Fashion & Beauty // Christmas Season Essentials

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Happy Christmas Eve!! I say it every year, but I can't believe how quick Christmas has come around again. I wanted to share some of my favourite essentials that have been holy grails over the past few weeks. A few things are from my work secret santa which I am absolutely in love with and others I was kindly gifted from Simply Be!

Mink & Black Lace Bras - Simply Be*

A few weeks back I was given the opportunity to pick a few things from the Simply Be site,  I chose to pick things that I'd enjoy wearing over this festive party season. I am absolutely obsessed with lingerie and I always feel like it's such a nice touch to any outfit, even if it's just for my eyes! I have quite big boobs and I find it so difficult to a) find my size in quite a few high street stores and b) find nicer designs/colours that aren't your standard black or white. So, for the past year I've only purchased bras online as there's a much better variety and I don't feel so limited. I decided to pick these gorgeous lace bras from Pretty Secrets who are stocked on the Simply Be site. Mink is one of my favourite colours and I loved the idea of having a mink coloured bra. I also love that it's a two pack so I can really mix and match with both.

Cleopatra's Kiss Highlighting Palette - Sleek

I couldn't do an essentials post and not include one of my favourite beauty products of the year (possibly my favourite?) this highlighter has been such a babe to own. Highlighter always on fleek! It's a product that I won't ever be able to stop raving on about because the quality and the price is insane.

Black Hooded Gown - Simply Be*

The second thing I picked out from the Soap and Glory site was this black nightgown. I think the last time I owned a nightgown was when I was back in primary school. This is my favourite time of year to just be all snuggly and wrapped up whilst watching christmas movies on the sofa, so I thought a nightgown would really come in good use.

Sacha Cosmetics Buttercup Powder - Lustre Cosmetics

I am so glad I am finally getting round to talking about my Sacha powder. I've wanted it for months and months but because it isn't sold in the UK, it was always something I forgot about until I finally purchased it a few months back, although it took me ages to find the right occasion to want to bake to perfection to. 

Simply the Zest Gift Set - Soap and Glory*

At work some of us recently took part in doing secret santa. My friend Morgan got me and gurl really came through with the gifts. Over the past few weeks I've become obsessed with having super soft hands, especially at work as retail = dry hands. So sensing that I was a Soap and Glory fan she got me the zest gift set which comes with the hand food hand cream, a pink luffa, body butter, a body scrub and a body wash. It literally smells good enough to eat! I am a really big fan of Soap and Glory products, so this set is perfect!

Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in '21 Brooklyn Thorn' - NYX*

This was my second secret santa gift and I am so in love with it! a little back story, when me and Morgan went shopping at the start of the month for our work christmas party, she swatched Brooklyn Thorn on her hand and we both fell in love! I was already over my budget when I saw it, so said I'd come back for it another day, so I was pretty chuffed when I saw she'd gotten it for me. It's a gorgeous mink colour. It has quite a few similarities to StingRAYE from Colourpop that I also own. Nyx has fast become one of my favourite beauty brands this year. Every product is on point and for such affordable prices.

What essentials have you been using this Christmas season?


Beauty // Review: Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream

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                                                                            Hey lovelies,
Firstly, I am so happy with how these pictures turned out! I've had my Cannon 1100D for exactly a year now and I feel like recently I've been trying to get better at using it. I still don't think I use it to its full potential but I am still learning. I think in January as a little post Christmas present to myself I want to book a photography course as I think it'll be fun and really useful. I also want to get a new lens - recommendations appreciated!

It's been a few months now since NYX finally started stocking its products all over the UK and I've been loving testing loads out. I am still obsessed with my two lip lingerie liquid lipsticks but I wanted to try these soft matte lip creams as I personally found they had a better variety of shades and I'd heard quite a few mixed reviews on these, so wanted to try them out myself.

Abu Dhabi - £5.50
Transylvania - £5.50
Rome - £5.50
Copenhagen - £5.50 

I got all four of my shades in my local Boots! I didn't realise they'd started stocking NYX, so I went in not really having shades in mind. 'Rome' is definitely my favourite shade, it's a gorgeous everyday pink which is amazing at adding a bit extra on days when I have quite a basic makeup look. I think Transylvania and Copenhagen are the perfect shades for A/W! I will never say no to a dark lip around this time of year. I'd probably say Abu Dhabi is my least favourite shade as it was my first purchase as I picked it up accidentally thinking it was a different shade - It's a nice colour but it's a type of "nude barely there" shade so I don't really feel like it does anything for me when I have it on.

