Student Life Tips and Tricks

So, moving out of home was a lot rougher than I had anticipated, hence why I haven’t been posting very often.  Being on your own, away from the safety net of your parents, is a very hard thing to do, despite the fact that I have done it before.  Moving into John Bell House Student Accommodation was a challenge, but it has made me a lot stronger and taught me a lot of things about myself.

When I first moved in I had the intention to cook every day, meal prep, go to the gym and have my life together… that did not happen.  Instead, the Deliveroo drivers know me personally, I order takeout every day, and my waist line is slowly increasing… not ideal.  However, after a long and hard chat with myself, I have come to the conclusion that I have to get my s***t together (excuse the language).

So, to start the first instalment of my student series, I will share with you some tips and tricks to surviving life as a student.

  1. Start as you mean to go on

It is very easy to tell yourself that you will get back to your routine next week, or to get lost in the rush of Freshers, but it is even harder to return to normality.  I have learnt that even when I am partying, or I am sick, or my life is falling apart, I need a routine of some sort.  Even if it’s just what time you eat dinner at, it is so important to have a few constants in your day.

  1. Good food doesn’t have to be expensive

I will be honest with you, I haven’t exactly cooked a lot since I have moved in, but I do have a few amazing recipes in my arsenal.  For example, tortilla pizza, white wine chicken (perfect for cooking and pre-drinks), or even a jazzed-up salad.  These recipies are quick, delicious and healthy… how can you argue with that.

  1. Make a budget, and stick to it.

Since working at Boots I have spent an obscene amount of money on clothes and makeup… none of which I regret purchasing, but it would have been nice to have an idea of just how poor I was.  It is very easy to get lost in the joy of receiving your student loan, but living off beans for the rest of the month isn’t exactly ideal.

  1. Meet people, make friends, talk.

One thing I have noticed more than anything is that Freshers is hard.  People think that you can move into university and start this perfect new life, that there will be no transitional period, that everything will fall into place.  However, this usually isn’t the case.  I have seen many of my close friends, me included, struggle mentally and physically to adapt to university life.  It is hard, and it is okay.  Making friends, being honest, being yourself, and taking some time to love yourself is the best thing you can do in university.


The Complexionista Palette

Okay guys, I have recently stumbled upon a little beauty gem that no-one seems to be talking about! Behold…. The Complexionista Palette by Benefit.

I have unfortunately never really tried any Benefit products before, and one day in work I stumbled across this little palette.  I was actually looking for the Hula bronzer when the sales advisor told me about this palette.

In the palette, there are the industrial concealer (shades 1 & 2), the hula lite bronzer, the hula bronzer, watts up cream highlight, and the dandelion highlight… all for the price of £26.5.

Now, let’s talk about the concealers.  Firstly, usually it is a struggle to find a concealer that matches my skin tone, everything is usually too dark, too orange, or too pink.  However, the concealer shade 1 was my perfect match, and it didn’t dry up or go cakey throughout the day.  I used this concealer around my nose, on a few blemishes, and underneath my lip.  The staying power of this ‘industrial’ concealer is in the name!  I swatched both of the shades on my arm and neither of them faded overnight.  I ended up having to use some heavy-duty makeup cleaner to get them off.


Next, the bronzers. Looking in the pan the Hula Lite bronzer looks a little too light, especially when I swatched it on my arm. However, on the face the colour seems to change and appear a lot darker than anticipated.  That shade is perfect for people with extremely pale skin who want a more natural contour or bronzer.  The Hula bronzer was just as amazing as I expected.  The colour sits well on my skin, and so I use it as both a bronzer and a contour, and it doesn’t fade or patch.

Lastly, the highlighters. The watts up cream highlighter is the perfect natural glow on your skin.  It isn’t glittery or too thick, and it doesn’t mess with your foundation. You could easily wear this cream highlighter alone and look perfectly glowy, or, for a more intense glow you could dust a little of the powder highlight on top.  The Dandelion powder highlight is a beautiful and subtle highlight that you can easily build up.  It gives a stunning glow to the skin without looking too intense.

