Sunday, 28 September 2014

Blistex Relief Cream - aka the best lip balm ever.

For some unknown reason, I seem to get really bad chapped lips regardless of the weather. It can be beautifully sunny and 25c, middle of February and -1c or somewhere in between, and my lips will be chapped regardless. I have tried so many lip balms, I must own about 20, from super cheap to far more expensive, and none of them do anything to help my lips. Not only will they be chapped, but I will regularly wake up and realise they've been bleeding. I know, gross. Then someone recommended Blistex Relief Cream to me. I was skeptical, a product so cheap surely won't do all I need, will it?

As you can see, the product is definitely more medical looking that cosmetic, and at only £2.65 I thought it was worth giving a go.
I cannot recommend it enough. I apply it once in the morning and evening, and occasionally during the day if they're really chapped, and it works wonders. It's the only product that stops my lips from chapping, I love it so much. I pop it in my handbag wherever I go, it is an absolute essential for me.
As Winter comes closer, I'm sure more and more of you suffer from chapped lips, and this little thing is a life saver!

Have you tried it? What did you think?

Disclaimer: I am definitely not sponsored or endorsed or anything by Blistex, I just really bloody love this product : )

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Body Shop's Pomegranate and Raspberry Candle.

I am a sucker for scented candles, as I'm sure a lot of you are. Unfortunately I'm not in a position where I can afford to spend £30+ on a candle so I'm often stuck with cheaper, not so effective candles. This one, however, is different! The Body Shop aren't known for their candles, admittedly, so when I found them hiding in the corner I was definitely surprised! Just like almost all of their products, this has the most gorgeous smell, definitely fruity! Just having the candle out emits a beautiful smell without even lighting it, but once I have the smell intensifies. It's never too strong, just a gorgeous clean fragrance. I've not had it long enough to tell how the burning life will be, but I have high hopes!
This retails for £10 and it's available online and in store. They've got a few other fragrances I'll be sure to check out!
Have you tried any Body Candles? What did you think?

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Guide to Freshers!

This is a re-hash of the Freshers guide I did last year and the year before! I finished university in the summer so it's still fresh in my mind!

So, three years ago, I was preparing for my first year at Uni, and I was honestly dreading it. I have no older siblings that could guide me through, so I was going in blind. Of course you hear the odd bits here and there, but more along the lines of ‘you’ll be drunk for a week’ as opposed to ‘what the bloody hell do I need to bring?! So I thought I would post a little guide on how to survive Freshers. I’m no genius of course, but every little helps. If you think I’ve missed anything, pop suggestions in the comments below, or if you want to ask me a question, you can contact me on twitter @sirensandbells or alternatively, email me:

Budget: I can’t stress the importance of this enough. Find your student finance letter that tells you what your loan will be, and work out how much money you will have each week after rent etc has been taken out. I didn’t stick to a proper budget in first year OR second year and I ended up completely rinsing my overdraft – which sucks. If you have money left over from each week, put it aside and at the end of the month you can treat yourself. For a lot of people, Uni is the first time they ever have to stick to a budget, so prepare for setbacks along the way, because things will crop up that mean you need a bit of money put aside – and if you budget properly you will have to worry that little bit less. Seriously, you think you'll be okay if you overspend one week...and then the next....and then the next...until you've got a month left and you're on the phone begging your mum for money! I know everyone will tell you this, but that's because it is imperative!

Be friendly: I know this sounds obvious, but still. If you’re moving into Halls, when you get there, open up your door when you’re unpacking etc, so your neighbours know you’re there to chat to. I was the second person in my house to arrive so I was able to go and chat to everyone as they had moved in; it makes it so much easier! You aren't going to stay friends with everyone you meet and get friendly with to begin with, but the more people you try and make friends with, the better. It makes it so much easier to have people you can be close to. Your housemates are like your family when you're at Uni, it helps to have good friends when you need them! At the same time, don't be surprised if you don't like everyone you live with. There's no rhyme nor reason to the way they put people together in halls, it's luck of the draw!

