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Favourites of the Month | January

We have officially made it. The longest month of the whole entire year is officially over… nearly. Well done us.  

It’s been a long time since I wrote a ‘Favourites of the Month’, but recently I have been trying loads of new bits and bobs (thank you Christmas!) that I have been loving, and so I thought I would share them with you all. It’s going to be a long one so grab yourself a cuppa and a biscuit, and let’s get started. 

FASHION

This month I have been making a conscious effort to make my fashion consumption more sustainable. After doing a lot of research into the fast fashion industry, I have been trying to buy less new clothes and instead buy second-hand off friends or dabble in a bit of thrift shopping.

However, I have got a few new pieces to share with you that I was bought for Christmas or purchased new knowing that I would get a lot of wear of out.

First up, it’s my vegan-friendly Dr. Martens. Yes, they’re still agony as I have yet to fully bed them in, but damn my feet look good. I got them in Vegan 1460 Chrome in a dark oxblood red and I truly am obsessed. They’re a little different to the original iconic Dr. Marten’s that have a more understated, smooth shine. These, on the other hand, have the most gorgeous reflective chrome finish that reflects slightly different colours in different lights. They’re eye-catching, they’re practical AND they’re cruelty-free. Bravo Dr. Marten’s, bravo.

And once you bed them in they do become super comfortable… I promise! 

At the time of writing this, this pair is on sale, so if you fancy yourself a pair then now is a perfect time.

Sticking in fashion, I have another  January favourite to share with you, from Gymshark. No surprises there… 

It is, of course, the black camo seamless leggings and sports bra, which quickly became my absolute favourite set Gymshark have ever designed. They’re on the pricier side of Gymshar activewear, but they are so worth it. The leggings are the most flattering I have ever worn, and the little scrunch detailing on the back gives the illusion of a bigger, perkier booty. The bra is also really flattering, not to mention it gives great support while still sporting a feminine design. I really think Gymshark have pulled it out of the bag with this one (if I do say so myself) and, if possible, I would seriously recommend getting your hands on it.

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MAKE-UP 

Next up, it is time for my favourite makeup product on the month, of which there are two. I tried to pick just one, I really did, but they are both so good I thought that they should both get a mention.

First up is the Makeup Revolution Liquid Highlighter Luminous Gold. I have always been a little sceptical about liquid highlighters and I don’t think you get the same control or natural finish. However, this one is an absolute DREAM! Not only is it super affordable, but it has the most stunning finish that lasts literally all day. You hardly need any (one or two drops at the most) and it gives you the most reflective, dewy glow! I have also been experimenting with this under my foundation to give my skin a healthy-looking glow that it really misses in these colder months. If you’re on the hunt for a liquid highlight, you seriously cannot go wrong with this one. They come in loads of different colours and are available on BeautyBay. I get complimented every time I wear it! Hats off Makeup Revolution.

HIGHLIGHT

My second make-up favourite has to be Benefit’s Gimme Brow Volumising Gel. I have been using the same eyebrow kit for the past 6 years (not exactly the same one… I have repurchased, don’t worry) but it just wasn’t quite making the cut anymore. It was good for the drawn-on eyebrow days, but now I prefer a more natural finish. The Gimme Brow is my new ride-or-die. It is so easy to use, you literally just put it on like mascara and it gives you lashes and full finish, while still looking super natural due to the tiny little micro-fibres in the formula. I was also pleasantly surprised at the staying power – it lasts out even my sweatiest gym sessions. Here’s to the next 6 years Gimme Brow.

SKIN CARE

Confession: I am shit when it comes to skincare.

I wish I was one of these girls with a fancy routine they followed religiously but, truth be told, I am lazy. However, this year, I have made it my resolution to take better care of my skin and I have been sticking to it pretty well. I actually have 3 favourites in this section, but all part of the same skincare family so it’s okay… right?

