28.12.15

2015 Highlights | 2016 Resolutions

And so the time has finally come for 2015 to reach an end. There has been ups and of course, there has been downs. In today's post I'll be sharing with you my highlights for the year and setting myself a few goals for 2016. I'm actually quite excited for the new year, I find it such a refreshing feeling to be given a new start. And I know everyone always says this but I truly am determined to make 2016 my best year yet, I feel as though it's finally time that I began to find my feet.


2016 resolutions


Highlights
  • Designing my own product - The ladies over at Prairie Charms have truly given me such an amazing opportunity here and I cannot wait for you all to see the final design in the new year.
  • Receiving a care package from NARS cosmetics - I still can't believe they actually noticed MY Instagram!!
  • Clarke Couture's 1st birthday - There has been ups and downs but I truly am so glad I never quit blogging. I also purchased my own blog domain this year which was one of my goals for 2015; to make my blog feel more like my own, I'm so excited to see how much Clarke Couture will grow in 2016. Also, a big congratulations to Alice Spake who won my first blog giveaway!!
  • Passing my A-Levels and beginning university - I'm finally a fashion student! I'm studying International Fashion Promotion and I'm so excited to be taking my journey into becoming a fashion and beauty journalist that one step further.
  • Family holiday - Each year since being a baby me and my family always go to Wales during the summer. It may not be the Bahamas but it truly holds a special place in my heart and I'm thankful for the memories we make together as a family each year.
  • Friends With Benefit - I recently applied to become a Benefit Cosmetics VIP and I was accepted, ahh!! I'm so excited to finally have the opportunity to start working more closely with my favourite brand. 



Resolutions/Goals/Bucket List (Whatever you want to call it, really!)
  • Go to a concert. 
  • Have a diary. 
  • Get into shape. 
  • Drink more water. 
  • Start swimming again. 
  • Take more photos/Learn more about photography. 
  • Read more. 
  • Incorporate more fashion into my blog. 
  • Attend a blogging event. 
  • Say yes to more things/Be more open to new adventures. 
  • Be more engaged on social media.  
  • Go to London. 
  • Make more use of my planner. 
  • Look after my hair/skin more.
  • Stop feeling so negative. 
  • Make new friends. 
  • Redecorate my bedroom.
  • Reach 1,000 Bloglovin’ followers. 
  • Reach 2,000 Twitter followers.
  • Reach 1,000 Instagram followers.
  • Receive at least a 2:1 in my first year at university.
  • Reach 100,000 blogging page views.


Setting yourself goals is absolutely the best way to keep improving. No matter how big or small it may seem, everything is achievable if you give it time and dedication. I hope you all had the most magical Christmas and enjoy your NYE celebrations later on this week!! Until next time,



"Dream it, believe it, achieve it."
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24.12.15

Christmas Eve Traditions

IT'S CHRISTMASSSSS!! (Well, not quite.. there's still 24 hours to go but eeeek!!) Can you believe that it's finally here?! This year has gone by SO fast!! For me personally, I actually prefer Christmas Eve to Christmas Day. That probably seems really crazy to some of you but once Christmas Day is over, that's it. It's over. But with Christmas Eve, excitement still lingers in the air as we all eagerly await for the big day to come tomorrow. And then of course, there's the annual traditions that come with it.

Before we get into today's post, I have a bit of an ANNOUNCEMENT to make for all those who are still reading and following my blog using GOOGLE FRIEND CONNECT. From January 11th 2016 you will be unable to sign into GFC using either Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut or other OpenID profiles. If you shall be affected by this update and still wish to continue following my blog (which I hope you do!) you will need to sign up for a Google account and then re-follow my blog. With a Google account, any blogs you follow shall be added to your reading list - Making it even easier to see the latest posts and recent activity of any blogs you follow. 





Christmas Pyjamas 
Every year me and my mum always buy a new pair of Christmas pyjamas and we've done this every year since I was a baby. It just puts you into the festive mood, waking up the next morning in your brand new festive pj's! This year I've opted for a pair of super cute and fluffy Me to You bear ones! 