Make the space your own: When you move in, it’s very likely your parents are going to want to unpack for you, but do not let them. You’re going to live in that room for a year, you need to make the space your own, which means putting everything where you want it, not where your parents think it’ll look best. When I moved into halls, my parents left after an hour, so I had the chance to put everything exactly where I wanted it to go. Buy cute bedding and cushions, and pretty things that will make your room seem homely. Bringing things from home will also help.

That teddy bear you’ve had all your life, that sits on your bed? Bring it with you. Do not be embarrassed about cuddly toys, you will not be the only one in your flat who brings a bear, and if you miss home, it’s there to comfort you. I was so worried that I was going to miss my mum too much, I thought I’d be distraught and hate living away from home, but it is not that bad. By the point that you actually have time to miss anyone, so much time has passed that you don’t really miss them anymore. Admittedly, when my parents left on that first day, I cried. Quite a few of the housemates did when their parents left, it’s normal. So don't worry about that.

      Try and be clean: No-one wants to live in a pig sty do they? So clean up after yourself! You wouldn’t allow it at home, so don’t allow it at Uni. Washing up after yourself takes 20 minutes tops, really not that difficult. You’ll make friends a lot easier if you’re not constantly pissing them off because you can’t clean up after yourself.
     Don’t stick to one ‘group’: Don’t stay away from a group of people because you deem them ‘not your sort of person’ due to their physical appearance. You’ll be surprised at the friendships you’ll make if you open yourself up. Even if they have bad eyebrows and fake tan the colour of leather, they may have a heart of gold.

Do the work: First year is an easy year compared to the other two years you’ve got ahead of you. You don’t have to work super hard to get by. That being said, you do need to work hard enough to actually pass the year. If you work now, you won’t get a shock come second year when a crapload of work is piled on top of you. Get into the habit this year, it’ll be better for you in the long run. I didn't do any work in the first year, and it made second year a lot harder!

      Don’t worry if you don’t drink a ton: When I started Uni, I was worried that everyone would think I was a square because I didn’t drink a lot. I shouldn’t have bothered worrying, I wasn’t the only one who didn’t drink much, and no-one cares as long as you have a good time! Don’t do anything because you feel pressured, you will end up regretting it. I messed up and drank loads because it was what everyone else did, and ended up paying for it the next morning! Be yourself, if people don't appreciate it, then you don't need them in your life.

     Make sure you eat! In the first two weeks, I was so busy, I pretty much forgot to eat at all. Bad, bad idea. I lost a load of weight, but got pretty ill at the same time. Supernoodles doesn't count!

     Load up on flu capsules: You will get Fresher’s flu. You will not avoid it, so go in prepared.

     Go the Fresher’s fair, and get everything you can: You can pick up some good vouchers and little bits & bobs, so don’t miss it. And free pizza. There is always free pizza!

      Get an NUS card, and look at sites like Uni Days & Student Beans. Both are fantastic for getting discounts.

      Read your course books! I did an English degree, and in first year I have to admit I didn’t read all of the books. A few times, I didn’t attend a lecture because I hadn’t read the books and basically, couldn’t be arsed. Such a bad idea! Attend as many lectures as possible, don’t miss them because you’re feeling lazy. You’re paying for this education, take full advantage!       
       When you move in, if you see an imperfection ie. A mark on a wall or on the carpet etc etc WRITE IT DOWN. You may get charged at the end of the year if the Landlord thinks it’s your doing, so write down each & every imperfection to stop this from happening.

      Last, but not least, HAVE FUN. The first year of Uni was the best year of my life, so enjoy every minute because it passes by bloody quickly. Takes pictures of it, and love every minute. I’m so upset I’m not a Fresher this year!!

     Obviously, I don’t know everything, my view is completely different to another person’s, but I hope this guide can help you a little bit. As I said before, if you want any advice or need any questions answered, I would be more than happy to help you however possible:
twitter: @sirensandbells

Weekend Wishlist

Weekend Wishlist

1 2 3 4 5

1.) I'm not usually one for white clothing but this skirt is beautiful. I love the length and the sheer patches, I need it in my life!
2.) So I live in jeans, like many people, and I can't ignore the massive trend that is ripped jeans. I like the undone effect they give,
3.) I do like a nice plaid/check print, and this blazer fulfills my love of that and also of all things oversized :D
4.) My beautiful watch broke, which broke my heart as I loved it, but this beauty could heal my heartbreak pretty quickly. I love Vivenne Westwood so much, and this watch definitely contributes to the love!
5.) Mmm Autumn. Mmm boots. That is all. Seriously, aren't they beautiful?

