Monday, 29 February 2016

February Loves

With February being the month of love, let's end it with a bang! As the final blog post of February 2016, I've decided to share my monthly loves, which I have been enjoying every single day over the past four weeks. Here they are:


Who doesn't love a bit of Paperchase stationary? And when it's all shiny and rose gold-y... Well that just means it's asking for some extra lovin'. I've been using this notebook for my blog post ideas, musings, projects and lists. It's A4 so it can fit a lot in one page - which also means I can often write blog posts on the go to type up when I reach a computer/my laptop. Of course, it's great quality, beautifully metallic and perfectly priced at £8. 

I have only recently ventured into the world of makeup sprays. I always found the concept of spraying water onto your fresh face of makeup quite odd! But now I see why... This one is amazing to prep your skin before makeup and mesh your makeup after it's done. It's like a splash of hydration to get rid of any areas which caked a little and smooth out the overall appearance of makeup as well as make it last longer! I've done a more in depth post on this favourite here, so do have a read if you're interested.

In terms of snacks, these have been a total guilty pleasure this month. If you're a lover of coffee and dark chocolate, this mix is pure heaven. I've been snacking on these like crazy! They taste super luxurious and leave a wonderfully bittersweet taste (a bit of a love/hate taste) but I absolutely love it. I'll definitely be buying some more as my box is nearly finished now. They're harder to find but Amazon stocks them, and you can get them with different variants of chocolate at a well if dark chocolate isn't quite your fancy.

These really do stay all day, and if you remember my blog post from a few weeks ago, you'll know that they are super black. Both of these liners combined make a wonderfully lined cat eye which is a look I've been re-loving this month after a few months without liner. I wrote a whole blog post on them so for more details, head on over to this post! 

If you're on the market for a dupe of the Clarins Lip Perfector, well, this is it. The formulation is literally the same. The packaging is gorgeous and sleek, and the colour choices are stunning. I've picked the colour Flattery as I think it will be a perfect Spring traditional natural shade. It's glossy but not sticky, it cushions the lips with a really soft but perfecting finish... What can I say? I just love this product so much. 

Studying English for my degree means a lot of reading, and usually a lot of reading on the go. So a kindle was an obvious investment so that I could have all my textbooks at the tap of a screen. I've loved using the Paperwhite because there is no glare - which means it's perfect for reading before bed without shining bright light into your eyes. It's easy to set up and use, and books download really quickly, so I highly recommend if you're into reading! 

To continue the subject of good sleep, I wanted to mention herbal tea. I've struggled to get into a good sleeping pattern lately and so I'm relying on anything and everything to help me adjust back into a good one. I find that drinking caffeine free herbal tea before bed is an excellent way to settle down, and with a good book to read on my Kindle, I'm completely relaxed and ready for a good nights sleep. 

What have been your favourite things from this month? Let me know in the comments!
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Friday, 26 February 2016

Smashbox: Photo Finish Primer Water


I'm actually extra specially excited about today's blog post. The world of primer waters was something I never saw myself venturing into anytime soon. If I'm perfectly honest, I saw them as a bit of a gimmick - I mean, it's just water in a bottle, right? Wrong, I was soon to learn. I think Smashbox were the very first brand to come out with the concept of primer waters and companies like Freedom and Revolution (both available at Superdrug) followed suit with more budget friendly alternatives. I definitely want to try both of those as soon as they come back in stock. Seriously. I'm a primer water convert.


Anyway, so coming back to this product, AKA the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water, I am thoroughly impressed. The full size is £20, but I have the travel size (£10). This is great for having in your bag for on the go and refilling with the larger version for when you're out of product. The packaging is very cute, simple yet sturdy. Not much to say about it other than it looks elegant. But the water itself is magic for your makeup. I'm someone who hates anything remotely cake-y looking in terms of makeup and this stuff prevents any of that from happening. The idea behind it is to spray it all over your face between layers - so on a bare face as a primer, after foundation and concealer, and once more after powdering as a setting spray. It keeps your skin looking fresh and dewy, whilst drying down to give a natural cake-free finish. I'm not sure why but I've found that products just sit much better when I've used this product. It's like the melt into each other and blend beautifully without looking or feeling heavy. The water itself is silicone and alcohol free, so it's hydrating and won't dry your skin out as some primers and setting sprays do. 

