1 year / £100 Challenge.

So guys, I'm going to do the 1 year/£100 budget challenge. Last year, I bought a new camera (I'm a photography student, so it was much needed!) but I borrowed money from my mum to do so, so this year, my goal is to pay her back. To help me do this, I'm going to be cutting costs in every area of my life. So beauty is the first area to get cut. I have already been doing this since the start of January (I just haven't had time to buy anything in all honesty!).

For those of you that don't know, the 1 year/£100 challenge, is where you budget all of you beauty outgoings to £100 a year. It's also a good way to get through your stash! (don't lie, you got loads of shower gel sets for Christmas, you do not need anymore!) Here's my rules:

What it will include -
Make up of any kind
Shower gel, body wash, bubble bath etc.
Body lotions/butters/moisturisers
Face Washes, cleansers, toners
Skin care 
Hair dye and toners
Non-basic shampoo & hair products
Nail polish
Tools such as brushes, sponges, face cloths, cotton wool etc.
Razors/ shaving foam or cream/wax/any form of hair removal

What it won't include -
Medical items 
Sanitary products
Basic Shampoo & hair products (aka, the 3 for £10 Treseme deals, as Liam also uses this, and 3 usually lasts us about 4-6 months anyway.)
Pain relief, over the counter and prescription medications

Hair cuts (manily because I cut my own hair so it's not something I need to budget for, but I am considering having my hair coloured professionally as a birthday present) 

I first saw this on A Thrifty Mrs's blog, so if you want to read more about the challenge, head on over there. 

To keep a track of this, I've set myself up a nifty little spreadsheet. If anyone is interested, I'll post how I'm doing with the challenge along with any 'empties' posts I do, as well as a complete post about it when I finish it next year! (I'm saying January 1'st 2014 was my start date, because although I was not consciously doing the challenge, I had already been budgeting and not bought anything) Here's a wee peek at how I'm doing so far;

Are you trying to save a little bit of money this year?

Confessions of a hair-dye addict.

So a few weeks back, I was re-doing my roots and had ran out of my usual violet-conditoner mix, so in a panic, I just popped pink over the roots. I ended up creating this pretty cool pink-to-purple ombre look. I loved it for maybe, 3 days, and then I was back to my usual "I need to change my hair" thinking. 

I don't know if I'm the only one, but I get so bored of my hair so easily as of the last few years. All through high-school I had bright pink or purple hair, and got rid of it when I came to uni. I soon got bored again and started experimenting with pastel shades. While I've always liked my hair colours, I've never loved them like I did back in high-school. I think this has a lot to do with my loss of confidence after moving out, I'm not so keen on people talking to me about my hair. But also because a lot of people don't take me seriously with this kind of hair. I currently work in a regular minimum-wage-get-me-through-uni kind of job where they don't mind my hair colour, but it was also pretty hard to get my job with these kind of hair colours. I graduate in 2015, and while I'm still uncertain about whether or not I want to do a masters, or go straight into the big bad world, I'm pretty sure I'm going to need people to take me seriously. I'm not saying "coloured" hair is unprofessional at all, but when I was recently put into a semi-professional setting with the rest of my class mates, I had a hard time due to people judging my work on what they assume someone who 'looks like me' does rather than actually looking through my portfolio, so I feel I need to stop that happening in order to get the kind of jobs I want. 

I think my choices range from blonde to natural blonde to ombre; But I struggle with the idea of drifting from my non-natural coloured ways, again, funnily enough, I think this has a lot to do with my lack of confidence. I've always been the one with 'the cool hair', I've never really had anything else going for me. I've always, and now more than ever, been larger than everyone I know, so my choices were/are limited to 'the fat friend' or 'the weird-hair friend' and I chose the latter choice and ran with it until now. I think unconsciously if I get rid of my 'funky hair' I'll struggle to find my new identity or sense of self, however ridiculous logicallly looking through my portfolio, so I feel I need to stop that happening in order to get the kind of jobs I want. 

I think I need to add to my goals for this year: 
• Find a hair colour that I can be happy with
• Gain confidence

I think to achieve the second one, I need to complete the first and combine it with my 'getting healthier' journey, and just love me.

Sorry for such a long and ramble-y post, hair clearly weighs on my mind a bit too much!

REVIEW | Save The Blow Dry

As a bleach-bunny, I try not to wash my hair too much, but obviously, I need to shower. After years of using shower caps I took from hotels, I have found the god of shower caps and I will never ever go back!

'Save The Blow Dry'* claims it banishes frizz and squashed hairstyles, while being super roomy yet keeping all your hair in, and I can honestly say it does all of this! I find regular shower caps uncomfortable and they always slip off. This one has tight, but comfortable elastic that keeps pretty much all your hair in and keeps you comfortable. I have some very short, damaged hairs at the nape of my neck that will always escape anything I try, so I don't hold that against it whatsoever. 

