Sunday, 5 August 2018

July 2018 Favourites


It's time for my July 2018 Favourites! I hope you all had a lovely July and here you can have an insight into what I was loving during the month! I feel like July went extremely fast! However, I hope you enjoy reading!

Beyoncé Heat Rush Shimmering Body Cream:
Heat Rush is such a summery scent in itself, but the body cream with the set is a summer's dream!! Not only does it smell gorgeous and moisturising, but it's shimmering too, so it makes your skin glow even more! Definitely an ideal product for the summer season!!

Zoella Beauty Botanic'eau Body Mist:
Ultimately if you read my review which you can read here, you'll know I absolutely loved this body mist!! It's a scent Zoe has never really done before and I love how refreshing yet musky it is! Absolutely perfect for summer and the packaging is so stunning!!
Primark Lemon Flip Flops
I bought a new pair of flip flops from Primark for less than a pound and I adore them!! They are yellow and patterned with lemons and I think they just give off major summer vibes and I think they're so cute!! And let's not forget the fact they were also a bargain being under a pound (I can't remember if they were 80p or 90p!)

The Lightning Seeds - 3 Lions (It's Coming Home)
Charli XCX - Focus
Demi Lovato - Ruin The Friendship
JoJo ft Wiz Khalifa - Fuck Apologies (yeah I know it was only in a few months back!)
Nile Rodgers, Chic, Mura Masa, Cosha, Vic Mensa - Till The World Falls
Christine & The Queens ft Dam-Funk - Girlfriend
Selena Gomez - Back To You
Cardi B - I Like It
George Ezra - Shotgun
5 Seconds of Summer - Youngblood
The Saturdays - Ladykiller
The Saturdays - Why Me Why Now
The Saturdays - The Problem With Love

World Cup 2018 & Love Island 2018
I know I mentioned these in the last post too, but I've literally been enjoying both so much. England did absolutely amazing and literally all you could hear was 'It's Coming Home' non-stop for the start of July! We came 4th in the end and it was amazing to watch. Love Island also ended up being very entertaining again and Dani and Jack were the absolute CUTEST!

I've recently seen this being shown on ITV 2 and I've found it quite entertaining, I love Amy's character and think the dynamics between all of the different characters work really well!

Love Cally

I hope you've enjoyed reading my Favourites post for this month!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Thursday, 2 August 2018

How To Choose The Right Uni For You

Hey everyone!!

Today's post is actually on the topic of university!! As someone who's about to enter their final year at uni (help no, time stop going fast) I thought it would be a good post to discuss how to choose the right uni for you and even the right course! A little back story for you, I actually deferred my course for a year and moved an hour away to study Media Studies. As university is a topic I have some knowledge on I thought I'd discuss it! So here's what I have to say!

* Have a good look on UCAS
Do multiple searches on UCAS, if you know what rough subject you'd like to do. Start with a big list of various courses and gradually narrow them down, whether you wish to move or stay or how good the courses compare between, and the UCAS points too. Don't feel too disheartened if it's a little more than what you think you can do, I didn't get my UCAS points for my course but they still let me on anyway! Don't overstretch yourself though, one of the reasons why I didn't put a uni as my second choice was because the UCAS points were ridiculously higher than the others, despite it being in my hometown.

* Don't be afraid to venture out
I think it's important not to be afraid of leaving your hometown. I only went an hour away from my hometown but it was honestly such a good idea for me personally, as I was away from home but also not too far in case I fancied going home for the weekend or something. Before going to uni, I was someone who'd not really been away from home on my own much but moving out for uni, was the best decision I ever made. Uni is quite a big adventure but you learn a ton of new skills and I do think venturing out a little allows you to grow and develop more skills!

* Visit the placesIt's a good idea to have a little trip around, even better if you can visit the open day!! I actually managed to get a guided tour off one of the course leaders at my uni (who later turned out to be one of my tutors) back in 2015 before I even started university which is funny to look back on as I didn't know back then I'd end up having him for lectures! I don't think you get the true experience till you're living there, but it's always good to take a bit of a trip around just to see the potential and whether you do like the area etc! Take note of the location as well, if you like the location it'll make moving there easier!

