Thursday, 26 June 2014

WHAT I'M READING ON HOLIDAY


If you read my last post or have seen my excited tweets counting down the days, you'll know that I'm currently in Spain. I wanted to get a few travel related posts scheduled for while I am away, and so today's is going to be about what I'm reading on holiday. Reading a good book by the pool or at the beach while sipping a chilled Fanta Lemon is one of my absolute fave things to do. It makes me so relaxed and as I'm not a big fan of swimming, it helps pass the time while the other half is splashing around. Up until a couple of years ago my designated holiday book was always The Deathy Hallows, but as much as I love that book I thought this year I'd switch it up a bit. I've downloaded quite a few books onto my iPad; I'm especially excited to read The Virgin Suicides as I've read some great things about it! Though, I'm a sucker for a good paperback and when I saw these on offer I had to pick them up.


"It's all gone wrong with the man Lottie thought was Mr Right. Then out of the blue she gets a call from her first love. She decides it muct be Fate, and rushes off to marry him and rekindle their sizzling Greek island romance. Lottie's older sister can't believe she's doing something so crazy. No more Ms Nice Sister, she's stopping this marriage. Right away! And she'll go to any lengths to do so..."
I haven't read anything of Sophie's before, though from what I've gathered from other people's opinions, I'm going to love her. This book sounds right up my street: chick lit, funny with some romance. The perfect poolside read!
"Don Tillman is getting married. He just doesn’t know who to yet. But he has designed the Wife Project, using a sixteen-page questionnaire to help him find the perfect partner. She will most definitely not be a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.
Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also fiery and intelligent and beautiful. And on a quest of her own to find her biological father—a search that Don, a professor of genetics, might just be able to help her with.
The Wife Project teaches Don some unexpected things. Why earlobe length is an inadequate predictor of sexual attraction. Why quick-dry clothes aren’t appropriate attire in New York. Why he’s never been on a second date. And why, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love: love finds you."
Another romance book, but slightly different than the first. This isn't the kind of book I'd usually go for but again, I've read some amazing things regarding The Rosie Project online and the cover and inside page are literally filled with great reviews. Every now and again I like to mix up the kind of books I read and so I'm looking forward to sinking my teeth into this one!
"Imogen and her friends Meredith and Nicola have had their fill of budget holidays, cattle-class flights and 6am. offensives for a space by the pool.
So when Meredith wins a VIP holiday at Barcelona's hippest new hotel, they plan to sip champagne with the jet set, party with the glitterati and switch off in unapologetic luxury. But when the worst crisis of her working life erupts back home, Imogen has to juggle her BlackBerry with a Manhattan, while soothing a hysterical boss and hunting down an AWOL assistant. 
Between a robbery, a run-in with hotel security staff and an encounter on a nudist beach that they'd all rather forget, the friends stumble from one disaster to the next. At least Imogen has a distraction in the form of the gorgeous guy who's always in the right place at the very worst time. Until, that is, his motives start to arouse a few suspicions . . . "

I already know I'm going to love this book! The plot reminds me of something Lindsey Kelk or Paige Toon would come up with, and they're my two favourite authors so that's high praise indeed. Girly adventures like this are ones you can get sucked right into so I can't wait to get started on it.


"Days away from marrying a man she doesn't love, Katy's shocked when fate throws her in the path of Jago Rodriguez - he may have left her years before, but now he's back, more beautiful than ever and still makes her heart skip a beat..."

Who could have guessed? Another romance book?! Yep. They're one of my favourite genres. I was interested in the story as soon as I read the blurb and Jago does sound quite intriguing....


These books have been sitting in my bookcase for months now, teasing me and making me want to read them early. But no, I waited, and as sad as it may sound to you non book lovers, I'm so excited to finally get into them! Let me know if you're interested in any reviews and I'll get them done for you as soon as. 

Monday, 23 June 2014

WHAT IS IN MY TRAVEL TOILETRY BAG


While you're reading this, I'll hopefully be having a lovely time sat by the pool sipping on a chilled Fanta Lemon in Spain with my boyfriend. So I apologise for the low quality pictures, I snapped them and wrote this post just before the bag was packed away and as I had a lot of other things to do, I couldn't spend too long on this. Anyway I wanted some travel related posts to go up while I was away, and I thought I'd show what I'm taking in my toiletry bag.

