Thursday, 31 January 2013

Tinted Moisturisers

To me, when it comes to beauty and fashion, nothing is more important than the phrase: "less is more". In the past year, I have given up wearing foundation. I don't know why, but it always made my skin break out anyway! I had the problem of finding it impossible to achieve a natural look. Every single foundation I've ever worn has always looked slightly orange on my skin - quite disastrous, really! As soon as I stopped using them, I noticed that my the condition of my skin improved dramatically. My face obviously wasn't all too keen all of the extra things that it didn't need, and it just needed to breathe. I used to exfoliate my skin every day, too, and now I don't suffer from dryness around the t-zone area anymore. So yes, less is more!

Witch Hazel Tinted Moisturiser - £5.99 (lasts four months with everyday usage).

Tinted moisturisers are a wonderful alternative to heavy foundations. French women swear by moisturising constantly, as it keeps the skin supple! At the moment my daily routine is a bit mixed. I always use a witch hazel primer to prevent spots, and tinted moisturiser with witch hazel in it so it doesn't cause them. I'll dab a little powder to reduce shine, and if I'm going out I will apply some BeneFit dandelion powder to my cheeks (which is amazing for pale skin, for us Twilight extras!). I'll use a tiny amount of brown eye shadow, a few lashings of mascara and finally apply a little raspberry lip balm on my lips.

I have always come back to the Witch Hazel moisturiser when tempted by a 'healthy' foundation. I have bought two foundations since starting university in 2010 (sad, huh?) and I remember them being Maybelline's Dream Matte Mousse and Bourjois' Healthy Mix one. The Borjois foundation smelt absolutely beautiful, but it was too greasy for my skin despite the thin consistency. The Maybelline one is renowned for its gentleness to skin, but I found it clogged up my pores instead. Whenever I am tempted by a foundation, I just remember the consequences of being enticed by capitalism!

I've been reading about a brand named Dermalogica, and their 3-in-1 product sounds particularly good! It's a moisturiser, lightly tinted for coverage and it has SPF15 so you can protect your skin from the sun, too. The only downside is its price, and I think it costs just under £30.00 so it's a little steep for students. Natural Collection by Boots have their own tinted moisturiser, which is the only other one I've seen on the high street. Despite its lovely £1.99 price tag, too many reviews have said it's a terrible, cheap product, and it's ruined my desire to try it. (Natural Collection do a lot of other good products, though!)

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Superdrug De-Stressing Mud Mask

Hey everyone! Here's another mini beauty review. I'm sat here with a cup of tea, and looking very silly wearing mud on my face. So, naturally, I thought I'd write about it.

I'm not sure about you, but I love face packs! I got four packs for free at Superdrug because they had a three for four offer, and I had three pounds on my loyalty card! Make sure to get a Beauty Card if you shop there regularly for your toiletries. They're free, too, so no nasty business.

Tonight I thought I would use one of them. I tried the strawberry one a few days ago, which smelt delicious! I had to stop myself from eating it. It actually smelt like a cupcake. It was lovely for sensitive skin like mine. Apologies for the digression ...

I can see my boyfriend in the corner of the room, and he looks a bit terrified.

Anyway. The mask is very nice. To delve a bit deeper, the experience isn't exactly spa-like. The texture is smooth. It's quite a heavy consistency, and it's a bit like putting concrete on your face. If you've got a girly friend over for a sleepover at all any time soon, you'll probably find that one pack is enough.

I do actually feel a bit less stressed out. Maybe it's the fragrance. On the packet it states that the mask is a concoction of avocado oil, green tea and aloe vera. For the past three hours I've been working on my dissertation, and I've got a job interview followed by a lengthy seminar tomorrow. I'm not exactly the happiest of sunflowers right now, but for 99p (or free) I can guarantee that you'll feel at least a little bit perkier.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Shabby Chic Decor

When it comes to interior design, I'm not the most knowledgeable person. Despite this, I find the whole 'shabby chic' trend that has stolen everyone's hearts so adorable. I'm trying to make my little studio flat a little bit more 'shabby chic', except I have the problem of stealing my boyfriend's masculinity! So here's some pictures of things I'd like or have in my flat, that make the home 'relatively' gender netural! I suppose what I was trying to do with it was make it more pretty without making it resemble a Cath Kidston branch (even though I would love that too).