First up in the family is the Elemis Nourishing Omega-rich cleansing oil. I’ll admit, I have had this a while and have been avoiding using it because a make-up wipe and some water seemed like a lot less agg. While my skincare routine might have taken a grand total of 30 seconds, it wasn’t really doing much, and I started to struggle with breakouts. I started using this and absolutely love it. It smells delicious and leaves my skin feeling so soft and nourished. Not only that, but since using it, I feel like my skin has become a lot more glow-y and a lot less like I have died. Always a bonus…

The other two products are the Elemis Soothing Apricot Toner, which is a lazy girl’s dream! Literally, just spray and go – ideal. Last up, it’s their collagen marine cream (basically a fancy name for a moisturiser from what I can tell). It’s super thick and feels really indulgent, but doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy at all, rather it makes my skin feel plump and delicious. I tend to get really dry skin in the colder months, so a good moisturiser is essential.

This set was brought for me as a gift, so I don’t know the exact price, but I am going to take a stab in the dark and say that it will not be cheap! However, I am really liking it and don’t mind investing if it is going to work and look after my skin.

Long may my new-found skincare routine last.

EXERCISE

As you will know if you follow me on any of my social media platforms, I am taking part in Gymshark 66. They say it takes 66 days to make a habit, and so I am putting it to the test and challenging myself to eat better, run faster, lift heavier, and (most importantly) be happier. This means my exercise this month has been intense! I threw myself straight back into the deep-end with it after struggling for 2 months with glandular fever and, truth be told, I have loved every last second of it! The aches and the pains have been KILLER, but I have never felt fitter or more confident.

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My favourite exercise of the month has to be bench press! I always hated bench press, but since I started incorporating it into my routine on a regular basic, I started to notice some great improvements. It’s a fantastic, compound exercise that I would seriously recommend. If the barbell is a bit too heavy for you at the moment, try lying dumbbell press to help build up your strength before moving onto the barbell!

ENTERTAINMENT

I wish I could say that this month my entertainment favourite was going to a book, but Netflix have really pulled it out of the bag this January (and also, I have only been reading history books, which the majority of you are not going to care about..*.). I watched ‘Birdbox’ at the start of the month and, don’t hate me, but I really did not get the hype. 5/10 at the very best! ‘You’, however, I have really enjoyed. Super trippy, witty and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I would definitely recommend giving this a watch if you haven’t already.

*If you are I would recommend ‘In Defence of History’ by Richard Evans. It’s not without its flaws, but it is a really interesting reflection on postmodernism and that impact it has on history. NERD!

So, there you have it! I know this has been the longest Favourites of the Month EVER, but there is a lot that I have been loving throughout January. What have you been loving? Loved yourself a bit of Birdbox? Avoid benchpress like the plague? Let me know in the comments down below?

Jamie x

 

Valentine’s Edit. | PrettyLittleThing

Valentine’s day is on the horizon, which can only mean one thing… very soon there will be discounted chocolates in love heart shape boxes all over the place and my Mum is on the hunt for my 2019 Valentine’s present from my ‘secret admirer’ – thanks Mum. 

Amidst the inevitable, this year you will be pleased to know that I actually have a date. Well, unless he goes off me between now and then, which is likely but let’s remain optimistic, shall we? I also have had the pleasure of teaming up with the lovely folks at PrettyLittleThing to provide you with some serious outfit inspo, no matter what your plans are.

Girls Night

Who needs a man when you’ve got your gal pals and a killer outfit? 

For this look, I went for what have very quickly become my ride or die pair of black jeans. High-waisted, skinny and very flattering on those booty gains you’ve been working on since Jan 1st.

Perfect for brunch, cocktails or hitting the clubs – these jeans are my go-to!

JEANS

Shop the High-waisted Skinny Jeans here.

I am wearing a size 10.

I dressed them with a pair a patent black, heeled boots. Very sophisticated and versatile, yet they also make a serious statement.

