Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Cosmopolitan Article


As I'm graduating from university this year, I have been experiencing the inevitable worry that is the concern of my future. For the first time in three years I won't be going to seminars three times a week. I won't be working until five in the morning to meet that essay deadline. In a mere matter of weeks, I will be handing in my first conducted piece of original research in my field. As opposed to going into denial, I have decided that there's a lot of new things that I would love to experience in my life as a graduate. I state in my 'me' section on the left, that my blog may contain such 'contemplations' regarding my life. Well, here's one of them.

For the first time in a long time, I have felt such a strong urge to learn so many new things. I want to study Science and Maths (nerd!) and I can't wait to start playing violin properly again. Pictured above is the violin I have just started renting from my local music shop. Last year, I borrowed a very very cheap and nasty (sorry to be mean!) violin from an orchestral group I joined for a few months. It was there that I grasped the basics, however, it was so difficult to make a decent sound! Today I opened the case, tightened the hairs on the bow, applied some rosin and started playing as if I had never stopped in the first place. As the violin was better, I sounded a lot less bad than I used to! Now I have a job, I have to decided to put the majority of it into savings, but for me to enjoy some of it by doing what I love - music.

After university I intend to read a lot of non-fiction. I've been having such a fun time reading Darwin's On the Origin of Species and using it as part of my literature dissertation. I want to make beautiful music and learn lots of facts about the world. 

My future ambitions:

- Go to more concerts
- See more theatre productions
- Go to more art exhibitions
- Experience what it is like to go to an opera, even if the seats are too cheap to see the stage!
- Take up dance lessons again, and try not to kick anyone during ballet.
- Volunteer
- Take a calligraphy class.
- Postgraduate study.
- Science and Maths lessons
- Learn more about art (because I've only studied photography)
- Achieve a Grade 8 in violin ;)
- European tour!
- See the pandas in Edinburgh (which is happening at some point this year!)
- Learn Italian and/or French
- Have fun wherever life leads me :-)
- See Nicola Benedetti perform live.
- Graduate with a 2:1
- Try and help others as much as possible.
- Smile, all of the time!
- Have a library in my house, full of books I love!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Birthday Post! Turning 22

Hey everyone! I'm sorry that I've been neglecting this blog lately. I believe it's been just over a week since my last post! I had a major deadline for last Friday, been working lots for my new job and it was my 22nd birthday yesterday!

Here are some of my presents. I got two beautiful books! The first one is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Ruben Toledo, a very famous fashion illustrator I believe, designed the book cover for this penguin deluxe edition. It's a beautiful series, and I'd love to own more copies eventually. The font is really nice and big (perfect for us dyslexics!) and the pages are thick with a sort of 'shredded' effect on the page edges.The other book I got was Jane Austen's 'Sense and Sensibility'. I've read all of Jane Austen's books, with the exception of this one and 'Mansfield Park'. I think this clothbound edition is so pretty! Very happy English Literature student!

On the right of the image, you can see that I got lovely beauty products! I was over the moon to unwrap a pack of Dermalogica's tinted moisturiser in shade 'light'. I had already run out of my current tinted moisturiser, and had to buy Boots' Natural Collection tinted moisturiser for £1.99 - it isn't bad considering the price but the lightest shade was still quite dark on my pale skin. This luxury tinted moisturiser, however, has lots of wonderful things in it. My skin felt dewy last night, when I was preparing to go out for a birthday meal. It's light and refreshing, and it has a little shimmering effect which is very pretty. The best thing of all was that is matched the tone of my skin perfectly, and it has sun protection in the formula too!

I also received a bottle of Miss Dior, which smells AMAZING. It's such a lovely scent for the age I am now. For my 18th, I received Marc Jacobs' 'Daisy' - which I think is a bit too young for me now. Miss Dior smells something like the mature and sophisticated Chanel No.5 with the youth of Daisy. It's a perfect go-between scent for a young woman. The bottle is stunning, I just wish I had a little dressing table to proudly present it on! It's adorable.

My main present was ... *drum roll* a visit to see Sweetie and Sunshine at Edinburgh Zoo at some point this year! I can't wait to go. I've wanted to see the pandas since they first arrived in the U.K. in 2011. Yaaaaay!

The very last thing in the image is Chanel's Le Vernis nail varnish. Yesterday I went out with David for a lovely walk, and we came across a House of Fraser. I realised that I still had some money left on a gift card that I had received last Christmas, and David hadn't used his. I've never ever bought anything from Chanel before, apart from a cologne that I had bought for David a year ago (Bleu, which smells so good!). So I took the plunge and got a very overpriced  £18.00 nail varnish for myself. The shade is a rose colour and it's beautiful. When the lady wrapped it for me in a Chanel bag I was like "wwwwwwoooooooowwwww!" haha.

