new year, new makeup


I've never been one of the girls who is always watching make up tutorials and getting very happy over the latest eye shadow palette release and while you still won't catch me applying for a make-up counter job I have recently (as in two days ago) attempted to branch out, step away from my trusty faithfuls and dip my brushes into the waters of New Makeup.

First of all I have to say that makeup counters are stressful; trying to dodge the well-meaning but scary counter girls while trying not to drop the four products in my hand, at the same time as attempting to test out a lipstick on the back of my wonder I put each make-up shopping experience at the back of my mind; I'd have nightmares otherwise!  And secondly; yes the title of this post is incredibly cringe-worthy and for that I apologise but it was the best one I came up with at 11.30 the other night when I started writing this and now it's kind of stuck on me like a title leech.  I haven't tried any of these products yet apart from the nail varnish so this is less of a review and more of a 'at first glance' type post- but if there is a product I mention that you want to see more about / are thinking about getting and want my unofficial opinion on then let please let me know!

Benefit Watts Up! Highlighter: (if I tell you that I have previously just always used a shimmery eye shadow will you all judge me for it?) which is very pretty and a champagne kind of colour while also being the one that suited my skin tone best - according to the lady at the counter and the mirror I kept glancing at.

Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot Powder:  this was a necessity as well as a want because my previous powder was running out and several years old.  As much as I adore S & G skin care - my bathroom products could be mistaken for a soap and glory shrine - I've only ever tried one of their lipsticks before, but I've heard nothing but good things and I really like the company so into my make up it goes!

Nail Varnishes: - okay so these aren't branching out at all but shh they're pretty and were buy one get one half price.- I picked up two from Rita Ora's Rimmel collection in the colours Oranginaa light orange coral because I'm trying to get away from blues and purples as for a while those were almost the only colours I would buy and Go Wild Er Ness; a beautiful light purple (I know, I literally just said no more purples but I just couldn't help myself.)

Maybelline Eyeshadow: Love at first sight is the only way describe my feelings towards the Maybelline Nude Palette, it's same neutral shades I always wear but oh wow, looking at this palette/set/box I totally understand the appeal.  Very very pretty!

Maybelline Lipstick in Velvet Beige (630) which is from the Colour Sensation and is such a beautiful colour!  I have another from the range so I'm hoping it will be as long lasting and good as that one.

Something I didn't buy on the day but have had for a little while and photographed it anyway is the Benefit ka-Brow! eyebrow cream thing which I find so easy to use , especially with the little brush connected to the lid meaning I don't lose it.  It's so easy to build up from a more natural look into something more dramatic or night-out worthy and with this a little bit really does go a long way!

it's so pretty!! And my just visible nail varnish is Go Wild Er Ness.

While shopping I also picked up my new glasses which I'm actually a little in love with, Harry Potter socks and a book because of course I did, I'm branching out not changing!

Do you have any products you can't get enough of? Let me know what they are and I'll make a list for next time I expand my make up bag.

love el

twitter: isthateloise  /  instagram: eloisemae  /  bloglovin: eloisemae

lgbt+ fiction haul


First off you should know that for as long as I can remember I've always enjoyed reading what I like to call fluffy books; books that have no meaning; you know the ones, girl meets boy; chaos and (light) drama ensues but every one knows that they'll end up walking off into the sunshine together, holding hands, for happily ever after.

And there's nothing wrong with that but I never felt completely absorbed into the world and the older I've got the more I've longed for protagonists who fall head over heels for the girl in their building, for the bad girl from their teenage years.  I wanted fluffy meet-cutes and characters driving their friends mad because "she's so pretty" etc. etc.  I wanted all the cliches and the paragraphs that I'd roll my eyes at if I wasn't so busy smiling and internally going "awwww!" - or externally going "awww" if it's a really cute bit!  I wanted to read books where I could see myself, books in which I didn't have to quickly skim though any sex scenes because handsome faces I can deal with but I do not need such a vivid description of that.   I longed for books I could relate to, books I could totally absorb myself in and books that might one depict a sort of version of my own life (a girl can dream right!?)

But I finally (and I mean finally; I don't know why it's taken me this long) found these books; ones that I can fully dive into and identity with because the main characters are all female and love women. Yay!  And so I figured as I bought several the other day with some of my Christmas money I would share them with you!

First up are two shorter books that I got as free online downloads simply for signing up to Harper Bliss' email list; uh.. yes please and thankyou very much!  I haven't started either of them yet so can't entice you anymore than saying free books, get your free books here on her website!  Summers End is about Marianne and Emily who meet when Emily stays in the other woman's island B&B and judging from the synopsis the two both have their own baggage and personal demons but through getting to know each other (and presumably through falling in love with each other) they start to live again. Cheesy, cliche, wonderful.  Hired Help is, well, let's just say a little more clearly adult. Recently single Olivia is fed up of being alone and her friend suggests she gets some hired 'help'.. From the word count I don't think a friendship slowly blossoming into a relationship is exactly what happens but a quick skim read through of some later pages says that my mushy romantic heart won't be disappointed either!

Too Late I Love You by Kiki Archer is one that I recognise but I have no recollection of reading before so probably picked it up and stupidly put it down before but is about a mother called Connie who starts writing a book to escape her own repetitive life but slowly realises that the person she is writing about is dangerously similar to a woman in her own life.  From what I can tell I believe Connie doesn't realise she is attracted to women at the beginning or is partly in the closet about it? I'm not sure but it sounds good either way!!

That Certain Something by Clare Ashton contains two polar opposites, Pia and Cate, who meet and get to know each other in London.  It is, at first glance, my dream book.  Every little moment I love in the other books I have read but with two women front and center.  Typically the one I was potentially most excited to read is the one that is being shipped over from the middle of nowhere USA and won't arrive until February!

Grace Falls by H.P Munro is about two women, Alex & Maddie who meet when Maddie's car breaks down in Grace Falls which as far as I can tell is a slightly gay Stars Hollow which you know..yes please! Small town romance is always going to be adorable and while an online search promises a happy ending (no heartbreaking bury your gays books for me thankyou very much) the blurb hinting at me that Maddie isn't going to stay/might constantly be thinking about moving on makes me think that I might shed a few tears before I reach the rainbow ending.

Also because I am a fangirl shipper who is always late to everything I finally bought Popcorn Love by KL Hughes which started life as an online swan-queen fanfiction!  I read it when it was Emma and Regina and I was so excited to re-read now it's Allison and Elena. *yes I have already read this since it arrived through the letter box earlier in the week.*  If you haven't heard of this book then it's an adorable read; Allison is hired to babysit Elena's son while she goes on blind dates set up by her friend..over time friendship turns into feelings and it's mushy and adorable but without being over the top about it.  100% recommend.

And last but definitely not least is Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins by Emma Donoghue which is a collection of fairytales which have been rewritten and reimagined in a very female way; flicking through the book it looks like each story is in the first person and follows on from the one before it in a single, flowing, swiftly changing narrative.

I haven't read all of these yet - I'm a fast reader but I'm not that fast- but I will be doing so very soon so stay tuned for possible reviews and happy mushy squealing coming your way, especially if you follow me on twitter.  Do let me know if there is a specific book you want to hear more about / read my thoughts on and I will make sure to draft posts accordingly.  And also please let me know of any other books you've really enjoyed- bonus points if they're about two women / LGBTQ+ themed / girl power as I'm always looking out for more books to add to my ever-growing list!

love el

twitter: isthateloise  /  instagram: eloisemae  /  bloglovin: eloisemae

this time next year


I hope you have all had a wonderful start to this year and aren't feeling those post Christmas blues too badly.

Last week the lovely Abbey tagged me in her This Time Next Year post which ties in amazingly with this week being the first week of the year and therefore me being in a very positive 'lets go get it' mood.

The rules of the tag are:

  • Thank the person who tagged you (thankyou Abbey!)
  • Write your goals for next year
  • Write how you’re going to achieve your goals
  • Tag at least 5 of your blogger friends to share their goals
  • Then, if you wish, in 365 days write a post for everyone to see if you have been successful or not

So, let's go!

This time next year: I will have graduated university
I will do this by: working my socks off for the next few months!

This time next year: I will be able to cook better and cook more of a variety of things.
I will do this by: Slowly experimenting with things in the kitchen and learning to not be so scared of trying out different recipes.

This time next year: I want to have a better understanding and better coping methods for my mental health.
I will do this by: Journalling more, talking about it and my feelings in general instead of closing off, and by remembering that this is a journey and it is not going to suddenly magically fix itself overnight.

This time next year: I want to be better at piano.
I will do this by: practising most days when I'm at home and next to my piano, and by finding the notes or tutorials to songs I enjoy / love so I have motivation.

This time next year:  I will have been blogging for a little under two years (what?!!) and I want to have made this little blog the best it can be!
I will do this by:  Putting more creative effort and energy into my posts and images / photos that I make or take for it, only posting things that I'm happy with and only posting them when I'm happy with them but also by not raising my own bar so high that I can barely see it let alone reach it!

I tag:

Holly  ~
Kimberley Jessica  ~
Alice  ~
Cesca  ~
Lucy & Kelly (The Blossom Twins)  ~
Lisa  ~

If you have any resolutions or anything of your own that you want to have completed or achieved by next year then please do let me know in the comments!

love el

twitter: isthateloise  /  instagram: eloisemae  /  bloglovin: eloisemae

hello 2017

hello! hello to you reading this, hello to future me and hello to 2017!

if you read my post yesterday you will already be aware that I'm determined to do a few things differently this year but I just wanted to dive into a few more personal and slightly deeper things today; starting off with making the maybe obvious but definitely important statement of 2017 is going to be a year of change.

i have no idea what most of the changes will be or what they will bring but what I do know is that:

     ~ In February I will turn 21; finally pass over the line and become a legal adult in the eyes of every country.
     ~ In April I will hand in my play and final pieces of written work for university.
     ~ In June I move out of my student house.
     ~ In July I will graduate.

Those four moments are the only things I know about this year.  There are other things happening and possibilities but those are the only ones that I am certain about.

I'm going to audition for drama school in February and the result of that day will set in motion one of several possible paths: I could be moving to Wigan in September, I could be staying in London, I could be moving back home for an undetermined and unknown amount of time, I might end up in a completely random location in England..  The possibilities aren't completely endless but there are definitely several of them! Each possibility needs a plan and a back-up plan (and probably a back-up plan for my back-up plan) and at the moment I have a vague idea for one..

Also this year will be the year when I finally (with my mums help) turn my bedroom at home from a time-machine straight back to my mid-teens into a room that actually fits me now.  I've already made a start in clearing some of my bookshelves and giving my wardrobe a major de-clutter.   I want to work on myself this year and sorting out my room is one of the first steps I'm taking towards doing just that.  I'll probably write a longer and more detailed post about this and the reasoning behind it being so significant for me later in the year- both a) when it gets redecorated and b) if you actually want to know!  But putting Karen McCrombie and Cathy Hopkins' books away in a box and up into the loft is my first small step of change this year.

Aside from reorganising my cupboards I'm also working on internal things,  I want to really work on my mental health this year, drink more water and try and be a little more positive about things!  As cliche and cheesy as it is I am going to spend this year watering the grass on my side of the fence, stop comparing my now to someone else's and learn to appreciate the people and things I already have a bit more.  As part of this I've decided I'm going to start a #goodthings thread on my twitter and just keep on adding to it!  It will be moments that I had fun in, photos that I love or am proud of, people, gifs..everything!  If I count it as a good thing then it will find its way onto the thread for me to look back through whenever I feel that things aren't so shiny and fab.

What little I do know about the year ahead promises to be happy, sad, bittersweet, amazing and probably the cause of me becoming a complete mess of emotions several times..

so cheers to a happy new year; whatever it may bring!
love el

twitter: isthateloise  /  instagram: eloisemae  /  bloglovin: eloisemae