The Uni Homeware Haul

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

... So Far

Lots of photos today and (hopefully) lots of home inspiration for you! I've left my blog rather neglected the past week but now you've seen just how much shopping and organising myself I've been doing you should understand. I move into my halls on Saturday and will have an ensuite room, share my flat with 7 others and cooking wise be self catered. Perhaps I should be at the stage where I'm getting excited but really there's nothing but nerves at the moment so if anyone's got any tips to combat them it'd be much appreciated. Obviously as a student, none of these things break the bank with the majority being either from Asda, Tesco or Dunelm Mill. I'm going to list links and prices of the more interesting and my favourite items but if you want to know about anything else, just leave me your question in the comments. If not, simply tell me what your favourite item is I've picked up and whether you're now after any of these. I think my personal favourite has to be the 'Unnecessary Item Fund' coin tin (£2.50 here) simply because I know that's what I'll use it for! 

Anyway, I hope this gives you some ideas and I'll be back to more regular posting as soon as I can.
Lara xo


Cupcake Themed:
Apron - £4 here
Tea Towels - £4 set of 3 (can't find online) 
                     £2 individual towel here
Oven Mitt - £4 here
All Asda

Purple Shower Scrunchi with Pink Platypus (!?!) - 49p here - Dunelm Mill

White with Blue Hearts:
4 pack bowls - £8 here
4 pack side plates - £8 here
Set of 4 Mugs - £5 here
All Asda

'Receipts for Money I Used to Have' Tin - £6.91 here
'Unnecessary Item Fund' Tin - £2.50 here

Rimmel Brow This Way - Yay or Nay?

Tuesday, 16 September 2014


I mentioned in this post that I'd picked up Rimmel's Brow This Way as a cheaper alternative, as I couldn't bring myself to take the plunge and pay £17.50 for Benefit's Gimme Brow. I also mentioned that I'd picked up the shade medium blonde which, as you can see, my hair clearly isn't. Over the past week I've been using it almost everyday both alone and on top Faint from the Naked Basics Palette. Whilst I can't compare it directly or indicate how much of a dupe it actually is of Gimme Brow, I can tell you what I think:

Shade: I personally think anyone with medium blonde hair would find this to be too dark, however it definitely does have warm undertones which wouldn't make it suitable for all brunettes either; luckily, it's pretty much a perfect match for me but the colours available definitely don't cater for everyone. Whilst I find it looks lovely and natural actually on the hairs, if it splodges onto the skin in sparser areas the colour does tend to look a bit funny so, especially when I was first using it, I often had to go back in with a cotton bud to clean up. 3/5

Application: Definitely becomes easier with practice! I'd never used a product anything like this so faced with the overloading of the brush as often happens with new things, I didn't find it the easiest. It also tends to unavoidably highlight any stray hairs and whilst this is perfectly fine for a natural looking brow, if you want to achieve something a bit more defined it works better if applied over a powder. 4/5

Wear: The colour neither changed nor budged. I found no problem with the wear at all even when faced with sweat or rain. It doesn't smudge if you scratch your eyebrow or something during the day, yet is still easy to remove in the evening. 5/5

(Pictured, is without any other products on the brows, although I would add that mine are naturally quite dark and dense.)

Overall, taking into account shade, application and wear, I'd give it a S.A.W. score of  12/15 (that's so appeasing that that rhymes!), but with it only costing £3.99 it's definitely worth a try! It will be interesting though to see how long it lasts before it dries up in the tube, or whether I finish it before it does.

Have you tried either Brow This Way or Gimme Brow? What did you think?
Lara xo

P.S. I recently joined Twitter and I'd love it if you could follow me on there. You can find me @LaraM_W - thank you!