Pamper Session
You can never go wrong with a good old pamper session to get you geared up for the big day at Christmas. I may either paint my nails, put in a hair mask or a face mask, have a nice long soak in the bath.. Christmas day can be very hectic so we definitely need to prepare with some pre-relaxation before hand!

Christmas Movies
There's nothing like getting into the festive spirit with some classic Christmas films. I have a shock confession to make... I have NEVER seen Frozen!! Tonight my mum and I shall be watching the sing-a-long version - You can't get more festive than that!

Festive Buffet
Each year, whilst sitting all comfy on the couch by the fire in our Christmas pj's and the Christmas film is on, me and my mum have a little mini buffet between the two of us. Not to mention a box or two of Roses. (AKA.. several boxes of every christmas chocolate imaginable.)

Christmas Photoshoot
As of last year, we set up a new tradition of having a little photoshoot by the Christmas tree in our festive pyjamas. There's clearly so much festive banter in my household.

Christmas Music
And whilst having that pamper session, you can't forget about the classic Christmas music! T'is the season to shake your baubles and all!

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21.12.15

Christmas Day Makeup

Can you believe that Christmas is now only four sleeps away?! Ahh, that's seriously insane! This year has gone by SO FAST! As we're now well and truly in the midst of the holiday season, I've shared with you a winter wish list, some baking ideas and even 15 things you can do in the winter. But now, it's time to talk all things beauty. As you've probably already guessed by the title, today's post is all about what's going on my face this Christmas. 







Base

Benefit Girl Meets Pearl
Instead of using MAC Strobe Cream, I thought I would change things up slightly with this number. Its pinky, pearlescent finish adds the most stunning glow to the face.

Benefit Porefessional
I'll then be priming my face with Benefit Porefessional. This shall act as a base to prolong the finish of my makeup, alongside helping to erase and smoothen the appearance of any pores.

Bourjois Healthy Mix in 'Vanilla'
If you have combination skin like me then this foundation works like a dream. It lasts all day, providing me with a healthy glow, great coverage and all without having to worry about the five o'clock shine. I love it.

MAC Prolongwear Concealer in 'NC15'
This concealer works genuine wonders for the under eye area. With this beauty my under eyes are looking bright and awake all day long! If you're looking for a dupe, the Collection Lasting Perfection is a great alternative.

NARS Translucent Powder in 'Crystal'
With its light reflecting technology, this helps to add a seamless, brightening finish to the face without looking too cakey. The Vitamin E and Glycerin contained within this product help to fight against dryness, providing the skin with a luminous yet matte finish.

Clinique Cheek Pop in 'Plum Pop'
Although appearing very bright in the pan, this adds a very subtle flush of colour to the skin. This year, I've decided to stay away from the bronzer and find my glow in the form of iridescent pink hues. In other words, gimme all dat glow! As this blusher contains no added shimmer, it shall not distract from my highlight; complimenting rather than clashing. 

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray
We all know our houses can get just a little bit hot on Christmas day due to all of the cooking and stress lingering in the air. And so, with its temperature control technology this shall keep my makeup in place all day, whilst preventing any creasing, cracking and excess oil to begin to linger across my face. I love it!





Brows&Eyes

MAC Brow Gel Creme in 'Deep, dark brunette'
To give my eyebrows some much needed shape, this product outlines my arches perfectly; helping to create the perfect base to fill in with a spot of brow gel.

Benefit Gimme Brow in 'Medium/Deep'
Now we've got our outline, our brows need some depth to them. Lightly brushing through them with Benefit Gimme Brow adds an extra tint of colour; helping to fill in any gaping areas. As this is a brow gel, it further helps to keep my brows locked in place all day and thankfully without making my hairs feel or appear hard and tacky - which I love!

NARS Stick Concealer in 'Chantilly'
My brows are never complete without this step. Due to its flat top edge, this makes outlining my brows super easy. I am able to achieve lift, definition and an overall crisp and clean finish. I really love a crisply, defined arch and this product helps me to achieve this look with ease.

Rimmel London Exaggerate Liquid Eye Liner in '100% Black'
To further add a touch of definition to the eye area, you can never go wrong with a pretty little cat flick. The Q-Tips are on stand by of course - We all know the struggle of achieving even wings! The thin tip of this product makes it super easy to apply my eyeliner. If you're looking for an eyeliner which dries quickly, is easy to apply yet doesn't crack or smudge as well as being on a budget then this one is certainly for you!

