New In Christmas Beauty

It's been a while since I've written a beauty review post and I thought that it was about time I wrote one. There have been so many new beauty launches for the festive season, as you can read about in my previous blog post, but I did manage to buy a few of them before I was told by my sister to stop buying things that I could have been bought for Christmas! 

Luxury Christmas Beauty Gifts Under £25

It may only be November but the beauty world is going crazy for new Christmas launches. The major brands have released some beautiful collections so I thought I'd put a post together listing my favourite new festive finds. 

10 Things I've Learned in Final Year So Far

As you might expect, the final year of university is a stressful one. Coming back from a year abroad can be daunting as it's almost as if you're returning to reality after a year of travelling, socialising and having a bit of a break. Many of my friends have found it difficult to jump back into the world of CATS and the holy 2:1. But ultimately, I've had an enjoyable four weeks so far and I thought I should reflect on this and write up a blog post, similar to my 10 things I wish I'd known before starting a year abroad

5 Minute Makeup for Uni

Now that I'm back at university for my final year, it's becoming apparent that a 20 minute makeup routine just isn't going to slot into my timetable so I'm making an attempt to cut down, or be more speedy at the very least. I prefer to spend the majority of that time on my base as I've found a few products that really make a difference in my routine. 

August Favourites

I've been a little quiet on the blogging front recently, mainly due to a few trips! I was really lucky to go to Paris in July, Majorca in August and then I went on a little shopping trip to London last week. All three resulted in a few beauty purchases and I'll be sharing these with you in the next month or so. My beauty favourites for August are all new things I've bought within the last two months, fallen in love with and have made their way into my everyday makeup routine.

High End Birthday Beauty Haul

Since I've been home from my year abroad in Germany, I've been getting a little spendy in the makeup department. It was my 21st birthday at the end of June and a few of these were either presents or bought with birthday money. As a student, there's no way I could normally buy all these products within the same month so I really thought about which products would be worth the money and be investment pieces in my makeup bag. 

The Highlighter Round-Up

Ever since the Becca collaboration with Jacyln Hill, the beauty world has gone crazy for highlighters. Whether it's the powder, liquid or cream formulas that float your boat, there really is something for everyone. This post is about my current highlighter collection which is a bit of an update from my post from February My Highlight Heroes. I've tried out so many new highlighters in the past five months from a range of brands and it's now a new step in my makeup routine.

Top Ten Things to do in Berlin

Seeing as I spent four months in Berlin, I thought it was only fair that I write a blog post about my 'must see' and 'must do' activities in this amazing city. Some of them are fairly obvious and 'touristy' but if it's your first time in Berlin, you just have to do it. There may be technically more than 10 things on here but that just shows that Berlin really does have something for everyone.

1. Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) and the Reichstag (German Parliament)

A trip to the Reichstag has to be booked in advance but it's amazing to see where the German conferences are held. The Brandenburg Gate is probably the most touristy spot in Berlin but it's great for photos and it was even a popular place to watch the Euro matches a few weeks ago. 

June Favourites

June has been a crazy but amazing month for me. I've been counting down until I return to England whilst at the same time enjoying the rest of my time in Berlin. Now there's only a week to go and it's all a bit surreal. Beauty-wise, I didn't buy too many new products until very recently but it was very easy to pick out my beauty favourites this month because I've been reaching for the same products over and over to get that glowy, fresh, flawless makeup look.

Luxury Night Products

Vichy Aqualia Thermal | First Impressions

I don't know why, but the French seem to have some secret ingredient that makes all their skincare brands amazing and unparalleled. I'm one of the biggest Clarins fans out there but I thought it was about time I tried a few of the French pharmacy brands that are just starting to get really popular. Among others, Vichy caught my eye with a little sample size trio of products for less than 5 Euro - I couldn't resist. There were a few sets arranged by skin type and as my skin has been a little dry recently, I opted for the Aqualia Thermal set. 

My Top 3 Summer Foundations

foundation, bareminerals, loreal nude magique cushion

Apologies for the lack of content on my blog lately, life got a bit busy with my family coming to visit me in Berlin last weekend so I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things soon. Today's post is a quick overview of my favourite foundations for summer. It might not be feeling like summer in the UK right now but Berlin has been incredibly hot so I've been changing up my makeup so that my base is lighter and packed with great skincare ingredients.

