SKINCARE ON TRIAL + MINI REVIEWS

24 Sep 2017




After buying and testing a few new skincare products recently, I thought I'd share my thoughts with you. 

SUPERDRUG NATURALLY RADIANT HOT CLOTH CLEANSER 

After hearing comparisons to the Liz Earle Cleanser which isn't exactly in my price range, I thought I'd pick this up. This has made my skin feel smoother and hasn't caused any breakouts. While I wouldn't say it's one for helping breakouts, it has kept my spots at bay and I haven't had any major problems even around the time of the month. This feels like a much more luxurious product than what I'm paying for and so I definitely feel I'm getting my money's worth with it and it's one I'd recommend for anyone.

SUPERDRUG NATURALLY RADIANT DAY CREAM FOR NORMAL/DRY SKIN

What I liked, straight off the bat, was in the shop they had the type I picked up but also a variation for normal/oily skin which is great to see they're covering all bases. Being paired with or without the cleanser, this a fabulous and affordable daily moisturiser that creates a great, hydrated base for my make-up. It reminds me of old moisturisers I'd reach for such as the Olay moisturiser or the Nivea moisturiser for dry skin; I'm happy I've finally found a cruelty-free moisturiser that works as well, if not better, than one's I've used in the past. While the smell is a strong one, it doesn't have an effect on my skin's sensitivity and isn't a smell I hate. This is definitely one I'll buy again as being another inexpensive product almost feels luxury on the skin. 

THE ORDINARY AZELIAC ACID SUSPENSION 10%

This claims to brighten the skin as the main aim for this product however it was my friend who had heard it made a good primer. Sadly, this has been my least favourite of the products mentioned in this post. While I can see why it would make a good primer and does leave my skin feeling smooth, it almost feels chalky in texture once dries as well as dehydrated and tight. This isn't one I'll be buying again but I'll still make sure I get my use out of it and I'd suggest maybe giving it ago if you have a more oily skin type. 

THE ORDINARY HIGH-ADHERENCE SILICONE PRIMER

The word silicone around beauty is something that would usually make me run a mile. It gives me flashbacks of failed primers that just dry and ball up on my face. However, after reading a few reviews saying this was nothing  like silicone and, with it being fairly inexpensive I thought I'd give it a go and so far so good! I agree, it's not like other 'silicone' primers I've used before- with a more creamy texture and not really silicone feeling at all, it creates a great smoothing effect for make-up to apply over. If this carries on living up to my expectations, this will be a primer I'll be repurchasing in the future. 

So there's a few short reviews of some skincare products I have had on trial in my skincare routine. Let me know if you like the idea of me doing more mini reviews like this in the future! 
Have you tried any of these products before?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x 

END OF SUMMER HAUL

12 Sep 2017

With summer coming to an end, I thought I'd share with you some of the bits I've spent my money on recently before I head back to uni.

FASHION

I've already shared with you, in previous favourites posts, some of my most recent fashion purchases this summer. After spending some money on the New Look 25% off haul, I ended up keeping just one of the t-shirts I bought which is a simple Yellow Fitted T-shirt that, while, when paired with my mom jeans, I look like a Simpsons character, I really love; mustard is definitely a colour I've been loving this summer! While only £3.70 in the sale (usually, still, only £5), I think this was a real steal for an everyday staple tee. One other thing I picked up from the New Look sale was a little accessory of an "Aloha" card holder. It was only a last minute buy to get my total up to get free delivery and, for only £1.50, I think this was a great little purchase that will come in handy on a day-to-day basis especially at uni and on night outs. 