Benefit They're Real Tinted Lash Primer
To keep my lashes looking super long and fluttery all night, I shall be priming them using this beauty.

Benefit Roller Lash
If you've been reading my blog for a while now, then of course you will know that Benefit Roller Lash is my absolute holy grail. It lifts, it curls, it lengthens and most importantly it lasts all day and night. If you have small eyelashes like me then this is simply the mascara of dreams.

NARS Eyeshadow in 'Opal Coast'
Continuing with my sparkly, silver theme this year just to complete the look, dabbing a touch of this in the inner corner shall help to really brighten up my eyes and of course, add a touch of festive sparkle.




Lips&Highlight

MAC Lip Liner in 'REDD'
This classic red shade is my absolute go to when wearing any red lipstick. I never really used to wear lip liner but in recent months, I have learnt that it really does make a difference. Especially when wearing a red lipstick, outlining the lips first can help to prevent any signs of bleeding. 

Benefit 'Benebalm'
To prep my lips for application, Benebalm shall add an initial tint of colour whilst adding some much needed moisture.

Chanel Rouge Lipstick in '98 Coromandel'
This frost finish shade is absolutely stunning. I haven't tried it out yet but from staring at it in its glorious packaging, it is beautiful I promise you. Christmas just wouldn't be complete without a classic red shade and nobody does red better than Chanel.

Topshop Glow Cream in 'Polished'
I've unusually opted for a champagne silver highlight rather than a traditional gold this year and this one is one of my favourites. Apply across the cupids bow, cheek bones and bridge of the nose for a beautiful, pink toned glow. This shall compliment the pink undertones within girl meets pearl perfectly.

Benefit High Beam
Topshop's glow cream & Benefit high beam are simply a match made in heaven. Gimme all dat glow!



And so that is everything that I shall be slapping onto my face this festive season. Will you be opting for a classic red lip and golden glow?!Let me know in the comments below, until next time...
(I've linked all products below!!)


What products form your Christmas day makeup look this year?!


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18.12.15

Birthday Haul!

If you follow me on my social media, then you may have noticed that on Wednesday I celebrated my 19th birthday. I was very lucky and received some super lovely beauty and clothing items which I'll be sharing with you in today's post. If you would like to read my 18th birthday haul from last year, then you may do so by clicking here.




Beauty

Chanel Rouge Allure in '98 Coromandel'
Eeeek! It's my first ever Chanel purchase!! And of course I had to go with the classic red lipstick, although I was pretty tempted to by a nude shade. It was my mum that convinced me I would be far too tempted to use it too much and use it up far too quickly; she was probably right haha! But this is absolutely gorgeous and has a pretty shimmer through it which shall be perfect for Christmas day, I'm so excited to try this out!!

NARS blush in 'Orgasm'
For months and months I was torn about this product. I wanted to understand the hype but whenever I swatched this in store, the insane glittery pigment frightened the life out of me. As my birthday came around, I decided to take the plunge and add this beauty to my collection. I'll give you all and update when I get round to giving it a try!

MAC lipstick in 'Honeylove'
A haul of mine just wouldn't be complete with a nude mac lippie. This one has been on my wish list for a while and MAC matte finishes are one of my favourites, I'm sure this will be my current go to for the next 2 months haha!

NARS satin lip pencil in 'Rikugien'
I have wanted a NARS lip pencil for the longest time and Rikugien is such a unique and gorgeous colour that I just had to have it in my collection. I thought I would change up my nude shades for a deep, tinted rosy hue. I am so excited to use this!!

NARS stick concealer in 'Chantilly'
If you've been reading my blog for a while now, then you will probably already know that this beauty is my holy grail for concealing around my eyebrows. It lifts and defines them like you wouldn't even be able to believe. This is a repurchased product that I shall continue to always love and would definitely recommend this to anybody. Its flat edge makes this super easy to highlight around the brow, it's simply perfect. 






Clothes

Topshop premium checked Harrington jacket
I've wanted a Harrington bomber jacket for quite a while now and when I laid eyes on this one, I simply fell in love. I've never seen a Harrington jacket quite like this one. From its wool mix, to sandy hued checkered print it just oozes class yet is perfect for day to day wear. I love it.

