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Recent Reads | January 2017

  • Tuesday, 31 January 2017


One of my favourite things to do is to sit with a hot cup of tea and good book. I have actively been putting time aside to do this as I think it can sometimes be so easy to push what we enjoy doing to one side and instead do something that we feel we should do.

I have read a couple of books already this January and I have also picked up a few new ones that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into, hopefully over the next few weeks. Firstly, here are January’s Recent Reads;


My Sister Lives On the Mantelpiece

This was a book that was chosen as January’s read for the book club that I attend. We usually aim to read history based novels, however sometimes we just have to deal with whatever the library has available for us. I really enjoyed reading this heartfelt yet difficult story that was told from the point of view of a ten-year-old boy, reflecting on his family life after the death of his older sister five years previously. Although it seems like very heavy content, it was actually fairly light-hearted with a pinch of comedic value. 

I found it very interesting reading about loss from the point of view of a child who behaved in a way that he felt he should, yet he was constantly fighting for the love and approval from his parents and surviving older sister. I read this book in a matter of days as I found the story very gripping and hard to get out of my head – I constantly wanted to keep reading. 

The Ice Twins

This is another story of loss, however it has a thriller-like style as bits and pieces of information are drip-fed to the reader throughout the book. It is written from the point of view of a mother and father who lost one of their twin daughters at the age of six. The story is set fourteen months after the accident and the parents discover that their surviving daughter is having an identity crisis, in that she claims to her parents she is in fact Lydia, not Kirsty, the twin who actually died. 

It is a gripping story as both parents are dealing with this information differently and nothing is quite as it seems. It is one that keeps you guessing right until the last page, which is always a winning point for me.  


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

I want to read more classic novels alongside my fantasy and thriller type books, and I was given this beautiful cloth bound version of Huckleberry Finn for Christmas last year and I have finally got around to reading it. Although I must admit that I stopped reading when I got about half way through… This is a good story set in the early 1800s, about a boy trying to escape his drunk of a father and his adventures with a run-away slave. 

Although I have enjoyed the story, it is a very difficult book to read. As it is set in the southern states of America, Mark Twain has made it so that the book is written in the way that the uneducated, and the slaves of the south would speak. I found it quite tiresome to read a book that is written in this way as I found I was losing the plot of the story because I was concentrating so much on trying to work out what was being said. I do want to go back and pick up the book again, but just now a feel as though I need a bit of a break. 


New Reads

As well as some recent reads, I thought that I would share a few new books that I have purchased recently. Waterstones had an offer on the Miss Peregrine’s series and as I have already read the first in the three-part series, I thought I would treat myself to the second and third. I really enjoyed the first book and I am excited to find out what happens to the characters as it was left on a fairly large cliff hanger. 

Another book I picked up recently is Muse which is written by Jessie Burton, the writer of The Miniaturist which I read last summer. I really enjoyed Burton’s style of writing and the way she made the characters so easy to connect with as a reader. The Muse has had a bit of hype about it and so when I saw it on offer in Sainsbury’s last week, I decided to pick it up and add it to my ever growing list of books to read… 


Madolyn
xxx

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Monthly Favourites | January 2017

  • Sunday, 29 January 2017


I always enjoy reading and watching monthly favourite blog posts and YouTube videos. I have often done them in the past but this year I want to make them a regular feature on Madolyn Thinks. I think it is a nice way to reflect on the previous month and pick out a few of my favourite products and share them on both my blog and on my YouTube channel. 

In the past I would usually write a beauty favourites post but I think that moving on I will include anything and everything in these monthly favourite posts. Whether it is a new lipstick I have enjoyed wearing, a book that I couldn’t put down, an item of clothing I never took off I will be sure to feature it. Baring all of this in mind, here are my January Favourites;


Beauty

The Clarins Instant Concealer has been an absolute go-to this month. I bought it at the beginning of January and have used it literally everyday since. It is a beautiful formula that melts onto the skin, easily eradicating dark circles and impurities. Another product that I have been using most days is the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in the shade Cannes. It is a perfect ‘my lips but better’ shade that can be worn for all occasions and at any time of the day. The final beauty favourite for this month is the Mask of Magnaminty face and body mask by Lush. This is great for getting rid of impurities and improving the complexion as a whole. I have loved using it a couple of times a week to keep breakouts at bay and even out my skin tone.


