Monday, 29 April 2013

what's in my iPhone tag

I saw this sort of tag going around blogs and on YouTube around a year ago so I thought I would bring it back and do it myself and show you some of my favourite apps which I use a lot and I would recommend to you- enjoy!
My phone case is from and I blogged about it in my bargain phone case post. It was a bargain at only around two pounds and I love it! Watermelons are my favourite fruit and I think this case looks so cute (it's a bit grubby now though as I've had it on my phone for ages now so sorry about that!

Marc Jacobs headphones* if most of you are anything like me then you'll pretty much constantly have your iPhone on you (I have the iPhone 4S) as there's always food to instagram or weird people on the train to tweet about... and so obviously you want your phone and the and it's accessories to look as cute as possible (who knows when you need to get out your phone to take a quick selfie...). When I got the opportunity to try out the Marc Jacobs headphones I was so excited! I love Marc Jacobs (especially his perfumes- daisy is one of my all time favourites) and I think that these headphones make such a change to the boring white apple ones which everyone else has! Compared to the Apple one I think the sound quality of these is better and I love how they actually fit in your ear properly too! I read in Vogue the other day that Marc Jacobs is 50 this year- crazyness!

wallpaper: I tend to change my wallpaper quite often but currently it is a photo of myself and my sister from when we went to London the other week. I think it's really cute and I blogged and vlogged about the couple of days I spent in London here!
the second page has all of my most used apps which I've downloaded. I use most of these every day so I like to have them at easy access. I've written a bit more in detail about some of them below but I also really love the bloglovin app for reading my favourite blogs on the go. is great to find out the tv listings on. The YouTube app is good and is better than using the website as it's easier on the small screen and also the flashlight app is like having a torch in your pocket as it turns on the camera flash on the back of your phone
on the front page I have most of the apps which come already loaded onto the phone and I use the mos often. The google maps app is great for if you get lost as it's like having a sat nav on your phone and as I'm rubbish with directions it's great if you're trying to find how to get somewhere. I also use chrome instead of safari for my internet browser as I find it easier to use and it has better features than the safari one which the phone comes with

twitter: I'm a twitter addict and so obviously twitter had to be included in my favourite apps! It's so easy to use and it makes tweeting on the go really easy to do. I don't really have much to say about it because I'm pretty sure 90% of people with an iPhone will have the twitter app

instagram: another typical one to pick but I loveeee instagram! I upload photos to it most days and I'm always finding nail art ideas, post inspiration and recipe ideas when scrolling through my timeline and looking through the hash tags and finding something new!

picfx: I originally downloaded picfx for the cute bokeh effect filters that it has but now I just use it for their ordinary filters to edit my photos when posting something to instagram. I usually layer a couple of the filters on top of each other (they have hundreds of different ones to pick from) and you can import your photos directly from the app into instagram. It's really user friendly and so easy to use!

tv catchup: this is one that not many people seem to know about but it's great for watching live TV on your phone. They have lots of channels to choose from and if like me you don't have a TV in your bedroom then this app is great for watching TOWIE or Made in Chelsea in bed! Oh and it's free too which is great!

national rail: I get trains at least six days a week (that's at least twelve trains a week) and I love this app to quickly look up the times of trains. It also shows you if you have to change at all and what time your train is expected and if it's delayed at all. It's really quick and easy to use on the go and so much easier than using the national rail website

I hope you liked my app recommendations and they were helpful to you- let me know if you downloaded any of these! If you have any other questions or you wanted to know what any of the other apps are which I didn't talk about are then just leave a comment and I'll let you know! I'd love you to do a post like this too as I'd love to see what apps are your favourite or simply leave it in a comment! :)

p.s. thank you to the laaavely Ellie for the idea for this post!

although the Marc Jacobs headphones were sent to me to include in a post this does not influence my review in any way and is 100% honest as always

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

30 ways to save £1

Instead of doing a normal post today I thought I would do something a bit different and share with you my money top saving tips. The lovely people over at moneysupermarket are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the £1 coin by asking bloggers to share their top thirty money saving tips. Who doesn't love finding a good bargain or saving money in one area and being able to splash out a bit more on something you've wanted for ages? I'm currently saving up to have some spending money for New York and have put myself on a budget so I thought I'd share with you what I'm doing to save. So here goes my top 30 money saving tips!

1. if you want to buy a beauty product then do your research first. I'd say probably 99.9% of products available on the highstreet have countless reviews on them on blogs so give it a quick google first and see if people like it or not before wasting your hard earned money

2. if there's shops you go to a lot check if they have a loyalty card scheme such as the boots advantage card where you basically collect 4% of what you spend back in points- hello freebies!