In terms of how it applies I do have some problems with it and upon looking at reviews I've noticed a large majority of others think the same. Firstly on the opening of each one I realised that there really isn't a lot of product in a bottle, I know these are only priced at £5.50 but I don't think that justifies it. Secondly I don't seem to find them very pigmented, I found that sometimes it comes out very streaky on the lips and it takes a few extra dips and swipes to the lips to really get it at its best and even then I'm not too impressed. I found that applying lip liner first works wonders to fix the problem. Overall, I'd probably rate these a 4.5 out of 10 as I do quite like them but the cons outweigh the pros. I am a big fan of some of NYX's other products so I won't be put off.

Have you tried these or other products from NYX?


Beauty // Review: Savisto 32 Piece Makeup Brush Set

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                                                                                    Hey lovelies,
When the lovely team over at Savisto got in touch a few weeks ago about picking something to review for le blog, I just knew I'd be picking something from their health & beauty section. There were so many options to pick from and all at such reasonable prices that it took me a while to decide what to pick, in the end I decided to go for their incredible 32 piece makeup brush set and I am so happy with my choice.

My collection of brushes and sponges is coming along quite nicely - I'm not fussed on big name brands for brushes - as long as I am happy with the quality of them and how they apply, that for me is a job done and with these brushes I got exactly that! It also comes with a roll storage pouch which is a nice leather material and really comes in handy as finding storage for my brushes is quite the pain and with my storage pouch I can just keep them in there and know they are safe.

32 Piece Makeup Brush Set - Savisto £16.99*

The set comes with 32 brushes from powder brushes, lash and brow brushes, eyeshadow brushes and even small precision brushes. I think my two favourites have to be the fan brush as you get both a small and large one and as someone who is so obsessed with highlighting I've seen such an improvement in the way my highlight has started to look. I am also really happy with the amount of brushes I got for eyeshadow/blending it out. I've really got my eye on the Morphe Brushes 35T Taupe Palette.. It's right up on my Christmas list! I think with all my brushes and that palette I'd be able to make the most amazing eye looks!

I would really recommend this set as the perfect Christmas gift for someone who may just be starting out with makeup or even someone who has been a long time lover of it! It's always nice to have a big collection of makeup brushes and be able to mix and match with each. I think for me personally 2016 has been the year where my love for makeup has just continued to grow and grow. I want 2017 to be my year where my love continues to grow, along with my collection (and my bank account LOL) and that I hopefully get more confidence in creating different makeup looks.. Maybe I'll start posting them on here?!

What was the last makeup brush or set that you purchased?


Beauty // Review: Cleopatra's Kiss Sleek Highlighting Palette

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Hey Lovelies, I am so obsessed with highlighting that it's no surprise I am blogging about this beauty from Sleek! I remember watching one of Jaclyn Hills Snapchat stories quite a while back and talking about this palette, as soon as she opened it up and swatched the goodness, I just knew I had to have it! it didn't take long before Sleek announced a release date online and in store - on the first it was released in Superdrug, I rushed down to get mine and the rest is history!
Sleek Highlighting Palette in 'Cleopatra's Kiss' - Superdrug £9.99

I might as well just end my post here as the platte just speaks for itself. Sleek honestly got this highlighting palette so spot on, from the stunning gold compact and mirror that always comes in handy to the four gorgeous shades. The top left and bottom right being velvety powders and the top right and bottom left being gorgeous creamy formulas. I couldn't bring myself to use it for the first few days after purchasing it as I couldn't get over its beauty but once I finally got over the initial shock of its goodness, I took brush to palette and the results were even better than expected. 

The term 'a little goes a long way' springs to mind when I think about applying it - with just a swipe or two so much product goes onto the brush and is more than enough to cover each area you want to apply it to. To me this personally feels like such an expensive product when it was only £9.99 Sleek is one of the first brands that I started out wearing when I first got into makeup and it's a brand that I will continue to support and purchase from. Sleek provide amazing quality products for such reasonable prices - I always used to think that higher end brands/more expensive products were the way forward, but I was so wrong on that. It really doesn't matter on the price whether it be expensive or in expensive - It's really just how you personally feel the makeup performs for you. This is probably in my top 2 of favourite beauty products I've purchased in 2016! 

