UNDERSTANDING AN INTROVERT

16 Aug 2018

While that title may make it seem like we are a rare, dangerous bread, that's far from the truth. This post I want to address some misconceptions of introverts. 

1. We don't hate social situations. 
There may be times when we would rather stay at home in our own company than being at a party, but that's not necessarily all the time. I, for one, do enjoy social situations I just may be a little nervous at first or I may want to leave earlier than others. It doesn't mean I'm socially awkward. I can hold a conversation. It doesn't mean I'm boring either.  I read somewhere a little metaphor that went along the lines of: if we were batteries, extroverts feel charged by human interaction where as it tends to drain introverts more and their time alone is how they recharge. I can feel pretty drained if I've had too much human contact in a week and sometimes need the day off from interacting with anyone but it doesn't mean I didn't like being around people for the time I was. 

2. We can be extroverted. 
In more recent years I've realised that categorising yourself as an introvert based on certain characteristics isn't exactly right. There are times where I surprise myself and display characteristics that are more extroverted. Maybe it comes with growing up but I find that, sometimes, I can be more open to new experiences and spontaneous which didn't used to be something that would come naturally to me. 

3. We're not lazy.
I feel like this is quite a common misconception; that because we're not out in the world, talking to people and being social butterflies that we just sit on our arses and do nothing. Personally, I actually quite like being out and about just, sometimes, I like to do that on my own. 

4. We do have friends. 
When you watch a cliche, high school film, the "loner" is usually seen as an introverted character but this isn't reality. I've actually always been someone who's been quite good at making friends; I find I can easily find common ground with someone and, soon enough, we acting like we've known each other for years. I may not have a huge group of friends but who needs that? All you need is your close unit; just because I'm more introverted does not mean I cant make friends in any capacity. 

5. It doesn't mean we're shy.
As I say, especially in more recent years, I've found that I can quite easily make friends and starting a conversation with strangers isn't hard. While I may fluster if I get a question from a random person I'm not expecting, I'm not afraid to talk to them. While we may seem to an outsider as someone who is timid and doesn't like talking, if you get to know me you'll have trouble trying to shut me up!


What do you think about some of these misconceptions; have you had any similar experiences?
Are you more extroverted or introverted?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

WHAT UNIVERSITY HAS TAUGHT ME SO FAR

11 Aug 2018

As I head into my third year, I thought I'd share with you what, non-academically, university has taught me...

There's life after high school.

It sounds silly that I didn't realise this earlier. Even through college I thought nothing would get better than high school and it wasn't like that was great. I left high school with friends but I wouldn't say a solid friendship group. I thought that would just be how it would stay. But, that wasn't the case. I've realised that, wherever you go, there's always people willing to listen and have fun with that are even better than the people you meet at high school. 

You aren't always stuck in education and your grades don't necessarily define you or limit you to what you want to achieve.

A lot of people say the time at high school will be some of the best years of your life. I now highly dispute that claim. 

Nothing really changes.

I thought I'd go away and everything would just drastically change. Not only my home life where I expected I'd walk back in to my family home and no longer have a bedroom or the parents have decided to invest their life savings in a caravan etc. In fact, everything's stayed relatively the same. The same can be said for myself, I thought you go away, move out and you, yourself, change and,  while I think I have made some small changes, they've been nothing I've had to say to myself "woah,  I've changed". It's been inevitable steps that are just part of growing up but nothing like what I expected to happen. On that subject...

You're still young! 

It was as if I thought that as you hit 20 there's this automatic switch that's hit and BAM you're a fully-fledge adult. It was just the other day that I was thinking how, in some ways, I still feel 16. I know I definitely still look it from the comments I get in shops and the amount of times I am ID'd for razors in Superdrug, but I also don't feel like the way I act has really changed and sometimes I still act as if I was 16.

I've realised that I've got all the time in the world to make decisions about my life and no decision I make has to be set in stone; things can change later down the line because I've got plenty time to do that; I'm still young. 

It's OK to be yourself.


I never have truly felt like I could be myself around people but university has allowed me to present to people the closest thing to me and I'm honestly proud of myself for managing to do this. It sounds like a strange, silly thing to self-celebrate but to me it's a big thing. I've finally found people who accept me in all my weirdness and all my annoyingness. 

I'm less afraid to speak to new people, have conversations and have an opinion that's not always the most agreed one. It's OK for me to speak out about my views and put ideas forward. It's OK for me to be happy about who I am. 

I'm capable of more than I think.

As many are, I'm self-critical and even my successes I tend to put down to luck or not give myself the credit I should give myself. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself and, even when I get great grades, I still look at the negative. Since coming to uni, I've found a lot of people are the same but I think slowly we are all accepting how lucky we are to be at the uni we are and that getting here has taken a lot of work and we deserve it just as much as anyone else. Without making this sound like a job application, my volunteering and time working part time, it's been nice to see people appreciate the work I do and it's confirmed in me that, sometimes, I need to be a little less harsh on myself. I should be proud of what I've accomplished so far even if it's only small things so far. 

A lot of people are in the same boat.

Whether it be family issues, friendship dramas or personal feelings I've realised how alike I am to a lot of people. It's a tired phrase but "you are not alone" springs to mind and is definitely fitting here. There's always someone who can relate to a problem you're having and vice versa. It's nice to know that we are all having similar struggles and that, from this, you can be there to support each other.


