29 May 2012

Instagruesday #2

 1. Boy & smiley thing from Extra 2. Best named product? 3. Post-exam celebratory drinks
 4. Quintessentially Londonian shot 5. A small pre-trip splurge 6. Lobby of hostel in Lyon, France
7. Quintessentially French breakfast 8. United Nations Offices at Geneva 9. Birthday Ted Baker top from the boy

A ridiculously busy week consisting of last ever assignment hand-ins, internship days, a trip to Paris, Lyon and Geneva, topped off with a massive cherry on top - the small matter of my 22nd birthday :) Business as usual will resume shortly! Hope you all have had a lovely start to the week!


Instagram: @MakeYuUp

<3yu
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16 May 2012

Swap: Samantha from RisingWater

I do love an occasional swap - it's a chance to get a hold of products you can't yourself, and it's just a bit fun and a nice little 'surprise' or 'gift' type thing that makes everyday life quite a bit more interesting ;) This time I got to swap with Samantha from RisingWater, who is a student in Canada. I love her videos, because she is so honest, practical and informative, so it was a pleasure to do a swap with her! :)


I know, aren't they all so yummy looking?!

*OPI mini
*ELF Super Glossy Lipshine in Pink Lemonade
*NYX MegaShine Lipgloss in French Kiss
*NYC Smooch Proof Lip Stain
*NYC Sun 2 Sun Bronzer
*Physicians Formula Bronze Booster (Medium/Dark)
*Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful

If you wanna know a bit more about them, watch my video! :)


Thanks Samantha for doing this swap with me! :)
Please go check out her channel here, and her video on what I sent her here!

Have you tried any of the goodies Samantha has sent me?
What's a product you'd like from abroad? :)

<3yu
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14 May 2012

Let's Change It Up a Bit..

Once upon a time, a youthful creature of adventure and change (definitely not that eloquent), I've now regressed to an old sod who can't be bothered most days to experiment, change, nor think beyond what is necessary for the upcoming exam. Part of it has to do with the busy lifestyle, but in the past week of exam studying, I've had more time at home to get ready whenever I was going out. During all this, I've also had various circumstances bestow me with lovely new goodies! The combination has stirred a bit of a change in the products I reach for.. :)


1. It's the beloved Urban Decay Naked Palette, yes! I'm currently on a mission to find my perfect day-time smokey eye, and have been traipsing through a bunch of old TiffanyD and Hollyannaeree videos for inspiration - wish me luck!

2. MAC So Ceylon - an acquisition from my MSF phase a year ago! I wore this on my cheeks yesterday for a lovely bronze glow. Adore.

3. You may have heard of my skin's chameleon-like tendencies, which in combination with my lazy tanning schedule, makes me purchase way too many foundations - all in different shades. NARS Sheer Glow in Barcelona is a perfect shade for me right now, combined with my favourite finish - natural.

4. Clarins Hydra-Matte Lotion was a bit of an impulse splurge whilst strolling around Debenham's to spend my beauty points. However, with none of my billions of moisturizers really suiting me and with a kind sales assistant talking me through my skin and what would work for me, in it fell into my hands. My first impressions? WOW.

5. Yep, my old friend is back! The Rimmel Sunshimmer Bronzer in Medium Matte is my summer contour, and with my winter contour used up (yay!), it was time to dig this baby out. Such a lovely natural sheen and a perfect neutral tone, despite it almost being used up, it will leave my collection with no bad points on its record!

6. I finally got my hands on it, thanks to the lovely Samantha from risingwater. It's the legendary Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful :)

What products have you been new to lately? :)

<3yu

Said exam will be done within a few hours of this going up, EXCITEMENT! I've noticed a severe lack of make-up posts in the past few weeks, so hopefully that will be rectified in the coming days.. :)
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13 May 2012

Instagrunday #1

 
1. Train to Manchester for Easter 2. Ben's dog Snowy 3. Sunny days
4. Catching up with the girls 5. Amnesty Int'l UK AGM 6. Cafe Nero study times
7. Strawberrys from the market 8. L'Oreal The L'OR Electric Collection 9. All Bar One brunch
 10. Studying fun times 11. Study time food 12. FOTN from friend's birthday dinner

Ideally I'd do 9 but I thought I'd do a catch up between when I started and now :)
Hope you had a lovely weekend - my uni secretary has told me it was the first sunny weekend since 26th March! Mental.