BEAUTY

As per usual, I took a few trips to Superdrug where I picked up my favourite "Pink Fizz" Shower Gel as well as my usual Superdrug Aloe Vera & Mango Extracts Shampoo & Conditioner. All super affordable and do a fab job. I also thought I'd try something new and so I picked up the Naturally Radiant Day Cream for Dry/Normal Skin. I'd seen a few people talk about this and so I thought I would give it ago as my previous Superdrug moisturisers are running low. The Radiant range were on buy on get one free so I thought I'd pick up another well talked about Superdrug product which is their Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser. Supposedly similar to the Liz Earle version, I thought I'd give it ago especially seeing as it worked out as a free purchase. 
A bit of a different purchase for me but when I saw the Charcoalogy Soothing Body Wash from TKMaxx, I had to pick it up. The packaging is what, honestly sold me as it looks similar to more luxury brands such as Aesop and Anthropology. I have to give a *disclaimer* here and say, while there and then I googled whether this was a cruelty-free brand I wasn't entirely sure whether it was or not. But then after seeing it describe as so on one of the websites selling this product I thought I'd pick it up. Sadly, now, I'm not 100% sure whether it is or not but having now bought it, I still want to use it up. Unfortunately, it is also not vegetarian/ vegan as it contains glycerol (a derivative of glycerin) and so, while I made the mistake of purchasing this, I will definitely learn from my mistakes next time I'm shopping in TKMaxx!
In other news, after finding out Collection was not cruelty-free I've been on the hunt for a new concealer which is both cruelty free and pale enough for me. In my hunt I picked up the NYX  HD Concealer as well as, a brand I've not used before, Essence Stay All Day 16hr Concealer. So far, they both seem like good concealers but both have their cons. I'm planning on doing a concealer post in the future where I go in to more detail of cruelty-free concealers. 

HOMEWARE

There wasn't much I had to buy for going into second for my house other than some new duvet sets and the usually IKEA bits that I wasn't sure would be too interested in. However, I thought I'd share two purchases I think most of you bloggers will like. The first is one most have already seen and purchased and it's the Primark Rose Gold Basket; I thought this would be perfect for my desk to store my pencil cases and anything like my stapler and hole punch. If not for that, it currently works great for holding some of my everyday skincare bits. 
This next thing was seen in TKMaxx and I couldn't help myself. This purple, painted-like box with gold foiling is such a gorgeous box. Is that weird? I think not. I can't say I know exactly what I'll be using this for but with the amount of beauty products and notebooks I have that will need a home at uni, I'm sure I'll find a suitable purpose for this box. I plan on doing a room tour when I move so I'm sure you'll see then what I've decided to use this for!

So that's some of the things I've bought recently; does anything take your fancy?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x



HOW TO SURVIVE FRESHERS

7 Sep 2017

So I'm guessing that a few of you will be heading off to university for the first time this year and I can't believe that it was a year ago that I was in the same position as you are now. While I was no pro at Freshers, I thought I would give you a few pieces of advice I wish I'd had for the first week or so at university.

SOME ADVICE

THROW YOURSELF INTO IT

I feel if I hadn't have got to know my flat, I would have very much regretted it. Taking the time to speak to your housemates, if you're living in, is essential. I tried to go to as many nights out as I could during Freshers and I was so glad I did because it was a chance to really get to know everyone. 

DON'T PANIC! EVERYONE'S IN THE SAME BOAT

This is probably to most over used piece of advice but it's still one to bear in mind; everyone will be nervous to meet new people so awkwardness is normal but know that's to be expected when strangers are put together and you have no clue who they are. It's worth remembering that getting to know people will happen naturally so don't put pressure on yourself to get your life story out as soon as you meet them.

SIGN UP TO AS MUCH AS YOU CAN OR WANT TO 

Freshers fair was such a great chance to see, apart from your course, what the uni really has to offer from sports to societies- most universities offer an incredible array of activities for you to get involved at. I signed up for so many society and group newsletters at my freshers fair and, while I've still never attended most of them, I was glad I at least gave myself the opportunity to and I wasn't missing out. While I'll be going into second year I think I'll still be going along to this years freshers fair and see if there's anything new and interesting!

A BISCUIT TIN IS THE WAY FORWARD

So a little anecdote: I was given some biscuits and a biscuit tin by a family friend to take with me to uni and I have never been so happy it was there. Putting it in the kitchen made it that little bit more homely and communal as we bonded over biscuits a lot during the first week. With only the freshers events really happening, we spent most of our days sat in the kitchen talking and eating biscuits. Some people bake, some people leave their doors opening; anything to be seen as welcoming will give you the chance to really talk to and get to know your flat. 

