What I Got For Christmas

These kinds of posts can be conflicting. A lot of us (all of us, come on) enjoy having a nosey at what other people buy, enjoy, and receive as gifts. Taking an interest in that stuff is part of the reason so many of us read blogs. I actually love watching hauls on YouTube, particularly when I'm really broke, as it kind of helps me live vicariously and plan what I will treat myself to one day, when I have the cash. We shouldn't feel guilty about this habit or desire. Christmas, admittedly, is a bit different, and is still a really sacred and special time for a lot of people, even if they aren't religious. For me, Christmas isn't all about the presents, although they are fucking great. I love the time with my family, the food, and how pretty we make our surroundings at Christmas; I love the thoughtfulness and the generosity. It seems odd not to share the things we receive as gifts out of some false sense of humility, and equally strange to brag. So I decided to just show you a few things; not the biggest or most expensive, but a selection of the cutest, kookiest, and most interesting presents. There's even a sex toy in there for you.

prada candy, perfume, what I got for xmas

I've been after Prada Candy for SO LONG. It smells absolutely delicious and has shot straight into my "wear every day because yolo" perfume spot. 2016 is going to be the year of smelling fucking amazing every day, because I got another perfume from my Mum, LUSH's Gorilla Perfume, Kerbside Violet. I tested this ages ago and fell in love with it's dirty, grassy, violet scent - not sickly sweet like parma violets, but just sweet enough with a hint of wet earth, like violets would really smell in the wild.

prada candy, perfume, what I got for xmas

As most of you will know, I am a fan of the unicorn. And I mean, LOOK AT THIS. This LED unicorn lamp comes with a battery already inside so you simply click it on and it glows a series of bright, pastel and neon colours. I've had it beside the tub when I'm taking a bath and it is the most relaxing thing in the world. When it glows red it is literally like being inside a giant unicorn womb. Wait, what?

boux avenue bra, push up bra, lingerie blogger

Recently, I wrote about getting bra-fitted at Boux Avenue (you can read it here if you missed it!) and shared some of the styles I tried on, including this Isabella set. These were a present I kind of knew about already, because I'd had to try them on and I pointed out my favourite colours, but I was still over the moon to see little Boux Avenue boxes under the tree come Christmas Eve. The Isabella bra is a deep plunge with lace and diamante across the band, and has a gorgeous, sparkly matching thong.

Most people that know me, know that I struggle to relax and de-stress in certain situations. I'm pretty anxious about travelling alone, paperwork, and anything even remotely official or interview-y, although I'm fine in a social context. I've always had trouble sleeping properly and I have a sleep disorder called sleep paralysis, which tends to rear its ugly head when I'm really at my limits physically or emotionally. Colouring is something that I've wanted to try for ages as I've heard it helps so many people deal with similar issues, and this book is designed for people who have trouble sleeping. It's full of intricate, repetitive and detailed patterns that are relaxing and soothing for the eyes. You can pick up similar ones in WHSmith!

hitachi wand, wand massager, sex toys, lovehoney wand

I've tried Hitachi wands before, but this one from Lovehoney is a cut above. It has no batteries and is plugged in at the mains instead, which means it reaches an insane level of intensity. Wands are really versatile toys and a fantastic piece of kit for couples, as they can be used in loads of different ways. They feel great applied to bare skin or on top of fabric, and can be used to massage any area of the body, not just your junk. They can even be doubled up with butt plugs by placing them against the base of your plug to make the whole thing vibrate. To add yet another option, I was also given this g-spot stimulator attachment that you wrap around the head of the massager, so that you can have internal and external stimulation at the same time. Safe to say I feel spoilt rotten, in many different ways.

Christmas Morning Rituals

All clothes, courtesy of Fatface

I always spend Christmas morning the same way, every single year. The rituals that I wake up and perform, almost innately, instinctively, have been with me for as long as I can remember. Even though I've spent Christmas in lots of different places, some things always remain the same, and I can't imagine it ever being any different.

I get up very early - and I mean early. So early that it used to reduce my poor mother to tears. She tells me that one year I woke up so early that she had only been resting in bed for 30 seconds, having just finished wrapping all our presents and putting them under the tree, when I ran in declaring that Father Christmas had been, and that I could see lumps in my stocking. Because of this enthusiasm we made a tradition that I would go to my brother's room first, and we could open our stockings together as early as we liked. Because my brother and I share an apartment now, we still do this, and I sit at the foot of his bed like I did when I was four. When we're married we'll probably still do the same thing, and our unfortunate spouses will just have to remember to wear pyjamas.

