Long time no blog. October was just mental. No sugar coating in here folks. While I honestly think it went by in a blink of an eye, I also feel that it lasted forever. Assessments, work, volunteering a few hangovers here and there from some nights with friends .. it all took over my life. Now, November is finally here and while I write this, a crowd is over at the Glasgow Green area for the fireworks (it's the 4th of November, just so you know) which, another year I missed and I have never been to since I moved to Scotland. Shame on me. But, this month awaits and here are the plans and goals I have set to myself:

First, trying to get MORE organised. I am pretty sure this was included in my last Issue but things aren't still quite like how I would like them to be and doing essays at the very last minute or not having time to post not even once a week is something that is just not right. 

On the other hand, what is definitely right is me going on a spending ban. It is indeed a bit ridiculous to even do this doing Christmas but I've started about a month ago and I am not giving in. Obviously, this does not include any purchases made for Christmas presents and I will still allow myself a little treat. It's also worth mentioning that this means no make-up or skincare will be bought. There's an in and out system in place and I really must use up what I've got. I'll be sharing my thoughts here on the blog. 

To go together with the spending ban, I am also going on a selling spree on Depop. I will be having a massive clear out and more things will be added over the next week or so. Find me under the username 'teresamaria' and grab yourself a bargain peeps. 

Finally, a little trip to Aberdeen will be happening towards the end of the month. It will just be good to go away for a weekend a be somewhere where I've never been. Also, there's flights to London booked for January for Paul's birthday and probably we'll be going to the Harry Potter world cuz, ya know .. we're weird like that and that's how we roll. 

What are your plans for November?

Today I thought I would initiate a share post which can include anything from movies, blogs, YouTube channels or even the restaurant around the corner. In this particular case, it will be a Brazilian blog called Um Ano Sem Zara which means 'A Year Without Zara'. And yes, by Zara it does mean the brand. With the trend of capsule wardrobes, minimalism and massive clear outs happening at the moment, I thought this was a great opportunity to introduce you to this inspirational blog. If you have been trying to save money, go on a shopping ban and simply just use and work with what you already have in your wardrobe then keep reading. 

Joanna or Jojo (the blogger) started this little space back in 2011. If you read her very first post, in the funniest of ways, she explains the whole reason for creating A Year Without Zara. Long story short, she founds herself nearly being kicked out from where she lives but also, in a lot of debt with credit card bills. In her words, she makes a mention to how a 27 year old should invest in more important things rather than clothes; it's questionable - she says. However, low self-esteem coming from having gained a few extra pounds and as an appreciation to those with savings accounts, she promises to not shop (in any store, not just Zara) for a whole year. Lucky her, that was also a leap year so the calender included 366 days without clothes shopping. The blog is then used a space for posting the outfits that she creates with whatever she already owned and also to write about a bit of her everyday life. 

More than a year has obviously passed and the blog has grown a lot; but, she accomplished her goal. If you're looking for inspiration to keep yourself right, go back and have a read. Unfortunately she doesn't write in English; you could probably translate the website using Google but even if you just want to look at her outfits and take some ideas .. fashion is universal. 

I hope you enjoy having a look through this or even be inspired by her success story. We buy so many things that we don't actually need or grow out of so fast. Re-think your purchases. I personally tend to give it a few days before going back to the store to buy something. My motto is: 'if I don't stop thinking about it, then I'm going to buy it'. A spending ban or a clear out is never easy but it's so worth it in the end. 

All pictures belong to Um Ano Sem Zara and all copyrights are reserved © 
For the past year or so my skin reached the worst state it has ever been. Nothing I did seemed to work. Today I think I can finally say that I've got a skincare routine in place that actually works. I follow it, I see results and that's all you really want. Now, we can all agree that mornings are hard on everyone. Even though I consider myself to be a morning person, it doesn't mean that the process of having to get out of bed and getting ready is any easier. The way I see things, if I'm awake, I want my skin to look awake too, and the following is what I find that works best for me.
As for cleanser I am loving my Origins GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser. I was using The Body Shop Vitamin E Gentle Face Wash for quite a long time but it just didn't work. I've used many products from The Body Shop, including skincare items and they're all fantastic but this one just doesn't seem to make the cut. I simply didn't feel like it was doing anything for me; after using it I didn't feel any difference on my skin. Therefore, about a week ago I went back to the Origins GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser and the results were immediate. My skin felt purified, looked brighter and my blemishes or any other concerns were being reduced. There's a full review for this here. 
To target any imperfections and blemishes I use the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo; I now reach for this on a daily basis; it really helps with scarring and dark spots and your skin tone becomes more even. This product doesn't need any presentations but anyhow, there's a more detail review here
Next logical step, moisturise. Due to my tendency for oily skin, I feel that a very light moisturiser is more than enough for me. I used one from The Body Shop Aloe range and now I'm using the Vitamin E Moisture Cream. You can easily tell by the texture that this is a really light moisturiser. Sinks well on the skin, it's not greasy at all so it doesn't affect my make up application. 
What products make up your morning skincare routine?
Although Scotland has been fairly grey all summer long, October has finally arrived and Autumn feels now more real than never. I guess I could say that I definitely belong to that group of people that see September as a new beginning; like a brand new year. If you're starting/going back to university or school that is even more noticeable. It's the getting back or the starting of a new routine that plays a determining role in that feeling. In the spirit of new routines and new starts, I felt it was time for another round up of things and bring to you a October issue and what's in for me throughout this month. 

