Sunday, 31 August 2014

August Favourites

I can't believe another month has gone by! Here is a quick run down of my favourite products this month. 

Tangle Teezer - I'm so glad I caved and purchased this. I was a bit sceptical because of the price tag, but it really is perfect for me. Now my hair is getting longer, it gets so tangled after a shower. This brush honestly doesn't pull at all. Who says you can't gain without pain! (£10.99 at Boots)

Avon Clearskin Clear Emergency Instant Spot Treatment - Lately I've been so lazy and not using my Liz Earle twice a day, and I've introduced fizzy drinks back into my life, and it's all really taken its toll on my skin. I've had a few Mount Everest sized spots, but a tiny amount of this gel and the redness is reduced noticeably within hours. I definitely find my spots disappear within 2 days since I've started using this stuff. (Currently on offer for £2.25 from Avon)

Maybelline The Falsies Volum' Express - I've had so many compliments on my eyelashes since using this mascara! It really is absolutely amazing and holds my eyelashes in place all day with absolutely no drooping! If you want to read a more detailed review, and see it on my lashes, click here. (£7.99 at Boots)

17 Lasting Finish Nail Polish in 'Tropical Island' - I'm obsessed with coral at the moment and so this nail varnish is now one of my firm favourites. It's a beautiful orangey-coral and has a minor sparkle to it which I love. It dries super quick and so I find it's good for when I'm in a rush. AND it is such a bargain! (£2.99 at Boots)

Soap and Glory Love At First Blush - This blusher is perfect if you just want a slight hint of colour, but is also buildable so you can really make it fit in with your make up style. It is a wheel of various colours - for a more detailed look, check out my post here. It lasts all day, and I'm a sucker for the vintage style packaging! (£11.00 at Boots)

What are your favourite products this month? If you do a monthly favourites post, leave the link below in the comments and I'd love to check them out and comment on yours!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Saturday Shopping with my Nan

Today I decided to spend the morning with my Nan. I took her uptown so she could run a few errands, and then I took her for a spot of lunch. I had lasagne and chips which was so so naughty of me considering I'm supposed to be dieting!

While I was uptown, I picked up a few things. I'm supposed to be controlling my shopping because my room and wardrobe is literally overflowing, but I just can't resist!

My Nan decided to treat me to these lovely sunglasses, I was already in the queue waiting to pay when she slipped the lady the money before I could say no! They are tortoiseshell cat eye sunglasses and are quite oversized. I'm always paranoid when sunglasses shopping because I generally hate my nose and think it's far too big, and sunglasses just seem to draw attention to that! But in these, I think my nose actually looks smaller, so how could I say no! These were £5 in the sale from Dorothy Perkins.

I also picked up my Ryman order which I had placed online. As I'm uptown 2-3 times a week at the moment anyway, I chose to have it delivered to store to save on postage. I absolutely love stationary shopping, and these were an absolute bargain! I got three 160 page Pukka Pad Refill Pads on '3 for 2' and 10 Stabilo Fineliners which are my favourite pens ever. I found an amazing discount code online, and so I got all of this for £6.49 which I thought was so good! As the pens alone are usually more than this. I'm putting all of this aside ready for when I go back to university in a few weeks.

How have you spent your Saturday? What are your stationary must-haves for school or university? I'd love to hear from you in the comments

Thursday, 28 August 2014

My ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Yesterday I was nominated by my best friend Bethany Morris ( to complete the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I'm a person who loves nothing more than donating to charity, and couldn't wait to take part in this!

We used over 4kg of ice on three of us in total today, so trust me when I say the water was absolutely FREEZING! I've donated £13.00 to MND, the Motor Neurone Disease Association (£10 from me, and £3 from my nephew who I nominated) 

I'm a huge fan of these social media campaigns - first the 'No Make Up Selfie' for Cancer Research and now this one. I hope more develop soon which I can take part in. People question their effectiveness but 1) as long as you donate, the charity is receiving well deserved money and 2) it raises AWARENESS, which is half of the battle for any charity. Now when you say Ice Bucket, I automatically think 'MND', and that is important. 

Have you done the Ice Bucket Challenge? I would like to nominate all bloggers reading this to do it, and to donate anything you can to MND or a similar charity in your area supporting those with Motor Neurone Disease.

NOTD: Floral, Polka Dots AND glitter

Today my Nan asked me to pop round so I could paint her nails. It's something she never used to do, but in the last 3-4 years she really loves having them done every now and again.

