Wednesday, 31 August 2016

My Top Tips To Starting Uni...

  1. Get to know as many people as possible and ask them questions. Don't just talk about yourself! Unlike school, university doesn't have time for 'popular' people. It doesn't matter what sort of group you mixed with in year 11 this is your chance to make new friends, so go for it!
  2. Although you are meeting new people still stay true to who you are. If you don't want to drink, have sex or take drugs then don't do it. Believe it or not there is more to socialising at uni than doing these things. Yes your friends may try it but please don't feel pressured into doing so. I had some amazing nights out in uni and I didn't need any drugs to do so!
  3. Learn to cook a few meals. Obviously nothing fancy and try to pick meals with cheaper ingredients too. Don't get me wrong, I had many Domino's but it does add up! Jacket potatoes, spag bol, fajitas and chilli are a lot easier to make than you think and don't take long to cook either.
  4. Take the time to explore your surroundings. Nearest cash point? Local taxi company? How long does it take to walk to campus? Which bus goes to town? These will all come in handy.
  5. Look at your bank balance! Yes it may be scary but you need to keep an eye on it. You can't keep asking your parents to help you out, gain some independence and don't go too far into that overdraft.
  6. It's absolutely fine to feel home sick. The majority of you are in the same boat and may have not even been away from your parents before. Make the most of FaceTime and texts but don't overdo it. Have photos in your room and make it as cosy as possible, just like home!
  7. Sometimes you may be at the same uni with people who you already know from home. It is great to already know a handful of people but don't feel like you have to see them all the time. Use this opportunity to make friends from both your course and accommodation.
  8. Look on Facebook for any groups that have been set up for your uni, course or even halls. I didn't do this as I had no idea it existed but when I got to halls people in my flat had already added and messaged one another. It's a great ice breaker and may make you feel a bit more confident on the first day if you find starting conversations difficult. 
  9. If you want to try something new or miss your club from home then join a team or society. Many of my friends were in a society of some sort and it gave them a chance to meet new people and wear some crazy fancy dress on nights out!
  10. Finally, get stuck in and take lots of photos! Grab your new flat mates and go to the Freshers Ball, Student Union and student nights out and have an amazing time!
This September it will be 7 years since I first moved to Cardiff from Cornwall to go to University. I still speak daily to friends who I lived with and people on my course, i've been to weddings of people who I have met at uni and I now live with my boyfriend who I met there! It is truly what you make of it and I had such an unforgettable time and I hope you do too!

I hope these tips have helped you in some way, I tried to be as descriptive as possible but let me know in the comments if you want some advice and I would be happy to help!

Where are you going to university and what are you going to study?

Much love as always, 

Jade x 


Sunday, 28 August 2016

My 'Ride or Die' Products...

"Be your own kind of beautiful..."

I have wanted to write a post like this for so long but it's been so hard to try and narrow down the products that are my absolute 'Ride or Die' products! It was originally just going to be all make up products but I decided to add a few extra ones in here too. For a few of them it may not necessarily be that particular brand or product it may be something I am currently using. If you want to see if you have any similar products to me or you just fancy a lil nose then keep reading...

This is my favourite foundation and it also just happens to be my most expensive one too! You will notice that concealer isn't in this list and that is because with this foundation I honestly don't feel like I need it. I rarely get spots so i'm quite lucky in the sense that I don't need to cover those up but I do have slight dark circles under my eyes and this foundation just creates the most flawless base.
If I could only use one blush or face powder then it would be this one. It is split into little triangles which you can use for different parts of the face. I remember many years ago when I first bought this the Benefit lady was telling me I could use the darker purple shade to contour my cheek bones and I was like "What on earth is contour?!" Now I totally get it and some days when I am wearing less make up or perhaps I am in a rush then I use the pinker/peach shades to brighten up my cheeks and the purple shades to create shadows. I will also say if you haven't tried this before that it is not so pigmented that you have to use the teeniest amount. It's the perfect blush for me because I can blend it in nicely with bronzer and not end up looking like I am sunburnt!

