When it comes down to makeup, my obsession begins and ends with highlighters. I could pretty much bring myself to give up any other makeup product if I had to… Maybe. But there is something about highlighters in particular that I love. There is nothing quite like having a ridiculous glowing face any time of the day and using going out as an excuse to pack it on and “glow to the Gods”.

Highlighters are the industry’s favourite product at the moment so I thought I would share my highlighter collection and talk about some of my holy grail products that I have discovered recently.

The oldest highlighter in my collection is my MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle. Hey, remember when that was a thing? Remember when MAC was a thing too? No shade to them but they really dropped the ball in the makeup game recently, haven’t they? MAC where you at? All jokes aside, this is a really good product and it is one that I always go back to. It is just something you can pretty much always rely on to be great. I would say though that I bought this when I was first getting into highlighters and it is far from the glow that some of my other products give. If you love a blinding highlight, this one probably isn’t for you. It is buildable into an amazing glow but it is far more suited to a day-to-day look. The colour is very peachy-pink and I think it works best on a pale to slightly tanned complexion as it can be little bronzy too. The downside to MAC is obvious. It isn’t cruelty-free and for a company now, it is just a shame to see them not take the steps forward to becoming so. However, if you do want to reminisce about this product, it is linked here. The highlighter is £24.50 and has a 4.3/5 rating on the MAC website.

My new holy grail product is undoubtedly the Cover FX Customer Enhancer Drops. I swear this brand is an Instagram favourite. This is something about products with a pipette and people putting little drops all over their face that totally sucks me in. Honestly, that is how The Ordinary products reeled me in too. Now it does make me take a sharp intake of breath whenever I admit to how much this product costs. If you’re peeping behind your hand to see, I don’t blame you. This 15ml bottle cost £34. Mmm… I know. £34. The best thing to do is to watch Beauty Bay and other various online retailers because you can often catch these on a great offer like I managed to originally. Be warned that people will go crazy for them at a lower price (understandably) so you have to dive right in there. Although for someone who is very and I mean very restrictive with money, I can totally defend the price tag. This product is the most unbelievable highlighter I have ever used. Forget those crazy Instagram videos that suggest these types of product require smothering half your face. I would never even use one drop of this. I honestly open the bottle and dab my finger on the side where the product is and use that. That little bit alone will be enough for my nose, cheekbones and my cupid’s bow. So, realistically, that £34 price tag is steep but it is going to take years to work through this solid gold gift to the makeup community. I have the shade Sunlight and I am obsessed (admittedly, it is very gold and bronzey for someone with my skin tone, but as you don’t need much, it works fine!) There are so many gorgeous shades that suit every single skin tone which I love too. You can find it on Beauty Bay here.

Next, I want to briefly mention the amazing highlighter palette that I received from the incredible Bella Inizio in her giveaway. I have been trying this out recently and I am really enjoying it! I have never used Revolution makeup before and so it has been great to trial their products. I did a blog post about the other amazing things I received so I have linked it here if you’re interested in reading some more. The Beyond Radiance palette features 3 different shades, mainly suited for lighter skin tones – although the more bronzey shade may be gorgeous on olive skin. I have been primarily using the middle shade as I really enjoy pink highlighter shades. It isn’t the most pigmented, crazy colour but it is gorgeous and subtle for a day-to-day look which is perfect if you’re not after the intense highlight the Cover FX drops provide. The best bit about this palette? It is only £8 which is an absolute steal if you ask me. I have linked it here.

Finally, I have to mention another favourite palette of mine. This was a gift from one of my really close friends and I have been obsessed with it for ages. Not only does it have some incredible eyeshadow colours but it also features 4 beautiful highlighters in such a great colour range. This BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel palette is honestly to die for. On a scale, I would say it sits perfectly (intensity wise) between the MAC and the Cover FX which makes it amazing for everyday looks as well as night time looks too. I get use out of the first three shades, which range from a lovely light dusty pink to a more intense bronze glow which is amazing if you have a tan. I probably reach for this the most out of all my highlighters as it is guaranteed to look great no matter what the occassion is.  It is currently out of stock on Beauty Bay but it originally retailed for £18. I have linked it here for you to check out.


