Sunday, 25 February 2018

Let's Reflect: My Gap Year

Hey everyone!

So this is a post I actually began writing after finishing my first year at uni last year. I felt it was important to reflect on how things had changed in that year but never quite got round to posting it, but later became sparked to rewrite this post again and that's what I've done. I was a little concerned on how it would make me look but at the end of the day, it's what happened and that's just how it is.

Many of you will know from previous posts, I took a gap year after finishing school. I got increasingly confused and lost at what I wanted to do when school finished and although I'd been applying for university, I didn't feel like anything was real it all just felt like my world was coming to an end (sounds dramatic but that's how it felt.) I've always been someone who feels more comfortable knowing what I'm doing so finishing school just felt like I was about to be thrown off a cliff into a world I wasn't ready to be in.

My mental health had been tested that year and my mind had been elsewhere, but I didn't feel at the point of going to university, as it came to finishing school and the summer, I just felt sick at the thought of.. right what next?
After receiving my results and just getting into university, I realised that I didn't know if I wanted to go. I was sitting in my room feeling sick not thinking I was ready for any of this at all. I hid away from the world and from everyone, avoiding even my parents as I didn't want to have conversations about my future anymore, I just wanted to be invisible and sleep and just not have to deal with everything. Eventually, I decided to just wait a year and then at least it would give me time and if by then I'd decided I wanted to go to uni, I would. I was mentally exhausted at the time and just didn't feel capable or motivated to do anything. It was very refreshing at the time to not have a constant schedule, which just allowed me to breathe for a bit, but naturally there was some very boring bits.

That didn't change how I felt though. I still just wanted to hide and stay in my room and that's what I did for majority of Autumn 2015. I just stayed in my room, not wanting to come out, watching everyone else's lives on social media as they either began uni or stayed at sixth form continuing their studies. I honestly felt so miserable and just ashamed, watching everyone else's lives go by and whenever anyone asked me what I was up to, I literally had hardly anything to say.
My mental health just made me not want to do anything. It was around that time I genuinely wished I was invisible because I didn't want to talk to anyone because they'd ask about my life and I just didn't want to have to answer. I didn't want people to think I was literally just being lazy or that I chose to have a gap year just to stay at home and stay in bed. It honestly wasn't like that, I wanted more than anything to be able to have things to do, I just knew I wouldn't be able to manage them. There was an intense feeling of ashamed of myself and embarrassed about where I was or wasn't heading.

That's mainly why this post was so hard to write. Normally, people's gap years are amazing volunteer trips abroad or working or travelling around the world. Not mine. The majority of mine was me trying to reassess my own life and just somehow work out what I wanted to do.
One thing which I'm happy about from my gap year was I began volunteering at a charity shop, which is one of the first independent things I'd ever done like that, and it wasn't easy at times but I was so, so, proud of myself for managing to get out of my rut and manage to accomplish at least something on my year out. I had little milestones, for example, I'd told myself that by my time leaving, I'd master serving customers on the card machine because it had been something I'd been anxious about earlier on when I'd started. And by August, I'd done it and that was an achievement. Looking back at my time there, it was so lovely and I did really enjoy it even if it was stressful at times!
However, basically what I'm saying is, I do regret how I spent my gap year, but I don't regret my gap year as I know it was 100% the right choice and I wouldn't have been able to build up and grow my uni life as I would have if I'd gone straight there, also there's so many amazing people I wouldn't have met if it wasn't for the gap year. I 100% wasn't ready for university in September 2015.

I do wish that I'd been mentally in a good way, to be able to make the most of my gap year and also that I'd have been able to travel and do amazing things, without being held back.

However, I know that mine was spent trying to piece together my life and working out what I wanted to do, which is also very important, but very different to how a lot of others obviously spend their gap year.

Thank you so much for reading this post, if you've had a situation where you've had a gap year similar to mine, please let me know, I'd love to hear how you're getting on!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Sunday, 18 February 2018

My Pretty Little Thing Wishlist


Today I thought I'd do a Pretty Little Thing wishlist, just to show you a few pieces I've picked out and liked recently! Here they are...