Skincare

I'm taking mostly the same products I use at home for my time in Spain. They've been working well for me here and so I don't want to risk anything by switching them up! Bioderma is my favourite thing to use to remove my makeup, before cleansing with the No.7 Hot Cloth Cleanser. They're both super gentle on my sensitive skin and remove makeup easily. I then use the Naturally Radiant Serum followed by the Nivea Soft Moisturiser. I have quite dry skin and these two are the perfect team to combat dryness! SPF is so important when you're out and about in the sun, and this La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Cream is the only new addition to my skincare routine. I haven't tried it yet but the reviews I read said it's great for dry and sensitive skin and doesn't cause any spots, which is what happened on my last holiday with the previous product I was using.


Haircare

I'm taking the same shampoo and conditioner I use at home, which isn't very interesting. I just decanted it into a couple of smaller bottles to make it easier to pack. I picked up a few of the VO5 range: Plump It Up Weightless Mousse and the Plump It Up Dry Backcombing Spray. It was actually on a 3 for 2 offer in Boots but my boyfriend has the texturising spray as it's his fave hair product to use ha! I've also packed some dry shampoo which is a necessity on holiday to keep hair feeling refreshed between washes and on particularly hot and humid days. I don't tend to use hairspray too often, but I'm taking a can of Charles Worthington Brush Out Strong Hold hairspray for those days my hair just won't stay put and do as it's told. Morrocan Oil is a must for me, especially on holiday. My hair can be quite dry and brittle in the sun so I'm definitely going to be using this treatment oil every day to combat this.



ETC

There's always a few miscellaneous products that you need to take on holiday that don't really fit in any other category. This picture doesn't show them all as unfortunately my toiletry bag is only so big, so not everything fit inside it. Plus there's a few things in my boyfriends suit case as we tried to split the weight evenly. So, there's only a few things here but I can give you an overview of what I'll be taking! Toothpaste and a toothbrush kind of speak for themselves. You need them - oral hygeine is super important guys! Shaving gel and a razor are also important to keep on top of any stray hairs while on holiday. A first aid kit can also be super handy just in case, so I've packed Savlon (an antiseptic cream), a couple of plasters and an a travel first aid kit. Deoderant again is the kind of product that needs no explanation, along with shower gel and soap. I've decanted the shower gel like I did with my shampoo; there's also a few more bottles of shower gel in my boyfriend's case. I love the strawberry range at The Body Shop and so I'm looking forward to using this soap. I've had it a few times and this one came in a gift set around Christmas time so it's definitely about time I use it. I'm taking a nail file along with some polish to keep on top of my nails while I'm there, chipped nails are not a good look in any country! Obviously there are a lot of other items such as clippers, flannels, lip balm, tissues, heat protectant spray, sun cream, cotton pads, pain killers, body moisturiser, an exfoliant etc, that aren't included in this post but as I said, they didn't all fit in this one bag! 

I hope this post may have helped if you're going on holiday soon and are wanting to make sure you don't forget anything important. What essentials do you need in your toiletry bag?

Monday, 16 June 2014

UNIVERSITY SERIES #11 STUDENT ACCOMMODATION

If you're applying to a university that is a fair distance from your home and you would be unable to commute, you will need student accommodation. 



Usually these flats will be in blocks filled with other students. Student accommodation is only available to students, of course, and proof of this will be needed prior to booking, so don't worry, no random strangers will be able to move in! From what I have heard (and from working in a student accommodation company for the past four summers), living in student accommodation provides you with freedom, the ability to grow and for a lot of people, life long friends! 

There are two different kinds of student accommodation - there is that provided by the university, and private accommodation. If you live in accommodation provided by the university, you will most likely live on campus or very close by. You will also be living with other students who definitely go to your university, which helps when you are a first year! It is also sometimes cheaper than private accommodation. When it comes to private accommodation, you can choose who you want to live with. For example, if you and a friend were going to the same town but to different universities, you could request private accommodation and to live with each other. Also, the location is flexible meaning you could be closer to the town centre (i.e. all the clubs!)