Today I decided to do a polka dot and floral pattern, with full glitter on one finger on each hand.

I think the flowers in the corner really stand out and give them that extra touch to make them really stand out.

I hope you like them! Can you recommend any other nail art patterns I should try? 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Benefit Browzings review

My left eyebrow is Brow-zinged, my other eyebrow bare in this photo
Both eyebrows filled in, and several hours after application

So on my last make up splurge I picked up the Benefit Browzings palette in the shade "Medium". 

You receive an eyebrow wax on the left, the colour powder on the right, a hard angled brush and a blending brush, as well as some mini Benefit tweezers. For £24.50 I think that is extremely reasonable, especially considering one palette apparently lasts you 2 years. If you consider how much it would cost you to have your brows tinted every few weeks as an alternative, I think it's a fair price.

I love this product so much. It really makes my brows stand out and gives them the effect I love, making them look thick and they now frame my face nicely. 

It stays in place all day, even when I've been for a run or taken part in vigorous exercise classes. I'm terrible for rubbing my face and it even survives this!

I would definitely recommend heading to your local Benefit counter to get matched up and ask them how they apply it- the instructions say the hard angled brush is for wax and the blending brush for powder. However, my benefit lady uses the hard angled brush with a dab of wax AND powder, then blends with more powder. I definitely prefer her technique to the instructions.

This is now firmly my go to eyebrow product and I am so happy with my purchase!

What is your go-to eyebrow product? Do you love Browzings as much as I do?
I'd love to hear your opinions in the comments below.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Benefit Big Easy Review

Wearing Big Easy in 'Light 02' and Browzings in 'Medium'

Excuse my dressing gown and slap backed hair! I'm extremely cold today and decided to get all warm and comfortable on the sofa after my trip to town this morning. 

Today I wanted to review Benefit's Big Easy Multi-Balancing Complexion Perfector. It has been on my wishlist since the day it was released, and a few weeks ago I finally caved and purchased it. And I am so so glad that I did!

Benefit's Big Easy claims to "balance moisture and control oil and adjusts to your exact shade. It evens out skintone and conceal imperfections"

Big Easy definitely does what it says on the packaging! It applies like a cream but finishes like a powder. I love this because I am not confident enough in my skin quality to just wear a BB cream - and this product is somewhere between a BB cream and a foundation so gives me the perfect coverage - not too heavy for every day, but not so light that I feel conscious my flaws are on show. I don't even feel like I have any make up on my face when I use this.

One of my favourite things is that it lasts ALL day! This photo of me was taking after wearing this product for 6 hours and my make up hasn't budged at all! It says to apply with your fingertips but I prefer to use my regular foundation brush.

And to top this all off, it also protects with SPF 35, so it helps to prevent ageing. 

You can pick Big Easy up online or at your local Benefit counter for £27.50, and I think it is definitely worth it!

Have you tried Big Easy? What did you think of it?
I'm really starting to fall in love with Benefit cosmetics - can you recommend any of their products that I should definitely try?

Monday, 25 August 2014

Bank Holiday Fun Day

Today me and my Mum were invited to my brother's house for a family fun day, and we had so much fun! 

We started out by colouring for an hour or so, in their brand new colouring books. We played on Mario Kart 8 on their Wii U for a bit, before moving onto the main event.

My sister-in-law bought some huge bars of chocolate and we decided to make chocolates using their Disney moulds. We melted the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water in the dining room, and then spread it into the moulds using spoons. It took less than 20 minutes in total, and it was a lot of fun, even if we did make a lot of mess!

We popped the chocolates in the fridge to set for an hour while we had lunch, and then tucked into them with a cup of tea! It was a great morning and a really cheap but enjoyable activity if your children/ children you are babysitting are bored!

I spent the rest of the afternoon at my other brothers playing with my niece and nephew, before enjoying an amazing dinner! We had an aubergine and cheese bake, with chicken breasts, salad and homemade garlic bread and bruschetta. For dessert, we had individual mini creme brulees. I have been so naughty with food today, but really did have the perfect bank holiday Monday.

What did you do today? 

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Balloons: Guinness World Record Attempt

So it's only just gone 2pm and I'm already exhausted! I've been interning at a local charity, the Butterfly Hospice Trust. Today, as a hospice, we offered to help recruit people to participate in a Guinness World Record Attempt held by our local shopping centre to celebrate their 10th birthday. For every participant the Hospice got to sign up, we received a donation from the shopping centre.

