Lazy Girls Guide to - Back to School Wardrobe

Many of you might be starting college or university in the upcoming weeks. If you wore a uniform throughout school, the thought of wearing your own clothes may make you very happy indeed. I was so excited to be able to wear what I want that I went out and bought a heap of new stuff. However I made the mistake of buying too many pieces which were either too bright, bold or just plain noticeable if worn more than once that week. The initial joy also wore off after a few weeks as the very early starts and laziness started to draw in. I just couldn't wake up early enough to plan my outfits. So here are some tips for a 'Back to School Wardrobe' full of basic pieces you can mix and match. Even if in your school, college or university your already wearing non uniform you could find some tips to save money, and time thinking about what to wear.

I always think that people look their best in Autumn. The layering, mixing different patterns and textures makes for much more interesting outfits. For effective layering make the most of the basics in your wardrobe, after all they provide the basis for every outfit.

A Good Pair of Jeans
A staple in any wardrobe, you may already have a pair you love or are still looking. I personally love the Topshop Jamie jeans. They are ankle grazers which are slightly high-waisted and look ever so flattering. I would suggest investing in one good pair you feel really comfortable in. My next tip would be to pick a pair which are a classic wash or colour, whether that be navy, or black. That way you can interchange it easily and no-one will be able to tell if you wear them a couple days in a row. Do I regret paying all that money in college for the pair with the obvious pattern on the back pockets? Oh yeah, those babies were not worth it.

Very important when it comes to layering. Every season I like to freshen up my wardrobe with a couple new tees. Those white V necks don't stay crisp white forever. I find ASOS is a good place to search for some. Not only do they sell various brands but they also sell 2 packs with many different colour options. A classic white tee and blue jeans never go out of style. So for the days where you wake up a little too late, you can always go back to basics.

I love Autumn and Winter because you get to wear boots! I wear them pretty much all year round but I guess they're much more socially acceptable in the colder months. My tip with boots would be to get a pair which are comfortable and that you can walk in. I personally don't tend to buy cheap shoes as I think some can be bad for your feet and posture. If you invest in a pair which are classic and comfy they will last for ages. I am a big fan of chelsea boots, they go with everything whether its jeans or a skirt, I did a whole post dedicated to them. Try a few different pairs on before choosing.

The Denim Shirt
Oh how I love a denim shirt, I love that they are so versatile and come in many different shades and styles. They are also great for layering, whether it is over a tee or vest or even under jumpers or cardigans. You can find them in many stores for a range of different prices and fits. I love the oversize, boyfriend shirts as they are so comfortable and look good with a pair of printed leggings.

Accessories are where you can really experiment with your outfits. The high street is a great place for jewellery, Topshop have a fantastic range and well worth the look. Accessories can really transform an outfit. Take the simple grey tee for example, whack on a statement necklace from Zara and a denim shirt and you have a completely new look to that basic grey tee. The Z by Accessorize line is a personal favourite if you prefer daintier pieces.

With Autumn comes great knitwear. I know sometimes knitwear can be expensive, but if you look after them they will last season after season. With certain 'trend' pieces I would recommend places like New Look, they are affordable and up to date. But for a classic knit, then Zara is definitely the place to go.

And there you have it, the lazy girls guide to autumn basics. What will you be wearing this Autumn?

I've Been Thinking...

This is a post I've been wanting to write for a long time now but just couldn't find the words or thought it wasn't good timing. Lately, I've been speaking to a lot of people who are feeling similar to me so I thought now is a better time than any to discuss whats been on my mind.

I graduated University a couple of years ago, if you'd have asked me then where would I see myself at 24 I would have gave a completely different answer to what the reality is. I always knew it would be hard to get started with a career but I took opportunities that were offered to me which I thought would help. In a matter of fact they have probably left me more confused than ever. If you were to ask me today where would I see myself in 5 years, well, that question would probably leave me an anxious, sweaty mess. Just the thought of it makes my heart beat faster. I don't know whether this could be down to the job rejections I have faced. I am grateful for the job that I do have, even though it isn't what I saw myself doing or in fact what I want to do, I guess its better than nothing. I do feel I am sometimes just waiting for life to start and that I should realise it has started and I should stop 'wasting' time waiting for something to happen.

