Monday, 25 August 2014

♥ How To: Pack The Essentials

By now I would hope that any of you off to university in September have a strong idea of what it is that you’ll be taking with you. It’s stressful to say the least. It can leave you panic stricken and worried. Having just moved back to Falmouth for the start of my second year, my packing skills have been refreshed – so I gathered it’s the perfect time to guide you along your own packing!
You’ll need loads of different sort of stuff from kitchenware to toiletries and depending on where you’ve opted to live it will be different. Details of everything included in Halls of Residence will be available online via the institutions website or they will have emailed you certain details about what is included. A lot of the time (or from my experience in halls) you’ll have televisions, a small social area, vacuum cleaners and furniture like a desk all included. You probably won’t be provided with bedding, though.
For the Kitchen:
·         A few pots and pans
   1 x frying pan
   1 x little saucepan
  1 x big saucepan
   2 x baking trays
·         Tea towels/oven gloves
·         Glasses and plates and bowls
·         Kitchen utensils and cutlery – tin openers, potato mashers, whisks, spatulas, tongs!
·         Kitchen cleaner – to keep the oven clean.
·         Sponges and washing up liquid. You’ll get through loads of sponges as they can turn pretty disgusting pretty quickly when five to seven or even eight people are all using them. Make sure you’re not the only one buying these things though!

For the bedroom:
·         Duvet and pillows
·         Duvet covers – at least two so you can wash them without being left without sheets
·         Lamp – we were provided with really good lighting so you might not know until you arrive.
·         Decorations – you’re likely to have a notice board and a lot of my friends put bunting up, or fairy lights and loads of photo’s of people from home up so it felt homely and like it was actually your space!
·         Storage. You’ll probably be on top of this. Under bed boxes are excellent to stash non-perishable food away. Things like tins and chocolate and crisps!

For the toilet:
·         Bleach
·         Toilet roll
·         Toilet cleaner
·         Toiletries like shampoo and shower gel.  Hand soap.

There are bound to be some things you won’t think of and will pick up along the way, and it can be hard to figure out what you’ll actually need when you’re so used to not having to think about it – mum takes care of everything at home so you don’t have to, right?!
Always try to get plates and pans that you can distinguish. Ikea do nice patterned kitchenware which will stand out and hopefully no one else will have the same – this will help you determine whether anyone is using your stuff and not cleaning up afterwards. Pots and pans are the same. If you don’t buy ones that are easy to tell apart, be equipped with a colourful Sharpie so you can mark up what is yours – then if anyone uses it and doesn’t clean afterwards you can give them an earful! I know you might not want to do this as to not create tension, but in my first year we ended up only having one boy in our flat and he would use our stuff and not wash up or he just wouldn’t wash up his own stuff. It got to January and we came back and he’d left his washing up for the entire Christmas break. It ended up being outside his bedroom door until around March and only after Easter he decided to chuck it away. Hopefully you won't have to deal with such a reluctant house mate and it should all be smooth sailing! 

If you have anything to add to this list or and queries, be sure to comment!

Em x

Saturday, 23 August 2014

❤️ First Impressions: Max Factor

After a hectic Tuesday at work I decided there was nothing I needed more to calm me down than a short browse through the beauty stands in my local Boots. I in no way needed any new make up at all, but I was desperate to spend my blues away and finally decided it was time to give Max Factor a try. I've never actually seen anyone rave about eur products, even though they insist that they're the 'make up of makeup artists'.... I don't think in anyway that's true but it is one of the more expensive brands on the high street p so I thought that maybe this would equate to higher quality. Hmm. We'll see.

