Friday, 13 October 2017

REVIEW || OPTREX ACTIMIST 2 IN 1 SPRAY FOR DRY AND IRRITATED EYES


How annoying can dry eyes get? As a constant glasses and contact lens wearer, I find it very difficult to keep my eyes moist and ready for the day. I have naturally quite dry eyes and as you can imagine staring at a screen all day long will hurt my eyes twice as much because of how dry they get. Another annoying thing is that I wear quite a lot of eye makeup nearly every day, so when it comes to using eye drops it's a no-go as I don't want my makeup to run down my face. So, when I was sent to try out the Optrex ActiMist for dry and irritated eyes I was super excited to try it out and see if it will work well.

Brian Tompkins who is one of the UK's top optometrists says: 
While ‘Screen Eyes’ symptoms are often mild, having irritated or gritty eyes can be a nuisance and disruptive when you’re trying to go about your day. I find that sufferers don’t link dryness or soreness to staring at their screen or recognise that it could be exacerbating their symptoms. The first step we should take as eye health practitioners is to educate people about ‘Screen Eyes’ and help them both recognise the symptoms and manage them. There is currently a lot of confusion on this topic.”

The bottle is very handy, it's small and not an awkward shape which makes it easy to carry around - even if you want to pop it in your coat pocket or clutch bag on a night out. I was sort of expecting it to look more like a nasal spray but I'm glad it comes in a cute little bottle!


Now, the instructions advise to use it on bare eyes, but you should familiarise yourself with the instructions where you will find that it is okay to use it on top of makeup but be sure to use a good eyeshadow primer as you don't want it to run! I use it in the morning and at night before bed, and anytime my eyes feel very dry and need a moisture boost.

The smell, on the other hand, is very different to what I expected it to be. I thought it'll smell like a usual glasses cleaner or something along the lines but it actually is sort of scentless but reminds me slightly of the 1 calorie cooking oil spray hahaha! I mean, it's not a bad thing but that's what I familiarise it with.


Overall, I do enjoy using this product and feel like it does help relieve my eyes after a long day of staring at a screen and reading seminar papers. I would recommend it to makeup wearers especially, as it comes in a lot more handy than regular eye drops.

Now, time for something super exciting! You can be in for a chance of winning 1 of 10 pairs of IMAX Cinema tickets and all you have to do is fill out this short quiz to find out what sort of screen-eyes you have, thanks to the amazing Virgo Health team! - I personally suffer from 'Selfie Screen Eyes' as I'm constantly on my phone! (I blame Instagram, haha!)

*This post contains a PR sample.

Are you a glasses/contact lens wearer? Would you try this mist?

Lots of love,
Maya xo

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

REVIEW || L'OREAL INFALLIBLE TOTAL COVER FOUNDATION VS. ESTEE LAUDER DOUBLE WEAR MAXIMUM COVER FOUNDATION


You might have already heard about the L'oreal Total Cover foundation and contemplated whether it was worth your money. Well, as I've mentioned before I have very oily and acne-prone skin so any products that'll cover up my imperfections are high up on my list! After hearing good reviews of this product I thought it was time to put it up to the test and compare it to my all-time favourite full coverage foundation by Estee Lauder.


The consistency is very thick and mousey which can be tricky to apply, but I find it works best using a flat foundation brush. As you can see in the photograph above, the darker shade is a bit more creamy than the pale shade (Estee Lauder is the deeper shade) which makes it a lot easier to apply. However, the shade variety is much bigger and better with the L'oreal foundation but the Estee Lauder one stays on for longer without separating.


The worst thing about the L'oreal Total Cover foundation would have to be that it separates very quickly and oxidises a little bit. I mean, it's a fairly good foundation considering the price, however, it isn't ideal for those with oily skin types but it does have very good coverage for those who suffer from acne. I would recommend trying it out as it will work differently for everyone, just because it doesn't work perfectly on me does not mean it isn't a good foundation.

Have you tried any of the Infallible foundations from L'oreal? Did you like them?

Lots of love,
Maya xo

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

2017 || SEPTEMBER FAVOURITES


For most, September is a month of denial as you find yourself missing Summer but are stuck in between seasons, but for me, it is the month I look forward to finishing the most so I can get excited for Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas.
With Autumn comes a great deal of pumpkin-spiced everything, even makeup looks. I'm personally obsessed with orange-brown smokey eyes with a shiny nude lip, but I have noticed that a lot of people I follow on my social media are still going for a glowing skin with lots and lots of highlighter (you glow, girl). So you can imagine that the products I've been using and loving the most the past month include a mixture of both, Summer and Autumn products.


Makeup Revolution is definitely one of those brands that everyone would have tried at some point in their lives. For me, it is one of my favourite brands for powder products such as eyeshadows and highlighters. My favourite ones that I've been loving throughout September are the Salted Caramel Palette and the Ultra Strobe Cream which make the perfect autumnal face. Sometimes I like to use the strobe cream on the high points of my face, and other times I put it all over my face and shine like the stars!

Do you remember how big the Mariah Carey x MAC collab was? All I remember is that people were fighting over the highlighter and most lipsticks, but I managed to get a lipstick and a lipglass and boy, oh boy can I just say how stunning the colours and the packaging is?! I have actually not touched them at all until recently as I didn't want to ruin the beautifully detailed engraving on the lipstick.

