Products I use for a manicure that lasts all week

I personally think that doing your nails is an annoying task and a complete waste of time, however I am unfortunately not blessed with naturally nice nails or the budget to pay someone to do them for me. I don't know why but I used to have to paint my nails every other day or so if I didn't want them to be chipped, so a lot of the time I just left them because I couldn't be bothered. Now of course chipped nails look a lot worse than nails that just haven't been done at all, so that's no longer an option now that I work and have to care about my appearance. Thankfully, I've found a few products that mean I can just do my nails on the weekend and have a professional looking manicure for the entire week.

Essie Base Coat
I genuinely think this is the product that makes the biggest difference. It's meant to adhere the nail polish better and I can confirm that it does and the difference when I don't use this is massive- I'd say it easily gets you two extra days out of your manicure.

Essie Gel Setter Top Coat
I don't know if this actually does anything to prolong the wear of your nails but it alters their appearance massively. I often have people ask me if I have gel nails (even people who do have them so that means something) and I put it down to this product because it gives your nails that gorgeous high gloss gel finish.

Sally Hansen Nail Oil
Again, not sure if this actually makes my nail polish last longer but I feel like it does. I have extremly dry nails so using a nail oil every night not only makes my cuticles look five million times better but I also think it prevents some chipping because my nails and the nail polish aren't so dried out that they just split.

Finally, some polishes that I love. The four in the picture are basically the only ones that I wear, so you can tell that I really love colour on my nails... Seriously though, I love a muted nude colour because it just looks lovely and if it does chip you can't tell as much. Some of my favourite formulas are the new Sally Hansen Argan Oil Range, the Sephora Formula X, and the Essie Gel and Classic formulas (Sand Tropez is my all time favourite colour).

Keeping my wardrobe edited

Having had a pretty major life change recently, going from being a student with a part time job to being a full time employee, my wardrobe has changed quite a lot too. Admittedly I work in a casual office so I haven't had to replace all my casual clothes with suits, but I do like to look a bit more put together than I normally would in my free time, and I think growing up a bit changed my style too.
Having said that, I haven't bought that many new clothes- it's been more of a gradual change. While I've been doing this it's been important for me to keep my wardrobe edited instead of just adding things, so I'm not overwhelmed, so here are some tips that have helped me.

Hang up everything
This is a controversial one especially if you're a Marie Kondo kind of girl, but I really like hanging up all my clothes so I can always see everything. Now this doesn't include a few lounge wear items or my activewear, but I do hang all my skirts, trousers, blouses, tshirts, etc. This way I can always see everything I have.

Have a limited number of hangers
There's no rhyme or reason to the number of hangers that I own, it just happens to be the number of hangers I own and that fit into my wardrobe. However, having a set number (that isn't ridiculously high) means that I always know when my wardrobe is getting a bit full, because I start to run out of hangers.

Find out what you're not wearing
Every once in a while I will put all my clothes into my wardrobe and then whenever I put something back in after I've worn it, it goes on the right handside of my wardrobe. This means that after a few weeks, I can tell which clothes I wear and which I don't, because all the stuff I don't wear is still hanging on the left side. I then go through those leftover clothes and really try to think about why I'm not wearing them. Sometimes it's because they're going out clothes (I have two going out tops that always end up there because I never go out) or because maybe they're out of season, but sometimes I also realise that that piece of clothing just doesn't make me feel good and it's not something I gravitate towards, so it goes.

So those are my tips for keeping your wardrobe edited! In general, I'm a big believer in only having clothes that you feel like wearing the majority of the time, not just once a month. Obviously there will always be occasionwear exceptions, but that has become my general philosophy.

What's in my work bag

 I'm an extremely nosy person and I love seeing what other people carry in their bags, so today I'm sharing what I carry with me on an everyday basis when I go to work. I used to be one of those people who carry everything but the kitchen sink with them because I wanted to be prepared for all eventualities, but now I've narrowed it down to what I think are pretty much just the essentials. It's still quite a lot of stuff but bear in mind that this is my work bag so when I carry this with me I'm out of the house for 10+ hours.
First let's talk about the bag, It's a beautiful suede bag from Zara and actually fits my MacBook so that's a huge plus for me! It's also big enough for me to carry my lunch in it every day which is a must for me because I don't want to carry a nice bag and then a plastic bag with my lunch in it. I love dressing my bags up with silk scarves because it means you can change the look of the bag really easily and I don't get bored of the bag as quickly.
Two things I always carry around with me are my bullet journal (post on this coming soon) as well as my Kindle, because you never know when you may want to read or write a list!

