Tips for growing out short hair

I'm going to start this post with a little hair history, just so you know where I'm coming from: I used to have long hair when I was little (it was almost down to my waist) but when I was 14 it started falling out for no apparent reason and as my hair is quite thick I decided to cut it to shoulder length to stop it from falling out (it didn't by the way). I absolutely hate having 'short' hair, I think it doesn't suit me at all, so for the past four years I've been trying to grow my hair long again and I learned a lot along the way, which I wanted to share today. I find that most of these 'how to grow your hair' posts are made by people who have and always have had beautiful long hair so they are more about maintaining than actually growing your hair, so here's a few tips I wanted to add.

1. Stop colouring your hair right now
One of the biggest mistakes I made was thinking that I could do fun stuff like bleaching my hair while growing it. Well guess what, your hair will break. If you have long hair already that may be fine because it'll break as much as it will grow, but if you're trying to grow your hair then you're gonna end up just having to cut off as much as your hair has grown because it's too damaged and you won't get anywhere. Which leads me to my next point...

2. You really do need to cut your hair
I always hate going to the hairdresser because I see all that hair falling to the floor and think that my hair will never be long, but the truth is that by not cutting the dead ends off, you're just making things worse because they will go further and further up your hair and you will eventually have to cut them off. I usually go to the hairdresser every three months and between those visits I simply cut off the split ends myself (make sure you use proper hair scissors for this or you might make it worse!)

3. Invest in your hair
I do believe that if you want to grow your hair, you need to invest both time and money. As a rule of thumb I'd say save on shampoo and conditioner and invest in treatments such as hair oils and masks (I love the Wella Luxe Oil and Philip Kingsley elasticiser). Of course there's some great budget options, for example L'Oreal make some really good affordable hair oils and masks, but I think that with treatments you do get what you pay for most of the time. You also need to invest some time to do a hair mask at least once a week, cut your split ends every once in a while, etc. I like to do a hair mask every other wash (I wash my hair about twice a week) and then do an intensive oil mask which I leave on overnight every two to three weeks.

4. Don't use heat
This is along the same lines as colouring your hair. No matter if you use heat protectant or not, heat is never going to be good for the condition of your hair so only use it when you really need to. I used to blow dry my hair and straighten it about once a week, now I only blow dry it when I really need to (i.e. when it's freezing outside) and I only straighten or curl it for special occasions, so most of the time that's once a month at the most! Put away the hot tools, your hair will thank you for it.

5. Be patient
I know this is the last thing you want to hear, but unfortunately growing your hair takes a long time for most people. In the last six years I've only managed to grow mine about 10cm, although in that timeframe I bleached it twice, regularly used hot tools on it and didn't take much care of it. Now that I take good care of my hair it has not only gotten longer but the overall condition of it has become so much better and the new hair that's growing is being treated well from the start!

I know this post wasn't exactly revolutionary but I hope that it still helped you if you're trying to grow your hair. And if you have any secret tips please do share them in the comments!

My Gap Year Experience


Since results day was last week and lots of people are now planning what they are going to do this year, I thought I would share my gap year experience with you all, to maybe give you some ideas if you're taking a gap year. This post is a collaboration with the lovely Jordan from Hello Miss Jordan, because we both took gap years for very different reasons and did different things, so we thought this may be useful for some of you!
So my gap year story- I came to the UK when I was 15 and skipped year 11 so when I finished my A-Levels I had just turned 17. This means that if I'd gone to university straight away, I would have still been 17 for eight months. This would have caused lots of problems since I wouldn't have been able to for example sign a tenancy agreement for a house or anything, so I chose to apply for deferred entry and take a gap year.
For my gap year I moved back to Germany to live with my parents and tried to find a job, which proved to be much more difficult than I thought because it turns out that people don't really want to hire a 17 year old girl with no experience! So I ended up not doing much apart from the odd bit of work experience (which by the way showed me that I did not want to become a photographer, so I guess that was useful!). I did take up cheerleading though, which I really enjoyed and where I met some lovely girls who I became really good friends with.