Topshop drape neck blouse
I've actually needed a blouse for quite some time now, I always seem to borrow one of my mum's whenever I have an event so now I finally have one of my own. The drape neck style of this is super flattering and long necklaces look super pretty when worn down in between the gap. (I'm sorry I wasn't able to photograph this, I worn it on my birthday so it's currently in the wash! However, I have included links down below!!)

Topshop birthstone bracelet 'December'
You know me. I love minimalism and this piece was just far too pretty to refuse. I can't seem to find the bracelet online however, I've linked the necklace version below. 

Topshop blue pendant necklace
This paired beautifully with with the blouse and of course matched the birthstone bracelet too. Although there may have been a little bit of a blue theme in terms of my birthday jewellery, I certainly wasn't feeling blue with these gifts; don't worry!






Miscellaneous

Starbucks candy cane christmas mug
Of course the coffee lover inside me just needed this mug in her life, okay. How can you resist this candy cane handle?! It's too adorable and I'll probably drink out of this all year round. Super cute, super festive and I even managed to snag it with a 30% discount - yay!

One Direction 'Made in the AM' deluxe edition
I was 13 when One Direction were on the X Factor and so of course, I was their biggest fan and to this day still remain to love them all the same. I now have all five albums in the deluxe edition and yes.. Louis Tomlinson did sign my first album, muahahaha! 




And so that's everything I received for my 19th birthday. I am truly grateful and super lucky to have received such lovely things. I do still have some birthday money left over, I think I might treat myself to a new pair of Christmas pj's!! Have you tried any of the beauty products I received before? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Until next time,



Have you celebrated your birthday recently?!
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16.12.15

Christmas Tree Cookies

Baking is one of my favourite activities to do during the Christmas period and so I couldn't resist but share with you the recipe to create these super cute and very festive, Christmas tree cookies. 



What you will need:
  • 235g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt 
  • 112g butter or margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 bag of Jelly Tots
  • Green, ready to roll icing
  • 1/2 a bar of baking chocolate



How to make:
  1. Sieve the flour into a bowl. Add the baking powder and salt, mixing together.
  2. Leave aside for later.
  3. Add sugar to a bowl with butter and cream together until smooth. 
  4. Once smooth, add in the egg and vanilla extract. Mix together.
  5. Once smooth, gradually sift in the flour mix from before. Mix together and then knead into a dough.
  6. Keep refrigerated for 2 hours. 
  7. Pre-heat your oven to 200 C / Gas Mark 6
  8. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough and cut into your desired shape. I used a glass to create a circle. 
  9. Using greaseproof paper onto a baking tray, place your dough shapes onto this and into the oven. Bake for approximately 6-8 minutes or until the edges are barely brown. 
  10. Whilst the biscuits are baking, prepare your decorations! Flatten your icing and using a miniature christmas tree cookie cutter, create your shapes for garnishing the biscuits later.
  11. You will also need to melt your chocolate. Break the bar into pieces and place into a bowl above a pan of cold water on the stove. As the water boils this shall melt the chocolate.
  12. Once the biscuits are cooled you can begin to decorate using the chocolate, iced christmas trees and jelly tots. Place in the fridge to set - Then eat and enjoy!




If you give this recipe a go, please do let me know in the comments as I would love to hear your thoughts! 
There's a funny story about this recipe actually.. I originally wanted to create cookies actually shaped like Christmas trees. Me and my mum searched everywhere for a Christmas tree cutter but we couldn't seem to find one anywhere and so we resorted to ordering online which, well you know how things online can be deceiving.. We couldn't believe how small the cutter was when it arrived, it was smaller than my little finger!! Ah well, these are still super cute and taste super yummy! 
If you would also like to see how to make candy cane and marshmallow hot chocolate stirrers, then you can click the link here. Until next time,


What have you been baking this holiday season?!
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13.12.15

Go Bold This Party Season With Dolce & Gabbana

When I think of Dolce and Gabbana, the first thing that immediately comes to mind (Besides their incredible talent of telling a story in EVERY editorial!!) is complete and utter, elegance. When the lovely Laurren from Far Fetch, asked me to recreate a party look featuring Dolce and Gabbana products, I was overjoyed to let my inner queen out and get to work. 



