Monday, 27 August 2012

365 Days Later - Happy First Birthday Charbuckss

It's been a whole year since I posted my introductory post on this blog and it's really quite hard to believe how much having a blog has changed me as a person. Not in a hugely dramatic way, but I've met new people, I've become more educated in the Media industry and the part I'd love to make a career of in the future, and dare I say it, my general taste in things has improved, and lets not forget the dent being a part of the beauty and lifestyle blogging community has made in my bank balance. 

I wasn't exactly sure what to expect when I first set up the blog. I'd been reading blogs for a few months, always being too scared to take the step in starting my own, but I'm so glad I did. Yes, there's been months where I've only posted a couple of posts, but I always come back, and I will continue to keep posting, and quite frankly that's because of you. That's right, because of you, the person who is reading this. As much as I love blogging for my own benefit, I've enjoyed it even more so because of interaction with other people with the same passions and interests as me. It really does make my day to wake up with a new follower or a new comment. I never expected to have 200 readers, and I appreciate every single one of you. 

I thought I'd do a summary of the adventures we've been on together as a blogger and a reader. If I'm honest, looking back on my blog today has made me quite emotional. Regardless of the poor quality photos and strange posts at the start, I've actually posted many milestones in my life on this blog. Lets look back...

You caught me on a good year, before I went to Spain last year I hadn't been abroad for a long time. You shared my experiences in Spain (Barcelona), Los Angeles and Poland - detailed post still to come. Whether it was flying for the first time, leaving Europe for the first time, and going to a hot country for the first time, you've all been there to see it all. Lets just hope I go to places just as exciting in the next year!

Other than jetsetting across the globe, you've shared my experiences at the great British seaside, on university visits to Newcastle, day trips out to London and the Cotswolds, and a week in a potentially haunted mill in Staffordshire. You've seen me hit big milestones, from turning eighteen to leaving school and collecting my A level results.

It's been a pretty exciting year really, hasn't it? I plan to stick around for the future, and I hope you all choose to stick around here too. Thank you for being lovely.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

A Day in the Cotswolds: Broadway Tower

I don't often get to see my Dad's side of the family, as they live around three and a half hours away in Bristol, but last Saturday we decided to meet halfway in the beautiful countryside of the Cotswolds. This is where you see the fairytale countryside of England that many tourists envisage, and trust me this place was overloaded with tourists. After driving around for a while, as in typical Buckley-family style we hadn't made any plans beforehand, we came across this stunning architecture, known as the Broadway Tower. Completed in 1798, as a lover of History and old beautiful buildings, this was my kind of place.

It was such a lovely place to sit on the hills surrounded by beautiful countryside, to light the candles of my Grandad's birthday cake, and spend rare time with my family with the sun setting around us. If only everywhere in England looked this magical, I wish I didn't open my bedroom curtains every morning to a major motorway, and instead rolling hills. I can dream, we can all dream. 

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Tag: Most Worn Summer Things and 200 Followers!

Before I start this tag post, I just wanted to say thank you so much to all of you lovelies, because somehow I've now got 200 of you reading my blog. I appreciate all the time you take out of your busy lives to stop by and read my posts or leave a comment, it really makes my day.

I've never done a tag post before, and after seeing this over on Jen's blog It's a Blondes Life I thought I would give this one a go! It's a mix of fashion and beauty, so it's right up my street.

Nail Polish: Since picking it up in Poland, I've been absolutely loving Mint Candy Apple by Essie. It's such a gorgeous summery colour. I'll be posting a review on it and another Essie polish very soon. Nails Inc Topping Lane has also been one of my faves, although because it's a glitter polish it's a job to get off! I adore the whole Sprinkles collection, I've reviewed both Topping Lane and Pudding Lane. Is anyone else surprised to not see a Models Own polish included here? I really am!

Hair Product: I don't actually spend that much time on my hair if I'm honest. I just do the shampoo, conditioning, and a spritz of heat defence spray, before drying and straightening routine. Although it's not actually a 'hair product' as such, I'm really loving the Compact Tangle Teezer I won from the Tangle Teezer Twitter page. The condition of my hair has definitely improved!

Bag: I bought this bag quite a while back actually, but it was love at first click when I found it on the River Island website. I saw it multiple times in River Island stores before I finally took the plunge to buy it, after all £45.00 on a handbag is quite steep for me! I love everything about it, the fact its black, gold and white, it has scalloped edges, and it has a long strap. It's just the perfect bag and will be my favourite for a long time.

Shoes: I have a real thing for studs at the moment, and having the weirdest shaped feet makes finding a suitable pair of shoes pretty difficult! After trying on the infamous Topshop Vectra's and finding my feet made them look pretty horrendous, I was introduced to this lovely pair by Sam. These beauties are from MissGuided and I always team them with a black pair of skinnies (how summery of me!).

