Tuesday, 30 June 2015

14 things I'll miss about living at university

Whether you're just starting, finishing, in the middle of or lusting after uni, I'm sure you can relate to this in some way. Those of you just starting or lusting after, maybe this will give you a little insight of what to expect! Here's what I'll miss!

1. At least one of your flatmates will always be up for a movie night. Ditto takeaway, night out, shopping trip. 

2. It being completely acceptable to go for a nap at any time. 2pm, 8pm, it's all the same. 

3. Unplanned gatherings in the hallway, corridor or landing. It will start off with two of you procrastinating, before you know it the whole flat will be sat having a deep and meaningful chat (DMC.)

4. Intense board games, or drinking games ;)

5. Living with three/four/nine girls = triple/quadruple/nonuple (yes I just googled) times the wardrobe!

6. The excitement when a friend brings round a potential boyfriend/girlfriend back to the flat. Always ends in a DMC afterwards.

7. Your boyfriend from the other side of the country living two minutes walk away. Yes, I know, soppy. 

8.  You'll have different people you can go to for different things, and all under one roof. The person you go to when you need a laugh, when you need advice, a gossip, your hair doing..

9. And there's always the one that will motivate you to stop procrastinating and get some work done! Surprisingly, I was not this person. 

10. Being super excited when two of you make the same meal without realising or manage to eat together at the same time. Whens'a your dolmio day!?

11. My flat being minutes walk away from a shop, the gym, a bar, a cash machine, my lessons! Okay maybe not the gym..

12. Still being in your pyjamas at 4pm with the excuse that you didn't have a lecture that day. 

13. Going on a mad shopping spree as a group because it's student loan day. Nothing is better than armfulls of bags and happy faces, is there?

14. Lazing around beautiful places such as the one pictures above, which is actually my uni. 

Are you currently at or going to uni? Which ones of these do you love or are looking forward to the most?
cottonandcandie x 

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Scallops: not just for eating

I'm finally embracing Summer a bit. I'm wearing a lot more white, swapped my black skinnies for blue and florals - dark florals but still! I picked up this cute scalloped hem top from Matalan, and the shoes too. These are both new editions to my more Summery and work appropriate wardrobe, if you read my blog you'll know that I'm due to be a teacher in September and so I definitely need an excuse for more clothes, of course. 

I actually spent a lot of money in Matalan, if you've never been to Matalan think of it as a bit like a Primark. I'll be doing a haul post soon but just for now this is an outfit I put together for a meal out featuring the scalloped top and white pointed toe shoes. We all know how I feel about pointed toe shoes: all sorts of love. Still not sure about the sling backs, think they remind me a bit of something my Nan would wear, ah well.

The kimono is Boohoo which I don't think is available anymore, Next handbag and Topshop joni jeans. 

I love the scalloped hem to this, makes it so much prettier than your standard plain white tee, there's something super feminine about this hemline, and they go with everything! 

How's your Summer wardrobe coming along?
cottonandcandie x

Friday, 26 June 2015

High end hair mask

When I think of high end products I think of make up, skin care and general beauty. Thinking of haircare I would definitely consider Moroccanoil as high end. There are a lot of things out there claiming to have Moroccan oil in it, but in my eyes the signature orange and blue packaging is what symbolises real Moroccan oil to me.

This is deemed a reconstructive formula and is deeply nourishing for dry, damaged hair like mine. If you sadly have frizzy, dyed hair this is perfect for you. 

At over 30 pounds I am glad that the Morroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask is a real thick, intense product, you can feel you're getting your moneys worth. The smell is beautiful, it really is a signature thing of there's. I also love the consistency. It's in really quite a big tub compared to other hair masks I've tried, but then it is over double the money!

One thing I always forget is to put this on wet hair. Using it on damp hair, the way it is intended, means a little goes a long way as you don't need any product to make the hair wet with the treatment initially. Because of this, combing through the hair is a lot easier. 

Moroccanoil recommend to leave this on for 5-7 minutes and to do the treatment once weekly and gradually less as the condition of your hair improves. The martyr I am I leave this on for hours (yeah my hair is quite bad..) but afterwards I literally get compliments saying my hair looks shinier and healthier. 

As I chop and change hair masks quite a lot I cannot say I've seen long term effects as I use quite a combination, however when I feel my hair is in need of a real treat I always reach for this.

What do you consider to be high end hair care?
cottonandcandie x

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

13 dream jobs we'd all love to try

Yesterday I had my very first day of my new job. I am now a fully qualified teacher, come September I will have my own class of children, eek! Yesterday I came in for my first day of supply work as the school has a teacher that has gone ill.