So these are just a few of the little life lessons that my first two years at uni have taught me and there's definitely more where this came from (potentially enough for a part 2?).
Do you go to university? Any life lessons you want to share I'd love to read!
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x 

JULY FAVOURITES

7 Aug 2018


With the weather being super warm, make up has been a rarity so discovering new products has been put on the back burner. But, while I haven't discovered or been particularly loving any beauty products this month, there have been a lot of other bits I've been loving that I'd thought I'd share with you. 

TOM GRENNAN

Right at the start of this month, I headed to Community Festival in Finsbury Park. If you follow me on Instagram (@distortings) you may have seen my stories of some fabulous artists and bands. If you saw those you may have seen one of those was Tom Grennan. I'd been loving his music before seeing him live but my love for his music grew even more after seeing him live and I haven't stopped listening to him since. My favourites are "Something in the Water" and "Barbed Wire". If you're fans of people like George Ezra you might this him. 

Side note, I'd say Community Festival is probably a favourite of mine as well for this month. If you get the opportunity to go, it's a great festival that always has some fabulous people. If you are interested in seeing who was playing this year, the snapchat stories are added to my JULY '18 highlights if you want a peak. 

Shop his music here: Tom Grennan Music Store

ACCESSORIZE MUSTARD COIN PURSE

I've downsized my everyday bag to a small cross body. From doing this, it's also meant I've had to downsize my purse as my former purse no longer fits. I've been a little obsessed with mustard this year and so seeing this cute little purse in Accessorize, I couldn't help myself. It's the perfect size to throw my cards into as well as a section for coins in the middle. I have quite a lot of loyalty cards and even though this doesn't have specific slots for cards, I can still fit them all into and get to them easily as well. I think I've been converted to the small purse life now. 

Shop here: Coin Purse 

ZARA HEADBAND

So technically I bought this in August but I can't help be include this as a favourite straight away. I haven't worn a headband in years and I've fallen in love with it. I have a knack for picking up items and trying them on as a joke but then actually loving them so much I have to buy them and this was one of those. Since picking it up, it hasn't left my head. It makes a messy bun look a little more put together while keeping those strays out of my face. 

Similar here: Turban-Style headband

BLACK HIGH TOP CONVERSE

After deciding to finally buy these, they have become a very beloved pair of trainers. They go with so much and I love particularly pairing them with my mum jeans and a jumper; not the most summer-appropriate outfit but I can't help but wear that combo all summer round. I think I'll be wearing these all year round. 


ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK

Season 6 was released and I devoured all 13 episodes in just 2 days (I wouldn't say this is something to be proud of though). It was probably my favourite season so far so, if your a OITNB fan and still haven't got round to watching it, this is my public service announcement to tell you to get it watched. And, if you've never watched OITNB I highly recommend you do; it cover such relevant topics and tackling important subjects well in a prison setting while still being funny. I don't know how I'm going to survive without this for another year now. 

ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE

If you read Saturday's post on the books I've RECENTLY READ, you will have seen me mention this book. If you want to know more about this book and it's plot, give that post a read. Here, I just one to sing its praises one last time. I loved how realistic it was and, while the pace was slow, the build up allowed me to really connect with the characters. It also made me laugh in parts which is always an added bonus. My first 5/5 stars on good reads in quite a while! 


So there's my favourites for July. While there was no beauty favourites, I really enjoyed sharing these bits with you and I hope you enjoyed reading about them. 
Did you do anything exciting in July?
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x


*Disclaimer: This post does contain some affiliate links*


RECENTLY READ

4 Aug 2018



follow me on goodreads for more recommendations and reviews! 


I'm embarrassed that I've only managed to read less than a handful so far this year and it's already August. Because of this and with finally some free time to catch up on the fab books I've missed this year, I've set myself the goal of reading a book a week until the end of summer. 
While to some serious readers this is hardly anything, I can be quite a slow reader and that's fine with me. If I manage to complete my own little challenge I'll be proud of myself. Having said that, here's what I've read so far this summer. 

ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE // GAIL HONEYMAN

★★★★★

I'd heard my friend had decided to pick this one up to read and the premise was something that sounded like one I would enjoy. So, before heading to London, I picked this up and started to read this on the train. It's centred around called, surprisingly, Eleanor Oliphant and it gives a glimpse of her childhood which was an interesting one. It shows us how it's affected her in her adult years.  While I'd say it's definitely a slow burner, having nothing else to do on that train helped me power through. I actually for once  enjoyed the slow build up. The slower pace made it feel like more of a  realistic life with chapters that focussed on more normal day to day tasks which still revealed a lot about the character. It really allowed to build depth to the characters and helped me to connect with the story. 
I have been struggling to find books that bridge the gap between young adult books that I love but have started to outgrow and adult fiction that just don't capture my attention that YA does. This was the perfect hybrid and I have this to thank for getting me out of my 6-month reading slump. It was a book I highly enjoyed and would recommend to others. I could tell it's not everyone's cup of tea due to the slower pace but it's not incredibly long and I think it's worth it. That's why I'd give this a 5 stars. 


UNCONVENTIONAL // MAGGIE HARCOURT

★☆☆☆☆

I don't recall the last time I've given a book one star. After getting almost all the way to the end of this book I ended up giving up. I think the reason I didn't like this book was maybe more to do with me than the actual book. I think I'm starting to realise I'm outgrowing some branches of YA. Having said that, even a few years ago, I think I would have enjoyed it more than now but I still don't think it would be one I'd be quick to recommend to others. 
One of the appraisals on the front cover likened Harcourt's writing style to Rainbow Rowell and I totally agree with that. It's a very easy-going like premise with a simple tone throughout. It reminded me a lot of Rowell's short "Kindred Spirits". With that, I think this book would have made a great short story; I don't feel it needed the 314 pages it included. I think, if it was shorter, I may have enjoyed it more but, in this instance, I felt it dragged out the story unnecessarily. What I will give it is that, in some places, it did make me chuckle but overall I wasn't a fan. The relationship introduced in this book didn't feel genuine and had a very cliche feel to it that made it quite unbelievable and rushed. With a 3.6 average on Goodreads, other's obviously do like this book and so maybe don't just take my opinion on it. But, sadly, this one wasn't for me. 

