Do I go to university? A review of my three year degree

Firstly, I want to say hi! It’s been a while! So much has changed hasn’t it?! Dare I say the dreaded C word? Coronavirus is obviously unavoidable in today’s society, so I guess it’s unavoidable here too!

The last time I wrote about university on this page, I was giving advice on Freshers week, and now here I am, a fully fledged graduate with a full time job. There have been lots of changes for me since then, as there have been for everyone! Covid-19 struck and shifted a lot of aspects of people’s lives. I think it’s important to remember whilst Covid has been the main change, everybody has had their own changes over the past two years, and whilst some are unfortunately not so good, there are so many things to celebrate too. For me, one of these was graduating.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, but I studied Psychology and during my three years, I have had so many questions about my degree I thought I would band together the most frequently asked and then finish off with my own quick review of university as a whole experience. So if that’s something you’re interested in, then keep reading!

1a. What did you study? and bonus follow up question… 1b. What do you want to do with it?

Wow, this is a big one, and probably the most frequently asked. Anyone that has done a degree/chosen their GCSEs, A-Levels or any other type of course can tell you, this is the first thing people ask. And I suppose rightly so, surely we have good reasons for choosing our subjects? What we enjoy, what we’re good at, what peaks our interests and makes us want to know more… For some people they have a passion, such as they are brilliant at Art, a great sportsman or they really geek out on History, their choice might be easy! But for a lot of us we are fairly average at everything, and the choice can seem tougher.

In short, I chose to study a degree in Psychology because I think in the world today, a lot of young people in the job market have a Bachelors or higher. I knew I wanted a degree but had to choose which one. At the time, I was studying English, Maths, Spanish and Psychology, with that being my strongest and most enjoyed subject. It is also known to be widely applicable to a variety of career paths, and I was also acutely aware that most people take jobs in a completely unrelated field to their degree subject. So I wasn’t backing myself into a corner of becoming a Clinical Psychologist; it gave me options and more time to decide beyond the degree what I would do.

Tying into part b, I am as of yet to find out what I will ‘do with my degree’, however I have started a new job recently (my first full-time job) and I am really enjoying it! It’s not anything that I would have imagined I’d be doing but it is an exciting role in a lovely work environment with room for progression. Beyond that, I’m not sure where I’m heading, but I know that I have the foundation of a degree behind me. Whether that is actually beneficial or simply it gives confidence of knowing that I have some sort of qualification.

My final year Dissertation title

2. How did you decide where to study?

Another excellent question but with a fairly simple answer. Do your research, look at prospectuses (not tonnes), visit their websites and social media pages, watch virtual tours and visit the campuses (again don’t do a tour of the whole UK!). I found when visiting universities, I knew fairly quickly if I liked a campus or not, for example I wasn’t a huge fan of the Loughborough University or Cardiff University campuses, but when I went to Nottingham and Oxford Brookes University, I knew I loved them. You honestly get a feel for the university and you have to trust your instincts. Yes, you do have to consider entry requirements, distance from home etc. but at the base of it you have to like to campus and accommodation. So my advice; see what feels right and trust yourself.

3. Did you join any societies/clubs?

Whilst at university I was part of the Psychology Society and I played tennis socially. Personally I love playing sport and keeping fit, but I know that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Universities have so much to offer. Sport societies can sometimes get a bad reputation, but they are what you make of them and you decide what you want to be a part. If you love going out every night and getting plastered, go for it, you do you! But if you don’t, that shouldn’t be a reason to stop you taking part in sports you enjoy. There are also lots of events that aren’t focused on drinking, with universities pushing for a more ‘healthy’ social culture.

Most (if not all) universities will hold a Fresher’s Fair in the first week (see my post on Freshers here), and I’d encourage you to go and check out what is on offer. Pop your name down for some bits and see how you feel about them later if you’re not sure you want to commit. Change your mind? Take your name off the list, or just don’t show up! But it is a brilliant chance to try new things and probably one of the rare points in life when you have time. Make the most of it! Cliche I know, but if I could go back and do it again, I would take part in a lot more.

