Love Me Beauty - August Review


Last month you guys seemed to really love my review of the July Love Me Beauty box, so this month I decided to give you a run through of all the products available in this month's Happily Everlasting edit. As always, the products are all on point and there's not a single dud to be seen, which is what I love most about Love Me Beauty, but this month's box actually comes with a free £10 gift card for Vita Liberata as well. And if that wasn't enough, Kat Von D makeup is coming to the boutique on September 1st - before anywhere else in the UK. So if there was a time to subscribe, it's now.





Yes, this is a balm for your nipples - or at least, that's what it was originally made for. Now, despite the name, it's more commonly known as just a really, really great lip balm. It's 100% natrural and made of pure medical grade lanolin which is famous for it's moisturising benefits. I use this every single night before I go to bed (on my lips, not my nips) and it's an absolute must in my handbag whenever I'm travelling to and from London. 








Recently I've come to terms with the fact that I'm not getting any younger, and so I've started to take more of an interest in anti-ageing skincare. This month's LMB box came with a Cellular Repair Serum by Madara, and so naturally I've been slathering my self in the stuff. It's super light weight and sinks in almost instantly, so there's no sticky skin feeling.








As an avid brush cleaning procrastinator I'm always buying new brushes just so I don't have to clean my old ones (yeah, I know). But despite my ever-growing brush collection I've never actually tried Eco Tools, so when I saw this six piece starter pack I was pretty damn excited. I'm yet to use them properly but I have been brushing my face with them for the past hour. So. Soft.












Nuxe is a brand that I was actually introduced to through Love Me Beauty. I love just about everything I've tried from them so when I came across the shimmery Shower Oil (something I haven't yet tried from them) I was so pumped to give it a go. It smells amazing - just like everything else from Nuxe - and leaves a super subtle shimmer to you skin after showering. I love using it straight after an intense self-tanning sesh.






Vita Liberata are one of the newer brands that have made their way to the Love Me Beauty boutique, so I was really excited to see them in this months box. I've heard so many great things about their tan but I've always been apprehensive about shelling out incase I didn't like it, so I'm excited to give it a go! Plus, aren't these mini tanning mitts just the cutest things ever?


Use the code 'coco50' for 50% off your first Love Me Beauty box!

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Anastasia Modern Renaissance Review

As you may be able to tell by the five million selfies lately (sorry bout it) I've been mixing things up a bit in the makeup department. I've never been one to wear colour on my eyes but since I started sporting coloured lenses I've become one of those palette hoarding maniacs. And I'm okay with that.

I've been on the hunt for the Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette for a while now but every time I've looked online I've been faced with the words 'sold out' Every. Damn. Time. The other day I was contacted by a website called Octer that allows you to compare different websites and brands in order to find the exact product you're looking for. Obviously, I headed straight for the palette section of their beauty department and with a few scrolls, lo and behold, there it was, the ABH palette of dreams. I couldn't throw it on my face fast enough.

And guys, if any of my palettes deserve a dedicated blog post, it's this bad boy.

The brush that comes with the palette is surprisingly decent as well - so really good if you're on the go and don't want to lug around your entire brush collection.

Of course this palette is geared towards more warm-toned neutrals and pops of red, pinks and oranges, but generally speaking it's a really good all rounder for an every day eye look as well. The colours are mostly ultra-matte finish, but there are a few shimmery almost wet-look shades that work perfect for the inner corner or packing all over the lid. Like most shadows, they work best with a good eye primer under neath, but even without that last throughout the day without any creasing.

I was going to do a pro and con sort of blog post, but - in all honesty - I've yet to come across anything negative about this palette. Sure, it's pricey from the get go, but considering you get fourteen super pigmented pans (ten of which are neutrals) each colour works out at less than £3 each - cheaper than any drugstore shadow.

The pigmentation is absolutely ridiculous - in a good way. One tap of a brush and you've got enough pigment to cover your lid and then some. The colours blend in almost effortlessly - perfect if you're a bit of an eyeshadow noob like I am - and layer up nicely without every looking patchy.