Have you managed to get your hands on this gorgeous palette?


Beauty // KIKO MILANO New Store Opening Haul

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Hey lovelies, I absolutely love being from London as it means I am surrounded by some of the best places to purchase beauty products. I currently go to university just outside of London in the lovely town of High Wycombe! it's somewhat of a small town but I've loved being able to call it my home for the past two years. We've had some great new openings over the past few months, many food related places with my favourite being Bill's (the sweet potato fries give me life). I loved trips to Bill's in London before I moved to Wycombe, so it reminds me so much of home.

Now, it was recently announced that we'd be getting a KIKO MILANO store here and I couldn't have been any happier. Being a lover of makeup, KIKO is now just another place for me to spend the money that I don't have, oops. I popped into the store last Friday the 21st. The buzz in the store was amazing - so many excited makeup lovers under one roof swatching products like there was no tomorrow. I spent quite a while in store deciding what I really wanted to get my hands on - I had the lovely help of a sales assistant in store who basically just felt like a friend I'd gone shopping with while we talked about popular products and products that I really wanted to try!

Hydra Pro Glow Moisturiser + Pure Clean Exfoliating Powder -

I've already been using these two products and they were definitely well worth the money. The moisturiser gives such a glow to the face, almost as if I was wearing highlighter. It's recommended to all skin types but I did personally find it a little drying at times - which i'd say is due to the fact that I have quite dry skin, especially around the colder months. I topped a bit of my Nivea essentially enriched body lotion in 'dry to very dry skin' and found it helped in the dryer areas. As the KIKO moisturiser feels light on, it didn't feel like too much on my skin when I applied Nivea on top.

I've been in need of a new exfoliator for a while, so I was pleased to get my hands on this one! over the past few months I've really made a change with the way I look after my skin and have made sure to add exfoliating into my routine at least twice a week. I am used to using gel based exfoliators and this one is different as it's powder based and foams up when apply water to it. I've really enjoyed using it so far!

Maxi-Mod Mascara + Sparkling Trail Eyeshadow

I swear I've been on the hunt for the perfect mascara for months now. I have quite short eyelashes but with the right mascara it gives it the perfect length. I've been using one of Rimmel Londons new mascaras which I've been pretty impressed with. However, I was recommended the maxi-mod mascara whilst in KIKO as it has a tiny brush. I love tiny brushes on mascaras as I think they work best at giving extra length to my lashes. This one certainty didn't disappoint and is my new go-to. I can tell that it's going to be an on going purchase of mine.

Now, I actually purchased the sparking trail eyeshadow for a completely different purpose. I wanted to get my hands on one of their highlighting products and I was shown some of their creamy highlighting sticks which I didn't think looked too bad, but the sales assistant gave one of her recommendations which was to use the sparking trail eyeshadow in '01 Modern Ice Rose' but apply it as a highlight instead. I am so glad she recommended that as it is actually the perfect highlight. It has a nice creamy feel on and gives the perfect sparkle to my cheeks.

Wet and Dry Eyeshadow in '10' + Power Pro Nail Lacquer in '30 Taupe' + Velvet Passion Matte Lipstick in '317 Wine'

I feel like watching YouTube tutorials has really helped me to get better at being able to apply makeup. I'd say I am pretty good at applying most makeup on myself. The one thing i really need to get better at is using and applying eyeshadow. I think in order to get better I need to purchase shadows and palettes that i'll actually use. I have a few now but i'm not very fond on the colours. I really liked the look of '10'. It's a gorgeous brown which i think will be perfect for an everyday look.

I've currently got quite the nail polish collection built up and I am always on the hunt for unique colours to add to my collection. This one is the most gorgeous taupe. It'll most likely be the colour I have on all the time!

Lastly, I obviously couldn't leave without getting myself a matte lipstick. This one is the most gorgeous wine pink - something that I don't actually own, even though I have quite the lipstick collection. It felt odd to be purchasing a matte lipstick rather than a liquid matte lipstick. Even though I am really into my liquid lipsticks at the moment, matte lipsticks will always have my heart!