3. if you can, book in advance- things like train and cinema tickets are much cheaper in advance! You can now get 10% off cineworld if you book online- yay

4. if you're in the habit of buying a chocolate bar/bag of crisps on your lunch break at work buy a multipack and keep them in your locker/staff room etc and it will work out much cheaper than buying one each day. You can often find a multipack of 6 bags of crisps on offer for £1 and a normal bag is around 60p now- I'll let you do the maths

5. fallen in love with the new 'must have' blush but it costs like £25? Chances are there's a dupe out there somewhere for it that will cost a fraction of the price! is a great website to find high end makeup/nail polish dupes!

6. if you can walk or cycle instead of driving. It's not always ideal because of the weather (welcome to england...) but the savings really add up and can save you a fortune

7. do you have some old clothes lurking at the back of your wardrobe? A simple google search e.g. 'red skater skirt outfit' should bring up lots of outfit ideas to give you inspiration and you could find a whole new outfit from things you already had in your wardrobe!

8. download voucher apps such as vouchercloud to get the best deals. I never shop online now before checking to see if there's a discount I could get on my order- quite a few websites now do free delivery so look out for those sort of codes!

9. always check eBay for whatever it is you're looking for (I wouldn't recommend buying makeup from there though as it can be dodgy...) as there's so many previously loved items such as clothes that you can often get buy 99p- bargain!

10. there's often a free DIY for something that you want to buy. For example check out my free brush holder post which look adorable on your dressing table

11. set up a pot and put all your loose change in. I have one which I collect 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p and 20p coins and when I've counted it up previously I've had over £50 in there!

12. if you're going to the cinema go on a wednesday where most of them do two for one deals and so you can get a free ticket!

13. sign up for the money supermarket free weekly newsletter where they send you the best deals from that week. There's often beauty freebies and discounts on there too- the other week there were free YSL samples!

14. get discount cards such as the taste card for 2for1 meals in popular restaurants. If you go out for dinner a lot then it's definitely something worth signing up for!

15. enter competitions on blogs, twitter and facebook- there's always exciting things to win and who doesn't love getting something for free?! Check out Victoria's blog to see what she's won through competitions- she's won over £10,000 worth of stuff which is crazy!

16. have a look in charity shops. They're great for one off pieces that nobody else has- yes topshop is pretty but yes everyone else in your town will probably own the same blouse as you... (and hands up who else thinks topshop is overpriced?)

17. if you're online shopping check out the sale section on the website. I bought these shoes on monday in both the black and the white for £5 each and they arrived today- absolute bargain if you ask me!

18. if you have a student discount card then use it! ASOS often do a 25% student discount (free postage too) and you can get yourself a great deal! The discount may only be small each time but it really adds up

19. if you're arty then try making homemade DIY gifts for your friends and family, they are often more fun and thoughtful than a generic shop bought present and are guaranteed to bring a smile to someone's fave!

20. if you're after discounted makeup then and have amazing offers (hello £2 essie nail polish!!) and it's all genuine too, yay!

21. if you're shopping for high end beauty products e.g. a foundation then the makeup artist will often be happy to give you a small sample in a pot to try out at home first before you spend £30+ on a new foundation to get it home to find it's actually hideous on your skin and there's nothing you can do about it

22. if you're going on holiday take advantage of the duty free cosmetics at the airport, you're guaranteed to get a bargain as lots of the stuff is really discounted especially if you're making a larger purchase such as perfume which can be very pricy

23. if you're buying something expensive if you ask the sales assistant or manager nicely then they may be able to throw in a freebie. For example say you were buying an expensive pair of shoes they may be able to throw in a protector spray which will also mean your shoes last longer- saving money in the long run. They're not guaranteed to say yes but the worst they can say is no so it's worth a try asking them

24. save up the small samples which you often get in magazines and use them on holiday instead of buying the overpriced mini bottles they sell in boots. They're really easy to travel with too as they don't weigh much

25. take care of the things you already own so you don't have to pay lots to replace items you already had. e.g. instead of taking off your earrings at night and leaving them on the side and allowing them to roll away never to be seen again put them in a little pot each evening so you always know where they are and are easy to find again the next morning

26. if you think a product such as a moisturiser is empty always cut the tube in half and you will often find around a quarter of the product left

27. paint your nails yourself instead of getting them done at the salon. I have plenty of DIY tutorials on my blog so have a browse and learn how to easily do nail art yourself for free instead of paying £30 each time to get someone else to do them for you

28. look for DIY beauty treatments online before buying an expensive product. There's literally hundreds of face mask/lip scrub/hair mask etc. tutorials which you probably have the ingredients for in your kitchen cupboards instead of splashing out on the new 'must have' product. They're all natural too so you don't have any nasty chemicals going on your skin

29. make your clothes more versatile and wear your summer clothes in winter too by putting a pair of tights on or a cardigan over the top. A summer dress can often be made to look like a cute skirt by putting a jumper over the top and it instantly looks like you have a new piece of clothing and you haven't spent a penny!