Monochrome Ribbed Stripe Long Sleeve Crop Top: £12.00

I don't know if it's because the colours remind me of my hometown Newcastle but I really like this monochrome crop top, I think it's smart as well as pretty and it had to go in my wishlist!

Khaki Triple Stripe Shoulder T Shirt: £12.00

I really love how this isn't just a simple plain t shirt, the stripes remind me of the ADIDAS t shirts, which I love the striping detail of. I need to replace some of my everyday t shirts as they are quite worn so I feel like this could be a great addition to the casual side of my wardrobe!

Lilac Slinky Long Sleeve Twist Front Crop Top - £12.00

This top is so cute, loved the shade of lilac and just think the twist front makes it that bit more appealing and as it has long sleeves as well it would be nice as a dressier top for slightly colder nights out.

Cobalt Flare Sleeve Plunge Crop Top - £20.00

Admittedly, this top is not one that I'd normally go for, it's quite bold and patterned and I don't always go for patterned clothes, but whilst scrolling through PLT, I came across it and added it to my wishlist. It's quite a statement top, but I do like it and think it would work great particularly during the summer.

Basic Red Long Sleeved Playsuit - (Sale) £7.00

This playsuit looks so nice and admittedly, I only own one playsuit but there was something about this one which had me adding it to my wishlist. Unfortunately my size is sold out now but I find it to be gorgeous anyway!!

Plum Asymmetric Flare Hem Trousers - £15.00



Purple is my favourite colour, this particular shade of plum catching my attention, but I love the flared hem at the bottom of the trousers too. As I don't think I could pull off some of the brighter shades I've seen of these trousers, I feel like plum is a gorgeous shade and a safe choice.
I'm genuinely tempted to buy these.

Black Frill Hem Shift Dress - £12.00

Even though quite a few of the dresses in my wardrobe are black, you can't really go wrong with an LBD. I picked out two LBD's I found which I liked, one being a bit more of a safe choice, I love the frill hem bottom of the dress. I think it gives it a little extra added touch, and I just genuinely think this is a great dress for day or night really.

Black Strappy Lace Up PU Bodycon Dress - £18.00

I mentioned the other dress I found is slightly more out of my comfort zone but I was instantly drawn to how sexy the lace up detailing looks. I would love to be able to pull this off, it comes in a berry shade too but I picked the black one because I thought it would be nice to end with two LBD's.

So I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my picks from Pretty Little Thing, I've actually never ordered from there yet but I am so tempted after this post! What's your favourite item that I've put in my wishlist? Let me know in the comments!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxxxx

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Sleek Solstice Palette Review

Hiya everyone!

In this post I'm talking through the Sleek Solstice highlight palette.

I'd been wanting to try the highlight palette after seeing some photos of it online and they all looked so luxurious, also I'd heard it was recommended by a number of beauty bloggers too, so I was convinced that I'd have to give it a go.

I actually managed to buy it in the Boots Christmas sale as part of a gift set, which worked out really well! I was so excited in trying it and it didn't disappoint!

The palette itself has 4 different highlights with it, 2 baked powders, a cream formula and powder.
I personally love the purple toned baked powder, it gives such an absolutely gorgeous glow especially on my pale skin. All four of them are absolutely stunning though!
I like the way there are different formulated highlighters in the palette, as it means you can have a play about and find which finish looks the best on your skin. It's really pigmented too and honestly gives such a radiant glow which I absolutely adore.
They last really long too which is perfect especially if you're on a night out!

All in all, this highlighter palette is literally gorgeous and I'd definitely recommend it if you're looking for a dreamy glow/sparkle! It's also particularly good if you're very pale skinned like me!

Have you tried anything from Sleek? Let me know in the comments!

Love & hugs,
Claire xxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 4 February 2018

January 2018 Favourites


So here is my first Favourites post from 2018 which I'm trying to get back into the routine of doing and posting! There's quite a few new products in here that I've tried, following Christmas!
Keep reading to see what I've enjoyed...

