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

The Original Beauty Blender | Review

Hello again,

I have used makeup sponges before but they’ve always left me feeling a little disappointed. In the past, I found that they absorbed more foundation than they were actually putting onto my face. After a while I decided that they weren’t worth buying anyone and stuck to stippling and buffing brushes – mainly the Real Techniques ones.

I don’t live under a rock so I’m quite aware that the Original Beauty Blender has a reputation for being the best. Most people actually claim that no brush or sponge can be compared to this one. I’m a sucker for anything a) pink or b) that will make my life easier, so I decided to give it a go.

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I ran the sponge under the tap a little and then rinsed it out so it was damp enough to blend my makeup but not so wet that the product would drip down my face.

Although I’d say I had to use more product than I would with a brush, it wasn’t enough to put me off. I started off by using really small amounts of foundation and built it up slightly just in case it started to look cakey.

I found that because the sponge was damp, it spread the makeup across my face a lot easier than a makeup brush usually does. My skin is naturally really dry and I’ve found over the past couple of months it’s been a lot harder to use foundation brushes on to blend in my foundation and concealer. I feel like the brush has just been drying out my skin even more.

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Although I wouldn’t say that the Beauty Blender made my makeup last any longer, it definitely made it look a lot better throughout the day. My skin feels a lot more hydrated and my makeup looks a lot dewier. Because it covers my face so easily and blends so well, I end up using less makeup than I did with a makeup brush that took a long time to blend properly. I feel like my makeup doesn’t dry out my skin as much as it usually would when I use a brush. Believe me, my skin needs all the moisture it can get.

Overall, I’m really impressed with this. It’s true: the Original Beauty Blender is a lot better than other makeup sponges.

As always, thanks for reading!

Let me know which sponges and brushes you use to apply your makeup, and how well they work…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

Ice Skating in City Park | Budapest 2017

Hello again,

One of the first places we visited in Budapest was City Park. We actually came here twice because there was so much to see. On one day, we looked at the museums and walked around the whole park to see what was there and on the other day, we went to Budapest Zoo and went ice skating in the evening.

There’s quite a few things to do in City Park so if we visited every single thing, we’d have spent our whole holiday there. City Park is home to Heroes’ Square, an amusement park, a circus, Széchenyi baths and Vajdahunyad Castle as well as the zoo and ice skating.

Heroes’ Square

Heroes’ Square sits between Kunsthalle Műcsarnok and Szépművészeti Múzeum, which are both art galleries. Although we didn’t go inside either of them because we were short on time, we still got to see the sun setting in the middle of it all, which was lovely all the same.

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Vajdahunyad Castle

Across from the ice skating rink, we saw this palace and thought we’d have a little look around. The photos don’t really do it justice, it was a lot taller and more stunning in person. Bizarrely, when we were walking around the castle grounds we saw a man dressed up as the grim reaper and loads of people were lining up to have pictures with him. Not sure what all that was about to be honest.

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Outside Vajdahunyad Castle a little bit of water had frozen over and some children were actually ice skating on it too. Cem made me walk on it with him and I was terrified that the ice was going to break and we were going to fall in the water, even though the water was probably a few inches deep. In the photo above you might notice Cem pointing and smiling. As I was taking that picture he was showing me that he wanted to go and walk on the ice. I’ve never seen someone so excited about a frozen puddle…

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Széchenyi Thermal Baths

We didn’t go in to the baths but we caught a glimpse of the inside and walked all the way around it. The building itself is huge and looks like a palace and the baths were also packed with people.

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Ice Skating

After the practise we had at Winter Wonderland, I was hoping that me and Cem wouldn’t fall over in front of all the ice skating pros, who pretty much skated like olympians compared to us. The more and more laps we did, the more faith I had in our ice skating abilities.

A few laps in, Cem must have tried dancing to the music that was playing but failed terribly and started to fall backwards. As I tried to stop him from falling, he fell forwards instead and used me to cushion his fall. He fell on me in front of everyone and as painful as it was, we could barely skate afterwards because we were laughing so much.

We definitely need a little more practise before our next ice skating adventure.