May Beauty Wishlist

There have been so many amazing new beauty launches recently that have got the beauty bloggers talking. From Anastasia Beverly Hills to Becca to Charlotte Tilbury, there's always something making its way into my mental wishlists. Today's post is all about the beauty products I've been coveting in May, some of which I am planning to purchase soon, others are if I was suddenly given a $100 Sephora gift card. But since June is my birthday month, there's a definite possibility I'll be gettting splurgey with my bank account. Watch this space. But for now, the products I've been dreaming about (quite literally) are as follows..

The Nude Pink Lip Edit

lipstick, beauty, beauty blogger, nyx, mac, velvet teddy, soft matte lip cream

When it comes to daily makeup, my favourite decision is which lip products I'm going to use. Lipstick can truly transform your look and in recent weeks, I've been turning to nude tones or pink shades to keep everything simple and fresh for the warmer months. These tones always look amazing with a tan, so I'm definitely applying a whole lot more of Benefit's Hoola and starting to think about fake tan options. For this post I've assembled my current six favourite summery lip products that look good on just about anyone. 

The Weekend Makeup Menu - Rose Gold & Copper Hues

nars, eyeshadow, benefit, hoola, rockateur, velvet teddy, mac, soap and glory

Since purchasing the NARS Hammamet palette, I have been obsessed with rose gold and copper hues when it comes to makeup. I never thought shades like this would suit me but it turns out that in order to pull off certain colours, you just have to experiment with other aspects of your makeup. In this case, I worked out that a copper / rose gold eye look only really looks good (on me) with thick black eyeliner, lots of mascara, bold brows and a nude lip. I've been wearing this makeup combination quite frequently at work as well as weekends and even though it isn't the most summery colour scheme, I think the shades look good all year round. 

Soap and Glory Beauty Haul

soap and glory, makeup, beauty, haul

If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that I was back in England the other weekend - for the first time since January! It's been so long since I stepped inside Boots that I was beginning to miss it almost as much as my friends. I didn't buy that many things while I was in there - my boyfriend looked incredibly bored - but I did manage to buy a few things from Soap and Glory which is definitely not available in Germany. I hadn't tried any makeup products from Soap and Glory before which is mad considering I'm quite a fan of their bodycare range.

My Hand Luggage Beauty Kit

Flying with just hand luggage is always the worst. I always find that my suitcase is ridiculously crammed, I get stressed about which clothes to bring and more than anything - liquid restrictions. As you know, any liquids (including balms, pastes etc.) brought in hand luggage have to be under 150ml / g so if you want to bring beauty products, you have to be aware of measures. I've seen signs in airports that claim you can only bring a certain number of liquids, one bag or X number of liquids, but I've never had a problem. My top tip is to buy one or two clear makeup bags and put things into there rather than faffing about with plastic bags. 

One way to get round the 150ml rule is to decant things into small pots and containers but I prefer to bring mini sizes which is convenient for space and they look darn cute. Here's what I packed for my recent 4 day trip back to England - shown in a handy list below. 

hand luggage beauty, benefit, smashbox, no7, eyeshadow, travel, travel beauty

MAC Blogger Favourites: Worth the Hype?

MAC Lipstick, MAC Eyeshadow, MAC Paint Pot, bare study, rebel, creme cup, snob, satin taupe, all that glitters

My MAC Duo - All That Glitters and Star Violet

all that glitters, mac, star violet, eyeshadow

Clarins HydraQuench Review

My Skincare Tips and Holy Grail Products

I'm far from a skincare expert but I love trying out new skincare products to see if they actually work and meet all their amazing claims. If they meet my standards I'll integrate them into my Skincare Routine which is always changing depending on various factors such as weather and skin concerns. Today's post is about my skincare saviours and a few handy tips and changes that can make a huge difference in improving your skin. Some of them are quite obvious but you'd be surprised how many people I know that still make this skincare mistakes! If you suffer from acne, this post probably won't provide a 'quick-fix' but hopefully a few of these tips and products might help in tandem with stronger acne treatments.

