Autumn is fast approaching, even though I’d desperately holding onto jackets-not-coats and bare legs-not-tights for dear life. Here is a selection of my favourite transitional pieces from the new arrivals for Autumn/Winter 2015.
I played tourist in my own city, Cambridge, this week; as well as reminiscing from a holiday to Sorrento, Italy whilst gradually welcoming the cooler autumn months after a pretty much non-existent summer… Follow me on Instagram here.
Going into my third and final year of my degree is a daunting thought. Now I’m studying Fashion Journalism so I know it’s not as taxing as perhaps studying medicine or criminal psychology would be, however it does come with certain stresses. I still have no idea what kind of job I wish to have at the end of it – or if I’ll even go into paid employment at the end, I might have to intern for free until something paid comes up. There are no guarantees.
But before the employment (or unemployment) prospect comes to light, I wrote down a few tips for myself on dealing with the stresses that come along with my final year at university and I thought I’d share them here for anyone else who is a stress head like me.
- Keep a countdown app on your phone.
Might seem strange to countdown the days until you are no longer reliant upon education, however it makes me feel good in the knowledge that I don’t have long left until I can be free and my life is finally mine.
- Make a conscious effort to stay on top of the workload.
Every time I go back after a break I make a point of aiming to be better at keeping on top of work and not leaving it to the last minute, but I always procrastinate and it just ends up piling up. I’ve never handed anything in late and it’s always done to the best of my ability, but I always wish that I’d just done it EARLIER to save from panic-writing towards the end of a deadline. This year I’m making a real conscious effort to do work within a decent time frame. WORK DONE = LESS STRESS.
- Save money.
Not exactly a fun topic, or one that I’m enjoying typing out now, but saving money really does save stress. With everyone around my making plans for this holiday, that day out, or even that lunch; all I’m thinking about is my dwindling bank account and increased sense of FOMO. Budget, budget, budget and selling unwanted crap on eBay has become my best friend over the summer and I’ve even got money in SAVINGS. Who knew I could be so proactive?
I’ve never been much of a party-er. I like the getting ready process, and the drunk bit, but everything around that is just a bit bluh. But I feel that this year I’m going to need a social life in order to keep me sane. Making an effort to make time for friends over the next several months is high up on my list of priorities. We don’t know where we’ll all be by the time we graduate in terms of employment/location so we might as well make the most of the time that we do see each other every day. *sob*
- Use every opportunity.
Every person you meet, every email you send, every Instagram comment – treat them as contacts. Get talking to people on Twitter, you don’t know who they know who could possibly set you up with someone who has a friend who needs an assistant. And that could be you. And if you don’t get a job, or at least an opportunity, then at leafs you made another friend, right?
Starting my third year isn’t exactly filling me with joy, however I can try and make the best it possibly can be. I may moan to my friends and family, but at the end of it, I’ll have a degree. A DEGREE! And that’s something I never thought would happen for me. And if i can make that happen, then I can make this year a decent one.
I’m not someone who likes to spend ages and ages in the morning getting ready. I’m sure my family will disagree and say that I take an age to get out of the door, however I can be up and out the door in around 30 mins, which I think is pretty good (no?). Part of the get-up-and-go process does include a full face of makeup, and I wouldn’t be without my KIKO Long Lasting Stick Eyshadow.
They go on easily, blend easily, make your face look polished and STAY ALL DAY. Shown here are my first 5 shades, however I do now own 10 of them – I just love them THAT much. I also own the high-end version of these stick eyeshadows, the By Terry Ombre Blackstar, but I prefer the KIKO ones by far.
First of all, let’s talk price. KIKO – £6.90, By Terry – £30. EACH. Okay, so maybe the By Terry has more product inside? Nope, KIKO contains 1.64g of product compared to By Terry’s 1.2g. Go figure. Performance? They both perform about the same, in my opinion, however I much prefer the colour range of the KIKO ones over the By Terry shadow sticks.
My favourite shade in the range is definitely 05. I’m almost out as I use it everyday. It’s possible that it is my most-used makeup product ever, even more so than any foundation. The bronze-y warm tone really suits my green eyes and looks just as great on its own as it does with a full-on ‘look’. The wearability knows no bounds.
I can’t rave about this product enough, I use them everyday, have them in 10 shades and would buy 10 more. If they ever discontinued these, I’d have to go into mourning… Seriously.
So it’s a Friday night and I’m sat in with my phone turned off. Not the typical Friday night of a 21 year-old student, but hey, I guess I like to break down stereotypes. Sometimes my head goes all fuzzy when I look at my phone. I begrudge every text that comes in, every email and every annoying Facebook post from people you don’t really like but you have to keep them as “friends” to keep your mum happy. Today was one of those days, so I’ve decided to switch my phone off until tomorrow (Saturday) morning. And it feels SO good. I’ve made a list of 5 benefits that switching your phone off can do for you…
- It allows you to regroup with yourself
Switching your phone off means not being disturbed, so take this opportunity to run yourself a bath, apply a face mask, watch a film, paint your nails and just catch up on some me-time. Sometimes taking care of number one is a huge stress reliever, and the best therapy money can buy.
- It let’s you catch up on work
The amount of times that I’ve procrastinated in doing work by being distracted by my phone is amazing, if I had the will-power to turn my phone off every time I had work to do I would be about 99% more productive. Turning my phone off tonight has motivated me to tick everything off my to-do list with uni, my blog and other tasks that I’ve been putting off. It’s only one night, just bite the bullet and get shit done!
