Friday, 2 December 2016

Preparing Your Skin For a Big Night

By now your social calendar may be quickly filling up with festive parties and Christmas get-togethers - but all of the lovely food, drink and late nights can really have an effect on your skin. You'll want to ensure that it is looking its best, particularly as party after party can take its toll and leave your skin looking dull and tired. To help, Dermalogica retailer Pure Beauty have shared their favourite tricks and tips to keep your skin looking radiant.

The Night Before
While you won’t be able to sort out your pores overnight, you can make a big difference to your skin by reducing possible inflammation. One way to do this is to use a sheet mask, or you can soothe the skin with a cooling face mask. This will help manage any spots or redness you have and mean that you have less to conceal the next day.

Drink Plenty of Water
Possibly one of the easiest tips to follow on the list - upping your water intake can greatly benefit your skin. Drinking enough water essentially moisturises your skin from the inside out. If you don’t drink enough, your skin may look dull and wrinkles and pores could become more prominent.
Being hydrated won’t just benefit your skin either; avoiding dehydration increases your energy levels, helps limit the severity of a hangover and generally makes you feel better.
Pro tip: If you’ve got dry skin, dabbing Vaseline on a clean, moisturised face can help seal in the moisture. You’re unlikely to break out from it either, thanks to the large molecules of Vaseline which are too big to clog your pores.

Don’t Have Skincare Treatments on the Day of the Party
If you have a peel or a facial treatment on the same day as your event, you might be contributing to a disaster rather than making things better. Most people will end up red-faced after a proper skincare treatment session, which isn’t a great party look! You’ll also clog up your fresh pores when you slap makeup over your newly treated skin. Stick to a week before as a general guide. However, you can add an extra dose of moisturiser earlier in the day to help keep your skin hydrated.

Keep your Skincare Routine Simple
Stick to a basic routine that maximises moisture and cleanliness. Remove excess dirt and oil with a cleansing water, then moisturise. Exfoliate once a week, as scrubbing the dead skin cells from the surface can be damaging if done too often.

Eat Well
Salty, fatty foods contribute towards bad skin. Salt also increases the puffiness of your eyes, so avoid snacking on chips and crisps. Various foods can provoke reactions even if you’re not allergic, such as dairy – so avoid these in the run up to the party. Focus on healthy food and you’ll find yourself with healthy skin.

Go Makeup Free
Makeup, for all its wonders, is also bad for your skin. If you’ve got the confidence for it, going to a party without makeup on can actually make you stand out for all the right reasons, as you’ll be showing off your natural beauty and saving your skin for an evening. If you can’t go without, try to tone down the heavier concealers and foundations which tend to be the worst.

Don’t Forget Your Lips
Finally, make sure you take good care of your lips. Perfect your pout by fending off dry skin with a lip scrub and wearing a lip balm to keep your lips moisturised throughout the winter.
If you take care of your skin, it’ll take care of you. Prepare for your party so that you can strut your stuff and turn heads for all the right reasons. Just do your best to not pass out drunk afterwards and forget to remove your makeup!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

How To Save Money As A Student

1. Plan Meals & Do Online Shops

Unless you are lucky enough to live next to a supermarket or superstore, it's a good idea to do your food shopping online. Plan out your meals for the week (head to Pinterest for some good healthy inspiration!) and make a note of all the ingredients needed for your next week of meals. Order your ingredients online (via Tesco/Asda) and have them delivered straight to your door while saving money! In smaller shops, such as Tesco Express or Sainsburys Local, prices are bumped up and you can end up spending much more - so always opt to show in large supermarkets. Planning meals in advance also means that you are shopping with a clear list - making it easier to stay away from unnecessary food and snacks. Another helpful tip is to always shop on a full stomach; don't let your hunger get the better of your money!

2. Take It In Turns To Buy Necessities

Take it in turns with your flatmates to buy the necessities for your flat. Things like toilet roll, washing up liquid, shower gel and bin bags can all add up if you're buying them weekly, so come to some sort of agreement with your flatmates and sort out who will buy what and when. It's also a good idea to all put some money together when you move in to stock up on essentials - sponges, washing up gloves, scourers, bleach, cleaning detergent and washing machine tablets will not come with your flat so put a little bit of money aside at the start to get them instead of having to buy them throughout the year.

