bbloggers posts

UPDATE: Life Overhaul

August 27, 2014

You may notice that I infamously promised that I’d be back on the blogging scene sometime last month, and mysteriously vanished shortly after making such a bold claim – I apologise, but I HAVE MUCHOS NEWS. After my fight (which sometimes felt disturbingly literal) to secure a graduate job without drowning to the bottom of too many merlot bottles first, I happened to get an interview for a very exciting position on the still rather new and incredibly dynamic Web Team for Primark.com – and guess who got the flipping position as Womens/Kidswear Content Assistant? That would be me! *Insert many streamer emoticons*

So, since the 3rd August, I’ve been trying to get my head around a completely different town in a completely different part of the country: I’m now a big ol’Southerner and I live in Reading. Bit of a wander from the likes of Lancaster and Manchester that I’m used to haunting, but I’m finally starting to get my bearings and have just put down the deposit for a gorgeous studio apartment that I snapped up this morning – so all systems are go – go – go with regards to new life planning! Since I got here (less than a month ago!), I’ve already experienced some amazing times: snagging a Saturday day ticket to Reading Festival and going with a complete stranger (who turned out to be fabulaaaarse and I can’t wait to hang out with her again), a whirlwind work trip to Dublin and far, far too many bottles of red wine (happy bottles though – makes all the damn difference!).

I just thought I’d drop in and remind you all that I still know how to type and (hopefully) construct reasonably interesting posts – and will be doing far more proactive things with my blog now that I’m officially part of the fashion industry and incidentally, have developed an absolute obsession with buying new (Primark) clothes. So if you want to know anything Primark-related from hereon in; I’m your girl. Once I get settled in my new apartment (which is totally OOTD-background friendly, woo), I’m going to be setting up my tripod (wheey) and posting more fashion-focused posts, rather than my verbose ramblings. You can thank me later.

 

 It’s good to be back. xo

NEWS: ELNfashion is moving.

June 15, 2014

I have news. I have colossal news and, my sweet Mary Jesus and Joseph (paying homage to Grandma there: this post wouldn’t exist without you), you would not believe how psyched I am. The second half of yesterday was spent in a perpetual state of on-the-brink-of-awesome tears and, despite fending them off, I still went to bed with exhausted little piggy eyes and a racing brain. So, what’s happened/happening, you ask? Well… after spending the last six months nurturing an unrelenting sense of financial doom, and fearing that I’d end up stuck back in a box room at my mum’s after university, I finally discovered: I can move to London! It must be the karma train after this monstrosity of a year I’ve had, but everything seems to be aligning amazingly – I came into some money (for the second time ever, I ain’t no trust-fund baby, believe me), and now I’m going to be viewing flats this Wednesday with a view to move in sometime next month. Excited isn’t the word!

Now I have two options. Given I have two job interviews in London on Wednesday, I can hope that I’ll score one of those and start on the career ladder straight away. Otherwise, I’m going to use this (incredibly rare) time in my life to take advantage of the situation (of, uh, being taken advantage of by the fashion industry) and seek out fancy internships whilst I still have enough income to stay alive and, most importantly, well dressed. Today I’m calling out to you wonderful fashion folk and asking:

  • Where’s best to live? I’m eyeing up flats in Kensington and Holloway as we speak.
  • Where are all my London-dwelling fashion bloggers at?
  • Am I going to survive? (sod that, I’m ‘ard as nails)
  • Also – is there ANYWHERE in London where you can get a rental and still get a cat?

I cannot wait to properly start my life, get my blog at the forefront of my life and get really involved in Britain’s heart of the fashion industry. Has anyone else got any stories of London life they’d like to bestow upon me? Something tells me I might need some guidance…

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Beauty Haul Review.

June 10, 2014

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Greetings from unemployed beauty blogger bum land. Sounded slightly weirder than intended, but we’ll roll with it… I’m currently in the midst of emailing half of the entire Internet in the grand endeavour of a Fashion Copywriting job. I’ve been to two interviews; didn’t get the first as someone else had more ‘outdoor-wear experience’; the second I’m due to hear back about this week – and now I have another one coming up in the Big Smoke – MegaBus here I come. I’ve also been inhaling the latest series of Orange Is The New Black: if you haven’t seen it, you need to – and I’m not even a big TV fan. Anywaaaay, back to the point – today I’ve got a little review for you guys from that ridiculous £91 haul I did last month.

