Monday, 23 May 2016

Exam Season | Relaxation Tips

As exam season is now well and truly underway, it is clear to see that there's an all around general feeling of stress lingering in the air. My cousin is currently sitting his GCSE's and the stress of it all keeps causing him to snap at pretty much anyone who talks to him. I've just completed my first year of university so I do have quite a few years of experience when it comes to revision! Exams can be a really stressful time indeed, as we all pile a lot of pressure upon ourselves to succeed and so if you're currently suffering from a case of the exam blues, today's post aims to help you make some small changes in preparation for the exam which will hopefully ease the pressure and leave you feeling much more relaxed.

Dress 'nice'
This might seem a little odd but if you're able to wear your own clothes to your exam then make sure you choose an outfit that you feel confident in. Although wearing your pyjamas may seem extremely comfortable and appealing, you're only bound to feel like a 'sloth' and if you dress down your mood and confidence levels are more likely to reach a downer too. If you have to wear a uniform to your exam why not put a bit of extra effort into your hair that day or wear your favourite lipstick?! 

Choose your environment carefully
As they say 'a messy workplace makes way for a messy mind.' Try to choose a working environment which is relatively neat and clean where you're able to access any revision tools you need with ease. If you're panicking about where you last placed your calculator in a mound of clothes on your bedroom floor that isn't going to do much good for your stress levels. For me, lighting a candle and having an organised desk space helps to make me feel so much more at ease when revising. 

Take regular breaks
I used to think that revising for more than four hours straight was a good idea. In fact, I would actually panic when I wasn't revising and start thinking about what I should be learning rather than relaxing. I eventually learnt that that was not a healthy way to be revising. Your brain needs regular breaks to process information in smaller chunks, try revising for half an hour then taking a 10 or 20 minute break. In that time why not treat yourself to a snack or watch a youtube video as a well done to yourself for what you have learnt so far. This makes revision so much more bearable if you have something to break it up with, therefore you'll feel less stressed. 

It's a well known fact that exercise helps to release the chemical 'endorphins' which make you happy, making exercise the perfect way to release any stress. It doesn't need to be anything heavy either. You could go for a walk or a light jog, just anything to get the blood pumping, increasing your concentration levels, releasing your stress and boosting your mood. 

Pamper session
You need time to yourself away from your work, seriously it's for your own sanity. I love to wind down after a long day of hard revision by either reading a book or my favourite magazine, taking a relaxing soak with a lush bath bomb and a face mask or sitting in bed watching YouTube videos with a mug of hot chocolate. Whatever it is you enjoy doing in your spare time, just ensure you give yourself a well deserved touch of relaxation in the evening. 

I hope that these tips helped you, you really do deserve a break after all that hard revision - try not to be so hard on yourself! If you're currently sitting your exams this month, I'm wishing you the best of luck - I'm sure you'll all smash it and get the grades that you deserve.  Just remember to stay focused, be confident in yourself, take some time to breathe and you'll be just be fine, I'm sure!
Until next time,

When does your summer break begin?!
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Monday, 16 May 2016

The Summer Dress Edit

In association with The Hut

The Hut offer a range of popular brands including Adidas, Hunter, Karl Lagerfeld and Michael Kors; offering everything you need from clothes to haircare to beauty. In today's post I've created a roundup of my favourite summer dresses from the site, dresses are simply perfect for all you lazy summer girls out there! Throw one on, adorn a few accessories and your outfit is complete, here are a few I am currently lusting after... 

1. MinkPink 'African Trance' swing dress £58.00 | here
Swing dresses can be so flattering and are definitely the most comfortable option if you plan to be spending your day eating a rather large meal. The African inspired print adds a tribal vibe to this piece, wear with a pair of brown ankle boots and if you're feeling extra daring layer with a leather jacket for a Western 'biker' edge. PS.. How pretty is the tassle detailing on the back?!

2. Vila strap dress £14.00 / here
In contrast with the previous dress, this simple piece can be dressed up or worn simply as it is for the perfect daytime or evening look. For some depth, add a belt around the waist or if there's a slight chill in the air pair with a cropped denim jacket for additional texture. Either way, you certainly won't run short of ideas on how to style and change up this beauty.

