Soap & Glory ‘Thick & Fast’ HD Mascara | Review

Hello again,

Although this mascara is an old favourite, for some reason I stopped using it a while ago so I could try some new mascaras. I recently came back to it as I ended up getting two for Christmas – it must’ve been a sign…

This is a really good alternative if you’re looking for something that’s better than standard drugstore mascaras but not out of budget, like the luxury brand mascaras. It’s a nice in-betweener and it’s definitely worth the money.

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You can’t really tell from the photo because the difference is really subtle but the actual mascara brush has more strands on one side. One side has fewer thick strands and the other has more thin strands. So, one side better for separation and the other side better for volume. I start by using the side with less strands on as it applies the product more evenly. However, using just this side makes my eyelashes really thick so I always use the fluffier side to separate them.

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I find that mascaras are usually either volumising but clumpy or volumising but not lengthening so this is the perfect in-between for me. Whilst it gives my eyelashes a lot of volume, it does it without making them clump together. It also adds a great amount of length. I sometimes find that some mascaras can make my eyelashes look too long and false, because I have quite long lashes anyway.

I will suggest using an eyelash curler and then a primer with any mascara. I find it stops my eyelashes from clumping and separates my eyelashes evenly before I’ve even put any mascara on. This mascara works really well with my NYX Big and Loud Primer, which I featured on my blog not too long ago.

 

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I’ve used a lot of mascaras in the same price range as this one but there hasn’t been one that volumises and lengthens as well as this one without going over the top. I usually end up using a combination of two or three mascaras to get my eyelashes how I want them and it honestly takes me forever. However, when I use this one, it literally takes five minutes.

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You can find the mascara in Boots for £10.50 if you wanted to try it. They also still stock the original version, the Thick and Fast Mascara, if you wanted to try that one first. There’s a lot of difference between the new and old ones but they both work really well. If you wanted to try both of them, Boots are also doing an offer on Soap and Glory products so you can buy one product and get another one for half the price…

As always, thank you for reading.

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

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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…

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Bye for now,

Courteney x

Gellért Hill and The Biggest Pizza | Budapest 2017

Hello again,

When me and Cem went to Budapest, one of the places we really wanted to visit was Gellért Hill. It’s essentially a 235 m high hill overlooking the River Danube. The bottom of the hill starts next to the Elisabeth Bridge, which we crossed to get to it.

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It only took us about 20 minutes to walk to the very top, which was a bit of a mission seeing as it had been snowing for two days by this point. Walking up stairs that are covered in ice and snow isn’t easy at all.

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The sun was also starting to set so we tried to get to the top as quickly as possible so we wouldn’t have to walk back down when it was pitch black. Still, I doubt the view would have been as pretty if we’d have gone before the sunset.

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This statue sits about half way up the hill. I didn’t know anything about it before we visited but I had a little look online and read that the man holding a cross is Gürz Elyas, a holy man from the Bektashi order whose shrine and grave on top of the hill was a place of pilgrimage in the 17th century.

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Luckily by the time we got to the top of the hill, the sun hadn’t finished setting so we could walk back down without slipping over. However, Cem nearly fell down the stairs at least 7 times. He didn’t manage to fall over completely though, which is an improvement on our previous ice skating adventure…

As you can see, it was well worth the steep walk.

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As a reward for walking so far throughout the day, we decided to order pizza instead of going out for dinner. I’m not a huge fan of pizza so I just got a standard size one and only managed to eat 2 or 3 slices. You can probably guess that the rather large looking pizza is Cem’s. He didn’t finish it which I was quite relieved about. Surely no normal man can eat a pizza of that size…

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As always, thanks for reading!

Let me know if you’d be interested in visiting Budapest…

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Bye for now,

Courteney x

The Longest Walk Ever | Budapest 2017

Hello again,

On one of our days in Budapest, we worked out that we walked around 12 miles. To some people that may not be a lot but it definitely is when you’re in a country as cold as Hungary.

