Sunday, 19 May 2013

Mascara and Books!

It was bound to be a sad day when, the £20.00 mascara I bought with Christmas gift vouchers, was to run out! As you probably know, I'm one of those people who will wear mascara pretty much every day - whereas I don't really have another makeup staple. I'd quite happily go without any other cosmetic, but I find that mascara really does bring out your eyes :-) no matter how natural I would like to look, it's always fun to put some on :-)

So, downgrading from Shu Uemura's Ultimate Expression mascara, I popped into Boots and got myself a Maybelline one. This one is called 'Mega Plush' and it's from the Volum' Express range. The appearance of the mascara is a bit wacky and 'out there' but it was on an introductory offer at £5.99 instead of £7.99. I've tried using £1.99 mascaras before, but I really recommend using a mascara that is above five pounds, as it makes such a difference, and you definitely need something that coats your lashes!

On application, the mascara isn't bad. It is very smudgy, so you have to be careful. The flexible brush is both a good thing and a bad thing in this sense! Despite this, it doesn't look half bad for the price it was purchased for. I'm not sure if I would buy this one again, but it's put my faith back in Maybelline! I bought a mascara (it was similar to this one, but it was purple?) and it was just awful. It made my eyelashes look like spider legs.

Later on in the day, I actually loved the fact that my lashes didn't feel 'heavy' as other mascaras make my eyes feel. I've always thought it was due to my contact lenses/tiredness, but it seems that maybe the gel formula really does make a difference. Although it does give that sixties voluminous appearance, it doesn't feel like you're wearing mascara at all! This is a great upside to the product.

In other news, I've just started reading Leo Tolstoy's 'War and Peace'. I'm roughly eighty pages in so far, and I really like his writing style. It's set in early 19th century Russia, during the French invasion. It's so interesting, and surprisingly simple to read (there's French translations footnoted at the bottom of each page). I'd definitely recommend that you have a go. At over 1,200 pages - it is a bit daunting, though not impossible!

I also bought a book in my local bookshop just this week. It's called: 'How to Learn French in Three Months'. So far, so good. I've been building my vocabulary, have been learning about different tenses and singular and plural words. I really want to immerse myself in the French language. It's not only beautiful, but many words in the English language are of French origin. It's incredibly interesting linguistically, and to have the ability to converse with a French person, even at an intermediate level, would be wonderful to do. So yes, I'm doing roughly half an hour of active learning and fifteen minutes of revision each day. Je m'apelle Emma; j'adore francais livres et musique!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Emma Loves: May 2013

1. The Body Shop - Vitamin E spritz

The Body Shop - £8.00

With the weather getting warmer, I find facial spritzers to be a handbag necessity! I don't wear much make up at all. I'm a tinted moisturiser and a dab of translucent powder type of lady :-) but even wearing little amounts of make up can mean that, on hot days, makeup can make skin feel dehydrated and pores all clogged up. Very refreshing!

2. Pomegranate lip balm by Carmex

Superdrug: £2.99

My lips have been so sore recently. I wanted a lip balm that wasn't pricey, smelt good and didn't make my lips dry. Yes, I've had many lip balms that have actually had the opposite effect! Carmex is a great brand and I've used their original balm before, but I prefer the ones you can glide on your lips as opposed to placing your fingers into the pot. I'm just one of those people who are scared of germs! So yes, this formula is sooooo lovely to wear. It's colourless, too, so you don't need a mirror. It has a lovely berry smell, and I believe you can buy it in lime as well, if you'd prefer something more 'citrussy'. 

3. Ludovico Eunaudi - In a Time Lapse

Eunaudi's music is simply beautiful. I've been trying to 'get into' classical music during the past year and have been exploring all these amazing artists and musical pieces. I'm no expert on the subject, but Eunaudi's music is accessible and very (I cannot emphasise this enough!) useful for those currently studying exams or trying to get through coursework. It's not distracting but it provides really nice background music, which is scientifically proven to increase your level of brain activity! 

4. Face packs!

I love Superdrug's 99p face packs. They're so yummy and scrumptious! I've bought myself the berry fruit one to prevent spots arriving on my face during this stressy week! If you're one of those bulk buying people, then you can buy four for just three pounds!

5. Old bookshops

Read my previous post on old bookshops. They're so fun to rummage through, and the books are incredibly cheap. Go!

6. Scarves

Although the weather is meant to be improving, I just can't see any of promised sunshine rising through the dreary clouds. Typical English weather means that we must be sensible. Although it's raining a lot, it is still warm enough to get away with a stylish mac. So maybe update your mac with a new scarf, such as this one from Asos:

Asos: £12.00 reduced to £7.00 (£6.30 with student discount)

7. Philadelphia

I was blown away by this film. It's a must see. My boyfriend persuaded me to watch it when I was more up for watching a normal chick flick. I'm so glad I watched this instead. Tom Hanks is an amazing actor; you see a completely different side to him in this film. It's very touching.