4. When did you choose 2nd year housing?

We were fairly organised and as a group, had found a house by Christmas. A bit of a different story in third year; in April we found out the house we were in was suddenly unavailable for the following year and we had to change our house very last minute. This gave me experience of being both very organised and being in total panic. Here’s how it went:

Organising yourself early is definitely preferable, you have more time to look for houses and you have more time to get closer with the people you will live with. You can also sort out all paperwork, tenancy agreements and deposits earlier and this can be done and dusted, no longer a stress. However, if you have left it a bit late and you are desperately looking for a house, there are options. Luckily for me, my housemates didn’t change much, so we just needed a house. We viewed a house 10 doors down from our old one in the morning, and by the afternoon we had secured it and received contracts. One tip, if it is a last minute scramble, you have to have perspective. You may not find something super nice, and you’re going to need to use some imagination when viewing these student properties. Think about how your things will look in the rooms rather than how it looks with a strangers stuff lying everywhere and it being (probably) a lot dirtier than you would keep it. Keep an open mind, and remember look for something in your budget. Just because it’s last minute, doesn’t mean you have to pay through the nose for something left on the market that’s too expensive for what it is – awful student digs.

5. Do you miss it?

Yes and no. I would say the bits I miss the most are the socialising and the university lifestyle. Realistically I’m not sure many people ‘miss’ the work, so it isn’t a surprise I’d be happy to not write another social psychology essay again. But I do miss certain parts of the work, such as the experiments and the research projects, they were (at times) fun.

The social aspects of university, such as living with friends, going out, having a very free schedule (honestly there are not enough contact hours for the amount it costs!), these things were great. But whilst I miss them, I also like having my full time job, I still see friends and go out, play sport etc etc. I just have to priories and manage my time more.

My final thoughts:

It’s so difficult to summarise whether university is worth it in a blanket statement that applies to everyone, because each person’s case is different.

Generally speaking, I would say for certain careers there is a definite set path to get there, e.g. clinical psychologist, vet, orthopaedic surgeon etc. But for the majority of us, if you are considering university simply as something to do for 3 years I would suggest you strongly consider other options, such as Apprenticeships (earn as you learn) or finding a job and working for the three years. Sometimes, working in a professional environment gives you valuable life experience that university cannot. Along those lines, and mentioned in previous posts, find a part time job whilst you’re at uni, at minimum this will give you a bit more cash and I found it helped to structure my week.

As I’ve said, everyone is different and a simple yes or no is not going to fit for everybody. Personally I am pleased I studied for three years and think even though I won’t necessarily go into a ‘Psychology-based-job’ it has given me good experience in other ways that I have enjoyed, and there a definite aspects of my degree that I use in my job now and will in future careers too.

There’s no doubt university is fun, you’ll have an absolutely amazing time, but it is hard work too. At the end of the day, you’re there to get a qualification and at some point that will need to be a priority, but do enjoy yourself, three years will whizz by so quickly and you have to make the most of it!

Thanks for reading and look out for more posts on student/graduate life!

Imogen x

Results Days

The 17th and 24th of August are important days for a lot of people this year… the dreaded days of results. I got my AS results today and I know friends who got A2 results, as well as next Thursday, friends who are getting GCSE results.

Before today, the most popular question I got was; ‘Are you nervous or worried?’ I think I mainly answered ‘No.’ This was usually met with a strange look or more questions about why I wasn’t having sleepless nights about ‘the day that’s the beginning of the end’.

My views on results days ( A-Level or GCSE) are nice and simple; once you have sat the exam (or handed in the coursework etc.) there is nothing that can be changed. Although that might be daunting if you think you’ve done badly, it also raises the question of why would you worry about something you can’t change?

If you got your results today; I hope you’ve done well and you are pleased with your grades. Congratulations if you have been given your place at the universities of choice, and if you haven’t, remember that A-Levels are not the be-all and end-all. If you don’t do as well as you hoped, don’t spend the next few weeks drinking the rest of your holidays away. You should research what your next options are. Are there other courses, at possibly different levels, that you can apply for? Can you go through clearing and get a place somewhere else? If you are truly passionate about the subject you want to study, I am sure there is a place available somewhere. There is no point hiding that you got lower grades than you wanted because otherwise, you wouldn’t be in clearing, so try and describe to universities how much you want to study your chosen subject and how much it would mean to be given another opportunity.

For GCSE students, it’s a similar story but instead of a university place, its college and sixth form offering you your next steps in education. I remember my GCSE results last year, and whilst I was happy with my grades as I had done quite well, I think I was expecting higher. I now look back and realize that the grades I got were a true reflection on how hard I worked. You honestly do only get out however much work you put in. I was fortunate to have teachers who really cared about their pupils and subjects, so I was at an advantage of good quality teaching. But, as I was at an independent school, the pressure it puts you under to achieve higher than average grades is huge, especially with many people around you with academic scholarships.

