Friday, 12 July 2019

June 2019 Favourites

Hi everyone!

Welcome back to my blog and indeed this June 2019 Favourites post! June in my opinion flew by but did have its highlights! Here are my top favourites from the previous month!

Once again we're a little light on the beauty front but I'm sure there will be more soon!!

Zoella Pretty Polished Body Scrub
I picked this up as Superdrug are selling a lot of Zoe's products reduced and I have previously loved her sugar scrubs and this one is just as good! Packed full of her Classic Collection's scent, I love this scrub and how soft it makes me! It's also a hit because you can smell it after you've left the shower, which is something not all scrubs or even shower products do! It's also perfect for the summer season when you may need to be more careful with smoothing your skin! A yes from me!

Billie Eilish - my strange addiction
Cheryl - Let You
Skepta ft Cheb Rabi and B Live - Love Me Not
David Guetta & Raye - Stay (Don't Go Away)
Mostack - Respect and Love
Jamie Berry ft Rosie Harte - Peeping Tom
Marina - Life Is Strange
Miley Cyrus - Mother's Daughter
Avicii ft Chris Martin - Heaven


Don't Trust The B---- in Apartment 23
I watched a couple of episodes of this back in February and really enjoyed it, so I've been catching up on the rest of it on Netflix and I honestly find it hilarious! Chloe is a hilarious character and definitely the most loveable bitch I've ever watched in a Netflix series! I was sad to finish it but it was an amazing series!!

Crunchie Blast Ice Cream:
I bought these right at the beginning of the month before moving out of my uni house and they are so tasty!! If you love the crunchie chocolate bars you will adore these! They are have a chocolate outer section that has popping candy combined with it and honeycomb ice cream in the middle. I hope you know I'm literally craving one as I type this right now. They are so good!

I have a bit of a watermelon obsession at the mo! They are so refreshing and since I'm not a fan of a standard melon, I think I avoided trying watermelon for longer than I should have! Turns out I really like them and they are a perfect snack in the warmer months and pleasurably refreshing!

Thank you so much for having a read! Let me know if any of these have been your Favourites too! I hope June was good to you all!!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Zoella Beauty Watermelon Lip Oil Review

Hey everyone!

I hope you're having a lovely day!
This blog post could potentially be one of the last posts reviewing Zoella Beauty products, as it is one of her final releases and I'm not 100% sure how much of the Fruits Range I'll be buying.

For this post, I'll be focusing on the Watermelon Lip Oil, one of the later releases from Zoe's Fruits range collection. It's biggest selling points are that it conditions the lips with Sweet Almond, Jojoba, Argon Oils to nourish and keep your lips thoroughly hydrated. It also is packed with a watermelon scent which is perfect for the summer season!

I knew I wanted to give it a go and actually hadn't tried a lip oil before which made the product that little bit more intriguing. I wasn't sure what to expect with it as I've really enjoyed some of Zoe's products in the past, but others haven't lived up to expectations, so I wasn't entirely sure whether I'd find it to be a hit or a miss!

Let's have a little start on the packaging. I wasn't the biggest fan of the Berry Jam Scrub packaging from the same collection, but I do feel like the lip oil is presented very nicely.
It is certainly very cutely packaged, in a pale pink tube with a water melon seeded decoration on the lid. Upon opening, the scent of watermelon is visible but not too overbearing, which I like because if a product is too scented sometimes it can become a little overwhelming.

The oil itself is very moisturising and it feels like it's taking really good care of my lips, they feel very smooth and soft after application.
I love the way it looks on my lips too, as it's pretty much clear it works so nice on adding just a glossy sheen to my lips too, which is nice in summer if you're not feeling going crazy with colour.

Honestly I'm super happy I bought this lip oil as I think I'm going to wear it loads this summer either on its own for a gentle sheen on my lips as well as a quick moisture fix or on top of my lipstick to create a smooth gloss finish. At £5, I really think it's a great product and another hit for Zoella Beauty. It's making me wish I'd tried the lip oil from the Botanics range, as the formula I expect would have been similar.

Have you tried any of the products from this range? Let me know!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Let's Reflect: Third Year of University

Hi everyone!