The first thing that caught my eye was the swirls of two different products in ine bottle. The 
Skin Luminizer Foundation comes in a plastic bottle (no risk of breakages - perfect for travelling) and a pump that gives enough product to create a good base. The coverage seems decent alone, but I would still opt to use my usual bb cream and concealer with this one. I chose the shade Warm Almond but I feel I'll be putting this away for later in the year as it's a bit too pale at the moment. It seemed the perfect shade when i swatched in store, so I may have to start testing foundations in different places. Any ideas? I feel as though I'm in a desperate search to find my perfect liquid foundation as I always used Dream Matte Mousse through my teenage years and I feel like a perfect base will now come with a rather large price tag. I have no qualms with this foundation really. Apart from my bad judgement on which shade would be best suited for me the only other thing that puts me off is how thick this foundation is. For a liquid foundation, it wasn't as easily blended across the skin as my others. This may just be due to a cold temperature so I hope I can find a way to change this! I was also desperate to replace my mascaras. They've been in my makeup bag a little too long now and I really do need to get rid so I opted for the curved brush version of the 2000 Calorie Mascara. This was also more expensive than others I would usually go for on the high street - priced at around £10. I remember going through my mums make up bag and finding curved mascaras and so this was a nice little reminder of mum when she was healthier and still bothered with her appearance. The product is absolutely amazing and I know already after two uses that I'll repurchase. I may not purchase a curved brush version though this does help to dramatically lift up the lashes and give a nicer curve to them. The only downside is the smell of this. It's a little bit chemically and I never usually notice a scent to my mascaras so I was a bit shocked! It doesn't really hinder my overall opinion though and I can live with e scent for the duration of application! Finally, I had to get a nail varnish. I couldn't see anything else that caught my eye and there was a 3 for 2 promotion on Max Factor so I grabbed this for free anyway. The shade is a brilliant orange - Wild Vermilion it's called - and after falling in love with a nail polish just like it a few months ago I just could not say no. I think orange is a brilliant nail colour for me as my wardrobe is very dark and dull and autumn is coming up and orange will be a key colour. I haven't tried this as of yet but I have very high hopes for the colour it comes up and the lasting power it hopefully has! 

I'm really sorry for the lack of posts. I know I've been saying for a few weeks that it's going to change but now I'm free of work and able to blog a little more than I have been - despite the fact Tom and his housemates don't currently have wifi in the house! Nightmare! (I actually got out and went to mcdonalds for the wifi - sad!) 

Hope you're all well and let me know where I should be testing my foundations in order to find a better suited shade pleeeease!

Em x

Sunday, 17 August 2014

♥ The Sunday Post #15

This week has been a week filled with a little too much pain. Three tattoos. Four and a bit hours of needles dragging through my skin. It's not been fun. The outcome, however, is perfect. First up, a purple rose at the bottom of my sleeve. Then a beautiful fruit bat - bats are one of my favourite animals and after meeting (and playing with) a beautiful one in Indonesia this summer I just couldn't wait any longer to have a little one on me! Then, to celebrate the birth and death of my brother, Robert, I had his initial etched onto my skin forever. This is a tattoo I always knew I would have and the anniversary is this week so it was brilliant timing! This week will be good. Three shifts left at work and I'm moving back to Cornwall on Friday. It's sure to be stressful as anything, as I'm travelling down by coach and my dad isn't bringing down the majority of my belongings for another two weeks... But I'm truly desperate to start this year already so I'd rather the struggle than try and survive at home!

I've not really had a chance to follow anybody as I'm still at work full time, but change is coming, readers! I'll be back to normal this time next week - I promise! Keep coming back, you lovely people!

Em x

Thursday, 14 August 2014

♥ How To: Stationary Shop

My last university how to post was on how to cope with the utter stress that comes along with results day nerves. Now, for those of you who were hoping to go off to university in September, the day is almost over and if all went to plan you got the grades you needed to get into your chosen university. If that's the case for you I'm sending you a massive congratulations. University is so much fun and it's so lovely when you finally get into university life and end up in the place you wanted to be. If it didn't go as well as hoped, Clearing is open in Track on UCAS, and I'm sure you'll find a course and a university that's as suited for you as your first choice may have been. Do not panic. You'll be just fine. The UCAS website is full of help and if you really are at a loss for what to do speak to those who taught you, and know you best, at school or college to discuss your options... Either way, stationary is going to be a massive must-have for the next few years and as a hoarder of the stuff I know plenty of places you can go to - whatever your budget.

So here's my pick of the stash I'll be taking along with me this September, and where I got it!

Ring Binders - All £3 from Paperchase | Pink Cartoon Pencil Case - £5.50 Paperchase | Green Polka Dot Pencil Case - £3 Paperchase | Recycled A4 Notebook £3.50 Paperchase | Study Planner £7 Paperchase | A4 Spiral Hardback Notebook 99p B&M | 500 Coloured Index Stickers 50p Wilkinsons | Integral 16GB Flash Drive £7* Wilkinsons | Revision Cards £2.50 Paperchase | Stabilo Highlighters £5.99 Amazon | Bic Round Stic Pens £1 Poundland

The prices noted are the prices I paid at time of purchase, some stores may not stock the exact items listed or may not sell for the same price. The flash drive was on sale in Wilkinsons so if you're looking for one, they had a few on offer with a few cute different designs available. My favourite place to buy stationary is of course, Paperchase. Though for cheap refill pads, pens or plastic wallets, Poundland is just as good to go to. Index stickers are a life saver. They'll save the hassle of trying to find that quote you want to reference in an essay. They're super cheap and it's really easy to pick these up in the back to school sections of supermarkets. Loads of stationary shops will have back to school offers - so take advantage. Sainsbury's have a lovely stationary section at the moment, Emily mentioned on her blog that Tesco have reduced some brilliant Oxford Notebooks to just £2, Wilkinsons have a massive stationary range. Paperchase is good if you want cutesy, long lasting stationary but can be a bit hard on the wallet. They do however offer a student discount in store and online. 

