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7 October 2014

The Life Post | Life After University

There are a couple of reasons for this post - yes it's not beauty but I do like to dabble occassionally in some little life leasons. Just call me Jeremy Kyle (please don't). Anyway, reasons.
1. My mum told me the other day that it's been 6 years since they took me to uni... WHERE did the 6 years go?
2. Seeing loads of people go off for their freshers has definitely made me nostalgic
3. Witnessing how hard it is for some people when they come out of uni and don't go where they want to go...

Because of these I thought I would just share my experiences just to let you guys know that uni is just one part of life, one step, and although I've not had the smoothest of transitions from uni to career, I did get there eventually and so will you.

Year One (July 2011 - July 2012)
When I left uni I was working in retail and picked up some extra hours. To begin with I was doing around four days a week. I also went on a couple of holidays - Portugal for a family holiday right after my graduation and then Adam and I went to Australia for four weeks for a little travelling. I would definitely recommend using this time to have a little travel - you are NOT going to get another opportunity with a full time job so don't waste it. I also went to London for a long weekend with the girls. Lovely!

Personally, I was with my boyfriend as I had been for 3 years already by that point and had it in my head that we'd move out, rent and live happily ever after. Well, when you've done long distance for three years it's not so easy to to relax back into each others company, it takes work and effort.

When I got back from Australia I picked up full time hours in retail and with every spare moment was applying for PR and marketing jobs. By January I was offered a job in a small marketing agency down South. I was really happy and went for it, head first, no worries. I couldn't wait to get out of retail and start my "life" as I thought at the time. My boyfriend also got his job around the same time so as far as we were concerned we were plain sailing. I had it in my head that our jobs meant moving out. Oh how wrong I was. We had decided to buy instead of rent so that meant savings obsession. Couple that with a shopping addiction and you can imagine how well that went.

This was also the year I started my blog. I wanted a seperate outlet from work that I could focus on and have a hobby that was my own, and if I'm honest I was beginning to miss uni so I felt like I needed something extra when I got home to do. 

Year Two (July 2012 - July 2013)
This was probably one of the hardest years of my life. I had started to hate my job, not the job so much as I'm still in marketing, but definite aspects of the job and it was making me miserable. I lost a lot of confidence and it was affecting relationships outside of work, including with Adam. We had booked a holiday to Dublin for September so I was determined to make a change by then. As it happened the retail chain I used to work for offered me a "promotion" in one of their stores. I decided to take it, have a bit of a break from career stuff and just think about what I really wanted. It was a good time to sort myself out as well, build my confidence back up and get me back. It was one of the best decisions I ever made looking back.

At the time I thought I may like to try something new so I signed up for a teacher training course with a local college and I started that in January. I really enjoyed it and was definitely valuable to do, however after doing it and looking at available jobs in teacher training my mind wandered back to marketing. Year two was definitely a "regroup" year. One that was desperately needed and I learnt a lot.

Personally, the house stuff seemed further away then ever as I did take a slight pay cut. I was a lot better at my savings and I was finally out of my overdraft which had plagued me since uni. Not living with Adam was very frustrating, but we needed that time to save and I needed that time to get back on top of myself. We had some disappointments in terms of Adams career as well which set us back, all in all it was a bad year house wise.

Year Three (July 2013 - now)
I started to really get into job hunting and really focused on marketing jobs. I would only apply for ones I really like the sounds of, I didn't want to be stuck somewhere I hated again, I was very cautious. I was getting bored and antsy in retail and wanted to get back on the career track. For a few months it was incredibly frustrating and Adam and I knew if one of us didn't get something we wouldn't be able to move in together. After MONTHS of searching, interviews and constantly coming up second best I was finally offered an amazing marketing job in London in May this year.It's not ideal commuting every day but I love my job so I can't complain.

Adam and I are also FINALLY in the process of actually buying a house, which has been a bit of a nightmare, but we're getting there and we couldn't be more excited. Three years after graduating and I finally feel like my "life" is starting.

So what am I trying to say? Three years guys, it's taken me three years to get where I want to be, jobwise AND personal wise. If you are in these three years at the moment my main piece of advice would be don't panic and get too down about it. The right thing will come along, it will just take time and work. It has been a weird three years and it's definitely been challenging at times, but I'm finally where I want to be (well, when I get the keys to my house I will be anyway) and I do think it's all happened as it's supposed to.

Just because you don't have your dream job now doesn't mean it won't come along and find you. Just because you're not in your dream flat or house, again, you'll get there. I was lucky as I had such a good support network around me who helped and I would definitely say use them! They helped me through it all, without them I would be a bit of a shadow of myself.

