Sunday Antics and Book Recommendations

Sunday Antics and Book Recommendations

Do you ever get that feeling, when you have SO much to do, and you have guests coming round in just a couple of hours, and you still have to start cooking, and preparing, and cleaning. But instead, you run a bath, with half a bottle of Radox bubbles, your last Lush bath bomb and take time for yourself. You pick up that book, the one you’re just getting into, and sink down into the bubbles, adrift with stories of other lives…. And then you’re three chapters in, look up from your bubbles and think “Oh shit!”. No? Just me? Well that’s awkward then… 😉

Anyway, today, I wanted to speak to you all about a couple of my most recent reads, that I have really enjoyed (or am currently enjoying!). There’s only two in this blog, as I am terrible at remembering titles! And am really struggling to find books I enjoy at the moment. But here goes…

 

Before I Fall – Lauren Oliver

“They say to live every day as though it’s your last – but you never actually think it’s going to be. You always think you’ll have more time.

That’s what I thought. But I was wrong.

The thing is, you don’t get to know when it happens.

You don’t remember to tell your family that you love them or – in my case – remember to say goodbye to them at all.

What if, like me, you could live your last day over again? Could you make it perfect? If your whole life flashed before your eyes, would you have any regrets? Are there things you’d want to change?”

This book initially appealed to me because of the concept – reliving your life, second chances at your mistakes, and the instant inability to predict the ending. It was a mystery, without so much of the darkness that so many current books possess. Plus, I love Lauren Olivers Delirium series! Whilst reading this, I could barely put it down, and although it was difficult to get into at the beginning (move past it. It’s worth it, I promise), it became something in which I both loved and hated the characters, and took away some important life lessons.

Life Lessons:

  1. Treat people with kindness, always. Even if they don’t reciprocate.
  2. Just because you’re different, doesn’t mean you’re worthless.
  3. Everyone is fighting a battle, even if they don’t show it.
  4. Be thankful.

I feel as though these are really basic life lessons, but ones I constantly forget and need reminding of. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep being kind, to stick to the path you know you should be on and to seek motivation in world that seems like it’s against you. But you have to stick to it.

 

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Before I Fall – Lauren Oliver. An absolutely amazing and inspirational read.

After You – Jojo Moyes

“Lou Clark has lots of questions.

Like how it is she’s ended up working in an airport bar, watching other people jet off to new places.

Or why the flat she’s owned for a year still doesn’t feel like home.

Whether her family can ever forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago.

And will she ever get over the love of her life.

What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change/

Then, one night, it does.

But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for – or just more questions?

Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, sale.

Open it and she risks everything. But Lou once made a promise to life. And if she’s going to keep it, she has to invite them in.”

Now, this book has a very sales-y cover I think. But, I first heard about the prequel to this, through a trailer in the cinema for ‘Me Before You’. And having watched the movie, I felt I really needed to read the books. However, I accidentally forgot I hadn’t read the first book when I picked this one up, and now I’m too hooked to put it down! If you haven’t heard anything about Me Before You, I’ll try not to give too much away. But essentially, Louisa Clark meets Will – a man bound to a wheelchair from an accident, and he changes her perspective on life, love and everything in-between. But not in a superficial cheesy way – in a way that even the reader can take lessons and note from.

I think you’re starting to see a pattern in the kinds of books I like now? If you like this style of book too, I would LOVE to know some recommendations you might have? And what you thought of these two? I really want to sit here and rave about them some more, but it would be cruel to deprive you of some amazing page-turning surprises if you ever pick them up yourself! So, if you would like to know more, leave a comment asking anything and I’ll try my best to answer.

– Megan Grace, xo

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The Importance of Leave-In Conditioner

The Importance of Leave-In Conditioner

Good morning! Today, I am off to Ashford to do some holiday shopping and so, so excited for this as it houses the only Abercrombie and Fitch outlet in my country! And before I left, I wanted to share with you, as promised, my weekly tips blog! But first, a little Monday motivation may be required… 😉

Lauren-Oliver---Delirium---Small

Now, when Hannah (previously mentioned work-wife) gave me the idea to create this series, it’s because we were talking about colouring hair and leave-in conditioner. And her exact words, I kid you not, were “What’s leave-in conditioner?”. 😱 And I was in shock. As a person who’s used leave-in conditioners religiously for around 10 years, I just didn’t realise people didn’t actually know about it!

What is Leave-In Conditioner?

