Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Week In Photos.

For this weekend's post I am bringing you yet another instagram round up, as I think its a good way to update this space on what's been occur'ng with me in the last 7 days. Now I have to confess that a few of these photos were taken a couple of weeks ago, as I am having to play a bit of catch up after my two-week blog break. If you want to see almost-daily updates from me in photo form, follow my instagram @deskparties.

If you read Wednesday's and Friday's posts, you will know that I recently visited one of my best friends at university in Swansea. Although I have visited her there in the past few months, this time I stayed overnight, staying out until almost the crack of dawn, and crashing in her small but cosy student accomodation flat. It was brilliant. Although I definitely felt it the next morning, and learned that sitting in the opposite direction of travel on a 2-hour long train journey with a bad hangover is not the best of combinations...

Fast forward to this week, as the Easter holidays are finally upon us, the next two weeks will see me start some serious prep for the summer exams, so coffee, good music and even more coffee were at the top of my agenda this morning. Keep your eyes peeled for a post on studying going up mid-next-week. You heard it here first.

Let me know in the comments what your favourite thing is to do on a Sunday? Chilling 'till you drop, or playing end-of-the-week catch up? I'll answer my own question and say I definitely the latter!

Friday, 27 March 2015

Post-Party Skin.

I hate hangovers. Sure, they are a great excuse to wear sweats all day and eat all the crap, but after going out last Wednesday? Ain't nobody got time for that on a Thursday. Needless to say that following day I felt a bit worse for wear (slight understatement) so I needed something that was going to make look and feel a little more human...

Enter LUSH; always at my beckoning call for any skin troubles, and this time their BB Seaweed Fresh Face Mask answered. 

It's consistency is thick, but it absorbs into the skin rather quickly, which means you can feel the stuff getting to work from the word go. After splashing my face after the mask has completely dried (for around 19 minutes), I could see my skin looked brighter and less, well, 'bleurgh'. I've used this several times since I bought it a week or so ago, and my skin looks cleaner and cleaner every time, and unlike most radiance/deep cleaning masks it's not leaving me with 59676 dry patches. A win-win!

As LUSH's face masks are fresh, they usually last a little less than a month, and I keep mine in the fridge for longer keep, amongst other essentials for those morning after feels. Poached eggs on toast anyone? 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Packing Light For A One-Nighter.

If you've been keeping your eyes peeled on my Instagram (@deskparties if you want a quick once over) you will know that I recently took a second trip down to Wales, to visit my best friend at university and go on my first university night out. And as I chose to take a third year at college this year, visiting Swansea is not only amazing as I get to see my best girl friend and her housemates, but also for testing the university waters first hand for in six months time.

A night out and staying over called for taking more than a lipstick, my phone and ID; the standard contents of my evening clutch - but I also didn't want to be running around Swansea train station with 474759 bags on my arms. So relied on a few trusty tips that are great to slimline your suitcase for visiting friends, going home for a weekend or a mini break.

Roll, roll, roll your clothes
This is a trick I picked up from my mum. Rolling your clothes into a sausage-the shape saves twice the amount of space in your bag, as it is more compressed than when you fold them. This tip is especially useful for jumpers, as those darn things take up way too much space that it's not even funny. Another thing I always do is to stuff my underwear in any shoes I have packed. Although, try not to forget they are in there before going to put your boots on in the morning...

Decant err'thang
As a self confessed hoarder of all things beauty and skincare, I find it hard to find the space for all the products I use on a daily basis, because let's face it, I'm not the kind of girl who's morning routine consists of a quick mouthwash and a couple of face wipes. And I know I am not alone, so this tip is handy for my fellow beauty hoarders. Not only is decanting incredible for space saving, but it saves you having to purchase all of your favourite products in minature form (so small but so pricey!). I love the travel bottle set from Primark, it costs a couple of pounds and comes with stickers so you don't confuse your cleansers and conditioners. And I can tell you from personal experience, it's not as fun as it sounds.

Bring things that multitask
Three-in-one hair washes, moutrising serums, tinted lip balms. You name it, I've got it. Taking products that do than one job makes your toiletry bag that bit lighter, and saves you time getting ready in the morning, which is particularly useful when you're catching the early train or plane home.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

The Weekend Post: Mum's The Word

Happy Mothers Day everyone! This week I am spending my Sunday making several cups of tea and ushering boxes of chocolates into my mums hands (no change from the usual, but it counts more on Mother's Day, right?)

Other than that, I surprised her with a few things from LUSH's Mothers Day range, which I thought I would share with you because, I'm going to be honest, I wish I bought some of these things for myself!

First off I picked up the Ultraviolet Bubble Bar; made with violet and jasmine absolutes and ylang ylang oil, this product smells of Parma Violets and I imagine would make the bath water look amazing. Then I popped the Mother Superior Bubble Bar in my basket, which I bought mainly because it looked so darn cute, and I knew it would make mum laugh. It contains mimosa absolute, which I have to be honest, doesn't smell incredible, but the novelty of this bubble bar won mum and me over.

