Where did I go?

Hello again,

The queen of inconsistent blogging is back.  I’ve been wanting to blog a lot in the last few weeks, but haven’t felt able.  At the end of January, I was told my Grandpa had 2 weeks left to live.  In fact, 2 weeks to the day that I was told, he passed.  I’ve always made a point of wanting to be totally honest on this blog and I didn’t feel as if I could spiel on about make-up and all the beautiful things in life whilst I was still grieving so deeply.  Now it is 3 weeks to the day after his death.  I feel it impossible to be saying this, as I cannot believe it’s been such a long time since he passed.  Everything else in life seems to carry on as normal, but now and then I just get hit with this reality that he is no longer here.  I only saw him every 2-3 months as he and my Granny lived in Devon, so it doesn’t seem strange to me that I am not seeing him every day, what hurts me is that there is now no longer the option to if I wanted to.  His funeral is next Tuesday (very late, but it was the first available day for the type of service he wanted to have with the right person), and I have never in all my life seen my Granny as a single woman without him, and the whole family is coming together, even my cousin from America, and I know this will perhaps be the hardest day of my life so far and will be remembered as one of the hardest days of my life in my years to come.

Grandpa is the first of my Grandparents to pass away.  I am very fortunate to have lived to 18 without having a close family member die, but somehow I think this makes it more difficult as not only did I know each of them as a child, but I also know all of them as an adult, which is a very different and much more special kind of relationship.  Also, I have always been a lot closer to my mother’s side for as long as I can remember.  I love my father’s side, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve just always been able to connect with my mother’s side more and I feel they’ve always understood me and have been the people I’ve turned to.  It’s a smaller side of the family – my mum only has one sister, who has one son, who now has one daughter.  My dad is one of four children, all of which have two children, as well as a mix of step-brothers and sisters.

He was a truly amazing man.  Most would say this of their Grandfathers, I know.  But, I do not trust many people and he is someone I have always been able to confide in and turn to.  He fought in the second world war, after having attended boarding school until the age of seventeen, when he enlisted.  On one of his first missions in the army, he was sent to Japan to release prisoners of war, where he was surprised to find his father to be one of them whom he saved.  He then went on to carry on with training after the war finished, eventually becoming Chief of Police in Singapore.  He was never close to his parents particularly, they got divorced and he ended up with a step family as well.  He’d live in Singapore for three years, then return to England for six months.  During his first six months, he met my Granny.  He then went back to Singapore and they lost touch.  However, during his second period back in England, he just so happened to see her crossing the street, they fell in love all over again and were married.  They had two daughters, my Auntie Jenny and my Mum.  They had dozens of dogs throughout their marriage who they loved dearly and also bred sometimes.  He then had five grand children, all of whom he’s been nothing but an inspiration to.  When I was younger, he’d always tell me to perform for him, no matter how shy I was.  I’d do pop concerts for him, then he’d try to convince me that he was secretly Kylie Minogue.  He’d let me plait his hair, which I still have no clue how that happened as he barely had any… He’d do magic tricks for me then show me how to do them myself so I could trick my parents when I’d return from my little weeks away to their house, which I did annually from the age of 7-13, then continued to do on my own account every now and then until this very day.  He told me to work hard, no matter what I did and to be kind to everyone around me.  He was supportive in all of our career and life choices, and was always understanding of our needs.  He never judged or denied me my emotions when I was going through the struggle of teenage depression, nor has he ever treated my brother with anything but love and support in having Autism.  He was intrigued by my younger brother in his ambitious Rugby career and thirst for knowledge and was kind and loving and supportive of my younger sister who is only entering the real world now as a young teenager.  He was truly amazing and inspiring to me and I could never forget him.

I’ve known deep down for the last three years that he was going to be going soon – he’s been suffering from kidney failure for years and also had a tumour discovered last year, which they couldn’t treat as he was too delicate.  He was fading to be nothing but skin and bone, on a strict diet, exhausted from travelling to and from the hospital three times a week for dialysis.  He made a decision to quit his treatment.  Whilst this news was shocking, I totally respect him for it.  For me to even wish for a moment he hadn’t made this decision and that he was still alive feels extremely selfish, which is why I won’t wish it.  He was a great man trapped in weakness and illness and he needed to be set free.

