Lauren's Looks

Baking | Beauty | Fashion | Chronic illness

Friday, 23 January 2015

The five products I couldn't live without

Let's just say I'm not a natural beauty... I wince at the thought of only being allowed to use a few makeup products. If I'm going out even if it only be to the supermarket you can bet that the bright lippy and mascara won't be left at home. It's a well known fact that when you look a right state you see just about everybody that you happen to know and I'll tell you now it's oh so obvious when I try to do that 'I've saw you but I'll pretend I haven't and look the other way' thing. I don't know what possessed me but I've decided to set myself the awful task of only using five makeup products and I'm being serious when I say I couldn't live without the five I've picked... Well I could but I just wouldn't leave the house. 

Mascara of choice: Benefit They're Real 
First up is mascara because without it my eyelashes really are invisible, I'm sure all you other girls with light hair will know the struggle. The no lash look definitely isn't for me! I wasn't a huge fan of Benefit They're Real at first but I gave it the benefit of doubt- see what I did there?- and persisted with it and I can now say it's my all time favourite. I absolutely love the brush/wand, it coats every single lash unlike other mascaras I've used in the past and I love how long and voluminous my eyelashes look without them clumping together! 

Foundation of choice: MAC Studio Fix Fluid 
I'll have to admit that my skin isn't that bad actually but I still couldn't not wear foundation for the simple fact I look like Casper the ghost without it. As I don't wear foundation to cover up problem skin I go more for something that will give a flawless finish and MAC Studio Fix does just that. I also chose it as my foundation of choice for the reason being you could get away with not using a powder afterwards. 

Concealer of choice: MAC prep + prime highlighter 'light boost' 
I've been a bit sneaky by choosing this as it's very much a multipurpose product and even though it's a highlighter I think it does an absolutely brilliant job of concealing under eye circles. As I've mentioned countless times before I suffer with quite bad under eye circles and I suppose you could say I'm a little self-conscious of them at times! Since owning this product I've never been happier with how my makeup looks and I love the fact it really brightens up my whole face. 

Eyeliner of choice: Soap & Glory Supercat 
Without eyeliner I feel a bit naked as I'm so used to wearing it now and even though I don't tend to apply it that thick I'd hate to not wear it. It's no secret that I'm no pro when it comes to applying eyeliner, especially winged eyeliner- I salute any girl that can do it perfectly. The reason I chose Supercat is because it makes life so much easier when it comes to trying to perfect the cat eye and I love how you can hold it like a pen. It also doesn't fade or crumble in the slightest throughout the day, it really does stay put!

How perfect does her makeup look?!
If somebody would like to teach me how to do it then feel free!!! 

Lipstick of choice: MAC MAC red 
I'm never seen without wearing a bit of lippy even if it's only a nude shade. I just don't feel right without a bit of colour on my lips, I feel it helps me look more 'awake'. It was a tough decision choosing just one but I decided to go with MAC red in the end as this is the lipstick I always reach for when I'm not feeling my best which happens to be quite a lot in my case! 

So there we have it, the five products I couldn't live without. Which five products would you choose and why? 


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Are we addicted to social media?

Are you one of those people who frantically reaches into your handbag for your phone to take a picture of your meal as soon as it hits the table? Let's be honest the majority of us are guilty of doing this wether it be taking a snap of your gingerbread latte in Costa or sneakily trying to take a photo of your Nando's so that the whole of Instagram knows that you're currently munching on peri peri chips and butterfly chicken. 

I'll hold my hands up and admit that I am one of those people *hangs head in shame*. If you dare to go to a restaurant with me then it's highly likely I'll embarrass you by taking roughly 10 photos of my meal, and let's just say I'm not the discrete photo taking type either. What's this saying about us though, maybe we're ever so slightly addicted to social media? Not only will we go to all lengths to get the perfect picture for Instagram but the first thing we'll do in the morning is check our phone before doing anything else, then check again throughout the day to make sure we haven't missed anything and the last thing we'll do before we go to bed is check how many likes we got on our latest post. 

