Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Spring High Street Haul

When I was home for Easter my Nan took me on a shopping trip or two. One of my favourite things to do when I'm back in Essex is spend time with my Nan so I was really happy to see her a lot this Easter break! With the weather promising us a sunny day or two, our shopping trip quickly became spring themed. I love all the pastel colours and day dresses that are in store at the moment. It's safe to say I had plenty of new bits to take back to uni with me. Shame the weather hasn't decided whether it wants to join us for a sunny sesh or rain on our parade.

In order to show you the clothes properly I decided to do a video style lookbook. This was the first time I've even considered doing one of these and I was unsure how it would turn out. I filmed this when I was back home and the lovely Ralph was great help. We definitely made the most of a sunny afternoon in the garden! I'm really happy with the video once I edited it and uploaded it to YouTube. It's such a great way to do a haul and we had muchos fun filming it. If you are looking to update your spring/summer wardrobe I really recommend you check out Primark's day dresses. The two in the video were a mere £5 each! I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of them for various occasions. I wore the navy floral print one to a restaurant one evening and the other one when I was handing in essays to uni! Any excuse to dress up a bit- look good to feel good and all that ;)

I hope you enjoyed the video! I have a few others uploaded to YouTube so please check out my channel and let me know what you think. Have you been to the shops recently? Please leave your links with your comment below. Thanks for reading <3

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Gym Wish List

I started going to the gym in January last year at an attempt to be a healthier, more active human being. By April I decided that the gym wasn't really for me. I found it really hard to find the motivation to go or the courage to run on a treadmill going bright red and pretty sweaty in front of a bunch of strangers. The whole gym concept was a bit weird to me. I felt like I didn't belong there and I didn't really know what I was doing! So I cancelled my membership that April and was happy that I, at the very least, tried.
February this year I started feeling a bit rubbish and needed to be more active. All my energy was going into uni essays leaving me mentally exhausted but bursting with physical energy. My eating habits have been relatively good this year so far. We have had home cooked meals a lot more than usual and I haven't ordered in dominos since 2013 ( that's a serious achievement in our household!). I don't feel like eating healthily makes you healthy - being active and regularly exercises is a massive part of the healthy lifestyle that so many people tend to leave out.

So I wanted to be active but last year showed me I didn't enjoy the gym. After strongly reflecting on why I didn't enjoy the gym, I had an epiphany. I was lonely and this made me over think my time at the gym and quickly become bored. I joined the gym at the beginning of March because my friends said they would go with me. Before Easter I was going at least three times a week and it became a fun sociable activity. I no longer had time to be self-conscious or even think about the exercise I was doing. My advice for people who find it hard to motivate themselves to be active: Make it fun and sociable! If you are with other people who either know what they are doing or are just great company, you'll feel at ease and make it a positive and fun experience that you'll want to continue doing.

To start being more active, I personally wanted to look as good as possible. You need to look good to feel good sometimes! I have put together a few items that I personally would wear/use at the gym. The websites that I have used for this wish list have plenty more products in their activewear sections for you to consider.

1  2  3  4  5

Are you happy with how active you are? What do you think of my wish list picks? Please leave your blog links with your comments below! <3 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Fairytale Tag

It's been a lovely and busy Easter for me so apologises for the lack of blog presence! I am now back at uni after a short period at home. I handed in an essay this morning so thought it was about time to post something I've been meaning to do for a few weeks now! I love fairytales and have done since I was ever so little. Any excuse to talk or think about this makes me extremely content. For me this seemed like a super long tag- I think there was like 20 or so questions! I feel like I've written about some of the answers before so decided to just answer the questions I deemed most interesting! 

Snow White - Do you consider yourself beautiful?
I think everyone has their own hang-ups about parts of their body. Most of the time I'm happy and confident with how I look. There are things I'd change but overall I think I'm beautiful in my own way.

Sleeping Beauty - How many hours do you sleep at night?
As many as possible! I'm one of those people who need sleep to function. Not only do I need it- I want it! I'll purposely go to bed early just to get all snuggled up and relaxed.

