Friday, 28 February 2014

The Perks & Struggles Of University Life

Every now and then I like to pop up with a different kind of post, this is one them.

As most of you will know, I'm an undergraduate student. I moved away from my home in Birmingham in September to live in Nottingham. I always knew I wanted to go to university and didn't really see is as much of a choice, more an expectation. University life can look very appealing; boozy nights out, funding, your own flat, meeting people from across the country and a degree that will enable you to enter a financially rewarding career at the end of it. However there are a lot of things about university that you won't figure out until you get here. I expected things to run a lot more smoothly than they did for me. So if you're undecided whether it's for you or not, consider these points...

  • You live off very little money, and I mean very little. My student loan didn't even cover my accommodation and therefore I rely on handouts from my parents. Even with this help I still managed to use my entire overdraft in my first semester. Make sure you have some decent savings/very generous parents if this is the case for you.
  • Don't move away to university with the mind set that a job will be here for you, it most likely won't. Unless you already have a part time job at home with a company who are willing to transfer you to a store in your new town, it's literally mission impossible trying to find a job among thousands of other students during a recession.
  • You'll have to adapt to live without things that you didn't even consider a luxury before. The odd coffee here and a pack of biscuits there soon adds up. I haven't brought one bag of crisps or a pack of chocolate bars, sigh.
  • Most people opt to live in halls, although it seems dandy at first you will more than likely not get on with everyone you live with. A bunch of strangers people, with different interests and different personalities being thrown under the same roof can lead to some messy business.
  • Trying to find the right balance between study and fun is the most difficult task you will endure, I've spent most my first year in bed recovering from nights out and will soon live it to regret when my exams come around.
  • If you thought your motivate to study sucked at college, it reaches a whole new level at university, there's no one to nag you about anything whatsoever, you are entirely in control of your success.

However there are some amazing things about going to university too, it's not all doom and gloom.

  • The boozy nights out are ridiculously good, alcohol will soon become part of your daily beverages even if like me, you didn't even drink before you came to university.
  • You get to live alone; freedom to choice of food in the fridge, what's on TV, how long you wait until you decide to get dressed that day, your own bedtimes and going wherever you want whenever you want.
  • You meet some amazing people who will more than likely become friends for life.
  • You learn invaluable life skills that you wouldn't learn at a young age otheriwse such as cleaning, washing, ironing, cooking etc (although some of us learnt beforehand...)
  • There is ALWAYS an opportunity to go out any day of the week and almost always people around you to accompany you on said messy nights out.
  • If you move away for university, you get the experience living in a different place.
  • You end up with a degree which widens your branches into the type of careers you can enter as well as getting to graduate (who doesn't want to throw their hat in the air after all?)

University is a huge decision and I cannot stress enough how it should be solely your decision to make, so don't be pressured by expectations as it is a massive physical, mental and financial investment to make and if you decide it's not for you once you get there, it's a massive loss and rather distressing. Seek as much guidance as you can and do your research beforehand. Although this was brief, I hope it gave you more insight into the reality of being a student. I quite enjoy writing this kind of posts so if you have any questions or any request for further posts please let me know below :)


Thursday, 27 February 2014

Origins Out of Trouble Mask

When my skin is feeling rather on the spotty side and needs a bit of extra care, I like to add another product into my skincare routine to clear it up. I've never been a believer in face masks, I always used to see them as something people use for more of a cosmetic purposes and not thought they did much good from previous use. That was before I invested in my first 'high end' one in the form of a sample first.

Origins is a brand known for their natural products, the mask contains; Zinc Oxide and Sulfur which absorbs all the build up under your skin and Camphor which is super calming for the skin. The mask does three things, gets rid of oiliness, removes of dead skin cells and eliminates excess debris on the skin. The mask removes any rough texture to the skin and tackles potential outbreaks during/before they occur. The mask is targeted to those of us with problem skin prone to acne, and because of Origin's natural products, it's perfect for those of us with super sensitive skin too.