Accessory: Oh hello favourite combination of black and gold with the amazing addiction of feathers and studs. With the array of eighteenth birthday celebrations and odd nights out, I've had many occasions to wear these gorgeous earrings. They're from New Look and only cost me £3.99.

Foundation: I don't think I really need to go into much detail about this foundation, seeing as I think it's been reviewed by almost the whole of the blogging community! This is the best foundation I've tried by far, it's the perfect coverage, the best colour-match I've found for my Caspa-the-friendly-ghost-skin-tone, and it doesn't break me out.

Blusher: Unfortunately, this cream blush isn't actually available in the UK, and I got my hands on it by winning it in a USA product giveaway. This has been the perfect product for the summer, it's so light and easily blend-able on the skin, and is the perfect shade of pink.

Lips: I own a fair few lip products, but I'm not much of a lipstick-wearer. My EOS egg-shaped lipbalm and the odd application of the Collection 2000 Cream Puff Lip Cream's have been the most common lip products in my make-up routine over the Summer. 

Mascara: At the start of the summer my staple mascara, Lash Blast Volume by American brand CoverGirl, was running out. I ordered a new one off of Ebay, but unfortunately it didn't arrive in time for my trip to Poland. This resulted in a very last minute mascara shop in the Boots at Luton Airport. With only three make-up brands to choose from, somehow I found the amazing False Lash Effect mascara by MaxFactor and I've been using it all summer long!

Eyeshadow: This summer I've been using the MUA Undressed and Heaven and Earth palettes in almost every make-up look. I love these palettes. I've never been very good with eyeshadow, but I've been having a practice with these, and can now create the perfect smokey eye, and what a bargain at £4.00 each.

Fragrance: I was instantly drawn to this fragrance due to the stunning design of the bottle. I love the way it looks on my dressing table, and the smell is just divine. It also reminds me of sunnier times, as I bought it when I visited Los Angeles in February (take me back!).

I tag any of you that would like to do this. If you decide to have a go, then please link me to your post in the comments. I'd love to see your most worn summer things! There are lots of posts coming up, I've been lacking a bit of inspiration, but had a crazy photo-taking day today.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your favourite Summer things?

Sunday, 19 August 2012

A Level Exam Results: The Last Minute Craziness Paid Off

Thursday 16th August 2012, the dreaded day had arrived. After the typical pre-exam-results-day terrible nights sleep, I left the house with a rabble of butterflies fluttering in my stomach. I'd had a really tough couple of years at school, and I hadn't consistently put effort in to my work. I'd prepared myself in the weeks leading up to results day to not expect anything great waiting for me in the dreaded brown envelope. I actually only took two A Levels this year, along with a retake of my History AS. Somehow, I ended up with an A in Media Studies, a B in English Language and Literature, and a not so great D in History AS, but at least it was a grade up from my E last year.

I don't feel deserving of my results. I submitted my Media coursework the day before my teacher had to send it off to the exam board with it being the first time my teacher had seen a completed draft. I submitted my English coursework at 4:30am, with it also being the first time my English teacher had seen a completed draft. I started revising for my media exam at 12:00am, stayed up until 4:00am and sat my exam at 9:00am. It really wasn't the way to go about things, and of course I'm completely thrilled to have these grades, but I put myself through hell. If it wasn't for the support of my teachers, my parents and friends I would of crumbled and given up. But this is all a learning curve, I've now left school and I'm going to college to redo my History A Level yet again. With a new environment, new teachers, and some added independence I'm hoping I can finally change, and make it to university next year.

But away from the serious stuff, I also picked up my school year book! I hadn't originally planned to get one, but they had a few spare and I thought it would be a lovely momento to look back on. I thought I'd include the pages which feature pictures of the trip I went on to Los Angeles back in February. Like I keep saying, I still have a couple of posts to write about the trip. They'll be up eventually I promise!

So, although Sixth Form proved to be much much tougher than I imagined, I'm so pleased with the results I came out with. I have so much more confidence in myself now, and my drive and motivation is back with a vengeance. History A Level I'm going to finally pass you, and with a grade to be proud of! I'll always treasure the memories, and I can't believe school's actually over. Four more years of education, and I'll be entering into the world of work. I wonder where I'll end up?

If any are you are headed off to university this year, I really recommend having a read of Sophia's post which has some great tips for university over on her amazing blog Tattooed Tea Lady.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

NOTD: Nails Inc Sprinkles Collection Topping Lane

The Sprinkles collection by Nails Inc has got to be my favourite nail polish collection of the year so far. I featured Pudding Lane a couple of posts ago, and now it's time to debut Topping Lane. Personally, I think this is my favourite of the two, but that was hard to say as they're both just SO PRETTY! This is definitely the more 'cupcakey' one in comparison to Pudding Lane, it's like I've just dipped my nails into icing and sprinkles. That doesn't sound like a bad idea actually... no I must stop myself.