Lifestyle

Moving on to lifestyle products I am still raving about my Dear Diary. I have spoken about this a number of times here on Madolyn Thinks, but I cannot get enough. It is a really great tool to keep me organised and allows me to easily keep my weekly, monthly and yearly goals in check. I have also loved using The White Company White Lavender Candle, which I have been lighting on an evening whilst doing my evening skincare routine. The Scent is amazing and it creates a relaxing and tranquil atmosphere, which is great before getting into bed. My final January Favourite is my brand new pair of trainers from Adidas. I have been going to the gym a lot more recently and splashed out on some sensible, comfortable and active footwear. 


Madolyn
xxx

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The Style Edit | One Top Five Looks

  • Friday, 27 January 2017



Lately I have been on a bit of a mission to live a minimalist inspired lifestyle. I want to let go of possessions and the feeling of being materialistic and focus on what I need and enjoy in life. I need things to be less complicated and I want to choose quality over quantity. 

I want to embrace this thought process to all aspects of my life, including my wardrobe. I wrote a post recently about Ways To Create A Capsule Wardrobe and about My Clothing Rail and Clothes Organisation. So with this in mind, when I now go shopping, I choose items of clothing with a lot more consideration and the goal that I can create at least four different looks by combining it with items that are already in my wardrobe.



This month’s purchase was this lovely dark grey, cropped, long sleeved, high necked top which was an absolute bargain from Primark for just £3! I wore this the other day when I had A Day Trip To Leeds City Centre and I think that it is one of those tops that can be worn again and again, constantly re-creating the way it looks. 


Casual



Dressy



Smart/Casual



Work Wear



Down Time 



Madolyn
xxx

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Bloggers Spotlight | An Interview With Liv From The Static Gypsy

  • Wednesday, 25 January 2017


I have decided to start a monthly Bloggers Spotlight series here on Madolyn Thinks as a way of promoting fellow bloggers. Whether this is an interview with a blogger, a list of blog posts I have enjoyed recently or just a shout out to some lovely blogs that I like to read, I thought it would be fun to reach out to the blogging community on a monthly basis.

I am really excited to start this series off with an interview with the beautiful writer of The Static Gypsy, a beauty and lifestyle blog written by the lovely Liv. I love finding out more information about the people behind the blog and I think that a few interview-style questions, is a great way of doing this. 


Introduce us to your blog, what can we expect to find there?

My blog, The Static Gypsy, is a beauty and lifestyle blog from the perspective of an island dwelling 20-something. I post twice a week covering both beauty and lifestyle, and also use my blog as a platform for my photography! I mostly review beauty products, both drugstore and high end, but every now and again I’ll throw in a makeup look tutorial/break down to mix things up. 

How did you get into blogging?

I definitely didn’t set out to be a beauty and lifestyle blogger! When I started my blog in 2015 it was to document my road back to ‘normality’ after a very damaging break up. I saw a good reception to begin with but as I moved away from the break up I didn’t have much motivation for the blog. It wasn’t what I wanted to write about anymore, and when I did it just raked up lots of bad stuff I didn’t want to deal with, so I changed my blog niche and so much the better!

Are there any tips you can give to aspiring bloggers?

Write what you know. My English teacher taught me that. You can learn to promote content and network etc. but if you don’t know or understand what you’re blogging about it simply won’t work. My other big tip is to be consistent – blog even when you’ve had no views, when you don’t want to, and when you’d rather do anything else. It’s like a wall you have to break through I think.

What do you like to do in your spare time when you're not blogging?

With a full time job, a blog of my own and being a contributor to other sites as well I don’t really get much free time! But when I do have it I like to use it spending time with my family and boyfriend, doing DIY in my lovely caravan (a very long ongoing process), or getting out and seeing the beautiful Highlands in all their glory. 

What are your favourite, must have beauty products?