Although I'm just a little bit addicted to social media I definitely have a love/hate relationship with it and guessing that most of you probably feel the same way too? As somebody who isn't able to go out and socialise with friends all of the time without social media I really wouldn't speak to anybody besides my family. But then on the other hand if I didn't constantly scroll through Instagram I probably wouldn't compare myself to others as much as I do, when you scroll past countless selfies of girls who are absolutely stunning you're bound to feel a bit rubbish about yourself. I'm sure most of you girls will know the struggle! 

I of all people should know that not all of what you see online is what it seems. At first glance that picture you've just saw of a group of girls on a night out might look like their having the greatest night ever but in reality they've probably fallen out, had a cry about something irrelevant and alcohol fuelled and all in all had a bit of a rubbish night. So that same picture with the caption 'Last night with the girls' isn't really a true perception is it? Always remember to stop and think before you compare your life to somebody else's on social media because I can tell you now you cannot truly tell what their life is really like, after all you only see the highlighted reel and not the 'behind the scenes'

Anybody that has a nosy at my Instagram (don't worry, we all do it) probably thinks that all I do is take photos of my makeup, bakes cakes and lives this dream life of just permanently going out for meals. I wouldn't say that I purposely try to give people the perception that I have a perfect life but I certainly never share if I'm having a bad day because let's face it who wants to be one of those people everybody scrolls past on Facebook whilst doing the famous eye roll? Not me. What I'm trying to say is majority of people won't share the bad things online so just remember that whilst looking at people's Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. 

The reason I decided to write this blogpost is because I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Do you think that we all use social media a bit too much? 


Monday, 19 January 2015

Urban Decay Naked 2: The low-down & going out makeup look

The Urban Decay Naked 2 palette, where do I start? Well it'd probably be wise to mention the fact I'm just a little bit in love with it for starters. Sorry MUA palette, I'm afraid you've been upstaged. This is my first ever Urban Decay product and it's safe to say I'm beyond impressed, so much so I'm now desperate to get my hands on the other two palettes and all of the rest of the Urban Decay products for that matter. 

There is one slight problem though... I'm awfully indecisive when it comes to choosing which shades to team together and I'm guessing that a few of you might also have that problem too? In our defence though you're spoilt for choice with the wide variety of shades. If you're anything at all like me then look no further as here I am to give you a helping hand and talk you through each shade individually, I'll also show you what my favourite look to create is! Here goes...

From L-R 
Foxy: A brilliant shade to use on your brow bone if mixed with 'Booty call'. 

Half baked: The perfect base colour for all you hazel eyed girls, such a gorgeous shimmery gold. 

Booty call: Best worn in the inner corner and brow bone, gives the nicest shimmer and highlight.

Chopper: Similar to 'Half baked' but just not quite as pigmented.

 Tease: My go to shade for the crease and outer corner. 

Snakebite: Goes well with 'Half baked' to create a golden brown smoky eye, good for those of you who aren't brave enough to wear a 'full on' smoky eye. 

Suspect: One of the shades I don't often use a lot. 

Pistol: Looks best teamed with the darker shades to create a shimmery smoky eye. 

Verve: A good shade to apply all over the eyelid, goes well with all of the other eyeshadows in the palette.

YDK: Yet another of the shades I haven't worn a lot. 

 Busted: Could be used to create a subtle smokey eye, my favourite to use in the outer V, I always use this with the gold shades. 

Blackout: A matte black shade that can be applied to the outer V to create a smoky eye and as eyeliner to give a more natural finish.  

After a couple of weeks of messing around with each of the shades and trying out different looks I think I've finally found 'my' look. I'll admit that I'm not the best when it comes to applying eyeshadow so I'm a little scared of the darker shades, I'll tell you now that the 'I've just been punched' look isn't the one. However, a bit of practice later and here I am reaching for the darker shades, talk about stepping out of my comfort zone. Here's my favourite look to create... 

Calling all beauty bloggers: Is it just me who finds it awkward taking pictures of your eye makeup?
It's like 'Hey, just casually smiling at the floor'. 

The shades I used: 
All over eyelid- Half baked 
Middle of my eyelid- Chopper 
Crease- Snakebite
Outer V- Busted 

After applying the eyeshadow I used Soap and Glory Supercat eyeliner to create a thin winged out line and then finished with two coats of Benefit They're real mascara which is absolutely brilliant and really does give that 'false lash effect'. I'm also wearing MAC Lady Danger matte lipstick but if you'd like to go for a more natural look then a lipstick I'd recommend is 'Brave' also by MAC. So the choice is yours you can either go all out with a bright lipstick or opt for a nude lip! 