Have you ever made a KIKO purchase?


Fashion // Payday Treats #1

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                                                                                 Hey lovelies,
I am really looking forward to having this payday treats type of post as a regular end of month feature to my blog. I feel like I kind of drifted away from my love of fashion for a while, nothing was really catching my eye and as you'll see from some of my previous posts, I've gone quite beauty crazy recently. Thankfully lots of sites seem to be serving up the best fashion at the minute and just in time for my fav seasons autumn & winter. These are just a few things that I've really been wanting recently and luckily I've manged to purchase a few!Payday Treats #1 
1/ Floral Embroidered Jeans - New Look
I absolutely love wearing jeans but I find they are the one piece of clothing that I find hard to shop for. Being 5ft1/2 I feel I have to take so much into consideration like 'is the length too long' 'will my stomach look too big' and 'will it give the illusion that i have a big bum'. I was a really big fan of ASOS' ridley ones but then i found after a few washes they'd become really loose and baggy on, then i fell in love with Topshop joni's all over again but after noticing on my second pair that the colour tends to fade pretty quickly and that the middle wears off (literally) right in the middle of the thighs i vowed that i wouldn't spend my money on another full priced pair unless i somehow managed to get them for a cheaper price. Fast forward two weeks of trying jeans on in store and not getting anywhere i saw New Look tweet the link to these babe of jeans and that's where the love story began. I was a bit nervous as I'd ordered them for a click and collect and as I've never owned or tried on a pair of jeans from there I just wasn't sure whether the sizing or length would be what I was after. Thankfully I tried them on and I couldn't be happier. The flower embroider detailing is amazing and i decided to go for 30 in the leg and for a shorty it's the perfect fit.

 2 / Topshop Striped Mensy Peg Trousers - Lyst*
I feel like I've been feeling quite daring recently with my style. I'm getting a bit bored of playing it safe all the time with my fashion and am looking to venture out a bit more with things i buy and wear. I've wanted a pair of peg trousers for as long as i can remember but for me personally they are quite the fashion statement. I saw them in real life recently on one of my few accidental.. trips to Topshop *shifty eyes* and then over on Lyst, then ever since then I've seen them a lot online. They're currently in the sale which is really tempting me to just bite the bullet. I think they'd be a pretty good purchase!

 3 / Nike Meadow 16 Txt Trainers - ASOS
Ever since I got my first pair of Nikes last year I've been obsessed, so obsessed that it didn't take me long to purchase the same Roshe One in a different colour (to be fair I got my first pair in the sale for £41!!!) now i can't really justify spending £70+ on a pair at the minute but whilst browsing the 70% off sale on ASOS i came across these babies. They are currently £34.00 down from £57.00 which is quite the bargain if i do say so myself. I am so pleased i made the purchase as they are even more gorgeous in real life. The thing I love about new Nikes is that for a while it just feels like you are walking on marshmallows but in a really comfy (non sticky) way. It does scare me quite a bit as they are white and being the mess that i am (my friends would agree) i need to be careful not to ruin them and they also have a bit of suede detailing at the front and suede + rain = no no and being the time of year that it is in the UK the weather can be pretty crazy. I'll report back in a few weeks in what condition they are in.
4/ Miss Selfridge Grey Longline Duster Coat - Lyst*
I was in ZARA last week and i absolutely fell in love with all the duster coats on display, it took quite a lot for me not to purchase one until Ally pointed out the price tag (lulz). This Miss Selfridge one is a little more reasonable. I have a pink duster which I've had for 4 or 5 years now and i cannot get enough of it, so i know purchasing a new one would actually be a good investment. I love the check detailing on this one and how cosy it looks!

5 / New Look Nylon Zip Detail Backpack - ASOS
This was another purchase that i made in that fab ASOS sale. I've racked up quite the collection of backpacks that i hope to feature in a post soon. I'm the type of gal who will take everything and the kitchen sink with me. tissue? check. snacks? check. other items that i probably didn't need to carry with me? check. i really liked how spacious it looked and at only £7.50 i just couldn't say no. It actually arrived this weekend and it's a dream. Sadly i took it out for the first time today (with barely anything inside) and something on the front that makes the front flap close fell off. I've looked online and and can see it's still available to purchase so i'm going to return and hope that i can be sent a replacement as it really is a lovely bag.

