06 December 2014

Student Talk | Studying at University While Living at Home

When I received my A-level results and found out that I would be going to university that year, I was ecstatic. Then the fear kicked in: how am I going to make friends when I'm living at home? Will I have the motivation to study at home while everybody else is having student parties? What am I going to do in case of a assignment emergency?

After dealing with it for quite a while now, I thought I'd compile a list of tips and advice that I learned as I lived at home and studied at university. Of course the obvious benefits are a given: from saving money to stay connected with old friends and family, the hassle of not moving out can be a really good choice for some people. 

What many people fear, however, is not being able to take advantage of the ‘full uni experience’; from going to Freshers parties to creating a bond with your new-found roommates. Even the simplest things like studying at your University library till late or attending evening events like societies can cause great hassle for a commuter who dreads that late train journey on their own.

1. Make use of the commute – whether you have some reading to catch-up or need to reorganize your notes (although I wouldn’t recommend completing an assignment on the day its due!), now is the best time to do it. Without as many disturbance as you would have at home, you can get a lot done on the 1 or 2 hour journey to and from university.

2. Don’t just come in for your lectures – try to stick around campus before and after your lectures or seminars. By visiting the library or getting your work done elsewhere, this is a great time to meet new people as well as bonding with your fellow ‘classmates’ by socializing during lunch breaks. You also end up getting to know your way around campus a lot more.  

3. Join societies – for me, this is the part I found most difficult. I had planned to join so many societies within the first week of uni only to find the journey back home at 7:30 in the evening was more than off-putting. Now I just dedicate one day a week to attend a society, most of them different ones, and I have to say it works a lot better. It’s also a bonus if you can get persuade a family member to give you a lift home just once a week!

4. Don’t be discouraged – although uni life can be daunting at first, just remember that everyone feels that way. All you have to do is just be open to new experiences and whether you live at home or on campus, you will truly cherish these moments of being a student and finding your won feet. Just remember to keep a good balance between studying and socializing!

That’s all for now, but I really hope this helped anyone who felt the same way I did when I first started university.

Rock The Monochrome Look

So here i put together an chic, monochrome look you can wear this winter.
Adding leather accessories with the cute backpack and matching leather shoes with edgy gold buckles really puts this look together.

For the actual outfit, you can choose practically anything black and white! I chose this slogan tee and checked skirt, both of which are big trends this year!

Jacey Like a Boss Crop Top: £7 @ wearall.com
Black Check Mini Skirt: £30 @ River Island 
Black Chunky Cut Out Shoe Boots: £30 @ New Look
Nelly Accessories Pocket Backpack: £35 @ nelly.com

19 November 2014

Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style and Success – Online and Off by Michelle Phan | First Impressions

Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style and Success – Online and Off by Michelle Phan youtube beauty guru

Now, when I first heard Michelle was releasing her first ever book, I was ecstatic yet also intrigued…. Would it simply be an entire book about Make-up or would she be able to offer something different and more exciting?

To my happiness, the title said it all: “A life guide to beauty style AND success” adding the cute reference ‘online and off’ success, suggesting some tips on this area too. I couldn't wait to have a read so i hit that pre-order button and waited patiently for months for it to arrive, which it did just a few days ago.

Here’s what I thought:

The Blurb:
Michelle Phan has believed in makeup since the first time she was allowed to try eyeliner. When she looked in the mirror and saw a transformed version of herself looking back, she fell in love with the sense of confidence that makeup could give her.  Ever since she posted her first makeup tutorial on YouTube, she has dedicated herself to inspire millions by using makeup as a tool for transformation and self expression.

Now, Michelle has compiled all of her best wisdom into Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success--Online and Off. From creating a gorgeous smoky eye to understanding contouring to developing an online persona, Michelle has advice to help you transform every facet of your life. Make Up is packed with Michelle’s trademark beauty and style tutorials,  stories and pictures from her own life, and advice on the topics she is asked about most, including etiquette, career, entrepreneurship, and creativity. From the everyday (such as how to get glowing skin) to the big picture (such as how to turn your passion into a profession), Make Up is a practical and empowering resource to help anyone put their best face forward.