8. Kafka - Metamorphosis

This book was half bizarre and half amazing. I found it really funny and yet really sad. Apparently this is the easiest book by Kafka, and so if you're looking for a good introduction to his work - it'd be best to start here. Although it wasn't my usual cup of tea (I do love a good Victorian novel), it was interesting to read something that was the complete opposite of anything I'd choose normally. I'd really recommend it!

9. 79p strawberries!


10. Scout

Scout is just lovely. She's in the top ten because she's a friendly hamster :-) and she got excited the other day when I gave her a raisin.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Summery finds

Oasis - £18.00

H&M - £7.99

Zara - £19.99

Topshop - £22.00

Amazon - £5.39

Friday, 10 May 2013

Books books books

Hey everyone, it's me again :-)

I received a belated birthday present a while back from my kind brother. It's a book about London, and more specifically, things to do in England's capital city. I've had my eye on it for months, and I felt very smiley when I finally got it. It has lots of wonderful ideas of things for me to do. My plans have changed and I've decided to leave London for once and all. So I really want to enjoy it as much as possible before I head off :-)

Today I went to the Courtauld Gallery again. The Picasso exhibition is free and so I decided to take my wonderful boyfriend along with me this time. I think he really enjoyed it too. If you're a student, it is completely free to go. So go if you can!

So yes, I went to see lots of beautiful paintings this afternoon. Picasso, Manet, Dagas, ahhh ... endless.

David and I also went to three book shops. They were so fun! I love looking through bookshops. Especially when I'm not by myself. Although reading itself is quite a solitary act, there's nothing more fun than discussing books with friends! :-) There was one called The World's End in Chelsea, then we walked pass Daunt Books and then we saw one in Fulham, too. Charity shops are equally as good as these places, though. But you'll find second hand ones are often just as cheap :-) and it's always nice seeing lots of independent places to rummage through. I found this lovely edition of Thackeray's 'Vanity Fair' with a biggish font (which always makes me happy, as a fellow dyslexic). I also bought a really nice edition of Tolstoy's 'War and Peace' which I intend (at least attempt to get through) to read ths summer.

Since I handed my work in, I made sure that I would read at least one book within the first week of finishing. Just because I had completed a literature degree, why should I not carry on reading? Would it be considered a 'break' to stop reading entirely? I don't know, really. I reckon it'll be more of a break to read a book that I wanted to read solely for pleasure. This is why I read 'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck. It was so good! I highly recommend it to anyone, even teenagers. I won't go on about it, as I'll end up telling you something that will spoil the plot! I also read Kafka's 'Metamorphosis' which I actually thoroughly enjoyed. I read it thinking that I would hate it, but I always like to give things a try; I ended up loving it instead. So, in the not-too-distant future, I intend to read 'The Trial' if I can :-)

I've also been catching up with Jane Eyre. I bought the book on my 22nd birthday back in February, hehe. I've just not had the time to re-read it though. I'm currently on page 250/450 so I'm just over half way through now. I'm enjoying it much more this time. I don't feel so frustrated with Jane and instead I actually feel a lot of sympathy for her so far - despite some things!

What are you reading at the moment, everyone? :-)

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

L'occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream

Hey everyone! First review in a looooong time. To start off, is this awesome product from L'occitane. I've never shopped there before, but they opened a branch in my town and so my kind colleague from work got me loads of free samples! I thought I'd go and get some more myself, too. I'd also heard that the shea butter foot cream was very good, too.

Working in retail means lots of standing around and constant moving. I've been working lots recently, and I don't always moisturise so it has taken its toll! My shoes aren't too small or too big, but I have red bits which can become a bit uncomfortable. The antiseptic ingredients in the cream should help ease this a bit at least. The cream itself smells of lavender and is really subtle for those of you who aren't too keen on floral scents. There's lots of shea butter in it, hence its £8.00 price tag for the 30ml version as shown in the photo. The full size one costs £19.00, I believe. L'occitane are a very good quality brand - so their prices aren't going to be really cheap.

It's definitely worth going in and asking for free samples. I've also been given an invitation for a 'Girls Night Out' in two weeks' time, in which I will be given 10% off anything and will be able to have free hair and skincare consulations and ... guess what ... free samples! Yay.

I also signed up for the VIP email list (which is also free) and they said that I'd receive a 20% voucher. I tried one of their shampoos, which I must say, was even more impressive than the Kerastase one I used (and ironically a bit cheaper). So yes, do that if you can!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

I'm back!

Hey everyone! I have now officially finished my degree! All of my work was handed in two days ago; as you can see, I have been having lots of fun since. I decided to go cycling in Hyde Park due to the gorgeous weather :-) and I had such a lovely time with David!

The weather has seemed to drop a bit today, so I am having my first 'lazy day' in three years. I have nothing to feel guilty about and it's wonderful! Today I woke up and just read more of 'Jane Eyre' in bed with a cup of coffee. I feel rejuvenated! Of course, at the moment I'm also doing my part-time job and I will be starting my internship in two weeks' time! So I'm going to keep being a busy bee.