Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Hello everyone! I haven't done a beauty post in a long time so I decided I would talk you through my top 10 must-have beauty items. The items are listed in the order I would use them on a daily basis and are not in order or preference!

1. Palmer's Cocoa Butter (£3.65 - Boots)
This is a very intensely moisturising body butter that leaves my skin super soft and smelling amazing. I sometimes suffer from very dry skin around my ankles and this product heals them instantly. I use this product every other day on my legs and arms, however I would not recommend you use it on your face as it may not be gentle enough. All in all I think this is a wonderful, affordable product that does exactly as it is supposed to!

2. Dr Organic Pure Tea Tree Oil (£4.59 - Holland & Barrett)
This pure tea tree oil is perfect for my oily/combination skin. While it is strong smelling, it works really well when dabbed on to spot-prone areas and helps to prevent future blemishes. I mix a drop or so in with my primer to protect my face all day. Alternatively, I also put a drop on my make-up sponge to give my foundation a dewy finish.

3. Nivea Men Post Shave Balm (£3.52 - Superdrug)
I'm certainly not the only person who thinks this but it truly is the world's best primer! I have tried a lot of different primers but I couldn't find one that worked with my oily skin. After using this for the first time a few months ago, I was genuinely amazed how it easily out performed my MAC and Benefit primers (which are much more expensive). It may not be what it is intended to be used for but I think this will become a cult-buy in no time.

4. Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (£5.99 - Boots)
I adore my Real Techniques brushes so when they brought out a sponge I had to try it. I automatically preferred this over a beauty blender as it has a flat edge to blend over large areas such as cheeks and it also costs about £10 less! This product blends concealer and foundation flawlessly, it also holds up really well after washing which means it doesn't need to be replaced as often as you'd think. This is excellent value for money and I would definitely recommend it.

5. Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation #115 (£31.00 - Illamasqua)
I buy this product in the second palest shade so that I can use it as a concealer. I have always had very dark circles under my eyes and really struggled to cover them up. This product provides the best coverage by far and although at £31 it is pretty expensive, as it is a foundation you get loads of product and it lasts me over a YEAR. That makes it pretty worthwhile, don't you think?

6. MAC Studio Fix Fluid #NC30 (£22.00 - MAC)
The main reason I love good old Studio Fix is simply because I have never found another foundation that actually matches my skin tone. I have a pale-olive complexion and couldn't find many drugstore products that had yellow undertones, as well as coverage and staying power. I have tried other types of MAC foundations but this seems to be the best one for my skin, and happily, it's also the cheapest.

7. Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Eyeliner (£5.29 - Boots)
Finding the perfect liquid eyeliner is an impossible task. However, I have always found that when it comes down to it, drugstore is best. Rimmel's Exaggerate Liquid Eyeliner is very affordable, pigmented and easy to use. It's soft, foam brush doesn't scratch or blunt and my eyeliner stays on perfectly all day. If you prefer colourful liner, I am also a big fan of Barry M's liquid eyeliner (£4.79 - Boots), which comes in a whopping 10 shades!

8. Rimmel 100% Waterproof Mascara (£5.29 - Superdrug)
Like eyeliner, I also find that drugstore brands are best for mascara. I use waterproof mascara as it keeps my lashes curled all day, whereas a non-waterproof mascara causes my eyelashes to drop. This mascara has a standard-shape brush which doesn't cause clumping and comes in both black and brown. I also like the Rimmel 10X Volume Flash (£5.99 - Superdrug) waterproof mascara, although I think it may have been discontinued :(.

9. Benefit Hoola Bronzer (£23.50 - Benefit)
Bronzer is one of those things that's very hard to get right. I had this bronzer for a long time before actually using it but when contouring became the trend, I decided to dig it out and try it for that. I found that this matte shade worked perfectly on my skin-tone for natural-looking contouring and because of how pigmented it is, the product actually lasts for a really long time. P.S. It works brilliantly as an eyeshadow too!

10. Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter (£3.00 - Superdrug)
I bought this highlighter in shades Peach Lights and Golden Lights (pictured). At £3 each they are crazy cheap but they're also an amazing product. Golden Lights is a perfect everyday highlighter that is buildable and leaves a subtle golden sheen, whereas Peach Lights leaves a more rose-gold effect. Both shades are incredible and a bargain to boot.

So those are my Top 10 Beauty Essentials, I hope you have enjoyed this post and please feel free to post in the comments below!


Links to featured products:
1. http://www.boots.com/en/Palmers-Cocoa-Butter-Formula-Original-Solid-Formula-Jar-1-x-100g_9953/
2. http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/product/dr-organic-tea-tree-pure-oil-60083691
3. http://www.superdrug.com/Nivea/Nivea-For-Men-Sensitive-Post-Shave-Balm/p/247057?gclid=Cj0KEQjwte27BRCM6vjIidHvnKQBEiQAC4MzrUHi7pDi44Of7cHbbrphARPWEDxaOxx09FNIKvFVwrgaAivh8P8HAQ&gclsrc=aw.ds
4. http://www.boots.com/en/Real-Techniques-Miracle-Complexion-Sponge_1389470/
5. http://www.illamasqua.com/rf-115-rich-liquid-foundation/?gclid=Cj0KEQjwte27BRCM6vjIidHvnKQBEiQAC4Mzrbk1d5d3B1KS8idHq8xqR1ziWwrx0wQsH0fI6weRUJ8aAnfx8P8HAQ
6. http://www.maccosmetics.co.uk/product/13847/1231/Products/Makeup/Face/Foundation/Studio-Fix-Fluid-SPF-15?cm_mmc=GoogleBase-_-ShoppingFeed-_-Face-_-Foundation&gclid=Cj0KEQjwte27BRCM6vjIidHvnKQBEiQAC4MzrcIb1BNMOohjBozaBULhzrcIdIOd6wv5gYAR1P4tNIIaArOs8P8HAQ&gclsrc=aw.ds#/shade/NC30
7. http://www.boots.com/en/Rimmel-Exaggerate-Eye-Liner_6935/?cm_mmc=bmm-_-google-_-PLAs-_-Boots%20Shopping%20-%20Category%20-%20Beauty
8. http://www.superdrug.com/Rimmel/Rimmel-100%25-Waterproof-Mascara-Black-1/p/786855
9. https://www.benefitcosmetics.com/uk/en-gb/product/hoola-matte-bronzer
10. http://www.superdrug.com/Makeup-Revolution/Makeup-Revolution-Highlighter-Golden-Lights/p/978758

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The Twenty-Something

I have read a lot of articles lately that talk about the struggles that everybody has in their twenties. The majority of these stories have been written by people retrospectively and, in essence, they tell us that it 'all works out in the end'.

While that is comforting to know, I wanted to share my thoughts on the subject as actually being a twenty-something (and trying to avoid a quarter-life crisis).

As a millennial, I know that the likelihood of me being able to buy a house any time soon is unlikely, I also know that jobs don't pay as much comparatively and life is generally just a bit harder than it was for the Baby-Boomers.

If you had asked me 10 years ago where I would be now, I would probably have said i'd have a high-flying career and own a house on the outskirts of the city with my husband. This hasn't happened.

My thoughts 10 years ago were a reflection of my parent's lives and what they were doing in their twenties. It was always a time I had looked forward to; freedom, independence and my own space. I believed that this is the point when I would have it all figured out.

Now that the time is upon me, this is what I do have:
- A fairly useless University Degree
- A lovely little rented flat
- A boyfriend
- A new job
- Lots of student debt

Okay so, maybe not that different from what I had thought. I still have my independence, my own space and someone to share my life with. The difference is, I really don't feel like I have it all figured out, and that's okay.

As I have written about previously, going to University was hard for me. I didn't get much financial assistance, which lead to stress and debt. I found that I was a goldfish in a Sea full of sharks and suddenly, I was not so sure of myself.

After graduating University, I found myself a nice little office 9-5. I enjoyed it for a while, then I was promoted and enjoyed it for a little while longer. Then it came to a point where I needed a change. I left for a job in a completely new industry after being sold 'The Dream' in an interview.

On day 1 of my new job, I knew something wasn't right. I thought it would all work out in the end and talked myself into giving it time. By week 3, the stress of hating the role (and the company) was making me physically sick and I knew I had to leave. FUCK. I had just started a tenancy on a flat with my boyfriend (who would be unable to support both of us) and now, I didn't have a job.

The weight that had been lifted from leaving the job suddenly came crashing back down. Reality is a bitch. I had a little bit of savings but knew that I wouldn't be able to survive on that for long. This is where the crisis kicked in. What have I done? Why did I leave my old job? Maybe I should try and go back? WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?! I think that these are they types of key moments that people talk about in their terrible twenties. It's that time where every decision you make feels like it is going to affect the rest of your life and we don't yet have enough life experience to handle these pressures.

A couple of weeks down the line and I have pretty much managed to sort my life out. Through the support of my friends and family I have got back on my feet and I'm trying to calmly navigate the situation. It's still going to be a tough couple of months but I know that I need to go through it to come out the other side. These circumstances that at first seem so terrifying are actually the ones that make us who we are.

After speaking to other people, I found that this had happened to almost all of them at some point in their life. They had all got new jobs that didn't work out and had to leave, thus leaving them in financial turmoil. If they can get through it, so can we!

So there's my 2 cents on the topic. I would love to hear about your life experiences in the comments so please feel free to write below!

Thanks for reading.