Managing Stress

I thought I’d create a different sort of post today since I am officially over a month into my final year of University. This is the year when work starts picking up in every possible way, and the dreaded search for jobs begins. I’m already noticing the difference in my tolerance to stress, how long I can work for before driving myself crazy with anxiety over whether I’m good enough to get my degree and make it in the real world.

I want to just emphasise first off how important it is to give yourself a break. You might remember these little breaks from studying for GCSEs, A Levels, or any other entry exams to make it into the University of your dreams. It was the classic teacher advice – don’t over exert yourself too much, but – oh yeah, these exams are going to impact the rest of your life, so no pressure. Seriously, so much help. Although this is true, remember you have plenty of time to make it work for yourself if you’re at this stage.

If you are like me, however, facing the final push until the end of your education, this is less straight forward. Obviously everyone works better in different ways, but personally I find it really beneficial to reward myself for large sections of work completion. For example, since I am currently writing my dissertation, I’ll set myself a reasonable amount of words to complete in the day time, and then I will go out with my friends in the evening to reward myself. Or get a type of food that I want. Food is always a fantastic motivator!

Another important piece of advice for any University student is to organise yourself. This is again, a predictable one, but one that does not get as much credit as it should. So many of my friends leave their work til the last possible minute, I know a guy who quite regularly goes out the night before a deadline and finishes his essay at 3am when he returns. I feel that although this may just about work for him, this is the bare minimum. He is not reaching his potential for University. When we were doing a presentation together, I forced him to be organised and prepared weeks in advance, and because of this he got a first in the assessment. Start early, give yourself a solid plan of how you are going to create your assessment over the number of weeks ahead, and I can assure you, you’ll do so much better than what you would have otherwise.

Despite this, remember that if you do follow this and still don’t do as well as you first expected, many people go on to do second degrees or completely change their career paths after University. If you do not succeed at first, it is not the end. You just have to find another way to reach your goals. There is always another option. And I think that is the most important thing to remember – all your failures will add up to make you stronger and better.

Love,

Sio
xoxo

 

 

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Too Faced Trio REVIEW

If you are in need of some new products to enhance your complexion, then look no further. I have wanted to test out some more of Too Faced’s products – they are one of my favourite brands to date but I was yet to try face and skin makeup that they have on offer. I sought out a Sephora when I was in Bordeaux and decided to test three products together – the Hangover Primer and the Born This Way foundation and concealer. In this blog post I will be reviewing these both separately and as a trio.

First off, the Hangover primer is lovely and creamy, and not what I was expecting having only tried silicone-feeling primers in the past such as Smashbox’s photo finish and Benefit’s porefessional (before I went cruelty free). That being said the creamy texture feels more like a moisturiser and I was pleasantly surprised by this. I use my fingers to rub the product out and then dot it around my bare face, blending it into my skin with gentle circular motions. The primer feels lightweight and cooling on your skin – it does not feel tacky but you should leave it to sink into the skin for a few minutes before applying any foundation. After testing this primer I have come to the conclusion that although I did not feel it particularly blurred any imperfections, the Hangover serves as a lovely, moisturising base for your makeup and prevents it from moving around or looking blotchy.

Dotting a pump of the Born This Way foundation was easy and mess-free, and I was really grateful for this. Searching for a new holy grail foundation after retiring from using NARS’ Sheer Glow since their latest reversal of their cruelty free status, I enjoyed the fact that I could buy the Born this Way foundation without having to purchase a separate pump as I used to have to do with Sheer Glow. I purchased the shade “Pearl” which turned out to be a good match. It is certainly buildable coverage as it states “medium to full” on the front of the bottle – you can definitely go for two layers without it looking patchy. I was pleased with the blendability of the foundation and the glowy full coverage that came with the end result. Can I also just say that I adore the packaging – but that comes as no surprise to me since Too Faced always outdo themselves on this front.

The consistency of the Born This Way concealer, on the other hand, is full coverage from the outset. I found the formula to be very thick which may disagree with some people, but this being said the thickness does not constitute a cakey finish – almost the opposite is achieved, in fact. I bought the shade “Very Fair”, and despite it being a little bit light for me I found that a damp beauty blender could leave the skin looking flawless and the lightness of the shade blended out fully. I think this also has something to do with the combination of all three of these products – my skin looks glowy and beautiful every time I use all three together, while also maintaining a full coverage which is how I like my makeup. This proves the three do make a lovely trio to use together. If that wasn’t good enough reason to buy them, then it should also be said that there are so many shades in the range, making them truly versatile for anybody to use and enjoy as much as I did.

Love,

Sio

xoxo

HUDA Rose Gold Palette Review

The first thing that I will say about this palette is that it is so versatile. You can create a flirtatious, fun pink look, a dark smoky one or an earthy orange all from one palette, and that is what I usually search for when investing in more pricey eyeshadows. Because this one is more on the expensive side at £56 from Cult Beauty and, if you’re in the States, $65 from Sephora. The colours are lovely, and set out in the packaging with enough surface area each that gives them their own space, allowing the user to dip and swirl their brush to get as much pigment as they please. Despite this freedom, the eyeshadows themselves are pigmented enough that you don’t need to swirl your brush in any way.