- It calms your mind down
It can be really overwhelming sometimes if you’ve had a long day full of noise and action, it’s nice to sit down and completely relax and unwind. But oftentimes staring at social media can be just as stressful. Keeping up with your Twitter timeline, making sure you’ve liked all of your friend’s status’ and photos or responding to messages that are hours old and have lost their relevance. Switching your phone off completely takes that pressure away, because as “first world problems” as it sounds, keeping up with social media can be totally stressful.
- It gives you a healthy break from interaction
There can be some days when you feel like you are in a constant conversation online. Sometimes that’s a great thing, interacting with people instantly all over the world is an amazing thing that should be embraced, but it can also slow your mind down from doing anything productive. Being in a conversation all day long isn’t a natural process. You wouldn’t particularly be in one conversation with people like that in real life, everyone needs their down time but for some reason, when a conversation is had online or by text, the break seems to go away. Switching your phone off allows your mind to really switch off from your online-mode and connect with the world in front of you.
- It gets your creative juices flowing
It’s true to say that many creative types don’t own TVs, they read books, newspapers and listen to the radio, mostly. There’s a reason for this. Once our minds are full of too much outside info (I mean in terms of “fuzz” or meaningless information that’s not going to serve us in any way) we lose our creative streaks. Without the distraction of a phone, we have the brain space available to make our own ideas, without influence from outside sources. There is nothing more satisfying than creating something purely from scratch. Switching your phone off can only be a positive thing for your creative juices.
So I’ve been “switched off” for about 3 hours so far this evening, a record by my standards. It’s surprisingly refreshing, the possibilities are endless. To be perfectly honest, the silence is nice and my productivity levels feel higher than usual. Or maybe I’m just hyped up on sugar from that Magnum I just ate… Who can tell?
Instagram is my first love, it’s the only social platform to be best described as bae, dope, off the heezy, and everything else on fleek. Okay I’ll stop.
Follow me on Instagram, I promise I’m not bugging that Urban Thesaurus over there like I am here. Fo’ Sho’. Word.
I don’t even know what these mean. I need sleep.
Walking into Zara at the moment is like walking into a time machine and being taken back to 1974. And I’m not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand I’m into it, I’m all for a fad trend here and there, but on the other hand I’m not. I’ll never be into flares ( At 5’1 I can’t find any to fit anyway), I’ll never be enthusiastic for suede and I hate paisley with a passion. Having said that, I’m all for some new clobber and I found this dress in there today. It says 70s without being too I-wish-I-had-lived-through-woodstock-and-second-wave-feminism-ish. It’s black & white (of course), a great transition piece for autumn, and was only £19.99 (so it doesn’t matter too much if I’m sick of the 70s after two minutes…).
Dress | Zara
Belt | H&M (old – similar here)
Boots | Topshop
When it comes to fake tan I’ve tried them all, gradual tans, tinted moisturisers, wash off tans, overnight tans and in-shower tans but so far in my quest to finding a golden glow, there has only been one clear winner. And it’s from M&S. No joke. No sponsor. This is the Velvet Touch Luxe Oil for face and body – and it’s brilliant.
Possibly the only product with which I agree to all statements made in the bottle, it says it offers a “flawless luxe-bronze glow” and is “streak free and quick drying”. Because I’m so pale I always find fake tans to be such a chore to apply because I have to make sure I’m extremely thorough in order to cover every single inch of my ghostly white body, other wise I just look like a caramel disaster.
This tanning oil however is the easiest self tan I’ve used, the oil is really moisturising to begin with so you don’t feel like you’re dragging it across your body, which in turn means that it’s a quicker process to blend in so you’re not stood there for ages in your birthday suit scrubbing and scrubbing to get your marmite-looking tan to spread. Another point I’d like to make about this tanning oil is that it stays for DAYS. I’ve probably had a full week with this product where I haven’t needed to touch-up mid-week like most other tans (even ones that claim to last 3 weeks). In the shower, there is no evidence at all of any tan being washed off your body, a big thumbs up from somebody who like to sleep in and be ready in a small amount of time in the morning!
Even the smell isn’t as bad as others. And I really mean this. There have been other tans that I really like for instance the St Tropez Gradual Tan, but the smell really puts me off. The M&S oil really has a nice fresh scent when first applied and dries down to an almost undetectable scent.
Possibly the only downside to this product is the glass bottle. It’s quite heavy to travel with, and it doesn’t contain as much product as I’d like, it’s £12.50 for only 100ml. But that probably won’t stop me from buying it over and over until it’s cold enough to cover up for half the year. Sigh. Definitely not welcoming the colder months with open arms this year.
Contouring the face can be a daunting process in the application of makeup for many people. “Will I have a chiselled complexion or look like a muddy disaster?” is usually my thought process every morning when sweeping that matte bronzer underneath my wannabe carved-out cheekbones. Contouring gets that much more difficult for us pale gals, bronzers are too orange, traditional contour shades are too dark, or too brown, or still too orange and never ashy enough. Until now. I think I may have found my holy grail contour shade. Girls, meet Hollow.
I know I’m not the first blogger to talk about Illamasqua’s Hollow (by far) but after procrastinating one evening when I should have been doing research for my dissertation, I came across many, many bloggers raving about Hollow as a contour shade. I was sceptical at first, cream face products have never appealed to me – I’m always scared I’ll apply too much and end up looking like I was just in a bad car accident.
Officially labelled as a ‘cream pigment’, the product can be used anywhere – as a base for eyeshadow, on the lips, face or body. The shade Hollow is the perfect amount of cool tone and not too strong to add the perfect amount of shade to particular areas of the face, without coming off too “done”. Now, I’m not professing to be a makeup artist here – all I know is what I’ve read on blogs, seen on YouTube and tried on my own face, but from personal experience I’ve never come across a contouring product that is SO suited to pale skinned girls. Both subtle and effective, you’ll go a long way to find another product that matches Hollow.