Nails Inc Porchester Square

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Nails Inc- Porchester Square

When in doubt and I don't know what nail colour to wear, this is always my 'go to' polish. Porchester Square is a beautiful nude colour its definitely a greige with a hint of lavender. It compliments any outfit and I think it would flatter any skin tone. I'm a big fan of Nails Inc polishes, my collection consists mostly of them. The formula always applies smoothly and doesn't streak. It takes two coats to become opaque and with a good base and top coat I can easily get up to 4/5 days without major chipping. Out of all the polishes I own this definitely receives the most compliments. Have you tried this?

Eye, eye.

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For a long time now I've loved jewellery which has an evil eye charm or motif. The daintier and more subtle the piece the better. It's perfect for layering with friendship bracelets and bangles or wearing on it's own. The evil eye theme 'trend' (I hate the word trend but lets just go with it) began hitting the fashion scene a couple years ago around 2012, and hasn't seemed to have gone anywhere since. I predict this summer it will be even bigger.

These are some of my pieces I have acquired over the last couple years. One of my favourite pieces being the gold bangle by Ottoman Hands which was a Christmas gift from a dear friend. Another favourite is the silver link bracelet which was gift bought back from a holiday in Morocco. The rest of the jewellery was bought from the good ol' British high street. Retailers such as Urban Outfitters, Topshop, Accessorize and Asos are great places to find affordable pieces.

Life after University

I like to call the time after University or education 'limbo land'. For many of us it's a time when we feel lost, anxious and more stressed than ever before. Now, society has filled our generation with so many lies and empty promises (don't even get me started on prince charming!) the biggest one being 'if you want a good job you must go to university'. This may have been true decades ago but right now, getting any job after Uni is a struggle let alone a 'good' job. I just wanted to write this post to not only rant about how I'm feeling but to let you know that we all are going through the same.

I'm completely aware this photo has nothing to do with this post, but I really could do with a cake right about now. 

Like many of my friends and people my age, I'm working in the same job I worked at whilst at university. Which is not where I thought I'd be after Uni. I remember when I was younger and being twenty-something meant you were a proper adult and sounded so mature. Now that I am twenty-something and so are my friends, I find we're all just fumbling around, bumping into each other trying to find out where the free food is. Maybe that's the problem? Maybe we focus too much on age and time. Especially as women I feel society puts age limits on everything such as being married by a certain age and having kids by another age. It can be very overwhelming and probably the reason anxiety issues are on the up for women in their 20's. I'm someone who's always been a little anxious but feel that recently its been getting worse. So let's all take a nice deep breath *EXHALE*. I feel like I went off on a tangent there, but what I want to say is, try not to panic or stress about what the future holds. Most of us are not in the place we thought we'd be after graduating. Maybe take the time to relax a little bit as this is probably the first time in ages where you don't have to worry about exams and assignments. I panic too much, and I feel that only makes me make irrational decisions. I have to remind myself to stop and just breathe every now and again.

If I could go back to a younger me, and give some advice this would be it.

  • Stop comparing yourself to others. So what if your not the person who has a graduate job straight after uni. Take some time for you and figure out what you want. In the age we live in now, where its so much easier to keep in contact with others, thanks to social media. Its so easy to compare yourself to what others are doing or achieving. Try and stop that, it won't benefit anyone. 
  • There will be many tears, heartbreak and frustration along the way and that's OK because you can learn from it. If it was a terrible interview just try and think of ways you can improve next time. I had a very awkward encounter with a door at one interview and now I know, when it reads pull you have to pull! However hard you push!
  • Most importantly when you hear the response "we're going to go with someone with more experience" or "you don't have enough experience" and you didn't completely lose your shit there and then. Give yourself a cookie because we all know how tempting it is to scream down the phone "where am I supposed to get experience if no-one will give me experience!!!"

Ultimately I don't know what the future holds for us all in generation Y. We seem to be forgotten. I won't end by typing 'you will get there eventually'. As I know how patronising that sounds, and whenever I hear that I want to scream "HOW?! how can you possibly know!?" But when in doubt lets all just watch Frozen and sing about building a snowman.

