Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Why This Is The Only Palette You'll Need This Christmas

Why This Is The Only Palette You'll Need This Christmas
Lets flash back to December 2016 when beauty lovers across the web were stunned by Morphe's then latest release - 35F Fall Into Frost. 

Like many others, I added this straight to my basket as soon as it was available and wore it almost every day during the festive season. I still go back to it from time to time but this year, there's a new palette in town. It's set to be a game changer - 35O2 Second Nature. 

Following the success of Morphe's 35O palette, two years on they've released the sequel. It's filled with gorgeous neutrals and firey reds. It's bang on trend and right up my street. 

I put off buying the Naked Heat palette with the hopes of this being launched in the UK before Christmas. After a nightmare with delivery (and my bestie giving my hers because it arrived first) I'm beyond happy to finally have it. 

There is a great variety of matte and shimmer shades and for me, this makes it immediately more wearable - Matte shades are my go to.  It has everything from champagnes to deep browns and bright reds to burnt oranges. 

Just as I thought, the shades blend like a dream and the combinations are endless. The pay off is AMAZING and my favourites to work with at the moment are Heat and Brave. When I used this for the first time on Saturday, I had a little trouble picking up Pure. It worked a little better after dampening my brush but worked best when I used my little finger. 

Overall, for me, this palette was a great purchase and I know I'm going to get so much wear out of it over the festive period. 
I'd love to know if you'll be purchasing the palette and what  your go to product for this season? 

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Sunday, 26 November 2017

Tips For Travelling As A Couple + Our Travel Wish List

Tips For Travelling As A Couple + Our Travel Wish List
My other half and I have lived together for almost three out of the four years we've been a couple. We've pretty much nailed it and whilst we have our routines and the ways we like to do things, travelling can throw that off a little. When away, we used to have the tendency to get on each others nerves a little - Not on purpose, we just weren't used to being out of our comfort zone.

These days when we travel, we're the greatest of teams. We know exactly what to do and what not to do and how to use having two of us to an advantage. We’ve travelled to a number of great places over the course of our relationship so I wanted to share our top tips for travelling together along with some of the destinations we hope to travel to in future. 

TIPS

Know your budget | When choosing destinations or deciding on spending money it's important to understand how much you can realistically afford. Kudos if one of you can afford a weeks stay in the Maldives but if you're on more of  a weekend in Spain kind of budget, you're going to need to agree on something else. Tab and I set the same base budget each time and book our trip around that. If we want to spend anything more, we work out whether we can both afford it way ahead of time. 

Make lists | We're list gals. We list what we need to pack, landmarks we want to see right down to places we want to eat and where we want to take photos. This way, we don't forget anything and we're able to plan our days so much more efficiently. With regards to lists for when we've reached our destination, we make sure we've both made equal contributions so one of us isn't left running around after the other. 

Compromise | This follows on from the lists point perfectly and I find it's one of the key components to not only taking a trip together, but to a relationship in general. Tab and I have become very good at understanding what's important to one another so if we have 10 things we want to do but they're not doable in the time frame we have, we're able to compromise and recognise what is important to each other. Similarly when choosing a destination in the first place, it's become quite easy for us to compromise and come to an agreement.

Set aside relaxation time | I don't know about you but we sure get pretty tired after a day of walking or sightseeing. With tiredness comes irritation and that's usually followed by unnecessary bickering. We make sure that whenever we're away, no matter how amazing the destination, we set aside some downtime. Whether it's lazing on a sun-lounger, taking a nap or just grabbing a coffee, we find that it makes such a difference to our trip when we take a moment to relax.

Split the duties | You can apply this tip to your own travels in anyway necessary but what I really mean is, don't have one person doing everything. If one person is carrying the day bag, have the other navigate. If you picked dinner last night, have your partner pick it the next. We also apply this to money in terms of, if one of us picks up the bill, the other will get the taxi back. It's nothing that's set in stone, it's just something we've adopted over the years but it makes such a difference to our experience. 

Tips For Travelling As A Couple + Our Travel Wish List

DESTINATIONS ON OUR LIST

Nashville, USA | At the top of our destination list is the city of Nashville. We love the idea for a number of reasons such as music, culture and the fact that it's a place we feel really suits our personality. We love the idea of seeing a show at the Opry as much as eating some hot chicken watching an up and coming artist. 

