Wednesday, 19 December 2012

How to spruce up your student room

I've lived in four different student flats/houses now so have had my fair share of cell-like bedrooms, my newest flat in Edinburgh is much nicer however when you know you're living somewhere for just a year, it's often quite hard to find the effort to make it pretty - but trust me it's so worth doing!
Here are my rules when it comes to decorating student rooms:

1) Go crazy. 
Not literally, of course... But decorate your room as much as you want! You will be writing thousands of words in this room, revising 'til the early hours, sleeping of many hangovers and possibly having a few visitors! You want this room to be fun and comforting! Take advantage of the fact its a short-term thing and treat it like that - try new things, new styles and new ways of decorating, have fun while you're young and in your first year at uni! We all know we will never get the deposit back! This is a photo from my first year room.

2) Get cosy
Student beds are usually pretty dreadful so I always load them up with mattress protectors and thrown a snuggly feather filled quilt on top with loads of throws and pillows. I think it's important to make the bed as cosy as possible as it really will encourage you to get that much deserved sleep after weeks of essay writing. I also use my bed as the main vocal point of my room, I try to make it up everyday to help my room look nicely made up. Which lets face it - can be difficult. 

3) Be practical
If you're anything like me then getting ready for nights out/days out can turn my room into a complete mess with makeup, clothes, shoes and hair grips spread accross the floor. If you know you use your makeup/hair products lots then leave them out. I always make a makeup/hair station that's completely accessible in my room. There's no use tidying them into little draws when you will just be using them off the desk all week. Make your makeup area organised so that everything is easy to reach and most importantly - easy to put back.
Similarly if you know you won't be reading the books you brought to university - to make you look smart - then put them away, you know where they are if you want to read them but don't keep things out unless they are for decoration or if they are something you need. Most uni rooms are tiny so don't waste space by trying to look cool ;).

4) Lighting.
This is what will make your room transform. Usually we're given horrible bright, white lights that do no room any favours. I always get some fairy lights, a nice bedside lamp and nice candle holders to give the room a warmer colour and make the room feel lovely and cosy at night.

5) Fragrance.
Stale, old, mouldy...? The usual smells for student rooms unfortunately, I always get a room diffuser - I use the oil ones where you put sticks in them to release a really nice gentle scent into the room. I'm not a huge fan of the fake 'apple' smelling things you plug into the wall personally. Pick a fragrance that suits you and disguises the natural smell of the room, also candles are great for this - Primark do some amazing vanilla candles that make my room smell sweet all day long.

6) Desk inspirations.
After a long night of revision the last thing I want to look up to is a blank wall, I always cover the wall in front of my desk in inspirational quotes, photos, newspaper clippings, postcards and a few photos of my nearest and dearest. Don't make it completely distracting but help make it an area that will inspire you and make you want to sit and do work. 

And finally...

7) Keep it private.
From my experience there will be alot of new faces coming in and out of your room at uni, and until you feel fully confident with who your living with keep certain things private. There's many reasons for this, the main one is that it's not like at home where the security of the house is taken care of by your parents. Any one of your housemates could forget to close their window, lock the door properly or forget to put their laptop out of sight. Lots of people take advantage of students forgetting to lock up properly so keep things you want safe out of sight and make sure to lock everything properly. Better safe than sorry.

Monday, 17 December 2012

My Christmas Face!

This was my look for a Christmas party this year.

What I'm wearing:
Eyes- l'Oreal Lash Architect Mascara, urban decay naked palette 2 (booty call - inner corner of eye and under brow, Foxy- all over lid, tease- in crease). L'Oreal super liner in black, Girls Aloud 'Nicola' false lashes.
Skin- Estée Lauder double wear foundation in 'desert beige' WAY to dark for me! Mac Pro long wear concealer nw15 and nw20.
Cheeks- Nars 'Laguna' bronzer, mac highlighter in 'soft and gentle', sleek blush 'life's a peach'.
Lips- mac lipstick 'Russian Red', Graeme cotton red lipgloss.

Barry Glitter

Barry M has done it again with providing the most sparkly, glittery and festive nail varnishes this winter!

These are some of my favourite ones, I like to put them over turquoise or deep pinks however they look beautiful just on their own too.

I love how big nail art is now, and glitter is the simplest way of making your nails look amazing! I stole a cheeky ombré glitter nail technique of my friend which il post about very soon. SuperDrug have fab offers on Barry M atm so a new polish shouldn't break the bank this Christmas :)

But be warned... they are a bit of a faff to remove, however if your anything like me you gradually crack them off. Oops!
If you don't want to damage nails then I'd recommend soaking little cotton wool pads in nail varnish remover, place them on top of the nail then wrap them up in foil, 10-15 minutes later slide the foil and cotton off and voila! No glitter!