I came across this on the day David and I moved in together, and because these gorgeous owl cushions were half price (and I had wanted one for ages) we managed to purchase one for £7.00 in the mid-season offer sale. They're now at their original price again, but they're so cute and I'd definitely recommend them for making your home a bit more quirky.

The decorative bird cage is not only practical but tres chic. You can place your tea lights inside, and it will keep them safe and looking beautiful.

Floral or pastel coloured letters are essential to the shabby chic home. Whether they're placed on a bookshelf or nailed onto the wall, these can make anyone's home that bit more 'homely'.

 A distressed cream mirror is another staple on the list. The cream colour also means that the accessories in the room aren't too girly.
This duvet set is so cute. It's only £10.00 from Tesco and it can brighten up your room easily. Imagine waking up every morning, being surrounded by flowers! It'd be perfect to schnuggle up on weekends, drinking lots of herbal tea and reading lots of lovely books.

A chalk easel is a cute addition to the home. You can leave your partner messages on it, or use it to remind yourself of necessities for when you need to go shopping.

Bunting is a necessity, however, it is one that I haven't quite mastered yet! It's difficult to pull this one off if you have a boyfriend to think of. Mine mentioned that it would look too 'hippy-ish' when I suggested it, while I was thinking it might look more like a summer fete (which is always fun!). I don't think I will be subjecting my boyfriend to this amount of girliness, otherwise it would be a little unfair!

Egg cabinets are not an entirely unecessary addition to the home. As a vegetarian, I'm always eating eggs! It's cheaper to buy lots of eggs than a fewer amount, for example, six eggs cost £2.50 in Sainsburys whereas in Waitrose nine free range eggs are £1.95 (not sure why this is) so yes, storage is needed! Plus, they're less likely to break, which happens to me a lot. If you didn't know, 'oeufs' means 'eggs' in French. So if you're a Francophile, like me, then this would be perfect!

Material fridge magnets are lovely way of making your home more personalised. Stick some memorable polaroids on your fridge, so that it not only looks cute when you go to it - but it's a way of making you smile every day too.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Imaginary Wishlist

While some people always feel rubbish when they see things they can't afford, I always look at them and contemplate monosyllabic words such as: "YUM!" or "OOH!". If I were to have an imaginary wishlist, then I would put these items on it. Yum.

Hobbs, £239.00

I always thought that Hobbs was a brand targeted towards older women, but the older I get (ha), I can see why it's popular. This is a stunning black princess coat. As I have quite wide hips and a small waist, these type of coats tend to flatter my figure the most because they 'nip' in at the waist. The length of the coat is also flattering, as it's just above the knee, which means it would be suitable for dresses or trousers. The colour is versatile, and it can make any outfit look sophisticated and yet not too over-the-top.

Miss Dior eau de parfum, £88.50 per 100ml

This perfume is gorgeous. I tried it on at a department store (surely I am not the only one who takes advantage of free samples?) and there's a reason it smelt so beautiful! The smallest bottle is just under £50.00, I believe! I think I might be sticking to Boots body sprays until I have a graduate job!

Russel and Bromley - Chester Tassel Loafer £155.00

I never ever thought that I would be a fan of loafers. I always associated them with old ladies, but the granny look is what seems to be 'in' right now. When I see these, I think of Alexa Chung!

Mulberry Bayswater Bag - £795

Mulberry bags are for the kind of people, like myself, who like organisation in their bags - and big bags at that. I don't understand how ladies can have such small bags! I take everything with me when I go out, as you can see in one of my previous posts. The classic Mulberry Bayswater bags are practical and yet effortlessly stylish, which is why I'd choose this over any other designer bag available.