I am now at college studying A-Levels, and I am really enjoying myself. The thing that really hits hard in your first few months of college is; GCSE’s are just a ‘stepping stone’ (excuse the cliché) to your next choice. So, if you don’t get the grades, don’t worry about it! Because a D in geography at GCSE is NOT going to stop you getting anywhere in life, trust me on this. It is now one year since my GCSE results, and I can’t even remember what I got. That’s not just my terrible memory either. Multiple people, I have asked can’t even remember the subjects they studied.

I wish everyone the best of luck with their GCSE results next week, try not to panic too much and remember it will all be okay, whatever your grades are. If you’re off to university next month, good luck! I hope everyone has an amazing time. And if you are now looking at a different route to what you originally planned, don’t worry about it, because it will work itself out and if it’s meant to be, it will happen.

Thank you for reading this, especially today with everything else on your mind, and I hope I’ve reassured some people on next week. Once again, good luck!

Imogen ❤

Engineer Work Experience @CoolConcernsLtd.

What have I been up to this week?

During this week, I’ve been doing a City and Guilds RAC Service and Maintenance course including an F-Gas assessment at Cool Concerns Ltd. Basically, what that means is; I am learning to work with refrigerants, i.e. the stuff that goes in our fridges and air conditioning systems to keep them cool, and learning other bits alongside, like how to test pressures, test for leaks of refrigerants and charging and evacuating a system. Everything on the course is designed to prepare you to go out into the field and work on a system to complete repairs, check for faults etc.

I haven’t got any plans as to what I would like to do as a career, so I am trying out a variety of things over the next few years and keeping my options open. This means I can broaden my knowledge in a wide range of areas and gain experience in things I might never have thought of, like the F-Gas qualification I am completing now.

I decided to complete the qualification because it gives me an insight into what a ‘hands on’ job is like, whether I would be any good in an engineering role, and on my CV it shows I am keeping my options open, as I mentioned before.

I have really enjoyed my week so far, and have to complete an assessment on Friday to pass the course and gain the Level 2 F-Gas qualification. It consists of an online theory test and a practical assessment where I have to show a certain level of competence with the system I have in front of me, which in my case, is a small air conditioning rig composed of a compressor, condenser, evaporator, receiver, and expansion valve, among other components, or, a ‘simple’ AC system.

This obviously doesn’t qualify me to come and fix your fridges when they stop working, but it has been really interesting. This is a more practical learning style but also links to classroom lessons, like in ‘traditional’ education, as there is a fair amount of theory to accompany it too.

I would really recommend getting a variety of work experience whilst you have a little free time, and don’t have to worry about university, working, kids running around etc.! If you are heading towards, or are currently completing, your A-Levels, try and find an opportunity to do something different to the subjects you are studying. Or, if you know which direction you want to go, get some experience in those areas too! I know friends who are doing work experience in areas such as; caring for the elderly, teacher training and accountancy, as well as what I am doing in engineering. There really are such a wide range of things to choose from so have an investigate, and don’t worry if you don’t get paid for it! The experience is worth it, and who knows, you might discover something you really enjoy doing!

This post has been a bit different to my regular ones, but I hope it has given a little insight into what I’m up to and some ideas for the future!

Thank you to Cool Concerns Ltd. who is the company I am completing the course with.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I’ll keep you posted as to other bits and bobs I will be doing!

Imogen ❤

 

Summer Skin

With summer well and truly here, schools are finished, the sun has appeared and everybody, except me, seems to be jetting off to exotic locations, I thought it was a nice idea to share how I keep my skin feeling healthy and the simple makeup I like to use during the warmer months.

Skin Care

My top tip? Drink lots and lots of water! During the summer I make a conscious effort to drink more, as it is always good to stay hydrated and it has multiple benefits, one of which, being that it helps your skin to look healthy and glow! The recommended average for the amount of water you should drink everyday is 3L for men and 2.5L for women. Obviously, I don’t get all 2.5L in everyday, but I do try to get at least 1.5L, and on especially warm days, or if I am at work, I try harder to hit that higher target.

With direct regards to skin care, I use Essential Waitrose 4 in 1 Cucumber Facial Wipes  (£1.59) to remove my makeup in the evenings, and then wash my face with lukewarm water. I only use a soap on my face in my morning shower and it will be one of two favourites of mine; the Nivea Facial Wash Gel (£3) or the Nivea Daily Essentials Cleansing Cream Wash (£3.15). I find both really gentle on my skin, which isn’t especially sensitive, but I still have to be careful using harsh face washes and scrubs and these two from Nivea are really kind on all skin types.