One thing his death has brought up with me is my views on religion.  I haven’t been able to believe in God for several years now.  I just don’t understand religion, I cannot grasp what it is all about and I cannot believe it.  When I was suffering from depression, religion made me feel worse as I thought if there was a God, he wouldn’t be punishing me, putting me through this disease unless I was a horrible person, and I knew I wasn’t a horrible person, or at least I thought I wasn’t.  I don’t get God’s ‘rules’ about who is allowed what and why they’re allowed it.  I couldn’t believe and can’t believe without it sucking me into a dark spiral.  Instead I turned to the idea of a deity and spirituality.  I feel inside me there is a power that somehow shifts the world and paves our paths, but I don’t know what it is, but I’m happy to live with the ideaology that everything happens for a reason.  I live my life through that philosophy.  One thing I hadn’t thought when making this decision on my beliefs is the afterlife.  After all, if there is no God and therefore no Heaven or Hell, where is Grandpa?  Is he just gone?  Is that it?  Part of me thinks that yes, that is it and there is no evidence that he could be otherwise.  But the other part of me wants so badly for this not to be true.  I want him to live on, and he does.  I don’t know how, but he does to me.  I still feel his support every day, I still hear his voice telling me that he’s proud of me and to keep working hard to achieve my dreams.  I like being able to explain everything, I’m a self confessed control freak.  My panic and anxiety is dependant on me being able to have control over things, so learning that not everything has to have an explanation is challenging and has been since my ‘Everything Happens For a Reason’ decision.  Most things I can justify and prepare for, but death is different and learning to let go of explanation fully.  One positive is that even though the last month or so has been full of panic attacks and sleepless nights, I feel this experience has drawn me closer to learning that I cannot control everything, not everything is perfect and it’s time I really trained myself to be able to go with the flow sometimes.

I’ll stop this ramble now, because this is getting very deep and morbid and I’m sorry to those of you who I may have upset with this post.  However, as I said in the opening, this blog is my space of the internet to express myself and also to keep for my personal memories and thoughts, and I couldn’t continue writing with all this back log in my head.  I want to blog a lot more, and have so much more to blog about.  I can’t give too much away right now as I’m not for certain, but this death has jolted me into making several changes in my life which I want to share with you.  I’ll be writing lots of beauty and fashion posts as well as mixing in some anxiety, fitness and healthy eating, recipes, book, hints and tips, life update and reflective posts.

I love this community so much and know you will all be supportive and understanding of my situation.

Much love,

Rosie

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white rose

‘The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living’

Massive Skincare Haul!

Hello ladies,

Seems I’ve got my blogging hat on this week, doesn’t it?  I think it’s because I’ve finally been able to purchase new products after payday so I have more to share with you at the moment.

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Towards the end of January, I was seriously running low on my skin care products.  I’ve heard of so many good products in the last year or tried products but haven’t been able to repurchase them when I ran out, so forgot… but this payday, my focus went on skincare and updating my routine.  Even though my skin is fairly good, I want to keep it that way and I find that I need good products for make-up removal, oil control, hydration and generally keeping my skin clear and looking fresh and radiant.

First, I headed over to Feel Unique

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Natural Lift and Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm 100ml (£36) – This is actually a second time round repurchase for me.  I first got this in November and had just about run out by the end of January.  This product has really improved my skin since I got it.  Even though I prefer to remove my eye make up with a water cleanser, this stuff is amazing at getting those last little bits and removing face make up effortlessly.  The cloth that comes with it is also really good – one side is a super soft flannel, the other has more of a muslin cloth texture, which gently exfoliates the skin.  Which is why I got an extra pack of 3 for £10.  They get a bit grubby so I wanted a few more so I could rotate them in the wash a lot more regularly.  Anyway, back to the Cleanser.  It leaves your skin feeling super clean and soft and looking radiant.  I use this literally every night.

