Autumn is well and truly upon us, which is evident by the blanket of leaves covering the ground and the dark yet cosy afternoons. It feels like summer was only a couple of weeks ago, so it's hard to believe that winter is just around the corner. Adapting your makeup routine to fit the colder weather can often be difficult and many drastic changes will occur within your makeup bag to make it appropriate for the new season. Today, I thought I'd share with you some of my autumn beauty essentials and ways that you can adapt your makeup routine ready for the cold weather.

Dry skin is often caused by the crisp air that is present in the colder seasons, meaning products like moisturisers are essential in this icy time of the year. It's important to opt for something that provides more hydration, as your skin will be in need of it. I love using the Olay Beauty Fluid for this purpose and find that it leaves my skin moisturised without feeling greasy. To scrub away any dry and dead skin, Lush's Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub is an excellent product that includes natural ingredients, aiming both to remove dry skin and to smooth and condition your face.

Your hands are another part of the body that are particularly affected by the cold weather, which is due to them being constantly exposed and sensitive to the cold. Hand creams are a great way to inject some moisture into otherwise dry palms, my favourite of which being Soap and Glory's Hand Food, simply because it smells delicious and does its job, making my hands feel soft and silky. The cuticles can also be quite sensitive to this weather, which is where a generous helping of the Lush Lemon Flutter Cuticle Butter comes in handy.

Moving onto makeup, I love to be more generous with bronzer when the cooler months arrive. My summer tan is a distant memory and I often feel ghostly pale, so a natural bronzer is a perfect way to resolve this. I dust this all over my face, concentrating on where the sun naturally hits, for a healthy amount of colour. Maybelline's Dream Sun Bronzer is perfect for this, as it is quite natural, meaning I can warm up my features without worrying about going overboard. If you'd like to hear more about this bronzer then you can check out my review here.

When I think of autumn and winter, warm-toned eyeshadows instantly spring to mind. These look lovely in the cooler months and are particularly gorgeous paired with the autumn leaves and darker outfits that appear in these seasons. My favourite palette for creating these looks is the MUA Heaven and Earth Palette, as it features a series of outstanding shadows that are perfect for this time of the year. All of the colours compliment each other nicely, meaning there is an endless amount of possibilities when creating a desirable wintry eye look. For a more in-depth review of this palette, take a look at my review post, which you can find here.

The most popular and noticeable change between summer and autumn makeup is the choices of lip colour, as bold lips are often introduced into the cooler months. There are definitely a lot of options for this, from rich reds to vivid berry tones and everything in between, so it's a case of finding what works best for you. My red lipstick of choice is one of the MUA Matte Lipsticks in the shade 13, as this is packed with a punch of pigmentation and doesn't budge once applied. As for berry shades, I've been enjoying using the Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Raplumzel, which can be lightly applied for a faint coating of colour or intensified for something bolder yet equally as beautiful. I've actually reviewed these lip crayons, which you can find here.

Thank you for reading this post and I hope that I have helped you when it comes to autumnal makeup. Are there any products that I've missed? I'd love to hear them, so make sure you let me know your autumn beauty essentials down in the comments!

Love from Daisy x

I discovered this book sitting on the shelves of my local library, and I was instantly intrigued by what it was about. I usually read a lot of fantasy books, so the paranormal aspects really appealed to me, and I'm also a huge fan of mystery novels, so I could instantly tell that this would be a book that I'd thoroughly enjoy. I started it almost immediately after borrowing it from the library and finished it within a couple of days since it was incredibly addictive and I couldn't put it down. As I was amazed by this book and loved reading it, I thought I'd review if for you guys, so I hope you like this post! 