From David I received this adorable ukulele! I started playing the violin and the 'cello last year when we were both living in a very big house with other university friends in South London. Now we're in South West London, we've had to downsize and move into a studio flat. It means that playing the 'cello is impossible, and playing the violin is too harsh to play inside the flat.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Greys at 21

Hey everyone! I hope you're all well.

Since I finished my A Levels, I've noticed a gradual increase of greys. I'm not one of those people who think women ought to feel obliged to dye their hair, I think that there are many stunning mature women who really pull it off. Kelly Osbourne and Pixie Geldof, for some reason, have decided to go to their colourists and request grey hair. However, I'm turning twenty two next week and I do feel a little bit conscious. I'd say that my hair is approximately one third grey, with the remaining two thirds being naturally brunette. My natural hair colour is light brown :-) so I thought I would try a wash out dye that is close to this colour, so that I can create a more 'blending' effect as opposed to just one block colour.

This colour is 600 - Light Brown. 

I'm not really a big fan of hair colouring. I'm always scared it will go wrong. When I was fourteen, I dyed my hair purple and I resembled a Ribena blackcurrant. I accidentally dyed my hair black two years ago and I looked like the mother in the Adams family. So yes, my history of hair colouring hasn't been too good.

The reason I bought Casting Creme Gloss by L'oreal Paris was due to the fact it is a really good brand. I'd done some research online and I like that there's no ammonia or (too many) horrible chemicals. It washes out after twenty-eight shampoos, which means I should be able to get away with doing it every six weeks ... which, in theory, works out as £1.00 a week! I bought this box in Sainsbury's (I know, I know) for £6.43. However, there are lots of offers at the moment, and I believe there is a 2-for-£10 one!

I'm writing this as I'm waiting for the colour to develop, so I can give a 'on the spot' review!

The hair dye smells very nice, actually. I just remembered that the 'purple' dye I used was by L'oreal Paris! It was called Colour Pulse. That was the best smelling dye ever! It smelt like berries. I apologise for the digression, but the point I was initially going to make was that the smell of this dye is actually quite pleasant. A lot of dyes tend to smell purely of chemicals, but this solution makes the experience feel a little luxurious!

I'm leaving my dye on for 25 minutes, as the minimum time is 20 - but they recommend another 5 minutes for grey coverage ...
*goes to wash out dye*

*comes back*

I'm back. I've dried my hair, and I've noticed a big improvement. Light brown seems to be a perfect shade for my hair, mimicking how it used to look! I can still see quite a few grey hairs, but they seem to blend in a lot better with this colour. The dye has done a really nice job, adding a 'shimmering' effect to my hair so it no longer lacks lustre. I'm very impressed, and I think this will be the most effective way of blending my greys without damaging my hair. The royal jelly conditioner is really lovely to use after rinsing, and I think my hair is actually more conditioned than it was before! I used some Kerastase heat protect cream before I blow dried my hair, of course.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Valentine's Day fashion!

More cynicism than celebration happens on Valentine's Day, which is a shame because I think it's really lovely. I know it's commercial and blah blah blah ... but it's nice, and it's nice having an excuse to spoil your other half and watch films that make you blubber! I thought I'd write a post about how I've decided to dress up today!

My plans for today are really casual, so I've opted for a cute jumper that I got from work (yay) and a pair of dark jeans. As you can see, the jumper has a really cute bow on it, and bit of green detailing on the bottom of it (which you can't!). It's really simple and feminine! I love it.

 My makeup is very natural today. I'm wearing Mua eyeshadows (£1 each, amazing!), some Bourjois translucent powder to remove shine, Shu Uemura mascara, BeneFit dandelion powder and moonbeam highlighter, and dash of raspberry lip balm! My hair is naturally styled, with some dry shampoo for volume and freshness! So yes, a very natural and easygoing look! Perfect for a night-in or a trip to the cinema with your loved one.

Here are some other cute outfit ideas:

Topshop £38.00
Team this up with black tights for an afternoon in a vintage tea shop! £20.00
For a more sophisticated look that is adaptable, this slashneck skater dress from Asos helps make the perfect transition from day to night.