This is a bit of a long rambly post so sorry about that.. But it just seems to be everyone I look at the moment so thought I'd chuck my two cents in!

How did your life look after uni?

5 September 2014

The Mani | Trialling White Nails

These seem to be EVERYWHERE at the moment. Honestly, I was holding off as it reminded me of when I used to put tippex on my nails at school. But you know, I thought I would give it a whirl! It wasn't something I was 100% confident doing it but you know, everyone else seemed to like it so why not!

I'm loving the Rimmel nail polishes at the moment so I picked up Rita Ora's White Hot Love. It only took two coats to this really opaque white colour. I was worried about how sheer white could be but this was so thick it really didn't need too many coats. For the first few hours I was quite conscious about them, but they definitely grew on me and I got so many compliments! Even from guys...

I was very surprised at how white and clean these stayed as well. For me white is usually dirty so quickly but these stayed white and in tact for a week which is very impressive. I'm still not 100% about white nails, but I'm glad I tried it and I would wear it again.

What nail trends should I try next?

2 September 2014

The Review | Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain

It's been a little while since I treated myself to some lovely little lip producs and I have to say, I was having some withdrawal symptoms. I'd seen these advertised and I love Revlon's lip products, I've always found them to be really high quality for a drug store brand and I love the colours. Having not been too bothered about lip stains in the past I was autmatically a bit dubious but hey, in the spirit of getting my blog mojo back I wanted to give them a whirl. I was pleasantly surprised.

Revlon's ColorStay Moisture Stain is a creamy, non sticky formula combines Vitamin E and Aloe for moisture with lightweight PureStain pigments. Effectively it's a long wear highly pigmented, non sticky lip gloss. In terms of pigmentation these aren't sheer in the slightest. They have a high pigmentation and definitely stain the lips. I wore Barcelona Nights on a girls night out recently and it was still there in the morning eek. There's no stickiness which is a big plus for me and are super comfortable to wear for a creamy stain. 

I chose two pinks to help pull me back into a lip colour frame of mind. Barcelona Nights is a beautiful blue toned bright pink, amazing for if you want something a little bit special. LA Exclusive is an everyday lips but better colour. I've been wearing this on my lips everyday and is the one I keep handy in my bag. Both are bluey toned pinks which I think suit my skin so much better than yellow toned lip products. 

In terms of longevity I'm in two minds. Although Barcelona Nights did stain the lips til morning it was still faded and I think that has more to do with the fact that I had to touch it up around three times to keep up the intensity of the colour. In terms of LA Exclusive as it's such an everyday colour it's hard to tell when the colour has really faded but I like to top it up every couple of hours anyway. What I do like about them is that they don't transfer - straws/glasses/forks etc - they don't pop over onto the object which is great. I do love that about them.

All in all I do really like these. It doesn't really bother me to have to top up my lip colour (foundation/eyeliner yes, lip colour no) every few hours and the colour pay off and quality is so nice it's worth it.

What colours should I try next?

27 August 2014

The Review | Benefit They're Real Push Up Eyeliner

Over the summer I have been edging more towards a smudged liner, however as the weather start to turn more chilly I've gone back to my safety net of winged liner. I usually use a liquid liner, however since I've started my daily slog to London and back I've had issues with smudging, transfer and longevity so I decided I'd try something more from the gel range. Benefit have recently released new additions to their "They're Real" range, including their Push Up Eyeliner. It's a gel eyeliner pen, the first of its kind (as far as I know) and I was definitely intrigued. Due to the price however I did decide to wait a few weeks to gauge the reviews and see if I really did need it. Well, I ended up getting it anyway.

In terms of application I had heard it took a while to get used to a this gel pen. In a way yes, but overall not really. As long as you keep squeezing the nib at the top to release any left over gel you're fine, then use it like any other liner pen. I feel a little like the line isn't quite as black and and bold as I would like it so it does need a couple of layers to be able to build that up. Touch annoying but doable. It is VERY easy to create a lovely even wing with this and I do find it very easy to match both eyes. Once you're used to it it's no problem at all and I love how it looks. It does look very clean and there's very minimal mistakes.

In terms of wear and tear I put it to the ultimate test of London commuting. I'm having some mixed results I have to be honest. Sometimes there is not problem with it, by the time I get home it's slightly faded but nothing really disastorous. Other time it's flacky and smudged. Not ideal. I have found that using eyeshadow underneath does help it stay in place and not flack, but it does still fade. It's better but still not exactly what I was hoping for. I do love it and I love the look it gives. Maybe some eyeshadow primer will help?

Have you tried this new gel liner?