Back To School: Study/Organisation Tips!

Monday, August 25, 2014

So it's that time of the year again where the back to school adverts come flooding in, you need to stock up on your stationery and you're sitting in your room each night (Most likely crying!) and counting down the days until it's that dreaded first day back at school. For any of you who may have just received exam results or if you're about to start a really important year of schooling, then you're probably a little bit shaky about how to keep up the good work and improve further and most importantly how to keep yourself organised. So I thought I would share with you all the ways I keep myself organised and how I study throughout the school year.


This may seem like a really weird organisation/study tip but for me they really work. I seriously cannot study without colored pens or highlighters, it may sound weird but if my notes are all in black and white I just zone out and lose concentration, so if you're a visual learner like me I definitely recommend giving highlighters a try! 

Post it notes:

These come in so handy, especially if you have a tendency to forget pretty important test dates or when a homework essay is due. If you don't use a planner/agenda either then I seriously recommend just placing these all over textbooks or your fridge or your bedroom door or mirror, seriously just anywhere! (But somewhere you will actually see it of course!) I think these are a really good way of keeping yourself organised and the fact they come in different colors is the perfect bonus for me! 


I think these are such a good technique when it comes to revising, as you can test yourself and easily get others to test you using these. They're also perfect for on the go as you can carry them around in your bag and test yourself maybe each morning when you're on the bus to school. I made the mistake this year of leaving my revision notes right to the last minute and trust me cramming around 300 people's names and their theories into my brain last minute wasn't easy! I'm definitely going to aim to create my flashcards as I go along the year then when it comes to exam time, everything shall already be sorted for me. Perfect!


Nobody wants to be that kid lugging around the biggest bag going for the rest of the year, so if you can fit more in and keep yourself more organised at the same time then why not? Dividers are perfect for keeping things together so remember that essay you got an A on but couldn't show anyone at home as it went missing? Well now you will always know where it is! And instead of carrying around one book for each subject, dividers make it so much easier to keep everything together. Saving you that beloved bag space as well as keeping everything much more organised. 


This isn't even just for music. Weirdly, I know but a technique I like to use when revising or another way of storing my notes somewhere else is by saying them out loud. I'm actually a cross between a visual and an auditory learner so as well as needing to write out pages and pages of colorful notes, I need to hear myself saying them as well. I'm a really bad procrastinator so if there's nothing on in the background I tend to zone out really badly and become distracted by my phone or anything else around me and if there's music on I tend to sing along to that rather than revise. So if I'm going to become distracted by anything, why not make sure it's my own notes that can be the only thing to tempt me to sing along or say them out loud?! And well, if there was an exam for how many song lyrics I can remember, I would get pretty much full marks, so I think recording yourself on your phone is such a great way to train your brain to remember any key facts and with earphones you can listen to the recordings all the time so you're more likely to eventually remember a lot.

Empty your bag:

This may seem pretty obvious to do each night but to a lot of people it actually isn't. As the school year continues a lot of people do tend to become lazy and just throw everything into their bag rather than what they actually just need for that day. I should know, I'm guilty of it myself! But unpacking your bag each night and only having what you need in it for each different day can help you become so much more organised and more on top of what handouts you've been given that day and when they need to be handed back in or what folders they should be in as further notes, rather than panicking the day an assignment is due in and routing around the bin you call your bag.

Plastic Folders/Wallets:

Another obvious one. But for those handouts you have no place for, or those essays you don't really need but want to keep to have a record of your progress then little folders are perfect for you. You can also get pretty small ones which you could use to hold flashcards in which would just help to keep these all together when you're on the go. Something I wish I had done when on a train journey because picking flashcards up from all over the floor was just a little bit embarrassing I must say. 

So there you have it, those are just little ways I try to keep myself organised and ready for revision throughout the school year. Do you plan on doing anything different to keep yourself focused this school year? If so, let me know in the comments below! 

Until next time..


What's In My Holiday/Travel Make-Up Bag?

Monday, August 18, 2014

So as it's still the summer season (Even though the weather in England is really beginning to disagree!) many of you may be going on last minute holidays to close the season so I thought I would share with you my holiday make-up essentials! 


Naked 3 Palette - Urban Decay
As I mentioned in my July Favourites, the Naked 3 is my absolute go to palette for the summer months. The colors are so beautiful with tones of pink to brown, matte to shimmer. And as a brown-eyed girl I think they really make my eyes pop! 

