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20 December 2014

The Review | La Roche Posay Effaclar 3-Step Anti-Blemish System

La Roche Posay Effaclar 3-Step Anti-Blemish System*

Sometimes I have to pinch myself to remind me how lucky I am. La Roche Posay is a brand that has always worked for me and when my skin starts looking bad I know I can always turn to them. So when I was offered the chance to try their new 3-step anti-blemish system (which includes their infamous effaclar duo+) I jumped at the chance.

First up we have Effaclar Purifying Gel Cleanser which is designed to reduce excess sebum and leaves skin feeling clean and fresh. I've said on here before I'm a fan of gel cleansers - even though most people hate them - and this is no exception for me. It's very fresh, it's not tight at all and my face felt really hydrated. My advice would be to lather it on already wet hands and apply on a wet face otherwise I felt it didn't quite foam as nicely.

Next up is the Effaclar Clarifying Toner. As someone with oily skin the best advice I can give you is to use a toner and this one is a beaut. It has a very light fragrance which doesn't linger and isn't too tight. I've found since using it my face looks a lot brighter.

Lastly we have the Effaclar Duo+. I've done a full review on this here so I won't bore you again with it but just note: it's my absolute holy grail.

Overall I think this is such great value for money. Usually with these "kits" the sizes are reduced however you get full sizes with these which are lasting really well. It also comes with information and a leaflet about how each product works so you can get the best out of them. I had become really lazy with my skin over the past few months and it was definitely showing so this was a god send! If you're thinking of a skin care-esq christmas gift, this is what you want.

Have you tried this set? What were your results?

15 December 2014

The Home | Christmas Prep


So this is the first Christmas in our new home, which means hello new decorations! Was such a nice feeling to put it all together and I wanted to share a few pieces with you. We were quite adamant we wanted to choose the pieces together, however a few bits were gifts and others I picked out on the sly.

I'm so excited for Christmas this year as it's the first one we're spending together all day, and also we're having both our families here so it'll be great. I imagine we'll accumulate more Christmas stuff over the next few years and I can't wait to show you more pieces in the future and pictures from Christmas itself! If I was honest I'd love more candle bits dotted around - however I have a feeling lit candles + exploring kittens may not be the way to go...

Robin - Next
Reindeer - Boofle (Clintons)
Gold tree - Homebase
Stockings - Homemade
Red and gold bauble - Homebase
Mice - passed down through family
White tree - Homebase
Cats - all real
Gingerbread Man - Accessorize
Christmoose Sign - Next

How will you be spending Christmas?

13 December 2014

The Life Post | Comeback

Who am I? Yup, you're probably wondering that and I wouldn't blame you in the slightest. I've been a bit MIA but unfortunately life got in the way of my little sector of online life. Having been away from blogging for so long it did leave me to wonder if I really did want to get back into it, if I've missed it. Well, yes, I missed blogging and I missed having this to do - something to look forward to writing. I thought I'd let you in on why I've been so MIA lately and after that we can get back on track....

1. New Job
In May I started a new job. I know it shouldn't make that much of a difference, but I went from working in retail to an office job in marketing. This means I spend at least 8 hours of my day doing online marketing - which is basically what a blog is. So when I come home I'm not always in the mood to pop back onto a computer. Not only that, but the job is in London and I live just outside of Portsmouth - commuting takes up about 4 hours a day - which means less time at home, which has become precious.

2. New House
After I got my new job I was consumed with finding a house for me and my partner. We put an offer on one in July and moved in at the end of October. It was the most stressful process I've ever been through in my life, probably made worse by various different factors throughout the entire thing. What should have been a quick and easy sale soon turned into the slowest and most painful sale in what is probably our estate agents history - they even gave us wine when we closed - which no one else I've met has ever heard of happening before. So then it was moving in, unpacking, sorting things out etc....

3. November
This is literally the busiest month of the year for us. It's my birthday, my mums birthday, my partners birthday and our anniversary. This year we added first month in our new house, holiday and the arrival of two little kittens to this month. Busy doesn't even feel like it covers it. So after all the madness it was nice to just calm down for a few days - even though we were actually still doing house stuff. Hmm.

Anyway, I'm hoping that now everything has calmed down (with the exception of Christmas) I'm going to be available to blog a lot more. I have missed it an awful lot and I've REALLY missed being able to say "I'm a blogger!". As life is so busy at the moment I have a feeling this blog may start swaying more towards lifestyle then beauty but we will see. I will keep doing my reviews etc but it'll probably be nice for you guys to get to know me a bit better as well.

What do you think? What posts would you like to see from me in 2015?

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?