So shiny I can see my face in them, these will definitely turn heads. Perfect with a pair of jeans like I have on here, or even a dress or skirt, I will definitely be getting a lot of wear out of these beauties. Plus, they’re super comfortable… always a bonus!

BOOTS

IMAGE: PrettyLittleThing

Shop the Black Patent Mid-heel Boots here.

I am wearing a size 6.

The real statement of the outfit (and possibly my favourite thing in this whole blog post)  is the red silk shirt, which I wore tucked in and buttoned quite low (not too low, don’t worry Mum) with a long, drop necklace. It is such a statement piece and the perfect colour for Valentine’s Day.

I absolutely adore this top and am really impressed with the quality of the fit and material (something I usually worry about with silk), not to mention it is so versatile. You could just as easily wear this out for dinner with the family, or even to work… maybe just do up a few more buttons than I have done here. It’s oversized and so you’re free to dance the night away without feeling uncomfortable or restricted.

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Girl’s nights are never angelic…

Shop the Red Satin Button Front Shirt here.

I am wearing a Medium.

Shop the Gold Layer Disk Plunge Necklace here.

Date Night 

A romantic meal? Cocktails? Wetherspoons 2 for 1? (I speak from experience on the latter). Wherever they’re taking you, you’ve got to be dressed to impress. 

For date night, once again I have gone for red… well burgundy, only this time we’re turning things up a notch (just you wait until we get to outfit number 3). 

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The finished look

 The deep burgundy, mini dress is right up my street! Fitted, but not clingy (even after a massive meal… again, I am speaking from experience), this dress is designed to give the illusion hourglass figure and so super flattering. I paired it with a super simple black heels and some rose gold drop earrings to really add a bit of something extra.

If you want to impress, this is the dress.

I also wore it tucked in as a top in for a more casual date night. I styled this look with ripped jeans and black heels for a sexier, casual look – the possibilities are endless.

RED DRESS

IMAGE: PrettyLittleThing (that sign in the corner means it helps gives you that hourglass shape)

Shop the Shape Burgundy Satin Wrap Dress here.

 I am wearing a size 10

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Think outside the box… and please, for the love of God, wash your bathroom mirror, Jamie. 

‘Netflix and Chill’ (And yes, I do mean this in the innuendo sense) 

So, the date has gone well and your Bridget Jones pants just aren’t going to cut it? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.

Parents, look away now. 

When it comes to sexy lingerie, I’ll be honest, I’m not exactly a pro. A pack of six pairs of knickers I picked up a few years back is about as sexy as it gets. However, I am in the process of upping my underwear draws game. They say you feel like you’ve got your life together when you have matching underwear on and, trust me when I say, I need all the help I can get.

I have two ‘Netflix and chill’ garments that I would highly recommend… Wow, recommending people’s sex clothes is weird. Anyway, let’s go with it.

First up, this red, one piece is, well… SEXY AF. Not the easiest to remove, but very sexy. It’s high-legged so makes your legs look ridiculously long, which in turn makes it really flattering. Impressive considering you’re hardly wearing anything at all really.

RED LACE

IMAGE: PrettyLittleThing

Shop the Red Lace Cupped Body Suit here.

I am wearing a Medium

I also got my hands on this super cute chiffon nightwear/playsuit number. Be warned – it is see through and so you do not want to be wearing this down in his parents kitchen the next morning, but it’s very sexy (a word we have used a lot in the blog post) and surprisingly comfy considering these things don’t tend to be made with comfort in mind. I mean, it’s not quite as comfy as my Harry Potter PJs, but I am also considerably less likely to pull in those – you win some you lose some I guess.

KEKE

IMAGE: PrettyLittleThing

Shop the Keke Red Chiffon Teddy here.

 I wear a Medium

So, there you have some of my Valentine’s Day inspiration courtesy of the lovely team of PrettyLittleThing. Huge thank you to them for sending these pieces over and for increasing my chances of a date this year significantly. You guys are the real MVPs.

Which is your favourite outfit? Let me know in the comments below. 