The one down side I see to this product is the price. I honestly find just the idea of spending £20 on this very hard. I am going to try the more wallet friendly options I mentioned earlier and perhaps do a collective review to see if those are just as good (please let me know if you'd like to see this!). 

Have you tried primer waters?
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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Battle of the Benefit Mascaras: They're Real vs. Roller Lash

After my recent blog post on  Five Beauty Travel Essentials, I mentioned writing a post on a comparison between the Benefit They're Real Mascara compared to Benefit Roller Lash. This received some interest so as promised, here it is:


I've used They're Real in the past and I've loved it - it's also one of Benefit's best selling mascaras so I know that opinion is shared by many beauty lovers. But when Roller Lash came out in the middle of last year, it seemed to cause a lash sensation which blew They're Real out of the water. I wanted to see what all the hype was all about, and after trying it, I can totally understand. They're both priced at £19.50 for 8.5ml, but right now they're both on sale for £17.55 on Feel Unique. Benefit is on the cusp of the higher end mascaras, but I think think they're priced pretty reasonably for the results they give. So, onto the comparison...


I've photographed the wands next to each other so you can see the difference from afar. They're Real has a larger wand with lots more bristles and a rounded spiky tip which is supposed to help separate your lashes after giving all that volume boost. On the other hand, Roller Lash has a more banana-shape-wand-action going on, with shorter plastic bristles that comb through your lashes for extra length. So just from that, you can see that the mascaras are each tailored to do different things. There's a pretty firm divide between which one people think is better, but honestly, I think it depends what you're looking for in a mascara. They're Real is for voluminous statement lashes, whereas Roller Lash is designed to lengthen, define and curl



I wanted to do a picture side by side comparison of each mascara on my lashes but I found after many shots that it wasn't capturing as well on camera. I am very blessed with naturally long lashes so lots of mascaras work well with me - the difference between these two mascaras isn't big enough to capture on camera. They both work well, don't flake and give me super fluttery lashes, so I'm very happy with either. But saying that, if you have limp lashes (I sometimes have this problem too...ehem, in come my trusty Shiseido Lash Curlers), I would recommend Roller Lash. Also, anyone with shorter lashes needs Roller Lash - it works very well in adding that extra length. However, for those of you with thin lashes , I would suggest going for They're Real. It does a great job with thickening and darkening so you look like you have a lot more lash than what's actually there!

Have you tried these mascaras? If so, which one is your favourite?
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Monday, 22 February 2016

The Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes


I'm really late to this party. The Real Techniques Bold Metals brushes have been out since early 2015, but I only just purchased them. I've been a long term lover of the original Real Techniques brush line (the expert face brush and multi task brush are seriously awesome). But this new range has been on my beauty wish list ever since I first clapped eyes on them. I was finally forced to cave when I saw this value set with three full sized brushes to try. The set did come with a clutch too but I didn't really find much use for that. Maybe one day.


First impression: they are truly incredible. The individual brushes are quite up there in price for high street brushes, but they don't skimp on quality at all. They look and feel gorgeous. They're light, beautifully metallic and have long handles so are very practical to work with. You can get right into working on specific areas of your face depending on where you position you hand on the handle. You have less control the further you place you hand from the brush head, which works excellently for buffing out eyeshadow. For more precise work, holding the brush closer to the bristles does the trick.

This particular set had three brushes, two from the core range and one exclusive brush. These were a tapered blush brush (I love using this for highlighter or a light contour despite it being for blusher), and oval shadow brush (great for packing on/blending eye shadow) and an angled powder brush (this one is perfect for all over bronzing). The bristles are incredible soft and plush, made of synthetic fibers and densely packed into the brush head. They don't shed and pick up/distribute makeup extremely evenly.  