WE ALL LOOKED UP // TOMMY WALLACH

★★☆☆☆


I'd heard a lot of this in the blogging community so thought it was worth a go. It's been sat on my shelf for a while after getting it for my 19th birthday (I'm now 20 and a half...). It wasn't exactly as I expected. I was thinking it would be more Station Eleven meets Breakfast Club. And, I guess, it was a little like that but it still wasn't exactly what I expected or wanted from the book. The book centres around four high-school teenagers in America and it was set around the days leading up to the crash of a meteor and the potential end of the earth. I'm a sucker for dual or, in this case, quadruple perspectives but here I don't think it really added anything really necessary. This was another slow one going in to it but, unlike Eleanor Oliphant, it wasn't one that really allowed me to connect with the characters and the end left me disappointed as I felt nothing really came of the book. 
In some places I also found the writing a little pretentious; using big words where bigs words weren't needed. Having said this, I still made it to the end which is something. I have another book by Tommy Wallach called "Thanks For The Trouble" which I have given a go previously but, even after the slight disappointment of this book of his, I think I will still try and give it another crack this summer.

Do you have any book recommendations I should give ago this summer?
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x


LONG DISTANCE FRIENDSHIPS

1 Aug 2018

As you get older, it's not uncommon for you to move around. Whether that's moving around for a job or university, it's unlikely you'll stay in the same place forever. 
I've come across a number of posts from other writers discussing what it's like to be in a long-distance relationship and what it's like to leave your other half behind. However, less so mentioned is what about the friends you leave behind? Long-distance friendships are as much a hard thing as long-distance relationships. 

Over the years, I've discovered I'm very much someone who enjoys space. By that, I don't mean the scarily vast universe that lies outside Earth but the kind of space that gives me room to breath and enjoy my own company. It allows me to not feel overwhelmed by my surroundings. If I see the same person every day for a week, it's likely that, by the end of those seven days, I will start to withdraw and no longer feel the benefit of being around those people. I don't mean this to sound big headed either; I'm sure they would feel the same about seeing my face everyday. I feel this is a similar concept to friendships throughout school. You see the same friends everyday so you're bound to know them well but it's also normal for them to start grinding your gears and vice versa. 

Since going to university, it's true what people say about discovering who "your real friends are". The ones that, even if you don't speak for a while, you can still message when either one of you needs a some advice in a crisis or just a friend to listen. The one's you still look forward to speaking to, to update each other about the goings on in your life. And, inevitably, they are the one's you'll eventually miss. 

Even as someone, as I say, who likes their space, I still miss my friends. I think those closest to me understand that's how I am; if I'm on the other side of the country and haven't messaged them in a month, they still know that everything's fine between us and, whenever it is we do find time to speak, I will be excited to hear what they have to say as well as being excited to share anything that's been happening in my life with them. And, deep down, I'll be missing them. 

Just last week I headed home for Summer. I text my friend a few days before I was set to leave: "I hope you're ready to see me everyday for a month even when we get sick of the sight of each other"- because, I feel the distance has made my strongest friendships even stronger. It's allowed us to grow separately along our own paths but then still coming back together later down the line. The distance makes me want to cherish and appreciate the time I have with my friends more and I feel more inclined to  make great, long-lasting memories before we're back, caught up in our own separate lives. Even when we go back to our own lives a distance away from each other, we'll also know that the other is only a phone call away and that we know we'll see each other again soon. 

Tell me about some of your long-distance friendships! How do you stay in touch? 
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah X 


JUNE FAVOURITES

11 Jul 2018


Here's a few little bits I've been loving this past month...

REVOLUTION PRO FOUNDATION DROPS

Let's not waste any time here. I've mentioned these already in both my SUMMER MAKE UP ROUTINE and BEAUTY ON TRIAL posts. If you want more in depth reviews I'd check those out. All I will say here is that if you want an affordable, everyday foundation that is cruelty-free and carries a great shade range, I'd definitely check this out in Superdrug! 

PIXI PETRA LIP BALM

This is another I mentioned in my SUMMER MAKE UP ROUTINE. When I bought it, I thought it would have more of a lip balm consistency but it actually is more thick like a lipstick. However, even with that thicker texture, it's still a moisturising lip that gives a lovely, wearable colour. It's something I've been throwing in my bag when I'm on the go and can top up when it's rubbing off or my lips are getting dry. It makes a nice alternative to just your standard lip balm.

VITAMIN E MOISTURISING DAY CREAM 

Another one I mentioned in my BEAUTY ON TRIAL post, this moisturiser is just your bog standard moisturiser but I think that's why I've loved using it this past month so much. For just short of £3, I feel I get a lot of the benefits from that of more expensive moisturisers if not giving more hydration than more pricey ones have given me in the past. I think this is a little pot of joy that has been really helping my more dehydrated skin over this past month. 

THE ORDINARY 100% SQUALENE SOLUTION

This product I have mentioned in a favourites before and I am not one to mention things I love in more than one favourites post. However, after trying out other serums and oils, I had put this one at the back of my drawer and forgotten about it. It was only recently that I decided to reach for it again and it's been really nice to have this back in my skincare routine. It's helped my moisturiser hydrate my skin more than it would on its own as well as giving a natural glow to my skin on make-up free days. It also helps me go to bed with silky smooth skin that feels well nourished. It feels very luxurious on the skin for something that price is less than that. 

