How to Fill a Stocking for a Beauty-Lover

After all the obsession about beauty advent calendars this year, I thought I'd write a quick post about filling a Christmas stocking for a friend, sister, daughter, girlfriend or simply anyone who's into beauty. The photos below are of the stocking I've made for my sister this year and I think that I've done rather well. Due to the size of the stocking, everything has to be a cute mini size and it's the perfect way to try new things without splurging on a Glossybox subscription. 

Festive Haul - Primark, H&M, Ciate

Happy December! I hope you're enjoying the start of the Christmas season and looking forward to spending time with friends and family. It's been quite a spendy month for me as my Erasmus grant finally came in and I thought I'd treat myself to a few bits and bobs before I go home to England at the end of December. 

November Favourites


Luxemme Christmas Voucher Giveaway

Leopards in Leipzig


Chocolate in Cologne

New Favourite Store: TIGER


Easy Halloween Costume: Dead Barbie

It's Halloween season and yet again I'm the laziest person ever when it comes to costume preparation! Whilst some people spend weeks browsing Amazon and their local fancy dress shops, I always struggle to find costumes that really suit me. This year I came up with my own idea and after 'Zombie Daphne' last year, I present to you 'Dead Barbie'. My Halloween celebrations won't be until tomorrow night but I decided to play around with my makeup to practice and experiment before the real thing. I found a few tutorials on Youtube to create this look and it turns out it's the easiest creation ever; you'll be looking plastic in no time. All you need is a candy-pink lipstick for the lips and the neck wound, a black eyeliner to create a 'head stitched back on' effect, and a 90s-looking T-Shirt. I was lucky enough to find a Barbie-logo top in H&M but I don't think it's essential. To up the Barbie-ness you need to inject pink into your look wherever possible, which is why I shall be painting my nails pink tonight.

I hope this was helpful if you're stuck for costume ideas, it makes a change from a witch or a zombie. Have a spooky Halloween whatever your plans are!


Autumn Wardrobe Update & Style Staples

As much as I love the summer, there's just something comforting about wrapping up in cosy jumpers and finally being allowed to browse the chunky scarves and long boots. I'm a big fan of 'fall fashion' and I thought I'd share a few clothing pieces that have been a pleasure to wear during the shorter days and chilly weather. My 'style staples' if I may. The jumpers were bought in the UK but the tops are from my new favourite European fashion brand (other than Zara), Pimkie. 

Starting with the 'Pimkie purchases', I seem to be drawn to bold prints at the moment and fortunately, their tops are a perfect fit for me. The winter florals top was in the sale and is a beautiful tactile silk-like material. I've worn it a few times and paired it with simple black jeans and black boots - the florals speak for themselves. The black and white striped top is great for dressing up or down, it would fit in for a lecture, dinner date or even a night out. Plus, the jewelled detailing means you don't even have to think about accessories. Finally, the grid print top epitomises geek chic and lets you express your inner maths nerd with a passion for graph paper.  

Jumpers-wise, this Zara boatneck beauty is a dream to wear and was a bargain at £20 from the Leeds store. I definitely feel quite nautical when I wear this and next time I'll probably whip out a red lipstick to make the look complete. When I'm feeling less nautical, I love wearing this berry jumper from Oasis which is the warmest, cosiest, fluffiest thing ever. True story. The black and gold necklace shown is from H&M and I've been very impressed with their jewellery collection.  

What are your Autumn style staples?


German Drugstore Beauty Haul

If you read my last post, you'll know I've now been living in Germany for two weeks on my year abroad and during this time I have been slowly accumulating beauty products from my new favourite shop, DM (basically the equivalent of Boots). Some of these things are unfortunately only available in Germany but since they're still international brands, I thought they were still worth including!

First of all, I picked up the Catrice Glam and Doll Volume Mascara after Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup raved on about it as a dupe for the Loreal Telescopic Mascara. After trying it out a few times, I can confirm it is extremely similar and a fraction of the price. It's amazing at lengthening and defining the lashes and in some ways I prefer it to my Benefit Roller Lash mascara as the lengthening power is insane. 

