Nicky Clarke Hair Therapy Straighteners | Review

Hello again,

I decided to use a Boots gift voucher I got for Christmas to buy myself some new hair straighteners. I didn’t want to get expensive ones because I do already have really good ones. Conveniently, these Nicky Clarke ones were reduced from £39.99 to £19.99 in Boots’ post-Christmas sale.

I’m really glad I found some for that price because I can now justify having straighteners in Cornwall and in London. I got these ones because they’re small and compact so they won’t take up much room in my suitcase for Budapest and won’t break my luggage weight limit.

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For the price, I’m so impressed with how well they work!

They heat up really quickly when you turn them on and also cool down quickly when you’ve turned them off. This is so useful if you’re in a rush to go out and you need to take them with you. It took mine about 15 minutes to cool down completely after I switched them off.

The heat setting comes in the form of a dial, where you can choose fine, medium, high and max. Fine to medium heat is for shorter or thinner hair and high to maximum heat is for longer or thicker hair. I used medium for mine and it was definitely hot enough – my hair is thin but still quite long. It only took me 20 minutes to straighten my hair perfectly, although someone else probably could have done it a lot quicker because I took boredom breaks.

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This might seem stupid but another thing I like about these straighteners is that they actually have an on/off switch. My other hair straighteners don’t have a switch so I have to turn them off by the plug, which I always forget to do. It’s definitely the little things in life…

I don’t use hairspray but my hair still stayed in tact all day which is definitely a good sign. I feel like I don’t have to use these straighteners a lot to get the straightness that I want, which is obviously better for the condition of my hair. I wash my hair every other day so even when I’m on ‘second day hair’, my hair is still really straight and I only have to quickly go over it to get it how I like it.

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As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know which hair straighteners and curlers you use…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

12 ways to pamper yourself

Hello again,

Over the past couple of months I’ve felt a huge need to try and de-stress myself. Going to uni, having an internship and blogging mean that I’m always thinking about what I have to do next. Even when I’m trying to have a relaxed evening, I’m always thinking about the work I have to do. What I’m trying to say is that I’m starting to realise the importance of self-love and appreciation. For me, this means doing things that help me to unload all of my stress whenever I get the chance. Here are some of the things that I do…

Put a face mask on

My personal favourite is the Lush Mask of Magnaminty but I recently jumped on the charcoal mask bandwagon. Yes people, we’re now putting charcoal on our faces.

Paint your nails

For some this might be stressful, for others this might be therapeutical. Go for a nude so theres a smaller chance of you staining your bed sheets with polish and getting yourself worked up about it.

Eat all of the baked goods you can find

Am I the only one whose happiness is defined by pain au chocolats and giant chocolate cookies?

Binge Netflix

Have a movie marathon or start a new TV series. If you choose the latter, be sure to stay in bed until you’ve finished the first series. Don’t just stop after a few episodes. You’re not a quitter. Last week I rewatched the whole first season of Prison Break for no reason other than I was in the mood for it.

Buy yourself flowers

Don’t buy them because you’re a strong independent women. Just buy them because peonies are your favourite and they smell lovely.

Light some candles

I can’t relax without candles. This sounds a little dramatic and makes me look incredibly high maintenance but I just can’t. If I’m in my room then I’ve always got a candle burning. My personal favourite is Red Raspberry by Yankee Candle.

Cook (…or order) your favourite meal

I’m a big fan of home cooking but there are some foods that don’t taste as good if they’re not from a takeaway. I’ve heard from many pizzas enthusiasts that a Morrisons margarita is no Domino’s meat feast. Choose wisely with this one…

Give yourself time to do something you enjoy 

Sometimes you need to do something for you and only you, even if it’s not something that interests those around you. Make time for things that YOU love.

Buy brownies. Warm them up. Put Ben & Jerry’s on top.

A personal favourite of mine…

Get your hair done 

Put a stop to the home bleaching and allow yourself this treat. My favourite part of getting hair done is the little head massage you get when the hairdresser is shampooing your hair.

Have a Lush bath

I’m very jealous of anyone who gets to enjoy the luxury of going to Lush, choosing a bath bomb and reading a mag in the bath. I only have a shower for crying out loud. I miss bubbles!