Another thing I always have in my bag is obviously my purse. I used to have a small purse or even just a card holder, but in Germany we use a lot of cash so I needed a bigger purse to accommodate for that. I got this one from Liebeskind in the sale and I love the simplicity of it as well as the subtle branding. It also has lots of slots for cards and cash, which makes it the perfect everyday purse!

 Next up we have some other essentials, which are my Fisherman's Friends (I don't go anywhere without these), my phone and various keys. My phone case is from Asos and I've had it for a few months now and it's worn incredibly well considering it was only £6. My car keys have a little nemo key chain on them because my car is called Nemo and obviously a photo from the Brighton Sealife Centre. All my other keys are in my beloved Louis Vuitton key holder which was a birthday present to myself that I bought in Paris last year. It was a bit of a ridiculous purchase admittedly but I use it every day and it keeps my keys together and prevents them from scratching up things in my bag.

Lastly, there's my little pouch of everything I might need at some point. I got it from TK Maxx and it actually has a little charger pack in it which is really useful. In there I also keep some pens and a plaster (just in case), my MAC blot powder, a lip balm (the Nuxe Reve de Miel is my absolute go to, I have three of them) and some lip products. I always carry a nude and a darker lip with me but when I'm wearing a different lipstick I will just pop it in this pouch as well so sometimes I end up with ten lipsticks because I keep forgetting to take them out.
So that's everything I have in my work bag! 

The Ordinary Skincare Haul and Review

Recently I've been trying to up my skincare game, because as it turns out, I'm not getting any younger! I saw that Fleur de Force had done a video on The Ordinary skincare and was very intrigued and when my friend Jaye recommended them as well I obviously had to place an order!
The idea behind The Ordinary is that you get skincare without the fuss- the formulations don't have lots of fancy ingredients in them but are just based on the main active ingredients that will actually do something for your skin. This means that the prices are incredibly low (I got these four products for £25), which is definitely a plus for me since I'm on quite a tight intern budget. I've been using these products for a few weeks now so here are some mini reviews:

Hyaluronic Acid holds 10 times its weight in water so it's a fantastic product to use if your skin is dehydrated. My skin is oily but was definitely lacking moisture so I use this every night and it has definitely helped my skin become less flakey and much more plump and healthy looking.

This is an eye serum that is meant to help reduce puffyness and dark circles. I use this in the morning but I can't say I've seen a massive difference with it, however my friend Jaye swears by it!

This is the product I was most excited about because retinol is the anti aging ingredient. All the reviews I've read said that the results were incredible so I was quite disappointed when I didn't see much of an immediate difference. Having said that, I am only 22 years old so the signs of aging on my face so far are quite limited which might be why I didn't see much of a difference. However, after using it three times a week for several weeks I do think that the fine lines on my forehead have gotten less pronounced and my overall skintone is more even.

This primer is without a doubt my favourite product of them all. As I mentioned before, I have quite oily skin so I was having to powder several times a day and at the end of the day my makeup would basically be gone. Since using this primer I've been able to get away with just powdering once in the morning and maybe in the afternoon and my makeup is staying on really well! It is a silicone primer so if you don't like that silky feeling on your face this won't be for you, but I personally love it and have already used up half the bottle!

February Reads

One of my New Year's resolutions was to read more books (at least one a month), so I'm starting a little segment on here sharing with you what I read each months, with little mini reviews of the books. I'm still getting into the whole reading more thing so so far there aren't too many books to share but I'm hoping to get into more of a habit of reading.

The Making of Trump
My mum actually bought this book and I borrowed it after she'd read it. Now I have to start by saying that it is incredibly hard to read. I sometimes had to force myself to keep going because it's a bit of information overload and it's frankly quite terrifying to read about some of the things this man has done. Nevertheless I'm really glad I have read it because I think it has given me a lot of insights into who the president of the United States is and I would urge everyone to read it because it is an incredibly well researched account of Donald Trump's life and career before he became president. Best consumed one chapter at a time and with a large glass of wine handy.

The Princess Diarist
On to a slightly more cheery book- I'm a huge Star Wars fan so obviously I had to read this book by Carrie Fisher. It's a really interesting insight into what was happening behind the scenes when they first filmed Star Wars and I think any fan will really enjoy it. I would definitely consider this light reading material (especially compared to the Trump book) and I finished it in a day.

What did you read this month? Any recommendations?