30. last but not least before you buy something think to yourself 'do I really need this...' often the answer will be no as you have something similar already and you'll save yourself a lot of money!


so there's my 30 top tips and ways to save yourself money- I hope you liked it and was somewhat helpful to you! Please leave your tips in a comment! 



*sponsored post 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


IT'S STARTING TO LOOK REMOTELY SUNNY OUTSIDE, CAN I HEAR THREE CHEERS FOR THAT?! I'm currently sat at my desk with my window open whilst listening to some summery music and eating an ice lolly- life is good.

blouse: charity shop (gap)
levi shorts: brick lane
sunglasses: c/o sunglasses shop (I blogged about my sunglasses here)
necklace: dorothy perkins
lipstick: revlon 'cherries in the snow'

I bought this shirt back in February buuuuut it somehow found it's way to the back of my wardrobe and I never wore it- oops! I think I only paid one pound for it though, score! I've been after a pair of classic denim vintage Levi shorts for ages so I'm so glad I've bought another pair that fit properly and aren't lilac (yeah I have a lilac pair of Levis too...)
This outfit isn't all that summery to be honest but I still like it and I want to get a shirt like this one which I saw in Laura's wishlist post to wear my shorts with for summer, it's mint green and polka dot and it's just perfect!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

rainbow dotty nails tutorial | nail art

A picture of dotty polkadot rainbow nail art utorial using a dotting tool fom eBay
A picture of dotty polkadot rainbow nail art utorial using a dotting tool fom eBay

I was inspired to do these after watching this nail art tutorial video by cutepolish. It's so simple to do and doesn't take long (around 25 minutes) but I think it looks like you spent so much longer on them. All you need to do them is a dotting tool (free DIY dotting tool) and your colours! If I do these again I think I will do them a mint green changing into a pink and a lilac and pale blue as I think that would look so cute but for this time I just went with the rainbow theme.

Starting with your first colour do a couple of larger dots at the bottom of your nail
Using the same colour but a smaller dotting tool fill in some of the gaps with small dots
Once you've done that just do the same with the next colour in your rainbow just above where the first one finished off
Repeat his until your whole nail is done and then you're finished!

To save time I did all my nails with the lilac, then with the blue etc instead of completing each nail completely before moving onto the next one as it speeds it up and means you don't have to keep cleaning your dotting tools so much.

I can't wait to do this again using different colours as I think it would be really cute! As always please send me a photo if you recreate this nail art look using my tutorial for rainbow dotty nails as I would love to see!

written by islay at islaay

Thursday, 18 April 2013

celine top from eBay and ASOS skirt simple outfit | outfits

a photo of fake celine top from eBay and ASOS skater skirt outfita photo of fake celine top from eBay and ASOS skater skirt outfit

a photo of rose gold river island watch like michael kors dupe
a photo of my face of the day wearing rimmel 107 kate moss lipstick and a topshop gold necklace

a photo of a messy bun hairstyle as seen in vogue

top: eBay (link)
skirt: ASOS
necklace: topshop
earrings: topshop
watch: river island

so the other day (actually it was quite a while ago now- I completely forgot to publish this post...) my lovely friend Laura put up this outfit post and she had pretty much exactly the same outfit as this on. I'd been wanting the skirt for ages as I'd seen her wearing it in a few posts before but it was out of stock so when they had it in stock with 25% student discount I had to get it straight away! I love the skirt, and I know it will go with loads of things that I already have- I want to get some wooly burgundy tights to wear it with though, any suggestions as to where sells them?
Oh and I also did this as a 60 second YouTube video which you can watch above, I'm not too keen on it but I got asked to do some and I thought it was alright as a first attempt! You can subscribe to my youtube channel islaayx by the way (I've just hit 500 subscribers, yay!!)

I hoped you liked this outfit post and it gave you some

written by islay on islaay

Monday, 15 April 2013

cupcake nail art #3 | nails

a photo of cupcake nail art easy tutorial

a photo of cupcake nail art easy tutorial

I love doing cupcake nail art, this is only the third time I've done them (I've done them with different colours cupcake nail art #1 and cupcake nail art #2) but I think they all look so cute (if I do say so myself!).
Cupcakes are one of my favourite things to bake, and I think they just look adorable on my nails too! I can do a tutorial at some point on how to do cupcake nails if you would like me to! 

What do you think of these? Would you do cupcake nail art and wear cupcake nails?

