MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR DAY

20 Sep 2018

Some days more than others you have a list as long as your arm but feel like you haven't got enough time to get it all done. Here's how I find I can tick off all on my to-do list and have a productive day.


THE NIGHT BEFORE

I've said it before in my "HOW I RESET" but having a clean workspace works wonders for your motivation to get stuff done. Before I go to sleep, I make sure all my work from the day before is tidied away and my floor is clean of clothes that have somehow ended up there. Before I go to sleep I use the app MinimaList which I mentioned in my "GREAT APPS FOR STUDENTS" to write down any jobs, little or small, I need to get done the next day. I check against my planner to make sure I remember any appointments etc.. This means I can go to bed not worrying that I'll forget to do something tomorrow. It allows me to give myself an idea of what I need to get done the next day already. 

Make sure you get an early(ish) night. Of course if there's something you want to watch on TV don't not watch it but try not to stay up until 3am aimlessly scrolling down the Instagram Explore page watching videos of how to magically get out stains with toothpaste. 

AN EARLY MORNING IS PRODUCTIVE

While some people like to wait up at the crack of dawn, I'm one of the late risers who would rather savour the warmth of a bed than wake up early. But by doing this I just write the morning off and start in the afternoon which I know isn't making the most of the day. Now, when I know I need to have a productive day, finding a happy medium works best. 8am is a good time for me to be awake, have a few minutes on my phone and get ready for the day. This means you still have four hours to dedicate to your to-do list that morning. I usually start with the one-minute jobs; get the bitty stuff out the way so you're not thinking about them later. I find the more I get done in the morning, the more I feel motivated to get everything continue after lunch and have everything done by the end of the day. 

DON'T FORGET TO EAT

I find planning my meals into my day helps add a little more structure. Knowing when I'll be having breakfast, lunch and tea helps me plan around those times and can make sure I keep those times free for well deserved breaks. I am a serial snacker and so there's no chance that I won't be forgetting to eat but, for some, I know that stress and a heavy workload can cause people to feel they don't have time to eat. By using meal times to act as a break can help with making sure you're not hungry through the day. Also making sure you've eaten can help you feel more full and focussed on getting your work done and you're not distracted by your rumbling stomache 

ONE STEP AT A TIME

Don't panic. Yes you may have a lot to do but trying to juggle three things at once never ends well and, whenever I try this, I end up in a worse state than when I started. Focus on one task at a time and once it's finished tick it off and move on. Before you know it you'll be half way through your list and you'll be on the home stretch. 

DON'T BE HARD ON YOURSELF

We're all human and so no one is expected to complete 20 tasks in a day. Be realistic with your goals and know your limits; trying to do too much will burn you out and you'll dread the next time you have a lot of work you need to catch up on. If you don't complete all the tasks you wanted to, don't worry; prioritise them as the first thing you do tomorrow. 

Don't feel bad for having time off; you've had a full day and you deserve to treat yourself. For me, I try to get everything complete before tea and then will sit with my housemates and relax for the evening or may be meet up with some other friends during a break in the day. What I've learnt is that you don't have to sacrifice your social life for the sake of a few things. You should be happy with all you've done and give yourself a well deserved break.

I hope this little insight into how I have a productive day come in handy for you. How do you stay motivated to be productive?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x 

MY EVERYDAY MAKE UP

17 Sep 2018

At the start of summer I shared with you my "BUDGET FRIENDLY SUMMER MAKE-UP". Since then, some bits have changed as to what I tend to include in my make up routine on days that I decide I need to look a little more presentable. So,  I thought I'd give you an updated make up routine today. 

As a primer I've been opting for the Barry M Flawless Brightening Primer. While I wouldn't say I see much of a difference in terms of its brightening properties it really does create a nice base for my foundation. Paired with a good hydrating moisturiser, this works as a great base for those with drier skin.   

Revolution seem to be doing everything right recently and the Revolution Fast Base Stick Foundation (F1) is no different. While it took me a few tries to get used to the idea of having a stick foundation over the usual pump foundation, I've been really enjoying using it. It does cling a little to drier patches but I find, with a good moisturiser and primer, it can look flawless with a lovely subtle glow. It gives great coverage while still feeling light weight. I wasn't sure whether this would be easy to apply but I've found it's not too bad with my beauty sponge and can be quick to blend. 

There's no point changing a good thing and so I've carried on using my trusty Revolution Conceal & Define concealer (C1). I go through this quicker than any other make up product I own so I'm glad they've brought out the supersize version which I'll be sure to pick up next. 

I've also kept to my Natural Collection Bronzer in Copper. It gives such a nice bronze without being too orange and over powering and, for the price point, you can't argue that it's worth the money. 