The shopping centre decided to try and break the Guinness World Record of blowing more than 500 balloons in one space at one time - and within SIXTY SECONDS. Yes that's right, one minute. There were around 150 of us in total blowing balloons up, and it was a lot harder than it sounds. I'm just glad we were all sat down, because we had three attempts and I nearly passed out on two of them!

Unfortunately, we didn't break the record, we only got 391. There were a lot of children participating though, and so I didn't think we would do it. But it was still a good day. The atmosphere was good, despite the weather being horrible! It chucked it down on our third and final attempt. But we had performances from Alice in Wonderland characters, music booming out across the shopping centre and we were all given a free tshirt. They aren't necessarily the coolest tshirts in the world, but I love a free tshirt to run in! 

I think we managed to get a lot of participants on behalf of the Hospice, so I have my fingers crossed that we will have a large donation coming our way!

Have you ever attempted to break a Guinness World Record? Any weird and wonderful plans this weekend?

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Maybelline The Volum' Express Mascara Falsies Review

Boots were offering a 3 for 2 on Maybelline cosmetics when I popped in a while ago, and I decided to pick this mascara up. I was a big fan of the Maybelline Colossal Mascara when I was younger, but for some reason never purchased.

I am actually in love with this mascara. It applies to the perfect consistency, highlighting each eyelash and giving amazing volume. So far, I have found that it holds my eyelashes up all day, with no drooping what so ever, which is a common problem for me as I have fairly long eyelashes. 

The wand is curved and very thick, allowing for not only a bold and defined dramatic eye, but also creating the perfect eyelash curl.

I usually struggle to find a good mascara that ticks all the boxes for me. Usually they don't offer the hold AND volume AND curl AND length that I want. Maybe my expectations are too high, but this mascara comes very close to perfection.

It is £3.99 at the moment on so it is an absolute bargain! I would definitely recommend this mascara to everyone.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

No 7 Make Up Brush Cleaner Review

This probably sounds really strange, but I love cleaning my make up brushes. There is just something about it that I find really therapeutic and relaxing. 

I like to clean my make up brushes at least once a fortnight. From touching your face, to sitting in a pot or on your dressing table, they obviously get built up with make up and germs. If you have invested in good make up brushes, you might as well as clean them so they last even longer.

This No 7 Make Up Brush Cleaner is absolutely PERFECT. Nothing could be easier. You simply squirt some of the cleanser onto kitchen roll or tissue, and then stroke and swirl your brushes against it, until they are clean. I like to do it in the evening and then leave them to dry over night, so they are ready for me to apply my next face! 

While there is some staining to my brushes, particularly the blusher brush because I use an extremely bright coral blusher, they are almost practically brand new and feel really really soft.

The No 7 Make Up Brush Cleaner is £8.00 from Boots, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wears make up regularly.

Beauty Haul

So this morning I took my Nan shopping and we decided to go for lunch in town. I really enjoyed my morning but I was so naughty and ended up buying some more beauty products and accessories! It is seriously becoming a major addiction, and I'm almost running out of storage room!

First of all, I purchased the bright pink Tangle Teezer. I seem to have misplaced it already, so can't take a photo of it unfortunately! I think it was about £10.99 from Boots. Now my hair is getting longer, it is becoming an absolute tangled nightmare when I step out of the shower. I don't feel any pain whatsoever when using a Tangle Teezer and find that I am not pulling any hair out, and my hair feels and looks a lot better when it is dry after using this brush (I leave my hair to dry naturally as I'm trying to grow it = no heat!) You can find out more about the Tangle Teezer range here

Soap and Glory Love at First Blush, £11.00 at Boots
I was given this blusher as a Christmas present around 3 years ago now, and I'm never really sure why I didn't repurchase it. It is perfect for me as a pale person, because it is light and shimmery, but easily buildable (I'm a blusher addict, I literally pile the stuff on!) This blusher lasts all day, and blends extremely well. I had this for about a year before it ran out, so it is well worth the money. I can so easily be drawn in by pretty packaging, and Soap and Glory's retro image never fails to entice me!

Soap and Glory Glow all Out Luminizing Face Powder, £11.00 at Boots
At the moment, Soap and Glory cosmetics are buy one, get a second product half price at Boots, so I finally caved and bought the Glow All Out Luminizing Face Powder. I've read so many amazing reviews online and I love the cardboard packaging with the inner mirror and magnetic fastening. This is basically a highlighter to dust on the top of your cheekbones, along your jawline and along your shoulders if you so wish. The pigmentation is really great and I can't wait to incorporate this into my every day make up routine. 
Small Cosmetics Bag, £5.00 at Next

I have been searching for a small cosmetics bag for a while now, which will fit into my handbag. I always carry a few make up items with me throughout the day so I can touch up, and I thought this one was really pretty. 

