Sunday, 29 June 2014

♥ The Sunday Post #9

Today has been hectic to say the least. Yesterday my dad drove me (and all my belongings) back home to Birmingham as my stay in halls came to an end. Today was a chance for me to unpack and make my room pretty as I'm staying here for the next eight or nine weeks. We had so much rubbish building up in the spare room that I use when I'm here so it was a task to sort through everything and move my things in. I managed to go through an old wardrobe and now, after living out of a suitcase in all my other stints at home, I have somewhere to put everything. I finally have all my treats from Bali up, too, which is absolutely lovely!

It's been tough to know that I'll be away from the familiarity of Falmouth and all of my friends for so long, but I'm really excited to spend some time in the city and working!

Hope you're all well!

Em x

Thursday, 26 June 2014

♥ Beauty Bloggers Favourites #1

Ever since I became familiar with the bblogger sphere, there has always been one brand that shines out when it comes to high street make up. It is, of course, Rimmel London's dream team: the Wake Me Up foundation and concealer. The anti-fatigue formula of both products is something that pretty much everybody and her best friend has blogged about (or purchased) at some point. I remember a Zoella video I watched last summer when I spent my days off from work trawling through YouTube video's and I'm pretty sure it's Zoella and her beauty blog and YouTube channel that got me into the idea of blogging. Zoe went on about this concealer she used in order to eliminate her dark circles and brighten up her face of a morning and she always looked incredible so, obviously, I went out and purchased it to see what the hype was about.

I purchased the concealer for the first time nearly a year ago now and I have used it religiously ever since although 'm not sure which shade I have as it's rubbed off. If I have early mornings at work or university, it's my go-to product. It brightens up the eye area and is a simple little stick you can throw into your bag for touching up your face half way through the day. The foundation, however is something I've only recently bought. I've been reaching out to my liquid foundation and bb creams more frequently now the weather is warmer and the foundation is something I just had to try (and Superdrug had a £3 off promotion on it so I really could not resist)! The shade I bought is Soft Beige, which is a darker shade than I would usually purchase but my skin's a lot darker from my recent holiday.

The dewy, bright finish is absolutely perfect for summer and it really does brighten up the face.
Also, handy for summer, it has SPF built into the formula so it's a little extra protection for your fragile skin. Though if you're on holiday you should still use a high SPF sun cream on your face!

The only downside to this product is that the range has a limited selection when it comes to choosing a shade. Rimmel have recently released a few more shades to the collection but it is still limited to about four shades of concealer (three on the Rimmel website) and six shades in the foundation (only five on their website).

I dressed up the look by using Benefit's They're Real mascara, and the shades Fawn, Gild and Hazel from MUA's Undressed palette, Eyeko's Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Black and finished with a dusting of Maybelline's Matte Maker powder in Natural Beige.

Are you a fan of the Wake Me Up range?

Em x

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

♥ Beauty Shopping on a Budget

As a student, I'm always looking for a bargain. Superdrug is the beauty store that has never ever let me down. I don't think it ever will. I particularly love the cheaper brands they stock, unlike other beauty favourite, Boots. I'm an owner of both Superdrug and Boots advantage cards and for a really long time I shied away from using my Superdrug card. I just always thought I was getting better value with my Boots Advantage card (four points to each pound, compared to Superdrugs one point per pound spent) and therefore always bought my essentials from Boots. This was back when I had an income and wasn't half way into an overdraft and now that I am in this position, Superdrug has quickly become my go-to store. If like me you're on the look out for a bargain, watch out for 'clearance' items in Superdrug - with the yellow price tags that are hard to miss - I always manage to pick up something that they are about to discontinue for pennies!

The brands to look out for if you're makeup shopping on a budget are MUA, Beauty UK, Miss Sporty and Make Up Revolution. The latter is getting beauty bloggers all riled up at the minute. Due to their recent release of the Iconic palettes that seem to be exact dupes (in colour terms) of the Urban Decay Naked Palettes. It's something you're either going to love or hate and though it's subject to criticism - they are practically stealing UD's product - you can't argue that for someone on a budget it's a safe bet. Shelling out four quid for something similar is much better than paying the £37 Urban Decay ask for. If you love nail products, Miss Sporty is the counter to look at and the others have some brilliant things to offer like dupes of your favourite Nars blush or good eye brow kits.