I was also on the hunt for a new powder and so after the success of the bronzer I thought I'd try the Natural Collection Matte Pressed Powder in Golden. I was worried about the shade as I'd usually opt for translucent but with that option not available I went for this one and after buying it I've realised it's the darkest shade they offer. I wouldn't say it's the best powder I've used but with a light hand it can keep my make up matte and set for a few hours. It's also not the best at brightening under the eyes for paler people but for an all over powder it works. I think I will definitely be trying their paler shade in the future. 

With Freedom being discontinued and, I think, merging with Revolution, my usual eyebrow duo wasn't available so I instead decided to try the Make Up Obsession Brow Powder in Soft Brown. I found this was the more cool toned than the taupe option they offered however it is a little more on the red side than usual brow products I use. With my hair colour it still works but is something to bear in mind if you're interested in this product. For just £2 this was a steal; it has a fairly buttery texture which is lovely and so I'll definitely be back to try and find a better shade for me.

I'm not usually one for eyeshadow on a day-to-day basis; the most I'll do is run a little bronzer through my crease. However, I've been loving the ELF No Budge Shadow Stick in Rose Gold. This adds a small pink pop of colour to the lid and, being a cream eyeshadow consistency, it looks really natural, is easy to apply and is done and blended within a few seconds. If you wanted, this is also can act as a base for other eyeshadows if something more colourful is up your street.

Mascara is a step that I used to skip quite a lot for the simple reason it always transfers under my eyes but I've come to realise that's just the fact that mascara's I've chosen haven't been very good. One, however, that I've found to do the job is the Barry M That's How I Roll Waterproof Mascara. The key thing that I think works for me here is the fact it's waterproof.  If you like something a bit more voluminous for the day, this might not be your thing but it gives a natural curl while not transferring like I've found with many others.

For lips, I like something that's light and doesn't need much maintenance. I've been recently grabbing for the GOSH Lip Oil in Flower Essence. This is a really nice change from a lip balm or lip gloss. While it can have a slightly sticky texture if too much is applied, it leaves my lips feeling glossy and moisturised for a long time. This is does come in different shades but the colour is very subtle; the shade I have gives a small pink/purple sheen which I really like. It's a great new addition to my routine that works for every day.

So there's the make up I've been wearing recently and I hope you've took some suggestions for some fabulous products to try out. What are some of your beauty everyday essentials at the moment? 
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

*While some links included in this post are affiliate links, all opinions remain my own*



CREATORS I'VE BEEN LOVING

13 Sep 2018


Today I wanted to share a little post of some online creators who are just fabulous and I want you to know about. 

CRUELTY FREE BECKY

Becky's Youtube channel has been one of my favourite discoveries of the year. When first deciding to go cruelty-free I have felt slightly restricted by what I could buy but after finding Becky's youtube channel my outlook changed. Every video I find super helpful for finding new products that I probably wouldn't have found myself. She also seems so lovely in her videos and they are so easy just sit and watch. 

DORK FACE

Jemma was one of the first blogs I followed years ago as she was, at the time, one of the only bloggers I found that was doing more than just beauty on their blog and I found her posts really inspiring; it really encouraged me to stop following usual beauty trends and write about more than just that. Now I follow her mainly on her Instagram where I love her super bright and fun theme. It's also nice to see her business grow and how much of a real girl boss she is as she is both 6 months pregnant while running her own Etsy shop among other things. 
I saw on her Instagram that she's close to 3000 sales on Etsy so why not go and check out her fab stuff over there. 

LUCY MOON

Lucy moon is everything I want to be. Without sounding too 'blogger' her aesthetic is on point. The way she shoots her weekly vlogs entitled "168 Hours" I love and adds something different to the usual vlog. I always enjoy seeing the different styles she's wearing and she's also anther good one to go to for cruelty-free recommendations. She's another creator that really motivates me to create and share online. 

LAVENDAIRE

Lavendaire aka Ailene has been one of my latest blogging and youtube finds and she's already inspiring me to get creative and motivated in planning and taking control of my life. I find her videos really calming to watch and something refreshing to see in my subscription box recently. She has a pretty big following on youtube which she definitely deserves if not more. 

Youtube // Website // Twitter

So if you're looking for some creators to follow I definitely recommend four. Whose content have you been loving recently? Let me know in the comments!
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

HOW I 'RESET'

11 Sep 2018


Sometime life can just get in the way leaving you with a messy house, an unorganised list of things to do which and can all in all leave you feeling a little fed up. I know we all sometimes wish we had a reset button. I recently discovered a new blogger and Youtuber called Lavendaire and I have absolutely been loving her content. One video I watched was called "Reset Day // Get Your Life Together" and I really enjoyed it so I thought I would take some inspiration and share with you how I reset after a busy week. 