Jamie x 

From Summer To Autumn | Switching Up My Routine.

It’s Autumn time!! Autumn is my favourite season hands down. A) Because it is my birthday season (I’m an October baby so it is officially my birthday month) and B) Pumpkin spiced lattes are back and I am continue embracing the #basic life in caffeinated style and C) Because I love updating my health and beauty routine to suit to colder weather. I thought I would share with you guys today some of the changes autumn brings to my routine. So, let’s get started. 

Skin Care

I tend to use autumn as a transition season to help to rejuvenate and repair your skin from any summer damage and get it ready for the brutalities of a British winter. Everything has to serious up its game when it gets to autumn as moisture becomes to new buzz word. Now it is getting colder and I am becoming more and more reliant on the central heating, a more intensive moisturiser in necessary. I tend to ditch the lighter creams and go for heavier moisturising creams and gels that reinvigorate my skin and body and give it a little extra hydration.

  1. Whereas the Dove Summer Revived Gradual Tan was getting me through the summer months just fine now it is more about the Aveeno, which I cannot recommend enough. I also tend to get slight eczema during the colder months on my chest and elbows (nothing too serious) but this moisturiser clears it right up and keeps it to an absolute minimum.
  2. I also tend to switch up my lip care to something a little more moisturising. As you might remember, during summer I was LOVING the Carmex Pineapple and Mint lip balm (it even featured in my holidays essentials post). Now, however, my lips are needing a thicker balm that does not make me mourn my summer holidays. Dr. Lipp Nipple Balm is perfect for this. It is so so nourishing and super thick so continues to provide moisture ALL day. The thickness might not be for everyone but I cannot think of a better lip balm to take me from summer into autumn – it’s fantastic.
  3. Moisture might be the buzz word but it is important not to forget to exfoliate during the autumn months. My go-to is always FRÉ Skincare ‘Purify Me’. It keeps my skin clean, smooth and helps to get rid of dead cells and impurities without making my skin feel dry or tight at all. It’s a dream of an exfoliate and I would seriously recommend it. If you fancy getting your hands on some remember to use my code JJ, which will give you 15% off at the checkout.

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Hair 

Moisture is also the buzzword when it comes to hair. I have pretty dry hair anyway so my hair care regime doesn’t change dramatically BUT I have some bits and bobs I would recommend and one pretty big change.

  1. The Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment (For Hair That Never Grows Past A Certain Length) is AMAZING! Not only does it help speed up hair growth, which I love during the autumn and winter months, it also leaves your hair feeling super moisturised and silky smooth. I definitely will be using this product a lot more regularly over the next few months.
  2. The biggest change when it comes to my hair is that autumn means it is time to bring back the gold. I am a natural blonde but like to change up the tones to match the seasons. Over summer I had a super light highlight ran through it. Autumn will see more honey shades to match my wardrobe and make up changes. By winter we will probably see the return of a silver undertone but, for now at least, I’m going to be a golden girl

Make Up

I hate to say it but I am no longer the tanned goddess I was last season. Now I resemble a sheet of paper and that sadly means that my make up all needs switching up to suit. My autumn make up looks tend to be a lot deeper and more intense. Whereas summer saw pastels and pretty shimmers, autumn is about browns, burgundy and a popping highlight.

  1. The biggest change in my make up from summer to autumn is my lipstick colour choices. Whereas summer sees me rocking a soft pink, bright orange or more natural/nude shades, autumn is all about deeper and darker lip colours. My absolute go-to’s are both MAC. First up is Dark Side, which is the most stunning deep burgundy ever that goes so well with browns and oranges. I also absolutely love Dubonnet, which is described as a deepened claret. It is the perfect deep red and goes with pretty much every single make up look.
  2. I am sad to say that after months of light powders and a bit of bronzer, the liquid foundations are back. Even though I am looking for a bit more coverage from my foundation I still don’t want my skin to feel clogged up and full of make up. My favourite for creating a beautifully dewy, natural finish is the Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation. If I am looking for something with a little more coverage, the MAC studio sculpt foundation is my go-to (although I am currently in the market for a new one so suggestions are welcome). 
  3.  In terms of eye shadow, my bright oranges and yellows have had to go back in the drawer until next year. It does mean, however, that my NUE Eyeshadow Palette from Laritzy  has really come into it’s own. I have spoken about this palette before for it’s stunning browns and deeper shades and they are absolutely perfect for the autumn months. My Smashbox Full Exposure palette is also a favourite for the autumn/winter months and is great for creating day looks as well as looks for your work Christmas party.