Australian Bodycare Tea Tree Oil Cleansing Mask 75ml (£14) – I’ve actually now got quite a nice little collection of different face masks, but I’ve been looking for the ultimate oil absorbing one for a deep cleanse every now and then.  The fact this is a Tea Tree Oil mask suggests that I could have found the one.  It smells so refreshing and seems like it’d be really cool on the skin.  I’m excited to try this.

First Aid Beauty Daily Face Cream 60ml (£15) – This is a brand that I’ve seen circling around on the YouTube/Blogging Community for a while, and it was actually one of the products on my 2015 Beauty Wishlist.  I got this yesterday so managed to try it this morning and first impressions are amazing!  It absorbs really quickly in the skin, but still feels like it’s doing a lot of good.  It didn’t make me oily and it smoothed over redness, as well as giving me a light, refreshing glow.  My skin also felt really hydrated instantly.

Then, I put in a little order on Boots

Origins GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser 150ml (£18.50) – I used to use the Emma Hardie balm in the mornings, however, with all my early starts at work, I felt like I wanted to use something more actively refreshing.  I tried out a Soap and Glory refreshing facial scrub in the morning (which will appear in my January favourites), and quite liked it.  It actually seems to be a bit like a dupe for this Origins product, but maybe not purposefully.  I also prefer gently scrubbing my face every day rather than harshly scrubbing it (unless it seriously needs it) every now and then.  Also, the refreshing qualities in it will help me to feel a lot more awake with the early morning shifts.  I’ve also read really good reviews on how this reduces oil and shine, but provides amazing radiance.

Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Oil Free Toner 150ml (£18) – A lot of people don’t see toner as an important step in a skin care routine.  And whilst I agree I could live without it, I find it to be such a good pick me up and is great at removing any last bits of dirt, excess oil, etc and helps your cleanser work to the best of it’s ability.  However, I do always have to use an oil-free toner as I’ve tried regular ones and they make my skin quite greasy.  This toner looks pretty perfect for me and I really trust Elizabeth Arden as a brand.

Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Facial Serum 30ml (£24.99) – This is another repurchase, but I haven’t owned this product for a good year or so, but I’ve seriously missed it.  You barely need anything and it seriously improves the plumpness and hydration of your skin, without making it oily or greasy at all.  So glad I repurchased this.

Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanse and Polish (Free Sample) – Some of you older followers of mine will remember that I got this in full size last summer and really liked it.  Even though I now prefer the Emma Hardie balm, I still am really grateful this turned up as a surprise in my order as this will be great for flying and travelling.

Side note: If you purchase 2 high end skin care products, you get 500 points for your Boots Advantage Card.  I also had a voucher for double points online, so I was raking the points in.  I now have enough to top up on my make-up, too!

One last item…

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This is an Acrylic Cotton Pad Dispenser which I got on Amazon for £6.  I thought this was a really good idea for storing my cotton pads on my dressing table, as having them just in their plastic packet looks a bit rubbish and untidy.  It’s only a little thing and not even officially skin care, but I just thought it was a super cute idea.

So, there we go!  My Massive Payday Skincare Haul is over – I hope you enjoyed reading it, let me know if you’ve tried any of these products too, or know of any other great products.

Much love,

Rosie

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‘If the words you spoke appeared on your skin, would you still be beautiful?’

Bare Minerals Starter Kit (Cheeky Splurge)

Happy Monday!

And yes, it is a very happy Monday as I have had my first audition where I’ve gotten to the final recall! And, even if I don’t get in, it’s a good step in the right direction!

So, whilst I was waiting for my train, I popped into John Lewis to pick myself up the Bare Minerals foundation, with the intention of just getting that as I really wanted a powder foundation. I have pretty good skin, you see, so just felt like delving into powder foundation would be a good idea for evening out my skin tone and wearing as an every day light coverage.  And I feel that Bare Minerals is kind of the Queen and original famous brand for powder foundation, with good reviews, so seemed a sensible bet to start there.

