Thursday, 31 July 2014

July

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Some people say that its not about how you get there as long as you get there, but I disagree. For me, in the words of Miley Cyrus (yes. you did read that right), it the climb. On Tuesday I found out that I completed my LPC with a Commendation, and was just 1 mark off a Distinction. I now have two years of a training contract to complete, and then I'll be a fully qualified solicitor. Qualified by the time 25. When I was in Year 9, and we were all discussing what we wanted to be when we grew up, some boy said I wasn't smart enough to be a lawyer. Since then I've overcome so many hurdles I could be in the 10.50 at Aintree. But, it's these hurdles that made Tuesday mean something special. I'm finally coming over the other side of the hill and everything has suddenly become worthwhile.

Apart from that lovely new, it's also been my birthday this month, making me the grand old age of 22. Despite all these happy moments I've actually spent a large part of the month being ill again. So much so that I'm now having tests done at hospital. I genuinely think my Dr. might have a deal going with the local vampires, the amount of blood tests I've had to have. Hopefully I'll soon know why I've been feeling so ill. My little dog Oliver has also been ill. He had an ulcer covering his entire eye removed. It was heartbreaking to see him whimpering in pain every couple of minutes after the operation, but now he's back to his bouncy self and the vet says there's no sign of it anymore. What a brave little solider he is, especially as he's 12!

Things I've learnt this month:
  1. Radio can be funnier than the TV. My mum made me listen to some radio plays lately, and I was crying with laughter. I recommend It's A Fair Cop.
  2. Even the darkest clouds have silver linings. I am obsessed with Keep It Bright and love how the story behind why it was started.
  3. Everyone has bad days. Just because one day is bad, doesn't mean your not good enough. England Hockey teams performance at the Commonwealth Games compared to the Hockey World Cup is testament to that. 
  4. Boredom leads to shopping. If your constantly busy, you don't have time to buy that extra lipstick.
xoxo
J
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Monday, 28 July 2014

W7 and Smashbox Primer Comparison




One is £3.25, the other is £12.50. Both have an identical purpose; to help make your base look flawless for longer. When my logic says why I should pay more for something that I can get cheaper, the beauty junkie in me screams you get what you pay for. Or do you? Time to find out.

I tested out these two primers on two normal work days, wearing identical make-up (apart from the different primers). These two primers have been produced to cope with the hot lights of photo shoots, and as were having a hot spell in England at the moment, they were definitely put through there paces.

Packaging
You don't need a degree in merchandising to know that these two products are very similar, both in appearance and contents. I like to think of them as twins, not identical, but the main features are the same. The Smashbox version is meant to appeal to both professional's and beauty lovers alike and I have to admit the sleek packaging is definitely ticking boxes. Keeping things monochrome, there are no gimmicks or fancy images here, just plain old does what it says on the tin (or packaging). Whilst W7 has slightly more in design aspect, its still relatively minimalist, and if your rummaging round your makeup bag in a morning, you could easily get the two confused.

Product
Both primers are gel in form, but I found Smashbox's to be of a thinner consistency and I used a bit more of it than W7. Colour wise, whilst Smashbox is completely clear, W7's version is slightly more cloudy. Smashbox's feels more luxurious and velvety, whereas W7's does feel slightly more silicone-based. That's to be expected though when you think of the price difference. Both had no noticeable scent.

Performance
Instantly both primers helped smooth out and blur imperfections, and despite the noticeable price difference, the immediate effect was pretty much identical! Surprisingly, I felt that after I'd applied my foundation, my makeup tended to cling to dry patches much more when I was wearing Smashbox's version rather than W7's, which actually helped prevent it. After 12 hours of work in 28 Degrees Celsius heat (scorching for the UK), I finally gave in to see how my base has lasted. Impressively, both bases were in tact and I didn't touch up once during the day on either occasion. When I was wearing the Smashbox primer, I did have more of a dewy look and felt I could have done with a bit of powder. W7 was still matte and my base really did look flawless, even after all that time.

Overall, I don't think the Smashbox version is worth the extra splurge. For me W7 work's far better with my skin, and gives me a flawless looking base which lasts all day. Both primers delivered on their promises and I think Smashbox would suit those with more oily skin, or those who want a dewy look. At least now I can attempt to save some money.

Which one do you prefer?
xoxo
J
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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

So Long Spending: 2 Weeks

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Two weeks of no shopping and I'm ready to stand up. My names Jessica and I'm a shopaholic. I think it's time I sit on a plastic circle with fellow sufferers and have an intervention. In the last two weeks I've tried to take stock of thinks I want to use up. I have products coming out of my eye balls and clothes I'd forgetting existed. I'm supposed to be living on a strict budget. Clearly this spending ban came just at the right time.