Rose Duet  Candle - Diptyque £42.00

In Parisian Chic, Ines de la Fressange says that Diptyque candles are the top choice for true Parisians. I imagine these to smell amazing, and I love this new one they've just released for the Spring season! Mm!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

MUA: Frozen Yoghurt nail varnish

MUA are a fantastic make up company. Their products are worth their value, and they are highly appealing, just as the bigger high street brands are. Believe it or not, but this nail varnish cost just £1.00 - yes! It's difficult to believe because the colour is so vibrant and pretty. It's gorgeous to wear, and it hasn't chipped much during the two days that I've been wearing it.

The colour that I have been wearing is called 'Frozen Yoghurt'. This nail varnish is my favourite at the moment. I've been put off wearing nail varnish for a while, since I was working as a Christmas Temp, as they weren't keen on experimental colours. I've never bought MUA cosmetics before, except for one of the eyeshadow pallettes a few months back, which was also very good value for what it was worth. The violet colour is spot on trend for the Spring season, and I can't wait to get out my floral dresses from under my bed (after the snow disappears) and wear this cute colour with them.

MUA cosmetics are available from Superdrug.


One of the greatest pleasures in life is reading. Suffering from dyslexia has meant that I do not choose to avoid reading, but find the pleasure in it by approaching it in a different way. It bugs me having to read books with a purple overlay on top of the words, but when I do, everything makes sense. There is nothing more fun than waking up, having a good breakfast, walking for a few hours, to return to a warm cosy flat. I jump on my bed, and just like the illustrated lady above - I keep my scarf on, tie my hair up, wrap up warm, sit on my bed right next to the window (because fresh air is always good), and read my books.

The two books that I mentioned in my 'Christmassy Victorian Reads' post have already had their pages turned. I thoroughly enjoyed them, and I couldn't recommend them enough if you're a big fan of the literature of the period.

What I wanted to discuss with you all today, however, were books that are not read for academic purposes. Everyone has read at least one classic, whether it be Dickens, Austen or Wilde. What I was wondering, though, what is it like to be a reader outside of an academic institution? If there's no reading list, what books do you insist upon reading? Does anyone really pick up Milton's 'Paradise Lost' just for fun? (If so, you must be very strange!).

Here's a list of books I've always been intrigued about. I'm happy because this year I will be graduating, and this means that I will be released into the world of normality and work. I will be able to download titles onto my Kindle, without the worry of needing a specific edition that requires page numbers! I will be able to afford lovely books from Waterstones ... idyllic.

Here's a list of books that I've read, and ones that I intend to read post-graduation!

Book I've already read:

1. Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger.

Catcher in the Rye is one of those books that you either 'get' or you don't. I'm not sure why, but some people tend to perceive the teenage protagonist as a bit whiney, whereas other readers see it as a novel that was ahead of its time. I thought it was a very intriguing book, and I read a vast majority of it on the bus from Hyde Park two summers ago. Salinger identifies and captures what it is to be a teenager in this book perfectly.

2. Breakfast At Tiffany's by Truman Capote.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novella. If I could, I would have read this before the film. You find out why Holly Golightly is characterised the way she is in the film, and there is much more substance to the characters in this version of the story. 

3. The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins

If you buy the hardcover edition of this book, you will see that it is one of the most beautiful ways to learn about the foundations of science. As I have never attempted to learn the syllabus for a Science GCSE, this book made everything fun and interesting to me. The illustrations are stunning, and it's one of those books you can dip into whenever you like. It has made me look forward to taking the subject after University finishes. When people say that literature is more poetic than science, it's books like these that make me question this.

4. Gods Behaving Badly - Marie Phillips

I admit, this isn't a very good book in terms of its writing. I think the main purpose of this novel, however, is its ability to make fun of classical mythology and to just have a laugh! The idea of the Olympian gods residing in London as it is now made me giggle a bit too much. My A-Level Classics teacher recommened me this book as some 'light reading' that should not be counted as studying. If you love anything related to classical antiquity, I think you will enjoy this very much.

5. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

 I've got many of Plath's books, including her poetry anthologies. This is her only novel, but The Bell Jar is certainly one of those stories that will stay with you forever. As the novel is semi-autobiographical, you definitely feel close to the narrator by the end. The crafting of Plath's words make this book enjoyable, despite its dismal tone. I will be giving it a second-reading later this year.

Books I'd love to read:

1. Information is Beautiful

I keep stumbling upon this every time I walk into a bookshop. The title says it all. It concerns information about everything, and it is all presented beautifully.

2. The Woman in Black - Susan Hill

I love a good gothic story. Apparently this one is very scary! A friend recommended it to me, so I will be reading this in November, as that's the perfect time to indulge in some gloomy reads!

3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I read the first few chapters of this novel on my Kindle, as they were offering it for free. I loved Chobsky's writing style, and I'll definitely be purchasing this as soon as I can find the time to read it without feeling guilty over Uni work.

4. Tired of London, Tired of Life - Tom Jones

I'm sure that the Tom Jones who wrote this book isn't the Welsh singer I'm thinking of, but nevertheless this looks like a wonderful book to own. It's the perfect coffee table book, and suggests ways in which Londoners can explore the hidden secrets (or more simple pleasures) of London at affordable prices. I'd love to have this book, as I should be moving to Norwich in a few months time, so it'd be lovely to spend my last few months home and really enjoy it by doing things I haven't tried before.

5. The Fault In Our Stars - John Green

I remember in second year, an exchange student recommended this book when we had to do presentations based on books in the bestseller lists. The only thing that I knew about John Green was that he wrote a book named 'Looking For Alaska' and apparently he was on YouTube? The book intrigues me, though, and I keep seeing quotations from the novel all over the internet.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Chilly Times

As you know, it's been snowing a lot in London. Even if it it has temporarily stopped, I'm making the most of it. Hot chocolates, staying in bed all day reading and writing, yoghurt smoothie face packs (I've got one on right now), excess sleep, taking baths with leftover Lush bath bombs given to me for Christmas, cooking food that takes slightly longer to prepare than usual, listening to whole albums, getting some errands done for uni and finishing off work in bed. It even gives me the opportunity to cuddle up to Ernest, my penguin hot water bottle.

I love watching films during snowy weather. Especially girly films! Sometimes a cheeky episode of SATC just isn't enough to satisfy a girly day spent inside, hiding from the snow. So if you have a couple of hours to spare inside this weekend, put on a jumper and some jogging bottoms, and climb under the duvet with a hot chocolate and some marshmallows. Here are some recommendations:

1. Legally Blonde (2001)

This is one of my favourite films just because A. It's hilarious, B. It shows that being ditsy and liking the colour pink does not mean you can't be intelligent (I know that mens rea is Latin for 'guilty mind' now that I've seen this), and C. It shows a woman who is at first submissive, letting a man 'walk all over' her and making her feel beneath him, and she ends up 'walking all over' him by the end! Plus she meets a really lovely person while she's there! It's brilliant.

2. 13 Going on 30 (2004)

 13 Going on 30 is the perfect rom-com for anyone who is a fan of the 80s. A young girl who turns thirteen during the 80s wishes that she was thirty on her birthday. Guess what happens next? She's thirty. The film explores her future as an adult, and the person that she becomes. It's really funny at certain points, particularly when she's dancing to Michael Jackson's Thriller at the magazine event!

3. An Affair To Remember (1957)

If you like old romantic films, this will be the one to choose from the list. Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr star in this classic. It follows two taken people who meet on a boat, and fall in love with each other, promising to meet once again six months later at the top of the Empire State Building. You'll never guess what happens!

4. The Parent Trap (1999)

The Parent Trap is one of those films that is full of fun and laughter. There's also some sentimental moments stuck in there, and it makes you really appreciate the relationships that you have with your parents. I always get a bit teary-eyed when each twin goes to see their mother or father for the first time in years. It's so sweet.