Cut-out floral embroidered jacket | £2150 here
Beige silk and cotton blend cut-out floral embroidered jacket from Dolce & Gabbana featuring a round neck, long sleeves and an open front.

Floral lace dress | £1150 here
Pale pink stretch cotton and silk blend floral lace dress from Dolce & Gabbana featuring a round neck, a sleeveless design, a rear zip fastening, a scalloped hem and a fitted silhouette.

'Vally' pumps | £695 here
Pink cotton-silk blend 'Vally' pumps from Dolce & Gabbana featuring a peep toe, crossover straps to the front, a slingback strap, gemstone embellishments and a high stiletto heel.

Small 'Miss Sicily' shoulder bag | £495 here
Pink small 'Miss Sicily' shoulder bag from Dolce & Gabbana featuring a foldover top with snap closure, an optional chain strap, a front logo plaque, gold-tone hardware and multiple interior card slots.

Embellished daisy necklace | £595 here
Multicoloured brass embellished daisy necklace from Dolce & Gabbana featuring rhinestone embellishments, a velvet ribbon and a tie fastening.



Florals, lace and sparkle. You couldn't possibly expect anything less from a D&G party number. It's regal yet simplistic, elegant yet brave. But what really makes this outfit stand out is of course, the 'Miss Sicily' bag. In a luminous, hot pink with orange undertones this compliments the salmon pink tones featured throughout the look beautifully. Covered in sheer glam from head to toe, this outfit is surely to get you the talk of the party. Complete the look with your hair pinned up into some regal braids accompanied with a diamantè hair piece. 


Pink may not be your usual, Christmas party colour scheme but it certainly oozes glamour and of course is perfect for those with a minimalistic taste like myself. As they say, simple but effective right?! Until next time,


What colour palette will you be rocking this Christmas?!
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11.12.15

Candy Cane&Marshmallow Hot Chocolate Stirrers

There is nothing more cosier than snuggling up on the couch by the fire, with the Christmas tree all lit up and a warm cup of hot chocolate in hand. I personally, find the taste of peppermint to be super festive and so in today's post I'll be sharing with you all this super quick and easy and not forgetting undeniably yummy addition to your festive hot cocoa. 







What you will need:
-1X bar of baking chocolate
-8 candy canes
-1X bag of marshmallows


- Begin by crushing two candy canes and place in a bowl for decoration later.

- Fill a pan with cold water and place onto the stove to bowl.

- Break the bar of chocolate into pieces and place into a bowl on top of the pan.

- Leave until the chocolate has completely melted. Be careful when removing the bowl as this may be very hot.

- Place a marshmallow at the end of each candy cane, then dip into the chocolate and crushed candy canes to garnish.

- Place in the fridge to allow the chocolate to set overnight.

This recipe makes 6 hot chocolate stirrers when using two crushed candy canes.



Have you been adding a touch of festivity to your drinks this season?! These stirrers take just 5 minutes to makes and are the perfect accompaniment to any hot drink of your choice on a cosy winter's evening. Do let me know in the comments below if you try this recipe out, I'd love to see pictures of your creations. Until next time,



What has been your current festive drink of choice?!


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9.12.15

Coconut Lane - Moon&Star Necklace | GET 20% OFF!!

If you've been reading my blog for a while now, then you will know that I am a big fan of all things minimalistic. As the saying goes, simple but effective right?! When the lovely Charlotte from Coconut Lane contacted me for a collaboration, I was over the moon and instantly fell in love with their simplistic and quirky touch across all of their products. 
As an upcoming, online boutique the brand caters for a wide audience selling everything from phone cases to christmas cards and wall quotes to jewellery. In today's post I'll be sharing you my thoughts on the stunning moon and star necklace.




The necklace is an all in one, attached. Which makes it far quicker to put on that layering two necklaces together at a time. I have been obsessed with the double necklace trend lately and so, not only is this piece conveniently attached together but it screams minimalism and is super cute too, it basically sums me up nicely in a piece of jewellery.  