I then use a water gel moisturiser, as I find these really refreshing in the summer months. My most recent favourite, as inspired by the television advert (I am a sucker for ads!) is the L’Oreal Paris Hydra Genius Aloe Water (£6.99). What drew me in was the fact it is a water based formula, and that I am mildly obsessed with anything containing Aloe Vera. I have always used my Banana Boat Aloe Vera After Sun Gel in previous summers to treat multiple sun burns that I have suffered, so I knew it worked well with my skin type. They have 3 variations, Normal – Dry, Normal – Combination and Normal – Oily. My skin type varies quite a bit depending on the weather and how well I have been looking after it, so I went for the combination option as it gives a fair chance of being right for a variety of skin days!

Makeup

As for makeup in the summer, I have always really liked to keep it to the bare minimum and of what I am comfortable in being out publicly, which usually consists of a little mascara and filling in my brows. This means I generally get out of the house quicker and my skin thanks me in the long term for not being caked in foundation everyday under the baking sun! My go-to brow product is the NYX Sculpt & Highlight Brow Contour (£9), which has a wax pencil at one end and at the other, a sheer and glittery highlight/concealer that you can pop on your brow bone and blend. For mascara, it can vary depending on how I want my lashes to look, but I usually stick to the Clinique Chubby Lash (£18) as mentioned in a previous post.

If I do decide to go a little glam during the day, or even for an evening out, I still like to keep it light and simple, so I am not clogging my pores in the heat and makeup. Recently I have been using the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation (£32) in shade Mont Blanc paired with the Nars Creamy Concealer (£23) in shade Light 2. They give amazing coverage without feeling heavy on my skin, like many other creamy formulas can do. For eyeshadow, I am channelling burgundy or sunset vibes, so I like to use either my NYX Full Throttle quads, again, I have mentioned these in previous posts, or one of my newer additions, the MAC Burgundy X9 Palette (£25). For powder I use the Rimmel Match Perfection Silky Loose Setting Powder (£6.99), which is an excellent dupe for the Laura Mercier Setting Powder. Contouring & bronzing, I use the Nars Bronzing Powder (£29) in Laguna and for blush I use the Nars Blush (£23) in Orgasm. To highlight, I use the Morphe 134 Fan brush and the MUA Undress Your Skin Highlight in either Peach Diamond or Pink Shimmer. These are both only £3 each, and have incredible pigmentation. I use these on the tops of my cheekbones, my brow bone, just under my brows, and lightly on the end of my nose. Finally at the moment I am liking the MAC Lip Liner in Whirl and on top the Tom Ford Lip Colour (£40) in Sable Smoke.

After writing the process I go through, every time I do ‘going out’ makeup, I am now wondering if anybody will find it remotely interesting or helpful, but I have been really excited about sharing some of my newer products with you all!

I hope I have inspired you enough for a small shopping trip, albeit online, and that to ensure your skin looks beautiful and radiant all year round, it isn’t only about the makeup you use but the way you look after your skin whilst not wearing any makeup at all!

Thank you for taking a moment to read my latest post and I hope you enjoy the summer months. One final thing though… Please! Don’t forget sun cream!

Imogen ❤

Student Summer Fashion

So recently, I have ventured into the unknown and bought quite a few pieces of clothing online from a website called Romwe. I had seen the site advertised on Facebook many times but wasn’t too sure whether I could trust the crazy low prices, and it not to be a scam. But I can safely say, I haven’t been robbed of hundreds of pounds from my bank account, and not only have I received my purchases, but I actually really like them, and have had quite a few compliments asking where I have got my things from. When I say Romwe, they look surprised and I explain that it might take a couple of weeks to ship your stuff, but for basics like tee-shirts and jumpers etc. it is a great site!

As I just mentioned above, I have only used them for tee-shirts and hoodies so far, as I am not sure about sizing guides for denim jeans/shorts etc., but I am excited to try other items and see how they turn out. I’ll show you some of the tops I have already received, and a couple of two-piece’s (top and shorts) that are on the way to me now.

Tee-shirts and Hoodies 

These three were from my first order, and I noticed that they all came up a bit small, but if you like a cropped tee then that’s perfect. My favorite is the blue New York embroidered top. I know some people who ordered the Pineapple top, had concerns that it would be see-through, but it isn’t too bad, as long as you wear a nude or white bra you won’t be able to notice that it is that transparent.

You can check the individual size guides for each piece of clothing online before you buy anything. The Striped top is quite tight on me, so I would definitely recommend going for a small or medium unless you are really tiny, then an extra small might just be ok! The other tops I bought all fitted really nicely, and all of them have been made from a comfortable material, nothing scratchy or horrible.

If there is one thing I might mention, it’s that with the ones with badges (like the Pineapple or the Rose), the stitching can be a bit hurried and look a bit messy up close, but it isn’t anything you can notice from a normal distance away. Chances are, no one will ever know.