CARE


When I get busy I tend to disregard any form of pampering and so it's important to take some time to treat yourself. I love being able to have a face mask to help clear up my face; a favourite of mine is the Antipodes Manuka Honey Mask or if I want something more affordable, I'll grab one from Primark. I also like to paint my nails as there's something about freshly painted nails that makes me feel like I have my life together just a little more. Doing all this after a long shower or a hot bath always makes me feel a lot calmer and refreshed.

One other thing related to self-care I've been trying out recently is journalling. It was last Christmas my friend gave me this "My Mindful Mind" journal from Paperchase. Since starting a new year at university I thought now is a great time to start implementing adding a little to it every few days would be a nice addition to the day. It will help me get any worries I have down as well as helping me be a little more positive. 

TIDY 


When life starts to get busy, the first thing I neglect is having a tidy room. As I start rushing round, my floor usually becomes covered in clothes and my desk is littered with open files and scraps of paper. Most of the time, the mess isn't even that bad; it takes me half an hour tops to put everything back in its home and give any surfaces a quick clean, remake the bed and have everything back to how it should be. This lets me then start a fresh with any work I need to do and I'll have a tidy space to do it. 

PLAN


This is a little vague so I tend to split it into categories:

Meals: Being able to work out what meals I'll be having for the next week is something that I feel helps give my life the most structure. Knowing what I'll be eating in advance saves me getting distracted thinking about having to prepare something or worrying I have to make time to go and pick up ingredients from the shops. I can make sure in advance that I have everything I need for the week  already in my fridge and cupboards. 

Blog: Whenever I have time, having time to sit down and come up with ideas as well as planning a few weeks of content is always helpful. It allows me to get my ideas down on paper so, when it comes to needing to write something, I have a list of posts waiting to be written. It also helps declutter my mind that little more. 

Life: This is also a good time to plan the coming weeks. If I have any new appointments or events I need to remember but have yet had chance to write them in my planner, nows my chance. I also take this time to give my family and friends a ring as there's a chance I haven't spoken to them in a while if life has become hectic. It's also nice to be able to share with them what I have planned for the week; I always find verbalising plans helps me remember them more and I am more likely to stick to what I need to get done. 

RELAX


After a busy few days, you have to treat yourself. I tend to have a night in to relax and either stick on a film I've been wanting to watch or give myself time to read a book that isn't related to uni. Being able to give myself the night off worrying about anything else can actually motivate me more to wake up the next morning ready to get everything I need to done. 

So there is just a few things I do to help me reset and start a fresh.
 Hope you're doing great,
Sarah

*Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link. All opinions remain my own x*

5 BLOGGING REALISATIONS

6 Sep 2018

I've been blogging for quite some time now (coming up to 6 years) and throughout that time I've learnt a lot about blogging. When you first start out with just a simple blogger template and no one reading, you don't really think about hows things will change overtime and how your blog will evolve. More recently, I feel I've gone through my latest blogging change as I'm finally getting back into the rhythm of posting weekly and really knowing what content I want to produce. With this, I've realised a few little things about blogging and I thought I'd share them with you today. 

You don't need money to blog.
When I first started,  I thought it was all buying beauty products and reviewing them but now this is less so. There's still sometimes when I'm drafting blog posts that I think "Oh I need to pick up X to complete this post" but, I've come to the realisation that there is so much content to be made that only requires an internet connection and a computer. I've realised the content I want to create doesn't need to have the latest beauty or fashion releases in for people to enjoy and still find helpful. Even if this is the content I want to share, it doesn't mean I have to include the most expensive items; there's nothing wrong with keeping it cheap; money can't stop you from creating amazing content. 

Quality over quantity.
I have been in and out of unintentional blog breaks over the past few years but I've learnt that instead of stressing over having the most content out there, enjoying writing the posts and taking the time to go through and check everything is so much more important. I would rather post once a month but be really proud of it than robotically posting twice a week and not enjoying what I'm writing. It's something I feel people can sense when reading a post and I don't want that. Finding a happy medium is the goal; being able to put the effort into a post but still being able to be consistent with sharing posts. 

If you don't interact you don't get back.
I have rediscovered the joys that are blogging chats. It's a time to virtually network with people but it not being forced and allowing you to have some fun in the process. Talking about your favourite films or books for an hour with new people is actually great and can gain you some mutual followers in the process. I really enjoy commenting on other people's posts but sometimes I don't have time to do it. But when I do, you really do get back from finding some new fabulous blogs as well as drawing some attention to your own blog. 