Go to the cinema

I find that going to the cinema is basically the same as watching a film from the comfort of your own bed, but it feels a bit more special. I don’t really know how to describe it but going to the cinema feels a lot better than sitting home and watching something. Although it’s a little more expensive than Netflix, sometimes it’s worth it. Me and my boyfriend went to see Sausage Party recently and it was hilarious!

As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know some of the things you do to pamper yourself…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

6 Ways I’m Saving My Dry, Damaged Hair

Hello again,

As someone with naturally dry hair I’ve tried quite a lot of products and tips to save my hair from becoming brittle and damaged. My hair colour is also dyed and I’ve recently started using a lot of heat on my hair so I’m now giving my hair a little more TLC.

Giving the heat a rest

Since I had my hair dyed from platinum blonde to a more natural colour, I’ve been trying to use less heat on it. I still blow dry my hair nearly every time I was it because I’m in a rush for uni but I’ve been trying to curl it less and less.

Using heat protection

My Aussie Miracle Recharge Leave-in Conditioner Spray (what a mouthful) is an aboslute God send. It smells like fresh fruit and stops my hair dryer from frying my hair. What more could a girl want in a heat protectant spray? Also, £4.99 is a small price to pay when you think of how much use the product will give you and how much you put your hair through. If you constantly blow dry, straighten and curl your hair, you should defiitely invest in a heat protectant spray. If you’re looking for a slightly cheaper alternative, this Vo5 one is also a winner, especially for those of you with curly hair.

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Regular haircuts 

I regularly cut my hair myself because I know that I’ll only be disappointed by going to the hairdressers and getting 5 inches cut off when I only asked for 1 inch to be taken off. I hate looking at my hair and realising that the ends probably died months ago.

Sorting out the frizz

The John Frieda Frizz Ease is my best friend. I’ve been using it for as long as I can remember. All I do is spread two pumps of the serum into my hair as soon as I get out of the shower. It makes my curls more defined and stops my hair from turning into an uncontrollable, frizzy mess.

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Saying no to brushing

I used to brush my hair every time I got out of the shower. I know it’s bad to brush your hair when it’s wet but my hair was so matted and tangled after I had it dyed in the hairdressers. Now, I comb my fingers through my hair in the shower when I’ve got conditioner on. After, I put Frizz Ease in my hair and use my Aussie spray and gently comb them in with my fingers again.

Saying yes to combing

Even if I’m blow drying it I don’t feel the need to brush it. Sometimes on the day I don’t wash my hair I’ll use a thick comb to untangle it but I’ve completely stopped using a brush.

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As always, thanks for reading.

Let me know if you have any hair saviour tips or product recommendations…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

Monthly Favourites | October 2016

Hello again,

For the first time in a very long time, I thought I’d share my monthly favourites. Although I love reading these types of posts, I always forget to post my own. I’ve also written another similar post about all of the things I did this month.

Estée Lauder Shape + Fill Expert Serum

I’ve only started using this recently but it’s such an effective serum that it felt wrong not to include it. I basically use this after I’ve cleansed my face, I’ve applied my under-eye cream and I’m about to go to bed. When I wake up, my skin still feels smooth and hydrated as opposed to the dry mess that it’s usually in.

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Rimmel Rita Ora nail polish in ‘Lose Your Lingerie’

This polish is literally ALWAYS on my nails. It’s such a pretty but subtle colour so it’s really wearable. I used to be into really deep, berry toned polishes but recently I’ve been gravitating to more natural colours. This polish is really affordable so I’ll definitely buy it again. I’m pretty sure mine is nearly all gone…

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The Body Shop Vitamin E Cream Cleanser

I was really surprised at how effective this product turned out to be. I expected it to clean my face thoroughly because it’s from The Body Shop and I trust their products. However, I didn’t expect it to remove all of my makeup and in particular my waterproof mascara. I rub a small amount into my face with my fingers and then wipe it off with a damp cloth. It gets rid of my makeup after one use but I always do a second one just in case.

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Clinique Lash Building Primer

As mentioned in my review of this product, this primer is amazing! If you’re looking to invest in a good eye product, let it be this one. I’m a firm believer that eyelash primers are more important that mascaras. How else do people make their mascara stay on all day?

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Palmer’s Coconut Moisture Gro

I absolutely despise coconut and anything that smells like coconut but my nanan assured me that this would make my hair a lot softer and more hydrated. Since I had my hair done it’s been a bit dry so once a week I’ve started leaving this oil all over my hair for the night and washing it off in the morning. It makes my hair so soft and easy to style. I think I’m willing to move past the coconut smell.