Cinderella - Do you have a curfew?
I'm at university so no curfew for me! I don't think I've ever really had one. Before I could drive I lived in a small village with no where to go.

Rapunzel - Do you love being outside?
If I'm not in bed, I love to be outside. There are a few factors that need to be right for more to want to spend time outdoors though. The weather has to be nice enough, I need to be wearing appropriate clothes and shoes and there has to be something I can sit on. Whether it's a bench or a cardigan, anything it better than sitting on grass!

Red Riding Hood - Do you trust strangers easily?
You shouldn't trust strangers! If they are strangers, you don't know them - so where do you find this trust from? As Red Riding Hood has learnt, a wolf might pretend to be your nan if you tell him where she lives!!

Beauty and the Beast - What makes someone beautiful in your eyes?
Having a certain level of confidence makes someone beautiful to me. Ooh and being friendly and thoughtful! Without sounding too cringe, it's not really about someone's appearance when it comes to beauty.

The Little Mermaid - What would you sacrifice for love?
Relationships are about compromise a lot of the time. We are all fools in love, and do things we would rather not admit. If a sacrifice results in a happily ever after than it's worth it right?

The Frog King - What do you find disgusting?
Food hygiene is an issue for me. Seeing or smelling gone off food brings me to the verge of vomit! Living with other people in a student environment means I've had to deal with this on more than a few occasions!

Jack and the Beanstalk - What plants do you have?
I never think to decorate my room with plants. Mainly because they will probably die sooner than later. However if you buy me a lovely bouquet of flowers, I'll happily find a home for them.

Peter Pan - What is your mental age?
It varies depending on time, mood, company and situation. It ranges from 4-54 I reckon. More often than not I think I act my age or a little older (21-25). 

The Snow Queen - Who is your best friend and what would you do for him/her?
I have a few very close friends but my true best friend and soul mate is Tom and I can't think of anything I wouldn't do for him. I guess that's quite extreme, if he asked me to cut off my arm just for lols I wouldn't... Well I'd definitely make him dinner everyday for the rest of time - I'm such a domestic goddess.

The Princess and the Pea - Are you sensitive?
Yes but about really small silly things. If there is some big drama that should have upset me, I happily rise above it. However I get easily upset over really irrational things that really don't matter in the grand scheme of things!

The Brave Little Tailor - Do you consider yourself brave?
It depends. I like to think I don't have any real fears. Then again if a massive spider or snake was in my room, I would not be the slightest bit brave. The more you have people to rely on, the less brave you need to be. If I'm in a situation on my own, I'll have to be brave right? Otherwise I'll just shout for Tom to help me deal with the scary snake/spider issue. 

I really enjoyed doing this tag. If you have yet to do it- I tag you!! Don't forget to leave your links with your comments below <3

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Have You Heard... Walk Off the Earth

Apologises once again for not posting for this series in a while. I've been meaning to write about this awesome band I discovered in March. I was casually procrastinating on Spotify and this amazing indie rock style band started playing. The first thing that caught my attention was their flawless harmonies. This simply impressive band is called Walk Off the Earth. I went through some of the songs and it took me less than a moment to realise this band did a lot of covers. I'm pretty sure most of their covers are better than the originals!

From the Walk off the Earth website
I googled Walk Off the Earth because that's what I do when I want to know more about everything. In moments of self-doubt, I may have googled myself while pondering, "who am I?.. sign..". Anyway, it turns out this band have a bit of a YouTube presence and that's how they got so popular. They started off doing covers and then went on to show some of their own music. I particularly love their cover of I Knew You Were Trouble. It's even better than the goat version (and that's saying something!). They use some really unusual instruments making their genre pretty unique. There were so many covers I wanted to share with you but I'll let you explore yourself if you enjoy them as much as I do. Enjoy this Lorde cover and let me know what you think. 