What's on your weekend wishlist?

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Book review: The Giver - Lois Lowry

This review will not contain any spoilers.

Dystopian fiction is my favourite genre. It started when I read the Hunger Games, suddenly I wanted to read more and more. 1984 is easily one of my favourite books, and I've just begun reading Farenheit 451 - with high hopes. So when I saw the trailer for the movie adaption I knew I'd have to read it straight away.
This is, technically, aimed for children, so it is not a difficult read in any way - from start to finish it probably took me six hours. 
It is set in a dystopian/utopian society called 'sameness'.It is seemingly perfect, there is no pain or war. People take pills to suppress their emotions, they're assigned careers, spouses and even children. 

The story follows a young boy names Jonas as he is assigned 'receiver of memories' - meaning he is to hold all the memories of everyone for centuries in his head, and he is the only person in the community to do so. This, clearly, creates issues in the young boy's life, and the book follows him. As he delves further into the memories, he realises not everything is quite the way it seems to be.

For a children's book, it was interesting. But not much happened. I expected more from it and was ultimately disappointed. The idea is fantastic and I'd love to see it embellished upon, but as for the story itself, it wasn't meaty enough. Nothing really happens for the first 80% and then I felt it was very rushed, with the ending itself being a massive anti climax. I probably would have enjoyed this as a child, but as an adult, not so much.

I'll certainly see the movie, just to see how it relates to the book. 
Have you read it, or seen it? What did you think?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Review: Lush Dragon Egg Bath Ballistic

I am a massive Lush fan, and their bath ballistics are potentially my favourite product.
I bought a bunch of new bath ballistics recently and decided to try out this one first.

On first glance, I wasn't sure how I'd get on with it. It seems just a plain white colour with a few pieces of coloured confetti tucked in to it.
It smelt amazing though, really citrus and refreshing, so I was still excited to try it.

As you can see, as soon as I popped it in the bath, it took on a life of it's own and fizzed and revealed a gorgeous golden core!

The only thing I didn't like was the confetti, it stuck to my skin and was a hassle to get out the bath, luckily there were only 5 or 6 pieces in the ballistic.

I shall definitely be re-purchasing this beauty, I love it!
Have you used it? What did you think?

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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Benefit's Erase Paste in 'Fair'.

One thing I have always struggled with is dark under eye circles. It doesn't matter how much sleep I do or don't get, those tricky things never disappear. I've used countless concealers and although many of them do help, none of them have been amazing or made me less self conscious about them.
This is where Erase Paste comes in. I was lucky enough to get my make up done at Benefit for graduation, and Erase Paste is the concealer they used for me. Straight away I loved it, it covered up my dark circles and blemishes, and I knew I had it to have it.
As a guide, here is my eye without any make up on at all:

I don't think this picture shows the true extent of dark circles, but you can definitely see that I've got them!

And below is a photo of me with the concealer on. I'm also wearing a thin layer of Body Shop BB Cream.

As you can see, my circles are a lot less visible now, and my skin tone is far more even.

It's a very thick concealer, you only need a smidgen to cover your under eye area.

This small amount covered both sections of my under-eye and my nose, and is the size of probably a pea. I've used it every day for two weeks and it's barely caused a dent in it.

It's a very creamy, thick concealer, that doesn't crease or melt off my face too much during the day - I have extremely oily skin so that's a God send!

At £20.50 it's not the cheapest concealer, but if you can afford it, it's certainly worth it. If you're a student, you can get 10% off at ASOS, which I recommend! I've not managed to find a dupe for it, if you know of one, let me know!

Have you used Erase Paste? If so, what do you think?

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Nail HQ Nail Treatments

Hey guys! A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to receive nail treatments from Nail HQ!

The first I received was a nail hardener, which I was so pleased to get because I have such issues with weak, brittle nails that peel. I wore this for 3 days, and was pleased to see how it had strengthened my nails, I've tried many nail hardeners that do nothing for me so I was glad to see that this one worked!