I will link this fabulous article by The Guardian which I love, and THIS blog This blog I think we should all read and need to read no matter what our age or career.

I'd love to hear some of your experiences or advice in the comments.

Stila One Step Correct

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When I first saw this product my initial reaction was 'what the heck?' the triple swirl helix design completely lured me in. Even now I can just sit and stare at this thing for ages, I have no idea why. Anyway, the Stila One Step Correct is a 'skin tone correcting, brightening serum'. It is meant to be used under make up as a primer, the three different colours work together to even out your complexion. Green to minimise redness, lavender to counteract sallowness and peach to help brighten and illuminate. Honestly, I was worried the packaging design may make this a gimmick and not live up to the bold claims it states.

Stila One Step Correct
After moisturising I use one small pump for my whole face, it absorbs easily into the skin and doesn't feel tacky or sticky. It instantly feels hydrating, refreshing and makes me look more awake. This primer is ideal if you have any scaring or angry breakouts as it does help neutralise the redness. It did help to control any oil in my t-zone and over all balance the skin. To conclude, this is not a gimmicky product and does indeed do what it claims to on the box. A good all rounder that I think most skin types can benefit from.

What do you look for in a good primer?

Currently Loving... Mixing and Matching Rings

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Its all about stacks and stacks of rings on rings on rings.

I am currently loving mixing and matching rings, mixing all different types of metals and different styles. Stacking rings can be a bit daunting for some, how many is too many? Where do you stack them? Do they need to match?  So I just want to say that I don't think there are any rules with jewellery any more. Feel free to wear as many or as little as you like and I personally love mixing metals. Think Phoebe from friends.
  • Start by placing rings at different sections of your fingers, at the base and the knuckle. 
  • Experiment with different widths, for example a thick wide ring mixed with a few dainty rings.
  • Different shapes can create an edgier look.
  • Spread the rings on all five fingers with similar styles on each finger.
  • Add a few statement rings with plain bands.

Basically, whatever you feel like. Get experimenting. H&M are a great place to pick up some affordable sets. I got this set of gold dainty rings in different sizes to wear on the thumb, and above the knuckle for £3.99. Topshop and Asos are another great place to pick up mixed ring sets. 

Do you like stacking rings or do you prefer keeping it simple?

The La Roche Posay Duo That's Saving My Skin

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Apologies for the long and dramatic title, but I guess you know what your getting yourself into. I've been using these products together and they have helped my skin get back to 'normal'.
La Roche-Posay Efficlar H and Efficlar Duo

Now I'm sure you have heard about the Effaclar Duo already, dubbed a 'skincare saviour' by many bloggers and I can see why. I have mentioned this product before on my blog but just in-case you missed it, its basically more than just your usual spot treatment. You can use this all over the face, however if your in the US check the formula as I'm sure the US version is stronger and meant to be used a targetted treatment. It unclogs pores, helps prevent blemishes from appearing as-well as treating current blemishes. This product gets rid of any dry skin cells and leaves skin looking and feeling smoother. I've been using this where I need it, mainly in the t-zone and have seen a dramatic difference in breakouts. It is not too drying but has helped with the amount of sebum produced.

After using the Effaclar Duo, I moisturise as normal. The moisturiser I have been using is another from the Effaclar range but this time its the Effaclar H Multi-Compensating Soothing Moisturiser. I was attracted to this moisturiser as it is created towards oily skin. In particular oily skin which has been over dried through using products which have been too harsh. For example foaming cleansers. This product acts differently than other moisturisers which are made for over dried skin. Whereas others can be slightly overwhelming for oily skin, this is lightweight yet still manages to hydrate effectively. It also helps to soothe any redness or blemishes. This product can be used in the morning or at night. On non make up days I use this during the day, however I mainly stick to using this at night.

Are you a fan of La Roche-Posay?

It Definitely Was a 10!