1 | Everyone around me seems to be planning or booking a holiday at the moment. Paul and I unfortunately don't have anything on the cards as we finally got round to go to the bank and get some more details regarding getting a mortgage. No holidays for us until we get our own place. We plan to do it in the next six months so right now, I'm counting down the days and saving (almost) every penny. 

2 | Since the start of university my days don't seem to be long enough. I've always been great at keeping everything organised in my little brain: dates, times, appointments, things to do ... but now it has taken a real turn and I find myself relying on a planner for every single thing. With working, volunteering, studying and everything life related I am definitely trying my very best to stay organised. This is also something that has been affecting my post schedule; at the moment is pretty much non-existent as I just can't get around to do everything. Soon to be more consistent though. In the spirit of organisation, I cannot wait for the 2016 planners to come out in the Novelle Daily shop. Yay new stationery. 

3 | Declutter. I need a cleaning/throw out/sell/give to charity or friends spree; I feel that I've got far too much. Maybe I'm just itching for minimalism, I don't know. I'm planning on packing lots of decoration bits we have on the flat. There are things that I want to keep and bring with us to a new home but 
as for now I can't seem to feel that they belong here and I haven't found the perfect place for them. The same goes for clothing. I definitely need to get moving and sell or give the pile of clothes I've grown out of. 

4 | I am trying to make an effort and eat more healthier but having an other half around that enjoys every piece of bad, unhealthy food under the sun makes things so much harder. I was a gym bunny in the past and I really miss it. I'm guilty of not going back to it as I know that the hardest part is just to start. Once you get into the swing of things, you won't want anything else. 

5 | Glasgow has such a big music scene, it's unreal that I don't actually ever go to a gig. Must try and change this. No holidays to plan .. the perfect excuse to spend some money on the music culture. 

What will you be up to this month? 

I am still trying to come to terms that the month of September ended yesterday. It lasted 5 minutes, honestly. It was such a busy month with the start of university, friends coming back to Scotland and what not. My favourites really speak for themselves and this is going to be a short and sweet favourites post.

On my face I've been adoring anything from Bourjois as you can see. Fell back in love with the Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation (which could be gone by now as I've literally been scrapping the bottle to get some product - sad, I know). Another beautiful base is the Healthy Mix Foundation. Both give you flawless, dewy look without caking in any dry patches or blemishes for that matter. If you're looking for an affordable, light, medium coverage foundation I would definitely recommend one of these; they don't need any further presentation, really.

You can also probably tell that September has been the lip month for me. Finally purchased Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm and up until now I keep wondering why did it took me so long to buy this. It real does wonders for your lips. I apply it every night before bed and my lips feel so much softer and you can even feel the dead skin coming off (as gross as it sounds, but the aftermath is so worth it). Next on my list is my recent addition from H&M beauty in the shade Brunette Ambition, a beautiful purple brown I would say. It really is gorgeous. My other lipstick love is a Revlon Super Lustrous in the shade Smokey Rose; an amazing dark brick colour. Finally, my Colorboost Bourjois in Sweet Macchiato. I have been full on the autumn shades, don't you worry. 

Skincare wise I fell over heels for an item from my recent order with CultBeauty; the Alpha-H Liquid Gold with glycolic acid has been brighting up my skin and successfully targeting some lumps I had going on my forehead. They are finally disappearing or becoming much less visible. As this is concentrated skincare, you should only apply it every other night. I've seen results since the first application. 

How was your month of September? What products have you been loving?