The hoodie I bought is exactly the same as I pointed out on one of my previous posts last summer, I believe, and was from Topshop at around £30, so for half of that, it was a steal, and the quality is the same as the Topshop version! Bargain!

The others I have bought are below.

Two Piece Summer Sets

 These two are in the post as we speak and should be arriving soon. I am really excited to see how they look and will probably order some more for summer once I know I can order with confidence. I really double checked the sizes for these, as shorts can come up quite tight, especially on the Sunflower design as they don’t seem to be elasticated. Of course, if that proves a problem, you could always pop a couple of belt loops on and tie a belt around the waist or even add elastic to the inside of the waistline!

Here I’ll leave a list of all the products with direct links to the pages where you can buy them. Or alternatively, you can just visit www.romwe.com and browse through their whole collection.

Blue Letter Embroidered T-shirt ‘New York’

Blue Striped V Cut Cropped T-shirt

White Pineapple Embroidered Patch T-shirt

Rose Patch Knot Front Tee

White Palm Tree Embroidered Patch Crop Tee

Pineapple Embroidered Tee (Red)

Letter Embroidered Short Sleeve Tee ‘Heartbreaker’ (Yellow)

White Letter Print Hooded Crop Sweatshirt

White Crochet Trim Crop T-shirt

Sunflower Print Tiered Frill Cami Top With Shorts

Halter Neck Rose Applique Crop Top With Shorts

I really like Romwe because it is crazily cheap, and isn’t actually too bad for quality! This is perfect for students or anyone really from the age of 11-25 because money isn’t the easiest thing to get hold of, and good, cheap clothing is always a win!

Thank you for reading guys! I hope you are all looking forward to the sunny weather we will hopefully be getting this summer! Have fun and remember to wear sun cream! Burnt is not a good look, trust me!

Imogen ❤

Top Tips to Exam Success!

So my exam season is OVER thank goodness. But, I know lots of you aren’t even halfway through. I know first hand how stressful exams can get, even though in the end I always look back and wonder why I ever worried so much! There were a few little things that helped me get through the two weeks from hell, and they aren’t the normal; revise lots, do exercise, cliché nonsense. These are just a few bits and bobs I’ll do to just take my mind off the looming events of the next day and just make some time for myself.

  1. Have a bath. Obviously make sure you are keeping your personal hygiene up, because trust me, there is nothing worse than sitting next to somebody in an exam that smells a bit pongy. Take an hour to just relax in the bath, maybe buy a bath bomb, or light a few candles and just relax for a bit. Don’t forget, nothing is more important than making sure you are ok yourself.
  2. Try to get some fresh air. True, this can be tricky with the English weather like it is, but maybe try to sit in the garden for a bit, walk your dogs (if you have any!) or simply sit in your room with a window open. Fresh air helps me be more relaxed, and I know for sure that if I am getting stressy at college, the best thing is for me to take a walk to the Greggs round the corner.
  3. Listen to a playlist that gets you in the mood for studying. Yes, I know it sucks that you have to actually study, but when you do, if music is something that helps you concentrate, then go for it. Everyone is different so this is a personal one, but if it’s something that works then try choosing something less ‘rock’ and more ‘relax’.
  4. Get up in the morning with plenty of time to make yourself feel ready for the day. If that means getting out of bed 15 minutes earlier so you wash your hair, then try and do it. I know at the time of 6 AM it doesn’t feel like it will be worth it, but just take a few extra minutes in the morning to make yourself feel beautiful. Feeling a natural day? Wear no makeup! Feeling a little more self-conscious? Go all out and use all your makeup skills to sculpt your face until it’s chiseled to the bone! I try to wash my hair every morning because it just makes me feel more ready for the day ahead, and one less thing to worry about halfway through the hot and sticky afternoon, but if I don’t have time I tend to double braid my hair and get it up and out the way.
  5. Pack your bag the night before, making sure you have everything you could possibly need. People that know me, know that I carry practically everything with me. I’ve been called a walking pharmacy! Take rainbow highlighters, and glitter gel pens and funky Post-It Notes. When you’ve been forced to write with a boring black biro for hours, a sparkly pen can really liven things up a bit. (Not in your exam though!)
  6. If you are that way inclined, why not go for a run? I know, it’s not for everybody, but if you know exercise takes your mind off things, get up off your ass and go for a 20-minute jog, if you can’t face a half marathon right that second!
  7. If you have a job, don’t take time off! I know that sounds backwards, but I found that working gave me something to take my mind off things and let me relax for a bit, (even if it was 30 degrees and I was standing in-front of an oven for a good 6 hours!) If you obviously don’t have enough time to work and revise, then do take some time out, but really think whether you need the time off or whether you just aren’t time-managing very well.
  8. Talking about time management, take a few hours out of a busy day to get together with some friends for lunch or a coffee. Just have a catch-up, and if you are feeling really guilty for not studying, then talk about revision over your lunch. Test each other and see how well each of you know areas of the subjects you take. Make it ‘fun’, if that’s possible, so you are truly having a break from the books.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a list of rules you should follow for success in your exams (whatever the title says), but I do find these little things just made my exams a bit less worrying. The most important thing is to make sure you are having time to yourself, and however you do that is your choice, but make sure you fit it into the schedule because revision 24/7 is draining and won’t help at the end of the day.