Without a doubt my favourite product right now is the Kat Von D Lock It Concealer, it’s amazing coverage and you only need the tiniest amount! Other products I love are the NYX brow gel, L’Oreal Infallible 24H Foundation, and the Crown Brush eyeshadow palettes. I’m also a firm believer that good skin care is the ultimate beauty product, and I love my Frank Body coffee based skin care – it’s a God send!

I have also answered these same interview questions which are on a blog post over on Liv’s blog. If you’d like to have a read as to what my answers are, head on over and you can also check out some of Liv’s fabulous content whilst you’re there!

Follow and keep up to date with Liv over on;


Madolyn
xxx

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If you would like to get involved in the 'Bloggers Spotlight' series on Madolyn Thinks let me know and spend me an email over on madolynblackburn@gmail.com 

Twelve Cities In Twelve Months | Leeds

  • Monday, 23 January 2017


I have decided, as many other people that I know have also decided, that this year I want to travel and explore this amazing planet that we live on. Now, I am a realist and I know that with my current working situation I only have so many holiday days that I am able to use within one year. I am also aware that I have a house, bills and a car to pay for, so I know that back packing around Peru for five months isn’t exactly on the cards for this year.

As a bit of a compromise with myself, I have decided that I am going to try and visit twelve different cities within twelve months. So this doesn’t mean that I will jet off to Miami one month and Budapest the next, but it provides the opportunity to see some of the lovely cities that we have in the UK as well as Europe and the rest of the world. That isn’t to say that some months I won’t be flying off somewhere exotic, but it relieves some of the pressure of this challenge that I am setting myself. I thought that this would be a fun way to consistently meet my travel goals each month, but without the commitment in terms of time and money of having lots of holidays throughout the year. 


 January’s city focus is Leeds, which is located in the North of England, quite close to my home in York city centre. Leeds is a fantastic city that is really on trend and thriving beautifully. It has some amazing places to eat and drink, as well as a great music scene, pretty historical buildings and a glorious shopping opportunities. 


Food & Drink

Whilst I am exploring a city, whether I have been before or it is all completely new, I like to try out some different places to eat and drink. I don’t really like to go to chain cafes or restaurants, opting instead for independent places to have some lunch or sip on some coffee. 


In Leeds we took a pit stop in the beautiful Cielo Coffee House, which was located just off the high street. This was such a pretty place to visit that felt extremely ‘Hygge’ with warm copper lights and exposed filament bulbs, worn wooden tables, speckled crockery and chalkboards. There was a lovely display of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free goodies and cakes that we did really well to resist. I had a beautiful Flat White whilst James settled on a large Americano. It was a lovely place to quickly warm up and make plans for the rest of our day in Leeds. The staff were all really friendly and gave great service and as an added bonus one hundred per cent of the profits are donated to charity. 


For lunch we ended up going to Bar Burrito that only has a couple of locations, all on the North as far as I am aware. The name speaks for itself and it was amazing! With a Subway-serving-style I opted for a small classic and chose chargrilled chicken alongside Mexican rice, salsa, veg, sour cream and cheese. It is such a simple idea but really well priced and filled up James and I like a treat. 


Things To Do

There are quite a lot of different things to see and do in Leeds City Centre but we had the main focus of shopping on our agenda. There are some amazing shops ranging from pound land to Jo Malone so there is definitely something for everyone. What I love about Leeds is that everything is very central and within walking distance. The shops are all reasonably sized and so, no matter what you are looking for, chances are you will find it in Leeds. They have the Trinity Centre, which is quite a shopping focal point, surrounded by many other shops down all of the various side streets. 


It was really nice to spend the day in a different city, and even though I have been many times before, it was fun finding new things to try and see and visit. I’m not too sure which city will featured in February, I have a few ideas up my sleeve, so be sure to pop back to find out where I end up!


Madolyn
xxx

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A Day Trip To Leeds City Centre | Coffee, Shopping & Burritos

  • Sunday, 22 January 2017


Yesterday James and I decided to drive over to Leeds City Centre for the day. We live in York so Leeds is only a forty-minute drive for us, but it was really nice to get out of York and walk around a different city. 