Bottom row

Raw Sienna - Neutral amber (Ultra Matte)
Burnt Orange - Deep orange (Ultra Matte)
Primavera - Iridescent champagne (Metallic)
Red Ochre - Deep burgundy (Ultra Matte)
Venetian Red - Crimson red (Ultra Matte)
Warm Taupe - Ash taupe (Ultra Matte)
Realgar - Warm orange (Ultra Matte)

Top row

Tempera - Light beige (Ultra Matte)
Goldern Ochre - Yellow-brown (Ultra Matte)
Vermeer - Irridescent Shell (Metallic)
Buon Fresco - Cool-toned Lavender (Ultra Matte)
Antique Bronze - Warm sable (Metallic/Satin)
Love Letter - Deep fuschia (Ultra Matte)
Cyprus Umber - Dark chocolate (Ultra Matte)

Voting ends tonight! (you can vote three times) xo

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Why you need to stop hiding your blog

I was a part of the Tumblr era - an era where it was practically unheard of to even talk about your blog, let alone try and promote it. People would publish their insecurities in full (alongside pictures of Jeffrey Campbell Litas) and then pray to god that no one in their class would ever find out, because - let's face it - having emotions and sharing them on the internet is a really loser-ish thing to do. No wonder I never fit in at school..

But now, fast forward a few years and here we all are spilling our hearts out online and sharing some of our most personal stories in hopes that someone might be able to relate to whatever is going on in our heads. Blogging is no longer just about sharing an un-sourced image of your favourite pair of shoes or following as many Olsen Twin fan pages as possible. The times have changed, the internet has changed, and us as bloggers have changed. We're more personal than ever before because the only way to really stand out in the Blogosphere these days is to, quite simply, be yourself. And whilst sharing yourself with the internet might seem scary, it's exactly what you should be doing.

You never know where it might lead

Think back to a time when blogging wasn't a 'thing'. There was no such thing as a blogger - only a few people that wrote down their thoughts on the internet. Some of those people wound up to be the biggest bloggers in the industry, without even planning to get anywhere other than their bedroom. Imagine if you had a blog this whole time, but you were too scared to talk about it. Think about how many potential possibilities you could have missed just because you were a little nervous about what other people had to say. Forget about little Timmy in the back of your class making fun at you for taking selfies. Take five million selfies, tag your favourite brands, show your friends, get re-grammed and show Timmy who's boss (you).


Everyone starts from the bottom

I've never really hidden the fact that I have a blog, but it's only in the past few months that I've really begun to speak about it with pride. When people asked me what I did I used to brush it off as some form of freelance job and dodge the question as much as I could. Recently however, I've found myself openly discussing what it is that I do. One of the most common things I come across is other people being too scared to promote themselves because they're embarrassed. I get it - people can be assholes when it comes to something that they're not comfortable with, and they'll try to make you feel uncomfortable about it too to make them feel better. I got called countless names when I started posting outfits online. Now? Well now they've either finally gotten comfortable with it, or I've made them eat their words. Everyone pokes fun at you when you first start something - you just need to prove them you can get better.


There's nothing to be ashamed of

So what? You have a blog..and/or a Youtube channel. Or an Instagram. These days, any of the above is generation Y's version of  TV, or a 'good old fashioned book'. We read them on our way to work, we scroll through photos before we get out of bed and we watch Youtube videos on our phones whilst we sit on the toilet. Oh yeah, I know you do that too. So if we're consuming these things, why does it matter if we want to create our own as well? I've always said that people should be able to do whatever they want to do as long as they're somewhat gracious about it. On the grand scheme of having a blog really a big deal?


You'll make so many new friends

This is such a cliche thing to say as a blogger, but one of the best things about being a part of the Blogosphere is the friends you'll make along the way. Half of them live in different countries. Half of them I speak to on an almost monthly basis. Half of them I've never even met in real life! But they're my friends, without a shadow of a doubt. When you work in an office your co-workers become your friends. But when you work on the internet your friends are the other people that also spend every waking moment online. You'll form the most weird and wonderful relationships with people you never would have met if you didn't talk about your blog.



Okay so I didn't actually plan to put this in this blog post, but it just fit in so well that I couldn't not (plus, I need all the help I can get from you lovely people). As some of you will know I'm currently in the final 20 for the #IAmFreedom makeup awards competition. The prize is life changing (like £20,000 kind of life changing) and the next round of votes is cast solely by the public (AKA you guys). I wouldn't usually ask, but it would mean so much to me if you could all vote for me and help get me through to the final 10. You can each vote 3 times, and all you need to do is fill in your name, email (they won't spam you, don't worry!) and select 'STEPH' as the contestant you want to vote for. It would help me out in more ways than you can imagine, so if you do vote, please let me know so I can personally thank you! Lots of love as always.


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Summer festival essentials

Anyway, this week, I've been given the chance to head off to Boardmasters festival as a VIP for the whole week with none other than Original Source (AKA the makers of those amazing smelling shower gels), which means goodbye port-a-loos, and hello private showers. Now that my friends, is my kind of festival. Here's what I'll be packing to keep me feeling fresh.