I've always wanted to be a teacher. If I didn't, here is a list of other options I would have loved to have tried, I think a lot of these may be mutual!

1 - Chocolatier/ chocolate taster. This was an obvious one, right?

2 - Stunt woman. How impressive would that be at a dinner party. 

3 - Disney Princess at Disneyland. Don't say you wouldn't. You'd make every little girl's dreams come true. 

4 - Bed tester. Bed tester, chocolate tester, there's a lot of good testers out there!

5 - The face of Mac. No caption needed surelu?

6 - Spa critic. Massages, facials, tried and tested by you.

7 - Rally driver. Probably not for everyone, but I love cars.

8 - Baker. All those amazing cakes, can you imagine designing and making a wedding cake?

9 -  Professional gambler. I'm thinking Vegas, imagine the thrill!

10 - Party planner. Again, weddings, awwh.

11 - Personal shopper. Imagine making that special someone feel amazing.

12 - Netflix tagger. This is an actual thing. You get paid to watch episodes and submit tags which fit the show.

13 - Ballerina. My friend is actually going to be in the Nutcracker soon, how amazing!

Have you got any more? Are you currently in your dream job?
cottonandcandie x

Monday, 22 June 2015

Mermaids only: budget tee

If you know me you know I'm obsessed with anything and everything to do with mermaids. I love all the pretty pastel hair, the rainbow eyeshadow, the lot. So naturally I had to add this shirt to my evergrowing mermaid collection.

This long vest top is just six pounds from Primark, they currently have two very similar mermaid tops but I preferred this longer one. It's a beautiful coral colour which I personally think looks good on almost everyone, it's the right length to wear with leggings and not worry about your bum being out or with a little pair of shorts so it's like a dress. 

If I wasn't sold enough I then looked at the back, for some reason this actually reminds me of mermaids, like their scales or somethng, not sure if this is intentional but I love it. 

Are you a mermaid lover like me?
cottonandcandie x

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Foamingly clean: Benefit

You may have read my post, here about my Benefit makeover, what they used and what I thought to the products. This sadly was the only  product I bought on the day but this is the one I felt I really needed! I mentioned in my previous Benefit post that I had been getting little bumps under the skin around my jawline and up towards my cheeks. They weren't particularly visible except in certain light but I could feel them and it was bothering me so much. 

I thought I was doing everything right. Cleansing, moisturising, the lot. I asked the Benefit beauty consultant about this and she suggested that my skin could be dehydrated. As soon as she said this it all clicked. I was using a daily facial wash which had exfoliating beads in it, so literally scrubbing all of the natural oils away from my skin every morning, resulting in my pores being almost too clean and thus, the bumps began. 

Even though it says it is a daily wash, she explained that if you have fairly dry skin you shouldn't go by this as it can dry your skin out even more - to think I was using this twice a day - eek!

Foamingly clean comes out of the beautiful baby blue bottle as a fairly thick cream. You literally need the teeniest amount, like an entire fingertip would be too much. Once you apply it to wet/damp skin it lathers up amazingly. It feels slightly cooling on the skin and glides on so smoothly, you can feel it working straight away. It removes make up as well as your daily er grime, but get some in your eye and you'll be cursing for sure. Ouch! Once washed off your skin feels squeaky clean, it can leave your skin feeling a little tight but this does not bother me at all and is nothing your standard moisturiser can't fix.

Since using it for around two-three weeks now I can tell you that my random bumps have gone and I haven't had any spots whatsoever. I'm not really that prone to breakouts but I've heard that Benefit can do great things for women that do. The Benefit beauty consultant actually told me that there's a TV program based around a skin clinic which helps to treat people who have severe acne, and that after their treatment they recommend Benefit products!

One issue I have come across when reading reviews is that the packaging can be quite a problem when trying to get out the last little drop. As you only need a teenie amount per session I have not come anywhere near to finishing the bottle and will have to sadly cross that bridge when I come to it.

Overall this leaves my skin, hydrated, beautifully matte and clear, I can't praise it enough. 
Have you tried the Benefit skincare range?
cottonandcandie x

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Segway experience for two

For my Mum's birthday she didn't know what she wanted. Don't you just hate that? You're suggesting everything under the sun and she's like mm yeah maybe. So I asked her if she would prefer me to take her out and actually do something, which she liked the sound of. I browsed around on Buy a Gift and saw a Segway experience for two. I knew this would be perfect as it was something a little different but not massively out of her comfort zone as it was no heights or water or anything. 

The voucher came in this gorgeous metal box which opens up and explains what the person has got you inside. She loved it! Anyone late for Father's day definitely get on this band wagon!

