Monday, 22 January 2018

Get That Glow

I'm very much a glowy kind of person when it comes to base make-up.

Even though I'm an avid user of Estee Lauder Double Wear (what an absolute gem of a foundation), which leaves you with a matte finish, I always use products that will make my skin glow.

These range from primers, highlighters and setting sprays, so I thought that I would show you my favourite products for getting that glow!

Firstly, we have two absolute staples if you want a glow - the Anastasia Beverley Hills Glow Kits in That Glow and Aurora. To be fair, you don't need both, but I thought I would show you the two in my collection, as I feel they are both very different, but just as beautiful as each other. That Glow is very much a gold-focused palette, with a hint of a pink undertone in the shade Bubbly. This palette is absolutely perfect for summer, as it compliments a tanned skin tone. However, I do use the shade Bubbly all year round (as you can probably tell, I have well and truly hit pan), as I feel it is the one shade that suits pale skin tones in this palette. Plus, it's pretty. So of course I'm going to use it everyday.

The Aurora Glow Kit is one that is a newbie in my collection. It is very different to That Glow, as the shades have more of a icy reflect, and includes purple and blue tones.However, there is still the odd gold hue here and there! I feel that these give something a bit different to a make-up look, as they aren't the stereotypical highlighting shades that you normally find, as most palettes purely focus on a pink or a champagne undertone. Plus, these suit a paler skin tone, so they are perfect for me. I love experimenting with them too, and using different shades to highlight different areas of my face.

Next up is another new addition to my collection, the Urban Decay Naked Highlighting Fluid in the shade Aura. This is perfect for mixing in with your foundation to add a bit more of a dewy effect, and I also sometimes use it under my foundation on my cheekbones, my cupid's bow and the tip of my nose, just to highlight these points even more.

My favourite primer for a bit of a glow is the Estee Lauder Illuminating Primer. This is perfect for putting under your foundation, and leaves your skin feeling hydrated. Also, it helps your foundation blend so easily into your skin - I have used primers that literally do not help at all, and my foundation just clings to my dry patches! Plus, it helps your foundation last all day, which is fab!

I also have two setting sprays that I love for finishing off my glowy make-up look. Mac Fix+ is my absolute favourite setting spray for leaving my skin feeling hydrated and refreshed. It leaves your skin glowing and looking so healthy. It's just fab, and, as you can see, I've almost ran out (sad times), so I will definitely be repurchasing.

The Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray is a new addition to my make-up collection, and it is definitely a great one! I had heard great things previous to getting this, but saw no point in straying away from my trusty Fix+. However, I'm so glad that I did! This does exactly as it says on the tin, it literally lasts all night. So if you're struggling with making your make-up last all day, then definitely give this a go!

I thought that I would show you both, as I actually use them just as much as each other; I use Fix+ for a more natural, dewy look for during the day, and All Nighter for exactly that, a night out!

I absolutely love all of these products, and they are all definitely staples in my everyday make-up! However, I am always on the look out for new products to try, so do let me know which glowy/dewy products you have been loving recently in the comments below!

Much love amigos,

Grace x

Friday, 19 January 2018

Banish The Brass: How to Maintain Icy Blonde Hair

Hey guys,

I have never written a post about hair before, which is probably good because I legit know nothing about it. However, I have had a few people asking me how I keep my hair looking silvery/white, so thought I would share some tips on how I maintain the colour, and also a few of my favourite haircare products. I must warn you, I am definitely no pro, but just thought I'd share what I personally like to do when it comes to my hair.

I actually have blonde hair naturally, although my roots look incredibly dark in comparison to my current colour. I actually don't completely dye my hair, I only get highlights, and have only just ventured into a full head instead of half. I used to actually only stick to golden blonde, but I think ashy tones seem to suit my skin tone more (and also make me look a bit older and not 13 like I used to with my natural hair).

I also haven't had my hair toned at the hairdressers, yet actually somewhat tone it at home, using the products below.