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We couldn’t believe how big the ice skating rink was or how many people came to skate either. Compared to how much we’ve paid to go ice skating in Winter Wonderland, skating here was incredibly cheap and definitely worth the money. Also, you don’t just get an hour slot. Once you’ve paid to go ice skating at 4pm when it opens for the evening, you can stay until 8pm when it closes. We ended up skating for about an hour and a half but if we so keen to rush back to our hotel and go into the spa we probably would’ve skated for ours.

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We ended up getting the taxi home because I felt like I was going to freeze to death if I walked back to our hotel again, which in fairness was over an hour’s walk away. It was worth it though because it meant we could sit in the spa for longer.

As always, thank you for reading!

Let me know where your favourite holiday was and what sort of things you did…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

2016 Highlights

Hello again,

Here’s a little reflection on some of my favourite moments of 2016. It was an amazing year so these aren’t all of the good things that happened, just some of the ones that stood out.

Finishing my first year of uni 

If you didn’t already know, I study Journalism at London Metropolitan University. In May I finished first year with a 2:1, which I was really pleased with. It’s a shame first year’s grades don’t count towards my final grade but it was still uplifting to finish with the grade all the same.

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A weekend in Paris

Me and Cem went to Paris for my birthday in November and, despite a bit of turbulence, it was a lovely weekend.  Our hotel was an hour’s walk from the Eiffel Tower so we got to see all the sights along the way. It was bitterly cold but I suppose it wasn’t far from London in that respect. I’d love to go back.   

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Getting back into blogging

Towards the end of this year, I started blogging again after quite a lot of time away from it. I bought my own domain name, started posting consistently, told my friends and family about it and started talking to a lot more bloggers and brands. This year was definitely a success for my blog, in my opinion. Although I want to learn more about them designs and the layout of my blog, I’m happy with how it looks for now. I also hosted my first blog chat on Twitter on The Bloggers Hub account, which was a huge step for me in my opinion.

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My first sponsored blog post

I was recently contacted by a company called Tekfirst who asked to collaborate with me. Long story short: I was paid to write a blog post. Hopefully this was the first of many blog opportunities. I really enjoyed writing the post and learning a bit more about working with brands on blog posts.

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Getting an internship

In 2016 I started my first internship in social media with Brain Füd, a startup drinks company. It’s a 3 month long internship that will come to an end at the beginning of February which feels crazy – I feel like I’ve only been doing it for a couple of weeks. I’ve learnt a lot from my time there so I’m really glad I’m doing it.

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As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know some of your highlights from this year…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

This Time Next Year | 2017

Hello again,

Seeing as 2016 has come to an end, I thought I’d think about all of the things I’d achieved over the past year and everything I hope to achieve over the next year. This post is basically going to summarise where I want to be by this time next year.

Firstly, I hope I’m working in a job that I truly love and enjoy doing. At the moment I hope that this job involves freelance writing or social media, but who knows what sort of job I’ll want to be doing in the future? I could completely change my mind. It will only be a part-time job because I’ll still be in uni, but it will be a job nonetheless.

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Another thing that I want to be doing is making money from my blog. Although my blog is primarily a creative outlet for me, my life would be a lot easier if I got paid from it. I’ve just completed my first paid blog post which is a start but it would nice to have a steady income from it.

If I want to do this then I need to self-host my blog, which is a boring concept if you’re not a blogger. Basically, by this time next year, I want to have completely self-hosted by blog so I can use Google AdSense etc.

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I also hope that I’m doing well in uni. I’ll be in my third and final year so I hope that I’m on top of all of my assignments and I’m getting the grades that I want (firsts, obviously).

Hopefully I’ll still be going to the gym this time next year. I’ve barely been over the past couple of months but I recently got back into it. So, I hope that I’m still going regularly and I’m enjoying it instead of seeing it as a burden.

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It would also be a bonus to have completely cleared up my acne. It’s ok at the minute and there are times where I have no acne at all. I now know what I need to do and what products I should be using to clear up my skin so hopefully by this time next year it won’t be an issue for me.

Most importantly, I hope I’m happy with all of the decisions I’ve made up to that point. Even if I make bad decisions, I hope that I’ve put those decisions down to experience and moved on. If nothing else, I really hope that I’m happy.

