to repurchase things, because I have a lot of unused skincare, just waiting for its moment in the sun. I think that says a lot about how much I like this facial oil, because I did repurchase it and I bloody love it.  Part of Super Facialist's Vitamin C+ Brighten range, so it has that amazing orange scent, Skin Renew is formulated with vitamin C (duh), olive, grapeseed and rosehip oils, as well as vitamin E and passionflower and cucumber oils to gently cleanse the skin. Once worked into the skin it transforms into a milky emulsion which leaves the skin feeling smooth and hydrated, but most importantly, clear of any make up, dirt or impurities. I strongly recommend this if you like cleansing oils because its one of the best I've come across. Second only to the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, which will always have a very special place in my heart. 


What have you been buying lately? xxx
Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Managing My OCD at a Festival

Managing My OCD at a Festival
Wednesday, 18 July 2018
Read post


I’d like to preface this post by saying that one of my biggest pet hates in life is people, who don’t suffer with OCD, saying "Oh I'm a bit OCD" or just casually referring to their 'OCD' like it's nothing. It's not nothing and it fucks me off like nothing else. Liking things to be a certain way does not mean you have OCD, maybe you have OCPD (Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder) but casually referring to a real illness as though it's no big deal, or something to be laughed at really sends my blood boiling. It's the only area of my life where I have no sense of humour, because it's not fucking funny.
Wednesday, 11 July 2018

5 SONGS I'M CURRENTLY OBSESSED WITH

5 SONGS I'M CURRENTLY OBSESSED WITH
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Read post


If you've met me like ever or even briefly glanced at my instagram stories then you'll know that music is a major (not sorry for that pun) part of my life. Always has been. I love it and because I have excellent taste, in my opinion, I thought I’d share just five of the songs that I'm currently obsessing over. Enjoy


I've been a fan of the 'Mac since I was 14 and my Dad told me I looked like Stevie Nicks (I don't, but it's still the nicest thing he's ever said to me), but I've only recently discovered this song, after watching 1997's The Dance. Written by Nicks, originally for the band's iconic Rumours album, Silver Springs is an angry, sad and bittersweet look at her epic and effed up relationship with Lindsey Buckingham. It's incredible. Gorgeous and brutal. I love it. 


As obsessed as I am with the original, and trust me I am, Sheryl Crow is a goddess, I think Haim's cover might actually be better. I know, I know, I didn't see that one coming either, but it's an incredible cover, and the arrangement is awesome! Having said that it is just a great song, Haim cover or no, the lyrics are stunning and powerful, and my god they're so relatable. If the future Mr Lauren is reading this, I doubt it but you never know, then listen the hell up because this song explains everything you need to know about me! Also Haim's cover of Shania Twain's That Don't Impress Me Much is awesome and you should definitely listen to that too! 


After I saw The Killers in November last year, after waiting about 10 years, I completely fell in love with their latest album, particularly this song. On the right/wrong day, usually one when I'm PMSing, Rut has the power to reduce me to a sobbing mess. It is beautiful. And sad. And hopeful. And I fucking love it! 


I first came across The Menzingers at the backend of last year, when I was in Florida and I heard them on the radio while I was in the back of an Uber, and they've become one of my very favourite bands. They haven't knocked Biffy off the top spot yet, but they're up there. Anyway, I love and repeatedly listen to most of their songs - being basically in love with the Rented World album which is incredible - but lately I've been listening to After the Party, both the album and the song, loads. After the Party is nostalgic and wistful and completely fucking awesome!  


You weren't expecting to make it through this entire list without at least one Biffy mention, were you? Their cover of God Only Knows is perfect. It's emotional, heartwarming, joyful and utterly gorgeous. It is all of the heart eyed emojis and then some! 