Maybelline Color Tattoo in 'Permanent Taupe'

When on holiday I really don't feel the need to use an expensive primer or many high-end products if I can help it so for £4.99 you can't really complain! In all honesty, this pretty much does just as good a job as the Urban Decay 'Primer Potions'. On a swatch the color of this was extremely pigmented so I did worry this may leave a deep brown undertone to my eye however it blended out perfectly fine and left my shadows looking perfectly pigmented. A perfect, inexpensive buy! 

Eyeko London Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in 'Black' 

I actually received this as a free gift in an 'Elle' magazine several issues ago and fell in love with its' easy application and felt tip applicator. Due to its' long lasting staying power this has since become my go to eyeliner for the summer months. 

Avon Kohl Liner in 'True Black'

When I'm not wearing eye shadow I prefer to use a kohl liner on my waterline and tightline rather than a liquid liner, this has been my go to for years but unfortunately it does tend to fade towards the end of the day.

Maybelline Rocket Volume Express Mascara

This definitely doesn't lie when it says it gives 'Rocket Volume'. It lengthens my lashes and even gives the illusion of thicker lashes, definitely another go to of mine. Seriously, I use this every day! 


Maybelline Baby Skin - Instant Pore Eraser
Typically, another every day favourite of mine.  For a drugstore primer it doesn't completely blur and remove the appearance of pores however from a distance it does a pretty good job. Perfect for a day at the beach when you just want little essence of even looking skin. 

Benefit - The Pore-fessional

This isn't something I would reach for on an every day basis, especially when I'm on holiday but for those nights you may be off to a club, or a nice meal out with your friends and family at the local bar you may wish to make a little bit more effort. This gives perfect if not flawless pore coverage, great for any special occasion. 


 Avon Mattifying Foundation in 'Nude'
This has been my go to foundation for literally as long as I can remember, probably when I first began to wear make-up around the age of 13. This gives a nice, clean coverage although not perfect it does reduce the appearance of redness and the size of blemishes. 

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB in 'Light'

Another product perfect for those days at the beach when you want a little bit of coverage but not a full set. I love the creamy consistency of this product as it moisturises and hydrates the skin leaving your skin feeling smooth with a lovely satin finish. I also love the slightly dewy finish this product gives, leaving you with a natural summer glow. Perfect for a summer holiday! 

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer
The coverage of this is amazing! Remember those wild holiday nights you really don't want to think about the next morning when you're filled with dark circles and hangover, well this product has got you covered. (Well maybe not the hangover part..) This makes me look so much more awake with a dewy undertone I love this not only in the summer but all year round. 

Rimmel London Stay Matte Powder in '005 Silky Beige' 

This product really does leave you looking matte! Not only that but it does add extra coverage above your foundation, my favourite powder by far!

Rimmel London Sun Shimmer Bronzing Powder in 'Light Matte' 

For me, this gives the perfect summer glow and makes my face appear much brighter and healthier looking throughout the summer. Although for a shade 'Light' this is even a little dark for my skin tone and does take a good amount of blending into the neck to appear 'natural'. 

Bourjois Cream Blush in '01'

I absolutely love having a dewy face in the summer and so a cream blush gives a beautiful, natural glow. I really adore this one which I received in the 'Glamour Beauty Box' last month, the shade is a very natural looking color and so only adds a 'subtle' flush of color to the face, perfect for a natural, summer look. 

Topshop Glow Cream in 'Polished' 

For summer, I really love the effect of a highlighter as the sun catches the highest points of your face, giving you a defined glow. As you know, I love a dewy looking face and so a cream highlighter for me does the perfect job. 


Maybelline Baby Lips
This may seem crazy but I honestly swear by pretty much swear by every shade of 'Baby Lips'. I naturally have really bad dry lips, especially in the summer and the heat leads to cracking and all of that nasty business. So it is a genuine necessity for me to place these underneath any lipstick of mine. A holiday must for me!

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in 'Naked' 

Another excellent product received in the latest 'Glamour Beauty Box'. I really love a natural look in the summer and this sheen formula is perfect for someone like me who is prone to dry lips. This is a little bit on the pricier side but I would definitely recommend investing in one of these if you can. 

Bodycare Red Lipstick in 'Vixen' 

Now a £1 for a lipstick. Yes, a £1. You're probably thinking there can't be anything great about this for a £1 but you would honestly be amazed. This surprisingly does last on the lips for a good amount of time, besides when eating or drinking something but it has a beautiful pigmentation. It is quite like a deep, blood toned red which suits my skin tone perfectly and is great when partnered with the Maybelline Baby Lips in 'Cherry Me'. 

So those were my holiday make-up essentials, are yours any different? Let me know in the comments below! I would love try out some of your recommendations. 

