Wednesday, 20 January 2016

My Top 3 Candles

Despite the fact I'm not technically allowed them in my flat, I am absolutely addicted to candles (as a lot of bloggers seem to be) so it seems odd that I haven't written about them before today. The three candles featured in this post are my absolute favourite ones in my little collection. It may come as a surprise to some of my readers that none of these candles are made by what seems to be the favourite candle company among bloggers (and I do admit to owning a few myself) - Yankee Candle. Although known for their vast selection of strong scents, Yankee Candle do fall short on one aspect; their ingredients, all of which are synthetic. The candles featured in this post are ones which appeal to me not only because they smell divine but also because they are all-natural. They're also perfect for those who,like me, aren't so much a fan of floral scents. I have a weakness for all things sweet and edible smelling and these candles all tick both of these boxes.

The first candle is one who's maker I am sorry to say I cannot remember. This was picked up for me as a Christmas present at a craft market near my home at university. As such, it was made by a very small company as can be seen in the lovely personal touches on the packaging, from the handwritten label and the twine tied around the jar, which really show the love and care that have been put into its manufacture. The scent is unlike any other candles I own and is much what you'd expect from a candle called 'The Nutcracker' - very sweet and nutty. The name and packaging both also demonstrate that this candle was intended to have a Christmas theme and it is certainly a scent which I think suits cosy winter nights. And when is a better time to light a candle?

The next candle is one who's brand name I'm happy to say I do know the name of - Dutch Apple by Blaze On. This is a candle which I picked up at Camden Market and was sold to me by a very enthusiastic and hilarious salesman who was also a magician....only at Camden, ay? As well as the luxurious mulberry paper upholstered packaging and the fact that it smells like apple pie fresh from the oven (anyone else hungry now?), what I really love about this candle is the 100% natural wax which he even demonstrated, once melted, could be used as hand cream because it is so natural and moisturizing. Bonkers, right? A candle and beauty product in one! It is limited edition but still currently available and Blaze On has a great selection of other candles which you can check out here. 

The final candle on my list is 'Cherry Cherry' by Potters Crouch Candles which, at a similar price to Yankee Candles, is pretty affordable, and comes in a cute little tin with a pictures of cherries on the lid. These candles are actually made in the same county as where I live when not at university, so it's great to have a locally made candle which reminds me of home. Again, the ingredients are of course all natural and the essential oils used in this particular candle are highly scented, making it the strongest smelling candle I own. However, because it does not smell at all synthetic, this is not too overpowering.  Besides the strength of its smell, an impressive aspect of this candle is it's burn time which, at approximately 50 hours, is twice the length of most candles of a similar size! A strong cherry scent may not be for everyone but Potters Crouch have a great variety of candles and I would recommend them for their burn time alone so check out their website to view the rest of their range. 

Do you own any of the candles on this list? What are your top 3 favourite candles?

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Sunday, 17 January 2016

Elesaurus has had a makeover!

Those that have been following me for a while will have noticed that Elesaurus has had a complete makeover! Having returned to blogging after a very long hiatus, I felt that it was time for a new start, with the first step being a proper domain name, and the second a revamped blog design. Although I was and still am extremely proud of the original design which was my first stint into coding, it really no longer reflected how I wanted to present Elesaurus and I no longer felt satisfied with the slightly childish design.

After my first attempt, I felt so much more confident with coding and really wanted to experiment a bit more and play around with my blog layout, resulting in a design which, although not perfect, is definitely a vast improvement on the former. I want to continue to improve  the content and reach of my blog and giving it a cleaner, more professional look will, I hope, help in achieving this.

For new followers or those that can't remember, this is what my blog formerly looked like:

I'm so excited to finally have my new blog design live and, although I hope you love it as much as I do, would be so grateful for feedback so I can continue to improve it and the rest of my blog so please do leave your comments and thoughts!