Em x

Sunday, 10 August 2014

♥ The Sunday Post #14

I missed last weeks 'Sunday Post' and I felt so weird about it, so I'm really glad to be putting this weeks together. It's been another mad few weeks and this week I'm in work doing an almost nine to five working week. It's not going to be fun but it's my last chance to earn some money before heading back to the South West in less than two weeks time. This morning my dad picked me up and took me to a local shopping centre so I could pick up a few cheap bits and pieces as I won't really have another chance until I'm there. That little pink academic diary was an amazing little steal from Wilkinsons for just two pounds and it has a lovely soft pink cover and includes a year planner, exam board phone numbers, student funding phone numbers, important dates pages, notes pages and a pre made timetable! It'll be really helpful as it just a bog standard diary as well, but its lightweight and I know I'll have it in my bag every day. Along with that I got a few other bits and pieces which I'm going to write up a post on the things I bought for the start of the new academic year.

It's only four weeks until I move in with my best friends, Grace and Katelyn and I'm ridiculously excited for everything we're going to get up to. But yet, sorry for the lack of blogging, I've never been so busy and I'm not finding the time to get online at the moment but there's only a week or so left at work. It'll be going back to normal, very very soon. Thanks for sticking with me!

Em x

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

♥ The Scrub Of Your Life: Review

I recently posted of a recent splurge at Boots and The Scrub Of Your Life was among the things I had picked up. Costing a neat £7, it's not the cheapest body scrub on the market (though it isn't outrageously priced) but the girly pink packaging and rave reviews of every product Soap and Glory have ever made just about make it a must buy. S&G state on the packaging that it is 'the ultimate super-smoothing body buffer' that will give you silky smooth elbows and clear up dry shins... But is it really as good as it claims to be?

Yes! Definitely. Though the directions say to take a 'handful' of product, I wouldn't. Not only would that mean you'd only get a handful of uses out of the 200ml tube, but a little really does go a long way - as with any Soap and Glory product. I squeezed a generous amount of the clear, gel like formula into my hand then shut off the water and lathered up my whole entire body and could have done twice over. The little pink and white beads brighten up the gel and work amazingly at giving your skin a good scrub. Now, the scent of this doesn't really stand out to me. I much prefer the stronger scented body washes like Sugar Crush and Orangeasm, they linger on the skin a little longer and I did use a moisturising wash afterwards, just to soften up my skin even more. I like to use exfoliating gloves with any old body wash but teamed this with them and it's the best combination. You can pick them up anywhere - Boots, Superdrug, Poundlound. This pale blue pair were £1 in Wilkinsons and they had an impressive range of colours to choose from. I only plan to use this combination once or twice a week as I don't want to do any damage as skin is so delicate, and I'm pretty sure this will prolong the use of little tube of goodness. In between uses of this, however, I'm back to using the brands amazing Sugar Crush body wash.

Are there any other body scrubs I should be keeping an eye out for?

Em x

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

♥ Bringing You The Boots App

If you're an advantage card owner and don't have this on your iPhone, where have you been the past few weeks? Rather than the little machines in store that you can insert your Boots card into and discover nice little offers just for you through your little card, there is now a way to do it all without the actual need for physical vouchers or coupons. Instead, you can simply download the Boots App and load whichever offers you'd like onto your card and just by presenting the card, along with your shopping that qualifies for the offers, you'll save a bunch or earn yourself some extra points. It's a fabulous little offering from Boots as it combines a way to save money with an easy way to search for the products you might buy with the offers you have. The only downside, I feel, to the app is that the shopping feature seems a bit pointless as the offers all state that they can 'only be used in store', so if you were to buy products through the app which qualify for offers, you wouldn't be available to claim the offer. While this doesn't bother me at all, as I wouldn't buy my make up online and like to browse the aisles in store, I do think that changing this would be of great help to those of us who are brave enough and know enough to shop for beauty products online. Either way, this new app that gives you money off by simply clicking a few times is brilliant and I know it will be open every time I'm in store - just so I can save a few pennies!