3. Vila spring strap dress £45.00 / here
Its pretty floral print makes this the perfect dress for the spring and summer season, the addition of the waist pleat flatters those with an hourglass figure; accentuating and drawing attention to the waistline. Pair with nude sandals and a waterfall cardigan for a relaxed yet feminine look.

4. Carhartt denim shirt dress £65.00 / here
This light wash cotton dress makes this the perfect lightweight dress for the summer. Channel your inner tomboy by pairing with Adidas superstars and a shirt tied around the waist. 

And because The Hut group are super generous, you can snag any of the above (or anything the site has to offer in fact!) with an extra 15% off your first order! Simply use the code NEWB15 at the checkout - happy spending!
Until next time,
Have you bought any new dresses recently?!

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Sunday, 15 May 2016

Acne Busting Products

Now nearing the age of 20, I had hoped that my acne would have faded. My mum would always tell me it was just a teenage thing. Naturally I was growing up, my hormones were rife and ultimately I just hoped that I would have 'grown out' of my acne by now. Since being around the age of 12, I cannot remember what it feels like to have clear skin. I've always envied those girls who had a smooth makeup application, no bumps across their chin or forehead. Although my acne has never completely disappeared there are some products which do help to soothe any redness and maintain my acne to a minimum. Over the years I've tried countless products but I've realised the less I use the better. More products leads to blocked up pores and therefore more spots. Never a good idea. 

A skincare brand which I've always been able to trust growing up is Simple. The kind to skin moisturising face wash does exactly what it says on the tin. Leaves my skin feeling super soft and refreshed and as the brand prides itself on using no nasty chemicals within its products, this face wash helps to soothe my acne without feeling harsh on my sensitive skin. On days when I'm in need of a pamper and some serious skin tlc, I always reach for a good 'ole Lush face mask and this one in Mask of Magnaminty is an absolute dream. Not only is this self preserving (aka it lasts longer and doesn't need to be kept in the fridge!) this mask can also be used on both face and body, helping to combat against both back and face acne. Although I typically have oily to combination skin it has been on the drier side recently which is what I love so much about Lush face masks. They leave my skin feeling super soft afterwards and I can almost instantly see my blemishes have reduced both in size and in terms of redness. For a quick pick me up once a week this mask is perfect, I also find its minty fragrance to be super refreshing too! An overnight mask favourite of mine has to be Sudocrem as not only does this add moisture to my skin but it works wonders with reducing any visible redness to my blemishes. Whenever I apply this I always see a clear reduction in blemishes the following morning. A recent addition to my skincare routine has been the Derma Group acne ultra clear moisturising cream*. I have been applying this twice a day each day for the past month as my current moisturiser and to see results in the fairest possible way I haven't been applying any spot treatments overnight in addition to this moisturiser. This blends seamlessly into my skin and unlike most spot treatments which contribute to dry patches across the skin whilst drying out the spots, the acne ultra clear features all natural, non-greasy ingredients for a smooth and soft finish. Featuring beeswax and coconut oil to unclog pores, maintain the skin's natural moisture and provide a silky soft finish. After using this for the past month, although my acne hasn't cleared up there has been definite improvements in the size of my blemishes. The product does contain a mild aroma so if you aren't too keen on scented moisturisers then this may not be for you, this is something you can usually seem to expect with all natural ingredient based products. The team have kindly offered my readers 10% off the acne ultra clear which you can claim here
Moving onto beauty, although most people will advise that make-up isn't the best thing to be wearing when you're suffering with acne, for me personally it helps to boost my confidence and additionally dries out blemishes which ultimately contributes to them reducing in both size and redness. There are some beauty products however which are designed to contribute to fighting acne. The Dusty Girls Earth Cream, featuring nigella sativa oil and manuka tree leaf oil both known for their healing and restoring abilities. To see how the product applies to the skin you can read my full review here. Lastly, the Lush Jackie Oates colour supplement contains shea butter, honey and aloe vera to help hydrate and even out the skin tone. For a lightweight yet glowing coverage these two bases are definitely needed in any girl's makeup collection. 

I'm always on the lookout for new skincare products so please leave any recommendations for holy grails or products you're currently loving in the comments below! I've heard a lot of good things about facial mists recently, if you've ever tried one - Are they worth it?
Until next time,

What are your favourite products for fighting acne?

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Don't forget you can claim your free 10% off the acne ultra clear moisturising cream here