Vanilla chai, frosted berries and spiced apple: The Body Shop's three exclusive scents for Christmas 2016. My favourite is definitely vanilla chai, with spiced apple coming in a close second. It was fantastic to be shown a preview in Aberdeen of what The Body Shop has to offer this year, including shiny makeup, skin oils, personalised body butters, advent calendars and of course the three new delicious scents.

The Body Shop is always a go-to for me at Christmas thanks to their annual festive ranges as well as the beautifully presented gift sets and stocking fillers.

This year, whenever you buy one of selected products, including the personalised body butters, The Body Shop promises to restore a square foot of rainforest as part of their Enrich Not Exploit Commitment. So if you're looking for skincare, makeup or body oils for Christmas gifts, why not help the rainforest while you're at it.

One of my favourite ranges is the three Christmas scents which come in a range of product types such as shower gel, lipbalm, new shimmer mist, hand cream and body butter. This year you can even get a scented candle in your favourite (yes I bought the vanilla chai candle). I highly recommend you take a trip down to test them all out for yourself and let me know which you like the best! My order is definitely vanilla chai, spiced apple and finally frosted berries.

The Body Shop also has a great range of makeup. I didn't realise how varied the collection was until this visit, but I was pleasantly surprised and bought myself an Eye Colour Stick in Nevada Gold for intense shimmer on my lids, brow bone and inner corners of my eyes. I was also intrigued by their liquid lipsticks but resisted temptation this time.

Another new range is the Oils of Life. This includes facial oil, essence lotion, day, night and gel cream as well as a massager to accompany. Including natural oils such as black cumin seed oil, camellia seed oil and rosehip seed oil the focus of the range is to attain dewy, fresh, youthful skin through natural products and looks to be incredibly popular.

I myself use a homemade mixture of oils to cleanse my face so I am intrigued by the new collection and am tempted to try the day or gel cream. If you've been interested in trying out oils as a cleanser but aren't too sure where to start, this collection looks to be a winner.

Of course I could go on and on about what other gems The Body Shop has to offer this Christmas, but I don't want to spoil all the fun for you. So get online or head to your nearest store, get lost in the festive atmosphere and do be sure to let me know what takes your fancy!

Are you part of the vanilla chai fam? Or are you more of a spiced apple kinda gal?

Christmas at The Body Shop

And so, the quest for the perfect winter coat has begun for another year.

Here is a small selection of my favourite coats from ASOS. Unfortunately I don't think I'll ever be able to pull off the puffer jacket, but a girl can dream. It's faux fur all the way for me.

I have been experimenting with coding and digital media so please try clicking on the BUY NOW buttons to be taken to the ASOS pages for more photos and information and let me know if it works for you! Thanks so much.

**UPDATE: And as I have just discovered, this will only work on your desktop/laptop computer, not mobile phones. Will ask my programming dad for help to fix this ASAP, but in the meantime please find links below!
Untitled Document Click here to buy now Click here to buy now Click here to buy now Click here to buy now Click here to buy now Click here to buy now

ASOS Winter Coat Edit

You may have noticed my posts have been lacking a little in November. This is due to a heavy load of coursework due for university as well as me just not feeling 100%. We all have those days, weeks and sometimes months, mine particularly in winter as I'm getting used to the dark and the cold.

As I have an inkling that this feeling is probably caused by SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), a post will be up shortly on how I combat this and how you can too. But in the meantime, music is always an aid for me. This month's playlist is helping me transition from the slightly less cold months to the -trillion degrees of winter. It's a little slower and softer than usual, but it works for me so I hope it does for you too.

And yes this month has flown by - hence why this post is late, as I thought today was the 19th and not the 22nd. Come back summer.

November 2016 Mixtape

How has your November been and what have you been listening to?

November 2016 Mixtape

Today I was reading Cosmopolitan when I happened upon a rather odd advert. An advert for a rose gold toothbrush - a toothbrush - which made me wonder why we are so obsessed with rose gold? Why do I love the colour, as well as copper and blush pink tones so much? Why do we have rose gold iPhones but not lavender silver or blue steel? Blue steel lol. Anyway, I did some googling and surprisingly didn't find a lot of answers, but this article by WIRED describes one possibility thanks to Pantone and the captivating theory of colour.