Playing with Makeup | FOTD

Friday, 12 September 2014

Purple & Gold

Sometimes it's nice to just sit and have a play with your little treasure chest of makeup. Although each to their own because my little brother walked in while I was doing this and was confused as he knew I wasn't going out and how could this possibly count as 'fun'. I just find so often we end caught up, slapping on makeup in a rush or feeling pressure to get it perfect because there's a big event. There always seems to be some time constraint, so for once I simply sat, maybe for an hour or so knowing that no matter how it turned out the end result would still be a good deep cleanse. Despite this it's inevitable that it's going to turn out the better than when you actually need it to look good!

I focused mainly on my eyes because that's always been my favourite bit to do and strayed the tiniest bit away from my everyday subtle browns using the Nars Kuala Lumpur Duo and last year's Christmas Too Faced Palette, 'A Few of my Favourite Things.' I normally never use gold, instead opting for a champagne shade when I want something a little more sparkly, however it went perfectly with the gold specks in the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Metallic Pomegranate I used as a base. I also for a change used pencil eyeliner, my new Rimmel Exaggerate that I mentioned in this post. I honestly didn't expect to like it half as much as I do; it smudges out beautifully but without losing lots of pigmentation and despite being waterproof I didn't find it a pain at all to remove. I can definitely see myself becoming a convert!

I'd also like to point out how impressed I was all over again by Magnifibres which I reviewed here. I hadn't used it for a while so combined it with MAC's Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash and as you can see from the side, my lashes turned out oh so long but still perfectly separated.

I think I'm going to try and do this more often as I find so regularly doing makeup ends up being a stressful experience instead of just a bit of fun. Do you ever do your face even if you're not leaving the house?
Lara xo

Social Media Phobia?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Terrified of Twitter

Oh the irony. 3 months into blogging and I can just about manage to publish a post without my heart racing, but dealing with social media still terrifies. I'm not sure if there's a proper word for this phobia, but if there is I would be the epitome.

So today I created a twitter account for this little space on the internet that I've been sheltering and nurturing however probably also restricting from actually being seen. I don't know why, but even making it I started getting shaky and my insides had a little nervous dance. Please tell me someone, just anyone, can relate to this?

Either way I bit the bullet so if you want to find me over there and laugh at inevitable embarrassing moments to come click this link and press the follow button before it runs away to hide. I'd also love to be actually able to see who's reading this as google analytics scarily assures me a fair few of you are, and if you have blogs yourself, please leave your link below and I'll be sure to have a good nose!

Right then, cringey post out of the way . . . Until next time. 
Lara xo

Fall into Autumn | Spy Love Buy

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Transitional Shoes

All images from

While it may not quite be time yet to drag out the winter fur lined boots (as much as I love them and would happily live in them all year round), it definitely is about time to put away the sandals for another year. is an online store offering the latest in footwear including shoes, boots, heels and wellies. They also handily have a fashion blog on their site to provide tips, tricks and fashion news, including information on their most popular items and how to wear them. There's currently free 2-3 day UK delivery for orders over £15 (which is never hard to spend on shoes!) or just £1.99 for orders under this. Their international shipping rates are 3-7 working days for European countries at £7.99 an item or 5-14 working days for the rest of the world at £9.99 an item.

I've recently been browsing the site for shoes that would be perfect for transitioning into the colder months; shoes that can be worn with socks so your feet don't get too chilly but also that don't look overly heavy and clumpy for the milder autumn days.

These lace up platform ankle boots (£24.95) are a dressier version of the basic black canvas sneaker. The heel is chunky enough and low enough that they'd be comfy for everyday wear, but combined with the low curved top would help elongate the leg meaning for short legged girls these would look great with either trousers or skirts. 

Despite being a higher topped ankle boot, the pointed shape of these Western/Chelsea style shoes (£32.95) make them appear more delicate. The brogue detailing and tan colour hint at the warmer weather but the light fur lining makes them practical for chillier temperatures.

The cut-outs in these black biker ankle boots (£26.95) makes them perfect for either wearing with bare feet when it's warmer and then later in the season pairing with some cute socks whose design can peek through the sides. They're casual boots but would add a hint of edge to any look.