This palette is a perfect travel companion, or as a little taster into the benefit cosmetics line. You get more than value for your money from this palette, and I would seriously recommend this to everyone.


(From top to bottom):  Dandelion highlighter, Watts Up Cream highlighter, Hula bronzer, Hula Lite bronzer, Industrial concealer shade 2, Industrial concealer shade 1.


Student Hacks Series

Being a student is hard… really hard.  Between the debt, the lack of time, the stress and the lack of sleep, it really is an uphill battle.  Sometimes it is the little things in life that can make you happy.  That could be having one night a week when you have a pamper night and a glass of wine, or when you cook yourself a delicious meal… regardless of what you do, it’s important to do something for yourself when you’re stressed at Uni.

I have recently moved out of my family home and into student accommodation, the exact same student accommodation I lived in last year.  Last year was quite stressful for me.  I never really decorated my room and made it my own, and I never made time for myself. This led me to feeling out of place in my own home, and constantly stressed with no outlet or way to relax.  So, this year I have decided to learn from my mistakes, and that’s where this new series comes in.

The Student Hacks series will be blog posts about being a student.  It will contain posts about ways to relax, simple and cheap recipes, and a lot of useful advice.

I plan to make this year the best year yet, and a positive attitude attracts positive actions.  I hope you enjoy the series!


BPerfect Carnival Palette



IMG_1083.jpgSummer is upon us, and so are the stunning trends of colourful eye shadow, rich pigments, and radiant highlighters.  Luckily for us makeup lovers, BPerfect released a new eye shadow palette in July that caters to all of our summer makeup needs and obsessions, and it is at a perfect price as well.


BPerfect is a versatile and innovative beauty brand that was created in 2013 by Brendan McDowell, and it is currently based in Belfast.  Throughout the past five years they have slowly released various products that have turned into makeup-must-haves and national favourites such as their 10-minute tan, LMD palette and now their carnival palette.


The carnival palette does exactly what it says on the tin.  It is a perfectly curated palette consisting of 24 stunningly bright, unique, pigmented and blend-able shades, as well as two beautiful highlighters.


Firstly, let’s talk about the build of the palette.  This palette costs £40, so it isn’t exactly the cheapest option on the market, and when I spend that amount of money on a palette I like to feel as though it’s quality and will be able to travel with it.   The palette itself is durable, thick and definitely on the heavier side… at least twice the weight and width of the Jeffree Star Androgyny palette.


This palette has 17 matte shades, 7 high-pigment shimmers, and 2 highlighters, as well as a good quality mirror and relatively large pan sizes.  There is a good variety of shades ranging from cooler tones, warmer tones and obviously the stunningly bright shades.


Sometimes when you’re working with bright shades they can be a little chalky, hard to blend and they can come together in a bit of a mess.  However, each shade is loud and vibrant in its own right, yet they don’t overpower each other.  Each shade seems to be individually pressed, and so the quality across the palette is very similar with regards to blendability, pigment and staying-power.


You can do virtually any look from this palette thanks to the variety of shades, and they last all day on your eye without a primer.


Overall, I think that this eye shadow palette is a must-have, and it is probably my favourite palette that I have ever owned.  It is more than value for money, especially since each shade works out at £1.7… how could you possibly say no?

My Perfect Smoothie Bowl

Recently I have adopted a new perspective on eating. Growing up, my fascination with my weight has always consumed me, and it has often led me down the paths of fad diets, restrictive eating and unhealthy tendencies.  However, after becoming hooked to the Youtube channel Bon Appetite I realised that I don’t have to be on a diet, but I do have to educate myself on the differences between wants and needs.

I now eat a lot cleaner than I used to.  I rarely eat junk food and I take pride in eating healthy and nutritious foods.