Bourjois Paris – ‘Happy Light’ Base Serum Matte – £7.99 (usually £10.99 at Boots)

My skin has a serious case of amnesia. One day it thinks it’s dry, the next it thinks it’s oily: it never really knows what’s going on. However, my eye bags are consistently, religiously and without fail, always a little on the shiny-shiny side irrespective of the amount of powder I drown them under, hence my purchase of this unique little primer. The product itself comes out as a peachy tone which blends into any skin without any visible pigmentation (trust me, I’m a ghost – I’d know) and offers a reasonably easy foundation application process – but the primer aspect itself isn’t really much to call home about. Whilst it does do a admirable job on the shiny bits, I’ve already found myself reaching back for my Benefit Porefessional. 7/10.

L’Oréal Paris – Super Liner Perfect Slim – £6.99

I’ve been sporting the cat eye look nearly everyday for the past 7 years, and I’ve yet to settle on an unbeatable liquid liner – but this one might just be close. After the absolute let down that was the Alexa Eyeko collection (how was that so crap – how?), and a brief affair with a Ted Baker liner from a Christmas set, I finally decided to go back to my high street roots and pick up a new product. Save your finicky gel liners, paintbrush styles and wacky colour pots – I wanted something thin, versatile and ultimately: blacker than black. L’Oréal delivered. The applicator is thin (0.4mm thin, to be precise) and sturdy, something that I’d long missed after the days of Rimmel’s weird little paintbrush applicator. Precision is practically signed, sealed, delivered to even the shakiest of hands (trust me – I have days where I question the possibility of an early Parkinson’s onset, it’s bad), and the colour is consistently dark after extensive usage. One bugbear I do have is that it’s a printer: you need to factor in some sexy daydreaming or a spot of meditation after applying this stuff, as it takes a good while to properly dry. 9/10.

Revlon – Colour Stay Foundation in 150 Buff – £9.49 (usually £12.49 at Boots)

I’m going to whinge a little at this one, but it’s through no fault of the product itself (particularly, anyway). After no less than THREE trips to Boots before purchasing, during which I sampled the product extensively on my hand, I decided to take the plunge and opt for this slightly olive-toned shade in a vain bid to cover up my pinkish/red tones which I thoroughly despise: thanks Irish/Scottish heritage, thanks. I took it home and applied it for an evening out and was wonderfully impressed with the coverage, especially after discovering my Illamasqua foundation can seemingly no longer keep up with my third-year degree skin. However, the next morning, in my mildly hungover haze, I made the horrendously predictable, but ever-saddening discovery that it was too dark for my ghost skin. So ever since, I’d been applying a mix of the Illamasqua and the Revlon, but now I’m out of Illamasqua and have about a third of the bottle’s price to my name. Here’s to being tangoed! 8.5/10.

REVIEW: Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

May 31, 2014

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Check me out: three posts in as many days, I’m well and truly back bitches – I mean, ladies/(gents?). Today, I’m going to be writing up a cheeky review of my new wonder product, and seemingly, the wonder product of the entire blogosphere: the drug-store holy grail that is Garnier’s Micellar Cleansing Water. Generally, I’m the reigning queen of lazy make-up apathy: the traditional, three or four step wash? You’d be lucky. I save that for showers – don’t judge me. Given that face-wipes are universally known as the beauty devil incarnate, I’ve recently revoked my love affair with those too and, following the finals of my third year, a replacement was needed and it was needed yesterday. If you spotted my post from Thursday, you’ll be aware that I am now currently living off scraps and thin air after a (£91) Boots binge – during which I picked up this critically acclaimed Bioderma dupe and a L’Oréal Skin Perfection Toner, anticipating something mildly wonderful to happen. Although, there is one thing I do have to question with the concept of switching up your skincare routine and actually getting results: how do you know it’s not merely an improvement simply because having a new product is a novelty factor and therefore, you’re more inclined to use it religiously? To be honest, I think in this case, it is very much a mix of the two and, as someone plagued with the odd mega-spot party at the (surely-too-old) age of 21, I sure ain’t complaining either way.

The formula is applied with a trusty cotton pad and smushed around the face until you feel all make-up has been suitably removed. Or, in my case, halfway through the pad packet by the time you’ve scrubbed the panda eyes away. The beauty of this product is that you can be as lazy as you like – personally I keep the product and pads next to my bed – so I can idly wipe everything off in the screffy fashion I did with face-wipes, but I wake up the next morning pristine and, most importantly: hydrated. Instead of essentially burning your skin cells off with removal, the water is perfectly hydrating and doesn’t even leave me cringing to use astringent-y toner afterwards. I would totally, totally recommend this product to anyone who hasn’t got their life straight enough to even sort out a sensible bedtime, nevermind construct a lengthy, religious washing routine. However, I’m not advocating true laziness: I always use St Ives Apricot Scrub in the shower. Squeaky clean ladies, squeaky clean…

At £3.99 instead of £4.99 in Boots at the moment, I am totally advocating a little shopping time.