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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Wandering in the Woods

For this post, I dragged my poor flatmate to the Richmond Park for a little photoshoot featuring a scarf  from Lylia Rose, who were kind enough to send me a scarf of my choosing. As someone who will always wear dresses whatever the weather, they are absolute must haves along with cardigans and tights in order to get me through the colder seasons. I chose this navy dog print scarf because, being dark coloured it is thoroughly in my safe zone but the metallic foil print gives it a touch of sparkle which I really love and prevents my often dark-coloured outfits from looking too gloomy.

I really enjoyed putting this outfit together as it was mostly comprised of new pieces which I'd recently treated myself to; those with a keen eye may actually recognize the boots as being those which featured in a recent wishlist post... I caved and bought them. One can totally rationalise shopping if it's "for my blog", right? 

Shop This Look

Dress - H&M
Bag - H&M
Cardigan - New Look (Similar)
Scarf - Lylia Rose
Boots - H&M
Tights - Primark

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Sunday, 10 January 2016

Resolutions Revisited

I was really on the fence as to whether to write this post as there is such a fine line between being sarcastic and self-deprecating and just plain negative. However, having had a good response on twitter I decided to give it a go but if I sound like a grumpy cow I promise I'm not really!....much...

Every year, we all write resolutions and, to quote everyone, everywhere on New Years Eve, excitedly tell ourselves "new year, new me". As well intentioned as we are, a new number on the calendar doesn't have magical powers, doesn't make us suddenly make us able to do all those things that we've been putting off. As a result, our resolutions last a few weeks, maybe a months if we're lucky OR if you're me, you promptly forget about them and don't even attempt them at all. As New Year sprung around I suddenly remembered having written a resolutions post last year and, after revisiting it, had a little giggle over how completely they had gone out of the window. In this post, I thought I could take another look at them and pick them apart both for your amusement and to demonstrate to those that feel bad for not sticking to their resolutions that you cannot do as badly as me!

*side-note - damn, I miss the pen I used to write my resolutions last year. I need to stop losing things*

1. Make better quality videos and upload them more frequently.
After publishing my resolutions post I uploaded a grand total of.......*drumroll please*......ONE video! And that was back in February which, as well as being a month after writing the post, is a hell of a long time ago....whoopsy. As for improving the quality of my videos, that's pretty hard to do when you aren't actually making any but I will say I tried a lot harder on the thumbnails of my last two videos and it does show. On a positive note, I will soon be reviving my YouTube channel and have lots planned for it! Ooh, there I go again, being all ambitious and well intentioned. Will I ever learn?

2. Go to more events and meet other bloggers
I only actually went to one blogger event in 2015 because again, it's kinda hard to do things related to blogging when you're on a very long blogging hiatus. The event I did go to was the one I actually mentioned planning to attend in the post (the Bloggers Love LFW Dinner Party)....and it didn't really go too well. You can read about the mayhem surrounding that event here.

3. Spend more time promoting my blog and YouTube
Getting pretty repetitive now but...
Dear past-Eleanor, you can't blooming do that when you're sitting on your arse instead of even blogging!

4. Get organised - learn to balance and prioritize.
Oh geez, this one was probably the most unrealistic for me. Try as I might, organisation will never be my strong point. Even past-Eleanor twigged on to this one! I quote - "whether I actually will [get myself sorted] is a completely different matter". To be fair to myself, this post was actually written  in advance to being published as part of a bulk writing session. However, I'm not sure it really counts since it is now the year after having made those resolutions and this is the first time I've ever convinced myself to sit down and write in bulk. 

5. Cut down on binge watching
Ahahahahahaha, I watched the entire first series of Gotham in three days last week. Moving swiftly on...

6. Make 2015 even more amazing than 2014 has been.
Yep, okay. I'll give myself this one. It's been pretty great. SEE! I can end on a positive note!

So I hope this post hasn't been too negative! Happy New Year to all my readers and I hope you all achieve your resolutions if you have any, rather than royally fail as I have done!