"Crime lives--and dies--in the deceptively picture-perfect town of Port Gamble (aka “Empty Coffin”), Washington. Evil lurks and strange things happen--and 15-year-olds Hayley and Taylor Ryan secretly use their wits and their telepathic “twin-sense” to uncover the truth about the town's victims and culprits. Envy, the series debut, involves the mysterious death of the twins' old friend, Katelyn. Was it murder? Suicide? An accident? Hayley and Taylor are determined to find out--and as they investigate, they stumble upon a dark truth that is far more disturbing than they ever could have imagined."
The two main protagonists of this young adult book are twins, Taylor and Hayley Ryan. I feel like Gregg Olsen did a great job at developing them and making each girl a unique character, with some traits similar and others individual to them. There's often a common occurrence in young adult books where twins are portrayed as virtually the same person, with only slight differences to make them distinguishable. Hayley and Taylor are a much more realistic representation of twins and I feel like they were cleverly created to show some unique traits right from the start.

The other characters in the book were all developed and fleshed out more than I was expecting, especially the parents in the novel, which is uncommon in young adult books, where the parents can be flat, one-dimensional characters. I feel like, with characters such as Kevin Ryan, Gregg Olsen was able to include a lot of detail, as the character is similar to himself, which was a nice touch. Initially, I found it quite hard to keep track of all of the characters, since there was quite a few introduced in such a short space of time, but I got to know them really well by the end of the novel and I loved seeing how their stories and experiences gradually intertwined with one another.

The story of this novel is true to any murder mystery – filled with false trails and misdirection. I feel as though Gregg Olsen was particularly good at involving this in Envy and I fell into the trap often, being unsuccessful in discovering who the killer was before the big reveal. This shows that the novel was well-written and had no obvious giveaways, even for someone who reads a lot and is usually good at predicting what will happen like myself.

Envy itself has a really nice pace; not moving too quick that it’s hard to keep up but not dragging out small events so they seem to last forever. The course of events unfolded quite nicely and I feel as though it was really successful in creating an engrossing and unpredictable story. I think that this was due to Gregg Olsen having knowledge of the topic. Often with YA books, the author doesn’t know much about what they’re writing about and the novel is subsequently quite brief and underdeveloped. However, this certainly wasn’t the case with Envy, which I was thrilled by.

One of the things that I disliked about Envy was the text message excerpts that were occasionally included. Although they added another dimension to the story, the excessive use of symbols and abbreviations meant that they were almost impossible to comprehend. Furthermore, they were quite untrue to how teenagers actually text. In my opinion, the excerpts would have been a lot better if they were easier to read, as this still relates to the cyberbullying theme of the book without being too difficult to understand. 

I was completely shocked when I realised that this book was actually based on a true story. Although a lot of it is entirely fictional, some elements were inspired from the suicide of a teenage girl called Megan Meier back in October 2006. It’s really upsetting to hear this as is shows that issues like bullying and peer pressure affect us in the real world, not just in novels. Envy did a great job of portraying this whilst also educating people about it, showing the deadly consequences of issues such as cyberbullying.

Overall, I thought that this book was very engrossing and I truly enjoyed reading it. It was quite a quick read and I managed to finish it in a couple of days, so I wish that it would've been longer and even more developed. Aside from this, I found this book to keep me guessing for the entirety of the story and I was left eager to read the sequel, which will hopefully contain some of the unanswered questions that weren't resolved at the end. I'd definitely recommend this book to someone looking for a thrilling murder mystery that is still in the young adult genre and hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I did.

When creating a blog, there are countless possibilities of hosts and platforms that you can use to make it. Personally, I decided to choose Blogger as it was the one that I'd heard the most about and, after having a quick tour of it, felt the most comfortable with. I'm not an expert on other hosts and only know the basics, but I know pretty much everything there is about Blogger, after using it for almost 2 years. Today, I thought I'd share with you the pros and cons of Blogger, which might affect your decision in choosing it.


One of the main positive points of Blogger is that it's completely free to run and use. There are no hidden cost or fees, and they even allow you to use their own URL ( instead of buying your own. This is particularly useful for people who are new to blogging and don't want to spend a lot of money or simply just to trial, without being tied down by payments.

