The Current State of Affairs (Ft. Votes & Protests)

With the current states of affairs, it’s not difficult to feel as though all hope is lost. It can sometimes feel like to world is ending, with no one understanding the actions of their peers; with protests to battle against decisions already made and with fear being a common emotion among any old enough to understand what’s going on.

Some major decisions have been made both here and overseas that do not reflect either the view of the people or attitudes deemed acceptable today. Issues regarding equality (in all sense of the word) are rising, just when we getting confident that these old ideals were ridiculous and redundant. And although it seems as though all our problems can be pinned on one leader or another, we need to accept that as the public we are not innocent in any of this either.

It’s easy to point the finger at that orange-faced man on the TV or your government representative, because they’re the ones in charge right? But in these states of democracy we need to see that it is our actions, our views and our desperation that has put us here.

The news in America was obviously a great shock, but while others turned to anger and fighting I found myself feeling sad. I was sad for those who were so desperate to see change that they turned to archaic opinions and frightening predicaments; I was sad for the many who were hopeful but still didn’t do enough; I was sad about the lack of education and the lack of interest some people demonstrate in these important affairs. I am now sad about those who live in fear.

But at the end of the day, a vote was made. Although it may not be the vote you wanted it is the vote of the majority (including 53% of white women) and in a democratic society these changes must be made. This man should rule; that country should leave.

“democracy: (noun) a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.”

synonyms: representative government, elective government

Although it may not be the vote you cast (and as long as you cast your vote then your job is done. If you didn’t then I’m afraid you can’t really speak out) there are ways that you can make a difference and still ensure that your voice is heard. There will be some useful links at the end of this to help you, but on a smaller scale just by speaking out and remaining compassionate you can make all the difference.

The views of your current leader mightn’t (and hopefully don’t) reflect your views and this may make you lose hope when people agree with what you see to be wrong. But don’t be disheartened. This is your chance to educate and expose some new ideas.

Although protesting is obviously the most public (and seemingly most common right now) way to express your opinion, this is something that should only be done if you have a specific case in mind.

It’s all well and good blocking streets to campaign against a leader or a vote that has been made (and in many cases this is successful and generally just a good thing to do to show your support) but it would all work a little better if we were more specific about what we don’t like. In the case of Trump, there is nothing you can do to get him out of the leader seat. So instead of putting all your energy and time into campaigning for the impossible, aim to fight against his policies or the things he’s said that aren’t okay.

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Instead of being disrespectful, because even if you disagree there is still a large majority of people who thought the opposite (and even though they may be wrong they are still people and should get your respect), aim to educate. Use your campaigns, your protests and your posts to explain exactly what has happened and why it’s wrong. Be clear and honest as for some people the idea that these beliefs are wrong is just not possible. Talk about their children, use their futures as an example; make it understandable and be open to answer questions. But also be prepared for backlash and don’t push back. Instead remain calm and kind- you don’t need to stoop to that level to win an argument. Besides winning shouldn’t be your aim here, educating and exposing what is right so that people can understand the consequences of their actions should be your goal.

If you are going to protest, by all means go for it. But it’s best to be specific (stick to an issue like racism, sexism or immigration) and for God’s sake do your research. Again people are going to ask questions so use this time to educate and open more people up to new ideas. This is something you can only do if you’ve researched. Remain passionate, otherwise what’s the point in campaigning if you don’t care, and compassionate. Some people will still think they’ve done the right thing or some mightn’t even understand. They are still people. If you’re campaigning against the ill-treatment of others whether for their colour, gender or ethnicity then make sure you represent the right way to treat people regardless. Even if they disagree with you, or call out rude things.

Now is the best time for us to rally round, help each other out and generally just stay supportive. There is already too much fear and anger in the world without us adding to it. If things are happening that you don’t agree with, speak out. But please bear in mind the advice given. If you see people fighting for change, help them. But above all remain kind and respectful to your peers and the people around you, because that’s the one thing we don’t have enough of right now.


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Speak soon,

Rachael.

Calling All Freshers: Freshers’ Week Essentials

Many of you will no doubt be heading off to university very soon (or you may even be there now, you lucky thing!) and as you’re probably aware Freshers’ Week is one of the most important dates on your academic calendar. Especially in your first year. It’s your chance to settle into your new home, make new friends and overall just have a good time.

However, it can be a tricky time for you so I’m here today to list the absolute essentials I think you need to make your Freshers’ Week a wonderful yet safe and comfortable time for you.

