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The Persephone Complex


All photos are taken by me unless otherwise stated. Please don't use any photos or text from this blog without my permission. All rights reserved. Gifted items will be marked with an asterisk (*) All reviews are completely honest and all opinions are my own.


Ruby Elliot
Vilte F
Patricia Alvarado
Caitlin Skaalrud
Forsyth Harmon
Valerie Phillips


LUSH Oxford Street Comes To Cardiff
A NARS Delivery!
The Blogs I'm Made Of
LUSH Oxford Street Haul!
My Fledgling iPhone Case Collection
Latest Fashion Finds!
I Want To Be Megan Fox
Life Lately (And How You Can Raid My Closet!)
Pop Art Make-Up Look (With MAC and House of Fraser...
Pretty Little Liars OOTD


TABOO Magazine
Style Vulture
Hello Margaret!

Layout by Swoon for the Moon. Copyright of Holly Cassell and The Persephone Complex 2015.

LUSH Oxford Street Comes To Cardiff

There are only a few people I know who don't like LUSH, and to be honest, I don't like any of them very much. The company is quite close to my heart, and I'd say there's a sort of "love me, love my LUSH" unspoken rule in my head now. Until a couple of days ago I had never actually been to one of their blogger events, so I didn't know what to expect from the Cardiff launch of their #SummerIsHere Oxford Street range (although I was familiar with the products, as I wrote about some for this post), but I knew I wouldn't be leaving my wallet at home.

I went there straight from the gym, teaming up with Sophie to nosh down a sushi dinner at Mt. Fuji beforehand (my fave place to get vegan sushi in Cardiff! Their tamaki tofu rolls are delicious). 

The staff were absolutely lovely and super helpful. Upon our arrival we were greeted by Laura, who remained our guide throughout the event and treated us to demos of all the new products, hand massages, and mini LUSH treatments. We were each handed an adorable little flute of sparkling strawberry soda, and offered fruit and biscuits from a cute little snack table. After a while we noticed that Charlotte from Red Lips, Real Life had arrived and ran over to say hello. We all had a great giggle over everything from the realities of what it's like being good at massages (everyone takes advantage and then falls asleep - not cool, dudes) to unfamiliar-train-journey anxiety. 

LUSH is like Wonderland for a mermaid like me, who spends whole evenings soaking in the bath, dreaming of a home she can't remember. I want literally everything that sparkles and softens the water, but I limited myself to picking up a few absolutely necessary (cough) items, which I'll show you in yet another haul post before too long! You must be getting sick of them, but I'm afraid you're going to have to lump it - I was given a super generous goodie bag to take home as well, so my bathroom is overflowing with stuff right now, and a girl's gotta blog what a girl's gotta blog. 

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A NARS Delivery!

nars sheer glow siberia

nars sheer glow siberia
Ideally, I would always prefer to have a small collection of beautiful, quality products with spectacular packaging than a huge store of grubby tubes. I recently streamlined my make-up drawer with this in mind, and I feel so much better for it. How satisfying it was to throw out that nearly-all-gone eyeshadow I'd gotten WAY too attached to. I dream of being the kind of woman who's dressing table always looks like a Pinterest flat-lay, with a few carefully chosen staples by Chanel, Bobbi Brown, MAC, and NARS.

This is my first ever NARS delivery*, courtesy of House of Fraser. I'm going to create an autumn make-up look you'll have popping up in your feeds shortly, but for now I just wanted to share the excitement of my first NARS experience! The products I went for were Sheer Glow Foundation in Siberia, a blush in Deep Throat, and their famous Anna lipstick. Can you guess what look I'm going to recreate? Leave your guesses below in the comments!

The Blogs I'm Made Of

All of us are just a jumble of other people's ideas. At least, that's the way I look at it sometimes. No one is a pure original, and we are only unique because we are all made up of a different combination of parts. As a blogger, I'm made of many different parts. There's the part that wants to write a 900-word journal entry about the thoughts I had while staring out a coach window at 5am. There's the part that wants to make a living doing what I love. There's the part that wants everything in my life to be a reference to a fairytale. And there's the part that just fucking loves a LUSH bath bomb. All of these parts have been fed and nourished by different people, some of whom are listed below, so that maybe they might feed you too.

Scarphelia - Every time I read her blog, Katie reminds me to write like the words are blood. There have been times when I was really conflicted about what I could/should put on my blog, and her unflinching honesty, emotion, and clarity of thought continue to inspire me to make it a place I am proud of, and be damned with anyone else's opinion.

Briar Rose - If there was one blogger who gives me completely unadulterated life-envy, it is Megan. Her fairytale style, cosplay, baking, and simply unbelievable hair make up an infinitely stalkable package. 

Girl Lost In The City - Emma's presence on Twitter alone is like a strong cup of coffee. She makes me want to get up and handle shit. Her blog is full of incredible insight into the media, city life and modern living, and feminism. She works at Glamour and is having her book published very soon. Goals, basically.