April Favourites

High Street Fashion inspired by Ted Baker

Think Pink: New In Spring Beauty

NARS Hammamet Eyeshadow Duo - Spring 2016 Collection

How to Prepare for Exam Season

It's that time of year again. Time to hunt down the huge chunky textbook you should have been reading throughout the course, attempt - with little success - to translate your illegible lecture notes and invest in a year's supply of coffee. It's the time I like to call the pre-exam freak out. Don't worry, we've all been there. I still have one more year of exams to look forward to but as I'm currently on my Year Abroad, it's the one year I can reflect on my exam experiences with complete rationality. So here are my top ten tips that I either swear by, wish I'd done or have almost definitely stolen from my friends. Take from it what you will!

1. Cut the home visits. It seems a bit harsh but when you go back to university after Easter, it gets all too tempting to go home and curl up in a ball and watch Netflix. I'm not saying cut your family out completely, they can be a lifeline, but unless you know from experience that you study better at home, it's a lot of time wasted travelling.

2. Set yourself goals and rewards. I can't speak for everyone but nothing motivates me more than food and other little treats. It doesn't have to be anything too expensive but it's nice to have something in the back of your mind when you're spending long hours in the library.

3. Allow yourself breaks. As much as you should try and reach your goals, your brain isn't designed to spend hours studying without a break. The key is to split up your revision into manageable chunks, switching up the topics every now and again for some variety. Even if you only schedule in a quick coffee break or a walk around to stretch your legs, it'll help to give your brain a rest.  

4. Limit your social media time. I was the worst at the this as I'm 100% addicted to my phone but last year some of my course friends swore by an app called Forest. Forest is a cute little game where you plant a seed and it grows into a tree over a 30 minute period - but only if you stay off your social media apps. Alternatively you can always put your phone on flight safe mode or on silent. 

5. Invest in stationery. This idea might not be for everyone but I think if you have a nice set of pens, a quirky pad of paper and a few highlighters, you're definitely more likely to want to use them for your notes. Nice stationery doesn't have to be expensive, though, shops like Tiger always have an amazing selection that's really affordable. Colour coding is also a great tip to memorize key topics and vocabulary and I highly recommend this to languages students especially. In summary, if your notes look neat and easily readable, your brain's going to be happy and you're going to feel #prepped.

6. Use your contacts. When it comes to exam season, it's not just what you know but who you know. If you know people in the year above you, why not ask for some advice or even - if you're brave enough - some notes. The chances are they'll have documents still saved on their laptops that can be sent over straight away. This obviously isn't a substitute for your own notes but it can be great to have a read over a fresh perspective you might not have thought about.

7. Schedule group revision sessions. If you have a few friends doing the same modules as you, why not book a room and go through some ideas and identify any weaknesses you have in the syllabus. If you're all struggling with the same topic, it's going to A. make you feel better and B. be a lot easier to divide up the research. Revision doesn't have to be a lonely laborious task, you should share opinions, test each other and it will help you decide which areas you need to focus your revision on. I will warn you, however, that group revision sessions can often get a bit too relaxed and chatty so make sure you pick people you know have a good study / chat balance. 

8. Learn when to say no. I will be the first to admit that I went out a couple of times in the run-up to exams and I don't regret that for a minute but you do have to learn the right time to say no to invitations. On one hand I think it can be motivating to have an event to look forward to and you might work harder a few days before it but sometimes you have to decide if you can really spare the time. 

9. Buy all the frozen food. I might be alone in thinking this but food shopping (other than snacks) was pretty much the last thing on my mind during exam season last year. I never felt in the mood to cook anything too adventurous, probably because most of my brain power was drained at the library. I heavily relied on frozen vegetables, frozen fish and even frozen fresh pasta because it's convenient, you don't have to worry about sell-by dates and you can relax or study while it's cooking away. Win win win.

10. Utilise your commute. If you live on campus this tip is totally irrelevant but if you take the bus or train to the library, there's always an opportunity to go over some vocab, key words or even read some secondary literature. I didn't do this often enough but sometimes it helps to bring your tablet or iPad with you on your journey with pre-downloaded articles or vocab tests so you don't rely on WiFi. For languages students you could even listen to some foreign music or a foreign AudioBook if you're feeling extra studious.

