Monday, 30 March 2015

New LUSH Goodies! | Haul



Eeeeeeeeeeeeep! Oh I do love a good ol' LUSH haul! I realised that I hadn't shared one with you for quiteee a while now, and had just picked up these goodies in town the other day so I figured now was the perfect opportunity! (Besides, how could I not get a few snaps of the almighty golden egg??) If you'd like to hear my reasonings behind each purchase - keep on reading!

'Ultrabland' cleanser | £11.50 (100g) 

This is now my second pot of this gorgeous cleanser which is saying a lot! Usually I'm one to swap and change my cleansers quite frequently but after having used this for the past few months non-stop, I am definitely classing this as a staple product for me now. & so I bought another to stand guard whilst I'm on my last few uses of my old one! I will be blogging a review of 'Ultrabland' THIS Friday, so if you'd like to hear more, stay tuned!



'Mask of Magnaminty' face and body mask (sample)
I've tried a sample of this fresh mask from LUSH before, (you can read my first impressions of it here) but as I say in my first impressions post, I didn't want to purchase a big pot because I was a little apprehensive at the short shelf date and I had only just purchased a lot of other masks from my New York trip. My skin has been behaving a little strangely lately, and products it used to love are aggravating it as well as some days waking up with terribly oily skin, whilst other days I have very dry skin. I value how many fresh, natural ingredients LUSH use in their masks so I decided to pick up a sample to see if it could help me out where other products are failing right now. The lady in store also very kindly gave me a sample of the self-preserving version of the mask too so that I could compare them and see which one I preferred!

'Golden Egg' bath bomb melt (x 2) | £3.75 each
The 'Golden Egg' bath bomb melt is probably my most favourite bath product that I discovered last year - so I think it's safe to say that I am beyond pleased that LUSH brought this back for another Easter collection! I only wish they would make it part of the permanent collection, I mean, why not? It's gorgeous to look at, smells delicious and leaves your skin feeling so silky smooth that I think anyone and everyone would continue to purchase this beauty all year round (I know I would!). If you want to, you can read a first impressions review that I wrote last year here (I apologise in advance at how frequently I use 'however'...). I have bought two as you can see above, but I'm so tempted to buy more before Easter is over because they're just that gorgeous! 100% recommend. 



& there you have it! I have to admit, I am contemplating going back in store to pick up a few more goodies such as the 'Pot O' Gold' shower jelly and 'Charity Pot' body lotion - so if you have any recommendations please do let me know in the comments below! It's revision season, I'm allowed to treat myself ;) hehe.
Hannah x
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Saturday, 28 March 2015

My Last Coursework Hand-in


How typical is it that I only think of the concept of logging a 'uni diary' on here just as I'm finishing my undergraduate degree?? Either way, leaving university is probably the time where I'll have the most to say. Everything's changing, I'm experienced, I can look back - whilst also looking forward. This is an exciting yet absolutely terrifying time, and I want to write down how I'm feeling about it all.

On Thursday I had my last ever coursework hand-in which was so surreal. I don't think I've ever once experienced this feeling of not having to worry or think about that essay about psychogeography coming up or that lab assignment I need to finish. That's it! Done! On Thursday morning I have to admit I was pretty freaked. I think it was the most stressed I had got about a piece of work this entire year (including my dissertation hand in) so that's saying a LOT. It was just the thought of 'oh goodness, this is actually IT', the last piece. I think it feels so strange because it honestly feels as though it were yesterday that I was hastily making final edits to my first ever uni essay, and I can't believe how much I've progressed between then and now... because it really doesn't seem that long at all!

Obviously once I get a job I'll have work and deadlines to commit to, but it's different. I have deadlines that I set myself for my blog even, which is a whole other thing. I can't see myself writing 3000 words about the progression of Chinese politics again any time soon which is what I'm trying to say.

I feel pleased with the work I've submitted this year, and I only hope that I can match the same standard in my exams. This is in fact the first year where I managed to maintain an average of a high 2.1/low 1st and that's SO exciting. I really feel like I know what I'm doing now, and I've been enjoying it so much more which I feel has incontrovertibly contributed to my higher grades this year. I've also managed to maintain my anxiety a whole lot more too, and I will be writing a post about that in the near future so I won't go to much into it, but lets just say when you don't have this immense anxiety and stress about even thinking about starting a piece of work, let alone actually doing it and handing it in, it makes life a whoooooole lot easier. 