Lol, pardon that massive spot above my eyebrow. It is called Kevin, and will hopefully be leaving my face soon.

Anyway, I've found that the key to maintaining it is actually using purple hair products. If you haven't heard of them before, they actually neutralise the brassy tones, as yellow and purple are opposites on the colour chart. This therefore makes your hair appear more bright and white, instead of a yellow tone.

Firstly, I use purple shampoo. My two favourites are the Bleach Blondes by Lee Stafford and the Pro:Voke Touch of Silver. I use these once/twice a week, and leave them in for 5 minutes; I'll normally alternate between which I use. And by the way, they turn your shower purple, so be aware that you may have to give it a bit of a rinse afterwards!

I then go in with my conditioner. I either use the matching conditioner by Lee Stafford, or will use my favourite ever conditioner, L'Oreal Elvive Colour Protect. Apart from smelling absolutely AMAZING, it leaves my hair feeling super silky. As I highlight my hair, I'm quite wary of it being quite dry and damaged, but after using this conditioner, it feels so soft. I then leave this in for about 2 minutes and then wash this off too. 

After I shower, I comb my hair through with a Tangle Teaser, as, again, I am very aware of how colouring my hair damages it, so I try my best to look after it as best I can. Tangle Teasers are great for knotty hair, as they comb through gently, without pulling out your hair. As someone with horrendously knotty hair (I always apologise profusely to my hairdresser, as it is a nightmare), these are a lifesaver. I then use this Bleach Blondes Toning Correcting Conditioning Spray from the Lee Stafford range (can you tell I'm a fan?), which again helps to tone your hair. To use, shake it well, spray it root to tip, then comb through. This just adds a bit of shine to your hair.

I also like to add a bit of oil or heat protection spray to my hair before blow drying it, as you've got to be careful with heat, especially on coloured hair. I have currently been loving the Coco-Loco Coconut Spritz from Lee Stafford, which smells like an absolute dream. To use, you spray it all over towel-dried hair and then comb through. It leaves your hair smelling amazing, but if you don't like coconut scented things, then I'd probably give it a miss!

I then dry my hair using the Dyson hair dryer (it's my mum's, sadly I will not be having this luxury when I go back to uni), which reduces heat damage and dries your hair faster. I firstly dry my hair upside down to add a bit of volume and then dry the top layer with a paddle brush. This is a nightmare with my knotty hair, but I always give it a go. 

When I'm at uni however, I just put off drying my hair for as long as possible and then dry the last bit, which actually leaves my hair feeling really soft, but also means my colour is more radiant than if I let it dry naturally. I absolutely hate drying my hair, as it normally takes SOOO long. 

Also, I would let it dry naturally, but my hair is pretty thick so takes about 6 hours to dry. It is an absolute chore.

Anyway, I hope that this post was helpful! As I said previously, I am definitely no expert, and I just do what seems to work for my hair. 

What are your favourite haircare tips?

Much love, 

Grace x

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Hello 2018!

Hey guys,

So, I posted about my highlights of 2017, so what better way to kick off 2018 than a good ol' post about what I'm getting up to in 2018, and hopefully what I will achieve this year? Plus, it gives you all a good nosey into my life, and it's something to look back on to see what I have actually achieved. Let's hope I actually do achieve some!

Well, I have a lot to look forward to this year! I have a lot of travel plans and events planned that I am so looking forward to, so thought I'd let you all in on what my year will hopefully be like, and my aims for the year!

Plans for 2018

Work experience at Penguin Random House - This is something that I am INCREDIBLY excited about. I have grown up being an avid reader, and cannot think of anything better than lying on a beach with a good ol' book; pure bliss. I have work experience here in the Marketing and PR department, and I cannot wait to learn all about marketing at a publishers. I am just so bloody excited! Can you tell?