I apply the mask to a cleansed face once a week of an evening after removing my make-up. I used a index fingers length and then apply to the skin evenly avoiding the eye and mouth area. I then leave the mask on my face for 10 minutes (or usually more as I'm very forgetful). It cools the face down instantly and smells very fresh and natural like plant extracts. When it's time to remove the product, I like to use damp cotton pads or a wet muslin cloth and gently wipe away the product. I also like to splash my face with cool water once it is all removed and pat the skin dry with a clean towel.

I fell in love with this product from the first use, it's so refreshing and doesn't dry the skin out at all. Straight away my the surface of my skin had reduced in redness and irritation and overnight my blemishes have slightly reduced in size. It's quite a miracle product for me and I absolutely swear by this and recommend it to those of you with a similar skin type to me. Although it is quite pricey at £22, the bottle lasts a good time as you only need to use it once a week and it's always worth investing in good quality products that good the job properly.


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick

My love for MAC lipsticks will never die, ever. However, some of them really outshine the others, Ruby Woo is one of those treasures. My love affair with Ruby Woo started last year when I was on the hunt for the perfect red. Ruby Woo has been a cult favourite amongst bloggers for years so I thought I'd try it myself.

Ruby Woo is thee perfect red to suit every complexion and hair colour going, one of the many factors that make it so desirable. It is a cool toned red, a blue based one to be precise. Ruby Woo is a retro matte finish, this is one up on the classic matte which means it has super staying power on the lips. However this does come with the downfall of it's texture; it is by far thee driest lipstick I have ever come across. It has a velvet/suede and prep is essential to getting the best finish when using this a bees wax lip balm is great, trying to apply alone to a dry lip will drag the lips.

Overall, Ruby Woo is a firm favourite of my MAC lipstick. Although it requires some time and effort, the finish and colour pay off is flawless. It's only downfall is that it does dry the lips out especially in colder months and does off towards the inside of the lip quite quickly so does require top ups. For some reason, it's a killer to actually get off when you want it to! Cherry lip liner by MAC is a hoot at preventing any bleeding although I manage without a liner a lot of the time. As always, it comes in at £15 which is slightly pricey but definitely worth every penny.


Monday, 3 February 2014

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

You all know how much I fell in love with the Naked 2, so it was no surprised that I couldn't wait to get my hands on their latest palette, The Naked 3. I never owned the first palette as I didn't really see the attraction. The second pulled me in with it's host of wearable shades that carry you through morning to evening looks. However, I am so excited about this one. As always they like to thrown in a sample to compliment their palettes, this time it was 4 sample sizes of their Primer Potion which last a week each. I think this is my favourite extra so far!

So what's different about the packaging then? They've stuck with the tin packaging which I'm super happy about. I find this super easy to travel with and it's supper sturdy and easy to wipe clean should it get dirty. They've changed the colour of the tin to reflect the shade of the palette, the tin is a gorgeous shade of rose gold with gold writing on it. The tin also has some groves to it, I don't know why they've done this but I'm guessing so it makes easier to differentiate between the Naked 2 and 3 when you're in a rush. They've also kept the huge mirror which I like a lot.

They've also thrown in a double ended brush with synthetic hairs, not the biggest fan as I use my better quality brushes but a nice little addition to those who many not own any/many brushes. The palette hosts 12 gorgeous rose-hued eye shadows - 3 matte shades and 9 shimmers.

  • Strange – “a pale neutral pink matte-satin“.
  • Dust – “pale metallic pink shimmer with iridescent micro-glitter“.
  • Burnout – “light pinky-peach satin“.
  • Limit – “light dusty rose matte“. 
  • Buzz – “metallic rose shimmer with silver micro-glitter“.
  • Trick - “light metallic pinky-copper shimmer with tonal micro-sparkle“.
  • Nooner – “medium pinky-brown matte“.
  • Liar – “medium metallic mauve shimmer“.
  • Factory – “pinky-brown satin“.
  • Mugshot – “metallic taupe shimmer with slight pink shift“.
  • Darkside – “deep taupe-mauve satin“.
  • Blackheart - “smoky black matte with rosy red micro-sparkle".

(Left to Right: Strange, Dust, Burnout, Limit)

(Left to Right: Buzz, Trick, Nooner, Liar)

(Left to Right: Factory, Mugshot, Darkside, Blackheart)

The palette is a cooler, pink toned version of the Naked 2. This is aimed more at those with cooler complexions (MAC NW's) as opposed to those of us who suited the Naked and Naked 2 better. However, I'm very olive toned and I think the shades are gorgeous and find them totally wearable, so each to their own opinion I guess. Also, I'm not usually one for shimmers but the one's in this palette are exceptional. My favourites shadows are Strange, Limit, Buzz and Blackheart.

The palette retails for £37 which is pricey, but for the number of shadows and quality I think this totally reasonable. I have been using my Naked 2 religiously for the past year and half and my shadows are still going strong! I'm seriously impress with the palette and actually prefer it to the other 2 which I didn't think I would, something about rose gold makes me swoon!


Sunday, 2 February 2014

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb

Flowerbomb is one of those perfume that's always raved about but one I've never actually had the pleasure of owning. It isn't the cheapest of fragrances at £54 for a 50ml bottle of Eau de Toilette but it is very dense and lasts all day. The bottle itself isn't anything too out of the ordinary, the image is designed on a bomb shaped glass bottle with a silver lid and V&R tag. Ascetically it isn't the prettiest bottle I've had on my desk but it isn't something I dislike either.

So, for the scent; I expected it to be super floral and sickly but I was pleasantly surprised. On first spray it can be quite strong but the notes of jasmine, rose, freesia and orchid hit your senses straight away. However, the scent mellows quickly and becomes more muted wearable. I noticed it does have some slightly spicy notes to it too which helps the floral scents not become overpowering. The perfume is very versatile and suits everyone from teens to mature women. It smells lovely and expensive as opposed to sweet, cheap and sickly. However, I find it to be more of a day time scent as opposed to a night time scent where I prefer something a bit more stronger with more of a kick.

The only downfall to the perfume is that it's it's quite pricey and I use so much of it because I love it so much. This make it an issue with buying another bottle so it's more of a birthday/Christmas present sort of treat. Also, the scent needs topping up quite a lot and it does wear off which is not something you want to do with such an expensive perfume. Overall, I love the scent and it's quickly become one of my favourites and I'd recommend it to everyone.


Saturday, 1 February 2014

MoroccanOil Treatment

MoroccanOil Treatment 125ml Feel Unique £31.85

I'm sure most of you are no strangers to MoroccanOil, it became pretty big a few years back  but it seems to have taken a back seat with all the cheaper alternatives and competitors on the market. Hair oils have become a pretty big thing and MoroccanOil is the best of them all so I'm here to convince you why it shouldn't take a back seat, it should be centre stage.

Don't let it's large price tag scare you off so soon, I thought the same at first too. How can this small bottle of hair oil be worth over £30, insane! For this price I picked up a 125ml bottle, the usual size is 100ml but Feel Unique are currently offering the larger bottle for the same size as the smaller one so you're getting a great deal. It comes in a sturdy glass bottle with a screw top lid as well as a separate pump which is great for travelling with. The oil itself is and orangey colour and is super runny. I tend to use the oil when my hair is damp, 2 pumps is enough for my long hair. I rub the product together in my hands and distribute it through my hair using my fingers. It smells incredible and the smell lasts on your hair for the whole day.

My hair is slightly damaged as I use heat on it daily in the forms of blow-drying and straightening once or twice a day. I do use heat protector and rarely dye my hair. However the ends are always dry and I get quite a lot of split ends which makes my hair break when brushing through as it's damaged. But using this oil makes my hair so much more manageable. Once blow-dried, my hair feels incredibly soft and silky with no residue left behind. My hair has never honestly felt in such good condition, it doesn't knot or break as much and the ends aren't dry and frizzy. Although it seems expensive, it's became an essential product in my routine and has massively improved the condition of my hair and I will repurchase over and over again.

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