Who else is a fan of this product? Let me know in the comments or drop me a tweet @Ebzo.

 

WISHLIST: February’s Fancies and Image Overhaul.

February 4, 2014

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Revlon ColourBurst Matte Lip Balm £7.99 (on 3 for 2) – Boots | Pastel White Mini Satchel £6 – Primark

Lavish Alice Mint Green Pointed Collar Dress £41.99 – Ark | ALLSORTS Chelsea Boots £45 – Topshop | Retro Patterned Co-Ord Set £19.59 – Choies

Read more ›

Review: Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Care Set

January 15, 2014

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I picked up these ‘best-seller’ products in the Body Shop, when I was supposed to be buying presents – two days prior to Christmas Day. Oops. Either way, they were in a set of two for £16, instead of the £27 it would cost to buy the two separately now that the offer is over (at least online). I like the Body Shop. Like – not love. The products are all things that I could quite easily live without – on the premise that I was quite happy continuing life as a scaly-skinned, scentless bore. To me, buying body butters and all that jazz usually fills me with about as much joy as buying toothpaste, but Body Shop and Lush are always my firm favourites for when I’m having a particularly feminine day. And, now that I’ve quit smoking, it’s nice to focus on smelling lovely without the unfortunately unsubtle linger of ash.

So, onto the products. I’m gonna warn you: I’m not blown away. Staring scathingly at the constellation of spots around my chin after using this stuff, I’m really not blown away. Let me tell you why:

  • Vitamin C Skin Reviver – 30ml £14

This stuff is technically lush: it smells like a mandarin orgy and it makes skin look smooth as a baby’s behind. However, I’ve thrust it over to the dark side of ‘unsure’ products due to one big fat flaw: it’s like battery acid. Now, hear me out on this one. Am I alone in thinking that a skin reviver – that doesn’t cite any warning about putting near eyes – really shouldn’t leave you looking like you’ve spent three hours in a torture cell, being played the Lion King clip where Simba realises Mufasa has snuffed it, on loop? I have naturally sensitive eyes anyway, so maybe I really am alone in this one – applying eyeliner anywhere near a window leaves me looking more Corpse Bride than Alexa Chung.

  • Vitamin C Microdermabrasion – 75ml £16

I’m struggling to review both of these, if I’m honest, as I’m posing anomalies anywhere. In regards to this microdermabrasion product, I started using it but very soon after, the dreaded ‘Time of the Month’ took over, so I’m unsure as to which one spurred the breakout. I whinged about it on Twitter recently, and someone said she had a similar breakout after incorporating microdermabrasion into her skincare routine – so I’m not going to pass judgement. To be honest, my favourite part about this product is the application itself. It’s beyond cathartic. Divinely tiny little grainy beads getting scrubbed into the deep depths of my pores? Give me some of that. The feeling after rinsing it off is equally great: it’s like what I’d image a skin peel to feel like, sans the burn and general painful-sounding connotations.

As someone with infamously dull, pale skin, I find it hard to find any products that truly brighten up my complexion in the winter months. This definitely had a good go and, whilst I probably won’t bother to repurchase, I would definitely recommend it to people who are less prone to breakouts/shit leaky eyes.

Review: Birchbox January 2014 Edition.

January 14, 2014

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Beauty subscription boxes are a funny one with me: all well and good when you’re in the zone of ordering one and getting excited for its dispatch, but an absolute tyranny of fear and often disappointment when you realise it’s choc-ful with a load of shite you’re not going to touch, ever. I used to subscribe to SheSaidBeauty boxes, but I got absolutely bored to tears with the products in there and realised I could put that £12 a month towards stuff that I’d, y’know, actually use – Christ, I could’ve been laden with Chanel skincare products by now – the amount of blue boxes I have in my room. Kudos though, those boxes are about the best thing that came out of my torrid affair with subscriptions boxes: those little babies come in handy! Anyway, yadda yadda, get to the point Nash. Recently, Birchbox contacted me and asked if I’d like to try out their January box and, being a curious cat and freebie creep that I am, I obliged. Worryingly: I’m not completely disappointed with what they sent me…

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  • Vasanti Detox Nutrient-Rich Purifying Facial Cleanser 20ml – full size (150ml) retails at £18

Christ alive, this product has to win the award for ‘Most Waffly Product Name’, if nothing else. I just tried this stuff and, given its undeniably highly nutrient-rich formula (we’re talking attributes packed with shea butter/fatty acids/grapeseed and omega 3), I’m either placeboing out of my arse – or this product has made my skin reasonably smooth. We’ll see if it helps shift these pesky breakout spots around my chin first, eh?