Going to a ball - Okay, so this is literally the dream. I study English, and our department is pretty small, so we don't really get to do this kind of thing a lot. However, my boyfriend studies medicine, so one of the perks of this is being able to attend the Medball every year. I have never attended, as I felt that I would feel pretty damn inferior next to all the medics, but everyone I've met is absolutely lovely. And let's be honest, I can definitely get away with being a medic for the night. If anyone asks, I'll just blurt out random body parts or recite Wikipedia or pretend I'm drunk. Which I probably will be, so may not have to pretend. And I get to dress all fancy. Buzzing.

Going to Disneyland Paris with my best mate - If you follow me on Twitter, then you will know that me and my best friend Lucy (some of you may know her from Just Lucy's Life) are going to Disneyland in February. If you know either of us, you will know that we are going to embarrass ourselves a lot and fangirl over everything. But to be fair, if you're gonna go to Disney, you've got to go all out. We have already planned our matching Mickey ears and accessories. And yes, we know we are sad, but we don't care. We will get the ultimate blogger pictures outside of the castle and have no shame.

Finishing my third year of university in Italy - If you didn't already know, I'm studying in Italy (if you didn't actually know, where on earth have you been? It's legit all I talk about, lol). But, sadly, this is my final term there, but I will definitely be making the most of it and travelling as much as I can. And trying to get a bit of a tan to make myself not look like a ghost 365 days a year. 

Exploring more of Italy - So last year, I actually ended up visiting a hell of a lot of places in Italy, including Rome, Milan, Florence, Siena, Pisa, San Gimignano, Matera, Alberobello etc. I was so lucky to be within such close proximity of such beautiful places, and I will definitely be taking full advantage of this again in 2018. I hope to visit Naples, the Amalfi Coast, Lake Garda, Bologna, Venice, and so many more!

Visiting Canada with my family - The fam and I haven't been on holiday together for quite a while, so I'm so looking forward to exploring Canada with them! We are hoping to visit Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Whistler and Calgary, but these plans may change.

What I Hope To Achieve This Year

Putting my all into my blog - I've been writing on Love, Ellena Grace for almost two years now (what the hell, that has literally flown by), and I have loved doing this as a hobby. However, over the past couple of months, it has kinda dawned on me that I would absolutely love to pursue this as a career. This may never happen, but I would bloody love to give it a good go! Therefore, I'm aiming to post at least twice a week on here, and really try and up my photography game.

Actually stick to a theme on Instagram - Ah, Instagram. The social media platform that all bloggers love to hate. In all honesty, I love Instagram, and I love following other bloggers, and the number of followers I have has never really been something that I have been interested in. However, I have seen loads of bloggers with fantastic photography over on Instagram, and it has really inspired me to try my best to keep up a theme somewhat, and really experiment with editing and lighting. I mean, my photography is not great compared to a lot of people, but I want to get out of the whole 'comparing myself to others' crap, and actually do it for me. Plus, I've just got a camera and I love it, so may as well put it to good use!

Gain more confidence and be happy - Confidence is a thing that I have always struggled with, and I don't think I'll ever be 100% self confident (to be honest, who is?), but I'd just like to get over the whole thing of being self conscious. I want to get into the mindset of 'who cares if I go out without make up on?' 'who cares if someone laughs at me?' 'who cares if I make an absolute fool of myself?'. I'm on this planet to have a laugh, and I really don't care if people think I'm an idiot. It's accurate. But I want to get into the mindset of not caring and just being content with who I am. 

Get as much work experience as I can - Being a student sucks. I mean, it's great, but it sucks. The worry of not being able to find a job after university is constantly in the back of my mind. However, I have found a career path that I feel really passionate about, and would love to pursue. Therefore, I am going to try my very hardest to get as much experience as I can whilst I'm still a student, in the hope that I can make contacts and hopefully get a grad scheme. My fingers and toes are very much crossed for this one. 

So, it should be a pretty decent year! I just hope to have a laugh, travel and spend time with friends and family in all honesty, but anything else would be pretty good!

What are you looking forward to this year?

Much love, 

Grace x

Monday, 8 January 2018

2017: What a Year!

Well, 2017 was interesting, to say the least. In fact, it was a pretty damn good year!