If you're on the market for some gorgeous new brushes, I highly recommend these. This particular set is no longer available but you can select the individual brushes from the range here. The brushes range from £10-£25 and so are slightly more premium than the original range, but they do feel a lot more luxe. Honestly, I feel like such a professional with these in my kit. 

Have you tried the Bold Metals brushes?
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Friday, 19 February 2016

An Eyeliner Duo for Perfectly Lined Eyes


I love me some winged eyeliner. In fact, I love it so much that I'm always on a constant quest to find the richest, most jet black intense eyeliner that the makeup market can offer me. I have found several really good competitors (ehem, Soap and Glory Supercat is a good 'un), but I think I've finally found one that stays put and doesn't fade at all. Cue the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid EyelinerAs the name suggests, this liner is budge proof. It's super pigmented and has a very slim felt tip point (which by the way, makes it a perfect eyeliner for beginners). It makes applying liner quick and easy for rushed mornings, there is serious colour payoff and its extremely affordable at £13 for such a high performance product. I've been enjoying this eyeliner for a couple of weeks now so I had to spill the good news to fellow liner lovers!

And seeing as this post is about a perfectly lined eye look, I'm going to also mention the Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Stingray. This is also £13, jet black and budge proof, but it's in a retractable pencil form. I use this to line my waterline and tight line for the smokiest, darkest feline eye makeup. The pencil is buttery soft and almost melts to where it's being applied; you can leave it as it to add definition, or smoke it out before the liner sets in place. Here are the swatches: 



And just to illustrate how budge proof these guys are, I left these swatches on my arm all day. They absolutely did not budge, and they were still the blackest black by 10pm. I'm not sure I've seen anything like this since I tried the Kat Von D Liquid Liner in Trooper...


What are your eyeliner recommendations?
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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Trying Out Korean Skincare

I was kind enough to receive this Innisfree Skincare Set from a friend at Christmas. She was heading home back to Korea over the break and bought this back for me as a gift. Needless to say... I was thrilled. I had been wanting to try Korean skincare for ages! The problem I found with trying to order Korean skincare online is that the price tots up and it can usually get quite expensive compared to the prices in Korea. Also, there's so much variety - it can be really hard to pick apart what is what. However, this set seemed to have all the essentials in a box - so I thought I'd share my initial thoughts in this post.


Firstly, let us just take a moment to admire the packaging. I mean, how perfect is this as a gift? You don't even need to wrap it. It comes with a pretty green ribbon and bow already. The box is also really good quality and can be used in a D.I.Y. With a little decoration, it can be reused for holding little bits and bobs you might have lying around. 

The set is described as: 
'Enriched with squeezed green tea from the pure Jeju island to deliver abundant moisture and nourishment deep into your skin'.

This seems perfect for me as I suffer from very dry skin at the moment and need all the moisture I can get. I was very excited at the weight of the box. It's quite heavy so I automatically thought 'Yay! It's going to have so much in it!' - and it didn't disappoint. When I opened it, this is the glory that met my eyes:


Five products! Granted three of them are mini sizes, but five products! Upon closer inspection I realized that two of the smaller sizes are travel sizes of the larger bottles. So I was counting on the large ones to be really good... and so far, I'm honestly impressed. 
The set contains a large bottle of Green Tea Balancing Skin and Green Tea Balancing Lotion. These are both very light and should be applied one after the other on a clean face. The small bottles are travel versions of these two products and there is one small jar of Green Tea Cream. 


As you might probably expect, the cream is richer and provides a more intensive moisture, thus acting more as an overnight mask. The skin and lotion are light and fresh with a beautiful scent, both of these are a pleasure to use before applying makeup and once I've cleansed my face for bed. My skin feels hydrated and glowy - I know it's still to early to place a verdict but I am so excited to see the full results!