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I left with the whole starter kit. But hear me out, when she was doing my make up she was using the setting powder, bronzer, primer and brushes which I had no intention whatsoever in buying. However, as she was doing my make-up I decided that I quite liked one of the brushes she was using and was going to consider buying it. Then she told me the foundation was £25, the brush was £24, but the set which included 3 brushes, the foundation, setting powder, bronzer and primer was £50 – getting 4 extra products for £1 was irresistible! Also, even if I go for a liquid foundation on nights out, the setting powder, brushes and bronzer are still going to be so useful and I think I’ll get a lot out of this set.

What’s great about the set is that you can have whichever shade of foundation you want in it, and it goes into a kit that has the right type of bronzer for your skin tone, based on the shade of foundation.  So, everything in there is going to definitely suit my skin.  Always a bonus.

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By the way, yes I did do this blog post from the train, because I was just so excited about this purchase!

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I also think that this is just so much quicker and easier than using a liquid foundation, which is going to be such a time saver in the mornings (especially important as a lot of my shifts begin at 6,30am…).

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These are the brushes that came in the kit.  One Full Flawless Face Brush, one Flawless Face Brush and one Concealer Brush.  These are so so soft and really nice.  I also like how they’ve  got the little flat brush to get into those hard to reach areas under the eyes and round the nose when applying and throughout the day.  The brushes are all pretty small and would easily fit into any make up bag.

So there you have it, a little impromtu post sprung from my excited purchase today.  I’m going to give this a go for several days and report back with my findings.

Much love,

Rosie

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‘The happiest girls are the prettiest’

Starter Make-Up Kit (Sisters Birthday Present!)

Hello lovely ladies,

It is currently 10pm on the day of my little sister Pippa’s 13th Birthday and we’re sat in my bed watching YouTube on Apple TV.  I’ve wanted to share a post about what I got for her birthday for soooo long but didn’t want her to read it, but now it’s been opened – here you go!

I decided to buy her an entire starter make-up kit.  She doesn’t particularly wear make-up as her school don’t allow it – but like me, she has the theatre bug and will need make-up for productions.  I spent a lot of time picking out products to get her a complete set – nothing is high end, it’s all just the best of the low end drugstore products.  I think this is a really cool gift idea, or if you’re a younger reader interested in make-up, but with no clue where to start, I hope this provides inspiration!

IMG_0448I put all the make-up in this super cute cosmetic bag from Claire’s Accessories.  It wasn’t expensive, but it’s really pretty, with just one big zip pocket that does the job and keeps it all in one place (cause otherwise, she’ll loose it!).  I also got her some cotton pads and my favourite cleansing make-up remover so that she can take it off properly (and not have her skin suffer!)

FullSizeRender (49)Starting off with the base.  The Rimmel Match Perfection is my current every day foundation – I love it, it’s great for oily teenage skin and it’s really light (but buildable coverage).  The Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer is, again, a long loved favourite of mine (and pretty much every beauty guru out there) – I think she’ll use this most day to day rather than foundation.  The Rimmel Stay Matte Powder, again, is pretty much owned by everyone, everywhere, but that’s just because it’s a fantastic product.  I didn’t get her a bronzer, as I feel that’s just asking for trouble in terms of her going orange and she doesn’t need to get into contouring yet… however, I did get her this really cute mono blush, which I used to use a lot when I was about 14.  I think this colour is super pretty and gives a really natural flush of colour.  The Seventeen Matte Miracle is a product I haven’t tried myself, but I sampled several on my hand in the store, and this one felt really good and I think it’ll be really fantastic for keeping her make-up on throughout long shows and keep her from looking shiny under the lights.

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This is where my product knowledge gets a little bit more sketchy.  I’ve only ever tried one of the products in this line up, but I did my research and went with my beauty-gut when purchasing the rest of these.  For eye shadow, there’s not much point in getting her really dark, smokey shades as she won’t wear them much and when she does, I apply it, so I went with a really basic neutral palette that has numbers on the shades which correlate to application diagrams on the back, so she can give it a go without my help.  The Revlon Lash Potion is a Mascara I’ve been curious about for a long time, after hearing good reviews from many people in many places.  She has huge eyes and really long lashes anyway, so I think they key thing is to get her a volumising mascara to just emphasise them that bit more.  The next product (Rimmel Scandal Eyes Kohl Kajal in Nude), is one of my favourite tricks to brighten my eyes and is so unnoticable as ‘make-up’ so I thought she’d like that.  I then got a coffee coloured kohl pencil from Collection for any summer eye looks or more soft looks, plus a black one from Collection for dramatic looks.  I then spent a really long time sampling liquid liners on the back of my hand and decided this would be the best, fool-proof one to get her started on liquid liner, as it dries relatively quickly, has a fine tip and is flexible.