Photography by Sarah Johnson

Rose gold is everywhere we look, live, smell, walk, shop and breathe. You can't escape it, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. WIRED discusses how rose gold rose (ha) through society thanks to technology with Samsung and Apple's gadgets. But what really stood out to me in their article was the Pantone Institute's analysis of why rose gold is so popular:

"When we get to the rose family, we get these same kinds of verbiage: Compassion, composure, warmth, something that draws you in that has great appeal."

These are very positive connotations which I believe we all desire and try to express in our day to day lives, so no wonder we love the shade. Rose Quartz was selected as one half of Pantone's colour of the year for 2016 as it conveys a "sense of order and peace, something that speaks to people. Something that has a bit more mindfulness attached to it".

It is a colour that allows us an escape from the stresses of modern life and allows us to relax and detach, something everyone needs. Whether I'm wearing my cosy blush pink jumper (pictured) for comfort and warmth to relax, or my metallic rose gold skirt (pictured) for a night out to dress up and feel good, rose gold always makes me feel composed, in control, focused on the moment and, importantly to me, confident.

I would definitely be interested in further research into why we are so obsessed with rose gold in particular, as thanks to that rose gold toothbrush my curiosity of colour theory and the psychology of colour perception has been sparked.

As Laurie Pressman, the Vice-President of the Pantone Color Institute, says, I think I'm having a bit of a 
"love affair with colour."

If, like me, you're interested in reading more about colour theory I suggest you head straight to Pantone's website and sign up to their newsletter. In the meantime however I have collated a few of my favourite articles of theirs for you to browse:

I'm interested in seeing if you agree with the connotations of rose gold and Rose Quartz, and if not, how do these colours make you feel? I hope you have enjoyed this little insight into my love for colour and please do let me know what colour you're obsessing with at the moment.

P.S. have you seen this shot on my Instagram for an upcoming rose gold themed photoshoot for university?

Why Are We Obsessed with Rose Gold?

University is going great. For once I’m feeling on top of things and organised, my flatmates are fab, I’m loving getting back into cheerleading and I am looking forward to Christmas now it’s chilly outside. Soon it’s my birthday and- oh wait, that means Halloween is first. Crisis.

We’ve all been there. You’re having a blast just loving life whilst 31st October creeps up on you ever so slowly, and then BOO! It’s 2 days before Halloween and you have nothing prepared. You could go as a cat again, but that’s just boring isn’t it. And that party you’ve said “Maybe” to on Facebook really wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t bring some spooky snacks or decorations, would it?

Don’t worry, this is me every year. Luckily I have some tips for you and I this year which I’m sure will win you best dressed and best lad for bringing cake. You’re welcome.

1. Quest for Inspiration

Yes we are cutting it fine with just two days till Halloween, but that doesn’t mean we are restricted to a cat costume. Your top two online places for inspiration are Instagram and Pinterest. Best searches include “Halloween makeup”, “Halloween costume ideas” and then really whatever idea pops into your head plus “makeup” and “costume”. Stick a “makeup tutorial” or a “DIY costume” in there to be more specific.

2. Gathering of Resources

If we were prepared and organised people, we would have bought everything we needed online about a month ago. But we’re not those people and that’s okay. Join me on a trip to Claire’s, the sanctuary of children’s glittery and arm warmer-y dreams and grab anything you can. The other day I managed to make use of their “buy 3 things, get 3 things free” deal, leaving with six fab items: silver hair and body glitter spray, fishnet tights, glitter fake eyelashes, fake blood spray, white powder and glitter eye gel glitters.

That’s a lot of glitter. And that’s why we shop at Claire’s.

Can you guess what my costume is yet?

3. The Outfit

Now you have your makeup and glitter sorted thanks to Claire’s, you need to think about what you are going to wear. You have three options.