Are there any payday treats that you want to get your hands on?


*Lifestyle: University Thoughts #1

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                                                                               Hey lovelies,
I've been at university for two years exactly now. I feel like so much goes through my mind that I think surely others in university must think the same? I decided to come up with a new monthly or so series on thoughts I am currently having on university - some are the more serious thoughts like money - which I'll get into and others are more laughable.

1/ The cost of University
This is a thought that I think myself and many others constantly think about. University isn't the cheapest of things with 9k a year to pay for your course on top of any tuition fees and student finance you've applied for - it really does make you question whether it's all worth it or not. When I'd found out I'd been accepted into my chosen university I was pretty chuffed and proud of myself that all my college work had finally paid off but I really wasn't sure whether I'd be able to afford to go. It seems every year the cost of university just continues to rise and it really does make you question whether it's worth getting into all that debt for. 

I am personally so happy that I didn't let money put me off from going, I know it isn't that easy for everyone. I did struggle a lot with money in my first year of uni but that was pretty much due to me overspending too much - because I clearly needed to make use of all those supermarket 3 for 2 offers, ha. Money is something that I think we all think about long and hard before deciding to commit to university, as I mentioned earlier it isn't that easy for everyone to go. There are companies out there like Future Finance who look to help those looking to go into higher education who may have money matters without charging ridiculous rates. It's not a bad thing in the slightest to want to help yourself.


2/ Getting involved in more
Considering the fact that I've been at university for two years now, I feel like I've been pretty lazy in terms of getting involved in things. In my first year I got involved in articles for my university newspaper which I really enjoyed and was pretty proud of. I didn't do much else that I was really proud of after that but I personally feel like your first year is you getting involved in a few things but really just learning the ropes of university and not putting too much pressure on yourself. Although, I thought that the second year of university would be the one where I got involved in a lot.. but still no. 
The second year of university was a pretty tough one for different reasons but I just didn't seem to take up many of the wonderful opportunities that were available. I thankfully still have another two years to go before I hopefully graduate - so I don't have to dwell on the fact that I haven't really done as much as I would have liked to. This year I've decided to make a change and really get stuck into things like joining societies and taking opportunities that I can put on my CV and hopefully help with future employment.

3/ Drinking
I think this is probably the most personal point out of all three mentioned. In my first year I really overdid it with drinking - it wasn't that I didn't have my limits or anything like that but I really made the most of going out and with every night out I'd have a drink. By the time it came round to second year I couldn't even hack alcohol anymore (aside from cocktails of course, ha) but the point I'm really trying to make it that it's not a bad thing to give up something that you are longer interested in whilst at university in fear of being judged. 

Do you agree with any of the points I've made? what are some of your thoughts?


Beauty// Review: Colourpop Bumble & StingRAYE Ultra Matte Lip + UK Shipping

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Hey lovelies,

I can't explain how excited I am to sit down and write this post! As soon as Colourpop announced that they'd be introducing international shipping (July 12th 2016), I knew it wouldn't be long until I made my first order. Although I have many products on my list that I want to purchase, I decided to start off small to avoid any high custom charges.

I placed my order two weeks after their international shipping went live and as much as I'd searched around, I couldn't find any reviews on people's experience with UK shipping. So hopefully this post will be helpful to anyone considering making an order from the UK.

StingRAYE Ultra Matte - $6 (£4.59)
Bumble Ultra Matte - $6 (£4.59)

My ultimate goal is to own every shade that I think will suit me in the Ultra Matte Lip range. Right now, I have a full basket of all the shades that I desperately want to get my hands on! I'm just waiting until I win the lottery so I can go to the checkout... hopefully that'll be any day now. Ha. Also, I'm hoping to try out some of their eyeshadows and highlighters as I've heard wonderful things. I currently own 'LAX', 'MARS' and 'SOLOW' from the matte lip range, all of which I reviewed here last month. 