Bourjois Paris 'healthy mix serum'

If you are looking for a foundation that gives a dewy finish, applies evenly and smoothly to the skin, smells fantastic and brightens up your completion - this is the one for you.

Because this foundation is a serum it can be applied using your fingers giving the perfect finish. It feels so moisturising and is the only foundation that hasn't made my skin look dull and dry this winter.
Also the smell... Wow!
It smells fantastic!! Like sweet berries, it's my go-to foundation when I'm a bit worse for wear as it really brightens my skin.

I used to be shade 52 but as I appear to be getting paler by the day this winter, I'm now a shade 51. Shading wise they are great for light skin up to a slight tan as the shades go up very subtly mixing between yellow and pink undertones.

My one criticism is to do with their colour range, I think it's ridiculous that bourjois don't have a foundation range that caters for all skin shades - naughty naughty!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Cream in your coffee

Here is my new go-to makeup for when I'm in a rush but want to make myself look more awake and need to brighten up my skin. The look is very bronzed with lots of brown tones and plenty of highlighter, I should really tone the highlighter down as sometimes I do border on looking like I've just had some fairy dust chucked on my face... but then again, that can't be a bad thing can it?

The products:

Mac 'cream in your coffee'
 Mac paint pot in 'groundwork'
Mac mineralize skin finish in 'soft and gentle'
loreal infaillible eye colour in 'hourglass beige'
 Nars bronzer in 'Laguna'
 Sleek blusher in 'Suede'

And this is how it's done:

Firstly I moisturise my skin with Oilatum natural repair face cream, I let this settle on my skin for about 10 minutes before doing the rest of my makeup to ensure that I don't have any dry patches where powders will cling on to.
I then put on this beautiful BB cream by No7 (shade: Medium) it's for normal/oily skin but comes in other formulas depending on your skin type. This gives a really lovely colour and a light coverage but it's incredibly buildable so can easily give a fuller coverage if you use a stippling brush. Once my skin tone has evened out I apply a correcter under my eyes, this one is by Bobbi Brown (shade: light bisque) this cancels out the grey misery under my eyes, on top - using a concealer brush by No7 - I apply my mac pro longwear concealer (shade NW20) I also apply this to any blemishes and red areas such as around my nose and chin. The concealer brush helps me to work the concealer into my skin to prevent it looking cakey which my skin has a habit of doing. At this point I apply my eye makeup as from experience I find that powdered blushers/bronzers don't sit well on newly applied foundation as they cling to areas that are still settling into the skin.
For the eyes it is very simple, I just use my middle finger to apply macs paint pot over my eyelid, blending the edges out with whatever is left on my concealer brush. This gives a really subtle amount of colour to the eyelid that won't crease/budge all day as it dries into a powder. I then apply plenty of Mascara to both my top and bottom lashes, Smokey lash mascara by Makeup Forever is quite a dry mascara which is great for giving nice spidery lashes (my personal favourite). To brighten my eye area (which I like to do even more so since having a longer fringe) I use a loreals eye colour just on my tear duct area, this is a great tip for making your eyes look bright when you're in a rush.
Now we need to bronze up the face, I am in love with Nars Laguna bronzer at the moment. The colour is beautiful and doesn't give that horrible orange tone that so many bronzers do these days. I apply this using my faithful Primark kabuku brush and dust it over my cheeks, down my neck, forehead and down the centre of my face. I then apply my Sleek blusher using my real techniques brush to the apples of my cheeks and up towards my hairline, this colour is heavenly and gives a really natural look to the skin. Now to add some shimmer I use mac mineralize skin finish, I apply this to the top of my cheek bones, down my nose, above my cupids bow and under my brows, this brings the whole look together and looks beautiful when your face catches the light.
And finally for lips I use macs 'cream in your coffee' which is a beautiful warm brown toned lipstick, this is a great colour for everyday or can be applied more heavily for an evening look. This lipstick has a creamy consistency which makes your lips look slightly glossy however when blotted the colour is much more matte, so depending on my mood I sometimes add more gloss or blot away.

Girl About Town

I was hungover and bored, so here's a cheeky 'before' and 'after' of me testing out the Urban decay Naked 2 palette and my new 'Girl about town' mac lipstick.
Let me know if you want me to talk about the other products I used in this look, it's really easy and simple to do, providing you have the confidence to wear such a bold lip.

Don't you just love makeup? I love gold eye shadow with a pink lip it's so fun and girly!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

April Favourites

Firstly, I have to mention the book trilogy that has been taking over my life for the past month! 'The Hunger Games' oh my buddha!. Amazing. I'm taking my time reading the 3rd one after racing through the 1st and 2nd. Such amazing books! Let me know if you've read them/ are reading them :)

Now this is something to talk about - my holy grail. Wrinkle cream. That's right, at the grand old age of 22 I use wrinkle cream, and do you know why? Because it makes my skin feel bloody amazing! My spots have cleared up, scars are fading and my skin feels firmer. Also it smells amazing!