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It’s goodbye for now Silent Disco… 

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Fashion

Definitely the most notable change in autumn is my fashion. Living in the UK means that autumn gets very cold so the shorts and cute summer dresses go to the back of the wardrobe for another year and we say hello to some new fashion staples.

  1. Hallelujah, jumpers are back! I love a jumper. The bigger the better. Last year I did a huge jumper shop and got loads from Primark. They’re super affordable and will last me through this autumn as well. I would also recommend hitting up Primark for coats. They’re usually very similar to ones you might find in River Island or TopShop but are a fraction of the price.
  2. It’s time to say goodbye to the sunshine yellows, baby pinks and bright (and by bright I mean covered in flamingos and pineapples…) and hello to burnt oranges, burgundy and deep reds. Just as with makeup, my wardrobe becomes a lot deeper in the autumn months. I still like my longer dresses but tend to pair them up with cute little chelsea boots and wooly tights rather than flip flops. When it comes to shoes, Zara have an excellent selection (as always). Here are some of my favourites.

Snake Skin/Leopard Print High Heel Ankle Boots – £99.99

Red Leather Stiletto Ankle Boots – £89.99

Burgundy High Heel Knee High Boots – £119

All a little pricey (they’ve had to go onto the wish list) but Zara shoes are great quality and last for years so definitely worth the investment if you can afford them.

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Okay, so maybe baby pink still features a little… I just can’t help myself. 

Exercise

Autumn might be my favourite season but the switch from summer to autumn is a bit of a disaster my training programme. Okay, that’s unfair on autumn, but it certainly does mean there is a huge dip in my motivation. When you get up for work and it’s dark and then you come home from work and, surprise surprise, it is once again dark, the last thing I fancy doing is a gym session. This means that my exercise programme sees a bit of a switch up in order to maintain motivation throughout the colder months.

  1. My training moves from outdoor agility and functional training to more gym based, indoor training. This isn’t a problem as long as I ensure to keep up cardiovascular training whilst I’m there (I’ll also probably be walking around less so I also need to make up for that). 
  2. I train a lot smarter in the colder seasons. This means that I make my workouts shorter and focus them more on compound movements.That way I’m not inside for every single daylight hour but I can go in and get an effective session done quickly.
  3. Gym buddies are saving graces when you’re lacking in motivation so I tend to go to a lot more classes and group sessions during the colder months. Pop into your local gym and see what they’ve got available OR look into local walking groups or Zumba classes – these always keep me motivated and it is also a great way to make friends (it’s nearly secret santa time, right?)

So there you have it, some of the changes I will be making to my routine over the next couple of weeks. Are you guys excited for Autumn? What are some of the biggest changes to your routine that the new season brings? Let me know in the comments below. Until next time. 

Jamie x 

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Favourites Of The Month | August.

Hey guys! It’s my favourite time of the month again. If you are new to the blog (hi!) then this is a monthly feature where I share with you all the things I have been loving (clues in the title I guess). This month has been chaos! I have moved away from home and started my first job. I’ve made a loads of new friends and generally had a wicked time. Don’t you worry though, I have still found time to experiment with new bits and bobs and so have a lot to share with you guys today. So sit tight and let’s get started… 

Fashion 

As mentioned I started work this month, which can only mean one thing – a massive Zara order (I mean, I had to get a new wardrobe for work, right?). I tried to look beyond the heat wave with this shop and so got myself some autumnal clothing to take me into the next season. I love everything I got but my favourite has got to be these Leopard Print Trousers from their latest animal print collection.