3. Nail Varnish
Nail varnish is one of my 'Ride or Die' products because I always have it on. I am sure I have read somewhere that Kim Kardashian West once said that if she had to choose between wearing nail varnish or mascara she would pick nail varnish. I cannot stand chipped nail varnish or bitten nails and even if you bite your nails I think they look 100% better with a bit of colour on them. For me, painted nails complete an outfit and I love how the colours can change throughout the seasons just like your wardrobe. Some of my favourite brands are O.P.I, Barry M and Models Own.
4. Eyebrows
Up until a few years ago I think many of us wouldn't even think about our eyebrows other than getting them waxed every 6 weeks and now there are whole shelves dedicated to them at our favourite make up section. I actually have a small scar on my left eyebrow where hair no longer grows so it can actually take me a little longer to fill that in and match it up to the other one. I don't mind though because I love how eyebrows really shape the face. My Mum has always told me this and she used to hate it when I would tweeze my eyebrows when I was younger because I would do such a rubbish job! Although I don't think I would suit thick brows I definitely like making them a little bit darker and fuller to complete my make up look. I do think that the 'natural' brow looks the best but if like me you have over tweezed throughout the years then there are many products to help create that look.
5. Primers
I have very sensitive skin so the thought of applying foundation directly onto my face really freaks me out! I have used primers for years and I truly believe they make so much difference to the application and overall look of your make up. From priming sprays to matte effect to glowing to mens shaving balm each primer helps my make up stay in place and apply evenly. Primers are a definite ride or die!
6. Lip Products
I will always always have some sort of lip product in my hand bag or gym bag. My lips can get dry quite quickly so I use EOS lip balms or Vaseline to help with that. If I don't fancy wearing lipstick then I like to use a lip tint as my lips aren't naturally very pink. These double ended tint and balms from Rimmel are perfect.
7. Mascara
I love mascara, I feel it really brightens up my eyes and makes me look more awake. In all honesty if I could only wear 1 make up item it would be mascara! What I like in a mascara is a good brush and for it not to be too watery. Most days I wear 2 different types of mascara and this is because I haven't found the 'perfect' one yet. If you have, please comment below i'd love to try it! 
8. Perfume
I love so many different perfumes and I love that I don't always wear the same one. Yes there are some that I purchase more than once but I also enjoy spritzing something new. I am one of those people that will ask someone in the supermarket what fragrance they are wearing because you can't guess it or really remember it plus if someone asks me I will happily tell them!
9. Eye Drops
I use eye drops a lot and even if I am just wearing mascara I like to put a few drops in my eyes to really brighten them up. My eyes can look quite blood shot and when I have tried to take make up photos before without using eye drops I feel it sometimes looks like I have been crying which is not the look I have been going for! These also help me out when they are super itchy due to hay fever!
10. Liquid Eyeliner
I have been wearing liquid eyeliner for years now and I love how much it completes a make up look. So many people tell me that they wouldn't wear it because they are scared about getting it wrong and I can completely understand that! Just like mascara I like to use 2 different eyeliners. The felt tip looking one is great for creating the initial outline and is perfect for getting that sharp flick. The one in the pot is better for colouring in the outline and creating a darker flick. 

So thats it, my Top 10 Ride or Die products! Let me know what you would add to this list or what you agree with me on!

As always, I hope that you have enjoyed this post and found it interesting!

Much love as always, 

Jade x


Sunday, 21 August 2016

*Unicorn Friendly Make Up Brushes...

"Make up is not a tool meant to make an ugly thing beautiful, it is meant to magnify the beauty that already exists..."

It has taken me ages to find the perfect make up brush set. They either don't have the right amount of eye brushes I am looking for or there are sets that contain 'brow combs' and 'concealer' brushes which I already have plenty of. I have been following Spectrum Collections on Instagram and Twitter for ages and have always been in love with their brightly coloured and unique sets. They kindly sent me their 10 x piece essential set and I have been testing it out over the past few weeks and I am ready to give you a review! 
If you would like to know more about this dreamy brush set then please continue reading...
As I said above, I have been finding it difficult to buy the perfect brush set which includes all the brushes I need. This essential set is exactly what I needed. It includes 4 x face brushes and 6 x eye and lip brushes and is the perfect set to get you started.