When I first started using oils to remove my make-up, I was so pleased to have found a one simple step that would wash away most of my daily maquillage. I am pretty lazy when it comes to skincare and moisturising. Although I have indeed improved so much over time, as I've come to realise how much of a difference it makes to your skin when you have a skincare routine in place. 

That said, not long ago while having a browse through the Space NK store - as you do - the lovely girl suggested the Eve Lom balm cleanser for some of my skin concerns and here we are now. 

At first I was a little septic about the texture of this balm; feels so buttery and grease (its a balm, hence the texture) but it was the first time I was using a product like this. I obediently followed all the instructions: warm up the balm in your fingers, apply to your face in circular motions, use a hot muslin cloth to remove it; however, apply the cloth to your face for about 5 seconds and repeat 3 times before you actively removed any left residues with it. 

I must say, I always thought the whole muslin cloth was such a big effort. Water was fine for me, until I tried this. This balm not only has done wonders for my skin but also makes it so easy and quick to remove all your make-up. And the fact that you use a muslin cloth along with this, there are no dangers of getting product and water all over your hair while you washing your face. 

I always use my toner after using the Eve Lom balm cleanser and my cotton pad is always pretty white. My skin feels so clean, fresh and brighter without stripping it one bit; my whole complexion has improved and it also seems to be less prone to blemishes lately. Worth to mention that the plant oils are definitely a must in this product as I have oily skin and the last thing I would want to do is using incorrect oils and just making it even more oily. 

I am so in love with product and just wonder why took me so long to get into this. The Eve Lom balm cleanser has definitely changed my life in the sense that I no longer skip this step of my skincare and therefore the results are visible. 

Have you ever tried any Eve Lom products? What would you recommend?

Long time, no posts. It has been a busy, busy week. In fact I cannot believe that it has only been a week since I last wrote in here. The past few days have really been non-stop and filled with 6am  starts that won't finish before bed time (mine is around 11pm - the latest! so we're all good). 

For days like these, all you want is long-lasting make up that can help you look a little more presentable for any occasion. Therefore, I rely on some beautiful everyday effortless smudge pots to get the job done. From just going to university, to meeting friends or even doing some volunteering, these will cover all situations.

For days when I want a very natural but bright make up look, I reach for my Stila Smudge pot in Kitten. A super hyped shade from the Stila eyeshadows. A very pretty shimmery nude/slightly pigmented champagne colour. I like to wear this on its own with some eyeliner. Your look bigger and it brightens up the whole complexion. This is also such a versatile smudge pot as it can be used as highlighter or eyeshadow base. 

If I want a bit of colour but still want to have a fairly natural overall look, I would reach to my ELF smudge pot in Ain't That Sweet. A pretty soft pink shade. The quality of this smudge pot is not as good as the other ones being mentioned but it's still a good low budget item. 

For the later hours of the day, I tend to go for the darker colours like the beautiful Maybelline Color Tattoo in the shade On and On Bronze. The name really says it all and there has been plenty of presentations to this holy grail. In a more coppery tone I love the Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Cream Eyeshadow. I've spoken a little more about it in my August Favourites. Last but not least, my Lord & Berry Velluto eye pencil and shadow in Samoa. This is a shimmery grey/metallic shade. 

These are such easy everyday options for eye make up and some of them make it look like you've put much more effort into your make up than you actually did. So small and compact which make them perfect to carry around too.

What are your favourite everyday effortless staples for eye make up?

I was given a few store vouchers a couple of weeks ago and amongst the eligible stores to spend them on there was Boots and Superdrug so I decided to pick up a few things to try. A make-up was obviously a must alongside with some first impressions.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Concealer - this really is a mouthful! We all know everything about this holy grail, no presentations needed. I've used one before and decided it was time to stock up and bring this wonder back into my life. Still pretty damn good. Not really a fair first impression here. 

Bourjois Radiance Reveal Healthy Mix Foundation - I absolutely adored the Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation and this one is just as good. Gives you such a flawless glowing but yet natural finish and I love it. Great medium coverage; I barely conceal anything but my dark circles after applying this. I think someone has said that this is a dupe for the NARS Sheer Glow; you let me know as I've never tried the NARS one. 

L'oreal Color Riche Lipstick - pretty sure this is one of the satin from the range; I picked up the 266 shade which is Rose Saphir a very pretty slightly dark pink-mauve. Fairly long-lasting and nourishing. Comes in a very glam looking light gold packaging - very easy on the eyes.

Bourjois Color Boost Glossy Finish Lipstick - another lipstick crayon; got this in the shade Sweet Macchiato, a very pretty autumn shade - a dark red with brown hues. 