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Image from Zara

I have never been a huge animal print fan but I saw these and I totally fell in love. They are so comfy and easy to wear, plus they look like I’ve made a load of effort when in reality I feel like I’m lounging about on the sofa. I usually team these up with some black or white mules (I love these onesand a cute little crop top (they go with so many colours – black, brown, red and purple look amazing with them). 

Make Up 

This month’s favourites have come as a huge surprise to me for 2 reasons. Firstly, I had no clue I was getting them until they turned up in the post from the lovely folks at Influenster. And secondly, last time I received lipsticks from this brand I was really not a fan. However, the Rimmel London Stay Satin Liquid Lipsticks have really impressed me – so much so they have secured a spot on this months favourites.

Now I’m going to be honest with you, they take some getting used to. They’re not the easiest to apply and the formula of the brighter colours never, ever fully dry so they smudge super easily (not selling them so far, I know). This said, the colours are absolutely unreal (I have never had a lipstick with such intense and beautiful colour pigment) and they do last for ages even with the risk of smudging. The brighter lipsticks haven’t been my go-to’s (however, I am loving experimenting with them and trying new looks) BUT the shade Shoulder Pads well and truly has my heart. It is the most stunning pinky nude that lasts all day and suits my pale complexion like a dream! I am truly obsessed, I think I have worn it every make up day this month.

As for the other colours, normally I would never be seen in a purple or a grey but these are just so stunning and have a perfect satin finish. Yes they have some negatives and yes you really do have to play around with them, but you can create so so many different looks and these have really made August the month that I have moved out of my comfort zone when it comes to make up.

lipstick

Skin Care 

I don’t know if this counts as skin care but just roll with it. This months winner is the MakeUp Eraser by MakeUp Eraser (imaginative…). I got this product in last months The Pip Box and, despite initial scepticism, I am totally obsessed! This rather underwhelming little bit of cloth is actually really impressive. It removes make up with water alone and therefore uses no chemicals or nasty stuff. It’s vegan, reusable and really does remove even the thickest mascara (believe me, I put it to the test).  It’s made from a specially knitted polyester/silk fibre which, when wet creates a hydro-mechanical process (fancy, right?) that breaks the surface tension of the oils that bond make up to the skin. Not bad for a little bit of cloth.

I love it. it’s good for the environment, it’s good for my skin, it’s good for how super lazy I am when it comes to removing make up AND it lasts between 3-5 years. Everyone’s a winner.

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Image from selfridges.com

A runner up this month has got to be Bepanthen. Nope, I haven’t got nappy rash. I do, however, have a baby tattoo and this stuff has been an absolute dream when it comes to keep it moisturised and healing properly. I would seriously recommend picking yourself some of this up if you’ve got a new tattoo.

Exercise 

This has been a tough one this month as I am back doing my usual 4 day split training programme with a 5th day of abs and cardio. I am loving it and it is certainly nice to be back into a routine, but there has been nothing particularly new/exciting to report. I am currently looking at joining some adventure holidays though. Ever since Crete I have been desperate to get back out on the water and go kayaking again. I absolutely loved it but sadly in Birmingham the opportunities are limited. I am therefore on the hunt for an adventure holiday where I can do this again. I’m thinking something where I can go kayaking, rock climbing and maybe try my hand at surfing so if you have any suggestions let me know!

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Get me back on those waves. 

One thing I have loved about switching up my exercise over the past few months has been how I no longer just love weights, I love being active. I have really opened my eyes to new sports and becoming willing to experiment with sports I never thought I would enjoy.