During my gap year I was in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend who was at university in England, which was really hard because we wouldn't see each other for months and I had very little to distract me from the fact that I missed him a lot. We broke up suddenly just after I turned 18, so that is where the Eat, Pray, Love part of this story begins...
I'd always wanted to travel at the end of my gap year, once I had turned 18. Initially I wanted to do a full around the world tour but I quickly realised that I had neither the funds nor the time to do it properly, so I settled for two weeks of travelling in Thailand and a month of volunteering in India. I didn't have much of a plan for these things, I did the volunteering in India with an organisation so those four weeks were all organised for me, but I didn't decide when I was going to fly back and I also didn't have any plans for Thailand.
I arrived in Thailand having booked a hostel in Bangkok for the first two nights, with no plans other than 'I have to be back here in three weeks for my flight to India', and that was probably one of the best things I've ever done! I met so many incredible people and it was amazing just being able to spontaneously decide where to go and what to do. I ended up not travelling around too much because I really enjoyed where I was in Phuket, but I had an amazing time. I started in Bangkok, flew to Phuket, then took a bus to Koh Samui where I stayed for one night and realised I hated it, so I moved on to Koh Phangang and then eventually got a train back to Bangkok. I think my time in Thailand really helped me grow as a person, as cheesy as it sounds, because I was forced to just meet people wherever I went and make friends with strangers and I became so much more confident and independent in those two weeks.




After Thailand I moved on to India, where I had an induction week in Bangalore to meet the other volunteers and learned a bit more about the projects, as well as doing some sight seeing and going on a two day trip to Mysore. After the induction week we all went to our separate projects, so all the young people I'd made friends with went off to a little village called Kundapur and I went to Mysore so live in a host family together with another German woman who I did not get on with at all. The next three weeks were really difficult for me. My host family was amazing and I was really glad I was with them because they made such an effort to make me feel at home. I think my host mother was really happy to have me because she had two sons, so she loved teaching me how to cook Indian dishes, helping me to put on my sari in the morning etc., things she obviously couldn't do with her sons. My volunteer work was teaching at a school, which was really difficult since no one there spoke English and I wasn't seen as an authority figure, so I really struggled. There were some amazing moments, like when I taught a class to sing 'Yellow Submarine', but there were also a lot of moments when I just wanted to go home. Especially having just gone through a terrible breakup, I felt really alone a lot of the time and counted down the days until I could leave. After my volunteering was over, I chose to spend another week in India to meet up with the other volunteers again. We met up in Hampi, which was honestly one of the most amazing weekends of my life, and then went back to Kundapur for a week, where they continued their volunteering while I just relaxed and met up with them in the evenings (and sometimes in the morning for yoga at the temple!). The next weekend we went to Goa, which was also incredibly fun, where we then said goodbye as they went back to Kundapur and I flew home.




This post ended up being quite an essay, I apologize for that! In short, I had an amazing experience and although I was very homesick at times, I think it really helped me become more independent and sure of myself. I definitely recommend travelling (although I wouldn't recommend travelling through India by yourself), because you meet so many people along the way who influence you, even though you will probably never see them again. Having just gone through a breakup I did struggle with feeling alone and being sad at times, and I'm not going to lie: I didn't miraculously get over him and I didn't meet the love of my life while I was away. But I did become a more outgoing and confident person in the space of just two months and if I had the opportunity I would definitely do it again!

I hope this post was helpful in some way if you're thinking of taking a gap year. If you want any more information about the things I did or you have any questions please don't hesitate to post in the comments or send me an email at alliec713@gmail.com, I would love to help you out! Also make sure you read Jordan's post about her gap year because her story is like something you'd read in a romance novel.

Looking for Alaska


I really seem to be on it with the book reviews right now. I don't normally read much anymore but as I'm on holiday I've had much more time to do it. 
I started reading Looking for Alaska about three years ago but never finished it because I left it at a friend's house and to be honest I was really quite upset and angered by it so I didn't particularly want to finish it. 
Now I finally got around to reading it again and although it still angered me a little bit (if you read it, you'll know why and if you don't then what are you waiting for), the ending totally made up for it. I normally hate the endings of books because the world of the book becomes my world and I'm upset when it ends, especially because it rarely ends like I want it to (Divergent is a prime example of this), but Looking for Alaska ends in a way that is completely satisfying and made me happy in a weird way. The whole book really makes you think even when you finished reading it, which I think is the sign of a good book. 
I absolutely love Looking for Alaska and it has just earned its spot as my second favourite John Green book (with An Abundance of Katherine's being number one) and I thoroughly recommend you read it!