After picking up a few bath things, which i thought would be a lot more relaxing and luxurious, my mum is in fact more of a shower person. But as LUSH lack a good range of shower products other than body wash, I opted for the Yummy Mummy Shower Gel. With notes of orange and geranium I knew this would be a delicate yet refreshing gel perfect for a morning wash. And as mum wakes up ridiculously early to get ready for work, I thought this would do just the trick to wake her up.

And lastly, I grabbed a pot of their Bubblegum Lip Scrub, because, well, their lip scrubs are amazing, and as mum and me have a similar skin type (dry/sensitive-combination) and she too always complains about having dry lips, I thought I could show her what she was missing out on.

Enjoy spending time with your family today, and if unfortunately you don't have a mum or mother figure  to share Mother's Day with, allow yourself the day to treat yourself for staying strong.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Things For 'That Time' Of The Month

'Mother Nature, can you come back another month plz? Ty' 

If you haven't guessed already, it's my time of the month, so I am currently writing this from the sofa whilst spooning a hot water bottle eating all the chocolate in the store cupboards. Not the most glamorous of get-ups, but desperate times... 

Now if you're like me (it's most likely); hormones drive you a little crazy (to say the least!) and the stomach pain is sometimes unbearable and the whole 3-7 day period is just plain uncomfortable, here are a few things you can rely on to make myself feel more human when Mother Nature calls.

Herbal Tea
I love a classic cuppa when I am feeling worse for wear, but herbal teas are brilliant for soothing cramps, and as they are caffeine free they are the best before bed, when the pain is usually the worst. My favourite is Pukka's Womenkind tea; with liquorice root, chamomile and vanilla; first up it smells amazing, and it's sweetness keeps (some of) the cravings at bay, but all of the ingredients are best for relaxing and soothing sore stomachs.

A small bag of emergency supplies 
It's good to keep a small, discrete pouch in your bag, that doesn't scream 'Hey everyone, I'm on my period! So yes, that's why I'm being a moody bitch today'. It's good to avoid that kind of honesty. I use a H&M pouch (they are dead cheap, always in stock in different designs) and in it I keep: some towels and tampons (obviously), paracetamol (for pain relief) a mini The Body Shop Eau De Toilette Spray (for feeling fresh), mint tea bags (to settle my stomach) and hairbands (because there's nothing more annoying than hair getting in my face, especially when I'm just not in the mood). It keeps everything in one place, and stops you from forgetting anything important when you need it the most.

Spot treatments 
The biggest burden of that time of the month are the spots that populate my face, and in places I never get them. However I recently discovered a few LUSH products that actually make a difference; Grease Lightning Spot Treatment, Catastrophe Cosmetic Face Fask and Tea Tree Toning Water to name a few. The products from the Good Things range, which is available in Boots, are also amazing for busting blemishes, or, if you have the budget for it, the Origins Super Spot Remover is all kinds of awesome.

Oil based skincare
Although I get spotty when I'm on my period and by logic, oil based products would in fact, make the breakouts worse, but using said spot treatments can be very drying on the skin, and already being a girl with dry skin, this means hydrating products such as oil cleansers and treatments are high on my agenda. For that I will refer to my post featuring my favourite things for dry skin spells. During 'that time' it's good to keep hydrated on the outside too, so keep large bottles of water and herbal tea nearby. Your skin will thank you for it.

Chocolate (for the cravings!)
I think this one goes without saying, but with low magnesium levels and tendencies to act like a total bitch, chocolate seems to solve a good portion of problems I have on my period. In fact, anything containing chocolate will do - usually I favour a double chocolate digestive or three but whatever you want. You're mind is telling you no, but your body is telling you yes - no, I'm not suggesting to give some Bump and Grind, but to listen to your cravings for those few days of the month. You deserve it. 

Monday, 2 March 2015

This Week On Instagram #3

Happy Sunday!  Looking back at this week - it's been a long one, and a bit stressful too, so there was a significant lack of photos on my feed.

I have been quite anxious this week, I wish I could pinpoint why but nevertheless there were points this week where I had to take a step back, especially with social media - I love writing and photographing for my blog, but I have been trying harder to avoid the bits that make me feel this way, including (mainly social media). However this was only one reason I was feeling this way, so I did take some time away from the Internet and more time reading and relaxing. 

I visited my new favourite coffee house again this week; whiche I wrote about in this weekend's post, which went live this morning. I decided to treat myself to a few things on Friday, including my first issue of Vogue - which made me feel like instantly cooler and older, until I realised in the same transaction I had picked quite the substantial amount of Comic Relief merchandise. Not quite a grown woman yet. And how could I forget the Lindt dark chocolate bar (salted caramel - the bomb) as first it was on offer, and I am trying to cut and limit dairy in my diet, so a win-win purchase all round. 

Sorry this has been a boring one, but it's quite the typical week for me. However I do have a few exciting things lined up in the next few days, so I am sure next weeks update will be a lot more exciting.