Instagram: MakeYuUp

<3yu
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11 May 2012

Review: Apivita Haircare (Shampoo & Mask)

I used to have a holy grail haircare routine, way back when before I started dabbling in other products. And right before I decided to go back to them, I found out they both tested on animals and took that as a sign to keep looking, and my journey's continued. Here are the two products that I've been trying recently:

(Dry-Dehydrated Hair with Almond & Honey)


One thing that I do love about the Apivita range (besides the lack of parabens, SLS and being very high in natural ingredients - usually around 90%+), in both their skincare and their haircare, is that they categorize products depending on your needs. However, I have found that with this range, it might be necessary to slightly adjust your standards of dehydration, or oiliness! But more on that later :)

Shampoo

I ADORED the shampoo. I loved the sweetish honey smell, I really liked the consistency, and I love the size of the product and ease of packaging. The flip top is really easy to open, even with wet hands, and the bottle is squeezable so you aren't stood there butt-nekkid, waiting for the product to drip out. The packaging is very nice-looking in your shower too with the brown bottle, and embossed lid with the pretty Apivita logo :)

In comparison to other SLS-free shampoos that I've tried, I found that it lathered really well, and that my hair didn't feel so rough after I washed it out, which I was incredibly impressed by. After drying off, my hair was always soft, smooth and clean-feeling - it was literally like any other shampoo, but without the nasties like parabens and SLS. I would happily use this over other shampoos, even if it had nasties - i.e. the condition of my hair was as good, if not better, than shampoos with parabens and SLS. I think the product will last me maybe 2.5 months . For €11.90 and the quality ingredients, I think it's reasonable, and a good length of time before you may get bored of using a single product. I would 100% repurchase this - but I still stand by my initial review a few months ago, that a €9 (£7) shipping cost is quite expensive.

Mask

The mask was also good, but not as impressive as the shampoo. I felt that this lightly moisturized, rather than intensively nourished. If you were committed to using non-SLS/paraben products, I think this one (and Apivita in general) is a great place to start because it wasn't difficult to use at all in terms of consistency and results, which can really be the sticking point with these natural products! But personally, I think my search will continue for a more nourishing mask. So for the time being, I used this mask more like a conditioner, and enjoyed it very much that way.

But because it was created as a mask, the full-size is a bit small. The picture you see above is 50mL which is 1/3 of the full size, and I think I probably got about 4 or 5 uses. Because I used it like a conditioner, I think €11.20 may be a bit much, but if you were using it as a mask I think it's a really good price.

'Slightly adjusting your standards..'

Now, back to the 'slightly adjust your standards' bit. I found that both these products dried out my scalp, which to be fair, I find quite common amongst organic, SLS-free haircare products. I have never struggled with dandruff, or even pieces of scalp in my hair, but I definitely had the latter using even one of these two products, and I know my mom struggles with that because she uses organic haircare too. But my hair felt ABSOLUTELY gorgeous and I loved the fact that I could get that effect without the nasty ingredients. So I think if you're thinking of buying these products, you have to kind of step it up a notch  - i.e. I have a 'normal' scalp, so will use the dry scalp range next time - and people with an oily scalp might find this range more suitable. I also think the key for me personally, as I can't see myself repurchasing the mask, would be to use a more moisturizing conditioner, hair oil or a scalp treatment after the shampoo.

In Conclusion..

Like I said, the best part about Apivita's products, besides the amazing ingredients, is the fact that they tailor to your needs. They have 15 - YES, 15 - types of shampoo for different hair issues you may have - you're bound to find something that works for you, if you keep the drying aspect in mind.

So overall, I was incredibly impressed with these two products and I would wholeheartedly buy a more suitable shampoo from Apivita myself. I think it's hard to find organic products that deliver similar results to products that are high in chemicals, so the shampoo is an absolute winner in my books.