"Everyone's path is different." Can't tell you how many times I've been told this. Or any other cliches about not comparing your lives to others. I do believe this and it is somewhat comforting. But do you ever wonder when your path will begin and not be stuck at the 'stop' sign? I know that at 24 your not supposed to have it all figured out, I somewhat blame social media for making it seem like we should. People only post what they want to, right? I have however very recently witnessed that most people use filters for their lives. By only posting and sharing the happy and successful parts of live they hide the rest of it. Most of those happy, almost bragging posts/pictures are staged and in fact not even in the slightest a true representation of life at that moment. If you find yourself a little envious of that person on instagram or blog who's life looks perfect. Take a second to think, that is just one snapshot that they have taken to share with you. If you look behind the camera they are using to take that selfie you'll see life is very different. I hope that makes sense. Basically if you find yourself, like I did starting to compare your life to others. I urge you to step away, do something like read a book or go outside and breathe, you'll feel better.

I sometimes find myself really struggling with anxiety and my thoughts sometimes get the better of me. Talking about it really helps, even when you don't want to. Or even writing things down. Actually, even as I type this post it is somewhat therapeutic. I'm not sure if anyone will read this let alone think it's helpful in any way but if you do I'd love to know some of your thoughts. Or if your a graduate, I'd love to know how things are going post University.

Holy Grail Products

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We all have those products which we keep going back to. They promise to do what they state they will, they keep you coming back for more. A sure sign of a holy grail product is the repurchase. Here are my holy grail products, all of which have passed the elusive repurchase test.

Ren Clarifying Clay Cleanser (round 2)
This cleanser is a holy grail for me because it never breaks me out. Even when I use something that my skin has not agreed with, this is the cleanser I use to clear it up. It is a clay based cleanser which is effective yet not drying in the slightest. I find that this does a good job in controlling oils my skin produces, and keeps my skin from looking like an oil slick.

Pixi Glow Tonic (round 3)
The word hype was invented for this product. I remember trying to order this back in the day when it was only available for mail order or making the trip to the Pixi store. After months of waiting I finally got my bottle of glow tonic and I CAN tell you, this product is definitely worth the hype. My skin looks clearer, brighter and overall much healthier.

Diorskin Nude BB Cream (round 2)
This BB cream performs much more like a conventional eastern BB cream. Much better coverage and lasting power than others I have tried. This product makes my skin glow and evokes many compliments. Best applied with fingertips which is a God send when in a morning rush and 'the 2 minute face' is the only option.

Apivita Lip Care (round 3)
I mentioned this in more detail in my Lip Balm Lovelies #2 post. Overall there is nothing I do not like about this lip balm. I feel more people should try this as it is a hidden gem and deserves much more hype. Nourishing and long lasting while still providing a beautiful tint to the lips, there's nothing not to like. Next time your in M&S be sure to pick one up. They are very reasonably priced and the colour selection is beautiful.

What are some of your Holy Grail Products?

Lip balm Lovelies #2

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You might remember a few months ago I wrote a post called Lip balm Lovelies, where I discussed three very nourishing lip balms. In this second part I will be discussing three of my favourite tinted lip balms. I'm such a fan of tinted lip balms that on any occasion there are around 4-6 of them floating around in my handbag. I find them so easy to use will prefer them to a lipstick.

Korres Lip Butter
Ah Korres I have such love for this brand, their skincare is well worth a try. This little pot of joy is not only a beautiful colour but one of the most nourishing lip balms I have tried. It lasts for hours and leaves a beautiful tint of colour behind. The wear is unbelievable as it does not gather and more importantly does not leave my lips dryer after it wears away. It instantly melts into a soft butter when in contact with skin. Don't worry if your not a fan of lip products in a pot, because these beauties also come in a stick. The whole colour range is impressive and the scent is very pleasant too.

Apivita Lip Care
The first thing I tried from this brand is their lip balms. I had the pomegranate lip care stick and not only did I use it all up, but found myself opening the packaging just to smell it. Something about the scent reminds me of my childhood, I can't put my finger on what it reminds me of but one sniff is just so nostalgic. Similar to the Korres lip butter it melts into a soft butter when applied, its almost like a drink of water for the lips. Each colour has wonderful lasting power and all are very wearable. Such a joy to use that I can't bear to be apart from them when they run out. As I can be very picky with lip products I think the fact that I continue to repurchase these and use them all up is a testament.

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm
This one was an impulse buy, as if I need another lip product, right. I adore the colour of this lip balm it instantly perks up the face. Probably not as nourishing as the Korres or Apivita balms but still very impressive. It doesn't strip the lips of moister and is long wearing. Let's just say I need to restrain myself from ordering more.

