MY BLOG IS 3!

So today my blog turned three years old! It feels like I’ve only been blogging for five minutes, so I have no idea where the past three years have gone.

I am not the most consistent of bloggers, I’ll be the first to admit, and every year I set myself goals to ‘be a better blogger’, but at the end of the day I just think that I blog because I love it, I don’t want to force it. I love reading comments, the social media interaction with readers as well as emails sent to me, which I find amazing!

Thank you to anyone who takes the time to read my blog, my readership has dramatically increased in the past year. It is so very much appreciated, I’ve had such a great year blog-wise and can’t wait to see what the next three years hold. I finish uni this year so once I get my free time back I promise to get back into the wing of things with regular posts! DSC_0004

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I FINALLY JUMPED ON THE BEAUTY BLENDER BANDWAGON…

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£18 for a sponge is ridiculous by anyone’s books, am I right? It is literally just a sponge, I can’t even imagine how much money they’re making on them. However… IT’S THE BEST THING SINCE THEY INVENTED FOUNDATION. No, really.

I fully expected not to think much of the much-raved-about Beauty Blender, I bought it on a whim when I was feeling particularly spendy – so much so that I didn’t even take photos before I used it when it was brand new, sorry about that.

The magic of this sponge is that it makes your skin look FLAWless. Completely smooth, poreless, and baby-soft. I can’t believe I haven’t owned one sooner.

I’ve used all manner of ‘dupes’ for the Beauty Blender and I totally understand why none of these products even come close to the real thing. How do they even manage it? Surely a sponge is a sponge? Apparently not.

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There’s not much to say about the sponge itself – how do you go about describing a sponge?! All I can say is that for some reason, it is different to all other sponges. It doesn’t seem to drink up as much foundation as the dupes, it seems to be perfectly shaped to get a full coverage really quickly without having to use a brush or another sponge to blend it out.

All in all, I really wanted to hate it (although I’m glad I don’t considering it’s the most expensive sponge I’ve ever bought/ever will buy) but I simply don’t.

Is a Beauty Blender an essential? No, I wouldn’t say you need it over, say, dinner. But it has definitely become my most-used tool in my collection, and I would for sure repurchase it.

I’m totally converted. Damn.

THE HANDBAG THAT EVERYBODY NEEDS IN THEIR LIFE.

After getting a new job (yay!), being totally stressed out at how much uni work I have to do, as well as keeping on top of things on my blog (which has been a bit lax lately – sorry about that) I decided to make one of those “treat myself” purchases, a new handbag. Now it’s nothing spectacularly expensive, but unnecessary enough for me to feel a bit naughty walking out of the store. It is, of course, from Zara.

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I’d seen this bag in Zara for a good few weeks now, tried it on, put it back. Tried it on, looked in the mirror, changed the length of the chain, put it back etc etc. for the past few weeks now and after a long weekend of working, I decided to to pick it up, try it on, look in the mirror and BUY IT.

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Justifiable-for-purchase features include: Durable, classic and damn beautiful ridging and quilting on the fabric (it isn’t leather, however it really feels like it, such great quality), a sturdy clasp, two interior pockets for the 14 MAC lipsticks that I’m likely to ‘need’ in there, and a double-length chain that you can have long as a cross-body bag, or short as a shoulder bag. I actually prefer it as a shoulder bag with the double chain, I think it tends to work better on me like that as the longer chain reaches almost down to my knee. #shortgirlproblems

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Let’s face it, I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to afford a Chanel, so this is my next best thing. It’s not a complete carbon copy, and well within its own rights in design, however it does have that classic shape, size and stature of a high-class (and high price tag) designer handbag. And at only £39.99 I think it’s a bit of a steal.

STARTING MY THIRD YEAR OF UNI… TIPS TO MYSELF

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. Socialise. 
    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*
  5. 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.

5 REASONS WHY SWITCHING YOUR PHONE OFF IS GOOD FOR YOU

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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…

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?

HAVING A (SLIGHTLY) 70s MOMENT

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…).
DSC_0087DSC_0090DSC_0089Dress | Zara
Belt | H&M (old – similar here)
Boots | Topshop

TOP 5 FOUNDATIONS FOR OILY SKIN

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Sometimes I feel like my skin is the bane of my life, I have very oily acne prone skin and at age 21, is so far showing no signs of calming down. I currently own 22 foundations, most of which are sitting in the bottom of a draw having only been used a few times, however there are a few that I do tend to return to again and again. I’m always eating new foundations as I’m always trying to find my perfect match in terms of colour, consistency, coverage, finish and longevity and whilst I’m still yet to find “the one”, there are some that I really really like. Below are my top five picks.