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I found this bottle of It's a 10 Miracle Leave In Conditioner Plus Keratin in TK Maxx, when I saw it I knew it was going home with me. After hearing so much about this from over the pond I was eager to try it. Since then I have completely used this up and thought I'd share my views.

It's a 10 Miracle Leave In Conditioner Plus Keratin

This product promises the world, so many claims including de-tangling, de-frizzing, protecting against heat and adding shine. I used this mainly on damp hair, sprayed it liberally through my hair and combed through. It definitely helped to de-tangle any knots. I used this both before air-drying my hair and blow drying my hair. I noticed after air drying my hair was considerably less frizzy and still had a lot of shine. When used after blow drying my hair felt softer and was a lot more manageable. This is a great all round product as it contains a heat protectant and helps to save precious time by just using this one bottle. The scent is very pleasant and lasts for a while in the hair.

During in-between washes this product helped to restore life and shine back into my dry ends. I just wish this was more readily available in the UK. I will continue to search my local TK Maxx for more stock but until then I will have to wait. If you are in the UK the Pantene BB cream for hair is a good alternative for this, I will link my review to that here.

Have you tried any It's a 10 products?

Sinful Colors

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Sinful Colors have been available in the UK for a while now. They are incredibly affordable and have a wide range of colours. A great stand to search for dupes of more expensive brands and shades. Below are 2 of my most used shades.
Sinful Colors- £1.99
The first polish is hard to photograph and I don't think it does it justice on camera. However, Let Me Go is a lovely duo-chrome shade which I often use as a topcoat over darker shades. By doing so it adds dimension to an ordinary black or dark navy. It can be used on its own. A great polish to add to your collection.

Island Coral is a gorgeous coral colour with a cream finish, it is more of a salmon pink coral rather than an orange based coral. Quite a good dupe for Butter London's Trout Pout. The application was smooth and opaque after a couple coats. It dries quickly and lasts on the nails for a good few days with a decent base and topcoat. For the price it can't be faltered and definitely worth a try this spring.

Are you a fan of Sinful Colors?

Aveda Travel Size Treasures

Who doesn't love travel size products? Not only are they oh so cute, but they are a good way to test out a product before committing to a full size. Aveda is a brand I've been using for a few years now. I love their products and I admire their ethos. One of the reasons I keep going back to Aveda is because the staff are always so friendly and very knowledgeable. They never pressure me to buy and make shopping very comfortable. The complimentary tea always goes down a treat.
Aveda Travel Size Products

These are three of my favourite travel size products. The Smoothing Body polish is the perfect size for a few days away. The scent is very refreshing and the gentle scrub is easy to use and fuss free. The tube packaging is a lot easier to use and travel with rather than a tub. My skin is left silky smooth after using this product and will continue to repurchase this for trips away.

The Sun Care hair and body cleanser is one of those rare products which actually work for both hair and body. I take this on holiday with me and it is effective in removing chlorine and salt build up in hair and on the body. The cleanser lathers well and washes out easily, it also has a tropical scent. Aveda uses quality organic ingredients which I admire and wish more brands would. If your planning on going away this summer I'd recommend taking this with you and using it after a day in the pool or by the beach.

Lastly, the Pure Abundance Style Prep is a product which claims to add weightless volume in hair which feels naturally yours. I have fine hair and find this works particularly well for me as it does not weigh my hair down. Aveda claim that this can add volume on non shampoo days, it does help to add volume when my hair begins to look limp and lifeless. However I use it in conjunction with a dry shampoo. I prefer to use this on damp hair as it helps to de-tangle my hair. I will be buying the full size of this and keep this little bottle in my handbag.

Are you a fan of Aveda like I am?

Antipodes Divine Face Oil Organic Avocado Oil and Rosehip

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You can tell by the packaging this is a well loved product. The Antipodes Divine Face Oil is a great oil for a quick pick me up. As it is by Antipodes the ingredients are very impressive and one of the main reasons I decided to give this a try.

