Saturday, 24 August 2013

Pay Day Wishlist

I can't believe that in less than a month I'll be starting my first year at university. It's absolutely crazy, it seems like I only started secondary school a couple of years ago! By the way, look out for my University series. There'll be more posts up soon with some helpful tips for prospective students and all the gossip on the exciting Freshers Week! Anyway, the fact that I'm soon starting university calls for a huge shopping trip. Aside from all the new outfits and stationary I'll need, I want to treat myself to a few beauty products too. I probably won't be able to buy everything on my wishlist *sob*, but I can dream!

 Super Liner Blackbuster by L'Oreal

As many of you may well know, I LOVE eyeliner. It's rare that you'll ever see me without it. Currently I am using Collection's Fast Stroke Liner, and I've repurchased it many times as it's the best one I've used so far. However, I'm always looking to find a new favourite and the Blackbuster is looking like it could be the one. The fact it has a pen like nib screams "control"; the nib on the Collection liner is quite thin and bends easily, whereas this one looks a lot sturdier.

Elasticizer by Philip Kingsley

This is a product that so many bloggers know and love already, but unfortunately I'm yet to jump on the bandwagon! The Elasticizer is a pre shampoo hair treatment, that prevents dry and damaged hair from breaking when it stretches, as hair does when it is wet. Although the condition of my hair has drastically improved over the years, ever since I got over my phase of dying my hair black every week (no exaggeration), it still lacks shine and the ends still break. I've heard such positive things about this product, and can't wait to try it.

MAC Diva Lipstick

Another one I've been late to follow the crowd on, is MAC lipsticks. In fact, I bought my first one at the Manchester Meet Up I arranged a couple of weeks ago - Creme Cup. I've always been way more into eyeshadows and liners, so lipsticks took a back seat, but as I'm expanding my make up collection I thought it was about time I tried them out. I think Diva, a dark burgundy, will look amazing paired with some winged liner, especially in winter!

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation

I usually struggle with finding a foundation that suits my pale complexion, but I've recently read a few reviews stating that this foundation is great for lighter skin so it immediately made it's way on to my wishlist. At £34 it is a little out of the price range I usually spend in when looking for foundation, but all the reviews also said that you only need the smallest amount as it has great coverage, so you don't have to repurchase it as often as you would with other foundations.

Real Techniques Starter Kit

Having bought the Core Collection (you can read my review here), and seeing for myself how fantastic the RT brushes are, I definitely want to buy the Eye Starter Kit to expand my collection! As I said before, I spend a lot more time on my eyes than anywhere else on my face, so I think that these brushes would be a brilliant investment.

REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewel Mask

This is another product I've heard so many good things about, especially from my good friend and skincare addict Fi from North Western Beauty. The REN mask is a bio active peel that removes dead skin cells and helps to combat congestion, blackheads and blemishes. As the products I'm using at the moment aren't making my skin worse, but aren't necessarily making things better, I think it's about time I add something else into the mix. The Glycolatic mask is unlike any other product I use, and think it may be just the thing to help prevent the sneaky spots and lumps I've been getting.

Do you recommend any of these products? Or are they on your wishlist too?

Thanks for reading,

Amy x

Friday, 23 August 2013

University Series #3 Ten Mistakes Students Make

A couple of months ago I wrote an article for online magazine The Student Pocket Guide, and it fits in perfectly with my University blogging series so thought I'd post it on here too!

Everyone makes mistakes, it's part of life, but if you could learn from the mistakes of others, wouldn't that make your own life a whole lot easier? University is one of the most exciting times of your lives, but it's also a huge learning curve. With this carefully researched list, put together with help from real students, you'll be able to avoid some of things that other students now regret doing!
 I don’t really feel up to joining in yet

We’ve all been there, starting somewhere for the first time with questions and worries that run around your head. Some factors of student life are set in stone, like the course syllabus. Almost everything else is up to you. Join societies and engage in group tasks. The friends you can make and the skills you gain are second to none.