One Mascara To Rule Them All





I've been on the hunt for the perfect mascara for a long time. I want my mascara to be lengthening, separating and hold a curl because I have very straight lashes, and a few weeks ago I stumbled across this gem in the Boots clearance where I picked it up for only £1.90 and it was love from the first application- let me introduce you to the L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Waterproof mascara.
This mascara really is all I was looking for. It lengthens, it doesn't clump my lashes together (a massive pet peeve of mine) and it holds my curl all day! The picture above is after about six hours of wear, which is just incredible for me! It is a waterproof formula so it's a little harder to get off, but nothing a good cleansing oil can't manage! And it really is waterproof, which I tested in the shower (for research purposes of course, not because I forgot to take it off)- the curl drops a little but the mascara doesn't smudge or anything, so it's perfect for summer!
So if you like long, curled and separated lashes then I definitely recommend picking up this mascara- you won't regret it!


Am I a #GIRLBOSS?


I just finished reading #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amuroso and I have to say it was one of the most inspiring books I have ever read. 
I'm at a place in my life where I have to start making decisions- I'm in my last year of university and I have to decide what I'm going to do after I finish. The biggest thing that my parents told me to decide was whether I was happy staying at my university in my comfort zone and go on to get a decent job, or whether I wanted to leave Brighton and experience new things that could lead to a career. 
I've been thinking a lot about this decision and #GIRLBOSS definitely assured me that I do want to have a career, even if it means going somewhere else and doing things that may seem uncomfortable to me. 
I think the great thing about this book is that it doesn't tell you to do things Sophia's way. I know that being an entrepreneur isn't a path I want to pursue (I don't have an amazing idea for it anyway!) and I'm happy completing my education and doing things the conventional way and there's nothing wrong with that because it's the path that's right for me. What #GIRLBOSS taught me is that you need to find what works for you regardless of society conventions, you need to find something you love doing and you need to work hard. Every day.
Apart from being extremely inspirational, the book also taught me some practical things about applying for jobs, staying in a job and even losing a job. And funnily enough, the CEO of this massive clothing company taught me that you need to save money- something I suck at but am now much more inclined to do because you never know when you might need those savings!

So if you haven't read #GIRLBOSS yet then get your ass down to your local book shop and buy it- you will not regret it! Now excuse me while I open a savings account and try to stop thinking about those expensive shoes I really want...

The Ultimate Fancy Dress Guide for University

I've always loved to dress up and I think that after two years of university I'm somewhat of a fancy dress expert. If you're getting ready to go to university this September and you're wondering what you will need fancy dress wise then don't worry, I've got you covered! I've gone through my photos from the past two years and come up with a list of common themes and the best way to handle them, with a few easy costume ideas. You will also get to see some fantastically hilarious photos of me, so here we go.

The Toga Party


This is an easy one- all you need is a white dress (or bedsheet if you're brave) and then you can just style your hair in a Greek goddess fashion and you're done. In this case I went for a half up half down look with curls and a gold hairband and my friend Lauren went for curls and some braids- sorted!


The animal social


Again, a very easy one! You can just draw a cat face on your face and be done with it, or you can become a bit more creative and go for more of a full on face makeup like I did. In any case, some sort of animal print top and/or animal ears will be a good investment for your time at university!


The Halloween costume


This is one of my favourites and one I like to plan in advance and get quite committed to, but again it's quite simple. All you need is some sort of fancy dress outfit that you don't mind ripping and getting blood on. I wouldn't recommend buying an actual Halloween costume because they are often massively overpriced and you can achieve the same or even a better effect by ripping up a costume yourself and splattering some fake blood on it. Last year I went for the zombie bride costume and to the right you can see my zombie groom (ripped up a cheap shirt and threw some fake blood on it, sorted) and to the left my friend Lauren simply wore a cheerleader outfit with a bullet wood- simples!


Where's Wally



I can almost guarantee you that at some point during your time at university there will be a Where's Wally social, so get yourself a simple red and white striped top and next time you go see a 3D film keep the glasses and you're sorted! You can also reuse the t-shirt for themes like Gnomes and even a French theme.