What songs are you loving right now? Any recommendations for me? xxx













Wednesday, 4 July 2018

July Goals

July Goals
Wednesday, 4 July 2018
Read post


It's July now, which means three things: 1. This year is flying by at a rate that I'm not comfortable with. 2. We're more than halfway through the year now, 3. We're that little bit closer to Christmas! How exciting?! This month is set to be a good 'un, with me and my friend Steph heading to the British Summertime Festival in Hyde Park in two weeks time, to see Paul Simon and James Taylor, and all of the birthdays. It's going to very busy. So let's set some goals.
Wednesday, 27 June 2018

The Elemis Travel Set of Dreams

The Elemis Travel Set of Dreams
Wednesday, 27 June 2018
Read post


Summer holiday season is upon us, and even though my poor passport is gathering dust, with no plans of jet setting on the horizon (sob!), I can still appreciate a good travel set, because travel minis are one of my favouritest things. Really. They're just so cute. Speaking of cute, this Elemis x Lily & Lionel luxury travel collection is the very definition of the word, and is packed full with bloody lovely skincare bits to keep your skin in tip top condition while travelling. Let's have a closer look. 



To create this, quite frankly stunning,  travel set, Elemis partnered with Lily and Lionel, a UK-based fashion house known for creating beautiful and quirky prints. Think Cath Kidston, but way cooler. Called Daydream, this Elemis-exclusive print is pretty and cool, and just screams summertime, with its pastel geometric shapes and cute, kitschy badges. It’s such a pretty print, and I love it that much that I'm actually tempted to use it as a handbag. BECAUSE LOOK HOW PRETTY! If I was a little bit cooler I could even get away with it. Want to know the best part? The bag isn't even the best part. Oh no, this travel bag of dreams contains even dreamier skin care!
Sunday, 10 June 2018

June Goals

June Goals
Sunday, 10 June 2018
Read post

I've got quite a few goals this month, so instead of banging on about how fast this year is going - I don't want to think about it! - I'm just gonna dive in. Swimming caps and goggles at the ready!

Appreciate things more

For the last couple of months I've been feeling... stuck. And it's a rubbish feeling. I've realised recently that  I'm in almost the exact same position I was when I was 17. I still live with my mum, I'm still single, not that that matters but yeah, I still can't drive and somedays I feel really trapped. It's a shitty feeling, and lately it's kind of taken over my entire life. The absolute WORST thing about it, is that it's so reductive. It basically reduces all of my achievements from the past 10 years to nothing, and I've done a lot in the last 10 years. I've done a lot in the last 10 months. But when I get down, and I think it's pretty obvious that I'm feeling a bit down at the moment, I tend to focus on all the negatives, but there are lots of positive things in my life. I have a good job, I have a place to live, a wonderful family, good friends, and an amazing yet completely ridiculous dog. I'm very lucky, and I need to start acknowledging that, becauseI really think it would make me feel a lot better about the things I'm not so happy about.

Take a break

Or should I say give myself a break. I’m really tired, and instead of giving myself time to rest and recover I get all stressed and put a load of pressure on myself to get shit done. Then I get even more stressed and tired, which makes me useless and nothing gets done! Basically,  I’m a nightmare human, and I really struggle to relax. What I really need, I think, is a week on a beach with my kindle! There’s an idea...

Declutter/ Destress

At the beginning of the year I made it my mission to declutter, and rid myself of everything that was weighing me down. I got rid of so much stuff, and it felt amazing! But lately that’s all fallen by the wayside and stuff has been creeping back in. I think a good sort out is definitely in order.

Redecorate  

When I finished uni - three years ago now, eeek! - I moved in to my step-dad’s man cave at my mum’s house. It was supposed to be a temporary situation while I saved up for my own place, but it’s become more permanent than I’d like, and the room is still very much a man cave - it has textured wallpaper, for fucks sake! - except with my stuff in. My mission this month is to strip and plaster the walls, ready for painting, and rip up the carpet. It’s going to be hard work but I’m actually quite excited! 

Book theory test

Purely for the reason that I can’t complain about not being able to drive if I still haven’t booked my theory, let alone passed it. This has to be a priority! 

Get more sleep

I'm exhausted. I'm never not exhausted. Don't really have much to add to this one.


What are your goals for this month? xxx




Wednesday, 23 May 2018

A Major Glossier Haul

A Major Glossier Haul
Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Read post


Glossier has been creating a major stir in the beauty industry ever since it launched a couple of years ago. Created by Emily Weiss, CEO and founder of renowned beauty blog Into the Gloss, Glossier aims to deliver simple, easy-to-use and effective products. 

