Tuesday, 30 September 2014


September has been a month of limited spending. Why? I got a new job, HOORAY! But it's taken two months for me to get a start date (thanks, bureaucracy), so I've been all about embracing old and long forgotten purchases, and steering well clear of Boots where at all possible. And god damn, I LOVE Boots.

But, I done good.

An effective, albeit sparse selection.
  • ROSE HIP OIL. I'm a big fan of pure oils when it comes to cleansing and moisturising, but I always tend to opt for coconut oil over anything else. However, as much as I (still) love it for cleansing, I feel like it hasn't really been packing the moisture that I need right now. I picked up some rosehip oil a while ago as it was supposedly good for eczema - SOLD. I promptly received the bottle and forgot about it for several months, but following a stress-induced bout of facial scab this month, I gave it a go with pleasant results. It's no miracle worker - I still rely on my usual prescribed creams to really bring my skin under control, but it provides lovely long lasting moisture which doesn't irritate, and unlike other oils I've tried (*cough*hemp oil*cough), it doesn't smell like rancid arse. It supposedly has great anti-ageing properties too.. thankfully not something I can confirm or deny though!

  • A-DERMA EXOMEGA EMOLLIENT BALM. Oat-based emollient balm. Saviour of all things dry and irritated. Fancy? Nah. Entirely practical? Very. This is a very rich balm which I use alongside my other eczema-centric products, though mostly for night time use only. I tend to favour very rich, heavy products at night to save my skin soaking up all the moisture within a few hours, and me then waking up with painfully dry skin. This is the unfortunate thing with eczema - because it impairs the barrier function of the skin, moisture is constantly lost (more so than normal anyway). If at home I'll usually moisturise 5 or 6 times through the day, but otherwise a rich, soothing balm of this sort at night really helps to lock in what moisture I can.

  • BURT'S BEES REVITALISING LIPBALM WITH BLUEBERRY& DARK CHOCOLATE. Long-ass name for a lipbalm. I am utterly in love with the Burt's Bees lip balms, and while the original is still my favourite (some hate it, but I love the pepperminty tingle), this and the mango are a close second. It's a lipbalm, so there's not an awful lot to say, but it achieves its moisturising purpose no trouble. I do quietly wish it was a little more blueberryish(?!) though..

  • CLARINS GENTLE EXFOLIATOR BRIGHTENING TONER.  A fairly gentle AHA based exfoliating toner, this is something I've recently come to love despite having used it for a couple of months. Smoother skin? Yep. More even skintone? Mmmmhmm. No dryness or stinging? You got it. Don't be fooled by the small bottle, as you'll only need a small amount for your face and neck. While it's not cheap at £25 a pop, it's definitely better value than it first appears when you see how far it goes. I absolutely love chemical exfoliants, and this is definitely my favourite, despite having been a long time lover of the Nip+Fab glycolic fix pads. They're both great, but I feel the results from the Clarins toner are more noticeable. Also I just BLOODY LOVE CLARINS. 

  • NATURAL COLLECTION MOISTURE SHINE LIPSTICK IN FIG LEAF. This isn't something I would have normally considered, and not for any lack of love towards Natural Collection. I'm a HUGE fan of their super cheap mascaras, but for some reason I just assumed their lipsticks would be a bit naff. NEVER ASSUME. I saw these featured on Miss Budget Beauty, and when I saw Fig Leaf I was all like..

To be honest, it's not a particularly exciting colour. BUT I'm all about nudes at the minute, having previously been all about purple lips at any given opportunity. However, this in particular ticks my requirements of a) CHEAP, and b) cooler toned. I love cool-toned looks and have a drawer full of lipsticks just not fit for that job.

While there's certainly a hint of pink there, this colour almost takes on a somewhat grey tone in person. And shit, if there's a colour I love, it's GREY. Which says a lot about me. Anyway, this little treat will set you back a measly £1.99, and yeah the packaging is cheap and the lipstick itself is kind of an odd shape, but can be just reiterate the fact that this is £1.99!?! Check out the whole range if you're passing though - their range of lip colours is much larger than I thought, and I'll definitely be trying a few more after this success!

That's this months more restrained selection of favourites. While living with no income isn't ideal, it's been good delve in to some older purchases and try some more budget-friendly beauty options. But man, I sure am hankering after a few MAC lipsticks right now..