Please note, I will be appealing more to the ‘typical’ Fresher in this post. The kind who is looking forward to the clubs, events and drinking. But I want you to know that if this is not your cup of tea you can still have a brilliant time. You do what works best for you and don’t let anyone make you feel bad for that.

THE ESSENTIALS

  • A Medical/First-Aid Kit

You can make one of these yourself before you go away. Freshers’ Week is a fun but messy time so I’d recommend you take plenty of painkillers (paracetamol, ibuprofen), plasters and cold relief medicine (because Freshers’ Flu is totally real. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise). Better to be safe than sorry.

  • Warm, Comfortable Clothes

Like jogging bottoms, hoodies and sweatshirts. You’re probably going to be hungover a lot of the time this week so these are essential for when you have to get ready, but really want to stay in your PJs.

  • A Door-Stop

While you’re getting ready for the latest event or you’re just chilling in your room trying to recover, leaving your door open will show your new flatmates that you’re in and welcome to be interrupted. It’s a great way to try to bond with these new people who you’re going to see everyday for the next year.

 

  • A Pack of Cards

There’s going to be an awful amount of pre-drinking this week (if you want to) and although it is best to be sensible and drink in moderation, playing drinking games is a hilarious way to bond with your new flatmates. Playing cards can be used for various different games and having these will make sure you’re not just sat there in silence.

  • Junk/Easy Food

Again, thinking about your hungover days you’re going to want something that doesn’t require a lot of movement but will fill you up. Lots of carbohydrates is my personal recommendation. It’s better to have something in just in case you’re not up for visiting the local takeaway.

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I hope you all have a brilliant, and safe, Freshers’ Week and a wonderful year at university!

Speak soon,

Rachael.

Calling All Freshers: Second Year Experience

Okay, so the title of this ‘series’ doesn’t really go with this topic as when you’re in Freshers (that’s the first year of university) you couldn’t care less about what’s coming next. Still nonetheless I know hearing about other people’s experiences helped me get prepared and generally just calm my nerves about what was to come and I’m hoping it will do the same for you.

IT GETS HARDER

This is obvious but second year is pretty difficult compared to the first. For many courses this is the year when your grades really count and contribute to something. First year, at many universities, counts for 0% (or a similar small amount) of your final grade so there’s no pressure to do anything other than pass. However your grades in second year do count so there is that pressure to do well, to ensure that your happy with the final result.

As well as this, the work becomes more difficult and you will probably find that you have more deadlines- normally all at once!- than last year as well. For me, I also had exams this year which was a totally new experience as my first year was assignments only. It can feel overwhelming at times but remember that everyone is in the same boat and as long as you organise your time (tips will come soon) you will get everything done, I promise!

IT IS EASIER

So the work isn’t easier but everything else is. Because you’ve spent your first year learning all about your new campus, the basics of your course, your flatmates and accommodation- basically everything outside of the work- you go into this year feeling a lot more comfortable and confident about these areas. Which is a wonderful thing and means you can really knuckle down with your work and the more ‘important’* bits as you’ve got to grips with the rest.

*I personally think that all areas of university, the academic side and the rest, are equally important and it really helps shape who you are and all that. But you know what I mean. 

IT’S MORE FUN

As explained above, all your hard work in first year getting used to your surroundings really pays off in second year. Now you’re (hopefully) used to your new city and have a nice group of friends you can just go out and enjoy yourself without worrying about where to go or what to do. By know you’ll have figured out what you like to do best with whoever suits the event the most and that means you can just go for it! You know what clubs hold the best events, where the best shops are and who offers the nicest food and you can just go for it without issue. (As you can tell those are my favourite things to do but everyone is different and I’m sure you’ll find things you love wherever you are).

However, it can be very easy to get stuck into a routine and therefore miss out on all the other fun things happening outside your comfort zones. I know that is something me and my friends struggled with this year. Even though you may feel as though you have learned all there is to know about your new surroundings, take some time to look further because I can guarantee you’ll find something even better you may have just missed last year.

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I wish you all the best of luck as you head into whatever year you’re going into. I am so proud of you for getting this far and I hope you have the best time!

If you have any tips for our second years or any tales of your own experience please get in touch and let me know!

Speak soon,

Rachael.

The Beauty Edit: A Cheeky Drugstore Haul

There seems to be a lot of beauty happening on this blog right now but considering it’s become one of my favourite pastimes once again, I’m not complaining!

Even though I don’t really have a lot of spare cash at the moment I can’t seem to control myself when I see a pretty product, especially when it’s reasonably priced. And with Superdrug’s current 3 for 2 offer going on… Well I couldn’t say no!

