Monday, 29 August 2016

Bank Holiday OOTD: ZSL London Zoo

I'm sorry I haven't done an outfit post in a while, it's super hard to find someone willing to take photos of me for half an hour! I spent the day wandering round London Zoo, wishing I was a monkey swinging from branches, but unfortunately not. 





Yes I know my bra straps are on show, me and strapless bras don't get on.

Top: H&M Crop
Jeans: Topshop Hayden (similar)
Belt: Primark
Bag: New Look (old, sorry!)
Trainers: Nike Air Force 1's
Oh, and here's a picture of me outside the giraffe enclosure with two cheeky giraffes in the background.



I hope you all had a brilliant Bank Holiday Monday! Let me know what you got up to in the comments.

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Friday, 26 August 2016

Starting University Series: Fun, Friendships and The Work



Finding balance at University can be really hard, especially with the temptation of going out all the time and just sitting in front of Netflix all day, but balance is so important in order to succeed.

Fun

Having fun is the most crucial thing (in my opinion) whilst at University. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and you won't ever find yourself living with some of your best friends whilst not having to work from 9-5 everyday. Fun doesn't necessarily come in the form of alcohol might I add! Me and my housemates have had some of our best nights just sat in our kitchen chatting till some ungodly hour of the morning, and it's those nights you'll remember forever. But honestly, don't sit with your head in books all year, or studying in the library all year, you won't have fun and you'll massively regret it at the end of the year when you realise you've worked yourself too hard and didn't have much fun at all. Spend those odd nights down the pub, do the pub quiz every Thursday, and have fun!


Friendships

The friends you make at Unviersity really are for life, and you'll probably find you're much closer to them than those you were close with at school. It's simply down to the environment you're in, and also due to the fact your best friends from school are probably the opposite end of the country to you. I was super lucky with my Flatmates in first year, and they are honestly my best friends, but I also know some people who weren't so lucky. The best way to make friends is to be social and join societies. I majorly regret not joining a society in my first year, but this year I am running the Makeup Society, so hopefully this means I will get to meet lots of new people. Anyway, back to you guys, please join a society or two, it's such a great way to meet people with similar interests.

Another way to meet new friends is to go to the parties you are invited to, and make yourself known to the people on the floors above and below you. We had great house parties in our flat as we were friends with all three floors below us, and that's because on our first night they all came up to introduce themselves. Your friends at Uni will be your best and strongest support system when you're going through a hard time, or just feeling a bit low from missing home. Building that friendship is key and it's the thing I am most grateful for,


The Work

Starting out at University, the work load can be a bit overwhelming as all assignments seem to come at the same time, and you're really not spoon fed like you are back at school. Saying that, it's really nothing to worry about. If you were clever enough to get into University in the first place, you are more than capable of the work which will be thrown at you. One of my top tips would be to do assignments earlier rather than later, although some of my housemates say they work best under pressure. Personally, I stress too much when my deadlines are close and therefore like to have my work submitted around 3 days before the final deadline. Really, the first year of your degree is no harder than A Levels, and I (controversially) would say that it's probably a bit easier, depending on your course, as a lot of content is repeats of what you will have learn at A Level. Although you are at Uni for the degree, don't let the work stress you out and ruin your time there, after all first year doesn't count for most courses and universities!

I hope you guys have all found this series helpful, I loved writing it as it was nice to reminisce on my first year as I am now entering my third and final year of my degree. Good luck to all of you going off to Uni and I hope you love being a fresher as much as I did!


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Monday, 22 August 2016

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita (+ Dupes!)



If you told me a year ago that I would be writing so many blog posts about nude lip colours I'd have well and truly laughed in your face. I've always been a bold lip girl, but recently I've toned it down a bit and have fallen in love with a good ol' nude (I know what you're thinking...don't be so crude guys!).
 


 Kat Von D's Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks are raved about all over the internet, with Lolita probably being the one which is hyped up the most. I asked a friend to grab me one when she was on her travels so I could see what all the fuss was about, and honestly, I am rather impressed. I know there was a lot of trouble and complaints with the changing of the colour of Lolita across the three batches that were released. I believe the one I own is from the third batch, and personally I think this is the nicest colour of the three.


It's a beautiful pinky brown nude, which is my favourite type FYI! It's just so flattering on my tanned skin tone, however also looks beautiful on paler skin. The formula does not wear as well as I thought, and you do get that awkward fading which is a bit annoying, however it does build well, so applying another layer causes no problems. Most liquid lipsticks can be quite drying on the lips, however I find with the Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks, if you apply a lip liner underneath, they are not at all drying, and they certainly don't feel heavy on the lips. For me, the selling point is not only the shade but the beautiful and unique packaging. I love how slim it is, and also the decoration and detail makes the whole product aesthetically pleasing. 