There are still other alternatives, though. ASOS stock many high street and high end brands and offer student discount all year round. Topshop has a quickly growing beauty counter and also offer student discount (they double their discount at certain points in the year). Unidays offers a discount with Benefit cosmetics so you can shave a few pounds of your favourite luxury item. Debenhams stock all the beauty bloggers favourites like Urban Decay, Bobbi Brown, Illamasqua and Chanel and offer their own take on a buyers club in 'Beauty Club'.

So, there's still plenty of ways to grab a bargain when it comes to buying beauty items. If you know of any other offers available, share them in your comments below! Another thing to mention is that with my recent purchases from Superdrug, on the receipt has been a £5 off in Dorothy Perkins for any purchase over £25! If that's something you fancy, get shopping!

Em x

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

♥ Goodbye Halls!

When I moved to Cornwall from Birmingham, I had no idea I would be finishing the year with such a changed perspective and personality. Moving from a massive city to a tiny little seaside town was a big change and it's made me realise just how simple life can be. Halls wasn't the easiest, but university never promised it would be easy. The first weekend I moved in was a whirlwind. I remember my first night in the student bar on campus with Grace, a girl I had met during the interview stage, who is now my best friend down here. I remember my dad leaving to drive back home and crying his eyes out because it had all become so real. He was losing his little girl. He put a wad of cash into my hand and told me to be safe and enjoy myself. I did. I really, really did. My first year at Falmouth University has been incredible. From BBQ's on campus to days shopping with the girls in Truro and ciders on the beach... I've done things I never thought I'd get to do, and it's all been with the best bunch of people I could have asked for.

Living in halls hasn't been the most glamorous of things. We joked all year that our flat was cursed. We had a stoner who never associated with us and smoked in his room (who then vanished and we have no idea what happened to him)! We had a girl who struggled through the first term and never came back after Christmas. I had the joy of living with an international student, Ali, from Switzerland and that taught me a lot about food and snow sports. We ended up as a flat of four girls and one boy. Us girls got along just fine and I had the pleasure of making two brilliant friends in Tash and Daisy and I know I'll keep in touch with them over the next few years. We had movie nights where we'd transform the kitchen into our cinema and bake (then gorge on) chocolate cake together. It was an absolute pleasure to live with them.

I'm now the only person left in the flat and it's so surreal to be just living in a skeleton of the flat we made our home. My dad's driving down to pick me up and take me home this weekend and it does feel like it's the end of an era. I can't quite believe I made it, but it wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for the phenomenal people I'm on this journey with!

Now, I just have to tackle living with my best friends for a few years.... That can't be too hard, surely?!


Em x

Sunday, 22 June 2014

♥ The Sunday Post #8

This week I've been in Bali, Malaysia, London, Birmingham and Falmouth - and squeezed reading a book, getting a tattoo and going out to dinner and watching the England-Uruguay match all into the free time between this. It's safe to say I've been positively rushed off my little toes! It has, however, all been absolutely incredible!

On Monday morning we sadly jetted out of Bali to an eight hour stop over in Kuala Lumpur. The majority of the party ventured out into the city and had a look around but myself and Jo fell ill and spent our eight hours purchasing books (Mitch Albom's memoir, Tuesdays with Morrie is a definite must read!) and drinking coffee in Starbucks! It was really tough to get up at six, leave for the airport, have a three hour flight then stay in the airport for eight hours and then tackle another 12 hour flight and two hour journey home from Heathrow - but we did it. Just about. After getting home to Birmingham I went straight off and had another piece added to my leg. You can see my new tattoo here. The next morning, at seven, I was up and out again to get the coach back home to Falmouth! I've tried to chill out since I got back but I've picked up my results, had a tutorial to discuss my work and where to go with it to improve in second year, gone for a lovely meal in 'Shed' and gotten into a relationship!! It's been the craziest, most enjoyable few weeks of my life and I'm in such a positive, happy, place within my soul and head and heart right now!

My results for second semester where worth all the hard work. I managed to get all 2:1's in my three modules and I'm positive that with enough motivation and hard word I can start getting those firsts next year. I didn't expect to do that well at all so it was definitely a good surprise to open up my assessments!

Now, I'm going to spend my Sunday reading some more and having a BBQ with the bunch of us who are still on campus! Hope you're all having a wonderful day and enjoying the weather!

Em x

Friday, 20 June 2014

♥ Superdrug Splurge!

