Sunday, 30 April 2017

Seven Happy Things #1


 Recently, I was reading through my old "Sunday Smiles" posts and it was just so so lovely to read. They didn't necessarily get many views or an awful lot of engagement, but looking back was like reading a little diary of days and thing I had completely forgot about.

My life had also been pretty negative when I decided to start this, so I wanted to find the silver lining and reflect on the little (or big) good things that happen every day - buried beneath the broken phones, lost jobs, migraines and home buying stress.

Sunday: I SAW CHARLI. If any of you don't know who Charli is (which you almost defo do 'cause her blog is fabulous), she is from highstreetbeautyjunkie. She came to Cardiff for the day from Devon, and we had a lil' hot chocolate and a catch up and it was just marvelous. 
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Friday, 28 April 2017

What to Expect from a LUSH Interview & Recruitment Evening (Part 1)


I went to a recruitment evening at my local Lush Spa in Cardiff tonight. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, what to wear etc and it gave me so much anxiety in the build up, so I thought I would share my experience to hopefully help someone else! (FYI - dress was suuuuper casual and full of different styles which was great. Definitely wear something that reflects your personality and style and that you feel comfortable in).

I couldn't believe how LONG the queue was for the recruitment evening. Easily 120 people long and it snaked all along the high street. I couldn't decide whether that made me more or less anxious because it felt less "intimate" which is a good thing, but also the thought of having to do horrible group role plays in front of stranger and aaaall that competition was very nerve wracking. Especially because the majority of people were paired up in little groups of friends.

When we were let in to the shop around 7.30pm we all squeezed in and gathered around the manager who gave a little talk where she shared what she expected from us in terms of hours to be worked, permanence and the right attitude. We then split up into maybe 10 smaller groups and were assigned to different "areas" of the shop with a member of staff where we were given some  demonstrations of products, which I think most of us had seen a thousand times. I'm still not sure what the point of that part was because it took around 40 minutes. I think it was to show us how they showed and explained products, but considering that wasn't part of our interview maybe it was a little premature.

We then had to find a stranger to pair up with for the rest of the interview, with the intention of finding their perfect product. We had to ask lots of open questions to determine their skin type or favourite smells or their problem areas. This didn't seem to be observed in any way so I wouldn't worry too much about this bit - just try and genuinely learn about your partner.

I've got to be honest, here. I was lucky that my partner said she wanted a cleanser that was also moisturising and suitable for sensitive skin. I knew straight away that Ultrabland was perfect because I have used it. If I didn't know about the products as much as I do or if she had asked for a skin type or fragrance that I don't know about then I might have found this really difficult. They say you don't need to know about Lush products and ingredients, but I don't know what I would have done if I wasn't a Lush nerd...

We then had to queue for a REALLY long bloody time (like 45 minutes) for have our little one-on-one interview in which we had to explain why we picked the product we picked and talk a little about ourselves.  It was super informal and friendly so don't panic about being all profesh. I knew exactly why I picked mine and knew a little about the ingredients so I didn't find that too difficult. I think the most important thing is to be friendly, be confident and be yourself. The girl and I had a laugh about shoes and products and I talked to her like a friend which I think went down well. If you're a good fit for the company, they will know straight away. Even if your product knowledge isn't strong.

I was lucky to be invited for a trial shift which is the next stage of the interview. I'll do a little part two on this once Saturday has been and gone - I think that's the hard and scary bit. Wish me luck, guys!!


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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Staying Sane While Being Unemployed

stay sane tips unemployed

I've been unemployed pretty much since July, when I quit my job in a makeup shop because I graduated from Uni and was going on to bigger and better things. Lol I'm dull.

I've had a few "self employed"/freelance jobs in the mean time that have tided me over for a few weeks. So I've managed to support myself for a little while but I've had no long term, steady and stable employment. I'm skint and bored and feeling pretty shite about myself.

In the TEN MONTHS (omgod my life sucks) I've been on-and-off out of work, there's been a few little things that have kept me sane. Ish, but not really... If they can help anyone not feel as depressed and dejected as I have these last few months then they are worth sharing.