Overall I would rate the product as follows:

Wear: 3.5/5
Colour/Pigment: 5/5
Packaging: 5/5

If you aren't a fan of Liquid Lipsticks the shade is very similar to MAC Whirl lipstick, which is another favourite of mine, plus much easier to get hold of in the UK! Kat Von D Makeup is however coming to Debenhams soon, I believe it is later this year which is super exciting. Another great dupe is Sleek's Matte Me in Birthday Suit which is slightly lighter but still the same pinky/browny nude.

What's your favourite 'go-to' liquid lipstick?


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Friday, 19 August 2016

Starting University Series: Budgeting & Making Money



Congratulations to those of you who got into University yesterday! As I mentioned last week I am doing a mini-series about Starting University, and last week I wrote about Packing and Moving In, which you should definitely read if you haven't already. 

Budgeting

Budgeting is such a hard thing to get your head around when you have been living under the wing of Mum and Dad for the past 18 years and haven't really had to think about the concept of rent and bills and paying for your own food shop. I for one spent about £50 a week on my weekly shop because I just bought stuff I knew my mum and Dad would buy on their weekly shop, and this was the worst thing to do. Firstly, I was buying enough food to feed my entire family, which for the record is 4/5 people, so I was wasting a lot of food at the end of the week. Secondly, I was wasting money on junk food which is actually so expensive and really adds up. In my second year I budgeted and spent, on average, £25 per week on my shopping, and that was including any alcohol which I wanted for nights out.

It sounds very extreme, but I recommend making an Excel sheet, or even just writing down, what your income and outcome will be. For example, I made a spreadsheet this year and wrote the amount of student loan I was getting a term, and then divided it by the amount of weeks in that term. This showed me how much I had to spend every week. For me, this was barely anything, as my student loan was ridiculously low and just about covered my rent. But once finding out how much I would roughly be spending a week, I was able to work out how much of my wages I could save from my weekend job, and how much I needed for my shopping and general living. 


Making Money

I had plenty of friends who didn't want to get a job in their first year of university, and I also had friends who did have jobs in their first year. Those who did have jobs regretted it, because they missed out on a lot of nights out and just a lot of socialising in general. I didn't have a job in first year, however I did work at my old job back home in the holidays just for a bit of extra money on the side. As I had pretty supportive parents I didn't feel as though it was essential, however going into my second year I did get a weekend job, which I do still have, and I am so glad I do. It's given me a lot less time to do work and socialise which obviously is a downside, but I earn enough to pay for my own shopping and don't rely so heavily on my parents which is a great feeling. Your University will probably offer jobs on campus which is great because they are much more flexible than regular workplaces, but in my opinion, unless you really won't be able to afford the lifestyle, don't get a job in first year. Also, if you're one of those people who can only concentrate on one thing at a time, maybe a job isn't for you. It's so tempting to accept all the overtime once you see the money rolling into your bank account, but you need to remember why you're at Uni!

Making money at University doesn't simply mean a job however, as there are many other ways you can make a little spare money. Firstly, you can sell unwanted clothes. This is something I try to do as I like to have a clear and fresh wardrobe and I sell my clothes on Depop. It's a great way to earn a little money and also give your clothes onto a more loving home. Secondly, many research departments at Universities will offer paid experiments or studies, which I highly recommend. I frequently take part in my Universities studies, and earn up to £20 a time! For no longer than 2 hours of your time it's a great way to earn some dollar to spend on new clothes or on a night out. Lastly, there are survey websites such as Valued Opinions, which I also use, which offer vouchers in exchange for doing surveys for companies. It takes a while to build up enough to claim a voucher, but it's worth it as you'll have lots of spare time at University.

Bank Accounts

This is something I just want to touch on briefly, and it's making sure you 1) have a student account and 2) are with a decent bank. Many banks will offer great deals to students who open a student account with them (or switch their account over). I am with HSBC and I remember I got a £50 Amazon voucher when I switched over my account, and I know that Santander used to offer a free 3 year Railcard! In hindsight I wish I'd got my account with Santander, but HSBC also has its perks. Make sure you research into these amazing free gifts and perks before you choose a bank. Also, do not turn down an overdraft. As a student they are free to have, and on that one occasion where you've left paying your rent to the last second and you're £5 short it's really helpful to know you can just use your overdraft for the time being. Yes - it is very tempting to just jump onto Missguided and do a massive £200 shop (something I did fall for once or twice I have to admit...), but again something you will learn to control.