What do you think to this make-up look, would you wear it yourself? 


Wednesday, 14 January 2015

My pick of the best high-end products

I don't know about you but as girl I absolutely love to treat myself to new makeup every now and then. There's no feeling quite like using a new lipstick for the first time, or any other makeup product for that matter. Now, how can I say this without sounding snobby?... I'll just say it anyway, I prefer to treat myself to high-end products that are a little on the pricy side. That's not because of the fancy name or anything but I do find that high-end products work best for me (certain drugstore products can be just as good may I just add) but if you're going to treat yourself you might as well go all out, right girls? If like me you want to splash the cash on a bit of fancy makeup then here's some of the products I've picked out especially for you... 

Naked 2 palette | Urban Decay | £37.00
First up is possibly my favourite product out of my whole makeup collection, the naked 2 palette- that's a bold claim coming from the girl who owns near enough the whole of boots. I'm a huge fan for the following reasons: the wide range of shades, all of the eyeshadows are super pigmented and unlike other eyeshadows I've tried in the past these actually stay put all day. The price tag is a little off putting but I think it's worth the money, they're such good quality! 

Photo finish primer | Smashbox | £25.00
I never really understood the importance of a primer until I tried this one. You only need to apply the smallest amount before your foundation and you're left with silky smooth gorgeous skin. My foundation has never looked so flawless and I've found that it really does help to keep shine at bay throughout the day as it isn't oily in the slightest. I would definitely recommend this primer! 

Strobe cream | MAC | £24.50 
As soon as I applied this for the first time I instantly fell in love. It makes my skin look so healthy and glowing, it really does give that 'lit from within' look. I'm not too sure on the smell but I can easily get past that as it leaves my skin feeling so fresh and vibrant so who cares about the smell?! I went a day without applying this to see if it actually does make a difference and I can tell you the difference was massive, my skin looked so dull and tired without it. 

'Soft and gentle' highlighter | MAC | £23.00
Following on from the 'healthy glow' theme the next product I'm a huge fan of is MAC's mineralize skinfinish 'soft and gentle'. This highlighter is brilliant for giving you those gorgeous shimmery cheekbones, especially if you contour your cheekbones with a matte bronzer and then apply this just above the bronzer. You'd expect this to look a bit on the glittery side but it gives a really natural effect as appose to looking like a glitter ball. Every girls needs to own soft and gentle! 

Prep + prime highlighter 'light boost' | MAC | £18.50
I've mentioned this highlighter so many times already on my blog but I thought I'd mention it again because it is honestly the best product I've ever used, it makes a huge difference to how my makeup looks and really does brighten up my whole face. You can go all out and go contour crazy or you can opt to apply a little to your under-eye area to get rid of those stubborn dark circles! Full review of this product, here.

*I decided not to write about the MAC lipsticks as I've included them in so many blogposts already, the lipstick photographed in picture 1 is Rebel and the lipstick in photo number 2 is Lickable. You can have a nosy at my MAC lipstick collection, here

I could have included so many more products in this post but it'd be the longest blogpost in history, do you have any high-end products you'd recommend? 


Monday, 12 January 2015

1000 followers // A HUGE thanks & competition

My blog follower count has been creeping up and up for a while now- obviously -and I've been watching it like a hawk impatiently waiting to hit that big milestone that is 1000 followers. Well last week something very exciting happened, yep you guessed it, I finally reached 1000 followers and it's safe to say I was over the moon. A HUGE thank you to each and every one of you who read my blog, comment on my posts and just support me and my blog in general, it means a lot and I can't tell you how grateful I am. 

Deciding to start a blog was a very spur of the moment decision, unlike most I'd never really thought about starting one before and if I'm telling the truth I was just bored at the time. Never did I imagine that I'd enjoy it as much as I do! I don't have a professional camera, I don't own an iMac or MacBook and last but not least I'm not the best writer either but when you enjoy something none of that really matters. 

