Review: Favourite cream and liquid highlighters

Dewy skin is a massive trend every time summer rolls around. Seen on the catwalk with the likes of Versace and Jil Sanders opting to give their models a fresh, radiant glow. Then enters my skin. It’s dry, dehydrated and definitely no way near a natural perfect dewy canvas. However, it’s becoming even easier to fake the look all using drugstore products!

The Ultimate Base

Getting fresh skin begins right at the base. A good moisturiser is essential regardless of your skin type, so it’s important to find one that works for you. I have really dry skin so I use a heavy duty moisturiser both in the daytime and evening to prep my skin and quench its thirst.

I usually use a glowy foundation anyway such as Nars Sheer Glow, but if I’m going for more of a full coverage I like to mix in a liquid highlighter to give me more dimension. My personal favourite for this is Soap & Glory Hocus Pocus Illuminator. The illuminator is very light in consistency meaning when mixed with foundation is gives a gorgeous pearlescent champagne sheen. I sometimes actually apply this straight to the skin almost like a primer and then apply my foundation with a damp beauty blender which works really great. This is perfect for an everday healthy glow.

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Another favourite is the Sleek Barekissed Illuminator in Monaco. I find this works better when I don’t have fake tan on as it has more of a pink sheen but it’s absolutely gorgeous mixed into my foundation.

The Cheek(y) Glow

Once your base is applied, you can add extra dimension using a highlighter. Cream highlighters often look much more natural than their powder equivalents. However, these ones seriously pack a punch in their own right. The Soap and Glory Glow All Out highlight stick in the shade Ice Shimmer gives an amazing colour payoff of a gorgeous champagne pop. It is shimmery but not glittery which means less metallic cheekbones and more superstar sheen. They also have Wonderbronze which is perfect for deeper skintones or just for adding an instant sunkissed glow to the skin. I’ve never really seen a product like this one in the drugstore before as cream highlighters are usually more cool or icey toned so it’s fantastic to see S&G spreading their wings! I’m currently very tanned thanks to my favourite Bondi Sands but I think this will also look amazing on holiday with a natural tan too. Barry M have strobe sticks which are also great for adding a sheer wash of shine to the cheekbones.

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L-R: Topshop Gleam, S&G Iced Shimmer, S&G WonderBronze

Another favourite is the Topshop Glow pot in Gleam. This is a much hyped product in the blogger world so of course I had to try it. It’s slightly more expensive than I’d usually expect from Topshop makeup however the glow is just insane. It’s a stunning gold glow that seriously delivers in brightening up your face and giving it an immense highlight. It’s certainly not for the faint hearted.

What are your favourite cream or liquid highlighters?

C x

*blog post supported by Soap & Glory. All opinions are my own.

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Study Hacks for the Stressed Student

With teaching now finished at my University, it’s the time for intense revision and final deadlines to come rolling around scarily fast. As I try to cram in as much revision as possible in the next few weeks, here’s my top tips for a stressed out student like me!

Plan, Plan, Plan

Usually university doesn’t just leave you a few exams to deal with at the end of term. There’s always a good few pieces of coursework conveniently slotted in too, such as a 3,000 research proposal which I’m currently attempting to tackle. It’s important to find the balancing act between doing this coursework and still setting time aside to study so neither side suffers. I tend to write down at the start of the week when I’m working, if I have any other things planned and then set aside a good few hours a day for uni work. This way I can wake up knowing what I need to do each day and find it motivates me to actually get it done.

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Find a study space

It’s so important to find somewhere where you can actually concentrate when it comes to revision. I find studying in my bedroom far too distracting, so I tend to sit in the dining room and leave my phone upstairs or at the opposite side of the room to stop me scrolling Instagram endlessly. Everyone focuses in a different way so find a space where you feel most comfortable, whether that be outside in the garden, on the sofa or in the local library. We have a 24 hour study lab available on campus which is also fantastic for getting yourself in the zone.

Study in groups

Chances are your classmates are stressing just as much as you about the dreaded final exam, so why not put together a study group to revise together? I find this to be so helpful to cover any topics you’re all struggling with, as you can help one another and give each other any quirky tips you’ve got to help you remember it. My friend Jade makes up stories to try and remember legislation, something I’d never have thought of before!

GCU have private study rooms located in the Student Association which are great for getting a group together. There’s also study rooms available in the Saltire centre which can be booked via the library desk. I’ve used both and find them fantastic for group studying. Have a look on your Universities website for similar study spaces available to you.