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Lush ‘Mask of Magnaminty’ 

I only bought this at the beginning of the month but I already love it. Although mint isn’t one of my favourite smells, this product feels amazing on my skin. This product was recommended to be by a Lush sales assistant who even showed me how the mask felt on my skin in the store. I loved it so much when I got home that I wrote a whole blog post about it.

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MUA Radiant Illumination Highlighting Kit

This product was released at the beginning of October (or the end of September – I can’t actually remember). I think I saw it in one of the many emails that Superdrug seem to send me. This palette was meant to be £6 but Superdrug were offering students a 20% discount when I bought it so I got it for quite a bit cheaper.

 

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Dark Places

I’ve only just started this book but I’ve been binging on it since I turned the first place. It’s just as dark as Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, which is also one of my favourites, but it’s a lot less predictable. I haven’t finished it yet but so far I’m in love.

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As always, thanks for reading!

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these and tell me what you think of them…

Ways you can reach me:

 

Bye for now,

Courteney x

University Survival Tips

Hello again,

Now I’m in my second year of university and I’ve had a full year of uni experience, I thought I’d share some of the things that kept me sane throughout my first year away from home. If you didn’t know, I moved from Cornwall to London to study Journalism at LMU.

Personalise your room

This one is so important. When I moved in to my room the first thing I did was rearrange all the furniture to how I wanted it and changed the horrid red curtains and bed sheets for ones I bought myself. Other things that I used to decorate my room are fairy lights and LOTS of candles. If your room looks dull and boring then you’ll feel dull and boring when you’re in it.

Eat proper homemade food

Anyone that’s been to university will know how easy it is to put on weight or just become really unhealthy. Not only is it better for your diet but it’s also a lot better for your budget to stop eating so many takeaways. I’ve seen so many people run out of money really quickly because they’ve spent all of their money on takeaways and alcohol. It’s so much cheaper to just cook food yourself.

Give yourself down time

…i.e. alcohol free time. Freshers is intense and can take its toll on you. Freshers’ flu is REAL. It’s so important to give yourself time to recover from nights out or long weeks at uni. I cherish the days where I can stay in bed past 7:30am and do nothing. Giving yourself time to recharge is so important. It’s also really nice to turn up to a lecture fully awake and hangover free.

Stay organised

University can feel really overwhelming at times, especially when you’ve got deadlines coming up for all of your modules. I’m a person that likes to stay really organised. One of the ways I do this at home is having a big wall calendar above my desk so I can see how close deadlines are and I can easily remember any important dates. It just makes sure I don’t forget anything important.

Don’t clean up after other people

I used to clean my kitchen regularly even though it wasn’t me leaving food all over the over or blocking up the sink. I thought it was easier to just clean up every time I wanted to cook but eventually learned that it’s better to stop cleaning up after everyone so they realise that they have to clean up after themselves. As soon as I stopped cleaning the oven and counters every morning and night, the girls I live with seemed to make more of effort to do it themselves.

Apply for jobs like they’re going out of fashion

When I moved to university last year, I was sure that I was going to wait until I’d settled in properly to start applying for jobs. Three days into living in London, I was applying for so so many jobs. I hated the thought of not working and not having a source of income. I know a lot of people who really struggled to survive on their student loan within the first few months. If you’re bad at budgeting, I’d consider getting a part time job if I were you. That being said, don’t work so much that you can’t do your uni work because that totally beats the point of going to university in the first place…

Thanks for reading!

Let me know if you have any uni survival tips…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

My Evening Skincare Routine

Hello again,

Over the past few weeks I’ve been switching up my evening makeup routine as I’ve been investing in a lot more skincare products – what’s new? I guess this is sort of an update on the types of products that I use on my skin each evening. Each product is linked so you can see the price and description of everything mentioned.

Makeup removing

I usually wash makeup off with a cleanser, such as the Superdrug Tea Tree Foaming Face Wash. I also love the Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk, which literally melts makeup off of your face. However, this is a pricier option.

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If for some reason I’m unable to remove my makeup using a sink and some warm water, I’ll use the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. I don’t usually buy makeup wipes just in case they tempt me to become lazy with taking off my makeup. If I don’t make sure my makeup is removed properly then my pores become clogged up and my skin will definitely suffer the next day. Also, most makeup wipes tend to make my eyes really red and sore.