I won't lie and say blogging is easy because I'm telling you now, it isn't. If you're at all anything like me then you will have had at least one of these thoughts, if not all of them along the

Every bloggers struggles- 

*Reads another persons blog* right that's it, I'm not bloody doing this anymore. Mines no where near as good as theirs. *blogs the next day*

*Looks at another bloggers photo's* Huh, mine are rubbish, I'll never be able to take photos as good as that, I'm giving up. 

*Whilst writing new blogpost* Will anybody even be interest in this boring drone? *deletes the whole thing

*Uploads photo of new makeup* I hope people aren't just going to think I'm self obsessed and all I care about is makeup. I promise I'm not really this vain and boring. 

*Works damn right hard on a new blogpost* 100 pageviews, is that it?!?! I swear I'm not wasting my time and energy again, forget this. 

The funny thing about it all is no matter how frustrated you get about how rubbish you're doing at blogging you never give up, or maybe that's just me and I like to moan? The amount of times I've almost gave up because I've thought nobodies even interested and wouldn't be bothered if I stopped, I've lost count now! 

All of the hard work is SO worth it though, I can't tell you how many good things have came out of it for me. I've made new friends with similar interests as me which is brill, I've learnt that I do actually really like writing even if I'm not always good at it, I no longer feel as isolated and bored and I've had some amazing opportunities thrown at me along the way. I've never mentioned this on my blog before but a couple of months ago I was invited down to London to attend a bloggers event and even though I unfortunately couldn't make it I was just so pleased that I even got invited in the first place. Moments like that remind me why I carry on! 

So what I'm trying to say is if you think that you'd maybe like that start a blog then GO FOR IT. It's the best decision I've ever made and it's so much more than just writing about beauty products! Thank you all SO much for reading my rambles and making me feel like actually for once my opinions do matter. 

*I'm not one for giving shoutout's but as a thanks I've decided to hold a shout out competition. If you'd like to enter then all you have to do is follow me on Instagram if you don't already and regram one of my photos tagging me '@itslittlelauren' along with the hashtag #laurenslooks1k. 

There will be four winners and all winners will get a shout out on Instagram as well as being included in a blogpost and a tweet, 9,600 followers in total. I'll be picking solely on your feeds so it doesn't matter if you have 1 or 10,000 followers, anybody can enter but be sure to do so before the 1st of February as that's when the winners will be announced, good luck!* 


Friday, 9 January 2015

Mission get fit // healthy meal ideas

What with it being the new year and all that I suspect the words 'get fit/eat healthier' are on just about everybody's New Years resolution list so what better time than now to write a blogpost about it? Although I ate healthily last year I've decided that this year I'd like to try out new recipes and have a bit of an experiment with different foods as I always tend to stick to the same things all of the time. It's not always easy to think of meal ideas though is it! If like me you happen to fall into that category then look no further as here I am with a few different healthy meals you can try and I'll throw some tips in along the way too! 

Now we all know it's easy to say you're going to start eating healthy and start exercising more but it's easier said than done and the majority of us only stick to our new regime for a short amount of time! The reason being we choose the most ridiculous diet and exercise plans that just aren't possible to keep up on a long term basis so instead of jumping in at the deep end why not make small changes slowly? 

As I mentioned in the intro I started to get into healthy eating last year and I found that making very small changes worked best for me. I swapped sugary drinks for water (even though I previously hated it), cut back on the chocolate/treats and decided that instead of attempting the latest fad diet I'd just simply eat healthy for the whole week and then allow 
myself to have a treat at the weekend. I truly believe that it's not possible to cut treats out completely, tell yourself you can't have something and you want it all the more. I've got a blogpost full of my tips if you'd like to read them, link (here). 

Here's a few of my meal suggestions if you'd like to stick to a healthy eating plan, all of which I personally really enjoy...