Real Techniques Setting Brush, £5.94 at
I have been trying to track down the Real Techniques Setting Brush for a few weeks now to use with my highlighter, but it has been out of stock everywhere in town, and on I have several other Real Techniques brushes and I absolutely swear by them. They clean well and are really good quality. Since I bought the Glow All Out today, I decided to hunt the brush down on the internet. I came across the official Real Techniques shop on Amazon, and couldn't believe how cheap the prices were compared to Boots prices! This brush retails at £8.99 in Boots but I managed to save £3 on it, so I felt like I was getting a real bargain!

Real Techniques Lash-Brow Groomer, £5.45 at
As I was so pleased with the price of the setting brush, I decided to have a quick browse at the other Real Techniques brushes. I'm really not happy with my mascara at the moment. It is so ridiculously clumpy, so I'm purchasing this brush to help fan my lashes out a bit more. Again, it was really cheap and because I spent over £10, I qualified for free delivery.

Have you tried any of these products? If so, what do you think of them?
Can anyone recommend a good quality mascara? I'm really struggling to find one that ticks all the boxes for me!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Gift Guide for Girls

This month I have had a lot of female birthdays to buy for. Sometimes I find it so easy shopping for presents, but other times, I really struggle. Here is my quick gift guide for girls around my age (late teens-early twenties). I think these are not only safe bet presents that you just can't go wrong with, but they are also just really really nice.

Gift Guide for Girls

Yankee Candles - By far, the best candles out there in my opinion. There are so many different scents, and it can be difficult buying them for other people, because everyone has their own preference. These candles are not only pretty in their glass jars, but candles are just so relaxing and practical at the same time.

Chocolate - Maybe it's me being a greedy pig who is currently dieting talking, but I don't think you can go far wrong with chocolate. I hate Belgian and Dark, and most posh chocolates actually, but in terms of bars of chocolate, they're a cute little added extra to add to a gift bag.

Bath bombs - This particular bath bomb is from my favourite company, Bomb Cosmetics. They are £2-3 each, but look super pretty and I love receiving them. Everyone loves a good pamper session lets face it!

Ciate nail varnish - I think you're either a nail varnish girl, or you're not. I absolutely love nail varnish, and because I do a lot of nail art, I'm always grateful of receiving new colours. I think these bottles look so cute and the pigmentation is really great.

Ted Baker Make Up Bag - Even if the girl in mind doesn't wear much make up, Ted Baker also does a pretty range of toilletry bags. The material is wipe clean so they won't be ruined easily, and I think they just look classy and expensive.

Tatty Devine Name Necklace - I love these acrylic name necklaces from Tatty Devine. They are about £30, but you can completely personalise the font, colouring, charms, and everything. They make for a really personal and special gift that won't go out of fashion.

I hope you enjoyed this quick gift guide - I'm sorry that yet again, I've been neglecting my blog. I promise I'm working on some new ideas to introduce to you all

Friday, 15 August 2014

5 things which have made me happy this week

I've decided to start a new series of blog posts entitled '5 things which have made me happy this week'. It is part of my bid to be a more positive person and to avoid any negativity. I feel that if I write down things that have made me happy, I will appreciate all the wonderful things in life more.

1. Losing weight: This week I am so happy at my progress with getting fit and losing weight! I started exercising and eating cleaner around 5 weeks ago. To date, I have lost 5 pounds. I would like to lose around another 5-8 pounds. Now I have started shrinking a little bit, I have even more motivation to do so!

2. Running: I started running to lose weight, but in fact I've actually found that running is making me happier. I'm really proud of myself because running was always something I could just never do, and I never had the confidence to do in public. I'm running slow and steady, but I'm getting there.

3. Watching the bank: Even though I am good at budgeting and have never been in financial difficulty, lately I have been thinking that I would really like to start building up a 'rainy day fund'; in case of emergencies. And also, just because when I first start out working after university, I know money will be a little tighter than it currently is and I wanted to prove to myself I can resist! I purchased no clothes or make up this week and I'm really proud of my self control ha!