Antipodes Divine Face Oil - £18.99

During what felt like the longest winter ever this really saved my skin. I have combination skin which due to the weather and central heating made my skin really oily in some parts and dry in others. It felt and looked terrible. I started using this a couple times a week as part of my night time skin routine. The texture is that of a very rich oil, yet thin, only a couple drops from the pipette is enough for the whole face and neck. I make sure to spend time messaging this into my skin, it does take a short while for the oil to absorb. In the morning I noticed that my skin definitely looked more plump, after a few days of using it I noticed my skin feeling more balanced. The dry patches had been significantly reduced. In the mornings I even used a little of this on dry areas and it did not accentuate any oiliness throughout the day.
Now, the most impressive thing about this face oil is when I used it on severe breakouts. I applied this on my breakouts nightly and it helped to soothe them and reduce the redness. Normally when I breakout I am left with an angry scar afterwards, however I think this oil helped with scaring. I continue to use this now as the Rose-hip in this oil is helping with previous scarring. I definitely think this oil is worth the price and I have tried many other, more expensive oils which haven't impressed me as much as this has. I would recommend this for most skin types but especially dehydrated skin. This is the first product by Antipodes I have tried, judging by this I will be trying more.

Have you tried anything from Antipodes?

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm

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I don't know where to begin with this product? I simply adore it, which is a shocker as I normally steer clear of Clinique skincare. Their make-up I love, especially the mascaras. I had racked up a fair few Boots advantage points and knew this is what I wanted. After multiple trips to the Clinique counter without any success I began stalking the Boots website. On a rainy Sunday morning months ago I saw it was back in stock, quickly bought with my points and collected from the store the next day.
Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm
I could not wait to try the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm. When I first tried it I was surprised by the texture, it looks like lard but as soon as it makes contact with the skin it melts into a luxurious oil. Since then I have been using it morning and night. I spend time massaging this gently onto my face and neck, it easily washes off with a damp flannel. Leaving my skin so soft and clean without any film or greasy residue. The main difference with this cleanser is that it leaves my skin feeling more nourished afterwards. This cleansing balm contains no fragrance or mineral oil so it should be suitable for every skin type. If you're a little wary about trying a cleansing balm this is a good one to start with as it is a no nonsense product. A little goes a long way with this cleanser, even though I tend to use a little too much. It effectively melts away make-up, even waterproof products, perfect for a double cleanse. There is nothing about this product I would change and I think everyone should try it. Judging by how hard it is to get hold of I think everyone is.

Are you a fan of cleansing balms? Have you tried this one?

Manicure Monday's - Spring Nail Polish Picks

So yesterday for many of us, and certainly here in the Midlands, the sun came out with his hat on and everything. It finally felt like spring had sprung. In anticipation for spring I raided my nail polish arsenal for some top spring polish picks.

  1. First up is Essie Mint Candy Apple, everyone seems to love this shade and I can see why. It suits every skin tone and the Essie formula makes it easy to apply. A spring/summer staple.
  2. Second is one that I have repurchased 3 times! Rimmel London Rose Libertine is a beautiful rose colour, this shade is timeless and I find myself staring at my nails a lot when I wear this. The Formula really does dry fast and is a bargain polish. 
  3. Peach Melba by Barry M, I bought on a whim when looking for the perfect peach shade. I wasn't sure how this would look on me but its quite flattering, not too orange or pink based. Makes a nice change from all the dark colours I've been wearing recently.
  4. This is probably my most worn polish out of all the ones I own. Topshop Parma Violet is a beautiful lilac colour that screams spring! I'm very impressed with Topshop polishes, the formula applies well with minimal streaking and the finish is very shiny. I have this on my nails right now. 
  5. Lastly, another Essie, this time its Lapiz of Luxury. Over time I have accumulated a lot of cornflower blue shades but this one is my favourite. Its a lovely fresh blue shade with a hint of lilac and has a crème finish. I have found a dupe for this, Rimmel London Pro in Aqua Cool is very similar and also comes with a wide brush. Making application quick and mess free. 
Are you excited for spring? What are some of your nail polish picks?