As soon as we got there, we went on the search for a coffee shop so that we could warm ourselves up and make a plan for the rest of the day. We then had a mooch around the shops and I picked up a couple of bargains from Topshop and Zara. Although we have the majority of high street stores in York, they are much bigger in other cities so it was nice to have a look through a larger range. 


For lunch we stopped at a lovely Burrito place that tasted absolutely amazing before doing yet more shopping. I picked up a couple of books that I have been waiting for a while and some of the Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo.  It was a lovely day and now I am ready to enjoy a lazy Sunday catching up with blogging, tidying the house and get ready and prepped for another Monday morning and week at the office.


Madolyn
xxx

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Six Simple Ways To Beat The January Blues

  • Friday, 20 January 2017


January can be a funny time of year. On the one hand I am really excited about starting a fresh, making plans for the year ahead and feeling like this is the time I get organised and sort stuff out. On the other hand, the weather is crap, the nights are really dark and I find it difficult to motivate myself to do all of the things that I want to. There are a few ways to combat these January blues however, and here are a few things that I would recommend; 


Book A Holiday

Everyone I have spoken to recently has told me that one of their main goals for the year is to explore the world and do some more traveling. We have some truly wondrous places to go and see and explore in this world and I find that planning and looking forward to visiting one of them is a great way to beat the January blues. James bought me flights to Prague for Christmas so I am getting really excited about planning our trip towards the end of March and thinking about accommodation and what we want to do whilst we’re there. I also want to start looking into other trips and organise a couple of holidays.


Read That Book You’ve Been Putting Off

Whether it is a book you got for Christmas or have been meaning to read for ages, just pick it up and start to read it. I get a real escapism through reading and find that no matter what mood I’m in, I can get truly absorbed in a good book and forget about things. I also always feel a sense of achievement once I’ve finished a book even though it isn’t something huge or that you need to leave the house for, it still feels like I’ve ticked something off and got a job done. 


Get Seriously Hygge-y

I have recently had a flick through The Little Book Of Hygge that also featured in my Book Lovers Gift Guide just before Christmas. It is all about working out ways in which you feel Hygge, i.e. what makes you feel warm and joyful and relaxed. It may be baking, it may be sitting in your favourite café with a coffee and a good book or it might be driving to a tranquil place to watch the sunset with a lovely flask of hot chocolate. Personally, my ultimate Hygge scenario would most likely involve; getting some blankets, lighting some candles, putting on Harry Potter and finishing off some Christmas chocolate 

Do Some Baking Or Cooking

I am not a major backing fan but sometimes I like to spend some time in the kitchen in a way to beat the January blues. Whether this is by doing some meal prep for lunches for work, trying a new one off recipe, or baking something naughty like these chocolate orange cookies, it is a nice way to take sometime for yourself. 


Burn Some Energy

I have been a member of a gym for a while and have recently upped my workout regime, have a read of My Gym Wear & Accessories Wish List post. I find that January is a time when people want to be healthier after the splurge of Christmas and a way to stay positive and happy this January is to exercise and get moving. This could be by going to the gym, doing some sort of YouTube workout video or just something to burn some energy. It can lift your spirits, make you sleep better and release some endorphins, really beating those January blues. 


Get Outside

James and I are members of the National Trust, which is a charity run organisation to help preserve nature sites and conserve historical places. I find it really therapeutic to make a picnic and have a big walk out in the fresh air to enjoy nature and reflect on things. It is a lovely way for James and I to spend some quality time together as we can talk about all sorts without the distraction of phones, the telly, and general life. 

Madolyn
xxx

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My Top Three Concealer Picks

  • Wednesday, 18 January 2017


Never underestimate the power of a good concealer…

Using a concealer is one beauty step that I never miss out of my makeup routine. I love to apply it whether I am hiding dark circles, covering imperfections or getting rid of redness and blemishes. I have tried quite a few different concealers over the years from different brands, each claiming to achieve different results. Here is a couple of my go-to concealer favourites that I love to use.