Welcome back, this is the annual Let's Reflect post at the end of my academic university year and this time is quite scary as it's the Third Year reflection aka final year! I cannot believe how fast these 3 years have gone and how much has changed since then! I'm planning on doing a proper university reflection post, but this is specifically for the last year!

Wow! Where do I honestly start?! Taking it back to September 2018, if you've been an avid reader of the blog, things got a little bit overwhelming and I deleted my blog temporarily to breathe again.
Starting Third Year, I was in a very weird place. I don't like to think too much into it because it was hard and confusing, but I knew I wasn't my usual self.
It all felt very disconnected and weird, not a feeling I'd like to repeat but probably will at some point in life!
Even though the first term has amazing memories, it was probably on level with my hardest term, alongside that very first one back in first year.
My mental health wasn't great and then my physical health started to get bad too and the two started to impact my university lectures. I started getting the most intense panic attacks during lectures that I was starting to have difficulty controlling and they were affecting me mentally and physically.
If I'm being honest, it was the only term where both my mental and physical health were affecting me going to lectures, which is exactly what I feared upon joining university and why I was so, so, conscious to attend most of first year (which looking back, I probably could have missed and thrown more nights out in)!

Attending therapy at that point in my life, was so important because it enabled me to discuss some of what I was going through. Even though it didn't help me 100%, I can't imagine how I would have coped in that first term without it! It even gave me the strength to put my blog back online and I can't tell you how grateful I am for that!

As it's gone on, I've been very much up and down with my physical health and my mental health this year, it's gone so fast but one thing I can say is that I'm so glad for all of the ups' from this year. They have been unbelievably precious to me and I'm so grateful for them. They've managed to keep me grounded and remind me that with bad things, does come good things in their own way!

During February, I managed to be pretty active which was great for my mental health as looking back the things I did well, made me hugely positive at the time. I went for a weekend in Leeds to visit the university over possible post graduate study and had a little night out with one of my friends there, which was a very good night and was very enjoyable. I'm always that little bit more proud of myself in trips like these, as they can potentially be huge triggers for me, but staying in the Premier Inn myself did give me some confidence with my stomach although I would say I'll probably still always panic over those door lock cards!!

I also managed to help a small business, which was actually part of a uni degree module, but I got to help a local craft shop with their social media presence, this did involve travelling on a 15-20 minute bus ride to get there, which ultimately can also be a trigger for me as public transport can be. I did have panic attacks in my first trip, but I got myself back and managed to complete everything I needed to do and actually managed a first in that module too which I was overjoyed at because I'd really worked hard both academically and mentally to make sure I'd completed everything and done a good job!

One incredible thing I did towards the end of the year was getting a placement for Radio 1's Big Weekend in Middlesbrough. I applied for it not sure how it would go and got shortlisted for a phone interview before being told that I'd got in!
Basically if you aren't familiar, Radio 1 is one of the biggest radio stations in the UK and every year they have a festival in a location in the UK and loads of amazing artists play over the weekend. Coincidentally, they chose Middlesbrough which is literally where I study, so when the opportunity came around that work experience placements were available I was very interested but very uncertain and a little nervous!
It was a strange one for me because I'd been particularly struggling to leave the house and this was pretty much throwing myself RIGHT into the deep end, working at a massive event with around 31,000 people, totally unexpecting what would happen and then with celebrities around too, some of which I am massive fans of, it was certainly a massive crazy deal. I did question myself in the days before, questioning if I could do it!
Well I'm so, so, glad that I did it as it was absolutely surreal and amazing and if you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know how much I love Charli XCX and Little Mix, and I got to see them both (less of LM because I had to move to the other tent during their set) and it was amazing!! I also got a photo with Perrie which was 100% the biggest cherry on the cake ever!
I also fangirled hugely when I turned round and literally saw Charli XCX walk past me to the Radio 1 Interviews tent, I was deffo in awe of her! And seeing the Radio 1 presenters around was also very incredible especially seeing Scott and Chris and Greg James who I've definitely listened to a lot over the years!

In terms of performances, I absolutely loved Little Mix from what I saw (as we had to run to move the photographers to the other tent so I didn't see the full set), Charli XCX whose set was after my shift finished so managed to see the full set off, Billie Eilish who created an incredible atmosphere, Jax Jones and Stormzy.
The experience itself was literally once in a lifetime and one I'll never forget and am so proud of myself for doing and managing to score! If you'd told me around 2 months ago or even last summer that I'd be doing that, I honestly wouldn't have believed you at all. I feel like my entire third year led me to that incredible weekend. It was truly magical.