One of my favourite parts about Blogger is how user-friendly it is, making it extremely easy to do anything. In fact, it's probably possible to set up your blog, choose a layout and publish your first post within minutes, due to it being incredibly easy to navigate. This makes it ideal for anyone starting out with blogging, as editing HTML code isn't absolutely necessary (although favourable) and any blog-related tasks can easily be carried out.

Blogger is powered by Google, meaning that all of your Google accounts will be synchronised with your blog and help it to run more efficiently. Although some people might dislike this, I find it to be very helpful, especially for Google Plus and Gmail, as it means I don't have to manage them and it is partially taken care of for me. This is also helpful for things like your calendar, Google Drive and even comments. Since Google is involved, having a blog on Blogger can also help your search engine optimisation.

There are also some other added perks of using Blogger that you might not realise, such as there being no storage limit due to being linked to Google Cloud, security being taken care of by Google and the fact that you can easily customise the code. Also, if you accidentally delete your blog, it is possible to recover it for the next 3 months, meaning accidents will never cause your blog to be gone forever.


One of the negatives of Blogger is that the statistics in Blogger aren't the most accurate and are unreliable if you want a clear representation of how your blog is doing. Although they are clear and easy to read, a lot of the information may be dated or not exact.  If you're looking for true and realistic results, Google Analytics is much more detailed and functions better. I'm hoping that this will be integrated into Blogger in the future, as it would make analysing your blog statistics much easier and more efficient.

Uploading photos into Blogger is quite an ordeal, as they often tend to be automatically resized, with the dimensions changed. Also, if you want to change the size of the image within the post, there are only a couple of options available, whereas with other blog hosts the image size can be fully customised. This makes it hard to create the perfect size image and means that you will have to do some coding to fix it, which isn't the best solution for some people, especially those that don't know much about HTML.

The Blogger templates aren't the most aesthetically pleasing and are quite basic in layout. This means that you may have to do a fair bit of customisation and coding to get it how you want, or you can simply download a template. There is a wide variety of templates on offer, some free and others costing a small fee, but I'd definitely recommend looking into this if you want to improve your blog design. The template that I currently used was downloaded for free from the Internet, and I find it to be much more visually appealing than with Blogger templates.

Overall, I'd say that I really like Blogger and, despite there being a few things that I dislike about it, it meets my needs and wants. When I was starting out, I wanted blogging to be an easy task that was stress-free, and I feel that this has been achieved by using Blogger, with its easy to navigate user interface and clear layout.

A lot of people don't realise that some beauty products actually contain harmful chemicals and ingredients. It's definitely worth being aware of this and staying away from them whenever possible, as a number of the ingredients listed below are linked to medical conditions or illnesses. I thought I would bring you this blog post to raise awareness of their usage and hopefully help you to make more informed choices when using beauty products.

Parabens are chemical preservatives that are most often found in makeup and toiletries such as shower gels, deodorants, and cleansers. They are used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mould in these items, making them last longer and more hygienic to use. However, parabens also have estrogen-mimicking elements that are linked to breast cancer. Although it is uncertain whether these two are directly connected, it's enough to cause concern with makeup lovers. There is also evidence that parabens might affect the nervous system and immune system, so it's safe to say that you should probably avoid them.

Mineral oil
Mineral oil is an ingredient commonly used in moisturisers and other cosmetics. It is used as a cheaper alternative to using plant oils, but it doesn't have any benefits for the skin. It's a by-product of making petroleum that acts as a barrier on the skin, meaning it commonly leads to breakouts and causes problems to occur.

Silicones are a group of synthetic ingredients that can be used for a variety of different purposes, usually those related to hair. This involves waterproofing, retaining water, making the hair smooth and protecting the hair shaft. Although these can sound like good properties, they can weigh the hair down if used regularly and can build up in the environment, which is a cause for concern for environmentalists.

