Sunday, 6 December 2015

Life Update | Graduation






There was a bigger buzz than usual around the 2015 University of Winchester Graduation ceremonies, as it was the first time the hand-shaking duty was carried out by our new chancellor, Alan Titchmarsh. 

A slightly blurry picture of me shaking hands with Alan Titchmarsh himself!

This blog post is actually slightly overdue as my ceremony took place in October, but nonetheless, it marks one of the proudest days of my life.

As I studied combined honours English and Creative Writing, I had to wait until I got there before I found out which course I would be sitting with - it turned out to be Creative Writing. I found my seat, and discovered that I knew pretty much everyone sitting near me, as we had all been in the same lectures, seminars and workshops for three years.

It was surprising how nervous I was going up on stage to collect my diploma - you always hear horror stories of people falling over - but luckily I was not one of those people. 

Throughout my three years at university I sung in multiple choirs, all of which perform at the graduation ceremonies. So, as well as being awarded my degree, I was able to sing 'Proud' with my old choir for the last time. 

Being a part of the choir gave you an extra privilege at graduation - while the choir members hang out at the back of Winchester Cathedral, out of sight, they keep track of previous members, and cheer as loud as they can when one of us is called up to graduate. 

Looking back, it seemed like a surreal experience - I started walking on autopilot when my name was called, and the cheer sounded almost deafening. Alan Titchmarsh then said: "I can see that you like music, from all the cheering," before asking me about my plans for the future.

My favourite part out of the entire day was wearing the robes. I was able to walk around feeling like I had been transported to the world of Harry Potter. I even wore them to the restaurant where I had a lovely meal with my family afterwards, and only gave them back at the last possible minute.

All in all, it was a wonderful day, and I am very happy to officially be the holder of a Bachelor's degree!





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Friday, 4 December 2015

Fleur De Force Makeup Line Review







I haven't been following Fleur for her entire career - I only started watching her about a year ago, but she is still one of my favourite beauty gurus. I have her book, The Glam Guide, which I love. I haven't tried her eyelashes, as fake eyelashes really aren't for me, but when she announced her makeup line I was very excited!

The range  consists of a makeup bag, two eyeshadow quads, and six lipglosses. I didn't purchase the bag as I have too many already, and with my first paycheck I opted for two of the lipglosses (re, in Written in the Stars and Seeing Stars. Both eyeshadow quads looked beautiful, but seeing as I already have an abundance of golden/brown/neutral hues, I chose the quad in Lunar Rose - the rose toned option

Lunar Rose contains a matte baby pink shade, a shimmery rose gold shade, an almost iridescent, shimmery pale lilac, and a deep mauve with subtle glitter running through it. They are all so beautiful on the lid, the swatches almost don't do them justice. I wear these as daytime shadows, though by using the darker shade it could be adapted to suit nighttime as well! I usually apply the matte pink as a base, apply the rose gold all over the lid, use the lilac to highlight the inner corner, and finish off with using the mauve as a messy liner. The consistency is brilliant too - the shadows are pigmented, and there isn't much fallout. I'm not a fan of the brush that comes with it, but that doesn't bother me.

As for the lipglosses, Written in the Stars is a neutral, pinky, dare I say it - 'your lips but better' colour. It applies wonderfully on it's own, or over any nude lipstick to add some gloss to the look. Seeing Stars is a peachy, orangy shade which I love, it really brightens up the complexion. Despite these being lip glosses, they are actually very pigmented and stay on much longer than any other regular lip gloss I've tried. They also smell and taste gorgeous, which actually matters a lot to me - when you put product on your lips, you can't help but taste and smell it!

Overall, I think Fleur has done a marvellous job with these! I'm very tempted to purchase more of the lip colours and the other eyeshadow quad, as this makeup is all so effortlessly pretty and easy to use. The range is available exclusively on Feelunique, and is very reasonably priced at £6.99 for the lip glosses, and £7.99 for the eyeshadow quads.

Have you tried any products in Fleur De Force's makeup collection?

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Monday, 12 October 2015

5 Autumnal Lipstick Shades




As Autumn is rapidly descending upon us all, I think it is only right to go through my make-up collection, and update my lipstick wardrobe with the appropriate shades. It's been a while since I've dug these out, and they deserve some love!

First of all I have a sentimental option. Also the most expensive of the bunch at £15.50, we have a MAC lipstick in the shade Plumful. This was actually the first MAC lipstick I ever bought, and it's a gorgeous plummy, berry shade, perfect for this time of year. It's a Lustre finish, and it can be worn from a subtle, sheer wash of colour to a beautiful, brighter pop on the lips. The staying power isn't comparable to a more matte formula, but it will still last a good while without needing to be reapplied. You can never go wrong with a good MAC lipstick, really.

