Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Dragon

Afternoon all! This past week or so has been pretty packed what with going back to school, working and going on school trips, but I managed to somehow fit in painting my nails when I probably should have been doing something more productive with my time. Now that I have my nail wheels from Ebay, it is so much easier to pick the colour I want because I can see what it will look like rather than having to guess from the bottle. That being said, it just reminds me of how many pretty colours I own and that makes it a little more difficult. Either way, I own too many nail polishes.

If there is one brand that is consistently good with its nail polishes, it's Barry M. They are my go-to for cheap and cheerful summery brights, my favourites being from their Gelly Hi-Shine collection, a collection they have been expanding every time a new season rolls around. 'Dragon' is a beautiful barbie pink colour that is bright but not overly-so, making it very wearable for all occasions. Well, the shade name might actually be Dragon Fruit because that's what it says on the Boots website, however my bottle just says Dragon. I'm not fussy when it comes to pink nail polish, in fact the majority of nail polishes I own are pink (I own every shade of it under the sun). This reminds me of Nails Inc 'Brompton Place' which I do have but is old and gloopy now so I should really throw it out. It's too painful to think of doing that to the poor little thing though. The Barry M Gelly-Hi Shines are even better than the normal nail polishes by this brand - they are unbelievably glossy and very chip resistant. What more could you ask for? Barry M's lighter colours can sometimes go on a bit streaky and uneven but this seems to be an exception to the rule and two coats created a perfect opaque finish. I do have many similar colours to this in my collection (see all the pink nail polishes I own here) but this is my favourite.

On a side note, I am going to the Glasgow Caledonian University open day on Wednesday because it is almost application time (eek). I'm kinda nervous about going because it just reminds me that I only have one year left of school now before I venture out into the big bad world and that is a seriously scary thought for someone who detests change. There are quite a few courses that I am interested in applying for there, such as Social Sciences, Psychology and Multimedia Journalism so I'll let you all know how I get on. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Outfit: Fun in the Sun

What a beautiful day it is in Scotland today. Unfortunately, the majority of it was spent in school but I have arrived home now and changed into this little outfit to go and visit some family tonight. The weather has been pretty dire recently to be quite a honest, so a break from that has been very heavily welcomed! I even took my outfit photos outside because it was such a lovely day, and I really like how they turned out. Just look at that blue sky!

Top  -  Dorothy Perkins  /  Cami  -  New Look  /  Jeans  -  Zara  /  Wedges  -  Rocha John Rocha @ Debehams

Don't look too closely at my toenails, they are needing painted so bad. There is a massive chip in my left big toenail so from a distance it looks like it is just really short. And the last picture started off as an attempt to take a selfie but ended up as a picture of me looking down because the sun was hurting my eyes too much. I was in desperate need for some sunglasses. 

This top is one I recently purchased in the Dorothy Perkins sale for only £10 in Debenhams. It looked pretty on the rail but I liked it even better when I tried it on with this beige cami because then you can really see the flowers as they are surrounded by sheer sections. These jeans from Zara are super comfy, apart from the fact that they are falling down and I need to hike them back up every two seconds (belts annoy me). And finally, my wedges are from a brand that I associate with old ladies, sorry if that offends anyone, but these are not old lady shoes. They are my new favourites and they go with everything. If only the summer wasn't over and I could get more use out of them. The one downside to them is the front arcs up slightly so you kind of rock on them if you get what I mean, and it makes them a little difficult to walk in despite not being very high. You just have to be very careful when putting your feet down. 

I think it is about time I had a drink in the sun now, don't you? How are you spending your day?

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Nepal in Pictures Part Two: Charity Project

I have more Nepal photos to show you today, this time of our charity project which took place in a school in Bhaktapur, an area of Kathmandu. This was one of my favourite parts of the whole trip because we got to meet all the kids and they are all just so lovely. It's actually a school set up by a charity, which I forget the name of now, because you have to pay for education in Nepal and so they set up this one for those who can't afford it. It broke my heart to see these little kids running home from school in the rain because they couldn't afford jackets. One day a girl from my group gave this other girl an umbrella to use because it was raining so heavy, meaning for her just to keep it, and the girl walked home then walked back to the school with an umbrella of her own to give the first umbrella back and then all the way back home again. The thing that really got me was her umbrella she got from her house to walk back was this old raggedy thing that barely kept the rain off her. Bless her.

