Image Slider

Budgeting for Beginners

31 January 2016
Budgeting can be such a bore and I suppose that's why many of us avoid it. We'll do a bit of mental budgeting, check our bank accounts regularly but we don't really know what we're spending. While I've always been a saver as apposed to a spender and often very conscientious with my money before I came to uni I never really had to budget. But since I've become an independent adult of sorts, basic budgeting is a skill that I've had to acquire.

Personally I find the easiest way to budget is to fill in this simple spread sheet everytime I buy something. To make this easier I try to keep all of my receipts so I don't forget what I've spent. I've created a spreadsheet that you can download below if you want a little help when it comes to budgeting. The spread sheet has a spaces to record spending Monday - Sunday for 52 weeks, so you can start whenever you like and have enough space for a whole year. I've input all of the formulas so that excel calculates the total weekly spend, the amount left of your budget for the week, the total yearly spend, total remaining budget for the year. All you need to do is decide how much you want to spend each week and insert that into the cell saying 'Weekly Budgeted Amount'.

Download Template Here

Keeping a record of everything I spend has also made it easier for me to save money as spending money seems more real. I also don't panic that I'm going to run out of money at the end of the term because I know how much I can spend each week. I know this wasn't the typical beauty or fashion post you were probably expecting to find on my blog today but I hope it has been useful to at least one of you out there. 

Eleanor xx

Magic Hour

26 January 2016
Sometimes when the chance to take blog photos arises you've got to grab the opportunity with both hands, especially when it comes to natural lighting in the British winter. This was the case on an ordinary afternoon last week when I noticed the golden light from the late afternoon sun seep into my bedroom and I knew I had to take advantage of the magic hour quickly before the sun began to set. I grabbed my camera and my boyfriend (after I'd begged him to be my photographer) and these were the results.

What I'm Wearing - New Look Hat, Pull and Bear Jumper, H&M Skirt, TK Maxx Bag, Accessorize Bag Charm and Public Desire Boots

While the warm tones in the pictures may not reflect it, it was bitterly cold that day but luckily my cosy roll neck jumper and my knee high boots kept me warm while still remaining to look like a girl rather than the Michelin Man. The dark colour palette kept my outfit reasonably wintry thus contrasting with the short pleated skirt, a traditionally spring/summer item of clothing.

I'd love to know what you think of my last minute photo shoot, or perhaps your tips for keeping warm while looking good in the colder months.

Eleanor xx

10 Minute Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

20 January 2016
One thing you may not know about me is that I love baking, I have done ever since I was a kid. My love of baking stems from my mum, who taught me to cook just as her mother taught her and so on throughout the generations. When I was younger my mum was always the go to women for charity cake sales and cooking lessons at Brownies, so it's only natural for me to share one of our favourite recipes with you.

I have no idea where this recipe originally came from but I've been using it for years because I am yet to come across a cookie recipe that beats it. Not only are these the tastiest double chocolate chip cookies ever, but they are seriously quick and easy. 

The Recipe
1 Packet of Betty Crocker's Devils Food Cake Mix
2 Eggs
1/2 a Cup of Vegetable Oil
1 Bag of Milk Chocolate Chips

Serves 24

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 175°C and either line a large baking tray with parchment paper or grease the tray with butter.

Step 2
Put all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix them together with a wooden spoon. Keep mixing until the ingredients bind together to form a dough. For a twist on your typical double chocolate chip cookies swap the milk chocolate chips for small chunks of your favourite chocolate. 

Step 3
Form small balls of the cookie dough (about 3cm wide) and evenly spread them out on a baking tray. For rough looking cookie like pictured above try not to make the balls smooth. Also leave plenty of room between the balls as the mixture will spread, this may mean that you have to use 2 baking trays.

Step 4
Put the cookies in the oven to bake for 8-10 minutes. Then when they come out of the oven leave them to cool on the baking tray before trying to move them.

Step 5
Eat your cookies! Personally I think they're nicest when eaten warm with a delicious hot chocolate or a cold glass of milk.

I'd love to know what your favourite recipes are or if you try my recipe what you think.

Eleanor xx

L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Mascara Review

14 January 2016
When it comes to the battle between high street vs high end makeup, one area where the high street excels is mascara. While I am willing to pay more for foundation or eyeshadows, 80% of the time I will choose the high street for my mascara because in my opinion they are just as good as the high end offerings but for a fraction of the price.