Find what works for you

Everyone takes information in in a different way, so it’s important to work out what works for your brain. I tend to write my notes out in my own words using coloured pens, which I then stuck to the walls in my room. I also really like making flashcards for each topic which I can then ask my dad or a friend to run over with me.

You could also record yourself saying a particular topic or key points on your voice memos on your phone or iPod and listen to it back whilst commuting. I’ve done this before and as much as I detested the sound of my own voice by the end of the week, it really helped pass the time when I was stuck in traffic in the car. You might just do past papers or tests online, or by simply looking at your notes. If you’re a visual learner and like mindmaps, try MindMup which was recommended to me by my friend Amy. This allows you to create as many mindmaps as you wish which can be shared on social media with friends or converted from PDF so you can print it.

Use a playlist

I find sometimes a bit of background noise helps me focus more on what I’m studying. As much as I’d love to be able to blast Beyoncé for motivation, I end up spending more time perfecting my vocals and doing the Single Ladies dance than actually studying. Spotify have a whole “Focus” playlist section specifically for studying and concentrating, with my favourite being the Music for Concentration playlist.

Take a break

I’m definitely the kind of person who will spend hours trying to cram stuff in, but there comes to a point where your brain will just hit a wall and won’t take anything else in. Make sure to take regular small breaks for snacks and study fuel, and if possible go get some fresh air to get a break from the laptop. By stepping away from the books for even just half an hour it can give you an instant refresh when you come back to restart. Taking a break is also so important for you mentally if you feel you’re getting stressed or anxious. Coursework is of course important, but so is your mental health, so look after both.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If there’s a particular area you’re struggling with or you just can’t find the materials you need in your notes/online, ask for help! Your uni lecturers are there to help you pass your coursework and exams so send them a quick email or head to their office for advice. Or, create a chat with people from your course where you can all share any queries you may have. Chances are you won’t be the only one struggling with that topic, so you’ll be doing everyone a favour by asking it. You all have the same goal at University, and that’s to graduate with the best degree possible, so help each other get to end.

Just remember that the end is in sight and all this hard work will be worth it in the end!

What are your top study tips?

C x

*Blog supported by Soap and Glory. All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

Review: Wow Brows with Soap & Glory

My eyebrows are something which have definitely improved over the years. As a teen, they were very sparse and I never filled them in and when I look at pictures of me from that time I cringe. Then I moved onto filling them in and my goodness that was JUST as bad. Brows frame your face and are SO important in making me look human on a day to day basis, and I definitely think it’s all down to the products as well as the technique.

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Archery Two-in-One Brow Pencil

I find brow pencils the easiest product to use to fill in my eyebrows to my desired shape. Some pencils are just too chunky or waxy, but Soap & Glory’s Archery is my all time favourite for both the quality and the price point. I used to use this in the shade “Brownie Set” which was slightly too light for my dark brown hair. However I was thrilled when S&G added to the range with Dark Chocolate which is a perfect match! The spoolie on one end is also fantastic to brush through the eyebrows and then switch to the small nib to draw in individual brow hairs. I run the spoolie back through the fronts of my brows to create more of a gradient affect. This is my everyday go to brow product and whether you’re new to the realm of brows or a brow expert I highly recommend trying these out! (I don’t have any pictures of my pencil as I’ve used it so much that all the writing has rubbed off, not very picture worthy haha!)

You can buy Archery pencil here for £8 with three different shades.

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Archery DIY Brow Bar

This little kit has all your brow must haves in one easy compact. It has two brow powders in the shade “Love is Blonde” and “Dark chocolate”, a clear wax, a cream highlighter and two double ended tools to perfect your brows. You use the teeniest little spooly (how cute!) to brush your brows through, then the black angled brush to apply a small amount of the wax to the brows. The yellow slanted brush can then be used to apply your desired colour and a sweep of highlighter under the brow and you’re done! The colours in the palette are great because you can mix them together as you wish to create a custom colour. You can always swap in your own tools if you’re not a dab hand with tiny little brushes, but these make it great for travelling too! I find powders more intense for my eyebrows so I love to use these for nights out for more defined “wow” brows.

You can buy the brow bar here for £12.00.