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Thursday, 20 April 2017

This Time Last Year...


It's absolutely RIDICULOUS how much my life has changed in the last 12 months. Like a scary stupid amount. I dunno, maybe on paper when I write this down it will just look stupid and a normal amount of change for most of you but there are 2 important points to note:

1) I hate change of any kind. I use the same bowls and spoons etc for my breakfast and would rather not eat than use anything different. OKOK?
2) When you're in Uni, after the initial move obviously, things don't really change that much. You're doing the same course with the same people in the same city (generally).

So yeah. I was wondering what I would have been up to this time last year and it was just the most bizarre feeling. I feel like I'm a character in a book but I've just hopped out of one story and into another completely different only semi-related, more boring book. Like the dictionary but with all the cool letters missing. (I'm obviously talking about Q, X and J, duh).

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Monday, 17 April 2017

Stop Hating On "Faking"


Self-tan. Lash strips. Coloured contacts. Acrylic nails. Hair extensions. Hair dye. Lipstick.

What do all of these have in common? They're all fake, of course! And pretty fucking awesome ways of making ourselves look more like the way we want to look for a little while. Yes, I absolutely adore having a tan. But do I want to be tanned while rocking my favourite jumpers and boots in mid-Winter? Not necessarily. I am currently loving having pinky-purple hair. Would I want my hair to naturally be that colour and stay that way my whole life? (Maybe…)

If you’re reading this, then odds are you are in the lifestyle/beauty blogger community. Hi there.

We are a bunch of people that LOVE make up and celebrates the different products that help us to express our personality, bring out the things we like most about ourselves and hide what we don't love, be it with glitter brows and purple eyeliner or simply concealer and mascara.

And no one says anything. No one judges. We’re all “You do you, boo” and “YAS QUEEN SLAY”. (Aka a collection of my least favourite phrases to ever be spoken on earth and that make me want to peel my skin off).

how to wear denim dungarees spring fashion
how to wear denim dungarees spring fashion

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Friday, 14 April 2017

Cruelty Free FAQ: What's the deal with Parent Companies?

about cruelty free parent companies

There are a lot of questions to verify whether a brand is cruelty free. Animal testing is illegal in the EU so it's not a case of asking "Do you test on animals?" Because a brand can say omg no we would never do that (*unless required by law in countries that we can make a lot of DOLLAAA). And technically they aren't lying. You have to think about where their ingredients come from, where the brand chooses to sell their products and who owns the brand.

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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

My Top Spring Trends & How to Wear Them



I waffled on in a whole post about how much I love spring fashion, so that's not news. This spring in particular though, the trends are just SCREAMING MY NAME. I want to wear everything.The fact I have literally zero money is absolute torture at the moment.

A lot of the trends and key pieces that are everywhere at the moment, luckily I already have in my wardrobe from seasons past so I can re-purpose them for SS17 and no ones any the wiser. Until now, obv.

Band Tees


Or just generic rock-style. This is SO up my street - it's a dream come true seeing all these classic album artworks and band emblems emblazoned across t-shirts everywhere. The best part of this trend is that these tops are GRUNGE AF. Ripped, scuffed, sleeves torn off, front cut low and laced back up – They’ve had a much more “fashion” make over, and while I’d normally say if it ain't broke don't fix it, I absolutely love the look.

New Look / Urban Outfitters / Primark / Topshop / PrettyLittleThing

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Monday, 10 April 2017

Cruelty Free Brand Focus & Favourites: GOSH Copenhagen

GOSH Copenhagen, I think is such an underrated brand at the "drugstore". When I first decided to go cruelty free and researched which brands were cruelty free that I could afford, GOSH popped up on my radar. They pride themselves on being very trend focused and creative at affordable prices. What more could you want?! I also love the fact that they are a family-run brand founded in Denmark and still produce their products in Denmark 50 odd years later. Us bloggers love anything scandi, amright?