L'oreal Brow Artist Shaper - a duo precison pencil and setting wax which also comes with a brush for your brows. Not very happy with this, the pencil is far too soft and pigmented. I'll give it another try but so far, not impressed.

Stila Smudge Pot in Kitten - we all know this shade from the old Stila days and instead of the powder I got the hassle free smudge pot. Such a pretty colour; looks so beautiful on its own too. Love.

L'oreal Brow Artist Plumper - just a clear brow gel. I apply this very lightly as you don't want to get a wet effect on your brows. Does the job but no wow factor here. 

Bourjois Sun Cream to Powder Blush - I've been loving cream blushes lately and really want to get my hands on those convertibles that Stila does. Anyway, I was looking for something more brown but not a bronzer per se so I picked up this in the shade 05. It's a very pretty dark peachy shade and contains a tiny bit of shimmery to it. It's so easily to apply - swirl your fingers on the pot and blend it on your cheeks. 

Maybelline Brow Satin Eyebrow Pencil - more brow products - I'm on a roll here. I am so very pleased with purchase. The pencil harder than the L'oreal that I've mentioned above giving you a much more precise and in my opinion natural look to the brows. On the other tip there a smudge sponge with powder for a soft and easier application. 

A lot of factors differentiate a female from a male but one of the most obvious is: we like to shop. We simply like to spend our money in clothes, accessories and beauty and they are never too many for us; so, it's good to prioritise and know where our money is worth being spend or saved. 

I am really picky about anything; I won't buy the first thing I see and some times it seems impossible to buy anything at all as I just can't find something I like. Here's a round up of my clothing and accessories picks, where I spend or save and why. 

Coats - my biggest obsession; for me there's no such thing as too many coats and the more the better. All colours, styles and materials. I will spend my money on a coat. I love them and they last you a good time. Also, as I live in Scotland I will most definitely use them often - come winter or summer. 

Shoes - another piece I will splurge on due to its lasting quality. Good shoes can last you years and a pair of shoes is so versatile giving you so many uses with so many outfits. It's hard to grow out of shoes the same way it may happen with a top. But, the only shoes I do not splurge on are ballerina flats. With all the rain in Scotland there's really no much point; I buy them at Primark mostly for no more than £8 and let's just say that my collection has achieved a pretty decent size. 

Bags - this one depends a lot; normally, my bags are mostly black, they go with anything and last me forever therefore I won't mind to spend a little more and get that bag I've been eyeing for ages. However, I am currently trying to control bag purchases as after a certain amount and styles have been purchased, it stops being justifiable to get another black handbag *sighs*.

Jeans - I find it really hard to find jeans that I like and suit me and that is pretty much my condition to buy them; nothing else. Therefore, my favourite shops for jeans are River Island, Gap and Topshop. I used to love some jeans from Forever 21 but somehow I can't find that specific style anymore. However, for the past year or so I've getting more and more disappointed with Topshop. Although I love their black Joni jeans, after the first wash I notice a significant difference on the colour. Also, given the thin material (I reckon) they end up ripping so easily on your inner tights; happened to me a few times and also to a few of my friends. It just feels like a waste of money if you need to buy new jeans every 3 months. I still love you Topshop. 

Anything else, tops, jewellery and anything you can think of, I would normally save on. I am a big H&M lover which is pretty affordable. However, lately I've been investing a little more on some basic tops and jumpers. I am pretty basic when it comes to my upper body clothing; grey, white, black and dark blue are my go to basic colours. Therefore, I've been trying to stock some more long lasting/better quality basics which are just everyday staple pieces for me. Every now and again, like anyone else, I might go for the little splurge on something that I would normally not spend much on. After all, you need to live a little and take a walk on the wild side and all that jazz ...

Where do you like to splurge on and what item do you obsess about? 

Foundations are one of my favourite beauty products to buy; that and skincare. Maybe because both are staples for a perfect base. Everything else is overrated but if you have a clear skin and a good foundation, what can go wrong? 

I've always loved the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser and it worked wonders until my skin became a little more problematic and lumps and bumps were getting a bit too obvious; a simple tinted moisturiser just didn't offer enough coverage. That's when I made my way to a counter and asked for something natural looking but buidable coverage, not cakey and also good for oily skin. I knew I was asking for an holy grail but my expectations were pretty low. 

I had come across the Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide on shopping websites but never really heard about it. I didn't think it was nothing that exceptional when the girl at the Laura Mercier counter was trying to match my colour however, I bought it and came home to give it another try; couldn't be any worse than my other foundations which obviously weren't doing the job.