I hope you enjoyed this post. The most important thing is to remember that although exams are important they're not worth suffering from stress! If you'd like me to write a post about how to destress during exam season, please let me know. Do you have any exam tips to share?


The Spring Base: Bourjois City Radiance

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that my favourite full-coverage foundation is No7 Beautifully Matte and it has been since I was 18. Three years is a long time to stick to the same face product and I fancied trying something lighter and more brightening as we're finally entering the spring months and the weather's warming up a bit.

I'm not normally fussed by new foundations in the drugstore market but I was really intrigued by the Bourjois City Radiance launch. Firstly, the packaging is nothing short of stunning and secondly, I wondered: does my skin have different needs now I live in a city

The main selling points are:

        - SPF 30
        - Lighter coverage, skin can breathe
        - Brightening ingredients
         - Smells amazing

I have the shade 02 Vanilla and luckily it's a really great match for my skintone - 01 looked very light on the swatches I've seen on other blog posts so I don't think that would look right on me. My sister brought this with her on a recent trip and I'm so glad the colour match worked out - luckily she's into makeup too. I haven't seen Bourjois available in Germany yet so it was a necessary measure. I have a feeling the foundation shade selection available in Boots isn't great so make sure you check out the testers before you order online.

The consistency of the foundation is really nice, neither thick nor watery and it's very easy to blend and build up if you're wanting a bit more coverage. The lasting power isn't amazing which is why I also use Soap and Glory's One Heck of a Blot Primer and Benefit's Boi-ing concealer to make my base last the whole working day at the office. 

What's your favourite spring foundation?

Four Haircare Favourites - L'Oreal and Lee Stafford

During March I went on a Makeup Spending Ban so naturally I turned to other things to check out whenever I was out shopping. As I've recently had my hair highlighted at Vidal Sassoon, I wanted to refresh my haircare collection and I've found a few new favourites I'd like to share with you today! Some of the product names are in German as I'm living in Berlin but I promise they're all available elsewhere in Europe.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams - Istanbul and Antwerp

I'm very late to the liquid lipsticks party but I finally got my hands on two of the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams in the shades Istanbul and Antwerp. After all the hype about the Kylie lip kits I thought I'd try out something similar and a lot easier to get hold of! From the selection at Douglas, I thought these two were the most 'me'. 

Spring OOTD at The Brandenburg Gate

Berlin has transitioned from Winter to Spring Summer in the course of about three days. After telling my family to pack big coats for their weekend here, I quickly had to correct them that it was in fact light jackets and sunglasses they needed. My outfit for this day is full of bright pastel tones and I was so happy to finally wear the New Look jacket I've been hauling around Germany for the past six months. The Brandenburg Gate was a fairly difficult backdrop to use due to the dozens of tourists but I managed to get a few good outfit photos while the weather is so glorious. My sister even decided to make a cameo in the last one!  

The Berlin Diaries #2 - Berlin Zoo, KaDeWe and Flower Markets

I've officially been living in Berlin for a whole month - how time flies! I've had so much fun so far and I thought I'd recap the past three weeks in another Berlin Diaries post. If you haven't read the first one - here's a link. I was really lucky to have my boyfriend stay with me for a week over Easter so I had an excuse to go exploring and take a few photos. I tried to pack in lots of activities but unfortunately we were a bit limited due to my work schedule, bank holidays and unpredictable weather. Despite the struggles, the three best things we did were the Berlin zoo, a trip to the KaDeWe and a local farmer's market.     

The Berlin Zoo is absolutely huge and hosts every animal from polar bears to kangaroos. The entry price was reasonable at 15 Euro for students which also included the aquarium. The day we picked to go ended up being quite dark and rainy but we made the most of it and luckily many of the animals were inside. I'm really impressed with the photos I stole from my boyfriend and I would recommend it if you have a few hours to spare in Berlin. My highlight was probably the nocturnal zone where you can see animals such as aardvark, desert foxes and bats. Take a look at the photos below.

How to Pick Stylish but Comfy Outfits for the Office

If you've been reading my year abroad posts recently, you'll know I've recently started an internship and it's actually my first office job. I love the office I work at but one thing I've noticed is that my usual tight fitting jeans just aren't suitable for hours spent at a desk. As I result I'm now putting together a capsule wardrobe of comfortable - but also stylish - work clothes and here are some of the websites I've been turning to for inspiration.