Phthalates help to hold a scent or a colour in a product, so they are often found in perfumes, hairspray and nail varnishes. They are known to disrupt your endocrine system by mimicking hormones and have been linked to some different health problems, with cancer being the main one. Their effects can lead to developmental and neurological damage, but are unfortunately hard to spot in an ingredients list.


Formaldehyde is used in many different cosmetics, whether that's for preventing the growth of bacteria, preservation or hardening. It is known to cause cancer, skin reactions and can be harmful to the immune system. These chemicals are often found in nail varnishes, body washes, shampoos, conditioners, cleaners and eyeshadows, with formaldehyde-free formulas being expensive and hard to find. Although they aren't extremely likely to make you ill, as they release small amounts of formaldehyde over time, it's definitely worth staying away from them.

Triclosan prevents bacteria from growing in your cosmetics, specifically those that could be found on your hands. This antimicrobial chemical is often found in bars of soap and deodorants, but not many people know that it can actually disrupt your hormones and irritate your skin. Although this is a cause for concern, there isn't enough evidence to prove that washing your hands with soaps containing triclosan is worse than using products without.

Sulphates are commonly found in shampoos, body washes and cleansers and are essentially foaming agents. Not only have they been linked to skin irritation and dryness, but they are thought to release very low levels of carcinogenic by-products. This isn't a huge concern, as they release such small amounts, but large amounts of the same by-products can lead to kidney and respiratory damage. They also provide an environmental concern as they are produced from a non-renewable source.

Toluene is a solvent that is used in nail varnishes and helps to break down other components, making application smooth and even. It also helps to make your nails look glossy. However, it can affect your respiratory system, make you feel nauseous and irritate the skin. Long-term exposure to high doses of it have been proved to cause cancer, so it's definitely one to stay clear of if possible.

If you're thinking about starting a blog, or are maybe new to the blogging community, there's quite a lot of advice which I could give you. After being a blogger for almost two years now, I've acquired quite a lot of knowledge on the topic and know of the mistakes that people often make when they first start out. Today, I thought I'd help you by sharing my most important pieces of advice for those of you who are starting to blog.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that blogging will be something you can do if you have a spare 5 minutes, as it takes a lot of time and dedication. Writing posts can be time-consuming, getting the right angles and lighting for photos can be tedious and you have to invest a lot of time for promoting your content, replying to emails, answering comments and many other blog-related tasks. All of this time definitely adds up, and can often be too hard to manage if you have a job or school work that is more important. I'd recommend posting less frequently when you start your blog so that you will have a bit more free time and you can always add more posts to your schedule depending on how you're handling it.

It doesn't matter if blogging about fashion is the latest craze, or everyone is obsessed with food blogs at the moment; if you're not interested in these things then it's not worth blogging about them. Not only will blogging seem boring and become a chore, your readers will start to tell that you're not enthused by what you're writing about. You want to put some of your own personality into your posts, and the best way to do that it share things that you like and are genuinely interested in. With that, you will find the right audience that appreciate your posts and you won't feel like you have to become someone you're not to gain recognition.

No one's going to mind if you don't stick to your blogging schedule and miss out a post or two. When I started blogging, I even took a break for a couple of months to focus on school and my blog didn't greatly suffer. If you don't think you have the time to post or don't know what to write about, don't force it. I always tell myself that I'd rather my blog only have a few posts that are all informative, inventful and of a great quality than lots of posts that are dull, not creative and lacking in enthusiasm. If you think that writing a post on time is going to be a struggle or you know that you need a long time preparing to ensure that your posts are the best possible, prepare some in advance so you'll always have a backup at the ready.

At the end of the day, it's your blog and you should be proud of it, regardless of what other people might think. A lot of people might not understand blogging or how much hard work it can be, so don't let it get to you if people doubt your blog. You should always strive to achieve your best from your blog and create something that you are genuinely pleased with, even if that means that other people will disagree. There can be some really mean and unsupportive people in the world, both online and offline, but with that you'll find lots of people who love your blog and appreciate all that you do for it.