Though despite high street mascara's being of such a high quality I rarely see reviews of them, I think that is one of the reasons why my review of Max Factor's 2000 Calorie Waterproof Mascara is one of the most viewed posts on my blog. So when I ran out of my previous mascara I thought what better time to try something new and write a review of it.

The L'Oreal Telescopic Mascara is described as "High Precision Intensity for longer looking lashes. In the flash of a stroke up to 60% longer looking lashes and intensity lash by lash. The high precision multi comb is made of supple elastomer bristles that help give a precise application. The flat surfaces of the multi-comb stretch the formula over your lashes."

While I'm not sure I'd agree with the claims of up to 60% longer looking lashes, it does make my lashes look thick, defined and very black. As to be said for the "high precision multi comb" (or to your average person the mascara wand), it's very skinny allowing you to get right to the root of your lashes.The formula is very wet so gives you a lot of time to play with your lashes to achieve the desired look and despite the wet formula I have not found that it smudges or transfers unlike other mascaras I have tried in the past.

Overall I love the way this makes my lashes look thick and full, almost giving the appearance of false eyelashes. In my opinion this is more of a thickening and defining mascara rather than a lengthening mascara as it claims. My only fault with this product though as it's not a particularly great lower lash mascara as I find the brush has so much product on it swamps my delicate lower lashes. That being said it's not a major problem as I often use more than one mascara anyway. 

Have you tried the L'Oreal Telescopic Mascara? 

Eleanor xx

The Best Of The Lipstick, The Girl and Her Wardrobe 2015

4 January 2016
With 2015 having ended, I think this is the perfect time for me to reflect on the year that has passed. In terms of my blog there has been quite a bit of change, some for the better while some for the worst. Over the course of the year, my posts have gradually been improving in terms of my photography and writing but unfortunately this has come a cost as the quantity of posts has rapidly decreased.

Balancing a blog, education, a job and a personal life has proven to be incredibly difficult so I admire those who posts regularly and frequently. I hope in the New Year to keep improving my blog, in every aspect not just in quality. But in the mean time here is a recap of 2015 on The Lipstick, The Girl and Her Wardrobe for you to catch up or reminisce with me.

What I Got For Christmas 2014
My first post of 2015 was a "What I Got For Christmas". While I haven't decided yet if I'm going to do a "What I Got For Christmas 2015" you can always have a nosy back at what I was lucky enough to receive last year.

Review - Nars Virtual Domination Palette
A beautiful palette that I still use to this day, featuring some of Nars' most loved blush shades and the famous Laguna bronzer. 

How I Take and Edit My Blog Photos
Not much has changed about the way I take and edit my photos since I wrote that post, the only difference is that I now use a 40mm lens. Still, an interesting read if you like to see what happens behind the scenes.

Outfit Post - If You Are What You Say You Are
A flashback to a time when my Adidas Superstars were still white, since then I have wrecked them through nights out and excessive wear *R.I.P Superstars, you were well loved*

Outfit Post - Leather and Pleats
My most popular outfit post of 2015, featuring photos photos taken in my home city of Bristol.

Outfit Post - Meet Steph
An insight into one of my closet friends style, a bit of a change to my usual posts where you get to learn a little bit more about my life.

My Mac Lipstick Collection... So Far
A look at some of my most prided possessions; my Mac lipsticks. This is also kind of a 'most worn lipsticks' post because my Mac lipsticks are practically all I wear.

Review - Benefit Erase Paste
I'm ashamed to say this is a product that I'd forgotten about until I was writing this post, especially as it's a great product. I may have to go and repurchase this one...

Mini Beauty Haul
Who doesn't love a beauty haul. Timeless and not only addictive to read but write.
Review - Inglot Freedom System Concealer Palette 
When I was looking to buy this product I really struggled to find any reviews of it online which made it incredibly difficult because I had to order the product online and I wanted to see some good swatches. So of course it only made sense to write my own review when I finally got to try the product myself.

My Tips for a Party Holiday
Its that time of year again when people are starting to book their summer holidays, so if you are going on a girls holiday this summer and want to know what to expect then this is a great read.

Outfit Post - The Rhine Valley
A little post about how I spent my summer in the beautiful Rhine Valley, featuring one of the many outfits I wore while I was there.

Outfit Post - My New Home
In September of last year I started university so it only seemed right for my first outfit post in this new city to be taken by one of the cities many beautiful landmarks.