PANIC! AT THE DISCO // PRAY FOR THE WICKED


I haven't spoke about music on my blog for quite a while but one album I was very excited to see released was the Panic! At the Disco album. No matter how much my favoured music genres change over time, I will always have a place for the fabulous voice of Brendon Urie. While I would say I do prefer his last album, this still has some great songs on it. My favourites so far are "Dying in LA", "High Hopes" and "One of The Drunks". Definitely one I will be replaying over the rest of summer. 


So there's a few bits I've been loving in June. Do you have any great discoveries you made this month?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah 

BEAUTY ON TRIAL

5 Jul 2018


Here's some products I've been giving a go recently and my opinions on them so far. 


THE ORDINARY HYALURONIC ACID 2%+B5

One of my biggest skin concerns is dry skin and this product was something I'd been continuously recommended to try. I remember first using it and noticing an immediate change in the softness and texture of my skin. However, it was said to be one that focusses more on the long term benefits of helping draw moisture to the face over time. Morning and evening, I applied a few drops to my face before moisturiser. While it did help give me smooth skin and it felt as though it allowed my moisturiser to sink into my skin more, I haven't seen the long term benefits. After a few weeks, the effects seemed to become less apparent and it seemed to work very similar to my previously reviewed "The Ordinary 100% Squalene Solution". The textures are different but I felt the benefits were very similar. 
The Hyaluronic acid hasn't worked as well as I thoughr but as I near the end of the bottle and I am still tempted to pick it up again and continue to see how well it works. 

YESTO GRAPEFRUIT EXFOLIATOR 

The same time I picked up the Hyaluronic Acid, I also wanted something to tackle my uneven skin tone and, with this saying exactly that, I thought I'd give this scrub a go. It claims to help correct and repair uneven skin tone and enhance radiance. 
Like any scrub, I usually use it once or twice a week otherwise I find it works the skin a little too much. When I do use it, I do find that it does bring a little radiance to my forever dull skin which is great. In terms of helping uneven skin, it is a fairly abrasive scrub and so I'd think it works well for helping uneven skin and it does; at least for the first day. If I wanted my skin to remain completely uneven it would be a product that I would have to use everyday and due to it being an exfoliant, it's not one I'd like to use that often. 
It is a nice scrub with a fabulous scent that I love using in the morning or before applying heavier make up to my face. However, for something with long term benefits, I think this product lacks this and so I'll definitely be on the hunt for more products that help my uneven skin such as maybe a chemical exfoliant instead. 

REVOLUTION PRO FOUNDATION DROPS

Anytime I buy a new foundation that I love I tend to give it its own moment of glory in its own blogpost. However, I know already that this product has been cropping up over a lot on other blogs  with many singing it's praises and I know it'll be appearing in a fair amount of future blogposts by me so I thought I'd keep it short. 

When I was looking for a new foundation, I was struggling to find one that was my shade, cruelty free and dewy. When I saw this for only £7 I thought I might as well give it a go. It's been a few weeks since I've used it and it's definitely put to the test during the hot weather and 12-hour shift days.

I think this has the perfect coverage for me on a daily basis while still being buildable if needing something more full coverage. It also covers the bit of redness I have and sometimes only need minimal concealer on more probelmatic areas and a little under the eyes. I find it's best applied with a damp beauty sponge otherwise I find it to be more prone to sticking to the more dry areas on my face.

I wouldn't say it has the best long lasting ability as it is one that tends to separate during the day. However, I wouldn't say it's extremely obvious when it does and, for only £7, it could be worse. 
I did think the packaging wasn't really needed with the droplet applicator but due to it's runny texture, I think it's what works best and it makes a change from the usual pump foundation. 
Overall, this is a foundation I would recommend if you want a light/medium coverage foundation that is is great for a small budget this summer. It's one I think I will be picking up again in the future. 

SUPERDRUG VITAMIN E MOISTURISING DAY CREAM

When my usual "Superdrug Naturally Radiant Day Cream" was out of stock, I thought I'd try something new. I'm a fan of The Body Shop's Vitamin E range and so I wondered how this faired against it. 
I'd say this has much more of a cream consistency compared to the Naturally Radiant cream I usually use which I'd say is a little more gel-like. Because of this, I feel it actually brings a lot more moisture to the face in a more natural way- it doesn't give a completely smooth base, but my face feels all-round hydrated. Also, with the extra benefit of SPF 15, I can't complain for almost £3. 
To me, this is really a bog-standard moisturiser which is neither good or bad- it moisturises the face and that's all it really needs to do. 
While I think I will continue to by the Naturally Radiant Day Cream, I wouldn't complain if I had to pick this up again in the future. 
This range also has a lot more to offer and so, if you find The Body Shop's Vitamin E range a little on the pricey side, I'd recommend seeing if there's a similar alternative in this range at Superdrug. 


So there's a few mini reviews of some of the products I've been trialling lately! Have you tried any of these? Do you have any good exfoliator recommendations? 
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah 

HONEST REVIEW OF SECOND YEAR

25 Jun 2018

Prepare yourself for an in-depth review of the ups and downs of second year at University...


When I first started writing this post I sent a picture of the text I had written so far to my housemate joking which jokingly read "It sucked". It's hard to really start and put into perspective as to how this years gone but I'm going to try and break this down in, hopefully, a fathomable way.