A lot happened last year, including a hell of a lot of travelling (which I am so happy about), I moved to a different country, I got my first part-time job (which I love) and I also got hit in the face by a wet floor sign and got concussion. So yeah, been eventful.

So, I travelled a fair bit last year. I visited some absolutely insane places, including Amsterdam, Rome, Florence, Prague and even Magaluf. Yes, I went to Maga, and I promise you it is nowhere near as bad as everyone says it is. In fact, it was an absolute cracker of a holiday, and I had a right laugh with some of my best mates.

So first, I visited Amsterdam, which I actually wrote a post about last year. It was the first time my boyfriend and I had gone on a trip abroad just us two, and it was great to explore such a beautiful city with my best mate.

My next adventure was Prague, which again was a beautiful city, and one that I would love to return to. I visited here with my family, and got to explore quite a bit!

I then went to the infamous Magaluf, and had a bloody great time! Yes, we all got very drunk and embarrassed ourselves with horrendous dancing and karaoke (shout out to Courtney for our High School Musical duet), but it was a holiday that I will never forget. I bloody love my uni mates and am so thankful to have friends that I can just be an absolute idiot with.

I then went to London for a week, where I have frequently visited before, but never to do this. I actually interned at a business in the marketing department, and I absolutely loved it, and it has helped me realise that this is definitely something that I would like to pursue in the future. I visited London a fair few times last year, and had an amazing breakfast with my Mum in the Sky Garden, which I have pictures below. I also went to a fab blogger event, which you can read all about here.

Okay, so then I made one of the biggest decisions of my life and moved abroad. I actually moved to Italy. And it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have made some amazing friends and have been lucky to have visited some amazing places, including Rome, Milan, Florence and Pisa. I hope to venture to more places in 2018, as I absolutely adore Italy, and really want to make the most out of living there. Plus, my family love it, as they get an excuse for a holiday to Italy. Mum, Dad, you are very welcome!

I also turned 21, which still makes me want to curl up and cry, as that is too adult-y for me. I am not an adult. I refuse.

However, I had the absolute best party at the end of the year, where all my family and friends came, we got drunk, had a dance and I loved every second of it! It was the best end to a great year. Plus, I got to dress up all fancy, and if you know me, I never wear dresses. It is a very rare occurrence.

So yeah, was a pretty decent year! I cannot wait to see what 2018 brings, and I cannot wait to visit more amazing places.

What was your highlight of 2017?

Much love amigos,

Grace x

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Winter Skincare Essentials


Hey guys,

I'M BAAAAACK! Again. I say this every bloody time, but one of my new year's resolutions is to blog more, as I have come to very much miss sitting at my laptop and writing for hours on end. So, after a bit(!) of a break, I have come back to do exactly that, and am starting with my ultimate skin saviours for the winter season.

So, one of my goals for this year was to keep up a skincare routine, which I have actually managed to do (get in!), so my skin is feeling a hell of a lot better than it used to. However, the cold has definitely taken its toll on my skin (damn you eczema), so I have been upping the moisturiser application.

In relation to my face, my skin is pretty decent right now, with only having a few spots here and there, and the rare eczema patch, which I put down to using these few products. Firstly, I have these two products from Sephora; the Charcoal Exfoliating Cleansing Cream and the Instant Anti-Fatigue Eye Moisturiser. I picked these up when I was back in Italy, as we unfortunately still don't get Sephora in the UK (why, WHYYYY??), but after being out in Italy for a couple of months, I have fallen in love with Sephora's own skincare collection. In terms of price, they are really reasonable, and work an absolute treat. The Charcoal Cleanser makes my skin feel so clean and smooth, and is definitely a product that I will be repurchasing when I'm back in Italy!

I have always loved eye creams, yet have always forgotten to pick a new one up when I have used up my last. However, I thought that I should try something new, and after exploring Sephora's own range, I picked up this. It is absolutely perfect for hydrating your under eyes, and it has literally made my eye bags disappear (thought this was impossible, I normally look like I haven't slept for a year). It's so smooth and a little goes a long way. Again, will definitely be repurchasing when I get back to Italy.