Have you spotted used any offers you've picked on the Boots App? Let me know!

Em x

Saturday, 2 August 2014

♥ I Did A Bad Thing...

Despite having just been paid enough to get me almost out of my overdraft, after work today I decided it was time to treat myself after a very long while of simply not being able to. Though it felt good at the time, picking out all the new things I could try, I am now feeling tiny little pangs of regret and disappointment after knowing I was so close to being very nearly out of debt and now I'm still at the same old place. In the minus hundreds again and it must stop. Now. So I'm enforcing another spending ban and have no plans to treat myself until student loan day is upon us. Help! To help get me through until the end of September, though, I have all of this:

I had been lusting over orange lipsticks ever since all the Made In Chelsea girls pulled it off and I've wanted MAC's Morange for a few months, but after discovering the Boots App and getting a buy one get one half price offer on Seventeen - and them having a beautiful orange shade lipstick - I just couldn't resist any longer. The shade I chose was Make An Entrance and I seriously think I'll be wearing this for the rest of summer and right into the Autumn months! My second product to pair with it was the Tattoo Me 48 Liquid Eyeliner. It's described on the packaging as a 'semi-permanent' eyeliner and that seems quite the statement. After messing around with a tester and discovering the brush is flexible (just how I like them) I just had to. I've been using my Glam Eyes for over a year now and it's time to test the market. Next up, I wanted some sort of clay mask to give my face a breather and deep cleanse at the end of the week. I didn't end up with what I wanted but I did think I'd try Boots own Simple Sensitive Deep Cleansing Face Mask. I know this will be super gentle and won't be too harsh and hopefully it will leave me skin feeling soothed and zit free. I desperately needed new razors before I start shredding my legs and I couldn't part with the ten quid that a pack of cartridges costs, so instead I opted for a set of three Wilkinson Sword sensitive disposables. These will keep me hair free until I have a bit more money and were even cheaper than the cheaper brands Boots stock! My love for Soap and Glory products is peaking and when I found out they were releasing an orange scented body wash I knew I'd end up with it. After reading a few reviews I caved - even though my bottle of Sugar Crush isn't even half empty - and I seriously underestimated how good Orangegasm would smell. I can't wait to use it tonight! Also from S&G I bought The Scrub Of Your Life. I'll pair this with exfoliating gloves and give my skin a good scrub every couple of days. The scent is much more toned down than the new body wash but I know I'll still smell great after using this. Lastly, I repurchased the Mist You Madly body spray after not having any for a few months. I really missed how easy it is to just chuck in the bottom of your handbag and spritz yourself throughout the day. Can't wait to start this bottle! Finally, after using a Dove body wash at my boyfriends the other week, I bought a bottle as it was only £1.20 (on offer) in Boots.  I bought the plum scented 'rebalance' wash and I know these are super moisturising so it'll be a good change for my skin to use this regularly!

Em x

Friday, 1 August 2014

♥ Disappointing Products #1

Some products just don't work for certain people. It could be down to skin tone or application or whether or not you have an oily complexion and these three products are three that just haven't worked for me. 

With my concealer I like a wand applicator for precise application and just enough product. This Match Perfection offering from Rimmel comes within a squeezable tube and while they market the concealer as having a 'soft precision brush' I just do not like it. I either get too little or too much product coming out and this means loads of wastage or looking paler than I'd like. The formula is good, though I wouldn't use it as a highlighter, which is another suggested use. Sadly, this product has stopped me from looking others in the range and I'll be sticking to my Wake Me Up dream team! Now, Soap and Glory are one of my favourite brands ever and I love treating myself to something from their range. Hocus Focus was my very first Soap and Glory make up collection item and it's stopped me from going back for more, no matter how much people go on about their products. This 'illuminator' 'flaw softening' 'highlighter' was just not good enough. I've used it a few times (and lost a lot of product after it exploding during my flight to Bali earlier in the summer) and I just haven't ever thought that this is what I need to make my face a little bit better. I imagined this would give me a long lasting, dewy, radiant look but I just feel as though it's a layer of product I can always go without. Plus, the bottle broke so no thank you! The Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner wasn't too much of a disappointment, to be honest. It came free with an issue of Glamour so I didn't waste any money on it and I already knew I wasn't too great at applying liquid liner when it's in the form of a pen... So there aren't any hard feelings with this one at all. It could be a great product if you like the applicator. But I hate it, so this will probably be dished out to a lucky friend, along with the other two products!

Have these products worked for you, and am I just using them the wrong way? Help!

Em x

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