TIME FLIES WHEN DEADLINES ARE BY THE TON

Definitely not how that saying should go. It feels like only yesterday I was moving into my second year house and readjusting to uni life. We were warned about this year from older Psychology students that it would be tough but I don't think any of us were really prepared for it. Before I knew it, Christmas exams were here and I didn't have time to prepare for the term from hell that waited around the corner. With a jam-packed second term with a deadline a week and 9am lectures on the daily, I was starting to believe that what everyone had heard about uni wasn't true. I had no time to enjoy myself. The term flew by and not in a good way. I don't think I properly breathed until that last assignment for second term was handed in. And even then, all that meant was summer exams were fast approaching. It's strange to think that next year I'll already be in third year. 

IT CAN BE LONELY

Compared to some subjects, I had something on almost every day of the week . If I wasn't in uni, I was at my part-time job in town or I was with my housemates. I kept myself busy enough to not have time to think about missing home or missing friends.  But then, the off day that I didn't have work, I didn't have lectures and my housemates were busy, it was strange to sit in my room and think. I can be surrounded by familiar, friendly faces and yet still feel a little lost amongst it all . I wrote a post years a go called "ALONE vs. LONELY" and that post still resonates with me today. Times when I'm alone I love, it gives me time to relax. But at points, it can be lonely even if you try and stay busy. I know it's something a lot of people struggle with at uni and I found it particularly hard this year. 

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES

Every uni student that has gone through Freshers knows about signing up to a hundred and one different societies and events that you think you'll definitely be going to throughout your time at university. Most also know that your attendance at these, even after countless emails, is most likely not going to happen. For me, nothing changed in second year. I wanted to make time for societies and events but deadlines took over and so did my job. It isn't really until now with the year finished that I realise how much I feel like I missed through having a job and a course that has so many contact hours. 


THERE OF COURSE WERE SOME GOOD PARTS...

It's nice to know that some hard work does pay off. While I'm yet to get my official end of year result, there were times where, throughout the year, I surprised myself with the marks on essays and reports I was getting. While my end of year results weren't as high as I would have liked, they were still good and I know I'm being hard on myself when I say they weren't good. I was scared that having a job in second year would really hurt my grades and, maybe it did a little, but I turned out pieces of work with the highest scores I've ever got. It confirmed in me that what I'm doing is the right thing and that I chose well coming to uni to do Psychology.


FRIENDS

Having a good group of friends at uni, I feel, can make or break the uni experience and, for me, I'm lucky to have met some lovely people along the way. 

You might be familiar with the first year mistake of living with the people you lived with in first year, in second year but learning to hate them along the way. Thankfully, this hasn't happened in my house. Yes, they're annoying at times, but who isn't? While we have decided to live in different houses in third year, I can guarantee I'll be nagging them for movie nights and trips out next year. We've grown a close little group that have become so comfortable with each other. Some of the best memories of this year haven't been anything extravagant but been one's where we've spent the evening curled up on the sofa talking and laughing at awful jokes and watching films. While I'm not a soppy person, If you're reading this, just a little thank you for putting up with my weirdness, listening to me babble on about things you aren't interest in and making me laugh every day of the year. 

It was also nice to have a close knit group of course friends. They were a support system going through exams and knowing and it was reassuring to know we were all at the same point when the stress level hit new heights during the year. While in third year we are all split off into different modules, there's no doubt that we'll still be meeting regularly. I'm so happy to have a solid group of girl friends that I can rely on. 

It's hard to know whether the pros have outweighed the cons of this year. I'm so lucky to have the opportunity to be at uni and to have great friends come with it. However, it's hard to know if I'm really yet to embrace the opportunity I've been given. Only time will tell, as I head into third year, if it's all been worth it. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and I'm hoping to be giving you some more uni-related posts over the coming months in preparation for anyone going to uni this September in hopes that it may give you some honest insight into uni life.

Are you a student yourself? Was there anything you found challenging about your time as a student?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

BUDGET FRIENDLY SUMMER MAKE-UP

21 Jun 2018


With it getting warmer, it's time to change things up  with this lightweight, budget-friendly make up. 

While the weather is getting warmer and my skin is less dry, I still need the extra hydration so, as well as moisturiser, I always like having a moisturising base that also helps my foundation go on smoothly. The Barry M Flawless Original Primer is great for just that. It's a simple primer that helps in simple ways and that's all I need for a day-to-day basis. This also gets extra brownie points for the great packaging; it's so much easier to pump out compared to tube primers and you can get every last drop out of it. 
A new addition for me this summer is the Revolution Pro Foundation Drops in F1. It's a great lightweight primer for summer with surprisingly good coverage for how thin the foundation comes out. I do think the packaging is slightly gimmicky but I think it works well for this product due to its very runny formula. It reminds me a lot of the L'oreal True Match foundation I used to adore so it's great that I've found a similar cruelty-free alternative. Daily, when I'm in a rush,  I tend to use a buffing brush such as my ELF Foundation brush but it also works great with my Real Techniques Beauty Sponge which gives a more flawless, dewey base. 
There are always bits foundation doesn't cover as well. So for those pesky parts, the new(ish) and highly demanded Revolution Conceal and Define Concealer in C1 comes in very handy. It's great for both highlighting under eyes and concealing any blemishes the foundation didn't manage to cover.
Next, I'll usually do eyebrows and I keep it quick and simple with my Freedom Eyebrow Powder Duo in Ash Brown. They have a great selection of shades at a super affordable price. It's definitely one to check out.
Daily, I choose to just opt for an overall bronze and, for this, the extremely affordable Natural Collection Bronzer in Copper is great. It gives a decent amount of warmth while not being too orange for my fair face. I'm not usually a fan of bronzers that contain a bit of shimmer but I actually like the bit of flex that runs through this bronzer. I don't find it to be too overwhelmingly shimmery but still giving me a little something that saves me time on adding highlighter aswell. If I have time, I also like to apply this across my eyes to just add a little more colour.
Mascara is usually the step I skip during the summer months because I know that my eyes are most likely to stream throughout the day making mascara quite pointless. But, if I do, the Barry M Showgirl Mascara is a great one for length and a natural curl.
Finishing off, I've been loving this Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Natural Rose. When I bought this I was expecting something similar to the Maybelline Baby Lips but it's actually much more of a thick, lipstick-like consistency. While it isn't what I expected, it's actually still really moisturising which is great and definitely a  lot better than the Baby Lips I used to own. 