I stay in my pyjamas all day. I've tried to get dressed up in "Christmas outfits" a few times, but it never lasts long. I always eat a chocolate breakfast and chocolate breakfasts do not mix with rose-gold sequin skirts or velvet dresses. I usually put some make-up on so that I look quasi-human in any photos, and then we gather together wherever my mother is, and open all our presents. I'll try and give her more than 30 seconds sleep this year, but I can't promise.

How To Fall Back In Love With Blogging

blog tips, getting into blogging, love blogging

A few years ago, I got a sudden urge to document my life online. I never thought this is what I would end up doing as a career, but it just sort of happened. I fell in love with blogging out of the blue. Sometimes, just as inextricably, we fall out of love. It happens for so many different reasons, but it doesn't have to mean the end. The first step to getting back in the beautiful romantic blogging bubble, is to find out WHY you have fallen out of love. Once we can identify the source of our disillusionment, we can start figuring out whether repair or rebirth is possible, whether we just need a break, or if we actually need to let our blog go and head in a new direction.

Hating The Look Of Your Blog Or Template: Ahh, the old "sick of my blog" syndrome. It's easy to get bored with the look and feel of your blog when we're constantly changing as creators, and always exposed to new blogs, all with gorgeous professional designs. It can get a bit overwhelming and we end up confused about what we want. If it's just a small tweak that you need, a new header or some graphics might do the trick. I'd recommend Jemma DorkfaceElla Masters  and Kelly Lianne for that. If you have fallen out of love with your blog entirely, and don't think you can get the fire back, then do what I did, and start all over again. Make a list of blogs whose designs you really like, and then either check out who did their template, or keep your list in mind when hunting for your own. Pipdig are both excellent for designs and will help you along the way if you have any questions or worries about installing.

Unhappy With Your Content: Sometimes we don't so much fall out of love with blogging, but with our subject matter. It's hard to keep a beauty blog going if you've lost your interest in make-up, or maintain daily food posts when you're turning into a peanut butter on toast kind of person. It's good to remember that you're under no obligation to be the blogger you were yesterday, if I may bastardize a lovely truism. Consistency is great and all, but it's worth nothing if you don't like your own blog. As soon as I gave myself permission to write about things I'm super excited by just for the sake of writing it (sex, witchcraft, sleep paralysis) my passion for blogging came back swiftly. Think of new topics you would really love to explore on your blog, just for you, and even if you add them in slowly among sponsored posts/things that bring you more views, you will feel more excited to create. For more tips on creating content you love, check out this post and this post.

Blog Envy Or Comparing Yourself To Others: This is a killer. It's not something that can be wholly avoided if you wish to read blogs and take part in the community, but you can limit your exposure to the ones that make you feel like pants. When really trying to create, try to take a little break from consuming even your most beloved blogs. You can come back to admiring other people's work once you have done your own. It is a cliche, but you must never compare your Chapter 1 to someone else's Chapter 20.

Exhausted With The Community/Blogging Drama: If you are active on Twitter, then no doubt you come across a feud or drama on your timeline once in a while, or you might have gotten caught up in one yourself (if a friend is involved it can be hard to just let it go). Sometimes it doesn't have to be full-blown drama that gets you down, it could be anything; the promotional aspect of blogging gets to me, as does the expectation that bloggers have limitless time to interact. Most of us aren't exclusively bloggers, and we have other commitments, so cut yourself some slack. Unfollow or mute the accounts that you need to. Try creating Twitter lists of your favourite accounts and scrolling that feed instead of your main one. Give yourself the space to create, away from the ups and downs of human relationship, and you may just amaze yourself.

Unicorn Wishlist/Gift Guide

unicorn wishlist, unicorn clothes, unicorn gifts

Pastel hair dye, Bleach London at Boots // Rainbow Fun, LUSH // Unicorn iPhone 6 case, SkinnyDip London // Slippers, Topshop // Jewel Collection jelly beans, Jelly Belly // Socks, New Look // Pastel Notebooks, Moleskine 

We all love unicorns. I remember taking a quiz on Buzzfeed a while back that was supposed to tell you what magical creature you were. I think the options included mermaid, vampire, unicorn, ghost, fairy, and a few other things. I came out as a unicorn (kind, aloof, gentle) with a side of mermaid (fond of luring men to their watery deaths for the lols) and was quite chuffed with that mix. I have a few undeniable vampiric traits, but let's not talk about those. This post is about what to get a girl who loves unicorns, or who is one, only in disguise. If you are truly lost, I'd start at LUSH and go from there.