The Disney social


My favourite kind! There are so many characters you can go as and you can put varying levels of effort into this. For an easy costume, get yourself a blue dress and a bow for your hair and go as Alice from Alice in Wonderland, like my friend Megan here, or get yourself some Minnie ears and a cute dress. I personally wanted to do something a little more unusual so I went as the mad hatter. I just wore a blouse, some high waisted shorts and a waistcoat for this and made my hat myself, so I didn't even spend any money on this costume!


The Wild West/ Cowboys and Indians social


Another social that you will most likely encounter at one point or another during your time at university, so make sure you've got some denim shorts and a checked shirts, and maybe even a cowboy hat, so you're prepared! I also had these awesome boots that I got from my mum, which were just too good not to wear!

The movie character


Probably one of the easiest themes because you can go for anything really! You can just wear a colourful bra and cut some holes in a white shirt and go as Regina George, like Lauren did here, or you can go all out like Emily who painted herself yellow and went as a minion! There are lots of options (a quick google will give you plenty), and most can be achieved with items you already own. You can often also re-use costumes, for example I have a Queen Amidala costume that I wore for my birthday ('Things beginning with A'), which I tend to wear for film socials now!


Get creative!


There will be so many fancy dress events during your time at uni that sometimes you just need to get creative and work with what you have, because no one can afford to buy costume after costume! The photo above is from my birthday party where the theme was 'Things beginning with A', and in the picture you can see (from left to right) an anaconda, Australian, Adam, Queen Amidala, Fallen Angel and random guy in a suit (I can't remember what he came as...). Often google will give you lots of awesome suggestions for costumes that you can just put together with things that you already own or can borrow from friends.

I hope you've enjoyed this post I've given you some ideas for fancy dress, or at least some photos to laugh at!

The Chosen Ones- Lip Products



Today's installment of 'The Chosen Ones' is all about lip products. If you're not familiar with the mini series then make sure you check out part 1 and 2!

I used to not be a massive lipstick girl at all but recently my collection has grown a lot and now I need to have some options with me!

The Neutrals
Obviously I had to take my beloved Illamasqua Glamore lipstick in Starkers, which has become my everyday nude. I also took MAC 'Captive', which isn't a nude colour but still quite muted, so I class it as a neutral! Both lipstick have a really nice moisturising formula and are great for every day. I also took my NYX lip liner in Peekaboo Neutral to define my lip line, but it can also be worn alone all over the lip for a matte effect. For a gloss, I took the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 02, which is a beautiful pinky gloss.

The Brights
Of course I had to take some bright lipstick, so I chose the Laqa&Co stick in this great purple colour, which has a good colour payoff but is still a less bright option than MAC Heroine, which is probably one of my all time favourite brights (although my mum can't stand it!). As a red option I took MAC Cherry lip liner, which I just use all over the lip for a matte red lip that lasts all day.

The Dark Ones
We all know that I love a good dark lipstick, so I chose to take Maybelline Super Stay in Always Plum and my Sleek lipstick in Vamp, because they are both great matte and long lasting options.

The Chosen Ones- Eyes


Today's post is all about the things I took on holiday with me to make my eyes look prettier! If you haven't seen my post about the base products I took yet, make sure you check it out here! My eyes are my favourite feature, so I do like to experiment with different eyeshadow looks and I don't just have one go-to look that I wear every day, therefore I like to have my options...

The Bases
As someone who has very oily eyelids, I always use an eyeshadow base, and the ones I took are the Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Paint in Rich Russet and the Kiko Eyeshadow stick in 05. Both can be worn alone for a wash of colour or be built on with other eyeshadows, and they keep my eyeshadows from creasing all day!

The Liners
I'm quite simple when it comes to liners- all I need it a black, a nude and a gel! I took the Inglot AMC gel liner, as it's just a fantastic gel liner that does not budge all day and even stays in my waterline! I also took the NYX liner in black and of course my Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof liner in nude for my waterline.

The palettes
I took two palettes, which I can achieve endless amounts of looks with! I still love my Naked 2 palette because I use every single colour in it and it's just stunning (thanks everyone who chipped in and got it for me for my birthday!), but I also wanted to take my Inglot palette because it has some more unusual colours in it (if you want to see details about this palette, I wrote about it here).