These are just a few of the many things that I wish I knew when I started blogging, but I'm pretty sure there are many others. What do you wish you knew when you started your blog? I'd love to know, so make sure you let me know down in the comments.

Love from Daisy x

I spend a lot of time discussing the books that I have read on my blog, but rarely do I mention those that I haven’t yet read but want to. I’m constantly receiving recommendations for books and finding new authors whose novels I want to try, so my wishlist is rapidly growing and gaining new titles. Out of these, there are a few books that stand out to me, being those that I want to read the most or that are the most popular within the book blogging community. I thought I’d share these books with you, as they are all titles that I’d love to read and hopefully will be able to soon. I’ll also be providing you with a synopsis and brief explanation as to why I’d like to read that book for each one, so I hope that this post is both insightful and informative.


"After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. 

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. 

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined."

This book is extremely popular within the young adult genre, and I feel like everyone constantly talks about it, which explains why I'm eager to try it. It's a high fantasy novel, which I'm a huge fan of, but I've gathered from reviews that it's more challenging and advanced than typical young adult books, which is definitely a positive for me as I love challenging myself with reading. I've heard lots of great things about Sarah J Maas's writing and I believe that her novels are always well thought out, full of unexpected plot twists and developed characters. I'm definitely hoping to try this book in the future, and if I enjoy it I'll probably continue to read the rest of the series. She actually has another popular young adult book series, entitled A Court of Thorns and Roses, which is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast that I'd also love to read.


"Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back."

This book was initially published in 1993, but has recently gained popularity and is now a highly acclaimed young adult science-fiction novel. This book definitely sounds unique and unlike what I normally read, but I'm also drawn in by it and think that it will be a book that I'll enjoy. Although the synopsis is quite vague, I can tell that this book will be quite complex and have an intricate yet perfectly planned plot. The Giver is the first book in a series of four, all of which I will get around to reading if I like the first book. Similar to the latter, I've heard a lot about this book and it has been described as an unforgettable read, so I'd really love to try it out.


"Los Angeles. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to discovering exactly what it was that killed her parents and getting her revenge. 

Raised in the Los Angeles Institute with the Blackthorn family, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian Blackthorn. A series of murders in the city catch her attention — they seem to have the same characteristics as the deaths of her parents. Could the murderer be the same person? And her attention isn’t the only one caught: someone has been murdering Downworlders as well. The Fair Folk make a deal with the Institute: if the Blackthorns and Emma will investigate the killings, they’ll return Mark Blackthorn to his home. The catch: they have only two weeks to find the killers. Otherwise, it’s open war between faeries and Nephilim. 

The Shadowhunters of the Institute must race against time to catch the killers, even as they begin to suspect the involvement of those closest to them. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica."

This book, which will be the first in the Dark Artifices series, isn;t out yet, but I'm highly anticipating its release and I can't wait to be able to read it. I've completed the six books in the Mortal Instruments series and I'm partway through the Infernal Devices trilogy, all of which are by Cassandra. I've went as far as to say that these are some of my favourite books, so I'm almost certain that I'll like Lady Midnight. This book will take place in the same world as the other series', meaning there will be a return of shadowhunters and the other mythical creatures, but will instead be based around new characters. I absolutely love Cassandra's work and find it to be more challenging and meaningful than other young adult books, so they're definitely worth reading. I'm eagerly awaiting March 2016 when this book is released, and hopefully it will live up to my view of her other works.


"When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control. 

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living."

I am extremely eager to read this book, as iI've heard nothing but praise about it from bookworms and bloggers alike. It's a fantasy book that follows the journey of a girl called Ruby who realises that she has frightening, uncontrollable abilities. The government in this dystopian world are strongly against Ruby and the few people who share the same abilities as her, so she's constantly on the run and under threat of attack. It sounds like a really gripping fantasy novel that is well-developed, which explains why it is greatly popular amongst many people. However, there is no UK publisher attached to this book, meaning I, unfortunately, won't be able to try it.