9am lecture… where’s that snooze button?
You’ve had a big night out and are really not feeling the early lecture. Without sounding like a parent, you’ve paid, or will be paying, a LOT of money to study if you’re at uni, so why waste it? You might be able to find lecture notes somewhere or have a helpful friend, but if it’s something you didn’t understand you’ve missed the opportunity to ask for help.
I don’t understand, but I’m not going to say anything.
Lecturers are essentially teachers. It’s their job to teach you, and if you don’t understand something, tell them. If you’re shy or don’t like speaking in front of crowds, you could ask the lecturer at the end of a class or try and book a session with them in private. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
 Now where did I put those VERY important notes…
It helps if you organise your paperwork into either plastic wallets or folders. You can even get a pack of magazine holders for around £2 from Ikea and these make great storage for paperwork. You don’t want to lose that essay you spent hours on!
It’s 1p entry, we have to!
Partying is a huge part of student life, but don’t let it take over. There needs to be a balance between going out and staying in which sometimes can be hard to find as 99p Jagerbombs do sound fairly appealing…
“Mum, can you lend me a tenner?”
Getting thousands of pounds into your bank account, or a bursary from college, is a good feeling. Yes that dress might be ‘The One’, or that night out may be a must, but do you really want to be eating beans on toast for the rest of term? It’s your money, you should enjoy it, but budgeting your money is essential.
I wonder which way the library is…
When you’re paying £9000 a year, it’s definitely worth taking advantage of the facilities. Check out the campus library to help with essays or to use the printers. There may be a cafe or canteen which holds special offers for students. If it saves you money, why not?
So, it’s 4am on deadline day.
You may feel like it is essential that you stay up each night until you finish your assignment and although it’s not the brightest idea to go out partying every night, it’s not clever to stay up late working constantly either. Us students do need a break sometimes, whether it’s an early night or a coffee with some mates. Take time out and try not to wear yourself down.
A free trip out? No thanks.
You’ll never be able to live like you do in university and college after you leave again, so why not make the most of it. Do as much as you can while you’re there to get your money’s worth; you don’t want to finish your final year wishing you’d done more. Say yes to everything! (Within reason, don’t be getting into any strangers cars or anything…)
Where have all my pens gone?!
While studying and finishing off work, you’ll almost always need at least one piece of stationary. Make sure you’ve got the essentials close to hand, such as pens, pencils and rubbers. You don’t want to be taking any late night trips to the local newsagents. Also, be careful when lending any pens out, there’s a slim chance you’ll ever see it again!
I hope this list will help you in some way, comment below if you're starting university this year too! I can't wait to start Manchester Metropolitan University in September, so keep your eye out for the next few posts in the University Series as they'll be about my freshers experience and some tips for prospective students!
Thanks for reading,
Amy x

Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Midsummer Event with Look Fantastic and My Bag

Last Thursday I was lucky enough to attend an event organised by Look Fantastic and My Bag, that featured many different brands, like Benefit and Moroccan Oil. I received many emails leading up to the event, so I couldn't wait to get in there and see what was going on!

I met up with some lovely blogging friends of mine and made our way to Warus Bar in the Northern Quarter in Manchester, and once we had our names ticked off on the guest list, we headed downstairs and were given a free drink token, which is always a nice touch! I opted for pineapple juice, and it was delicious. We took a seat until the event really got going, and once it did we began making our way round the room to speak to the different brands that were there.  The only thing I didn't like was the lighting, so I apologise for the dark photos!

First I headed to Benefit, where we had a chat with the lovely MUA's and the Benefit social media representative, and got to find out more about some of the products. I also got the try out the new blush, Rockateur, which I thought was absolutely beautiful! Next I had a wander around as many of the brands had huge queues of bloggers waiting to speak to them. While I waited I got to try out some hair products from Evo, which unfortunately is only available in and for salons, so I couldn't nip to Boots to pick some up for myself. The lovely gentleman used a talc like product, and instructed me to "bend over" *ahem*. He vigorously shook the product onto my head and rubbed it through. When he had finished, I stood up and wow, my hair was huge! The lovely Megan from Meg Hearts tried it out too, and her hair looked gorgeous! 