We went to our closest Segway experience venue which was Cambridge at Grafham water, as you can see from the pictures it's got a nice little woodland and a real beautiful lake which is just pretty in itself. 

Yep I did my cardigan all the way up just like my Mum did because it was so cold #fashionblogger

First of all you put on all the gear: helmets, knee pads, the lot. We had an instructor show and explain to us how the Segway works and did a few games to let us get to grips with it, going in and out of cones, riding with no hands, etc (the Segway is controlled entirely on your distribution of weight). After this we went in the forest weaving in and out of trees, it was so much fun! We then got a chance to go into this big green area and have a little play around and some photos. They also take photos as you're going around which are ten pounds a print or fifteen pounds for one print and a USB pen with all of the pictures taken from the day. 

All in all we spent an hour on the Segway as we upgraded from the 30 pounds half an hour session for two to 50 pounds for a whole hour, which I would definitely recommend as the time literally flies!

I completely recommend buying a voucher from Buyagift as well as the Segway experience, it was such a cool thing to do and something different which my Mum loved.

Have you been on a Segway before or had a random present like this?!
cottonandcandie x

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Nothing haunts us more than the things we didn't buy

I think white bra shopping is my least favourite shopping. It used to be jeans shopping, all that jumping around and faffing about what size you are, what a nightmare. But now I know exactly what size Topshop joni jeans I am I can literally just grab a pair, heck I can even buy them online!

White is a boring bra colour, but we all need them for those awkward white tops - just patiently waiting for it to be okay to wear a bright bra which is visible through your t shirt..
However this sexy number courtesy of H&M is anything but boring. I love the strappy lingerie thing going on right now, love it so much, and lace - don't even get me started. This bralet literally has it all. This comes in your standard UK sizes rather than your cup sizes but everything is really adjustable including the clips at the back, there was literally five different widths to choose from!

Sadly, I didn't buy this. Shopping with your Mum and her being all responsible and "Is that not a bit rude?" brought me back down to Earth. It is way too beautiful to be just worn underneath your standard shirt and I would feel like I'm just going out in a bra if I just wore it as a top, sigh. 

Are you loving strappy lingerie at the moment? 
Can someone please convince me to go back and buy this?
cottonandcandie x

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Benefit make over: what I thought and what I bought

As I was wandering around Bentalls Kingston when I was approached by a Benefit beauty consultant and asked if I wanted a makeover, I mean how could I say no! She explained that she was doing this as part of her job interview for Benefit Kingston, and that she was moving from Benefit Croydon so already had a lot of knowledge in the way of their products. 

She took off all of my make up except my brows and eye make up and started right from scratch. First of all she showed me the Refined finish facial polish, a gentle exfoliator with perfectly spherical beads to softly scrub away any impurities. I often get random bumps on my skin which don't amount to anything just around the side of my face, I thought this would be perfect for this and I was so tempted to buy this but chatting to her she explained that this could be due to dehydrating the skin, therefore exfoliating less is the key here (I was exfoliating nearly every other day, whoops!). 

Instead I opted to buy the Foamingly clean facial wash, will be reviewing this fully soon but the low down is... 
It's a daily facial cleanser which comes out of the bottle as a cream and once applied to damp skin it lathers up a major amount, hence the foamingly clean. Keep an eye out for my review on this, I'm loving it so far!

Next up was the Instant comeback serum. She really recommended this for my dehydrated skin but I just could not justify 36 pounds for this! It did however leave my skin silky smooth and is said to minimise signs of aging by firming, smoothing and energising. I would love to get this but I'd have to be feeling really spendy!

Something that I am interested in getting is the Triple performing facial emulsion. A light, oil free hydrating cream with SPF 15. The "triple performing" bit is that it hydrates, protects and comforts (awwh.) I was given a little tester sample of this and really loved the lightweight texture and it wasn't greasy at all. I also love that it has SPF in it, means I won't get caught out!

Now this I was surprised at. Porefessional face primer. It's describes as a lightweight balm which has a little colour to it, it feels so silky on! I had a little tube of this which was a freebie from something and I had no idea what it was so never used it! Since using it I really think I've seen a difference with the amount of time my make up wears, especially when at work and getting hot and bothered! I also paid particularly attention to applying it to my eyebrows before filling them in which has made a huge difference to how long it lasts - will definitely buy again!

Onto foundation, she applied Hello flawless oxygen wow in Ivory - believe in me. For me this wasn't amazing, my skin did feel smooth and silky but was this down to all the prep of serums, primers, etc? For me a foundation has never really wowed me, if it's a real full coverage then I look a bit weird because it covers my freckles, and if it's light then it's just like my standard BB cream really, I don't know?