However, the downside again, is the €9 (£7) shipping cost to the UK - I'd think about £5 would be reasonable, but your country may stock Apivita products, so it's worth checking here. My other favourite from Apivita is their hand cream, so it may be worth it if you plan on spending a bit, or splitting the costs with a friend. They also have free shipping for orders over €70, if you fancy a splurge :)

I would love it if they started stocking in the UK - they have an amazing range of products that I really want to try more of, that you can check out here. I'm in love with their product design and company ethos. The candles, the massage oils, bath salts..

Shall we start a petition? ;)
What are your thoughts on these products/Apivita?

<3yu
*Received for consideration.
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10 May 2012

Annual Wedges Purchase: Wallis Beige Patent Raffia

It's not that I'm not a shoe person, I'm just RIDICULOUSLY picky! So it's quite a special occasion when I buy shoes ;) And since I bought my greige wedges last year, they've been my go-to high heels. They are so comfortable and go with a lot of clothes I wear! But I did notice that they were a bit.. drafty in the winter, so I've been looking around for court wedges - preferably nude, and preferably with a cork wedge. While I didn't get what I initially wanted, I found a pretty good alternative..


These are the Beige Patent Raffia Wedges (that aren't beige, but are nude pink) from Wallis, and I absolutely adore them! I got these for a bargainous £28 with free shipping last week when Wallis had their 20% off sale, but they're still not too bad at £35 full price. Although the raffia part makes it quite summery, I think it's something I'll be willing to wear all year round anyway. I am one for comfort when it comes to heels, and have discovered that the wedges will be the way forward in my life! :P

Paired with my signature (a.k.a no-idea-what-else-looks-good) blue skinny jeans and baggy white v-neck t-shirt, I think it'll make me look a bit more stylish, girly and fashion savvy than I really am ;)

What are your go-to heels/wedges? :)
Who else is a comfort-seeker when it comes to shoes? Any tips or tricks to make them bearable? :P

<3yu
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9 May 2012

Haul: The Body Shop Super Offer

I friggin' love that place. I really do, it's the variety, the brand image, the ethics, the user-friendliness, the down-to-earth-ness - it just really draws me in! Anyway, had a bit of a haul the other day after months of just getting one thing at a time, or not properly splurging or 'hauling', so I came home a buzzed happy bunny with my bag of goodies.


So as you do at 1AM, I was looking up illuminators. I have huge smile lines, huge bags from uni and a bit of a shadow above my brows that I like to conceal, but I quite fancied trying the YSL Touche Eclat. Until it started looking a bit like marmite judging from reviews (although I do think people that don't like it seemed to have gone in thinking it was a concealer), and it didn't seem too clear whether YSL tested on animals or not, until I came across a review saying how The Body Shop (TBS) Lightening Touch was good, if not better.

So off I tottled to my nearest TBS, with my golden receipt in hand - oh yes, they give out receipts that when you spend £25, you get £10 off - a receipt I got when I spent £7? It's like a one off payment for a lifetime of spend £25 and get £10 off, it's amazing :P What's more, you can combine it with their 3 for 2 offers if they have it on. Now you know the reason for my haul ;)


This is TBS's Touche Lumiere (I choose to call it that because it sounds much cooler than Lightening Touch), which comes in 3 shades, that I think will cater for a wide range of skintones. I'm shade 1, but I think 2 was actually lighter! It's a really lightweight, pearlescent pinky peach formula which reminds me a lot of Origins Ginzing eye cream, and I find the effects really quite similar. I like this because even during my non-social, only-pop-out-for-lunch days, I can pop this under my eyes and places I want to highlight and look half decent. I've really enjoyed using this, although I do wonder if it's a placebo effect - I'll have to really work with it to see :)


When I got the lovely sales girl to try the Lightening Touch on me, she, to my surprised, use this humongo bongo foundation brush. Now I love my brushes - you guys know that - so I couldn't resist but pick this up as the first of my "3 for 2/spend £25 get £10 off"products. It's much flatter than my No7 Foundation Brush, and more like the MAC 190 so I thought it'd give a different effect from what I have and would be a worthwhile investment. For the Touche Lumiere, it is really good for patting in product. For foundation, it leaves a really nice streak-free finish which I was incredibly impressed by!


I could not for the life of me, decide on my third product. I uhm-ed and ah-ed between this Pressed Powder, Honey Bronzer and eyebrow pencil and settled on this. This was mainly because my Chanel Poudre Universelle, while being lovely, just wasn't cutting it with the amount of oil I produce in the city, and I don't have a powder I can take around with me that is the right shade and will provide coverage and mattify like my very missed Bourjois Compact Powder. I can say that I think I've found a pretty good dupe! I've only used it once as I've designated this my 'on-the-go' powder, but it's looking good thus far. And the packaging is so seeeeexy (it reminds me slightly of the car advert where it's like silver M&M's turning into cars? No?).


What is this fourth item you say?! Maybe not, but basically this wasn't from the store itself, but from this month's Marie Claire issue. A couple of months ago, I saw a woman on the tube applying this on her cheek and it looked fantastic! You could see her skin through it still, and it was just so natural and gorgeous and I've been uhm-ing and ah-ing over it since. So the joy when I was told this was to be a magazine freebie was beyond rational, to say the least. So of course, on the way back from TBS, I went by WHSmith to pick this baby up :) I've yet to use it, but I'm friggin' excited! It swatched a hot medium/dark pink so I think it will suit anyone and everyone. A 2-in-1 is always handy for the handbag too.

How much did that all set me back? A total of £21.20. I kid you not. I've safely got June's spend £25 and get £10 off voucher on my vanity, so I can go back for another treat next month - maybe one of their new body oils and something from their Lily Cole collection! ;)

I love the ethical approach of TBS, and they always have the basics of what you'd need. Their skincare is tailored to skintypes, and they have tester sets you can buy. They also have fantastic tools like natural sponges, face brushes and cotton pads which are always good to have, and I find it like a mini-drugstore in there that is just one, pretty, brand. I blimmin' love it.

Do you like the Body Shop?
What are your favourite products? :)

<3yu
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7 May 2012

She Said Beauty & I Said Dayummmm!

I didn't ACTUALLY say, 'dayummm!' as it'd take me to a whole another level of ridiculous that I don't want to get to just yet, but I was tempted to! As some of you may know, I'm a contributor for the She Said Beauty (SSB) box beauty magazine, and have been receiving boxes for a few months now. But I never wrote about them, because I honestly had yet to be blown away by them. I am glad to say however, that this month's box was superb.

I'm dying to know: why does every single box (bar Joliebox, well done you lot) insist on paper stuffing, tissue wrap, asymmetric ribbon-tying, and round stickers? Is there a beauty box manual I'm unaware of?! It doesn't bother me, I'm genuinely just curious..


At first glance I was a bit meh. But when I properly looked at the products I was very impressed.

The first product that caught my eye was the NATIO White Lotus soap. I'd gotten a different pink one a week earlier, as I wrote the magazine entry about it (that you can read here), and I really really liked it. I found it really gentle, cleansed my skin really well despite not lathering very well, and I felt it left just the right amount of scent on my skin afterwards. Absolute winner!

Then I saw the INIKA lipgloss. Knowing they were cruelty free from last month's Glossybox's INIKA eyeliner, I was excited to try something else from the brand!

The Green People logo freaked me out a bit - I think it was one of the Feel Unique boxes that had a make-up remover from them a few months back, and it was genuinely the worst make-up remover I had ever tried in my entire life. Although skeptical, I LOVE how they chose an SPF to put in this box, because I feel like no beauty box had done that yet, and it's something that everyone says everyone should wear, but no one really knows which to go for?!

I really liked The Vintage Cosmetic Company lashes too. Not only is the packaging adorable, they're really nice natural ones (not just mine, but the other ones that went out too) that I think most people would not mind having a pair of :) Very considerate, and a very good going for choosing a unique brand!


