Friday, 26 June 2015

LIFESTYLE: TIME FOR A CHANGE


I'm not satisfied with my life. There, I said it. Bloggers, and people in general really, like to portray this perfect Valencia filtered lifestyle on the internet and make out like everything is tip top and perfect. This definitely isn't the case. I'm not content with where my life is headed and I want to change that. Why settle for anything less than what you want?

I don't know how many times I've mentioned getting into shape on here now, but this time, I have to mean it. After slowly putting on more and more weight, and getting noticeably unhealthier, I really have to make a change. Not only for vanity reasons, while I might not be in love with my body I certainly don't loathe it, but because I'm annoyed at myself for letting it get this far. I always said, if I went up a clothes size I'd pull myself together, but that ship has sailed let me tell you... I'm not overweight, and being a specific clothes size has never really concerned me, more the thought of me being responsible for making my body change so much. I'm also preeeetty unhealthy, which can be a little embarrassing. I want to work on getting healthier, stronger and fitter. I hope this changes me not only physically, but mentally too.

While I'm pretty organised when it comes to work and university, other aspects of my life are a little messy. I have a lot of clutter, and no matter how many times I tidy my room it always seems to look a mess right away again. After coming across a YouTube video randomly last week, I had a bit of a revelation. Why do I need so much stuff? I don't use most of it, I don't touch most of it more than once a month at best, so why do I still have it? I plan to have a serious purge of my bedroom and other belongings, and this time be absolute ruthless. I've come across a fab cleaning/purging method so keep an eye our for more on that in the future!

Similarly, with my wardrobe. Despite filling two wardrobes, I still go through the whole "I have nothing to wear!" shenanigan every single morning and it's getting a little boring now. The amount of money I spend on clothing scares me a little; I'm not too good with budgeting. I've been considering a capsule wardrobe for quite some time now, and it just hit me this weekend: make one. The idea of having a set number of clothes that all work together, create so many different outfits and will help to save money really appeals to me. Whether I'll actually be able to stick to it is a different matter entirely, but I'm really excited to give it a go.

Both these points promote the same thing: I'd rather spend money on experiences than material goods, for these are the things we truly take with us and can always keep. For me, a clean, tidy, organised environment equals a clean, tidy, organised mind and life. This is something I strive for. I want to love the things that matter and stop getting hung up on unimportant things.

Now it's time to better myself and create a more positive outlook on life. Forget the negativity, work hard and work well, because that is what I want. I want to be a stronger person mentally and physically, I want to make memories with the people I love and with new friends, I want to love and appreciate life, the little things just as much as the large. I want to love myself, and loving myself starts with taking care of myself and my body. I want to have a clean and organised environment where I can thrive and focus on more important things than what pair of black skinny jeans I'm going to choose today.

This is a bit of a different post for me today, but I've had a rush of passion recently for the above and thought it was time to share it with you all. From now, I hope that amyjanealice will feature new and different content, and I'm so excited to get working on it. July is going to be my month.

"Do something today that your future self will thank you for"

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

FASHION: THE FRINGED KAFTAN


I don't know about you, but I sure do love a bit of fringing. On bags, jackets, shirts, you name it. When I saw this kaftan* on Rare London, I fell hard. And, it's black. Could anything be more perfect?! I knew that this would be an absolute staple in my wardrobe, and not even just for summer. I love to wear this over a black cami with jeans and some simple heels for a smart casual look, but I'm betting it looks just as good with some denim shorts on holiday or as a beach cover up.

The chiffon material is nice and strong, though it is a little see through so be careful with what you wear underneath! It does make me look a little top heavy, but that's just the way it sits on my particular body shape. It's a great length too; not too short that you keep tugging at it but not too long that you feel you're traipsing it across floors. I like that it has some length to it, as I'm all for oversized pieces.

I'm so glad this beauty has found it's way into my wardrobe and I can't wait to take it away with me on holiday!