I wish everyone luck in their remaining exams and I’ll hopefully be back soon with some ideas on kick-starting your summer!

Thanks for reading!

Imogen ❤

Winter: Eyes

I am so sorry that it’s 2017 and I’m not posting until February! 1/12 of a year has passed and the 2nd is rapidly speeding by, meaning I have to get my act together and finally write again!

I am going to be writing a collection of posts which can be found under the menu; Star Items. These will be written down to what time of the year it is and will recommend a selection of products that I am loving at the time. Today I am going to share the first collection, for Winter, and this post focuses on any eye products I am using that are really standing out to me.

Shadows:

My first products are the Full Throttle Eyeshadow Palettes from NYX, in two colours, Riot and Bossy. Here are a couple of photos of each, to show you what they look like in the palette.

 

‘Riot’ is my preferred palette however, I use both together when I am wanting a stronger look, especially for a night out, a party or just for a slightly different smoky eye. I have been using the light pink shade in the ‘Bossy’ palette as a base colour, gently blending it out over the entire eyelid I then use the amber/orange shade lightly dusted to add a brighter colour to the eyes. On top, I use the dark red shade and blend this across the whole eyelid, but focussing it on the outer corner and along the lash line, creating a natural shadow, as well as then using the ocre shade to blend into the crease of my eyelid, adding depth.

I discovered something recently, that if you use red or pinky tones on your eyes, the iris’s tend to appear more green, and if you use more orange or coral colours, they appear more blue. There is an alternative to make your eyes seem darker, brighter etc. but for me, these two are closest to my natural colour.

Therefore, depending on what colour I am wanting to enhance on the day, I will either use the orange or the red more strongly. If I am going out and want to make the eye slightly smokier, I blend the dark purple shade from ‘Bossy’ into the burgundy and add the silver glitter sparkle shade to top it off. If I am going for a more subtle look, then I take my single eyeshadow from NYX in shade ‘Showgirl’ (not pictured above), which is a glittery red pigment, and dust this across the lid. Finally, I use the white glitter shade from ‘Riot’ in the inner corners of my eyes, just to make my eyes seem wider and more awake!

Mascara:

I have three mascaras I am absolutely loving at the moment, and all three do slightly different things, but they don’t disappoint! I am going to briefly outline how each is different and why I am liking using it so much!

Lancôme Grandiose Mascara:

img_2796

Although at a first glance, this mascara might seem too quirky and different to actually deliver great results (I’m thinking of the wand), after giving it a go, I am happy to share that I was pleasantly surprised. This mascara has a small, plastic (which I prefer) brush, at the end of an angled wand, designed to make getting to outer and inner corners, easier and ensuring you can get super close to your lash line. The brush, has short and longer bristles, meaning you can get to the lash line without smudging mascara on the tops of your eyelids. The effect is said to be volumising, however I would rate this higher as a lengthening mascara, not to say that it doesn’t add incredible volume to my lashes, but on me, the length is the main difference I notice. What attracts me most is not only the length it gives, but the length without the clumpiness, therefore fanning out the lashes. It does cost slightly more than your average Rimmel Scandal Eyes, at £26 a pop, but in my opinion, it is worth it for the unique wand and fanned out lash effect it gives.

Clinique Chubby Lash:

 

Clinique’s Chubby Lash mascara has become my new favourite number one for everyday use, and chances are, if you see me, I’ll be wearing it. There are several things I love about this mascara, for instance, the fact that even though it is brilliant for building layers and adding intense volume, it also provides astonishing volume with just one coat. I also like that it slightly clumps, making the lashes look bigger and bolder. It is also waterproof and sweat proof, I have tested it multiple times at the gym guys, so trust me, even though this does not claim to be a waterproof formula. This is another added bonus for me, as I find with waterproof mascara I can never get it off in the evening without a specialist remover, but because this is made to be removed easily, it is just as quick to take it off as it is to put on. At slightly less than the Lancôme, £14.75, this is an absolute steal and I will certainly be purchasing another tube once mine runs out.