I feel proud of myself. There were no tears (apart from the ONE time when the printers wouldn't work on the morning of my dissertation hand in haha), I didn't make myself ill with stress like I have done in the past and even though this last piece that I just submitted wasn't a strong point of mine, it turned out to be a lot more enthralling than I had initially anticipated - so at least I now know that I won't completely flop it!

I've been very much enjoying myself these past few days, not having to think about next weeks deadline, and that feels great. At the same time I'm also starting to get excited about the upcoming revision for my exams which I will start Monday. I know that sounds absolutely insane but I love delving back into things that I might not necessarily remember as well as I did last term, and it really helps feed my interests. Finally, I'm also looking forward to finally being able to dedicate more time to my blog, which I am absolutely ready for and I'm very much looking forward to what I've got planned - and I hope you are too! 

I know that a lot of people at university/college are still at the peak of their deadline period, so I just wanted to say, you CAN do it. You will do it, & it'll be magical. Stay positive!
Hannah x
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Monday, 23 March 2015

Five Things | I Love About Spring

Hello everyone! I’m currently approaching the end of my undergraduate degree at University of London, and so it’s been quiteeeeee a stressful time as of late – but the changing weather, blooming flowers and gorgeous fresh air have really helped lighten my spirit, and have definitely put me in a far better mood, so I thought it would be fun to share with you five things that I've been absolutely loving about the start of Spring!



1. Fresh flowers - Now it's no secret that I am an absolute sucker for a bunch of fresh flowers in the house, but when they suddenly surround me everywhere I go? Yes please! They really help to revitalise my mood and almost transform those dull, cold, miserable 8AM walks to uni to something bright and a lot more enjoyable. Right now the pathways are littered with daffodils, and that makes me so happy.

2. The smell of freshly cut grass - I never realised I actually enjoyed the smell of freshly cut grass so much until the other morning where I was like, 'Oh my gosh, THE SMELL OF SPRING!'. The feel of the sun on my skin and the potent smell of green everywhere I went felt so invigorating, and proved a fabulous start to the day! (Until my hayfever went a bit crazy but hey ho where there are smiles there must be tears).

3. Sunglasses - YES. IT'S FINALLY SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE TO START WEARING SUNGLASSES IN ENGLAND AGAIN! I love wearing sunglasses - they make me feel so much more put together and I like that people can't look straight into my eyes and what seems like delve into the depths of my soul (as it feels a lot of the time on the morning train). Whenever I wear my sunglasses, I like to fool myself into thinking that I'm on my way to Brighton beach or something equally as pleasurable - whilst the sunglasses are on, the only thing that is in my mind is: sun, beach and bright blue slushpuppies. 

4. Brighter mornings and longer evenings - I think this would make the cut in anyone and everyone's top five things in all honesty. There is no doubt in my mind that waking up and catching a bit of vitamin D on the way to work can only help brighten up the rest of your day. Whilst I absolutely love winter, I can't stand how tired the short dark days make me. I was forever wanting to go to bed at 5pm reflecting the pitch black outside but now I feel as though I can get twice as much done which is just fab and extremely encouraging! 

5. Smiley faces - I honestly think that everyone suffers seasonal affective disorder to a certain extent, because suddenly, the sun has popped its hat on and everyone has gone back to their jolly friendly ol' selves that we last saw during Christmas and the New Year! I think it's so easy to feel down when you look out the window and all you can see are dark skies, strong cold winds and rain ready and waiting to torment your future self as you attempt to go about your day. Everything is so much easier to do when you don't have to deal with getting soaking wet toes or runny eyes in the cold wind, and it just seems so make everyone, and I, so much happier! I've had so many conversations with complete strangers just in a good enough mood to want to start conversation with me and that really makes my day.


I really hope you enjoy this little entry from me, and as always, make sure to tell me what you love about Spring in the comments below!