Well, I love it. This is oil free, light to medium coverage but definitely buidable and very skin-like. I normally apply this with my Sigma F80 or the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge; or the brush and then the sponge just to perfect it and achieve that flawless finish. All around, it's so easy to blend and it doesn't stick to any dry patches or blemishes. Even though it's oil free, I always finish it off with a translucent powder as I tend to have an oily T-zone. Is worth to say that I conceal my spots as normally (nothing too heavy) and one application of the Flawless Fluide over my whole face is enough for an even skin tone and a brighter complexion.

The Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide (what a mouth full) is the best foundation I tried in the past few months. In fact, a couple of days ago I tried to use my Revlon Colorstay which I used to love and things didn't go as I expected; it just wasn't the same as this Laura Mercier beauty.  I wear the shade shell and for me, the best point about his foundation is how natural it looks but you can still buildable the coverage. 

What foundation are you raving about at the moment?

Everyone is either talking about university or about to start it. Today I thought I would share my opinion and my little experience on the subject. Where I come from, going to university is a big thing. You just grow up doing everything that will lead you to that one day when you leave your parents house to pursue further education. To illustrate my point: when I decided to come to Scotland, someone told me 'why don't you just do your exams, finish your high school, go to university, get a job, then you'll find someone, get married and have kids'. I was 18 years old and even then I knew I wanted more from life than just university-job-marriage-kids.  

Today, a few years later, I am about to start university in a week's time. I am 23 years old, foreign in this country, all my classmates back home have graduated and it's fine. Sure it was a hard to see them all finishing their degrees and here I was still waiting to start mine. Was also hard to miss out on so many academic traditions back home but deep down I knew this was the best option for me. 

A lot of not so wise choices have led me here but I have no regrets. I studied sciences back in high school. I've always wanted to be a veterinary but chemistry happened in my life and we just don't go along. I hate it, I don't understand it and I've given up trying. Then came the Law. I was set into applying for Law back home before moving here. When I made the jump in September 2011 I still intended to study it over here. I applied to university to start in 2012, got accepted but due to financial reasons I wasn't able to go. European Nationals are not entitled to a student loan until they've been residents in the UK for 3 years. My parents couldn't help me given the economical situation of our own country. So I postponed it and that was the best thing that ever happened to me. 

Since 2011 a lot has changed and so did my mind. I studied a couple of modules on Scots Law which made me realised how much I enjoyed Criminal Law. That's when the doubts started. I enjoyed Law but I was much more passionate about the criminal side of it. Last year I did a HNC in Legal Services (with Criminology and Police Studies) as I wanted to find out if Law was what I really wanted. I enjoyed it a lot and I learned so much but I quickly realised I wanted something within the Criminal Justice system and more practical. 

This seems like a big ramble but it's all just to show how much your ideas can change and that's perfectly fine. I'm glad it all happened this way because today I'm much more certain of what I want to do. I'm grateful for all the experience I gained along the way which helped me through the process. I've considered not going to uni. I've considered doing something completely different too. There is no point going to university if there's nothing there for you. Paul (my boyfriend) is a good example of that. Started one degree and dropped out. Started another one which he finished but at the end of the day, he did it because he was sort of pressured into it. He doesn't miss it, didn't enjoyed it at all and wouldn't go back (his words). 

Here's what I know: we all have doubts. If you ask me 'am I 100% certain?' no, definitely not. But I'm far more certain now than I was 5 years ago. And I can also tell you that I have that feeling of excitement and 'can't wait to learn everything'. And that is because I have a huge interest on the degree I am about to start. Hell, I screamed like a maniac and jumped around the house when I got the update saying I got accepted to this course. I guess that means something. You should feel the same way. There are so many successful people that didn't go to university or did go but now they are doing something completely unrelated to their degree. Just take a look at some of the most recognized Bloggers and YouTubers! Do something that you love and know that is never to late to go after your dreams. 

A new month is now upon us and September always comes with lots of beginnings. After finishing up college at the end of May, I didn't have much to look forward to during the summer. Paul and I went on holidays and after those wonderful 2 weeks we were back to reality and work. I always find life easier and more exciting when there are set goals and plans for the month ahead. Here it is what's on the cards for September.

1. First and foremost, Foo Fighters. The day they were suppose to play in Edinburgh in June was the day just before we went on holiday. I had received the tickets the morning Dave broke his leg and couldn't have been more disappointed that I didn't get to see them. There was no hope at all that they would re-schedule but here we are now. Two days away! As a teenager I used to listen to them a lot so I'm fairly excited to get to hear some oldies but goodies. 