Saturday, 13 April 2013

London trip photos and vlog

cute photobooth photos in topshop and rough trade

me and my sister in the Dior at Harrods exhibition

the Ellies have SWAG. (in Monki)

cute group photo! (me, ellie, sophie, ellie)
at the Nicole Levy press day

I went to London on Wednesday and Thursday-  here's what I dot up to whilst I was there! I met up with a few of my loveeeely bloggy friends (their blogs are linked at the bottom) which I'd been wanting to do for forever but as we're so spread out across the country it's tricky to arrange! We went to the Nicole Levy press day too which I've got some more photos from and will be blogging about soon!
I also did a vlog too for the first time and it was kinda cringey to film but it wasn't that bad! I was thinking of doing more vlogs when I'm doing exciting things (I'm going to new York for eight nights in the summer and I'm definitely vlogging that!)

Ellie's blog:
Ellie's blog:
Sophie's blog:

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Topshop, Boots, Lush etc. haul

I went shopping aaaaand this happened... enjoy! ;)
Here is a link to  my YouTube channel if you wanted to subscribe!

Monday, 8 April 2013

flower nail tutorial and Nailgirls polishes review

nailgirls 'yellow #2 canary yellow'* 
nailgirls 'teal #2 pale green-blue'* 
17 'mini skirt'

I was contacted by the lovely Megan at nailgirls the other day to see if I wanted to try out a couple of their nail polishes- and being the nail art junkie that I am, I obviously said yes as I'm always on the look out for new brands to try!
Nailgirls have lots of lovely shades in their colour range but the ones I chose were 'yellow #2 canary yellow' and 'teal #2 pale green-blue' (it would of been nice if they had some cute names but oh well!). The brand nailgirls was created by sisters Jo and Lynda when they realised the amount of nasty chemicals such as toluene, formaldehyde and DBP that could be found in most of the nail polishes from bigger brands that many salons were using. Jo and Lynda decided to set about creating a new brand of nail polishes that are free from all of the nasty chemicals and that is where nailgirls was formed! They are also vegan friendly, not tested on animals and the packaging is recyclable- yay!

To try them out I have decided to do this cute floral design which is perfect for spring and summer- it's super easy to do and would work with loads of colour combinations! It's really simple to recreate but I included a tutorial at the top so you can follow along as I know people generally like it when I do that! I used a large dotting tool to do the circles (DIY dotting tool post here) but if you wanted you could always do the flowers smaller and fit more on your nail but I thought I would go for something a bit different to what I've done before so I decided on doing a large flower in the center of the nail instead.
I didn't use a base or top coat with these as I wanted to see how well they lasted on my nails and so far it has been over two days without any chips (I posted a photo to my twitter @islaay_x yesterday if you wanted to take a look for yourself) but I will update this post in a couple of days to let you know how long they lasted!
The green is very 'mint candy apple' ish and it a perfect pastel for spring and I can imagine the yellow would look amazing with a tan in summer! They both applied really easy and they both are very opaque (the yellow was much better than I was expecting as I thought it could of been quite watery but it wasn't at all!). Also the brush is quite long and a really good shape which makes the application process much easier!

Nailgirls polishes are priced at £10.50 each which puts them in line with the likes of OPI and Nails Inc. but what really sets them apart from the rest is that they don't have all of the nasty ingredients which the other brands do like I mentioned earlier so if you want lovely polishes without the bad ingredients then nailgirls is the brand for you! As a reader of my blog you will be able to receive a 20% discount with the code 'ISLAAY20' when placing an order at nailgirls (they have a great range of colours and they also have matte and glitter polishes too!) so now there's no excuse not to give them a go!

I would love it if you could recreate these and send me a photo as I love seeing them! I had loads of people recreating my easter bunny tutorial so thank you so much if you did! 

although the nailgirls polishes were sent to me for reviewing purposes this does not affect my opinion on them and my review of them is 100% honest as always

Friday, 5 April 2013

thrift shop

cardigan:charity shop
necklace: topshop
top: eBay (link)
treggings: topshop
socks: poundland (hahaha)
boots: clarks
watch: river island

I picked this cardigan up forever ago in a charity shop for around a fiver but it ended up at the back of my wardrobe and I forgot about it completely until I refound it the other day! I got so many people at sixth form asking where it was from when I wore it last week- personally I think it looks like something they would sell in Urban Outfitters for like 8 times the price!! My Clarks boots are still going strong considering I wear them most days and they're not showing any signs of wear and tear at all!
I've spent most of my easter break so far either revising or working but I'm going to London for a few days next week to do some shopping and to meet a few of my bloggy friends (Ellie, Ellie and Sophie) which I'm really looking forward to! We're going to the Nicole Levy press day thingy too- do any of you happen to be going on the 11th?