The others
I also took a random single eyeshadow, which is the L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadow in Pebble Grey, just because I love the colour and it didn't take up much space. For my brows I took my usual Revlon Brow Fantasy in Brunette, which is still a firm favourite, and last but not least I took the L'Oreal Telescopic False Lash Waterproof mascara, which has officially become my favourite mascara of all times and will get it's own little post soon!

So that's it for eyes, watch this space because tomorrow I'm talking about lipsticks!


The Chosen Ones- Base Product


As you guys know, I'm currently at home in Germany, which means I'm away from my makeup stash for almost five weeks. This meant that I had to make some decisions about what to take, and I think I did pretty well at narrowing it down! It's more than I would take on a short holiday but much less than I own, so I think I found a good middle ground. Over the next few days I'm going to do a little series about which products I took, stating with base products, as these are all favourites that I know I can rely on! 



Foundation
I actually only took one foundation, which I was quite proud of, because I use this every day and I love it- of course I'm talking about the L'Oreal True Match foundation! As I will be outside a lot and probably tan, I also took my Revlon Skinlights in Bronze, as I can just mix this with my foundation for a bit of a glow and to make it a shade or two darker. I also took a BB cream option, which is the Garnier Skin Perfector for oily skin, my go-to BB cream. I took both the light and the medium/dark shade to accommodate for my tan!

Concealer
For concealer I obviously took my trusty Collection Lasting Perfection concealer in Light, which is still going strong, although I need to get a new one soon. I also took my Maybelline Fit Me concealer because I have it in a darker shade. It doesn't have as much coverage as the Collection one but it's still lovely, especially under the eyes as it's less drying. I also took my Garnier BB eye cream, which is a very light concealer and eye cream in one, for days when I don't want to wear full-on makeup but my undereye circles are just too bad to not do anything!

Bronzer and Blush
Of course I took my newfound love, NARS Laguna, because it's just the perfect bronzer for giving me that sunkissed glow. For days when I want a more serious contour I also took the Sleek Contour Kit in light, which is my favourite product for contouring. For blush I took three options: my NYX Powder blushes in Rosey, for a light pink flush, and Terracotta for a more sunkissed look. I also took my all time favourite Benefit blush, 'Dallas'.

So that's it for the base products I took, make sure to check back tomorrow for everything eyes!



The One and Only BB Cream


I think everyone is sufficiently fed up with the whole BB/CC/DD/EE/... craze right now, but I have to say I was never really a part of that craze. When they first came out I was intrigued, tried one by Garnier and didn't like it because it turned me into a greaseball, and then I came across this matte version and I haven't looked back.
The Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector for combination to oily skin has a matte finish, almost a liquid to powder formulation, with a great coverage that actually rivals some foundations I've tried. It's the base I reach for when I want something no fuss that I can just slap on and be done with it. It blends really nicely both with fingers and a brush and I am just in love.
Admittedly, this does separate a little bit in my super oily areas, so on my nose and forehead, during the day, but can easily be re-blended with fingers. I do also find that the occasional powder touch up during the day pretty much prevents it. It may not be fool proof, but it's the best BB cream for oily skin that I have tried!
The light shade is unfortunately still quite dark, I can just about wear it in the winter but if you're very pale (I'm a MAC NC20 normally) then this may not be for you. Thankfully it works for me and I also have the medium to dark shade, which is my go-to in the summer because it matches me perfectly when I have a tan!

What is your favourite BB cream?