Sugarpea - Before she started Sugarpea, Heather was known for Effie's Make-Up Box. Already a successful blogger with a large fanbase, she decided to start all over again, with something she was more passionate about (namely Funko Pops, tsum tsums, and all things pastel and pretty). Her Instagram is true, glorious eye-candy.

Dorkface - Jemma is one of the sweetest people I know (including everyone I've met in the flesh!). Her blog is pure kawaii delight, with inspiring art, craft, and lifestyle posts that always give me wonderful ideas. She recently quit her job and became a full-time creator, and I couldn't be prouder of her.

Amy Valentine - Amy was one of the first "big bloggers" that I found truly inspiring. Her outfits are grungy and sexy, she goes to every festival I can think of, and takes epic photos and VSCO CAM Instas of her adventures. One of my favourite alternative bloggers.

Mascara And Maltesers - Annabel creates one of my favourite beauty blogs. She takes gorgeous, bright white photos from her iPhone, and is absolutely beautiful to boot, which always helps. She always seems to have an unending amount of beautiful flowers around, and her Instagram is unsurprisingly stunning. 

Mermaidens - Kailey is kind of a big deal, in case you didn't know. I've been following her blog for a long time and absolutely adore her candy-coloured, modern-Lolita aesthetic. Her images have been hugely inspiring to me over the years and I still scroll her Insta for ideas.

Fine And Dandy - Claire is a real ray of sunshine in the blogosphere. A true princess, mental health warrior, and friend to all in the community. Her photography, baking, and positivity make for feel-good reading, and I always love reading her words as if I was reading a letter from a friend.

LUSH Oxford Street Haul!

Impromptu trips to London are one of my favourite things to do. Especially when I have the whole day to myself. Last weekend I tagged along with my Mum on her work-trip to the big city, just for the sake of getting away from Cardiff for a while and exploring my home-town. I miss London terribly sometimes, particularly the shopping and the night-life. While I was down there I met up with the super-interesting Laila, who I've been speaking to online for years now (she was one of the first ever readers of my blog!) and we had a pint or two in a dusty old man pub near Oxford Circus and put the world to rights. The whole day gave me such a craving for city life and exploration, I came home feeling so inspired to blog and to travel. But anyway, before I lose my focus...

lush oxford street haul
Here's everything I bought in LUSH Oxford Street. The flagship store was even more amazing than I had anticipated, with heaps of products I'd never heard of. My first purchase was the Comforter shower cream, as the smell of purple sweets and Ribena is just heavenly to me. Next I got a Razzle Dazzle bath oil that looks like a tiny pink ball of glitter. It has a lovely raspberry scent, and I love anything that softens water. After that I spotted this STUNNING Cherry Blossom bubble bar. Isn't it amazing? I think this is probably my favourite, as it looks and smells truly magical. Inspired by Briar Rose's Instagram, I picked up a Frozen bath bomb, which makes your bath water look like a glittery swirl of snow, just like in the movie! Lastly, I finally bit the bullet and got myself a Buffy bar, for tackling my dry skin come autumn/winter.

So what do you think of my haul? I'm so excited I could cry, to be honest. I've only been home a few days and I'm already eyeing up the price of an online delivery.

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My Fledgling iPhone Case Collection

A couple of months ago, I lost my phone. It was a relatively old Sony Xperia, not worth a great deal, but it had basically my whole life on it, and I was pretty devastated. Eventually, after changing all my login details on every website I've ever visited in my life, I began to calm down and see it as an opportunity - a push to get the iPhone I'd always wanted. After some saving up, I bought a 5S outright and put a giff gaff sim in it, which works for me and my lifestyle.

skinnydip iphone cases

One of the best parts about having an iPhone is being able to dress it up. There are so many awesome, original, and fun cases around, and I'm constantly on the look out for new ones to change things up. Here are some of my favourites so far!

I got this SkinnyDip case with chubby unicorns on it from Topshop - isn't it gorgeous?! This is what I usually have on my phone these days. I love that it's transparent so that your iPhone colour shows through the case, and who could say no to baby unicorns? 

The next one along is by Iconemesis*, and features a gorgeous feather illustration by artist Cat Sims. It's incredibly sturdy despite it's delicate appearance, would definitely protect your phone through a drop. I like to wear it when I'm feeling particularly in the minimalist fashion blogger mood!

skinnydip iconemesis iphone cases

The silicone watermelon case that you can just about see is from Tiger, and was only a couple of pounds. It's not the most practical of cases but I couldn't resist it! I love anything watermelon. And finally, the one with the death's head floral design was a thrifty buy I found on Depop. It was only about £4, and you can find some great one-off and handmade cases on Depop, for those of you who are in the market!

Latest Fashion Finds!