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Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Sales Wishlist: Bath and Beauty

Bath and Beauty Sales Wishlist
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1. Benefit You're So Party Set  - £26.33 (previously £39.50) from Boots - For me, Benefit is one of those if-I-had-all-the-money-in-the-world-I-would-buy-every-product-they-make brands. Their products are of great quality, beautifully packaged, and are forever taunting me in features on other blogs. This set is reduced by a over a quarter of the original price and all the products it contains are ones I have been dying to try out.
2. Jack Wills Weekend Essentials - £25 (previously £50) from Boots - I'm not even going to pretend the cute backpack isn't what mostly attracts me to this gift set. I have been saying I want a new backpack for ages and the tartan print of this one works wonderfully. Having been reduced by so much, £25 is a steal for a backpack alone, and the body wash, body scrub, lotion, body butter, water, bottle and body polisher are great bonuses that no one could turn their noses up at.
3. Smashbox Double Exposure Mini Palette - £11.99 (previously £17.50) from Smashbox UK - What I really love about this palette is that, although all neutral colours (excepting the blue), they do not look samey as can be the case in many such palettes. The colours compliment each other yet are very much different from one another. I think this is a great colour selection for everyday makeup looks and, being a mini palette, it would fit perfectly in your bag for touch-ups or applying makeup on the go.
4. Chocomania Body Lotion - £1 (previously £8) from The Body Shop - This doesn't really belong on a wishlist because it is so darn cheap I am almost definitely getting it, but I wanted to include it here nonetheless so as to give my readers a heads up on such an amazing bargain! The Body Shop always have great reductions during sales and this January they certainly didn't disappoint. I always love the quality of their products and although a chocolate scented body lotion may prove too sickly to some, it is perfect for those as addicted to all things sweet as I. 
5. Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette - £34.20 (previously £38) from Feel Unique - Admittedly, this product has barely been reduced in comparison to the rest of the products on this list but this palette from Urban Decay is definitely worth the cost. Urban Decay palettes have been making their rounds in the blogosphere for quiet a while and with each new release retain their popularity. The quality of their eyeshadows are probably one of the best you can find and the variety of shades in this palette is, in my opinion at least, far better than those in the rest of the Naked range,
6. Lip and Cheek Stain - £6 (previously £12) from The Body Shop - A good lip and cheek stain is perfectly for an everyday look or those that prefer a more natural makeup look, giving ones lips a bit of colour without being as harsh or bold as a lipstick. The Body Shop's lip and cheap stain is iconic and, unlike many, does not dry out the lips or apply patchily. 

Have you picked up any beauty bargains in the January sales?

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Saturday, 2 January 2016

Sales Wishlist: Clothes and Shoes

Boxing day may be over but the sales are still going strong! As a student, I daren't venture out to the sales as I know I'd get carried away with the bargains and would have to apologies to my poor bank balance. However, that doesn't stop me from online window shopping and these are some of the clothing and shoe goodies I've been lusting after and unfortunately may even find myself giving in and buying!