As soon as I tested out these new beauties, I instantly noticed a difference in the applicator wand compared to the ones that I owned previously. You can see in my last picture that the 'Solow' wand has a bit of a slope and isn't as fluffy whereas 'Bumble' is a little smaller and much fluffier. I definitely prefer the newer wand as it is easier to apply on my lips. It glides on beautifully and feels much more comfortable unlike the previous wand, which picks up a lot of excess product around the lips. 
StingRAYE/ This was probably the shade that I was most looking forward to arriving as I have wanted it for ages! I have very mixed feelings towards it. On the site, it's described as a 'mauve brown' tone. The best thing about the Colourpop website is that they include swatches of their shades on three different skin tones, which gives you an idea on which lipsticks will complement your skin tone. Having said that, SR didn't look like how I'd imagined it to be. It just looks very purple against my complexion and does not seem to have any hints of brown. I also let Ally try it on and I have to say that I was pretty jealous. Not only did it look so gorgeous on her, it looked exactly like a mauve brown. I'm over it though! This is just something that's bound to happen with lipstick. Every skin tone is different so it was a bit silly of me to expect it to come out looking identical. I'm not that disappointed with it, I just don't think that it'll be one of my go-to shades. However, that could all change with a little blending of other lippies. Overall, I do like this product as it is a colour that I've never owned before. I actually just found out that SR is being discontinued from August 12th, as it's part of a collab shade. So get your orders in quickly if it's currently on your list!

Bumble/ An absolutely beautiful dark pink tone. For me, it actually has quite a few similarities to my MUA Velvet Lip Lacquer in 'Dash' but it is a little darker. All summer I've been obsessed with wearing pinks and have really built up quite the collection.

Last Thoughts? Both 'Bumble' and 'StingRAYE' are so easy to apply on my lips. As I stated in my previous Colourpop review, I don't find the formula to be drying at all. It still shocks me at how much product stays on the lips throughout the day, even when a lot of food and drink has been consumed throughout the day... So basically perfect for me as I'm always stuffing my face! another quick thing that I just wanted to pick up on was the writing of 'COLOURPOP Ultra Matte Lip'. It rubs off so easily but I'm really hoping that Colourpop have picked up on this and found a way to make it last on each bottle.

UK Shipping? Shipping rates vary for UK shipping. I was charged $15 (£11.48) with no custom charges. I've since seen a few other people discussing their orders and I believe that shipping varies from $15 to $25 depending on the quantity of your package. I only had two items in mine so it was classed as a small package. I am aware that custom charges can be put on no matter the size of your package (I have been told that it depends on the items rather than size) but I'm pretty thankful I didn't have extra fees. The whole process was just so simple and stress free. I've never ordered anything from anywhere but the UK so I was worried that it would take forever to arrive. However to my surprise, it arrived exactly a week after I'd placed my order which I think is amazing. I was given tracking information and requested email updates so I could follow every movement of my package. I'd say that is outstanding customer service.

Are you a fan of Colourpop? Have you/are you considering making an order from the site?


*Lifestyle // How To Save Money In Your First Semester

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Hey lovelies,
This week I have another post around the topic of how to manage your money in your first semester of university with Future Finance. I've been at university for a while now and I really feel that I have learnt a lot of tips on this that I wanted to share.

For me personally it wasn't as easy I thought it would be to able to manage my money. I felt as if every supermarket offer or clothes sale was directed at me, haha. When in fact I didn't realise just how much money I was wasting on unnecessary things until I had no money left. As a student it is so easy to get caught up in all the offers. Hopefully some of these tips will be helpful to anyone starting university in the next few weeks!

1/ Get a NUS discount card: this little beaut will come in handy in most major shops, pubs and bars. So when you’re on nights out including Fresher’s week, make the most of all the money off you can get with this. The best thing about this little baby is it’s free, so you’ll be quids in, in the long run.

2/ Take out your money for the week: this is a tip I really wish I'd stuck to more often in my first semester. I use my card for absolutely everything and that's when I realise I overspend the most because I won't check my online banking in fear of how much money I've overspent by. Towards the end of my first semester I started to take out my money for the week so I wouldn't be able to overspend and it actually helped me to budget properly. This is a tip that I definitely recommend sticking to throughout your time at university, it's so helpful. 