Finally guys, don't worry too much about the money side of things! It seems stressful at first, and almost like you won't cope, but once you get used to the amount of money you have each month you'll fall into routines and patterns and everything will be much easier. Just make sure you enjoy yourselves and take every opportunity that is thrown at you.


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Monday, 15 August 2016

ASOS Wishlist #3

I haven't done an ASOS Wishlist post in so long and since my 'Saved Items' list has got ten times larger I thought I would pick a small selection to share with you guys!


Every youtuber and their Mum's have a pair of these but they look so sophisticated I <3 them!
How beautiful is this dress? I really want to get it as a possible Graduation dress - in hope that I actually do graduate next year...
3) Calvin Klein CK Cotton Bra and Pants - £28.00 & £17.00
I am so late on the CK Underwear bandwagon but I really want this set just for lazy days and lazy day instagram shots.
Such a staple summer piece that could be dressed up or down, and an absolute bargain now it's in the sale!


I feel like this might be a bit risque but it's just so different to any other bodysuits on the high street at the moment, and with a pair of black jeans I think it'd be a beautiful outfit.
6) ASOS Disney Minnie Mouse Cross Body Bag - £20.00
The inner disney-lover in me needs this!
I was going to buy this top when it was full price as I love the phrase on it, and now it's half price I really have no excuse do I?!
I'm always in need of a new pair of black jeans and these look like the perfect pair! High waisted jeans are a must for me with my tummy flab.

Are there any items you are lusting after from ASOS?


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Friday, 12 August 2016

Starting University Series: Packing & Moving Out



Moving out of home and driving to University at the end of September is a vivid memory for me, probably because it was only two years ago, but also because it was the most nervous and excited I have ever been. I wanted to start a mini-series on my blog about Starting University, because it is such a mixed experience for everyone, but something I think everyone who's been through it can agree on is that it was a teeny bit scary. 

Packing

Knowing what to take to University might seem simple, stuff to cook with and clothes? Well, you're wrong. There were so many simple things that I just completely forgot to pack with me, such as stationary (which might seem obvious, but in the kafuffle of moving out you tend to forget these things). On the opposite side of things there was so much stuff which I took that I just didn't need to take. For example, I did not need to take every single jumper I owned, nor did I need to take every single pair of shoes (my flatmates can vouch for me on this!). I'm thinking of making a PDF file of a checklist of things I think are essential when moving to University, let me know if you'd like this! 

Moving In

I know my high school did many 'prepping for University' talks and we were told by about two different people to take food, such as a homemade cake, on your first day to share with your new housemates. Now...I never did this...nor do I know anyone who did. There are a couple of things I would suggest doing on moving in day.

1) Get There Early
A few Universities do make you book a time to move in, but if this isn't a thing at your Uni, then make sure you get there early. I was the last to arrive in my halls, and it meant I didn't get first choice of cupboards and was the last to be introduced to the group, which I think is much more scary than there being only one other person there when you move in.

2) Take Toilet Roll
Something you might think is super simple but I always forgot toilet roll on my shopping trips, and it's one thing you don't want to forget on your first day!

3) Be Sociable
It can be really easy to just stay in your room crying once your family have dropped you off, but this really is the worst thing to do. Make a good first impression and make yourself seem like a friendly and sociable person. There is nothing worse than feeling lonely when you are in a new place. Don't worry as everyone you will be living with will be just as nervous as you are!

Next week I have a post coming up on budgeting, something which I think is super important whilst at University, and something which I struggled with in my first year whilst adjusting.


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Monday, 8 August 2016

20 Things I've Learnt In My 20 Years



I feel like 20 is such a boring age, but also an age where you've had the chance to learn lots about life, and experience the up's and down's that are thrown at you. Here's a list of 20 things I've learnt in my 20 Years of life, and things I wish I'd known when I was younger - I hope you enjoy.

1) Life moves quickly
Literally it feels like yesterday I was 13 and screaming when the Jonas Brothers came on TV.

2) Not everyone will be nice about you/to you
Some people are just mean and toxic, and will enjoy bashing other people down because they aren't truly happy themselves. These people do not matter.


3) Money might not be everything but life is more enjoyable with it
You're almost bought up with the idea that money is not important and you don't need it to be happy, and this may be true to some extent, but being broke is not fun. Since going to University it has become abundantly clear that life is much more enjoyable when you have a bit of dollar to spend.