5. A Walk To Remember (2000)

If you like films that make you cry, then you should enjoy this one! You'll probably go through a whole box of tissues if you don't know the storyline. It's very cheesy in some bits (the 'Only Hope' performance, for example), but every girl needs a bit of cheese in her life sometimes.

6. An Education (2009)

This film makes me respond in two different ways. It's a bit like Lost in Translation, in the sense that I can understand why people think it's incredibly boring, but on the other hand I appreciate it for its subtleness. Jenny is a sixteen-year-old girl living in South West London during the sixties, she meets an older man and he whisks her off to Paris (the best bit of the film) and then afterwards she discovers something about him that she doesn't quite like!

7. Amelie (2001)

If you love France, you must see this film. Amelie is a quirky romantic comedy that follows a young girl wandering around the city of Paris.

8. Marie Antoinette (2006)

This film is visually stunning. It follows the life of the French Queen, Marie Antoinette, and it gives a more sympathetic perspective to the end of her life. I think Kirsten Dunst did a really good job in portraying her character, and as a young woman myself it definitely made me feel sorry for her. She was too young to be in such a high position, and it was unfair that she was made to marry someone she didn't like. It's all doom and gloom from the beginning when her puppy is taken away! However, it makes history fun! I've been reading up lots on Marie Antoinette since the film was made, and it's made me fall in love with French history. It's fascinating. The soundtrack is also very good, and features my favourite band (need I say?) The Strokes.

9. Breakfast At Tiffany's (1964)

This film has everything a girl needs. Fashion, romance and Audrey Hepburn.

10. Matilda (1996)

Like the majority of protagonists in Roald Dahl's stories for children, Matilda is a victim of neglect. In this story, a young girl named Matilda resorts to books as a source of friendship. She eventually goes to school, discovers her own magical powers and then all sorts of crazy things happen! The film adaptation is as equally wonderful, quoting snippets from Dahl's book. Miss Honey is also an adorable character in the film.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Ohhhhh What's In Your Bag?

For some reason, fashion bloggers love the 'what's in your bag?' posts. I thought to myself: "why not?". The post would enable me to review the basic Zara handbag, too!

The bag itself is very flimsy in comparison to the Office City Bag. If structure is important to you, this might not be the ideal handbag. I personally love bags that are like this one, I can throw (maybe not actually throw) in my belongings before I go out. It's very 'roomy' and this is ideal because I can accommodate things such as my ear muffs, which can take up quite a lot of space! Also, as it isn't structured like the Office City Bag, it means that everything fits in more easily, and you can be flexible with the type of items you store inside. However, if you're looking to place a laptop inside a handbag, I would definitely opt for the Office City Bag, as the middle compartment is designed to store laptops or tablets, with its extra padded compartment. This bag has just one zip, so if you are a lady of organisation this my not be suitable!

From left to right: Bottle of water (so exciting), some free tissues I received outside the train station from Virgin (thank you Richard Branson, they've come in handy!), one glove (because I've lost the other one somewhere ...), raspberry lip balm from The Body Shop (two pounds, I believe, very moisturising and tastes amazing!), black makeup bag from Superdrug (two pounds, again, if I remember correctly), Apple earphones for my iPhone (which I'm taking this picture with), keys, miniature Elnette hairspray, moleskine diary and pen, Kindle with Run For Cover 'Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland' cover, ear muffs (Accessorize sale), purse (Accessorize sale, £4.00 reduced from £18.00), glasses (free from Specsavers, yay!), Oyster card with university holder.

I like to keep my 'make up' items separate from things in my bag. It keeps everything organised, and by keeping the makeup separate from my other belongings i.e. phone, purse and Kindle - it keeps them safe!

Inside my makeup bag: Denman mini brush (two pounds), non-metal hair band, Bourjois translucent powder (I've had this for ages, I honestly cannot remember how much it was!), Mua eyeshadows and nail varnish (one pound each), tweezers and eyebrow brush (gifts), Blistex relief cream (three pounds. This is incredible for people with lips that are highly prone to cracking or dryness. It has saved my lips this winter! It's not a fancy lipstick or lipbalm, and it smells a bit bad but it heals everything in the lip area), Eyeko mascara (£13.50).