So...? Fragrances Event


A few weeks ago I was kindly invited to an event by So...? Fragrances, showcasing some of their new products and their Christmas gift sets! It was a lovely event held at a hotel in London- I was greeted with a cocktail (Mojitos are the way to my heart) and had a look around the room, looking at the gift sets and their couture range body sprays, which are inspired by Paris, Rio, New York and London (the Paris scent being my favourite, surprise surprise).
There was also a table where you could make your own perfume, which I think was my favourite part of the event! I used citrus, rose and marine notes and actually really loved the result and I've actually been wearing it as a perfume quite often! I think it's these little thoughtful activities that make events like this great and I really enjoyed it (the macaroons also helped).
I also met Jess, a fellow blogger and YouTuber (check out her blog and YouTube!), which was lovely because I went to the event by myself and found someone to talk to. We both got our nails done by the amazing Cherrie Snow from WAH Nails- I went for red nails with a red, purple and white "Love" design and Jess got a similar design in different colours and with her initials, which I thought was a really cute idea.
I got a great goodie bag from the event, so I've been able to test out some of the products and I'm really impressed! I've been wearing the Paris body spray pretty much every day since I got it and I also got a little festival dry shampoo set, which I will be talking about in more detail soon! I took one camping to cornwall with me and it definitely does the job and smells divine, as you would expect!
All in all I had a great time at the event, thanks to So...? for inviting me!













H&M Home Wish List


As promised in yesterday's post, today I'm sharing with you some bits and bobs that I'm planning on picking up from H&M Home for my new room! I love H&M Home because their style is great and they have lots of simple items as well as some statement pieces, and the quality is great, especially considering the prices! 
As I said yesterday, I love having different textures and shades of grey on my bed, so I want to get some cushion covers, as my current cushions are all sorts of colours. I love the satin cushion cover because of it's texture and I think it looks much more expensive than it is (only £8!), and I'm also going to pick up one or two of the velvet cushion covers, as a simple more neutral option. I also really like the look of the linen cushion cover with the lace trim, but I will have to have a look at that in the store to see if I really like it! 
I've been really getting into buying fresh flowers because they just make the room look so much nicer, so I definitely want to get a nice vase and this glass vase looks great, I love the grey/silver metallic look of it and it seems like a good size.
Last but not least, I haven't had curtains in my room for a year now (I had skylights with blinds) so I'm getting quite excited about this! I don't know what kinds of curtains will be in my room but I'm almost certain that I will want to replace them, as student houses normally just aren't nice. I'm torn between the skyline print and the side of the building print... What do you think?

Dreaming about my new room

In less than a month I am finally moving into my new house and I absolutely cannot wait! I'm really excited to be living with some really good friends and our house is great. For the past year I've lived in an attic room, which meant that the ceiling was so low that I couldn't stand in most parts of my room, so I'm really looking forward to having a room where I can use all the space I have, and of course in true blogger fashion I have made an entire pinterest board with inspiration, which you can check out here. So today I thought I'd show you some things that I want to do in my new room, and maybe you'll find some inspiration too!
Source: Pinterest

One of the main things I'm excited about is getting new storage for my makeup. I've been storing my makeup in a dressing table this year, but the drawers just got too small (I really do have too much makeup) and it was looking cluttered. In my new house I want my makeup table to be in front of the window so I can film there and have some acrylic storage as well as a mirror like the No7 Illuminated Mirror, which is nice and big and has the added benefit of a bit of extra light! That way it'll be easier for me to film videos and all my makeup will be proudly displayed.

Source: Pinterest

This one may be a bit more boring, but I have a book case which was in my wardrobe this year to store clothes, which I want to use to organise things like my uni books and my printer next year, because it's still easy to access but it's sort of tidied away and not in the way of things, especially because I don't have a desk (I never use them, I always work on my bed).

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Another thing I'm very excited about are my achievement wall and my photo wall. I like to have lots of photos around so this year I want to cover an entire wall with photos that I have stuck on to some cardboard, so I don't have to individually blue tac them to the wall. I've already started making this and so far it looks great!
Since seeing Fleur de Force's office tour, I've also wanted a wall with lots of different frames on it, so I decided to make an 'achievement wall' and frame things like pretty certificates, a nice pole picture etc. I'm currently just finding it hard to find frames I like for this!

Source: Pinterest

Last but not least is what's really the centre piece of my room: my bed. I live in my bed, I work on it, I watch tv on it, etc., so I like it to be really nice and cozy. I'm absolutely loving combining different shades of grey and different textures and I've already found some lovely bedding at Homesense, so I can't wait to get some pillow cases from H&M to match it. There will be (yet another) H&M Home wish list going up tomorrow with details!

I hope you enjoyed this post and you maybe found some inspiration for your own room! Make sure to follow me on Pinterest to see more!