The next one seems to be an Autumn classic in the blogging world, and that is the Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick in the shade 107. If you're looking for a beautiful deep red that will suit most skintones, look no further! It's a matte formula with great staying power, and I've found that it stains the lips even when starting to wear off. Plus, it's very affordable at £5.49. I love wearing this with a neutral eye, or on a night out. 

I ventured out of my comfort zone into the world of liquid lipsticks with this Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in the shade Frambourjoise, priced at £8.99. I wear this one when I'm feeling a little more daring, as the colour is very bright contrasted with my pale skin. Nevertheless, it's a gorgeous slightly pinky, kind of red-ish raspberry shade which dries into a matte formula. One thing I have to emphasise with these is the lasting power - I can wear these all day, through eating and drinking, and these babies do not budge. They can feel slightly drying on the lips, but that can be solved with lip balm, and they last so long that it is not even a problem. 

Now, moving on to the nudes! As I am a big fan of the Kate Moss lipstick range, and I also regularly opt for neutral make-up looks, this range of nudes was right up my street. I selected the Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish lipstick in the shade 45. This is a gorgeous nude that doesn't wash me out or give me the foundation lips effect - it's the perfect 'your lips but better' colour for me, plus it lasts well. I think a nude lipstick is ideal in Autumn when perhaps going for a more dramatic look on the eyes and cheeks. The Kate Moss nude collection consists of six shades, so there will definitely be one to suit any skin tone!

Last but not least, I have another old favourite. This is the Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker lipstick with Satin finish, in the shade Naked Beige. Priced at £9, I feel that these really are worth the money. Naked Beige is a darker toned nude, but looks really flattering and is perfect for Autumn. This lipstick has the most gorgeous scent - I have to restrain myself from eating it - and while the staying power isn't phenomenal, it does last for a good few hours before needing topping up. I love pretty much all of Soap and Glory's products, and these lipsticks are no exception!

So, there you have the low down of the lipsticks I'll be wearing throughout Autumn. 

Do you change your lip colours with the seasons? Do you have any recommendations of other Autumnal shades for me? I'd love to know!

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Thursday, 4 June 2015

Life Update | Finishing University

Hey guys!

This is going to be more of a personal post, because as well as wanting this blog to be entertaining to read, I also want it to be a place where I can share important life events and fun memories to look back on in the future.

So, I finished university! I haven't officially graduated yet, that's happening in October, but I've moved everything out of my old room and left my university town. The last few weeks were some of the best few weeks ever, and I made so many incredible memories with some lifelong friends. So I thought I'd share a few. Sorry if they're not all the same size, or don't go together very well, I've just chosen some pictures that represent my favourite memories.


Me, the day I handed in my dissertation. My biggest academic achievement of my degree.

With my two housemates and best friends, on the night of the 1950s themed Summer Ball.
The programme (that I designed!) for the last show I performed in with my university's Musical Theatre Choir, aka the best people in the world, and the best friends I could have ever wished for.

A beautiful view of Winchester, my university city, from the top of a hill we had a picnic on. I got sunburnt that day.

The roast dinner one of my housemates made us as a surprise, a few weeks before the end of uni.

I feel so lucky to have made so many fond memories. University truly did change my life - I transformed from being an insecure, sad teenager to someone with confidence, who knows who she is and what she's good at. I went from struggling to fit in, to having a lot of friends I feel comfortable with. Leaving was such a bittersweet experience, as it was the first place I felt truly happy, but I have a lot of new, exciting things coming up, and I'll never forget how wonderful this experience was.

Also, look out for a 'Things University Taught Me' post coming up soon!

Have any of you experienced the mixed joy and sadness of finishing your degree? I'd love to hear about it!
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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Ways To Boost Happiness In Spring




Out of all four seasons, Spring is my favourite. It stays lighter longer, which I love, and it means that it's almost Summer, which is another favourite season of mine. I associate it with baby animals, flowers, not always having to wear my thick coat or a million layers, pastels, and laughter. It's probably not just me, but when the sun starts coming out more and it gets slightly warmer, everything seems to lighten up, and I feel energetic, motivated, and so much happier.

So I thought I'd share a few ways to boost happiness and make the most of this beautiful season.