 My new favourite face wipes, they don't dry out fast and are really sensitive for my skin and eyes.

My new favourite alternative for perfume, I got these on offer at boots and love taking them with me wherever I go when I want to freshen up without reaching for perfume! 

The beauty blender! Such an amazing tool! My makeup goes on flawlessly however... I did manage to tear it in half whilst cleaning it last night #awkward But now it means I have two!

Some new jewellery pieces that I'm loving...

I'm obsessed with this peppermint colour and love the festival look this headband gives, even though this year I doubt I'll be going to any festivals *sob sob*

Haircare - wowa wee wa! Love these two products, my hair is so shiny and healthy looking from using these before I blow dry. The oil is amazing for finishing off a hairstyle by giving it shine and taming any frizz.

My first ever BB cream, I bought 2 for an amazing £19! On the buy one get one 1/2 price offer at boots! So I got one in each shade in preparation for getting a tan this summer ;) The texture is beautiful and it gives significant yet subtle coverage meaning I can throw it on with a bit of blush before work without having to worry about smothering my face in concealer for extra coverage.

Tangle Teezer - where have you been all my life? Amazing. Just amazing. One brush and my hair is smooth, normal brushes take 3 times as long to brush my whole head with!

Oilatum took a while for my skin to adjust to but now I'm loving it more than ever, great before foundation leaving my skin feeling moisturised throughout the day without leaving too dewy a finish.

New camera! Nikon coolpix L310, simple yet effective!

Some of my new and favourite products from mac and sleek! Paint pot in 'groundwork', lipstick in 'up the amp' and blusher in 'Suede 921'

New obsession with clear glittery nails. For this look I combined a mixed glitter topcoat with a gold glitter topcoat over the top, finishing with a clear gloss. Glitter is so resilient and lasts me a full week at work as the chips aren't as noticeable. 

What have been your april favourites?

Monday, 12 March 2012

Step into Spring

Lisa Eldrige showed some of these stunning new products from No7 in a recent video and I ran to boots the next day to have a look for myself!
I got the lipstick, blush and highlighter from the range opting for the pink colours rather than the corals as I overdid the coral look a while ago and haven't quite built up the courage to wear it again since. I managed to make myself look sunburnt and orange all at the same time... horrific.
The packaging is beautiful and really stands out from the standard dark coloured No7 packaging.

The cream blush is so easy to use and sets like a powder so unlike normal creams it doesn't move the foundation below it and it has an amazing colour pay off. I love using a tiny bit on the apples of my cheeks.
The lipstick is my new obsession and it is perfect for both day and night, it is quite a sheer natural pink colour with one layer but the more you apply the brighter it becomes. It is a really moisturising formula and lasts well leaving a pink tint to your lips for the whole day.
The highlighter is EPIC, the packaging is unbelievable and the pattern stays long after you've hacked away at the powder! I have used this highlighter almost everyday and since doing so have had compliments on my skin almost everyday - even when my skin is really dry and covered in blemishes, this highlighter manages to distract the eye. I like to think of it as the 'Edward Cullen effect' ;)

Here's a closer look at each of the products:

And finally those all important swatches:

(from left to right: lipstick, blush, highlighter) 

Monday, 5 March 2012

Pucker up!

I have really gotten into wearing lipsticks recently, I'm obsessed with red lipstick at the moment so with all the attention being on my lips I have started giving them the TLC they deserve!

This is what I do when my lips are getting a bit chapped, dry or just looking mildly traumatized:

Lip TLC Instructions  

1) Lick your lips in excitement before pressing your finger into the scrub (the sugar clings to anything and everything so be careful not to be too overzealous when getting it out).
2) Gently rub it all over your lips until it starts to dissolve and then lick off the tasty bubblegum sugary (also dead skin... ew) goodness.
3) Repeat to ensure your lips are fully shed of their former lives (if this stings your lips or they feel sore after the first scrub then don't repeat it).
4) Apply a generous layer of lip salve or balm - avoid pure petrolatum or bees wax products for this as they only provide a barrier to stop you loosing moisture, try and get one (such as the one listed below) that uses oils such as sweet almond and rose oil that help hydrate and restore the lips condition as well as preventing loosing moisture.

(Lush bubblegum lipscrub)

The lip scrub removes all that gross dead skin leaving my lips smooth and with a fresh layer of skin ready for moisturising! 

(Rose & co. apothecary Rose Petal Salve)

 I love Rose & co. products they smell wonderful and always have amazing packaging and of course do their job amazingly. Their Rose petal salve which is heavenly if like me you love the smell of rose and are not ashamed of the fact your granny may also own this product... 

Other products I love are anything from the Balance Me range or good old softlips in french vanilla is so handy to throw in my bag as a go-to lip rescue.

Now go show off those healthy pouts!