Over the course of the night we made our way around to the other brands, such as Burts Bees, where me and Megan had a chat with the brand representative and got to try out a few products. Some of them, especially the Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Creme and the Coconut Foot Cream have definitely made it on to my wishlist. We also got to speak to Morrocan Oil, where we worked out a prescription for our hair with recommended products. They kindly gave us some sample shampoo and conditioner sets, one for volume and one for moisture. L'Oréal were there too, promoting their new product the Steam Pod. The Steam Pod is basically a straightener that you have to fill with water so you actually straighten your hair with steam, just like when it was first invented. It's a much healthier way of straightening your hair, and it's currently on sale for £100 on Look Fantastic. There were also demonstrations during the event, from all of the brands that attended. Show Beauty showed us how their products worked by using them on a model who had absolutely stunning hair, I was so jealous! Nails Inc were also giving out complimentary manicures with their new AW gel collection that they had only seen themselves that day; I got a beautiful maroon colour called Kensington High Street.

I bought a couple of raffle tickets too, but unfortunately didn't win. It was a nice thought though, as all the money raised went to charity so it was really good to be able to donate something! At the end of the night, we were all given a goody bag that was filled with really exciting products. All the brands were so generous, I couldn't believe how many things were in the bag - the majority of them full size products! I had a lovely night; I was able to catch up with some blogging friends and meet a couple more, speak to some amazing brands and add even more products to my wishlist.

These pictures are taken from the Look Fantastic Facebook page and the Benefit Twitter page. How pale am I?!

I'm so grateful to have been invited to the event and had an amazing time. There will be reviews of the items from the goody bag soon!

Thanks for reading,

Amy x

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Real Techniques Core Collection

A couple of months ago I bought the Real Techniques Core Collection after hankering for it for some time. I'd seen so many beauty bloggers and You-Tube-ers (it should be a word...) use the brushes, and had high recommendations off some of my friends so I thought it was about time I invested in them. 
Image sourced from Google

In the collection you get the (R-L) infamous buffing brush, a detailer brush,  a pointed foundation brush and a contour brush. I have to say that out of the four brushes, I only regularly use two of them: the buffing brush and the contour brush. As I use the buffing brush for my foundation along with sometimes blending with my fingers, I don't have much use for the foundation brush. However, that doesn't mean I won't find a use for it in the future. The contour brush is great, and I use this for applying bronzer, and well, contouring my face. In the past I have used the detailer brush for my Collection Lasting Perfection concealer, but found that either my fingers or the buffing brush gave a much better finish and blended more evenly. 

Before I bought this collection I used an array of brushes bought from various places, none of which can compare to this collection. The brushes I previously used shed their fibres, were harsh on my skin and often the brush head fell off the actual brush body. Whereas, the Real Techniques brushes are sturdy and soft, and do their job brilliantly. Although one or two fibres have shed, this is probably down to me not being as gentle as I could be when handling them. After washing the brushes return to their natural colour of white tops with black roots, apart from the buffing brush which now has a tiny hint of orange (I buy THE palest foundation, how it ends up orange I don't know!).

I have found that these brushes do make applying make up a lot easier and more effective and at £20.99 for the 4, that comes in at around £5 a brush so it's definitely worth the money. My only hang up would be is that I wish I could find a good use for the foundation brush, aside from applying foundation, as I feel it's a waste for it just to be sat there. 

 Do any of you own this collection? What do you use each brush for?

Thanks for reading,

Amy x

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Angel Series by L.A Weatherly

I haven't posted about a book in what feels like months, mainly because I read a lot of similar books and I don't want to bore you with repetitive quotes. However, recently I read a series of books and felt like I had to write about them. Reading is always something I've enjoyed, since I was a young girl. You'd more than likely find me sat in my room or snuggled into the corner of a sofa with a good book instead of playing out like the majority of young children. I will warn you, this post gets a bit geeky and "fan girly". 

Last week on Twitter, I saw somebody recommend a book called Angel by L.A Weatherly, and after looking up the synopsis, I decided it sounded good and bought it from the iPhone book store. I can't remember how much it was on there, it may well have been free! Even if it wasn't, it was no more than £3. So, I read this first book, in literally just over a day. I was completely sucked into the characters world, and couldn't put my phone down; I read it before I got ready for work, I read it on the bus to work, I read it walking through town, I read it all night. When I say I couldn't put it down, I mean it! As soon as I finished the first I bought the second (Angel Fire),  and bought the third (Angel Fever), after finishing that - I read through them all in three days.