Music- Or So She Said

Image Credit: Lux Obscuro Productions

I know this is technically a beauty blog but I like to branch out into other areas of life somehow to make things a bit more interesting and today I want to talk about music! I absolutely love music (who doesn't) and I happen to have quite a few very talented friends who are in bands. Now last week my friend James and his duet partner Chloe, also known as 'Or So She Said' (which can be a confusing name when you bring it up in conversation but it grows on you!) brought out their first EP! 
The first time I saw them perform was at an open mic night and I remember turning to my friend saying "I can't sing like that" and his reply was "Not many people can", which I think perfectly sums up Chloe's voice- it's just absolutely incredible.
I've been listening to their EP on repeat since it came out and my favourite song is definitely "No One". Their music is just fun, easy to listen to and I really recommend it! Not just because I know them but because they're genuinely awesome obviously. You can find their EP on iTunes and Spotify (it's called Free From This) and make sure to check out their facebook page so you get informed about any gigs they're playing because you should definitely try to see them live if you can- Chloe is one hell of a performer!

What's on my nails #9


The other night I was really bored so I decided to do something a little fancier with my nails. I have a very limited amount of nail polishes right now as I am in Germany (a post on which ones I took is coming soon!), but Greige Gardens by Sally Hansen is one of my one time favourites and always a safe bet for a lovely manicure. To spice things up a bit I used this L'Oreal gold leaf top coat which I love for adding a little something to your nails! I concentrated it on the bottoms of my nails, but I've used it on the tips before too which also creates a lovely effect. After having my nails professionally done at the So...? fragrances event, I really like spending some extra time making sure that my manicure looks perfect and trying out new things!
The best thing about this manicure is that I am writing this five days after I painted my nails and I still only have chipping on one nail- the rest looks perfect.



Mini Haul- National Lipstick Day



Of course I couldn't pass up the opportunity of getting £5 off a lipstick at Debenhams on National Lipstick Day (why does that even exist?), so I made a cheeky order! Unfortunately I was quite late so all the shades I had on my list were already sold out, so took a bit of a risk and went for a colour I had never swatched before- 'Captive' by MAC. I looked at swatches online and it looked like a lovely plum colour that can be sheered out or built up and I was right, I absolutely love it! 
What I loved even more about this order was the free gift with purchase. Debenhams are normally good at these but this time they have outdone themselves. A perfume mini in an adorable little YSL pouch! The perfume in question is YSL Opium and I actually really love this smell too so it'll be great for travelling or chucking into my bag during the day! All in all I'm very happy because I got all of this for £10.50. Yep, you read that right. I am the queen of bargains. Over and out.





Sorry I've been away... A life update

You may have noticed that I've been quite absent recently, not only from the blog but also from my social media, so I thought I owed you guys an explanation.
Last week I had to move out of my student house in Brighton as I'm not staying there next year and my tenancy was up. Unfortunately I have no overlap between my old and my new tenancy so everything had to go into storage for a month. The whole packing process was really stressful, especially as I didn't have a car to get my things to storage, and I ended up completely underestimating the work I had left to do, didn't finish packing, almost missed my coach and therefore my flight, which led to me having an anxiety attack on the way to the airport. It was not fun.
I am now at home and on Wednesday I had a little operation to get all my wisdom teeth removed, so since then I've been quite exhausted and I look like a chipmunk/fat Monica Geller, which is why I haven't been able to film any videos (let me know if you still want to see my late July favourites or if you want me to just merge it with my August favourites!). I've just been really quite exhausted and still anxious about the state of my house so I haven't felt like writing blog posts. However now I'm feeling much better and I'm planning on going back to posting every day! Just a little heads up though: I'm going on holiday with my family to Canada next week for almost three weeks, during which I won't have much access to internet. I will try to schedule regular posts for that time (hopefully daily!) but I won't be very active on social media due to the lack of internet.
Thank you all for sticking with me and I hope you enjoy the new content I have prepared for Living Life in Docs!

Arthritis is something old people get... right?