That’s where this recipe comes from.  I have always gazed hungrily at stunning photos of ‘smoothie bowls’ on Instagram, completely perplexed on how they make them look so delicious, and so I decided to create my own recipe.

  1. The key to a thick smoothie bowl is using frozen fruit.Firstly, you place your frozen fruit in a blender and pulse it until it’s ‘gritty’ in texture.
    • The fruit I like to use are:
      1. A handful of blueberries
      2. Five to six strawberries
  • Half a banana
  1. I then put in a splash of oat milk and pulse it a few more times in the blender. This makes it a bit creamier, but be careful not to over-blend because it will make it less thick.
  2. I then pour the smoothie into a bowl, my recipe usually gives enough to make a perfect individual portion
  3. I then scatter some homemade granola, blueberries, some sliced up banana and some chia seeds.
  4. If you are in the mood to make it a little sweeter, you could drizzle a little honey over the smoothie bowl.

This is honestly one of my favourite meals, regardless of the time of day!  You can customise it depending on your tastes, and enjoy it guilt-free.


My Lip Filler Experience

For some, getting lip fillers is a terrifying and daunting experience and for others, it is a luxurious treat with the added bonus of having the perfect pout.  Unfortunately, I used to have the more negative view with regards to lip fillers due to a bad experience.  However, I am now overjoyed to say that my most recent round of lip fillers was so positive that I cannot wait to get them done again.

What are lip fillers?

There are a few different types of lip fillers (also referred to as dermal fillers), but the type that I use are fillers made of hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronic acid fillers can last anywhere between six to nine months, depending on how much you get and if you’ve had them before. These fillers work by causing water to rush into your lips, filling them and giving them a more voluminous pout. The good things about this type of filler is that if they go horrifically wrong, you can use hyaluronidase which degrades the hyaluronic acid, lessening and eventually removing the effects.

You can get any amount of filler put into your lips, but I have found that different techniques yield different results, so the best piece of advice I could anyone is to research your aesthetician, look at their work and talk to them thoroughly.


What’s it like?

Again, this depends on your aesthetician.  The first time I got lip fillers the experience was so painful that I knew immediately I didn’t want to do it again.  For the few days following the fillers my lips had swollen to twice their size and were so bruised and painful that I could not eat. However, after about a week I was in love with the finished product.  It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but it was better than my natural lips.

The second time I got my lips done, the most recent time, it was done by my mum who is a nursing sister, specialist nurse practitioner, and newly qualified in aesthetics.  The experience that I had with my mum was completely different.  I was in significantly less pain, I barely bruised, my lips have no lumps or bumps, they weren’t too sore afterwards, and I got the exact look that I wanted.

My mum, Alison, trained in Array Aesthetics and she was taught a unique but effective technique for injecting the filler.  Alison was lighter handed and caused me a lot less pain during the process, not one tear was shed, and my lips looked perfect afterwards.


Is it sore?

I won’t lie to you, it can be sore when they are injecting the more delicate areas of your lips (such as your cupids bow), but I was in a lot less pain with Alison than I was the first time.

You are usually given some sort of numbing cream before your treatment to take away the sting, and the actual filler has lidocaine in it to numb the inside of your lips.  So, after the first injection or two I could barely feel anything.

At the end of the day, beauty is pain, but it doesn’t have to be overly painful.  I am so happy with my lips now, and I am so grateful that I have a perfectionist mother who is willing to inject my lips.

I would recommend this experience to everyone who is considering lip fillers!  It is something that I have always wanted to do, and as daunting as it can be, it is most certainly worth it.