Cath Kidston £35.00
 This gorgeous skirt from Cath Kidston would be perfect with a light blue cardigan. As it's quite cold at the moment, a skirt option might be ideal if you're planning to stay inside somewhere for the majority of the day. It's definitely a cute staple for summer!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Pantene Pro-V 12 Night Therapy

You will probably remember from my previous posts, the amount of ranting I did concerning the dryness of my hair! Well, this product claims to be 'night therapy' for such lifeless tresses.

So, what are you meant to do with it? I had read online about pricey products that should be  used on your hair while you sleep. Twelve hour night treatments are not uncommon on shop floors at the moment, especially with electronic styling devices being all the rage for the past ten or fifteen years. It's inevitable that much hair would be damanged from excessive styling, colouring ... or lack of conditioning and regular trims.

I saw this little bargain in my local pound shop. At the time, I was glamorously looking for mildew remover for beneath the window in my flat. I had been reading about night treatments the previous night, and I hadn't seen them anywhere i.e. Superdrug or Boots. Pantene is a well-known brand in England, so I thought I'd give it a go - it's only a pound after all.

The results haven't been amazing. I use it sometimes, as I wash my hair every other day now. It's full of silicone-based ingredients, which don't produce long-lasting results on hair, but instead provide a 'quick fix'. More quality products are meant to replenish the oils in your hair, by making it more moist during the night so that you can wash out the vitamin goodness first thing in the morning.

Still, I'm glad I tried it. I love looking after my hair, and now that I'm taking care of it properly, it feels more smooth and healthy than ever. Nothing replaces a good shampoo, dry shampoo and regular cuts I'm afraid.

What it is good for, though, are those nights when I'm really tired either from a day at work or lengthy seminars at university. I can come back home, use up one of my face packs from Superdrug and use this on my hair. Run a bath and throw in a Lush bath bomb. Wear some dangly earrings, watch some New Girl or Sex and the City - you'll be feeling divine!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Emma Loves: February 2013

The second in the series of 'Emma Loves' posts. To explain to new readers of Written On The Sky, it's a post in which I list ten things that I find special/interesting about the month. It can be things I've bought, things I like or appreciate in that particular month. I hope you enjoy!

1. My new bunting mug. It's so cute, and perfect for herbal teas. 

2. Spring: Initially, I thought that Autumn was my favourite season. Orange leaves, hot chocolates and snuggles in bed. Spring 2013, however, has led me to think that maybe Spring is indeed my favourite. It's revitalising, fresh, interesting and fun. I look forward to the sun shining more in the early mornings, being outside in fields and having picnics, wearing ballerina flats and listening to the new Alessi's Ark album. A year ago I was turning twenty-one, and I was in Paris. A year later, I'm turning twenty-two, I've just started a part-time job in fashion, I'm spending my third Valentines Day with David, and I'm finishing my very last semester at university. I feel enveloped in a reassuring atmosphere, as if "everything will be alright" in the end, and I will reach my goals and fulfil my wishes. It's quite lovely, really.

3. My birthday! I'm turning twenty-two, and I'm very excited. It's one of my favourite numbers too.

4. Alessi's Ark

I'm very much looking forward to the new album recorded by Alessi's Ark. The Still Life should be available in April, but the new single is out now! So be sure to get it. It sounds great!

5. Dresses

I'm loving skater dresses at the moment. The fit and flare style suits my figure perfectly, as I have a small waist and big hips. Here's one I adore!

Red Fit & Flare Dress - £20.00 from Topshop

6. Sex And The City - £29.99 (Entire Series Boxset)

I know quite a few women that don't like Sex And The City, but I think it's hilarious! It's brilliant because it delves into issues that men don't think women discuss, and it has lots of touching moments that remind us why our friends are very special to us all. I'm on the last series, but I don't think I will be watching it all until I finish studying! Boo.

7. Quorn Cocktail Sausages - £2.85

I've been a vegetarian for eight years, now. There was that month when I started eating meat again at university because I thought it would be cheaper. But it wasn't, and I gave myself food poisoning after cooking green bacon. However, Quorn have recently brought out these cocktail sausages. As soon as I had one, I went back to being eight years old again, feeling like I was at a friend's birthday party at Snakes and Ladders. Being a veggie doesn't have to be lacking in tasty food anymore, and this particular product brings back a bout of nostalgia without hurting anyone or anything. Marvellous!

8. Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel is a beautiful and ditsy woman to look up to! Her sense of style is amazing, and being extremely clumsy myself, she provides women everywhere in the world with an excuse to be that way and be proud of it. I'm a big fan of She & Him, and was very happy to hear that there will be a new album coming out soon! I've not kept up-to-date with New Girl, but I thought the first series was hilarious.