4) A Small Group of Friends is Better Than a Large Group
When you're at school the 'popular kids' are the ones with the largest group of friends, but as you grow up you realise that a smaller group of close friends is much better than a large group of distant friends who don't care so much about you. I've probably got about 6/7 close friends who I could go to about anything, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

5) Be Careful Who You Trust
As you get older you realise that not everyone has your back, and you will learn this the hard way. Don't tell your secrets to Sally who is always telling you Jo's secrets!

6) Nobody is Perfect
Despite what the media is showing you, nobody is perfect. In a different sense, everybody makes mistakes, and it does no good to dwell on these. There is not a single person in the world who doesn't regret something they've done, and that's just life.

7) The Media Only Shows what it wants you to see
Similarly to my last point, we are only shown what the media wants us to see. Even Kim Kardashian has her flaws and it's unrealistic to expect to look like her photoshopped magazine cover!

8) A Victoria's Secret Model is not a realistic body goal for me
No one is ever happy with the way they look, but everyone has different body goals. I've learnt that no matter how hard I try, how many sit ups I do, I won't look like a VS model - it's just how I'm built.

9) A Levels are not the hardest thing
School is hard. A Levels are hard. But adult life is harder and full of much more stress.

10) Girls are Bitchy - and it doesn't get better as you get older
Girls don't mature as you may think they do. At 20 years old people will still have things to say about other people's business.

11) Living at home is a luxury
After going to University and having to cook and clean for yourself, you realise what a luxury it is living at home.

12) Keeping in touch with people is harder than you think
You might think it's just a simple text, but life gets busy and you just don't have time to talk to everyone you want to. It's so hard to arrange a day to meet up with friends because everyone has a different schedule. 

13) Balancing work and play is difficult
We'd all rather be playing, and probably find ourselves procrastinating from our work frequently. It's so hard to find the right balance and stop yourself stressing and overworking, equally not working enough.

14) Sale Shopping Isn't Always Best
Sale shopping may seem like a good idea because everything is cheap, but a lot of the time it is old seasons clothes, and you just won't get much wear out of it. Sometimes it's best to buy the more timeless pieces that my not be in the sale, as the cost per wear will be much less eventually.



15) It's OK to have Lazy Days
Don't feel bad if you spend all day in your PJ's watching movies. If you've worked hard you deserve a break.

16) Exercise Isn't your enemy
P.E lessons used to be the worst part of the week, but now I love exercise. Exercise releases endorphins which will make you happy! Don't fear working out.

17) Hard Work Gives Good Rewards
If you sit around on your butt all day everyday and refuse to read any books for your degree, your grades will reflect that. Working hard is rewarding and it pays off.

18) Saving Money is Harder Than You Think
Putting cash aside every month to save for a holiday or car is so much harder than you think. The cost of bills and rent is so expensive that you really have to scrimp to be able to save, but it's so worth it!

19) The Outside of Your Body Reflects What You Put into Your Body 
This is something I wish I'd listened to when I was younger. If you eat McDonalds all the time, you will look and feel like crap, because you are eating crap. Nonetheless, a bit of crap is good sometimes!
 
20) Paying For Things Yourself is Rewarding
It's always nice to be bought gifts, but knowing that your own hard-earned money is going on your new leather jacket or your holiday is so much more rewarding!


What are some things you've learnt throughout your life?


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Friday, 5 August 2016

Weekend Beach Getaway Essentials

I teamed up with the lovely people at 'HomeAway' to craft a blog post, which I was hugely excited about. With inspiration from their best vacation ideas, I put together my Weekend Getaway Travel Essentials for you guys.


Benefit Gimmie Brow - Hold your brows in place through sweat and chlorine!

Zara Martin Rose Gold Kitty Headphones - Why would you not want super cute Cat Ear headphones? Music is an essential for me when chilling on the beach.

Body Shop Vitamin E Face Mist - A brilliant way to refresh your skin in the heat. One spritz of this and you'll feel awake and no longer sticky from the sun. Honestly such a godsend of a product.

Garnier Clear Protect Sun Cream - Looking after your skin in the sun is hugely important and something I believe that a lot of people my age completely forget about and dismiss. I find that these clear sprays make applying suncream much easier and less of a faff. P.S Having a higher SPF doesn't necessarily affect your tan so please don't just go for the lowest factor!

Quay Australia Cat Eye Sunglasses - These are possibly the most gorgeous and summery pair of sunglasses I have seen in ages, and they really aren't too pricey either! A good pair of sunnies will not only protect your eyes from the sun, but can also disguise those bags under your eyes from those late night cocktails!




What are your Weekend Beach Getaway Essentials?


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