Peace, chums!

Monday, 22 September 2014


Yeah yeah, it's that time of year. Four years ago I set off on my adventures to university. FOUR YEARS! I graduated last year, and still over a year later I find myself fondly reminiscing on an all too frequent basis. I can say with no caution that my time at uni was a resounding success - not to say there weren't some ups, some downs, and some wholly ludicrous mistakes on my part, but such is life's way. It's not always plain sailing though, nor is it always the right choice for people - but consider this my Buzzfeed-esque list of hopefully not all too patronising tips.

  • Be Prepared. It's a solid motto that's worked for the Scouts for over 100 years, and is perfectly applicable to university too. I'm not talking the "take cake for your new flatmates!" or "don't forget an extension lead!" kind of prepared - but on that note, do take a couple of extension leads. Useful as f*ck. But be prepared from the start - researching your course, your chosen unis, noting any UCAS deadlines, student finance deadlines, setting yourself up a student bank account. The boring stuff. Your first few weeks of uni will be much easier if you actually have that highly anticipated student loan sitting pretty in your bank account. 
  • Get a Job. Ok, this one is optional. But there aren't many courses which won't allow you the hours for a part time job - I only worked one 6 hour day a week, but that ~£40/week made a HUGE difference to my otherwise measly budget, allowing me a night out and a marginally better diet without any sense of guilt. See if your university has their own job centre, or ask if you can transfer your current job to a location near the university. 
  • Don't Fret Your Friendships. Will I like the people I live with? What about the people on my course? Classic frets of the fresher. Friendships come naturally and can't be forced, so don't shit bricks if your flat is full of dicks - I lived in the affectionately titled 'Shit Flat 10'. No, not wildly creative I suppose, but accurately descriptive nonetheless. I wound up with one very close friend in my flat, and one on my course. But there are plenty of other people I'm still very close to who I only met through others - so don't feel that your course and your flat are your only two sources of friendship. Moreover, I didn't truly get to know the people I consider my close friends now until late in to my second year. It's not that I didn't have friends through the first and early second years, but they're not the people who've made the biggest impact on my life. 
  • Listen to Your Gut. While you shouldn't necessarily let it hold you back, the gut it often right. I applied to university twice, and wound up retracting my first application just a couple of weeks before I due to leave home. I wasn't scared, but I didn't have the enthusiasm for the course I had applied for, and was entirely unprepared in every possible aspect. I applied again for a different course later in the month, and had myself a totally unplanned gap year. No, not a gap yah - zero travelling was done but a healthy lining to my bank account was earned, I had all my paperwork sorted in uncharacteristically good time, and I purchased myself more useless kitchen paraphernalia than you can shake a spatula at. By the time the next September rolled around, I was near bouncing off the walls with excitement. 
  • SAY YES! There's no time in life quite like university, so use it as an opportunity to say yes to new things - see a new band, go a new restaurant, visit a new country! Respect you bank balance and use your common sense, but you'll meet tonnes of new people with all manner of experiences to offer. At worst, you'll probably waste a small amount of your time and maybe a few quid, but I can bet that in the end you'll be glad you said yes.
  • DOWN IT FRESHER! Or don't. Yes, to this day I have not downed a dirty pint (nor a 'clean' one for that matter) because I literally do not possess the capacity to down drinks. This seems like a relatively minor point (pint?), but you will hear that statement more times than you care to remember. To expand, peer pressure can sometimes rear its ugly head in a massive way at university, so stick to your guns if you're not comfortable. Besides, downing pints definitely falls outside of my 'say yes' point; I can promise you that your university experience will not be damped by any lack of downing drinks. It'll probably be a little less vomit stained though.
  • Buy a Dressing Gown. Two words: FIRE. ALARMS. Not a myth, highly infuriating. At least you can stay cosy while you stand outside arms folded and frowny faced.
I suppose the gist here is not to feel under any pressure to meet the stereotype of a fresher. Embrace new opportunities, but don't feel like you have to persist with something which clearly isn't for you. Just be glad you tried. Don't try and change - spruce up the ol' wardrobe maybe, but you are who you are and there WILL be like-minded souls around, even if you don't find them immediately. Go in with an open mind and savour every minute, both the good and the bad. Your experiences at university will likely shape your as a person. But most of all, BLOODY ENJOY IT! There's nothing quite like it and hopefully it'll be an experience you look back fondly on for years to come.