* Take a look at the accommodation available!
It's fairly important to have a little look at the accommodation if you're going to be moving. You might have found the perfect uni course but if the accommodation options look a bit rubbish or dodgy, it may put you off! Naturally, as I've learned this year living in a student house you can live in a bit of a crap property and still enjoy yourself if you've got good people around you, so don't automatically rule it out unless you're really, really, not a fan of them!! Quite a lot of uni accommodations aren't always the absolute best quality, but as they're uni accommodations, the chances are the uni will be quick in sorting out any problems you may have! In my first year I stayed in student accommodation but it wasn't the 'central one' and it was a little more secluded which was both a good and bad thing for me!

* Consider your comfort zones, but be brave!
Are you more of a quiet little village kinda person or a big city person? Obviously it's strengthening and helps you grow to step out of your comfort zone, but if you really are leaning towards a smaller place to study then do what you think would best suit you! Knowing what you want from your uni location isn't crucial but it could be potentially useful in choosing!

* If you're not 100% ready, it's okay!!
As I mentioned in my first paragraph of the post, I actually deferred my place at uni for a year because I just didn't feel prepared or ready at that point to go to university, I didn't know if it was what I really wanted! During my gap year, it made me realise I really did want to go and wanted to welcome that change in my life! I think that was personally the best decision for me!

That's all the tips I have for now!
Does anyone else have any advice for choosing the right university?
Comment below!!

Also if you'd like any other specific uni posts, let me know!!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Monday, 30 July 2018

Zoella Beauty Botanic'eau Body Mist Review


It's been big news in the beauty/vlogging world, as Zoella recently released another beauty collection, this one being titled 'Splash Botanics'.
As always, I was intrigued by the collection, as the majority of them have been some of my favourite products to use as they are fab quality and the packing is so intricate and cute. Her last summer release 'Jelly and Gelato' didn't excite me as much as the other collections had done because as exciting as the products were, the scent just wasn't my favourite compared to some of her others. Snowella (her last release) soon arrived to restore my love for a new Zoella Beauty collection, as you'll remember I absolutely adored that scent!

Splash Botanics, which is heavily influenced by tropical designs and botanics and infusing a very fresh scent within it.
I tested sprayed Botanic'eau in Superdrug when it first came out to see how the scent was and was very surprised! It's honestly like nothing Zoe has released so far, it's a little musky in my opinion but extremely fresh!! Therefore, I decided to make it my first purchase of the collection and I haven't looked back!!

The spray itself is very stunningly packaged and I love the tropical leaf detailing covering the bottle, it makes it fits the theme of the collection and makes the bottle that bit more pleasurable to look at.
In the fragrance there's notes of freesias and iris, which together both encapsulate a beautifully refreshing and tropical scent. I would also say it's probably the most sophisticated of all of Zoe's fragrances so far.
It's scent seems quite strong when you first smell it, but it's actually a lot lighter than I expected when you're actually wearing it. I normally top it up during the day to keep it going a little longer.

In terms of the rest of the collection, I think Zoe's done a great job and they all seem to be perfect in time for the warmer summer months!
I would actually love to try the lip oil from the collection as it looks like it could be great!
If you'd like to purchase Botanic'eau (it costs £8) after reading this post, you can do so here or on the FeelUnique website.
Have any of you guys tried Splash Botanics yet? Let me know your thoughts!!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Dr. Organic Pomegranate Conditioner Review


So I think it's generally noted by the distinct lack of haircare posts, that I'm not that gifted with hairstyling or haircare advice.
However, whilst in Holland and Barrett recently, I found myself drawn to the hair products as many were reduced, I had been considering another conditioner a go, as much as I love my Herbal Essences conditioner, I felt as though I wanted to give a new one a try. My hair has been looking a bit dull lately and basically wanted to try a new product to try and give it more life for the summer!

It's description is this:
'Used in combination with our organic bioactive Pomegranate shampoo, this incredibly effective formulation regenerates the natural condition of the hair by coating and penetrating the hair’s external fibres and cellular keratin matrix, allowing our bioactive organic Pomegranate complex to nourish and protect the follicles, visibly improving the condition of the hair.'

From the description it's notable that it's an extremely organic product.
One thing I immediately noticed was that the pomegranate smell wasn't as strong nor as sweet as the Herbal Essences one is, which is slightly discouraging but I wasn't put off and wanted to give it a proper chance!