When it comes to brows, I think Maybelline products really do pack a punch. I wear the Brow Drama Gel on a daily basis and am now using it in conjunction with the Brow Satin Duo Pencil for a bold brows look. It's also been compared with the Antastasia Brow Wiz so bonus points there too for penny-saving. The product is a thin retractable pencil on one end and a brow-filling powder on the other. Personally I'm more of a fan of the pencil as it gives a defined but natural effect.

I'll admit I'd pretty much forgotten about the Maybelline Colour Tattoo's until the other day. I remember purchasing 'On and On Bronze' when the range was first released and I prayed for a more neutral shade to be added to the collection. In steps 'Creamy Beige', a matte shade that is more on the light brown side but extremely flattering and excellent on its own or as an eyeshadow base. This extended colour range may only be available in certain European countries, or maybe just not in my local Boots, but I'll definitely be back for more.

Finally, I ended up buying Essie's Bahama Mama - the ultimate Autumn Winter wine red. I don't have a snap of it on my nails but check out my Instagram as it won't be long! @modernaudreyh. 

Have you ever bought some makeup from Germany? Are there any brands I need to look up?


Year Abroad Week One - Girl in Göttingen

So last weekend I made the big move to Germany for my year abroad. It was all the things I expected: stressful, emotional and downright confusing. Moving abroad isn't easy, from praying your suitcase isn't over the weight limit, hauling it on and off trains to trying to get your bearings in a completely new foreign city. My first day was one of the worst of my life; it just so happened that I'd chosen to begin my year abroad journey on a German bank holiday. Most shops were closed and would be the following day too - a Sunday - meaning all I could think about was how I was going to cope food-wise and kitchen essentials-less. Luckily I was with my friend from England but we ended up spending hours looking for the occasional corner shop to stock up on a few things. And then the shower in my flat broke, which was fun. But despite being quite home-sick this week and thinking a lot about friends and family that are either scattered across Germany or back home, I can now say I'm starting to get used to life here. 

 For the next few months I'll be in Göttingen, a small-ish town about half an hour from Hannover. This blog will still be mainly fashion and beauty related but I'll be posting the odd travel piece from time to time just so you can get a glimpse of my new life in Germany. I've met a few other Erasmus students already so I'm sure there will be many adventures to come. My highlights so far have been...
  • Getting through a conversation at the German O2 shop, resisting the urge to go into English or whip out Google Translate 
  • Being mistaken for German.. temporarily
  • Getting the shower fixed (Happiest day ever)
  • Drinking a Radler (beer with lemonade) in a traditional German pub
  • Going to a German club and becoming obsessed with the song 'Geiles Leben' - Youtube it now!
  • Discovering that you can apparently pan fry frozen fish fingers here!? Yes I have been eating healthily Mum
  • Going into a Douglas store for the first time and not wanting to leave
  • Remembering to bring a plastic bag with me to the supermarket, that one time
  • Putting up some Audrey postcards in my new room

I hope you enjoyed this post, I may be in Germany but I'll still be writing as often as I can

Bis dann!


* OPI Starlight Collection *

As I'm writing this now, I'm currently settling into my new life as an Erasmus student in Germany - how crazy! (More on that another time!) Before I arrived here, however, I ordered the new OPI starlight collection from QVC. Only one shade came with me to Germany unfortunately but the rest will be coming over in another suitcase soon. The collection is - as you would expect - inspired by astronomy and all things sparkly. There are two versions of the set - Warm and Cool - and this particular one is in Warm. 

The set contains
  • OPI Avoplex handcream
  • Drip Dry drying drops
  • Press * for Silver
  • Ro-Man-ce on the Moon
  • Ce Less-tial is More
  • Original Nail Envy
  • Nail Envy Bubble Bath
  • I'm in the Moon for Love

As usual, the quality of the collection is exceptional and my favourite is the rose silver shade, Press * for Silver. Metallic nail varnish is a great way to add the finishing touch to an outfit and in this set you have the choice of a bold shimmery red, a pretty purple, a pink glitter and a rose silver. There's also the addition of the Original Nail Envy which is amazing for strengthening nails and as a top or base coat. The Bubble Bath Nail Envy is a new product to the OPI range as it combines the nail envy with a beautiful wearable baby pink shade. Bubble Bath is already an OPI bestseller in its own right but combining it with the nail strengthener is simply magical. Finish your salon quality manicure with the drying drops and the gorgeous Avoplex hand cream and you're good to go. 