Canada | Canada is stunning in every aspect. Our dream would be to travel to multiple places such as Toronto, Banff and Lake Louise. We'd love to climb some mountains, stay in a cabin and take in the amazing scenery. 

Santorini | Santorini is on our list mostly for the reason it looks breathtaking but also because we loved Kos so much. The Greek culture is lovely and the locals are the most welcoming people I've ever met. 

San Francisco, USA | San Fran has been on Tabs travel list forever and if we could have afforded a two-stop trip next year, I absolutely would have booked it. We're dying to see Alcatraz and walk the Golden Gate Bridge. The city also has such an amazing culture and I definitely think we'd leave our hearts in San Francisco. 

Havana, Cuba | I always knew part of me wanted to travel to Havana but Victoria's post really cemented it for me. It's such a beautiful place and is so rich in history. Now, I don't know the ins and outs of the political history surrounding Havana but it's definitely something I'll continue to read up on, especially with the hopes of travelling there one day.

Paris, France | I never really thought about Paris until earlier in the year but now, I can't get it out of my head. Not only is it the most romantic city in the world but also, I know it's somewhere we'd love to explore. Neither of us have been to France previously so it's definitely on our list for the future. 
I hope you enjoyed this little insight into our relationship when we travel. I'd love to hear your tips for travelling with friends or your other half and where are your dream destinations?

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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

4 Amazing Bloggers That Inspire Me

Ever since I started writing It's Hollie Ann, the way I consume content has changed. I no longer mindlessly scroll and skim read - I've become more appreciative of the stunning shots I see on Instagram and get incredibly excited when I read posts that make me think and reflect on a topic. 

As a result of this new way of consuming content, I often feel very inspired and what I choose to create myself is often influenced by a mixture of what people are currently talking about and by photographs and videos I see. I also take inspiration from the places I go and from events that occur in my personal life but as you can imagine, the biggest inspirations and influences to my blog are other bloggers. Today, I really wanted to talk you through four that I absolutely adore and how they inspire me. 

Joseph Burrows | When I really started getting into blogging I tried quite hard to scout out blogs that I would really enjoy. Since discovering Joe's back when he was known as Northern Blood, his blog has become permanently placed on my Google Homepage. His isn't the kind of blog I only click on after seeing a 'new post' tweet, it's a blog I click on because I'm too eager to find out what he's posted - It's inspiring because that's the kind of blog I want to be. I love his content and photography and well, his taste in music is just a bonus. He's crafted a pretty neat male lifestyle blog and I bloody well love it. 

Pint Sized Beauty | I used to read Lilly's blog every now and then but recently, I just can't stop myself. As if the fact she daily blogs and makes it look like a breeze isn't inspiring enough, like Joe, she's made her blog one that I want to open as soon as I sit at my desk. Her photography has an enviable level of continuity and though her blog features primarily beauty, she always manages to change up the themes of her posts and writes so genuinely. I trust her every word and if ever my gal pals need a recommendation, you can guarantee I'll be sending them a link from Pint Sized Beauty.

In The Frow | If you don't look at Victoria's posts like you look at presents on Christmas day, then who even are you. Every aspect from the photography and writing, right down to the layout gives me serious goals. Like her, I love the editorial style and after reading Cosmopolitan religiously for years, her blog, to me, seems like an extension of the most exquisite fashion pages. Like Lilly, I always trust her recommendations and despite growing such a large following, I think she's remained so true to herself. 

Beth Sandland | I'm relatively new to reading Beth's blog after her Instagram made me look like a real heart eyes emoji. I can't believe that in the year she's been writing on bethsandland.co.uk, I haven't started reading earlier. I find her real response to topics so amazing and she's so incredibly relatable. I love that her blog isn't niche specific and I enjoy reading her tips on blogging just as much as her London food recommendations. She's doing her thing and I think it's bloody great. 
I'd love to hear who or what inspires your content, let me know.