  • Radial Bee Venom Moisturiser 5ml – full size (150ml) retails (at a staggering) £150

Weirdly, it’s a little bit like Birchbox read my mind on this one. I have been trawling Holland and Barrett stores country-wide trying to get my hands on their Manuka Doctor bee venom moisturiser and, lo and behold, they throw in this far superior little number. Upon first applications, I had flashbacks to getting stung on the bum outside of Boots as a kid – terrifying images of potential allergic reactions and my face blowing up so much that my sizeable bottom lip just decided to combust. Fortunately, this did not occur – but the effects thus far (four days of usage) have been incredibly dull. I’ve had good skin days, I’ve had bad skin days. I wouldn’t pay £150 for that imbalance.

  • Benefit ThePorefessional 7.5ml – full size (22ml) retails at £24.50

I can’t turn my nose up at this product as a devoted lover of Benefit, and the owner of a quickly depleting original sample that this one will proudly become successor to soon. If you’re a beauty blogger, you should really already know how essential this piece is. Nice one, Birchbox.

  • Premae Anatomy Nutrients Instant Renewal Body Oil 20ml – full size (100ml) retails at £9.50

As a pale lady, with a tendency to resemble something on death’s door due to bad circulation, I tend to avoid body oils, as they only seem to exacerbate the problem. However, in the warm, sunny light of my yellow-tinted desk lamp, it looks pretty good on my arms, and they feel soft enough. The sunflower (mate, do sunflowers even have a smell?) and rosewood scent has got me longing for holidays.

  • Itsu Miso Soup 25g sachet – full size (6 pouches) £11

After recently embarking upon a vegan adventure (that is, slightly less dramatically, after doing a month last year – I have decided to go vegan since the New Year), I’m looking for all the vegan friendly nosh I can sniff out. Not sure why that sounded quite so dirty, but we shall continue… I haven’t tried this yet as, after my last packet of Pop Chips that I picked up at an LCM show got devoured this afternoon, they will be going into my emergency food stash. Sounds nice enough to me, anyway. Not sure I could afford to keep that habit up though, so I’m kinda hoping I’m not a fan…

  • Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Conditioner 20ml – full size (250ml) £19

This looks remarkably like toothpaste, and I just squirted half the tube up my nose trying to find out what it smells like for you. I hope you appreciate this, guys. It smells pretty high class – but a little too Chanel No.5 for me: absolutely lovely, but not right for my juvenile twenty-year-old self. Good call though guys: I’ve just ran out of Herbal Essences – cheers.

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with the box. I’m half-tempted to opt in for the next one just to see if they manage to pull it out of the bag twice in a row, but I’ll keep you posted on Twitter about that. Everyone else though: what’s in yours this month? Are you happy with it? Link your reviews below!

On The Move: London for LCM Part II.

January 9, 2014

As I’m writing this, I’ve just discovered I have only about a fifth of a bottle of water to last me a 6 hour 30 coach journey, so I’ll apologise in advance, lest I start sounding like a whiny bitch at all. Also, forgive the slightly too literal 90s goth vibe I’ve got going on above – I just can’t shake that choker… It’s all over: four crazy days of London living, and now I’m back on the ol’faithful Megabus lamenting the five-month waste of life that my degree currently feels like: can’t I just move to London now? Please?

There are many things about London that are just right up my street:

  • Everyone keeps themselves to themselves, and it’s pretty kosher to storm around the city wearing mental clothes, huge headphones and a natural scowl.
  • There’s so much shit going on: I love the feeling of being interconnected with creative processes actually happening – I wouldn’t survive five minutes in the sticks.
  • Nobody asks questions when you cheesily go into McDonalds after working all day to ask for just salt (emergency piercing cleaning materials, but he didn’t need to know that). “Would you like anything with that?” “Uh no, cheers – s’laters” *scarpers*

There are many things about London that make me want to set fire to people:

  • Carrying a suitcase. On the Underground. With a camera bag, a backpack and a shopping bag: it really ought to be illegal. I’m sorry if I ran over your foot. But if you’re one of the nobs who point-blank refused to say ‘thanks’ for me holding the door open, I hope you lost a toe to gangrene.
  • The try-hard fashionistas. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people I saw wearing absolutely bonafide outfits, until you looked up and saw they were wearing something akin to a birdcage on their head. Mate, I know you want to get street-snapped, but come on now – you look like Dame Edna.
  • Drunk coach-dwellers. Had the privilege of spending a two hour coach journey with a drunk old man and his equally drunk daughter behind me. Cackling. My distaste peaked when he leered “Oh hello, what’s yer name?” as I fought my way back down the aisle after chancing a wee on the motorway. Charmed.
My new favourite eatery - Hummus Bros - I lived off this mushroom/houmous mix and Wagamamas.