Leave-in conditioner is a product that you can spray into damp hair, in order to reduce frizz, enhance sun-protection, prevent fading, maintain softness/colour/shine and loads more. The list of benefits are honestly endless. I still remember the first one I ever used when I had over-dyed my hair and the ends felt like straw. Every day after I washed my hair, I had to apply liberal amounts of the Herbal Essences Damaged Ends Conditoner, otherwise my hair would look just as bad as it felt. However, as I grew older, I started to look for a product which would not only make my hair look a bit better, but provide lasting, nourishing effects. Enter…

Revlon Professional Equave Leave-In Conditioner

I started using this a few years ago, upon a recommendation from my hairdresser and found that if I used it continuously (and liberally), my hair could withstand heat and colour-chemicals better than before. Used in combination with more hair-care techniques and products and I could colour and style my hair with almost no fallout, tecture change and more (of course, this is within limit! And only in comparison to my previous hair colouring and styling experiences).

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My Spring-Summer haircare routine, including my year-round Leave-In Conditioner

Now, I’ve upgraded this a little bit with my experience working within a Hair and Beauty retail company, and found my ideal product – the Revlon Professional Sun-Protection version! This is due to the good quality care, with a smaller price tag than most professional hair products. If price was not an issue, my favourite is the Beauty Protector Protect and De-Tangle. However, I find that this product is used up very quickly, and not a good solution for those with a budget!

I honesty, cannot recommend applying leave-in conditioners enough. This is a product I use every time I wash my hair, without fail. Our hair goes through so much, why wouldn’t we want to help protect it a little – and the shine and silkiness is definitely worth it!

What leave-in conditioners do you swear by? If you haven’t heard of these products before, or have a better one to recommend, I’d love to know! Leave a comment below or send me an e-mail.

Have an amazing week everyone, and I look forward to sharing another tip next Monday!

– Megan Grace, xo

Introducing my Weekly Tips Blogs!

Introducing my Weekly Tips Blogs!

Hey! I hope you’re all having an amazing Summer and am SO happy to share that mine has officially began! 😄☀️

Now, whilst I am missing my work wife a fair bit, I’m am so happy to have more time to myself, to focus upon both me and spending more time with Jamie and our little kitten family. Plus, as you may have noticed, I’m currently in the process of re-vamping my entire website. (Celebratory note: pixiifox.wordpress.com has now turned into http://www.pixiifox.com!! 🌟). But, before I did leave work, Hannah (previously mentioned work-wife) gave me a great idea for a new blog series to come back with.

New-Tips
@pixiifoxblog on Instagram: Summer essentials ☀️ I bought this amazing @benefitcosmetics moisturizing spray a couple of summers ago from @Sephora when I was visiting Athens and got REALLY sunburnt, and now it’s my go-to whenever the slightest burn or redness hits 😁 its perfect for summer as its soothing and quick-healing! Plus, you just can’t beat a powder to set your face and a dash of colour for your lips 💖💄 what’s your summer go-to? Xo

So, during my internship, I’ve been talking to Hannah and talking about a lot of things, which I’ve always assumed everyone knew as second knowledge. I’m talking hair products, what they’re for and what they actually do, hair care, make-up brushes, creating a smoky-eye, where you can save and where you should splash, brands and lots more topics. And it really surprised me that she didn’t know a lot about these things, but I did and it was really fun trying to share some of that knowledge! And teaching her how to do a smoky-eye was an amazing feeling!

The point of this? I thought it would be amazing to share some of these tips with you all! So, once a week, on a Monday morning, I’ll be posting up a new tips blog. This will range from anything to everything beauty related and i’d love to hear some suggestions of what you all would like to see. Alongside this, I’ll still be posting some of the blogs I’ve been busy preparing and mentioned before – but at least this way, there’ll be one blog that’s guaranteed every week!

Let me know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below, or send me an e-mail!

– Megan Grace, xo

Four weeks to go!

Four weeks to go!

So, I am currently lying in bed, with a headache and still completely exhausted. BUT, it’s just been so long since I’ve been able to write anything and I’ve really missed you all so much, so I thought I’d do a quick blog to let you all know what’s been happening! 🌟

This week,

I handed in both of my last assignments for my third year of university. This is my placement year, in which I bit off far more than I could chew and really struggled to complete everything! On top of my degree work alongside my placement, I undertook a Level Four Diploma, Microsoft Office Exams, two online courses and my personal hobbies – blogging, instagram and make-up! I do not regret a single part of this year, my placement taught me a lot about the business world, and mainly – what I didn’t want my life to turn into!