 

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Left: with Archery pencil. Right: with Archery Brow Bar

 

I think Soap & Glory have nailed the brow game for the drugstore and have such a huge array of products to suit everyone. One thing I would LOVE for them to bring out is something along the lines of the ABH brow pomades as, if the rest of their products are so good, I think they’d be the darkhorse with this too!

What’s your favourite brow products?

C x

*Blog supported by Soap & Glory. All opinions are my own.

Review: Smoothie Star Soap & Glory Range

There’s nothing more satisfying after a long day than taking a hot shower or bath, then coming out and slathering yourself in your best smelling body products. It’s amazing how relaxed you can feel after a little TLC, and finding great products is key to ensuring your routine is spot on.

The Smoothie Star range from Soap & Glory has been a firm favourite of mines over the years with it’s sweet almond and brown sugar scent.

 

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Image taken when I first bought the scrub, I promise I’ve used it!

 

The Breakfast Scrub

Soap & Glory do a fantastic range of body scrubs within their ranges, with different scents and more abrasive scrubs dependant upon your skin type. However, The Breakfast Scrub is the one I have kept on coming back to time after time. I remember this being hugely hyped on YouTube many moons ago so I popped into Boots with my pocket money to buy a tub. The older packaging was more rounded but the formulation remains the same. The scrub smells SO good, with ingredients such as oats, sugar, banana and shea butter it’s hard to not stick a spoon into this and eat it. It leaves my sensitive dry skin lovely and soft and feeling moisturised when I leave the shower rather than tight. Definitely one of my favourite S&G products. It’s an award winner, and it’s clear to see why!

For £8, I think that’s a bargain for the quality of the product and can be purchased here.

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Body Buttercream

The scent of the buttercream is slightly stronger than the scrub, with a slight almost biscuity underlay, but not in a bad way. (Think more sweet biscuits than fake tan!) I love the body butter consistency as it’s thicker and really takes it’s time to absorb into the skiin, quenching any thirsty areas. I particularly love slathering this onto the tops of my arms and on my legs as these are my driest areas. If you like The Righteous Butter but fancy a different scent, then I recommend this!

The buttercream retails for £10 and can be bought here.

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Deep Moisture Body Milk

I didn’t think I’d like this product when I first tried it due to its runny consistency, but the “deep moisture” claim intrigued me. However I’ve actually found myself reaching for this most days before I pop my pyjamas on. The pump bottle makes it so quick and easy to apply without the mess of digging into a tub, and because it’s a milk it absorbs super quickly. Now don’t be misled by the milk title, it still has a nice thickness to it which gives the skin a good moisture. Plus, the scent of this is similar to the buttercream minus that biscuity underlay. My skin feels lovely and soft and the scent it leaves on the skin is gorgeous. Definitely a dark horse in the game here!

For £10, I think this products worth every penny and can be purchased here.

Overall, I love the Smoothie Star range. I’m usually a loyal Righteous Butter or Sugar Crush kinda gal but this range is just so fresh for Spring with some amazing products. With all of Soap and Glory’s bodycare currently 3 for 2 in Boots, how can you resist?

They’re definitely not edible, but they certainly smell good enough to eat!

What are your favourite scented body products?

C x

*Blog supported by Soap & Glory. All opinions are my own.

 

Review: Is Soap and Glory “The Greatest Scrub Of All”?

If you’ve got dry, sensitive skin like me, trying a new face scrub is likely to be something you’re a little bit apprehensive about. A face scrub in my skin care routine is crucial to smooth over dry patches, but it must be gentle enough to not aggravate my eczema.

So, into my skincare routine walks Soap and Glory “The Greatest Scrub of All”. Bold claims straight away from the name, but I was initially sceptical due to previous bad and painful experiences with harsh scrubs. Sold as a “DIY micro-dermabrasion”,  the scrub contains salicylic acid, which is traditionally known to treat oily skin. However, it’s also fantastic for breaking down dead skin cells without actively having to “scrub” them away as it encourages natural skin turnover.

The scrub is for all skin types, and recommends using a pea-sized amount onto damp skin wherever your problem areas are (whether that be an oily nose to unclog pores or an area of flakey skin) for around 30 seconds.

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I was instantly drawn into the claim that the scrub gave “instant radiance”. I’ve been using this once or twice a week after using a cleanser in the evening, and following with moisturiser as directed.

