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The Letter to 2016.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Often I find these ‘New Year, new me’ posts a little cliche, although I have written up a few of them myself over the last few years and do enjoy reading all of yours. But when I think about it , I figured why the hell not- the new year has started and having a serious think about how to improve and develop myself is only a healthy and constructive thing to do.

Everyone is at different stages in their life and has hopes for different things so I'm not here to offer you ideas as to how to change yourself for this year. Instead, I will simply say that the one bit of advice I could leave here for you if to 'Be the best version of yourself'. Be you without fear of judgement, and be all that you dream to be. It doesn't have to be a New Year to do something out of character or get out of your comfort zone but it sure is a great place to start when it comes to beginning fresh, and mentally feeling that you can leave the past behind you. 

And looking back over the last year, and even beginning my new career journey at the very end of 2015, I can only look forward to what 2016 can provide me with. I guess the things I hope for myself are resolutions of some sort but they are also part of this open letter from me about my life in all areas and the future.

When I say 'me', I mean it in the physical sense- the me everyone sees, and the me that I look at in the mirror everyday. I don't dream of being someone else as I will never achieve that if that was the case, however I do aim to happy in my own skin. Happiness leads to confidence, and confidence leads to unlimited opportunities and that can only lead to amazing things right?

This month begins the second year of my corner of the internet- scary right? Last year saw its first noticeable bit of growth and also a considerable change in my own style and direction for Elle Jay. Purchasing my own domain was a large step for me in proving that blogging is a part of my life that I take seriously and want to continue with for many more years to come.

This year you can expect a bigger and better quality posts, more content where I aim to re-invite my love for style back in and even potentially a fresh, new layout for you all!

Its so easy to feel down about bad or negative things that happen, yet so hard to appreciate even the small moments of happiness. If theres one thing I want to really work on this year its to be way more positive about life and as generic as it sounds, really start to make the most of my life.

Linking bad to the attitude change, becoming way more social is an area I know I let myself down on for 2015. Constantly choosing the company of Netflix over real people became far too comfortable for me and it is this comfort zone that has stopped me reaching for my goals and finding true happiness in life. 

This year you will also potentially see my face more on the social platforms as I try to get more involved with the blogging community and all you lovely people.

Any other feedback you have on this blog, or things you’d like to see more of, or less of, please do leave me a message in the comments. I would love to hear your opinions. I know we all enjoy different things, and it would be great to read what you think about it, and what you would like to see more of in this space.

Lastly, thank you all for an amazing 2015. This blog is for both me and for you, so lets make it the best it can be.

Seeking ElleJay.

The Festive Blog Update.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

If you have following my twitter or Instagram page aswell as my blog here, you may of noticed that I've been a little withdrawn from the internet and blogging world for the last month. With starting a new job and the festive period, I can't deny that I've fully enjoyed the break and was able to take time to evaluate whether this something I want to continue with into the new year. With this in mind, I therefore wanted to take this time to let you know that I am now back as I truly missed creating posts for you to all read and also socialising and staying up to date with the blogging community. I will be trying my upmost to maintain this blog that I have developed over the last two years while working full time and also without compromising on the quality of my content.

So, on that note, what better way to start up than with a update on the new bits I was lucky enough to receive from friends and family this christmas. Bit late for a christmas related post? Never. 

Ask anyone, I'm quite a difficult person to buy for as 'fussy' doesn't even cover it, but this year, everyone truly outdone themselves in making me believe that they really do know me and listen to me when I go on about the things I plan to buy. 

The next couple of posts here on my blog will give you a better insight into my thoughts and trials of each of these so keep checking back if theres something you've got your eye on too...

What present did you receive this christmas that truly surprised you?

Seeking ElleJay.

The Packaging Pro's.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Sometimes our makeup arrives in packaging that is so playful and chic that we can't help but want to leave it out on display.