First of all, the cover is so pretty - the light blue background and beautiful picture of Michelle in a formal dress, applying lipstick with her trusty iPhone as a mirror pretty much sums up the theme of the book. I am glad it’s not the typical bright pink girly book you'd expect, but instead has an artistic edge to it with beautiful blend of colours and illustrations, some of which are personally drawn by Michelle herself, it really shows the time she has taken to really add her stamp to it. 

It's not just about make-up as you would automatically assume either. Broken into various parts, Michelle introduces you to various parts of her life: from her up-bringing to teaching readers the basics of skin-care and make-up as well as tips & tricks for hair, nails and fashion. But that is not all, no – She expands even further by creating chapters focusing on the do’s and don’ts of the digital world, finding and keeping a job, finding your passion and she even teaches you modern-day etiquette.

Is there anything she can't do?

Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style and Success – Online and Off by Michelle Phan youtube beauty guru

Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style and Success – Online and Off by Michelle Phan youtube beauty guru

I was forever looking for a good beauty/ life-style book that is not simply focused on make-up and I am so happy to have found one. This book gives a perfect introduction to everything a young woman needs to know, whilst providing an insight into the life of Michelle Phan herself by sharing parts of her life previously unseen - as well as demonstrating a great depth of her own knowledge to readers.  
However, if you were expecting something more beauty focused, I would maybe recommend a book from Jemma Kidd or Bobbi Brown who demonstrate a more complex understanding of applying make-up. While Michelle's book is great for beginners, she is unable to provide greater detail into each topic (which is understandable considering the length of the book) but the introduction that she does provide plenty enough to understand the basics and to learn from. 

Using comforting language, this books is a nice easy read that provides you something that youtube can't seem to do. Every part of the book, from the diverse topics to the beautiful pictures, is so inspiring and gives you an insight into Michelle's rollercoaster of a life. It is amazing to see her grow from that little shy girl from a family who struggled to a strong and independent business woman. I think it is great that she is sharing her tips and inspiring others to follow in her footsteps. She is a prime example of how hard work truly does pay off. 

11 November 2014

Biggest Trends This Season Straight From The Catwalk

The catwalk is always the first to showcase new trends for upcoming seasons, so I thought I would show you guys where you can bag yourself the must-have staples from high-street stores for A/W 2014!

Burberry                        Diesel Black Gold                   Alexandre Vauthier                       Donna Karan

Red Aztec Print Fringed Hem Blanket Wrap – New Look (£19.99)
Wrap up in this lovely blanket coat coming in a wide range of bold colours and patterns.

Knitted Polo-Neck Jumper – H&M (£19.99)
The trend is back, team-up a turtle-neck with a leather skirt and cute scarf.

Furry Coat – Zara (£89.99)
Keep yourself warm this winter with a thick, furry coat available in either light pastels or dark blues and blacks.

Black Suedette Over The Knee Boots – New Look (£39.99)

Boots are in trend every winter, but knee-high and over-the-knee boots are becoming an even bigger trend, giving your outfit a cool edgy look.

22 October 2014

Sleek Contour Kit | Review

Sleek Contour Kit in Medium

Along with the Sleek Blusher I previously bought, I felt I needed to check out the Sleek contour kit. Being on a budget, this product felt like a really great option, providing both a contour and a highlight. 

Sleek Contour kit in medium for that chiselled Kim Kardashian look

Sleek Contour kit in medium for that chiselled Kim Kardashian look

Sleek Contour kit in medium for that chiselled Kim Kardashian look

Much like the blusher, the packaging is also very classy and simple, much like Sleek’s products itself. Also, despite holding two products, the packaging isn’t at all bulky or too big, which can often be a major put-off. As a beginner who has never tried contouring before, this ‘kit’ honestly made it much easier, especially with the little paper guide they include with the product.

Once again, you do need a light hand when applying this, especially with the darker shade, but once you get the hang of it you get a brilliant result. It is easy to blend and you can build it up to as dark as you like. It is a lovely matte colour too that gives you a ‘natural’ contoured look whilst the highlighter adds a little shimmer to the top of your cheekbones for more definition and compliments the darker shade really well.