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Sunday, 19 November 2017

Why The Maybelline Tattoo Brow Is A Lazy Girls Best Friend

Why The Maybelline Tattoo Brow Is A Lazy Girls Best Friend
I love eyebrows. They're probably my favourite aspect of make up to do and having groomed or filled brows really does make such a difference to my face. The problem? I'm lazy.  Through the week, I hate wearing a lot of make up or make up at all to be quite honest. It's a combination of not wanting to get up early to do it and not wanting perfectly defined brows whilst wearing little to no other make up. The solution? Maybelline Tattoo Brow. 


I first used this just over a month ago on a Sunday night. Honestly, I was quite terrified. After carefully painting the gel over my brows and leaving it for about 20 minutes I just had to peel it off out of sheer panic and absolute excitement. My brows looked amazing - Even up close, they looked natural. I struggled getting a precise application with the wand at first but I just switched to a finer brush and it worked a treat. 



For the next few days my brows held up well and didn't appear patchy. I used the medium shade for my light brown hair and though it did start appearing slightly red, it still matched really well. I started using a brow pencil on the third day just to tidy them up as they began to fade but I believe that if you keep this on for over an hour, they last a lot longer. I've continued to use it almost every week to give my brows a base and it's exactly the look I was hoping to achieve for those no make up days.  Win

Having easy to use products in my lazy make up routine is so important to me. What are your go-to products for lazy make-up?

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Thursday, 16 November 2017

What I Ordered When Missguided Had 50% Off

Missguided 50% Off
Public service announcement, Missguided have 50% off today! You'd be absolutely crazy to not have a browse and since I really want to get this post up before everything is out of stock, I thought I'd quickly share what I've ordered. Note, you do need to order 'Babe50' at checkout and all delivery is standard.

The first things I picked up were two t-shirts from the Barbie collection. I've had my eye on them for absolutely ages and since they worked out to £9 each, I couldn't leave them there. They'll look adorable over leggings, jeans or tucked into shorts.

Next, I picked up a iridescent black sequin dress. I've been dying to find one for the upcoming party season but they either seem too pricey or just not the right style. I'm so hoping it fits well because it will be perfect for my Christmas party.

I picked up this Nashville, Tennessee sweatshirt after spotting it months ago! I tried to get my hands on the grey version but it was already out of stock and I figured this forest green would actually be perfect for this season and into the spring.

Lastly, I opted for two basic white t-shirts. One has a mesh panel which I think would be great for dressing up or down. The second has 'Honey' written across it and quite frankly, I couldn't resist. I actually think these pieces will be my most worn because they're so versatile.
I hope you enjoyed this spur of the moment type of post. Let me know if you picked anything up!

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Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Why I Fell Out Of Love With My Playlist Posts

Why I Fell Out Of Love With My Playlist Posts
I love music content. Whether it's reading, writing, watching, listening or looking, you name it I love it. Just over a year ago I started writing a monthly 'favourites playlist' which basically consisted of me taking everything I'd added to my Favourites on Deezer that month and giving you a round up of why I liked it. 

To begin with, I loved writing it and I loved writing it because I was discovering so much music. It wasn't just new releases, it was old music that I'd never heard or bands that were up and coming, it was the music you find on small festival stages and also some headliners I'd never thought to listen to. I started writing it in a year I where live music was such a big part of my life, I crammed three festivals into 2016 and who knows how many gigs in between. 

For the last few months of 2016 and the start of 2017 I was enjoying putting the posts together but as time went on I started to dread them. When the end of the month came around, I hated not having anything 'new' to add to the list. I felt like I was forcing myself to listen to music I didn't always have an interest in. I think the fact there was very little engagement contributed to me falling out of love with them - I know it's not all about the views and comments but when you work to put together a post, you hope people will enjoy it. 

I appreciate it's difficult to make those kinds of posts engaging because at the end of the day it's still just little old me, churning out a list of songs I've been listening to that month. I think going forward when there's an occasion, event or a song or album I'm damn right passionate about, I'll share it in the same ;favourite playlist' format but I really want to focus on other types of music content like live music and who to watch at festivals and hopefully, inject a bit more of me into the posts. 
Let me know what kinds of music content you like - I'd love some inspiration from you guys!

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Sunday, 5 November 2017

Latest Beauty Additions & Why I Can't Stop Using Them

Latest Beauty Additions & Why I Can't Stop Using Them
I love playing with make up. Whether it's a brand new release or a cult favourite, nothing gives me more joy than taking a new product out of it's box and trying it for the first time. Now, I only tend to keep products that I really love so I manage to rotate my collection a lot because it's not so big but every now and then, some things stick. In this case, six things have stuck and here's why.