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These are just the final bits.  I got her this super cute, super small set of Real Techniques brushes, which I’m sure will be useful in application.  Then, I went for a really neutral but pretty pink lip gloss which will be a really nice every day product, as well as a red lipstick for productions and big events she has in the future (this is in the shade Infrared) – I wasn’t sure about getting something so bold, but she’s acting in the Stage2 production of Hamlet with me in April, and red lippy is a key part of the make-up look!  One thing I didn’t include is brow products, as (like bronzer), that could go very wrong, very quickly and she has quite naturally thick brows anyway so it’d be pointless.

Disclaimer: I’m not giving this to her trying to say ‘every woman needs this to be happy’ or sending her that message or anything.  She knows from how I choose to wear make-up some days, and others, don’t, that it is not essential to wear make-up to be beautiful – she’s known me to go around town with no make-up or see boyfriends with nothing on and be perfectly happy, and my mum is the same.  I just decided this would be a good gift to get her started as her friends are all experimenting with it and if she’s going to get into it, she may as well have good products that are fool proof.  Also, as I have mentioned, she’s caught the theatre bug – and make-up is an pretty essential part of character and theatre.  We both like beauty as a common interest (me more than her, admittedly, but that’s just the fact I’m 5 years older and have more experience with it all), but we are both very set that beauty starts within.

So, that’s what I got my sister for her birthday – you can pass me the trophey for Best Big Sister Ever now ;) I definitely think these products are all good shouts in general, but are definitely good options to go for should you only just be starting your beauty journey, or are wanting to go back to basics….

Much love,

Rosie

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‘Beauty is what you feel about yourself not what you see in the mirror’

How I Organise My… Dressing Table!

Hi girls,

Some of you may remember a little series I started called ‘How I Organise My…’ – that was nearly 3 months ago now, I think!  But now it’s back and I’m starting off with my Dressing Table.  This is where it’s a bit confusing – I don’t really use my Dressing Table for make-up.. It’s not big enough and I don’t find it convenient.  My make-up is mainly stored in the chest of drawers next door to my dressing table… but that’s another blog for another day.

IMG_0432So, on top I keep my table-top skincare (my face-wash-style cleansers live in the bathroom and my face masks live else where…), my every day hair stuff and a few other bits and bobs.  In the drawers are my contact lenses, my every day make-up bag and my basic hair stuff.  Underneath is my bin and my heated hair rollers and then to the right is my little basket of electrical hair stuff.

So, there you go!  That’s my dressing table and how I organise it!  Let me know what other things you want me to show you… The most immediate ones I’m thinking of are: desk, make-up drawers, bags, shoes, clothes and toiletries.  I’ve just had the most mahoosive clear out of my room and it’s so fresh and organised now, I’m feeling totally liberated.

Much love,

Rosie

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‘In a sense, clutter is the end result of procrastination’

Garnier Skin Naturals Moisture Match Creams: Review!

Happy weekend, ladies!

The cheapest moisturisers I’ve bought in the last couple of years were the No 7 Day Cream and Night Cream for Oily Skin. I still love both and have pretty much stuck with the day cream the whole time, with the exception of some adventurous purchases that were never quite as good.  I’ve found a couple of night creams that I’ve liked, but have never been fussed about.  However, being a poor little worker around the Christmas period, I couldn’t afford to go crazy and spend much at all on skin care, so had a little search up and down the aisles at Morrisons, looking for some stop cat moisturisers to get me through until next pay day.  That is how I came about these beauties…

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These are two creams from the Garnier Skin Naturals Moisture Match range.  The green one is the ‘Shine Be Gone Mattifying Fresh’ and the other is the ‘Goodbye Dry Ultra-Hydrating Rich’.  The shine be gone appealed as a day cream for my oily skin and the intense hydration appealed to me as something to use at nights to give my skin a good hydration injection after long days in harsh weather.  That is exactly how I’ve used these products for just under a month now.