Next, I have two moisturisers that I have been loving. I have literally just ran out of the Nip + Fab Kale Fix Moisturiser, as I was using it daily, but I still have my Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream. The Nip + Fab moisturiser is great as it's much easier to use (I don't know about you, but I much prefer tubes when it comes to moisturisers, as I feel like the ones in tubs I always manage to take too much). It's also great for making your skin feel refreshed.

I love the Kiehl's moisturiser, as it it lasts a hell of a long time, has an SPF in it, which is perfect for Italy, and makes your skin feel like its had a proper pick-me-up. I feel that the Kiehl's is a bit thicker than the Nip + Fab moisturiser, so I tend to use the Nip + Fab as a day cream and the Kiehl's as a night cream, but either would be suffice.

Next up is a body lotion that I have been LOVING - Lush's Karma Kream. As well as smelling unreal (if you haven't tried anything from Lush's Karma range, then you need to, it is just so calming and just smells, well, lush!) It rubs in like an absolute dream and isn't thick, which I find can be an issue with some body moisturisers, and it's something that I really can't stand. So, when I tried this, I was happy to find that it is quite light, but also a little goes a long way. It's also a great hand moisturiser, so is great for this chilly weather!

Next up, we have my fave scrubs. Before 2017, I wasn't really a 'scrub' kinda gal, yet now they are a core part of my skincare routine. I haven't really ventured out, but I have already fallen in love with these two, so haven't felt the need! The Palmer's Exfoliating Facial Scrub does exactly what it says, and literally makes your skin glow, and it smells unbelievable (like basically everything else in the Palmer's Cocoa Butter range!). I was actually very fortunate to be sent this by Palmer's, as I didn't previously know that they had a skincare range, but I am very happy that I found out!

The Sephora Charcoal Exfoliating Cleansing Cream is also perfect for when my skin is needing a bit more of a clean. It doesn't have as great a scent as the Palmer's, in fact it doesn't really have a scent in my opinion, but it really feels like your skin is able to breathe again after using this product, and leaves your skin feeling super soft. Apply a bit of moisturiser after using these products and your skin will be feeling pretty happy!

Also cannot forget the cult classic for your lips - Vaseline. My personal favourite is the Cocoa Butter one (can you tell I like cocoa butter?), as it smells so nice and your lips just feel so soft after using it. I always lather it on before I go to bed and wake up with really soft lips. Plus, it's great for putting on before lipstick, as it makes it much smoother to apply. However, I would recommend putting it on a little bit before and to let it soak in a bit, as otherwise your lipstick just slides over it, which is never good.

Another from the Palmer's range is the Facial Cleansing Oil. This is an absolute godsend for removing make-up, as it literally melts it off. I'm also really quite wary of what I use to remove my eye make-up, yet this just takes it off straight away, even my Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara, which is an absolute pain to remove normally! However, be careful with how much you apply to your cotton bud, as a little goes a long way, and I have sometimes ended up with oil dripping down my face (not good).

So there you have it, The Ultimate Guide to Winter Skincare Essentials. It's basically just a list of what I have been loving, but it sound fancier to be like ULTIMATE GUIDE! Plus, who doesn't love a bit of clickbait?

In all seriousness, I hope this has been somewhat informative and that I have passed on some of my skincare wisdom (lol, what skincare wisdom??). 

What skincare products have you been loving recently?

Much love peeps, 

Grace x

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

A Lot Has Happened in the Past Couple of Months...

Hey guys,

I'M BAAAACK! Well, it's been a bloody long time hasn't it. But I am back, and I have more posts scheduled for the upcoming weeks. Check me out, being all organised.

Not going to lie, a lot has happened since I last wrote one of these posts, including travelling Italy (if you want to see more, then head over to my Instagram where I basically spammed with travel photos #sorrynotsorry) and turning 21.