Last but not least, I have been overusing stick highlighters - especially the Collection Pearl Sheen one is shade 01. I like to apply it faintly over my foundation before I set it with powder for more blinding effect. The shade is actually really nice, not as opaque as I'd like for it to be but it was expected for the low price.

What were your September Favourites this year?

Lots of love,
Maya xo

Friday, 29 September 2017

10 THINGS I HAVE LEARNT AT UNIVERSITY


Going to university was very exciting for me, especially as I was a year behind all my friends because I change my A-levels in my second year of college. I started uni in 2015 and am studying Criminology with Social Policy which is a rather difficult subject if I do say so myself. I found university very overwhelming during my first week there as I kept constantly getting lost and felt awkward trying to make plans with people who had already made loads of friends with their new flatmates as I had lived at home and commuted daily, unlike the majority of the students who lived on campus.

1. GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR LECTURERS/TUTORS IF YOU'RE STRUGGLING
This is probably a piece of advice that I wish I followed during my first year as I found it pretty difficult to adjust to my new life as a university student - the coursework was different and a lot more difficult than A-levels.

2. DO RESEARCH BEFORE WRITING ESSAYS
I feel like I should have stuck to my own 'words of wisdom' before preaching them, haha! Always do research on a topic you're thinking about before you start your essay as you might find it halfway through that you would have done better answering a different question.

3.  BE NICE TO EVERYONE YOU MEET
This is definitely something that everyone should follow. I like to think of myself as a genuinely nice person and I'd do anything to make a person feel comfortable and confident. However, I have come across some very vile people who turned out to be a very big waste of my time but I'll save that for another post.

4. APPLY FOR AN OVERDRAFT
I was one of the (un)lucky people who has had a weekend job, so I always had that extra £200 each month, however, a lot of my friends struggled financially. I don't actually have an overdraft as I do not need one, but I would suggest looking into it, especially if you struggle with saving some pennies. The best deals that I found were opening a student account with Santander as you get a free railcard for 4 years and the overdraft limit starts from £150!

5. ALWAYS BE YOURSELF
My biggest pet peeve is when people try to impress others by not being themselves. It's fake and unnecessary, so make sure you're always being yourself as people will appreciate genuineness at this stage of life.


6. TAKE PART IN SEMINAR DISCUSSIONS
I was really scared to speak up and share my opinions on certain subjects, but once my tutor had heard what I had to say he showed gratitude and respect for my answer and never failed to get me involved in future talks.

7. NO QUESTION IS STUPID
You might be wanting to ask a question about something which might seem banal to others or look silly, but the truth is - there's no such thing as a stupid question! So, ask away as it's always better to be sure about something rather than staying quiet and confused.

8. RECORD YOUR LECTURES AND SEMINARS
Recording lectures will be your new best friend, especially on those days when you feel like crap and need lots of caffeine or you spent your night partying away! I always record my lectures and write notes as I go along so then if I made a note which I cannot remember, I'd listen to the recording and remind myself of the topic. - This is also a great revision hack.

9. DON'T LEAVE WORK UNTIL LAST MINUTE
Anyone who had been to school would already know this golden rule. I can't stress enough how important it is to do your coursework and revision on time and never leave anything important til last minute! I did this a few times during my A-levels and it did not help me pass one bit if you know what I mean... :|

10. BE CAREFUL WHO YOU MOVE IN WITH
I'm not saying this to sound like a fussy cow, but you need to consider who you're going to live with especially if you'll be sharing a kitchen and/or bathroom. The people I had lived with were sooo messy and it put me off cooking my own food! I found myself constantly cleaning up after others solely for sanitary reasons.

Are you a student? If so, what do you study?

Lots of love,
Maya xo

Friday, 22 September 2017

HOW TO IMPROVE BLOG PHOTOGRAPHY - USING FREE SOFTWARE & PROPS


I think I have googled this question about a million times since starting my blog back in 2013 and have only recently improved my photography skills by far. I usually use a professional camera to take my blog pictures, but you can easily take amazing photographs using your phone if the camera has 8+ megapixels. For example, I currently own an iPhone 5s which has an 8-megapixel back camera which is more than enough to take good quality pictures for my blog or Instagram account. On the other hand, the camera that I use is the Sony DSCH400 20.1 Megapixel Digital Camera which is amazing for taking high-quality photos but unfortunately, it's not as good for filming videos.


As you can see in the collage above, the top picture looks a bit washed out and not quite professional for someone who is trying to introduce different products to their audience. However, the image below it is very bright and colourful which would catch anyone's eye from a distance as well as make an Instagram feed stand out.


To create Instagrammable photos, I use a light background like this one from Wilkos, and a few props to add a bit of your personality and unique style to the pictures. In this picture, I laid out a few different products and tried to make them look organised however if you prefer a more messy flat-lay then go ahead and do so as it might make the pictures look more interesting.
My favourite software to edit my pictures on my computer is Fotor which you can download for free here. The little routine that I like to follow to brightening my pictures is:

Brightness: 28
Exposure: 25
Contrast: -9
Vibrance: 12
Temperature: -23


This is the effect that I like to go for, which is bright yet colourful at the same time. Another software that I like to use is the VSCO app (you can upgrade it for more effects & filters) which is fantastic to use on the go when you've taken a nice picture and want to upload it straight away. If I want to create a collage or add text etc. to my photos then I turn to PhotoScape X, which is a fantastic free program but it can get a little bit difficult to use.

What software do you use to edit your images? Do you use the ones I mentioned above?

Lots of love,
Maya xo
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