23 Oct 2015

Favourites Friday #7

I've not done a Favourites Friday in over two months (sorry), which has basically given me enough time to have a complete taste refresh, let alone for a few new things to slip their way onto my list. My favourites posts seem to be pretty big hits, so I thought I'd compile another while whilst having a little break from crazy assessment time at uni. Enjoy!

1 - EXO's discography (Korean versions, clockwise from top left): Mama, Overdose, XOXO (Repackage) and Love Me Right - Regular readers of this blog will know that I'm pretty into K-Pop and that doesn't look like it's going to change any time soon. I'd been listening to some of the "hits" of the genre for a few years, but I'd never delved into one particular groups discography... until EXO.  A lot of their songs are upbeat and exciting, plus their choreography is great and they all seem like very sweet and talented guys. Very easy to love.

2 - OPI Nail Lacquer in Big Apple Red - With summer approaching (faster than I'd like), it's also time to start painting my toenails again. I love nothing more than a good, classic red pedicure. It's classy and it makes me feel like my feet aren't weird and gross. I need an endless supply of red nail polish, I'm telling you.

3 - The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire by Dan Howell & Phil Lester - I've not really read any books by YouTubers before this one, but I had to make an exception for Dan and Phil. And I'm glad I did, because I loved it. They're not trying to tell their entire life stories or make a profound statement, they're simply sharing the things that they like and think that their readers will like too. It made me laugh out loud multiple times, and anything that does that earns a permanent place in my heart.

4 - Swing Shift Dress in Red Petals from Jay Jays - I wasn't expecting much when I walked into my local Jay Jays store, but oh boy did this beauty catch my eye. The shape is flattering, it has a floral print, and it's black, white and red - all of my favourite things. Plus it's super light, making it perfect for the unbearable heat of summer.

5 - Casmir Sandals in Nude Scratched from Rubi Shoes - Yes, for once I branched out and bought shoes that aren't black. These sandals have such a simple design with gold hardware and I knew that I had to own them from the second I saw them. I have a feeling I'll be wearing them around a lot. Unfortunately, they're no longer available on the website, but maybe if you cross your fingers...

6 - EXO Next Door - This one obviously fits in with my first favourite, but you don't have to like that one to enjoy this! EXO Next Door is a short Korean drama starring none other than the boys from EXO themselves, and is about a single, somewhat awkward girl that discovers that they've moved in next door to her. You don't have to love EXO, K-Pop, or K-Dramas to like this. It's so sweet and funny and pleasantly surprising. Plus the episodes are really short, so chances are you'll fly through it and then wish there was more.

That's it for another Friday! I hope you liked this set of favourites and you'll check some of them out!


17 Oct 2015

Essential Products for Hair Straightening

Having naturally very curly hair (and unfortunately having resented it for most of my life), I've straightened my hair thousands of times. Doing so is really not great for your locks. It makes them dry and dead if you don't make the necessary preparations, which I learnt the hard way.

Over time, I've managed to restore my hair to a reasonable state. Here are some of the things I use to keep my hair nice while maintaining my apparent addiction to heat styling.

Shampoo and conditioner for damaged hair - Using a specific type of shampoo/conditioner that was tailored to my needs significantly improved my hair. The effects gradually stop having such a strong effect as your strands get used to it, but even then I still use it to maintain my hair and prevent any more damage. If your hair is still in need of some repair, switch up the brand for a bit or try out a hair mask. I use: Toni & Guy Cleanse Shampoo and Nourish Conditioner for Damaged Hair

Leave-in conditioner - This serves a similar purpose to using regular conditioner, but I find having something else to help and protect my hair while it's dry is really helpful. A lot of leave-in conditioners are also marketed to help avoid and mend split ends, which is really helpful as straightening makes them appear a lot faster and more frequently. You also only need a really small amount, so one bottle lasts you ages! I use: Bed Head by TIGI Ego Boost Split End Mender/Leave-In Conditioner

Heat defence spray - Heat defence is a MUST! It's the most important step in preventing gross, dry hair when straightening. I spritz some through my hair before blowdrying and then again before straightening. If you don't use anything else on this list, make sure to at least pick up some of this stuff! I use: Lee Stafford ArganOil Miracle Heat Defence Spray

Dry shampoo - This is probably the least essential item for hair straightening specifically, but I still rely on it pretty heavily. I the oiliness of my hair is a lot more noticeable and comes about faster when it's straightened. Instead of finding the time and effort to wash my hair more frequently, I use dry shampoo to make it last for just a day longer. It can also help with volume, as my straightened hair gets a lot flatter than my curly hair as well. I use: Batiste Dry Shampoo in Blush

I hope that this post has been helpful to some of you! I'm unfortunately staring finals in the face over the next few weeks, so posting may become a little less frequent, but they'll more than likely come and go faster than I'm prepared for as it is. Till next time!