This is of course just a few of the posts I wrote last year and I hope that there will be many more during 2016. Who knows what this year holds for us, but I know that if it is at least half as good as 2015 was, it will still be amazing.

Eleanor xx

Wrapped Up

8 December 2015
 IT'S CHRISTMAS!!!... well nearly. As I write this we are just 16 days away from Christmas day and the majority of my Christmas shopping is complete. I've never been one of those people who leaves all their present buying until the last minute and I think the reason why is my love for decorative wrapping. 

While for some, wrapping presents can be a bit of a chore, I take great pleasure in picking out wrapping paper, ribbons and bows to make sure the recipient of my gifts feels extra special. Not to mention how pretty well wrapped presents look under the Christmas tree!

As you can see from the pictures above I have gone for quite a rustic style this year, with brown paper and red and white twine, but with a glamorous twist of the gold reindeer's and white ribbons.

Nice wrapping paper can often be expensive but after having a browse around I found this lovely brown patterned paper in The Works for only £2, I also got the red and white twine from there for only £1! Unfortunately I couldn't find the links for the exact items I bought so I've linked similar alternatives, but if you popped into your local store I'm sure they'd have it.

Wrapping Paper, White Ribbon and Red and White Bakers Twine

How will you be wrapping up your presents this year?

Eleanor xx

My New Home

15 October 2015
As you may or may not know, this September I started university. This is a big moment in my life as I moved to a new city on my own, ready to meet new friends and study a subject that will hopefully lead me to my dream career. So where is my new home I hear you ask? Well I have moved to Birmingham to study Marketing at Aston University and I can safely say that I have settled in nicely. This may partly be down to the fact that my sister also lives in Birmingham, so there is comfort in the fact that I can see her anytime I want.

Me and my sister get on very well and love spending time together so when she found out that she needed to visit an art gallery as part of her course there was only one obvious choice of who she would ask to go with her: me. I love art galleries so it was hardly a chore for me but I did ask her one favor in return, to take some pictures of my outfit and here is how they turned out... 

What I Am Wearing - New Look Hat, Pull & Bear Jumper, Topshop Dungarees, Topshop Leather Jacket, T K Maxx Bag, Accessorize Bag Charm and Office Shoes.

Did anyone else start Uni this September? I'd love to know the cool places you've discovered in your new city!

Eleanor xx

The Rhine Valley

3 September 2015
During the first week of August I went with my family on our annual summer holiday, our destination this year being the beautiful Rhine Valley in Germany. Despite this holiday being a month ago I still wanted to share with you some of my snaps of the beautiful river as we reminisce our summer before going back to work, school, college or uni. 

What I Am Wearing - Missguided Shirt, Topshop Shorts, Primark Sunglasses and Office Shoes

While the weather in Germany is said to be very similar to that of the UK it was boiling the whole week we were there reaching highs of 38 degrees so shorts were an essential. As it wasn't a beach holiday and we were looking round little towns and villages I wanted to cover up a bit on my top half so I paired my shorts with this lightweight black shirt. I also wore my favourite Aquazzura flats from Office which have now gone into the sale for £40.

I hope you've all had a wonderful summer and I'd love to hear what you got up to!
Eleanor xx

My Tips For A Party Holiday

1 July 2015
I knew that after months and months of hard work revising for my A Level exams I would most definitely need a holiday, so back in November of last year me and my friends booked ourselves a party holiday in Laganas, Zante. I'd only been out clubbing once before in the UK (as I'm not 18 yet) and the only holiday's I'd been on without my parents before had been organised by my school, so I had no idea what to expect. 

Now that I am safely back in Britain after one of the best weeks of my life I thought I'd write a blog post giving a bit of advice to those of you who are planning to go on a party holiday this summer!

Don't Let The Reps Rip You Off
We booked our holiday through Thomas Cook and it was part of their Escapades range so as part of the package we had reps at our hotel who would 'look after us'. When we got to the hotel we were introduced to our reps who were very friendly and showed us to our room. Once in our room we quickly realised these people did not want to be our friends but instead wanted our money, as they forced us to sit and listen to a 30 minute hard sell of all of these parties and events "we had to go to" all for the extortionate price of €210. 
Feeling pressured we picked out the events we wanted to go for (Full Moon party, Pool Party with Chase and Status, Funky Buddha and a Boat Party) and handed over €145. While lots of the events we picked were great others like the Boat Party were disappointing and left us wishing we'd booked the Rum and Ray Ban's Boat Party ourselves. While its convenient to buy the parties off the reps, they make their money through commission so you'll end up paying more, especially when it comes to bar crawls where they will take you to the most expensive bars on the strip.

