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!