One thing that I was quite excited about was the Fake up concealer, she showed me that there's a balm all around the outside of the stick which is super hydrating with Vitamin E and apple seed extract and that the concealer is in the middle. On looking in the mirror I was disappointed to see it had barely covered my dark circles at all, it almost looked like they had been highlighted, not good.

This one is one for my birthday list: Majorette cream to powder blush. I've heard a lot about this, beauty bloggers everywhere raved about it, and now I'm about to as well. The Benefit beauty consultant explained that this blush was quite close to Benefit's heart as the founders of Benefit both used to be majorettes and this was the colour of their uniform. I absolutely loved this punchy coraly-orange (is that a phrase?). It really is beautiful and made my eyes look so blue, she also popped some on my lips as well, I love a lip and cheek combo.

Next she applied a highlighter, on choosing Sun beam I was a bit apprehensive as I normally go for silver undertones, whereas this is a real gold. She explained that she thought it would compliment Majorette and she was 100% right, it really looked gorgeous.

Finally she did a little contouring with Hoola, UK's no1 best selling bronzer, and I can see why. No glitter or sparkles or any of that stuff, just a good old matte powder, perfect for contouring or all over the face. Thinking about it now this is about to go onto my wishlist too. 

I've officially be taken over to the Benefit side, I seriously didn't realise how good their skincare range was and their variety of different products, I really could look at and coo at them all day. 

Are you loving Benefit? What's your favourite piece?
cottonandcandie x

Friday, 12 June 2015

Happiness is...

1. Making the first fresh tracks in snow
2. Decorating cupcakes
3. Finding a pair of shoes in the sale in your exact size
4. Completing a workout
5. When you're feeling a bit rubbish and someone says you look nice today
6. Finally being able to go for a wee when you really needed to
7. Not setting an alarm
8. A warm welcome from your family dog after a hard day
9. Eyebrows/eyeliner that are even
10. Sitting down after standing up all day
11. Being able to wear shorts for the first time in the year
12. Unexpected letters or cards that aren't bills!
13. New underwear
14. Finding money on the floor
15. Seeing old friends and family you haven't seen in forever - and it's like you haven't been apart!
16. Fluffy white towels from hotels
17. Breakfast/tea in bed
18. Seeing city lights at night
19. Touching down from a flight
20. Ticking off everything on your to do list
21. Baby animals
22. Looking forward to waking up because you've got a good day ahead
23. The sound of a drink can opening
24. Laughing so hard your cheeks hurt
25. The smell of a BBQ/bonfire
26. Making exciting plans
27. Snuggly jumpers
28. Seeing a dog or cat dreaming
29. People waking themselves up tallking
30. When people wait to wave goodbye when you're on a train or bus
31. Pretty wrapping on presents
32. Getting a text from someone you haven't heard from in ages
33. Old couples holding hands
34.  Babies feet
35. Pay day
36. Being smiled at by a passer by
37. Walking into a house which smells of baking
38. Hearing the microwave ding
39. Bare feet on fluffy carpet
40. Putting on a piece of clothing which has been on the radiator
41. Bubble wrap
42. Making someone laugh
43. When you have one more square of chocolate/crisp/sweet than you thought you have
44. Having room for dessert
45. When you get to the till and your item is less than you thought
46. Seeing a bridal car
47. Progress
48. Crying with laughter
49. When the clocks go back and you get an extra hour
50. When you find something you thought you had lost

What makes you happy?
cottonandcandie x

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

I got the job! My fail-safe interview dress

I'm pleased to say that on graduating in July I will be the teacher of 30 little primary aged children! I'm so so excited, the school is wonderful and I can't wait to start in September.

This interview was my very first teaching interview, and as always, I wore my Boohoo blue skater dress. I've worn this on the first day of all three of my school placements and now on my first proper job interview to make a good impression. 

Yes I could have worn a blouse and trousers and could have also been mega uncomfortable. For me, it's important to be comfortable in yourself so that you feel confident and happy. 

I always go for this dress as it has a high neckline, which going for a teaching job I think is important. Seeing as I'm going to be quite a young teacher at only 22 I need to make sure that what I'm wearing shows that I'm mature enough for this, so yes - low necklines is a no go for me, same with length of dress/skirt. It's also really bold and bright, which makes me feel more confident and makes me stand out a little compared to the other black and grey candidates. It's super comfy and has short sleeves, meaning it's perfect for pairing with a cardigan or taking it off if you're feeling too hot (and nervous!). Another thing I like about this dress is the box pleat, making it all the more formal.