Pre Drink Before Events
The events and parties were some of the highlights of my holiday, watching Chase and Status in Gaz from Geordie Shore's club Pure was absolutely amazing but would've been a little bit better if we'd pre drank at the hotel bar or in our room before going. At most events it's about €5 for a cocktail while this is still cheap compared to drinks in the UK, for Zante this was expensive when most other places are doing cocktails for €2/€3. When you've already paid about €30 to get into an event you don't want to be spending another €20 on drinks so don't buy drinks at the events.

Personally I think that budgeting is important on any holiday you go on as there is nothing scarier than being in a foreign country with no money. I took about €450 to Zante for a week and I came back with about €120 because I was watching what I was spending but some of my friends took about €370 and they'd ran out by the last day because they were spending a lot of money on things they didn't need and would loose money on nights out because they didn't take a bag. On average I'd spend about €20-€30 a day including drinks on a night out, a snack at lunch and a big meal in the evening, but I don't drink that much and people would often buy drinks for me, so depending on how much you plan to eat and drink you may need more. When deciding how much money to take don't forget those one off costs like events, air con, wifi and a safety deposit box.

Stay Safe
While a lot of people in Laganas were young tourists like myself hoping to have a good time there will always be people whose motives aren't pure. It is so easy in Zante to have your drink spiked or to drink dodgy vodka they serve at rubbish bars. To stay safe on holiday I'd recommend that you never drink at the top of the strip (this is where all of the bars are that pass off paint stripper as vodka or sell recycled drinks), never walk home alone (it is easy to get lost in a new place and people may take advantage of you especially if you're drunk) and don't leave your drink unattended as it may be spiked.

Take Medical Supplies
Accidents happen and it is likely that at least one of your group will get ill or injured at some point in the trip. When I was away I got bitten by mosquitoes and the bites became infected and filled with puss (gross I know) but it was useful to have some antiseptic cream and dressings to look after the bites until I got home and got some antibiotics. My friends shoes rubbed her to the point where her feet were bleeding so again antiseptic cream and plasters came in handy. While there was a pharmacy on the strip as well as multiple A&E's it was easier to have what we needed at the hotel, so I'd recommend that you take with you paracetamol, ibuprofen, antihistamine, Imodium, plasters and antiseptic cream to help with those common illnesses and injury's.

Have Fun! 
I can honestly say that my week in Zante was one of the best weeks of my life and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. I met so many amazing people and would give anything to do the whole week again!

Have you been on a party holiday before? Or are you planning to go on one this summer? 

Eleanor xx

Inglot Freedom System Concealer Palette Review

20 April 2015
I have a very love hate relationship when it comes to beauty palettes, you buy it because you convince yourself it'll be great for travelling and that you'll save loads of money as buying each product individually would cost a fortune but you ultimately buy it because it's pretty. In reality you end up using a couple of shades from each palette and the rest is left untouched after that initial swatching session we do with all new products. But that's not the case with Inglot's Freedom System because (as the name suggests) you have the freedom to create your own palette with the products and shades the you want. You can create blush, powder, concealer, eyeshaddow, brow, lip and fragrance palettes, all coming in various sizes.

I decided to create myself a concealer quad that could be used for highlighting, contouring, concealing and correcting as I haven't really seen a palette that covered these 4 bases. First off the packaging is gorgeous and looks very expensive, though it does have that matte Nars-esque packaging that makes it impossible to clean as you can see in the pictures. 

As for the concealers, they are a beautifully pigmented and of a creamy finish. I'd say they give a medium coverage and because of their creamy texture they need setting a lot but it does mean they blend nicely which is crucial if you want to use them for contouring.

From L to R - DW300, LW100, P and G
Each concealer was £5 and the cost of the palette was £7 resulting in a total cost of £27 which I think is very good value for money especially when you know that you will use each and every product.

This post isn't sponsored but I just love the idea of the freedom system that I could not do a review of the palette I bought. Yes I know that some other brands do similar things but I can't think of one who has such a wide variety of choice for such a reasonable price.

What do you think of the Freedom System? Have you tried any Inglot products?

Eleanor xx