This is the latest addition to be added to my concealer catalogue and I have used it every single day since I picked it up from a trip to Boots. I had read quite a lot about this concealer and it is one of those that sits on the higher end of the price range scale. I opted for the shade 01, light, which is perfect for my pasty, pale skin tone and it blends like a dream. I use the Real Techniques Setting Brush, and I just apply a small amount to the end of the brush and gently pat it onto the under eye area. It melts perfectly and seamlessly into the rest of my makeup and really eradicates dark circles making the under eye area seem a lot brighter and healthy. I love the instant effect of this product. 



This little guy has been a staple part of my every day makeup routine for about two years now and I don’t think it’ll be getting replaced any time soon. This is a much more affordable concealer which will set you back about eight pounds unless you watch out for promotional offers from Maybelline. It is a funny little thing that has a twist up bottom and a very fluffy head that the product comes out onto. I like to apply this straight to my problem areas. It is designed as an under eye concealer however, I find that it works really well as an all-round concealer for a number of blemishes and imperfections on the face. It blends in really well and I have this again in the shade light, which matches my skin tone perfectly.



 My final go-to concealer is the Nars Radiant Concealer in the shade Custard. This is a concealer that I find perfect for spots and those hard to cover imperfections. It is a bit like a lip gloss in shape with the same doe-foot applicator. This is great as you can really target and control where you want to apply the product. I find that it is quite thick in consistency, but this is ideal for those hard to cover areas. It sits quite comfortably at the higher end as far as price goes, but I would really recommend this concealer for those wanting to cover bigger imperfections whilst maintaining a natural looking base. 

Madolyn
xxx

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Gym Wear & Accessories Wish List

  • Monday, 16 January 2017


This year, much like many others I am sure, I have set myself a few health and fitness goals that I would like to achieve over the next twelve months. I have been a member of the gym for quite a while now but I am starting to make it a part of my regular routine. As with most aspects of my life, I can often make excuses for a shopping trip and I have been picking up a few new bits over the last few weeks to aid me and my relationship with the gym.

In this blog post I have picked out a few key gym items that are definitely on my wish list. There are a few, top of the range items included in this post and although they may be on my wish, I am not necessarily at the point in which I am willing to spend a ridiculous amount of money on gym wear. However, it is a bit of inspiration and there are plenty of alternatives and dupes available online and at discount stores. 



Gym Clothes Wish List

1. Sweaty Betty | Zero Gravity Run Leggings - I am a huge fan of the Sweaty Betty leggings and would love a pair of my own. I wasn’t overly convinced when patterned workout leggings hit the high street, however I really like this night sky/galaxy effect. They can be super expensive however, with these ones setting you back £90 a pair which for a novice gym goer such as myself, I can’t really justify the price tag. 

2. Cottonridge | Petworth Zip Hoodie - I actually have one of these hoodies and they are actually a really good gym companion. I like to get dressed and ready for the gym before leaving the house and I find that this hoodie is so easy to throw over any gym outfit. It has a lovely soft lining and is a really nice fit that keeps me warm on my journeys to and from the gym.

3. LuLuLemon | Fast As Light Muscle Tank - I saw this Tank top on The Anna Edit and I just fell in love. I think that it is a really flattering shape. I love the colour as well, why do they try to make all ladies gym gear bright neon pink?! Again, this is a little out of my price range but what’s a wish list without a few luxury items…


Gym Accessories Wish List 

4. Bounce Ball | Chocolate Orange - I have only tried these Bounce Balls recently after years of reading a lot of hype about them. As I have upped my gym routine and increased the amount of times that I go, I have discovered the true benefits of a protein snack. I really like to have one of these on an afternoon or as a pre-gym snack to give me an extra boost whilst doing my workout. 

5. Cute Nutrition | Strawberry Protein Shake - As well as protein snacks, I also want to start to take protein shakes after I have finished my workout. I have been reading a lot about the benefits of a post-workout protein shake and how it can help to recover muscles and replenish your body. I was always worried that protein shakes were for people wanting to bulk up but the more I read the more I have grown to realise that it is a healthy step to take. 

6. Nike | Air Zoom Spam Running Trainers - I have just treated myself to a brand new pair of trainers. Although I would have loved these ones from Nike, I again couldn’t justify the price tag as a current, novice, gym goer. I would love to get some of these in the future as I think that it is really important to look after your feet whilst running as it can affect your whole body and the way you work out.