2. In a week's time I'll be starting university. It has been a looooong time coming. I'm 23 years old and even though I've just done a year of college, the thought of 4 years of studying still creates some mixed feelings. All in all I am definitely looking forward to it and excited for all the things I will be learning. 

3. Read more is something that I always want to be a constant in my everyday life. After I finished college I was feeling that something was missing. Time I would normally dedicate to study was now free so I started reading a lot. Somehow now I don't do it as much. Must get back to it.

4. Paul and I have numerous plans for travelling - weekends away, holidays - but they're all on hold since I don't want to risk to book anything until I'm sure what's my availability with university. As soon as I start, we'll definitely be planning something. We want to do a trip around South-East Asia but that won't happen until 2017 possibly. 

5. A clear out is on order in my opinion. Call it a winter cleaning, whatever. I've got a lot of clothes that I simply grew out of it. One of my plans as soon as I have some free time is to go through everything and give/sell as much as possible. 

What are your plans for the month of September?

This post was just going to be a round up of what I've been obsessing about for the past few weeks. However, since August has just finished (4 days ago already!), I guess an August Favourites would suit the purpose. Let's get cracking. 

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - No point going on about this as we all heard about this concealer. Some people even go to say this is a dupe for the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer which I never tried. For me, this is dreamy. It covers anything without looking cakey. I use it on blemishes, under eyes, dark spots and anything under the sun. Love. 

Stila One Step Correct - I wrote a more detailed review about it here. It is my all time favourite skin tone corrector. It brightens up your complexion, evens skin tone, helps with dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Holy grail. Couldn't recommend this enough.

Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy - I've been loving two of their shades. I find Checkmate to be so far the best nude I've ever encountered. Still noticeable but very discreet. On the other end, Hold'em is such a beautiful autumn shade and summer in Scotland is gone anyway so, I think it's alright to start nailing those autumn colours. 

Essie Super Duper Top Coat - This top coat makes the whole process of painting your nails much quicker. It dries so fast and gives that beautiful shine to the nail polish making it look like gel. Very good at keeping the chipping to a minimum. 

Summer Sorbet Aftersun Body Gelee - This body moisturiser came in My Little Box two months ago and smells amazing. I've been obsessing over it just because of how good it smells. This is an aftersun so it gives you a really soothing cooling effect on the skin. The texture is very light and liquid making it very absorbent. Wish I had holidays coming up soon and I would be all over this after a day at the beach. 

ELF Matte Lip Color - For me, this is the best of two worlds. You have the matte colour without any shine or gloss and it feels so soft and nourishing on the lips. I have the shade cranberry which is a very pretty pinky-red. My lips are often dry and matter lips are normally a no go for me so I was so pleasantly surprised with this.

Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Cream Eyeshadow - This is very similar to the Maybelline Color Tattoo but much more creamier. It's so soft, long lasting and not very pigmented (at first) but is definitely buildable which is great. I have the shade Anchors Away, a very pretty shimmery coppery taupe. 

L'oreal Nude Magique Blur Cream - This is a great pore perfector. Leaves your skin feel so silky smooth and it's an excellent base for your foundation giving you the perfect flawless finish. The only point I would change is the packaging. For some reason, this squirts everywhere when you press the tube and product goes flying.  

Seventeen Phwoarr Paint - Heavy duty under eye concealer. I find that this works even better when applied after the L'oreal Nude Magique Blur Cream. Blends beautifully and hides those dark circles perfectly.

Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide - Perfect. Skin looks so natural, light to medium coverage, not cakey at all and so long lasting. A more in depth review will be coming soon on the blog. In love with this.

Eve Lom Cleanser - I picked this up 2 weeks ago and been testing it out since. So far I am loving it. An oil based cleanser that removes all traces of make up leaving your skin brighter, smoother and clearer. A more detailed review is obviously on the cards for this one too. 
Have you tried any of these products?

Exactly four years ago, I got on a plane, left my country behind and moved to Scotland. Today I write this post as a reminder, a celebration and a little story, for anyone thinking of taking the leap. Words of encouragement will always be needed because leaving the country where you've lived all your life is not easy. But, people constantly search for something more, something better or a place away from home where they can feel more at home.