Believe it or not, but I'm somebody that gets stressed when they have too much choice or too many options. If you ask me what I want for tea, I will tell you "anything" (Yep. I'm one of those people). Not because I'm being awkward but unless I'm randomly craving something, giving me the unlimited choice of deciding a meal will overwhelm me to the extent that I just don't end up choosing at all. Think of it like an laptop. If you have loads and loads of programmes open and running all at the same time, it slows down, so eventually it will just freeze up. That's me. I freeze. I've discovered that in order to function, I'm going to have to perform and disk cleanup on my life.


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But I'm guessing you've got to this stage your wondering why does my ability to be decisive, or lack of one, make me shop more. Simple answer. It doesn't, per se, but it does fit into the bigger picture.Like most people, when I'm stressed/sad/emotional, I'm far more susceptible to the clever marketing ploys of brands, particularly those online. I'll then comfort buy, on impulse buying into whatever ideal the product promises to deliver in beautiful and well-thought out packaging.Of course you will never wake up looking like Cara after using a lip stain, yet the campaign does its job.Overwhelmed with all my binge buying (told you I'd get back to it ;)), for some reason only known to the gremlin that lives in my brain, I think I'm best off buying something else, that I can use instead of confronting the twenty million other things I have and using them instead. Very logical. And so the cycle starts again. And again. And again. Until you have an overflowing Ikea Alex and no more room in your floordrobe, let alone your wardrobe.

In the last two weeks I've been struck by some kind of vertigo and sickness bug at the same time as feeling a bit rubbish. I think I'm going through some sort of grieving period for the student lifestyle, thinking of all the things I could of done. Very much shoulda woulda coulda (good old Beverley Knight) very much harmful. It's at this time I would usually be clicking away and have that awkward confrontation with the Post Man for the 5th morning in a row. Amazingly, I haven't. Partly down to being absolutely exhausted by the time I get home from work, and partly down to being slightly more aware of my spending, and clicking. Whatever the reason, its clear you shouldn't got shopping when your not fully yourself and a bit, dare I say it, emotional. I don't think I've save up enough for my new car in the last two weeks, but Rome wasn't built in a day (maybe it could be bought though?). Until then I think I'm going to keep myself distracted and attempt to avoid the sales. Key word: attempt.

What do you think about emotional buying and mind freeze ?
xoxo
J
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Friday, 18 July 2014

Rogues Oneil Therapie Himalayan Detox Salts

Bath Salts - £37


I'm always a bit wary of hype products that are supposed to transform your life, especially areas that are so subjective such as sleep. However, I've got to hand it to these little pink bath salts. They are miracle workers.

If you suffer from an over-active mind, prone to jet lag or just find getting to sleep exhausting, you should consider investing. Now. Containing 84 minerals, these Himalayan pink salts are dusted in Amethyst powder and essential oils to help re-balance your body and release toxins. It's worth noting that they aren't suitable during pregnancy and can only be used a maximum of three times a week. Simply place a small handful into your bath, soak in the water for 10-20 and regain your composure. Don't expect any fizzing or bubbles, if you turn your back, your bath salts will have dissolved. Although there's no noticeable difference to the bath, after 10 minutes, my thoughts calmed down and I was able to relax. An hour later and I felt like my mind had almost been muted. No more counting sheep, or bags, I had the best nights sleep in a long time after just one use. Although, I do think these salts are expensive, the difference this has made for me is beyond worth it. If you struggle to sleep, you'll know how exhaustion can affect your life.  A 100g bag can last 6-10 baths, so for £37 you could get around 40 baths! Not so bad for value is it?! 

xoxo
J
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Monday, 14 July 2014

Lokai Bracelet

Lokai Bracelet



Lokai Bracelet
Lokai Bracelet - $18 (+ Shipping)
I am a huge fan of items which have deeper meanings. I love Symbology and have everything ranging from evil eyes to Chinese pendants. One item which has caught my eye over and over is the lokai bracelet. With many celebrities sporting one, and often being featured on the Instagram popular page, my parents sneakily ordered one for me for my birthday, but it arrived late due to being shipped from America.

Whilst this may look like your normal beaded bracelet, there's more to lokai than meets the eye. The black ball contains mud dug from the Dead Sea (the lowest point on Earth) and the white ball contains water from Mt. Everest (the highest point on Earth). Logically, these are opposite ends of the bracelet, because they represent the two extremes in life, those times when your on top of the world, and those times when you think nothing worse could ever happen. These two elements are connected by clear beads fused together (rather than on a string) to show that life is circular, there will be good times, and bad times. Just like the way you wear your bracelet, the pictures you take with it, or the places it travels with you two, your life is your story, and it's your own. I mentioned pictures, because lokai encourage you to snap pictures of you and your bracelet enjoying life to the fullest, and share them to inspire others to live a more balanced and centered life. Just have a look here or search #livelokai into twitter or instagram! I honestly love the philosophy behind this bracelet. It's a good reminder that when things aren't going your way, they will soon change, and if your on a high, to stay humble because you could easily be in the opposite situation tomorrow. 