This is quite a few months before I began using the shampoo, I noticed some days my hair was beginning to look a little dull.
I've been using it for every hair wash for around 2-3 months and although I didn't immediately notice anything different, I do think there has been a difference looking back in photos.
I have actually thought that the condition of my hair looks a lot nicer, generally I've been noticing my hair more and I have a feeling it's because of the conditioner. Now I definitely know that it's improved the condition and texture of my hair and I'm thrilled it did.

I'm not sure if it shows up on the photo, but I can personally see how much fluffier and softer my hair looks from what it used to be just a few months ago.

It's tough because I do think it's treating my hair nicely, but I do really miss the gorgeous smell that the Herbal Essences one has and how smooth it feels immediately after I use it!

However, the more I've used it the more I've enjoyed the results I've received from it!

For now as it's doing such a good job with my hair I'll continue with it, I know I bought it when it was reduced to £2.99 and it's actual price is £5.99 which is slightly more than what I'd usually pay. If you'd like to have a little purchase you can buy it here

I definitely encourage you to give this a go if you'd like to improve or nourish your hair more, it's certainly given my hair a bit more life!

Thank you so much for reading! Hope that you enjoyed it and as always, I'd love to hear any comments!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Songs You Need On Your Summer Playlist

Hi everyone!

So summer is officially here and it's time for the hottest tracks to make a comeback and be played loud at your BBQs and summer garden parties. For me, there's just certain songs that just remind me of summer so much and also others that just sound so much better blasted loud in the sunshine!

There's a few tracks that I think shouldn't be missed from your summer playlist, so I decided to compile a list of the tracks I'll be hitting up on mine!

Take a look here:

Eliza Doolittle - Pack Up
Jamiroquai - Little L
Secondcity - I Wanna Feel
5 Seconds of Summer - Youngblood
Ariana Grande - God Is A Woman

Alesha Dixon - The Way We Are
Nelly - Hot In Herre
Mabel & Not3s - Fine Line
Modjo - Lady (Hear Me Tonight)
Dizzee Rascal - Holiday
Shakira ft Wyclef Jean - Hips Don't Lie
Jason Derulo ft 2 Chainz - Talk Dirty
Ashanti - Aww! Baby
Demi Lovato - Cool For The Summer
Aaliyah - Hot Like Fire
Shapeshifters - Lola's Theme
Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa - One Kiss
Ray Foxx & Rachel K Collier - Boom Boom
Lana Del Ray - Summertime Sadness
M.O - Bad Vibes
Selena Gomez - Back To You

Charli XCX & Rita Ora - Doing It
Tinie Tempah ft Jess Glynne - Not Letting Go
Jennifer Lopez - Love Don't Cost A Thing
Eve ft Gwen Stefani  - Let Me Blow Ya Mind
Lost Frequencies - Are You With Me
George Ezra - Shotgun

Solange - I Decided (Freemasons Remix)
Sebastian Ingrosso - Reload
Rizzle Kicks - Tell Her
Beyonce - Blow
Kelis - Acapella
Kungs V Cookin' On 3 Burners - This Girl
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc
Britney Spears - Circus
Stardust - Music Sounds Better With You
Scouting For Girls - Summertime In The City
Jamiroquai - Seven Days in Sunny June
Craig David - All The Way
DJ Khaled ft Rihanna & Bryson Tiller - Wild Thoughts
Eric Prydz - Pyjanoo
Katy Perry - California Gurls
Nico & Vinz - Am I Wrong?
Lethal Bizzle - Wobble
Bastille - Good Grief
Sigala & Ella Eyre - Came Here For Love
Dua Lipa - Hotter Than Hell
Taio Cruz - Dynamite
Charli XCX - Focus
Calvin Harris, Pharrell, Katy Perry & Big Sean - Feels
DJ Fresh - Louder
Miley Cyrus - We Can't Stop
Jennifer Lopez ft Cardi B & DJ Khaled - Dinero
Nicki Minaj - Pound The Alarm
Pharrell & Jay Z - Frontin'
TIEKS - Sunshine

Holly Valance - Kiss Kiss
Dizzee Rascal - Dance Wiv Me
George Ezra - Paradise
Clean Bandit ft Stylo G - Come Over
Tinchy Stryder & Amelle - Never Leave You
Girls Aloud - Long Hot Summer

There we have it! What are your favourite summer tracks? Let me know in the comments!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Aaliyah For MAC Try Again Lipstick Review

Hi everyone!