Radiance Reveal Concealer, Bourjois | I've definitely over mentioned this product but I just can't live without it and everyone needs to know it exists. It's creamy formula sits so well over almost all of my foundations and looks so natural when blended with a damp sponge. It does tend to crease but it's nothing that a soft sweep of powder doesn't solve. It has such a beautiful dewy finish and I reach for it more than any other concealer in my drawer. 

Hangover Primer, Too Faced | No joke, my skin has never looked as good after a primer as it does when I use this. I mentioned in my summer glow post that I use it with and without make up because it just brightens up my face so much and adds a lovely glow to my complexion. It's not your usual slippery, silicone primer. It's a thicker consistency and almost feels like a sheer cream - My foundation glides over it like a dream and doesn't separate. 

Killawatt Highlighting Duo, Fenty Beauty | I picked up the duo in Lightening Dust and Fire Crystal and at first, I wasn't sure how I felt about them. Fast forward a month and now that my tan has faded, I absolutely love them. Lightening Dust is surprisingly natural looking and I actually like wearing it with just a tinted moisturiser as well as a full face of make up. Fire Crystal is just stunning. I didn't think I'd get the wear out of it but it's perfect for a night out and I'm so excited to wear it over Christmas and shine like a bauble. 

De-Slick, Urban Decay | From the first time I tried this, I was absolutely in love. I'd already tried All Nighter which didn't really work out for me but my first night out using this, I couldn't believe how much my make up didn't budge. It's worked wonders with every product I've used, even the most slippery foundations, and it also works well for foiling eyeshadow and making a powdered face look less cakey. I. Love. It. I actually cheated with this one - I've been using De-Slick for years but this just happens to be a new bottle.

Ka-Brow, Benefit* | As I mentioned in my brow post, this has to be the creamiest, most easy to work with and best colour matched pomade I've tried so far. I didn't know how I'd get on with this at first but it glides on like a dream. I've used it with the brush included and some other ones from my collection and it works wonders with every single one. I highly recommend trying this if you haven't already!

Cloud Paint, Glossier | I have to be honest, I wasn't entirely sure how I'd feel about this product to begin with but since trying it over the past few weeks, it's found it's way into my every day make-up stash. I touched on it briefly in my Glossier haul but to mention again, I've been using this on my cheeks for a subtle rosy glow and also as a stain on my lips. I'm planning on picking up some more shades in the future because they really are so versatile.
 I hope you've enjoyed hearing about the make up I've been loving recently. What have you recently added to your beauty stash?

*This post contains a PR sample

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Sunday, 29 October 2017

Current Skincare Staples

Current Staple Skincare Products
Over the past year, I've really been trying to take care of my skin and listen to what it needs. Just roll with me. My skin is normal/combination and I know that when first delving into the world of skincare, it's easy to take all the products that sound life-changing and slather them over your face which is not always good.

With blogging and just generally being inquisitive, I tend to trial a lot of different products. Some new discoveries I've come to absolutely love but in some cases, products haven't agreed with my skin and I've really paid the price for it. So, even though I'm having fun trying out new things, I've been thinking about the products I go back to time and time again because they're such staples for my skin and I know my skin loves them.

L'Oreal Fine Flowers Toner | I've been using this toner at night since I mentioned it back in my Boots haul last spring. I picked it up the Dry and Sensitive formula because after cleansing, my skin can get a little dry. I love the consistency of this and a little bit goes a long way. It effortlessly removes traces of make-up and glides across the skin so nicely. It also doesn't irritate my skin at all, something that tends to happen with other toners. This one will be a repurchase for a long time. 

Cleanse and Polish | I go back to Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish time and time again and recommend it to anyone that hasn't tried it before. I use it if I've got a full face of make up on or even first thing in the morning. It leaves my skin feeling squeeky clean without stripping it of it's natural oils and making it feel irritated. My skin feels completely refreshed after using this and I'd never be without a bottle of it in my bathroom cupboard.

