Tuesday, 31 March 2015

March Round-Up

I feel like March has been the busiest month of my life! I hardly had any time to blog this month and so I wanted to write an update/lifestyle kind of post to let you know what I'm doing with my blog and what's been going on in my life.

Firstly, I'll start with my life. March has been crazy. I'm so glad to be off for Easter. I've love love loved being busy and having so many things to look forward to, but it has been tiring!

School was keeping me busy due to the fact that my AS exams start in just over a month (yikes!). I've been getting so much homework, tests and mocks and I've just been crazy busy trying to start some proper revision on top of all of it.

As well as that I've been investing so much time in researching universities and I'm finding it so hard to make a decision about where I want to go. Every time I read a different prospectus I'm like 'ooh, I definitely want to go there!' I attended a UCAS convention at the start of March and it made me want to go to even more universities. Aaah!

Also, a teacher in my school got us involved in an All-Ireland problem-solving challenge in February for anyone in sixth year who wanted to take part. It was called the All-Ireland Linguistics Olympiad and basically we sat a 2-hour exam containing some of the world's hardest problems to do with languages and linguistics. I went in for it just wanting to step out of my comfort zone, thinking nothing of it only to find out about 2 weeks later that me and 6 other pupils from my school had made it into the top 125 problem-solvers in Ireland out of about 3000 people who had entered. What even?! We went to Dublin on Tuesday 24th to sit the second round. The top 4 from that go on to Bulgaria in July to compete for Ireland in the international final. I wasn't expecting to have made it that far, though, the questions were pretty much impossible! But I found out yesterday that I came 31st, which I am absolutely delighted with! It was such a great experience though and it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't thought 'Oh, what the heck' and stepped out of my comfort zone.

In addition, my school had a huge charity sale last week and everyone in my year group had to either bake or buy buns to bring in for it. Being the awesome baker that I like to think I am, I baked buns using the recipe I posted a few weeks ago on my blog, just using different icing and adding sprinkles. I was really happy with how they turned out. In fact so happy that while I was admiring them I then realised I had a third batch still in the oven! Not such a master baker now, huh?

Music was keeping me busy, too. You may or not know that I play the violin and I had my Grade 6 exam this month, which was a scary experience. My pieces went okay but nerves made me totally mess up my sight-reading and aurals and I was so scared I'd failed. But I found out a few days ago that I passed and I am so relieved!

Also, my school had its annual Spring Concert in which I played in the school orchestra and sang in two choirs. The amount of work we put in was insane but it totally paid off and I really enjoyed performing.

 I got a bit of down time over St Patrick's weekend when I went to my holiday house. The weather was actually quite mild and I got out golfing twice and went for a walk on the beach one of the days. It's really relaxing being down there because I feel like I'm away from all the stress and busyness of my everyday life. I think it's the one place where I can feel truly peaceful.

Now onto my blog.

Although I haven't had much time to write blog post throughout March, I've had a bit of time to think about my blog and I've decided a few things.

Firstly, I used to publish a new post every Tuesday and Friday but haven't been able to stick to that for ages now. I've decided from now until after my exams I'm only going to post once a week and it will be on Tuesdays. If I find I have a lot of free time in a particular week I may upload twice but it'll mostly be once a week from now until the end of June.

Secondly, I had a series on my blog titled 'Oh DEAR' where I read and reviewed different books and published a new post on it bimonthly. I've decided to scratch that idea. I wasn't really enjoying writing the posts and I don't think anyone was really that interested in reading them. I may do the odd book review in future if I read a book that I really want to share with you.

Finally, I want to write some more life-type posts like the first half of this post. (Hopefully it won't be where I ramble about how busy I have been every month though! March was an exception!) I think I'm going to try and do these monthly round-up posts where I tell you what I've been up to during the month. My life isn't very exciting but hopefully you'll find the posts even a little bit interesting! :)

Happy Easter! 

 - Caoimhe x

Friday, 20 March 2015

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation | Review

I have been using the Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation for over a month now and I have to say I'm really liking it.

I have dehydrated and dry skin. Like pain-in-the-ass, won't-improve-no-matter-how-much-moisturiser-I-apply dry. And boy is it annoying. I find it so hard to find products that will go over the flaky patches of skin smoothly without emphasising the fact that they're so dry.

I was doing a lot of research on the best drugstore foundations for dry skin and out of all the Youtube videos, blog posts and beauty articles I saw, the Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation kept coming up time and time again. Although I'd seen Bourjois' stand so many times in Boots, I'd never used any of their products but I was eager to try. I was desperate to find something to solve my problem.

I love the texture of this foundation. It's creamy, which is great for dry skin, and quite thick, giving a good medium coverage. I find that it totally downplays the really dry areas of my face and makes my skin feel really moisturised. It is designed to give a healthy glow but I would say that it does do that. It totally brightens up my skin and gives it a nice finish. 

On an everyday basis, I apply the foundation all over my face using my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. Then I apply the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer to any blemishes or red areas that I want to cover up a bit more and the dark circles under my eyes. Then I apply the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder under my eyes and to other areas of my face to set my concealer.