Size Matters: Getting Bra-Fitted At Boux Avenue

bra fitting, bra sizing, lingerie blogger
bra fitting, bra sizing, lingerie blogger

Before I ever had a bra-fitting, I never knew quite what to expect. I'd heard women tell all kinds of different stories; some who said it gave them a huge boost in body confidence, and others who couldn't forget the horror fast enough. Some friends had such horrible experiences with nasty sales assistants making fun of their bodies or humiliating them that they left in tears. Others were showered in compliments and amazing service and left feeling like goddesses. I've come to believe that getting your boobs measured is a lot like going to the hairdresser - brand means nothing, and it just depends on what member of staff you get.

For my most recent fitting I went to the Cardiff branch of Boux Avenue. I hadn't meant to go in for a fitting, and was just hovering around admiring things when the manager came over and asked if I needed help. I realised I had no idea what size I was any more, and told her as much. I walked in wearing a 32C, but when I took my jacket off so she could see my shape, she told me I'd got it all wrong, and was definitely no bigger than a 28 or 30, and that I needed a bigger cup. Less back, more rack.

As I was wearing a dress, an assistant asked me my trouser size and kindly picked me up some pyjama bottoms to change into for my fitting. I was left to change and told to keep my bra on. When she came back she took two measurements; the circumference of my back whilst taking a deep breath, and another when I let all the air out. She took a good look at my chest, then asked what cup size I was currently wearing, and brought two Isabella bras to try on, in a D and a DD. What a lot of people don't know is that cup size is all about proportion, not mass. Cup size increases as the back size increases, so the cup in a 32D will be bigger than the cup in a 30D. If you were wearing a 32C, as I was, but you needed a tighter back and for the cup to stay the same, the size you would try would be a 30D. One thing I had gotten right was the style of bra I was wearing. I've always gone for plunge bras to create cleavage and make my shape look great under lycra-mix t-shirts, which I wear almost every day. I'm also drawn to long-line bras and bralets (like this Emily set above) when I fancy something more romantic.

The whole thing took about ten minutes, and my tits look immeasurably better now. I left wearing a 30DD, which might seem like a small change but it makes a huge difference when you're wearing it. If you're someone who finds bras really uncomfortable, consider getting measured, as you might be buying the wrong size, just as I was. 

The Cassell Family Christmas Tree

My Mum has always been amazing with Christmas trees. When my brother and I were really little, I remember her sending us upstairs to wait while she put up the tree. We used to play with our toys impatiently and ask each other if we thought she might be finished yet. She brought the whole thing together flawlessly and quietly, as if by magic. When she called to us that she was done we would run downstairs and come to an awestruck stand-still in the doorway. As we grew up, we began helping her decorate each year, but I am glad I had those times as a grubby-fingered child when it was done by unseen magic. 

My brother and I are grown now, and every year we have our own tree to decorate. We've inherited some pretty gorgeous ornaments (some of them as old as I am, or older) as well as adding in new magical decorations (mostly from Paperchase or John Lewis) with our own stories behind them. Our tree is always slightly smaller than hers, to fit our smaller home, and it feels like a little offshoot, sprig, or baby to her mummy tree. We try and stick to a rough theme or outline; one year it will be metallic and glacial, and the next it will be a woodland with little foxes and hedgehogs. This year we went for a delicate yet opulent look, with rich jewel tones, velvet, and glass. 

Goth Tsum Tsums

I am super specific about the Tsum Tsums I buy. I know it's supposed to be a pile-them-all-in-together kind of thing, but to me, they have to have stand alone quality. I held out from buying one for so long that I only feel vindicated getting characters that I'm properly obsessed with or that have a real sentimental meaning for me. The first one I got was Jack Skellington; adequately goth, and my BFF got his mate, Sally, so it was perfect. For a while he was all by himself, but then the other day I went in search of little Sadness from Inside Out. Sadness was a character I fell in love with almost instantly while on a really fun, romantic trip to the cinema that I'd like to remember.

I have plans to buy more (namely Zero, Elsa, Bambi, and Ariel) but I kind of like just having my two goth Tsum Tsums sitting on my dressing table together. I like to imagine they are conspiring about very dark, miserable things, and becoming the best of friends.