Although, we don't talk about the latter. I refuse to admit that I am 21, as when I was younger, 21 was the age that I thought that I became and adult and now I know that this is wrong and I was stupid. 30 is the age when I become an adult and do adult things. Not 21. Silly younger Grace, how foolish.

But anyway, I am in third year of university, studying in a pretty fantastic place that is a hell of a lot warmer than England right now, and I am loving life. It's one of the most beautiful places I have visited, and it's great to be within a vicinity of some of the most amazing cities in the world. I mean, the other day, I hopped on a train to Rome. Rome. As in, actual Rome. Mad.

Also, I have agreed to do something ridiculously stupid. I am going to do the Rome half marathon. If you know me, this is actually laughable. I am in no way a runner, and I am definitely not someone who enjoys running. I pretty much hate it. But one day, my friend just turned to me and was like 'want to do the Rome half marathon?' and I was like 'okay yeah, go on then'. Didn't think it'd actually happen. But here I am, 2 months on, running. Voluntarily. Genuinely think there is something wrong with me.

#prayforgrace. No, really. Help me.

All jokes aside, I am pretty proud of myself when it comes to this. I never thought that I would be the person that would agree to do a half marathon, never mind actually train and do it. Lol, go me.

Another pretty huge thing - I've been accepted to do a work placement at Penguin Random House in their PR and Marketing department. This, to me, is completely insane. Genuinely, when I opened that email, I could not control my excitement. As a book lover, this was so exciting, and to be doing it at such a big publishers - I just could not comprehend it. But yeah, I am doing that in January, so be sure to look out for a blogpost all about my time there!

So, that is basically what has been going on in my life over the past couple of months. I mean, in terms of travel, I will be posting more about my adventures in Italy, so be sure to look out for those!

Plus, the beach that the photo was taken on is called Spiaggia Pane e Pomodoro. Which translates to Bread and Tomato beach. The English language just ruins everything. Plus, it's pretty funny hearing it being read out on the loudspeaker in comparison to all of the other languages.

And remember, I'm not 21. Just to remind you.

Much love guys,

Grace x

Thursday, 5 October 2017

A New Chapter

Hey guys,

So, I've kinda moved to Italy...

If you have been reading my blog for a while, or if you follow me on Twitter, then you will know that I'm on a year abroad in Bari, Italy. And I honestly cannot believe it.

It was pretty difficult trying to sort my year abroad in all honesty, but I am so happy to be here! The sun is out pretty much every day, my apartment is fab (although I'm on the top floor so I am very short of breath every time I get back into the apartment) and I have already made some amazing friends!

In all honesty, I was quite terrified about this next chapter in my life, but now I'm here, I just cannot believe that I was so scared, although I have learnt that I really need to brush up on my Italian! Word of advice, just knowing 'pizza' and 'pasta' does not get you a long way here...

Speaking of pizza, I literally had a pizza the other day that was too big to fit through the apartment door and I do not regret it one bit. I was in fact very happy that I can now carry a pizza that size through the town and not feel like I'm being judged. Not that I cared before, to be honest. #noragrets.

The seafood here is also amazing, so if you are a seafood fan, then Bari is definitely somewhere that you should visit. It's also very beautiful, with every street oozing history, and it is definitely perfect for getting that great Instagram photo. Wow, don't think I've ever sounded more like a blogger in my life. Apart from when I asked my boyfriend to not touch his drink until everything had arrived so I could take a picture. (Sorry Alex...)

Before, I was wondering if Bari was the right choice for me, and I'm not going to lie, my anxiety was just not good prior to coming here. But now I'm here, I could not imagine being anywhere else. And I cannot wait to document all my travels (and my very amateur photography skills) right here on Love, Ellena Grace. I'm also going to try and vlog some of my travels, although I am still pretty terrified of vlogging in public, but I'll get there. Anyway, I'd better get back to topping up my tan (lol, I joke, I still look like a ghost).

Thanks for reading, and I can't wait to share my adventures with you all!

Much love amici,

Grace x

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