They are probably at the mid-higher end of brands at Boots and Superdrug - more expensive than your Rimmel or Make Up Revolution. Their products are real quality though, in my opinion and I have encountered very few "misses" in their range. The packaging is sleek and mostly monochrome which is very welcome amongst the often gaudy or tacky-trying-to-be-current packaging you often see in Boots.

GOSH cruelty free makeup foundation highlighter eyeshadow brow gel

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Friday, 7 April 2017

Taking the Pressure out of Blogging


 In September/October my views were at an all time high, I was gaining loads of followers and people seemed to really, genuinely be enjoying my content. I was absolutely loving it.

But most of you will know, sticking to a strict posting schedule of three posts per week minimum is hard graft. Because what non-bloggers don't see is the brainstorming to make sure you don't run out of content ideas, the photography and struggling with bad lighting in early-winter and WTF do I even take a picture of? They don't see the scheduling tweets (which is fucking boring as anything), keeping your insta and twitter fresh and interesting, while obviously engaging with others. And don't even get me started on a theme. KILL ME.

I burnt out. I'm not ashamed. I'm not proud, obviously, but it took a decent blogging break to pick up steam. I'm not going to be the person that says "I want to get back to why I started blogging", because I never intended for my blog to be somewhere I posted whatever I want whenever I want. I never wanted it to be a fancy, glossy, magazine blog or even somewhere semi professional. I just start things and I like to put 100% into it which is great and I love that about me. But it is draining.

When I decided to write something (anything...) again, I loved it. But I instantly thought okay what am I going to post next, can I get it out by Thursday? And I instantly hated blogging again. So I didn't post for another 10 days which felt so wrong and alien. Over the next few days I started jotting down little bits that I would write about when I had time, and before I knew it I had three semi written posts.

I for sure want to post every week. It's not my style to be inconsistent and just give up and not post for ages, I like a routine. If I have an extra post, I'm going to put that up too, but if I don't that's okay. We are bombarded with posts all day every day on Twitter and Bloglovin, nobody is going to miss my post that particular Thursday. It's just a fact. And more importantly, my life won't fall apart if I only post once a week, or even if I can't be arsed and don't post at all.

I'm seeing so much blogger burn out where bloggers aren't having fun anymore. For many this is a job, but for the majority of us it's a hobby. HOBBIES ARE MEANT TO BE FUN OK?

So I'm not going to kill myself over checking every sentence to see if it's gloriously witty, filled with the latest fad words and phrases (you will not catch me saying "on point" or "slay" or *insert generic word here* AF - no offense to everyone else, it's just not me) . I'm not going to stress wondering WILL PEOPLE LIKE THIS POST? If you do, you do, if you don't, it obviously mattered enough to me to write about it so FU. (Joking, I love you).

But yeah. Rambles rambles. I hope you are excited to join me on this new un-journey of getting back to basics and posting fun stuff when I feel like it.
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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

OOTD: Finding Myself Again in Spring




Do you have any idea how happy I am that it’s springtime? I know it’s not very “blogger” to prefer another month to the pinnacle of life that is OMGAUTUMNILOVEAUTUMN but sorry. I just do.

I love sunglasses and iced tea. I love wearing no tights. I love cherry blossom trees, tulips and daffodils. And I love pink lips, messy hair and glowy, no-makeup make up. I just think I become more myself in spring. Especially when it comes to my personal style.

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Monday, 3 April 2017

Budget Cruelty Free Skincare? Superdrug Vitamin E Range Review

superdrug vitamin e eyecream toner exfoliator radiance moisture cream night cream micellar water review
Superdrug is my saviour any time I need them. Despite being cruelty free for over 2 years, it's STILL a difficult journey at the best of times. Made more difficult again by being, first a student, and now unemployed. Sucks to be me. A heinous lack of funds means that experimentation is impossible and I'm limited with the brands I can afford to use.

So, not sure what toothpaste to use? Superdrug own brand. Ran out of shampoo last minute? Superdrug own brand. Can't afford a new facial cleanser? Superdrug own brand. I bloody love them. Not saying all products are OMFGTHEBESTEVER but they do in a pinch and some are fucking awesome. 