Christmas Gift Guide For The Kinky Girl In Your Life

Some people are hard to buy for. I am not one of those people. I have so many hobbies and make my wants so known to the people around me that I rarely end up with a present I dislike. I never grew out of that childhood habit of running up to things I like in a shop and making puppy dog eyes at whoever is with me, even though I'm 24 and have my own money.

That being said, getting a sexy present for any girlfriend, lover, or wife can be difficult if you don't know where to look, but especially so if her tastes are quite unusual or specific. I adore receiving presents that encourage my kinky side, because it shows the giver has really thought about who I am on an intimate level, and that's very impressive.  Here is a modest gift guide for the fetishy female, for those of you who don't know where to start. My picks range from £5 to £280 (with a good few reasonable £30-£50 pressies in there) so there's something for everyone. Even a girl who wants to be a unicorn.

kinky gifts, bdsm gifts,  cute sex toys

Recycled fur rabbit mask, Coco de Mer // Unicorn tail butt plug, AhaLife // "I fucking adore you" greetings card, Coco de Mer // Agent Provocateur Eau de Toilette, Agent Provocateur // Linen bondage rope, Coco de Mer // Pearl rabbit vibrator, Ann Summers // Rose gold clit and nipple clamps, Ann Summers // Rose gold bullet vibrator, Coco de Mer //

Why Getting A Better Camera Won't Make You Happier With Your Blog

blog camera, blog fatique, bored of my blog

A little while ago, I was at an event for People Tree and a fashion photographer said something to me that stuck, and changed the way I think about blogging. He said that getting a beautiful camera will always show you what an ugly photographer you are. It sounds harsh at first, but he went on to explain that no matter how good you think you are, the advancements of professional equipment will always highlight where your skills can be improved, and where you have failed to educate yourself.

When I started blogging, I had nothing that would help make blogging easier. I lived in a boring little town, in a dark little house, and created my posts using moments of snatched cafe WiFi and a compact camera. Over the years my situation has changed and I've gathered the tools around me that should make blogging simple. Am I better satisfied with my work now then I was then? You would think so, but no, I am not. Back then I had to work ten times harder to publish a post, but my passion, obscurity, and complete lack of goals meant I was always happy with what I produced. Even if it was objectively shite.

As resources increase, our excuses for "failure" become less and less obvious, slower to grasp when we really need them. Not having the best camera ceases to be a good excuse for unsatisfying photography when we have a new Olympus Pen sitting on the table. That app everyone uses to get perfect selfies? Well, downloading it takes that excuse away as well. As you acquire more and more tools to create, eventually you run out of excuses and are faced with a painful, existentialist question: Perhaps I am not capable? Perhaps I am simply, not talented or skilled enough to produce the work I have in my head? This is the question we are all running away from, but if we focus our energy on gathering the things we think we need, instead of honing the skills that are really essential, that sense of being "not good enough" will only grow. 

It reminds me of Alain de Botton's thoughts on status anxiety; we develop depressive thought patterns and anxieties as a result of not fulfilling what we see to be our potential, or making the most of all the privileges we know we have (the expensive camera, the spare time, the extra cash, the beautiful photo opportunity, the supportive friends or Instagram husband). We experience guilt and self-doubt as a result, constantly dissatisfied with our efforts because we believe that someone with all our advantages should be doing so much better. The horrible thing about status anxiety, though, is that it only increases as our circumstances improve.

I see a lot of bloggers going through this; either obsessing over the perfect equipment, or feeling guilty for not producing what they wanted once they have it. I go through it with every post I write. But as with all things, awareness will take the edge off. We can't magic ourselves into feeling happy with our blogs, but we can learn to recognize what will truly change them for the better. Most of the time, we already possess it.

If you want to read more on unblocking creativity, click here. If you want some photography tips, try this post.

Fairytale Nightwear Wishlist

Eye mask, Debenhams; Gown, Myla; Monster booties, New Look; Beauty and the Beast pyjamas, Topshop; Rose twinkle lights, New Look; Ariel Socks, Topshop.

Fairytale-themed nightwear is something that is super-duper easy to find these days. Whether we want to go to bed referencing our favourite Disney Princess, or feeling as if we actually ARE one, there's loads of pretty stuff available, both on the high street and from luxury brands. Topshop is always a good place to scout out cartoon pyjamas, as is Primark (obviously) but if you want something more decadent, like this gorgeous Cinderella dressing gown from Myla, but without the hefty price tag, check out Ann Summers, M&S, or H&M. They all have stunning nighties and gowns this winter. To complete the experience, don't forget to work some magic in your room with a garden of rose fairy lights (minus the thorns, obvs).