Wholemeal bread and boiled eggs (egg and soldiers)
Wheatabix with skimmed milk, berries and a sprinkle of almonds 
Granola with Greek yoghurt and fruit (your choice) 
Porridge with a squirt of honey
Fruit salad (fruits of your choice) 
Ryvita topped with banana 
2 Ingredient pancakes (two eggs and a banana) 
Homemade juice/smoothie 

Homemade soup (vegetable, chicken etc) 
Avocado and egg on wholemeal toast or ryvita 
Salad of your choice (grilled chicken, tuna etc) 
Chicken and salad wholemeal wrap
Jacket potato with tuna or beans 
Pasta with homemade pasta sauce 

Homemade shepherds pie with peas and carrots
Cajun chicken with sweet potato wedges and salad 
Chicken fajitas with peppers 
Healthy pizza (wholemeal tortilla wrap base with homemade tomato sauce, mozzarella and veg and chicken toppings) 
Chicken and veg stir fry
Peri peri chicken and pepper skewers with couscous and veg/salad 

Other things such as drinking plenty of water, making sure you get enough sleep and exercise are all important factors to keeping fit too. Obviously if you want your body to look a certain way then as well as eating healthily you'll have to work out but as I'm not able to exercise due to my illness I unfortunately just have to try to stay slim through healthy eating alone. I don't think you'd want to take exercising tips from somebody who gets heart palpitations from walking up the stairs *laughing face emoji*. 

*All images found on we heart it* 

I hope you found this post helpful and you've now got a few new meals to try out. Let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions as I'd love to hear them!


Monday, 5 January 2015

My latest MAC splurge

Do I really need to state the obvious? Okay, I will do just incase any of you are brand spanking new followers of my blog and don't know a thing about me besides that I love to ramble about makeup. So, wait for it... I'm totally MAC makeup obsessed- not something that I'm ashamed to hold my hands up to actually! Moving on, the purpose of this post wasn't just to admit to something that's oh so obvious but instead to share my latest members of my MAC family with you all- you could say that my collection is rather big now. Here goes...

'Brave' lipstick | Finish- Satin | Link 
I've always been a bright lippy kinda' gal but as of late I've been really loving the latest trend- the nude lip. When it comes to nude lipstick I always struggle to find the perfect shade for me but as everybody seems to be raving about 'Brave' at the minute I decided I had to have it. This is now one of my favourite lipsticks, I absolutely love the finish as it isn't too matte and still has that moisturising element but at the same time it doesn't really have a sheen to it. It's definitely a 'my lips but better' shade, one I'd 100% recommend. 

'Craving' lipstick | Finish- Amplified creme | Link
Yes, another lipstick. A girl can never have too many, right? Although this is a slightly darker shade it's still suitable to wear in the daytime, it's the perfect autumn/winter colour. My teeth always look super white when I wear this so that's a plus too! It's described as a 'pink-red raspberry' but I don't really consider it to be red toned, I'd say it'd be best described as just 'raspberry' alone. 

Strobe cream | Link 
I've applied this in a few different ways since I've bought this to see which works best for me. You can wear this alone to give a natural healthy effect, mix it with your foundation to thin it out and give a subtle highlight and last but not least you can apply it all over your face before applying any makeup and then mix a little with your foundation for a really dewy finish. Now I've got that out of the way I just want to say I absolutely LOVE this, my foundation goes on so smoothly and it really does create the most flawless base. I'm a huge fan of the dewy look so I apply this all over first and then mix a little with my foundation too, it isn't oily in the slightest and you'd expect to look shinier as the day goes on but I've found it helps keep oil at bay. If you're after that natural glowing look then this is the product for you! 

Select cover-up concealer | NW20 | Link 
I've mentioned this before on my blog but I'll mention it again, I have the most awful under eye circles. I've never owned a MAC concealer before so I wasn't really sure what to go for or what shade to buy it in but after help from one of the MAC girls I decided this was the one for me. I can't fault this concealer, it's really creamy and doesn't look cakey in the slightest so it won't crease. It doesn't cover my dark circles completely but then again I didn't expect it to as I have a really bad case of 'panda eyes'. Also, a tube of this would last ages as you don't need a lot! 

Studio Fix Fluid | NW20 | Link
I've wrote about this foundation so many times already on my blog so I'll try not to ramble on too much. This is my second bottle of studio fix, my first bottle lasted me almost a year so although you might not want to spend £20 something pounds keep in mind that it does last for ages. This foundation is absolutely brilliant for giving you the most perfect finish but it's a tiny bit too high coverage for me so I mix it with a bit of strobe cream. All of you girls that have oily/normal skin looking for a matte finish, high coverage foundation, this is the one for you! 

There we have it, my latest MAC purchases. Have you bought anything from MAC recently? Any products you'd recommend? 

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