My skin was, in a word, BLOODY AWFUL. (Soz ok 2 words). Big, painful breakouts all around my chin/mouth/lower face and I had a huge amount of texture on my cheeks, my face was constantly discoloured and I had vicious dry patches all around my nose and mouth. Don't I sound a gorgeous picture? I tend to get oily up between my brows and around my nose with dryness around my mouth and chin so I find skincare hard to get right at the best of times, especially on a budget.

I've used six different products from the range with varying results. All products I used were £2.99 and I think all products are around the same price. Read on for a little review of each product and whether I would repurchase.




Toning Facial Mist - I used this as I use any toning sprays, after cleansing and  miceallar water but before my moisturiser/oil and eye cream. This one feels nice and refreshing on the skin and didn't break me out, but it also didn't really do anything else... Will probably be nice to use in the summer to take away any icky sweaty face feeling but other than that I'll pass. I'm in a committed relationship now with my old fave, the Tropic Skincare Vitamin Toner*. Would definitely not repurchase.

Night Cream - This is a weird one because I don't find it as rich as I normally find a night cream BUT I really like it. It's not too heavy and I don't find myself waking up with a lot of excess oil as I often do (ew?). I really like how it makes my skin feel but I can't say it did much for my dry patches. If you're looking for intense hydration ONLY I'd probably pass but otherwise I love it and have already repurchased.

Micellar Water - This is one of my favourites from the range. I haven't been wearing a lot (if any) make up recently so this has been enough to clean my face in the evening. It removes make up pretty well - not as well as the Garnier one, but using an extra cotton pad worth is a small price to pay for an affordable cruelty free option! It leaves my skin feeling soft and clean and quite hydrated. I didn't use it for a few days (because I ran out of cotton pads and I'm disgracefully lazy) and my skin really broke out, I have had only a very small number of spots since using this so it's obviously doing something right. Have already repurchased! 

Eye Cream - I really begrudge using my pricier eye creams for a bit of moisture before concealer so thought I'd try this one out and it's okay! I can't say I notice a difference in the appearance of my eye area when I tried using it before bed as part of my skincare but it works well enough before concealer (particular quite thick ones like the Collection Lasting Perfection that had a tendency to look a bit cakey on me). I have quite mixed feelings about this, and actually feel a bit indifferent so I'm not sure I'd bother repurchasing but not a definite no.

Facial Scrub - I'm not going to beat around the bush here. This is my favourite exfoliator I have ever used. Ever. I love how thick and coarse it is with the oatmeal like texture, but it still manages to feel soft and moisturising as you rub it on. My skin feels like silk after using it and it worked well with the moisturiser to clean up marks and blemishes from previous spots that had been there forever. I HIGHLY recommend this and I will 100% repurchase.

Radiance Moisture Cream - Where has this been all my life? This is a much newer purchase than the rest so I'm still playing around but it is bloody beautiful. It's a bit like what I imagine MAC Strobe Cream to be like but obviously I haven't used it before. It is stunning alone on the skin to brighten your complexion on a no make up day, or underneath foundation for a bit of radiance. It leaves my skin feeling SO soft and pretty. It is a massive winner for me and I can see it becoming a real spring/summer staple. I know it's early days but so far I would absolutely repurchase

Overall, I'm pretty impressed! There are a tonne of options and I think there are probably a few hidden gems if you have a little rummage around. Even though I wouldn't necessarily recommend or repurchase some of my choices, none of them were actually *bad*. I'd say the range is absolutely perfect for a student or someone without problem skin that doesn't particularly like/need to spend a lot of money on products. It's also almost ALWAYS on offer for buy one get one half price or 3 for 2 so you can get a few products for a around fiver. Bargain! 

Quick side note: I know not everyone classes Superdrug as cruelty free because of their parent company, but if you've read any of my previous posts about deciding to go cruelty free and information that you might find useful, you'll know that it's my personal choice to support brands that are cruelty free even if their parent company is not. So that's up to you.


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