I'm also super excited to say that I've written this post in collaboration with the beautiful Nicola from 'Perfect Peonies'. As always, I wouldn't recommend anything whether that be products, life tips or blogs unless I really thought you'd like them. I honestly love Nicola's blog so much and feel that it deserves a lot more love - so make sure to go over to: http://perfectpeonies.blogspot.co.uk/ and check out what she's been loving about Spring too!
Hannah x
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Friday, 13 March 2015

The 5 Product Face | FOTD

Hellooooo! I'm super excited to share that I, alongside nine other bloggers, are part of a 'Less Is More' campaign, where we create a look using only five products (skincare not included), share it with you, and then discuss how we feel about it! Admittedly - I don't really wear much more than five things on my day-to-day face anyway, that is, if I'm wearing any make-up at all. If you've read my 'Self Confidence In Appearance' post (here), you'll know that I've only very recently began to feel a little more comfortable with regards to posting pictures of myself on my blog, so the #lessismore campaign came round at a great time, and I'm thrilled to be involved! (eeek here goes!)

Sometimes, I feel that beauty blogs, magazines and TV aderts like throw out this impression that it's somewhat normal to only really feel comfortable leaving the house with perfectly concealed dark circles, sharply filled in eyebrows and any redness or other imperfections hush hushed beneath a layer of 'perfect'. I'm here to show you that, using less products can often add a lot more interest to your face and that it's actually quite easy to manipulate your selected products to do more for you and your look, all without breaking the bank! 

I've appropriated the #lessismore campaign a little differently to others thus far, and rather treated it as a 'challenge', to see if I could achieve, what I personally would consider, quite a bold yet wearable look - without the need to use a billion products to get it to work! I'm not one to wear a bold lip, as I often find them pretty intimidating, but I'm really happy with this look as I felt the bright orange-toned red added a great burst of colour to my otherwise natural face. I hope you like the look too, and if you'd like to know what five make-up items I used, then keep on reading!

1) Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation in 'Ivory 01' - As I wasn't going for any blush or concealer, I really didn't want to use anything too high coverage as my base otherwise that would just look very plain and just, 'flat' I suppose? What I love about this foundation is half a pump can be spread across the face and still manage to brighten up and somewhat even out the complexion. However, if you did want more coverage, its wonderfully build-able! On my skin, I also find it's enough to counteract the greeny/blue tones of my under eye circles, which I think really helped in making me look far more awake than I actually was after a long day at uni which is always a plus haha! This foundation possesses a lovely glow, which I think is perfect for all year around but especially Spring, as it makes you and your skin look a lot more healthy and fresh!

2) Tarte eyeshadow in 'Marvelous Mocha' - I lightly brushed this shadow through my eyebrows to help define them a little more, and in place of an eye-liner also - which I then lightly blended up towards the outside of my crease to add a little more dimension to my eyes. I love lining my eyes with a deep brown eye shadow as it looks a lot less harsh than a black liner, but is still prominent enough to add to and emphasise your eyes! Also, I think having your liner and eyebrows the same shade can very subtly help those definitions look a lot more natural and 'put together' (well I hope so anyway!), which is another reason why I tend to stray away from harsh black liner.



3) Tarte 'Lights, Camera, Lashes' Mascara - If you have seen my recent haul post (here), you will know that this is hands down my favourite mascara, and has been for the past year or so. I have very stubborn, straight, short lashes and what I love about this mascara is it doesn't faff around in trying to curl or volumise them, it just beautifully defines and elongates the lashes which I think is great when you're going for a simple, fuss free look. 

4) The Body Shop 'Honey' Bronzer in Shade 02 - I absolutely adore this bronzer and have done for a very long time now! It's honestly so beautiful, natural, and can be very easily built up to suit your hearts desire when it comes to bronzing and/or contouring! If I'm going to wear one thing on my face, it would hands down always be bronzer as I think it helps shape, add dimension and interest to a face and it definitely makes me look a lot healthier! As you can see, on my eyes there is a lighter brown shade sweeped across the lid - guess what? It wasn't an eyeshadow! I don't know why people always think that you can't put something that's intended for your face near your eyes or vice versa - I think adding a bit of bronzer is a great way to add depth to the eye and is a very subtle way of going about it!


5) Maybelline colorsensational lipstick '530 Fatal Red' - I've never actually spoken about this lipstick on my blog before, despite it being one of my all time favourites to wear, so I do apologise for that because I tell you now, it is amazing. It was my first ever red and I absolutely LOVE lightly dabbing this on for a day to day tint, but for this look I just thought I'd go all out and pack it on straight from the bullet. I usually get too scared to work a bright red lip but sometimes I think its a great way to add a point of interest to your face when the rest of it is left to a minimum. 