For me, this nearly lasted all day as it did begin to fade towards the evening, but I was still very pleased with it. As it faded towards a more subtle look, I for some reason felt more at ease when wearing it (I had a fear it would be too dark and Kardashian-esque like but it was surprisingly very natural looking.)

The highlight is even more beautiful, leaving a shimmery finish that you can build up as much as you like. You can also apply this anywhere for more of a glowing look, as advised by the handy leaflet that came iwth it.

For a beginner at contouring, I think this kit is perfect. With both shades complimenting each other well, and the easily blendable product, I would recommend this, but if you feel a bit too scared at first I would probably think twice as it is very pigmented and therfore not as forgiving if you go a bit over the top!

It also goes really well on its own or with a bit of Sleek’s blush for a little more colour, which I reviewed here.

Until next time

Aliya x

16 October 2014

Sleek Blusher | Review

Sleek Blush in Pomegranate

When it comes to blushers, many drugstore brands seem to not do an amazing job in creating something that is highly pigmented but also long-lasting enough for daily use. Zoella has been raving about Sleek blushes recently, so naturally, I had to buy one for myself and see how it checks out. 

Sleek Blusher in Pomegranate Makeup review

Sleek Blusher in Pomegranate Makeup review

Beautiful Sleek Blusher in Pomegranate Makeup review

The subtle black packaging seems pretty good quality and gives it a really ‘sleek’ look (mind the pun). Its also a nice size that makes it fine for travelling with but also contains lots of product so I don't think I'll be hitting pan anytime soon. It also has a cool little mirror, a rareity in products these days! It makes it great for any touch-ups in the car and saves you having to carry a little mirror too.

To apply, you just need a light hand and I recommend a good blusher brush as cheap ones tend to get too much product on which can give you a clown-like appearence if your not careful!
As soon as it touches your cheeks you can see the difference, and what I love about it is you can build it up as much as you like. I love this shade as it gives the perfect flushed look I desire, although I found that the other shades are just as beautiful. The shade Flushed is perfect for a more dramatic evening look, whilst Rose Gold is claimed to be a dupe for Nars Orgasm and has a gorgeous natural shimmer to it that looks good on all skin tones.

Depending on how much you apply, the lasting power can vary but it seems to stay on for most of the day, leaving a faded look by the evening. I didn't expect amazing results as it doesn't seem to matter what blush I choose, it is usually the first product to disappear off my face after a long day! For the price though, I still think its worth it even if it means touching it up once or twice throughout the day if you wish to maintain that intense look. For people who can't afford the high-end blushes like Nars, this is a great dupe that I would definetly recommend. 

31 August 2014

Pretty Little Liars RAVE!

Pretty Little Liars new season

OMG. Who watches Pretty Little Liars?
I know I’m a bit late on the band-wagon (as always) but after constantly hearing about references to this ‘A’ character, I just had to find out what the big fuss was all about. And I am glad I did.

For those of you who don’t know what on Earth I am talking about, PLL revolves around 4 teenage girls from the town of Rosewood, whose best friend (Alison) was found murdered in the first episode of Season 1. Since Alison’s funeral, Aria, Hannah, Spenser and Emily have all been receiving anonymous texts from ‘A’ who always seems to know what they are up to at all times.
The friends now believe it is ‘A’ who murdered Alison.

Pretty Little Liars Spencer, Aria, Emily, Hanna and Alison


It is coming up to Season 6 now, so it has been running for a while now. However I am only on Season 3 so I still have a lot of catching up to do! But I absolutely love it: Aria is my favourite, I just love her. Her fashion sense in particular is pretty awesome, especially the way she layers up clothes to create a grungy yet sophisticated look. I just… simply adore her.

However, like any American drama, the show can get a bit ridiculous at times. Aside from the over-dramatic reactions and annoyingly tense music, it’s weird how its nearly been six seasons and the girls still haven’t graduated from high school… as well, they are still no closer to finding out who ‘A’ actually is, instead giving audiences a new suspect at the throughout each season.

But anyway, it is still a brilliant show, especially if your looking for something interesting but not too hardcore.