1. Wear What You Own

You definitely don’t have to head out and buy a £40 costume if you don’t want to. Sometimes the best costumes come from clothes you already own. Wear a lot of silver? Dress up as a disco ball. Or a sardine. The possibilities are endless. Raid your wardrobe and then raid your friends’ wardrobes – just make sure to wash the fake blood off before you return borrowed items.

2. DIY

It’s time to get creative. Sometimes this can mean simply attaching tassels or other embellishments to clothes with safety pins, and other times this can mean discovering your granny has a mountain of wadding in her shed which would be ideal for a sheep costume. If this is something you struggle with, hunt down your arty friends and beg them for help. You only have two days and if they are a true friend they will do their best to help you however they can.

3. Spend Some Dolla

There is currently a queue outside the two costume shops in Aberdeen for all other last-minute people like ourselves. If you really can’t think of an outfit with technique number 1 and 2, you’ll need about £20 to buy a full outfit. Just make sure to try it on as many are very see-through and incredibly short. Make sure you feel comfortable and try a couple of shops to make sure you get the best price. And head down early to avoid the queues.

4. Fake It Till You Make It

Finally, until we are able to organises our costumes with a month to spare, there’s no reason why anyone should believe you did just whip up that snazzy suit in just two days. Co-op kindly gifted me with a Halloween recipe box, which features some super quick and easy baking ideas to impress. Bring these along to the party for your hosts and gain some brownie points (pun intended) whilst also fooling everyone that you are one seriously organised person who had time to prepare an incredible costume and bake some amazing goodies. Happy baking!

See the recipe for each of these goodies over here!

So what are you dressing up as for Halloween this year?

How to Ace a Last Minute Halloween Costume and Party

I didn't used to be a scarf person. My love for the long fluffy things started when I found a loop scarf in my two favourite colours to wear - grey and pink. I have since, however,  found more uses for scarves than just looking pretty and keeping you warm. Yes, they are an excellent substitute for a bra.

Most people probably think I chose to wear that lovely scarf to accessorise my outfit or to prevent chills as I do live in the north of Scotland. And although they are partly right, they never know my number one reason (well, until now). I strongly dislike bras. They're restrictive, expensive and uncomfy (and yes, I have been fitted). I don't really need a bra in all honesty, and if nipples were accepted in society I would gladly always go braless and scarf-less. But until that day (#freethenipple) I'll just keeping buying tops that are thick enough to cover my nipps or use my scarf technique which I am happy to share with you all today.

1. The Cover-Up

The simplest way to wear your scarf and the most effective way to mask your nipples. Simply hang it all out - including your scarf. Nobody will ever know.

2. Spice Up Your Life

I am not inventing the wheel here, but it's good to remember that you have choice when going braless with a scarf. Just as we should have the choice to go braless with or without nipples showing whilst feeling comfortable. However, I sadly don't and I know many others feel the same. So remember you can still experiment with 25 ways to wear a scarf and if you think up any more, do let me know.

Tartan Scarf - Primark | Rainbow Scarf - street market in Aberdeen

3. #freethenipple

It is scary, but also quite exhilarating (although it shouldn't be) to step outside knowing and not caring whether your nipples might be seen through your top or not. I would like to do more personally to support the Free the Nipple movement, standing primarily for equality between genders in America (and worldwide). However in the UK I believe the main focus is currently to normalise breasts in public and social media and not in a sexual context. Something which I am more than happy to support.

So once you're feeling a little less nervous after trying out techniques 1 and 2, give number 3 a go and wear your scarf slightly higher up, or get rid of it altogether.

Follow #freethenipple on Instagram for motivation and let me know how you get on with or without a scarf - I'm also trying to feel more comfortable with the idea and in practice!

But how far have I gone?

The closest I have gone to freeing my nipples in public, and hence the nerviest I've felt, was one night where I went out for drinks with friends, wearing a tight dress, no bra and thus a scarf with technique number 1. Then I ended up heading to a nightclub, Hive, and realised it would be way too hot for a scarf. I honestly felt so nervous and considered going home at the thought of my nipples being on show. But then I thought, who cares? I handed my scarf to the cloakroom and danced away, having a great night with my friends and receiving no strange stares or comments.