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Beating Stress & Sleep Issues

I'm not sure about you, but I'm definitely feeling the downsides of being a student at the moment. The picture below is of me right now, without any make up (except a bit of mascara residue because I couldn't find any remover last night, oops). The amount of sleep, and the amount of stress you're under has a great amount to do with how you look and feel about yourself. Stress affects my sleep more than anything, and as it's my last semester of Uni, I'm doing my best to make sure I'm feeling happy and healthy.

Top Tips for Feeling Happy and Healthy:

1. Eat your five (at least) portions of vegetables and fruit a day.
2. Stick to eight hours of sleep a night.
3. Wake up early, and 9am at the latest on days off:
4. Always eat breakfast.
5. Drink plenty of water.
6. Substitute cow's milk for soya milk (much more nutritious and less fat).
7. Be French, and walk everywhere! Even without purpose!
8. Bake your own treats, it's more fun and healthy, and you will enjoy it more.
9. Don't keep track of calories if you can help it. Sometimes focusing on exactly how many calories you've had makes you feel bad if you haven't had enough/had too much. It's better to eat when you're hungry, and stop when you're full. Then your body will be energised!
10. Always moisturise your skin at night, no matter what. Wear tinted moisturiser in the day instead of foundation.
11. Do your Uni work at any time up until 10pm. You need to relax, release stress and prepare for the next day.
12. Listen to classical music when studying. It's not just for the bath or art galleries! It's scientifically proven that it eliminates background noise, and thus allows the brain to focus easier.
13. Smile even if you don't feel like it.
14. Keep a diary, so that you are aware of deadlines. If you prioritise your work and manage to get it done in advance, reward yourself.
15. Make a playlist of happy songs. Katrina and the Waves "I'm Walking on Sunshine" is a must!
16. Curl up in a blanket and read books. If you're reading for an English Literature degree, remember why you enrolled on it in the first place.
17. Go to the cinema in your spare time. Everyone's talking about that new film ...
18. Go to the library, find a quiet space (not the internet cafe!) and get that difficult task out of the way during gaps between your lectures. You will feel more productive, and more eager to involve yourself in your seminars because you have taken the time to learn something.
20. Fifteen minute naps later on in the day can help revitalise your mind. A quick snooze here and there will boost your concentration levels, and help you retain your calm.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Liebster Award!

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while, but I’ve been nominated for a Liebster award by the lovely Evie and Izzy. The award is given to bloggers with less than two hundred followers, and I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you for reading my blog and that I am very excited to be amongst these other wonderful up-and-coming blogs!

The rules of the Liebster Award are as follows:
  • Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
  • Answer the questions that the nominator set for you plus create 11 questions for your nominees.
  • Choose 11 people with less than 200 followers and link them in your post.
  • Go to their page and tell them.
  • No tag backs.

Eleven facts about myself:

1. I was homeschooled. I left school at the age of eleven, and went to a sixth-form college to take my GCSE in English when I was seventeen. After I received an A*, I proceeded to A Levels and earned a place at my current university!
2. My ambition in life is to do what I love! My aspirations at the moment are to become a primary school teacher. I'd love to return to academia someday, and perhaps enrol on a Victorian Literature MA degree. I'd love to teach children elsewhere in the world. The image of reading to children under a tree in Africa is adorable! 

3. I'm half Welsh. My mother's side of the family comes from there. My middle name is the Welsh version of the English name 'Jane', hence the 'y'. 

4. I've been with my boyfriend David for two and a half years. We met during our first week at University, and he's the loveliest person I've ever met. We live in a studio flat together with our hamster, Scout!

5. I own a hamster named Scout, named after the character in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

6. I'm a Francophile! I went to Paris last year, and it was the most incredible time of my life! The food, the fashion, the language, the culture, the history - tres chic.