The Results

Honestly, the face polish has become a firm favourite in my routine. The grains within the scrub are not too harsh and very finely milled within the polish itself, which means 30 seconds is perfect to give a good amount of exfoliation. It’s not too harsh for my skin and leaves it feeling soft and visibly more radiant. I stuck to using it once a week, sometimes twice if I had a particular problem area, and this worked great for me. If you have more oily skin, you possibly could use it more for a deeper clean.

Most amazingly, I have noticed a huge improvement on my facial milia. Due to my eczema, I have to use a heavy moisturiser to treat it which can cause the annoying tiny white bumps to appear around my eyes and under my cheeks. I, of course, don’t use the scrub on my eye area itself but those under and around the eye they are visibly reduced. Salicylic acid does = DIY microdermabrasion in this case!

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I’d definitely say the scrub lives up to its claims of being suitable for all skin types and giving instant radiance. It’s one that you can adapt to suit you based on how much you use and how frequent etc. Is it the Greatest Scrub of All? That’s for you to try the polish and answer!

You can buy The Greatest Scrub of all here for £9 for 150ml.

Do you use a face scrub in your skincare routine?

C x

*Blog supported by Soap and Glory. All opinions are my own.

Spring Clean: Makeup Bag Edition

With Spring fast approaching, now is the perfect time to change up your makeup wardrobe. Clear out the old products you reach for in winter and give your makeup bag a freshen up for this season. Here’s the products I’ll be using to fake a glow and brighten my skin even if the weather hasn’t quite got the memo yet…

BASE:

Spring for me is all about a glowing completion and fresh looking skin. My favourite primer all year round is the Smashbox Hydrating Primer as it stops my dry skin becoming uncomfortable. If I want a serious glow, I apply a drop of the Sleek Barekiss Illuminator in Monaco over the top of the primer to add a touch of luminosity, or mix it in with my foundation. My go to glowy foundation is Nars Sheer Glow. I seriously cannot get enough of this and have ran through numerous bottles over the years. Finally, I have been loving the Bourjois Radiance Reveal concealer under my eyes to brighten and illuminate after a few too many late nights. I have also been trying out the Soap & Glory range of concealer and colour correcting products and so far I LOVE them. A review will be coming soon!

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FACE:

In Spring, I love swapping my usual pink blush for more peach tones. My holy grail in the warmer months is Soap & Glory Peach Party blush brick. This looks gorgeous on all skin tones and you can swirl your brush in all the colours or pick out the more bronze/peach tones dependant on your preference. For bronzer, I love using Makeup Revolution Baked Bronzer in Golden Days to warm up my whole face. It’s not to warm, not too cool and has just a slight sheen to it to make the skin look so healthy. Seriously, if you are fairer skinned you need this in your life. Lastly, MAC Soft and Gentle Mineralize Skin Finish is such a beautiful highlighter sweeped over the tops of the cheekbones.

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EYES:

For brows, I’m swapping in the Soap & Glory Archery pencil for soft defined brows, and the shade dark chocolate is a perfect match for me. I’m continuing to use my favourite Maybelline falsies mascara and Urban Decay Naked Palette as I love wearing more warm/gold tones in the lighter months. The original palette is definitely my most used for daytime.

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My lip changes on a day to day basic depending on my outfit or mood. Recently I’ve been loving my Kylie lip kit in Candy K and my old fave Velvet Teddy by MAC.

I definitely recommend rummaging through your makeup collection and have a makeup bag reshuffle, you’re guaranteed to find something you used to love!

What products will you be swapping into your makeup bag this Spring?

C x

 

* Blog supported by Soap & Glory. All opinions are my own.

 

How To: Celebrate Galentines Day

Whether you are planning a romantic night in with your other half this Valentine’s day, or spending the night with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s in your pyjamas, February 13th is all about celebrating your kick-ass girls. Here’s some easy ideas for a night to remember:img_6211

Have a girls night out

Get your best LBD on and hit the town for some cocktails with the girls. Make sure there’s plenty of selfies to capture just how 10/10 you all look.

Or a girls night in

If you fancy missing those crowded bars, have a night in with some of your favourite wine, plenty of snacks, Bridget Jones on repeat and an abundance of gossip to catch up on. Dominoes and a Beyonce playlist are essential.

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Have a DIY pamper night

Fake a spa day in the comfort of your own home! Grab your favourite face masks (my favourite at the minute is Lush Mask of Magniminty for calming my stressed skin) or go all Pinterest and make your own. Don’t forget the wine!

