July Book Review Roundup

Posted on Friday, July 29, 2016

July Book Review Roundup
July hasn't been an amazing reading month for me as I've been focusing on driving (and Pokemon Go...) and for the past week or so, I haven't been very well because of a massive eczema flareup on my hands which has been causing to wake up a lot in the night and I've also had awful hayfever; additionally it's been too hot (31 to 26 degrees celsius in Manchester this month) so I haven't been reading then either...oops. But I have managed to read four books in July, three of which I loved!

*Hero Born and Hero Grown by Andy Livingstone - available now!
I received all four of these books as e-books via Netgalley which if you aren't aware, is a website where you can request upcoming books to review as e-books from the publishers for free! I didn't think Netgalley was available to UK bloggers but it is although some of the opportunities aren't for UK bloggers.

I already have reviews of both of these books on my blog and on my Goodreads as well as under my Amazon username so you can check those out if you want. Both books follow Brann, a shy teen with undiscovered talents who goes on an epic adventure. To me they are both extremely entertaining, fun and easy reads and are pure action and adventure books which I love. I ended up loving most of the main characters as well as the writing style and I cannot wait for the third book! Highly recommend! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

*The Witches Kiss by Katherine and Elizabeth Corr - available now!
There are certain trigger words for me when looking for books and one of them is 'witches' so I had to request to read this book and thankfully I was accepted. I read this e-book and the previous two on the Kindle app on my iPad mini. The story follows an entertaining cast of characters including Merry and her family as well as an evil villain, a tortured and handsome boy, royalty and a coven of witches...it sounds amazing and overall I did really like the story of Merry discovering and developing her witch powers and the tasks she has to undertake, her relationship with her brother which is so sweet and the magic. However, I hated the mother and grandmother as they were so disinterested in Merry and it was just an annoying point of the story as well as some of the typical YA tropes the book had. It felt like an episode of Once Upon a Time aka. unoriginal, predictable and a teeny bit cheesy. Also Leo, Merry's brother, is gay which seemed like it was a point just added to make it seem like a well rounded book. I would recommend it as it was entertaining (even though I was constantly just waiting for something to happen) and it was a VERY quick read for me but I think it could have been SO much better and more mysterious/dark but sadly it wasn't. Overall rating: ★★★☆☆, 3/5.

*The Trouble With Women by Jacky Fleming - available from 20th September 2016
This book wasn't available as a kindle copy so I had to download Abobe Digital Editions which is AWFUL as it takes ages to be able to turn each page and it's a bit of a pain to download. Anyway, rant over, the book itself is so interesting, entertaining and a very quick read. I love the little facts throughout and the illustrations. It demonstrates how women have been held back over the past few hundred years and the ridiculous excuses men have come up with as to why women are inferior/stupid/incapable. Men thought that women should stay at home and embroider and that women were incapable of doing things men could because their hands were too small, their brains were too small, their dresses were too big and women who were intelligent were viewed as manly. I would definitely recommend this little book! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

I am currently reading Ink and Bone (book 39 of 50 for 2016) and I'm really liking it so far! I'm also reading Caribbean Vegan and loving it too.

What are you currently reading? Have you read any of these? 

Essence Festival Makeup + Looks

Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2016

Essence Festival Makeup + Looks
Essence is one of my favourite makeup brands ever so I'm always excited when I'm sent more of their fantastic products! As summer is here (all at once in the UK) then it's time for some summer festival ready makeup looks using Essence products!

