Swim, bike, run, write.

St. Tropez Gradual Tan: A Pale Girl's Summer Saviour

St. Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan - £14.50

I'm super pale. In the winter months, when 90% of my body is hidden away underneath several layers of knitwear, that's okay - I can almost pretend I'm rocking a 'pale and interesting' vibe. But in the summer months when it's time to get my little legs out, it's less 'pale and interesting' and more 'plucked chicken.' Now don't get me wrong, some people can make pale look super hot (I'm looking at you Lily Cole) but I just end up looking like I've been living in a dark cave my entire life.

I haven't had the best experiences with tanning products. The first (and last) time I tried a proper fake tan I was 13 and for some reason I thought it'd be okay to only put it on my legs, and to apply it right before I went to bed. I woke up the next morning with legs that resembled wotsits and bright orange patches all over the rest of my body - not quite the look I was going for. I've tried various gradual tan lotions over the years and 9 times out of 10 I've ended up with streaky orange knees and not a lot else. Last year I even made the fatal error of buying a lotion that had shimmer in it, so I was both pale and glittery. I looked like a wannabe member of the Cullen family. Not okay. I'd pretty much given up on any form of tanning product until my mum bought the St. Tropez everyday gradual tan. I've borrowed it a few times over the last week (sorry mum) and, at the risk of sounding overdramatic, it has revolutionised my life.

The formula is fairly light and easy to work with. At first it doesn't have that horrible fake tan smell at all - I have noticed a faint hint of that biscuity smell a few hours after application but compared to other products it's barely noticeable. It's marketed as an everyday lotion but given my past fake tan fails, I've been using this every other day just to be on the safe side. This is the only product I've ever tried that hasn't turned me into a tangerine and there's no orange knee syndrome in sight. So far, the result has just been a very light, natural bronze (I'm basically a healthier colour) that I reckon I'll be able to build up nicely if I keep using the lotion a few times a week. I wouldn't normally be prepared to spend £14.50 on a tanning product, but after road testing my mum's (one of the many perks of coming home for the holidays) I'm definitely going to have to invest in some of this. No more tan-envy for me!

Wanderlist: I Wish I Was Wearing... High End vs High Street #2

White Midi High End

White Midi Skirt High Street

I think a white midi skirt is the perfect way to bring monochrome into your Spring wardrobe. I've kept these looks relatively simple, letting the eyelet detail on the Tibi skirt and the jacquard texture of the Topshop skirt speak for themselves. A statement bag adds a splash of colour - how amazing is that Charlotte Olympia clutch? If anyone wants to buy it for me, I won't complain! Midi is a key length this season and it's pretty versatile - these looks could easily be dressed down with some flat pumps and a printed sweatshirt (this Marc Jacobs one is so adorable) for an off-duty, sports luxe kind of look.

Liebster Award Nomination

I've been lucky enough to be nominated for a Liebster Award by Chloe from Simple Beauty Chatter (thanks lovely lady!)

The Liebster Award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers. If you accept your award, you have to answer 11 questions written by the person that nominated you. Next up, choose 11 blogs that you think deserve the award, write 11 questions for them to answer and leave them a little comment to let them know you've nominated them. It's a really nice way to come across new blogs and give people a little bit of recognition.

Here's the questions that Chloe wrote for me:

1. Why did you start your blog?
I've been reading blogs for about 4 or 5 years now, so I decided it was about time I started writing my own blog again (I first started this blog back in 2010 but I abandoned ship when I moved away to University). I'm just finishing up an English Literature degree so I love writing and creating content. I think the blogging community is great, so it's really exciting to be a part of it.
2. If you could only use ONE brand of make-up for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Eek this is a tough one! Probably MAC - they're such a versatile brand and their foundations come in light enough shades for my super pale skin.
3. Who is your role model in life and why?
I don't really have a specific role model! My parents have always been hard-working and supportive of my brother and I, so I guess I look up to them quite a lot.
4. What is your dream job?
Aside from my childhood dream of being a fairy princess, I'd love to work in social media, PR or blogger outreach for a fashion company.
5. If you could move anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
I'd love to move to Canada for a little while, I've been lucky enough to visit Quebec, Montreal, Toronto and Whistler whilst on my travels and it's such a beautiful country. Plus, Tim Horton's is great.
6. What is the most recent beauty product you have bought, and do you like it?
I think it was the Lily Lolo Flawless Matte Translucent Finishing Powder. It's a lovely product - it keeps my makeup in place without looking chalky and it's translucent so I don't have to worry about finding a shade pale enough for my skin tone.
7. What is your favourite clothes shop, which you always go to?
I don't really have a favourite as it depends what I'm looking to buy and I'm a bit of an online shopping addict, but if I'm out on the high street I'll normally start with Topshop or Zara.
8. If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be?

Right now? Hungry, roll on dinner time...
9. What is your guilty pleasure....be honest!
I'm currently working my way through my Sabrina the Teenage Witch boxset and I'm not at all sorry about it. A talking cat and some amazing 90s fashion inspo - what more could you need!?
10. What do you want to achieve by the end of the year?
Graduate from uni, get a job, rent a cute little flat somewhere and I really want to start learning French!
11. Have you got a hidden talent? 
I've been doing ballet (and various other dance disciplines) for about 19 years and I'm pretty musical - I play the piano, the guitar and the bass and I've gigged with a few different bands over the years.