Here are some tips when it comes to student accommodation:

  • Check out the location! If you have to commute to and from your flat to university, work out how much it would cost you. You could also see if there are any supermarkets/takeaways/restaurants around which will help when working out how much money you would need to budget on food.
  • If living in halls, your bills will most likely be covered in your rent; this is something you should check.
  • Sometimes in halls, you will be provided with internet. Make sure to ask!
  • If you know someone else applying to the same accommodation, avoid the flatmates from hell situation and ask to be put with them. You could also provide preferences (non smoking, gender specific etc). 
  • You should always ask about insurance!
  • Ask about the facilities in your halls, such as launderettes and gyms. 
  • Most student accommodation sites will have security measures in place, but it's always good to understand what they offer before moving in.
There are usually different room types when it comes to accommodation, that range in size and obviously the bigger the room, the more expensive it is. When booking student accommodation, you will most likely have to sign a contract that means you are committed to paying the rent for the year. Usually, the rent will be paid termly in time with your maintenance loan, but not always so be sure to check with the accommodation company. Once you have signed the contract, you are legally bound to the room and the rent, so be sure to read it thoroughly before signing. Plus, make sure you understand how much you will be expected to be on each payment date so you can budget your money! 

Here are some websites you could look at that provide private accommodation (the university website will provide details on their own accommodation):



I do hope this post has helped you. Moving away from home is a big deal so gathering as much information as possible is so helpful. I have worked in student accommodation for the past four summers, so I've dealt with a lot of different issues, answered a lot of different questions and helped people with the transition from home to university, so if you want to ask anything, please do!

Amy x

Sunday, 15 June 2014

THIS WEEK #15


My fave cleanser / R U Mine? / Shamless selfie / Can't wait for some sunshine in Spain / 
Tilly's new do / Streetart in Manchester / My dad, grandad and me / 6 days to go until my holiday!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

REVIEW: NO. 7 HOT CLOTH CLEANSER

The No. 7 Hot Cloth Cleanser is my favourite facial cleanser and has been for some time now. Boots say “the combination of this rich indulgent cleanser and the gentle exfoliating muslin cloth removes dead skin cells and daily grime whilst stimulating circulation, leaving your skin deeply clean, soft and radiant”. I have to say that I absolutely agree!




I first bought this cleanser on a whim as I had a No.7 discount voucher at Boots and decided to try something new. I’m so glad I purchased it as it has made a real difference to my skin. I take two pumps of this cleanser and rub it in circles gently onto my skin after removing makeup with my Bioderma. No.7 recommend that you run hot water over the face cloth and place it on your face for a short while. I do this occasionally but not every night; although it feels nice I don’t find that it makes much difference. You remove the cleanser with the cloth and then splash your face with cold water. After use, I find my skin looks really clean, fresh, bright and moisturised which is a must for me as my skin is quite dry. This is something I hadn’t experienced with other cleansers and is one of the reasons I love it. Apart from how my skin looks right after using the cleanser, it really does improve my skin in the long run. I do still suffer from blemishes now and again, but they are a lot less visible and angry than in the past.

The cleanser is dispensed by a pump, meaning there is minimal waste and that you can really get your money’s worth out of the product, unlike if the product was sold in a tub. I find two pumps to be the perfect amount for me, and using this twice daily for nearly four months shows that the No. 7 Hot Cloth Cleanser is definitely worth the price, at £9.95 for 200ml. The cleanser is super creamy and soft, and although it does have a very slight scent it’s very subtle and clean.

The only disadvantage I can find with this product is that it isn’t great for travelling. The packaging is quite bulky which means unless you have plenty of room in your travel bag, it’s probably best to decant the cleanser into smaller pots. Having said this, I don’t think it’s a huge deal and it definitely doesn’t stop and won’t stop me from repurchasing. I’m currently on my second bottle and if anything changes I’ll definitely post an update.

The No.7 Hot Cloth Cleanser is suitable for all skin types as it doesn’t leave a greasy residue on your face but does keep your skin moisturised. It’s also fairly cheap compared to other cleansers although it does the exact same job! I would definitely recommend this cleanser to anyone as I really enjoy using it and am so happy with how my skin looks after sticking to my skincare routine.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

THIS WEEK #14


Beautiful weather in Alcudia - only 13 days to go! / A lovely saying to live by  / I can't wait to get my new choker / Hairspiration / Summer beauty haulin' / The Summer nail edit / This smells sooo good / My Summer reading sorted / New shoes

Friday, 6 June 2014

SUMMER HOLIDAY BEAUTY HAUL: MAKEUP


In less than three weeks my boyfriend George and I will be jetting off on our first holiday together to Alcudia and I can’t wait! Of course this called for some serious shopping, both beauty and fashion, and in today’s post I’ll be showing you all the beauty related products I’ve bought! In terms of makeup, I’ve treated myself to quite a few things because you have to adapt your makeup to the heat don’t you?! Most of these products I haven’t yet tried as I want to save them until a week before my holiday, just so that I can make sure they’re right for me and not use them up either.