9 Oct 2015

Fantastic Female YouTubers

I've been a pretty regular fan of YouTubers for quite a few years now. Throughout that time, I've noticed that the majority of popular personalities on YouTube have been male, and I've made an effort to watch and support more female content creators. There are some truly amazing women on YouTube that all deserve more recognition. If you're looking for a place to start, I've made a little list of just four lovely ladies whose videos I've been watching for some time. While none of them are particularly 'underground' so to speak, they're all wonderful and create some awesome things. Enjoy!

Sanne / booksandquills

Sanne is a booktuber (who also makes a variety of other videos) who hails from the Netherlands and now resides in London. I've been watching her videos for years (my need for books will never be fully satisfied, it seems) and I truly trust her recommendations. I always enjoy watching her book hauls and getting ideas of what to read next. I also really enjoyed the above video about being a literary translator. As someone who speaks more than one language, it really interested me and made me consider all the challenges a translator has to go through. If you're a book person and haven't checked out Sanne's channel, then I highly recommend you do it. Right now.

Lex / tyrannosauruslexxx

Lex is another YouTuber I've been watching for quite a while. She has a great sense of humour and strikes me as a woman who isn't afraid to talk about and stand up for the things she believes in, something that I think is truly admirable. I was extremely happy when she made her video "Let's Talk PERIODS"(with Sanne, no less), because I think it's something that should be talked more about. Thank you, Lex, for popping that mysterious bubble surrounding periods and just discussing it anyway, as we should all be doing.

Ingrid / TheGridMonster

You probably know Ingrid from her main channel (which is lovely), but I think her second channel deserves more attention. She does a series called #5MFU (5 Minutes For Us) where she talks about a particular topic for around 5 minutes. It's a goldmine. She's covered sex ed, periods, and even poop. I thought Ingrid was pretty inspiring in the first place, but my discovery of this channel has just cemented how intelligent and wonderful she is.

Lucy / meowitslucy

Lucy's most frequent uploads are her "168 Hours" videos, in which she captures a week of her life - the ups and downs, the ordinary and exciting. All of her videos are beautifully shot and edited, and watching them makes me yearn for picnics in parks and meet-ups with friends. All of her other videos are also amazing and informative, and she also has a lovely voice. Perfect for when you're feeling inspired and getting the creative juices flowing.

I hope you check out the wonderful ladies I've talked about here! Let me know if you liked them, and feel absolutely free to leave any of your favourite female YouTubers in the comments below!


1 Oct 2015

Monthly Playlist: September 2015

I've had quite a strange and wonderful musical month. I managed to get myself more enthusiastic about K-Pop that I already was (which was completely unnecessary, but we can't go back now). I think a lot of people view K-Pop as something foreign that can be really strange sometimes (that last point is definitely true), but if you actually take time to appreciate it, it can be pretty amazing. The videos are colourful and aesthetically pleasing, the choreography is excellent, and, most importantly, the songs are catchy enough to put on repeat for days on end and dance alone in your bedroom. Not understanding the lyrics to something shouldn't be a drawback. And while I know that K-Pop is manufactured and isn't the most highly regarded genre of music, it's nice to just enjoy something for the sake of having fun.

So, if you've not listened to any K-Pop before, the songs on this mix are pretty great ones. I always put them at the end of my mixes for those that aren't interested, but try sticking around for the ride. Maybe you'll like it!

1. Haunting - Halsey // 2. BITE - Troye Sivan // 3. Lies - CHVRCHES // 4. Hold Me Down - Halsey // 5. 90s Music - Kimbra // 6. Lion Heart - Girls' Generation  // 7. Holler - Girls' Generation TTS // 8. Heart Attack - AOA // 9. Dumb Dumb - Red Velvet // 10. Love Me Right - EXO