Summer 2017 Bucketlist

During my last week of university, I had the harsh realisation that this is my final summer still in education. This time next year I’ll (hopefully) have completed my full honours degree and be about to step fully into the scary world of full time work. Therefore, I know I need to make the most of this final summer so I took to Pinterest to find some inspiration for my own Summer 17 bucketlist.

  1. Go a day without technology

This one sounds ridiculous to the average person but I literally spend 12 hours a day with my eyes glued to my phone or laptop. I always tell myself that I’ll delete the Facebook app to give myself a social media detox but never actually stick to it.

  1. Go to/book as many concerts as I can

I LOVE going to gigs and concerts and this is something which I try and do as much as I can each year with my student budget. Even just having them booked for the future gives me something to look forward to. I am going to The Wombats in June with one of my best friends, and Little Mix at the end of the month with another. Both completely different genres but both I’m extremely excited about!

  1. Take more pictures

I know everyone laughs when they see that girl in Nando’s doing a whole photoshoot with her butterfly chicken, but I love looking back on images of important events or even just stuff that reminds me of certain people or places. I have so many albums on my laptop from my teenage years which I still look back on fondly. It’s my 21st in a few weeks so thats definitely a photo opp!

  1. Start a scrapbook

Following on from above, I want to channel my inner Art Attack and start a scrapbook of all my favourite memories from this summer. This would give me something physical to look back on and remember!

  1. Have a girls holiday

I’ve booked to go to Ibiza with two of my best friends in July and I honestly cannot wait for a week of sunbathing, cocktails and laughter.

  1. Book a city break

Whether it be abroad somewhere like Amsterdam or Berlin or simply to Newcastle for a few nights, I want to be able to explore various places whilst I still have the free time!

  1. Push myself out my comfort zone with my style

I’m 100% a play it safe kinda girl when it comes to my hair and the way I dress. I’ve always wanted balayage in my hair and I’m finally going to push the boat out and do it this summer. I have SO many palettes and lipsticks in my collection but I always stick to the same general tones, so I’ll be hitting up Youtube for some serious inspiration for new looks this summer.

  1. Go a road trip

I love the freedom my car gives me and there’s nothing better than being behind the wheel, best friends in the back seats and a throwback playlist on travelling somewhere for the day.

  1. Read more books

I used to be an absolute book work as a child whos highlight of the week was my Saturday trip to the library with my dad. As I’ve became older, its been less Jaqueline Wilson and more reading tweets. I’m so keen to get my nose in a few good books on holiday and also at home as a way to unwind. Ay recommendations, please pass them my way!

  1. Get work experience

As a journalism student, the paths I can go down are so wide and varied that I want to try and get as much experience in them all this summer before I chose which avenue to take this time next year. Plus, some can be really fun such as my previous placement at STV.

  1. Practise self-care

Both mentally, physically and emotionally. I’m a definite stress head and worry extraordinaire and this is something which at times just takes over everything I do. I’ve recently started back the gym and this has given me such breathing space to clear my head and feel better in myself.

  1. Do something kind everyday

Again, such a simple little thing but something I’ve been trying over the last few weeks and honestly the impact is so refreshing. This could literally be from telling a stranger that you love their shoes or helping someone who is in need. Little things each day can make a huge impact on someone’s life.

What are your summer plans for 2017?

C x

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

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Review: Get a Glow with SolarPowder

Bronzer holds such a nostalgia for me when I think back to my horrific makeup as a teen. When I first got into the ideal of being tanned and glowey I began using Rimmel’s then cult SunShimmer bronzer which left me looking more like a giant tangerine. God knows why I thought this was a good look but none the less I continued this JerseyShore-esque makeup for a good few years.

When I finally realised this orange glow was just not for me, I went on the hunt for a bronzer which was cool toned enough for my pale skin. Finding a good bronzer in the drugstore which fitted this bill a few years ago proved extremely tricky, but thankfully that’s where Solar Powder came in.

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L: Old packaging R: New packaging

 

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Left: New packaging, Right: previous (and clearly well loved!) packaging

The packaging has had a definite revamp from its old carboard exterior which I’m extremely glad of. Sturdy plastic packaging just holds up better in a jam-packed makeup bag and is so much less likely to break or get really grubby.

Regardless of the packaging, the bronzer is such a cult favourite for me. It’s only available in one shade however within the new sleek packaging there is two different tones of bronzer. The left side is a warmer bronze shade and the right is a cooler, lighter bronze tone. The colours can be used together or seperately which makes it such a fantastic bronzer for holidays or travelling.