We received a warm welcome to the school with some of the older kids coming in wearing their uniform on their day off. We were given a scarf, a gorgeous bunch of flowers and a red dot on our foreheads.
The flowers that I was given, all wrapped up in a leaf.
Two of the cutest kids I have ever seen.
Hard at work building a wall. It's tough work in that heat, trust me!
Top cement mixing team. I have one burnt arm from falling asleep on a bus with my harm out the window!
They had an assembly sort of thing every morning before classes start where they sing a couple of songs, one of which I am assuming is the national anthem, and they also do some weird actions. Here is a boy from our group joining in, and not really knowing what he is doing...
My favourite class - the four year olds. The one you can see at the front on the bottom left is stunning. Her eyes are gorgeous.
We brought a football and may have disturbed their work whilst playing with it in the classroom...
This little boy is only five years old yet can write his name in perfect English, and it isn't even his first language.
"My name is Suradra Maji."
Teaching Nepali kids how to make loom bands - they were fascinated by them! The one at the front with two braids looking down made me one which I will treasure forever. 
This girl on the left is one of the nicest people I have ever met. She gave me a friendship bracelet which is still tied on to my wrist. I'm probably going to butcher the spelling of her name here but I'm just going to write it as it sounds - Bosara. She was just lovely.
Notice it says it was established in 2017 - they are on a different calendar from us. I only discovered that after finding out one girl was born in 2065!!
The school is literally just a hut with bars for windows, surrounded by sand, but the kids don't seem to mind.
The wall is a work in progress, as you can see here.
Look at them all standing so upright and proper! They acted as though we were celebrities and got so excited when we asked them for a photograph.
Teaching a maths class and number sequence.
Our part of the wall complete! I mixed all of that cement you know, just imagine how much my arms were burning afterwards! Once other schools from the UK have been out, this will be a 6ft perimeter wall to keep the school more secure and the children safer. 
As you can see, these kids really don't have much but they appreciate everything that they do have and make the most of it. They learn in what is basically a hut yet try their best and study hard, and that is just so inspiring. They want to do well in school and try and create a better life for themselves, which makes me feel a bit ungrateful for everything I have. You take so many things for granted until you see how little other people have. I can't wait to go back out and see the project finished and see the kids again. See you in a couple of years, Nepal!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Book Haulin'

I have a serious obsession with buying books, despite the growing 'reading pile' on my bedside table of books that have been started or I still have to read. I bought these books even though I have two that I still haven't read for my advanced higher English class, although I am slowly getting there. I think I might need to ban myself from buying any more or I'll never get through them all.

I Am Malala - Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb
I'm really looking forward to reading this book. I bought it off a local 'buy, sell, swap' Facebook group for only £1! All I had to do was walk over to the woman's house and pick it up. It's currently selling for about £18 on Amazon so that was a true bargain that I couldn't pass up. This girl, Malala, is the one that stood up for education for girls and was shot by the Taliban, but she survived to tell the tale. What an inspiration.

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen - Dylan Sheldon
I'm not entirely sure what this book is about of if it is going to be my cup of tea, but I had a voucher for WH Smith that couldn't be used online and the nearest store has a bit of a poor selection so I just went with this and the next book I am going to show you. Here's the Amazon link if you want to read the full description, but it is basically about a social outcast who competes with the popular girl for the main role in the school play. Doesn't really sound like it will be much more than an easy read for when I run out of other things but you never know.

The Truth About My Success - Dylan Sheldon
Like I said, there wasn't really much to choose from but I didn't want to waste the voucher. This one sounds pretty cheesy and unrealistic - it is about a famous 16 year old TV star who is a bit of a brat and has a really bad image so she is sent away to a sort of bootcamp in the middle of nowhere and replace with a lookalike who lives with her depressed dad, struggling to get by with very little money. It is inevitable that Paloma (the spoiled bitch) discovers what's going on and returns for revenge. Again, I don't think it is going to end up as my favourite book but it will do.

The Shock of the Fall - Nathan Filer
Now this is more like it. I am 60 pages into this and it is turning out to be such an interesting read! It is described as 'an extraordinary portrait of one man's descent into mental illness.' My absolute favourite quote from it is 'I'll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name's Simon. I think you are going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he'll be dead. And he was never the same after that.' (Don't worry, that wasn't a spoiler - it tells you on the back of the book). It is really uniquely written from the eyes of Simon's brother, Matt. I haven't even finished this and I am already prepared to recommend it to everyone.

When God Was a Rabbit - Sarah Winmen
Another book that I am very excited to read. This is next on my list after The Shock of the Fall and my English books. It is also unique in the way that it is written as it follows Elly through her whole life, from childhood to being a woman, all from her perspective. According to the synopsis, Elly and her brother Joe are very close until 'a single, earth-shattering event threatens to destroy their bond forever.' Ooooh, the suspension. This book spans four decades, moving between Essex, Cornwall and the streets of New York. Apparently, it's 'a story about love in all its forms.' Sounds like my kind of book.

I'll update you when I have read each of these books with what I think about them. I already know I'll be doing a Bookworm post on The Shock of the Fall and When God Was a Rabbit, and maybe the other ones depending on what I think of them.