1. Zara is always my first point of call for new clothes and I love a few pieces from their newest collection. Loose dresses like this blue tie waist one and white A Line design are always great to wear with leggings for ultimate comfort. The colours are also very spring appropriate!

March Favourites

It's favourites time again - happy April! Although I haven't purchased any new makeup this month due to my March Makeup Spending Ban, there are a few beauty items that I've either rediscovered or were bought in February. I did, however, allow myself to buy a few new haircare products as I had my hair cut and coloured at Vidal Sassoon a few weeks ago and I'm excited to write up a few reviews about them. 

March Beauty Wishlist

If you read my post How to Survive a Makeup Spending Ban, you'll know I've somehow managed not to buy any makeup this month. One of my tips was to write a beauty wishlist which might be makeup bits you definitely want to buy in the future or more dream-like 'if I won the lottery' scenarios. Here's my list including a few things I know I'll be rushing out to get this weekend..

How to Survive a Makeup Spending Ban

Like many beauty bloggers, I feel my makeup collection is getting slightly out of control. As a little challenge to save money - and space on my desk - I decided to put myself on a Makeup Spending Ban this month and I'm happy to report I've managed thus far. It's not been easy; there was one occasion where I found an array of NARS eyeshadow duos in TKMaxx and had to run away before I could buy them. But all in all it's been a success and I'd recommend it to anyone who's addicted to makeup and is saving up for a trip or another big purchase. To help you with this challenge, there are a few things I'd advise you do to make sure you don't cave into temptation...

Vidal Sassoon Berlin & Mini Haircare Haul

When I was looking for an English speaking hairdresser in Berlin, I didn't think I'd end up picking internationally renowned professional salon Vidal Sassoon. It's definitely the fanciest salon I've been to so far and I'm lucky that my family offered to treat me to an amazing experience with such a renowned brand. As Vidal Sassoon is an international chain with a variety of locations, I thought I'd write a little review of my experience and include a few photos of my new hair. I'll admit it's really not that different but my highlights have been refreshed and my dry ends eliminated. I'm very happy. The salon in Berlin is located on Schlüterstrasse near Kürfurstendamm and the street reminds me of Regent Street in London as it's lined with beautiful designer shops such as Michael Kors, Karen Millen and Louis Vuitton. 

Zara, Topshop and Primark Workwear Haul

If you've read my Berlin Diaries post or 10 things I wish I knew before starting a Year Abroad, you might know I've recently started an internship in Berlin and after my first week I decided it was time to treat myself to a few new clothes to wear at the office. Luckily the dress code is quite casual so I can have a bit of fun experimenting with my outfits. Usually I'll wear jeans and a nice top with either a black cardigan or a blazer. I'm trying to build a capsule wardrobe so it's important that I stick to colours that complement each other (without being boring). As you can probably tell, I'm a big fan of stripes and pastel colours and I'm so happy that these trends are starting to make their way into the highstreet shops. Spring fashion and makeup definitely suits me more and I can't wait until I can stop wearing jumpers and start wearing bright spring makeup. 

A Quick and Easy Office Makeup Look

You know the drill: It's 8am and after hitting the snooze button more than you'd like to admit, it's time to get ready for work, uni or school. Of course no-one should feel they have to wear makeup but for me it's part of my morning ritual and I really enjoy it. One thing I always lack, however, is time. For me the best products to wear to work are the ones that are quick to apply and blend (if necessary) but also the ones that are long-lasting. The last thing I want to be doing in my lunch break is doing a complete makeup overhaul.

10 things I wish I'd known before starting a Year Abroad

I'm definitely guilty of being one of those people that loves a '5 things bloggers don't tell you' or a '20 daily thoughts of a student' kind of post so I thought I'd write my own version about things I wish I'd known before starting my year abroad in Germany. This might be useful for someone preparing for their own year abroad, it might be relatable for my friends who are also on their year abroad or it might just be downright amusing. I'm not sure yet. If you're interested in my year abroad journey so far, you might like to read The Berlin Diaries #1, Goodbye Gottingen: Year Abroad Week Twenty-One or Year Abroad Week One: Girl in Gottingen

The Blush Edit

The Art of Multi-Masking with Origins

There's just something about face masks that really relaxes me. Ever since using those little sachets of fruity scented masks when I was sixteen, I've continued to find it a holy ritual. Now I'm not sixteen anymore, my skin is more demanding and I think masks are the key to keeping it all happy. Since I've tried out a few brands here and there, some loves and some hates, I thought today was the day to sit down and write a post about my new love affair with the Origins range of face masks. 

