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 clich├ęs 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.