4. Pampering: Yesterday I had the most amazing morning pampering myself. My favourite beautician in the world (and an amazing friend) came round and after doing my eyebrows, I had gel nails and a 30 minute back massage. I loved having a morning to myself. I've put my body through a shock lately with taking up swimming, yoga, running and a dance class per week all at once, and so I wanted to treat it.

5. Hospice Opening: So at the moment I am completing an internship at a local charity, called the Butterfly Hospice. It has been 14 years of hard work and determination on behalf of my local community. The community has raised the majority of the money ourselves, with little help from the government due to budget cuts, and I could feel myself welling up with pride when we opened. A lot of poorly people have been desperate to get out of a hospital and into the hospice to spend their last days with fresh air in the amazing gardens and to get their dignity back - choosing what to eat, when they want a bath, if they want to go outside - and they can bring their pets if they wish. I think it's important that everyone maintains their dignity and choices and can feel as at home as possible.

So as you can tell, I've been so happy this week! I'm doing a few people's nails tomorrow for a bit of moola, and I'm heading into town tomorrow night to well and truly let my hair down, so I can see my happiness continuing!

What has made you happy this week?

Thursday, 14 August 2014

FAQ: How has your hair grown so quickly? MY TOP TIPS

So many people have been asking me lately how I have managed to grow my hair so quickly. And when I look at 'before' and 'after' photos, I can't actually believe how quickly it has grown.

From the photos, some of you may not be thinking it has grown that much, even if the colour and style is completely different! (I really don't know what I was thinking ever being THAT blonde!) But honestly, in the first photo, my hair was literally less than half an inch short underneath at the back, my hair was extremely choppy and it's taken time just growing the layers and fringe out. My hair was shorter than my chin, and within 8 months of deciding I wanted long hair, it has gotten to this point, and in good condition too.

So here is how I've done it! I'm not sure which of these factors are the biggest contributors to my hair growth, I think the combination of them all has worked absolute wonders! I am not a hairdresser or hair expert, but am merely going to talk about the things that have worked for me, and been recommended to me by my hair stylist.

1. Regular hair cuts: Some people think this is absurd to have your hair cut if you are trying to grow your hair. But if you don't have it cut regularly, your ends will just become even more dry, damaged and split, and then the hairdresser will have to cut inches off to return it to good condition - and then your hair will never grow! I have mine cut every 6-8 weeks, which is recommended by most hairdressers. My hairdresser takes off the tiniest amount from the ends, which she calls "dusting". It allows my hair to grow in really good condition and I never have to have masses cut off.

2. Lee Stafford Treatment for Hair That Never Grows Past a Certain Length: This is my favourite hair product of all time. It retails at £7.99 per tub in Boots and I absolutely love it. The packaging says to use between your usual shampoo and conditioner. You should get an egg-sized amount and rub in from roots to ends, and leave for 5 minutes. I like to really massage this into my scalp to moisturise it to encourage hair growth. The packet says to use on every wash until you notice results, then to use once a week after that. As I wash my hair every day, I use this every other day. It smells amazing and leaves my hair feeling so soft.
Also, I have quite thick hair and I find it falls out quite a bit, but since using this mask I'm losing a lot less! Even if you don't buy this particular product, I would recommend using a moisturising hair mask once a week.

3. No heat: Heat is the worst thing if you are trying to grow your hair. Heat is so damaging to your hair, and encourages split ends. It also tends to dry my scalp out. I used to straighten my hair every day when I had the really short bob in the first photo above, but as it got a bit longer and I could tie it up, I gave up straightening and any form of heat and just shoved it on top of my head. I never really blow dried my hair anyway because I'm super lazy, and with buns being quite 'in' at the moment, you can definitely get away with it. I noticed my hair really felt so much nicer when I gave up the heat, and because I still straighten my hair when I'm going anywhere nice, I notice my hair straightens so much better and looks so much shinier.

4. Detangling spray and comb: Brushing your hair when it is wet is really bad for it. Your hair is very vulnerable when it's wet, and brushing it can really encourage split ends. Damaged hair simply doesn't grow, simple as. And the hairdresser will just chop more off. So when I get out the shower, I spray my hair with a detangling spray and brush it through softly with a wide natural comb. At the moment I'm using the Loreal Paris Elvive Smooth and Polish Thermo Detangling Spray Leave in  
I'm going to purchase a Tangle Teezer next time I go uptown, as they're even better - they don't snag or pull on your hair at all! 