"Protect the diamonds. Survive the clubs. Dig deep through the spades. Feel the hearts.

Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He's pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.

That's when the first ace arrives in the mail. That's when Ed becomes the messenger. Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary) until only one question remains: Who's behind Ed's mission?"

About a year and a half ago, my friend Anna bought me a copy of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and I absolutely fell in love with it. I rarely read historical fiction, but this book proved that the genre isn't as boring or dull as I expected and the style of writing made it very enjoyable to read. I Am The Messenger is one of Markus's lesser known books but is thought to be better; a hidden gem amongst his titles. Despite it being contemporary, which is a genre that I'm not particularly fond of, I have high hopes for this book as Markus is an excellent author and has the ability to truly captivate the reader with his intense and gripping words.


"Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him. Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink."

I've been wanting to read this book for quite a while now, as it rapidly gained popularity and became a highly mentioned and praised young adult fiction book. I've been recommended this by quite a few people, and it's my friend Bethan's favourite book, so I know it's one that I have to give a go, since so many people have fallen in love with it. Although I don't know a huge deal about the plot, I have heard that it is quite emotional and definitely a more mature read, but I really think it will help me to grow as a reader and I'd love to try it in the future.


"Callum Hunt’s summer break isn’t like other kids’. His closest companion is a Chaos-ridden wolf, Havoc. His father suspects him of being secretly evil. And, of course, most kids aren’t heading back to the magical world of the Magisterium in the fall. It’s not easy for Call... and it gets even harder after he checks out his basement and discovers that his dad might be trying to destroy both him and Havoc. Call escapes to the Magisterium -- but things only intensify there. The Alkahest -- a copper gauntlet capable of separating certain magicians from their magic -- has been stolen. And in their search to discover the culprit, Call and his friends Aaron and Tamara awaken the attention of some very dangerous foes -- and get closer to an even more dangerous truth."

I got a copy of The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black when it was first released, after meeting them at one of their signings. I fell in love with it and finished it in a short amount of time, but was disappointed as that meant I had to wait a whole year until the sequel, The Copper Gauntlet, was released. The time is finally here and the next book has been released, and I'm eager to get my hands on it. Although the writing style was quite different to Cassandra's usual works (I haven't read anything else by Holly so I don't have anything of hers to compare it to), there was a major plot twist towards the end of the novel that really left me on edge. I love the entire concept of the novel and it provided a new outlook on a previously tired and overdone topic. Hopefully, I'll be able to read the sequel soon, as I'm dying to find out what happens next.


"Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era! Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust."

I don't usually read books like this, but a number of people have said that it's perfect for lovers of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Since that is probably my all-time favourite book series, I knew that I'd have to try this novel. From the synopsis, I've gathered that this book features quite a few genres, such as fantasy, historical fiction and even contemporary aspects, which is an unlikely but interesting mix that I'm looking forward to reading about. Also, I don't read many books about time travel but this is definitely something that I want to change, as the premise sounds like an excellent idea and instantly enthralls me.

A shopping trip on the weekend prompted me to go into Superdrug, simply to have a look around and see if there were any new releases. However, I noticed that there were quite a few offers available, with the one that caught my eye being 3 for 2 on all L'Oreal cosmetics, and I simply couldn't resist trying some new products. I also picked up some other makeup items from Makeup Revolution and MUA, simply because I was getting carried away at this point. I thought that it would be fun to share my impromptu beauty haul with you, including my first impressions of some of the products, so I hope you like this post and that it has possibly persuaded you to try some of these items.