ALL ABOUT THE BASE

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Loreal Infallible 24hr Foundation in 015 Porcelain, LA Girl Pro Conceal in Classic Ivory & Warm Sand

I absolutely love these products already. I got the LA Girl Concealers from ebay (check out the seller here) and they came the next day. I’ve been experimenting with cream contouring but because I am so pale I had to be careful with the shades. Luckily this one in Warm Sand is perfect for everyday; it’s pretty cool-toned and blends out naturally.

I’ve only tried the foundation once but so far I love it and the shade is perfect for my pale, pink-toned skin. I’m hoping to do a full review once I’ve used it more.

PURPLE TONES & SHIMMER GLOW

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Makeup Revolution Flawless Palette, Sinful Colours Kylie Jenner Nail Varnish in Mauve On, ColourPop Super Shock Eyeshadow in Bill & Makeup Revolution Highlighter in Peach Lights

For some reason I am being drawn to warm, purple shades at the moment despite the fact it’s the middle of summer. Still autumn is my favourite season and I must be missing it!

The ColourPop eyeshadow came from ebay (once again, here’s the seller) although soon they will be shipping internationally from their official website! Anyway this is kind of more purple than I expected- online swatches are never the best- but under other colours as a base it looks beautiful.

This Makeup Revolution palette has my heart. The colours are beautiful and so far all seem pretty pigmented. Again, further reviews should be coming.

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So that was everything I’ve bought recently and hopefully this will be the last haul for a while as I need to save some money!

If you have an suggestions for other posts please let me know!

You can follow my blog on bloglovin.

Speak soon,

Rachael.

Five Cheap Beauty Picks I’m Loving Right Now

Can we just ignore the fact that I have been absent from this blog for quite some time and jump straight into one of my favourite topics of the moment; beauty. (I am terribly sorry and very disappointed in myself though)

Anyway, I tend to go through phases with hobbies and become either completely obsessed or totally indifferent. And with regards to beauty and makeup and all that fun stuff, I am currently obsessed. Today I wanted to share five products I’m loving at the moment and because I am a cheapskate (the more you save means the more you can buy, right?) they’re all super affordable so you can try them too.

MAKEUP REVOLUTION: ULTRA SCULPT AND CONTOUR KIT (Ultra Fair C01)

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I’ve been using this product for quite some time but I’ve only really started to appreciate it now. I am very pale and this kit looks so pretty and natural on my skin, but because the bronzer is fairly warm toned I can see this looking wonderful on almost anyone. All of the colours blend together so nicely and the highlight is just perfect for that everyday glow. Once more, it’s only £3.50 from Superdrug or their online store!

REAL TECHNIQUES: BLUSH BRUSH

I have wanted this brush for such a long time as for some reason I have been fascinated with the shape of it. The fact that it is dome-like means you can be really precise with your product and create exactly the look you want. I’m super late to the bandwagon with Real Techniques but I can totally understand the hype!

TIP: Check out your local TG Hughes for some serious savings on these.

MAKEUP REVOLUTION: PRO FIX OIL CONTROL FIXING SPRAY

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The second Makeup Revolution product of this list and my absolute favourite thing right now. I am honestly lost without this as it keeps my makeup on all day. I have always struggled to make any sort of makeup last on my skin, but with this spray it doesn’t budge. I find that even my eyeshadow doesn’t crease when I use this and I have horribly oily eyelids so that always happens! I love this and it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for since I first began experimenting with makeup.

You can get it at Superdrug or their online store.

MAKEUP GALLERY: TAKE A BROW PENCIL (Blonde)

This is by far the cheapest product on this list as it came from Poundland. I have very light blonde eyebrows and I’ve been struggling for ages to find any kind of brow product that isn’t too dark or too orange to use. I bought this pencil on a whim on one of my many trips to the pound shop (its an addiction, I swear) and it’s perfect. It’s pretty much the exact shade of my natural brows which makes it so easy for me to style and shape them. The texture isn’t too creamy but I have found that it is easy to blend out should you make any mistakes. For one pound it’s one of my greatest beauty finds!

NYX: MATTE LIPSTICK (Whipped Caviar)

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Like every UK beauty fan I was over the moon when Boots began to stock NYX and knew I had to get my hands on some of their products. This lipstick is something I’ve been eyeing for ages after it was mentioned by one of my favourite vloggers JDRMakeup (see her blog here or search on Youtube) and I was very lucky to get my hands on it. I’ve been loving the matte lip trend and the neutral trend and this product combines the two. Because I am quite pale, this does come up fairly dark on me but still looks natural. It seems to go with every makeup look I try and just gives my face a bit of a ‘boost’ when it’s looking dull.