There's no point measuring your success against others.
Seeing bloggers who started around the same time as me now being incredibly successful full time bloggers can sometimes leave me wondering "why not me?". But, now more than ever, I feel happy with my blog and I'm focussing more on how I can grow and enjoy blogging more than feeling in competition with others. 
I feel this mentality has really allowed me to focus on my own content and think more inward about what I would want to read rather than wanting to follow what everyone else is doing. 

Do what you want!
In a way, I've found this attitude has helped me grow as a blogger more than anything. I'm more relaxed and not forcing myself to do something just to better my blog that I don't feel 100% happy with.
Before, I was sticking to the same format for a lot of my blog posts because, in a way, that's easy and what I'm used to. But, I am no longer enjoying churning out the same types of posts such as my favourites and "recently read" posts. I want to create content that I enjoy writing and would read myself. This is the latest realisation of mine and so it's something I'm continuing to work on. 
As I change, so does my blog and that's a good thing. I'm so excited to continue with my blog and sharing new content with you over the coming months. 

Have you learnt anything while blogging similar to these? I'd love to hear them!
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x 

CRUELTY FREE HAIRCARE FOR BLEACHED HAIR

3 Sep 2018


One thing I wanted to do before I was 20 was dye my hair and so, one month late, I decided to bite the bullet back in January. My hair has always been a weird mixture of many colours and so I was worried if I did anything too intense I'd struggle to ever get my natural hair colour back. I decided to get a balayage to just add a bit more blonde to my hair while still looking fairly natural. I absolutely loved when I first had it done and could already see myself falling in love with being blonder. 8 months on, I decided that summer would be the best time to add a little more blonde and so booked myself in for a top-up and a hair cut.
Over the course of the year, I've discovered some haircare products from certain brands that have become staples when it comes to looking after my hair. 

SUPERDRUG 

If you want the essentials, Superdrug is always the one. I've spoke before about my love for their super inexpensive shampoos and conditioners and, even with the bleached hair, this still stands. While I can't say that it really adds anything to my hair, their Raspberry and Macadamia Conditioner does what it's simply meant to do and condition while smelling amazing. Even though my hair is a little more damaged since dying it, their conditioner has really helped smooth my hair, feel hydrated and in better condition. I am on the hunt for a better cruelty free conditioner so if you have any recommendations, I'd love to hear them!

PRO:VOKE

From my research, Pro:voke are a cruelty free brand and I'm so glad because the Pro:voke Brightening Silver Shampoo is among one of the best for getting rid of the brassy tones in my hair. I  naturally have red undertones in my hair and so using this once every two or three washes I can definitely see a difference. It makes my hair look a lot more platinum in its tone and also makes the balayage seem a little more seamless in the way the blonde runs through my hair.

It's another that is super inexpensive and you can pick it up in most supermarkets and drugstores in the UK. It's another one I'll continue to repurchase. I'm yet to try any of their other products for blonde hair but I may give them ago when I'm looking for something new to use. 

BLEACH LONDON 

This is a brand you've probably all heard of and a brand I had not bought from before getting my balayage. It's definitely a brand to try out if you're looking for hair treatment products. I especially love their at home toner kits. Just a a few weeks after getting my balayage for the first time, I felt it needed a tone again so I thought I'd give their White Toner Kit a go and I was so happy with the results. It was ridiculously easy to use and, because it was just a toner, you didn't have to be too precise with how you apply it. As someone with extremely thick hair I can say I was most  impressed with how much product you get as there was enough for all my hair and probably another half. What I loved was how good my hair felt after it was rinsed off. I was worried it would make it feel dry but it was by far the opposite. I've since picked up their Lavender Grey Toner Kit which I think has a similar effect to the previous kit I used so I'll definitely let you know how that goes; I'll make sure to keep you updated over on my Twitter. An added bonus to the toner kits is they come with a Reincarnation mask which I'm yet to use but with the kits only being £10, I think you really get your money's worth. 

I thought I'd also mention the Bleach London Silver Shampoo which was the first purple shampoo I used. It was £8.99 for 500ml which I've decided is definitely worth it; It's been about 8 months since I picked this up and I still have half a bottle left. I'm not a massive fan of the bottle it comes in; the screw cap can be a bit of a pain in the shower when putting the product in your hands but it still works. While I do prefer the Pro:Voke, this silver shampoo isn't half bad and so I thought I'd give it this honourable mention. 

I'm tempted to try out either their pink shampoo and toner kit or their smokey shampoo next to see what the results are. There's something for all hair colours in the Bleach London collection so it's one I highly recommend checking out. 

If you want to see more of my favourite haircare products, check out my CRUELTY FREE HAIRCARE FAVOURITES as well.

What are your go-to brands when it comes to haircare?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x 
*Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links but all opinions remain my own as always.*

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