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.

 

 

 

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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.

Beauty Hacks You Need in Your Life #1

Whilst I am a massive makeup and beauty junkie, life can sometimes just get a little too busy with work, university and a social life to keep up to focus on perfecting my baked under eyes. Anything I can do to cut down on time and multitask, I will do! Here’s my top five beauty hacks which you need in your life:

Use conditioner as shaving cream

This is an oldie that I use all the time. Shaving foam can be expensive, and I’ve found certain ones can dry out my skin. Use up those conditioners that just aren’t cutting it for your hair instead. Conditioners give a close shave, whilst acting as a good lubricant and guideline for shaving. I use a cheap Alberto Balsalm one in the shower which you can pick up from most places for a mere £1. This is also great for cutting down on toiletries for travelling. Smooth and silky legs in an instant!

Use matte eyeshadow for your eyebrows

Trying to find a perfect match for your brow colour can be difficult, however the majority of us will own at least a few matte eyeshadows. Save yourself a pretty penny on buying eyebrow powders and use these for your brows instead! These are perfect for filing in your brows with, and can be mixed and matched according to how dark you prefer them. I often use the colour crave from Urban Decay Naked Basics for mines.

Apply dry shampoo before going to bed

We’ve all had days when our hair has definitely needed a wash but we just don’t have the time/can’t be bothered to do it. In steps the trusty dry shampoo with it’s amazing grease lifting properties and its not so amazing white residue that takes an age to brush out. Apply it before going to bed and tie your hair up to give it more time to absorb. You’ll have little to no white cast left in the morning!

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Apply a translucent powder to a glossy lip to mattify it

This ones fantastic to transform any glossy or satin finish lip colour you have in your collection. I particularly love doing this to red or deep berry tones to instantly give them a revamp without having to buy a matte alternative. I use a flat brush to pat a small amount onto the centre of my lips and move it outwards. This can also be added onto matte shades to intensify the colour.

Bake your under eyes with a translucent powder and damp beauty sponge

Translucent powder isn’t just for the face or the lips as seen in the above hack! This one’s a tip from Kim Kardashians very own makeup artist Mario. Apply your powder under your eyes with a damp sponge and leave it for a few minutes before sweeping it away. By using a damp sponge rather than a brush, it gives an amazing brightening effect and just settles nicely into the skin. Well, if it’s good enough for Kim K!

I loved writing this post and sharing some of my favourite beauty hacks to introduce into your routine. I’m thinking of possibly doing a series?

C x

What are your unusual beauty hacks?

*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.

 

How to: Creme Egg Easter Cheesecake (No Bake)

Every year, the minute Match rolls round I basically go into a Crème Egg induced food coma. They’re a seasonal thing, so really I’ve only got a few months to eat as many as I can, right?

Now I’m no chef, but I decided to try making a Crème Egg Cheesecake after reading my friend Josephine’s recipe here. I wanted to make a slightly larger offering, so I roped my best friend Abi and her 4 year old son Riley into it to (him mainly with the bribe of being able to lick the bowl and eat mini Crème eggs throughout…). It’s pretty simple and fun to get the kids involved!

Here’s an easy, no bake cheesecake perfect for any Easter parties or Easter weekend itself. You can of course adjust this accordingly if you want more filling/a thicker base or if you just want a tonne more crème eggs in it. I promise I won’t judge.

Ingredients:

  • 9″ Springboard tin (meaning the side unclips to remove the cheesecake. I got mines from Home Bargains for £2)
  • 80g digestive biscuits
  • 150g unsalted butter, melted
  • 560ml of double cream
  • 3 x 180g tubs full fat Philadelphia
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract
  • 1 bag of Mini Crème Eggs
  • 3 normal Crème eggs

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Recipe:

  1. BASE: Place the digestives into bags and crush them until they reach a consistency you like. I prefer to leave it more chunky but you can roll them out until they’re like sand if you prefer.
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    We gave Riley his own little bag to crush too!

  2. Melt the butter in the microwave or hob, then add in the crushed biscuits and mix.
  3. Press this to the bottom of your tin
  4. TOPPING: Whip up your double cream until its fluffy and making peaks, but not to dense.IMG_1050
  5. Add your Philadelphia and vanilla extract to the cream and fold in
  6. Chop up the bag of mini crème eggs and add to the filling
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    Pop the eggs in the fridge before cutting to stop them being too runny.

  7. Spread the topping over the base and smooth
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    Neatness definitely isn’t key here!

  8. Stick in the fridge to set!

 

Allow the cheesecake to set for around 2/3 hours, and add your large Crème eggs to decorate.

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And tada! Not the neatest by any means but a surprisingly easy and fun recipe to get the kids involved with too. I don’t know what our little Easter Bunny enjoyed more, the actual cooking or the cheesecake afterwards!

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What’s your favourite Easter treat?

C x

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