3/ Student shopping only events: because why wouldn’t you take advantage of this? most universities will have a student shopping only event within freshers week. There are so many offers and good discounts at these events that you feel less guilty for spending. I'd definitely suggest taking my point above on board because I remember spending far too much, oops.

4/ Save money on travel: There is always a lot going on in the first semester including Halloween and Christmas which a lot of students like to go back home for. Transport is not the cheapest of things and if you like to go back and fourth from university and home just to visit or commute the money can really start to rack up. That's why I suggest investing in a 16-25 railcard (mature students can apply too) for a third off rail fares or a young persons coach card for those of you 16-26 who are full time students for also a third off your travel. Even though you do have to pay for these cards it really helps in the long run.

5/ Become a spreadsheet master: planning how much money goes out, and when, will really be key in ensuring that you don’t touch that overdraft.

Do you have any tips on how to save in your first semester?


*Lifestyle // Top Jobs To Do Whilst At University

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Hey lovelies,

I've been at university for quite sometime now. In my first year I didn't have a job and I found it pretty difficult as I'm a girl who loves all the food (chicken nuggets are my loves), clothes and every piece of makeup there is. Being a lover and over spender of all these things really took its toll, especially on my bank card. 

Last year however, I decided it would be sensible to get some form of job, so I did exactly that. I worked two jobs throughout the year one being a student ambassador job and the other being a retail worker during the periods of Christmas and the new year. I'll go into more detail along the way, but balancing your time whilst having a job/studying isn't as hard as you'd think. There are some really good sites out there to that are specifically tailored to students looking for jobs such as e4s which I've been signed up to for over a year and savethestudent also post some good opportunities over on their site. 

- Student Ambassador 
I couldn't be more thankful that I'm a student ambassador for my university. I basically get to do some pretty fun jobs like working open days and talking to people about how I'm finding my course and what student life is like, all whilst getting paid. There are so many jobs for student ambassadors and it's nice that you can take jobs around your free time, instead of feeling like you have to take every job. I'm pretty certain that most universities have paid student ambassador jobs but it honestly helped me so much last year - not even just in the financial sense but it's a real confidence booster too.

- Retail 
Oh retail. I have such a love/hate relationship with it but yet I still find myself back during the holidays. I think this is probably the most popular job for people to do whilst at uni. Yet again it's another job that you can work around your studies. Retail is a job where you know something is going to go down each shift and you'll have so much hot gossip to tell your housemates after. I've experienced a lot, from accidentally smashing a few too many nail polishes for the Boxing Day sale prep, oops! to dealing with the most difficult customers. Another which was always an absolute nuisance was customers with clearly very fiddly hands who liked to take off tamper proof labels as if I somehow wouldn't notice.. Yes ma'am, I noticed. Fresh Plaza recently posted about this with a conducted survey by Data Label around this topic with 49% of people also agreeing that they find them a pain. I do understand the benefits but it also doesn't make your job any easier when customers try to be sneaky with either switching labels or taking them off completely. All these things have made my retail experience far more interesting. 

- University Paper
I'm really not sure if it's exactly the same at all other universities but any article you write for my university newspaper that gets published gets you £10 which I think is really good. You could write a few articles for a month then maybe get three published and you've already racked up £30. I haven't written for my uni newspaper since my first year but I loved coming up with all these ideas and having my friends tell me how much they enjoyed them (thanks friends!!) it wasn't until after I had my articles published that I was made aware that I'd be paid for my contributions.

- Online(Freelance/Blogging/YouTube) 
More and more people seem to start their blogs/get into making YouTube videos whilst at university, which is so nice because you do get a lot of free time at uni and it's really nice to feel so productive. When I started my blog I had no idea that you could even be paid for doing something as your hobby. Fast forward five years and I've been lucky enough to work with some really great brands/get paid for writing about the things I love to talk about! I don't make a regular income from blogging which I'm completely fine with because I blog because I love it and not to receive any form of benefits. 

- Bar Staff
As well as retail, I think bar staff jobs are also one of the most popular routes to go down. My student union is always buzzing during the day right through to night. One of my friends currently works doing bar staff at my student union and she really enjoys it! you aren't just limited with your choices, as there are always so many pubs, clubs and bars that you could also apply to and it's just another thing to add to your CV!

Did you or do you currently have a job whilst studying?