My tips

  1. Moisturise your lips a lot for about three days before your treatment, and for the first week after.
  2. Drink more water before and after the treatment, especially after. The hyaluronic acid draws water into your lips, so it’s important to replenish the water in your surrounding tissues and keep yourself hydrated.
  3. If you’re nervous about the pain, call into the chemist and buy some Amitop or Elma numbing cream and keep it on for an hour before the appointment.
  4. Be picky about your aesthetician and research them and their work.
    1. Not everyone is qualified to do this, they must complete a specialist course.
    2. Beauty technicians will not be allowed to do this in the coming months due to changing guidelines.
    3. If it is not done right there can be bad consequences, so it is important that you go to someone who has been properly trained, and who will take their time.
    4. One person may be capable of doing multiple styles or catering to different needs, so make sure you talk to your aesthetician and tell them what you do and don’t want


My lips after the first experience:


My second experience (8 months apart):



I hope you enjoyed this blog post.  If you do decide to get lip fillers, tag me in any before and after photographs on Instagram!


Makeup Must-Haves​

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Building a good and reliable makeup kit from scratch can be difficult, daunting and expensive, especially when you veer towards the more expensive products.  A makeup artist once told me that a powder is a powder whether you put it on your eyes, your eyebrows or your face.  Makeup is your medium, it has no rules and you can use it how you like.

That is some of the best advice I have ever been given as a makeup artist, and it has saved me a lot of time and money.

On this blog post, I am going to list some of the best makeup I have used on both a personal and professional basis.  The majority of these products are more ‘drugstore’, and the main reason for this is because through the years of having a ridiculous makeup obsession, I have spent a little too much money on higher end makeup products because I thought that I needed them. Products can be multi-purpose and you don’t have to buy a million of them.

For example, in my professional kit, I have a few darker shades of foundation, a few of the lightest shades, and one or two in between.  I then just custom-make the perfect shade for each and every client.  This saves me a lot of money and space in my kit, which is a blessing for my back and my purse.

  1. B Perfect Carnival Palette

It is so useful to have a brighter eyeshadow palette in your collection, despite how scary bright eyeshadows can be. Before using this, I loved the NYX Ultimate Eyeshadow palette in bright lights (I think).  Colourful eyeshadows can add a creative flair to any look; a little blue pop on the inner corner of a bronze smokey eye, a little red underneath the eyes of a black smokey liner… the possibilities are endless.

The reason I love this particular palette is because of the wide colour variety, the continuity of the quality of the palette, and how long-lasting the shades are.  There are warmer shades and cooler neutral shades, colourful shades and two beautiful highlighters.

This multipurpose palette is an absolute must.

  1. Translucent Setting Powder

The Ben Nye is one of my personal favourites as this fine powder is amazing for baking or setting any area of your face.  My under eyes rarely crease, my face doesn’t look powdery and it doesn’t get oily either.

I also love the Coty Airspun Loose Translucent Powder, and I still do, but sometimes the scent can be overpowering.

  1. L’Oréal Pore Refining Primer

This primer is beyond the laws of physics… it is complete magic!  It completely removes the appearance of any pores, leaving your skin looking airbrushed before you apply your foundation.

I usually apply this to my t-zone and upper area of my cheeks to minimise pores, and then an illuminating primer on the rest of my face.

  1. Foundation Stick

There are two different types of foundation stick that I like; Tarte CC foundation stick, and the L’Oréal foundation stick. The L’Oréal stick is fuller coverage but unfortunately, they don’t have it in a shade for my skin tone.

The reason I recommend these foundation sticks is for contouring. If you’re a makeup artist you can carry a few different shades, and use some of them as contour shades.  I love the L’Oréal foundation stick in shade 200 for contouring.

It’s a perfect multi-purpose product.

Another great use for contour sticks is lipstick’s, lip liners, or the perfect under eye definition shade.

  1. Cream Blush

This is an underrated but must have product. It gives a natural glow and blush to the skin, and you can easily build it up, or dull it down.  Cream blush can also be used as a perfect lipstick that compliments your blush, a cream eyeshadow, or even an eyeshadow base.

Similarly, a lipstick can also make a perfect cream blush. Regardless, you put it on before you powder, and I promise you will not be disappointed.