As I find myself stuck in an endless Instagram scroll through an unbelievably gorgeous model’s page, double-tapping on each and every classic beach bikini photo, fruit breakfast on a balcony with a view and candids, I feel bad.

Somehow, and for some reason, I can feel absolutely horrible about myself and my appearance, just by scrolling through someone’s page. Ella, you shouldn’t compare people’s lives. Obviously, this is something we all know to avoid but it doesn’t stop it happening. It doesn’t stop adults, and it definitely doesn’t stop teens, from comparing and contrasting every little detail in our own lives to that of a 200k-followed goddess.

This is often when I know I need to close Instagram and do something different. Instagram is, unfortunately, a perfect tool for procrastination, happily eating away at our boredom. That is what makes it so easy to fall down the rabbit hole of comparison. However, it is so important to know when to stop and walk away.

Also, my form of comparison may be the examples I have used, but, it equally works for artists, musicians and other people alike. Your talents, looks, and personality all shine through in their own way and overusing Instagram can be way too toxic for our own good.

Now, I’m not doubting the clear advantages to Instagram. It is, undeniably, a great social media platform in many aspects. It allows those with a creative flair to showcase their work, for bloggers and influencers to interact with others, to be a personal photo diary and more. However, with all great things, there are the disadvantages that have to be addressed.

There are countless reports on the detrimental effects of overusing Instagram on people’s mental health and honestly, I don’t think it stops there. Young people, especially, can vouch for friendships and relationships being tested by a partner’s choice to like certain photos, for example. Friendships can be damaged by others feeling left out too. When I was doing some research for this post I saw countless articles on “how to see what your boyfriend has liked” and advice articles about “what to do when your significant other isn’t liking your photos”. Obviously, this isn’t healthy and doesn’t lead to happy relationships.

None of this is something that should be taken lightly. Any negative impact on someone’s mental health should be discussed and it should potentially start with addressing our unhealthy addiction to social media, particularly Instagram. For example, “The UK’s Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and the Young Health Movement surveyed nearly 1,500 people ages 14 to 24 about how social networking sites and apps impact their mental health, including anxiety, depression, self-identity, and body image, and found that Instagram has the “most detrimental” effect on young people” (Vogue 2017).

Now that doesn’t look great.

Undoubtedly, this is all about finding a balance and learning to look behind a photo. Try to avoid spending countless hours flicking through photos of your ex-best mate who is now buddies with your current best mate, comparing your figure to personal trainers or Victoria’s Secret models, or even feeling jealous over someone’s material possessions. We all know that none of these actions have happy consequences. So, first things first:

  • Learn to unfollow the people that bring you more sadness than goodness. If you’re worried that you might offend someone, just message them if needs be (the unfollowing on social media debacle is a whole other blog post).
  • Their skin probably isn’t that smooth, their tummy that taut and their body that flawless. That is just what the photo is showing you. Heck, if it is, good on you pal, I’d show it off too.
  • They might be posting that amazing summer holiday photo while they’re in bed in pjs and scruffy hair. There are two sides to every photo!

And, thankfully, there are some people that show us that Instagram isn’t to always be taken at face value. There has recently been a huge influx of various different models posting reality photos in comparison with the edited or heavily posed ones they may normally post. This is the type of normality that I really appreciate in influencers and I’m sure others do to. There is nothing wrong with aspirational photos of great abs and killer legs but I also want to see that other people don’t have washboard stomachs when they sit down. It is just relatable. And, more often than not, what we need to be able to decipher between Instagram and reality. You may have come across Essena O’Neill, for example, who recaptioned all of her photos with the behind the scenes reality (news story here) or fitness model, Imre Çeçen, who shared posed v reality shots of her figure (news story here) – both I totally recommend checking out.

I don’t want any of these thoughts to suggest that I don’t love Instagram, because I do. I love seeing other people’s photos and sharing my own, and that is what makes it such a successful platform. However, I want to encourage everybody to remember to put your mental health first and sometimes have a break from the pitfalls of social media. Teen Vogue phrased it perfectly, “Look, at the end of the day, it’s simple: if makeup makes you feel good, wear it. If you think it’s fun to apply and play with and test new techniques, by all means, do so. But double-tapping a photo on Instagram and thinking your life would be better if you looked like a girl thousands of miles away doesn’t have anything to do with the makeup that’s on her face” (Teen Vogue 2015).