Do you have a go to outfit for interviews?
cottonandcandie x

Monday, 8 June 2015

Zoeva 109 face paint brush: sculpting and contouring perfection

I'm definitely late on the band wagon for buying this - the Zoeva 109 face paint brush. The majority of bloggers which bought the entire Zoeva set (one day, sigh..) have dedicated an entire blog post just for the 109 face paint or have just completely raved about it. 

On first looks it's obviously beautiful, I would have loved the rose gold but white and black looks really professional in my opinion. I love the white bristles, I personally prefer that they're white as you can see when it needs cleaning.

The face paint brush (love the name!) is a contouring brush natural-synthetic bristles formed in a flat square head to ensure you get real precise sculpting and contouring. Due to the small width and the amount that they're tightly packed in, it really is quite fail safe to apply to the hollows of your cheeks as well as either side of your nose. 

Contouring tip! Imagine a line from the tip of your ear towards the corner of your mouth, always brush and blend upwards and never go past the center of your eye.

The only criticism I have is that when I washed this for the first time - see how to wash your brushes properly  here - I had quite a lot of fallout which I was a bit disappointed with. However, at only ten pounds for this nifty little brush this is a small price to pay for a few stray bristles!

I literally don't use anything else for my contouring now!

Have you got this in your set?
cottonandcandie x

Saturday, 6 June 2015

New Look presents the Road to Wireless

You may or may not know that New Look is the presenter for Wireless, a London based music festival. As part of their "warm up" for this amazing event New Look put on a "Road to Wireless" gig with the headliner for this event being Gorgon City. As far as I know, the only way to get these tickets was to win them. I heard someone say they won them through Instagram and some people won them physically in the New Look store on purchasing an item at the till - this is how we got ours. 

It was a great night with Kiss DJs playing popular remixes of chart music followed by up and coming artist Raleigh Ritchie who I loved. Similar vibes to Bastille but more upbeat - definitely one to watch. After this was Gorgon City who were so entertaining, really fun to watch.

I wore: Topshop joni jeans in dark green, Topshop tee, vintage Harrington jacket and New Look blanket scarf. 

It was really cool seeing a great mixture of people and fashion as the only thing everyone would have in common is some way of winning the tickets. This made it all the more enjoyable in my opinion.

Have you ever been to a gig like this?
cottonandcandie x

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

The double side split skirt

I've always loved these skirts, a beautiful, sheer material with a short opaque slip underneath to hide your dignity. This time it's with two slits up the hem so we can walk without looking like a penguin, ahh. The mint green is perfect for summer and as the slits don't go up too high even if it blows in the wind you're still safe. This really is a gorgeous, fail safe piece, well done H&M! 

I wore this to go for a meal on the embankment in Waterloo, we were really early for our train so I got a chance to take some pictures of this outfit. I put the skirt with a plain, simple white strappy top and my newest love, the Miss Sixty denim jacket from Camden, only ten pounds! I love the chunky boyfriend cut of this, so summery yet so practical! 

Necklace from Primark and boat style shoes I've had for years and years from New look. Suuuper comfy and can be worn with or without socks. 

Have you been edging into a more Summery wardrobe?
cottonandcandie x

Monday, 1 June 2015

The blogger made me buy it: L'Oreal Miss Manga punky Mascara

I think all bloggers do this, they see a few people recommending a product and don't even take a second thought when chucking it into an already overflowing basket. This was the case for L'Oreal's Miss Manga Punky mascara. There are two Miss Manga mascaras, the pink being the original version and the yellow being the "punky" version which gives your lashes more of a spiky look. Although since literally one person said they liked it I just bought it, I didn't even read up about it or know about any of this - eek, I know. 

Luckily, in this case it paid off. My Bourjois clubbing mascara was coming to an end and just wasn't wowing me anymore. Using the Miss Manga gave me loads of length (you know when you apply your mascara, look up and you get those little dots of mascara near your brow bone because your lashes have gone that long?) and of course volume, as it is intended. I love the second picture of my lashes when looking down, looks like I have tonnes!

Initially I will say that I didn't think I got on with it, the brush can be a little fiddly as it's so flexible and I found that first of all the brush put so much product on the wand. After I wiped the excess off with a tissue just the once I've never had problems since. No clumps, no mess, nothing. 

I'm really impressed with this and for the drugstore price of 9 pounds it's certainly worth it. I'm looking forward to trying out the original Miss Manga mascara and comparing soon!

Have you tried a drugstore mascara recently? Or bought anything just because a blogger recommended like me?!
cottonandcandie x