Kiko 30 Day Lash Extension:

 

On the slightly lower end of the my favourites spectrum, this Kiko lash extension mascara adds gentle volume and length for an everyday natural look. I have been known to use this lots in the summer when the weather is hot and I am not feeling like a heavy day of makeup, or if I just feel like something a little softer on the eyes. Whilst it claims to revitalize your lashes over 30 days and improve their growing power, I have never seen too much difference, however this doesn’t mean I don’t like what it looks like on. It suggests that after using this, other products will look better, as it has enhanced your natural lashes, but I think this product alone is suffice, and looks beautifully natural when you just don’t want to layer up the mascara to get the smoky volumised eye makeup effect everyday. At £7.90 from the Kiko website or any Kiko store, for me, this is a bargain and something I have repurchased as it is something I like to have all the time, just in case. Not to mention, if you wanted to volumise and lengthen your lashes to the maximum, a coat of this almost acts as a primer for other mascaras and lays a good foundation for a killer false lash look.

Benefit’s Roller Lash:

 

After previously mentioning this product about a year ago, saying that it was one of my least favourite Benefit products, I have been converted, and am in love with the gentle length and curl it effortlessly creates. The thin brush and wand make it feel effortless applying it to your lashes and creating a natural curl. The thin bristles really grab every lash and pull them to curl upwards. At £20.50, although I know there is the cheaper option of the Maybelline Lash Sensational at only £7.99, I would recommend this mascara to anybody opting for a slightly more natural look, edging away from volume and wanting more length to their curl.

Everybody swaps between products, especially when you want to try different things, so I know that these might change in the coming posts, but I am enjoying these at the moment and I thought it was a good time to share it with you!

Thank you guys! You’ll hear from me again soon!

Imogen ❤

 

 

Your Own Winter Wonderland

Winter is almost upon us, and I am certainly starting to feel the change. The clocks went back, the temperatures have dropped and cold’s are everywhere. There are two kinds of people in the world; those that hate winter, and then those that love winter. I have to admit, I am the latter of the two and therefore am going to have so much to share with you over the next few months, so keep an eye out for new posts.

Today’s post though, I think it’s safe to say that most people associate winter with Christmas, and you know when Christmas is coming because everybody slowly starts getting more and more festive. The John Lewis advert is released, songs suddenly start popping up on the radio and you stumble across the decorations from last year, somehow managing to avoid them for the past 11 months. On this note, I would like to quickly mention that I have already started the run up to Christmas, and am very excited for December to arrive so I can start celebrating without getting strange glances from all the people that wait until December 1st!

I thought I would share with you 4 little changes you can make to your bedroom, to make yourself feel just that little bit more festive, ready for December 25th.

  1. Buying a Christmas themed duvet set is always a brilliant way to start, as often your bed is the main feature in the room, so festivising, yes, I made that up, will be a small change but will make a big difference!

I bought this duvet set last year, and have one other with beige tones throughout and a reindeer pattern. The one above is reversible so one day I might prefer the red, others I might prefer the white. It has a really thick feel to it, and paired with a winter duvet, snuggling up when it’s bitterly cold outside is no problem. And the best part is, I bought it for only £14 in Primark! Even though this is from last year, I am still going to have a cheeky look for another one, as I love them!

2. The next step, as you might have already picked up on, is to buy multiple Christmas throws to go on top of your bed. Not only do they look super festive, but they keep you warm if your heating breaks down, you want to lounge around the house or perhaps it is just especially cold. I have two, one from my beloved Primark from last year, which is the white one, and then the other is from Tesco and is available in red or blue.

3. Next, lights! By lights I mean little strings of Christmas fairy lights, that you can hang, scattered, cluster and everything else you could possibly think of doing with them! When it gets to December, and I fully decorate my room, I use Christmas tree lights and wrapped them around the feet of my bed. You could use white, arctic blue or even multi-colored lights and it just adds something more to the room. The lights I have up now are two sets of 20 from Primark at £5 a box. I have a set of blue stars, and a set of white snowflakes and I put them along my bookshelves and around the edge of my mirror.

4. My last thing (until December) is scented candles, which I place around my room in groups or just large ones alone. My candles are not Christmas scented, but yours could be! I like mine because they add a beautiful glow to corners in my room, and the scents on them smell gorgeous! My favorite two that I have are ‘Coastal Walk’ from M&S for £15 and ‘Honey & Chocolate’ from Glade for £2. I will be investing in Christmas scented candles soon!