In June, I was working full-time at my summer internship. Plus, I had my placement portfolio due and my level-4 diploma coursework due. This combined to over 100 hours work, outside of my normal job, in a month

! 😴 On top of this, I re-sprained my ankle quite badly, and have been in and out of the doctors because I keep getting dizzy spells. All in all – it’s quite a hectic summer.

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My favourite selfie, favourite lipstick and on the best weekend ever 💖

But it’s only four weeks,

Until I’m completely free to focus on the things that really make me happy, on experimenting with my make-up looks, my beauty boxes, learning the piano and speaking to you all about my experiences 💖 As lovely as my internship is, and as much as I do love the company, I genuinely cannot wait to get back to this.

Plus, as much as I’ve not been able to post, please know I’ve actually been saving up SO many blog ideas for you all once I’m back! These include:

  • Potentially the absolute best weekend of my life
  • Tips for maintaining productivity when all you want is to give up and sleep
  • My first ever MAC purchase and review
  • My last ever Birchbox
  • My last ever Roccabox
  • What I’ve learnt about all new beauty boxes – and which look the best!
  • The start of a new diet
  • The best cold-recipes for Summer weather
  • The stationary edit
  • Rose-Gold Make-up

Plus, my absolute favourite, and one I am so, so excited to write – my Mystery Blogger Nomination from Smarts and Sparkles. I actually received this notification when I was up late working on my portfolio, and it actually made me cry – it was that amazing to see! I’ve just looked at it all properly, and I am so, so excited to get to work on this for you all 💖.

So, please, keep bearing with me – I’ll be back as soon as I can and in four weeks max! Although, without the university work I do hope it’ll be before 😉 I hope you’re all having an amazing summer, and I’ll keep trying to catch up with all the amazing and inspirational blogs you’re posting!

– Megan Grace, xo

Maintaining long, coloured hair

Maintaining long, coloured hair

So, this bank holiday weekend, I decided to take the plunge and get my hair cut short. But, for years, I have lived with long, coloured hair and experimented with many damage-prevention techniques. So, I thought it would be fun to share the haircare routine I have used for years in the lead up to this moment!

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Little me when I chopped off my hair after moving to Oxford with my family ☺️

Back to the beginning…

When I was five, I moved from Dorset to Oxford and had hair all the way down to my bum! But, my mum felt it was good to have a new look for a new start, and we agreed to chop off my locks for something a little shorter, and very new. However, as everyone knows, once you chop off long hair, you want it back! And I can honestly say, even at just five years old, I was the exact same. But no matter what I did, it never seemed to grow past my shoulders – probably due to the amount I bleached it in my teens.

This all changed when I was about 17. I started to learn as much as I could about hair care and experimented with everything! I even once attempted cracking eggs on my hair – as the protein was supposed to help it to grow (this didn’t work well, and just left my hair looking very shiny, NOT long). However, I did find a few things that really helped me to grow my hair, whilst I was still colouring it.

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Big me! With long red hair ☺️

Before I start, I just want to mention that I am in no way a qualified hairdresser or hair expert, and all my advice comes from my own experiences!

Washing

You read it everywhere, washing your hair is the enemy of health. But, we’ve all been in that cycle where you wash your hair daily, and the second you stop it’s full of grease. I’m prone to extremely greasy hair, and I don’t actually like dry shampoo. If you’re the same, I’d recommend to stay away from high street shampoos and conditioners, and look to some professional haircare brands. I usually pay around £20 per bottle now, but each bottle lasts around 3-4 months compared to 1-2 weeks as I get the 1L supersize bottles, and only use a fraction of what I used to to achieve better results!

Tip – Use a hair mask once a week. The £1 Argan Oil Mask from Savers is AMAZING, and what I use the most.

I personally use Redken, but there are lots of professional brands – I know L’Oreal’s Professional range has amazing reviews, and Pureology is great for those with a little more budget to spend.Also, if you’re at home for a day, put your mid-wash hair into a topknot or a braid – it really helps to make it through until your next wash. Oh, and for coloured hair, you’ll want to use a colour-care shampoo, and either a colour care or moisturising conditioner – depending on your hair type.

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My holiday hair routine – Early May

Styling

I try not to use heat when I dry my hair – instead opting for products that will work with my natural-dried hair. Use a wet-hair brush so you don’t damage your strands, like the Tangle Teezer. And I usually then spray my hair with a lot of leave-in conditioner before rubbing oil on my ends and spreading a little up my strands.

If you are using heat to style, make sure you use a good heat-protect spray, and try not to leave on the heat for too long. As my hairdresser actually told me the other day, heat damage occurs from over-drying the hair, so the less time applied – the better. If you’re looking for a style with a little more texture, but want to retain your hairs’ health, I usually use the TiGi Catwalk Sea Salt Spray and love the beachy-effect it gives my hair.

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The TiGi Sea Salt Spray is my go-to product for damage-free texture!

And there we have it, professional products, leave-in conditioner and a little oil and your coloured hair can stay long – no need to cut! At least, until (or if!) you decide to grow your natural roots like me and want to get rid of the lighter ends. 💖

Oh, and, here’s a shot of my new shorter hair. I’m really looking forward to getting back to my natural colour, after being red for so many years 😄

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I’m starting to get a bit of a ‘thaaang’ for furry headbands!

How do you care for your hair? If you have any heat-free style tips I’d love to hear them!

– Megan Grace, xo

A big thank you!

A big thank you!

My followers have kind of exploded recently, both on here and Instagram. And I am so, so grateful and excited for each and every one of you. And thank you for following me! My numbers may not be anywhere near so many bloggers, but to think that over 60 people have subscribed here, and around 1’000 on my Instagram is amazing and a really big deal for me. I know there’s not as much new content as I would like at the moment, but I just wanted to take the time to let you know why, and that there is more on the way!

Last month, I ended my placement for my course, and was SO excited to be able to have more time to blog and connect with all you amazing people. However, an amazing internship came up, at this great little start up company, which has been taking up all of my time. But, please know, even though it may take me a little longer to reply to all your comments, both on here and Instagram. And I may not be posting as much, I am reading, loving and feeling so inspired by you all ☺️ I finish my internship around mid-July, and can promise more regular posts then, so please bear with me until and I hope you enjoy the few posts I can do at the moment! I do have a long-haircare routine blog I am currently working on at the moment, and hoping to get up for you all tomorrow 💖💖

May Birchbox – The Reveal!

May Birchbox – The Reveal!

Yay! My May Birchbox finally arrived yesterday! I would have posted this last night, but it was date night at Cineworld to see A Dog’s Purpose. (Side note: if you get the chance to see this movie, GO. SEE. IT. But be warned, it’s about 3 times as sad as Marley and Me. Didn’t cry at all… *well, only twice*).

But back to the point! I’ve actually had a few issues with delivery from Birchbox over the past week, which was really stressful. Never go on holiday if you have deliveries, because most delivery companies won’t let you change the delivery dates! And it’s really not worth the stress. But, luckily, I am now home and have sorted out all my deliveries and I’m 90% sure nothing’s missing! The other 10% is partly because I haven’t actually checked yet…

So, what is the May Birchbox?

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The May Birchbox actually has my favourite design of any of my boxes so far. I LOVE rose gold and marble (*basicccc!), and have actually been trying to convince Jamie that these are decor goals when it comes to planning our next home. But he has always told me he hated the combination, and was not having rose gold (I’d already worn him down on the marble 😂) until this Birchbox came through. He told me he really liked the design too, and now I’m already semi-planning our next kitchen… Thinking very light pink-white walls with marble rose-gold worktops, and now I’m really getting ahead of myself!

So, this month’s Birchbox design, as you can see above, is absolutely stunning!

But, what was inside of it?

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Imagine Bracelet

I was a little cheeky this month and paid a little extra to get a really pretty bracelet, and I’m so happy I did! I’m not usually a fan of gold unless it’s coloured white or rose, but this bracelet with it’s pink ribbon is just too cute. I’ll let you know if I keep wearing it in a week or two, but for now, I’m one very happy girl! This  usually sells for £15 which I do think is a little expensive for what it is, but I only paid £3 extra ontop of my box.

Doucce Punk Volumizer Mascara

It’s actually quite ironic, this time last month I was stressing about running out of mascara. But, after ordering a top-up of my normal Benefit They’re Real Mascara, I got this sample through in my Birchbox! Could’ve waited a month with that! Anyway, Birchbox describes this mascara to be the perfect replacement for false lashes (paraphrased). And it might just be the proportion of the smaller bottle to brush skewing my judgement, but the brush for this is HUGE. Now, I naturally have semi-long eyelashes, so I actually don’t wear falsies, and I’m a little hard to please in this department but I will feed back and let you know! Right now, I think I’m more worried about getting mascara on my eyebrows with my lack of hand-eye co-ordination and the tiny brush…

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Kueshi Hair Mask Shine & Volume

As you may have read in my April favourites blog, I’m now on a very hard mission to stop dying my hair and let my natural colour grow (more so I can dye it with a lovely ombre colour later…), so I am actively seeking everything to make my hair and scalp as healthy as possible to shorten the horrific process. Therefore, getting the Kueshi hair mask in my Birchbox is AMAZING. Birchbox says this hair mask strengthens (great), hydrates (great for those dry ends), protects and adds shine (yep, pretty standard) and moisturises (isn’t this the same as hydrates? 😮).