Surprising as it is looking at my blog, I'm not a complete saver when it comes to makeup and beauty products. I whole heartedly love high street makeup but sometimes you can't beat a nice not-so-little treat. From beautiful packaging to the quality products that are worth a few extra pounds, I just have to have them. 

So today I thought I'd share with you a few of the packaging pro's from my collection, both new and old, that I really do simply love and fully recommend. I'd also love to know your own luxury favourites as I'm always on the lookout for more incredible products!

Which packaging style do you love? Bright and bold, or shiny and sophisicated?

Seeking ElleJay.

The Gift Guide: For Her.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

After giving you all some gift ideas for the beauty lovers out there and then those looking to fill some stockings in the last few weeks (here), I obviously couldn't leave out the gift guide for some regular gifts for us girls. There are so many lovely things I have seen this year for such reasonable prices that would make lovely gifts whether you are buying for a girlfriend, friend, mother or sister. 

Everything I have included is under £50, with a few things that are also under £20 that would also make great secret santa ideas. Gifts such as candles and tea light holders, and even pretty yet usable items such as purses, makeup bags or even festive cushions are the perfect go to option when you're stuck for ideas. I hope this guide gives you at least a little bit of inspiration for the festive season but remember, you are buying for other people, not yourself- resist the urge unlike me! 

Violette Purse* | Winter Nights Multiwick Candle* | Silver Reindeer Tea light Holders

What is on your Christmas list?

Seeking ElleJay.

The 3 Reasons I Still Use Cleansing Wipes.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The make up remover that is looked down upon by most beauty enthusiasts is the cleansing wipe or face wipe. One of the main positives about our blogs however is that everyone is different and everything works differently for different people. From the days where Dream Matte Mousse was the go to product, I have used cleansing wipes to clear my face of the days makeup. Looking back to then I also realised that not only makeup routine but also my skincare routine was so much more simpler back then, and my complexion was just more clear. It was at this moment that I realised perhaps my skin needs less products and needs a somehow less complicated routine. As much as I love trying new products and freshening up my skin with toners and creams and masks to see just what will happen, it just doesn't seem to work for me and can leave me with very spot prone, sensitive skin.

Cut The Time

In no way am I saying that you should just use face wipes alone, I am simply saying that I do not agree they should be overlooked. I do think face wipes do a great job at removing your make up effectively and efficiently. These wipes are kind to your skin and effectively remove makeup whilst also hydrating the skin opposed to some other cleansing products that leave your face dull, dry and tight. They come in a range of versions from sensitive, moisturising to brightening and they're just great for removing all your make up, even that painfully stubborn waterproof mascara. With around 20 in most packets, one wipe is plenty big enough for your whole face. Using a light amount of cleanser is a great idea after this if you feel like some still remains but juts think of the amount of money you could save by not using this all over every-time?

Space Savers

I haven't actually been away a lot this year but that doesn't mean I can't emphasise just how perfect wipes are for travelling. From trips abround to just spending the weekend at your family home, you can easily just throw a pack of make up wipes in your bag every time. They rarely consist of unnecessarily bulky packaging and are so travel friendly that there is no fuss or extra weight in your luggage. Yes, that means you can pack that ninth pair of shoes for your seven day holiday!

Refresh Your Skin

As I mentioned before, over the past couple of months, my skin and complexion has noticeably deteriorated. To blame other products would be very unfair as it's probably a mixture of things such as stress (and a lot of it), the change in weather, and a terrible diet. Reaching for my wipes has become the best solution as they are so gentle and hydrating that my skin doesn't break out in loads of patches or become tight. They're a gentle way to take off my make up, and I am so glad to have a product that both cuts my evening routine in half as well as my beauty buy spending.

So, with those horrid and cold times now approaching where you just want to hide under your duvet or blankets, why not save yourself so much time by trying out some wipes such as the ones pictured. I do believe that they are really underrated and have received some rather unfair and unjust reviews recently as I completely swear by them, and recommend everyone having a pack in their collection even to just use for nights when you are contemplating just doing it all in the morning.