As you'll probably know if you've been a reader of my blog for a while, I've been a huge fan of Aaliyah for a number of years now. Entering my teen years, I became a lot more into the R&B genre and her music was one of my favourites. One In A Million is one of my favourite albums of all time and I really wish we could have heard more from her. Her style was very classic and she always managed to look incredible and she 100% had a massive influence on R&B music.

When the petition came round of fans wishing for an Aaliyah for MAC collection, I had hopes that it would someday happen, but the fact that it did is amazing. What I also think is amazing about the collection is that Aaliyah's brother Rashad and her family worked alongside MAC to create the collection and make sure it was keeping true to Aaliyah and her style and how she would have wanted it, while still keeping her memory alive and keeping her legacy. Rashad discussed that they had been involved since Day 1 which I think is absolutely incredible and shows that there was so much love and thought in the collection.

Unfortunately, I couldn't afford the whole range, but I picked up the Try Again lipstick (£17.50) from the collection, which coincidentally also happens to be my favourite Aaliyah song!
From pictures I'd seen, I noticed the lipstick was a muted beige nude and it really intrigued me to see what it was like!

Firstly, I think the packaging is absolutely beautiful, I've never owned a special edition MAC lipstick before but I really do think that it looks very pretty and Aaliyah's signature on the side of the box is a nice touch.

The lipstick itself is a very lovely muted beige and I think I'm going to get loads of wear out of it, the shade reminds me of some of the brown toned shades from the NYX lip lingerie collection. I wasn't sure how it would look on my skin tone as I have extremely pale skin, but it doesn't wash me out too much thankfully! It has a matte finish which I found to be very long-lasting and also wasn't too drying either!

I've worn it a handful of times so far and I've been impressed with it each time, I have a feeling it's going to be a very popular lipstick in my collection! I'm so, so tempted to buy one of the lipglasses as well and the Hot Like.. lipstick looks absolutely dreamy which has also caught my eye!!

Here is a small swatch of the colour, I compared it to MAC's Honeylove as I wasn't sure if they would be similar or not, but Try Again is the above shade and the bottom one is Honeylove, which is more of a peach toned nude. Try Again is definitely on the brown/beige side!!

I know a few people have been disappointed by the collection and some people think it doesn't represent Aaliyah well, to a certain extent, I think the collection could have included a few more bits to make it easier to recreate some of her music video looks, but I do think the collection is still good! I think the only issue with the UK's collection is we didn't get the lip liners on the website, which is strange as lip liner was a huge part of 90s makeup and definitely Aaliyah's too. Not sure why they aren't available here?
But as I only own the lipstick, I proper love it and I can't wait to get some wear out of it! It's also obviously a very special lipstick as it's from the Aaliyah collection as well.

If you fancy shopping the collection yourself, you can do here!

Do you own any of Aaliyah for MAC? Let me know what you think!!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Life Update: Why I've Not Been Open Recently

Hi everyone!

Generally on this blog, over the years, I've consistently updated and talked about what I've been up to and written reasonably regular mental health subjected posts. I feel like it's hugely important to discuss these things and it's something I've slowly grown into doing.
It's plain to see that I've actually not done many of these recently and I'm actually going to go discuss some of the reasons and what I've been up to in this post!

I was actually umming and ahhing for a bit of time before finally hitting publish on this, so bear with me!!
First and foremost, the reason why I've not been open recently and I haven't done many of these kinds of posts, is because I've just not felt like it. Don't get me wrong, I've written them up as drafts and edited them and all that goes with that, but I've not quite hit the publish button. I touched upon it in my Let's Reflect: Second Year of University post, but I've been struggling with my mental health recently.
There was so much emotion and so much confusion and I just felt like I wasn't confident enough to talk about it or even accept some of it. Even though 4 out of 5 of my most popular blog posts are on the topic of mental health!