1. A-Line Overlay Dress - £15 (previously £46) from Top Shop - I have really surprised myself in loving this dress as I usually go for skater style dresses in darker colours. However, I absolutely adore the colour of this dress and its design is so simple and elegant with the contrasting panels adding a lovely touch. This is also the biggest reduction on the this list. A £15 dress from Top Shop, £31 less than the original price? Who can say no?!
2. Blanket Wrap - £8 (previously £19.99) from New Look  - I'm such a fan of blanket wraps at the moment (even though I have yet to own one) because they're super comfy and cosy and you can simply just throw one on. This one from New Look is fringed in a red check print and, unlike most sale items, you don't have to worry about the store running out of your size because it's one size only.
3. Platform Boots - £14 (previously £29.99) from H&M - These chunky yet feminine boots would look amazing paired with a girly dress and some over the knee socks. The heel may be rather high for some but the platform of course makes up some of the height, and their sturdy design should mean it doesn't feel like to much of a balancing act to walk in. Their durable design would also be perfect for someone heavy footed and tough on their shoes like me).
4. Red Check Playsuit - £19.99 (previously £24.99) from Debenhams - Since taking up Lindyhop, I have become a massive fan of playsuits (being spun around in a skater skirt can lead to awkward moments). All you have to do is throw one on and you've got a whole outfit! This one from Debenhams is great for everyday wear and, like the blanket wrap also featured on this wishlist, satiates my love of checkered patterns.
5. Studded Velvet Shorts - £24 (previously £42) from Top Shop - Although I don't usually wear shorts, these ones have managed to make it onto my wishlist! Their dark colour means they still reside in my safe zone and the studs which cover the shorts give them an edgy twist.
6. Burgundy Longline Biker Jacket - £26 (previously £49.99) from New Look - A warm coat is always an essential in the colder months. This burgundy coat comes in my favourite colour (which probably features a little too much in my wardrobe) and features a chic faux fur colour. Unlike my other coats which look best with skirts and dresses, this one would look perfect paired with some slim-fit trousers and I am so tempted as a result! I need it, right?!

Have you picked up any new clothes from the sales this season?
Keep an eye out for my makeup and beauty sale picks in the next few days.

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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

New Hobbies

Here we are again, 7 months after publishing a shameful post apologizing for not having posted for two months. For all my good intentions I must admit my return to blogging didn't last long. This time, although determined not to lose my motivation again, I hope so slip back in to blogging rather than jump back in with a long, apologetic post which will ultimately leave me feeling pressured and guilty. So here we go, straight into a new post...wish me luck?

This post is entitled 'new hobbies' although in truth it would have been more accurate for me to have written 'new hobby', with the hobby in question being lindyhop. In my first year of university, spending money and going out was something I was terrified of doing, not wanting to spend away my student loan. As a result, my only real hobby was blogging which, as we have seen, did not last forever. However, with the very long break over Summer, I have really been able to get out and actually do things, finding new interests such as lindyhop and also developing a minor obsession with comics (neglecting to mention that here as I was unsure it would interest my readers but I'd love to know if you want to hear about it). 

Me at my first lindyhop event, completely clueless as to how to dance! (I'm on the right!)

For those that don't know, lindyhop is a form of swing dance which evolved in Harlem in the 20s and 30s continuing into the 40s, and is danced to the jazz and swing music which was popular at the time. It's a very loose dance, performed in a loose posture with bent knees and, I suppose, can be considered the street dance of the time due to this (it's not old-fashioned in a fuddy duddy sense, I promise!). For those that have a liking for the retro and vintage, or even those who don't, it is enormous fun. As someone who has always been a clumsy heffalump with two left feet, it feels amazing to actually be able to dance, and through attending social dances I have been able to dance with some incredible and experienced leads who guided me into dance moves I would never have otherwise been able to do. I am currently still a newbie, only 4-5 months into my lindyhop journey so am by no means a great dancer, but have learnt so much in that time.  As a student teacher, I am also so excited by the prospect of introducing lindyhop to the children I will one day teach. How cute would they look dancing around to the music of the swing era?

The INCREDIBLE dancing of Whitey's Lindyhoppers in 1941

Do you lindyhop or do any kind of dancing? What new hobbies have you found recently?

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Saturday, 30 May 2015

DIY Comic Book Shoes

With the Summer holidays having arrived, I have finally found time to make something that has been on my ‘to do’ list for a shamefully long time (probably as long as I have had this blog). After seeing a picture of comic book shoes on Pinterest, I knew I HAD to make some and, thanks to Primark stocking Marvel themed products for some time, including wrapping paper, I thankfully did not have to find and destroy any poor comic books. The marvel products are no longer stocked in Primark I believe so yes, that wrapping paper had been sitting on my shelf for quite a while waiting to be used – damn university for getting in the way of my whims! Do my lecturers not realise that shoes are far more important that assignments?

