L’Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask | Review

Hello again,

As you may have seen from my recent January Favourites post, I’ve been using a new face mask. Over the past few weeks I’ve been reaching for the L’Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask instead of my usual Mask of Magnaminty from Lush – I just wanted to try something new. Out of the three masks in this range, I wanted to try the Clay one the most as I think it suites what my skin needs.

IMG_5577 (1).jpg

As you can see, you’re supposed to leave the face mask on for 5-10 minutes to allow it to dry. I find that this isn’t really long enough so I tend to leave it on for 20 minutes at least. When it all dries you can barely move your face, which is probably because it gets right into your pores. It’s kind of disgusting but when it does dry, it highlights ALL of your pores. If you didn’t know you had dirty pores, this mask will definitely point them out to you.

img_5601

It was actually really easy to apply actually. I have another charcoal mask that I’ve been using for a while which doesn’t apply easily at all. It’s really thick, making it difficult to spread it across my face. This one, however, spreads really easy. I also find that I don’t have to use as much of the product at one time because it covers my face quite quickly. The packaging says that the pot contains 10 applications but I’ve used mine 4 or 5 times and I’ve got loads left so I think I’ll get more out of it.

img_5590

 

After the first time I used the mask I already noticed a difference. It reduced the size of some of the more noticeable bits of acne on my cheek. Also, the pores on my nose were so much cleaner when I washed the mask off.

I find that after using this mask, any obvious spots that I have reduce so much in size. It just seems to dry them out to the point where they’re barely there anymore. Then, by the next day, the spot disappears – a definite plus for me.

The more and more I used it, the cleaner my face looked afterwards. Now, after using it for a few weeks, I’ve noticed that I’m getting fewer blackheads and my acne scarring has massively improved too. It’s definitely worth the money.

If you wanted to try this mask, it’s still on offer at Boots for £5.99!

As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know what your favourite face mask is…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

How To Increase Your Website Engagement | AD

Hello again,

Whether you’re a start-up business or a newbie blogger, the thought of having to generate traffic to your website can be quite daunting. Here is a bit of advice about how to deal with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram if you want to ‘get your name out there’.

Facebook

On Facebook there are so many blogging communities such as Bloggers Get Social and Bloggers Worldwide that you can join. They allow you to share your blog and discover other blogs too.

If you have the money to do so, you can also advertise with Facebook to get your name out there. You can choose the maximum amount you’re willing to spend on your ads and target them at specific people i.e. people who you think will be interested in your site. If you’re not sure how to use Facebook to grow your social media presence, social media agencies like Tekfirst in Harrogate can be approached, which serves clients all over the UK.

Screen Shot 2016-12-20 at 19.49.37.png

Twitter

There are so many blogging communties that you can join on Twitter. Most of them host chats at least once a week which allows everyone involved to share their blog link with others afterwards. I’ve found some of my favourite bloggers by looking through the threads of these chats and joining in when I can! I’ve seen so many chats for different topics: beauty, books, mental health – there’s too many to list but there’s something there for everyone.Tweet_ballonicon2.svg.png

If you don’t wait to pay for Twitter ads to boost your engagement, a lot of bloggers offer their own advertising packages. This involves them mentioning you on their Twitter profile, RTing your Tweets and even placing a link to your blog on their blog. This is a nice alternative to advertising as you’re also helping a fellow blogger earn a living, rather than your money going to Twitter.

Instagram 

I use my Instagram story to tell my followers when I’ve posted a new blog post. I find it so much more effective than using my Snapchat story as I have a lot more followers on Instagram. You can inform people that you have a new post up on your blog and encourage them to go and visit your website. Using an image based platform like Instagram is useful for driving traffic to your website as an image can spark interest, whereas a simple link to your site won’t.instagram-1581266_960_720.jpgAs always, thank you for reading.

Let me know if you’ve got any tips for growing your online presence…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

This blog post is sponsored by Tekfirst.

Clinique Lash Building Primer Review

Hello again,

For a few months I was on the hunt for a new eyelash primer, seeing as I was coming to the end of my Urban Decay Eyelash Primer Potion. As much as I loved that one, I wanted to try something a little less drying.

Unfortunately, my Urban Decay primer ran out quicker than I thought it would and I had to buy something else quickly. However, I didn’t want to commit to something cheap that wouldn’t be as good as my usual primer. Anyway, I was recommended to try the Smashbox Photo Finish Lash Primer. I hadn’t tried any products from Smashbox before so I opted for the sample size so if it didn’t work for me, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. This primer only lasted me for about a month but I’d say that it was just as good the Urban Decay primer. Still, I wanted to try something better.

Alas! After more Googling, I stumbled across the Clinique Lash Building Primer. I’d heard such good things about Clinique skincare and makeup so I thought that this would be a wise choice.img_2671

When in the Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush with my boyfriend a couple of weeks ago, I decided to see if boots had it in stock. They did! £14 later and I was the proud owner of this beautifully packaged product.