Topping Lane is a pink jelly-based polish with cerise, silver, and purple flecks of glitter. It's such a pretty and feminine nail polish, and although caked in glitter (excuse the pun) it still has a mature feel due to the glitter being mattified. It looks good enough to eat, but I won't do that as I stopped biting my nails a couple of years ago. Just like Pudding Lane, it only took two coats to accomplish glitter-covered nails. I skipped out on using a top coat when wearing this colour, but it still lasted pretty well for around three days until minimal tip-wear began. I definitely recommend these polishes, i'm still battling with myself to resist Sweets Way, it's just too gorgeous! Go and check out my review of Pudding Lane here.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Tangle Teezer: Cool Britannia Compact Styler Review

 "Cares for the hair you wear"

I recently won the Cool Britannia Compact Styler through the @TangleTweezer twitter page. They do giveaways a lot so I definitely recommend checking them out! I've wanted to get my hair on a Tangle Teezer for a long time now, so I was so happy to win this. I thought the choice of patriotic design fitted perfectly with the Olympics taking place in London at the moment. I have long, fine, but thick hair, which is prone to ending up allover myself and my bedroom floor every time I brush it (disgusting I know). So I think it was about time I took a step in the direction of repairing the hair I wear, and this hair-saver popped through my letter box just at the right time. 

The genius behind this nifty hair tool is a guy called Shaun P, who say's "I invented the Tangle Teezer because tangles were not just a salon problem, but a global one" (sounds a little dramatic to me but hey ho it works!). I honestly really think this is a great invention, well done Shaun, pat on the back for you. The shape fits perfectly in to the palm of my hand, making for my top-notch hair brushing style to work it's magic.

Before I continue, I'd just like to take a minute to apologise for the current state of my hair colour. I'll be getting Allie to sort it out ASAP (here's hoping the camera's just made it look worse than it actually is). As good as the Tangle Teezer is, I still feel some pain when I brush my hair, and I still end up with strands of hair allover me after brushing my locks, BUT (yes there's a but), it is definitely a reduced amount of pain AND hair! HOORAY! I haven't yet tried this on wet hair, but I hope it works just as well! 

STILL working on the Poland post. I'm finding it so hard to choose which pictures to use and which parts to talk about, I'm sure I'll get there eventually. I'm currently watching the Olympics with the family, three gold medals in the space of about forty minutes! COME ON TEAM GB WOO! Anyway, I think that's enough excitement for one night. 

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

NOTD: Nails Inc Sprinkles Collection Pudding Lane

As soon as nails inc released the Sprinkles collection, I knew I had to get my hands on a couple. I love love LOVE glitter polish, and I love Cupcakes, so naturally, I knew I'd love these. Unfortunately since leaving my job, I haven't been able to spend as much on beauty products as I'd like to. But as it was my birthday a few weeks ago, I decided to treat myself. These babies usually have a hefty price tag of £11.00 each, but the lovely Holly tweeted that BeautyBay were selling them for £8.80, and I just couldn't resist. I won't lie it actually took me two days to choose which ones to buy, but it was a hard decision (I am the worst decision maker in the world). In the end, I went for Pudding Lane and Topping Lane, which I will be posting about very soon, but for now lets start with this beauty.

Pudding Lane is a aqua blue jelly-based polish, with darker blue, and gold glitter, and oh my it's gorgeous. Quite honestly, they aren't the type of colours I'd usually associated with cupcakes, but that wasn't going to put me off this one. I'm always drawn to blue polishes, so it was always going to end up in my nail polish collection somehow! Application of this polish is a lot easier than I expected it to be. I usually spend a while prodding glitter around my nails, but I didn't need to do that with this. I wouldn't say the glitter spreads out evenly on the first coat, but by the second coat it's all covered and looking rather lovely.
The above image shows two coats of Pudding Lane, and that's (in my opinion) all you need to get a great coverage! I'm thrilled with this nail polish, it's as lovely as I expected and wanted it to be. As for how long it lasted, with a top coat (I used Models Own 3 in 1 Base, Top and Gloss) I wore this with minimal tipwear for around four days. Not bad at all! As it's jelly based, it wasn't as awkward to remove as typical glitter polishes, but it was still pretty hard work, completely worth it though.

Are you tempted by or have already tried any of the Sprinkles collection? I'd love to hear your thoughts! A review of Topping Lane will be up very soon. It's just as gorgeous, and definitely more 'cupcakey'.