One negative thing I would say about this foundation is that the shade range is really small. There are 8 shades and even though I have the lightest shade ('Light Vanilla') it is still a tad too dark for my face. On the days where I'm feeling a bit orange I mix it with Rimmel's Match Perfection Foundation in the shade 'Light Porcelain', which is a tad too light for my face. It's a strange combination of foundations but it actually works well for my skin and is the perfect shade for me!

Another thing is that the foundation claims to last up to 16 hours but I don't really find that it does because of the quite thick and creamy texture. It might last if you use a primer with it but it probably won't with the foundation alone. This point doesn't put me off the foundation because I would hardly ever need my foundation to last 16 hours so it doesn't really mean much to me that it doesn't.

Overall, I have been really impressed with this foundation. Retailing at £9.99 from Boots you can't really go wrong (unless none of the shades match your skin, in which case I guess you can go wrong...) In all seriousness, if you have dry skin I would definitely encourage you to give it a go. It's gives a good coverage, moisturising finish and smells so good!

What about you? Have you tried this foundation?

- Caoimhe x

Saturday, 14 March 2015

My Favourite Body Lotions

I have quite a wide range of body lotions and body butters because I love getting out of the shower and applying something both moisturising and lovely-smelling to my skin. My top 3 favourites change every so often but the ones I have been loving at the minute are The Body Shop's Strawberry Body Butter, Ted Baker Butterfly Wings Body Lotion and Soap and Glory Righteous Butter Body Butter.

I change between the three of them depending on how I'm feeling. If I want something more moisturising I'll use the Ted Baker one but if I'm feeling in the mood for something fruity and sweet smelling, I'll use the Body Shop one or if I'm feeling quite girly or whatever I'll use the Soap and Glory one.

All of these body lotions I've had for quite a while - they all last ages, especially the Ted Baker one! They are really good value for money and you can find the Ted Baker and Soap and Glory body lotions in Boots and the Body Shop one in, yep you guessed it, the Body Shop.

n terms of smells, which is my favourite thing about body lotions and body butters, these three all smell amazing! The Ted Baker body lotion smells quite floral and fresh. It kind of reminds me of nature and the woods for some reason, but trust me when I say it's so good! The Body Shop Strawberry Body Butter smells like, again you guessed it, strawberries. But it's quite a different strawberry smell than other strawberry-scented products I've smelled before. It's quite sweet but not sickeningly. To me it smells like the strawberry-flavoured Calpol medicine, if anyone used to be given that as a child, haha! But in a really good way, like sometimes when I'm in school and I have applied it that morning I just discretely sniff my wrist in class to smell it - I mean that in the least weird and creepy way possible, hahaha! The Soap and Glory Body Butter smells like the rest of S&G's bath and body range. It can only be described as quite fruity and just really girly! You'll understand what I mean when you smell it!

I would definitely recommend all three of these body lotions and butters.They are so moisturising and leave my skin feeling so soft and smelling so good all day.

What are your favourite body lotions and body butters? Have you tried any of these three?

- Caoimhe x 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Top 5 Tunesday #8

Happy March everyone!

Here are my top five most listened-to songs of February...

1. Hold Back the River - James Bay

On the show that was on after the Brits had been aired (where different people were being interviewed etc) they showed a pre-recorded clip of James playing the guitar and singing this song and holy crap. The talent of this guy! He sounded exactly the same as he does on the track so it shows the raw talent he has. And don't even get me started on his passion. It was an amazing performance.

This song has done so well over the past month and a bit and I can certainly understand why! I love James' whole acoustic vibe and I just love this song so much! 

2. Only Love Can Hurt Like This - Paloma Faith

I am loving this girl at the moment. I think her voice is absolutely incredible and her performance at the Brits totally proved this. She gave such a heartfelt performance of this song, which shows off her amazing vocal range. I'm so glad she won a Brit award because she's worked so hard the past number of years and she deserves it so much.

This song is one of those songs that I always want to belt out at the top of my lungs when I hear it. I don't do half as good a job as Paloma though...

3. FourFive Seconds - Kanye West, Rihanna and Paul McCartney

First of all can just say how amazing Rihanna's voice sounds on this track?! Like, wow. The song suits her voice so well.

I love how stripped back this song is, incorporating modern typical Kanye-style music with a more acoustic feel. I think it's an amazing outcome. I love the melody and I love how well Kanye and Rihanna's voices go together when they harmonise.

4. Honest - Kodaline

Kodaline is an Irish band which, in my opinion, is far too underrated. Their music has so much passion and I just love their whole sound, which is quite similar to that of Imagine Dragons, another band I love. This is my favourite Kodaline song at the minute off their new album,'Coming Up for Air' - I was listening to it so much throughout February that my sister ended up adding it to her Spotify playlist of favourite songs too!

5. Sledgehammer - Fifth Harmony

I love this catchy song and find that while it's quite upbeat it's also a good one for belting out when you're home alone, especially the part when it slows down quite a bit. This song shows off the girls' amazing vocals and how perfectly they can harmonise - their voices just fit so well together. 

I quite like Fifth Harmony's album 'Reflection' and I love the whole feminist, self-empowerment vibe that is evident in a number of their songs.

To see last month's top 5, click here

Have you been loving any of these songs recently? :)

- Caoimhe x

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