My new favourite eatery – Hummus Bros – I lived off this mushroom/houmous mix and Wagamamas.

One of the few show shots I actually caught - Agi & Sam A/W14.

One of the few show shots I actually caught – Agi & Sam A/W14.

Patisserie Valerie cakes that my Vegan self wanted but couldn't have.

Patisserie Valerie cakes that my Vegan self wanted but couldn’t have.

Day 3 was the end of my brain.

The best news about this week is the fact that I’ve been asked by WJ London to return to cover London Fashion Week with them.

Catch my LCM articles for WJ London here.

 

ASOS 75% Off Sale Picks.

January 2, 2014

Despite my bank balance currently screaming over-overdrawn at me, I couldn’t help myself from having at least a masochistic peek at the up-to-75% off sale running at ASOS at the moment – and now I want to cry. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could cry pennies? Painful, but $$$$. However, I decided to live vicariously through you guys and give you a quick rundown of some of the delightful pieces they have to offer at the moment. Don’t worry about me, I’ll just be here – in my dressing gown, crying into my camomile tea. Currently on Day 2 of ‘Veganuary’ and not smoking, going strong and looking forward to trying out the Vegan options at Tampopo later at the Trafford Centre. Going to get my consumer fix by trading in 5 empty Lush pots for a facemask, mwahaha. Anyway, back to the subject – here are my sale picks:

  • Daisy Street Crop Top with Polo Neck – Was £9.99, now £6.50

Unsure whether my infatuation with this style of shirt lies with the product itself, or my burgeoning jealousy for that model’s torso – can I buy that, too? Either way, I love how this shirt manages to flip off the prudish stigma behind polo/turtle necks (three words: Velma – Scooby Doo) with its cheeky midriff cut. Easy to style, I’ll have it in both red and black please.

  • ASOS Skater Dress in Check – Was £42, now £21

Cannot get my head around the juxtaposition of preppy and grunge with this one, but I think that’s the appeal. Team with a chunky waist-cincher belt, black platform boots and a black fedora. And a coat: just because Father Christmas has been and New Year has gone, doesn’t mean you should opt for Pneumoniary (that’s pneumonia + January… worked out better in my head).

  • ASOS Pencil Skirt with Bold Braces – Was £40, now £24

You can be the bawzzz with this form-fitting bold pencil skirt. Perfect piece for an office-to-evening switch: just wear with a dress shirt during the day, sneakily strip off in the loos and replace with a graphic shirt – preferably with something alluding to how fabulaaarse you are (don’t – those shirts make you look like a bit of a nob).

  • ASOS PREMIUM Affliction Leather Ankle Boots – Was £85, now £42.50 

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Hamlet asked: “To be or not to be?”, Ebony asked: “Why the sweet mother of fudge aren’t these boots on my feet?”. Arguably somewhat less of a pressing matter – I think shoe lust is trumped by suicide contemplation, but I’m still not convinced… I would team these with: everything. Forever and ever Amen.

Products linked via product images.

OOTD: Supermarket Goth.

January 1, 2014

I did promise myself, and everyone in the Twittersphere, that one of my New Year’s Resolutions would be to incorporate more OOTD posts into my site – as it’s been getting a little clinical and  far less personal of late. And, given that I discovered I actually own a tripod today – I found myself running quickly out of excuses. However, this was a spur of the minute jaunt (wearing a run-to-Sainsbury’s outfit), so let’s smooth over my hangover hair…

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Make Up

Face: Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in SB 02 | MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder | Revlon PhotoReady Concealer in Light | MAC Powder Blush in Peaches

Eyes: L’oreal Brow Pencil in Dark Brunette | Rimmel GlamEyes Liquid Eyeliner in Black | Rimmel Soft Kohl Liner in Jet Black | Benefit They’re Real Mascara

Lips: MAC Matte Lipstick in Lady Danger

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetOutfit

Topshop Fluffy Jumper – £38 | Forever 21 Leopard Print Skirt – £12

Primark Black Shirt – £4 | Empty Casket Amethyst Pentagram Cord Necklace – £16


Ebony. 25. Manchester.
Marketing Manager who likes to mouth off on here about stuff she cares about. Expect mental health, Borderline Personality Disorder, and reviews - from restaurants, to books, to fashion. Talks to cats more than people, but seemingly has a lot to say.
ebonylaurenn@gmail.com