5. Head massage: I started using this to relieve stress, because whenever I get stressed tension builds in my back, neck and head. But then I read somewhere online that massaging the scalp also helps to stimulate hair growth. This cost me $2 in New York, and I know you can get them really cheap online if you look in the right places. I don't do this regularly, but it is SO relaxing and if it encourages hair growth as well, it is like killing two birds with one stone!

Do you have any top tips for encouraging hair growth that could help me? I've still got a long way to go until I get my hair to the length I want. I hope these techniques work as well for you as they have for me!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

My Guide to getting Work Experience

I'm not saying I am a complete expert on getting work experience, but something I get asked frequently by so many people is, "How did you manage to get that work experience?"

Since I was 14, I have completed work experience during every school holidays, whether that be over Christmas, Easter or Summer. It has varied heavily, from one afternoon a week to the full on 9-5 five days a week. 

I am a Politics student, and my work experience is largely political. But I still hope you can gain some tips from this blog post, if you are looking to secure work experience.

So, a little about my experience. For four years, I helped at my local MP's Constituency office over the school holidays. I shadowed my MP for a week in London at the Houses of Parliament, and I shadowed my MEP in Brussels for a week also. I also spent Easter, and am spending my summer, as a Fundraising and Volunteer Intern at a local charity where I live. 

So here are my few top tips on how I feel I managed to gain this work experience! 

Me and my MEP, Emma McClarkin

1. Ask yourself - what do you enjoy? While your teachers, university and family will be telling you to get all the work experience you can, it is important that it is relevant to your interests and long term career aspirations. I have only ever done work experience that I WANTED to do, as I feel you get the most out of it. Even if you're not sure what you want to do in terms of careers, think in terms of your interests. Work experience only really looks good to employers if it is relevant, in my opinion. It doesn't have to be exactly specific to the career you aspire to, but there needs to be transferable skills involved which would tell employers you could do the job. When I completed work experience at school in year 10 which was compulsory, I signed up for something I thought I would really enjoy, and when I got there I hated it! So even if you hate it when you get there, it's useful in telling you that it's something you don't want to do when you're older! 

2. Have a killer CV! Don't just wander into somewhere and ask. Sometimes it may work don't get me wrong, but I've always applied in a formal manner to any work experience. I have always submitted a CV and a letter of interest to the person in question, whether by email or by post. Fine tune your CV. Make sure everything on it is relevant to the organisation in question, make sure spelling and grammar is excellent and make sure it looks professional. All they have to go on is that bit of paper you have handed to them, so make it stand out. Think of anything relevant that would make them want to let you complete work experience. For example, before I had any relevant experience so to speak, I mentioned that I canvassed and leafletted for council candidates a few years ago, that I studied politics at school and wanted to study it at university. They want to see that you're really really interested in their organisation, and not that you've just handed 50 of the same CV out to anyone and everyone.

3. Look the part For my work experience, I had a face to face meeting with each organisation before starting it. Personally I really like that, I like a chat about what you expect of the organisation, what they can expect of you, and it's a perfect opportunity to ask questions. They may even want to interview you. Look smart! Even though you are completely unpaid work, I always dress in formal office wear. Once you get there, if you notice everyone dresses casually, then when you start the experience, you can do so. I just think that first impression is so important, and by making an effort to look smart, they know how much you want it!

4. Communicate EFFECTIVELY Make sure your communication is appropriate to the organisation. Always be formal on initial contact - if you get a laid back chatty response, then obviously feel free to reiterate it. (But always make sure spelling and grammar is good) A few times I emailed my CV and I didn't get a response, so I rang up. Different organisations prioritise different communications, so just get to grips with how best to contact them.

5. Work on your interview skills Even though some people moan that they've been interviewed for work experience, I think it's a great opportunity to work on the skills you're going to have to demonstrate when you go out into the real world looking for jobs! Practice with a friend or family member - but make sure it's someone you will do it properly with rather than sat giggling at each other or not concentrating. Practice everything from greeting an employer with a handshake, to how best to exit. It makes it so much easier if they ask to meet you, and you'll feel less nervous

6. Perseverance Unfortunately, you may get a rejection response. This may not be because you aren't "good enough", sometimes it's that they don't have the space or feel that the nature of the work isn't suitable for someone to get to grips with in one or two weeks, or maybe there is a lot of confidentiality involved. Some people just aren't comfortable with work experience students. But just persevere and try other opportunities. I've had a few rejections, and it turned out something even better turned up, and I was glad I wasn't offered it, as I would have probably done that instead and not applied to anywhere else. If you don't get a response to your application via email, or if they said they would ring you back, ring them or email them again! Obviously don't completely pest them. But if they say I will ring you by Friday and they don't, ring on Monday. Or if you don't hear back by email, pop into the office and enquire about it, or ring up. Don't just give up! They will appreciate perseverance