Black Friday OOTD with Boohoo

dress and boots, both boohoo // kimono, topshop (from years ago)

Happy Black Friday, everyone! Is that a thing? I don't think that's a thing. Black Friday isn't something you celebrate...more like, endure, or ignore completely, depending on your preference. I remember last year, people texted me to ask if I was okay, and warn me not to go outside, like it was the zombie apocalypse. It seems fitting to dress up all in black (not that I wear very many other colours anyways...) to mark this occasion, It's like the death of our dignity or something. Not that I'm at all bashing a good bargain hunt. I'll probably go in search of new lingerie and bodycon dresses after finding this gem from Boohoo. It's the tightest thing I own and I've always found tight-fitting clothes strangely comforting. Now I want a whole wardrobe of Morticia dresses.

This post contains pr samples/sponsorship, please see my disclaimer here 

Witch Cake

 A witch cake is a very real concoction that was made during the Salem witch trials. They would take the piss of a young woman thought to be a witch, and bake a cake out of it. Her fate was decided by how the cake turned out, and by how it tasted.

Witch Cake will be an alternative lifestyle blog. I say "alternative" (even though the word is loaded with ambiguous and sometimes cringey connotations) because I want to give myself license to write about topics that aren't usually thrown in among make-up reviews, but rather sectioned off into their own dark corner of the internet. I'm going to write about the fashion I really wear and adore. I'm going to strive to be cruelty-free, and I'm sure I'm going to fuck up along the way. I'm going to write about kinks and sex and fantasy, because those things are a huge part of my lifestyle. I am going to require you all to tolerate my complexity and my incoherence, because I cannot fit into a niche. I will never be a "beauty blogger", or a "fashion blogger", or a "sex blogger". If I have any niche, it is fantasy. It is fairytale. That is what I look for in my daily life, and where I feel most inspired. I want to use Witch Cake to see how a fairytale heroine might live if she had my flesh and my life. I see feminine archetypes everywhere, and references to legend in the most mundane of places. I want to show them to you.

There's no need to say goodbye to The Persephone Complex. Most of my archive is still here, and although I have a new name, in a way I feel like all I'm doing is getting closer to what my blog was always meant to be. There are still loads of changes to make and tweaks to be done - nothing is ever perfect. I don't know how it will turn out, or how it will taste, or what it will decide for me. I like thinking about how random it all is, and in that sense, my new name is perfect. We are all just taking bites, and cheating fate.

Cute Halloween Wallpapers For Your iPhone

We take Halloween real serious 'round here. For a lot of people it might mean dressing up and going out for a night, but for me, Halloween is a lifestyle. It feels like the only time of year when other people get what I'm on about. I like to spread the spooky vibes as thickly as I can over all corners of my life, including my phone. Here's a few of the cutest and most original wallpapers I found this year to spookify your device (I love the sexy little vampire teeth *squeal*). All these wallpapers are available on Pinterest, and I've left the links for you below!

Treat Yo' Self (Another LUSH Haul)

lush haul

Okay, so, I buy far too much stuff in LUSH. I just can't fucking help myself, okay? I really can't. I've never regretted any amount of money I've spent in LUSH though, as to me, bath-time is practically sacred. I'd rather spend a fiver on a bath bomb than on a cinema ticket, because there's honestly a better chance of the bath bomb keeping me entertained.

Some of these products I got in my goodie bag from LUSH Cardiff's last event, and a few I bought for myself just because. Let's start with the shower gel. Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair isn't the kind of smell I would normally go for, but now that I've used it, I'm a big fan. It has guava and lavender in a blood red, sparkly goop that makes me feel like I'm in a horror movie shower (that's a good thing, by the way). The little hand treatment and the Strawberry Feels massage bar are still yet to be tested, but I do know they are making my house smell fantastic. I adored both Milky Bath and The Experimenter (so darn colourful) and will almost definitely be repurchasing the latter due its amazing smell. I can only describe it as like a sexy church kind of smell? Like incense and old books mixed with flowers and vanilla. And best for last, the Cup 'O Coffee exfoliating mask. If you have dry skin and/or pores that get easily clogged, this stuff is a legit godsend.

There will no doubt be another post like this real soon, as all the Halloween and Christmas products have just dropped, and I am all about that life.