So let's start from the beginning: long story short, I always dreamt of studying abroad. I was madly obsessed with moving to the UK one day and had a huge love for London where I spent two weeks of my summer when I was 17. Needless to say that only increased the urge to move. Two years later, after numerous research and planning, I booked the plane ticket. Truth to be told,  my father insisted that I should go to university, graduate and only then leave. However, high school was coming to an end and economically, my country was not the best place to be and when things started to decay even more, he realised it was time to let me go

I had never been in Scotland before and definitely had no idea what this accent was all about. I was 19 years old when I landed in Glasgow on a Saturday afternoon. I remember seeing an unusual amount of people wearing kilts as Scotland was playing that day. Everything was new and exciting. The plan was to hopefully find a job so I could settle here and eventually apply to university for the year after. Obviously nothing ever goes as planned and four years have passed and so much has changed. 

Although I wanted to leave home, that didn't make my decision any easier. People don't believe that you're really going to do it. They don't understand why would you leave everything and go into the unknown as I did. I had a friend asking me the day before I left 'are you really going?'. Yes, in a way I had no other chance. My country had nothing to offer but poor living conditions. Today I look back and I'm glad I came. There were many ups and downs and struggles but at the end of the day, I feel at home here. I know I'm missing out on a lot of things and it's impossible to describe how much I miss the food and my family or the fear I have that people may die and be born and I won't be there to see it ... but I know I will always do the best and everything I can not to loose that part of me. 

Scotland has given me so much. I couldn't be more grateful. I had opportunities here that I would have never had back in my country and that's what brought me here. The day I decided to move I only had the hope of better things and an education abroad. It might not seem a lot to some people but the obstacles I had to overcome for the past four years only helped me to achieve everything that I am so proud of today. The reality is, people in the UK move all the time, to Australia, New Zealand, USA and as many difficult situations they may encounter, language won't be a barrier. The language was definitely one of the hardest changes to get used to. I knew English, but hell, Glaswegian is a completely extreme of the spectrum of the English language. But with time, I got there and without even realising, I just learnt. 

In the end, all is worth it. Anyone should take the leap and find that place where you think your heart is. It doesn't matter what reasons make you do it, but just do it. Don't think too much about all the details because nothing will go exactly as planned and there will be a lot of improvisation along the way. But hey ho, what is important is that it works. I can tell you that when I look back, I asked myself 'how have I done this?'. I was only 19 years old, came here with no job, no idea of anything. I didn't know any better. If I had to do it again, in all honestly I don't know if I would have the courage but that's because now I know how hard it was. At the time I just went along and dealt with a situation at a time. Two really big clichés that I can leave here for you: if you never try, you'll never know and there are far better things ahead than any we leave behind. 

I have been lurking the pages of the Cult Beauty website a lot for the past few days. There are so many things which have been on my mental wishlist of products to try that a cheeky purchase might just have to be on the cards.

I once mentioned in a previous post that skincare is something that I am quite happy to splurge a little more hence why I will just leave you with these products which may include a future order coming through my letterbox. A few of them have been very hyped up and as per usual I am just late to the party. Worth to mention that this little wishlist amounts to over £300. One thing at a time, I suppose then ...

Have you tried any of this products? What did you think?

Up until March I had never purchased anything from ELF. I was more than aware that the brand was highly affordable and people did enjoy some of their products. However, the idea of having to shop solely online without the possibility of physically seeing the foundation shades or feeling the brushes bristles always put me off of making an order.

It wasn't until I stumble upon Kathleen Lights videos that I really started to want to try a few things from the brand. As I had a trip to New York coming up I definitely thought it was the perfect excuse to pop into a store and see everything right there and then. By the time I went over to America my list of products to try was fairly big and useless to say I brought to this side of the Atlantic a pretty big bag of goodies.

The fact that everything is so inexpensive creates a great opportunity to try a lot of different things. I was very impressed with the quality of some of their products. I would highly recommend giving it a go if you're in searching to add a few items to your make up collection without leaving your bank account next to zero.

Here is a list of a few things I've tried and in my opinion are a really good quality for the value.

Brushes - the studio range is pretty good and they stock a good variety too. Some of my favourites include the Contouring Brush, Ultimate Blending Brush, Eyeshadow "C" Brush, Flawless Concealer Brush, Blending Brush. Some of them are even less than a fiver. Can't beat that. It's a good option if you are lazy when it comes to cleaning your brushes (like me) and want to have more options available. 

Eyeshadows - their baked eyeshadows (singles or trios) are very pigmented and they stock some pretty amazing. I have Toasted and Burnt Plum and their trio in Brown Bonanza and will definitely make a cheeky order soon to get my hands in a few more shades. 

