Tuesday, 28 October 2014

♥ My Unexplained and Extended Absence

I've really not had much time to myself lately - or at least time that I could use to sit down and write posts for you guys. I've hated not being able to blog but I've still been reading and liking posts through Bloglovin and keeping my makeup stash a little up to date.
I'm now in my second year of university and it's going pear shaped. It's so much harder than first year and I've been swamped with work since my very first day back, which was over a month ago now. Finally, I can breathe a little as it's Reading Week (and I've been using it to do exactly that) it seems a silly title, for an English student though - as I've already got through ten novels in the short amount of time I've been back in education. Two novels a week is not realistic to do week by week, though, so I am getting ahead of some the stuff I still have to do for first semester. There's also been one deadline, and a handful of presentations coming up in the coming weeks. So, yeah! That's why I've not been about. University is extremely hard work for me, as I have never been the brightest student. I have to put loads of effort into everything and make endless notes and I have to read so much that I don't feel I'm ever allowed a night off! I'm not really enjoying my second year at all compared to first year. I've kind of lost some interest and don't feel as though it'll be worthwhile or worth all the debt in the end, but I've made the decision to just stick it out and fingers crossed life will get a bit easier and sort itself out hopefully!

However, I do have some stuff to help me relax in the remainder of my week off - Russell Brands new book is so interesting and I am getting my head down and writing a few posts to lure me back into blogging as I do miss it loads!

How's university going for you guys? Are you drowning in work, the same as I am?! Hope you're all well!

Em x

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

♥ Autumn Reading

Nothing is better than curling up with a big blanket, cup of tea and a good book on a cold evening. While my university course already has a extremely lengthy reading list for me to tackle I think it's still really important to read something for entertainment, not education. These few titles are the ones I'm going to be absorbed into over the Autumn months and here are the reasons why.

The Time Travelers Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
I remember going to see this film years ago when it was released in cinemas and I loved it. I picked up this copy, that was published after the movie release, in a charity shop for a few quid. It's a little battered and I've been throwing it into my bag because it's a novel I'm focusing on this week for one of my modules at university. The book isn't anything I expected after watching the film. It's layout is tough and confusing at times and my lecturers argue over the genre of the book. Is it a romance or is it science fiction? I'd say its a good mix of the two. Henry and Clare's love is a strange one that can be difficult to wrap your head around and Henry's status as a time traveler definitely brings in science fiction! It's a good book - but it does require a bit of concentration and time. It's lengthy!

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned - Wells Tower
This is a collection of short stories, something I bought in relation to my short storied module. It's a collection of dark tales, a must read for anybody familiar with Angela Carter and her unique way of telling a story. They're condensed little snippets of various lives and this is something I'm learning to love with the module I've chosen. They're good for if you only have a little bit of spare time and excellent if you don't want to commit yourself to a novel or want to try something a little different. I picked this up on Amazon for the good old price of a penny, with a few quid postage, so it's definitely worth it!

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
The final instalment of The Hunger Games trilogy. Mockingjay: Part One is hitting cinemas this Autumn, so obviously it's time to re read the novel! The Hunger Games are my favourite books of all time because they're so different to the sort of books I would usually enjoy and so different to the type of novels I write. I'm not going to give away any spoilers in case you're a fan of the films but haven't ventured over to the novel companions, but these three books are so worth getting your hands on. They're phenomenal stories that delve much deeper than the movies do.

Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk 
Another reading I've been focusing on for university. It's a novel I absolutely love and the film is amazing too. I was chuffed to see this on my reading list and excited to delve a little deeper in the meaning and read it more closely for my studies. Palahniuk's writing style is so very different to anything else I've read and I always want to read something else of his afterwards, It's a little boyish, too, which is a nice change!

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
I picked this up last summer, unread, from a charity shop for £1.49. I was chuffed. I'd heard of the title before and it was a best seller and a thriller - two things I usually shy away from. With the movies recent release, it's something I really want to sink my teeth into. It's a story about Nick Dunne's missing wife, Amy. Nick is a prime suspect and with Amy's friends revealing that she was a scared of him, there's nothing to help his case. Ben Affleck stars in the movie and I'm sure it will be incredible, but I'm a believer in reading the book first so I really need to get started with this one!

Are any of these books taking your fancy, or should I be reaching for something else?

Em x

Friday, 3 October 2014

♥ My Beauty Essentials

Over the past year so I've really found myself loving certain products that can make a girls life a little easier. The products I'm going to tell you about are something I always have lying around, in multiples. They're the non-makeup products I couldn't really live without.

Nivea Extra Gentle Eye Make Up Remover
This is such a gentle product. I constantly wear liquid eyeliner and lashings of mascara and this soft liquid manages to remove it all with no fuss whatsoever. The area around your eyes is super delicate and after scrubbing my eyes red raw with make up wipes when I was younger, I've finally learnt to use safe and soft products so I don't damage the skin and end up looking worse for wear.

Nivea Hydro Care Lip Balm
This one isn't set in stone, but it's the lip balm I'm using at the moment. I've been wearing eye shadow much more recently, so my tinted Baby Lips create too much of a make up look so this colourless balm is perfect. I apply it constantly throughout the day and in the run up to winter a good lip balm is essential for making sure you don't end up with dry and chapped lips.

No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream
So, I cheated and this is a make up product, but I can't imagine not having it for those barely there days. It's perfect for those days when you don't want all the fuss of foundation and this, teamed with a good moisturiser is what I use on my face the majority of the time. The formula isn't too thick and it's easily worked into the skin. It's my go to base, for sure. It also has spf in it, so it's protecting your skin too!

Johnsons Cotton Buds
These are both a curse and a blessing of a product. They can do pretty much anything. Cleaning the fiddly parts of keyboards and mobile phones, but for me they're a saviour when fixing eye make up. With just a dab of make up remover on they can help eliminate any make up mistakes and I would surely be an angrier person if I didn't have them on hand!

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water
Garniers offering on the micellar front might just be everyone's favourite essential. It's constantly talked about and it's so much better for your skin that scrubbing off make up with rigid wipes or harsh soaps. I use this every single night and most mornings too, just to get my face feeling clean and fresh. When used with cotton pads, it's a brilliant way to get make up out of every pore and is super gentle so it's unlikely to leave your skin red and irritated.

Cutex Nourishing Nail Polish Remover
I must admit, I used to just pick off nail polish or use cheap nail polish removers, but nails are on show all of the time so it's best to look after them. This offering from Cutex has quite a milky colour and leaves nails looking clean and moisturised. It's only a little bottle too, and lasts ages so it's not a waste to invest in a good quality remover for your nails!

Are there any essentials I've missed that I should definitely be using? Let me know!

Em x

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