Cutie Pantz

There's never much to write about art - which is a funny thing for me to say, considering I used to make a living exclusively by writing about art. I suppose what I mean, is that there is nothing to say about my own. If art is the beginning of a conversation, then whatever I do must be the end of one. It is a physical manifestation of words I whisper only to the gods, to an empty house, or to a dead telephone line. I only ever make pages for dead things. It's a scrapbook of eulogies for what I never said out loud. A kind of counter-necromancy, just showering glitter over fresh graves.

Zandra Rhodes X People Tree Launch // Girl Power: Roses, Lipsticks and Bows

There are times when I simply cannot believe my luck as a blogger. I've been fortunate enough that even though my blog is quite small and obscure in comparison to some, it has opened some wondrous doors for me, and taken me places that a teenage Holly would never have believed she could go.

Recently I was invited to attend the press launch for Dame Zandra Rhodes's S/S16 collection for People Tree, titled Girl Power: Roses, Lipsticks and Bows. It was held in Dame Zandra's own penthouse overlooking The Shard; exactly the kind of wonderland you would imagine, full of colour, fabric, Mexican artwork and palm trees. Basically my dream home, with a few extra awesome things I hadn't even thought of. I could have spent the whole night just photographing her stuff, but there was so much to see and do and so many creative people to meet that I only had time to get a few shots. 

The evening kicked off with a talk from Lucy Siegle, the author of To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out The World? and regular writer for the Observer and Guardian. She spoke of her love for People Tree, the importance of what they do as a brand, their uniqueness within the fashion industry, and the life-changing experiences she had in Bangladesh with Dame Zandra and Safia Minney (People Tree's inspirational founder and CEO). After that we heard from both Minney and Rhodes on the design, production, and aesthetics of the new collection, as well as Minney's new book Slow Fashion. The beautiful Rebecca Pearson, model and ambassador for People Tree, was also there to represent the brand.

After listening to everyone's incredible stories about the origins of the collection, we were free to mingle and go and feel the clothes for ourselves. I helped myself to some (a lot) of Dame Zandra's wine and bumped into Don Carlo, photographer for Glass Magazine (who teased me for having a Canon but reassured me I looked like a true professional) and went to give Safia a huge hug and thank her for such an amazing night/starting one of my favourite brands. She was even lovelier in person than I had hoped, and I came away from the whole evening feeling so unbelievably privileged to work in the industry that I do, and totally motivated to making ever more ethical, conscious fashion and lifestyle choices. That night felt like more than just a press event - the People Tree team is more like a little family than anything else - and I am so, so glad I got to be a part of it.

Aria Montgomery #FOTD


I've said it before, but autumn make-up is the bee's knees. In the summer I can barely be bothered to wear a bit of concealer and some blush, for fear that it will all slowly slide down my face in a very expensive avalanche. I get ridiculously excited for Halloween-time and being able to dress how I really want to - which usually means all-black and red lips. One thing I'm particularly excited to try out this time around though, is Aria's make-up from Pretty Little Liars. Aria is my fave PLL character, and I wasn't even watching the show last year so this is my first real opportunity to try out her style! She has a pretty glamorous look and always wears false lashes (I used the Lashlorette ones by Esqido and my Naked 3 palette) as well as beautiful highlighter, rosy lipsticks, and some darn fancy kohl work. 


Pretty much everything I'm wearing to recreate her look is from NARS at House of Fraser. First, to get her perfect skin I used Sheer Glow Foundation in Siberia (my new #1 foundation, without a doubt) with Deep Throat Blush dusted over the top. On my lips I used the famous Anna lipstick from the NARS Audacious range. Anna is unsurprisingly a really beautiful shade, the kind of understated dusty-pink colour that I always compliment on other people but never think of getting for myself! I think shades like this are going to be huge for autumn - at least, they will be for me. I might just give up my Ruby Woo for something more Rosewood (Wink wink, see what I did there? I'm hilarious). Also, as a final thought, all the brands I used for this post are cruelty-free, so happy bunnies all round.

All make-up NARS at House Of Fraser; rose gold bracelets, H&MThis post contains pr samples/sponsorship, please see my disclaimer here 


LUSH Oxford Street Comes To Cardiff

There are only a few people I know who don't like LUSH, and to be honest, I don't like any of them very much. The company is quite close to my heart, and I'd say there's a sort of "love me, love my LUSH" unspoken rule in my head now. Until a couple of days ago I had never actually been to one of their blogger events, so I didn't know what to expect from the Cardiff launch of their #SummerIsHere Oxford Street range (although I was familiar with the products, as I wrote about some for this post), but I knew I wouldn't be leaving my wallet at home.