3. Make Lots of Food & Freeze It

If you're a student attempting to save money, your freezer is pretty likely to be your new best friend. Making single meals for yourself can be quite inconvenient and wasteful (spaghetti bolognese for one, anyone?), so it's a good idea to make a few extra portions and freeze them. This means you can stretch out your meals and get way more out of them - and effectively save money and time! Making more portions also means that you can take a packed lunch out with you, saving you money that you may have spent on buying lunch. It's also a good idea to cook joint meals with your flatmates too, which will save you all money. Cooking up a big casserole dish will only cost a couple of pounds each and can feed four of you four an evening.

4. Walk & Cycle Where You Can

Investing in a bike will save you a LOT of money as a student. Cycling to and from Uni will save you spending money on catching the bus (which can add up to as much as £12 a week) and will ensure you squeeze some exercise and fitness into your time too. Cycling also means you can avoid waiting around for unreliable city busses! If you don't have a bike, try to walk as much as possible instead of taking the bus. It may seem like you're only saving a couple of pounds here and there, but in the long run it will make a huge difference. It's so easy to just catch the bus into town to do your shopping, but if it's within distance then try to walk instead.

5. Only Use What You Need

This may seem very obvious, but it's an easy thing to forget. Only use what you need in your house and make a conscious effort to save energy. Turn the lights off when no one is in a room, do not leave the television on standby and only put as much water in the kettle as you need. Don't spend obscene amounts of time in the shower (difficult I know!) and unplug phone chargers, electric blankets and speakers when they are not in use. It's a good idea to put your heating on a set timer too, so that it only comes on in the mornings and evenings - the most important times of the day to heat up your house.

For more student advice, read my Things To Consider When Renting as a Student and So... You're Going To Uni? posts.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Survive Christmas with Vivus Loans

Image result for christmas

The run up to Christmas is one of, if not the, most expensive times of the year. There are Christmas presents to buy, decorations to be put up and that big Christmas dinner isn't going to pay for itself. If you have family coming to stay then you may have extra food and alcohol to buy - not to mention the costs of planning day trips and seasonal days out. On top of all of this, what if something else goes wrong that requires more money? It's difficult to keep money aside for emergencies, but if your boiler breaks down then you're going to want it fixed pretty fast - especially in December - which can cost a lot. All of this can seem pretty daunting and impactful on your bank account - and at times you may even find yourself a little short of money. 

Taking out a short term loan around this time of year can be super helpful and beneficial - particularly one that you do not have to pay back until your next pay check comes through. It means the celebrations can continue, Christmas presents will be bought and you'll be prepared and ready should anything go wrong. Taking out a short term loan can be an affordable and sensible way to get through the Christmas period and ensure that you enter the New Year in control of your money. 

Vivus loans does exactly the above - customers are able to take out a short term loan, and can then pay this money back when their next salary or pay check comes through. The process is very simple - you must apply, then (hopefully) get approved, and once approved you get the money and most only pay it back when you get paid. The interest rate for a first loan is 0.4% per day - so if you borrowed £200 for 25 days, you would be expected to pay £220 back. There is an easy-to-use calculator on the site which calculates how much will need to be paid back, giving you the control and decision over whether you will be able to pay the money back or not. Assuming that you meet the criteria and checks for taking out a loan, you will have the money in no time. 

Taking out a short term loan can be an effective way to give you some time and to help you get back on your feet until your next pay check. With Christmas just around the corner, it's definitely something to consider. 

Monday, 28 November 2016

Cocktails & Canapes at Browns Bristol

Last Wednesday evening I was kindly invited to Browns Brasserie & Bar in Bristol for the launch of their new revamp. I had the chance to try out their exciting new cocktails, had a taste of their menu in the form of beautifully presented canapes (which were delicious), and a glass of bubbly was even thrown in too. I've decided to share some pictures from my evening to show Browns' lovely new look, so that you can see the beautiful new decor and know what to expect next time you visit!
My favourite part of the revamp was the clean and crisp bar which boasted beautiful mirrors and bottles as far as the eye could see. If you're thinking of popping in for one of their new cocktails, I can highly recommend the 'You Rang M'Lordwhich was my absolute favourite! As far as the food went, I would literally recommend every single thing that I tried. If you feel like a serious treat though, order the lobster - it was absolutely beautiful. I'd like to thank everyone at Browns for inviting me down and I encourage everyone to go and check out their glamorous new look. 