When I came back from university last week I was over the moon to see a big ol’ box sitting on my bed from the delightful Bella Inizio after I was lucky enough to win her giveaway. And, oh my gosh, did she go to town on the goodies. She included some incredible Revolution products, to begin with, which I will be providing my first impressions on later in this post.

To begin with, I wanted to apologise for my blogging photos. They are not my best and that is predominately due to the fact that I have a severe lack of Christmas paraphernalia to add into the background to spruce it up a bit. So if they look as sparse as that 20-year-old Christmas tree your Auntie is currently dragging out that definitely looks worse for wear – that is why.

So… what was I lucky enough to receive? The first things I noticed were these lovely packaged scrubs from ‘Scrub Love’ that are for your body. I have seen so many people on Instagram and other social media platforms use and promote them and I have always been interested in testing them out! The yellow packaged scrub is infused with hydrating coconut oil in ‘Coconut Mango’. It supposedly leaves your skin smelling perfectly tropical as well as soft and glowing. I have found it here on Look Fantastic if you wanted to check it out, linked here. I am so excited to try this out!

The second one in the lovely pink and polka-dot packaging is in ‘Original Lovin” and is infused with coffee and vitamins to leave your skin feeling silky soft and moisturised. I found this one on Fragrance Direct if you’re interested, linked here.

Another amazing little treasure was the Benefit ‘Cha Cha Tint’ samples. I absolute love Benefit products – I actually named to get my hands on the They’re Real! mascara again, sometime – so I’m super excited to try out something new and interesting. I love the premise behind this product and I feel like it is perfect for creating a gorgeous, natural look. I’ll have to let you know how I get on with these!

I am absolutely obsessed with Yankee Candles, well… candles in general, and the Christmas Cookie scent has always been one of my favourites. To get a pack of 12 tealights is lovely! I can’t wait to start lighting these and feeling super festive! I don’t think my mum will be too pleased as last time I lit a candle in my bedroom at home, it got soot(?) all up the walls…. my bad!

The lashes are something I’m eager to try out too – probably for Christmas Day or if I have a nice meal out or something soon. Fake eyelashes are something I find always look fabulous on everyone else but I completely suck at them myself. I am trying to learn, but how does everyone else make it look so easy?! I remember attempting to try and put on a Cheryl Cole pair before and having the worst time. 5 years later and it’s a craft I’m still trying to master!

The set of three, gorgeously coloured eyeshadows are another thing I am so happy to receive! You can’t go wrong with having some incredibly bright colours in your collection and I can’t wait to test out some really different and unique looks with them.

The last things I wanted to mention were the absolutely incredible Revolution pieces she included.

I have always wanted to try Revolution makeup but I have never known where to start. I have heard such incredible reviews about their products so to be lucky enough to receive 3 is just insane!

The first I’ll mention is this great matte lip kit in the colour Noble. I am truly obsessed with the colour, just the perfect nude for winter, and the packaging with the copper is just to die for! I have already worn it essentially every day and the combination of the lip liner and the lipstick creates such a seamless finish that lasts for hours. The formula isn’t overly drying and sits perfectly. I have linked it on the Superdrug website here, if you’re interested.

Essentially, it is utterly gorgeous!

The next I want to mention the eyeshadow palette. Not going to lie, I may have squealed a bit when I opened it and saw the colours. Oh my gosh, they are just perfect! I feel like you can create so many beautiful looks with these shades – there is a great combination of matte and shimmery shades. I instantly went for a mixture of the dark reddy-pinks on the bottom row and I was generally shocked at how incredible the pigment is. The colours are so vivid and it has instantly become a favourite of mine. Again, the packaging is a gorgeous copper but unfortunately, I stupidly didn’t photograph it! It is understandable why this palette is rated 4.8 stars on Superdrug. I have linked it here for you guys, I would definitely recommend checking it out.