Starting with the L'Oreal makeup, the first thing that I decided to pick up was one of the Colour Riche Lipsticks in the shade Naomi's Pink. This a gorgeous neutral pink that is on the verge of a mauve, making it quite a natural-looking colour, whilst still being flattering. I decided on this shade, opposed to any of the others, as Naomi has a similar colouring to myself, so I predicted that this colour would suit me. This new line of L'Oreal lipsticks aims to provide colours that match your skin, eyes and hair, and the collection contains a variety of pinks, nudes and reds, so there will definitely be something for everyone. They are said to have a satin finish, being creamy and luxurious on the lips, but I have yet to properly try the lipstick so I don't know how accurate this is.

The next L'Oreal product that I purchased was their Glam Bronze Duo. I bought this in the lighter shade of the two, which still looks fairly dark, but it is supposedly suited to people with blonde hair. I hadn't heard much about this product before trying it, but I thought it was worth giving it a go since it was on offer. I initially thought that this was a matte product, but it actually has quite a bit of shimmer in it, which means that it isn't the best for everyday use or for achieving a natural look. Also, it would probably be more suited to bronzing, as contour powders are better to be matte. I haven't properly tried out this product, so I don't have anything else to say about it, but hopefully it will live up to my future expectations.

The final makeup item from L'Oreal that I bought was their Nude Magique Anti-Dullness CC Cream. I was looking for something that would add a hint of colour to my face and brighten my complexion, without looking like a lot of makeup had been applied. This product contains smart pigment capsules, which allows the pale lilac cream to turn into a foundation once it comes into contact with the skin. This colour was specifically chosen as it helps to cancel out any dullness: a key feature of a CC cream since they are supposed to be colour correcting. I really like the premise of this product and it's definitely unique compared to other makeup items, but it's also fairly affordable at £9.99.

Next, I ventured over to the Makeup Revolution stand, in search of their Radiance palette. I've tried some Makeup Revolution products before and I can tell that they're a good-quality brand, so my hopes were placed quite high for this palette. The trio of highlighters is an obvious dupe for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, and it's a popular product too as it's almost always sold out. Luckily, there was one remaining when I visited Superdrug, so I picked it up without hesitation. These baked highlighters look absolutely gorgeous in the palette and will hopefully transfer well onto the skin, becoming beautiful highlighters. However, the Hourglass powders can also be used as setting powders, giving a natural glow to the face, so I'd love to see if this can be achieved with the Makeup Revolution ones. If this product is good, it'll definitely be worth the price, as it's only £8, whereas the Ambient Lighting Palette is £56.

MUA is another budget makeup brand that never fails to amaze me with its extremely cheap yet good quality products. I've tried a number of their makeup items and fallen in love with them, so I thought it was about time to purchase some more of their products. I decided to pick up one of their Blush Perfection Cream Blushers in the shade Blossom, as it appeared to be a gorgeous yet natural shade. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm expecting it to be quite pigmented, like all of MUA's products, and I suspect that it will last quite well, as it is a cream blusher. It's also matte, so this will be perfect for everyday use, adding a subtle flush to the cheeks without being too obvious. This was only £1, so I obviously couldn't turn it down and I'm looking forward to using it.

Finally for my makeup haul, I bought the MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder in the shade Pink Shimmer. Lots of people talk about this product and I hear plenty of positive reviews of it, so I thought it was about time I tried it, especially since it's incredibly affordable at £3. It is said to suit a variety of skin tones, looking beautiful either on its own to create a strobed look or layered over a blusher to add a luminescent shimmer to the cheeks. I'm definitely eager to give this product a go, as it looks very beautiful and its reviews suggest that it's a lovely highlighter, being a supposed dupe for the MAC Mineralised Skin Finishes.

I hope you liked seeing what products I purchased and hearing some of my initial thoughts on them. If you'd like, I can produce reviews on them or report back with a more in-depth description of the products once I've been using them for quite a while. Thanks for reading this post and I'll see you on Sunday with my new post. Bye for now!