Thank you for reading my latest post and as I mentioned earlier, I love the festive season, so be expecting much more to come!

Imogen ❤

Fall Footwear

So it’s come to that time of the year where boots, coats, scarfs, hats and gloves come out, as the bitterly cold English wind cuts across the country and the leaves begin to fall. What am I talking about? Fall, of course, my favourite time of the year.

It’s not just the Pumpkin Spice Latte’s and the appearance of Christmas decorations that I adore, but fall fashion, to me, is the best of the year. I will be covering other bits and pieces as the season goes on, but today, we’re talking shoes.

Shoes for fall are absolutely gorgeous, ranging from a pair of Dr Martins, Ugg Boots or Trainers. As soon as we hit the season, new ranges and lines are brought out by each and every shoe company and the fun truly begins. Colours in the autumn are all based around the oranges, reds and browns; subtle but powerful. So there’s no surprise that a lot of the shoes brought out in fall are based around these colours, and others similar. I’m going to show you some of my favourites, including a couple of pairs I have purchased myself and some that are on my wish list.

The first I’m going to show you are the classic’s for fall. The Ugg Boots. The company Ugg has brought out so many different types, from heels to slippers, but the all time favourite is the boots. On my wish list, this year are the Bailey Bow Boots, a beautiful short boot, lined with the classic faux fur, but with a cute twist of a bow lacing up the back.

Next is the simple but classic, black heeled ankle boot. These became popular two winters ago; I remember buying mine and ended up getting horrible blisters for weeks because I didn’t break them in properly. Not only do these give the short girls a little extra height if it is wanted, but they look good with any outfit, skinny jeans and a winter coat, tartan pencil skirt and a blouse, you name it and they are bound to match. Mine were from Topshop, but I know a girl who bought a gorgeous pair from River Island, and many other stores stock them too, especially as we approach autumn and winter.

Next, we are going to look at not a boot, but a trainer. I have recently purchased the pair of Khaki green Nikes (below) and the others I had to decide between and were strong contenders for my autumn trainer. I really love wearing a pair of trainers, all year round, as they are so comfortable, they come in hundreds of different styles and colours and they last at least a year or two or full wear. If you don’t have a pair of fashion trainers, then you should really consider owning a pair, as they are brilliant for comfort but look gorgeous too.

 

Finally, my all time favourite, Timberland Boots. I bought my first ever pair last autumn and I wore them nearly every day for the whole season. They are comfortable, fashionable, keep your toes warm and go with every pair of jeans or leggings you own. As well as all of this, they are fully winter proof, being waterproof and supplying excellent support for those winter walks through the woods with the dogs.

Thank you so much for reading my latest post, and I hope I have given you some ideas for your perfect footwear wardrobe for fall!

Imogen ❤

In & Out : Hoodies & Sweatshirts

Being observant, as I am, I was wondering through the shopping centre in Brighton and noticed in lots of stores that I walked through, that hoodies and sweatshirts are SO IN at the moment! This is brilliant news, as a hoodie, even though a basic item, can bring a casual, ruffled look together, instantly.

Pair a pair (isn’t that funny?) of your favourite jeans together with your favourite hoodie, add a pair of Adidas Superstars and a throw-it-all-in handbag and this look is perfect for those days where the temperature is starting to drop. After all, the temperatures will only fall from now on as we head towards autumn and you don’t want to get chilly! Even in the late days of summer, it can get slightly colder and most hoodies, you can easily fold up and put in your bag, ready in case you need them.

There are two types of jumpers I have seen a lot of recently; hoodies and sweatshirts. I am going to show you a few of my favourites down below and some that I plan on purchasing, and if you want to take a look at prices and where they come from, hover (or click) to see more details. Or if you want to visit the website directly, click on the links below!

These ones are from Topshop and Asos, and are just a few of a huge collection they have!

Although you may be sad to part with the money for a new hoodie at the time, I know I am, after a few months, you will be very glad you indulged in your new favourite item of clothing. After all, who says a hoodie can’t be worn everywhere? Mine are worn out, at home relaxing, in bed overnight, to the gym, pretty much anywhere and everywhere!

Hoodies and sweatshirts are only two of a number of styles and there is sure to be a jumper somewhere out there that is ready to be your next best thing!

Have a browse and make sure you show me anything you buy! You can inbox me at my official address (imogensoperblogs@gmail.com) or add me on social media! I’d love to hear from you all!

Instagram: imogensoper

Twitter: imy_soper

Thanks once again for reading!

Imogen ❤