Entertainment (Books) 

This month it’s not a TV show that has been entertaining me. In fact, I have been struggling to find anything on Netflix that has been floating my boat. Instead I have been reading a hell of a lot. I love a good crime/mystery book and so I have been loving Peter Robinson’s DCI Banks novels. Nothing new here but they are really fantastic books that I would seriously recommend – my favourite is Cold Is The Grave.

If you’re fancying something a little less morbid, Everything I Know About Love is a fantastic read (you might remember it featured on my summer reading list a few weeks back) and I urge you to read it.

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So there you have it, some of my August favourites. As always, I want to know your thoughts! Up for trying out the Rimmel Stay Satin Lips or not up for braving grey lippy? Any August TV show band wagons I need to join? Let me know your thoughts and what you guys have been loving this month.

Jamie x 

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Favourites Of The Month | July.

Hey guys, how are we all?

It’s time for my favourites of the month again. I’m loving writing these posts and sharing what I’ve been loving – it is a great chance to reflect on the month (and also to judge myself in hindsight for how much money I have spent on new beauty bits and bobs – not quite as fun!). I have been super excited for this one as I always find I get a lot more experimental with my beauty, skincare and fitness regime during the summer months – must be the warm weather inspiring me! This month has been no exception and a lot of categories have actually got an overall winner and a runner up in them.

  I have a lot to share this month so I’ll get straight into it. 

Fashion

My fashion favourites are usually something that I have been wearing a lot, however, this month is a little different for two reasons. First, July saw me chilling by the side of the pool in my scruffs a hell of a lot (I am definitely not one to be seen in heels and jewellery by the side of the pool) and as much as ‘oversized, ugly t shirt’ is a staple part of my wardrobe, it doesn’t exactly scream fashion. Second, I have been eyeing these trends for a long time but I have also just moved into my first ever house and so funds are a little short to say the least! I did still want to share them with you guys because I think they’re really cool!

Ever since I saw Dani Dyer rocking that denim jacket/skirt coord I have been seriously lusting after one! It also just so happens that after Dani Dyer rocked that denim jacket/skirt coord that they popped up literally everywhere – what are the chances, ey? I have been searching the internet and one of my favourites is this Red Contrast Stitch cropped denim jacket and denim skirt. I am a huge fan of wearing red and this coord from MissGuided is such a beauty! For both it would come in at £57, which is okay…I guess. 

Image from missguided.co.uk

If you don’t fancy red, head over to PrettyLittleThing and check out their gorgeous pink one! This one comes in at £50 so with the £7 you save you could buy yourself… well, not a lot but still. They also have one in white, leopard print, pale pink check (very ‘Clueless’) and a questionable blue one. Each to their own I guess…

Image from PRETTYLITTLETHING

Make Up 

Although I tend to wear less make up during the summer months, I have actually been experimenting with a lot of products throughout July. This months winner is a little bit of a surprise to me. I’ve actually had it for a long time but I have always avoided it due to the fact I cannot stand the packaging! However, I decided to give it a go and the product itself is stunning. The Benefit Sugarbomb Blush has been my go to blusher this month and even featured in my graduation day make up look. It’s a stunning mix of four shimmering shades of peach, bronze/plum, pink and rose together and so acts as a bronzer (and even highlighter) and well as a blush. It’s described as giving an ‘instant sugary flush’ and it really does do just that. It is packed with subtle, beautiful shimmers and the shade range is super versatile.

Look at that peachy glow! 

I’ve used this product almost every single day this month, whether I am wanting a soft glow to compliment a ‘no make up’ make up day or whether I am heading on a night out. If you’re loving peachy summer glowsI would seriously recommend picking this up. You know,if you can get past the packaging…

Although Benefit have stolen the show for me this month, Laritzy Cosmetics came in a close second and so has bagged itself a spot as my runner up. I received their NUE nude eyeshadow collection in lasts months The Pip Box and I knew straight away I was going to love it. For starters the palette is vegan, which is great! It is also full of super pretty, neutral shades that are so wearable. As I mentioned over on my Instagram, it is not the most highly pigmented palette (one of the reasons it did not bag first place) but it is easy to build up and it leaves next to no fallout, which is great. The neutral browns and coppers are great for everyday where and you can actually get quite a lot of different looks.