Have a throwback party

Celebrate the good old days by taking a step back in time. Blast some Steps or S-Club 7 on your speakers, grab the hair crimper and look back at the old cringeworthy pictures of you. How did our mums ever let us out like that?!

Try somewhere new

Whether it be a new restaurant, a new nail bar or an activity you’ve never done before, step out of your comfort zone and do something new together. Even if it ends up not being your cup of tea, it’ll be a story to remember. Read other peoples blogs and Google to find new and exciting ventures. I recently went to a local trampoline centre and absolutely loved it!

Have a makeover night

Get everyone to bring their favourite makeup products and spend the night giving each other a new look. It’s a great way to get some inspiration for both new products (sorry bank balance) and looks. Needing some ideas or tips? Pop Youtube on and try recreating the tutorials on there. Practise makes perfect!

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How will you be spending your Galentines day?

C x

*Blog supported by Soap & Glory. All views are my own.

 

 

 

 

Review: Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Lipgloss

Soap & Glory are famous for their fun, tongue in cheek product names, and Sexy Mother Pucker is no exception. I’ve never been the biggest fan of lipgloss, however have repurchased or been gifted SMP many times over the years. The shade Candy Queen holds a slight nostalgia to me as I used to wear it non-stop as a teenager. They are unique on the market as they contain “superfill” technology, and are infused with natural plant oil to plump your lips and give you a super glossy pout.

There are 7 individual shades currently available from the range, however different collections/combinations are always released around Christmas time.

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Once applied with the doe foot applicator, they begin to tingle on the lips almost like pins and needles. I don’t find it uncomfortable at all, but it is certainly a strange sensation the first time it is applied. However if you’re feeling brave, try their XXL plump – the tingle is real with that one! The tingle dies down shortly after application and you’re left with lovely glossy lips.

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The colour range on the glosses is great, with a selection of more opaque colours and shimmers. I personally love layering the glosses over my existing lipsticks to give a fuller looking pout, in particular Bare Enough which is a lovely pinky nude. Nudestar looks amazing over a brown-toned nude (think Mac Velvet Teddy) for glossy lips Khloe Kardashian would be proud of. If a more natural look is what you like, try Candy Queen or Doughnut for a more subtle wash of colour and shine.

These glosses are a handbag favourite of mines as they are just so easy to apply and instantly make you feel put together.

You can buy Sexy Mother Pucker here for £9 from Boots.

What is your favourite shade of Sexy Mother Pucker?

C x

*Blog supported by Soap & Glory. All opinions are my own.

Why Your University Friends Are Friends For Life

You get many things coming out of University: an education, a love for fast food and mainly a chunk of debt. But with Galen-tines day just around the corner (yes, a whole day to celebrate your friends) we need to appreciate the amazing friendships we make along the way.

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  1. You’ve seen each other at your best…

From acing assignments which you’ve slaved over together to spending all your student loans on dresses which make you look 10/10, you’ll be there for each other every step of the way to that big graduation.

  1. And your worst

They’ve probably held your hair back as you ran to the toilet after one too many Jagerbombs, and saw you in a sea of leftover Dominoes boxes and greasy hair as you fight your way through revision. But that’s okay, because they’re equally as minging.

  1. Surviving the hangovers (and the lectures)

Ah yes, where there’s a university, there’s always an abundance of bars and clubs close by for you to “just have a few” because you’ve a 9AM lecture in the morning. Fast forward a few hours, you and your friends are knee-deep in shots and declaring your love for each other.

  1. You’ve “grown up” together

University is a time of huge changes, from moving away from home to making new friends, it’s the time to discover who you really are. The windy path from teenager to mini-adult involves a lot of bills and responsibilities and c’mon, what bond is stronger than the joint crying over that?

  1. They never judge you for your procrastination

Mainly because they are too. Who knew re-watching an entire One Tree Hill boxset was more valuable than writing that essay?

  1. You talk about the real things

And I don’t just mean boys and makeup. I mean your five year plan, planning the dream job and aspirations, questioning how the hell you’ll ever afford your own mortgage(?!). The future is scary, but you’ll always be there cheering each other on.

  1. They know far too much

You’ve let them in all on all the juicy details of your life so you couldn’t possibly let them go. And let’s be honest, you’ve already picked out your bridesmaid dresses.

How will you be celebrating Galen-tines day?

C x

*Blog supported by Soap and Glory