Finally, I have to mention the stunning highlighter palette. I am currently besotted with all things shimmery and these were right up my street. They are such a perfect collection of shades and are exactly the right ‘iceiness’ for the winter months on cool, pale skin. I love them and they have, again, quickly become some favourites! I am now very much in love with all these Revolution products and I can’t wait to try out more!


I cannot thank the lovely Bella Inizio for choosing me as her giveaway winner and giving me the great opportunity to try out some amazing products! She is the loveliest person ever and I am so honoured to consider her one of my blogging friends. An amazing girl with an amazing blog!


I love a bargain and finding one on eBay is always so rewarding, especially for under £5. I thought I would share some of the best things I have found recently with you guys. If you’re interested in posts about fetching yourself a good bargain I can throw you back to last year where I did some posts entitled “Under £20”, my favourite being the Under £20: 36 Date Ideas.

Mesh Top

I first saw Lydia Rose from fashioninflux post about these I jumped straight over to eBay to check them out. I just found her blog post from last year that mentioned some of her other favourite finds that I definitely recommend giving a read. I have seen these tops everywhere at the moment on the likes of Pretty Little Thing, Missy Empire and other Instagram dominated brands and thought for a fraction of the price I couldn’t help but snatch it up! Just typing in “mesh top” to eBay seems to open up a world of gorgeous little bargains which are perfect dupes for high street brands.

For example, I bought this embroidered little number for under £5 which is a great dupe for the Urban Outfitter’s £34 alternative. I have honestly had so many compliments when I have worn it out and equally as many shocked looks when I tell them how much it cost! If you’re not into embroidered mesh tops, this spotty one is another great alternative for this version from Glamorous at £20.

Phone Case

eBay is a fantastic place to get phone cases that are on trend and look great. I recently got this stunning gold and marble case for just £3.95 which is an absolute steal. I also adore this grey, pink and marble case that is completely up my street at the moment in terms of colour and aesthetic and hey, if you can’t match your phone case to your bedroom.. why bother? eBay sellers always seem to be one step ahead in terms of picking up and replicating trends and I often see great dupes for Skinny Dip cases online. If you haven’t seen the peach theme that has been around forever, where have you been? On wrapping paper at Ohh Deer, on bedding at Urban Outfitters and cases with Skinny Dip – I feel like it is a trend people love. The peach phone case from Skinny Dip is a hefty £14 compared to the cool £3.49 eBay alternative.

Slogan Tshirt

Another fashion find is the good ol slogan t-shirt. Nobody is without a slogan t-shirt these days and this one is perfect for the feminist vibes that are everywhere at the moment too. This feminist top is only £4.99. Topshop is THE place to visit right now for a slogan t-shirt so comparing the eBay find to their £16 “revolution” alternative is such a steal!

Home Decor

I recently moved into my third year house at university and I was adamant about decorating it nicely and making it my home. I found that eBay is a great place to pick up little decorative pieces that really make a house a home. This is obviously perfect for university students on a budget who want to decorate their living space to feel more comfortable and welcoming. I bought a really sweet pom pom garland that was grey, white and pink and tied my colour theme together perfectly. It was shipped from China but arrived so quickly and was exactly what I was after! You can find them here for £3.89. I also find that eBay is brilliant for fairy lights. I have got so many fantastic bargains and some of the ones I am looking at right now include these cactus ones for just £3.69 and these adorable cream tulip ones for just 99p!

Brush Cleaning Pad

I have seen these advertised everywhere and after picking one up I don’t know what I would do without it. Silicone brush cleaning mats have completely taken off at the moment and I totally recommend getting yourself one as I have no idea how I was cleaning my brushes beforehand. This one is just £2.89 and is a complete steal. Just comparing that to the Sigma £20 alternative really puts it into perspective.

Have you found any gems on eBay?




Nikki has been one of my closest friends for years now and seeing her so passionate about Arbonne really motivated me to share her thoughts on my blog. A while ago she gave me a tonne of Arbonne products to try out which I feature in a 2 Weeks Tried and Tested post and found some real gems! So here is my interview with Nikki about what Arbonne is, what it has to offer and what makes it different to other companies out there.
For people who haven’t heard of it before, what is Arbonne?
Arbonne is a completely vegan health and wellness business that is gluten and paragon free.
They’ve been around for a lot longer than people may think. What’s the history behind it all?
A Norwegian man Petter Morck started this company 37 years ago when his passion for the beauty and perfection found only in nature led him to develop botanically based products around the Arbonne philosophy – pure, safe, beneficial. The name Arbonne comes from a village in Switzerland, which has come to mean ‘beautiful tree’.