Silver plated, this is the perfect everyday wear piece of jewellery for the winter season. For me, silver perfectly reflects the ice cold, wintry air outside and I've been obsessed with a champagne silver highlight lately so this accessory is the perfect accompaniment. The only negative thing I can say about this is that the fastening does to tend to fall round the front but let's be honest, all necklaces do that anyway!! Retailing at just £12.50 this would be the perfect secret santa gift for any lady this year! 

To gain 20% off of your next order, simply use the code:

TONI20

at the checkout! Delivery costs just £1.95 and shall be delivered to your door in just 2 to 3 working days. So what are you waiting for?! 


I hope you enjoyed this post lovelies. Be sure to let me know in the comments below if you purchase any items from the store, all products would be perfect for any stocking fillers or secret santa's that you're struggling to buy for. Until next time,


"Shoot for the moon, and if you fall you'll land amongst the stars"
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4.12.15

GUEST POST | Aspiring Careers For Beauty Loving Students

In today's post, we've got a Clarke Couture first! Peter, a lifestyle editor of Shlur magazine based in Brisbane, Australia; shall be sharing with you all the best careers for any beauty loving student. As a beauty blogger, I thought you guys as my readers would be really interested in hearing how you can take your love and passion for makeup that little bit further with a career in the beauty industry. I hope that you find this post useful! 

The beauty industry is constantly developing, simply because it keeps up with demands and wishes of its customers. Pursuing a career in it means that there are no boundaries to your creativity. Also, building a base of loyal clients is quite easy, and by getting to know who your clients are, you are provided with countless career opportunities. Many students desire a career in this industry, and here is the list of the most aspiring ones. Check it out.

1. Beauty Blogger

Photo credit: tamirajarrel.com

If you are amazing at writing, but you are also really fond of different beauty products, the career of the beauty blogger is definitely the right one for you. It is great because you work for yourself, however, you can easily get distracted that way. This is exactly why you should set daily goals that will keep you focused on the task. Start testing different products and write about that on your blog, and try to be creative and innovative every day. If you are good with makeup, you can do tutorials and show some other things rather than just text. 


2. Makeup Artist

Photo credit: pixabay.com

If you are comfortable around people, you will definitely love the social side of this career. No matter what you are studying, if lipsticks, primers, highlighters and eyeshadows are your cup of tea – this is the right thing for you. Even though you may not have a basic knowledge of a professional makeup artist, you can surely take a local course at a community college. Experience is crucial, because it allows you to move forward and make progress. The life of a makeup artist is indeed demanding, however, a natural talent will always be recognized, without any doubt. Also, everything constantly changes and evolves, so it is important to keep up with the standards of the beauty industry.


3. Beauty Publicist

Photo credit: publicistpr.com

You will know that the job of a PR is the right one for you if your major strengths are writing and public speaking. This is indeed a very creative profession, and it includes overseeing the PR strategies for product launches and store openings, as well as for personal appearances of the brand’s leaders. However, people tend to underestimate it, thinking that it is all about glitz and glamour. It is, of course, but it requires hard work and creativity that has to be used in the best possible way. A good publicist always has to be on-point, taking into consideration a budget of the company, as well as all the plans relevant to the business. It is a rewarding career that requires a unique personality.


4. Therapy Assistant

Photo credit: flickr.com
If you are a medical student who is very versatile, attending different rehabilitation courses as well as those related to beauty products; used for medical purposes, this job may be the one for you. Working as a therapy assistant in health support services in hospitals and community settings allows you to help to those in need in the best possible way. Besides helping them in the process of rehabilitation after surgery or a car accident, you can also provide them with information on how to treat bruises and cuts, as well as how to permanently remove scars. There are a large number of products nowadays that are specialized for this kind of problem, such as creams that successfully remove the scar tissue. These different courses will definitely provide you with practical knowledge that will make patients’ lives much easier.

As you can see, there are many aspiring careers for all the students who love the beauty industry, no matter what they are studying. A hard working attitude, commitment and day-to-day progress are essential if you want to succeed. Good luck!


I hope you enjoyed this post lovelies! Are any of you hoping to turn your passion for beauty into a career?! Let me know in the comments below! Until next time,



What are you currently studying?!
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