What do you use to take off your makeup?

Seeking ElleJay.

The Gift Guide: Stocking Fillers Under £10.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Just because stocking fillers are supposed to be low priced gifts, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be nice, right?

If theres one family tradition I've adopted from others in this few years, its to have a stocking filled with goodies at the bottom of your bed on christmas morning. Chocolate, jewellery, socks, mini bath products- whatever you like to put into a stocking- I really think its a key factor that its both small enough to actually fit into a stocking and also inexpensive. I've seen a few stocking filler ideas floating around on blogs recently, which I love to see as I'm forever struggling with ideas, but it also seems that the point of them has somewhat been forgotten and large gift sets of about £50 are being suggested which surely is more just a general gift?

Anyway, aside from that, on my current hunt for stocking filler ideas and just general suggestions for my own wish list, I've come across these amazingly cute and inexpensive gifts that would be great for that early morning surprise!

Seeking ElleJay.

The Kiko Brand Focus.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Kiko Cosmetics, if you have not heard of this brand before, is an Italian make-up range that is now available here in the UK. This brand aims to be all about new cutting edge technology and provide a good value for money selection of products. I have only a few of their make-up options* to introduce you to, but realistically they have a huge amount to offer for all skin types, colours preference, tones and textures.

This brand has recently popped up here in Bristol and it wasn't until I was emailed about it, did I know about its opening. The store itself is great looking and judging by the amount of people inside when I popped in, its really taken off here! After I had visited and got a feel for what they were about, I was also offered a couple of products to try out. I can't begin to describe how delighted I was with the bits I was sent too as they really allowed me to test something from a variety of areas. 

The most amazing news about this brand however is the price tag. Its not quite as cheap as MUA Cosmetics (I still dont know how they do it), but all of the products are really good value for money taking into account their longevity, texture, pigment and also they fact they come in a fancy, sleek box too. I was very, very impressed by Kiko Cosmetics overall and have also written a little review for each of the products below so you know if it will also be a great product for you too.

Kiko Velvet Touch, Creamy Stick Blush in 03 Coral Rose* (£7.90

Admittedly, I'm more of a powder blush person myself as the application tends to be more even and less sticky, however after about my second application of this, I was sold. The texture of the blush itself is smooth, fast and easy to apply too which always a massive selling point for me while I constantly chose sleep over the extra 10 minutes getting ready in the morning. However, luckily the pigment wasn't too strong with this product either that it looked terrible but with it being almost an orange shade too, a natural and subtle  look is certainly what this blush gives you. Sadly however, the one issue I do have with this product is actually the functionality of the packaging, as once I had twisted the stick up, it would not twist back down and had to be pushed back into the case.

Kiko Volumeyes+ Active Mascara * (£7.90)

When it comes to eye products, I'm very careful with the brands I tend to use and with this in mind, I left the mascara til last when testing Kiko Cosmetics. When I had no reactions to the others however, I went for it and wow, was I impressed. The bristles on the wand itself catch even the smallest eyelashes while both coating and lifting them. The lift however didn't last quite as long as my other high street mascara but surprisingly, the boldness and definition of my lashline was definitely improved with this mascara.

Kiko Skin Tone Corrector Primer in Peach * (£9.90)

The last of my three products is this skin primer and tone corrector. Im a huge fan of primers in general as an even base is always my main priority when applying my makeup and primers make this so simple and easy to do. This Kiko Primer however is no different. Its medium consistency and coloured substance actually acts as a sort of light base in my opinion and really is quite similar in so many ways to the Bare Minerals Primer but for a fraction of the price. Overall, this is an amazing find and probably my favourite of the three however, its very slight shimmer is one aspect that i'd probably change, but once foundation is applied on top, this appears as no more than a dewy base.

Have you tried any of the Kiko Cosmetics?

Seeking ElleJay.