Balm Dot Com | If you've seen my Glossier haul you'll know that this is a recent addition to my beauty collection but one that I know I'll repurchase as soon as I'm out. This balm is ridiculously smooth and melts as soon as you put it on your lips. It seems to keep them hydrated for just as long as my Eight Hour Cream and is a great size to throw in any purse or bag. It's definitely a new staple for me. 

Triple Active Night Cream | Just like the Fine Flowers toner, I've been using this night cream since last spring and I love it. It hydrates my skin without making it greasy and is the only night cream I've tried that doesn't make my skin tingle after using cleanser and toner beforehand. It's such a nice, thick consistency and the pots last me for what seems like forever - I've even got my other half hooked on it. Along side this, I also use the day cream formula every morning. 

Salicylic Acid 2% Solution | I discovered this product when I first decided to try out The Ordinary range and I finally understood why it's forever sold out. This works wonders on my red, blemish prone skin by exfoliating the walls of pores (so I read) for visible skin clarity. In a nut shell, it reduces redness, banishes existing blemishes and helps them to stay at bay. A winner in my eyes. 

There you have it, my current skincare staples. What are yours?
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Tuesday, 24 October 2017

What I Picked Up From Glossier And My Thoughts So Far

Thoughts On Glossier
It's hard to believe that it was only two weeks yesterday that beauty fanatics across the country lost their shit after Glossier ~finally~ started shipping to little ol' Great Britain. Not going to lie, I was one of them. I sat down at my desk and by 9.04 my order was placed - All that was left to do was wait. 

After seeing what felt like 32457 reviews, hauls and unboxings, my order was finally available to collect last Sunday. I really wanted to get to know these products before sharing my thoughts with you so I left this post on my to-do list for about a week but now I've gathered my findings and I'm ready, so here we go.

Milky Jelly Cleanser | This cleanser is so lovely that I actually get really excited every time I get to use it. Exactly as it's name suggests, it's a milky colour with a jelly consistency and it feels so damn good on your cheeks. It has a really subtle rose scent and left my skin feeling super soft. I do think that this cleanser is best used on a face with no-to-minimal make up only because I didn't feel my skin was 100% clean when I used it to take off my foundation. Bare in mind, I'm quite fussy when it comes to cleansers - I love trying new ones but it takes a lot for me to convert. 

Priming Moisturiser | After using this initially, I thought this was going to be my new holy grail moisturiser - I'm a big lover of the Too Faced Hangover primer so I thought this might allow me to skip a step in my routine, doubling up as both. I found the formula to be non-greasy and it doesn't make my skin oily throughout the day. For me, the only drawback to this product is that it isn't hydrating enough for my skin during these cold months when it tends to be dryer than usual. Great news is Glossier offer a richer option so I think I might sample that until the spring.

Balm Dot Com | As a serial lover of all things balm and beautiful, this is a nice little addition to my collection. For the past week, I've been using it in place of my Eight Hour Cream which, if you've read my blog before, you'll know I absolutely swear by, and it's been a nice little change. It's a smooth texture and isn't greasy or sticky and is definitely something I'll be keeping in my handbag. I'd be very interested to try one of the flavours next time, I've heard they're to die for. 

Cloud Paint | I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I love this and like the cleanser, I get really excited to use it. It's a beautiful pink berry shade and I've been using it mostly for a flush on my cheeks on a minimal make up day or as a lip tint. It's so easy to blend which surprised me after having bad experiences with cream blushes in the past. I can't wait to put some other shades on my next order and if you're looking for a run down of pretty much every shade, Lily from Pint Sized Beauty has you covered. 
I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on Glossier after using some of their much loved products this past week. Did you pick anything up? If not, what's on your wishlist?

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Monday, 16 October 2017

How I'm Keeping My Summer Glow This Season

How I'm Keeping My Summer Glow This Season
There's nothing I love more than holiday skin. It's the kind of skin that glowing, slightly sun-kissed and requires the most minimal make-up. Despite the obvious sun exposure, there's no doubt that my skin feels healthier when I'm exploring somewhere nice and sunny - I think it's a mixture of constant hydration from mists and sun-creams and frequent cleansing due to make-up changes and soaring temperatures. 

I've been back from holiday for two weeks now but I'm desperately clinging on to that summer glow skin so today I thought I'd show you what make-up bits I'm using to keep it up.