I went there straight from the gym, teaming up with Sophie to nosh down a sushi dinner at Mt. Fuji beforehand (my fave place to get vegan sushi in Cardiff! Their tamaki tofu rolls are delicious). 

The staff were absolutely lovely and super helpful. Upon our arrival we were greeted by Laura, who remained our guide throughout the event and treated us to demos of all the new products, hand massages, and mini LUSH treatments. We were each handed an adorable little flute of sparkling strawberry soda, and offered fruit and biscuits from a cute little snack table. After a while we noticed that Charlotte from Red Lips, Real Life had arrived and ran over to say hello. We all had a great giggle over everything from the realities of what it's like being good at massages (everyone takes advantage and then falls asleep - not cool, dudes) to unfamiliar-train-journey anxiety. 

LUSH is like Wonderland for a mermaid like me, who spends whole evenings soaking in the bath, dreaming of a home she can't remember. I want literally everything that sparkles and softens the water, but I limited myself to picking up a few absolutely necessary (cough) items, which I'll show you in yet another haul post before too long! You must be getting sick of them, but I'm afraid you're going to have to lump it - I was given a super generous goodie bag to take home as well, so my bathroom is overflowing with stuff right now, and a girl's gotta blog what a girl's gotta blog. 

A NARS Delivery!

nars sheer glow siberia

nars sheer glow siberia
Ideally, I would always prefer to have a small collection of beautiful, quality products with spectacular packaging than a huge store of grubby tubes. I recently streamlined my make-up drawer with this in mind, and I feel so much better for it. How satisfying it was to throw out that nearly-all-gone eyeshadow I'd gotten WAY too attached to. I dream of being the kind of woman who's dressing table always looks like a Pinterest flat-lay, with a few carefully chosen staples by Chanel, Bobbi Brown, MAC, and NARS.

This is my first ever NARS delivery, courtesy of House of Fraser. I'm going to create an autumn make-up look you'll have popping up in your feeds shortly, but for now I just wanted to share the excitement of my first NARS experience! The products I went for were Sheer Glow Foundation in Siberia, a blush in Deep Throat, and their famous Anna lipstick. Can you guess what look I'm going to recreate? Leave your guesses below in the comments! 

The Blogs I'm Made Of

All of us are just a jumble of other people's ideas. At least, that's the way I look at it sometimes. No one is a pure original, and we are only unique because we are all made up of a different combination of parts. As a blogger, I'm made of many different parts. There's the part that wants to write a 900-word journal entry about the thoughts I had while staring out a coach window at 5am. There's the part that wants to make a living doing what I love. There's the part that wants everything in my life to be a reference to a fairytale. And there's the part that just fucking loves a LUSH bath bomb. All of these parts have been fed and nourished by different people, some of whom are listed below, so that maybe they might feed you too.

Scarphelia - Every time I read her blog, Katie reminds me to write like the words are blood. There have been times when I was really conflicted about what I could/should put on my blog, and her unflinching honesty, emotion, and clarity of thought continue to inspire me to make it a place I am proud of, and be damned with anyone else's opinion.

Briar Rose - If there was one blogger who gives me completely unadulterated life-envy, it is Megan. Her fairytale style, cosplay, baking, and simply unbelievable hair make up an infinitely stalkable package. 

Girl Lost In The City - Emma's presence on Twitter alone is like a strong cup of coffee. She makes me want to get up and handle shit. Her blog is full of incredible insight into the media, city life and modern living, and feminism. She works at Glamour and is having her book published very soon. Goals, basically.

Sugarpea - Before she started Sugarpea, Heather was known for Effie's Make-Up Box. Already a successful blogger with a large fanbase, she decided to start all over again, with something she was more passionate about (namely Funko Pops, tsum tsums, and all things pastel and pretty). Her Instagram is true, glorious eye-candy.

Dorkface - Jemma is one of the sweetest people I know (including everyone I've met in the flesh!). Her blog is pure kawaii delight, with inspiring art, craft, and lifestyle posts that always give me wonderful ideas. She recently quit her job and became a full-time creator, and I couldn't be prouder of her.

Amy Valentine - Amy was one of the first "big bloggers" that I found truly inspiring. Her outfits are grungy and sexy, she goes to every festival I can think of, and takes epic photos and VSCO CAM Instas of her adventures. One of my favourite alternative bloggers.