If you want to order one, they are available here and ship internationally. A small word of caution before placing an order. The bracelets come in three sizes. I have very small hands and wrists (the size of a 12 year old) and the medium just about fits. Unless you want a close fit, I'd advise to go up to the large.

xoxo
J
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Friday, 11 July 2014

22










Usual disclaimer, I'm not showing off with what I was fortunate to get. I would be over the moon with a card, so receiving such lovely presents is amazing and I'm extremely grateful. These posts are always popular, and highly requested, and as I try to blog what I also like to read, my birthday haul was always going to feature on my blog.

Apart from America getting it's independence, another thing that happened on the 4th July last Friday was my 22nd Birthday. Rather than spending the whole day singing about it a la Taylor Swift, I was busy issuing proceedings for PI claims, applying for grant of probate and doing a spot of conveyancing. Work were absolutely lovely and I actually had a great day.

As you can see from the photos, I was rather spoilt by my friends and family. My mum and dad very kindly gave me some money towards my car, and clearly people do read my blog as I got everything off my wishlist, plus more. My Mum thought the Hello Kitty would be a joke, seeing as I love dressing up, was obsessed with Hello Kitty when I was younger and generally love cute things like that. Little did she know, I was possibly the most excited about using that present ;). From my brows, lack of immune system, box sets and bling, my family and friends have truly outdone themselves.

I'd just like to say a massive thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday last week. It helped make it a great birthday :)

xoxo
J
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Monday, 7 July 2014

So Long Spending




Yep you read that right. No more silly spending, wasting my pennies on things I don't need, use or, if I'm being honest, want. The entire blogging world makes you crave the latest beauty must-have, or hyped product. Reading positive review after positive review serves it's PR purpose of making you think you can't live you life without something that you probably already have something similar. 9 times out of 10, your life won't miraculously become perfect because of some new heat protection spray or exfoliating toner, there just little luxuries which are nice to treat yourself to. With banks now looking at your spending for the last 6 months before deciding whether to grant you a mortgage, it's never been more important to curb your unnecessary spending.

 In the next 6 months I need to somehow afford a car, car insurance, and a Macbook (as my laptop is hanging on by a thread). Sounds really pricey, but if I think about all the unneeded things I buy, the amount of money I waste is staggering. Two years ago I spent an entire summer without shopping to make myself think a little more before I click order, and I'm going to do exactly the same thing this summer. So once every two weeks I'm going to tell you how I've been doing, what temptations I've (hopefully) avoided, what I've given into, and any other changes I notice. For someone who probably orders something from the internet once a week, this may be tricky. Wish me luck!


Have you got any tips for me?
xoxo
J
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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Sephora + Pantone Universe Rush Luster Cheek Sweep


Sephora + Pantone Universe Rush Luster Cheek Sweep

Sephora + Pantone Universe Rush Luster Cheek Sweep

Sephora + Pantone Universe Rush Luster Cheek Sweep

Sephora + Pantone Universe Rush Luster Cheek Sweep

Well that was a bit of a mouth full. A while back in April I shared with you the Sephora + Pantone Colour of the Year Lipstick (click here if you missed it!), and promised you I'd share with you the cheek palette from the same collection. In case you'be been hiding under a rock since January, the Colour of the Year is Radiant Orchid, and so like always, Sephora and Pantone have teemed up to translate this shade into a beauty collection.

Can we all please take a moment to appreciate the packaging. Marketing experts will be pleased to know that nice packaging does entice me to buy products, and this packaging certainly excited me. Using such a pinky purple shade (tell-tale sign I didn't do Art) is a bit of risky move, potentially making the product look a little young. However, Sephora have completely avoided this with their ombre casing and minimalist approach. It looks sophisticated and girlie and perfect. The Rush Luster Cheek Sweep palette comprises of 2 shimmer powders, 1 matte powder and a lovely large mirror. The left shade, Bridal Rose, is a beautiful rose gold highlighter which has more than a slight resemblance to Nars Orgasm. Spanish Villa, a golden tone highlighter is in the middle, with Radiant Orchid blush having the largest pan to the right. All the shade are incredibly pigmented, of superb quality and co-ordinate with each other beautifully.  Although Bridal Rose is a highlighter, it would look equally as stunning as a blush. This is an all-year round palette which would suit any skin-tone. The large mirror, compact packaging and versatility makes this palette a great travel option this summer. 

xoxo
J
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