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*Post contains PR samples

Monday, 22 June 2015

LIFESTYLE: THE CUTEST MAKEUP BAG


Browsing Debenhams online last week armed with a discount voucher, I came across this beauty, the Brighton Every Day Bag by Victoria Green, and couldn't not put it in my basket. It's not like I don't have enough makeup bags already, but I thought this was so cute and kitsch that I just had to add it to the collection and wanted to share it with you all!

The bag is made out of a sturdy and waterproof material which I love, so it'll be easy to keep clean and won't get damaged rattling around in your handbag. It's not the largest of makeup bags, but it will be perfect for holding little bits and pieces in my carry-on bag on my holiday to Spain, and who doesn't love a cute makeup bag, right? Don't get me started on the polka dot lining.... Want to know the best part? It only cost me £4. There's a whole range of Brighton print bags, from costmetic bags to traveller bags and I'm somehow restraining myself from buying them all!

Friday, 12 June 2015

BEAUTY: DOVE HAIR NOURISHING OIL CARE LEAVE-IN SPRAY


Hi, I'm Amy, and I have an obsession with all things coconut scented. So much so in fact, that I often just search "coconut" on Boots to see what comes up, which is how I came across this gem, the Dove Hair Nourishing Oil Care Leave In Spray. I've really been trying to take more care of my hair over the past year or so, with regular trips to the hairdressses, using less heat and using more "care products". The ends of my hair could do with a little more TLC though, which is why I thought this spray would be perfect.

First things first, this smells amazing. Like seriously, good enough to eat/wear as perfume. Of course, you shouldn't do either or those things so I compensate for that by spraying it liberally through my hair at every opportunity. While it doesn't smell exactly like coconut, it has a really fresh and Summery scent. Not only does it smell beautiful, it actually works too. It has a dual formula, with the spray smoothing and sealing the hair and a serum to help restore moisture. To activate the dual forumula, make sure to shake the bottle before use! My hair is usually pretty knotty after a shower and frizzy more often than not, but after using this it feels super soft and has a really nice shine to it. You can use it when wet or top up your hair when it's dry. I like to apply it to the ends of my hair before blow drying for a sleek and put together look.

At less than £4, I will definitely be repurchasing this spray (not just for the scent, honest...)

Thursday, 11 June 2015

LIFESTYLE: SUMMER HOLIDAY READS







One of my favourite things to do on holiday is to relax on the beach with a nice drink and a good book. While for some people, like my boyfriend, this might not be your idea of fun during a holiday but for me it's the perfect way to wind down and get away from all the stresses at home. Over the past few months I've been hoarding accumulating various books ready to take away with me, so I thought I'd share them with you guys! Hopefully you can pick up a few recommendations from here, and please leave any books you'll be reading in the comments so that I can add them to my collection. There are actually quite a lot of books on this list... oops. Whether I actually take them all depends on the weight of my suitcase when I'm all ready and packed but fingers crossed, this is what I'll hopefully be reading on a sunny beach in the Costa Blanca next month!
"At 28, Lucy is doing well for herself. She's got a great job in PR, her boss loves her, and her best girlfriends Dominique and Erin think she's great. More important than anyone's opinion is that of her flatmate, and oldest friend in the world, Henry. For twenty years they've been inseparable: beauty and the geek. Henry thinks the world of Lucy. So why does she feel the need to lie outrageously on dates? Lucy is so loveable: why can't she just be herself? But when Lucy turns the spotlight on Henry, he wishes he'd never brought it up. With a penchant for jumpers and NHS-style specs, Lucy decides that Henry is in need of a makeover - big time.  A new haircut, contact lenses, a flirting master-class from Dom ...poor Henry doesn't know what's hit him. But nothing can prepare them for the surprise results! Before long, Lucy realises that their lives will never be the same again."
Who doesn't love some good chic lit on holiday, right? I've read some of Jane Costello's books before and have really enjoyed them, so I'm looking forward to reading this and having to think about nothing else! 
"Amber was three when a car crash stole her mother's life. She doesn't remember the accident, but a stranger at the scene has been unable to forget. Now, almost thirty years later, she's trying to track Amber down. Amber meanwhile is married to Ned and living on the other side of the world in London. When her father has a stroke, she flies straight home to Austrailia to be with him. Away from her husband, Amber finds comfort in her oldest friends, but her feelings for Ethan, the gorgeous, green-eyed man she once fell for, have never been platonic. As Ethan and Amber grow closer, married life in London feels far away. Then Amber receives a letter that changes everything."
I'm a huge fan of Paige Toon and so when I heard that she'd released a new book I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Especially with it being only £2 in Tesco and Amazon, go and get your copy quick!
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.
This book has been popping up all over my social feeds the past few months with a lot of rave reviews, so I decided to buy it and see what all the hype was about.
I don't want to write the blurb on here, because I don't actually want to read it! That's because it's a sequel to the previous book and so the blurb would undoubtedly contain spoilers. So, I'm restraining myself from taking a cheeky peek, but all the reviews proved very positive so I'm really looking forward to reading it.
"Delia Moss isn’t quite sure where she went wrong. When she proposed and discovered her boyfriend was sleeping with someone else – she thought it was her fault. When she realised life would never be the same again – she thought it was her fault. And when he wanted her back like nothing had changed – Delia started to wonder if perhaps she was not to blame… From Newcastle to London and back again, with dodgy jobs, eccentric bosses and annoyingly handsome journalists thrown in, Delia must find out where her old self went – and if she can ever get her back."
Another easy read chic lit, on offer in Tesco. I couldn't say no, right? Perfect for those lazy Summer holiday mornings.
"Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on her deck. She's even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason" she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed, Unable to keep it to herself Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?"
This seems to be the "it book" of 2015 so far with over 5000 reviews on Amazon and a rating of almost five stars. I've seen so many people reading it, read so many positive reviews and I decided now was a great time to buy it.
What will you be reading this Summer?

Monday, 8 June 2015

BEAUTY: THE £3 BRUSH CLEANER



I have to hold my hands up and admit, that I don't wash my makeup brushes as often as I should. But, when I actually get myself up and at the sink I actually quite enjoy it! Browsing eBay a couple of weeks ago I came across this handheld brush cleaner and had to get my hands on it.

When it arrived it was definitely smaller than I anticipated. It's actually quite fiddly and you can only fit one or two fingers in and is a little uncomfortable, but for £3 I can't really complain. I found it super easy to clean my brushes on and it helped to really get up to the top of the bristles to give them a thorough clean without bending or damaging them. I'd be a little careful using it with sponges though, my poor Real Techniques sponge got a little ripped using this but may have been down to me scrubbing pretty aggressively...

This is a lovely little addition to my brush cleaning routine, and means that I don't end up with dry hands at the end of washing my maybe slightly too large brush collection which is always a plus. They come in lots of cute colours, and if you don't mind waiting weeks for it to arrive you can get one for 99p!

Friday, 5 June 2015

BEAUTY: SEVENTEEN STAY TIME FOUNDATION


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SEVENTEEN-STAY-TIME-FOUNDATION-REVIEW

Something I really struggle to find is a good foundation. I'm really fair skinned, so a lot of 'paler' foundations still leave me with an orange and muddy complexion which isn't really the look I'm going for. So far, the only foundation I've repurchased numerous times and is pretty close to my skin colour is MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NW10. With it being over £20 and still not a perfect match, I'm always on the hunt for an alternative. On a trip to Boots with my sister earlier this week, we were browsing the Seventeen stand, and although Seventeen isn't a go-to makeup brand of mine, the products I have tried from them I've really liked. Boots are currently running an offer of "buy one get one half price" on all Seventeen items, and so I decided to pick up the Seventeen Stay Time Foundation in the shade Soft Ivory (which is the palest I think!) on a whim, after the swatches I took looked pretty promising.