What makes Arbonne different to other makeup businesses?
Arbonne differs A LOT. What people don’t realise about high street/designer brands is that they are sold the part of petrol which actually ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH to go into the petrol itself (the scum on top) – which makes their makeup cheaper. Arbonne uses all natural ingredients in all of their products, combining moisturising botanicals and age defying ingredients to make your skin look and feel magical and fabulous. The key botanicals are; Bamboo powder, Phytinol, and Eyebright Extract.
How has Arbonne benefited you as a business? Has the business helped you grow as an individual?
It helped me become a better person – more confident within life in general and my future career as a performer. A major part of Arbonne is personal development. There is no way you can make your way up in the business to that beautiful White Mercedes without having some personal development in your life. The aim is 10 pages a day, which isn’t that much if you really think about it!
A big discussion that is happening in the beauty community currently is testing on animals. What is Arbonne’s stance?
NO WAY JOSE! Arbonne does absolutely no way 100% NOT test on animals or condone it one bit. It completely goes against their philosophy.
What is your favourite Arbonne product?
I have SO many to choose between, but if I were to only be allowed to choose one, it would be the “It’s A Long Story Mascara”, also the new Rescue and Renew range is absolute bliss! Especially with the bamboo and green packaging.

How was the event you recently went to? It looked incredible.
PHENOMENAL!!! It was the Arbonne Annual Conference (AAC) in Glasgow, the first one I’ve been to, and it got me so inspired! If any of you have read ‘The Chimp Paradox’, then you will know the author ‘Prof Steve Peters’ – who was one of the Key Note Speakers on the first day. It was amazing, we got free lunches and an amazing ‘Cocktails and Diamonds’ party thrown for us as a well done for the progress everyone had made within the year! I’m already excited for the next one in Birmingham next year!
Do they have any new releases coming up for Christmas? Anything you’re really excited about?
YES. There is a whole new festive range coming out – 18 new products ONLY for Christmas time launching on October 2nd. They always sell out quick though so I’ve already got my pre-order in, and currently waiting for it to be delivered! I’m very excited about the new contour pallet launching. Also, not necessarily Christmas related, but there are new products coming out too. Two I am excited about are the ‘Arbonne Fit Chews’ in chocolate flavour – a healthy, chocolate snack, and also a double ended glow stick with highlight and bronzer. This glow stick was released last year for the Christmas/Festive Range and Arbonne did the AMAZING thing and brought it back as a constant seller – it will definitely sell out super quick though!
Why do you believe Arbonne deserves to be a household name alongside companies like Maybelline and Rimmel?
No one really understands the amount of crap that goes into those household brands, and they really are only bought because of the cheapness of the product, and the expensive models used which makes people think they are good products. Some of them are – don’t get me wrong – but they really have nothing on these Arbonne products with the goodness concealed inside.
Arbonne is a lot more than a standard makeup brand. What else do they focus on?
Yeah, there are so many different strands to Arbonne. There is a baby range (ABC), an anti-aging range (RE9 Advanced), nutrition range, phytosport range (informed sport certified), makeup, sensitive skin care range, men’s range, acne-prone skin, hair care, Rescue and Renew range, bath and body, sincere range. Everything is so exciting and also coming new, there are some essential oils which I cannot wait to try.


How can people get involved in the business and their continuously growing success?
It’s very easy to become involved in Arbonne. There are different ways, you can be a preferred client which gives you 25% off and it costs £17 for a year, or if you were wanting to pay full price then you would be a client. You can host parties where there is a special reward scheme – you can get ‘presents’ as a thank you. Or, if starting your own business speaks to you, then it costs £56 for a year, you get free training every Monday as well as annual training, you get help from your sponsor and everyone else on the team, and you get the opportunity to earn a bit of extra money which will help to grow your business. Feel free to email me if you have any questions and want more information! My email is nicola.meacock12@gmail.com