So there's the make up I'll be opting for this summer when I want something more dewey and lightweight. Have you tried any of the products mentioned? 
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

*Disclaimer: This post contain affiliate links but all opinions remain my own*

A TYPICAL DAY AT UNIVERSITY

1 Jun 2018

Here's a "day in the life" style post about what I get up to on a usual day at uni! 



THE MORNING

The majority of the year this would be spent lounging around and avoiding doing any work as I slowly get ready for later lectures. However, it was getting close to exam season so I was up bright and early to get cracking on some revision. I had my breakfast, got dressed and headed out. It's slowly getting a lot more sunny but still a little bit chilly so I threw on these Pull & Bear Basic MOM Jeans (buy here) and then my new Pull & Bear striped jumper (buy here). I went for My Adidas Gazelles (buy here) because they're super comfy. I always take my Carhartt backpack (similar here)with me as well as it fits my abundance of revision notes, laptop and lots of snacks for the day! I've recently found working in the student spaces on campus a lot better than just working in my room at the house so I headed there with a friend. 



THE AFTERNOON

After a morning of revision, we had a lecture in the afternoon so caught the bus over to main campus where, with the weather looking so nice, decided to take the scenic route through campus. After the lecture, I headed  back home where I did some easy work before having tea and getting ready for the evening.  

THE EVENING

It was one of my friends birthday's on this day, so we decided to have a last night out before exams. I decided to wear this leather-style skirt from New Look (see here) along with this TOBI Striped tee*(buy here). I decided to wear a black bralette (found here) underneath which I felt actually added to the outfit! With it still being colder in the evenings I went for tights and black boots from ASOS (similar here) which I soon decided to change to my Black Nikes  (buy here) because, why not! 
It was a really nice night to finish on before the real exam stress kicked in. But, it didn't stop me from getting up for lectures the next day!


Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x 

All items marked with a (*) were kindly gifted to me. However, as always, all opinions remain my own! 

BEST PANCAKES IN YORK

6 Apr 2018



As many uni students will agree (especially those who love a good cliche instagram),  finding the best cafe in your city that serves great food and great coffee is a must. What seemed apparent to myself and my housemate Katie was that any good coffee shop we found also served pancakes. As we started trying different cafes across York, it seemed more a venture to find the best pancakes than anything else. Finally, after trying many different pancake options we've  found our favourite pancake stop in York.

SPRING ESPRESSO, YORK

Spring Espresso was one we heard about through the grapevine and we are so happy we found it. We did turn up to find it was full but, after a quick look in a few nearby shops and returning in hope for a seat, we managed to grab a table. 

One of the first things we noticed was the music. We're both Fleetwood Mac fans so hearing their album being played impressed us both. I decided to go for a latte and Katie went for a hot chocolate and they were both great. We enjoyed these while listening to the Fleetwood Mac as well as the usual contemplation of dropping out of uni at the shear thought of exams next term. 

While there was a wait before the pancakes came, they arrived at the right moment before we both had a meltdown thinking of the mound of work that was waiting for us both at home. When they did arrive, we could tell they were going to be good. 

I went for Banana, chocolate chip, Nutella and honey pancakes while Katie went for bacon and blueberry. I absolutely loved mine as they had banana running all through the pancakes and they definitely didn't stinge on the Nutella and honey. Katie also said she loved hers especially the crispy bacon which, compared to the other places we'd tried, was the best. It took us a while to get through the stack but there was no doubt we would both be finishing the whole plate. 

If you're in York, Spring Espresso has two cafes you can try if you're on the hunt for a  pancake stop. I know me and Katie will be heading back next term and might even try something else. 

Let me know if you'd like to see some more York related posts soon!
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x 


CHILLED DAYS

4 Apr 2018


This term at uni has been a hectic one and it seems like all I do on my blog these days is apologise for not keeping you updated. But, I've decided this time, I'm not going to apologise but instead share with you how I've been spending the last week or so after the term from hell has finished.

Since finishing this term, I've finally had time to just chill a little. I say a little as end of year exams are still a thing and so are assignments. While still trying my best to stay on top of my work, I've been making sure to have some me time. That includes binge watching Netflix shows as usual (Queer Eye was my binge-watch of choice) as well as tucking into Easter chocolate.

No chilled day is complete without a comfy jumper and, thanks to Tobi, I have the perfect oversized jumper. This Deep End Distressed Jumper* has served me well over these cold days and, along with a lovely cup of tea, I can still feel cosy and chilled even when getting some work done.

I've recently been reading Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking Fast and Slow". I definitely don't think it's one for everyone as it was recommended course reading and, while it's a slow-burner, I'm still finding it super interesting. I've been making sure I keep some time a side to read a chapter or two when I can. I find reading for pleasure is something I quickly neglect when I'm busy so having this time to read even a little is great. 