Today's post is something completely different to the normal content of this blog, so if you came here to read about beauty products then I am sorry, but there's a whole load of old posts for you to check out!
Today I would like to talk about arthritis. When people think about arthritis, they normally think about old people complaining about their joints hurting, but there's a lot more to it than you would think. I've recently had two people tell me that 'arthritis isn't a big deal', which has led me to write this post, because I want people to know that it is a big deal and it affects a lot of people, of all ages.
I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) when I was around 18 months old. I was very young when I was diagnosed, so I don't remember many details about the worst of it. I remember having to cool my knee every morning and having to wear a leg brace at night, but that's pretty much it. However what I do remember is not being able to do what all the other kids did, jumping on trampolines, having to ask for special treatment in PE class because I couldn't jump like the other kids because of my knees, not being allowed to ice skate or ski, not being allowed to do gymnastics, etc. It's not the physical pain that I remember, it's the mental impact that it had on me and my development.
I was extremely lucky to recover quite well. I can walk normally, I can dance and I can do all those things that I used to not be allowed to do. I stopped taking medication quite a few years ago and I'm still fine, but I am still always scared that it will come back one day.
The main joints that were affected for me were my knees, and even now they still hurt quite often when I walk down stairs or when I run, and I can normally tell you if the weather is bad by the way my knees feel. However I can live a normal life, which I am extremely grateful for.
Unfortunately, not all children are that lucky. Arthritis can lead to problems with growth and doesn't just affect the joints but also sometimes the eyes, which can lead to cataracts and blindness. In some cases, JRA can even be fatal!
So next time someone talks about arthritis, don't brush it off as something that's not so important and that only old people get. A lot of children are suffering from it and it's considerably affecting their life.

If you want to know more about JRA or you want to donate then please visit http://www.childrensarthritistrust.org.uk/!

If I could only shop in one place...


Jenn from A Beautiful Zen recently did a wardrobe overhaul video which featured a few pieces from All Saints, reminding me just how much I love their clothes. All Saints is definitely the shop I would chose if I could only shop in one place for the rest of my life because their clothes are so high quality and simple and monochrome with an edge, which is exactly my style. So I went over to their website and put together a little list of the things I would get if I could only wear All Saints for the rest of my life.

The Jacket
If you know me, you know I love leather jackets and All Saints without a doubt makes some of the best leather jackets I've ever seen. I love the Steine Leather Biker Jacket because it's quite thick and quilted on the arms and it just adds an instant edge to any outfit.

The day dress
All Saints have the slouchy casual cool dress thing down and my favourite is the Alienor Dress because it's loose yet flattering and can be easily dressed up with heels or dressed down with some boots and a leather jacket.

The evening dress
I love a sparkly dress for the evening and the Swathe Dress is just absolutely stunning. Again it's quite loose, which is something I've really been getting into, and it's just so effortlessly chic and edgy.

The T-Shirt
Can you sense a trend with the loose fitting items here? I love the Itita Tank because it's such a simple design but the chains on the arm holes make it really interesting and edgy so you could just throw it on with skinny jeans and some boots and look extremely fashionable without having to think about your outfit too much.

The Shoes
It's no secret that I love chunky heeled boots so the Jules Heeled Boot was an obvious choice. What I love about this is the buckle strap, which is removable so when you want to look more put together you can just take it off! It's basically two shoes in one...

The Jewellery
I'm not a massive jewellery wearer but I do like to wear earrings and these Nevena Tip Earrings are just the perfect understated yet cool piece to wear. I love the blackened silver finish of them and would definitely wear them on a daily basis!

The Accessory
A good belt can immediately dress up an outfit and I love this Lila Belt because of how chunky it is. I would probably wear this with a slouchy white or grey dress and the Jules boots for a casual look.

If you could only shop in one place, what would you choose?

Get Ready With Me- Video


The other day I filmed myself getting ready for filming to show you my current favourite products in action! I didn't actually end up filming my July Favourites because my camera ran out of battery (oops) but I will film that soon so this is almost a little preview of what's to come! It ended up being quite a bold eye look with orange eyeshadow and bold winged liner, so I paired it with my favourite nude lipstick, which I will be doing a separate post about soon!
I'm really sorry about the lighting in this video, it went absolutely crazy! It's the last video I'm filming in this room though (I'm typing this as I pack up the last of my stuff to leave this afternoon!) so hopefully from now on my videos will get better- I can't wait to organise a proper set up in my new room!
I hope you enjoy this video and let me know if there's anything you'd like to see on my YouTube channel!