I’m a huge fan of the Mac Studio Fix Fluid because of its high coverage, but due to the coverage it is quite a thick foundation. I don’t really fancy using it on holiday as makeup sliding off your face is not a good look, so I had a look for something slightly similar but a bit lighter. After reading reviews and recommendations from fellow #bbloggers, I decided to purchase the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in the shade Vanille Clair (Light Vanilla) 51. I haven’t yet tried it so I’m not sure whether it will be a great match to my skin or how it’ll fare over a couple of hours but I’ve read some really great things so I’m definitely looking forward to using it. I thought I’d found the perfect primer for me a couple of months which you can read about here, but recently I’ve been getting a little bored of it and wanted to try something that would make me look a little more  ‘dewy’ for Summer. Enter Seventeen Skin Wow 3 Way Highlighter. After swatching on my hand, I saw that before blending it can look a little scary as it is quite white with visible glittery pieces in but once it has been evenly rubbed in it looks lovely.  This is another product I’ve read some great things about, and think it’ll look really nice under the Healthy Mix Serum with some cream blush and a slick of eyeliner in the evenings on holiday. Speaking of eyeliner, I use it near enough every single day to create cat eyes so I have plenty of eyeliners, but with using it so much I like to treat myself to new ones to try and find my next ‘Holy Grail’. Seventeen had a 3 for 2 offer on when I bought the makeup, so I decided to try one of theirs, the Lacquer Liner Wet Look Finish. The nib of the liner is super thin so it should be fairly easy to achieve a precise line but it could take a little while to get used to as I’m used to more firm and thick liners. A product that needs no introduction or explanation is the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. It’s my fave concealer and I always make sure I have a spare in my makeup collection. The last product I bought was the Seventeen Brow Sculpting Pencil. I usually use brown eyeshadow to shape my brows but I thought on holiday I’d prefer to shape my brows with ease and quickly and so decided to buy a pencil. At the moment it only comes in one colour which is a dark brown. For me, this is perfect but I’ll let you know when I use it if it would be suitable for any other colours. With my order from Boots, I got a free Seventeen Blow Out Volumise Sculpt Tease Mascara with spending over a certain amount. I love trying new mascaras and the wand seems nice and thick so hopefully it’ll add some volume to my otherwise poor lashes.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

SUMMER NAIL EDIT

Summer is all about the bright colours and pastel shades, and I’ve really been loving switching up the colours on my nails so I thought I’d share with you my favourite polishes for Summer!



The overruling factor that makes a nail polish become a favourite of mine is the finish. It’s all well and good if it’s a gorgeous colour, but if it applies streaky, takes four coats to become opaque or looks dull and lifeless even after a topcoat, it just doesn’t do it for me. All the above polishes do none of those. I have to say the Barry M Berry polish is my absolute fave out of them all in terms of the finished look; it’s super shiny, long lasting and only takes two coats at most to create the perfect colour. I had been looking for an orange nail polish for so long so I had to snap the Rita Orange Oragasm up as soon as I saw it. I’d also seen some gorgeous Instagram pictures of the Rita Ora Lose your Lingerie, and though I’m not usually a fan of very polishes, I loved the look of it and wanted it as part of my collection. I bought the Apple Pie polish when Models Own had an offer on of five for £20 and although it’s probably my least favourite out of them all, it’s still undoubtedly a gorgeous colour. Finally, Seche Snapdragon is a fairly recent addition to my collection. I received it at an event nearly a year ago now but stored it away in my drawers. After a recent clear out I rediscovered it and realised I hadn’t ever used it! Of course I applied it straight away and fell in love. It’s a gorgeous bold and bright colour which is perfect for summer.

What are you favourite summer polishes?

Sunday, 1 June 2014

THIS WEEK #13


My new neon watch / Tilly is so cute! / Mine and my sister's debut album ha / George / Old fashioned sweets / Pepper looking super special