The second was a ridge filler, which I wasn't so sure about. I don't tend to have ridges in my nails, therefore this polish wasn't too much use to me, but it still made a nice base coat, and it is the only nail treatment from Nail HQ to have a slight colour to it, meaning you could wear it without coating a colour on top and you would still have a nice sheer pink colour on your nails.

The final polish was an 'all in one'. This polish contains argan oil, meaning it should provide a nourishing coat to your nails - which for me, it did. I used this as both a top coat and base coat, and it definitely strengthened my nails - although not as much as the hardener. It worked really well as a top coat in that it gave me a nice glossy finish.

They retail for between $8 and $12 (I don't know the conversion rate) and are available here.

I shall certainly be picking the other polishes from Nail HQ!
Have you tried Nail HQ? What did you think?

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Friday, 5 September 2014

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in 'Nude-ist'

I am not a nude person. (Ooh la la.) I like my lipsticks loud, like myself. Bright reds and pinks so neon they hurt your eyes. That's my forte, I feel safe with my bright lipsticks. Nudes? They're a different matter. Too dark, and you look like your mum in the 90s, too light, and you have that weird foundation chav girl look. Both are looks I want to avoid. Then there's this beauty. This is my new favourite formula of lipstick and it is a matter of time before I own all of the colours, it really is.

It's a gorgeous dark pink that isn't too bright, but not too dark either. Very a la Kylie Jenner - my new make up crush don't you know. I will admit, I am a fan of the youngest Kardashian sister, now that's a phrase I never thought I'd say! (I have never and never will watch that ghastly show.)

Just like the other colours in this formula, it goes on beautifully, very pigmented, and seriously sticks around. Yes, it does transfer onto mugs, but it doesn't leave your lips whilst doing so!

Anyone else love this formula as much as I do?

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

August Favourites!

Hey guys! Sorry this month's favourites are a bit late, I've been waylaid somewhat by life ;)

This month is quite jampacked, probably because I didn't get round to doing this last time!

The top thing on my list this month is without doubt my kindle. I'd like to first point out that the books you can see here aren't the ones I've been reading most recently in particular, yes, that is the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy you can see, purely because I don't believe in critiquing a book I've not read. I read them. They were truly terrible. ANYWAY, back to my original point. I've been even more obsessed with books than normal this month. I read 'If I Stay' and the sequel last week, and wept a million tears. Very YA fiction, but very compelling all the same! I've just started Jane Eyre after having it recommended to me by loads of people, let's hope I enjoy it! Any recommendations of must have reads?

Rimmel's Natural Bronzer in 'medium' - I'm one of the palest people I know, so to have a bronzer on my favourites is not normal! that being said, I enjoy contouring my cheeks every now and then, and this bronzer is fantastic for it, not too orange, very matte, wonderful. If you're looking for a cheap bronzer, this will do the job!

Rimmel's Quad Eyeshadow in '002 Smoky Brun' - Another product bought on a whim, I own a lot of palettes but wanted a smoky palette without loads of colours in it and this does the trick! I'll pop up a review soon!

Bourjois Velvet Edition in 'Personne de rouge' - I blogged about this recently, I love it! Perfect red, especially with this Autumnal weather.

Topshop Blush in 'flush' - I have a rotation of about 5 blushers, but this one is the one I keep coming back to! It's a gorgeous bright pink that gives me a healthy flush, perfect for every day.

Avon Make up Setting Spray - I've been after a setting spray for ages, and this is good and smells gorgeous too. I shall definitely be doing a review soon.

Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Eyeliner - I've had this eyeliner ages, and I keep repurchasing it, and despite having about ten othe liquid eyeliners - including 'They're Real' this is always a winner for me!

Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb - This is my 'holy grail' perfume, and I've loved it even more recently. I would wear it every day if I wasn't so hesitant about using it up too quickly!

label.m Protein Spray - I picked this up at my hairdressers after seeing it being used on me and I love it. It can be used as a heat protection spray and also makes my hair quite shiny which I love so much, I recommend it!

That's my favourites, what are yours? Link me to your posts in the comments!

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