 

As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know in the comments where you hope to be by this time next year…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

New Year’s Resolutions | 2017

Hello again,

Here are the new year’s resolutions that I’m going to be attempting to stick to this year.

No more fizzy drinks

I don’t drink fizzy drinks at home because I never buy them and would always pick iced tea or water over a Coke if I had the choice. However, when we’re in restaurants and Cem orders a Coke I always end up getting one myself. Bad life choices. I drink a lot of water anyway but hopefully buy cutting out fizzy drinks I’ll drink even more.

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Start assignments early

This is going to be the hardest one. I really want to start all of my uni assignments as soon as possible, preferably on the day they’re set, while I’m motivated and the information is fresh in my mind.

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Read more books

Throughout 2016 I didn’t read as much as I usually do because I have been a lot busier than I usually am. However, in 2017 I want to plough through my ever-growing reading list before it becomes unmanageable. I’ve been reading Dark Places on and off for months now so I really want to finish it. I used to read a new book every few days so I’m not sure how I managed to get so behind…

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As always, thank you for reading.

I hope you had a great new year! Let me know what your resolutions are…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

Books To Read In 2016

Hello again,

In 2016 I’m planning on reading a lot more than I did in 2015. I’m hoping that making a specific list of books that I’ve been meaning to read will help me finally get round to reading to.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Actually, I just need to finish this book. I’m about three quarters of the way through and I love it – it’s probably one of the most interesting and surprising books I’ve ever read. I’ve been reading it for so long and actually intended to watch it before the film was even released. I didn’t get very far before watching the film. I know how the book ends so I suppose I should just get it over with.

The Shining by Stephen King

After reading Green Mile (one of the best books ever written. EVER) a couple of years ago I’ve been wanting to read more from Stephen King. I haven’t seen the film adaptation of The Shining so by the time I read it the story won’t be spoiled for me. I love a good thriller so this should be perfect for me.

1984 by George Orwell

It’s not secret that George Orwell is a brilliant author. However, I’ve never actually read one of his novels. This will change this year, I’m going to enlighten myself.

A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Where would a reading list been without a dramatic romance novel, courtesy of Nicholas Sparks? Nowhere, in case you were wondering. I’ve already read most of what Nicholas Sparks has written. I’m halfway through A Walk To Remember so I just need to get round to finishing it. It’s OK so far, not as good as the others I’ve read of Sparks’s. The film is far more heart wrenching. Don’t watch the film: it will ruin your life.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

I really can’t wait to read this. I bought it ages ago but just haven’t bothered with it. I really should seeing as the film had me on edge all of the way through. I can’t imagine what the book will do to me.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

A couple of people have recommended this to me and after reading (most of) Gone Girl I really want to read more from Gillian Flynn – I think she’s a genius. I don’t even know what Dark Places is about; I just know that I’ll love it.

Atonement by Ian McEwan

From what I’ve read about it online, Atonement is a novel that is set in three time periods: 1935 England, wartime (World War II) England and France, and present-day England. I don’t usually opt for books about war but I have a feeling about this one. I’ve avoided watching the film because I don’t want to ruin the story for myself.

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

I’m pretty sure I bought this book before the film was released, but completely forgot to read it. I’ve already seen the film but I enjoyed it so much that I’ll probably love the book all the same. It’s about two people, two very complicated and damaged people, who find comfort in each other’s friendship. It’s really hard to describe books when A) you’re trying not to spoil them for people who may want to read them and B) you haven’t actually read the book yet.

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

This is a book that is recommend by everyone. On every single ‘Books to read before you die’ list, this book will appear. I bought it a while ago so I may as well see what all of the fuss is about. According to Wikipedia: “The novel also deals with complex issues of identity, belonging, loss, and connection.” Sounds like a crier to me.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

I’ve read a few John Greens and, like most people, I absolutely loved them. They each have so many twists and surprises meaning that they’re quite engaging reads. However, I always seem to read them in a day or two. Perhaps John Green needs to start writing longer novels. According to my friend, Will Grayson, Will Grayson can be quite confusing and difficult to follow. Sounds like a challenge.

Thanks for reading!

This is just a list of the books that I know I definitely want to read; I’ll read a lot more books throughout the year.

If you have any book recommendations that I could add to my list then that would be very helpful.

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x