The brand has gone from strength to strength and has received reviews so glowing that I'm tempted to ask exactly where they got their highlighter.  So when it finally became available in the UK I was online and punching my debit card details into the checkout faster than you could say overdraft. And naturally, I went a bit overboard, for research purposes of course. How else am I supposed to properly dip my toes in and get a real feel for the brand if I don't try almost everything? I mean really, I'm just being a responsible blogger. 



The Milky Jelly Cleanser has become something of a cult favourite ever since it launched, and it was one of the first things I added to my basket.  Essentially the MJC is a gel cleanser that emulsifies into a milk on contact with water. It's designed to cleanse, soothe and purify the skin, whilst being very gentle,  and features some amazing ingredients including rosewater, comfrey root extract and pro-vitamin B5 to calm, heal and moisturise. Now full disclosure time I haven't actually tried it yet - I'm currently using the Skin Regimen Anti-pollution Cleansing Cream, which is very nice by the way, thanks for asking - but based on the ingredients, the reviews I've seen and the kind of cleanser it is.,  I think we're going to get along famously, and I can't wait to get stuck in. 


The Priming Moisturiser is exactly that, a light and buildable priming moisturiser that promises to deliver soft, smooth and dewy skin, primed and ready for make up. It contains hyaluronic acid and mushroom extract to plump and hydrate the skin, and an anti-redness complex featuring tea extracts and honey to calm the skin and reduce the appearance of redness. I've actually been using this for about a week now, and I like it. It has a really nice, light texture and it does leave my skin feeling hydrated and smooth. Would I buy it again? I don't know, I don't love it. 


Balm Dotcom is a universal lip skin salve designed to nourish and repair dry and chaffed skin. It contains bees wax, extracts of rice bran and rosemary leaf and castor seed oil to protect from free radical damage and seal in moisture. I chose the Birthday balm, because I thought it would smell amazing, and I was right. 




 Generation G is a super lightweight sheer matte lipstick which features less pigment to create a diffused 'just blotted' effect on the lips. Interestingly, they're designed to adapt to the wearer's natural lip colour so it'll look different on everyone who wears it. I chose Zip, which is a poppy red shade, but I was torn between that and Crush, a raspberry pink which is also very pretty. I'll be honest , when I first tried this I wasn't all that impressed, I like my mattes super-pigmented, Kat Von D pigmented. However, since wrapping my head around the concept I actually quite like it. It has an amazing texture that's so comfortable to wear, and it's a nice lipstick on those days when I want to make an effort but don't want to look too 'done'. I like it. 

Boy Brow - £14

Since having a fringe cut two months ago there's been no need for me to do anything to my brows because you can't see them anymore, so I haven't tried this yet. Having said that it is known for being one of Glossier's hero products and is something of a must have for anyone with visible eyebrows. Boy Brow is a styling pomade that is designed to fill and shape the brows. It has a teeny tiny brush that is really good for combing through without getting any product on your forehead, and it contains natural waxes: beeswax and carnauba, that are designed to hold the brows in place without making them stiff or crunchy. To be honest I might end up giving this to my sister, purely because my fringe ain't going nowhere, and I don't need it. 




First of all I cannot stress how amazing this smells! The scent is incredible. Second of all it's sooo nice! The Priming Moisturiser Rich is essentially the Priming Moisturiser kicked up a gear, and I like it so much because of it. It contains a blend of murumuru and shea butters, to give the cream a non-greasy, meltable texture that is quickly absorbed into the skin. Other ingredients include: lavender oil (which is probably responsible for the beautiful scent), red algae and fatty acids to lock in moisture, comfort and soothe. I love this. 


Super Pure Serum - £24 

I love a good serum! Serums and facial oils are my favourite skin care items, so when I spotted this during my Glossier frenzy I couldn't leave without it. My skin, as we all know, is shit, hormonal and shit. And I am always looking for some miracle product that will rid me of my imperfections. Could this be the one? Well, realistically, no... I'm pretty sure no such product exists. Having said that, this seems to come pretty darn close. Designed for problem skin types the Super Pure serum is formulated with Vitamin B3 and Zinc to fight blemishes, rid the skin of impurities and excess sebum, reduce redness and soothe irritation. And can we talk about that dinky packaging, tho? Adorable!