I always used to think I was a fairly low maintenance kind of girl (I say this prior to my phase of putting 47 kilos of makeup on my face each day) but whenever festival season comes about I realise exactly how much I cherish my home comforts. I like to shower, I like to wash my face and I like my hair to be at least somewhat clean at all times. Is that really too much to ask?! 

The Beauty Products

Since I'll be throwing on a full face of makeup before I leave,
I've decided to only bring some of the basics along with me, including a spot of my favourite SPF (just incase the sun
decides to randomly show up) a travel size of dry shampoo to keep me feeling fresh, a refillable travelo spray (to keep me smelling fresh) and a nude-tinted lip balm because - let's be
real here - who wants to constantly top up their liquid lipstick when you're dancing around in a crowd of five thousand people? 

In the UK, festivals aren't always sunshine and sandals. In fact, it's more of a case of wet mud and wellies all week long, which is exactly why I've shied away from camping at festivals. But now, since I've got the luxury of VIP showers I'm of course going to bring some of the new Original Source Moisturising Shower Milks because, well, it'd be rude not to, right? They come in four different flavours (I legit want to drink them) - Cherry & Almond Milk, Sweet Apple & Vanilla Milk, Green Banana & Bamboo Milk and Lime & Coconut Milk. 




And of course - what with Pokemon Go taking over my life and wanting to Instagram-story just about everything these days, a portable charger is a must. I'll also need enough battery to hook up to my trusty portable speaker - for those times when I just want to chill out, blast some music and eat pizza with my friends on the beach.

What sort of internet person would I be if I didn't bring every gadget I own to a festival? I've had an Instax camera for ages now, but I only bring it out for special occasions that I'd like to document - like a festival. They might not be the most practical thing to lug around, but I lobe being able to collect memories in physical form.


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* This post is in collaboration with Original Source *

Should you switch to Instagram Stories?

Why you should switch to Instagram stories

So unless you've been living under a rock lately you're probably well aware that Instagram went into full copy cat mode last week and created their own version of Snapchat stories. And by their own version, I mean that they copied pretty much every single thing about it. Naughty.

Now I'm very much a 'stuck in my ways' kind of gal. I hopped on the Instagram bandwagon about a year later than everyone else, and I didn't use snapchat properly until a few months ago, so when Instagram Stories came about my instant reaction was to run for the hills. My friend Olivia however, is much more experimental when it comes to marketing, and so when she told me that her Instagram Story views quadrupled her Snapchat

views in just a few hours, I obviously had to give it a go. 

And - as usual - she was right. Now, my average Snapchat story gets around 300 views in the space of 24 hours. But my Instagram Story? Within about an hour of ordering, snapping and eating my dinner my views ended up at over 400. By the time I got home it averaged out at around 900. Same picture, but three times the amount of views in just a few hours. Since then, I've been using Instagram Stories almost exclusively (apart from those times when I really want a dog filter on my face) and I thought I'd do a little run down of the pros and cons of each incase you're still on the the fence about whether to switch, stay, or juggle them both.

It's all in one app

This might just be a plus when it comes to lazy girls like me, but if I'm out and about and I want to snap something for both Instagram and some form of 'story' then I find it so much easier to do it all in one app as opposed to having to flit between Instagram and Snapchat. Another plus side of using just one app is that you'll only need to build up one following as opposed to two, so you can really focus on creating quality content, as opposed to quantity.

It's easier to use

I'll be honest - I find snapchat a bit of a pain to use. Ive been using it for months now and even still I forget which way to swipe. Maybe I've become one of 'those' older people that aren't down with the kids, but sometimes I just get irritated with the way Snapchat is designed as a whole. Instagram stories is super simple to use and it doesn't interfere with the app as a whole, as it's more of an add-on as opposed to a complete app overhaul. Snapchat's additions just seem to make the app more complicated.

The filters aren't as fun

The only reason I go back to Snapchat now is to give myself a bit of an ego boost with the fancy prettifying filters. There are definitely more selfie benefits with snapchat, but - lets face it - I probably should go on a bit of a selfie ban as it is, so maybe it's a blessing in disguise. The Instagram story filters are still very basic, but chances are if Insta's happy enough to copy Snapchat to such an extent, the filters are well on their way.

Your audience is already there

Chances are you probably have more people following you on Instagram than you do Snapchat, which means there's already a higher chance of audience engagement. For me personally, I find it a lot easier to gain Instagram followers than I do Snapchat, so it only makes sense for me to utilise that by using Instagram stories over Snapchat.


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