Lifestyle // University Essentials Packing List

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Hey lovelies,
How we've already reached August is beyond me. This time two years ago I'd found out I'd been accepted into my chosen university and that by the end of September I'd be leaving the nest to make some of the most amazing university memories. A lot of people will be receiving their college/sixth form results this month and as much as it is exciting to be heading off to university in a matter of weeks, the idea on what to pack can all be a little daunting and stressful, if you ask me. I've written this little guide in the hopes that it will hopefully be seen by some of you who may be feeling a little stuck on what to bring. Now, I couldn't possibly put everything but these are things that really helped me. Remember to check out your universities 'what to bring list'.

Davpack* - I personally think the most difficult thing about packing is finding enough room to store everything. I had quite a lot of things before coming to university, and I didn't really think a van was necessary. If you didn't know, myself and Ally are twins and started the same university at the same time and I honestly have no idea how we managed to pack all our things into our mums tiny car. Anyway, boxes would have come in handy and made it easier to pack. Not just that, but you can continue to use your boxes throughout university when you accumulate more things (trust me, you'll leave with more things than your came with) and of course you can reuse them when you leave. These Davpack ones are super handy as you receive 10 boxes from small, medium and storage ones. It's perfect because whether it's your clothes or magazine collection, there is a box for everything. For anyone who may be interested in purchasing these, I was kindly given a 10% discount which you are more than welcome to use. Just pop 'STUDENT10' into the discount section.

Vacuum Bags - These babies are an absolute dream. From my blog you'll know how much I love fashion. That reflects highly on my wardrobe and shoe collection. (A post is in the pipeline) whenever I'm packing to come home for the summer or moving back to university, it takes me a ridiculously long time to get my clothes and shoes packed up. I brought my first set of vacuum bags from Argos and also ASDA and they couldn't have been more of a bigger help. If you didn't already know, you basically fill up all your clothes (I put my shoes in some too) into one of the bags, I had two sets of jumbo vacuum bags so I could fit so much in. Then you use a hoover to suck up all the air within the bag and it makes the bag smaller and so much easier to move around. There's no need to worry about your clothes getting damaged, it doesn't affect anything like that, it just helps to get rid of all the air.

Decorations - I first started off in university halls when I started two years ago. I shared a flat with six others and had my own en-suite. I loved my room, it was a good size and had a double bed. I made it feel super homely by getting some of my Instagram pictures printed out and putting them on my wall and getting other little decorative stuff like posters and the cutest little butterfly decorations that I stuck around my room. I felt pretty homesick when I first moved in but by making my room how I wanted it to be and by having pictures of family and friends up, it helped to make me feel better. Most university rooms are so bland to begin with but by adding your own touches really helps. Don't be put off thinking that it'll be expensive, eBay and Amazon are great for things like this.

Bedding - I think bedding was one of my favourite things to hunt for and purchase. There are quite a few things to include in your bedding essentials. A mattress topper, a bed sheet, a duvet, pillows and a duvet and pillow set. That's quite a few things but I purchased all of mine from Wilko & Argos. University is as expensive as it is and I didn't want to spend a fortune with buying all of this. My top tip would be to buy two duvet sets so that you can wash and switch between them both each week. You may also already be provided with a mattress topper, so it isn't always necessary for you to buy your own.

Kitchen Essentials - I wanted to save this part until the end. I think kitchen essentials are probably what most universities students spend a fortune on before even arriving and I really don't think it's at all necessary. I remember just adding so many kitchen essentials to my basket as if I was about to move into my first family home with my husband and three children, haha. I became a bit of a reckless spender and anything and everything was added. I got baking essentials.. Have I even baked since being in university? nope. As much as you want to be organised, remember to take into consideration that unless your university is up in space, you can just pop to your local shopping centre when you arrive at uni if there's thing you didn't bring but need. My university halls included a kettle and toaster which came in handy and was one less thing for me to purchase. You'll hopefully build up a really great friendship with the people you live with and all be ok with sharing some of each others things. If I could go back, I would honestly only purchase cups, mugs, plates, bowls, cutlery and trays. Remember everything isn't always needed.

I really hope you found this guide to be somewhat helpful. I looked at so many guides when I made my list of what to bring and it helped me to feel less stressed about it all.