Last but not least, and well done if you've made it this far, is the Stretch Concealer, a buildable concealer that offers flexible coverage. This nifty little concealer has an elastic consistency, due to the presence of beeswax and crystalline wax in the formula, which allows the concealer to move with the face, rather than sitting on the surface. It doesn't cake, bunch, crease or clump and offers a nice level of coverage that, like I said, can be built up something more full. I'm a big fan of this! 

What are your Glossier recommendations? xxx
Wednesday, 9 May 2018

May Goals

May Goals
Wednesday, 9 May 2018
Read post


How is it May, already?! How?! Normally I hate starting posts like this, because it's such a bloody blogger cliche - and one I'm very guilty of - but the rate at which this year is moving at is terrifying me. Where has the time gone?! It's frightening! Anyway - existential crises aside - it's been a while since I last set any goals, and now seems as good a time as any for me to make some changes.

Stop procrastinating

I'm a terrible time waster! Seriously, my powers of procrastination are second to none. As I write this I'm also watching old episodes of Bake Off on Netflix and paying way more attention to Mary Berry than what I'm actually typing. I know full well that I'd get this post done quicker, and would do a much better job, if I was giving it my undivided attention but I just can't help myself. I also just took a five minute break from this sentence to scroll through instagram. I have a problem!

Make better use of my free time

I'm always working. Always. I'm either actually at work, or I'm editing videos or working on my blog. I don't stop, and I always have something to do. I really don't have a lot of free time, and usually I'm so knackered that I don't make the most of the free time I do have. I either want to take a little nap, that lasts a whole weekend, or crash in front of Netflix. There's nothing wrong with either of those things, in fact they're both splendid ways to spend some time, but I've recently realised that my time is limited. And I don't mean day to day, although it is, I mean that one day I won't exist anymore. Now, while I'm fully prepared to admit that I am definitely in the throes of a quarter life crisis, it's a very scary thought, and there is so much I want to do. Like learning to play the piano, or reading everything Bryony Gordon has ever written, or getting really, really good at guitar. So I'd better get to doing it really, hadn't I? On that note I'm off to learn the guitar riff from Eric Clapton's Wonderful Tonight. 

What are your goals this month? xx



Wednesday, 2 May 2018

March & April Favourites

March & April Favourites
Wednesday, 2 May 2018
Read post


This was originally meant to be my March Favourites and then my April Favourites but it's May now, which means this post is desperately late, but I suppose it's better late than never. March and April both went so quickly, and I've been running ragged trying to keep on top of everything lately, and sadly that has meant my blog has suffered. Normally, I would've just scrapped this post but I did have some cracking favourites  that are definitely worth talking about. So, let’s talk about them. 


Thayers Witch Hazel Alcohol Free Lavender Toner - £6.43 at iHerb.com

Thayers' Witch Hazel Toner has been around in the US for about a thousand years, but recently it's gained quite the online following and us UK peeps have been cottoning on to its wonders. Designed to soothe and revitalise sensitive, acne-prone skin this toner is formulated with Witch Hazel and Aloe Vera to soothe the skin, while Lavender has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties to prevent breakouts. I've been using it for a couple of months now and I really like it. It's very gentle plus it smells amazing. It's not widely available in the UK yet, I picked mine up on my last trip to Florida on one of my many, many trips to Target - I super love Target - after having heard some very good things,  but can be found quite easily with some tactical googling. 



Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA * - £55 at lookfantastic

When I was younger and stupider I never ever wore SPF. I've got very pale skin that doesn't tan, and I rarely burn, so I didn't think SPF was all that important. Now that I'm a grown up it's a whole different story and I'll be the first person to tell you what a fucking idiot I was! Putting photo and premature ageing aside, skin cancer is a very real concern, and literally everyone should be wearing some kind of SPF everyday. I've gone through quite a few SPF loves in the past couple of year - La Roche Posay's Antihelios XL and The Body Shop's Skin Defence are firm favourites - but Murad's latest sun care launch has been giving them a run for their money. This fast absorbing sunscreen is very light but packs a punch in the protection stakes. It's designed to offer protection from five major causes of premature ageing, including UVA and UVB rays, pollution, infrared rays, pollution, and, interestingly, blue light from phones and other devices. I like it because its very lightweight, sinks in really quickly, and makes a good base for make up. 


Vincent Longo Water Canvas Blush in Terra Dew* - £19.95 at lookfantastic

I was gifted this blush at Vincent Longo's UK launch event last year - I know I can't believe I just typed that either! - but I've only recently started using it, and I love it. Firstly, because it's a beautiful colour, a deep raspberry shade, secondly because it has an amazing cream-to-powder formula that just melts into the skin. It contains Microwater, a Vincent Longo exclusive, an active ingredient that intensely hydrates the skin and seals in moisture. It's a really lovely product. 




Lancôme Art Liner - £21.15 at feelunique

Every time I write about eyeliner I tend to mention two things; 1. that I’m something of a liquid liner connoisseur - it’s because I am! - 2. Stile’s Stay All Day Liquid Liner which has become the yardstick which I use to measure, and pass judgment on all other liquid liners because it is effin’ marvellous. So if I favourably compare an eyeliner to Stay All Day it means I really bloody like it, and I really bloody like this liner. It has a fine foam point that makes for really easy yet precise application, and a highly-pigmented formula that lasts for days. Seriously, I wore it when I saw Hamilton so I can tell you with absolute certainty that this stuff is both incredibly waterproof - seriously, I cried four times! - and incredibly long lasting.



Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Madrid - exclusive to Kat Von D Everlasting Mini Liquid Lipstick set £37.80 at Debenhams (currently out of stock online, may still be available in store) 

Now it just wouldn't be one of my monthly favourites posts without a new Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick obsession now would it? Like all the others this has a beaut formula that stays in place all day while still being ridiculously comfortable to wear. Annoyingly, Madrid is exclusive to the Kat Von D Everlasting Mini Liquid Lipstick set - which I got for Christmas...it was gift from me to me - and isn't sold as a standalone lipstick. Madrid is a warm-toned plum shade, which on me is actually more of a nude - I have very pigmented lips - it's my go to everyday lipstick, because it is so pretty and so effortless. The only problem I have with it is that when it runs out I won't be able to repurchase it, and I really love it! 


Elemis Life Elixir Fortitude Perfume Oil Rollerball* - £28 from Elemis

Last year Elemis launched Life Elixirs, an aromatherapy collection designed as an antidote for modern life. I was lucky enough to be sent a few things, including a yummy smelling candle and some shower oils, but the perfume rollerballs are my favourite. Life Elixirs is made up of five mini collections: Sleep, Calm, Clarity, Fortitude and Embrace. I was originally sent the Calm rollerball, which I loved but lost in Disney's Animal Kingdom, I was then lucky enough to be gifted the Fortitude rollerball to try at this year's Professional Beauty show. Fortitude is my favourite of the five elixirs. It is formulated with 16 essential oils, including geranium, ylang yang and cedarwood, and is designed to make the wearer feel grounded, empowered and strong. Now I don't know if it actually works but it smells gorgeous! 

What are your beauty favourites? Let me know xx

*Disclaimer* products marked with an asterisk * have been sent to me to review. All thoughts and opinions remain my own. 










Monday, 2 April 2018

All about that base - foundation routine

All about that base - foundation routine
Monday, 2 April 2018
Read post

In 2014 Meghan Trainor sang that it was all about that bass, bout that bass, no treble, and, even though that song is terrible, when it comes to make up I’m inclined to agree. Honestly, for me a good base forms the foundation (badum chhh... I’m not even sorry!) of my make up.
Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Four lovely facial oils

Four lovely facial oils
Wednesday, 14 March 2018
Read post

Yesterday, 13th March, was my fifth blogaversary, and, as is time honoured tradition, I completely forgot all about it. I promise one year I will remember and make a big ol' song and dance about the whole thing, but this year ain't that year. I did put up a very emotional instagram post though, you can see that here.
Wednesday, 7 March 2018

February Favourites 2018

February Favourites 2018
Wednesday, 7 March 2018
Read post


Unlike January, which felt like it lasted all of 2018 and well into 2019, February just flew by. I don't feel like I've even had the chance to catch my breath, let alone try and form an opinion on new things. But I have, and here they are.



Bourjois Radiance Reveal concealer in Medium - £7.99 at Boots

It's been a really long time since I've talked about a concealer on here, I can't actually remember the last time, it's been that long. But I've completely fallen back in love with Bourjois' Radiance Reveal concealer and had to talk about it. Radiance Reveal is something of a hybrid that is designed to brighten the skin and conceal imperfections. It’s got a nice light texture that blends nicely into the skin while still providing a decent amount of coverage. It's formulated with hyaluronic acid and glacier water, whatever that is, making it very hydrating and it doesn’t have any annoying bad concealer habits, like caking or creasing or oxidising.