DIY Comic Book Shoes

The shoes used in this project were plain black heels from Primark which set me back £10. I had been keeping an eye out in charity shops for ones I could use, which would have been even more cost effective, but unfortunately I’m far too fussy when it comes to shoes. The material of the shoes is also of importance. The shoes I used were faux suede, meaning they have more rigidity than cloth but would soak in the glue unlike, for example, patent.

To make these shoes, I simply cut the wrapping paper into small pieces and layered it on the shoes with Mod Podge glue. It is important that these pieces are not so small as to prevent the larger characters from being seen, yet not too large or the curvature of the shoe will cause them to wrinkle and fold. I also used Mod Podge (a decoupage glue) rather than PVA as it is stronger and, unlike PVA, it will not begin to peel after time. Some websites advise ‘making’ decoupage glue by adding water to PVA glue but this doesn’t really work; all you’ll be achieving is watering it down and it will still peel! As Mod Podge is an American brand, I ordered mine of Amazon, but really any decoupage glue will do. The glue also acts as a sealant so after sticking the wrapping paper on to the shoes, I painted two thin layers of glue on top, allowing time for drying between applications.

DIY Comic Book Shoes

DIY Comic Book Shoes

Finally – the soles. These were the product of a terrible waste of nail polish (I didn’t realise quite how much it would use) and a lot of time. I chose to paint the soles different colours to give them even more of a quirky twist, and painted 2-3 layers in order to achieve a rather opaque colour. This obviously leaves the soles very smooth and slippery, so I’d recommend rubbing the sole with a nail file or something similar in order to create a rough surface and thus some grip. Also, bare in mind that these soles are in no way going to last forever, so expect to leave little red or blue patches wherever you walk!

What craft projects have you been making recently? Would you wear comic book shoes?

P.S. Apologies for the awful photos, my camera is off for repairs.

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Monday, 18 May 2015

Limited Edition KISStick

Today’s review is one I am excited to share with you, being of a newly released and limited edition lipstick I was able to snag ahead of the release date on the 20th May!

Let’s begin with a little background information about KISS Cosmetics before we get onto the lipstick itself. KISS is a new brand for 2015 but, during its development, was already fully establishing itself in the blogging world, drawing on feedback from a variety of beauty bloggers whilst in the process of designing its packaging and products. The pricing of their products is of a typical high street price, and all are comprised of cruelty free ingredients –  no animal testing here!

Osculate Orchid KISStick Review

Although 10 shades of ‘KISSstick’ are already for sale on their website, but ‘Osculate Orchid’ will be available as a limited edition shade on the 20th of May. As a purple shade with fuchsia undertones, it is a very daring colour, even for a lover of bold lipstick such as I! However, despite the idea of a purple lipstick being rather daunting, KISS describes it as a “fail safe” for captivating lips and has designed it to suit all skin undertones, meaning there’s no fear of looking like an alien, no matter your skintone. Although I cannot speak to the validity of this claim, I have certainly found it to suit my own skin tone perfectly (which, for the record, is a deathly pale one and thus difficult to cater to). I certainly think such an unusual shade is a must-have for anyone’s collection, and such a bright fuchsia shade is the perfect way to rock a bold lip in the Summer months.

In terms of pricing, this lipstick is fairly standard for an every-day high street lipstick, retailing at £7; not an incredible bargain but certainly nothing that shall break the bank. However, in terms of value for money, it is certainly a must have, being a well pigmented lipstick with a beautiful satin finish. The lasting power was also impressive as it did not bleed, and even stained my lips slightly, meaning it stayed put throughout the day with minimal touch-ups. The picture below really doesn't do the colour payoff justice! In person, it's slightly bright and with much more of a fuchsia hue.

Osculate Orchid KISStick Review

Head on over to the KISSCosmetics website after the 20th May to grab this limited edition lipstick and check out their 10 other gorgeous shades whilst you’re there!

Would you dare to wear such a bold shade this Summer?

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