Dew The Hoola Bronzer | This product is underrated, seriously. I actually got a sample of this at the beginning of the summer and knew it was a product I had to purchase for during and after my holiday. It's the most user friendly liquid bronzer I've come across and honestly, I can't stop using it. I would say however the colour is a little too warm for the winter months but whilst I'm skill the tiniest bit tanned, I'm going to continue using it. 

Hangover Primer | I can't believe I'd never used this product before and ever since I popped it in my Sephora basket, I haven't been able to stop using it. It leaves my skin feeling so hydrated and smooth and I've been using it with and without make up. Honestly, I don't find it helps my make up last any longer but the way it makes my skin feel outweighs that. Also, it smells delightful.

Radiance Reveal Concealer | I've been using this concealer for a while now and I made sure to include it in my 'Best Holiday Beauty Bits' post for the simple fact that it's brilliant. I use it under my eyes, on my chin and my forehead for a dewy coverage and it really does work wonders when it comes to brightening my complexion. 

Backlight Priming Filter | This is a very new addition to my make-up collection and I didn't believe the hype until I used it for myself. This primer, like the Hangover Primer, works great with or without make up and adds the most dreamy glow even when my face looks a little dull. Sometimes I use this all over the face, sometimes just on the high points of my face - It's so versatile and it's definitely worth trying out if you haven't already. 

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighting Duo | I couldn't wait to get my hands on a little Fenty Beauty when I headed to Sephora and with so much to choose from, I felt that if I was going to purchase anything, it needed to be this. I've been using Lightening Dust on my cheekbones, brow bone and down the nose and Fire Crystal just a tiny bit to finish it off. I like the overall look it gives and I definitely think I'll use Fire Crystal into the winter months.

Dandelion Blush |  Dandelion is a bit of a forgotten favourite of mine. I used it a lot a couple of years ago but it's been stashed at the back of my make-up drawer ever since. I rekindled my love with it recently though and had to pick up this mini box in the airport. It gives the most subtle yet healthy flush of colour and is so brightening on the face. It's hard to go wrong with this shade and definitely one to try if you're just starting out with Benefit blushes. 
I hope you enjoyed reading about the products I've been using to keep my holiday glow and I'd love to know if there are any you'd recommend or love using!

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Sunday, 8 October 2017

Perfecting Your Brows This Autumn

Perfecting Your Brows This Autumn
Perfecting Your Brows This Autumn
Brows can be hard to master and ever since Cara Delevingne and co showed skinny brows the door, we've put down our tweezers and started aiming for those full and natural beauties. Those who know me will know that I'm a huge lover of all things eyebrows - they're practically my pride and joy - so when Debenhams sent me some Benefit products to try out, I couldn't wait to share my tips and tricks to help you perfect your brows this season. One eyebrow lover to the next. 

Ka-Brow*| It was only recently that I started using pomade style products on my eyebrows and so far I'm absolutely loving this one. The formula is more creamy than others I've tried and it's so easy to achieve a natural look with either the brush included or one of your own. I like to use it to create hair like strokes to thicken out my brows. With this product you can go messy or more defined and it's super simple to achieve either. 

3D Brow Tones*| I have to admit, when this product was first released I chose the Gimme Brow instead because I at the time, it seemed more of what I needed. Fast forward to now and I actually really like it. It basically adds highlights to your eyebrows but super subtly - so you're not adding bright blond to dark hairs. I'm a huge fan of the wand that comes with this product. It's spiky and silicone which makes it so much easier to distribute the product as oppose to dense spoolie-type wands. 

Precisely My Brow*| Out of all of the products, this is definitely my most used which I didn't think would be the case. I usually find pencils, especially twist-ups, to be incredibly dry and crumbly but this one glides on like a dream. Also, because it's so fine, it tends to stay sharp so I can always get a clean line. It's perfect if, like me, you like a clean and polished look. 

FoolProof Brow Powder*| I think this brow powder is definitely a love hate product. On one hand, it makes it really easy to create a gradient and natural looking eyebrow but if, like me, you like a clean and polished look, I don't think this would be for you. I did however really like this product for no-make up days, just to give my brows a little fullness. I think it would be perfect for daytime holiday make up so I'll definitely be taking it with me next time I travel. 
What do you think of the Benefit eyebrow range? Do you have a favourite product or one you're dying to try? If you're interested in picking up any of these products, here you can shop the full Benefit Brow collection.