International Women's Day

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"We should all be feminists" — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Right now I just feel like taking to the keyboard and write all the things I'm feeling. So that's what I'm going to do. I'm sure you are all aware that tomorrow is International Women's day, a time to celebrate, reflect and educate. We are young women of the millennial generation yet still suffer inequalities. There is the constant question of are we doing enough to change the societal norms which lead to the discrimination of women? 

I saw a tweet this morning by Becky from Milk Bubble Tea (@milkbubbletea) she addressed a particularly nasty comment left by a reader. From her tweet its obvious it made her feel pretty rubbish, the comment in question was regarding her physique. This made me feel sad, now I'm sure for every nasty comment bloggers such as Becky receive there are many more nice ones. However I still find it bizarre and strange that someone, in this case another woman, would go out of their way to say something, or type something so horrible. We need to learn to respect and be nice to one another, it sounds so simple yet strange to say in 2014. It sounds so cliché but if more people gave compliments to one another instead of tearing each other apart just imagine what we could achieve. Women supporting other women. We have enough to deal with on a day to day basis such as inequalities in pay and the workplace or even finding work for that matter, tearing each other apart is not helping but setting us back years. For years we have addressed the issue of men treating us inadequately and we need to start addressing our fellow young women and teaching them to treat each other with respect. Less emphasis should be made of how we look and more of what we can or have achieved. 

I'm 23, and can be painfully shy in many situations. I'm definitely a wallflower and doubt you would even notice me in a room full of people. But that doesn't mean I'm any less of a strong person than the girl who is louder and has more of a presence. My point is, and the point of my blog is to feel good about yourself. Your quiet confidence will shine through. I meet and see so many young girls who are trying to be like everybody else, and anybody else rather than themselves. This is probably why we feel like we should make fun of the one who is slightly different. Or the one who has everything you think you want, so you type or say something to make them feel bad. I just want you to know that it's OK if you don't look like everyone else. Or if you don't like the same music or style as everyone else. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”- Oscar Wilde. If everyone was the same just imagine how boring life would be.

My main aim with this post is just to let fellow young women know that we should be supporting each other. If we can't support or respect each other how can we expect men to do the same? If we keep pointing out physical differences in each other how can we expect to be seen as anything else but physical objects? In order to grow we need to change, I urge you to give out more compliments. Compliments you mean. If you really like something someone has done, wore, shared, made etc. tell them. It will make them feel good and you feel good.

Body Shop- Aloe Lip Care

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Over the last few weeks my lips have been so sore and chapped. I have no idea why, they've never been so bad. None of my usual lip treatments were working, I even repurchased Nuxe Reve De Miel in stick form to use on the go but even that wasn't working. I popped into body shop to repurchase the mango body butter and get a couple new items to try, one of which was the Aloe Lip Care. I was intrigued by this as it is aimed at sensitive skin and that's exactly how my lips were feeling.

Body Shop Aloe Lip Care £5

I applied this as soon as I got home, I was initially worried this would have the distinctive aloe scent but it's not the case with this lip balm. One of the first things that surprised me with this balm is the lasting power on my lips, it lasted a good few hours. Unlike most lip balms which disappear after a few minutes leaving your lips just as parched as before.  My lips felt so soft afterwards, softer than they've felt in weeks. The soreness had dramatically been reduced and my lips felt calm. I've been using this at night after using a lip scrub and in the morning the results are clearly visible. This has definitely sorted out my chapped sore lips. The Body Shop always have irresistible offers on their products so I recommend giving this a try. 

I have been loving The Body Shop lately and have a few more products coming up. What are some of your Body Shop favourites?

Skincare For Blemish Prone Skin

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There are endless magazine articles and advertising campaigns misinforming us about the needs of blemish prone skin. Some products targeted at oily skin types actually are doing worse for the skin leaving it stripped of moisture. I'm going to start off by saying oily skin needs to be moisturised too and you shouldn't look for a squeaky clean feeling after cleaning. Below are some skincare products which will work well for blemish prone skin, and any skin type really, any age can use these also.