Out of all these shoes, these cut-out sandals (£24.95) err most on the summery side, but this would make them great for coming out the other side of winter as well, worn with pastel socks with a frilly trim. Whilst being counted as a flat shoes, they do have a very slight raised heel which I often find makes shoes comfier to walk in. 

Finally, these block heel cut-out ankle boots (£24.95) are a subtle but interesting design that would go with anything. They are the perfect everyday shoe for A/W with the feminine shape making them suitable for both causal and more formal wear. 

I absolutely love ankles boots and autumn shoes as gone are the hard-to-get-your-feet-in strappy designs or shoes that almost fall off your feet with every step. It's just a shame that with the new season often comes a lot of rain! 

Let me know which of these is your favourite pair. Now I just need to resist buying them all . . . 
Lara xo

LIB - The Glamour Beauty Power List 2014

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

New Latest in Beauty Collection

Image from

Just a quick post today because I really couldn't resist sharing! I received an email this afternoon announcing that this year's Glamour Beauty Power List Box from Latest in Beauty is out. I've had a couple of Glamour Beauty Boxes now and have always found both the value for money and selection of products great and this seems no different.

Included is:
30ml sample size of Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish with Muslim cloth
Full size pack of 10 Eyeko eye makeup remover wipes
60ml sample size of Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence conditioning spray
30ml sample size of Laura Mercier Foundation Primer
25ml sample size of James Read Sleep Tan Mask
Full size Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara
Full size Maybelline Stripped Nudes lipstick 

Plus an annual digital subscription for iPad/iPhone etc of Glamour Magasine.

Overall I think the variety in this box is brilliant whilst also being everyday-esque products that will actually get used. The box costs £15.99 which is normally the cost of the magasine subscription alone. 

You can buy the box or get more information on the LIB website here.
Lara xo

Budget Beauty Buys

Monday, 8 September 2014

Superdrug Haul

I popped into town today having heard that both a foundation and powder had been added to Collection's hyped Lasting Perfection range (not sure how behind I am on the news of that one though!) I, along with the majority of the beauty community, absolutely love the concealer, not just for its quality but more importantly for its shade; I have the colour 1 Fair and it's one of the few drugstore concealers that's light enough to actually offer some highlight under my eyes rather than an orange toned shadowy effect. I had high expectations that the shades would be similar in the other products but after swatching the foundations in Superdrug I barely found a difference between shades 1-4 and would categorise them all as for more medium skin tones. However, having come with £10 in  my pocket and prepared to treat myself I couldn't resist picking up a couple of bargains.

Both products are from Rimmel which I would consider now one of the higher priced drugstore makeup brands. I usually associate Collection, MUA, Makeup Revolution etc with bargain products as Rimmel, Revlon and L'Oreal are definitely pushing it now with one item sometimes reaching around the £10 mark. However both Brow This Way and the Exaggerate Waterproof Eyeliner were reduced from £3.99 to £2.99. On top of that there was a buy 1 get 1 half price across the whole Rimmel range meaning as opposed to paying £7.98, the total instead came to £4.50 which I was pretty chuffed about!

I picked up Brow This Way in the colour medium blonde (called mid brown on the website), however I did find the choices hard to pick between. Whilst I have brown hair, the shades are clear, blonde, medium blonde and dark brown so I did feel there was a perhaps slight gap in the middle as the dark brown was verging on black. I wanted to try it out as a cheaper alternative to Benefit's Gimme Brow and plan on doing a full review once I've used it for a while.

My other purchase was fairly standard; simply a black pencil liner. However, I haven't properly tried using one since old dance show days when I'd had very little practice with makeup and thought the more I looked like a panda the better as it meant I would at least show up on stage (I think I've been put off ever since.) The Rimmel Exaggerate Eyeliner is a retractable pencil design with a built in smudger and sharpener; certainly a bit more advanced that the basic pencil style I used to drop accidentally and manage to break all the way through. Hopefully I'll get on with it but even I don't I'm not particularly worried since it didn't exactly break the bank!

