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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Throwback 90s Lip.

I wrote a post a few months back entitled 'The Beauty Blogger Made Me Buy It' where I boldly stated that I was immune to the notorious blogger's hype. About that... it hasn't really worked out. The only way I can justify myself? Beauty blogger recommendations tend to be totally on point. See my 'Misty Rock' post for details.
I've been watching Lily Pebbles' videos for about a year now - even got the chance to meet her at #BeautyChatLIVE  in February - and so have naturally been tuned into her Everyday May videos. I couldn't have been the only one swooning over Lily's lipstick choice of the moment. Watching the beauty blogger don MAC's 'Soar' lipliner on a daily basis was enough to fill me with inspiration to pick it up myself. The only problem was my local counter in Southampton was completely out of stock. Turns out it's a Kylie Jenner favourite..!
If you're following me on Twitter or Instagram then you'll know that I popped home for the Bank Holiday weekend and posted about a million pictures of my cats just being generally ridiculous and adorable. But perhaps a little more importantly, I used the opportunity to go on the hunt for 'Soar' in my local MAC. As luck (or fate?) would have it, their stock had just been replenished. Just as I was coming down from my excitement high, the sales assistant directed me to the Lily Pebbles approved lipstick shade 'Mehr' - as if I could resist. I handed over my money and scarpered out of there before I spent the rest of my already strained student loan. The perils of being a beauty junkie on a budget!
This combination really is a power duo. I love that neither of these shades are ones I would typically reach for - I'm a light pink or shocking red kinda girl. Again, I have another of my favourite bloggers for my NARS lip pencil obsession! But there's something wonderfully 90s about 'Soar' and 'Mehr' - together they make the most perfect dusty pink shade that's oh so trendy right now. As a 90s kid, I have no complaints - this will be my go-to look for the foreseeable future. Yet another winning Lily Pebbles inspired purchase!
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Sunday, 24 May 2015

When You're Stuck in a Beauty Rut...


Beauty, make-up, skincare - it can sometimes be a tricky terrain to navigate. Along with all the mistakes that will naturally occur when you try and test new beauty trends, it's all too easy to get stuck in the same old make-up routine day-in, day-out. Balancing a student budget means that you can't always get your beauty hall fix - I sadly have to occasionally prioritise food shopping. So for the times when I'm feeling the pinch (in other words, been having too many nights out in a row), here are my student-budget friendly beauty hacks.

1. Throwback Hair

Okay so this may be an obvious one. Although I'm really lucky to have thick, healthy hair I often find it ridiculously hard to control. I either wear it down or in a ponytail - or half-up/half-down if I'm feeling really adventurous. But then last month I did something unheard of. I successfully plaited my hair and haven't looked back since. It was all down to a Lily Pebbles Spring Beauty regime video I watched - I thought it looked easy enough and gave it a go. The best thing about this look? It pulls the hair out of my face and stops me from permanently fiddling with it: a stereotypical girly trait I'm way too guilty of. I call this my throwback hair because it reminds me of when plaits were all the rage when I was growing up in the 90s/00s. Dream hair fulfilled, even if it is ten years late...

2. Indulge in a New Scent

Although this one might not be the most frugal tip I could offer, a new perfume never fails to make me feel better about life. A sweet spritz just makes me feel more 'put together'. My current perfume of choice? I'm addicted to ChloƩ's 'Love Story'. See my full thoughts in my review here (I'll be totally honest, it's one of my favourite posts of all time just because I got to quote Taylor Swift in the title). A new perfume isn't the most groundbreaking change you could make in your beauty regime but for me, it's the perfect little pick-me-up when things are getting a bit lack lustre.

3. Express it with Nails

Any long-term readers of LydiaLulu would have been able to guess this tip from the get-go. I can't stop raving about Nails Inc and Essie at the moment and these shades have been in constant rotation for a good few weeks. I'm one of those girls that once I find a winning product I make it my mission to own them all. Whenever I'm feeling a bit bored with my make-up or even my outfit (I have a tendency to dress entirely in monochrome - see my Style File for details), I reach for a slightly less conventional shade for my nails. Essie's 'Exotic Liras' (pictured above) is a fun pinky coral shade which adds a nice burst of colour to an otherwise all grey outfit. In the meantime, I'm just a little obsessed with 'Duke Street' - a unique smokey lilac shade which I'm racing through. I might even finish the bottle and have to repurchase, something I've never had to do before. Nail polishes are perfect for brightening up a beauty routine as you can be as experimental as you like but rest assured that it's not too much of a commitment. No one is going to stare at your nails and shudder unlike a smokey eye gone horribly horribly wrong. Easy!
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Sunday, 17 May 2015

Beauty For The Long Haul.