7. I love playing musical instruments. I learnt the basics for violin and 'cello last year. I can play guitar, keyboard and am hoping to learn many more. I'm planning to get a ukelele in the shape of an apple, an applele!

8. I suffer from Dyslexia. Luckily, I am obsessed with spelling.

9. My favourite animals are pandas. Soooo cute!

10. I love all animals, really. I've been a vegetarian for eight years, and I regularly donate to WWF.
Evie's questions to me:

What is your all-time favourite book to read?

Ohhh, that is a challenging question! At the moment, my favourite book to read is 'The Woman in White' by Wilkie Collins. I'm unhealthily obsessed with Victorian literature!

What is your favourite beauty product?

My favourite beauty product would have be perfume. I can go out with no make up on, but I always feel conscious if I don't smell nice and clean!

Name your top 3 favourite films?

Legally Blonde, because it proves that feminine girls can be smart too. Breakfast at Tiffany's is another, and it is a classic. The final one would have to be An Education because I love the Parisian montage!

Who is your favourite actress or actor?

Audrey Hepburn. She was not only a great actress, but a beautiful and kind person.

If you could be an animal what would it be?

What is your favourite perfume or scent to wear?

I've got an old bottle of Marc Jacobs's 'Daisy' that I received for my 18th birthday. That's pretty to wear, but I've had it for nearly four years now! When I'm a lot older I'm going to wear Chanel! I've recently smelt Miss Dior perfume, and that was gorgeous! I've got a gift voucher to use soon, so I might get it if I can get it with that. I'll be sure to post a review!

What is your best beauty secret or tip?

To keep my skin clear, I exfoliate every other day. I never wear concealer or foundation. I only use a light tinted moisturiser, a little pressed powder and a sweep of blusher. Mascara on the top lashes. Natural looks better, and is much healthier for your skin. Moisturising is key. Less is more.

Which beauty blogger would you be best friends with, if you could?

I love Evie's blog because it's so inspiring and positive. Her motivation and drive is incredible!
What is your favourite quote or phrase?

In relation to this blog: "fashion fades, style is eternal" - Coco Chanel

Do you think you’ve changed over the past year?
I do, actually. At 21, I've become a lot more mature, and that can be seen in the way I dress, in the way I write, my attitudes towards the future, the strength of my relationship, the happiness in my home, the happiness with my family and friends, just every aspect. I'm looking forward to 22 next month! It's my favourite number.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I see myself as a primary school teacher that enjoys her job. I'd be living with my boyfriend in a warm house! I'd live outside London, own a pink vintage Figaro car and drive in the countryside and have picnics on sunny days. I'd go to weekly ballet classes and join a book club!

My Nominations:

1. Ashley Rose Bubbles:

2. Summer's Beauty on a Budget:

3. Jessica in your Ear:

4. Ruffles and Lace 44:

5. Vintage Beauty 92:

6. Evie Chrys:

7. Beauty Stuff By Ana:

8. Beauty By Design:

9. Floral Fille:

10. Tale of Time:

11. Apple Toothpaste:

Emma Loves: January 2013

Hello everyone! I've decided to make a new type of post, aptly named 'Emma Loves'. Basically, I'm going to create a list of things I've loved each and every month. This can range from books, records, exhibitions, plays, fashion or beauty. Anything! So, I'm going to start right now, even though we're in the middle of January:

1. The Body Shop - Jumbo Strawberry Shower Gel

Ohhhhh my stars, this smells amazing. I was on the hunt for a jumbo shower gel on the high street, as I go through a standard bottle nearly every week. I thought instead of just purchasing the substandard Dove shower gel from the pound shop, I'd have a seach on the high street for something that will last longer. I never go into the Body Shop really, it's quite expensive and I only go in there if I'm buying gifts for people. However, I noticed that they had a sale on, and so I came to the assumption that there would be a shower gel I'd like. There was! It smells amazing, and it reminds me of Wimbledon tennis tournaments. The scent is fresh and not sickly, though, and it was half price. I bought it for £7.50 reduced from £15.00 - there is so much of it! It's likely to last me at least two months if not longer. Bargain!