This experience has definitely made me want to branch out and try more Korean skincare items, perhaps a few makeup items as well. Have you tried any that you'd recommend?
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Monday, 15 February 2016

Six Quotes for Monday Motivation


I've always thought that the beginning of a new week can be one of two things: it can be dreaded, or it can be seen as a fresh start of something new. I love going to bed on Sunday evenings browsing Pinterest for a little inspiration (you can follow me on Pinterest here if you're interested), and one of the things I love to look for are motivational quotes. I read them before I go to sleep, and then fall asleep thinking of all the things that I will get done in the week to come. All motivated and inspired. 
I thought that for this week's Monday post, I would share a few of the quotes that I've found most inspirational and hopefully share some of the motivation to carry us all through this week (if not longer!). Here they are:

1. "There are seven days in a week and 'someday' isn't one of them"
It's time to do that thing you are putting off. There's no better time to start than the present.

2. "You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce." 
Think about it. We can all be that fabulous. 

3. "Do something uncomfortable today. By stepping out of your box, you don't have to settle for what you are - you get to create who you want to become."
This is a lovely concept. Breaking out of my comfort zone is something I've been trying a lot harder to do recently. You get to feel so much satisfaction when you realize you can do what you never dreamed you could.

4. "Be so good they can't ignore you."
I guess this is the key to Beyonce's fabulousness.

5. "This is your Sunday evening reminder that you can handle whatever life throws at you."
This one's good for preparation. Things happen, but the key to success is being able to pick yourself up and deal with the situation at hand.

6. "May your coffee be hot and your eyeliner be even."
This one is a little prayer every morning for me - I know when I've got these two things right, my day is off to a good start. It's the little things!

I hope you're all having a wonderful Monday. Here's to a positive week!
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Friday, 12 February 2016

Five Beauty Travel Essentials


Since I've been travelling back and forth from London this Valentines weekend, I thought I'd put together this little blog post in case it helps some of you who might be travelling as well! Seeing as I'm only travelling by train, I don't need very much for the journey itself, but here's a little peek of what I carry for beauty touch ups on the go:

Maybelline Instant Anti Age Concealer: this stuff is brilliant for under eye circles or any dark spots which you want to brighten up. It conceals and brightens instantly, so perfect for when I haven't had enough sleep!
Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Highlighter: my skin can get a little dull when I'm travelling so I like to keep a mini highlighter with me to add a bit 'o' glow to my complexion. This one is brilliant for the job. NB: This one is quite intense.
Benefit Roller Lash: there has been tons of positivity surrounding this mascara from when it first released. I like it so far. I keep a mini one in my bag in case my lashes need an extra boost. (If you'd like a comparison between the Benefit They're Real and Roller Lash, let me know in the comments! I'd be happy to do one.)
Fresh Sugar Rose Lip  Balm: this is literally the best lip balm I have ever tried. It's pricey but the best. The balm itself smells super zesty and goes on so smooth. I believe you can get an original formula but I love how this one is tinted with a little red. My lips are forever dry, particularly during this time of year so I need this stuff all the time. 
Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray: this is perfect for keeping my makeup in place. It means I don't need to carry around foundation, eyeliner, blush... just a little bit of this. Perfect.

What are your favourite products to take whilst travelling?
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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

My Roaccutane Experience: Dealing with Dry Skin

Roaccutane is some pretty serious stuff. There are lots of things to consider before going on a course of treatment and there's certainly a lot to try out before resorting to it. But I know from my own experience that it's a popular choice for acne sufferers, myself included. I do want to assure you that I tried everything out there over the course of my teenage years, but when I hit 20 last August, I had had enough of the teenage acne. So, without further ado, I went to see my dermatologist and he prescribed me with a course of six months of treatment.


One thing you will know (or be told) before you start Roaccutane is that your skin will become extremely dry. The medication is essentially works by shrinking your oil glands and so every inch of you will become very dry and quite flaky. I thought I'd write this post to explain how I dealt with this side effect throughout the course of my treatment. I was lucky enough to have the dryness as my only symptom, along with sensitivity to sunlight, but as those are the ones expected by anyone starting the medication, the treatment went well for me.  



My face started feeling extra dry pretty much a week into the treatment so I switched out my regular cleanser and moisturizer for ones from the Boots No. 7 Dry/Extra Dry range. This range is specifically designed to moisturize extremely dry skin, and honestly worked a miracle throughout the last six months. 