Overall, what started in disappointment all turned out to be pretty good and there's nothing like the excitement of new makeup in your stash! Have you picked up any bargains lately?
Lara xo

Multi-Purpose Products | Naked Basics Palette

Friday, 5 September 2014


With the Naked 2 Basics Palette on the horizon, I've been obsessively using the original, both in anticipation and with the inkling it's soon to be replaced! The Naked Basics Palette is a neutral eyeshadow staple in lots of people's collections, perfect for both travel and subtle every day wear, however I find myself using it for a lot more than simply glamming up my eyelids and if that means more bang for my buck I'm certainly not complaining.

As the one shimmery shade in the palette, Venus predictably works great as a highlight, both on the cheek bones and Cupid's bow. I also love to use it under other matte eyshadows to create a slightly shimmery base and add more dimension.

Foxy is probably my least used in the palette as I find it simply a more yellow based alternative to W.O.S whose pink tones work better on my skin. So if you've got any ideas for this one please let me know!

My favourite is W.O.S which I find I use for almost every makeup look. It's a great 'nothing' colour on me for helping to blend out other shades and diffusing harsh lines. I particularly like sweeping it just under my lower lash line on a pencil brush when I've used a black eyeliner or shadow along the lashes as it helps soften the look.

For pale skin tones, Naked 2 is the perfect contour colour as it's not warm or oranged toned like lots of bronzers can appear. I particularly like using it just under my bottom lip in the dippy bit to create a natural looking shadow and an illusion of fuller lips.

Faint on a small angled brush is all I ever use to do my brows. It provides enough pigmentation to define them but being a shadow instead of a pencil stops them looking harsh or overdone.

I use Crave as an eyeliner more often than my Maybelline gel eyeliner or any liquid eyeliner. I find it so quick and almost impossible to mess up. I simply push it into my lashes using my favourite BareMinerals full edged liner brush (which I've just realised with horror seems to have ceased to exist so I best not lose it!) which does the job perfectly. It's ideal for when you're running late or just can't really be bothered with the unpredictability of proper eyeliner.

I can't wait for the Naked 2 Basics and hopefully it'll be a versatile as this. I'd really like to make this into a kind of series, hence why I've called it number 1, as it definitely makes a product better value money when you find multiple uses for it. So, if you have any suggestions or products you'd like me to play with just leave a comment and I'll be sure to check it out.

Lara xo

Quirky Home Inspiration

Thursday, 4 September 2014


With the prospect of leaving home looming, even if for only 10 week terms at a time, I've recently become obsessed with browsing homeware sites. Forever in my quest of looking for things a bit different, here's some quick inspiration of unique items that I've added to my ever growing wishlist.

Who doesn't want a sloth above their bed telling them they look great every morning? End of. 

(however, if I did have endless money I would not only buy this but almost everything on their entire website - if quirky arty stuff is your thing, this is the site for you)

Whilst on first sight not a particularly quirky item, anyone who has tried looking for ballet themed decor that's not designed for a kid's room will realise it can be quite rare. This is classy and elegant but would definitely add a bit of character.

I saw something a little like this in a little craft shop whilst in Swanage and never thought I'd find anything like it again, but panic over, google didn't fail me. The design really does make a usually very boring and basic item become interesting and unique.

Admittedly this is from the kid's room section but who doesn't love something both cute and practical. It's fairly spacious too being 19cm tall and 22cm wide. It really is the ears and embroidered nose that do it for me though.

'Tin of Denial' and 'Money That I Used to Have' are, I'm sure, very relatable phrases for lots of people. It also is again very useful and has the potential to stop us simply hoarding receipts in our handbags. This would make a very witty gift for someone moving away to uni.