How do you spend your chilled days? Any good Netflix shows I'm missing out on?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

*Any products marked * were kindly gifted to me. However, all opinions on the items included remain my own. 


FEBRUARY FAVOURITES

2 Mar 2018


So after failing to post a favourites in January, most of these are roll-overs from then but have remained sturdy favourites during the first two months of the year and I thought it was time I share these with you. 

ZADIG & VOLTAIRE THIS IS HER!

I've been after this fragrance for a while now after first smelling it back last year. It has quite an unusual smell with, I'd say, a very vanilla element to it among other things. I received this as a present for my birthday last month and, due to it's price tag, told myself I'd reserve it for special occasions. Sadly, I haven't managed to control myself from spraying the odd bit just to go to a lecture. It has got me a few compliments which is always nice and hopefully the bottle will last me a while.  It's such a lovely fresh smell that will be great as we go into spring. In terms of the cruelty-free nature of this product, I did reach out to the brand to ask their stance on animal testing and they did tell me they don't test on animals. However, more research might need to be done on this brand if you want to be super sure they don't. 

SUPERDRUG NATURALLY RADIAN 2 IN 1 MOISTURISING SERUM

One brand I can be sure of their cruelty-free status is Superdrug and their products never fail to disappoint. After I loved their naturally radiant day cream I thought I'd give this ago and I've loved it. It's an extra step in my skincare that adds an extra boost of moisture which has been leaving my skin lovely and soft.  It's such an affordable product that has such a luxurious texture. It's definitely one I'll be picking up again. 

ANTIPODES  MANUKA HONEY MASK

My skin hasn't been the best recently; breaking out and drying out whenever it can, it's been causing me some problems. When I read about this, I thought I would give it ago and I've been really loving it this past month. It applies almost like a night cream with such a lovely smell. Unlike a usual mask for spots, it has such moisturising qualities while still giving you a tingle that usually indicates something is working. I have noticed that, after use, my skin is a lot softer with redness reduced as well as looking a bit brighter. While the moisturising effects don't really last, it is still a really nice product. While a little pricey that what I'd usually pick up, it's been one I'd definitely consider getting again. 

NAKED URBAN DECAY CONCEALER

After finding out back last year collection was not cruelty-free, I have been on the hunt for a new concealer. I've mentioned so far a few different alternatives but I've still not find one that has worked just as well. One of the ones I did decide to try was this one and I've really enjoyed using it. It has such a smooth texture and, while it's not the best for spots, it does add more coverage to my face as well as being light enough to even highlight my pale skin. I'm already on my second bottle so I think it's going to be sticking around for a few months in my make up routine!

NYX  WATERPROOF EYEBROW GEL 

I've always been one for more natural eyebrows and never really taming them in anyway. However, after discovering this product, I've been definitely taking more care with them. This product can seem to make any untamed eyebrows look good. It has such a thick formula that a very little amount goes a very long way. It's also definitely waterproof; after some down pours have hit York, I've turned up to lectures with all my make up running down my face but my eyebrows have also been great! It's such a good product for those who like a bolder brow and, with a light hand, it's fairly easy to apply and get your desired brow shape. 

So there's my favourites for February. I hope you had a great month! Have you tried any of these before?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x 

RECENTLY READ

3 Feb 2018

I think I'm getting worse and worse at making sure I have time to read. I thought 2016 was a bad reading year but, some how 2017 managed to top that. I'm not going to promise I'll be better but I'm going to at least try. Starting as I mean to go on, here are four of my most recently read books and a little review of each of them.

follow me on goodreads for more recommendations and reviews! 


STATION ELEVEN // EMILY ST JOHN MANDEL

★★★★☆


Post apocalyptic is a genre I don't often venture into but after the recommendation from my sister and later urged by a friend to give it ago, I finally gave it a read. I was unsure to start but I grew to love the different twist this book gave compared to usual zombie-killing apocalyptic novels and films. It focussed more on the life that people lead after and how they survive. I appreciated the links between different people's lives and how everything kind came together. This is one I'd definitely recommend and one that, if it was something I did often, I would read again. 

HARRY POTTER & THE ORDER OF PHOENIX // J.K ROWLING 

★★★★☆


This has to be my favourite of the Harry Potters so far. While it was the most daunting of the series due to it being the longest book I've ever read. Surprisingly, it didn't feel like it was that long and maybe that's why it has to be my favourite of the books so far. There were so many plot points that I really enjoyed and I felt like the story really developed with more darker tones starting to be added now in the build up to the final books. While it is my favourite so far, I sadly can't give it five stars as *BIG SPOILER* Sirius' death was no where near given the space it deserved. It wasn't as impactful as I wanted and for someone who Harry had started to become more and more close to, I felt it didn't do their relationship justice. 

TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN // JOHN GREEN

★★★☆☆


It's been a while since I've read a John Green but I wasn't going to miss snatching this up and giving it a read. His books played a massive role in the reason I got into reading but also blogging; one of my first ever posts was about Looking For Alaska. Time has pass since then and I've fallen in and out of love with reading. This book is one that for any John Green fans, they will love. My feelings were mixed on this book. While I enjoyed the mystery aspect of this and the reuniting of friends, for me, it just didn't have the same impact that his other books have had. I remember reading the first few pages and actually rolling my eyes. I was reading thinking it was a little pretentious and overly wordy in a way it just didn't need to be. However, I really enjoyed the plot of the story as it covered topics of love, grief, friendship and mental health; all topics that make for a great YA book. I think the way he handled the topic of mental health was actually done really well and shed some light on some realities of this illness. I can't really justify only giving it 3 stars other than maybe I'm starting to out grow his style? I will always and forever read John Green books but sadly the novelty that I used to think they held seems to be disappearing. While I say that, it wasn't a bad book and had so many good points like the mystery (I love a YA mystery!) and of course it's got the famous John Green metaphors that everyone loves. It wasn't his strongest book but I'm glad he's back and publishing. 