These are £1.99 each.  No way breaking the bank even remotely.  The cost of both together is around the same price as a medium skinny cappuccino at Starbucks.

Notes on the ‘Shine be Gone Mattifying Fresh’ Cream:

  • Very light – it feels really light on the skin and sinks in very quickly.  I always do skincare then hair then make-up, and this is well and truly sunk in before I put primer on, even if all I’m doing with hair is slinging it in a pony tail.
  • Shine free for several hours – not for the whole day, but then again, I can’t get snobby about that as it did only cost £1.99.  After about 7/8 hours after application, I can get a bit shiny again, but I just pop a bit more powder on and I’m good to go.
  • Good at filling pores – it has what feels like mushy beads in the moisturiser that when applying, feel like they’ll exaggerate any pores, but they just sink into them and fill them out, which is pretty cool.

Notes on the ‘Goodbye Dry Ultra-Hydrating Rich’ Cream:

  • Really thick – in this sense, it should definitely be used as a night cream.  This takes a few hours to fully sink in, so wouldn’t be good for day use at all, you’d be waiting forever before you could apply your make-up!  However, the fact it is so thick makes it feel like it is actually working on your skin and giving it the TLC it needs after a day in the cold.
  • Leaves your skin naturally glowing – when I wake up in the mornings, my skin looks really clear and has natural radiance.  Not as much as other moisturisers I’ve used, but still really good for the price.

Overall, I’d just say that these creams are the definition of Value for Money!  I don’t know if I’ll repurchase them, but at least I know that if student life takes over my bank account in the future, these gems are there to get me through!

I’m looking a lot more into the science of skincare at the moment, and I’m doing my research so that I can spend money wisely after payday.  I’ll probably then do a little haul post or something then either post (or film!) my skincare routine once I’ve settled into it and I can 100% talk genuinely about the products.  (I say film, because I am setting up my YouTube channel as I type!  I’ll hopefully be uploading my first video in the next week!)

Much love,

Rosie

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‘Glamour is about feeling good in your own skin’

OOTD: Casual Day Off!

Hi girlies,

So today is my first full day off (without being sick) in over a month and a half (*busts some serious celebratory moves*)!  Even though I’ve got loads to do like laundry, ironing, monologue prep, etc… it’s still nice to have a day to do things at my own pace.  I got up, had a shower and nearly got straight back into PJs when I realised that I needed to be popping into Bromsgrove town later, so had to find something to wear that was comfy for chilling at home but also looked decent for going out.  This is what I came up with…

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It’s a pretty dull day outside, so I wasn’t feeling colour in particular, so went with a mainly black ensemble.  Also, I’ve still got my Christmas Chub on, so thought black would be a flattering cover.

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Jumper: New Look, £12 – Belt: Primark £2.50 for set of 2 – Shorts: Primark £12 (I think, I bought them ages ago) – Tights: ASDA £3 – Boots: Topshop £45 – Necklace: H&M £4 (I think, again purchased a while back) – Ring: Pandora (Gift) – Earrings: H&M £3.50 for set of 12 pairs (I think…it was really a while back, I got the set at the same time as I got the necklace) – Glasses: Specsavers £45

To be honest, the boots are nice but they’re a bit old.  I’ve just purchased some new Chelsea Style Ankle Boots on ASOS and if those had arrived, I’d probably swap those into this outfit.

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I’ve gone with super simple make-up with a slight pop of colour in the lip.  I’m also wearing glasses to give my eyes a full days rest from Contact Lenses.  My hair was blowdryed then separated into a really simple half up/half down style using a black bull dog clip at the back.  I decided to tuck in the very front of my jumper just to show off the belt and create a bit more of a flattering shape.

Hope you liked my little style snippet and my first OOTD!  I’ve really gotten into fashion and I’m going to be doing a lot more fashion posts in the future, so I’d love to hear what you think.

Much love,

Rosie

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‘Fashions fade, style is eternal’