I was sent a range of their eyeshadows, liners and long lasting products. I've tried their waterproof mascaras and long lasting lip products already and love them. I recently published a post about the new Essence blogger secrets range which you can check out.
Essence Festival Makeup + Looks
I have three looks for you today, all of which were created using Essence products and they are so easy to create! I love Essence liners and shadows so these were quick and easy to create. Also all of the products are so inexpensive. PS. please excuse the dark circles and I don't know why my brows are showing up as really red in the photos! #BloggerProblems

Look One:

This first look uses the following products: *2 in 1 eyeshadow and liner waterproof in the shade 01 Go Bro'nze which is a creamy bronze eyeshadow crayon that can be used as a liner and that is how I used it. I also used the *Long Lasting Eye Pencil in 05 C'est La Vie; it's a luminous silver liner that looks so nice in contrast with the warm toned bronze shade. Lastly, I used the *All Eyes On Me Mascara. This look would be great for a festival as you don't need brushes, the products are long lasting and the look only uses three products!

Look Two:

A bit more of a colourful look now, which really isn't like me as I don't do colour but I like this one! I used another *Essence Long Lasting Eye Pencil but I used the shade 12 I Have A Green which is such a pretty, deep emerald green. I applied the liner and smudged it slightly then in a 90's twist, I added a few nail stickers to the corner of my eyes - who knew you could use nail stickers like this...well probably everyone but me until now. For all three looks I created I used Eylure brow products as I don't own any Essence brow products as well as the *All Eyes On Me Mascara in Black.

Look Three:

This final look is definitely my favourite as I just love classic black winged liner! I used the *Essence Liquid Ink which is an amazing liquid liner and it doesn't dry out! For some colour I added the *Essence The Velvets Shadow in 09 Bahama-Mama which is a pretty summery pastel blue shade - even though I don't really like colourful makeup, I do love the combination of black winged liner and pastel shadows on the lower lash line.

What do you think of my festival looks? Have you tried anything from Essence, if so which products do you love?

New In: Eylure Brow Products

Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2016

New In: Eylure Brow Products
Before I started blogging, I had no notion of brow pencils, brow gel or brow pomades - how naive I was back then and I imagine my brows looked awful but thankfully I never over plucked my brows like some of the girls in my high school (a single line of brow hairs was the trend and I'm so glad I didn't try that horrendous 00's trend).

Brows are an essential part of my makeup routine now and I'm always searching for the best brow products as there are so many out there to choose from and brow products can be very hit and miss. I was very kindly sent a range of new brow products from the lovely people at Eylure.

*Eylure Brow Contour (£8.99, No. 20 Mid Brown) 
I haven't tried any Eylure products before these but I always hear amazing things about all of their products so I was excited to give these a go. I chose the shade 'No. 20 Mid Brown' as my hair is a chestnut brown shade and when I'm in the sun, my hair looks very red so this warm/red tones brown is perfect for my current hair colour. The pencil has the brow shade on one end and a highlighter on the other so it's great for travelling. It's quick and easy to use, it is creamy but not overly so and it can be brush out/blended easily.  The longevity is great although not as amazing as the other two products. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4.5.
New In: Eylure Brow Products
*Eylure Brow Pomade (£8.99, No.20 Mid Brown)
This is the product I was most excited to try as I haven't tried a brow pomade from any brand before. It looks and applies like a brown eyeliner and it takes a while to get used to how much you need to use! The first time I used this pomade I forgot the golden rule of brow products, use lightly, as I ended up with massive drawn on, full on caterpillar brows (not a good look, in my opinion). A tiny amount goes a very long way and once it's on, it's on - the longevity is fantastic as is the precision you can get with this and the *Eylure Brow Duo Brush and Wand (£6.50) which is the perfect brow tool/applicator.  Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4.5.

*Eylure Brow Amplifier (£9.99, No.20 Mid Brown)
Last but not least is my favourite product of the ones I've tried so far. I love tinted brow gels/brow mascaras as they're so quick and easy for filling in my brows within seconds. As with the pomade, I made the same mistake with this gel and ended up with massive and I mean MASSIVE brows so use a light hand with these products. The gel when used lightly adds a good amount of colour and hold without leaving my brows too filled in or crunchy! I might get another shade for when I dye my hair a more ashy shade.  Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

Have you tried anything from Eylure? What do you think of these products?