11 Bloggers I nominate:

Patsy from Patsy Picks
Alannah from Whisky and Boy 
Beauty Classified
Anastasiya from The BFL Blog
Amy from In The Lavender Haze 
Savannah Rose
Besotted with Beauty 
Abby from Secret Alphabet
Lizzie from Yung Threads 
Sierra from Yung Apparel 
Emily from Folkes Thinks 

Your 11 Questions:

1. What's your favourite thing about blogging?

2. If you could invite absolutely anyone to a dinner party who would you invite and why?

3. If you could time travel, which era would you go to?

4. You only have 2 minutes to get ready - do you focus on hair, makeup or putting an outfit together?

5. What is your biggest pet peeve?

6. If you had to eat the same meal for the rest of your life, what meal would you choose?

7. If you could relive one day from the past, which day would you pick?

8. What made you decide to start blogging?

9. If you were a cocktail, what cocktail would you be?

10. What is your favourite item of clothing and why?

11. What's the best fashion/beauty tip you've ever heard?

Thanks again to Chloe for my nomination!

Photo Diary: Tea and Cake at Wimpole Hall

I'm back in Hertfordshire for the Easter holidays at the moment so I've been spending some time with my family and making the most of having the countryside on my doorstep. My Dad and I took my Mum for tea and cake at Wimpole Hall (which is about half an hour up the road in Cambridgeshire) on Monday for a belated Mother's Day treat. We took the pup for a walk around the grounds - it's just been lambing season so there was lots of fluffy bundles of cuteness leaping around! Having worked up our cake-appetites on the walk we headed to the restaurant (which has a lovely outdoor patio area) for homemade cakes and a pot of tea. Wimpole Hall is a great place to visit for walking the dog, although the fields all have livestock so it's best to keep your furry companions on the lead to avoid any sheep-related mishaps! There's also a home farm and tours of the Hall itself so it's well worth a visit.

Moroccanoil vs John Frieda Full Repair Oil Elixir

Hello! Hope everyone's having a nice weekend - my boyfriend bought me a copy of Frozen this morning so I'm happy as a clam. He's definitely going to regret buying it for me when I make him watch it 100 times.

I've been using hair oils for a couple of years now after my hairdresser recommended the Moroccanoil treatment to me. As I've mentioned before, my hair is really prone to getting split ends so I'm always on the lookout for products to give my hair a little extra nourishment and fend off the splitsies.

Moroccanoil is a bit of a wonder product - it detangles, nourishes and smoothes the hair and it can be used as a leave-in conditioning treatment or as a finishing product to tame any pesky flyaways. It's an alcohol free formula made up of argan oil and linseed extract. The original version has quite a thick, olive oil-like consistency which I was a little wary of the first time I used it. Personally, this doesn't weigh my hair down at all but if your hair tends to get greasy quickly you can get this in a lighter formula. This has become a staple in my hair care routine, I don't know how I ever did without it! I use it whilst my hair is damp before I blow dry it and it really helps to keep the ends of my hair nourished and in good condition. I can definitely tell the difference if I stop using it. I think the only drawback of moroccanoil is the price - I buy mine from the salon and it costs around £12 for a teeny 25ml bottle - which is why I'm always keen to try the alternative drugstore hair oil offerings such as the John Frieda Full Repair Oil Elixir.

At £9.99 for a 100ml bottle, the John Frieda Full Repair Oil Elixir is far more forgiving on the old bank balance. It's marketed as a product that can repair the look/feel of damage, strengthen the hair and add smoothness and shine. Judging from the ingredients, it's mostly made up of seed oils and it's consistency is lighter and more runny than that of the Moroccanoil. As a strengthening/repairing product, I'm not entirely sold: compared to Moroccanoil the ends of my hair weren't quite as smooth when I used this before blow-drying and I didn't feel like it was giving my hair the same level of nourishment. However, I love this as a finishing product. It's much lighter than Moroccanoil so it's really great for adding a bit of extra shine (especially if you're a colour-treated blonde like I am) and taming any bits of frizz. I think if you've tried Moroccanoil and found it too heavy, or if your hair isn't quite as prone to splitting as mine is, John Frieda Full Repair could be a really nice alternative to Moroccanoil.

The Alchemist - Trinity, Leeds

Last Friday my housemate Caroline and I popped down to The Alchemist at Trinity Leeds for a boozy lunch to celebrate the end of term. We were there relatively early (around 12 noon) and it was already super busy, so I'd definitely recommend booking a table. We've been in the evening for drinks before and it was absolutely packed so even if you're just planning to go for drinks, it'd be worth booking a table and having a few bar snacks so you can get table service and avoid spending your night queuing up at the bar! The Alchemist has a really nice atmosphere and the food and cocktails are great - it's well worth a visit if you're ever out and about in Leeds.

We started off with a couple of cocktails, I had a Peach Bellini and Caroline had a Rose Bud which is dried rosebuds mixed up with gin, rose liqueur and lemon juice. That might sound like a bit of a weird combo but it tasted so nice - I had a major case of cocktail envy! They also have a nice range of Mocktails if you're not in the mood for alcohol.

We skipped the starters and went straight for the main courses (saving room for dessert, let's be honest here). Caroline had the goats cheese and roast fig salad which comes with almonds and an orange blossom honey dressing and I had the special fried chicken, mainly because I wanted the cute chicken shaped basket. I'm such a five year old.

I think ordering dessert was one of the best decisions we made that day. I had the belgian waffles - a whole lot of waffley-cinnamony goodness going on right there - and Caroline had the chocolate fudge cake. We both had to spend the afternoon in the library (final year is fun...) so we headed back to Uni with full tummies and ever so slightly fuzzy heads from the cocktails. Totally worth it.

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