LECTURES: DON'T SIT IN ONE SEAT 

Maybe later on in the year when you've made some friends on your course you'll be happy sitting in the same seats every lecture but, as no one in my flat did my course, I decided that each lecture during the first few weeks I would sit in a different seat and if someone sat next to me, flash them a smile and, most of the time, it followed with a fab conversation about the night out before or what college they were in (my uni is collegiate a bit like harry potter houses). It was only a week or two into my course that I sat next to someone who happened to be in my tutorial and we really got on. I definitely think switching up where I sit and taking some time to talk to new people really helped. 


MY FRESHERS SURVIVAL ESSENTIALS

A SOLID PAIR OF TRAINERS: Day and night, you're walking about a lot. Ditch the heels for nights out if that's what you used to; you won't last a week in them. Once you've done a night out in trainers, you won't want to go back. 

BLISTER PLASTERS: So you've decided to ditch the heels but that still doesn't mean your feet won't be ruined from night after night. These were a life saver for me. 

FANCY DRESS OUTFITS: We were told what events would be happening during our freshers but it wouldn't hurt to have a lil' stock of some costumes you could throw together even if it is a cheap superhero mask. 

A CARD GAME: While eating through the biscuits we played a lot of card games. A pack of playing cards was perfect to get us through the week but cards against humanity is another student fave. 

FACE WIPES: Appealing to the more beauty/ skin conscious amongst you, please don't make the same mistake I did and not have some of these until the last term of uni last year and instead had to do a full cleansing routine after every night out to get my make up off. Save time and just get some face wipes. They also double up as great desk and window ledge cleaners before you move out. 

SPRITE: So if my sister past on any better piece of advice from her time at uni it was the wonders of sprite and what it does on a hangover. If found this worked for me but, if you're a drinker, your favourite remedy would suffice; make sure you pack your hangover cure to the gallon (better be safe than sorry). 

MICROWAVEABLE FOOD: I'd say, especially for the first night, no one wanted to crack open their new pans just yet so opting for a student staple of super noodles or microwaveable rice or meals is the best option. Failing that, a takeaway with the flat might be a good shout. 

COLD & FLU TABLETS: My lectures at uni are recorded and so listening back to the first terms lectures were tough to understand due to the amount of coughing going on from us all. Freshers flu is definitely a thing so some of these would definitely be worth it. Also keep up your vitamins; orange juice is a must.

So there's a few bits of advice and some of my uni "essentials". What is some advice you'd give Freshers if you've been to uni? 
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x


RECENTLY READ #21

30 Aug 2017

This has been a very slow summer of reading. A lot slower and unproductive than I would have hoped. Nevertheless, here are the reviews and summaries of the books I've read recently. 


WHAT'S A GIRL GOTTA DO? (SPINSTER SERIES #3) // HOLLY BOURNE

★★☆☆☆

I finally got round to completing the third book in the series after not being able to get into it straight away. Sadly, this book didn't live up to the other two's standards; I don't know whether it was because the final focus of character of Lottie was not one I felt was relatable. The premise of this book was that Lottie wanted to start a feminist revolution by pointing out every patriarchal flaw she comes across while keeping up to date on a YouTube channel. There was, of course, the usual tropes that come along with a youtube video- it, of course, going viral. It did cover topics such as trolling which are important for our generation. However, I felt, apart from the obvious characteristics that put the girls in sixth form college, the overall writing was a little juvenile. 
I don't know whether by this last book, I have outgrown the characters and the storyline but this one just didn't appeal to me. I know that there's the final add-on to this series by Holly Bourne "...And A Happy New Year?" which I do want to get round to completing so I definitely have still enjoyed this series and want to see how things are rounded off. Overall, this book (along with the series) carried some great messages but, for me, it was the weakest of the trilogy and may be more suited for a slightly younger audience than myself. 

TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE // MITCH ALBOM

★★★★☆

I have reviewed before other Mitch Albom books that are always so beautifully written and resinate with me well but this one I have been trying to read on and off for years and I finally powered through and finished it: I am so glad I did. It was almost as if it was designed to be a little book of life advice disguised as a novel and I love that. 
When Mitch returns to see his old professor in the last few months of Morrie's life, they share their last lessons together where both Mitch and you, as the reader, get some great take-home messages that will stick with you. The messages and the feelings I took away from this book were ones I haven't felt from a book in a very long time. If you want a short, powerful, thought-provoking read this is definitely one I'd recommend for you.