I also loved the extra for this month. It's from a brand called Snowberry, which I already superficially adore, purely because of the name, but the illustrations on the sachets are SO ADORABLE. The colour choice is really cute too. I'm so excited to try this, and they included a really nice range of products from the brand to different people, and they have some pretty unique products so I'm excited to look into them more :)


Kim Kardashian is one of those people that just.. physically depresses me, and makes me want to bang my head against a wall continuously. So I saw the perfume and was kind of like, "oh bloody hell", and it didn't make it better that I'm not a fan of celebrity scents either (except Christina Aguilera, she can do whatever she wants in my books :P). Until I caught sight of the word, "rollerball", which turned my reaction to more of a "HMM..". And to my surprise, and a slight odd sense of disappointment, I friggin' loved the smell. I am crap at describing perfumes, but I THINK it's a slight rosey musk (cue laughter)? Anyway, I freaking love it. I personally love getting perfume samples, but I know a lot of people don't - I think SSB did an amazing job by listening to what people say and picking a rollerball, and a less 'samply', bigger type of well-packaged perfume that smells absolutely gorgeous. I have to say, this has been one of my favourite things to have gotten from a beauty box.


Overall, I thought this was an amazing, well thought out box, with a great variety of products, ranging across perfume, skincare, accessories, make up and body care - a spectacular balance in my opinion! I also think the products they picked showed how they have listened to feedback that other boxes have gotten and that they have gotten. I really hope She Said Beauty keeps it up, because in my opinion, this individual box is the best one out of any beauty box company yet!


Do you subscribe to She Said Beauty?
What did you make of this box? :)


<3yu
*Received for consideration.
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3 May 2012

Event: L'Oreal The L'OR Electric Collection

Last night I went to the L'Oreal L'OR Electric launch with some other lovely blogger girls (namely Siobhan, Gem and Charli - hellooooo!), and had a fabulous time.. so why not blog about it?! XD

The L'OR Electric


The L'OR Electric collection was created to celebrate the 15th anniversary of L'Oreal sponsoring the Cannes Festival, and supposedly models the fluorescence and electric colours of the 80's. Each product has a dual-tone that is meant to make products look different in different lights. The collection will hit stores later in May, and while it is a collection, they may or may not keep it as a permanent line depending on what the general reaction is like :)

The collection consists of..

3 Color Riche nail varnishes, £4.99 each: Magic Croisette 811, Mythic Carpet 810, Mystic Blue 809.
3 Color Riche lipsticks, £8.16 each: Metallic Coral 407, Prismatic Pink 404, Electric Fuscia 402.
2 La Couleur eyeshadows, £6.99 each: Metallic Lilac 037 (pictured above), Magnetic Coral 039 (pictured below).

I agree. They could've picked better names..



When I first saw the collection I was a bit like, "Oh.." - but I think it's because I just tend not to do much with brights. However, I'm happy to say that swatching the products made all the difference - I think with a bit of courage, even neutral girls like me will enjoy this collection :)

Color Riche Nail Polishes

Mystic Blue 809, Magic Croisette 811, Mythic Carpet 810

I wouldn't believe it if I was reading this, so I won't blame you if you don't, but that's one coat each. I kid you not.

The application was super smooth, the brush shape is perfect, the pigmentation is amazing (although usually I think I'd do 2 just in case), and my favourite part - the formula is so thin that it dries really really fast. After I did these 3, I instantly walked out the door to get my dinner and I only have slight grazes, but no sign of the nail underneath. Mystic Blue has a dark blue dualtone, Magic Croisette has silver iridescence and Mythic Carpet has a lovely gold dualtone.

My personal favourite out of these three is definitely Mystic Blue. However, I doubt I'd pick any of the colours up myself if I'd seen them in store, because L'Oreal have loads of other absolutely stunning permanent colours that I would have picked! BUT I'm really glad to have Mystic Blue because now that I've got to swatch it, I would have purchased it!

Color Riche Lip Sticks

Lipsticks Top to Bottom: Metallic Coral 407, Prismatic Pink 404 , Electric Fuchsia 402

I think initially, the lipsticks were what I was the most excited about. I love the L'Oreal packaging but never picked one up so I was really excited to try some! The formula is very moisturizing and relatively sheer, especially with the bottom 2.

But again, my gut feeling is that I wouldn't pick them up if I just saw them in store, mainly because they're pearlescent and in the tube, they look very hard to wear, and the permanent shades have more comfortable shades. BUT again, swatching made me change my mind.