2. Batiste Dry Shampoo - Blush

Ahhh, here we are again, the lovely dry shampoo as mentioned in my last blog post. This stuff is really good, and I'd recommend it for anyone looking for a reasonably priced and effective dry shampoo. The only other one I've tried is Lush's dry shampoo, which I didn't really like all that much (and I'm a big fan of Lush!) just because it was like putting flour into your hair. Thinking about it, maybe it was flour ...

3. Accessorize scarf

This scarf is so warm and comfortable. I had been wanting it for so long, but when I saw the £28.00 price tag I could never have justified it. Luck arrived, and I was walking back home from a long day, and I see £20.00 taken away from the price tag. This purchase caused a bit of a big smile, as it proves that patience is a virtue! After giving away the majority of my scarves to Oxfam just recently, I had faced the difficulty of having just one 'skinny' black one. The red tartan pattern is gorgeous, thick and good quality. I'm hoping that it will last for a very long time!

4. Vogue Magazine

The February issue is great, with lots of projected fashion trends for the spring and summer seasons. It's like every girl's fashion bible! Vogue usually costs £4.10 (eep!) but this is the last edition before my Christmas 2011 gift subscription ends, sob!

5. Paperchase pencil case.

It's my last semester at university, and what better incentive is there than stationery shopping?! This adorable pencil case from Paperchase cost just £5.00 and has little compartments to store your erasers and pencil sharpners. Very appropriate for my future career in primary education, too!

6. Panda highlighters - Paperchase £3.00

These are the epitome of adorable. I must see the pandas in Edinburgh at some point this year!

7. Stephen Hawking - A Briefer History of Time & Alice in Wonderland Kindle Cover

Yes, I agree. It must be a bit odd spotting a Stephen Hawking text in the middle of a blog post like this one. At 'Written on the Sky' we embrace diversity. Back to the point, though, I have loved this book ever since I saw it in my local Waterstones. Although it has some relevance to my dissertation, I have been reading it attentively, and it is an incredibly interesting and accessible version of the original. It has made me very excited to begin my Science course later this year! The full RRP for this book is £9.99

The picture above is a Kindle cover. My Kindle enables me to read a lot of these books for free, and this is a great cover because it prevents my Kindle from randomly being switched on while it's jumbling about in my bag throughout the day. Run For Cover are a company that have created covers based on classic editions. They're gorgeous!

8. Letter writing set from Paperchase £5.00

As soon as I brought this home with me, my boyfriend politely nicknamed me "Jane Austen!". There's something very sweet and endearing about letter writing, and I'm not sure whether or not it's because of the looming prices of stamps or because it just means that someone spent their afternoon trying to make yours that little bit nicer. It's like that quotation by Charles Dickens: "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another" - Our Mutual Friend. My Grandparents are unable to access their emails, and speaking on the telephone can be quite challenging with hearing difficulties. As I'm in London and they're in Yorkshire, it gives me the perfect excuse and opportunity to write letters. There is nothing quite like writing a message with a physical pen, and then physically sending it off via post.

9. Macaroons from Laduree - £1.60

Macaroons are heavenly, and that is all. Even the carrier bags resemble something from Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette!

10. Les Miserables OST - RRP: £9.99

I've just recently acquired this. I'm not very familiar with musicals at all, and it is one of my new year's resolutions to become more familiar with them. After seeing the trailer for the film adaptation, I was wowed! (I'm not even sure if that's a word, bad English Literature student!). I cannot wait to see it at the cinema with my friend next week, I am expecting to be in tears for three hours, but I will be able to use my historical knowledge of the French Revolution from my romanticism module, and as I have been listening to the songs beforehand - I can enjoy it with everyone else! I'm very surprised at how good a singer Anne Hathaway is! Very powerful, considering they all sang live on set too!