Which is your favourite tinted lip balm?

Z for Accessorize

Z for Accessorize
You can probably tell by now that I love jewellery. If I was to have my own jewellery line if would look a little like the new Z for Accessorize range. My local Accessorize has an adjoining Monsoon. As I walked into Monsoon I briefly had a look into their sister jewellery company. I saw a pair of Aqua Chalcedony earrings randomly hanging on the hook and thought if they did this in a ring I would definitely buy it. While making my way out of the store I noticed a big display of the new Z range. Immediately it was like a rush. Every piece was perfect and I didn't know where to start. Then I saw it. If you follow my twitter a few months ago I posted a picture I had seen on Tumblr and asked where I could find a ring similar to it. I had a few responses but none where what I was looking for. I researched that the stone was Aqua Chalcedony. Still after months of searching I couldn't find what I was looking for. Until that day in Accessorize. My precious. OK, enough with the dramatics now. Long story short I paid for it and couldn't wait to get it on my finger. I haven't stopped wearing it since. Just the other day I also purchased another Aqua Chalcedony ring from the same range. Overall I am extremely happy with my purchases and think the range of jewellery they have is near perfect. Simple yet striking pieces that can be work alone or stacked. Now someone just needs to hide my card as I can't seem to get the white moonstone ring out of my head.

Mindy Kaling Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

The book I chose to take on holiday with me was Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling. I knew even before I had read a page that I would love it. The title drew me in, as I'm sure I'm not the only one who has had this concern. When I saw that the first chapter was called 'Chubby for Life' I knew me and this book would get on well.

I have to admit I'm slightly biased and really admire Mindy, as a woman of colour myself (regular viewers of the Mindy project should get that reference) I see her as a brilliant role model. Before I go any further I should say that this book is not entirely an autobiography. There are chapters which are indeed autobiographical, and some are essays which are Mindy's musings on life and her views on things. I did feel the latter part of the book included some 'filler' chapters, but who doesn't like to look at narcissistic photos.

The first thing I should say is this book will definitely make you smile. It's just what I needed to read and a quick escape from life stuff. Parts of the book did make me laugh out loud and I did get a few weird looks on the plane. Talking of the plane journey, I did notice the lady next to me peeping over to see what I was reading. Normally I hate that but in this case I thought, you should really read this, in fact all women of all ages should read this. I found myself nodding along and thinking "finally someone is talking about this". For example 'what does hooking up actually mean?' Mindy continues to ask the questions out loud that we're all secretly wondering, she does so with such whit and charm that you can't help but want to be her friend. There were parts in the book where I was reading and thought to myself, this is exactly like me and my best friend. We're not total weirdos after all, or maybe we are. Her honesty and original writing style makes it feel like you are reading a pals diary and you leave knowing them a lot better. I've recommended this book to all my friends and exclaimed "look she's just like us! And look how much she's achieved." It's empowering, without trying to be.

Mindy, (yes, I feel I can call her that because in my head we are totally bff's) was hired as a writer for The Office when she was just 24! If that isn't impressive enough she was the only female writer in a team of eight! Her book details events which took place before, during and after The Office. I enjoyed reading about pre Office times most, as I found it more relatable. That's probably where I am in my life, the awkward early 20's, where everything seems like a learning curve. I feel this is is the book that every woman of any age should read, I wish I had read it sooner. It does have a slight 'coming of age' feel to it. Men of the world, there is a chapter for you, and what you should and shouldn't wear/do. A subject I can go on and on about. For the record Min, (yeah we're that close) I agree with what you said. Especially about the Converse, replace them regularly please. 

Overall, a very enjoyable and easy read, perfect to take to the beach. If it fails to make you smile it will definitely leave you pondering the question, why does it take men so long to tie their shoes?

While I continue to crush on Mindy Kaling, tell me the books you've been enjoying.

Robin Williams 1951-2014.

"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." - Robin Williams

I did have a different post ready to go up today, however the details of my skincare seem so shallow in comparison. Today I just want to write from the heart. I, like many woke to the sad news of Robin Williams passing. Robin Williams was a figure in my childhood who was always there, who never let me down and who always made me feel better. Whether it was through Mrs. Doubtfire, The Genie or Peter Pan his infectious personality and charisma shone through those eyes like a beacon. I never met him, or knew what he was like outside of his films. However, they say people will always remember how you made them feel. He always made me feel happy and safe even through the darkest of times. The countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions is what he will be remembered for. As the numerous number of tributes pour in, I just wanted to say thank you. No, I didn't meet you or work with you, but just as a fan and someone who enjoyed your movies. Thank You. I laughed my whole childhood because of you. You're legend will live for generations.

