Saturday, 27 April 2013

April Beauty Favourites

April Beauty Favourites Makeup Skincare

I was lucky enough to have the entire month of April off from university this year, so I've spend the last four weeks back in Wales spending time with my family, friends and boyfriend.  It's been lovely to have some time to relax and -apart from the odd bit of work- forget about university.
The end of March was quite stressful for me, thanks to a lot of assessment deadlines, so my skin took a turn for the worst.  This month I've taken my skincare completely back to basics, using only Simple products to remove makeup and cleanse my skin, prescribed products to combat my blemishes and this The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream to put moisture back into my skin when my prescribed lotions and potions dry it out a bit too much.  I have absolutely loved using this moisturiser over the past month, it sinks in really quickly leaving my face hydrated but still matte. 
I've used my Revlon Lip Butters in Wild Watermelon and Juicy Papaya pretty much every day this month.  They give the perfect wash of colour whilst still moisturising my lips - ideal for spring.  I've been matching these lip colours with my beloved Nars Desiree which appears scarily bright in the pan, but when applied lightly and blended properly, leaves your cheeks beautifully flushed.
Lastly in my favourites this month is the Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush from the Starter Kit.  Although this brush is intended for use on your eyes, I find it a little big for applying shadow to the crease of my lid, and much prefer to use it on my face.  This is the absolute ideal brush to use with concealer.  The dome shape makes it into a tiny little buffing brush, which when used in a circular motion flawlessly buffs concealer over any blemishes. I've been using this on a daily basis, and completely recommend trying this!
I go back to university on Monday, and will be spending the next three weeks on placement in a Primary School for my degree, which means I need makeup that can be quickly thrown on in the morning, and skincare to help calm my skin down through all of the stress - I'll definitely be taking tips from Holly's post on stress-busting products.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Revision Tips and Tricks


The time every one dreads is just around the corner - exam period.  Not many people are a fan of exams, usually do to the boring, time-consuming, seemingly endless revision which is required.  I'm lucky enough to be on a degree with no exams, but I've done my fair share of revision through GCSE's and A levels and managed to pick up a few helpful hints along the way which I'm going to share with you.  I realise that different people learn differently, and some people prefer different methods to others, these are just a couple of suggestions that helped me with my exams!
  • Start revision early! I mean months early, not ten days before the exam.  I realise how boring it is to sit and learn things knowing the exam isn't any time soon, but I promise you it will be worth it and will reduce stress levels closer to the big day.
  • Put down the phone - if you add up all the time you spend texting your friends about how much you hate revision/tweeting about how bored you are/instagramming your endless pile of text books, you probably spend more time on your phone than looking at your books.  Put the phone in another room and get your head down, you'll get much more work done in much less time.
  • Don't let work take over your life.  It's important to have a balance.  Make sure you're spending a reasonable amount of time doing things for yourself - do some exercise, see your friends, watch a film or read a book.  It will relax you, and you'll feel better when you return to your work, but don't let it take over, some days your studying will need to come first.
  • Find ways to motivate yourself.  I used to promise myself that once I had learnt a set amount of information, I'd be allowed a day off revision to do something I enjoy.  That motivated me to efficiently revise to reach my goal.
  • Set your alarm and get up early.  You learn better earlier, so wake up at 9am and get it done so you can enjoy the rest of your day.
  • Check that your taking in what you revise.  Remember the "look, cover, write, check" routine to learn your spellings in primary school? That will come in handy now! Read over your notes, hide them from view, write out the information you remember and check what you've missed out.  That things you haven't recalled are what you need to spend more time learning.
  • Eat positively - reach for a banana; they're potassium-rich and raise your energy levels, enhancing your ability to learn information.
  • You don't need pretty notes - I was a culprit of doing this in school, I'd spend ages neatly writing out notes in different colours and sections, and didn't learn a thing; I wasted hours of my time. Don't get carried away, once your exams are over you'll never look at your notes again, you don't need to produce a masterpiece!
  • Find a suitable environment - Different locations suit different people, choose somewhere quiet with few distractions to ensure you focus.  Don't lay in bed to learn your work, you'll be nodding off in no time, and when you do want to get some shut eye you'll be reminded of your revision and find it hard to switch off.
  • Do past papers - This really helped me in college, practicing exam papers familiarises you with the lay out of the paper, the wording of the questions and looking at the mark scheme really helps you understand what sort of answer you need to be writing.
I hope these little hints help with your studying, when it comes to the exam all I can advise you to do is relax, get there early and not worry about what you know, there is no time left to revise so try your best to answer what you can.  Good luck!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Spring Nail Polish Picks

Spring Pastel Nail Varnish Polish Shades Colours

Spring Pastel Nail Varnish Polish Shades Colours

It's finally spring! The clocks have changed, the evenings are longer and the sun is out (in South Wales, anyway).  For my nails, spring screams pastel ice-cream shades, and these are my top picks for this year (bottom photo, left to right).
Barry M nail paints are such good value for money - well pigmented, good formula, reasonable lasting time and they don't break the bank.  Mint Green is an affordable polish, opaque in two coats and perfect for the run up to summer!  I've had a bit of a love affair with blue nail polishes recently, but I managed to cut it down to two perfect spring picks - Topshop Pool Party and Essie Bikini So Teeny.  This Topshop shade is brighter than a pastel hue, but is a gorgeous and wearable shade.  I adore the nail varnishes from Topshop; they're only a fiver and the bottles are the cutest! Essie Bikini So Teeny is a baby blue with tiny, barely noticeable flecks of shimmer.  This may be my favourite polish of the moment!  My lilac No 7 polish is a bit of an oldie, but is still going strong and is a beautiful pale purple shade which looks amazing under a matte topcoat.  OPI Sweet Memories is a sheer pale pink, leaving a polished nail with a hint of the nail-white peeking through.  My favourite pink polish is Essie Lovie Dovie, a shade to suit everyone and the formulation of the Essie diffusion line is just incredible.  Lastly, Essie Tart Deco is a perfect coral polish which is lovely on fingers and toes.

What polishes are you loving this spring?

Saturday, 6 April 2013

March Beauty Favourites

Favourite Beauty Products March 2013

The last month I've been religiously using a couple of products and really have fallen in love with them, I can't seem to go a day without picking them up!  I've included a bit of everything - body, hair, skin, nails and makeup.
VO5 Plump It Up Volumising Spritz - I've been using this as a heat defence spray for the last few weeks and I've found that when i apply this to my roots and blow dry with a round brush it really does give my hair added lift and volume.  The scent is almost unnoticable which I love, and the pump evenly distributes the lightweight formula through the hair. 
Garnier Moisture Match Moisturiser - I read that this moisturiser was well suited to oily skin in Cosmopolitain magazine, so popped it in my basket while in Boots and I haven't so much as looked at another moisturiser since! It sinks into my skin super-fast, has a refreshing but subtle scent and feels lovely on my skin.  It hasn't caused me to break out, and leaves a matte finish for me to apply makeup to - perfect! There will be a full review in the near future.
Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour in Lush Nectarine (review here) - the perfect spring blusher, a shimmery peachy coral with is easy to wear and brightens the face.
Topshop Nail Polish in Awol - this is such a gorgeous bright blue shade which is completely opaque in two layers (you could probably get away with one), a lovely formulation and lasts a decent amount of time.  I've had this on my nails non-stop through March and I can't see me taking it off any time soon!
Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner - everytime I stray to using another eye liner I always find myself returning to this.  Long lasting blackness which applies like a dream and can be worn on my lashline or my waterline.  Without a doubt a HG product for me.
Jergens Daily Moisture Moisturiser - I wanted a moisturiser which would sink into my skin quickly but wouldn't leave me with a sickly smell all day long, so when I spotted this fragrance free offering in Boots I couldn't leave it there! My skin drinks it up within minutes meaning I don't have to dance around for half an hour before putting my clothes on, and it''s completely fragrance free so I can pair it with a perfume of my choice.
I'd love to see what things you've been loving this March - let me know in the comments and feel free to leave links to your favourites posts, they're my favourite posts to read!