Walk Off the Earth Factfile
Info: The Canadian rock band was formed in 2006 and gained a massive fan base before being signed by Columbia Records in 2012. There are 5 members of this awesome band and their most successful youtube cover is Somebody That I Used to Know which has gained over 157 million views!! 
Favourite Original Songs: Gang of Rhythm, Red Hands & REVO
If you like: Bastille, Fun. & The Lumineers you will probably enjoy this band. 

I'm really happy I discovered this band. It's really easy listening and their original songs are just as good (if not better) than their covers. So take some time to give this band a go and let me know what you think. Here is my favourite of their songs:

Please get in contact if you have any musical goodness to share. I would love your recommendations on who I should write about next. Thanks for reading <3

Friday, 11 April 2014

Depop Review

I want to share my thoughts of an app I recently decided to download onto my iPad. The story begins with my dear friend called Alice, who was having a clear out this week. She is one of those people that buys things 'just in case' she gets a chance to wear it. Because of this, she has a ton of clothes that have either been worn once or still have the labels on them. She invited me over to model some of these clothes while she took photos to sell them on Ebay, however we found a much better alternative. 

I have heard of Depop a few times but never really bothered to see what it was really all about. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to find out more about this increasingly popular app as well as hopefully earning Alice a bit of money back from her unworn/ basically brand new clothes!

Depop is an app that allows you to buy and sell products in a very simple manner. You basically take a couple of photographs of your item, write a short descriptions and how much you want for it and then post it. People sell clothes, shoes, jewellery, make-up and all sorts of 'blogger friendly' items. The transactions go through Paypal and it's incredibly easy to use. For me it is a mix between Ebay and Instagram. You can sell and buy clothes as well as putting filters on your photographs, commenting and liking what others have posted, follow certain sellers like a real social media community. 

It's that simple. It took me less than 5 minutes to get the hang of this app and it takes the same amount of time to upload an item to sell! Although it's easy to use, after spending a few days exploring this app, I've found what makes your account successful. So here are a few tips for selling on Depop:
  • Photography - Depop focusses on visuals when it comes to selling an item - makes sense! Therefore your items need to look appealing when photographed. The app has it's on tips on how to take decent photos but it's mainly common sense. Ideally use daylight, make the item the central focus, use simple backgrounds and don't change the item too much with the filters. 
  • Social Media - the app gives you the opportunity to not only share on Facebook and Twitter but also network within the Depop community. In order to get traffic to your page, you need to let people know you exist. Comment and like others items, use hashtags, promote your items on Instagram and share with all your friends!
  • Be Patient - When starting out, don't expect to have all your items sold within a week. It's a bit of a waiting game and all you can do is promote your items and hope the right people find you! I've been on Depop since Tuesday (11th April), and already got a fair amount of followers - hopefully some of Alice's items will get more attention soon. 

The downside with this app is the commission the company take for each item. Depop take 10% of the funds that are directly dealt with throught their system. On top of this, PayPal also take a bit of money. Basically if you think you're earning £10, you're probably earning £8.75. I think eBay take 5% commission however there is less chance for your products to be seen in the huge ocean that is eBay. I'd advise selling the items at 10% more than you want for it. At least this way you aren't letting go of items for less than they deserve! 

So on the sidebar you can see that I have added Depop. Now you can see whenever I've added new products to my account. Let me know if you have a Depop account as I'd love to see what you're selling and/or liking! 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Daily Make-Up Routine Video

I'm on a bit of a beauty hype at the moment and as soon as I started making YouTube videos, I really wanted to share my most worn make-up look for this season. It's a really easy to wear look, takes minimal effort to achieve and I think it looks fresh, bright and pretty (not on my face but the look in general.. No I'm not calling myself pretty). I really enjoyed filming this video and definitely plan on making more beauty based videos in the future. For those who have asked, I use my iPad to film on and iMovie to edit. I would love to get a decent camera in the near future but I need to buy a new laptop first which is already a struggle on a student budget - especially when the student likes to spend money on clothes and make-up! 

Disclaimer: I am by no means a beauty expert! This is just the way I personally enjoy doing my make-up. However feedback is definitely appreciated as these videos are supposed to be fun and informative. 