This week has been a truly hectic one, but I'll save all the boring long stuff for Sunday! Today, however, I've had a chance to just chill out and visit Falmouth in the sunshine and have a wander around the roads I've not travelled down. I came across a beautiful second hand book shop (I annoyingly didn't check the name of it) that had wooden boxes and shelves full of everything from books on the Red Arrows to collections of Milton's poetry. As a writer, it was some sort of gold mine for me and I purchased Irvine Welsh's Glue for £3 and a copy of The Hobbit for £4. I have my eyes on a boxed edition of The Lord Of The Rings set that the owner has and a beautiful and really old copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland! I know I'll certainly be going back there over the next few years.

Apart from these books, I wandered into Superdrug to pick up some Bepanthen for my new tattoo and obviously I ended up spending £15!

It included my first purchases from Superdrugs super cheap MUA. I went for their palette in Undressed which costs a tiny £4 and is a lot like the Urban Decay palettes. I ummed and ahhed over their matte palette but I think I can play about with this collection just that little bit more. Secondly, a girl I follow on Instagram posted her brand new luxe lip lacquer yesterday and I was in love with the colour and I knew the price would be incredible. It cost £3 and the colour, Kooky is a deep purple that supposedly dries matte. I'm so intrigued with this because I've only recently started pushing myself to wear colour on my lips and I wouldn't go near a gloss on the majority of occasions. Hopefully, this is a wonder product. I didn't realise this, but purple must have been on my mind because the new shade of Color Show polish I picked up is also purple: Purple Gem. It's not as dark as the lip lacquer and has a metallic sheen but Superdrug were offering a buy one get one half price deal on all Maybelline products so I just had to. The other product I got was their version of a matte powder. I got it in the Natural Beige shade, two shades darker than I'd usually go for, as my Bali tan is making all my foundation and powder transform me into a ghost! I bought this as a repurchase of my Rimmel 'Stay Matte' powder after I dropped and broke the lid and now can't carry it around with me! I'm sure it's just as good and Maybelline are my favourite drug store brand so I have high hopes. This ones a new release so I'll let you know how I get on with it, along with the other products too!

Have you tried any of these products? How did you get along with them?

Em x

Saturday, 14 June 2014

♥ Bali: Day Four

Yesterday we visited Monkey Forest in Ubud. It cost about £1.50 and we got to walk through a forest in which the monkeys live freely. There were temples and walk throughs that were just heaving with monkeys. Many of them were carrying their newborn and it was truly phenomenal to see. Throughout the walk you could buy bananas for the monkeys to eat but as soon as you did that monkeys would be jumping all over you to try and get them. They were all so tame and well behaved and only got irritable if their baby was interacting with you. My favourite bit about the day was just that although the monkeys may have stuck around because they knew that they would be fed by the tourists. They weren't under any obligation to stay. They were free and the staff made sure tourists were safe and they fed them too. 

It was a lovely day out and today we've just chilled by the pool as we spent so much money shopping yesterday! 

Thursday, 12 June 2014

♥ Bali: Day Three

Yesterday was the most phenomenal experience. We were up really early to be out by nine and we drove to the biggest Hindu Temple in Bali. We had the opportunity to pray with those who were worshipping and it was so humbling. You rub your hands together over incense and pick up flowers and they throw holy water over you and stick rice to you. It was really surreal to me as I'd been brought up as catholic. It was a new approach to worship and I found it really calming. We then got taken to lunch at a lovely buffet sort of place with a view of one of the volcanos. As we were leaving out guide showed us that they had a resident fruit bat and it was incredible to get to pet him. They're my favourite animals so I was so so excited! We then went for a drink in the old crater of the volcano, it was phenomenal!! 

At the end of the day we went to see a waterfall and there were loads of monkeys playing in the trees around it. We were all so tired and got to come back to the villa to steak night! Today we are off on a boat trip to snorkel and see a ship wreck and one of the beautiful beaches close by! 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

♥ Bali: Day Two

Day two in Bali has been super chilled out. After the long flight we spent the day sunbathing and swimming in the sea. It's now seven pm and were going to sit down to dinner soon. It amuses me how different the currency is here to how it is at home. I only changed two hundred pounds and have just under four million rupiah. It means I will constantly be checking the price of things through using my calculator on my phone! I don't have much to say about today other than the heat is insane. It's almost inevitable to go into the sea or pool because it's just that warm! I'm wearing so much factor fifty because I don't want to risk burning! Tomorrow we're off on a day tour of the island and visiting the temples is sure to be amazing! 