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My skin is quite sensitive so I always use products to suit this. I’ve found that Soap & Glory and Simple are the best brands for cleansing my face gently but thoroughly. A lot of cleansers can be harsh and irritating on my skin and eyes.

Cleansing

Just to make sure all of my makeup has been removed I use a face wash to properly clean my face. At the moment I’ve been using an old favourite – the Simple Moisturising Facial Wash. I’ve also sometimes been using a charcoal cleanser when I feel like changing my routine.

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Exfoliating

Usually I will finish washing my face with some sort of exfoliant. The scrubs I’ve been alternating are the Simple Clear Skin Oil Balancing Exfoliating Wash and the Superdrug Tea Tree Exfoliating Scrub. Both of these are really effective but affordable. I don’t usually like the smell of tea tree but this particular product smells really clean as the scent isn’t too strong.

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Moisturising

When my face is fully clean, I put put on a moisturiser. At the moment I’m using this Vitamin E Moisture Cream by The Body Shop. It smells quite floral and sinks into my skin really quickly as it has quite a light formula. I have naturally dry skin so I find using a moisturiser at night as well as in the morning really helps with this.

Sometimes, if I’m feeling like treating my skin, I’ll even use a night serum. My favourite one at the moment is the Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil, which is also from The Body Shop. I find that when I use this serum, my skin feels very hydrated when I wake up in the morning.

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Eye Cream

As well as a moisturiser, I like do apply an eye cream or serum under my eyes every morning and night. My favourite eye cream is the Soap & Glory Puffy Eye Attack but I ran out of that a few months ago. Since then, I’ve been using the No7 Overnight Revitalising Eye Balm. I just find that using a separate eye cream reduces the darkness or puffiness in my eyes.

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Maybe even a little face mask

If I’m looking for a quick face mask, I’ll use the Simple Warming Face Mask. However, my favourite masks at the moment are the Lush Cup O’ Coffee Exfoliating Mask and the Beauty Formulas Charcoal Clay Mask. I wanted to jump on the charcoal hype without spending too much money just in case it wasn’t for me. The mask is very warming and tightening and makes my skin feel really firm and smooth afterwards. I love switching up my face masks as there’s so many different ones that have different purposes.

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I do also sometimes use toners, in which case Simple, Lancome and The Body Shop are my favourites. However, I never remember to use them. I probably actually use them a lot more in the morning than I do in the evening. I usually go for alcohol free toners so they don’t irritate my skin or eyes.

Thanks for reading!

…and congratulations if you made it to the end of this post – I realise it’s quite a long one! Please leave me any skincare recommendations that you have because I’m constantly needing to change products as they seem to run out so quickly!

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

 

5 Things I Don’t Have Time For

Hello again,

Today I’m giving you the pleasure of hearing me moan about all of the things that I most definitely don’t have time for…

Automated Twitter DMs

You know those annoying “Hi, how are you? Thanks for following me, check out my blog: ______” messages on Twitter? I appreciate that people want to increase their blog exposure but you may as well send me a message saying “I don’t really have an interested in talking to you but I really want to increase my blog stats” – at least then you’d come across as genuine.

Waiting for my hair to dry naturally

I used to always wait for my hair to dry but now I never seem to have the time to. I either was my hair before I go to bed, in which case I don’t want to delay my beauty sleep for the sake of my dripping wet hair, or I was it in the morning before uni, in which case I also don’t have time to waste waiting around for my hair to dry.

People stopping me in the street to sign up to things

Sky and AA, I’m looking at you. If I’m walking quickly then I’m quite possibly late for work and really don’t have time to stop at chat about an internet provider that I don’t need or car insurance that I already have. I know that it’s your job and you need to earn a living, but I don’t like being pressured into talking to someone I don’t know about something I don’t care about.

Getting up when my first alarm goes off

Everyone does this. Why would I get up to the sound of my first alarm when I can get up to the one that goes off 45 minutes later?

People on the tube that think their luggage deserves a seat

Your bag is not a human being so it has no business being on a seat. It’s rush hour and there’s barely room to stand on the tube, so why do you think that your bag has more of a need to rest its legs that an actual, breathing person?

Thanks for reading!

I’d love to hear about the things that you don’t have time for – let’s have a good old moan together.

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x