Comparing it to my favourite eyeshadow palette, ABH’s Modern Renaissance, the shadows are less creamy but there is less fallout. The matte shades are mostly natural but I love the way the bright pink shade “Flamingo” and the sultry red “Maneater” are included into these, making the palette itself both unique and suitable for every taste. Of course, accompanying the mattes are what really makes the palette stand out and what has given it its hype status – the eight textured shades. Two of these, a baby pink with gold glitter (“Angelic”) and pale gold-white “Moon Dust” are labelled ‘press pearls’ on the back of the packaging, which sets them apart from the other 3D shadows but they are still gorgeously glittery and pigmented.

The variety of colours given in the 3D Textured formula are another reason for the versatility of the palette as a whole – see the look I created with a combination of the mattes and “24K” on my Instagram. The same could be done with the pinks and oranges – there are just so many opportunities to be creative and that is one of the things I love the most about it. One negative I will mention is the texture of the 3D shimmers is a little on the patchy side. The formula could be a little more creamy which would solve the issue. What I do if this shows up on the lids is add water to a small flat brush – this enables you to create a cut crease that is pigmented and structured, whilst hiding any patchiness where the glitter has built up. For a palette worth over 50 quid, I would maybe have expected exceptionality in the shades – however, I still think it is worth the money due to the versatility of the shades. Still, it would be even better if the formulations were flawless.

Stay tuned!

Love,
Sio

xoxo

NARS reaction

Hello the internet. It has been a while since my last post. But here I am again ready to give you regular beauty bests and blows.

This week an issue has to be addressed, and I suppose this is a good way to kick start my blogging career because it is an issue I feel strongly about within the beauty industry. From the title, you probably guessed it, that’s right – it’s animal testing.

Now, I have been cruelty free for a year. And let me start off by saying I still get as much enjoyment out of using makeup as I did a year ago without using products that test on animals. Kat Von Dee stated accurately in her Instagram reaction post – find that here – that it is a CHOICE for a brand to sell their produce in China, which by law requires cosmetics to be tested on animals. I really enjoy NARS makeup, and I would even go as far to say that their ‘Sheer Glow’ foundation trumps any other for me.

That is why I was so utterly disappointed and heartbroken when I saw they have decided to revert their status as a cruelty-free brand. Their excuse? They want to share a ‘vision of beauty and artistry’ to other parts of the world, this meaning China. I find this appalling to be used as any form of excuse – after years of not selling to China, why now? Why is this necessary? For profit, and profit alone. In short, NARS are choosing to inflict pain and suffering on innocent creatures in order to boost their bank accounts. I am utterly disgusted with the brand, and will no longer be recommending their products to anybody, nor will I be repurchasing anything from their brand – not even ‘Sheer Glow’.

Because the facts are in front of your greedy little eyes, NARS. There are so many brands that are just as good as you – Hourglass, BECCA, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Charlotte Tilbury, Too Faced… and that is only to name a few. Do you honestly think that we will continue to buy your product when brands such as these, on the same level, are cruelty-free and against the unnecessary suffering of animals?

Friends, we must take a stand against those who continue to exploit innocent lives for their own financial gains, we must fight for what we believe in. The greed on our planet is not limited to the beauty world, but we can make a difference where we can and speak  out when instances such as these occur. Send emails of complaint, comment on NARS’ ‘explanatory’ post displaying your outrage, spread the word. This is wrong, and it must end.

Look out for the symbols above to certify your makeup is cruelty free.

Love,

Sio
xoxo

 

Summer Style Favourites

I’m midway through my holiday in Cyprus while writing this, and I never want it to end. However, we all know that all good things must, and the good thing is that it is only the beginning of the summer. We have a few months left to enjoy all the good things about it… sun, sand, and style! Here are a few of my favourite trends going around this summer. Whether you are going away abroad or staying in the UK, which is warm at the moment too, then check out below for anything that catches your eye.

  1. Midi Skirts
    I remember a maxi skirt craze a few years ago that I wasn’t completely convinced by, but this one has definitely caught my attention. I love the way that midi skirts are the exact right length to be cool enough to wear throughout the hottest summer months, and am especially keen on the thin pleated material ones. For this summer season, paler colours, perhaps peach or pale pink (like the ASOS one below), are good to keep you cool and look stylish. I also like patterned skirts with a white cami and some sandals or wedges with a small heel. You can dress these down by pairing the skirt with some flats, too.
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  2. Slogan Tees
    These have been around for a while, but I feel that the full aesthetic force is coming out from Instagram small business boutiques and into high street shops. It is not a bad thing at all, because although they have been around for a while, they are really making an appearance this year and especially now during the summer months. I see them everywhere I go now, and I’m enjoying that you can stay on trend while being unique in the kind of thing you choose to wear. I have seen girls styling ‘Thrasher’ shirts in a lot more abundance this year, and I particularly enjoy this combination with a white tennis style skirt and even fishnet tights. I have also seen the Gucci shirt a lot on social media, which has led to high street inspirations, such as the “Amore” one from Topshop pictured below. This one looks great tucked a pair of distressed shorts. Maybe I’m slightly behind this band wagon, but I am enjoying the possibilities all the same.
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  3. One Piece Swimwear
    This has returned from a few years ago as well, but one piece swimwear has really come back into the spotlight. More people are opting for them over bikinis, even those with “bikini” bodies. I am particularly a fan of this one, because from this there will surely be less pressure on those girls who find it hard to struggle with getting into swimwear over the summer. This is one I hope stays. There are two one pieces of swimwear that I have had my eye on this summer. A more expensive option is the Tommy Hilfiger one, pictured below. I really like the colour red in this style of swimwear, it looks great with a tan and it really flattering on the body. Alternatively, Missguided have a great selection of one piece swimwear this summer, pictured second.