*This post contains a PR sample
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Sunday, 1 October 2017

On Changing What I Care About

On Changing What I Care About
I’m currently writing this blog post sitting in bed. It’s 1.20am, I have to be up for work in 6 hours and my girlfriend is currently snoring away next to me. I don’t normally write ‘spur of the moment’ type posts but I just had a few thoughts that I can’t help but share.

It may not seem like the biggest revelation and I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before but I want to change what I choose to care about.

Here me out.

A bit like the fuck budget from way back in January, I’ve actually just come to a hard realisation about things I want to care more or less about so, naturally, I thought I’d share them with the internet at what is now 1.23am.

I want to start caring more about buying my girlfriend flowers because I know she likes them and it’s not something I do often enough.

I want to stop caring about whether the cats are lying on our ‘good blankets’. We bought a washing machine for a reason.


I want to stop caring about whether my house looks immaculate all the time. Nobody lives in a show home and I need to learn that leaving a piece of fluff on the carpet for a day is perfectly cool.


I want to stop caring about FOMO. When we were on holiday last week, I was sitting by the pool with an ice cold beer thinking ‘why the hell don’t we do this more often?’. Simple answer is because we blow so much money doing pointless shit because we don’t want to miss out.


I want to start caring about what I’m eating again. No fad diets or insane workouts, just eating well where I can.


On the same note, I want to care less about people that judge me for eating a sandwich one day out of five. It’s two pieces of bread, get the fuck over it.


I want to care more about building up my savings but in manageable amounts.


I want to care less about doing unnecessary work to our house. Yes I'd like to replace the carpet in the hall but it's going to be super expensive and there's actually nothing wrong with the carpet anyway.


I want to care more about how I handle situations. So what if the dishwasher isn't empty? 
I actually didn't realise there would be so many things on this list, it really all stemmed from me wanting to buy my other half some flowers for putting up with me being a moody pain in the ass 99.9% of the time. 

It's now 1.47am and I think I'm done so, goodnight X 

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7 Things To Try When You're Next In Las Vegas

This post was written before the awful events that took place on the Las Vegas strip on Sunday October 1st. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved.
7 Things To Check Out When You're Next In Las Vegas
If you haven't guessed already I'm back from Vegas and I'm not ready to stop talking about it just yet - sorry not sorry. We arrived back on Friday afternoon after the best week and from the second we checked out of the hotel, I haven't been able to stop thinking about sharing these - mostly foodie but some fun - recommendations with you. 

Voodoo Rooftop Nightclub | I'm not much of a club lover these days but I was desperate to check out Voodoo while we were in town. It's located 51 stories up on top of the Rio and offers the most amazing panoramic views of the strip. We actually managed to gain free entry after a hostess was giving out tickets in the casino. Then we drank a little too much and danced the night away to some of the best music. It was so much fun and I'd go back in a heartbeat. 

Slotzilla Zipline | I finally plucked up the courage - with Bethans help - to do the zipline down Fremont Street. Thankfully the upper line was full for the night so we had to settle for the lower line instead (yay). Besides the abrupt stop at the end - which they do actually warn you about - it's so much fun and is a great way to see the old strip. 

Air Bar | I love Air Bar for two reasons, the views and the cocktails. It's on the floor below the Stratosphere observation deck and is such a great bar to enjoy a cocktail or two and actually offers a happy hour in the evening. If you want a relaxing drink in a surprisingly peaceful setting, you need to go here.

Chin Chin | Mother of god this Chinese food was to die for and was exactly what we needed after stepping off the roller-coaster at New York, New York. Our waiter was so helpful recommending different dishes to us according to what we liked and they had the most extensive sushi list I'd ever seen. The portions were absolutely huge so we definitely could have shared two dishes between the three of us but damn, it was beautiful. 

Gordon Ramsay Burger | I have hands down never eaten a burger that tasted as good as the Farm House Burger from here and despite our service being a little rushed, it was a great setting for our last evening in Vegas. It's just inside Planet Hollywood and tables are on a first come first served basis so there can be a bit of a queue. For tables of 3 or more, be sure to see the hostess first instead of waiting in line for 20 minutes like us - she offered us a table for 30 minutes later with no queue. 