We set off fairly early because we knew we wanted to see a lot of things throughout the day. The mains things that I wanted to see were the Hungarian Parliament Building, St Stephen’s Basilica and the Dohány Street Synagogue. So, anything that we saw along the way was a bonus.

Our hotel was on Margaret Island on the Danube River. The Parliament Building, Országház, was the closest to where we were staying so we thought it would be the best place to start. It’s near enough impossible to get a photo of the whole building unless you’re stood at the other side of the river, as you’ll see later on in the post. I don’t know how else to describe it over than it was overwhelmingly tall and looked like something out of a fairytale.

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Across the road is the Néprajzi Múzeum, which translates as the Ethnographic Museum. We didn’t go in but I thought it was well worth taking a picture of at least. I read that the museum is the home to pieces from everyday Hungarian like pre-World War II so it would probably be worth having a look if we ever visit again.

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As you know, the thing on our list was St Stephen’s Basilica so after we wandered around the grounds of the Parliament Building, we went on our way to find it. On the way we found the Statue of Imre Nagy, which actually faces the Parliament Building. I hadn’t heard of it before we saw it but I checked online to find out what is was. Imre Nagy was the Prime Minister of Hungary on two occasions and ended up being a symbol of freedom.

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Another short walk later and we came to St Stephen’s Basilica, after walking through Szabadság tér. We had to stop for a while so Cem could watch some kids play football and I could look at the memorial.

There was a lot of work going on around St Stephen’s Basilica. It looked like people were either putting together or dismantling a stage. After we’d have a look at, we decided we needed a cake and hot chocolate break in Starbucks. I remember my fingers were freezing even though I was wearing the thickest gloves in the world.

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The final place that I desperately wanted to visit was the Dohány Street Synagogue. Before we went to Budapest, I’d read about it online and found out that it’s the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world. The building is also attached to the Jewish Museum. We went in and had a look until in started to get darker and colder and we thought it was best to head back to our hotel and to the spa.

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We probably took the longest possible route home. We walked down to Erzsébet híd, Elisabeth Bridge, to cross the river. We probably could have tackled Gellért Hill it wasn’t getting dark but we decided that it was best to leave that for another day. We started to walk back up the other side of the river and we moaned and moaned about how cold it was and how much our legs were aching. We carried on and got the see the Budavári Palota and Parliament Building light up so I’d say it was definitely worth it…

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As always, thanks for reading!

Let me know if you have any travel recommendations…

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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…

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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

The Best Bits | December 2016

Hello again,

Winning a pug at Winter Wonderland

To be exact, Cem was actually the pug winner. He played a game where you just have to throw a basketball into a hoop once and you win a prize. The hoop was so so far away but by some form of miracle, we walked away with a giant pug.

Getting a first in the first uni assignment of second year

To be honest I didn’t expect to do as well in this assignment because of the lack of direction that our teacher gave us. A Christmas miracle maybe.

Ice skating at Winter Wonderland

This seems to be mine and Cem’s new favourite thing. We’re actually getting quite good. We can’t skate without holding each other’s hand yet but I’d say we’re getting close.

Handing in all of my winter assignments

As soon as I handed in my last assignment before the Christmas holiday, I felt a massive weight lift off of my shoulders. I am now in full Christmas mode and ready to eat all of the Celebrations I can get my hands on.

Going home for Christmas 

I went home for Christmas a few days earlier than I planned because I just couldn’t wait. It was well work the 9 and a half hour bus journey and the bad back I had from sleeping upright all night.

Decorating a real Christmas tree

It’s been years since we’ve had a real Christmas tree so this year’s tree was a special one. Showing my little brother and sister how Christmas trees are netted was also hilarious.

Christmas Day

Obviously.

Moana 

Me and Lily went to see Moana in the cinema and we LOVED it. The songs are really catchy!

Hosting my first blog chat

This month I hosted by first ever blog chat for The Bloggers Hub on Twitter. Everyone who took part was so lovely and we had a good old natter.

As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know some of your highlights from this month…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x