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Black Friday with Yves Rocher

With Christmas round the corner (is it acceptable to put up decorations yet?!) and the New Year fast approaching, it's a busy and expensive time for everyone. If you've started your Christmas shopping or are starting to plan it (well done, you're ahead of me!), you'll be happy to know that it's Black Friday tomorrow - the day that marks the start of the Christmas shopping season - of offers, discounts and vouchers in most retailers. Make sure you keep a bit of time free tomorrow to check out some of the deals and save some serious money on your Christmas presents. If you'll be stuck at work or can't get to any of the shops, don't worry - there are plenty of online offers and deals, and some that last longer than just Black Friday. 

*This is a collaborative post*

One offer that is worth getting your hands on is the Yves Rocher Black Friday sale - which starts TODAY! Running from the 23rd to the 28th November, you can get yourself up to 70% off on a selection of 70 products. If you're looking to buy for mums, sisters, grandmas, boyfriends, dads (...pretty much anyone, really), Yves Rocher is the perfect place - I've just ordered a few bits and bobs for my family for Christmas. They offer face care, makeup, fragrances, bath and shower care, men's care, wellbeing products and more. If you register to the Yves Rocher newsletter, you can even get free delivery and further exclusive discounts. Below is my own little Yves Rocher wish list - I'm hoping to get these in the sale! 

1. Grand Rouge Lipstick (Ultra smooth application, creamy, moisturising and long-lasting)
2. Evidence Le Parfum (A woody, powerful and profound Patchouli essence)
3. Mascara Volume Elixir (Uses Hibiscus peptides to reinforce and repair lashes)

Where are you heading this Black Friday?

Thursday, 17 November 2016

3 Things To Consider When Renting A Student House

If you are a student looking to rent a property for next year, there is no better time to start looking than now. The earlier you get it sorted, the less stress it will be and you won't be left choosing from the less popular houses. I've decided to share some advice about the things I've learnt when renting as a student...

1. Agreements 
It's no secret that estate agents can take advantage of students, and believe me when I say I've experienced this first hand. When renting a house as a student is is very important to read through all of the terms and agreements before signing anything. It may look long and tedious, and there will be a lot of boring stuff, but it is 100% worth it. Last year my friends and I signed our tenancy agreement without reading it (we were eager to secure our new house!) and it turns out there was a lot of vital stuff we didn't know about. When our washing machine completely broke, we called up our estate agents to tell them and to ask for a maintenance man to be sent out to have a look (the usual procedure for student rental), and we were told that this was not possible. Turns out in our agreement we had agreed that any household items that broke or became faulty was our responsibility to fix and replace! So we all had to put our money together to buy a new washing machine which we then had to leave for the next tenants - not ideal. Always read through everything and ask your estate agent or landlord any questions you have before signing anything.

2. Fees 
When renting out a house as a student, there will be lots of different fees that you are expected to pay. As you are a student and this is presumably your first time renting your own property, you won't be too clued up when it comes to fees and extra charges - and this is where some estate agents can really take advantage. Paying agency fees and guarantor fees is a pretty normal procedure, but make sure that the prices are reasonable and you are not being overcharged. Have a look on (it really helped me!) to find out whether your fees are unreasonable, and if so look for a property that will charge you lower fees.

3. Deposits 
As with any property, you will be expected to put down a deposit before moving in. Estate agents are a little notorious for charging students a stupid amount for "damage" when moving out of the property at the end of the tenancy agreement. One way to avoid this is to take pictures of every room and area in the house the day that you move in. Make sure that the photos are timestamped so that you can clearly see the date they were taken, and if you want to take extra precaution in protecting your deposit, email the pictures over to your estate agent the day that you take them. This will ensure that they are in their records. Make sure that you photograph any stains, marks, rips, scratches and damages around your property - basically anything that you could potentially be charged for. If you do not have photographic evidence of the state of the property before you move in, there is a chance that you will get charged for any damage when you leave.

For more student advice, read my So... You're Going To Uni? and Things To Consider When Renting As A Student posts!