Love from Daisy x

Today, I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane and look back at my blog from when it was first created to now. One of the areas of blogging that I've definitely improved in is photography, as I've gone from not caring how my photos look to taking a lot of time and effort to achieving something that I'm proud of and that is aesthetically pleasing. Although I've still got a long way to go, there has been a noticeable change in the way I take photos of products and it's crazy to see my initial attempt at photography from where I first started my blog, back in February 2014. I thought it'd be interesting to look back at my old blog photos and compare them to my current ones, so I hope you like this post!

When I started blogging, I didn't realise the importance of photography and how images can attract readers, especially from aesthetic-dependant websites like Pinterest. To take a photo of a product, I'd simply place it on my duvet and capture the photo, without paying any attention to intricate details such as the positioning of the product and the lighting. The pattern of my duvet didn't match my blog design at all, so the images looked out of place on my blog and you could clearly see that minimal effort was required to create the photographs. Also, no editing took place, as I didn't think it was necessary and, as you've probably gathered by now, I wasn't a huge fan of the aesthetic side of my blog. I would upload the images into Blogger so that they were really small on the page, making them not at all eye-catching or creative, which is something that I've only recently changed.

After almost a year of taking photographs for my blog on my duvet, I realised that I wanted a change and to make my photos look more professional, so I settled on a white background. I'd seen a lot of other bloggers use minimalistic backgrounds like this and I thought that it was a great way to draw attention to the products, opposed to a distracting pattern in the background which was the case with my previous photos. However, this ended up looking grey in a lot of photos, as I didn't know much about natural lighting or enhancing my photos by editing them. Believe it or not, I use the exact same surface for my current blog photographs, so it really shows how little details and the correct technique can make a huge difference. I actually think that these images look worse than the previous ones, simply because they're so dull and boring. However, this was the starting point for how I take my blog photos today, so I'm glad that I was able to improve and, if I didn't take photographs like this at one point, I wouldn't be where I am today.

The photos that you can see above mark the point when I discovered editing and filters, which were used quite heavily at first. What I didn't realise was that editing your photos is supposed to enhance them and make minor adjustments to improve them, rather than completely changing how they look. Above, you can see two examples of photos that I over-edited and added filters that were unnecessary, simply because I thought they looked nice. On the left, I added a pink filter which I thought would look creative, but obviously wasn't the best choice, and on the right I tried incredibly hard to make the background look white, causing everything to have a blue undertone to it. I've definitely realised since then that editing should be more subtle and I usually stay far away from filters, as this was a learning curve for me. These photos are also the point when I decided to photograph all of my products together, rather than a separate image for each item, which is something that I still do to this day.

This was the point where I actually started to take my blog photography seriously and improved the way I took photos, which is quite shameful if I'm honest as it was only about 6 months ago. I started looking at other blogs for inspiration and searched for online tutorials that taught me invaluable techniques, which, coupled with my previous experiences of photography, helped me to produce some images that I was proud of. I'd finally figured out how to edit images so that they looked brighter and the colours were more vivid, yet nothing was too over the top. However, both of these images were quite boring, with nothing to look at except the product itself, as this was before I discovered the use of props and other products in the background.

We have finally reached the present day, and above you can see where I'm currently at with photography. Although I'm still working really hard to improve this, I can definitely tell that I'm getting somewhere and that my dedication is paying off. I've continued to use certain editing techniques to make my photos more aesthetically pleasing, but I've also been incorporating the use of props and other makeup products to make the images more appealing and not as boring as the previous ones. I've still got a long way to go, but I'm pleased with how these images look, and they're far different to those on my duvet.

I hope you liked looking back and what my blog used to be like and hopefully it has shown you that anyone can achieve a vast improvement with something if they put their mind to it. If you'd like more posts of this style, reflecting on the past of my blog, then just let me know and I'd be more than happy to provide them for you. Thanks for reading and I'll see you on Wednesday with a new post.

Love from Daisy x