Boring side note - the library is your friend. Get to know the library. Take a couple of hours out in the library. Find your favourite seat in the library (and the proceed to refuse to accept that you could possibly work ANYWHERE else, whatsoever). Semi-frequent interaction with the library will make your academic life so very much easier - just so long as you're not that guy who uses the time to indulge in the latest feature length film. Library space is precious; Don't be THAT GUY.

Back to beauty related antics next time, but for now - freshers, I hope you're loving EVERY GOD DAMN SECOND. I'm jealous. And I really miss my student loan.


Tuesday, 2 September 2014


August was pretty hot on the favourites front. A healthy combination of skincare, makeup and non-beauty purchases made for a lot of new loves, and a minor dent in my bank balance. But what's money for if not to be enjoyed, eh? (She says, frantically scraping funds for car insurance.. and an MOT.. yeah, cars are NOT on my August favourites, for sure).


MAC Mineralize Moisture Foundation has made a return in to my life after a rather lengthy absence. I start using this years ago when it was branded as the Mineralize Satinfinish foundation. It's been reformulated, and is now more moisturising but still with the same finish I always loved. As the previous name suggests, it's satin finish - definitely not one for matte lovers, and probably not ideal for the oily skinned amongst us. My sad dry face loves it though!
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium was something I'd had my eye on for a long time. It's widely raved about and reviewed, and in good reason. Lightweight and subtle when applied with a fluffy brush, this provides just enough setting power for my foundation, while not compromising the dewy finish. Best of all, a powder which doesn't emphasize dryness? HOLLA AT ME.

mmmm.. silky.

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray an old favourite, but I'd put off purchasing this again for a while since I had a few cheaper options to try. They don't compare though - a quick spritz of this keeps my makeup on lockdown for the day.
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara I never purchase mid/high end mascaras. I feel like no amount of money does great benefit for my short, sparse lashes, but this came as a freebie with my previous purchase. I'm surprisingly sold on this though, it gives good separation and lengthening with no transfer or clumping in sight. Would I purchase the full size? Maybe, but I'm still pretty hooked on the £1.99 Natural Collection offering...

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask I've been trying to reign in the skincare spending recently, but it was my birthday and ehhh.. gotta treat yoself. I purchased this with the intention of using it when my skin is extra dry and irritated, but is is INCREDIBLY highly fragranced. For that reason, I've kept it as a little biweekly moisture bolstering treat instead. It has a lovely thick consistency, and while I find the scent pleasantly relaxing it's certainly not suitable for irritated skin. Keep it as a treat, not a treatment.


I've been on the look out for a trinket jar of sorts for some time now - I tend to accumulate a lot of odds and sods with no discernible home. I found some incredibly similar to the one above in Laura Ashley, but didn't fancy the price tag - enter, Home Bargains! I picked this up for £2.99 and it's currently the perfect dumping ground for hair elastics and grips. 

I'm something of a lover of all things Swatch, and have 8 to my name at current. I didn't pick one up for a few years due to a bit of a lull in their designs - I like my watches ridiculous (no Marc Jacobs on these wrists), and their designs got a little boring for my tastes. Things have picked up though, and I got this eye wrecking number for my birthday. The model is Green Spell, and I'd definitely recommend checking out their current collections for something a little different (and usually quite affordable!).

And finally..
image - Amazon.co.uk

Not my own picture - mine's currently in several pieces in the dishwasher. But say hello to the Breville Active Blend, my favourite piece of kitchen equipment EVER. An individual blender which blends IN the the bottle - just pop in your fruit and/or veg, screw the blade on to the top of the bottle, dock and go. It's quick, it's powerful, it's INCREDIBLY easy to clean, and it makes it even easier for me to satisfy my smoothie addiction. My favourite combo is spinach, mango, pineapple and banana blended with water - full of vitamin goodness, and blending with water saves on the fat from milk (but the banana and mango still provide a delicious creaminess). This is frequently on offer and can be picked up for as little as £20! 

Apologies for the lengthy post, but there's just been too much worth raving about in the past month! Time to reign in the spending though - car related expenses aside (and a rapidly approaching holiday!), I hate to say it but.. Christmas is coming! Definitely not excited on anything. Nope. Surely not..

Ciao for now chums!