S.T.A.G.S // M.A.BENNETT*

★★★☆☆


I hadn't heard of this author before but, when HotKeyBooks sent me through a synopsis, I was intrigued and as soon as it came through my post box, I was reading it. It's set in a medieval school based on old legends surrounding, surprise, a Stag. It's a book of cult-like organisations within the upperclass network at this famously posh school. The main character, Greer, came to the school on a scholarship and spent her time feeling alone until she received an invite to attend a weekend at Henry de Warlencourt's house along with the other prefects known as the "Medievals". She was invited along to a weekend of bloodspots; Huntin' Shootin' Fishin'. However, things aren't as nice as they seem and as the weekend's events unfolds things become a little strange. 
While this made a nice change to the usual YA I read, the plot was a little lacking; while saying it's a thriller it wasn't really edge-of-the-seat stuff and their weren't any twists and turns that shocked or surprised me as a reader. Nothing with the plot was left for the reader to decipher before a big reveal- answers were given on a plate. There was also a lot of pop culture references throughout this book; I liked the film references but the simple explanation of Greer liking movies was just that- simple. Also the talk of social media could make this book one that becomes dated very fast. 
Having said that, it's still a book I would recommend for fans of E.Lockhart's We Were Liars if you like the mystery element of that book and also fans of her book the disreputable history... as the setting of the book seems fairly similar. 

I'm hoping that, with what's left of summer, I will be able to get cracking on reading some more and maybe actually complete my goodreads yearly challenge (here's to hoping)!
What books would you recommend I read next?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah X


SECOND YEAR UNIVERSITY GOALS

25 Aug 2017

If I could do 1st year again what would I do differently? Here are some goals I want to set myself to make sure I have a fab year at uni. 

So if you've been reading for a little while, you'll know I finished my first year at university studying Psychology. It had its ups and downs but, all in all, I enjoyed my time there, the things I accomplished, the friends I made, the independence I achieved. I sadly didn't update my blog enough though out the year of what my year really consisted of and that's my first goal going into my second year...

1. Make time for blogging. 
I have neglected my blog over this passed year and I always seem to try and set aside time to get it done. But being so strict with scheduling my blog doesn't seem to work for me. Instead of setting specific deadlines, I am going to just make sure I keep up to date with the blogging world and carry on posting everything I love along with a lot more uni related posts. If you have any suggestions of posts, I'd love to hear!

2. Stay Ahead. 
While it wasn't such a need-to-do thing in first year, I really want to put my all into second year. This includes staying on top of my reading, writing up my notes and not leaving essays to the last minute. I've always been pretty good at this but I want to make sure I try my best to get everything done with time to spare. 

3. Find a balance. 
This is something I wish I'd done better in first year. Some weeks I'd lock myself away in my room to work while other weeks I'd do no work at all. By doing this, it encouraged me to procrastinate but, then when I did start the work, I'd begin to panic and soon feel burnt out. I want to make sure I get the balance between work and play right to make sure I make the most out of the year and still get good grades while I'm doing it. 

4. Try new things. 
While my inbox may be constantly full with weekly newsletters from all the different societies and club activities I signed up for at the Freshers fair, I definitely didn't step outside my comfort zone to try something new. This is something I really want to accomplish this year whether it's attending society socials or going along to campus events. I want to throw myself into uni life on a whole new level. 

5. Explore the city even more. 
I think I did an OK job of doing this already but there's still more to explore. I go to university in York and I feel like it's quite a cultured, historic city with some great places to visit. One thing I failed to do last year was make the most of the free entry to museums and galleries in York that I get as a student. Along with this, I never even walked along the York walls or visit half the cafes I wanted to. 

I'm sure there is more I want to accomplish this year, some that I've not even thought of yet, but with these five goals, I hope my second year at uni will be even better than the first.
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x
design by amanda inez