The bottom 2 shades are my favourites. Electric Fuchsia is like a sheerer, slightly shimmery MAC Girl About Town which it unique but classy. The dual tone isn't too obvious in this one, nor in the Metallic Coral. Metallic Coral is also nowhere near as pearly when applied as in the tube. Prismatic Pink is SO scary in the tube for a medium-toned girl like me, but again, this is very sheer and the VERY cool thing is the blue pearlescent in it - much cooler than the typical silver/gold. Now THAT is how you do uniqool (I mashed unique and cool, not sure if it worked though.)

Again, like the nail polishes, I may not have picked up Electric Fuchsia, nor uniqool Prismatic Pink, but if I'd gotten to try them (and no, not the manky samples in drugstores) I think I may have done!

La Couleur Eyeshadows

Eyeshadows: Magnetic Coral 039 & Metallic Lilac 037 

The reason why I did 2 photos of the same swatches is for these eyeshadows - look at the SHINE (and the blue iridescence in Prismatic Pink)! These are the winners of the line in my opinion. I've only swatched the Chanel Illusion d'Ombre (I think?!) eyeshadows, but these I imagine, are similar. They're like a bouncy, creamy but light formula, and pigmentation and blendability is absolutely fantastic. I think these 2 shades are stunning (the dual tone more apparent in Metallic Lilac), and I've only swatched them but they claim to be waterproof and longwearing.

I actually think I may have purchased Metallic Lilac (try saying that 3 times real fast!) had I seen it in store, because the shade is very unique. It's a grey-purple base, with mostly silver shimmers but I could swear there are other colours in there too. It's so colourful and gorgeous, and I think all 4 of us when we swatched it said something along the lines of, "Oooo..". I'm very tempted to go check out the permanent shades!





L'Oreal has had some briliant releases this year, and some of those were up for display. The Rouge Caresse lipsticks and the Lumi Magique line have occupied my wishlist on numerous occasions. Siobhan and I were OOO-ing over the pastel nail polishes in the last picture for ages, and I may pick some up! If they're anything like the ones in the L'OR collection, they are bound to be amazing.

All that said - I do wish L'Oreal would stop testing their ingredients on animals. I'm not an animal rights activist, obviously, but I do think it's something that they could stop doing to make their brand more accessible.


All in all, I really enjoyed the collection. For me, it wasn't initially very appealing, but once I got the feel of the products, as well as saw them individually, as opposed to part of a collection, I found it VERY cool, good, daring, artistic and interesting. Although, I only saw the dual-tone theme in a few of the products, but the fluorescent bit - oh yeah, saw that one.

One thing I wondered was whether they released this collection at the right time of the year. At first glance, I thought it was more of a nighttime collection and I thought it was very risky but cool that L'Oreal went down that route, when everyone else is resorting to the default pastels and summer brights.  However, I think when you look at individual shades, this can be a summery collection - the orange eyeshadow, the lipsticks and the pink and blue nail polishes are TOTALLY summer, but rockable on nights out as well! :)

***

Overall, I really enjoyed the event and getting to know the L'Oreal brand. The themes and ideas behind their collections really are intriguing and unique, and gives a bit of a more up-market and creative edge on other drugstore brands. I also loved the mini self-discovery I did whilst writing this post! XD So thank you for the PR team, especially Hannah, for the lovely evening :)

So I hope you guys got the feel of the collection, because I know if I hadn't got to try it out, or if I hadn't seen a blog post I may not have appreciated the collection the way it should be! :)

How are you feeling about the upcoming L'Oreal collection? :)
Any favourites from the brand?

<3yu
*PR Event/All products received for consideration
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2 May 2012

April Favourites 2012

What is going on - I'm late again!

(Here's a happy bunny picture because I forgot to take a pic of the products.. haha oops)

April's favourites were a bit difficult because I went back into autopilot and used a lot of the same things, and only experimented a few times with pinker blushes and coloured eyeliner - not enough to say they were favourites. So sadly, the colour-product dry spell continues! However, I can safely say that I'm back to my, "I WANNA BUY STUFF!" self with an arm's length long wishlist, so hopefully there will be newer products in the future - and it's my birthday this month! ;)

For the time being, please enjoy my favourites! :)



<3yu
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