L’ORÉAL TRUE MATCH FOUNDATION

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Shade
R1.C1 Rose Ivory
Match – I find this shade to be the perfect match for me, it’s quite pink in tone which is what I look for.
SPFPackaging says SPF 17, although I always wear factor 50 underneath all foundations.
Packaging – Glass bottle with a handy pump, easy to use and hygienic, however a bit annoying to travel with as it’s glass, quite weighty and the plastic cap comes off easily.
Application – Easy application, dries relatively fast, but is easily blended out, not too thick or cakey and has a build able coverage.
Coverage/Finish – I would say this is a medium but buildable coverage, definitely doesn’t look cakey and also doesn’t stick to any dry patches around any blemishes. It has a satin finish on me, however I do always powder that down as I know I will be oily as soon as I blink again.
Wear – This isn’t a particularly long wearing foundation on me, although I don’t tend to find that many are. This foundation does seem to look patchy at the end of the day, with oil break-through on my t-zone.
Overall rating – 3/5 I would say that this is my least favourite of my favourites. However, it is a lot cheaper than my other favourites (except Revlon Colorstay) and I do tend to reach for it often if I am in need of something that doesn’t need to be particularly long wearing.

ESTÉE LAUDER DOUBLE WEAR LIGHT FOUNDATION
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Price £29.50
Shade – Intensity 0.5
Match – This shade is ever so slightly too yellow on me, it’s not really noticeable, especially once it’s been powdered and the rest of my face is done, however I do notice it to be a different shade to the normal Double Wear.
SPF – Contains SPF 10, so not much.
Packaging 
– Packaging for this product is great, easy to travel with as it’s so light, the squeeze tube allows for the product to be easily controlled so you don’t use more than you need. One downside is that you can’t see how much foundation you have left in the tube. Some sort of clear panel down the side of the tube would rectify this.
Application – This foundation is so easy to apply, the consistency is really nice, not too thick and not runny either. I find that it blends easily into my skin and doesn’t make dry patches or pores stand out. It doesn’t need too much buffing to blend, it’s quite a seamless application.
Coverage/Finish – Even though the name suggests this is perhaps a light coverage, it certainly isn’t, it’s simply just lighter than the original Double Wear. I would say this foundation is more on the matte side on it’s own, but doesn’t leave the skin looking cake or flat.
Wear – I find that this foundation wears really well on me throughout the day, it’s definitely less of an oily situation on my face than some of my other foundations. I don’t find this foundation to move around a lot on my face throughout the day and it stays pretty matte for many hours.
Overall rating – 5/5 This is possibly dare-I-say-perhaps-maybe my favourite foundation. Of course, I am always testing new ones out, and my skin goes through phases, however I find that I am never disappointed with the finish and wear of this one, even when my skin is going through a hard time. (My skin needs therapy, that’s all there is to it). Considering the price, this is certainly not a cheap product, however I would definitely purchase it again when mine runs out. I would like the product to contain a higher SPF, but that is the only downside I can think of.

ESTÉE LAUDER DOUBLE WEAR STAY-IN-PLACE MAKEUP
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Price – £30
Shade – 1C0 Shell
Match – This is a great match for my skin, due to the consistency of the makeup however, I do find I need to perk it up a bit with blush/bronzer.
SPF – Contains SPF 10.
Packaging – The packaging is the biggest let-down of this foundation, it comes in a glass bottle without a pump, so you just have to pour the product out onto your hand which I find to be annoying for a few reasons. Firstly it seems a bit unhygienic, secondly it’s really difficult to control how much product comes out, and thirdly it goes everywhere!!! The glass bottle isn’t the most travel-friendly in the first place, and with an open bottle it seems like a suitcase disaster waiting to happen. The only upside is that the bottle is very old-school glamour and looks great on my dressing table.
Application – This foundation is fairly easy to apply, doesn’t tend to go streaky or leave brush strokes on the face like some other heavier foundations. I do tend to use a buffing brush and a sponge with this, just to make sure the coverage is seamless.
Coverage/Finish – Despite popular belief, I don’t consider this foundation to be too heavy or even extremely full coverage. I do have acne prone skin and I do still use a concealer on top of particularly angry spots. Having said that, I can imagine that this foundation wouldn’t suit those with drier skin types and it probably would come off looking cakey. I really like the finish on this foundation, it’s not totally matte but I always powder and leave the house assured that my foundation will last.
Wear – This is a fantastic foundation wear-wise, I’m always going to have the type of skin that needs powdering and touching up throughout the day, no matter how many shine-free promising products I leave the house with that day. Double Wear however does seem to last all day. I do see oil breaking through by the end of the day if I haven’t touched up my makeup, however the foundation “stays in place”, as it says on the bottle, and doesn’t slide around everywhere.
Overall rating 5/5 I’ll give this one full marks like the other Estée Lauder foundation, I just find that my skin really reacts well to them. This product does have it’s downsides with the less practical packaging and ever-so-slightly more difficult application, however I think that the overall finish and wear on my skin overrides all that, this is definitely a fail-safe product for me and one that I will probably always repurchase.