If you see me buying any more books, give me a slap on the wrist.


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Buy My Own Domain?

I've been humming and hawing over the thought of buying my own domain name for my blog recently and I feel it is time to turn to you and ask for some advice. I'm trying to decide whether or not it is worth it. I know a lot of people think that it makes you look like a more serious blogger, plus the fact that it sounds better than having the obligatory '' at the end of your URL. What do you think - do you prefer when blogs have their own domain?

If you have swapped over and know of any good tutorials on how to do so then please feel free to link to them below. I'd also like to know what site you used and how easy it was. There's so many to choose from I wouldn't even know where to start!


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Outfit: Leopard Print Fever

Top  -  New Look  /  Jeans  -  Next  /  Wedges  -  Tamaris

It's another OOTD day post today, once again using a tripod. I am on a roll these days! I used a tripod in my last outfit post here and quite liked it, so I thought I would try it again. This maybe turned out slightly better than the last. Maybe one day soon I will even venture outside because outfit photos look so nice when people do that, don't you think? 

Animal print seems to be a bit of a dying fashion which really disappoints me because I love it! A print like this is a really statement piece and I think it can look great if you pair it with the right things and don't go overboard with it. The wedges really compliment it because they are quite plain but they still dress the look up a bit, and the bronze accent ties the whole look together. I also used a splash of red with my lipstick (Revlon Lip Butter in the shade Candy Apple, in case you were wondering) which contrasts with the browns and blacks in this outfit. This is one of my favourite outfits to wear at the moment - I feel it fits in nicely to the smart/casual trend that is so bloomin difficult to dress for.

I started back at school today as well - what a shock to the system that was. It has been a while since I saw 7am. Who even knew there were two 7 o'clocks in the day? Truth be told, it wasn't actually an awful first day back. This year I am taking advanced higher English, advanced higher Modern Studies, higher Geography and higher Business Studies which is a pretty full-on set of subjects, including two dissertations for my advanced highers. Whew. Hopefully I get in to the universities of my choice based on my 5th year results and I don't have to worry too much about conditionals and grades next year but obviously I still want to do well. I might not have as much time for blogging in the coming months with that workload but I promise I will try my best.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Nail Polish Collection: Pinks

I think it is about time I showed my entire nail polish collection. It's a big one (I have a bit of an obsession), which is why I am splitting it up into different colour categories. First up is the pinks which is probably my favourite one. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for blues/greens, reds/oranges/yellows, purples, darks, nudes and sparkles - yep, I have that many that they have to be split into SEVEN different blog posts. Holey moley.

I bought a set of these nail wheels on ebay for less than £2 and they have come in so handy. They are great for helping to decide what colour to paint my nails because I can just take a look at the different wheels and see which one suits the mood I am in. Just search 'nail wheels' to buy your own.

(see above for the corresponding swatches)

1. Liz Earle - Pink Perpetue (creme)
2. Ciate - Knickerbocker glory (creme)
3. Barry M Gelly Hi Shine - Pomegranate (creme)
4. Nails Inc - China Town (pearl)
5. Missguided - Misschevious (creme)

6. Nails Inc - St James (creme)
7. Sinful Colors - Forget Now (shimmer)
8. Bev Ridge & Friends - no shade name (creme)
9. Nails Inc - Kew Bridge (creme)
10. Colour Unlimited - no shade name (creme)

11. Essie - Secret Story (creme but quite sheer)
12. Sinful Colors - Cream Pink (sort of matte)
13. Company - Cara (creme)
14. No7 - Cheeky Chops (creme)
15. Rimmel - Magenta Magic (shimmer)

16. Tanya Burr - Bright & Early (creme)
17. Ciate - Kiss Chase (creme)
18. Collection 2000 - Hoola Hoop (creme)
19. Barry M - Dragon (creme)
20. Colour Unlimited - no shade name (creme)

This would have been a very long blog post if I had reviewed each of these nail polishes, so if you would like to know what I think of any of them let me know in the comments and I will reply with a quick overview! Stay tuned for the rest of my nail polishes, coming soon.

What's your favourite colour to wear on your nails?

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Outfit: Slouchy Sunday

Cardigan  -  Oasis  /  Top  -  Forever 21  /  Jeans  -  Zara  / Trainers  -  New Look

Oooh look at me being all fancy and using a tripod to take OOTD pictures! My poses are so awkward because I'm not used to doing it, I still haven't moved on from the easy peasy mirror selfies. However the rest of the world has so I should try and keep up with the times. I'll maybe even venture outside next time.

