*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links*
February has been a busy one and so all my blogging and ideas have gone straight out the window so, instead of jumping back into it with some bigger posts I have planned, let's get back to it with a simple, post with a few of my favourites. In January I turned 22 and I received some lovely gifts including some new favourites as well as discovering some new loves myself! 

Glossier lash slick mascara

This is my first Glossier product and I definitely picked a good one to start with! I'm not a big one for mascara on the daily due to the fact that my hooded eyelids don't tend to like mascara and a lot of transfer seems to happen - by 12pm it looks like I've been crying and rubbing my ideas when, I promise, that's not true! Even with waterproof mascaras, I've never found one that works for the day-to-day. But now, this Glossier mascara is perfect! Great for a natural look that really lengthens my lashes and no transfer! Definitely, a new daily favourite and I can't wait to try more Glossier products soon. 

Burts Bees pomegranate lip balm

Another daily staple is this lip balm - it's so hydrating, easy to apply and the little tint of colour is definitely a nice addition. There's nothing much else to say other than this is really great for those with drier lips - it's the only lip product I have been reaching for the past few months. 

Pixi glow tonic

I mentioned that this has become a daily skincare staple - it's a really great toner that doesn't feel stripping or leaving my skin feeling tight but helps my skin feel smooth and cleansed. It's been such a nice addition to my skincare routine and I've definitely felt and seen a difference in my skin with this. 

Wet brush

This has quickly become a holy grail haircare item for my ridiculously thick hair. Before, I would never dream of even attempting to brush my hair while it's still wet but this has really worked to help my brush the knots out of my hair without just grazing over them which I've found my tangle teezer to often do. I think this is the perfect hairbrush for thick hair and I'm so glad I finally have one in my life even if it is 22 years late. 

Heartstopper graphic novel by Alice Oseman

I bought and finished this all in one day and now I can't wait to get my hands on the two next books in the series. It was such a quick read and a super adorable story that I need to carry on reading. This also has a great storyline that I could see on the big screen. If you liked the film Love, Simon I think you'll like this one! Graphic novels are always great to help me get out of a bit of a reading slump and this one especially was a great one to add to my reading list in February. 

So here was just a quick post of a few things I've been loving in my life recently. Do you have any beauty or book recommendations for me? I always love to hear them! 

Hope you're doing great, 

*This post contains affiliate links*

It was at the end of last year that I shared how I was streamlining my life - focussing on only products I need and basically just cutting out all the crap. This included skincare as well. I went through a period of constantly trying new products for my skin but I've realised that what my skin needs is a simple streamlined everyday routine with the basics that are gentle and all-round good products for my skin. 

I thought I'd share with you the products that I have kept in my simple skincare routine that are gentle and have really helped to clear up my skin in a more natural way without any harsh treatments and has helped bring some life back to my skin. 

The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Balm Make up Remover

This has always been my go-to, favourite makeup remover. So easy to apply and work into my skin to remove makeup. With little fragrance it doesn't irritate my skin and, even alone, leaves my skin feeling lovely and soft. This is the makeup remover that I constantly go back to. While it may seem to require a little more effort than a cotton pad and micellar water, I find this does a much more thorough job while also producing a lot less waste! This along with a muslin cloth will be a pair I will be forever using. 

The Body Shop Aloe Cream Cleanser

This is by far the softest, most gentle cleanser I've used. It's fragrance-free and, while I sometimes feel the need for something a little more abrasive to clear any spots, this manages to still leave my skin feeling clean and help clear up a spot in a more natural way with no harsh treatments needed. 

Instead of confusing my skin by picking up a different spot treatment, I've just stuck with using this after removing my makeup and it seems to keep my spot at bay while still leaving my skin clean without feeling stripped of natural oils. 

Pixi Glow Tonic Glycolic Acid

I gave into the hype. I previously used The Ordinary Glycolic Acid (a great affordable alternative that I've shared my love for before) but after I forgot about that product during last year and then received the Pixi Glow tonic for Christmas, I've loved having this in my routine and remembered why glycolic acid works great for my skin. 

This is probably the harshest and most fragrant product I use on my skin but it doesn't seem to irritate my skin too harshly and actually helps with my skin's overall texture without drying it out. The Ordinary Glycolic acid is a perfect affordable version of this but I find this one leaves my skin feeling that extra bit nicer, softer and cleaner. Just a bit of this on a reusable cotton pad across my face is a great addition to my skincare. 

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Moisturiser & Eye Cream

I love the whole of this range from Superdrug ever since I first tested out some of the products. I particularly love the night cream at the moment as it really helps rehydrate my face before bed. Their 2 in 1 moisturiser and serum is also the perfect day moisturiser for me - not overly greasy but hydrating enough to be applied under my make up. 

Finally, their eye cream isn't something I notice a difference when using but it's still a step I try and include just for that extra moisture and this is the perfect light under eye cream I could use. 