The Berlin Diaries #1

Checking Out a By Terry Dupe

We've all heard of the By Terry Ombre Blackstar cream eyeshadow sticks at some point or another. They sound beautifully blendable and perfectly encased in gorgeous gold packaging. I was sold until I saw the £29 price tag in Space NK. As much as I'd love to invest in one, I think there are other high end beauty products I'm more interested in at the moment. So when I heard Alix from I Covet Thee mention an Ombre Blackstar dupe from the UK drugstore, I had to check it out. Enter the No7 Shade and Define pencils which I bought in three shades - Glistening Ray, Pink Pearl and Cool Mink.

February Favourites

Happy March! Where has this month gone? It feels like yesterday I was applying for internships in March and it felt forever away. Luckily I can say I finally got a job and will soon be starting the next chapter of my year abroad. But enough about that - I'll be posting some sort of 'life update' style post in the next few weeks anyway - today's post is a beauty favourites post. I haven't written a favourites post since November and I think it's because I'm unorganized and don't tie myself down to a posting schedule. Despite this, I have been posting a lot more frequently this month and I hope you've been enjoying my content. My blog is a lot less fashion-based than it used to be, not out of lack of enthusiasm, but simply because I haven't felt inspired to take outfit photos and the struggle to find good backdrops in Göttingen have been pretty darn real. But alas, onto the beauty bits I've been loving this February!

Goodbye Göttingen: Year Abroad Week Twenty-One

My Current Eyeshadow Palette Obsessions

Just about everyone in the beauty blogging world seems to be obsessed with eyeshadow palettes and I'm not going to stray from that cult belief that none of them are the same and there is absolutely nothing wrong with hoarding collecting them. Whether it's MAC, Bobbi Brown or L'Oreal that floats your boat, there's nothing quite as exciting as the launch of a new eyeshadow palette that simply must be bought. The palettes I've collected are well-loved for different reasons and hopefully you'll find this useful if you're looking to try something other than the Urban Decay Naked palettes.  

Hallo Hamburg

For the past three years I've been in Germany during February for my university's annual 'tour'. In 2014 it was Munich, in 2015 it was Berlin and this year it was Hamburg. I can't quite explain the magic of 'tour' but it's a trip that always bonds the group, creates endless memories and it's even how I got to know my boyfriend. He actually organised the trip this year and I'm lucky that Hamburg isn't too far from where I'm currently living in Germany. Four hours on a free regional train later and I was stepping off at Hamburg Hauptbahnhof with a crammed suitcase, ready for four days of exploring the city. 

The Best Celebrities and Bloggers on Snapchat

Anyone who's anyone has a Snapchat account these days. It's less serious than Instagram, it's not as wordy as Twitter or Facebook and best of all you know who has seen your pics and videos. I only recently realized that Snapchat was popular among celebrities and bloggers as I thought it would be too intimate for them to share so many selfies and photos of their private lives. However when I thought about it, how is it different from every other social media channel? I now think more celebrities should get on board and allow their fans to see what they get up to on a normal day, even if it is travelling from photo shoot to photo shoot. From a blogger perspective, Snapchat is a great traffic and marketing tool but can also show quick makeup reviews without having to sit through a 15-minute haul video. But most of all, Snapchat is designed to be fun! Let's be honest, who doesn't enjoy experimenting with the filters?!

My Highlight Heroes

The words 'highlighting' and 'strobing' seem to be everywhere in the beauty world these days. You can't read the Glamour beauty pages without seeing tips to achieve a glowy dewy complexion. For oily / combination girls such as myself, powder highlighters aren't always as effective and long-lasting which is why I tend to prefer liquid and cream highlighting products when I want to add a little shine. There are three products that have impressed me in this category and I name them my 'Highlight Heroes'.