So which of these is your favourite? Also feed my addiction and let me know of any sites you know that are full of quirky things. Until then, back to my browsing I go!
Lara xo

Being Part of a TV Audience

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

ITV's Surprise Surprise with Holly Willoughby

Did you know that for most TV shows you can get tickets to be in the studio audience FOR FREE? Well I never did until a bit of internet browsing about a month ago, followed by a cheeky booking until lo and behold, last Sunday my boyfriend and I found ourselves within touching distance of Holly Willoughby. Kind of a surreal experience but definitely one of the best days of my life!

I don't know how but I'd stumbled across a site called Lost in TV which advertised 'free tickets and casting opportunities for your favourite shows'. Admittedly at first I was a bit dubious but I've always been intrigued by the behind the scenes aspect of TV and when I told my boyfriend who hosted the show, he was definitely more than happy to come along! To apply, I simply had to select which date and the number of tickets and on the same day I received an email saying not only had I been successful but we had priority tickets meaning we would be among the first people admitted into the studio.

Aside from basic details like where to go and what time we had to be there by, we had relatively little information so hopefully this post will be helpful for anyone planning on going to a similar event. The priority tickets meant we had guaranteed entry if we arrived before 5:30 but otherwise it is very important to remember they over book these things to ensure they get a full audience and we saw many people in the Great British Bake Off queue get turned away. We checked out the area around 3 just so we would know where we going and were told by the security staff people would probably start queuing around 4. However, unable to contain our excitement, we returned to join the line around 3:30 and were about 30 people back. The information on our ticket had stated the dress code was smart and glamorous evening wear but there was a complete mixture from people in jeans and t-shirts  to blazers and skirts to summer dresses. The only important thing to remember is to not where anything with large brand names or logos on. I personally wore a cream floaty chiffon blouse tucked into a black skater skirt with black tights and comfy flats. Whilst I did get very warm in the sun during the day I definitely felt I was dressed appropriately when subjected to the extreme air conditioning in the studio. When the queue for British Bake Off was let in, our own line was divided into those with priority tickets and those with standard and we became only 15 people back. At around 5:15 we were let through the gates and given stickers with our seat number on, although interestingly they weren't given out in order; the couple just ahead of us received row F tickets whereas my boyfriend and I were on the front row! There were also different colour stickers being allocated, indicative of which block of seating you were in.

After almost 2 hour of queuing, although it really didn't feel that long, we were let in and completely chuffed when we found ourselves not only on the first row but by the aisle therefore in the middle. There was a fantastic comedian who warmed the audience up whilst technical adjustments were being made and just generally provided great entertainment throughout the evening despite not being actually on the show himself. He was hilarious and it would be worth paying money solely to see him. We were also treated to seeing celebrity guests and a rather well known musical act perform but of course that can't be revealed until the series airs at the end of September! The actually filming process wasn't tedious at all which was perhaps what I'd expected, but ran very smoothly perhaps taking 2 and a half hours but definitely seeming to go a lot faster. We were out by 9 so had plenty of time to still get the train home.

All in all it was an amazing experience and great for a relatively inexpensive day out (all day we only spent money on travel and food). It would be perfect as an unique gift for a special occasion or just as a bit of a treat to yourself. I'm still buzzing from it and would absolutely recommend it to anyone because of the variety of shows you can apply to see. I really can't wait to book for something else!

Have you ever been part of a studio audience?
Lara xo

Back to School/Uni Essentials

Tuesday, 2 September 2014


As much as we hate to admit it, the time is very much upon us now as most schools have already gone back and university terms will begin at the end of this month. Whilst I haven't done my proper uni shop yet, I have begun picking up some bits and pieces as and when I saw them. In keeping with the student-esque 'I have limited money', I have been very conscious of only buying practical items but still that I would be happy to be seen with! So without further ado here's a small haul of what I deem some of my uni essentials.

A Waterproof Coat

Living in England, we have to accept that rain will be a given in autumn/winter and with the reliance of lifts from Mum now being taken away, it was about time I didn't place all my faith in a £2 umbrella. This mac has small, bright pink flamingos on which admittedly very much sold me from the start. It was also (and still is) in the sale; another great plus meaning it was only £10 instead of £20. Even better, it actually works! In the recent rain we've been having I've trotted around in this and successfully remained dry. I do wish the hood stopped at protecting my hair though rather than my entire face and causing slight visibility problems. And when you're done, this coat handily folds into its pocket making it extremely lightweight and easy to carry around in your bag which brings me onto . . . 