9. New duvet cover!

I love the new duvet cover we've got. It's from Tesco and it only cost £10.97, I believe. Such good value, and reminds me a lot of a Cath Kidston duvet cover I had in my first year of university. Unfortunately it was a single sized one!

10. Studying

I'm hoping to become a bit of a Hermione Granger in the month of February. I'm learning to love studying and appreciate what I've got left of my university experience. Hopefully I can notice an increase in marks, too! But yes, lots of work to get through in the upcoming weeks despite lots of fun and interesting holidays i.e. birthday and Valentines

Monday, 4 February 2013

Shu Uemura: Ultimate Expression Mascara

Image: own

For Christmas 2012, I received a gift voucher from my kind grandparents to use in House of Fraser. I've never shopped there until just a few days ago. I met up with an old friend from college, and we ventured in there together after eating some frozen yoghurt from Snog. I came out with this mascara from Shu Uemura. I'll be honest, while things were working nicely with the Eyeko lengthening mascara, I found it was actually making my eyelashes a bit 'spidery'. In addition to resembling Shellob, I saw that some of my eyelashes were falling out as a result of being extremely dry. My tolerance to contact lenses grew worse, too. So yes, the novelty of the cute packaging wore off, unfortunately. I decided to go for the best mascara I could buy with my voucher, and see where my journey to finding the perfect mascara would take me!

Mascara is one of the few cosmetics I wear everyday. I'm quite happy to go out with just a sweep of dandelion powder, rosy lips Vaseline and a flick of mascara. It's important to invest in a good quality one, for this reason.


This is what the mascara looks like on. It's very natural-looking, but the increase in length is clearly visible. The mascara makes my eyes look fresh and healthy, which is exactly what I was hoping for. I'd recommend this for those who wish to have a very smart appearance, but feel that they can't wear too much make-up. It's almost as if the mascara creates a small line, that resembles a thin dash of eyeliner - as you can see in the photograph. The mascara creates a soft effect on the eye, and I'm a big fan of the romantic spring look.The best thing about this is the weightless feel of it. It felt like I wasn't wearing any mascara at all. As the hours passed, it continued to feel this way. There's nothing worse than rubbing your eyes after a long day at work, or after a lecture.

I am also very impressed by how easy it is to remove the product from your eyes. I'm more of a 'wipe' person than a 'lotion' one, and so it is important for me not to tug at my skin too much - which can be a nightmare if I've got a stubborn formula. However, I have found this method to be fine. Of course, always use a night cream after using wipes! They dry out your skin like crazy, even if they are renowned for their moisturising properties.

I love the simple black design of the mascara. It's very 'expensive' looking, and it's actually quite heavy to hold! Obviously, when you're applying it to your eyes, with the wand, it isn't heavy - but the actual holder itself is a weighty one. I'm not really sure why that is, though!

I would say it is very good value for money. Buying a good mascara is like buying a good shampoo, if you wear it everyday you can justify it. Also, after having to (annoyingly) switch mascaras again, it's very important that your eyes stay healthy. However, you can cut back on things i.e. lipstick or concealer because the high street versions are just as good, in my opinion.

Ultimate Expression Mascara retails at £20.00 and can be bought at House of Fraser stores nationwide!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Happiness In A Blog Post

Me hugging a Happy Tree

Here's a list of things that make me happy! For some reason, I always feel much happier after reading other people's happy lists. It's infectious!

- Cups of tea. Cherries too!

- Smiles :-)

- The Strokes having a new album out!

- My adorable hamster, Scout!

- Hugs

- Flowers (daisies)

- Rom-coms (I know, not very sophisticated)

You've Got Mail

- Being around friends, and giggling over the silliest of things.

- Going to Starbucks with David the other day because walrus and snail impressions happened! (With the aid of many straws)

- Elephant sneezes.

- My hot waterbottle, Ernest. He's a penguin!

- Merlin, a little owl I received as a present last year. He's meant to inspire me to write my university work! Heehee.

-Being all cosy, and spending weekend mornings in bed.

- Being able to wear my brogues outside again, now the Spring is on its way.

- Reading in bed, when the sun is glaring through the window.

- Children's books from when I was younger. Also, when I saw the Cath Kidston book design for Ballet Shoes my heart sank a little!

- Pandas are sooooo cute.

 - Paris!

 - Baking (yum yum)

- The snowman that David and I built. His name was Herbert George, after H. G. Wells!