BENEFIT BIG EASY MULTI BALANCING COMPLEXION PERFECTOR
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– £28.50
Shade  01 Fair
Match – A surprisingly good match for my skin, when squeezed onto my hand it looks too dark and not the right tone, a bit too yellowy, however when buffed into the skin it seems to blend in really well.
SPF – Contains SPF 35 which I think is great!
Packaging – A light squeezy tube, great for travelling and really practical in terms of hygiene. Easy to control how much product comes out.
Application – Applying this foundation is really nice, it seems to blend really easily no matter what tools I use. The consistency is not too thick, but thick enough to allow for decent coverage.
Coverage/Finish – This foundation has good coverage, I still use a concealer on spots and any areas I’m feeling conscious about, but overall this gives me a nice, radiant complexion, without the caking or the product sticking to dry areas. The finish is pretty matte, and does last for quite a long time throughout the day.
Wear – This foundation is (surprisingly?) long-wearing for a considerably “light-weight” foundation that is not advertised as a full-on foundation, more as a BB-type product. I am wearing this foundation as I’m writing this post, and so far I’ve been wearing it for almost 8 hours and everything is still in place as it was first applied, with no touch ups so far. I do have oil breakthrough on my forehead, but comparing this to some of my other foundations, the longevity of this product gets a big thumbs up from me.
Overall rating 4/5 I really enjoy this foundation, I love the handy packaging, the amount of SPF claimed to be in this product, the application process is seamless and the finish and wear is great. The only downside to this product is the coverage, this is definitely not a product that will decently cover blemishes or imperfections, and for the price, I would like to not have to use a concealer with it as well but having said that, it does leave me with some sort of radiance that none of the others do.

REVLON COLORSTAY MAKEUP FOR COMBINATION/OILY SKIN
DSC_0009Price
 – £12.99
Shade 
– 110 Ivory
Match – This is a great match for me, the best match I’ve found in any drugstore foundation.
SPF – Contains SPF 6, which is hardly anything, it would probably be better without.
Packaging – Very similar packaging to the Estée Lauder Double Wear, highly impractical with a glass bottle and open bottle lid, no pump. Kind of gross to deal with. Not a lover of this type of packaging at all!!
Application – The application process for this foundation, I find, to be really difficult. First of all, the packaging is impractical and hard to use with the open glass bottle, but the consistency of the foundation itself is really strange! Firstly it stinks. It smells horrible, really chemically, a bit like paint – the smell is bad, but it doesn’t necessarily put me off using it as I can’t smell it once it has settled on my skin. The consistency is hard to blend, it almost has a glue-like quality in that its really streaky when you try and blend it out, with a brush or fingers, I’ve found that the only way I can apply this properly with no streaking is if I first dot it around my face and blend it out slightly with a buffing brush, then blend it in properly with my fingers and a sponge. It takes a long time to blend it all in, not a foundation I would grab to use if I’m in a hurry.
Coverage/Finish – Coverage is good, it doesn’t seem to cover most blemishes and I don’t tend to use a concealer alongside this foundation. The finish is nice and matte, without being too flat.
Wear – Wear is great, lasts all day, just as well as Estée Lauder’s Double Wear and is quite hard to remove it all at the end of the day so suggests that it doesn’t really move throughout the day.
Overall rating – 3/5 As much as I really dislike the packaging and the application process, I really like how this foundation wears throughout the day, the shade is a perfect match for me and the price is great.

So that was my top five picks for foundation for oily skin, please let me know if there are others that I should try, like I said, I’m always on the hunt for the perfect foundation, when I feel like my foundation looks good, it can make a huge difference to my mood that day – I am forever grateful for those ever-rare good skin days!

OUTFIT | THE LAST SUPPER

Celebrating my 21st birthday in Paris was a dream come true. Paris itself is a dream city, matched by no other. For our last night there, we decided to dress up a little bit more than we had done on the two previous nights. Here I am wearing all items I received for my birthday – this is by far my favourite LBD that I own, and also one of the most inexpensive at £35 from River Island. My clutch is from Nadia Minkoff, its the Pimlico Tassel Clutch and so adorable! I aways love the quality and timelessness of Nadia Minkoff accessories, see a previous post here where I reviewed a handbag from the collection. My watch is from Tissot and was my present from my parents and my sandals are from Zara, my old faithfuls.
I’m already itching to go back to Paris, there are so many sights that we just didn’t get the chance to see, so many restaurants and cafés that we didn’t get a chance to eat in, and so many quaint little back streets that we didn’t have time to walk through.

This concludes my Paris set, see my previous posts for what we got up to, where we ate and what I wore!
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Au Revoir Paris!
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OUTFITS IN PARIS

Dressing for Paris in the at the height of summer can prove to be difficult, starting with the scorching heat in the busiest areas of tourist-laden locations, staying cool is paramount. Cobbled streets in Paris are a feast for the eyes, but a beast for the feet – especially if, like me, you live in sandals in the summer. So staying cool, comfortable and still dressed up enough to feel nice is a formula that’s not so easy to put together. Below is a little rundown of the outfits I wore for our three-day trip.

Top | H&M Skirt | FOREVER 21 Sandals | ZARA

Top | H&M
Skirt | FOREVER 21
Sandals | ZARA

Dress | WAL G at TOPSHOP Shoes | RIVER ISLAND

Dress | WAL G at TOPSHOP
Shoes | RIVER ISLAND

Top | TOPSHOP Skirt | ZARA Shoes | RIVER ISLAND Clutch | ZARA

Top | TOPSHOP
Skirt | ZARA
Shoes | RIVER ISLAND
Clutch | ZARA

DETAILS

DETAILS