B01 - Flat Top Buffer
A01 - Large Domed Powder (Perfect for pressed powder)
A05 - Small Angled Blush (Amazing for blush)
B03 - Buffing Concealer (Great for blending)
A06 - Large Fluffy Shader
B06 - Tall Tapered Blender (Perfect for the crease)
B04 - Small Angled Blender
A17 - Angled Brow
A15 - Lip Liner
A09 - Angled Eyeliner

When I first opened the set I was amazed by how soft these synthetic brushes were as well as being cruelty free and vegan. When I was first properly getting into make up a few years ago I bought a cheap set from Amazon which included every type of brush you could think of but they just weren't of great quality. They didn't pick up eyeshadow well, gave me lots of fall out and were very scratchy on my skin. The difference when using these Spectrum brushes is unreal! Even comparing them to some of my Morphe brushes I am pleasantly surprised. They make it so easy to blend and at first I was picking up way too much powder and eyeshadow because I wasn't used to such a great brush!
It's easy to see that these brushes are 'Instagram' worthy because they look beautiful, straight out of a Mermaid's make up bag but there is definitely a lot more to these brushes than the way they look.
 You can also add to your collection from just £3.99 per brush on the Spectrum Collection site where you can get 10% off your first order by signing up to their newsletter. 
As always I hope that you have enjoyed this post.
Have you tried Spectrum brushes? Which are your favourites?

Much love, Jade x

* I was kindly sent these brushes to review by Spectrum Collection Brushes but all of the opinions are 100% honest.


Saturday, 20 August 2016

*Jim Jams Chocolate Jars...

"Chocolate is the answer, who cares what the question is..."

A couple of weeks ago I received two lovely jars of chocolate hazelnut spread from Jim Jams. Not going to lie to you, I opened up a jar immediately and dove straight in with a spoon! If, like me, you are a lover of chocolate spread but are looking for something that is a little kinder to teeth, suitable for vegetarians, gluten free and not so full of sugar then you may want to carry on reading...
Jim Jams is a family run business who wanted to create spreads for their children and others which didn't contain so much sugar. With this in mind, I didn't quite know how a chocolate spread with 83% less sugar in would taste but I was pleasantly surprised! I've used it on toast, in smoothies and my favourite was using it as a topping for these chocolate cupcakes! 
It's slightly runnier than other chocolate spreads and I think it tastes more like chocolate than nuts so if you aren't a huge hazelnut lover than this could be a spread for you. It's still sweet so don't let the 'less sugar' label put you off! Jim Jams also do jams and marmalades with reduced sugar and high fruit content so i'm hoping to pick some up in my local Tesco or Holland & Barrett.
I've already gone through a jar of this so i'm hoping to save the next one and try it out in one of the many recipes on the website. The 'Banana, Coconut and Choc Hazelnut' mug cake sounds tasty or possibly in a mug of hot chocolate!

I hope that you have enjoyed this post as much as I have enjoyed stuffing my face with this spread!

Much love as always and a big thanks to Jim Jams for letting me try out their chocolate hazelnut spread!

Jade x
* I was kindly sent these jars by JimJams but all of the opinions are 100% honest.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

*Oh Hey OK Bouquet...

"I must have flowers, always and always..." 