So there you have it! My first ever 'face of the day' (FOTD) - using only five products! I really enjoyed creating this look with the 'less is more' idea in mind, as a lot of the time I think its very easy to think, oh goodness, I need a different product for each feature of my face - which of course isn't at all necessary and I hope that this look I've created and the tips I've shared with you today proves that. I really hope you enjoyed this as it's not something I've ever done before! If you'd like to see more 'FOTD's' from me then please do let me know in the comments alongside what five products you'd chose!
Hannah x

(ps. I am sorry that the photos taken were not of that high a quality - I really haven't been feeling too well lately and my foggy ill-brain meant that I completely forgot to take any photos of my face till a lot later on in the day when light and camera battery wasn't on my side! oh dear... haha)
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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Why It's OK To Not Know | The Future

Ok, so I'm a person that's worked their way through the education system, without any breaks, with no solid plans in place, and now that I've found myself approaching the end of my degree - all I keep getting asked is:

Are you opting for an internship?
What career path are you planning?
Are you taking a masters?

and I know. It's SO easy to just think ahhhhh omgmouhoguihwleWIHGIHW8EGU but - it's ok.


I have never been someone who knows what I'm doing tomorrow, let alone what I want to do for the rest of my future. I know that nowadays people are more inclined to switch up their career paths at least a couple of times during their life time, but for some reason, academics haven't seemed to get the memo. Apparently I'm only allowed to have one interest, and I must invest all my time, money and energy into that interest otherwise I'm going to end up a penniless nobody for the rest of my life. 
But here's how I look at things: 

I think it's best to think of life as something that can't be planned. So what if I don't know what I'm doing the day, week or month after I graduate yet? I'm not even aware of half the jobs out there are, let alone what I want to do! I've never taken a gap year, and I've always been in full time education, so I don't really feel as though I've had the chance to explore what it is that I want to do, or indeed, what I'm good at yet.

There's a difference between liking and being interested in something, and actually wanting to dedicate your time and life (to a certain extent) to it. Yes, I absolutely love cultural geography, marketing and acting - but am I ready to jump head over heels into one of those career paths? Absolutely not! I'm 20. & I'll still be 20 once I graduate. If I start planning my life out now; then surely that'll either work out 100% if I'm somehow psychic and can predict everything that'll come my way, or it'll just restrict me from all the possibilities of what could be if I just live my life as it comes, and accept it for what it is. 



It's OK to not know what you want to do. Hell, at the age of 16 I was constantly hounded by my teachers that it was irresponsible to not be totally set on becoming a dentist or doctor. If you know? Then that's amazing, and good for you. I really hope you reach your dreams and that you're successful. But if you don't? Please don't feel afraid and feel that you're going to be left behind, or jump into something for the sake of it. Other people's opinions on your life and what you should be doing with it do not matter. It's your life - and whilst that may seem obvious, I think it's easy to forget that a lot of the time. 

Don't let the education system rule your decisions, and don't let the processes of capitalism manipulate you into a world of work that you aren't totally happy with, or indeed, aren't ready for (something which a LOT of my friends are feeling right now). I'm a strong believer that, whatever age you are, you still have time to change things, and that there's always potential to live a happier life. Maybe that's a little naive? I really don't know.



My current life plans?
Study at a London drama school. 
Move to New York.
Study for a masters and eventually, a PhD. 
Start up my own business.
Learn tap.
Join a marketing company.
Train to become a professional photographer.
Invest in property.
Get a dog.
Get more cats.
Get a chinchilla.
Start up a Youtube channel.
Write the screenplay for this great idea that I've had for so long now I could just oiwhghwEXPLODE. 
Write a novel.
Get published.
Positively influence somebody, anybody, everybody. 
& somehow, amongst all of that, manage to fit in visiting these places before I'm 25. 

1) I'm pretty sure even if I lived another 100 years, to actually live all that fully would be practically impossible. 
2) I'm not made of money. Fact is, if I want to travel and explore the world, I won't have the money to buy a piece of paper with my name on it next to the big MA. or 'Doctor'.
3) If I join a marketing company, like I really want to, would I have the time to focus on building my own business, learn tap, write novels and become a professional photographer? No. I can't do all of them, maybe some, but not all. If I pick one NOW though, wouldn't that just restrict me from the opportunities the other paths have to offer? 