Monday, 9 June 2014

♥ Bali: Day One

It's half seven (pm) local time and half twelve, noon, back home in England. That means I've been awake a whopping 30 hours and spent the majority of those travelling... But two flights later and a long drive through Bali we are finally at the villa and waiting for dinner to be served - by the in house staff, of course. The temperature is a little concerning. It's very dark and very warm still but the house is all outside anyway. Our bedroom has a a shower outside and looks right out to the ocean. I'm sure tomorrow I'll get to post some incredible photos of the villa in the sunshine. 
I'm so beyond happy to have such an incredible friend around who's taken me on this once in a 
lifetime holiday with her family for her 21st birthday! 

Thursday, 5 June 2014

♥ Holiday Essentials

My childhood wasn't your average childhood. I know that many families never have the money to holiday every year, or every few years even, but my family used to go away a few times a year when I was a toddler. Then in 2002 my mom took terribly ill and spent six years in the hospital - much of which was unconscious and hooked up to life support. This meant we never had the chance to go away as a family again and now we only venture on caravan holidays in Cornwall where I now live. The first time I remember being on holiday is the treat of going to America (Florida and Disneyland!) with my dad's sister, as a treat for coping so well with everything we were going through. It was such an incredible trip and I'll never forget it. I was eleven years old and it wasn't until last year that I got invited away with my really good friend, Nathan, that I got to go abroad again. I was super lucky in that all I had to pay for was my flight and we were staying in a private villa, so I didn't end up very out of pocket!

This year, I've had the chance to go on another holiday of a lifetime with one of my best friends, Jo. She's celebrating her 21st birthday in July and her parents are whisking us off to Bali on Sunday and I couldn't be more excited.

Bali is in Indonesia and I can only imagine how hot it will be. I'm expecting it to be above thirty degrees every day and to come back with a really good tan so I suppose the heat will be worth it! That of course means loads of sun cream, moisturiser and aftersun!

My essentials doesn't consist of too much - loose tops, shorts and comfy shoes... But there are some other luxuries. The sunglasses pictured are going to be my saviour! I picked each pair up off Asos for around £12! I've purchased a travel pack of Nivea face wipes (£1.50 for seven in Superdrug) so I can treat my skin and take any makeup off before bed. I'll be taking Superdrugs own brand aftersun and using it very generously every day, along with their SPF 50 sun spray! My trusty E45 is also in my suitcase. There's not too much left and I'll probably use this in the mornings after I've showered! My iPod just has to come - along with a few books! The flight will be around sixteen hours so I need to keep myself occupied as i absolutely hate flying! In make up terms, though I'm taking my huge make up bag, I suppose I'll be quite bear for the most part. I'm relying on a little of my No 7 bb cream over suncream as it does have an SPF of 15, and it will just help cover any red blotches! My Scandaleyes mascara is also coming - I couldn't live without it.

I am, however, ditching the straighteners at home! I have a salt spray that I think I'll run through my hair of a morning just to give some volume as it definitely needs a break!

As I said, I'm beyond excited for this holiday and I'm certain I'll do loads of incredible things while I'm out there. There's wifi in our villa so I'm going to do my best to keep you updated!

Em x

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

♥ Topshop Holiday Haul

Sorry for the awful quality photo, but I just couldn't wait to get this post up! This morning I got the long awaited text from Topshop telling me my order was out for delivery and I couldn't have been more excited. Luckily, I have a hugely generous Dad who let me spend some money on his Burton's card (it's an Arcadia group store card) and I got myself a few goodies for my holiday. It all came in at £55 pounds after student discount and I'm surprised that I managed to grab so much for such a little price tag!

First up, is my first purchase from Topshop's make up counter. It's their powder blush in Do It Again and it's such a lovely peachy colour which I'm sure will work just perfectly with a tan and for a natural look in Bali's soaring temperatures.

Then there's a tight fitting white crop top. I went for all 12's in the tops because I get paranoid that they won't fit around boobs or will be just a little too tight - and when purchasing online I didn't want to get it wrong as I fly out in a few days and there would be no time to get them replaced. The tight crop top is a brave choice for me as I've never been too fond of showing off my stomach, but I hope to snag a plain maxi dress to team with this as a really simple summer look.

I then put two cropped cami's into my online basket. These two come in at £6 each or two for £10, so I chose one white and one black version. They fit so well and hang off the body - boobs - just right. They're loose fitting so they won't make you too warm.

I then bought two other crop tops (yep, a total of five all together!) that are loose fitting ribbed vests. I wanted these because I have similar versions from H&M which I purchased last year, but it seems I've lost my beloved grey one so I had to replace it! I bought these in black and grey and I know I'll be wearing them both all the time.