A Bag That Will Not Destroy My Posture, Actually Fit My Stuff In and Not Disintegrate in the Rain

Catchy title - I know. I am guilty of many bag crimes over my school years; telling Mum that yes this bag is big enough then proceeding to carry most my books in my arms all year, choosing one made of canvas then drying textbooks on the school radiator and carrying so much stuff in my bag that now one shoulder seems to permanently droop. Well no more I say. This rucksack from Accessorize is large enough to fit in A4 folders (and more than one I add), made of plasticy coated material so will be shower proof at the least and will be possible to carry for when I wish to cycle from my accommodation to lectures with considerably less balance issues. Accesorize also offers 10% student discount and despite being a rucksack it doesn't look like I'm about to set off on a D of E trek. An all round perfect bag I think.

Sensible Footwear

Sticking again with the waterproof theme I really did need some practical shoes that would stay on my feet, be comfy to walk more than 2 steps in and be suitable for most weathers. It seems all my shoes end up being from New Look but once again they've provided a shoe that ticks all the boxes and you know they're good shoes when the first time you wear them they don't rub at all. I chose these Patent Chunky Lace Up Brogues in burgundy because they're still subtle enough to go with nearly everything but if you did want, they are also available in black. New Look is another store offering student discount but even at full price of £24.99 they're well worth it as even my Mum commented on how good quality they looked. (Rest assured though I will still insist on wearing my heeled boots as often as I can manage this term!)

Pretty Stationery

Perhaps not a necessity to everyone, but definitely something that appeases me! I will still be doing a much larger stationery shop but for now I have a basic purple ring binder and the main feature, this beautiful set of 24 different colour sharpies. It really does make me feel so happy every time I look at it! The purple folder really was only bought so I could save £10 on the sharpies meaning they only actually cost me £6.99 (and getting my Financial Maths practice in that means they're around 29p each.) I'm definitely going to end up labelling absolutely everything using these this year.

And that's it . . . For now. Let me know what you think of these things and when you're off to school/uni. At least getting to shop before hand makes the pain of going a little bit less!
Lara xo

Beach Holiday | Photo Diary

Monday, 1 September 2014

Swanage 2014

It's September 1st and having just come back from 5 days at the beach in the South of England, now's the time where post holiday blues hits and I trawl through the photos (yet inwardly knowing I should be doing something more productive since the Summer holidays is officially over.) Guess the organisation is just going to have to wait till tomorrow . . . Or the day after . . .

I love Swanage; I've grown up going there every year and it's the perfect setting for the traditional British family holiday. As you can see from the photos there's old style deck chairs, beach huts over looking the sea and the forever addictive 2p slot machines. In keeping with this, we did all the appropriate activities such as building sandcastles, putting and I even braved a swim in the notoriously cold English sea. Over the course of the holiday we went to all our favourite local eating places including the fish and chip shop (twice!), a pub in a nearby village and a traditional homely cafe/restaurant, however the highlight definitely was the Italian where I had a delicious chicken, pesto, tomato and mozzarella pizza and a brandy bread and butter pudding for dessert. We stayed in the same, most welcoming B&B as last year called A Great Escape having enjoyed it there so much. The room I shared with my siblings looked straight out of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and I really did look forward to those waffles every morning!

As you can tell, I've been Instagramming like mad trying to capture the fun and if you want you can find me on there at  laram_w. Whilst I'm shamelessly plugging, I'd also love it if you followed me on Bloglovin here.

Whilst I'm sad Summer's over and I still feel just as pale as before, with the start of university approaching there's definitely no time to just lie around and mope!

What have you enjoyed most this Summer?
Lara xo

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