Madolyn
xxx

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Homeware Haul Featuring Primark, The White Company & Dear Diary

  • Sunday, 15 January 2017


I have been on a bit of a mission of late to create the home that I want to have by embracing the idea of minimalism, the act of being tidy and doing DIY. I have been slowly working my way through each room to de-clutter, minimalise, condense and decorate. In doing this, I have had a bit of a shopping spree to buy a few bits and bobs, mainly cushions and candles, to add some home comforts to our slowly evolving minimalistic home. 


Candles 

I am a huge lover of candles and I think that they are a great homeware piece that can be as cheap or as luxurious as you like, to add a bit of comfort and provide that very ‘Hygge’ feeling. I wanted some candles for our living room, which has a grey and white colour scheme. I picked up two pillar candles from Primark for just £1.50 each, one in grey and one in white. These look really cute on our mantelpiece and just make the living room lovely and cosy on an evening.

For Christmas I was given the gorgeous Four Seasons candle set from The White Company. Read my What I Got For Christmas & Boxing Day Sales Picks post to find out what else I was lucky enough to get. This was such a lovely present, as it will last all year long. I am a huge lover of The White Company candles; they last forever and have such a strong scent. After having these candles lit for just twenty minuets, the room is filled with the beautiful scents. I also love the simplicity of the candles in pure The White Company style with the soft gold writing and crisp white candles which really add to the theme of the living room. 


Cushions 

I think that cushions are a really great way to add a ‘pop’ of colour to any room. This is what I love about our home, as we decorate each room with a very neutral white and soft grey colour scheme, it means that we can swap and change the accessories as and when we like. 


For the living room I picked up two cushions that both have a core, dark blue colour with yellow and green trees and leaves. These were only four or five pounds each, which is crazy when you not only get the cushion cover, but also the cushion itself. I also picked up two fluffy grey cushions for the bed in the bedroom, which again add to the grey and white theme, adding a little extra comfort and personality into our minimalist inspired home.


Another comfort for the bedroom is some amazing brushed cotton bedding that we got for Christmas from James’ mum. These are beautiful and so cosy and soft – the struggle to get out of bed on a morning is real! They are a blue and red tartan that fits as a statement piece in our very tranquil white and grey bedroom. 


Other Bits

A few other things to throw into the homeware mix are some slippers and a diary. I have had these lovely soft slippers from Primark in the past, but mine were getting a little worse for wear so I treated myself to a new pair ready for the new year. These are just £4 but they have a memory foam bottom that is really comfortable and they are extremely fluffy and keep my feet toasty and warm. 

I also picked up this beautiful lifestyle diary just before Christmas from Dear Diary. This is a great little diary that I feel has improved my outlook on the year ahead, making goals seem achievable and I feel a lot more focused for 2017. Be sure to read My Aims & Goals for 2017 blog post to read about it more in depth


Madolyn
xxx

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A Letter To My University Self

  • Friday, 13 January 2017


I look back on my days at university with a mixture of joy and thoughtfulness. I don’t want to ever seem regretful, but it can be hard to sometimes reflect on my time at University as an adult, and not wish that I had done things a little differently. I had fun whilst I was a student but I can’t get over how much spare time I actually had, and how much time was wasted away watching Harry Potter for the 35316412nd time!

I hope that this post is able to provide some insight into uni-life for those about to attend, some practical advice for those that are already there, or some comfort to those on the other side that they are not alone in wishing they could talk to their uni -self and provide a little adult knowledge.

Studying

There is no point looking back and wishing I had worked harder, for longer, asked for more help or gone to more study groups whilst I was at university. However, if there is one piece of advice that I wish I could tell my younger self, it would be to focus more on time management. It is so easy to fall into the trap that there is loads of time to get things done whilst at university, due to the vast amount of ‘spare time’. The thing is, it isn’t spare time, it is time outside of your lectures and seminars for you to research, study and get work done.

Looking back, I wish I had treated University more as a full time job, working at my degree Monday to Friday, nine to five, giving myself weekends off. I appreciate that this isn’t a realistic approach to studying as social events etc. don’t always fit the mould, but I would strongly advise having a routine and study timetable to keep a bit more on track.