I hope you're all enjoying your holidays!
Until next time..

Cute and Simple Summer Hairstyles

Monday, August 11, 2014

So for me, summer is all about braids. I just can't get enough of them! Fishtail braids, french braids, halo braids, mikmaid braids pretty much every braid going really.. So I thought I would share with you my three favourite braided hairstyles for the summer. 

'Halo' Braid: 

Take the two sections from your hair on either side that are nearest to your ear. (This is really hard to explain but you'll hopefully understand what I mean from the picture!) 

Once you have separated your hair into these two sections begin to plait the thin sections next to your hair into a normal braid and tie the ends with a bobble. 

You should then be left with two plaits. To create the 'halo' look, scrape the rest of your hair back using a brush to remove any parting your hair may have then simply place each braid across the top of your head and put in place using a clip or bobby pin to pin it down. Before you do this you may wish to remove the hair tie so there's no 'bumps' in your hair and the braid then looks more natural and is concealed more by your hair. 

And voila! There you have it, a simple yet, beautiful halo braid in 4 simple steps! 

'Milk Maid' Braid:

This is pretty similar to the 'Halo' braid but instead of only a section your hair being braided, this actually uses all of your hair. 

To begin, separate your hair in half as though you are creating two pigtails and then create a plait on either side, fastening with a hair tie or I like to use a clip at the end of each plait as I'll be using this to keep my hair in place on my head anyway. 

Once you have created your two plaits, you will need to twist each plait from the top just slightly before lifting this over your head and placing over the other side just like you did for the 'Halo' braid. 

Once you have placed each braid where you would like it on your head you should end up with something like this.. 

I actually worn my hair like this to a festival I went to recently and received a few compliments for it! You can check out what I worn to that as well as my hair and make up here: Festival Weekender! 

The 'Double Plaited' Side Braid:

Ever wondered how you can made a side plait more interesting? Yet still simple, quick and easy? Then why not turn your plait into two plaits yet make it look like one.. This sounds more complicated than it is but trust me it is super super easy!!

Firstly, begin by placing your hair onto whichever side you prefer, it doesn't particularly matter which side you choose. Once you have done this split your hair in half and create two plaits. As always keep in place with a hair tie. 

You should then be left with two plaits. Begin to wrap these around each other until you reach the end of each plait. Remove the two individual hair ties and tie each plait together as one, giving the illusion this is one plait rather than two. 

If you wish you can also continue the plait once the two plaits are embedded together so your 'one' plait begins off as chunky looking then becomes slimmer as you continue down. 

And there you have it, your braid is complete! If you wish you can add a bow to create an even more 'girly' feel to this look, I think this is super cute and adds more of an edge to this look as well helping to keep your two plaits slightly more in place. 
Perfect for back to school! 

And so those are my current go to summer hairstyles! Let me know what yours are in the comments below! 

Until next time.. 

Festival Weekender: Outfit, Make-up and Hair!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

So this weekend (2nd/3rd August) has been a really busy and exciting one as I've been to not only one but two festivals! One of them being Holi One which if you didn't know is a colour festival, now I've never been to one of these before so I was really excited! The festival on the whole was so so so sooo good and definitely an experience I shall never forget!! The idea of the festival is to encourage people to come together and unite regardless of your skin colour or race, hence the use of coloured powder to symbolise the racial differences between us as people. Oh and the other thing quite like all festivals is to simply have fun!


Top: I actually found this in a cheap market about a year or so ago so I'm not too sure on the price but I'm pretty sure you can find these on Ebay for around £5-£7. 

(Please excuse the background, at this point it was raining outside and I didn't want to become drenched before I even arrived at the festival!!) 

     Shorts: Once again I did actually buy these a couple of years ago from Matalan for around £10 so unfortunately you won't be able to buy these but you may find a similar pair from somewhere I'm not too sure.. I absolutely love the lace detailing on the bottom of these, I think it adds such a brilliant finish to the piece and is so cute! 

Shoes: Yep, you've guessed it.. Another old purchase of mine from Primark. Now wearing suede, ankle boots probably wasn't the best idea I have ever had but I genuinely don't own any wellies and it was a bit of a last minute decision to actually go and with it being August too you would think the weather would have been a little nice right? But in England that isn't exactly the case.. But I did wear tights and two pairs of black socks which was great to begin with until the sun began to come out later on and so I then was burning up in my tights!! You honestly cannot ever win with English weather, ever!