1. Enjoy the Sun

If you live in the UK, like I do, you'll know that warm and sunny days don't happen that often. So it's time to soak up the vitamin D, and make the most of it while you can!

2. Spring Clean

I've started going through my clothes and making a 'donate to charity shop' pile, given my room a good hoover, and my make-up collection could do with some organisation, too. Spring cleaning is a nice way to have a fresh start, and someone else might really love the clothes you don't wear anymore, or the make-up you don't use.

3. Exercise & Healthy Eating

It's time to revisit those New Year's Resolutions! Though at the beginning of January when we all make them, it's cold, rainy and dark all the time. In my opinion, Spring is a much better time for all of this! It's time to finally go for that run you've been saying you'll do for months, and try out some fresh, healthy recipes!

4. Treat Yourself

After all that spring cleaning, it's time to refresh your wardrobe or make-up stash with something new! Every brand seems to be launching new products at the moment, so head out and check them out, because we all deserve a treat or a good pamper once in a while.


Is there anything that you always do to boost happiness in Spring? As it's my favourite season, I'd love to know!







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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Dermalogica Skincare Experience



I feel like I have always had issues with my skin. While I've been lucky enough to avoid teenage acne, or adult acne (so far!), I can't remember the last time I didn't have a single spot. The minute my existing ones start to fade, more of those pesky things start to brew. I've always had really oily skin, but occasionally when applying foundation I've seen it cling to dry patches, and I have somewhat sensitive skin as well. Basically, I never know what is going on, my skin has a mind of it's own. 

So when I was in London for my birthday weekend with my mum and brother, we went to Liberty, and I wanted to give Dermalogica a try.

What appealed to me most is that they actually look at your skin (through strange glasses - it's quite amusing!) before giving you product recommendations. The Sales Assistant was lovely and spent a lot of time with us, both my brother and I had a face mapping session done, and it was a great experience. I actually learned that my skin was dehydrated in some areas, and is much more sensitive than I originally thought. I'd really recommend this service, it's free, and if I hadn't had my skin analysed and just asked for products to treat what I originally thought my skin type was (oily skin) it may not have been as effective. You get a little map of your face to take away with you for future reference as well, which is handy!

Now, on to the products. I was recommended the UltraCalming Cleanser, the Daily Microfoliant, and the Active Moist moisturiser. The Sales assistant went through the routine with me, showing me how the products all worked. 

The Cleanser - The UltraCalming cleanser is a gel-based cleanser designed for sensitive skin. It should be mixed with a little bit of water before being applied to dry skin, and it washes off so easily, you only have to splash your face with water once or twice. It made me see my skincare routine as a luxury instead of a chore.

The Exfoliant - This one is a genius product, I love it so much. Even though it's supposed to be gentle enough to use every day, I was recommended to use this twice a week. It comes out of the tube like a powder, but when mixed with a few drops of water it becomes more like a paste. After using this, my skin has never felt so soft. It's always so soft that I can't stop touching my face, which is probably bad if I'm trying to avoid breakouts!

The Moisturiser - I've never had a very good relationship with moisturisers. Because of my often oily skin, applying them has always felt greasy and horrible. But I actually enjoyed using this one! So much, in fact, that I used up the entire tube within a few months, and now I really miss it. It's really light and sinks in to the skin quickly, two things I need in a moisturiser. 

I just need to mention, while these products all worked amazingly for me, I did get them based on the recommendations after my skin mapping analysis, so if you're thinking of looking into Dermalogica for the first time, I'd recommend that!

Overall, I really love these products a lot. My skin still has some issues, so I can't say that they've completely cleared up or saved my skin, but they really have helped tremendously, and I really enjoy using all of them. A definite thumbs up from me!

Have any of you ever tried Dermalogica, or have any staple skincare routines that you'd recommend?

Much love,
Susan

This post is not sponsored, all opinions are my own and I just like Dermalogica a lot. :)



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Friday, 20 February 2015

21st Birthday Weekend | London

























This post is way, way overdue, since my birthday was back in January - but I still wanted to share this, as I had a fantastic time this weekend, and it's a memory I want to be able to look back on. My actual 21st birthday was mid-week, on a Tuesday, so I celebrated that with my friends at university. Then, that weekend, my mum, brother and I headed to London for a little mini-holiday!

We stayed in the Strand Palace Hotel, which was incredible, and fun fact - my mum and brother were delayed, so I took a taxi to the hotel, checked in, sorted my complimentary travel card out, and made it to my room on my own, something I've never actually done before! This may not seem that exciting to some of you, but it was. I felt more grown up, which is good when you've just turned 21.