GOOD NIGHT STORIES FOR REBEL GIRLS // ELENA FAVILLI

★★★★★


This was a Christmas present and one I'm so happy I got. This book gives the stories of 100 amazing women throughout history. There's people you know and probably some you don't but they all have stories that need to be heard and recognised as amazing achievements. I also want to mention the fabulous illustrations that come along with each of the stories; all by different artists, it makes the book a celebration of being a woman. It's such an uplifting, inspiring book that I think it's one everyone should give a read. It's one you can read in one sitting (like me) or something you can come in and out of. While I might not be the main demographic of this book, it still really appealed to me. I also think how it's written and presented is something that will definitely appeal to younger children and can probably act as a really inspiring book for young girls. 

So here's there's my long overdue Recently Read. If you have any recommendations, feel free to throw them my way!
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

THE BEST OF 2017

22 Jan 2018


While I'm almost a month late, I wanted share with you some of my favourite products and memories of 2017.
The Good Stuff

SuperDrug Day Cream

I only picked this up at the end of last year as you might have seen in my "ON TRIAL SKINCARE" post. From that, it's quite apparent that I really liked this day cream. The texture, the smell, the absolutely fabulous hydration it gives my ever so dry skin is exactly what I need. Cruelty-free and super affordable made this an everyday staple in 2017. 

Superdrug Vitamin E Hydrating Mist

Super drug have been really killing it this year for me. Their face mist is another one of my favourites. While it's not a setting spray, it still gives my face a nice refresh and helps my make up look a little more dewey than it does without. Such an affordable addition to my make up routine. 

Kat Von D Foundation

Another one I picked up in the second half of the year. After getting a new job (that I last 3 days at) I thought I'd celebrate with a foundation I was eyeing up for a while. You can read all about my experience here in my more in depth review. Since writing this, my opinions on this foundation aren't as positive as I first said after having some more time to get used to it. However, this foundation has still been my full coverage choice whenever I need one. 

Freedom Eyebrow Powder

Throwing it back to the start of the year now when I decided to pick up this Anastasia dupe. This, along with the pomade, has made doing my eyebrows all the more easy. Having such a great colour selection, it wasn't hard to find the perfect ashy brown I needed all for only £4. I'm already on my 3rd one of these and it's worth it every time. 

The Body Shop Vitamin E Sleeping Mask

This has been the hydrating life saver of the year. I've come to apply this every night to combat my dry skin. It lets me wake up to better skin than I went to bed with. Now, with The Body Shop 100% cruelty-free, I more than happy to be sharing this product with you. I urge anyone with dry skin to give this a go! Something I use almost every night and I'm still no where near finishing it. 

Urban Decay NAKED Concealer

If only I'd discovered this sooner in the year...Since finding out Collection is not a cruelty-free brand I've been on the hunt for a replacement concealer. It's been hard to find one pale enough for me but this one is perfect! While slightly more pricey than my usual concealer, I think it's worth paying that little bit extra for something of better quality and cruelty-free. 


Books?

This has to have been the worst year for reading for me. If I wasn't reading Psychology related books that bored me to death, I was trying my best to read all the Harry Potters before I make it to 20 (sidenote: I haven't done it). Out of the minimal number of books I've managed to read this year, I have to give an honourable mention to Freshers by Tom Ellen. I am probably slightly biased with it being set at my university but it was one of the only books in a while that has made me laugh out loud and want to read the book within a day. It's definitely one for uni goers but even if you're not, I'm sure you could still relate to the funny nature of this teen book. 

Thanks for the memories

So I can usually tell whether a year has been a sucky one or not (even though the trend usually follows the former). 2017, however, is hard to categorise. With university taking up most of my time, my year has revolved around just that. So, I'd describe 2017 as average. With the stress of exams right at the start of the year laced with a few hysterical moments, I think my 2017 is best summed up as average. Nevertheless, there are some standout memories that I thought I would share. 

Music

With Lewis Watson back at the start of this year followed by Community Festival in Summer and then VANT and Nothing But Thieves to end the year, it's not been a mad one for music but the concerts I've witnessed were ones to remember. My first experience of a festival is one that has definitely set off a want to go to more festivals in the future. I forget how much I love the gig atmosphere so fingers cross to more gigs to come in 2018. 

Uni life

As I say, my life has basically come uni work and, if not, actual work at my part time job. Even with this stress, it's given me some great opportunities to live with and be surrounded by some of my favourite people. It's very rare that I don't go a day without laughing; whether it's from hearing a daft joke, internet meme or just losing the plot as we all become bogged down with deadlines. University life is definitely entertaining.

Friends

If it's not being surrounded by friends at university, having my friends from home come to visit has given me some great memories. It allows me to be a tourist in my own city as well seeing my old friends interact with my uni friends is just great. Having Kirsty come up for a weekend gave me the breather I needed from my never ending deadlines. Also, starting the year off with Jacob and Jade visiting me for my birthday and then again at the end of the year before we drove home for Christmas. This reminded me how lucky I am to have those two to act like three old women together.

So there's a little run down of the things I loved and enjoyed in 2017. Let's hope 2018 brings me more fabulous memories!
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x 

design by amanda inez