It was only really when it peaked during the Easter holidays and upon my return from them, where I finally snapped and realised I wanted and had to, make a change.  Truth is, I was struggling to do things and avoiding situations left right and centre. A lot of the time I've been open about anxiety, which has been hard but I'd managed it. I've dealt with other aspects of mental health before, but I had this very, very, ugly rut of what I'd say was depression, as it was nothing I'd experienced before. I was feeling negative about everything, doubting myself, doubting my future, being unsatisfied, disappointed in things, generally feeling really down and negative about a lot of aspects of life. Alongside my anxiety and to be honest probably OCD, it's not a great recipe.

There were times when I'd really have to prep talk myself out of the house. As much as I'd want to go, it would just be a wave over me. It was like going backwards, taking steps back instead of going forwards. For example, my travel anxiety started getting worse randomly and any form of transport was making me uncomfortable.

I'd talked briefly with one of the girls on my course about the possibility of therapy and she suggested a couple of ones she knew and I actually found myself contacting Mind but it's still very, very early days. I really hope that I can try and manage my mental health and that this can be a step in getting better, to at least be able to manage life again. I've finally managed to admit to feeling and doing things I'd been pushing to the back of my head for a while. It wasn't easy to do either but in one of Zoella's recent videos about Travel Anxiety, she makes a very powerful speech at the end which really hit me and spurred me on to do it. Zoe is a hugely positive influence on mental health and she's definitely been a public figure who's helped me understand a lot about myself.

It's really scary how powerful these illnesses can just take over you and control you. You can feel utterly powerless in your own body and that's not how it should be.

Generally, I've always been a bit of an emotional person, I have a big heart and those I care about, I care about a lot. I get emotional easily and it's not a trait I enjoy about myself. My emotions get very intense sometimes and it can be hard to deal with.

I can definitely say I closed up and hid everything which was happening to me away, which probably was not the best way to go about it. It was scary how fast the depressive feelings took a hold of me and it felt like a headache I was waking up with day after day. I wasn't taking care of myself and everything became too much. I think sometimes when I've opened up and talked about something it can get thrown back in my face at some point, so I feel like I've held back sometimes to protect myself.

Obviously opening up is still difficult and as my anxiety revolves a lot about both being ill/unwell/sick in a public place or away from home and really bad overthinking, it can creep up on me either out or at home. Recently, travelling has been so difficult, I've been struggling getting into vehicles which is a bit of a backward step for me. A lot of my depressive feelings come from frustration with myself and being restricted. And my somewhat feelings of OCD symptoms stems from trying to prevent the above from happening. For me, I've got very bad anxiety in certain situations physically but then I'll just be sat at home feeling restless because my mind will have found something else to worry about and persist with. It feels like two separate ones.

As much as I wanted to be as open as I've been previously, I just felt like I locked away a lot of how I was feeling away and dealt with it on my own, which I can see was probably not the best way to handle it. I've restricted how much I open up to those people, for my own protection. I can tell instantly when someone gets my situation when I'm explaining it to them and that instantly influences how much more or less I tell them. Even despite this, I know just how much you should try and educate others and get your own experiences and feelings across, because you matter, I matter, our mental health MATTERS!

Opening up is so, so, important, and the recent event highlighting that would be the tragic death of Love Island contestant Sophie Gradon and in recent days her boyfriend. Sophie was someone who I actually found to be relatable on multiple occasions when she was on the series. In an age where opening up is still really, really hard, I encourage us all to be open minded and kind.

In terms of me, I'm just making every effort to deal with how I'm feeling from day to day and hopefully receiving therapy in September. I'm doing this for me because I want a difference and I've accepted that I do need help with this. I'm scared because I know it won't be easy, but as one therapist did tell me, it's become a cycle from the number of years I've been dealing with it and at this point in my life, I know it's important to try and see if it will help me. I want to be on top of everything.

As expected, this post was a difficult one to write, I know I've not gone into loads of detail but as I mentioned, I wasn't even sure I was going to publish it! But I just want to repeat the fact that if you're struggling with anything I've mentioned, you are not alone! And you are an incredibly strong person and you might not believe that but it's true! And please allow yourself the chance to get better. My therapist has told me that because my symptoms have been going on a while, it's a vicious cycle and naturally I know it's going to take time for things to work, but it's 100% okay!

Here are some valuable websites linked below to offer guidance and help if you need it:

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx