I wanted to write down a list of things I've been loving recently after watching several February Favourites videos on YouTube, so I guess these are my favourites for 2015 so far!
My life is full of music as I'm sure you're all aware, we're already into the 3rd month of 2015 and I have listened to a vast range of various genres, artists and musicians. Here are just a few musical gems I've been loving since January.
Queen & Adam Lambert
You guys know Queen are not just my musical inspiration, they have inspired me to be different and to achieve my dreams, no matter how big or small they may be. I definitely achieved one on the 14th of January, I saw Queen live and it was the most magical night of my life.
Agnes - Dance Love Pop
This album is 7 years old now (2008 was 7 years ago, WTF?!). If you like dance style, almost Eurovision kind of music with nice vocals, you'll enjoy this. The songs are infectiously catchy, that kind of album you will play to get ready for a night out, special event etc.
Jessie J - Who You Are
This woman has always been a guilty pleasure of mine, she can definitely sing that's for sure. I finally got the full album of Who You Are after only having a couple of tracks and I really like it, Abracadabra has been stuck in my head for days. I also bought Alive but I personally prefer this album, it has a mix of emotional songs with intimate meanings and catchy, uplifting songs.
Olly Murs - Never Been Better
It took me a while to get used to this album, I've always enjoyed Olly Murs' cheeky personality and flair he puts into his songs. At first, I was unsure as it seemed his music was starting to sound super edited just so it can make it on the Official Music charts, even his several TV appearances were starting to irritate me. But I do really like most of the tracks on this album, Up is a personal favourite, cute duet with Demi Lovato.
You got to support your fellow gingers in life, and recently this guy has really grown on me, I originally thought he was one of those artists that became too popular but the dude really does have talent. PROOF THAT US GINGERS DO HAVE SOUL! Wow, that was years ago as well, where is time going?! Anyways, back to Sheeran. His live performance at the BRITS was amazing, and this cover of Christina Aguilera's Dirrty (COUGH, I really like the original a lot, COUGH) was fresh and different to the ears.
The Overtones - Sweet Soul Music
My boys never disappoint me. EVER. It's impossible to listen to their music and not dance around the room like an absolute idiot. Yet it also has beautiful songs that make you shed a wee tear. What was even better was I received a signed copy of the album a couple of days before the official release. If you're an Overtones or swing/doo-wop fan, you will not be disappointed.
Pitbull ft. John Ryan - Fireball
After hearing this track on Shaun the Sheep The Movie's trailer (don't judge me) I 'Shazamed' it and soon found out it was this song. The horn riff is catchy as fuck! I only just started listening to this song on Thursday, now I can't stop help but listen to it several times each day.
You may remember from my last blog post, I made a goal for 2015 to gather all the films I needed to see as one big list and watch them all, whether they were new ones I was interested in, iconic films I should've watched years ago e.g. Lord of the Rings (done!) or films that people have generally recommended to me and if I didn't watch them, friendships would end.
Into The Woods
I have Struan, my close friend, to thank for this, as he's quite the Stephen Sondheim fan. This should've been a musical wonder as well as the soundtrack has been sung several times (badly may I add, sorry!) by the two of us but the film itself is really great, Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt steal the show, absolute babes. And I love the whole realistic approach to each of the fairytale characters, showing that life does carry on after the 'Happily Ever After.'
I recommended this film to my saxophone tutor, the legend that is Mr Ingham, because if you're a musician/music student, you generally think you give up your life to practise sessions, band rehearsals and that your teachers give you a really hard time. All I can say is, you haven't seen or experienced pain until you have watched this film. J Jonah Jameson is the dick of all music tutors.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
I love any film, any THING with Colin Firth in it, the ultimate dreamy gentleman. Who in this film is an absolute bad ass! This film is the ultimate spy film with a big twist in it's tail. And for once, the kid they bring in doesn't annoy you, he's actually a decent character. Lots of epic fight scenes, cool spy equipment, what's not to love?
Big Hero 6
As you guys may know, I absolutely adore Disney, even though the new films nowadays are a bit hit or miss. Big Hero 6 is a different kind of film to the ones you'd expect from Disney, very sciency which is not my strong point but it's funny, it has heart, it made me cry near the end and it has Baymax. Every year, I seem to find a new character to put on my list, he's up there with Sulley, Donkey, Olaf, Mushu, you name it. Yes I know, they're all animated characters. I'm 5 years old, let's move on.
Believe it or not, before last weekend, I had never seen Star Wars. And I call myself a sci-fi fan. I've played wind band arrangements of the music several times if that helps? No? Ok, moving on! I also have Struan to thank for this as we watched all 6 of the films on the Saturday and Sunday of that weekend. And I enjoyed all of them, of course IV, V and VI are better but I, II and III do have Ewan McGregor in them (YUM!). It was also fun to watch them because I grasped the story and key characters really quickly so hopefully I didn't annoy Struan too much! These are his favourite films of all time so if I said anything against them, it would've been game over. Mind you, if he didn't like Monsters Inc, I would have hunted him down and kicked his ass (always time to use a Friends quote)! This means I might be able to watch the 7th film when it comes out and understand it! GO ME!
Broadchurch Series 2
The number of times I have punched my bed in frustration with this programme. I was so excited for Broadchurch to come back after the success of the 1st series. People have different opinions on the 2nd series as a whole, saying it's quite different and not as good. I personally thought it was great, really gripping, at some points really horrible to watch, which is what Chris Chibnall is good at. I got Struan into the series as well and he loves it, infact more than I do at certain points. And it had the most amazing cast ever, David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Eve Myles. AND THERE'S GOING TO BE A SERIES 3! YAAASSS!!
A new series of Top Gear is now on BBC2, this is series 562 or something ridiculous like that and it's still the funniest programme ever! Just when you think they've done it all, they go and surprise you more than once! If you're going to only watch just one episode from the series, go and see the Ambulance one, I actually wet myself with laughter. Keep being you boys! And yes, I want a P45.
Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway
Another programme where you may need to wear a pair of nappies whilst watching it, last weeks episode in particular was brilliant, highlights you DEFINITELY need to watch is Ant dressing up as Anne Hegerty from the Chase before she actually appears herself and Richard Madeley dipping a stranger's shoe into a swimming pool. These cheeky Geordie chappies do know how to put a smile on people's faces, especially after a long shift at work. Once you get over the many ITV 'celebrities' that have to appear on the show, it's still an entertaining watch. The most painful thing is, the trip they're offering out as a price for around the end of March, is my dream holiday! New York, Disney at Broadway, Hard Rock Cafe?! NO FAIR. As mum said to me, 'Don't give up on your dreams, pet.' I will be in New York one day, some day. I just have to use all of my earnings on rent for a standard Aberdeen flat first. Sigh.
I'm not the biggest fan of makeup in general, I don't wear mascara or eyeliner as I hate things near my eyes, I don't see the point in lipstick especially as I'm a woodwind player and it doesn't matter what I wear, I still break out or my nose looks super oily. But here are a couple of products I've discovered recently which have been amazing.
Rimmel London Stay Mate BB Cream in Very Light/Light
The two BB Creams I have, one from Simple, the other from Garnier Ambre Solaire are quite orangy, shimmery and more of a BB cream I would wear over the summer. So when I was doing my typical shop in Morrisons, they have a Rimmel stand and I saw this. After seeing the word 'Matte', I thought, 'Let's give this a try.' because of my oily skin particularly round my nose area, it's hard to give it the matte look I would like. The Light shade was the first shade I bought, and it still looked a little too dark for me but I was able to blend it in really well. I was surprised to see how liquidy it was but it goes matte soon after you apply it to your face. I then found the Very Light shade in Boots and funnily enough, it's quite pale on me. So I have two versions of the same cream now, one for everyday use (Very Light) and one for work/special occasions to give me a bit more colour (Light). Packaging isn't the best, product does build up around the lid and goes everywhere so you have to clean that up every so often but a very good BB cream for an affordable price.
Benefit GimmeBrow in Light/Medium
I caved and purchased the product again after running out in December. I really like Benefit's overall packaging and I've had a couple of products from them which are great. But they're SUPER expensive. £17.50 for an eyebrow product?! Really burnt a hole in my pocket. At least I know it's going to be worth it as after using this product before, it gave me a new lease of confidence, as in 'Holy shit I actually have eyebrows now!'. I tried the Rimmel dupe for this and the wand was way too big (no euphemism intended) so I knew I had to get my baby back. This wand is just the right size, I love how it's a colour you can apply and build on if you want to, it looks cute in the bag and yeah, I just love this little treasure despite the hefty price tag. I'm going to try and keep this product for as long as I can, I do have a Rimmel Eyebrow pencil to use everyday so this is going to be only used for work shifts and special occassions.
Seventeen Miracle Matte Pressed Powder in Ivory Porcelain
This has taken over the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder, a product which was a staple of mine for months. It's the same price, around £3.99, it looks more chic, the packaging in general is a lot more sturdy, you do get one of those sponge things that I usually throw away and a mirror inside which is handy. It says up to 16 hours shine control, yeah that will NEVER happen with me but it does make my makeup stay longer than Rimmel's powder did. Only thing is, you can only get this in Boots whereas you can get Rimmel pretty much anywhere. That's why I have bought several of these, one for work, one for my make up bag, one as back up etc.
Seventeen Stay Time Up to 18 Hour Concealer in Fair
Now, I don't know what's happening but everytime I go to find the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, my holy grail product, in store, it's ALWAYS out of stock in my shade, no 1 in Fair. So at the same time I got the Seventeen Powder, I picked up this concealer just to try it out. It has more of a liquid consistency compared to Collection which is more thick. Even though it's in Fair, it's a slightly darker shade as well. It's nice to wear, easy to blend, once again, same price as Collection, £4.19. And the packaging doesn't wear off! It bugs me with Collection that you get this black residue from the label on your fingers after using it. I would say both concealers are different, Collection is better at concealing spots and blemishes whereas Seventeen is a good under eye concealer. And because both shades are slightly different, I pair Collection with the Very Light BB Cream and Seventeen with the Light. Whether I will purchase this again, not sure but it's a good substitute none the less. And also, who on earth would wear makeup for 18 hours?! That's really gross.
Collection 2000 Fix Me Up Long Lasting Make-Up Fixer
This is seen as a dupe for Urban Decay's De Slick, which is a product I really want to try but it's like £40 for a 2ml bottle! I tried the MUA version but I felt like it didn't do anything, but it was only £3 for 60ml so I wasn't heartbroken. MUA's bottle was a decent size, Collection on the other hand is £5.99 for 18ml. Kinda irritating but I feel that this just works better in comparison. Another thing I'm not too keen on is the smell, the number of times I have said 'That smells disgusting!' after spraying this product on my face. Once again, I wouldn't be in a hurry to purchase this again but it's still a decent product.
Nivea Happy Time Shower Gel
This shower gel was the first shower gel I bought myself, you know when you become a teenager and you have more freedom to buy the products you like so you can stop stealing the Radox from your mum and dad. I mainly picked it up because of the name, I mean how cute is that name?! I'm not the biggest fan of orange scented smells but this just reminds me of shopping in town whilst I was visiting my nanna and grandad and how I felt using this for the first time in the shower, grown up. Sounds daft but as the eldest in my family and the only girl in my generation for quite some time, I did have my girly perks everynow and then. I picked up a 500ml bottle for only £3, it lathers up really well, smells really nice and it's creamy which makes your skin feel softer too. Nivea Shower Gels in general are really good value for the money.
Lush The Comforter Bubble Bar & Bubblegum Lip Scrub
I popped my Lush cherry in February after wanting to try Lush products for absolute ages, the number of Lush hauls I had seen on YouTube, it just seemed like such a magical place filled with scented wonders. What scared me from going was the price they charged for certain items and getting help from the staff. Whenever I go shopping, I go in the shop, get what I want as soon as I can, then I walk out, so I get nervous when the staff ask if I need any help. But Chloe was really sweet and gave me tips on how to use certain products. Now the other product in the photo, the Cupcake face mask, I really wanted to try as 1. Chocolate scent & 2. For spotty, oil prone skin. I dunno whether it was because of using this product or the amount of stress I'm going through at university combined but I had horrible breakouts on my chin in particular. Also, you can only keep it in the fridge for say 3 weeks. Infact, today's the expiry date so I better throw it out now. Disappointing as it wasn't cheap, over £6 so that's why I'll stick to only using Simple products, cheap and cheerful. Anyways, back to the good Lush products, I've heard so many people talk about the Comforter. OH. MY. GOD. It smells like Vimto and Parma Violets mixed together, it's incredible. And I'm not a fan of pink but I do like how the bath water bubbles and turns pink when you run it. You can also get your money's worth by cutting small-ish pieces as £4 is quite a lot. My lips were dry and cracked with saxophone playing and cold weather being a bitch of a team so I finally decided to get a lip scrub. Once again, OH. MY. GOD! The taste of this is soooooo nommy and you can actually eat it after you apply it on your lips! At around £6, it's quite pricey but a little goes a long way so I'm going to make this baby last also. Bad Chloe for giving me a catalogue listing all the products because I want to buy them all now. If money weren't an object eh?
Blistex Relief Cream
Even though the Lip Scrub is really good at softening my lips, after several hours of band rehearsals and lessons this week, my lips were the worst they've ever been in their entire life, it hurt to talk afterwards. Strange as I have played for longer periods of time but bugs are currently spreading around and I'm at that stage where I feel like I've caught something but I'm just tired. Make your mind up body, am I ill or not? Anyways, I had to go out and buy this cream, luckily my trusty dusty local Morrisons had it. I've tried this stuff years ago before and the only thing that's changed is the name; 'Formerly Bisteze.' Ok, sure. This product has been an absolute lifesaver, my lips are almost back to normal. I really don't like applying this product, cream on your lips is really weird, but you can really feel this product do it's magic and as long as you have an hour break inbetween, you can apply it as many times as you want. Thank you Blistex for saving my lips and my wallet, as buying a new pair of lips wouldn't have been cheap!
Yankee Candle Mango Peach Salsa
As you can see, I've made several sneaky purchases recently, but this one has definitely been worth purchasing. Infact I'm going to have to get the large candle as I've been burning it quite a lot and I only got it last week. Mango. Peach. Salsa. THIS IS A CANDLE! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?! I absolutely freaking adore Mango scents. If you want to win me over, buy me anything smelling of either Mango, Apple or Vanilla and I'm sold. Holy moly, I'm smelling this candle now as it's right beside me, I can't get enough, it's turning into an addiction! Even though Yankee Candles aren't that cheap, £7.99 for this wee puppy (offt!), they are definitely the best for smells, it's like walking into a fruit salad, swimming in the mango juice (this is getting weird now, I apologise!). And the smell REALLY lasts in the candle, for example, the Vanilla Cupcake candle I've had for a year and a half now still smells incredible. Also the shop in Aberdeen is one of my favourite places ever to exist.
Lotus Biscuit Spread
I have Connie to thank for my latest obsession. I was really upset that my local Tesco's don't sell either the Custard or Bourbon Cream Spreads. After hearing from my bessie that biscuit spread was the best thing to walk on God's earth, I soon found Lotus' version in Morrisons. I actually tried it using my usual spoon in jar method in front of Struan, which he disapproved of, he thought the smell of it was too sickly. He obviously doesn't know I spend most of my time eating Nutella from the jar. Are you ready for a shock though? I think I may prefer this to Nutella! It's sweet, it's crunchy, it's SOOO addictive. I actually just want to go into the kitchen and eat it all now. But I'm not going to. That's bad. I'll eat my Oreo chocolate bar instead.
So many people raved about these, mum told me about them, even my flatmate Kirsty bought some so I saw what they looked like. They were on offer as well so I thought, 'Why the heck not?'. These things are super handy, the fact that they've already been sliced for you saves you from doing the job I hate, I massacre rolls, it's not a pretty sight. They're really light to eat as well, especially as I spread fatty biscuit spread on them. For one person, buying a loaf of bread is hardly worth it as you usually leave it to get mouldy over time. With these thins, you can get a pack of 9 for around £1.50 and you actually have quite a long time before they start going green. I bought a packet of 9 on Wednesday 4th, they say 11th March as their best before date. I dunno about you but that's pretty darn good.
Now, I have a special relationship with these sweets. During my Hellcember month where I had three essays and an exam to complete, I went down to the vending machines to get my packet of Skittles. To relieve stress, I like to organise all the colours together and create some kind of graph on the desk. I then take a photo of it and put it on Twitter before eating the Skittles in order of colour. I'm deadly serious, honestly look up the hashtag #funwithskittles, and you may see a couple piccies of Skittle graphs where I make a comment or two. I just found out today, they've released a packet with blue skittles inside. THAT HAS JUST MADE MY LIFE SO MUCH SWEETER. And they even taste better with the blue skittles inside. I think all you've learnt from this post is that I'm completely mad. But let's be honest, 'We're all mad here...'
Wow, this post took most of the afternoon to write. If only I was this dedicated to my university essays... Yeah. But I enjoy seeing what other people's favourites have been over a period of time, I usually get some really good recommendations from others, isn't sharing wonderful? Hope you are all having a wonderful life so far in 2015, and I'll hopefully be back real soon. Oh and by the way, 16 days till the big 21 for me! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! ❤ HEARTS TO EVERYONE! ❤