At £6.50 it is a bit much for what I normally like to pay for a lipstick but the quality is amazing and I’ve been wearing it so much that it’s already paid for itself twice over!

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Those were the five products I am loving right now and would be at a total loss without. What are some products you always need to have in your makeup bag?

As always if you have any feedback, please do not hesitate to get in contact with me. I’m still learning!

Speak soon,

Rachael.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Collection: A Basic, Affordable Review

In my last post I said that I had recently purchased four Natural Collection eyeshadows (and a nail varnish). Since then I’ve had time to have a bit of a play with them and I’m here today to review them.

Natural Collection is a brand I used very early on when I first began experimenting with makeup and in all that time it hasn’t changed a bit. Which is a bit of a shame but it did make me feel very nostalgic to be circling the counter once again.

THE SHADOWS

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L-R: Milk Chocolate, Heather, Willow & Butterscotch

The eyeshadows I got were; Heather, Milk Chocolate, Willow and Butterscotch and I have been messing on with them pretty much every day since I bought them. They are all lovely, natural colours to wear every day- especially if your everyday life does not permit heavy makeup.

I can also say pretty confidently that the lighter colours (Willow and Butterscotch) are better in both pigmentation and payoff. Although each eyeshadow is only £1.99 there are other brands at the drugstore that do products at a better quality for a similar price.

I also have to say that if you have darker skin, these products may be fairly useless for you. I am a very pale person and the darker shades (Milk Chocolate and Heather) just show up on my skin.

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Colour Payoff: Super light and barely there. (Top to bottom: Milk Chocolate, Heather, Willow & Butterscotch) 

That doesn’t mean to say that I wouldn’t recommend these at all. If you’re looking for something light and bright to wear ever day without too much fuss, then these will work for you. As I said in my last post I am not very good with makeup and eyeshadow is definitely a weak spot for me. But as these colours are so light and, in terms of the darker shades, do not have too much of a bold payoff so I found it very easy to create basic looks without worrying about not blending correctly, etc.

The lighter shades are perfect for all over lid colours or highlights. In fact, I have been using Butterscotch as a cheek highlight too every day since I bought it and it’s so lovely. It offers a little sheen and looks beautiful and natural (hence the name!) on the skin giving you just the right amount of glow without being too much.

I feel like this brand and these products are perfect if you’re just starting off with makeup and want to slowly bring it into your routine. All of the shades are super natural and are perfect for everyday wear. Plus at £1.99 a pop they’re not going to break the bank!

THE NAIL VARNISH: A Quick Word

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Nail Colour in Praline (2 coats)

With the mixed views surrounding the eyeshadows I was super surprised to find that I loved the nail varnish. It is fairly opaque in just one coat and dries pretty quickly. It did chip fairly quickly, but all nail varnishes do for me, and a top coat is sure to fix that issue!

All products are available at: http://www.boots.com/en/Natural-Collection/

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Have you tried Natural Collection? What other drugstore brands would you recommend?

Speak soon,

Rachael.

 

The Beauty Edit: A Cheap, Glowing Haul

Not only is this my first post in a very long time but it’s also something that this blog has never seen. But I’m a big beauty fan and wanted to introduce this part of me today.

I have zero talent in the area but I love playing around with makeup and recently my obsession for the stuff has come back with a vengeance. So today I thought I’d treat myself once again (come on, it’s exam season!) and buy myself some little beauty bits. But as I am a) a student and b) a natural cheapskate I didn’t even hesitate to rely on my local Boots and Superdrug to supply me with some much sought over goodies!

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The Whole Lot: Makeup Revolution Pro-Fix Oil Control Fixing Spray; Collection Illuminating Touch Brightening Concealer in #1 Naked; Collection Prime and Ready Eye Concealer; Natural Collection Eyeshadows in Heather, Milk Chocolate, Butterscotch & Willow; Natural Collection Polish in Praline; MUA Velvet Lip Lacquer in Tranquility.

 

Natural Collection is a brand I used to love when I was about thirteen and had just started to play with makeup as it is so affordable! But I’m sad to say I’d all but forgotten about it until recently. The brand may not be everyone’s favourite but it’s super cheap and accessible and some of the colours are just so pretty!

I am yet to test any of these products out but reviews may come in the future if that is what you would like to see.

What are some of your favourite drugstore brands?

Speak soon,

Rachael.