Saturday, January 25, 2014

Getting Acclimated

Hey all!

Despite the endless fun and free time that was first 2 weeks of my trip, I am actually here to go to school. I'd almost forgotten about that part as I toured the city. Class structure here, or should I say module structure, is very different. I only have 4 classes and each is split into 2 parts: a lecture and a seminar that totals 3 hours a week. Fortunately, my schedule leaves me Wednesdays and Fridays off to explore. And all of my final grades, or marks, consists of one exam in May and one paper. That's it. This means a lot of studying, or revising, on my own and better time management skills. So far so good though. I especially like my Modern American history (1850-1920) class since it is taught from a completely different perspective than I have ever been taught.

One other thing starting classes has brought me is a routine. No longer do I feel like a tourist in a strange city. It feels more like home now that I've settled in.

I read recently that London is officially the most expensive city in the world. I can back that up; this city is damn expensive. As a self-proclaimed shopaholic who is near Oxford Street and Regent Street on a regular basis, this is a problem. It's just so nice finally having my favorite stores right by me instead of having to rely on the internet for my fashion favorites. I'm trying not to shop, I really am…

To quell my shopping urges, I've found that I like walking around and simply window shopping or popping into random shops I've never heard of, just for a look. Recently I went out to Camden Market by myself just because I felt like it. As I wandered in and out of the stalls I took the time to observe my surroundings and just take it all in. The place is just so different from your typical tourist stuff (It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London). It's much more alternative and eclectic than you'd expect. And there is food from all over the globe, I was a little disappointed that I'd eaten before I left or else I would have eaten more. Almost everything in the market is negotiable from what I've gathered so next time I go I plan to bring my best bartering skills even though a good number of the stalls sell similar things that are clearly geared toward tourists.

Outside of the markets there are your more typical stores such as Boots, Urban Outfitters, etc., which was also nice when the urge to be a tourist vanished. I was fortunate to wander into a pub that wasn't too crowded with tourists and it very well may have become one of my favorites.

That's all for now!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

New Hair Obsessions

Hey all! Ever since I used the Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo, I've wanted to try more Fudge products. It was hard to pass up the Fudge Urban Iced Raspberry & Vanilla Hair Spray. And boy did it not disappoint. 

It smells incredible and that alone sold me on it. It says it's strong hold, which I can definitely confirm. It keeps my curls in tact all day without difficulty. Most importantly: it keeps my hair relatively straight on the days I straighten it and it decides to rain, which is often considering I'm in London. Soft touch? You betcha. Everyone hates that crunchy feel hair sprays often leave in your hair; it's nice to not have to deal with that. Anti-frizz? For the most part. I have pretty frizzy hair at times and it does lessen it but not entirely. But it's not so bad and super noticeable. 

So when I needed a new mousse, I knew exactly where to turn: Fudge Urban Iced Raspberry & Vanilla Styling Mousse. Like the hair spray, the mousse doesn't leave my hair crunchy when I use it but still does the job properly. It's like double the goodness when I use these two products together, especially when it comes to lessening the frizziness of my hair. And it's safe to say, I will have to stock up on these products for when I go back to the states.

Do you have any other Fudge products you think I should try out?

Until next time.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Winter Nudes

Hello all!

Hope you're having a great week so far. I've decided to give a crack at a product review post since I am partly a beauty blog after all and I don't think mini reviews in my monthly favorites does products full justice. So onward with: Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Lychee.

Winter months tend to mean darker nail polish shades are more likely to grace my nails. And since I do my nails about once a week on the regular, I cover quite a few shades but also tend to run out of dark shades. Barry M was one of the brands I was super excited to try when I landed in London as I've heard plenty of great things about the brand, especially the nail polishes. When I saw the Gelly Nail Paint shade in Lychee I was intrigued. I'm not one for nude nails at any time of the year but since the Barry M nail products were on offer at Boots I decided to give it a whirl.

The color kind of reminds my of a light taupe/ milky coffee color; you know, when people add coffee to their cream and sugar (Hi dad). It also kind of reminds me of my foundation when I pour it on my wrist before application. And since the color is so neutral, I think it would work with almost any skin tone. It's not to yellow or too pink. 

While I've never had gel nails, the finish looks almost identical and has amazing lasting power. I've had these on my nails for about 5 days now and not a chip or peel in sight. And for someone who is prone to peeling nails, this is amazing. And it is all without a topcoat because the finish is so lovely and it dries relatively fast enough that there really is no need for a top coat.

What is your opinion on nude nails? 


(Note: For my fellow Americans who may be interested in Barry M nail paints and are not in the UK, you can sometimes get them on ASOS, although they are not there currently. The official Barry M website is the only place I know of you can currently get them )  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Whirlwind of a Week

Oh what a week it has been!

I cannot remember the last time I have been this tired and it wasn't because of THON weekend. I've done the red bus tour, gotten lost a few (ok a lot of) times, met a ton of new people, and I have completely fallen in love with London. Every day has brought new challenges and experiences and I can't wait to see what else is in store.

I'm going to keep this relatively short because I could easily ramble on and on about everything I've seen and done since my arrival. But in this short time I have already learned so much about myself and really had the time to reflect on how far I have come from a mental health stand point. I was a little worried my anxiety would go into overdrive when I got here and I would not be able to take it all inane enjoy it. I'm not one who deals with having many sudden changes to my schedule all that well, but so far so good.

On a more beauty related note I am happy to say that I have finally gotten my hands on the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer and it is every bit as good as advertised! Same goes for the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish and the Soap&Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash. I nearly squealed like a weirdo when I used these for the first time after longing for them for such a long time. My plan whilst I'm here is to try/buy primarily products I can't/are extremely hard to/are more expensive to get in the states. The same goes for fashion. Topshop being less expensive over here is extremely dangerous for my bank account...

If these kinds of posts aren't your thing fear not, I will still be writing beauty, etc. related posts. But I thought it;d be nice to keep y'all, especially my family back home, updated on my travels. This ended up taking a different tone than I wanted, ah well.

Talk to y'all later!