Hair and Make-up:

     Makeup: For my make-up, I opted for a red and yellow smokey eye. Yellow across the lid with a pop of a red in the crease. Topped with a winged, black liquid eyeliner and a dab of 'half baked' from 'Naked 2' across the entire lid. Then to finish off with a brown kohl liner on my waterline and tightline, smoking the 'half baked' out into my inner corner and then lastly a couple coats of mascara. I then chosen a tinted moisturiser, a dab of powder to set this and a clear EOS lip balm on the lips. 

Hair: I went with a milk maid braid in my hair which I thought was really cute and festival like and perfect as it kept my hair out of my face.. Well it was until after a couple hours dancing and it kinda fell out. Oh well, at least I looked cute when I arrived right?! 

The following day on the Sunday I went to Pagan Pride which was also really different to anything I have ever done before! The event is to celebrate 'Paganism' where its' followers are rather at one with nature and believe in the Goddess. It is the faith of practicing witches. The event quite like all other festivals had live music as well as stalls where you could purchase items such as crystals, pendulums, tarot cards and spell books. There were also talks taking place as well as live belly dancing and a parade.


     Cardigan: I purchased this last month from River Island for around £15! (I think...) I love how it is super long at the back and the sleeves are also 'bat winged'. This is honestly the perfect summer cover up, super comfy like a blanket with a touch of flare. I also featured this in my 'Summer Essentials' post which you can check out here:  

Dress: I recently purchased this from Topshop for only £16!! I had my student card too which allowed me to save an extra couple of pennies! This dress is so simple yet so cute at the same time, I absolutely love it. It's a great length, not too long nor too short and is also super soft, this could also easily be made slightly more 'dressy' with a bit of jewellery. The perfect simple, summer day dress. 

Boots: Unfortunately I'm not sure how much these were or where from for that matter as they were given to me as a present a couple of years ago but I'm sure you could find a great dupe at your local shoe store.

Floral Crown: Now, £13.50 may seem a little bit on the pricey side however the flowers are rather big and are placed on a silver plated, metal headband which does make this slightly more sturdy than your typical floral garland. I actually bought this from Ebay and it did arrive pretty quickly, so I definitely think this item is worth the money. It's also a big thing for the Pagan women to wear these and so to fit in I just had to get one for myself!

Hair and Makeup:

Hair: For my hair I just went with a loose side plait. Now this is pretty self explanatory but I thought it just really brought the look together with the floral crown. 

Makeup: Now, please do excuse my terrible 'brows but for my eyes I chosen to use 'foxy' from 'Naked 2' across my entire lid, I then went over this with 'half baked' from 'Naked 1' and used 'half baked' from 'Naked 2' in my crease and blended this across into my lid. Once again I used a brown eyeliner on my waterline and tightline, as well as a winged, black liquid liner along my lid and finishing off with a touch of mascara. 

So that is my complete hair, makeup and outfit looks for my festival weekender! Have you been to any festivals yourself recently? Or have any coming up? Let me know in the comments below! Also if you would like to see a tutorial for any of the hair or makeup looks I will gladly do this, so let me know in the comments. 

Until next time..


Event Photos: 

-Holi One

-Pagan Pride

July Favourites

Monday, August 4, 2014

July has been a pretty nice month. The month where summer begins! The clothes become prettier, the songs become more 'tropical' and the make up becomes more dewy. So read on to check out everything I have been loving during the month of July. 

Clothing Favourite

Now I actually bought this at the end of last month when I was in London for a few days but it has been such a good addition to my wardrobe. I absolutely adore the beautiful yellow colour; not too dull nor too bright. Just the perfect essence of summer, especially with the added effect of the embroidered flower pattern and to complete the look the edges are rimmed with a scallop design. This makes the top slightly cropped but not enough to show as far as your belly button. I tend to partner this with with a complete white outfit to make the yellow 'pop'.Topshop £12

Beauty Favourites

First of all I have been absolutely loving the Benefit 'They're Real Push Up Liner' that was released earlier this month. Its' AccuFlex tip allows for easy application alongside a quick-drying, long-lasting formula. Making this eyeliner perfect for those hot summer days where your make-up is at risk of sliding off. (For a more detailed review of this product check my very first post out here: )

The next two beauty favourites I actually received in the Glamour Beauty Edit box from Latest In Beauty this month. Firstly I have been absolutely loving the Rimmel London 'Sun Shimmer Instant Tan 9 in 1 BB Skin Perfector'. As I explained in my complete review of the Glamour box (which you can see here: ) this gives a natural looking tan to the face and body and its' non-streak formula also moisturises and evens skin tone to give a healthy looking glow. I wouldn't recommend this if you're planning a water fight though as it does wash off very easily. 