Apart from the odd face mask or exfoliate here or there, these are the products I've focused my attention on using. After years of confusing my skin with different products, this small number of skincare items make for the perfect simple, streamlined skincare routine. 

What are some of your favourite skincare products? 
Hope you're doing great,

While I spent most of last year streamlining my life and wardrobe, there are few bits I felt my wardrobe was lacking for the colder months as well as some transitional pieces that will be great staple additions. The few pieces I've picked up, I love and have quickly become some of my fashion staples. I thought I'd share them with you today! 

Monki Kimomo High Relaxed Mom Jeans

In my 2019 favourites, I mentioned my adoration and undying love for the Monki jeans. Just last week I finally picked up another pair in a more light, mid-wash denim that are the perfect everyday jeans. They are definitely one of my favourite brands on the high street right now and with great sizing and choices for a variety of shapes and sizes, these jeans are definitely worth the investment.

Monki Speckled Stretchy Tee

Also from Monki, while sadly not from their sustainable line, this little speckled tee is the perfect added, everyday tee that will definitely be a staple. It's supposed to be quite a tight fit but I sized up one just for it to be a little looser and better for work. My friend at work said the colour and speckles reminded them of a very good vanilla ice cream and that is my favourite description ever!

ASOS Fluffy Jumper with Balloon Sleeve

I have been eyeing up this jumper on ASOS for a while now and finally picked it up at the start of the year. It's super soft and super affordable, the perfect jumper to layer a tee underneath and thin enough to be able to throw on a jacket over the top. I will be sure to be wearing this for many months to come.

ASOS Striped Long Sleeve Turtle Neck

I've been loving wearing this striped turtle neck under jumpers - it's another great layering piece to keep me nice and warm when I'm waking up to the freezing cold, pitch-black winter mornings. Another perfect staple to add to my wardrobe. 

I love all 4 of these pieces both separately and together - they really work to be interchangeable pieces to create a few different looks with just a few essentials. 

What are some of your fashion staples at the moment? 
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x

It's been around 7 months since I left university and headed out into that big scary thing called the working world. I, for one didn't want to leave uni - it became a little safety bubble and you could easily forget that there was a life outside of uni and that it will all be coming to an end eventually. 7 months later and I still think I'm adjusting but, here's a lot I've realised that they don't warn you about life after uni while you're still there.

Adjusting back to life can be hard

Whether you're moving back home with your parents, back to a different city or even moving somewhere new again, living with different people, adjusting to a different way of living. Since moving to London and adjusting to the 8-5 working life, it's shown me just how different my routine was at uni - I get up earlier than I ever have before to get to work and the commute is now a thing I have to factor in. Even smaller things like when to eat and what to eat; I thought I'd just carry on having the same amount of time to enjoy cooking in the evenings if not more but how wrong I was - now I'm lucky to even want to prep a meal from scratch.

You will miss it (even the bad stuff)

Call me crazy but I miss the late library nights, the exam stress and the complaining about living in a hovel. Uni definitely had its down points but it all seems like nothing now when looking back and wishing I was back enjoying the simple life as a uni student. I loved the people I lived with even through the arguing, I loved where I was living, I loved life on campus. Even going back to York since leaving just instilled in me that I always want to go back there even if not as a student. 

What is this free time and what do I do with it?

While weekdays go by in a blur while working, the weekends are now completely open and free. Gone are the days that you have to spend the weekend in the library, finishing off essays and feeling guilty for thinking about anything that wasn't uni. The biggest shock for me was over the Christmas break - usually the days between Christmas and New Year, I spent catching up on revision but this year I sat there lost. I felt like I was having a crisis with not knowing what my purpose was and not having anything to do. I guess I have had time to focus more on the hobbies I love - reading, knitting, going to exhibitions - but still, I feel like I should be learning! Maybe it's time I start learning a language...

Success doesn't happen overnight

You think having a degree makes you invincible, like the top trump card that always wins but that just isn't true. So many people struggle to find a job after uni - you might have the degree but do you have 2 years experience? While you think you'll just enter into a grad scheme and be earning enough in a year to even get a mortgage, that just isn't the reality. Grad schemes are limited to certain fields (something I really was not aware of and one of my biggest issues finding jobs). Instead, many finished uni more confused as they were to begin with as to what to do next. 

No one cares about your degree (as long as you have one)

It seems that employers only care about you having a degree and not what it's in or really even the classification you graduate with. Most of my interviews focussed on the degree for two seconds if that before focussing more on the experience I have. I think if I'd applied to my job with just my degree and not that extra experience, I wouldn't have even got an interview.

I guess it shows the importance of experience but also highlights the sad reality that a degree is just a piece a paper to show some prestige but after that, no one cares; no one questions what you have, even checks your certificate - they just want to know if you have a degree or not. Then, once you've got your foot in the door of an industry, they really don't care at all.