The sample comes in a nice size – 50ml, and will likely do 1-2 applications on my hair (boob-length hair takes a lot more product than shorter do’s!). And it has a kind of buttery-coconut smell to it, which I actually really like. I’ve only just done a hair mask in the past couple of days though, and usually aim to do one about once a week, so this will have to wait until this weekend but I will feed back!

Clean-on 2 Step Nose Pack

I don’t actually have a very good description for this one as Birchbox gave me the wrong pamphlet with two wrong products on it… but I’m not too convinced by nose packs anyway. I have quite large pores, with what I can only call blackheads on my nose and have never been able to get rid of, no matter how many nose strips I’ve tried. To be honest, I usually just end up with a very red nose! But, I’ll give it a go. This pack contains one Black Peel-off Nose Pack, to actually get rid of the annoying blackheads, and once Pore Soothing Hydrogel, to sooth your sore skin after step 1! To be honest, I’m quite happy with the hydrogel as hopefully it won’t leave my nose looking too Rudolph-y.

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Marsk Mineral Eyeshadow in Vanilla Frosting

In April, Birchbox subscribers got to choose which shade of eyeshadow they’d prefer from two full-size Marsk Mineral Eyeshadows. Of course, you may have noticed I’m not the biggest lover of black eyeshadow – usually opting for paler shades. This is because I find black eyeshadow not only REALLY hard to apply correctly, but because it usually washes me out quite badly and I end up looking like someone off the cast of Oliver (or worse!).

I’ve seen quite a lot of people complaining about the size of this eyeshadow, and saying it won’t last very long but I’m not quite sure why. As it’s the size of a normal pot of eyeshadow! It’s loose powder, which means you have to be quite careful handling and applying it. But I’ve always found that loose powders give me a much better coverage. So I’m actually quite excited to use this one! I’ll have to get a new look up within the next few weeks. SPOILER ALERT: I actually have a top looks blog coming soon!

Whish Firming Body Cream Rice Milk

I’m not very excited about this one. Mainly because, like I’m sure many people do, I don’t actually pay as much attention to my body as I do my face! Although, I am aware I do need to change this habit. But I do find that with body samples, you need more or they become extremely expensive to test your whole body!

Also, the Whish Firming Body Milk is the other product that isn’t actually on my Birchbox Pamphlet as I received the wrong one, so I’ll have to go off the bottle for this! The bottle says it smooths blemishes, provides a firmer feeling and moisturises. I’m extremely careful with my products already and avoid problem foods, so I don’t really experience many blemishes on my body. However, I am hoping this will apply to those red bumbs you get after shaving your legs – as this would be a massive help! But I’ll test it out and let you know 😄.

And there we have it,

The stunning May Birchbox. Overall I’m extremely satisfied with the box design, and semi-happy with this month’s samples. I do feel they could have tailored the box better, but I’m sure they’ll pull it back next month. And until then, I have a new hair mask and eyeshadow to play with.

What beauty boxes do you subscribe to?

– Megan Grace, xo

Considering signing up?

Just incase you’re looking to get your own rose-gold Birchbox, if you click here to sign up, you’ll get £5 off your first box. I’ll also get a £5 voucher for the Birchbox store which will help me to keep making blogs and reviews about their products. PLUS, don’t forget to use the code: REAL at the checkout to get a Benefit They’re Real Sample Trip completely free with your box. Let me know if you sign up, as I’d love to see what you get too 💖 xo

Get the Products!

Find links below to all the products mentioned in this blog. Please note, with the exception of the Birchbox subscription, I do not receive anything if you do click on these links, or purchase anything. I just thought it would be nice to have all the products in one place!

May Birchbox – http://bit.ly/2r56lx0
Imagine Bracelet – http://bit.ly/2q6dC12
Doucce Punk Volumizer Mascara – http://bit.ly/2quVX4t
Kueshi Hair Mask Shine & Volume – http://bit.ly/2pAA92x
Marsk Mineral Eueshadow in Vanilla Frosting – http://bit.ly/2q5iVOs
Whish Firming Body Cream – http://bit.ly/2pCcorK
Clean-on 2 Step Nose Pack – http://bit.ly/2qWDjCA