I haven't done a fashion post in quite a while, which seems strange and wrong to me, seeing as I've been buying so many nice clothes! I've been going through a buying-up phase, revitalising my wardrobe with some things I really love in the hope of making getting dressed a bit more fun. You know when you look into your closet and all the clothes scattered around your room, and can't find a single thing that feels like YOU? Which doesn't really make sense because no one bought those clothes except me, but there you go.

One of the places I've been looking for style inspiration is Pretty little Liars. If you've seen the outfit post I did about PLL you'll already know how obsessed I am, but for those who don't know, Rosewood is basically my Wonderland. I want to immigrate to the spooky village where it's always autumn and Zac Posen prom dresses are regular school/work attire. With that in mind, but also keeping my Cardiff reality in the picture, I picked up these awesome Office buckle boots from Depop. Depop is fast becoming a regular hunting ground for unusual threads (I have a little shop of my own you can check out here if you want to) and I'm so glad I found these to toughen up my party dresses.

The second thing I got was this delicate pink mesh top from Topshop Boutique. It's cut really boxy and is totally see-through, so I like to wear it with a pink or white bralet underneath. Continuing with the delicate pink theme, I got a tulle ballerina skirt from Hollister to go with loose tees and sandals in the summer, for a pretty, beachy vibe. I'm also going to mix it with this Aztec cardigan I got sent by WearAll*, to keep my warm around the bonfire!

Perhaps the most PLL-appropriate thing I've bought recently is this Topshop scuba skirt with a floral print. I saw a picture of Lucy Hale wearing it in her down-time, and absolutely fell in love! I went on a hunt for it and eventually scavenged one in my size.

If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen my Primark strawberry bag already, but here it is again, because it's just too cute! It was the highlight of my week when Primark regrammed my picture, and it scooped over 60,000 likes! I couldn't believe it. Thinking that many people have seen a picture I took is freaking mind-blowing. Blogging is crazy sometimes.

I Want To Be Megan Fox

Eyes, Naked 3 palette and Esqido false lashes* // Skin, Revlon Colorstay Foundation in Buff and Benefit High Beam // Lips, Mac Velvet Teddy and L'Oreal Colour Riche in Doutzen's Nude

Megan Fox is one of my all-time favourite creatures. That might surprise some of you, as I'm quite vocal about my hatred of Michael Bay movies. But there's something about Megan that is just so captivating to me. It really doesn't have much to do with her acting, her fashion sense, or anything I usually feel drawn to actors for. And yet I would happily climb inside her skin and wear her for the rest of my natural life, and yes I know how creepy that sounds. I just want to BE her. I think she would smell of watermelon and money and the sunshine. My love comes mostly from an aesthetic perspective, I admit, but I also think that as well as being beautiful, she's an incredibly intelligent business woman and all-round badass female who don't take no shit.

So what do you do when you want to have someone's face, but can't? You copy their make-up, obvs. Her hair and make-up are always on point, with signature cat eyes, gold tones, glowing, highlighted skin, and lustrous dark hair. My favourite Megan look is probably the one she sports in Jennifer's Body, circa 2009; dark pink, almost-natural lips, fluttery eyelashes that wing out in the corners, and quite pale (for her!) skin. For this post I wanted to do the more obviously Megan Fox look, the one she wears to premiers and evening events. All the focus is on the eyes and brows, so you want some excellent falsies (I used the Oh So Sweet! Esqido ones that I was sent to try out) and a neat, arched brow. You can't really see my fabulous arches from underneath my fringe, god damn it, but I assure you they are devastating. My love for Megan lives on.

Life Lately (And How You Can Raid My Closet!)

It seems like such a long, long time since I've blogged! Even though it's only been a matter of weeks, I feel totally out of the loop with you all, and my inbox has been piling up and going almost entirely untended. I guess I just wanted a bit of a break after a seriously busy couple of months on the blogging front early in the year. It was such an amazing time with so many exhausting opportunities and wonderful curveballs, and I ran myself a bit ragged trying to keep up. The fact that I lost my phone might have had a little something to do with it as well! I put it down in Starbucks and never saw it again. Seeing as my phone was basically a portal into my whole life (my blog, my email, my bank...) my stress levels were riding high at that time. The good news is that I now have a shiny new iPhone to call my own (my first iPhone!) and I'm feeling more excited to start blogging again now I feel I can do it properly. I've still been keeping up with you all via Twitter, and hosting the #crazybloggers chat every Thursday night that I can, but I've missed writing full posts and sharing new photos. I also have a new 50mm lens to play with so expect some photography experiments!

In other news, I've opened up a little Depop shop so that I can clear out my closet and make some room for new summer clothes! I'm planning on using it as a kind of permanent blog-sale, where you guys will be able to find the outfits I blog about on here, and buy them for yourself if they take your fancy. Do check it out and follow me - I'd love to find all my blogger friends on there! 

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