Lipsticks - unfortunately the UK website doesn't stock the lipsticks I have and adore. I am a satin lover. A lipstick for me needs to be quite nourishing and I can only find that in most satin ranges. However, ELF stocks lipsticks which can be nourishing without being totally satin and definitely without being matte. My favourites and the ones I would like to try more shades from are, the Matte Lip Colour and I also got a tinted lip balm which couldn't be any more pigmented. Although I reckon this may have been discontinued as I can't locate it in any of their websites. Disappointing. 

Foundation - I actually fell in love with the foundation I bought and that's all I used for months. My bottle is about to finish. The Flawless Finish Foundation offers a medium coverage and definitely a flawless airbrushed finished. It last quite a good time although it doesn't work for me for warm environments as the shine starts to come through like there's no tomorrow. Still, highly recommended. For £7,50 it is definitely good for the price tag.

Blush/Bronzer Powder - the Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder is the only blush or bronzer I got at the time as I was curious to see if this was a dupe for any of NARS shades of blushes and bronzer. This little duo has a pretty good pigmentation and it is handy to carry around.  

 Have you tried any ELF products? What would you recommend?

The beauty world isn't confined to make up alone. There's so much that you can do for your skin, hair, nails and everything in your body really. It's hard to make the time and hard to get into certain habits. Here is a list of good habits I should get into and other I definitely need to find a way to break. 

1. Take my make up off as soon as I get home
Sometimes I get so lazy that even after being at home for hours and hours, I still end up going to bed with make up. It's improving though. 

2. Skincare routine even on pyjama days 
We all have those days that we simply do not leave the house, right? The weather is not great and there are so many things to do, why bother? I tend to forget that I still should cleanse and moisturise my face as normally. Bad, bad me. 

3. Moisturise more 
Apart from my hands, face and neck I am pretty lazy when it comes to body moisturising. Luckily my skin is not dry and I can get away with not doing it during most of the year.

4. Do more face masks 
Definitely don't do them enough. Currently sitting at one face mask a month. Embarrassing. 

5. Have haircuts more often 
I am afraid of the hairdresser. Always end up shorter than what I asked for. 

6. Stop peeling nail polish 
As soon as it chips I start peeling it off as much as I can. 

7. Stop letting it be so long between brush cleaning
The target of cleaning my brushes on a weekly basis is a fail for me. 

8. Deep conditioning my hair more often
Do not remember the last time I did a hair mask. That says it all. 

9. Sleep with my hair tied up or in a bad
When I take it down in the morning, I often have half of my hair on my hand. It can be good. 

10. Switching up products in my skincare routine far too frequently 
Sometimes your skin won't be as good as there are a number of factors behind it. Not necessarily the product you are using. Well, as much as I know this, every now and again I am still guilty of not being consistent with a skincare routine. Although this has improved a lot. 

Today I decided to share with you my go to combination to help target those blemishes that have made an appearance on my face the past few days. Often, you are either stressed, lacking of a balanced diet and eating all the junk food you can find (yes, this is me) or is that time of the month, again. It really doesn't matter the reason behind those spots that you can now see on your chin or forehead but, they're here to stay. Safe to say that we all want them gone in the blink of an eye although we all know it doesn't work that way. 

As any normal girl, I am no exception and lately I've been fighting a battle and even did a little trip to Space NK in the search of a more efficient cleanser. However, when it comes to blemishes I find myself always reaching for these two products and including them in my skincare routine. 

The La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I. is a breakout corrector and it does wonders for those under skin spots. It's easy to detect these as they are painful to touch and you'll know something is about to surface in a few days. Gross, I know ... But this corrector will do its magic by diminishing the appearance of the blemish. Even with under skin acne you'll be able to feel that the spot will become less painful and won't even make a proper appearance to your face. I tend to apply this at night before bed or even under make up if I really want to prevent that blemish to show. You'll only need a tiny bit of product as it should be applied to the spots. As it contains certain exfoliating ingredients, it can become quiet drying if applied to the whole face.

On the other hand, the very hyped La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo is the other half of a great combo. I apply this all over my face in order to target any other imperfections. It's a great product to accelerate scaring and keep everything in place. I always find that my skin clears up a fairly bit when frequently using this. The cherry on top of the cake for me would be the fact that this is definitely not drying at all for me but I would still keep using my moisturiser anyway. 

I definitely couldn't recommend these two products enough for blemish prone-skin, specially when you can see results from the Effaclar A.I. overnight! 

What products work for you when it comes to acne?