Mascara And Maltesers - Annabel creates one of my favourite beauty blogs. She takes gorgeous, bright white photos from her iPhone, and is absolutely beautiful to boot, which always helps. She always seems to have an unending amount of beautiful flowers around, and her Instagram is unsurprisingly stunning. 

Mermaidens - Kailey is kind of a big deal, in case you didn't know. I've been following her blog for a long time and absolutely adore her candy-coloured, modern-Lolita aesthetic. Her images have been hugely inspiring to me over the years and I still scroll her Insta for ideas.

Fine And Dandy - Claire is a real ray of sunshine in the blogosphere. A true princess, mental health warrior, and friend to all in the community. Her photography, baking, and positivity make for feel-good reading, and I always love reading her words as if I was reading a letter from a friend.

LUSH Oxford Street Haul!

Impromptu trips to London are one of my favourite things to do. Especially when I have the whole day to myself. Last weekend I tagged along with my Mum on her work-trip to the big city, just for the sake of getting away from Cardiff for a while and exploring my home-town. I miss London terribly sometimes, particularly the shopping and the night-life. While I was down there I met up with the super-interesting Laila, who I've been speaking to online for years now (she was one of the first ever readers of my blog!) and we had a pint or two in a dusty old man pub near Oxford Circus and put the world to rights. The whole day gave me such a craving for city life and exploration, I came home feeling so inspired to blog and to travel. But anyway, before I lose my focus...

lush oxford street haul
Here's everything I bought in LUSH Oxford Street. The flagship store was even more amazing than I had anticipated, with heaps of products I'd never heard of. My first purchase was the Comforter shower cream, as the smell of purple sweets and Ribena is just heavenly to me. Next I got a Razzle Dazzle bath oil that looks like a tiny pink ball of glitter. It has a lovely raspberry scent, and I love anything that softens water. After that I spotted this STUNNING Cherry Blossom bubble bar. Isn't it amazing? I think this is probably my favourite, as it looks and smells truly magical. Inspired by Briar Rose's Instagram, I picked up a Frozen bath bomb, which makes your bath water look like a glittery swirl of snow, just like in the movie! Lastly, I finally bit the bullet and got myself a Buffy bar, for tackling my dry skin come autumn/winter.

So what do you think of my haul? I'm so excited I could cry, to be honest. I've only been home a few days and I'm already eyeing up the price of an online delivery.

Latest Fashion Finds!

I haven't done a fashion post in quite a while, which seems strange and wrong to me, seeing as I've been buying so many nice clothes! I've been going through a buying-up phase, revitalising my wardrobe with some things I really love in the hope of making getting dressed a bit more fun. You know when you look into your closet and all the clothes scattered around your room, and can't find a single thing that feels like YOU? Which doesn't really make sense because no one bought those clothes except me, but there you go.

One of the places I've been looking for style inspiration is Pretty little Liars. If you've seen the outfit post I did about PLL you'll already know how obsessed I am, but for those who don't know, Rosewood is basically my Wonderland. I want to immigrate to the spooky village where it's always autumn and Zac Posen prom dresses are regular school/work attire. With that in mind, but also keeping my Cardiff reality in the picture, I picked up these awesome Office buckle boots from Depop. Depop is fast becoming a regular hunting ground for unusual threads (I have a little shop of my own you can check out here if you want to) and I'm so glad I found these to toughen up my party dresses.

The second thing I got was this delicate pink mesh top from Topshop Boutique. It's cut really boxy and is totally see-through, so I like to wear it with a pink or white bralet underneath. Continuing with the delicate pink theme, I got a tulle ballerina skirt from Hollister to go with loose tees and sandals in the summer, for a pretty, beachy vibe. I'm also going to mix it with this Aztec cardigan I got sent by WearAll, to keep my warm around the bonfire!

Perhaps the most PLL-appropriate thing I've bought recently is this Topshop scuba skirt with a floral print. I saw a picture of Lucy Hale wearing it in her down-time, and absolutely fell in love! I went on a hunt for it and eventually scavenged one in my size.

If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen my Primark strawberry bag already, but here it is again, because it's just too cute! It was the highlight of my week when Primark regrammed my picture, and it scooped over 60,000 likes! I couldn't believe it. Thinking that many people have seen a picture I took is freaking mind-blowing. Blogging is crazy sometimes.

This post contains pr samples/sponsorship, please see my disclaimer here