Last week I received the largest bunch of flowers ever! Ever since my boyfriend and I bought our first house together just over a year ago one of the things I wanted to do was buy fresh flowers every week. As you can tell from my Instagram photos and posts here on my blog I absolutely love flowers. I enjoy having them in the house because I really believe they can make a room very welcoming and bright. 
OK Bouquet kindly sent me this beautiful bunch of Lilies called 'Pink Robina' and they are stunning. The box they arrived in could easily fit me, I was worried that I wouldn't have a vase big enough for them but once I trimmed the stems they fitted perfectly. For the first few days the lilies were closed but in the past 2-3 days they have opened up and have spread such a beautiful fragrance throughout my house. Just today my boyfriend and I opened the front door and were greeted with such a floral scent. 
I love buying friends and family flowers, I think that you can get really creative with the arrangements and they are always a great gift because you can pick their favourite colour to make it easy! This beautiful bunch I received was only £35. Now, I can see that this may seem a lot more pricier than the ones you see in supermarkets but these are so worth it. With almost 30, YES 30 buds in this bouquet they are sure to put a smile on someones face! Please don't be put off by ordering flowers online, although it might seem a bit risky as you are unsure on how they will arrive OK Bouquet packaged these to perfection! As I stated at the beginning of the post the box was huge and very sturdy and the flowers were in a sponge soaked box to keep them hydrated whilst being delivered which you definitely don't get with all flower deliveries. These photos were taken 1 week after receiving them and you can see I still have many days and even weeks before I have to take them down.
With prices of 'Luxury Bouquets' starting at just £20, I would definitely recommend you taking a little look for that someone special. Just as I am writing this post the flowers are sat nicely on our dining room table and I don't think I have ever seen something so photogenic!
I hope that you have enjoyed this post!
Thank-you for reading and much love as always, 

Jade x

* I was kindly sent these gorgeous flowers by Ok Bouquet but all of the opinions are 100% honest.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

My Favourite Beauty Hacks...

Beauty hacks posts/videos are one of my favourites! I've learnt so many tips and tricks from different people that I now use and so I wanted to compile my own little list together. 
Yes I am sure that some of them you may know already but there may perhaps be a few surprises in here that could help you. 
So here goes...
1. Paint clear nail varnish on the inside of 'cheapy' rings to prevent them from turning your finger green.
2. If you happen to get mascara on your eyelid whilst applying then WAIT! Just a minute until it dries then you can grab a dry, clean cotton bud and just swipe away. Ta-dah, no panda eyes!
3. If you have stains from removing nail varnish on your fingers and nails then stop scrubbing! Instead, remove as many stains as you can and go and wash your hair. Yes, wash your hair. Whilst you are lathering up, your hair and the shampoo will help to remove and exfoliate any left over stubborn stains. So get stuck in! Honestly, I do this every time. Red nail varnish is such a pain to remove even with acetone.
4. When backcombing your hair to create volume don't just lift up your hair vertically and backcomb. Instead, lift up a section of hair and take it ever so slightly up and over to the other side and then backcomb. This helps to really get close to the scalp and not make the top of your hair look so flat.
5. In a rush and want your nails to dry quicker? Run some cold water in the sink and soak your tacky nails for 2 minutes. They won't be dent proof but they will no longer tacky!
6. If you have dry lips or you know you are going to be wearing a matte lip then apply a small amount of lip balm/vaseline at the beginning of your make-up routine. This creates the perfect, soft, smooth base ready for your day with a perfect pout.
7. Liquid lipsticks as we all know are a pain to get off, so my best advice is head to the kitchen cupboard and scoop out a little bit of coconut oil from the jar and rub it on your lips! You don't need a lot, just enough to really rub in until you can see that it has lifted off all of the colour. 
Yet again, coconut oil saves the day!
8. Instead of worrying on a night out that you are going to lose your expensive perfume or make up you have stashed in your bag then just chuck in some of those free mini samples you get in magazines or at make up counters! I have loads of little testers floating around my dressing table that are perfect to chuck in my clutch bag and I won't worry if I lose them.
9. Can't quite fit your earring back through your pierced ear after a few weeks of not wearing any? Dab a little bit of Vaseline on the end of it and it should help it slide through.
10. If the occasion is not too fancy then try to drink your beverages through a straw if you're wearing product on your lips! You may feel a bit silly but it stops you from having to reapply or leave lipstick stains all over your glass!

There they were, my favourite beauty hacks! 
Please comment below with your favourite hacks or if you are going to try one of mine out!
Many thanks as always, 
Jade x
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