The next morning, I tried the primer for the first time and couldn’t believe how lengthening it was as well as providing a lot of volume to my lashes. I now realise that my Urban Decay primer didn’t actually lengthen my lashes that much, despite adding a lot of volume to them.img_2673

One thing I have found quite peculiar about using this primer is that if I apply the mascara when the primer has dried, my eyelashes look overly think and clumpy as if there’s TOO MUCH volume. Yes people, it is possible to over do it on the volume front. However, when I was using my Urban Decay Eyelash Primer Potion, my eyelashes looked their best when I applied the mascara whilst the primer was completely dry. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing that I have to apply my mascara when my Clinique Lash Building Primer is still a little wet – I just found it rather odd…

Overall, I’m in love with my new eyelash primer. At the end of the day when I’m ready to take my makeup off, my mascara is still going strong. I’m guessing that this is because it’s being held together my this magical primer.

Thanks for reading!

Let me know any primer or mascara recommendations – I change my eye makeup quite frequently.

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.

img_2628

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.

img_2629

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.

img_2630

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.

img_2631

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.

img_2633

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.

img_2634

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.

img_2635

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 Tastier, Cheaper and Healthier Alternatives To Help You Cut Out Fizzy Drinks

Hello again,

This year, one of my new year’s resolutions was to stop drinking fizzy drinks. So far it’s going really well as I’ve found myself trying new things that are actually a lot tastier, cheaper and healthier than fizzy pop.

Iced tea

Recently I’ve been loving iced tea. I buy a tub on granules from Lidl, mix it will hot water (the granules don’t dissolve very well with cold water, as you can imagine) and put it in the fridge to cool. When it’s cool, I drink it with some ice and maybe a slice of lemon. Although we’re still very much in winter, I’ve been enjoying the refreshing coolness of iced tea – it makes a change from my usual tea or coffee. I can definitely tell that this is going to be my favourite drink this summer.

Smoothies

Since I got my Breville Blend Active I’ve been making smoothies quite a lot. My favourite smoothie consists of a mix of berries, yoghurt and maybe a banana. As well as being refreshing they’re also useful if you don’t have to prepare breakfast or you need to grab a snack as you’re walking out the door. If I know that I’m going to be busy on a certain day then I’ll make a smoothie that I can grab out of the fridge on the way to uni or work. That being said, I’m not recommending substituting hot meals with smoothies. However, I will tell you that drinking a smoothie is a lot better than working all day on an empty stomach.

Water (…duh)

In the new year I made it my mission to try and drink a lot more water. I’ve been trying to take a bottle of water with me everywhere I go because if I’m at home and I have a choice between water or juice then I’ll never drink water.

To help me drink more water I’ve been using the Water Log app, where you can set yourself targets and record how much water you drinking each day.

Homemade milkshakes

I’ll admit that this is not the healthiest drink option in the world but I can imagine that milkshakes contain a lot less sugar than fizzy drinks, depending on the ingredients you use. You can make a milkshake with just milk and a flavour, such as coffee, or you can add other ingredients such as ice-cream. I sometimes make vanilla ice-cream and coffee milkshakes on mornings that I don’t fancy eating anything for breakfast – they’re filling and quick to make.

Also, if you’re think you’re due a treat then you can add whipped cream with some sauce drizzled on the top. Mmmmmm.

Fruit juice

As long as they’re low in sugar, fresh juices are a lot healthier than fizzy pop. When you’re in the supermarket just have a look at the different cartons of fresh juice and see which one contains the least amount of sugar. Obviously if you choose something like Sunny D then you’re not going to get very far in terms of cutting your sugar consumption.

Thanks for reading!

If you have any, I’d love to read your smoothie and milkshake recommendations – I know I’ll get bored of mine sooner or later.

Ways you can reach me:

  • Email: courteneynoonan@hotmail.co.uk
  • Twitter: @courteneyjn
  • Instagram: @courteneynoonan

Bye for now,

Courteney x

3 Tips To Make Getting Out Of Bed A Whole Lot Easier

Hello again,

I don’t know why but over the past couple of months I’ve really struggled to fall asleep and wake up easily. In the past I’ve always been a morning person as I’ve had to wake up early for work. Now, I can barely manage waking up at 7:30am for uni. I think it’s safe to assume that I’m not alone is the grand struggle that is finding the motivation to roll out of bed in the morning, so I thought that I’d share some of the things that I’ve been trying out to help me get out of bed when I’m supposed to.

I won’t lie: I often fail and snooze my alarm for hours more than I intend to.

Anyway… onto the tips.

Set several alarms

I feel like this is something that a lot of people do anyway, but I’ll tell you just in case. On a university day my alarms stretch from 7:20am until 8:30am so I know that if I turn off the early alarms and fall back asleep that one of the other alarms will definitely wake me up at some point. In a way this is bad because I allow myself to snooze through all of the things I could have accomplished before setting off for uni, such as having breakfast or a long hot shower, but I suppose I should be thankful that I always wake up with enough time to get ready for the day.

Keep a glass of water beside your bed

Before I go to sleep I make sure that I put a glass of water beside my bed. I do this so that as soon as I wake up I can have something to drink, which immediately makes me feel more awake. It also means that I have to sit up, which puts me one step closer to actually leaving my bed…

Open your curtains immediately

If you’re like me and you struggle to sleep with the sun peeping through your window then this is a really good thing to try. Instead of just making the effort to open my curtains every morning like a normal person, I actually ended up taking my curtains down completely. This probably sounds bizzare so I’ll tell you why. *clears throat and activates story telling voice*. I live in student accommodation, which had red curtains when I arrived in September. I’ve always hated them because they’re not an appealing shade of red and make my room feel dark and gloomy. They are disgusting. Also, they don’t match my blue and white themed room and so a couple of weeks ago I decided that I’d had enough of them. They just looked out of place and it was really bugging me. I’m probably just going to buy some translucent curtains. I’ve found that they are significantly cheaper than normal curtains and will suffice until I move out of my student halls in June. Although, not having curtains doesn’t bother me because it gets me out of bed a lot earlier.

Thank you for reading!

If this post was beneficial to at least one person then I’ll be very happy for posting it. Let me know if you have any suggestions for helping me to get out of bed – I definitely need them.

Ways you can reach me:

  • Email: courteneynoonan@hotmail.co.uk
  • Twitter: @courteneyjn
  • Instagram: @courteneynoonan

Bye for now,

Courteney x

What Living In Student Halls Has Taught Me

Hello again,

I’ve been living in student accommodation since September and thought I would fill you in on all of the wonderful, and not so wonderful, things about living in a huge building with hundreds of other students.

To set the scene, I live on a floor with other girls, although there are floors that are mixed. I share a bathroom and kitchen with the girls that I live with.

OK…

Girls are by no means any tidier or cleaner than boys

It’s a myth! If anything, living with other girls has led me to think that girls are messier and less hygienic than boys. Before living in student halls I would have never believed someone if they said that to me. There’s always hair left in the showers after they’re used, there’s dirty dishes on the kitchen counter from September (we’re now in January – let that sink in), no one cleans the oven after they use it and sometimes the toilet isn’t even flushed. Living with other girls is definitely not as glamorous as I thought it would be. Once, I went into one of our fridges and found a drawer full of fruit and vegetable that were two months out of date. TWO MONTHS.

There’s no point in putting labels on your food

If you leave something in the fridge then you are putting that food at risk of being stolen. Regardless of whether you have your name plastered all over your milk, someone is going to use it. Also, don’t expect everyone to respect the privacy of your fridge shelf or your freezer drawer. Even if you all have a shelf and a drawer each, there is always someone that will want to share your fridge and freezer space. Failing that, they’ll just move your stuff without asking you. A while ago I thought that someone had stolen some of my food. No one had, they’d just moved it to the other fridge. I have no idea why.

Some people have strange living habits

While we’re on the topic of food, it reminded me of the strange things that I’ve found in my fridge. For some reason, there’s always someone that will keep food in the fridge that doesn’t belong there. For example: bananas. You don’t keep bananas in the fridge. You just don’t. Who is teaching people that the fridge is the correct place to store bananas? Also, the bananas I see in the fridge are always left there until they go off. It is only when the bananas turn completely black and disgusting that the owner of the bananas decides to remove them from the fridge. I’ve also see pasta in there. Uncooked pasta has no place in a fridge. Put it in your cupboard.

Living with your friends is so convenient

Need milk? Need bread? Your friend just down the corridor has some to lend you. Need someone to talk to? Your friend just down the corridor will be in their room. Need to go shopping? Your friend just down the corridor will too. You can’t possibly feel lonely or upset when you live with your friends – they just won’t let you.

Not everyone you live with will want to be your friend

OK, so 90% of time the girls I live with will actually talk to me, say ‘hi’, smile – the normal things. However, there are a couple of people who, no matter how hard I try, will not speak to me. There’s one person in particular who I’ll say hello to and smile at, who won’t respond. She’ll just ignore me. Also, sometimes people will do anything to avoid conversation. For example, walking out of the kitchen when someone else walks through the door. Why would you live with a bunch of other students if you’re not even willing to tolerate their company?

Having cleaners is an absolute God-send

This is something that I really appreciate about living in student accommodation. Without the housekeeping team, I guarantee that no student would be willing to scrub toilets, clean the oven or change the bins. I have so much respect and appreciation for them because, without them, the state of the fifth floor would be much much worse than it usually is. Also, it means that we don’t have to buy hand wash or toilet paper – winning!

Students don’t cook meals together

Before I moved into student halls, I imagined me and my housemates going food shopping together, planning meals together, and sitting round the table to eat the meal we just cooked together. Wrong. Although I do sometimes cook in my friend’s kitchen, no one ever wants to cook food with anyone else. Maybe it’s because everyone eats different foods.

Thanks for reading!

After reading back the points I’ve made I realised that I haven’t made living in student halls look very appealing. I actually love living in halls and would recommend living in them. It’s fun, convenient and you get to live with your friends – what more do you want from your accommodation? There are some annoying things about halls, but nothing that is unbearable.
Let me know about your experience in student accommodation too!

Ways you can reach me:

  • Email: courteneynoonan@hotmail.co.uk
  • Twitter: @courteneyjn
  • Instagram: @courteneynoonan

Bye for now,

Courteney x