I like to use this Una Brennan Superfacialist Tea Flower cleansing wash, it contains salicylic acid to treat difficult skin. It is a lightweight gel cleanser which when rubbed into the skin, easily washes off with a muslin cloth. This product leaves skin feeling clean yet not tight or stripped of all moisture. Not the best at removing make up though. I use this whenever my skin is looking unbalanced, and leaves my skin looking and feeling fresher.

Spot Treatment
I enjoy using this spot treatment by lush. Grease Lightning is a clear gel which targets breakouts. It is gentle yet effective. The treatment takes the swelling out of blemishes without completely drying out the surrounding skin, leaving it flaky. Works well under make up during the day as well as overnight. You get a good amount of product for the price and lasts ages.

You can use the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo as an all over facial treatment or just in the t-zone. It is non sticky, non drying and light. It not only unclogs and purifies pores but helps with future and existing breakouts. This product gets rid of dry skin cells helping skin look clearer and softer. Can be used night or day and works well under make-up. The Effaclar Duo helps to control excess sebum production and is definitely worth trying if you have oily or blemish prone skin.

There are a few moisturisers which are suitable for a oily skin, I'm a big fan of the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat. However I have fallen for the Vichy Normaderm Total Mat anti shine gel. I have repurchased this twice. The first was during the heatwave last year when I was desperate for an effective matte moisturiser. This product is very light weight, fresh feeling and absorbs quickly into the skin. It leaves skin matte and has a blotting effect. During the heatwave it kept my skin shine free and dry to the touch, and removed any oil or sebum. This product is also paraben free. I have noticed that on the Escentual website there is a new and improved version to this, if the original is anything to go by it's definately worth a try.

What are some of your recommendations for blemish prone skin?

Korres Wild Rose

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When it comes to moisturisers I can be quite picky. I make sure to check the ingredients before I buy one and prefer to do a little research before I invest. Korres products always have the best ingredients and are free from parabens, silicones, mineral oil, and other nasties. Therefore I kinda knew I was onto a winner.

Korres Wild Rose 24 hour Moisturising Brightening Cream (£20) Korres Wild Rose eye cream (£20)

We'll start with the Korres Wild Rose 24 hour Moisturising Brightening Cream, the packaging states it is aimed at normal to dry skin. I have more combination skin yet did not find this too heavy or greasy feeling. It provides good hydration and adds a subtle glow to the skin. It would be hydrating enough for most skin types without being too rich for oilier skins. It is perfect for this time of the year when skin can look dull, as it gives skin the boost it needs as well as balancing and brightening at the same time. I have completely used this pot up and will definitely be ordering another one. However they do sell one aimed at more combination skin so I might give that a try. For the price bracket this is one of the best moisturisers out there. 

The Korres Wild Rose eye cream I simply adore. Firstly, because it contains an SPF 15. More eye creams should contain SPF, it seems obvious, but still there are not that many on the market. This product applies smoothly and absorbs quickly which means no dragging around the eye area, it can be easily patted in. I have found that out of all of the eye creams I have tried this is the most moisturising without feeing too rich or greasy. The packaging is perfect, I much prefer a tube rather than a tub as it is much more hygienic. I think this would be perfect for someone in their early 20's or someone just starting out with eye creams. 

Have you tried any Korres products?

Manicure Mondays- Essie Eternal Optimist

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This weeks Manicure Monday is going to be centred around one of my favourite polishes. I haven't heard much buzz about Essie's eternal optimist, bought from the diffusion line in Boots it has quickly become my 'go to' colour to wear.

Essie Eternal Optimist - £7.99
I would describe it as a dusky rose nude shade. It's a little more pink than the average nude but still a nude. On the nails it looks sophisticated yet effortless. This shade will complement any skin tone. I'm a big fan of Essie and the wide brushes they use, it applies easily and only took 2 coats and has a cream finish. I think this shade is good all year round, but particularly in spring. Especially if you want something a little different than the typical pastel colours.

Have you tried Essie polishes? If so what's your favourite shade.
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