Finance

Financially, I wasn’t too bad when I was a student. As soon as I turned sixteen I got a Saturday job and so I have been money conscious from a young age. Going to university and having to manage my own budget took a little bit of getting used too but I think I managed pretty well by the end.

I found the best way to keep on track of money and ensure that I didn’t over spend, was to have a weekly budget. Some of my friends had monthly budgets or just waiting for their student loans to come through every couple of months, but this way they were always on the bread line, living off 10p baked beans for the last week before their next instalment.

A weekly budget worked best for me as I knew that the most I would have to wait is seven days before getting my next lot of money. However, if you’re really struggling there are some great budgeting sites available to provide help and advice such as Earnest, that provides help for student loan refinancing and helping recent grads manage money.

Eating & Socialising

When it comes to eating and socialising at university, my advice is to look after yourself and be as healthy as you can. When I first started university I didn’t particularly think about my diet and food, I just ate what I liked and enjoyed the freedom of shopping and cooking for myself. Unfortunately, I didn’t make the healthiest of choices at first, but by the end I felt like I was shopping appropriately and making sure that I was having a balanced diet rather than pizza and chocolate for breakfast.

In terms of socialising I would really recommend throwing yourself in at the deep end to try lots of things and meet lots of people, at first. One thing I would recommend however, which is something that I again learnt to do through time, is to learn to say no. Sometime studying, catching up on sleep, saving your money or having a trip to the library needs to take precedence. I think there is a massive pressure at university to not miss out and make sure that you’re involved in everything. Learning to say no can actually be really beneficial as you can prioritise your university life and enjoy the social events more.

Madolyn
xxx

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My Current Evening Skincare Routine

  • Wednesday, 11 January 2017


I have never really had a strict evening skincare routine, often grabbing whatever makeup remover I could find and slapping on a bit a moisturiser if I was lucky. This past year I have really tried to put more of an effort into cleansing my face on an evening a getting into more of a routine. It has really worked and I have quite a solid routine with a few key products that I love using. 


Cleansers

I have recently started to use a separate eye makeup remover as part of my routine, rather than just using an all in one cleanser all over my face. I tend to wear black mascara and dark eyeliner most days and so I find that using a separate cleanser for the eyes is great because I don’t end up with black makeup smeared all over my face. I love using the Clarins Instant Eye Make Up Remover as it is a really gentle formula that easily takes off eye makeup, even waterproof and They’re Real, without feeling as though I really have to rub and pull my eyes. 


When it comes to facial cleansers I have two favourites that I pick from depending on circumstance. The one I use on more of a daily basis is the Clarins Gentle Cleanser. This is a lovely cleanser that easily lifts away makeup without feeling as though the cotton pad is dragging on my skin. It has a soft milky consistency that leaves my skin feeling fresh and makeup free. If I am having a pamper or I have the time, I will opt for the Oskia Renascence Cleansing Gel as my cleanser of choice. This is a beautiful cleanser and I have just picked up my second bottle in the Space NK Boxing Day Sales. It is an oil based cleanser that feels like a mini spar treatment as you rub it onto your face, gently lifting away make up. Then I use a muslin cloth and warm water to take away any residue. 



Face Prep

One my face is fully cleansed I then use two more products before being ready and prepped for bed. I always like to use a toner once I have cleansed my face and I find that it makes my skin feel really clean as it lifts any remaining product. I really like the simplicity of the No.7 Protect & Perfect Toner. It smells really fresh and is nice and cooling on the skin, leaving it feeling really clean and polished, prepped and read for moisturiser. 


My evening moisturiser of choice is the Benefit Cosmetics Total Moisture. This isn’t exactly designed as an evening moisturiser; it is intended as a day wear product for those that have particularly dry skin. As I have a combination skin type, this would be far too rich for me to apply underneath makeup, but I find that it works wonderfully as a night time moisturiser as it slowly soaks into the skin, and I wake up feel extremely hydrated. Read about some other Benefit skincare picks of mine in my Benefit Skincare Haul video. 


Madolyn
xxx

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