And lastly, the biggest shocker was receiving my dissertation result! Back before I'd even actually wrote it, I was really hoping and aiming for a first but started to doubt it the further along I got! I went through a bit of a struggle in cutting down my dissertation to one particular topic and I remember being so confused at one point like had no idea what I was doing, but I pulled it back with a lot of work and late night library sessions! However opening up my result email and seeing that I'd managed a First in my dissertation was honestly the biggest shock!! I really wasn't expecting it at all but I'm so proud of myself and how much my writing has improved since the start of uni! I really went and bloody did it! I'm still yet to get my overall grade but it's amazing that I managed that, after everything. I am so proud of that, especially as I'm not usually the person to get the highest of grades, I usually have a comfortable pass or borderline pass and have done in multiple cases during my life, so getting that grade honestly made me so proud of myself for actually doing it!!

It also helped me to get a First for at least one module per year, which was something I decided I wanted to do after First Year when I got my very first "first". (Apologies for the four uses of the same word in that sentence haha!)

To tie things up, I'm not 100% decided on my future yet, things are still unclear for me, I still haven't got that sure feeling yet, but I'm going to put my hands up and say I'm very bloody proud of myself for everything that's been thrown at me this year and the accomplishments from the smaller to the bigger that I've managed this year. I'm also very thankful for the amazing people on my course who have all been big supporters of each other during this time! And of course everyone else around me at uni who lift me up when I'm down and are there to down shots with me when I need it!
I plan on discussing my time at uni in more detail in a more general post about all 3 years but until then, I'll draw this post to a close! Thank you so much for supporting my blog and reading this post!

It means so much to me!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Friday, 14 June 2019

What I Value In A Friend


Welcome back to my blog! I've spent quite a few of my recent posts discussing beauty and makeup and I've come to miss writing lifestyle related posts! I've got a few coming up though so that's exciting times for this blog!

For starters, I thought I'd do a little post about what I personally value in a friend. A lot of us look for different things in friendships and value different things in life!

Friendships are hugely important in life and so healthy for you if you get the right friends around you! I've had ups and downs in friendships in my life so far but I've found the best friendships come from friends with some of these qualities;

* Thoughtfulness
I do appreciate when people make the effort back with me, as so many times in friendships I've been the one that's initiated things and I feel like it's very exhausting having friendships like that. Don't get me wrong, there's friendships like that still in my life too, as once someone is in my life and thereby in my heart, I do find it hard to cut them out. Thoughtfulness is definitely a key aspect of what I would look for in a friendship!
* Humour
Naturally, I love it when someone has a similar sense of humour to me! I do luckily have that around me, it's the best when you can share someone a meme or story and you just know they will find it funny because you share the same humour! I love if someone has a similar humour to me or knows just how to make me laugh. Friendships like that are so good.

* Ease
It can take some time for me to feel comfortable around people so having a friend I can be at ease with and comfortable with is 100% key for me!! There's nothing worse than feeling like you can't 100% be yourself around someone in fear of how they may see you! This is particular for me and my mental and physical health mostly my stomach being unpredictable and troublesome and I really like people who put me in a comfortable position/at ease.

* Kindness
Kindness is obviously a massive one really, I appreciate kindness a lot and I'm someone who tries to do a lot for other people so I do appreciate when people do their very best to be good to you!
* Understanding
I feel like this is quite a crucial one really, as for me personally, I like someone to have an understanding of me as a person and for any difficulties I may face too, for example my anxiety or my stomach issues. I feel a lot more comfortable with people when I feel like they try to have an understanding of me, it just makes me feel a lot better! This is similar to the ease category.

* Growth Assistance
Friends who assist you in growing as a person are so much more fulfilling than those you just speak to on the regular. I really appreciate those friends that genuinely help you become a better person and help you be the best you. That's super important!
* Loyalty
Loyalty is a huge personality trait and I appreciate it very much. Being good to that person whether they are around or not, is a huge thing for me and it's always nice to know that you aren't being mistreated!

Well that's what I value in a friend! I'm very grateful for all the friends in my life who have these qualities, all very special to me. I'm blessed to have fab people in my life!