The 'in-side' of the shower cap has this lovely soft lining, I assume this is why it rids your hair of frizz, but it's also super comfy. You can also turn the cap inside out, and use the water proof side when you're using treatments/etc on your hair, to stop you making a mess and keep the heat in (which makes your treatments and dyes more effective by the way!).

I'm not going to lie, I love this thing. At £14.95, it's not the cheapest thing ever, but it's worth every penny, when/if mine gets a bit over-used/ripps/breaks in anyway, I will definitely be buying another one. If you're a regular shower cap user, I would recommend getting one!

Do you use shower caps often? or do you tend to just wash your hair more?

REVIEW | MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquer - Atomic

I've been lusting after Limecrime's Velvetines for a long while now, but can in no way justify buying one, so when I saw this MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquer and how similar it seemed to be, I jumped on it. As pretty much everyone who is into beauty will know, MUA is a brilliant value for money, and this product is no different at only £3.

I bought the shade 'Atomic', I did fancy the pink shade 'Funk' a bit more, but my Superdrug didn't have it.  This red shade is a perfect 'classic red', it worked very well for me over the festive period. The packaging is also very lovely, I'm a big fan of frosted glass or glass effect, so I was very impressed with these. The packaging makes it seems so 'classy' and understated.

MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquer definitely lives up to it's 'velvety' name. They glide on very easily, and don't bleed much. Anything I put on my lips tend to bleed a little bit though, so I have ended up using a lip liner a few times. They have a pretty good wear-time as well, but I did notice it flaking off a little bit and leaving my lips a little bit dry after about an hour or so. I have however both eaten and had a few drinks (and maybe a few kisses) with this on, and only needed to retouch once, pretty impressive!

If you're into Rimmel London's Apocalips, but fancy a matte version I'd fully recommend these, just make sure you use a good lip balm before and after.  I will definitely be purchasing more colours. 

What was your go-to colour this festive season?
Do you love the lip lacquer's that have been coming out a lot recently?

My 2014 Goals

I'm not going to call these 'resolutions' 'cause I just won't stick to them if I do (although, I read that you're 40% more likely to stick to a goal if you make it at this time of year- load of poppycock? probably) but I am going to try and improve myself and my life.

01. Get a wee bit healthier. Throughout the latter end of last year, I started to push myself towards a healthier lifestyle, and it was going pretty good until end of semester stress hit me and I forgot how to cook anything other than pizza. I've managed to cut down how much fizzy juice I consume drastically, but I wan't to pretty much cut it out this year. I'm fine with having a glass of cola if I'm out for a meal, but I don't want to rely on it again. I also got some new trainers and a FitBit One for Christmas, so I shall be joining the gym and doing a lot more physically. (Any Edinbuggers need a gym buddy?). I don't have a set weight or anything I want to achieve, because I just want to lead a healthier life.

02. Use my blog more. My posts recently have been dire. I didn't post a single thing in November, and while I understand that life just got in the way, I should have had some form of back up post for this. To get myself sorted, I'm going to start actually using a planner, and penciling in times when I should be shooting photographs and writing posts. This way I should be able to manage all my uni work, blog posts and work-work a little bit better. On the road to a less stressy me!

03. Pay off my camera. I bought a new camera in October last year, and borrowed the money from my lovely Mother to do so. While she's fine with me paying her back as and when I can, I wan't to get it over and done with this year, so it's not hanging over my head during my 4th and final year at uni. 

04. Finish my foot tattoos, and get a few more. I got the outline for my foot tattoos done in April of last year, with all intentions of going back maybe a month or two later to get them finished, but we ended up moving flat and so I couldn't afford it, and I've just never been back! I'm going to get a jar and just pop whatever I can afford (minimum of £20) from my wage every month, to save up for the them to be finished. Once they're finished, I have a load more I'm eager to get!

05. Do more. During uni I don't ever really have a 'day off', because I do such a practical course, there is always something I should be doing- photo shoots, workbooks, essays, editing, printing, theory work, reading, blah blah etc. I wan't to make more time for myself to do things- like go to museums, parks, hang out with friends, go on dates with Liam, go to blogger events. This one is probably going to be the hardest, considering I work Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays as well as being a university during the week, but even if I could free up time after I finish a shift or something, I think that would be a good start. 

It's going to be hard to stick to all of these, all the time, but I'm ready to put in the effort. I spent a lot of last year being sad about things or stressing about things. I've come to the conclusion that if I can't change it, there is no point in worrying or being sad about it, and if I can change it? Do it! Instead of stressing out and being harsh on myself for not blogging more, or spending too much, I should just blog more and spend less! Sounds so simple, lets give it a try. 

I'm such a nosey parker, what are your goals for this year?