If you're a regular reader of LydiaLulu then you may have noticed a near silence on the blogging front the past two weeks. I know right, what is this madness? On the other hand, my Instagram and Twitter feeds have been full of procrastination and moaning about my seemingly never-ending sea of essays - but it all ended with my exam on Thursday. I'm free! *Insert hundreds of heart-eye emojis here* Like I wrote in my most recent Life Lately post, I swear I get separation anxiety whenever I'm away from the blogging world too long. If Bloglovin' could just pause for a couple days while I try and catch up with all the posts I missed, that would be great...
Anyway overexcited rambling aside, I thought what better way to get my mojo back than an all-time favourites post? As a self-confessed makeup maven, I've tried and tested my fair share of products in my twenty years. Some have been great, some not so great. But there are some that have stood the test of time and are yet to let me down.
The NARS All Day Weightless Luminous Foundation is the first foundation I've ever really fallen for. Before this product graced my life, I was all about orange compact powders and serums that would only intensify my oily skin. Although the latest NARS offering has had mixed reviews within the beauty blogging community (there are some real Sheer Glow devotees out there), I can't sing this one's praises enough. I tried to in a review at the time. Whereas most foundations need touch ups throughout the day, I'd say this one gets better with time as it adapts to your skin type leaving a very natural, dewey finish.
I can't count the number of pots of Benefit's Erase Paste I've gotten through over the years. Oh teenage skin is fun. This creamy concealer is ideal for covering break-outs but also conceals dark circles like a dream. Retailing at £20, this isn't exactly a budget product but a little goes a long which means a pot normally lasts me about six months or so I never have or never will use another concealer.
Charlotte Tilbury's Full Fat Lashes was part of my Semi-Accidental Charlotte Tilbury Haul  last month and I've fallen fast and hard for this mascara. I was once a Benefit's They're Real! kind of gal but found the formula way too drying for my lashes when worn on an everyday basis. Plus they became way too tempting to pick at. Being totally honest here, it took me a little while to get used to this formula after years of thick, dramatic They're Real! lashes. But after a couple uses I really warmed to this mascara, the formula never dries out which means you can easily add a couple extra coats throughout the day. I love that you can easily build up the look from a more casual, lazy makeup day to full-on going out lashes. Plus, the staying power is like nothing I've ever tried. A winner.
What would an all-time favourites post be without some nail polish mentions? Well, it wouldn't have been written by me to say the least. Essie will always hold a special place in my heart... but if you've checked out this blog at any point in the past six months then you'll know that I entered into a bit of a love affair with Nails Inc of late. Essie wins in terms of their amazing range of colours at a slightly more affordable price range. One day I'll have a clear out of my stash and actually get round to counting how many I have in my possession - my educated guess would have to be about forty. However since their rebrand last year, Nails Inc have been bringing it with their unique colours and equally great formula. Queue a throwback to my Alexa Chung review back in September. These days Essie and Nails Inc are the only brands I switch in between. Can you blame me? After all, when something isn't broken...
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Thursday, 7 May 2015

Life Lately #3

So it's been a little while since I've written one of these posts. They're most bloggers go-to when they're lacking inspiration, right? But like every other student/blogger out there, I've been feeling the pinch these past few weeks. Essays are coming at me left, right, and centre and there's just been a hell of a lot going on. And you know, sometimes it's easier to say yes to some human interaction instead of remaining surgically attached to your laptop trying to write academic prose and blog posts at the same time.
Plus, I'm sitting here in my oversized flourescent orange pyjama top, with no makeup on, and eating coffee yoghurt. I am no authority on beauty or fashion at this specific moment in time. Here's what's been going on in my non-internet life of late.
Last Saturday, me and a gaggle of friends took part in a charity event with the university called LOST 99. The basic idea was that we were blindfolded, taken to a field 99 miles away from Southampton, and told to get back without spending any money and competing a series of challenges along the way. And of course, it was all in the name of some amazing charities including Teenage Cancer Trust, Solent Mind, and WaterAid. Plus it gave me an excuse to whip out my Cinderella costume, a win-win.
Turns out we were dropped in Rugby in the Midlands and depended solely on the kindness of strangers and hitchhiking. After getting off to a flying start, we ended up stuck in Heathrow's Terminal 5 for two hours before a couple took pity on us and dropped us at a petrol station in Staines. From there the unimaginable happened when a ex-Southampton English Literature alumnae was driving past and offered to drop us on the uni's doorstep. It was nothing less than amazing, she offered up plenty of English advice and even helped plan an essay - it was one of those crazy surreal moments where things went from the worst scenario imaginable to the best. Me and my two future flatmates came Third overall, making it back in seven hours but narrowed it down to two for all the challenges we completed. And we won Best Dressed, if only I could wear my Cinders costume everyday. Sigh.

Essays, essays everywhere. Remember the time I moaned about how un-photogenic my uni room is? (See my 10 Problems All Student Bloggers Will Understand post for details) Yes guys, this is what late-night essay writing looks like. It's not a pretty sight. All fluorescent lighting and ugly desk. But hey, it's been my reality the past few weeks - it was only a matter of time before it featured on the ol' blog. This is what the life of an English Literature student actually looks like - forget those romanticised Tumblr images of girls tucked up in cosy jumpers, sipping tea, and reading the classics. If only. But hey, I have five months for Summer to recreate those images. It's not all doom and gloom. Eight days and I'll be free, eek.

If you're following me on Twitter, then you might have noticed that I've been having a bit of an Adele moment the past week or so. I stumbled upon this video of her performing at the Royal Albert Hall and I've been kinda obsessed ever since. Even when I'm not a complete emotional wreck, I can still appreciate a good Adele tearjerker. Her covers of 'I Can't Make You Love Me' and 'Make You Feel My Love' are stunning, there's no other way to describe them. Since I can't write in silence, these covers will be blasting out of my uni room for the foreseeable future.

Come the 14th and posts will become a lot more regular and I'll have all the time in the world to devote to my beloved blog. But for now, uni work has to come first. It's sad but I swear I get separation anxiety when I'm away from the bloggersphere for too long - I promise I'll be back soon.
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