OOTD's aren't something I often do and I'm sure why. I probably picked the least interesting outfit to show but I really like it. It is so comfortable and perfect for a casual weekend when you don't have anything planned and maybe just have to pop out for a few errands. The cardigan is a new addition to my wardrobe and I already love it. It's so slouchy and comfy with its loose style and drop pockets. It looks really nice with just a loose plain tee under like this one. I have a feeling I could be wearing this a lot in the next few weeks with the changing season. And aren't those shoes clear copies of Vans?! A hell of a lot cheaper though.

My makeup is just my usual - a bit of Bare Minerals foundation, Collection Lasting Perfection concealer, Rimmel Stay Matte Powder, Benefit Gimme Brow, Maybelline The Falsies Flared mascara, Rimmel blush and Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me. My makeup looks pretty much the same every day and that's it right there. On my nails is Rimmel 'Mary Mary Quite Contrary' - best name ever for a nail polish. I also have on my Sekonda rose gold watch, some friendship bracelets from Nepal, my vintage ring that was passed down from my gran and an 'H' necklace I was given as a gift years and years ago. I have my hair in its usual style as well - my natural curls, with the roots smoothed down a bit with straighteners so I don't look like I have been electrocuted. I love wearing the front of my hair braided back like this, I hate it being in my face all the time.

What do you think of the tripod pictures? Yay or nay?

Friday, 15 August 2014

Back To School: The School Bag Beauty Essentials

The return of school is slowly creeping up on us. Sigh. The only thing I love about going back to school is the buying of the new clothes and stationery and organising my new school bag. The rest I try not to think about. Like the exams...

I always carry a few bits and pieces in my school bag for topping up on makeup and other beauty emergencies. It's always the days that I forget to pack it that I need it the most! Here's what I carry around with me.

POWDER: Classrooms can sometimes be warm and stuffy so you want to have powder with you to blot away that shine, especially if you have naturally oily skin. Powder is a quick fix to spruce up all of your makeup and makes it look fresher, rather than like you applied it hours ago (which you probably did). It's also great for helping your makeup to last longer so it doesn't slide off your face by the end of the day.

CONCEALER: It's always handy to carry around your concealer to top up on coverage on any problem areas, such as spots and dark circles. Concealer doesn't often last very long on spots and the redness can seep through very quickly. A small dot on the very inner corners of your eyes can help to wake up your whole face when you start to crash - you did get up early after all.

MASCARA: This isn't really necessary for everyone. I find that my eyelashes droop after a little while because they don't hold a curl very well so sometimes I like to add a little extra mascara half way through the day. I don't always do this, only when I feel I really need it. It's still a handy thing to carry around just in case. You never know when you might need it!

LIP BALM: Dry, chapped lips is not a good look so always keep some sort of lip balm to hand. Even if you bring a lip gloss, it's better than nothing at all. I like to use a tinted one just because I like how it looks. A little bit of colour without being too full on.

MIRROR: You'll need a mirror for all your makeup top-ups!

HAIR BOBBLE AND HAIR GRIPS: Sometimes when I am wearing my hair down, it gets on my nerves and I fiddle with it and fiddle with it before giving up and sticking it in a ponytail. It's always handy to carry a hair tie or two for these very occasions, or at least some hair grips to pin some pesky bits back.

DEODORANT/BODY SPRAY: This one is pretty self explanatory. You wouldn't want to sit next to a smelly person in class so don't subject another pour soul to that. 

And there we have it!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Bookworm #4: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent is the latest dystopian novel that has teenagers (and most likely their mums too) going batshit crazy and swooning over a hunky main character. After the success of The Hunger Games, it was inevitable that another book along those lines would take over, become a movie and be a world phenomenon before something else takes its place and it is quickly forgotten about (remember Twilight?). Even though it was first released in 2011, it has only recently taken off and made Veronica Roth and fair amount of cash. And, why? Because it is awesome.

I must admit, I am sucker for a book with a good love story and a dramatic twist, which basically describes every young adult novel out there. This one takes a slightly different direction, being set in Chicago in the future. Society is divided into five 'factions' - Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the intelligent), Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless) and Dauntless (the brave). Each year, sixteen year olds choose which faction they would like to live the rest of their life in, be it the one they grew up in or another one entirely. They all take an aptitude test which should tell them which faction they are destined for. It should, but doesn't always. Beatrice Prior - later known as Tris - makes the decision to switch from Abnegation to Dauntless, despite having inconclusive results. She is divergent. This fact is something she must keep hidden as she discovers people like her are being hunted. Cue the imminent and obvious discovery of her secret and a dramatic battle. This book is all quite predictable but it is written in such a way that you don't really care, and you just want to keep turning the pages to see which event is going to occur next. It's is another one of those books that follows the plot of teenage-girl-saves-the-whole-world but with a slight twist on it. Throw in the attractive character of Four and you have yourself a winner.