Barry M Speedy Quick Dry in Sprint Finish - £3.99 at Boots

When I first started my blog - nearly 5 years ago... what?! - I was completely obsessed with nail polish. To the point where I couldn't go into a Boots or Superdrug without buying at least one. Now it's really rare for me to even paint my nails. In fact I've just got rid of maybe 80 per cent of my 300-strong nail polish collection. Sprint Finish is one of the few that survived the cull, due to the gorgeous  berry red shade and rather fabulous formulation, which is thick, creamy and dries almost instantly. It also has a wide curved brush which is designed for easier application, and really good colour off so you can get away with just one coat. Love it.


Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair - £53 at lookfantastic

I've waxed lyrical about my love of this stuff before, but lately, after some very well placed podcast ads, I've found myself obsessed with it. I basically used up this little sample bottle in like two weeks and my parched skin lapped it up. It's formulated with Estée Lauder's exclusive Chronolux CB technology. which is supposedly designed to aid the skin's nightly renewal process and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for 'more beautiful skin everyday.' It also claims to leave the skin feeling smoother, stronger and more hydrated, which is the main reason I've been using it so religiously. It's really lovely stuff, and my skin feels a lot better for it.


Alpha H Clear Skin Daily Moisturiser with Glycolic Acid - £23 at Cult Beauty

I actually got this in the ASOS beauty box back when it first launched, which I think was at the end of November last year maybe, but I've only just got round to trying it... my only excuse is that I have so much skincare. Anyway Alpha H was developed by Michelle Doherty, who designed it specifically to target problem skin, which I have. The Clear Skin Daily Moisturiser is for acne prone skin,  which again I have, and is formulated to moisturise and fight blemishes. It contains 10 per cent glycolic acid and hyaluronic acid to clarify and moisturise the skin, as well as tea tree and aloe vera which have antibacterial properties. It also claims to manage oil production and refine the pores. I've been using it pretty much every day and I really like it. It feels very cooling and refreshing, which is so nice first thing in the morning, and I've noticed an overall improvement in my skin. It's definitely something that I'll be repurchasing once it's all gone. 



Rosie for Autograph Nuit Parfum - £14/£28 for 30/75ml at Marks & Spencer

This is something that I completely forgot I owned until I happened upon it during a clear out. If memory serves I think I got it in a subscription box, but I forget which one. Nuit Parfum is part of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's original collection with M&S from a few years back, and it smells effin' amazing. It's actually a pretty solid dupe for Tom Ford's Velvet Orchid, which you all know I love, but with the added bonus of being less than a third of the price. It's described as being 'infused with vintage femininity'. Now despite the somewhat dubious description it doesn't smell like Grandmas. It's very floral but has a warming sort of spiciness that stops it from being heady and sickly. It has top notes of jasmine and French centifolia rose (?) with base notes of musk. It's floral but definitely more of a winter floral, and it has amazing lasting power. It lasts all day. It's also cruelty free and vegan. Lately I've been more and more interested in where products come from, how they're made, and the impact they have. Without sounding preachy I'm really starting to lean more towards products that are ethical, so it's really nice to know that something I already love is cruelty-free, as well as being suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Plus, and I may have mentioned this already, but it smells bloody gorgeous. 


Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Outlaw - £17 at Debenhams (currently out of stock! Boo!)

I have a feeling that every monthly favourites post from now on is going to feature a Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in one form or another. I love them! They are wonderful. This month's favourite is Outlaw, which is a blue-toned bright red. It's very bold and very, very pretty. I've recently swapped over to Outlaw from Nahz Fur Atoo, which is a deep, rich burgundy, and was the only lipstick I wore for about four months. Anyway Outlaw is more of a spring red, whereas Nahz Fur Atoo is my go to winter lipstick.  At the risk of repeating myself, the formula of these lipsticks is amazing! It doesn't budge, it's so comfortable to wear and it's so easy to apply. I'm obsessed. I love them. I LOVE THEM!

What are your current favourites? xx






Latest pins