Sleek Solstice Palette
I am absolutely in love with this highlighter palette! I'd heard amazing things about it prior to buying it but they live up to expectations. It has 2 baked powders, 1 shimmer powder and 1 cream highlight.
I love the fact there's a multiple of different finishes e.g. cream, matte and shimmer. They are so easy to apply and so gorgeous. Definitely worth it if you're a big highlight fan.

Morphe 360 Plum Palette
For a while I'd been thinking of investing in a Morphe palette so when Christmas came round the corner I picked the 360 Plum Palette and this one is definitely amazing! I thought I'd go for one with purple shades as I wanted some colours I don't already have and I've got to say I was very impressed! For £23, this palette is unreal! 35 colours for £23 is a bargain in itself, but the quality of these eyeshadows is some of the best I've come across. Extremely easy to apply and little to no fallout. I love it!

The Bodyshop Metal Liquid Lipstick Scarlet Steel
I've never tried any of The Bodyshop's liquid lipsticks until this came along! I love the fact it's a metallic effect red lipstick, I just think it gives it that special touch. I wore it on a night out and I love the way it looked. I'm still loving red lippies in January!

L'oreal Infallible 24 Hour Foundation - Porcelain
I published a review on this yesterday and I am really loving this foundation at the moment. I love Rimmel's Match Perfection but I've been trying to experiment and find other foundations I like and it's taken me ages to find one I love as much as this one! It's reasonably inexpensive, although a little pricier for high street, but the coverage is amazing and it matches my skin tone extremely well which for pale skin, is a real struggle usually! I recommend!

Eylure Cheryl Belle of The Ball Lashes:
I also wore these on the same night out and I think they are absolutely gorgeous. They are quite bold and all of the lashes are different lengths, which I think is quite pretty and sets them apart from the other lashes I own. They were really light too which is always good!

Little Boots - No Pressure (Vicetone Remix)
Sunblock - I'll Be Ready
Marina & The Diamonds - Savages
Charli XCX - Out of My Head
Charli XCX - Sucker
Charli XCX - Delicious
Charli XCX ft Carly Rae Jepson - Backseat
Caro Emerald - Back It Up
Ciara - Stuck On You

Hope you found this interesting! Let me know in the comments if you enjoyed any of these things too!

Love & hugs,
Claire xxx

Saturday, 3 February 2018

L'oreal Paris Infallible 24hr Foundation Review


Today I'm sharing my thoughts on L'oreal's Infallible 24 Hour Foundation, in the shade Porcelain.
I'm really very loyal to my Rimmel Match Perfection foundation as I know it works for me, but for a while now I've been tempted to try other brands. Usually when I try new foundations, I end up being disappointed by either the finish or the fact that it makes me look slightly orange (pale skin probs) but this time I was not gutted at all! I always end up going back to my safe Match Perfection.

I'd been tempted to try L'oreal's Infallible Foundation for a while as it looked like it would be good, but at £10.99 I'd never really quite gone for it. However I decided to go for it anyway (I don't think matte foundations really suit my skin so I ruled out getting the matte version) and bought it.

The foundation itself did not let me down! It's quite pale but at least it doesn't make me look orange and I find that at least you can brighten your face up with blusher or contour, rather than struggling if it's a darker orangey shade. The formula is so nice and easy to apply, it has more coverage than Rimmel's Match Perfection does and it gives a really lovely clean and dewy look. It's safe to say I'm a big fan of this foundation! It also manages to stay put for hours which is a huge bonus as some foundations tend to go thinner as the day goes on. It stays so fresh and I feel like that's a huge winning point.

It's the first foundation I've found that actually may just be drawing on my favourite foundation, which is a first for me because I've tried many different ones and just not been won over! I'm loving this one and still debating if I prefer it over Match Perfection!

Have you tried L'oreal's Infallible? Let me know in the comments also comment your favourite foundation too as I'd like to know!!

Love & hugs,
Claire xxxxxxx