The first thing you'd notice about the books is the cover. I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of the images used. I don't think the pictures of the characters really match the descriptions in the book, but it's not a major issue! 

The story revolves around three main characters: Willow, who knows that she's different than most teenage girls but doesn't know how different, Alex, a dangerous but alluring angel assassin, and Seb, a mysterious boy not too different from Willow. Their paths cross and they join together when their world is threatened to be turned upside down and taken over by an evil source. The book is filled with love, jealousy, sadness, loss, revenge and anger among an array of other emotions. I don't want to give anything else away as the story is a real page turner and I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next!

L.A Weatherly is what I can only describe as an amazing author. I think I've talked enough about how I couldn't put the book down, so I won't go any more into that. I immediately felt part of the world and the characters were so believable it was like I was reading about real people. After finishing the final book, I felt a little upset to tell you the truth! To some of you, that may sound a little sad, but after reading a series and getting to know the characters, it feels strange to finish them all. I've read on the internet that the rights to make a film are being optioned, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed! 

This may have not been a book review exactly, and maybe more of a rant, but I  really wanted to write about the series so that some of you may be able to enjoy the books too. I'd definitely recommend the series to anyone who loves a book that mixes action, love all friendship, all with an element of danger. 

Have you any of you read the Angel series? What did you think? Or do you want to read them now?

Thanks for reading,

Amy x

Friday, 16 August 2013

Diesel x Festival Number 6

On Tuesday night I headed down to the Diesel store with the lovely blogging ladies, Fi, Cat and Rachel after all being invited to an event there. It was all kept very hush hush and mysterious on the invite, so we were all excited to get there and see what would be going on. We went to Barburrito to grab some food first (messy as always!) then made our way to King Street in Manchester.

 When we were ticked off on the guestlist, we were told to grab a drink as there was an open bar, so I enjoyed a lovely vodka and lemonade supplied by Belvedere. After having a chat downstairs, we went upstairs to look at the new A/W collection - it was beautiful! I've always been an Autumn and Winter girl, preferring them over Summer and Spring; don't get me wrong, I don't mind wearing bright clothing but greys, blacks and maroons are my absolute favourite when it comes to clothes! We wandered round having a good look at the new collection, and I fell in love with so many different items. I might have to visit the Diesel store again in the near future, especially with my birthday coming up soon...

After browsing the collection, and after me and Fi got over a beautiful shirt, we went back downstairs for a little dance and another drink.  Even though we unfortunately missed the live band that was playing, I still had a lovely time, being able to catch up with the lovely girls and meeting Laura Morse who runs Diesel Menswear PR. 

I'm so grateful to have received an invite to this event, and definitely recommend checking our the new collection at Diesel! 

Thanks for reading,

Amy x

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The Body Shop Lemon Lip Butter

Last week I posted about the Bubblegum Lip Scrub from Lush (which you can read here) and as this is the product I pair it with, I thought it'd be nice to review this too. 

After watching Gabriella Rose's YouTube videos, and seeing how much she loved this Lemon Lip Butter, I had to buy it to try it out when I saw it on sale in the Body Shop at £2. Since I was a young girl, I've always loved lemon curd (not to everybody's taste) and lemon cheese tarts, and this smells exactly like that. It has such a fresh smell, and tastes nice which is a plus! 

I use this lip butter near enough every day; the formula is so thick and moisturising and is absorbed almost straight away. This is an important factor for me, I hate it when lip products are greasy or feel as if they're going to drip off. 

After only using it for the past couple of weeks, it hasn't made a drastic difference to my lips. Now and again they do still feel quite tight and dry, but after putting this on they feel better instantly. Even if it isn't making a long term difference, it is a brilliant quick fix for lips that need a little moisture. 

Have you tried this Lemon Lip Butter from The Body Shop?

Thanks for reading,

Amy x

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