"Genie, you're free."

Jet-setters Series #3 Stay Smart

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We've come the final part of my jet setters series, it's been fun. This post will entail some tips and advice when travelling. Whether your traveling alone or in a group it's important to be aware of your surroundings.

My first tip would be to not just disappear, make sure you tel your friends and family what sorts of things you will be doing and where you will be visiting. Every now and then check back in with text or email. Roaming charges can be a right pain, so whenever you get free WiFi (thanks McDonalds) don't forget to send loved ones a quick message.

Try to blend in as much as possible. Beforehand try and make yourself familiar with the currency, so your not such an obvious target to pickpockets. Be careful of your items such as cameras and where you place them. Try not to constantly refer to the guidebooks.

Whether your travelling alone or with friends or family it is important not to put all your valuables in one place. When I was about to turn 19 I traveled to Canada alone and I was very aware that at one point I had all my valuables in my bag. My money, passport, camera and phone were all in one little bag, if I lost it I was screwed. Split your money, keep some on your person and keep some back in the hotel safe, same with your passport and other valuables. Try not to keep everything in one place. Same goes for clothing, if there's a group of you travelling put a few items of clothing in others suitcases and vice versa. Therefore if the airport accidentally loses your luggage you won't be completely without clean clothes.

Next, make sure you do a little research of the area you will be staying in before hand. Not only is it important to fin out where all the tourist hot spots are and how far the airport is to your hotel. A quick Google search will inform you of any public holidays or events happening that could disrupt your trip.

Another important tip to help against pick pockets is to not weigh yourself down. If your out shopping or out at the local markets, bags can pile up quickly. This will make you more vulnerable, imagine carrying all the shopping in one hand and an ice cream in the other. If you only have a small handbag or rucksack with you, invest in a tote bag, they are great. They don't weigh very much and can be folded away in your bag or pocket. Then when stuff starts to pile up just throw it all in there. They are also very handy to sit on when you just get too tired.

Lastly just be careful where you wander. We all want to discover new places but don't wander too far off the beaten path if your not entirely sure where your going.

Stay safe and I'd love to hear all about your adventures.

The One That Actually Works- Murad Oil Control Matiffier

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I love the summer, in fact I live for it. The heat just makes me so happy. However, I get so sick of constantly using oil blotting sheets and powder to try and get rid of some unwanted shine. This post is for all us oily skinned gals out there. After work one day I was in Tk maxx, whilst I awaited my train, this is dangerous and is how many impulse buys happen. My eyes were quickly drawn to the unmistakable Murad packaging, as I searched through the many options I found this moisteriser which seemed perfect.
Murad Oil Control Mattifier
The Murad Oil Control Mattifier claims to provide long lasting oil control and prevent sun damage. It sounded perfect I quickly bought it and off home I went. When I got home I decided to have a little play with it, it had strong claims such as controlling oil for up to 8 hours. I applied this to the back of my hand and immediately noticed that it was much thicker than other oil control moisterisers I had used previously. Others were always thin and runny in consistency. However this was much thicker. When applied it surprisingly didn't take long to absorb into the skin. Initially I was impressed and began wearing it everyday. After using this for almost a month here is what I think. It definitely controls the oil my skin produces, I use it in the morning under any makeup, there is no shine and I find throughout the day I don't need to powder as often. That's a liberating feeling let me tell you. I have not had any break outs due to this product, there is a slight fragrance but nothing too overpowering. Makeup doesn't slip and slide over it. I think what impresses me the most is that this moisteriser includes UVA/UVB sun protection. Often oil control moisterisers do only that and do not include any sun protection, it's often only one or the other. However this product combines the two. I personally love the minimalist packaging, it's fuss free and does what it is supposed to. Now, I did find this in Tk maxx. Would I have tried it at full price? Probably not yet, the price tag would have put me off and had me questioning how good could it possibly be? I'm glad I did find it at a discounted price as now I can answer that question. It really is that good and I would definitely purchase it again. Think of the money I could save on oil blotting sheets. Albeit, a discount code would always come in handy.

Fellow oily skinned girls who are tired of the t-zone, if you can buy this, do so. You won't look back.

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