Hopefully one day nipples and breasts will be normalised in public and on social media and won't be regarded in a sexual context. Ultimately, a post titled "how to go braless" shouldn't be required, but until that day, we need to take baby steps. Let your favourite scarf be your first.

How do you feel about going braless in public?

How to Go Braless With a Scarf

October has flown by! My first piece of coursework is due in about 3 weeks (should probably start it eh), on Tuesday I organised Cheerleading's first bake sale of the year for my Fundraiser role, I've now finally joined the gym again and I've had job interviews and set up my very first printer. I highly doubt I'll ever experience a joy greater than that of successfully printing onto an envelope. Exciting things ahead...

I still need to decide on my costume for Halloween and plan on spending an hour or two scouring blogs, vlogs and Pinterest for inspiration - all I know is I want to experiment with face paint and lots of it. Now I have organised most of my work and am settled in to Aberdeen, I am finally feeling a little less stressed. Thus (great word, thus) October's playlist fluctuates between songs I listen to when feeling stressed and down and others I listen to when that stress has gone. I'll let you try and figure out which ones are which.

My October Top 3

  1. She Don't - Ella Mai, Ty Dolla $ign
    1. This month I also discovered Ty Dolla $ign's very own playlist of his top hits and recent tracks and it is a beautiful playlist. So yes I have been obsessing a little this month. I just need someone to share my obsession with - tweet me if it's you xxx
  2. Don't Stop Me Now - MNEK
    1. Now I'm sure you know the original, and probably the McFly cover too, but give MNEK a chance and keep an open mind. Yes it's different, but that's why I love it.
  3. Still Falling For You - Ellie Goulding
    1. Yes I did see Bridget Jones' Baby in the cinema. And no, I haven't seen the first or second Bridget Jones - but they are both next on my list. I honestly haven't laughed out loud at a film in so long so I recommend you all see it and of course listen to this amazing song which features in the film.

October Mixtape 2016

Feel free to follow me on Spotify for more fab tunes such as my And Breathe playlist for when you're feeling pretty low and my Focus playlist for studying and chilling.

October 2016 Mixtape

With every winter comes the annual search for the cosiest, softest, warmest, fluffiest, most dressing-gown or duvet-like jumper or cardigan. And this year I think I have found just that, thanks to Primark.

Photography by Sarah Johnson

The hunt was not easy, but is one I have been perfecting for several years. Below are my four top tips on how you can find your new best friend for winter too.

1. Always Oversize

The number one thing to remember when looking for your cosiest jumper is to always oversize. Some lovely brands help us by titling items online with "oversized". Also look for "ultimate", "chunky" and remember if the item doesn't specify it is oversized, simply buy the next size up like I did with my cardigan from Primark.

2. Touch and Feel

This is of course the best part about hunting down your dream jumper. Allow yourself a whole day (or two) to leisurely float from store to store, seeing, touching, feeling and stroking the fluffiest looking garments. Sadly our eyes can sometimes deceive us and that incredible grey roll-neck jumper may not be as fluffy as you assumed. But keep looking, touching, feeling and stroking and never give up.

Oh, and if you're more of an online shopper or don't have a whole day to spend searching, I recommend first scouring your favourite stores online and then hunting down specific items in-store to then feel, touch and stroke.

3. Read Reviews

If you must buy online, please please please read the reviews. You can of course send the item back, but if there is even one red flag from a customer on the softness of the jumper, then let it go. Sadly we don't have the luxury of touch over the internet yet, but your dream cardy is waiting out there for you with no red flags whatsoever.

4. Embrace the Roll Neck

My favourite soft jumper bought last year features an amazing roll neck. It's like a scarf, but even cosier. That is one thing missing from my cardigan this year, however I sacrificed this for the length and thickness of my gem from Primark. However if you haven't yet tried the roll neck, give it a bash. It's a true game changer.

So now, go forth with these tips and find your cosiest, softest, fluffiest jumper ever, and do let me know when and where you find it.

Where is your go-to for the fluffiest jumpers? Any other tips for finding the one for you?

4 Tips to Find The Cosiest, Softest, Fluffiest Jumper Ever

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