I hope you enjoyed this post! This was not a sponsored collaboration but I'm a big fan of the brand. If you'd be interested in an OPI collection post please tweet me (@modernaudreyh) or leave a comment!

Are you an OPI fan?


The Pre-Year Abroad Haul - Beauty (Part One)

If you've been reading my blog recently, I've mentioned a few times that I'm moving to Germany on Friday for my year abroad. If you're reading this as a friend, however, you'll know I mention it all the darn time. I definitely have mixed feelings about the big move - excitement, nerves, insecurity, it's all a little bit unknown right now but whether I like it or not, it is happening. To distract myself a little, I've been throwing myself into the packing and shopping side of things and boy has it been great. Thinking ahead, I won't be able to get hold of certain products and brands abroad in Germany so I've been using this as an excuse to stock up. Here are the beauty products I've purchased recently to pop straight into my suitcase..

My all-time favourite foundation, I can't live without this so naturally I bought two.

2. Colour WOW Root Cover-up - Platinum

As I won't be able to go my hairdresser in the UK until Christmas, it's going to be a while before my hair is re-highlighted. This little beauty of a product is a great way to extend your highlights by using the powder to mimic the look of fresh highlights. 

Another cute travel size, this is a great addition to my Germany skincare stash. If you'd like more information about my skincare routine, check out my recent post here. 

4. Clarins Daily Energizer Cream

As you know from My Updated Skincare Routine post, I'm a big fan of Clarins and I used a recent 10% off Debenhams promotion to persuade me to buy this moisturiser. So far, so good. I'll write an in-depth review once I've tested it a few more times.

5. Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector - 01

This little lip wonder came in the Clarins '5 minute makeover set' and is moisturizing, plumping and glossy. 

A new purchase! Granted, I'm not convinced I'll never peruse a Mac store in Germany but this new lipstick simply had to be mine. 

I hope you enjoyed this post, I'll be posting a pre-year abroad fashion haul shortly!


My New Uni Bag & High Street Favourites

It's that time of year again, time to invest in new bits and bobs for the new year of high school, sixth form or university. Pencil cases used to be my obsession when I was younger but now I'm at university, it's satchels that make my eyes widen and my purse lighter. This year I wanted a new bag to take with me to Germany and it was this gorgeous Topshop black and oxblood satchel that earned its way into my suitcase. It's a great size, beautiful autumnal colours and a steal at £30 (not including student discount - score!). Expect to see this in a few OOTD's in Germany (if I can persuade a friend to become my photographer!).

Here's a photo of my new BFF - Bag Friend Forever - and a few other bags that almost made the cut. Unfortunately I couldn't find this bag on the Topshop website but keep your eyes peeled to find it in-store.

My last uni bag was from River Island, quite similar to this grey one but as much as I loved it, the structured style was never going to fit in my suitcase. They last well, are highly complement-worthy and so chic. 

For most students, the under £25 price tag of this stunning tote is the key selling point but I'm also loving the pastel pink shade that will just about go with everything. Win-win.

Pink Satchel Pocket Tote Bag | New Look

3. Miss Selfridge Burgundy Tote - £31.50 (sale price)

Miss Selfridge are currently offering a 30% off everything deal on their website - need I say more? It's so Mulberry. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and are getting excited for the new school / uni season. If you;re a fan of these totes or you'd like to read a post about university tips, please leave a comment!


Autumn Makeup Shakeup

As the weather's changing and temperatures are dropping (in the UK anyway), it's time to start talking about little transitional changes to your makeup that can really make a difference and transform your look. 

Dark nail polish

Although it can be second-nature for girls to jump straight to the autumnal berry colours once September hits, don't forget about navy and emerald shades! Recently I've been loving the Estee Lauder matte nail polish in Diva Moment. This inky almost-black colour is very flattering on pale as well as tanned skin tones and the matte finish adds an interesting element to the look. If matte isn't your thing, however, there are plenty of high-shine top coats to add a glossy effect that makes it look a little more put-together. 

Peachy glow

Step away from the bronzer, ladies, it's time to embrace the blusher. Once your holiday glow starts to fade and the weather gets colder, turn to a pearly blusher to achieve a natural looking flush. The Clarins Illuminating Cheek Colour in Soft Peach has a beautiful subtle shimmer, meaning you have to apply a few layers to see a difference but that makes it easier to control and harder to get wrong. I love it. This one came in a set called the Clarins '5 minute makeover' and includes a mini mascara, instant lip perfector and a BB cream.