I was a little wary to begin with as not only am I super pale, I also have dry skin, so some foundations can look really cakey in next to no time. My first impression of the foundation upon application was how easily it blended in to my skin. I used the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge and found that it was really easy to pat the foundation into my skin, and then blend it out. I also found that there wasn't a huge different between the shade of foundation and the colour of my skin, so I didn't have to worry about any harsh lines which is always a bonus when I'm trying to get ready quickly in the morning. It's also pretty high coverage. Although the back of a hand isn't the best place to colour match, for the purpose of this post you can see in the swatches the coverage it provides and how when blended in, it just looks like my natural skin. The Stay Time Foundation also has an SPF of 25, which is always a plus.

After finishing my foundation and brushing my translucent powder over my face, I really liked how it looked. My skin appeared more even and dare I saw, flawless? I was actually really pleasantly suprised by this and was looking forward to seeing how it held up over the course of the day. The bottle states "25 hours wear", and while I've never needed to wear makeup for that long and don't know if I will ever need to, it was interesting to see how long it would actually last. I applied the foundation at around 8am this morning and I was so pleased to see that around 12 hours later, although not perfect, the foundation still looked pretty good! Like I said, I do have dry skin and so there was some caking in some areas on my face but not too noticeable and definitely not as bad as a lot of foundations I've used.

Overall I'm so happy I decided to pick this foundation up, and especially with it being under £7! I'll definitely be repurchasing this and will have to check out some more of Seventeen's makeup. What do you recommend?

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

BEAUTY: REAL TECHNIQUES SCULPTING BRUSH

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If there's one thing I can't get enough of, it's makeup brushes. While I'm always wanting to try out new brands, I always end up coming back to my trusty Real Techniques brushes. I picked up the new Sculpting Brush in my recent Look Fantastic mini haul, and have not looked back since. As somebody with a pretty round face, contouring and bronzing is an absolute must for me and this brush is perfect. Yep, it's the best contouring brush I've ever used. The bristles are very dense, meaning you can pick up a little bit of product or really pack it on, and as they're also super soft so you can blend the product out effortlessly. I've been using the Real Techniques Sculpting Brush with my new favourite bronzer, Hoola by Benefit. Let me tell you, it's changed my contouring and bronzing life forever. I've got definition where I've never had definition before! With the brush being shaped at an angle yet curved, it fits right into the hollow of your cheekbone and around your forehead, down the sides of your face and under your jaw easily. For somebody who is a self confessed contouring novice, this brush is so easy to use and does all the work for you. 

I've only used the Sculpting Brush with powder products so far, though I'm looking forward to trying it out with cream products too. I'm sure it will be just as amazing with either! This is definitely becoming my fave brush, and I think that along with the fact it's less than £10 justifies the fact that I want to buy more...

Monday, 1 June 2015

BEAUTY: BENEFIT HOOLA BRONZER


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I'd been wanting to get my hands on the ever popular Benefit Hoola bronzer, but with it retailing at £23.50 I was a bit wary about splashing the cash on something I wasn't even sure would work for me. I recently received a gift voucher for Look Fantastic (read my haul here) and decided that I would finally try it out.

After my first time using Hoola I was really pleasantly suprised! My skin is quite cool toned, and this bronzer is the perfect shade for me. It's easily buildable, so you can sweep it on quickly if you're in a rush or really take your time packing it on to give yourself some colour or even as a contour shade. There was little to no fallout, as long as you were careful with your brush of course, which is definitely a plus. I had this on for around 12 hours today, and while my whole face of makeup didn't look as great as it did this morning, Hoola hadn't completely worn off and the definition it gave my face was still there. Perfect for us round faced gals!

My only criticism of Hoola is the packaging. It is tiny, considering the price (but let's not get into that!) and made of cardboard with a little mirror and a small brush inside. I probably won't get too much use out of the brush but it's a nice addition. The box flips open from one edge, but I found that each time I tried to close the box the edges got caught and stopped it from closing completely! It's only a small thing, but I can see it getting annoying very quickly.

Overall I'm glad I finally added Hoola to my makeup collection, I can see it fast becoming my go to bronzer. I'm looking forward to taking it on holiday with me, and to experiment with when trying to improve my contouring! 

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