7. Knock on effect Once you're in the door somewhere, I found I experienced a knock on effect. When I worked in my MP's constituency office here at home in Boston, his staff really appreciated me and put in a really good word to him, to support my application to shadow him. Then because I had worked with him, it looked good when applying to shadow my MEP. And again, my MP's constituency office rang her (because they are members of the same political party) and put a good word in. You'll find that if you're in any sort of department, you can always ask if there are opportunities in other departments or if they have partners or anything. The possibilities are endless! Even if they don't suggest other opportunities to you, use your initiative and ask yourself!

I hope you enjoyed this blog post, and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to comment below. I hope it could help at least one of you in some sort of way. 

Monday, 11 August 2014

Ciate Chalkboard Nails Kit

First of all I want to apologise that my blog has perhaps been a little lack lustre lately. I haven't been able to put the time into it that I really want, what with work experience, starting dissertation research and other family commitments. I promise I'll start putting more time and effort into it soon!

So last week me and Mum fancied a bit of an online splurge, so we headed over to One of the things I ended up buying to try was the Ciate Chalkboard nail art kit. I'd never heard of it before but thought it sounded really different, and I love trying different things with my nails.

I've had a play around with it, and I have to say I really like it! It is a lot of fun and takes only around 5 minutes! Because the black has the chalkboard effect, it literally dries in seconds. I think this is perfect for those who find they have shaky hands and struggle to do much with their nails. As these are just like felt tip pens, it is super easy!

Here is a quick step-by-step of how you use this kit.

1. Paint two layers of the Matte Black polish and let them dry. When it dries, it really looks like a chalkboard, I was so surprised! I'm not sure how they've achieved this but it is cool.

2. To activate the pens, shake them slightly and then press the nib gently against a hard surface until the liquid comes out a little bit. 

3. Then, paint your chosen design on your nails. Here is one of my nails quickly for you to see! I wanted to write in the pens to show you how easy it really is (and I didn't have much time when painting these!)

The colours are super bright and the nails really stand out. They're not something I would wear on an average day, but will be perfect for when I fancy a change, or when I go to fancy dress parties at university as a school girl (they have school fancy dress themed events around 2-3 times a term at my uni!)

This was £6.99 on which I think was really reasonable for what you get in the kit.

Have you tried this? Can you recommend any other nail art I could try?

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Beauty Wishlist #2

It's only been a few days, but already I'm adding products to my wishlist! What can I say, I would give up shopping, but I'm not a quitter....

Beauty Wishlist #2

Benefit the Porefessional, £24.50- Yesterday I went for a quick Benefit makeover in my local department store. My intention was to try the Big Easy Complexion Corrector and the Brow zings kit, to see if they would suit me because I have sensitive skin and I'm really pale. I ended up buying both (oops) but the lady also tried some of the Porefessional on me and I fell in love instantly! Not only does it hide open pores, but it feels so so soft and just dreamy! 

Benefit Coralista blusher, £23.50 - I also asked if I could try this on while I was there. As I'm pale, people are always telling me to tone my blusher down, but I can't resist! I love a bright coral or peach blusher, I think it actually adds the colour needed to my face. Just because I'm pale doesn't mean I have to look washed out! This applied beautifully and lasted all day, despite it being quite a warm day. I can't wait to purchase this.

Revlon Color Burst Matte Balm in 'Mischievous', £7.99 - I spotted this on Llymlrs' beauty blog yesterday in her 'Orange Lipsticks' post. I've been wanting to try these for a while, because I have quite dry lips and they have received really good reviews for looking shiny, adding moisture and for being long lasting. I don't think I'm confident enough to try the full on orange lip trend, but I think this is a sort of coral-orange hint to it, which works for me.

Tangle Teezer, £10.99 - The price of these varies from place to place, but they retail for £10.99 in Boots. I love nothing more than going mad in Boots, but always convince myself not to buy one of these. However, yesterday I had my hair done, and my hairdresser used one on my wet hair. Usually when I have showered and washed my hair, I use a comb and detangling spray, but I think I have officially fallen in love with these Tangle Teezers. There was no pulling and it didn't hurt one bit - I actually felt like I was getting a head massage! 