Berry eyeshadow

Determined to find a cheaper alternative to Mac's 'Cranberry', I came across this beauty in Sephora, which is called no. 35 Hold me Tight. Pair it with minimal eyeliner and a good mascara and it's beginning to look a lot like.. September. 

Lengthy Lashes

Speaking of mascara, I've been enjoying this mini 'Be Long' mascara from Clarins that takes your lashes to the next level. I wouldn't rate this product for curling or thickening the lashes but in terms of definition and length, it's a thumbs up from me. 

Bold lipstick

Before you reach for Russian Roulette, Ruby Woo or Rebel, take a look at this Topshop stunner Fast Lane that gives even MAC a run for its money. Fast Lane is a gorgeous berry tone that combined with a strong lip liner is long lasting and bold. Though a tad on the drying side, you really can't argue with the £8 price point. 

What are your favourite Autumn Winter makeup products?


Flying visit to the French Riviera - Nice & Cannes

Before I jet off to Germany next month, my boyfriend and I went on a little city break to the Côte D'Azur last week. On the first day, we arrived in Nice after a painfully early flight but still managed to capture some gorgeous photos, climb to the top of a castle - with a waterfall! - and eventually check into our hotel. We stayed at the Beau Rivage Hotel which I would thoroughly recommend for its location, great staff and lovely rooms. It's also very close to Massena square which is full of restaurants, bars and shops.

On day two we headed to Cannes for celebrity-spotting and macaroon-sampling. Unfortunately we didn't see any famous people as they were probably at the Yacht exhibition that was taking place / on their Yachts / busy doing famous people things. We did have some macaroons though and they were truly heaven. Once back in Nice, we quickly got ready for dinner and had a lovely meal at a restaurant called Le Siecle. 

On our final day we hit the Promenade de Anglais and luckily my boyfriend is a fellow shopping fan and doesn't mind being taken to Sephora, Mac, Zara and naturally, L'Occitane. Afterwards we decided to take a cyclo tour around the beach front and backstreets which is a great way to explore the city without the hassle of walking! 

I hope you enjoyed this travel post! There will be many more to come once I start my year abroad in Germany!


The A/W Edit

The month of September marks many things: the end of summer, going back to school and colder weather. But looking on the bright side, it also means it's time to get those coats out of storage and start talking Autumn Winter fashion! Last year I wrote a post called 'A/W Essentials' - side-note my blog is now one year old! - and I thought it was time to publish a revised post showing a collection of my favourite pieces and trends for A/W 2015. Unfortunately I won't be buying these particular items as I'm moving abroad to Germany next month with limited luggage (I already own quite a few clothes) but I'll be certainly be doing some shopping while I'm out there - watch this space!

1. The Furry Coat

The stylish way to walk from A to B. This beautiful Miss Selfridge pale blue pea coat is the perfect foundation for any A/W wardrobe. It will go with everything!

2. The Statement Coat

Though a more difficult print to work with, Topshop's cord floral coat will certainly turn heads and look amazing with the classic autumnal colours such as burgundy, grey and maroon. 

3. The Shift Dress

I spotted this little beauty of a dress in Miss Selfridge yesterday and fell in love, especially when I found out it's only £39. Snap it up before it's sold out. 

4. The Floral Skirt 

Party season is coming up and how cute would this gold floral jacquard skirt by River Island look with a black lace cami top. Someone send me this to Germany please?

5. The Kooky Tee

River Island never fails to impress me with their pretty T-shirts and this one is no exception. It's not too dissimilar to the one I posted about last year; eyelashes are a recurring theme here which might explain my obsession with Lulu Guiness...

6. The 'Go-with-everything' Blazer

I recently bought one of these waterfall blazers from New Look in a grey floral print; they're flattering, lightweight and affordable. What's not to love?

7. The Pretty Blouse

Image 8 of COMBINED LACE BLOUSE from Zara

Finally, a white blouse is a staple piece for any wardrobe and I love the collar on this Zara long-sleeved lace top. Dressed up or down, you really can't go wrong. 

What's on your fashion wish list for Autumn Winter?