No one's prepared for adulthood

Something kids are screaming in maths class back in high school, young adults are still complaining about as they leave uni - that's the lack of education and information given to let you out into the adult world knowing what a mortgage is; knowing the best way to look after your money; what the point of a pension scheme is. Even the small things like what do you do when the washing machine's broken. Who's going to move the spiders now your superhero of a housemate isn't around? 

Everyone's in the same position and everyone's a little lost in adulthood whether you went to uni or not but these are just a few realisations I had after uni that I didn't think of or was prepared for before leaving.

Anything you've learnt since leaving university? 

Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x

After 8 years of blogging, I can't comprehend how a small hobby that started out as a diary-like outlet has turned into such a big part of my life that I always come back to. Over the years, my content has changed in many ways and I've had so many different blog-related experiences that I love sharing with you. However, after sticking around for so long you tend to see the changes within the community; the underlying blogging politics and so much more. I've had a few thoughts about this and I end up going round in circles as to my answers to some questions I have. Today, I thought I'd share them with you in hopes to not cast negativity on the blogging community but open a discussion about where people think blogging is going, how it's changed, is changing, and ask "is it really what it used to be?".

Full disclaimer: This post is not meant to be negative, instead it's intended to offer my honest opinions. My opinions are just my own and even if yours differ on anything I say, I would love for you to leave it in the comments! 

Is blogging what it used to be? and other related Q's

In short, my answer is no. It's now over 8 years ago that I started my blog. A place to share private thoughts, but after seeing the positive community around blogging, I couldn't help but join in. 

I remember when blog views were more organic - you didn't search for the readers, they came to you. Now, as the online world becomes saturated with more and more bloggers due to the influence of names like Zoella, ViviannadoesMakeUp (Now the Anna Edit) and so many more - is it really the same supportive place as it once? Are you blogging for readers or just yourself?

Of course, everything evolves and changes but sometimes the changes aren't always for the best. 

Where's the moral support?

It's little and rare to see creators truly supporting other creators - not just giving them a shoutout on Instagram to someone of the similar following for mutual gain. Where are the sincere comments on posts? Commenting because you want to and not just because it was from a twitter comment thread. 

We should be shouting more about the small creators we love and supporting the unique content they create and showing them how great the blogging community really is. 

Gone are the days of friendly twitter chats made to be just that - a chat - and not with the sole purpose of promoting your blog but a way of making friends, having a conversation with like-minded people and maybe discovering some new blogs in the process. Instead, timelines are filled with promotion threads as it's one of the only ways so many bloggers are now getting their interactions. 

How has it become such a numbers game? 

Ok, so it's always been like this but more now than ever. In the job I'm in now and just from general reading of blogs, I've seen so many bloggers not linking to brands or sites unless it's a paid link. What happened to blogging being fun? Being about creating content and not about the money content brings. It's amazing that we can make a living from blogging but have we started to put the money first and the content second? Shouldn't it be the other way round? 

I don't necessarily mean in terms of monetary reward as well. There are so many metrics that others from our industry and beyond base a 'good blog' off and I feel this can cloud the judgement of what really is good content and not - followers, likes are all a great indication of reach, interest and performance but shouldn't actual interactions of comments, returning readers be something that really shows the influence and interest a blog has? 

Have we stopped sharing what we truly want and now sharing what brings in the numbers?  Are bloggers opinions as trustworthy as they once were?

Who am I even blogging for anymore? 

When I started, blogging was for me and no one else but as people started to read and I realised what blogging could become, I shifted my content. But now, more and more, I feel I'm writing to no one, not even myself. If anyone's leaving comments it's other bloggers as part of comment threads (see the above point). I don't want you to think this is me seeming bitter about not getting the blog reactions like others as of course, your content may not be attracting the right audience. It can be easy to feel you're not reaching anyone and that you're only blogging for yourself but not getting any self-gain out of it because the content is aimed for others and not yourself. 

Why am I blogging still? 

Honestly, right now I don't know but I can't stop! Because, blogging has been in my life for 8 years (did I mention that?) and I can't see myself parting from it any time soon. I've learnt that the saying "you do you" is very fitting for blogging and everyone's reasons for blogging is different. 

For me, while I fail in verbal communication, I make up for in writing and my blog is an easy place to share my thoughts in writing. I'm so happy with all the doors my blog has opened for me already and I feel I'm returning to a place where to answer the question "who am I even blogging for?" I'm blogging for me. "Why am I blogging still?" just for me! 

To end this on a positive note, blogging has found me so much great inspiration, friendships, confidence and opportunities. While it is changing into an industry and not so much a hobby, I think it's important to remember the positives of blogging and why you blog in order to stay motivated and pleased with all you share. 

There was a lot of questions posed in this post and I'd love to hear your thoughts and answers to any of the questions.

I hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x