Apart from the pigmentation, another reason this palette did not bag first place is the price. I did not pay retail price for this product but if you did it would come in at £35.99, which I think is a little pricey. The colours are nice and I have worn it a lot over the month but I still find myself reaching for last month’s favourite, the MUA eyeshadow palette in Burning Embers. This palette has 25 gorgeous shades and are so much more versatile and affordable (it’s only £8). Neither come with a mirror, which I don’t mind when it’s £8, but I would have liked to have seen a mirror and slightly more sophisticated packaging on the Laritzy palette. This is not to say this palette isn’t good (it did make it to runner up for heavens sake!) but these are just some of the reasons it was pipped to the post.

MUA-Eyeshadow-Palette-Burning-Embers-030-715922

Still my go to eye shadow palette! 

Image from www.superdrug.com

Exercise 

Whilst at University I spent a lot of time in exercise classes but now I have come back I’ve had to wave goodbye to Les Mills (at least for now anyway) and go back to my home gym. This has meant a serious change to my exercise regime, which has worked wonders in shocking my body and helping me to start seeing results again. Throughout July I did a lot of HIIT and functional training at home (climbing in and out of wholes, lifting logs and all that jazz) and resistance training at the gym. Whilst I have been really enjoying both of them and every single session has been different and pushed my body in new and challenging ways, the winner for July is functional training.

If you’ve not heard of functional training before and are wondering why in gods name I am jumping in and out of holes, don’t worry! Functional training is basically adapting training to mimic everyday actions. Basically moving fitness outside of the gym. You’re still building strength, power and mobility but in a way that is more suited to ‘real world’ fitness requirements. There’s a lot of bending, sitting, reaching, balancing and unilateral training! It’s challenging but really good fun and has helped me see some serious results over the past month or so.

For more information on functional training and how you can incorporate it into your work out, check out this post. It’s full of top tips, advice and videos to help make your training more functional.

Music 

Leaving University has meant many things. My working weeks now consist of a lot more than 9 hours, I can’t afford to recklessly go for 5 coffees a day to avoid the library and I’m no longer on the radio every week. The latter has seriously impacted my knowledge of new music. As you might remember from a few months back, my music taste is very much that of a 50 year old man. I have, however, been loving a very recent album that I think you should all be listening to!

 

Image from Wikipedia 

High as Hope is the newest album from Florence and The Machine (you know, dog days are over and all of that!) and it is truly beautiful – I swear it actually gave me goosebumps! I always loved her music and find her voice so haunting and soothing. The album has some wonderful songs on it – you might have already heard Hunger, one of my favourites on the album. If you enjoy indie rock and older songs from Florence then I’m sure you will love this album.

Skin Care 

My July favourite when it comes to skincare is an oldie but a goldie. I have very fair, sensitive skin and I don’t really tan. I kind of tend to go a nice shade of salmon covered in little spots instead – get in line boys. The Dove Summer Revived, however, is my go to gradual tan and moisturiser as it gives me a nice, healthy glow and means you can look at my legs without having to protect your eyes from the glaring white.

It’s super easy to apply and, even with my lazy application style (splurt on, rub it in a bit and hope for the best), has never left me looking streaky unlike other false tans. It’s super affordable, super moisturising and super natural! I was using this for the whole of July and every evening when I was away on my holiday to keep my skin healthy and smooth. I like to think I will continue to use this throughout the year to keep up the glow all year round but, who knows, I’m pretty lazy…

So there you have it, some of my July favourites. What do you think? Were you loving last months The Pip Box? The warmer weather got you loving going out for walks rather than hitting up the gym? Can’t get past the Benefit blusher packaging to purchase sugarbomb?

Let me know and, as always, I also want to know what you guys have been loving this month. 

Jamie x