If your looking for something new to watch, I would definitely recommend these beauties. 

Pretty Little Liars on ABC Network

29 August 2014

5 of my favourite YouTubers so far...

Everyone loves YouTubers. I mean, why wouldn’t you? They are ordinary people who have found fame and fortune doing what they love. Best of all, they entertain us and give us someone to either relate to or even look up to like an older sibling.

It was difficult to narrow it down, but I have chosen 5 of my favourite YouTubers so far who I love to watch on a regular basis as I drink a delicous mug of hot chocolate... 

zoella youtuber Zoe Sugg

YouTube: www.youtube.co.uk/user/zoella280390
Blog: www.zoella.co.uk

She is definitely my favourite YouTuber ever, and is one of the main reasons I got into reading blogs which inspired me to create my own space on the internet as a little outlet of everything I enjoy. 
She is beautiful, funny, cute and gives clever advice whether its fashion, beauty or health including her personal advice on how to deal with anxiety attacks, an issue that is very close to her own heart. Her frequent collaborations with other youtbers are bound to cheer you up when you're having a bad day, my favourites being her videos with Tyler Oakley and boyfriend Alfie Deyes.

Bubzbeauty Youtube Lindy Tsang

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/bubzbeauty
Blog: www.bubzbeauty.com

Being one of the first YouTubers I started watching, I feel like I have watched Lindy grow up in front of my very eyes on YouTube: from when she was giving tips in her bedroom, to her daily vlogs that allows viewers to follow her through her engagement and  her pregnancy, she never fails to cheer me up with her comforting, inspirational and wise words. 
Despite her ‘beauty guru’ title, she gives advice on anything from hair, skincare as well as tips on how to deal with whatever life throws at you – she is always there for you.Her happy nature can put a smile on anyone’s face and I can happily say she is the most inspiring and GENUINE person on YouTube out there. No amount of money or opportunity would make Bubz take part in something that is not her, and I just love that. She’s not a sell-out, and instead she sticks to her roots by being constantly appreciative of what life has given her. I just love her and wish her the best with her new little family!

Michelle Phan youtube Em cosmetics

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/michellephan
Blog: www.michellephan.com

Like Bubz, Michelle is an amazing beauty guru who shows the amazing ways makeup can transform you enought to give you the confidence you need to stand up tall yet at the same time, staying true to yourself as you 'fake it until you make it'. If you want someone who is headstrong and positive, Michelle shows it is possible to come from a background with very little to becoming a very successful business woman who has worked hard and has had some amazing achievements. She gives great advice and makeup tips & tricks that can help anyone from complete novices to even more professional make-up users, all of which are embodied in her book, Make Up: Your Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success–Online and Off. 

Bethany Mota youtube fashion designer

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/Macbarbie07

Similarly to Zoella, Bethany has managed to gain fame and fortune through her everyday lifestyle habits from huge ‘hauls’ to makeup and fashion tutorials. Being the same age as me, I persoanlly find her soo inspiring and is a great motivation for me to pursue something that I love to do in hope that it will bring me happiness and success. 
 I recommend watching her videos, especially for shopping inspiration or just fun DIY videos in whcih her creativity really shows. 

Imhereforever youtube and model Emily Canham

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/butimhereforever
Blog: www.imhereforever.co.uk

Being one of my newly discovered YouTubers, I instantly took a liking to Emily. Her simple tutorials are a nice change as she mostly uses affordable high street products and shops from local high-street stores. She is instantly relatable and even fangirls over a boyband, McFly (c’mon, we’ve all been there).
Aside from that, she is also GORGEOUS!! I mean, all of my favourite YouTubers are so pretty, but with Emily you are instantly mesmerized by her big blue eyes – it soon becomes obvious she is a freelance model, and I don’t see why not. Her videos are a joy to watch and easily relatable, with the products she uses actually being affordable for the average girl. 

So there you are! Those are my favourite YouTubers so far, but I have a feeling I probably am going to become obsessed with quite a few more yet… when that happens, I will be sure to update you with you I am loving and who I am loathing…

Until then, continue to check out more of my posts as well as follow, comment and share my blog. 

Thank you for reading!