Secondly from this edit I am honestly in love with the Magnifibres 'Brush On False Lashes'. For me, my eyes are that feature on my face that I just love to go all out on when doing my make up, especially my lashes. Now I don't actually wear false lashes so I am forever searching around for 'that' mascara that can make my eye lashes super long without fading during the day. I have been struggling it upon my search until now. The Magnifibres increases lashes by up to 5mm and it is definitely long-lasting. I especially love applying this when wearing liquid eyeliner to make my eyelashes even more visible above the liner. The perfect must-have for that summer night party. 

Continuing with the eyes, throughout this month I have been really enjoying using the 'Naked 3' palette by Urban Decay. I know this was released a while ago now but I just think the colours within this palette perfectly represent summer with brassy, gold toned pinks and purple tinted nude browns. A palette perfect for day and night from "smooth-mattes to glimmering metallics" there's a shade for every summer event right here. My favourite shades are 'Strange', 'Dust' and 'Buzz'. 

If you didn't already know I am a big fan of Elle magazine and in their past couple of issues there has been a sample of the Garnier 'Skin Naturals BB Cream'. I ended up with around 3 samples and so decided I may as well try it out and I am glad I did. Believe it or not but I honestly think this is better than the Benefit 'Big Easy'. It gives a near enough full to flawless coverage as well as moisturising and evening skin tone. The product has a silky finish giving it a slightly dewy look, the perfect light make up for summer.

My last beauty favourite for July has got to be the Benefit 'Stay Don't Stray' primer (I have a little bit of a thing for Benefit products you may have noticed..) I only recently purchased this towards the beginning of the month and it has now become my absolute favourite primer, not only does it keep colour on my lids for 24 hours but it appears to enhance the colour of my shadows too by making them slightly more pigmented. Once again a product perfect for those extra hot, summer days where you really don't need your make up to be slipping off.

Random Favourites

I actually don't think I have ever seen anyone do a jewellery favourite in a favourite's post before but hey ho here goes.. So this is another recent purchase of mine from my trip to London and I am absolutely in love with it! (Pretty sure I have said the word absolutely about 20 times now but oh well.. moving on..) I just think it is super cute and adds a lot to any simple outfit. I love how the colours of the flowers compliment each other with one being a paler pink and the other, much brighter. The effect of having two small, dainty rose buds growing on either side makes the flowers appear to be that  much more real, giving it the similar look of a corsage except much smaller and therefore more day time appropriate. On the downside there was a chain attached to this but it did unfortunately come apart and so I have slid a green hanging loop through either side of the bracelet in order for it now to fit on my wrist. On the whole though this is a gorgeous looking piece and I was actually complimented on it by one of the workers in Victoria's Secret who couldn't actually believe it was from Topshop! £7.50

Another little fact about me incase you didn't already know is I am a bit of a Costa/Starbucks addict and so I couldn't resist but to mention to you my current drink of choice for the month of July. As it is Summer I've currently been trying out all of the coolers in Costa and my definite favourite by far has got to be the 'Red Berry'. On a nice, hot summers day this drink is honestly so refreshing and it just has the perfect amount of berry goodness, not too sweet and not too watery. Just perfect. There's just no other way to describe it really until you try it for yourself; fruity, refreshing and cool. Then from Starbucks I currently cannot get enough of the 'Mocha Cookie Crumble' like oh my god this stuff is absolutely beautiful. If you are a chocolate lover like me this is definitely your idea of heaven in a cup. Just think cookie crumble then chocolate then probably imagine the taste of this for a minute and then literally just go and buy it. Per-fec-tion. 

Now to conclude my favourites for the month of July I thought I would share with you the songs I have been obsessing over this month. Firstly can we just talk about 'Rude' by Magic. Like, how good is this song?! It just has that edgy, cool summer vibe with an essence of reggae, pop and Bob Marley-esque all thrown into one and I love it. Seriously if you haven't heard it yet (WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN HIDING?!) it will instantly become stuck in your head, this song is unbelievably catchy but that is to me what is so great about it. It's catchy, summery, edgy, cool and fun and also currently number one out here in the UK. Need I say anymore about that?! 

Now last but not least my second song of the month has got to be 'Budapest' by James Ezra. I love the whole acoustic feel to this song, it's just so chilled out. I for one, love listening to music when I'm getting ready whether that be for the morning or the night and this would be so perfect to just have on in the background when you're getting ready after the long day you've just had. It's one of those songs where I could probably just fall asleep just listening to it but in a good way.. I hope that makes sense! His voice is just so soothing!

So that's it for my July favourites, are you loving the same stuff as me or are your favourites completely different? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time..

On The Gram

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