Double Barrel Roadhouse | This was our second visit to Double Barrel and just as before, the food and service was amazing. It's outside the Monte Carlo hotel and offers a southern inspired menu with a great atmosphere and even better music. Go there, you'll love it. 

Frozen Cocktails | You can pick up frozen cocktails from pretty much anywhere on the strip and most places offer reusable cups where refills are a discounted price, usually about $10 - They're absolutely worth it! Not only are they perfectly refreshing on a hot day but they also save the awkward wait for drinks in a casino or the high price of liquor from a shop. Pink lemonade and tequila was the BEST flavour. 
There are a million and one places I could recommend to check out in Vegas but you really need to go and see them yourself! What's your favourite thing to do in the city or what would you most look forward to?

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Monday, 18 September 2017

5 Things I'll Be Watching This Autumn

5 Things I'll Be Watching This Autumn
Autumn is hands down one of my favourite seasons. For me, apart from the autumn norms of leafy walks and pumpkin picking,  it's also a time when I spend a lot of time cuddled up on the sofa with my other half, our two cats and some great TV. I sometimes feel guilty in the summer staying indoors but from September onwards it's perfectly acceptable so, as soon as I'm back from holiday, that's all I'll be doing. See you in the spring.

In our house, we like to sit downstairs and watch things on the big screen. Ain't nobody got time for a laptop in bed when there's technical bakes on GBBO - I want to be up close. That's where our trusty 5 year old Panasonic comes in and in line with the launch of the new Panasonic 4K TV Range, I thought I'd let you know what I'll be watching on TV this autumn. 

Desperate Housewives | Rainy autumn days were made for watching Desperate Housewives back to back. I'm making my way through the box set for the second time and it's happening far too quickly! Truth be told tough, it's so damn good and if you haven't watched it, I'd highly recommend it. 

The X Factor |  Nothing gets me more excited for the colder seasons than watching X Factor at the weekend. Gone are the nights spent sitting in a garden bar - now it's blankets, plenty of tea and hopefully the odd takeaway. 

The Holiday | Watching this in September and October may seem a little early but in my opinion this is the one film that will set you up for all the festivities. It's the perfect balance of romance, cheese and Christmas goodness without being too much.

Great British Bake Off | I don't have any desire to bake at any time of year but as soon as GBBO starts, I want to make sponge cakes, gingerbread and every Halloween bake possible. Also, I mean, who doesn't love seeing Paul Hollywood on the big screen once a week?

Love Actually | Just like The Holiday, watching this in autumn may seem a little premature but damn, this is the cutest film. Something about the Prime Minster falling in love with common-gal Natalie makes my heart MELT everytime. 
I hope you enjoyed reading about what I'll be watching this autumn, I'd love to know what you're loving for the season ahead!


* This post was written in collaboration with Panasonic. 
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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

4 Reasons I'm Proud Of Myself Right Now

4 Reasons I'm Proud Of Myself Right Now
I've never really been overly proud of myself. I won a few swimming badges as a child, got around 13 GCSEs and even moved into my own home just over a year ago but they didn't feel like things I needed to be proud of, they just felt normal. Recently though, there have been a few things in life that I'm actually incredibly proud of so I thought I'd toot my own horn and share them with you. 

Driving | I managed to pass my driving test first time last month and much as I'm pretty damn happy with that, I'm proud because I managed to pay for it all myself. I moved out of my parents when I was 18 so I figured there was absolutely no way I could afford to do it and even if I could, then I wouldn't be able to run a car but here I am. Whoop.

Promotion | 9 months after initially being rejected for the role, I've continued to work ~semi~ hard and been given the role as Team Leader. I'm so happy with the job and I'm surrounded by a great bunch of girls. 

Blog | I'm so proud of how ItsHollieAnn.com is coming along. I feel like my content and photography is improving post by post and I'm really enjoying writing at the moment. 

Growing Up | Last but not least, I'm proud because I finally feel like I'm doing this adult thing well. I have a beautiful house which I actually keep tidy, a good job and I'm choosing to surround myself with people on my wave length. I'm educating myself on new topics and exploring the world one bit at a time. 

There you have it, basically four reasons I'm blowing my own trumpet at the moment x
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