On the Friday night, we had some delicious Indian food in the hotel, before heading back to the rooms and getting some sleep.

The next day, we had a lot of shopping planned, followed by watching Cats - a musical I've always wanted to see, having been obsessed with any type of cat from a very young age. I also had a 90 minute make-up lesson booked with MAC in Selfridges!








The entire MAC experience was amazing. Every member of staff was extremely friendly and so helpful, I picked up a lot of new skills and tips - (I'm in no way a pro at applying make-up, I need all the help I can get!) and it was a shame to have to take this make-up off at the end of the day. My mum did buy me most of the products used on me as a birthday present though, (thank you!) so I can get practicing at home. 

Then, with my wonderful new make-up on and feeling like a celebrity, we had something to eat in Liberty, and then we were off to the theatre to see Cats!

Broccoli soup, yum!



It was such a good show, not at all what we were expecting as it was mainly a dance-based show, but I would happily see it again any time. It made me wish I'd taken dance lessons as a child, Nicole Scherzinger's performance as Grizabella was breathtaking, and the cast received a standing ovation at the end. 

I really did not want to check out of our beautiful hotel the next morning, but we didn't have much choice. We were able to leave our bags in storage while we did some last minute exploring of London. After a stroll round Covent Garden, we stopped for some lunch before our final big event, a matinee performance of The Lion King!


It was another amazing show. Everyone had been telling us to see this one for a long time, and as a fan of musical theatre, I'm so happy that we did! 

Overall, it was the most incredible weekend, and I would rather have stayed for another few days instead of heading back to uni, but alas, I had lectures the next morning. 

Thank you to my mum and brother for making my 21st birthday weekend special, and I can't wait to visit London again soon!


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Monday, 2 February 2015

Beauty Wish List #1

Beauty Wishlist


Being a student with no stable income, and without an endless amount of money to spend on all the gorgeous make-up in the world, I often find myself creating wishlists in my head. So I thought I'd share this with you, so we can all drool over these beautiful products together. Here you have, my current beauty wish list!

1. The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder - £13.00

It's matte, it comes in a light colour that would suit my ghastly pale skin tone, it looks so pretty, what more can I say?

2. NARS Sheer Glow Foundation - £31.00

I was going to purchase this on my trip to London last weekend, and was colour matched to the shade Gobi. This shade then proceeded to be sold out everywhere I looked. On the wishlist it remains…

3. Makeup Revolution Naked Chocolate Palette - £7.99

I have heard amazing things about this one. It has neutral shades, the packaging looks like chocolate, and apparently also smells like chocolate! I can't wait to try this.

4. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil - £19.00

I particularly love the colour 'Sex Machine,' but they have so many gorgeous shades, if I had endless amounts of cash I'd buy them all.

5. Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in 'Rosewood' - £22.50

I found out about this one thanks to Gabby @ velvetgh0st. As well as being a lovely wearable shade, this eyeshadow has the same name as the town from my current TV obsession, Pretty Little Liars. I love it. 

6. SEVENTEEN Doll'd Up Mascara - £6.29

I read a couple of good reviews about this mascara, and it has pretty pretty packaging, as well as being very affordable.

7. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush - $26.00

Another one I've heard a lot about due to various bloggers and online reviews. I've only recently gotten into blusher and these look incredible, I particularly love the colour 'Exposed.'


Which beauty products are currently on your wishlist?

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Thursday, 29 January 2015

January Nails





I am a total nail polish addict. 

I love doing my nails, to the point where my friends and family think it's strange when I don't have any colour on them. So I thought it'd be nice to do a monthly feature, showing everyone what kind of nail goodness I have been loving this month.

I was given a few nail polishes from the O.P.I Shatter collection for Christmas, and I've not been wearing much else. It's a lovely, cool effect, and it barely takes any effort to do!

As my base and top coat, I use the Barry M All in One Nail Paint. It claims to be a base coat, top coat and nail hardener, like it's name says, all in one! I love this, it saves me having to buy a separate base and top coat, and it does it's job brilliantly. 

Then I applied the Barry M Gelly Hi Shine polish in the colour Rose Hip, a gorgeous pale pink shade. I love, love, love the Gelly polishes, they last ages without chipping and look beautiful, which is exactly what I look for to put on my nails.

After that comes the O.P.I shatter nail polish in the colour black, which creates the cracked effect. I then seal it all with a top coat, and voila! Awesome looking nails on a budget, with minimal effort required!

What have you guys been wearing on your nails this month?


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