I used the Beautiful Skin Cleansing Oil to remove my makeup followed by the Beautiful Skin Cleansing Balm to cleanse. This was always followed up by the Beautiful Skin Moisturizer for Dry Skin, and the Early Defence Eye Cream. I would then go about my evening as usual until bedtime. Ten minutes before bed after brushing my teeth, I would apply The Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask. This is quite sticky but it works a treat in terms of hydration - my skin literally drank this stuff up.

Lips were a HUGE problem. Mine were always flaking and dry for the entirety of the treatment and even now (I've been off the treatment for a week). I keep lip balms everywhere, but two of my absolute budget friendly favourites are the EOS balms and Carmex Cherry Balm. I found myself applying this liberally every half an hour or so. In order to help with any marks, I used La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ on clean skin. I would usually do this before makeup as it works very well as a primer. That's another thing - be prepared for makeup to flake a little throughout the day. You need to stay super hydrated to avoid that!



In terms of my body, I used Soap and Glory The Daily Smooth all over almost every night after the shower. I also used coconut oil in the shower so that often worked as a 'doubling the moisture'. I wouldn't recommend using harsh scrubs, something gentle and less abrasive is the way to go. Also, look for body washes which are moisturizing such as Soap and Glory's Rich and Foamous.

The last thing I wanted to talk about was eyes. I used eye cream twice a day without fail but I did find my contact lenses becoming more and more uncomfortable to wear because my eyes themselves were so dry (I actually managed to get a stye on my lash line because of this and believe me - that was a nasty three days). I purchased hydrating eye drops to wear with my contact lenses and used this several times a day to keep my eyes well moisturized. I'd really recommend this if you're a contact lens wearer and are thinking of going on a course of treatment!

If you are about to start Roaccutane, or perhaps you've just started, I really hope this post helps you a little on what I found to be useful. Do let me know if it does!
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Monday, 8 February 2016

Green Juice for Glowing Skin


I'm sure many 2016 resolutions involved kick-starting a healthier lifestyle - I know it was definitely one of mine! I've loved my little Nutribullet ever since I first bought it two years ago, so I thought I'd share some of the wonderful things that I use it for. Of course, with it being a blender, one of the best things it can do is juice. More specifically, green juice. There are so many reasons why juicing is good for you... you'll feel more energized and productive, you'll flush out nasty toxins, you'll feel full - not to mention positive, knowing that you've done something good for your body. Another perk to green juicing is the effect it has on your skin. It's like a facial from within, your skin begins to radiate health and a youthful glow. Now, who wants in? 


I mix it up every few weeks depending on what I've got in my kitchen but these are the standard ingredients I use for this particular juice. Feel free to switch out the ginger if you find that too strong! Also, kale is another great leafy green if you're not a fan of spinach. 

You will need:
  • one cup of spinach
  • one small apple (here I've used a gala apple)
  • a small handful of grapes (red or green, seedless)
  • a third of cucumber, sliced
  • 200 mls of ice cold water
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • two inch slim stick of ginger
  • a teaspoon of agave nectar (to sweeten)

Instructions:

This recipe serves two. Pop all of your ingredients into your juicer (or a high power blender like the Nutribullet), and blend! I'd recommend putting the apple closest to the blade as it will take the longest to blend, and the water in last after everything else. Pour into a couple of glasses and feel free to jazz up with a  pretty straw (and maybe Instagram it if you're feelin' that!).

And that's it! Fresh green juice for glowing skin. 


Let me know if you try this - I'd love to see pictures!
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Friday, 5 February 2016

The Valentines Day Gift Edit

Now that we've hit February, Valentines Day is just around the corner! It can be hard to find the perfect gifts so I thought I would put together a little gift guide for some inspiration. These are some of the ideas I've pulled together:


1. Natalie Chocolate Heart Variety Box - there's not really a Valentines Day Gift Guide that doesn't feature chocolate at some point, so I thought I would start there. I found these gorgeous heart shaped Belgian chocolates, each with a different filling. Aren't they just adorable? Priced at £12 for 16 chocolates, they make for a luxurious but not over-the-top treat.

2. What I Love About You Book - I thought this concept was quite a cute one. This book is one you can fill in yourself and so it becomes a personal treasure that is unique to the person you gift it to. It's £7.95, so it's a more affordable (yet still adorable) option. 

3. Zoeva Rose Gold Vol. 1 Complete Brush Set - this one is perfect for the beauty addict. My Zoeva brush set was one of the best beauty investments I've ever made. The brushes are amazing quality and for the number of brushes you get in this kit, it works out at an amazing value. The whole set is £110, but you get 15 brushes in it, which works out at around £7 a brush! That's a lot cheaper than many other luxury brush brands out there.

4. Urban Apothecary Chai Tea Luxury White Candle - I absolutely LOVE chai tea. And I love candles too. So when I saw this, I had to put it in. It's a blend of Indian spices, black tea and warmed milk... I might have to buy this one for myself instead! For £35 it is expensive but not enormously so. Plus you get to keep the tea cup once it's finished to store little trinkets in.

5. Sass & Belle Love You To The Moon and Back - this mug is super affordable and very cute. Sass & Belle have some amazing gift options on their website at brilliant prices. I love shopping there when buying multiple gifts for friends and family. They have something for every occasion - but this one makes a perfect Valentines option.

6. The Body Shop Smoky Rose Gift Set - The Body Shop are known for their gift sets all year round. This one is a favourite of mine, but they have plenty of other fragrances and the option to create your own personalized gift set in a basket. This set is priced at £30, it comes beautifully presented in a gorgeous box with a giant purple bow.

7. Monica Vinader Rose Gold Fiji Chain Bracelet - my most expensive gift idea at £185 is possibly the most beautiful bracelet I have ever seen. It's rose gold (of course), delicate and just perfect. I can't think of any girl who wouldn't be thrilled to receive it.

8. ASOS Pink Duckhead Umbrella - this one is another cute one. It's been raining so much in England so an umbrella is a practical gift - but that doesn't mean it doesn't have to be stylish! This umbrella is £22, pale pink with a wooden duck for a handle. You can't get cuter than that!

9. Charlotte Tilbury Mini Lipstick Trio - this little set was floating around a lot at Christmas but I can see it being popular for Valentines Day too. Charlotte Tilbury has a wonderful range of lipsticks with the most beautiful packaging and this set allows you to try three different colours in miniature sizes. At £29, it's not cheap but considering each full size lipstick is £23, it works out well for three colours.

Let me know if any of these ideas help you!
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Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The Zara Chain City Bag


I had been lusting after the infamous Zara Chain City Bag for a VERY long time before last Thursday. Every time I received an email telling me that it had come back in stock, it had sold out again by the time I checked the website. Each and every store I visited had told me that it was hot stock and that I should try checking again online. And might I add, now that I have it, Zara seem to have an endless supply as I am seeing them everywhere now. Sigh.

It might just be the most beautiful bag that I own. It's soft but structured, with a chain strap that can be worn as long or short (by doubling it up). The strap also has a leather pad to prevent the chain from slipping off your shoulder or being uncomfortable. 

The entire body of the bag is designed with a croc style leather, and the front edge is bordered with a gunmetal chain. It looks very much like the famous Chanel Boy bag, only it is literally around 1/40 of the price. I purchased this bag for £89.99, which seems a little steep for Zara considering most of their bags are around the £30-50 mark. However, considering that it's made of authentic leather and would potentially save me a H-U-G-E amount of money compared to the Chanel version, I'm not complaining. 

It is excellent quality, the stitching is immaculate and the bag is spacious and sturdy. There are two main compartments inside with a smaller pouch for your phone. It feels very luxurious and I knew immediately that this little fella would be getting a lot of love. However, whenever I want to store it away for a little while whilst using another bag, Zara also sent a dust bag in which it can be stored in to prevent damage to the leather.

This bag is perfect for a night out, small shopping trips and lunches. I wouldn't use it as a university bag as it isn't big enough. But for daytime when an A4 pad of paper is not required, it is the perfect bag to use!
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Monday, 1 February 2016

Ten Tips for a Fabulous February


February is that month. The month where the motivation from January begins to dwindle, and the constant miserable weather tempts us to slip back into bed instead of facing the day full on. It's at this point that I find I need a pick-me-up, something to do that's a change from my routine, a challenge, an activity of some sort. I've compiled a list of ten different things that could help this (I'm going to try a few of these when I find myself getting stuck in a rut this month!). Here's the list:

1. Declutter your space. Clean surroundings help clear your thoughts, and completely freshen the way you approach your everyday tasks. I find that taking out some time to make my space tidy and organised can be extremely therapeutic as well as beneficial for my productivity throughout the day. 

2. Take time to read before bed. You need time to unwind just before bed in order to get a good night's sleep. This means no phones, laptops or screens of any sort at least half an hour before bed - instead, a book (or a magazine if books aren't your thing) is a great way to relax and take yourself away from the day you've had.

3. Clean out your closet. Drawing on from decluttering your space, cleaning out your closet can be an immense challenge, but a brilliant way to help you organise your surroundings. I usually clean out my closet two-three times a year and completely remove all the pieces that I haven't worn in over a year. If you'd be interested in a more detailed blog post on how I organise my closet, let me know in the comments below!

4. Try out a new recipe. Another way we can get stuck in a rut is through cooking. When work begins to get busy, finding time to cook food can be a challenge and so slipping back into out regular pattern of the same old recipes (or even worse ready meals) is obviously the easier option. Use this month to find something new that you like - whether its savoury or sweet, easy or difficult - it will give your tastebuds something different to enjoy. Look out for my Valentine's Day recipe later this month if you're stuck for ideas.

5. Experiment with your style. Yet another rut that we all so easily fall into. Style is something so personal and a way to explore your creativity - so make use of that this month. Wear those bright red heels you were afraid to wear, don the leopard print coat that's still hanging in your cupboard and have fun with it!

6. Switch up your make up. As with style, your beauty routine is another place to try something new. If you wear makeup, try experimenting with a new way of applying it this month - maybe try a bold lipstick, or give false lashes a go to instantly feel more glam. If you're looking for more subtle changes to switch things up, try experimenting with a different shade of lipgloss or simple black eyeliner - I've started lining my waterline with some smoky black liner (something I hadn't tried in forever!) and I'm loving it!

7. Revisit old favourites. Just as I've rediscovered the magic of a little black liner in my waterline, finding things that you used to love doing is a great way to freshen up your routine. This might be listening to some music that you haven't heard in a while or even calling a friend that you haven't spoken to in a long time. Revisiting elements of your past that you found enjoyable can really help lift your mood. 

8. Incorperate exercise into your day. I know, I know - this might not be what you want to hear. But the truth is that exercise is one of the best stress-busting, mood-lifting, energy-giving activity that there is. What's more - it doesn't have to be running on the treadmill for an hour. It can be something as simple as a twenty minute walk, or a bike ride into town. But whether its a yoga class or an hour of zumba, exercise is crucial for keeping February blues at bay. 

9. Keep a handwritten journal. I find that taking the time to write something down (not type!) is very therapeutic and, unless I make time to write, it can be a rare occasion. In this sense, keeping a journal is very important to me - I actually have several on the go at once. I use each one as a place to write down little thoughts, ideas or lists. Any journal does the job although there's a whole array of different notebooks and journals available if you shop around (again, let me know if you'd like a blog post on this). 

10. Get a good nights sleep. I've written a more detailed post on this here. Being caught up in a hectic schedule can make us forget the basics. Sometimes, getting a good nights sleep can be the biggest challenge. Whether its drinking a sleepytime tea before bed, or listening to piano music, set a bedtime and find a way that helps you fall into a deep sleep until the morning. That way, you'll feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day when it comes.

What are your plans for this month?
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