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I tend to use my Real Techniques powder brush and sweep over both colours for a lovely glow to my sun shy skin. I also have used the cooler tone to contour with when I’m at my palest as it gives more of a shadow affect to the skin rather than a harsh orange line. I particuarly love doing this on holiday and during the warmer months when I’m tan free. The colours are also great transition colours in the crease of the eye too!

The “S&G” logo does come with a subtle shimmer to it but I found mines has worn away after just a few uses, which I actually prefer. This then allows me to get a nice sunkissed natural glow from the bronzer rather than a more shimmery offering.

I highly recommend SolarPowder to anyone, especially those fair skinned, looking for a new bronzer which wont break the bank this summer!

What’s your favourite bronzer?

C x

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

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.

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.

 

Let’s Chat: January Roundup

The first month of a new year always has this weird atmosphere around it. Everyone is trying so hard to make a positive start and push their new year goals (myself included) that it almost feels wrong to admit if things just aren’t going right. Things get shitty, and that’s okay to admit from January right through to December.

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January 2017 has been a complete blink and you’ll miss it month. I had exams at the start of the month which were a complete knock back to reality after an amazing festive period, and started back university for my second semester of third year. With the talk of March/April/May exams already rife I can just tell this semester is going to be a stressful one!

I travelled down to London for my amazing Soap & Glory digital ambassador training day which you can read all about here. I have never travelled further than Glasgow alone by myself, so setting myself the challenge of travelling and arriving in one piece in London was a scary mission, but I did it! It really was an amazing day and gave me such an insight more into marketing, social media and PR work. As a journalism student, these are all avenues I could explore when I graduate so it was fantastic to see how it all worked.

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January was the month I tried to make myself be more organised. I’ve found having a week to view planner a great way of setting all my tasks out. Juggling uni work/actual part-time work/blogging/exercising/socialising/sleeping has not been easy so by giving myself set goals each day has helped lots.

I watched Bridget Jones’ Baby this month and absolutely loved it. There’s a running joke between my friends and I that I will be Bridget when I’m older because a) I’m a journalist b) I love a good pair of Spanx and c) I’m ridiculously unlucky in love. I laughed as much at the third instalment as the first two, a definite recommended film for a girly night in. Jojo Vibe has been my most played song on Spotify this month, I absolutely LOVE her new album.

I bought the Two Faced Sweet Peach palette and the Kylie Cosmetics Koko Collection this month, both of which are all forms of heart eye emojis. I’m trying to put myself on a makeup spending ban for February as I did go a tiny bit overboard over the festive period…. Lets see how that one lasts!

I got an iPhone 7 towards the end of the month, so my aim is get as many great pictures as I can this month.

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So here’s to February 2017, let’s see what you have in store for me.

What are your February 2017 goals?

C x

Review: Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter Diamond Edition

Soap & Glory have taken things up a notch for Galentines, giving their award winning The Righteous Butter a shimmering twist as we enter Spring.

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I have been a long time devotee to the original Righteous Butter formula. I have particularly dry, eczema prone skin which cries out for moisture especially in the winter months. My skin reacts to heavy fragrances but I can safely say none of the Soap and Glory fragrance houses have caused any angry skin so that’s a definite plus point! As it is a butter, I like to apply it in in the evening after I shower to allow it to sink it overnight. The original pink fragrance of rose and bergamot is super relaxing and definitely one of my favourites from the range. The butter is particularly good prior to fake tanning on the knees, elbows and ankles to stop any unsightly clinging.

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The new Diamond Edition is the exact same formula, with the exception being the “pearlescent shimmer mica powders” which give the product its diamond namesake. With highlights and illuminators taking Instagram and social media by storm, I was so eager to try the butter and see if it helped fake that much needed glow to my lack-lustre skin. It applied just like my holy grail Righteous Butter and sunk in leaving my skin so soft, however left a shimmery base on my skin. See the product in action in my little boomerang video here.

The finish of the butter was more shimmery than I was first expecting, however I did actually really like it. I think the butter would love amazing with a tan on holiday to really illuminate and hydrate the skin , or for an evening out on the legs and decollatiage for an instant lift and youthfulness. Personally, I wouldn’t wear the Diamond Edition on a daily basis and will stick to the original formula (or Sugarcrush, my other absolute fave) however will be keeping it stocked up for when the sunnier weather arrives. I hope the butter isn’t a temporary thing because I can definitely see myself re-buying this for the holiday season.

You can buy The Righteous Butter Diamond Edition here for £10.

What’s your favourite S&G body product?

C x

*Blog supported by Soap & Glory. All opinions 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.