For any more information on the products used, either search for the reviews written on this blog or send me a tweet or e-mail and I'll happily get back to you. Thank you all for the support I've received over the past few weeks. It wasn't easy to start making videos but really pleased I took the plunge and had such lovely comments from family, friends and fellow bloggers. 

Your opinions mean a lot to me so please comment either below or on YouTube with your thoughts! I hope you did enjoy it as much as I enjoyed filming it. If you have any ideas on what else you'd like to see me film about please contact me :) 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Review: Rimmel's Wake Me Up Foundation

I bought this foundation in February and wanted to really get to know the product before doing this review. This is the first sheer foundation I've used and it took quite a while for me to get used to it. At first I was worried I looked a bit too shiny. Usually shiny is a good thing, like jewellery and glitter and all things, well, shiny. The first few times I definitely used too much of the products and it ended up feeling really heavy and over done - probably looked a state too! However, I soon got the hang of it.

Because of the sheer finish, I've been complimented on my healthy glowing complexion. It's a perfect daytime foundation as it's so light but has decent coverage. I only use half a pump which comfortably covers my entire face. I wouldn't wear it for a night out because I wouldn't want to become too shiny in photographs and I need a more heavy duty matte foundation when I'm dancing around like a lunatic in a nightclub. For my combination / dry skin, it's a great foundation in terms of coverage. It stays on all day and is so light I forget I'm even wearing it. As well as making my face look healthier, it makes the skin feel so soft! But I need to make sure I moisturise before using the product as it sometimes clings to my dry patches. This isn't really a problem as it looks a lot better than when encountering this problem with other foundations I have used.

The main reason I decided to go out of my matte comfort zone and purchase this foundation is the reviews I had seen around the blogosphere and the recommendations given to me on Twitter. I'm so pleased I went for it as it's been my go-to foundation this spring! Click here to watch my spring time make up tutorial in which I'm using this product and many others that I have reviewed. Have you tried this product? What sheer foundations would you recommend?

Thanks for reading x

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Review: Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint

I came home from uni without any nail varnishes so on Mother's Day I quickly popped into the shops to find a nice spring colour to try out. My go-to brand for varnishes is Barry M. I usually find them to be good value for money and love the range of colours they offer. 

So the colour I bought was 'Sugar Apple'. If you've seen any of my recent blog or Instagram posts, I'm very much in love with minty colours. I purposely don't buy similar coloured varnishes as I don't' want to buy any more storage for my beauty bits. Because of this, I can't compare this colour from any other brands versions. However I'll do my best to give an honest report on how I feel about the quality of this product. 

The nail varnish took 3 coats to become fully opaque. I've worn it since Sunday and reapplied another layer on Tuesday as I wasn't happy with the two I'd previously put on. For a normal person it might not take this many layers but I unfortunately lack experience in painting my own nails. I'm always doing my toe nails but hardily bother with my hands because they usually chip after a day! Once applied, I noticed the colour was a lot brighter than I first assumed. I predicted a more gentle pastel colour but it's definitely a bright 'neon-ish' shade. I really like this colour - the perfect spring-time nails! When purchasing this product, I was looking forward to seeing what the Gelly Hi-Shine part was all about. I couldn't really see what was different to one of their standard nail paints. I guess there is a nice shine to it but all my nail varnishes are pretty glossy. 

As far as the quality of the product goes, I am very impressed. Normally I'll smudge or chip the nail varnish within a day of applying it. With this product it lasted a good 3 days before I noticed some minor chips in the corners. The overall finished look of my nails would have been better if I was better at doing my nails. The product was easy to use and I've had a compliment or two about them so I'm content! For the price of £3.99 (£1 more than their normal range), I'm happy I purchased this product. I really like to colour and even though it takes a few coats and a bit of patience, the resulting colour and finish is very decent. The more I practise applying nail varnish, the better I will hopefully become!

Let me know what you think of this review. Would you like to see more of these sorts of posts? Have you tried about of Barry M's Gelly Hi-Shine varnishes? What other brands would you recommend?

Thanks for reading x