How cute is this?!

Thank you so much for reading!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Monday, 10 June 2019

Let's Talk About: Is Instagram Healthy?

Hi everyone!

It's been a while, but another Let's Talk About series post is here! I thought I'd talk about Instagram as it's one of the biggest social media sites out there, being used by so, so, many of us every single day!

I thought I'd discuss whether it's healthy or not? Along with this, I'm dipping in to the positive and negatives of Instagram!!

I'll start by saying, Instagram is definitely a social media form that I enjoy for the most part. It has it's good parts and it's bad parts but it's something which no doubt a lot of us do enjoy but it does come with negatives!

Obviously with any social media site, comes trolling and inappropriate behaviour for example bullying and stuff like that. This is not acceptable but I don't think it's specifically something which only affects Instagram. It does make me sad when I see trolling comments on peoples Instagram's because a lot of the negativity doesn't need to be said. Sometimes people talk as though their opinion is a fact and it's not let's be honest!

One of the biggest negatives you could say about Instagram is the fact there's a pressure. A pressure to keep up, with everyone else and their adventures as well as keep up with society and the ever growing speed of trends. It can thereby be toxic to someone's mental health if they begin questioning their own lives and everything else they have going for them, just because of Instagram posts. Arguably, the pressure is the strongest on here because of the visual evidence we appear to see splashed over our feeds, which brings me to my next point.

The photos posted to Instagram are a lot different to what was originally put out there back when it first took off, we weren't all trying to look perfect back then and there was a lot more spontaneous shots than the attempted candid shots we see a lot of today (which I'm guilty of too don't worry!).
Sometimes I do think it's a bit sad that we're all trying to get these amazing perfect photos, no matter how amazing they look, it's nice to get a bit of natural imperfection levels in there too!
As someone who has a personal insta and a blog insta, I can somewhat see the differences and similarities in these types of accounts but lately, the lines are very blurred.

With my blog insta, I do make more of a conscious effort for my feed to look reasonably nice but I don't wish it to be perfect and nor is it! I've tried to improve my photography recently and I think that's why it comes across better than it used to, but there's no way I can have it 100% perfect and that's okay!

It's important to remember that Instagram is starting to reflect less and less of real life, which is debatable if it's a good thing or not!

A point which actually has actually become a bit of a positive for me, is actually sometimes Instagram has been a positive motivator for me in terms of getting out there. Depending on how healthy I am either mentally or physically whether my mind or stomach are in good places, I'll admit that sometimes social media has pushed me, encouraged and motivated me to get out more and explore more. I've gone through recent periods of my life where I've not felt comfortable enough to leave the house because of my body making me pretty much unable to in a confident manner, but once the dust settles, Instagram has definitely been a source of motivation for me to get back out there and celebrate life.

Also, we can't forget that Instagram has helped promote and build the careers of so many different business people as well as vloggers and social media influencers. It's managed to create so many jobs and earned people a hell of a lot of money too!

So can we call it healthy?? No we probably can't, but at the end of the day, there is so many ways it's been a positive influence on people' lives, take Jameela Jamil's I Weigh Instagram campaign, which is a movement on Instagram that promotes inclusivity. That entire project takes place on Instagram and is a hugely positive circuit and one that I'm very proud of Jameela for creating! Have a little look on the Instagram page to see for yourself the amazing work she has done!

So that's the post drawing to a close! What are your thoughts on Instagram? Has it been healthy for you? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you so much for reading!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

May 2019 Favourites:

Hi guys!

Welcome back to the blog! I really honestly can't believe it's been May already! Time is really flying and I'm not sure how I feel about it! May has been quite a surreal month if I'm being completely honest! It'll probably get a proper mention in a post where it's relevant but I did a placement recently where I got to go to Radio 1's Big Weekend which was pretty incredible! For now though, here are my Favourites of the month of May!



Revolution Colour Spectrum Palette:
I can't remember if I've mentioned this on my blog before but this palette is life! My housemate bought me it for my birthday last year and the combinations and looks are endless! I love having a palette with such variety! There's so many amazing colours to play around with which has been perfect for me trying to experiment more with colours! And Revolution are one of my favourite makeup brands, the quality is SO good which makes me love it even more!