Finally, I felt I needed another bikini. Both for holiday and because I live in Cornwall so we escape to the beach whenever we have a warm, sunny day! I chose one of Topshop's mix and match sets, in the colour Flame Orange and I couldn't have been more shocked when I opened the bag up. It's the brightest orange I could ever imagine and I'm so excited to wear it. It's obvious that when it comes to my clothing I'm not too adventurous. I stick to my whites, greys, blues and blacks. This is something that's completely different to what I'd usually wear and I can not wait to strut around in it! The photo doesn't do the colour justice at all, but I'm sure I'll have photo's to show you all sooner or later!

I bought this all while Topshop had a free shipping on orders over £50 deal on, and while I'm not sure whether this is a permanent deal or not it's definitely worth checking out their website at the moment and you can get some great summer steals for really cheap prices. If you'd like to know which exact products I chose let me know and I'll send you in the right direction!

Em x

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

♥ My Best Friends Make Up Bag

My best friend is some sort of new beauty fiend. She's recently bagged herself a well paid job in the caring profession and she still lives at home which means she has masses of disposable income (lucky git)! She's come to visit me in Cornwall from Birmingham and I thought while I have the opportunity I'd document her must have beauty items!

Dior Addict Fluid Stick (Mirage)
This does have quite the price tag (£26), but she absolutely adores it! It's so pigmented and looks so creamy. It holds as well as a lipstick but has a glossy, liquid finish. When she purchased this she also got a few samples and says that all the colours hold really well and have such a nice finish to them. Definitely worth the money spent!

Fraulein3o8 Make Up Brushes
Like myself, Paige has never really seen sense in splashing out ten quid for one brush. She bagged the two shown and a few others in a collection off Amazon, and it cost only around £5. They have a few collections available so it's definitely worth checking out if you're hunting for a cheaper range of make up brushes!

No 7 Stay Perfect Foundation
This foundation creates such a flawless finish. It's like a second skin and i find No 7 products super blendable and there's always a shade true to your skin colour and tone. It's not the cheapest on the high street, but it's worth spending a few extra pennies on a brand like No 7!

Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in 113
I love this nude shade, but the finish isn't too great. Paige says: "It doesn't apply properly and has a really weird finish." It takes a good few times over to get the colour and when it does take, it's bitty and clings to flaky skin. It might be an idea to exfoliate lips before hand, but even with lips that seem completely fine, it just doesn't look good. It's a shame, the colour is beautiful and would look really good for a natural make up look!

YSL Touche Eclat 
Paige has been singing the praises of this product since she first picked it up. It's a bloggers favourite and holy grail of highlighters and I'm not surprised. It clears up dark circles a treat and it is great at creating a dewy, light finish. This product retails at around £25 and while I know it must be a treat and a really lovely product to own, I love my Wake Me Up Concealer far too much to ever let her persuade me to get this!

Do you ever have a rummage through your best friends make up bag? What are you jealous of?

Em x

Monday, 2 June 2014

♥ The (late) Sunday Post #7

This week has been a super busy one, which is my excuse for not posting! On Wednesday, my best friend, Paige, came down to Cornwall to visit me for a few days and before that I was rushing to get all my semester two work in for university. It's so strange to think that first year is all over now, but I still have a little time left in Cornwall before going home and working my ass off over summer so that I can crawl out of my overdraft before second year!

On Friday, I got the opportunity to head over to St.Ives! It was very busy because it was half term and the weather was really good which was a nice surprise. Paige and I did the typical sea-sidey type things like eat fish and chips on the sea front, play in the arcade and get matching bracelets! It was lovely to have such a chilled day with her - especially as we never get to spend much time together while I'm home as we both have such varied shift patterns!

Saturday was also a really clear, hot day! We went into town and I managed to get in a few bits and bobs for my holiday to Bali - this time next week i'll be there and I can barely contain my excitement! Other than that the Pendennis Cup was going on and there was going to be a Red Arrows show over Gylly beach, so we spent a few hours on the very, very busy beach and got to see the Red Arrows in their first performance of the season! It was such an incredible thing to get to see and if you ever get the opportunity to go and see them fly, do it! The tricks they can do, the speeds they go up to and the sheer beauty of it all was phenomenal.

All in all I had a really busy but incredible week! And summer is going to be just as amazing up until I go back to Birmingham at the end of the month. I have a few posts I'd like to get up before going off to Bali so keep your eyes peeled!

Em x

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