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone reading my blog - I'm absolutely loving writing each post! Thanks to everyone following me on Bloglovin', I never expected it at all! 

What is on your wishlist at the moment?

Friday, 8 August 2014

What's in my bag?

So this morning I decided I would clear my handbag out. For a few weeks now I've not been able to find anything that I want in it straight away, and the accumulation of endless receipts and pieces of loose paper with random scribblings on have been driving me crazy! 

While I was clearing it out, I thought I would do a 'What's in my bag' post. I've seen quite a few of them online, and even though it sounds so random, I really enjoy reading them. Don't worry, I tidied my bag before doing this!

I purchased my bag in Primark in around April time, and I think it was £12. I absolutely love this bag, and think it is a perfect dupe of the Zara City Bag. I think it looks more expensive than it was, and I love that there is a main compartment, and then the zip on either side. The side compartments are perfect for keys or anything you want to grab quickly without having to rummage!

This bag is quite spacious, which means I can cram a lot in...

University hoody - I always chuck this in my bag to wear after Yoga or Dance, and with the weather being all over the place at the moment, it is a good cover up for if it gets a bit chilly!

Polka Dot Umbrella

Topshop Gift Card - A birthday present, I always keep this on me just in case I pass a Topshop (We don't have one where I live at my non-university home, boo!) I'm planning on putting it towards some new Topshop jeans when I've lost weight

Ted Baker Purse - This is the Lindar Crystal Bow Bobble Matinee in Nude, I think it was £75 but I got killer student discount!

Prescription Glasses - These are by Guess. I'm considering contacts because my eyes are getting so bad I'm relying on these a lot now, and I'm not sure if glasses suit me. 

Touch up Make Up - This varies according to what I've got on my face and what the weather is like, but at the moment I have the Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub, the Benefit Fake It Up Concealer and the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

Car keys - I still can't believe I have my own car, so exciting! I still haven't christened it with a name, but I've asked my nieces and nephews to think of some

Hair Grips - Now my hair is getting longer, it's taking some getting used to, as much as I love it. I love having a few hair grips just in case it's annoying me!

Filofax - I'm always on the go, and love being super organised. I don't think I could actually survive a day without this. This is the Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Leather Pocket Size.

Notebook - For loose scribblings, ideas for blog posts, and for taking notes while I'm on work experience at the moment at a local charity

Nivea Moisturiser 

Small Strawberry Pencil Case - I bought this to put a few pens inside as I was worried one might leak on my purse. I could do with a small make up bag for the make up really, for the same reason! 

Nail File

House Keys - on my Take That Lanyard which I received at a Take That concert for free! I always struggle to find keys so I like having them on a lanyard, particularly when I'm at university and I have all my academic work in my bag as well!

I hope you enjoyed this style post. If you've done a 'What's in your bag' I'd love to read it, so please comment the link below

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Disaster Designs Paper Planes Travel Wallet

This has been on my wishlist for a few months now, so when it arrived in the post earlier I couldn't wait to blog about it!

Disaster Designs is a popular brand with various different ranges. They are all fairly similar, but their Paper Planes range is my favourite. 

I absolutely love to travel, but hate the stress of "Have I remembered my passport?" "Have you got the hotel tickets?" "Wait did we pick our currency up?" So I had been lusting after a travel wallet for some time now - one handy little place to put absolutely everything rather than rummaging through your bag having a mini heart attack!

I adore the design on this travel wallet. I love anything with a bird/swallow print and thought this was really unique. It's difficult to see from the photo but there are three swallows on the brown button tab, which are so cute. The attention to detail is consistent throughout, rather than just a pretty cover. Even the back cover is pretty!

Inside, there are lots of compartments so you can keep everything organised and in its place, and I love me some organisation! There are tabs for hotel documents, other documents, tickets, currency and passport. I'm hoping the various tabs will help me remember to pack everything, particularly these important documents! I also think I'm less likely to lose anything.

I am so pleased I purchased this travel wallet! I love the attention to detail; particularly this little bow and postcard charm.

This is currently in the sale for £26.31 on It is a great website with brands ranging from Cath Kidston, Emma Bridgewater to Bomb Cosmetics, and The Bright Side. These are all favourite brands of mine, and the website constantly has sales on so you can get the products cheaper than anywhere else. They are the best place to purchase Yankee Candles as well, in my opinion, as they are so cheap compared to anywhere else!! 

What do you think of my new travel wallet? Are you as obsessed with organisation as me?
Are you travelling anywhere soon?

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