Even though I know all this - you want to know why I don't care about that right now? I'm allowed to dream - that's why. I'm allowed to dream that I'll one day live in New York and be happy there. I'm allowed to dream that I could be an actress, a photographer, an investor and marketing manager all at the same time. I'm allowed to because those thoughts make me happy, and motivate me to strive to be better and to want to work harder. Those dreams? They help make who I am now me. Whether they make who I am in the future? Well I suppose that's up to me, opportunities and life to decide.

We can't plan our life, nor can anyone else, because we just don't know what's coming around the corner. It is what it is, and it will be what it will be. If you have strive and determination, I see no reason as to why you shouldn't at least try to achieve your dreams. There's nothing stopping you no matter how prominent that thought may seem at times. 

Remember - It IS ok to get a part time job once you graduate so that you have the time and resources to really figure out what you want to do. It IS ok for you to take that time to explore different paths; and
It IS ok to be you, and to want to be the you you dream of.



I hope this post is taken positively, as I've seen a looooot of people approaching the end of the academic year feeling very uncomfortable, stressed and scared about not knowing what it is they want to do in the future. I just wanted to remind you that that is ok, and don't feel pressured or upset - just take your time, and I'm sure you'll figure it out. 

If you're feeling a little confused with regards to my photo choices for this one - I just wanted to symbolise that, whilst your feet are on the ground, the towering buildings, the busy business people rushing around you with their briefcase, iPhone, and sense of direction, alongside the constant pressures of society can so easily weigh you down. But when you start to look at things from a different perspective, and recognise that your health and happiness and so much more is more important than how much ££ you could be earning and where it'll be coming from in a years time - all of those pressures suddenly seem a whole lot less intimidating.

I really hope you're all well and having a great, productive, smile-filled week. & if you have been feeling stressed about the future and don't quite know yet what it is that you want to do, I hope this post has made you feel at least a little better about things! Just please know, you're not alone, and there are SO many people who feel the same way as you do right now. Life is just too short to live it constantly worried and stressed. Trust me. 
Hannah x



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Saturday, 7 March 2015

Mothers Day | Gift Guide

I absolutely love Mothers Day. I really enjoy having an excuse to treat my mum to some special goodies that I know she'll love, whether that be her favourite flowers (I'm planning on FILLING the house with daffodils!), or her favourite perfume that she's running low on. Clearly, I don't know you or your mum, and I'm not saying everyone will love these gift ideas, but these are just a few of the things that always come to mind for me and things that, from experience, have gone down pretty well with my mum at birthdays/Christmas'/Mothers Day!


Perfume
Now, I don't know about yours but my mum is absolutely obsessed with perfume. She loves such a wide range, but a very specific type (of course). I always think that perfume is a lovely gift to get someone - its a luxury, and a treat that people don't usually justify buying for themselves so that's why I always think that it's a great gift idea - especially for mothers day! It like, hey mum, you're fabulous, so you deserve something fabulous to make you smell EVEN MORE FABULOUS. 


Candles
Ok ok, so perfumes can be pretty expensive most of the time, and I could never have afforded to treat my mum to her painfully high taste when I was out of a job or at school so what's the alternative? A fantabulous candle that's what! In my eyes, Mothers Day is all about bright, colourful, floral and Spring filled things so a fresh, sweet smelling candle is the perfect way to brighten up someone's day, and remind them that Summer is on the way! (oh I'm a poet and I KNOW IT). 


A Five-Year Journal
I absolutely love these journals. The idea behind them is to encourage you to write a simple sentence about your day, each and every day, for the next five years. It's so fun to look back and see the little strange things that you jotted down but totally forgot, and, of course, to see what you were up to this time last year! I bought my mum the above version from Waterstones for Christmas and she's been raving about it to all her friends since. I think they make a great gift for anyone and everyone in all honesty, because not only does it look cute on your bedside drawer, but its fun and practical too!



Hand Cream 
Once again, I always think hand creams are a lovely treat, particularly for the women in our life! I sort of jumped straight to the fancy end of this category when I saw this amazing bargain on Escentual (here). Ohhhh my goodness, this Crabtree & Evelyn hand cream set is not only packaged in an extremely beautiful, illustrated box that made my mum squeal (Sort of gave her an early present this year!), but it's better than HALF PRICE, and contains twelve amazing, alternative hand cream flavours/scents. I think this is such a luxury gift that would make anyone's mum's face ache with huge smiles, and it's totally affordable too!

& that's everything! I really hope you enjoyed this little gift guide from me, and if you have any further ideas - make sure to share them with everyone else in the comments below!
Hannah x

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