    Enjoy playing with all these great styles!
    Love,
    Sio
    xoxo

 

 

Outfits for Going Out-Out

I am back at University for my second year, so we are trying to go out and enjoy ourselves as much as we can before everything gets too serious! I thought I would share some of my favourite pieces to wear out with my friends at the moment, and some staple items of clothing you will definitely need in your wardrobe for nights out around this time of year.

  1. A staple crop top
    I feel like a black crop top goes with everything. Get one with an interesting design, a fun set of sleeves, or straps that make the piece a little bit different from the average. When you have one of these staples in your wardrobe, its hard to go out and have nothing to wear, because you can pair it with pretty much anything you want. This one I have from Topshop is great to wear with denim especially, a skirt or some jeans. But I like to style it also with a loose fitting skirt or even a midi skirt. Tops like this have endless styling possibilities and this is why they are necessary.
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  2. Bodysuits Galore
    There has been a recent craze over bodysuits that doesn’t show any signs of dying down any time soon. Personally,  I love them. Another very versatile piece that come in a variety of styles. The one I recommend currently is this one from New Look, which has a wrap around front. It is a bit more elegant than the crop top I just shared, so I wear it out for a nicer occasion. It reveals enough of your chest to still look classy while making a statement.
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  3. What about jeans?
    I feel like jeans are an item of clothing that often get passed over for something more dressy or eyecatching. Personally, I feel that a pair of black jeans can be incredibly helpful on a night out, especially around this time of year when the weather is beginning to cool down considerably. Wear some ripped jeans to add a bit more edge to your look, or dress them up by wearing heels. You can always just go for the classic ‘jeans and a nice top’ combination, but I feel there are other ways to do this than to just follow the crowd. Take a look at these ones from Boohoo.
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  4. Fishnets
    This is another edgy option – maybe if you don’t want to go dressy but don’t want to wear jeans, this may be one for you. The combination of fishnet tights and shorts has been one of my favourites so far since the hot weather has ended. I like the stylish, cool vibe it gives off and if you are pairing them with a pair of heels and crop top you can look kind of like something straight out of an Arctic Monkeys video, and I won’t lie, I’m definitely here for that. This combination is one from Fashionnova, and it is one not to be overlooked.
    Fashion_Nova_04-11-17-085_800x

I hope you consider some of these. I would love to hear from you, as well, so if there are any things you can’t live without on an evening in the town, let me know!

Love,
Sio
xoxo

NYX Lingerie Liquid Lipsticks REVIEW

I went a little bit crazy when the NYX store opened up in Boots. I picked up a matte lip cream first but found myself gravitating towards these Lingerie Liquid Lipsticks as well. I have a feeling that it has something to do with the fact that I still haven’t managed to get my hands on Kylie’s liquid lipsticks (stay tuned for that because it WILL happen someday). So, naturally, at £6.5o a piece I thought they would do nicely as a substitute until I could justify spending the money on Kylie’s. This being said, from what I have seen it turns out these liquid lipsticks are a nice dupe. I picked up the shades “Push Up”, a pinky-taupe nude, and “Teddy”, a much darker brown that reminds me of Kylie’s “True Brown”.

The main thing I will say about these lipsticks is that they are so difficult to get off – especially the darker brown. This makes them perfect to wear on a night out, as I have a few times already. The darker shade will stick on your lips just the way you want, but will not feel sticky at all; whereas I’ve noticed the lighter shade does transfer a little if you’ve been wearing it for a few hours. When I first purchased them, they were extremely smooth when applying, and although they still do glide on well I have found the formula turns a little more dry and clumpy after a month of opening. Despite this, it is still easy to solve as the applicator itself is long and flat, making it easy to sweep the product across your lips.

Overall, I’m still loving wearing these products. I love NYX as a brand, and prefer these Liquid Lipsticks to the matte lip creams that everybody raves about. The gradual dryness of the formula is the only down side, but this product is great value for money and the huge variety of shades available make it a great alternative for those who haven’t yet managed to get themselves a Kylie lip kit or two – as well as making it a neat product overall.

Love,

Sio xoxo