Lipsy Perfume:
This perfume has such a feminine scent, I'm super bad at describing scents but this one is a really nice one! It's a 30ml bottle too so it makes it reasonably okay to travel with too!

Roll Deep - The Avenue
Stormzy -  Shut Up
Stormzy - Vossi Bop
Marina - No More Suckers
Ciara - Set
Khalid - Talk
Sofia Reyes, Rita Ora and Anitta - R.I.P
Kylie Minogue - Chocolate
Chingiz - Truth (Azerbaijan 2019 Eurovision Entry)
Lake Malawi - Friend of A Friend (Czech Republic 2019 Eurovision Entry)

I've been loving a lot of Primark stuff recently, I've bought some khaki joggers, a Piglet top and scrunchies recently from there! Primark is genuinely one of my favourite shops anyway, but I've been enjoying going through their summer stuff!

I'm unsure if Superstore has ever made it in my Favourites, but I started watching it last summer and really enjoyed it and I've been watching it again recently! It's one of my fave programmes and my fave characters are Amy, Garrett and Cheyenne.

Not Going Out
As well as the new series being on BBC1, I've actually been watching some of the older episodes of Not Going Out. I love Lee Mack's humour and think he's ever so funny!

Maryland Cookie Snack Packs
A bit of a weird one for the faves, but those little mini snack packs of cookies deserve their own shout out for getting me through late-night library sessions writing my dissertation!

Thank you so much for reading my blog post! Hope you had a lovely May!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Friday, 31 May 2019

What's In My Uni Bag?

Hi everyone!

I realised recently that I've never done a 'What's In My Uni bag' post and I thought that seeing as I've just finished uni (sob, probably more about that in the future!)

I'm the kind of person who literally cannot travel light and will frequently overpack my bag to a ridiculous degree, however a lot of things do come in useful! I now invite you into the crazy little collection that is the stuff in my uni bag!

So here we have the lowdown on what (was currently) inside my bag at the time I wrote this post!

* 2 plastic carrier bags
I take these whenever I go out, as in the UK you have to pay 5p for a carrier bag now and it's so much better for the environment to just reuse your bags! So I am always prepared with some.

* Water Bottle
I usually always take a water bottle with me just because I never know when I may get thirsty or someone I'm with needs a drink!

* Notebooks
Depending on which class I've had that day, I'll carry my notebooks with me. I have really enjoyed picking out cute little notebooks for uni use, I've found The Works do so many nice ones! Recently, I've been carrying my Dissertation book everywhere with me but it's handed in now so it doesn't need to be in there with me now!

* Bodyspray
I always like to have some kind of scent in my bag, just because you never know when you may fancy a little spritz.

* Pens
Back in first year I used to pack a little pencil case with an assortment of stationary in, which was definitely a reflection of high school Claire, but for this past year I've just been throwing in 3 or 4 pens into my bag pocket, just so I have a couple. I normally just use pens and if anything needs highlighting I'll just do it when I'm home.

* Hair bobbles
I normally have a number of hair bobbles in my bag as I literally end up needing one whenever I don't have one.

* Makeup (Lipbalm, Lipstick & Highlight)
I don't really carry much makeup with me, I'll occasionally pack my mascara and concealer in my bag but mostly I just have a lipbalm, usually a lipstick, and my Maybelline Highlighter is in there too.

* Keys
Kind of an obvious one here!

* Student ID Card
I need this generally a lot so it's always got to be in there!

* Purse
A bit of an obvious one really?

* Phone
Another obvious one!

* Makeup bag with various essentials
I like to carry a small sized makeup bag with me prepared with wet wipes, feminine products, ibuprofen and anything that may help my stomach as I hate being without in case I'm out and about and start feeling unwell!

* Mini Wet wipes
They are super useful to have in your bag because you never know when you may need them! And they came in useful recently for someone I was with needing one!

* Hand Sanitiser
I feel like hand sanitiser is a massive must in a handbag, it's so useful just to keep yourself clean whilst you're out and about!

* Snacks
You'll quite often find a snack in my bag somewhere, mini bags of party rings or chocolate biscuits are probably often my uni snack of choice!

* Honestly, random sheets of paper!
I'm not exactly the neatest person in the world and I do carry a lot of unnecessary sheets of paper sometimes in my bag that I forget about..

I hope you've enjoyed reading this post!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx