Hey guys and gals and happy September (madness, I know!). Over the next couple of months, Universities all over the country will be inundated with freshers starting what will probably be for most their first adventure away from home. I finished 3 years at Warwick University this year. I have quite literally been there, done it and got the T-shirt to prove it. Whilst the 3 years were the most challenging of my life, they were also moments that were some of the best and I learnt a hell of a lot about myself, other people and how to survive on pot noodle because you’re too hungover to go to the shop (essential life lessons really). For anyone heading of to University this year, I thought I would share with you some of my tips for survival – everything from feeding yourself to going clubbing. So, let’s get started.

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I made it!

Moving Day. 

Okay, so it’s moving day. The car is full and your Mum is crying. Moving day is an odd day – you’re excited and very, very nervous, but there are a few things you can do to make moving day just that little bit easier.

  • Take snacks (a box of Celebrations always goes down well): Having something to offer your new flat mates is a create ice breaker. I went to people’s rooms and introduced myself with a box a Celebrations and everyone appreciated it (even the parents). It might sound cringe but it is a nice way to open a conversation if you’re feeling a little nervous.
  • Only pack your winter clothes: Apart from a few dresses and fancy shoes, there is no point taking your whole wardrobe with you to University. One, it is probably not going to all fit in your wardrobe and two, you really don’t need it. You’ll be back home again at Christmas so you can mix things up then.
  • Buy stuff there: It might be nice to feel prepared and buy everything you know, just incase you get the urge to make your own yogurt or remove the core from an apple with only one appliance, but you really don’t need to clear Ikea out of its kitchen section. You’re not going out of space – there will be shops! If you find you need something when you’re there, just pop to the shop. It will probably save you money and some room in your parents car boot.
  • Keep your door open: Everyone says this but it is so true. Keeping your door open is a great way to let people know you’re there and willing to chat. It seems like nothing but just smiling and saying hello to someone walking past could start a new friendship.
  • Bag yourself a decent cupboard: I got to University very early and bagged myself the best cupboard in the kitchen. Not too far away from the cooker, but far enough away that it wasn’t going to be in front of everyone’s work surface. If in doubt take your Mum – they always know best.
  • Register with the University Doctor: It is super easy to do and the University will probably send you information on how to do this prior to your moving day. My University Doctor has been fantastic (they really helped during my tougher times), particularly during those first few weeks where I was pretty confident I was dying. Turns out it was just freshers flu – better safe than sorry. 

If I had to do moving day again: I am pretty happy with how my moving day went but I do think I tried ‘too’ hard to make a good first impression that I was not 100% true to myself. I know it is hard and I did my best but I would try and be more myself.

The First Few Weeks. 

Moving day is done, the hard part is over… Now what?

  • Get up half an hour earlier: You’re probably going to get lost and so you need to allow time for this. If you do get to your lectures and seminars early, it is also a great chance to chat to your course mates outside. It might seem like a pain after your third night out in a row but it is definitely worth it.
  • Don’t feel like you have to go out every single night: Your University is likely to have pulled out all of the stops for freshers week and there will be something going on every single night. Just because there is something happening it doesn’t mean you have to be there. I know, I know you’re only ‘fresh’ once and the FOMO is real, but if you don’t fancy it just don’t go. Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to make up for it.
  • Eat 3 meals a day and drink plenty of water: Everything will be a bit of a whirlwind for the first few weeks so it can be really easy to neglect the basic necessities. Make an effort to eat three meals a day and always have a bottle of water with you in the day (it will help with the hangovers as well). They might not always be the healthiest meals and they’ll probably be nothing like your Mum used to make, but make sure you’re eating.
  • Mingle outside your halls: It can be easy to think your flatmates are the be all and end all. Of course, get to know them – for lots of people they end up being some of their best friends. However, there is a whole University full of people for you to meet. Don’t restrict yourself!

If I had to do the first few weeks again: I definitely would make sure I met more people outside of the flat and my seminars. I kind of got myself into a little bubble and when that burst I was in a tough position. I’ve learnt that it is not about meeting one best ever friend in the whole wide world you’re going to have as your maid of honour and love forever and forever – it is about meeting a range of people and learning about them whilst also learning about yourself.

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Uni was ‘first class’ (see what I did there?) 

Going Out.

You’ve not been out without you BFF since year 7 who turned 18 a month after you and it’s all getting a bit daunting. Drinks are more expensive than your home town and you can drink for literally nothing in the game of never have I ever. You ask yourself, Am I really that boring? as your new neighbour finishes her third pint.

  • Have an emergency £10 on you at all times: There were many times during my first year that I was stranded in a night club having missed the last bus home. I’d recommend always having an emergency bit of cash just incase you need to get a taxi. Even if it’s just £10 in you phone case, you never know when you might need it.
  • No one will notice if you get a glass of water: Don’t want a drink? Don’t worry. Turns out water and vodka and lemonade look a hell of a lot alike (even more alike when you’re surrounding by drunk people who are seeing double). If you don’t want a drink just get water. You don’t have to tell anyone if you don’t want!
  • Eat before going out: I sound like a mother, don’t I? This one is probably self explanatory but make sure you line your stomach before drinking. I failed to do this many times (often on purpose) and I seriously suffered the consequences.
  • Take condom: Okay, maybe I sound a little less like a Mum now… The reality is that you might end up having sex with someone and it is vital that you’re protected not only from pregnancy but also from STI’s and other nasty things.In the heat of the moment, neither of you are likely to fancy wanting till tomorrow so it is always best to be prepared. Even if you never ever use it, it’s there. You might also help out a friend in need.
  • Learn to say no: It’s okay to say no. People won’t like you less. If you don’t feel comfortable then please, please, please do not do things solely to impress others.

 

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Grad ballin’

If I had to do ‘going out’ again: I was very stand offish to boys when I went out as I was terrified of letting my hair down too much. In hindsight, I wish I would have let myself have a bit more fun. So what if you snog someone on the dance floor? When it comes to alcohol though, I would certainly have said no a lot more often and not tried to be the cool one doing all the shots – not big and definitely not clever.

Societies. 

Okay, your house mates are cool, but there’s more to you than just your address. What do I do when lessons are over?

  • Be willing to try anything: I never in a million years thought I would have my own radio show but I ended up absolutely loving it. If something tickles your fancy, give it a go! Be open to trying new things – you never know, you might love it.
  • Go to the Freshers Taster sessions, even if you have to go alone: Everyone is in the same boat at freshers sessions, so even if none of your flat fancy Doctor Who Society or Debating Club, just go! The exec board will be on their best behaviour (I promise, I have been there) and do everything they can to make you feel as welcome as possible!
  • Don’t worry about it all ‘looking good on a CV’: Sure, running my own radio show was pretty impressive on a CV, but it’s not all about that. If you fancy cocktail making club over Politics Society then that is totally fine. Societies are a great way to let your hair down and enjoy yourself.
  • Go on tour: I went on HistSoc tour in first year and it was incredible. I had such a good time and it is a great way to make new friends with similar interests. It is also useful if you fancy yourself as the next President or Social Sec – who doesn’t want to be a BNOC, right?

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Little fresher Jamie on the HistSoc tour. 

If I had to do ‘societies’ again: I would absolutely do a sport. I was terrified of the sports clubs because I wasn’t particularly great at anything and I had heard terrifying things about their initiations. It’s true, sports clubs tend to be a little wild, but they are also such a tight-knit community. You don’t even have to be that good – there are beginners classes! Warwick Netball, if you’re ever looking for an alumni member… 

Staying Healthy. 

Embarrassed yourself drunk? Check. Turned up your 9AM after next to no sleep? Check. Eaten a healthy balanced meal in the last 8 days… Yeah about that. 

  • Buy some fruit: Getting your five a day is surprisingly challenging when you’re eating for one.Get yourself some apple or a punnet a grapes. Not only are they healthy snack but they’re also a super easy way to get in some greens without having to whip out your Grandma’s steamer that she promised you’d need.
  • Drink plenty of water: I’ve said this before and I will say it again – drink lots of water. It’s going to keep you healthy, help the hangover and it’s free – a students best friend.
  • Join a sports society (or the gym): Staying active is super important so get involved. Even if you’re only playing hockey once a week, it’s better than nothing! I also met some really lovely friends through going to the gym (and ended up qualifying as a PT and getting a job at Gymshark).
  • Make time for food shopping: I was the worst at food shopping, I mean really really bad. It might surprise you but if you don’t keep stocking up on food, you actually run out of food. I know, it shocked me too… Schedule a day once a week to do a food shop and make a list throughout the week of what you’re running low on. I’d also recommend getting delivery as it will save you time (and money) in the long run.

If I had to do ‘staying healthy’ again: No surprises here but I would food shop! I would probably also have started the gym a little earlier and joined a sports club.

So there you have it – some of my top tips! But don’t just take it from me, here are some recommendations from others who have been there and done it. 

‘Don’t feel like you have to go out every night with your uni friends – you might get FOMO but your body will thank you for a rest every now and again’ – @emilycatmuir

‘I’m a lecturer at college. I tell my students going to uni 3 things have to be right or they won’t be happy. 1. (Pick a) good, interesting course. 2. Good uni and facilities and 3. Great location/city.’ – @Islandbeauty77

‘My top tip is make sure you have mugs, tea and coffee all ready for the first meeting with your fellow hall mates- I’ll make sure my daughter has some.’ – @Roots2Success

‘Live your absolute best life’ – @kerrismackley

I hope you have the most incredible time at University. It’s hard and not every day is going to be good. By second year I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, but I did. Make the most of everything and have fun – you’re going to smash it! 

Jamie x 

 

Hey guys! It’s my favourite time of the month again. If you are new to the blog (hi!) then this is a monthly feature where I share with you all the things I have been loving (clues in the title I guess). This month has been chaos! I have moved away from home and started my first job. I’ve made a loads of new friends and generally had a wicked time. Don’t you worry though, I have still found time to experiment with new bits and bobs and so have a lot to share with you guys today. So sit tight and let’s get started… 

Fashion 

As mentioned I started work this month, which can only mean one thing – a massive Zara order (I mean, I had to get a new wardrobe for work, right?). I tried to look beyond the heat wave with this shop and so got myself some autumnal clothing to take me into the next season. I love everything I got but my favourite has got to be these Leopard Print Trousers from their latest animal print collection.

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Image from Zara

I have never been a huge animal print fan but I saw these and I totally fell in love. They are so comfy and easy to wear, plus they look like I’ve made a load of effort when in reality I feel like I’m lounging about on the sofa. I usually team these up with some black or white mules (I love these onesand a cute little crop top (they go with so many colours – black, brown, red and purple look amazing with them). 

Make Up 

This month’s favourites have come as a huge surprise to me for 2 reasons. Firstly, I had no clue I was getting them until they turned up in the post from the lovely folks at Influenster. And secondly, last time I received lipsticks from this brand I was really not a fan. However, the Rimmel London Stay Satin Liquid Lipsticks have really impressed me – so much so they have secured a spot on this months favourites.

Now I’m going to be honest with you, they take some getting used to. They’re not the easiest to apply and the formula of the brighter colours never, ever fully dry so they smudge super easily (not selling them so far, I know). This said, the colours are absolutely unreal (I have never had a lipstick with such intense and beautiful colour pigment) and they do last for ages even with the risk of smudging. The brighter lipsticks haven’t been my go-to’s (however, I am loving experimenting with them and trying new looks) BUT the shade Shoulder Pads well and truly has my heart. It is the most stunning pinky nude that lasts all day and suits my pale complexion like a dream! I am truly obsessed, I think I have worn it every make up day this month.

As for the other colours, normally I would never be seen in a purple or a grey but these are just so stunning and have a perfect satin finish. Yes they have some negatives and yes you really do have to play around with them, but you can create so so many different looks and these have really made August the month that I have moved out of my comfort zone when it comes to make up.

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Skin Care 

I don’t know if this counts as skin care but just roll with it. This months winner is the MakeUp Eraser by MakeUp Eraser (imaginative…). I got this product in last months The Pip Box and, despite initial scepticism, I am totally obsessed! This rather underwhelming little bit of cloth is actually really impressive. It removes make up with water alone and therefore uses no chemicals or nasty stuff. It’s vegan, reusable and really does remove even the thickest mascara (believe me, I put it to the test).  It’s made from a specially knitted polyester/silk fibre which, when wet creates a hydro-mechanical process (fancy, right?) that breaks the surface tension of the oils that bond make up to the skin. Not bad for a little bit of cloth.

I love it. it’s good for the environment, it’s good for my skin, it’s good for how super lazy I am when it comes to removing make up AND it lasts between 3-5 years. Everyone’s a winner.

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Image from selfridges.com

A runner up this month has got to be Bepanthen. Nope, I haven’t got nappy rash. I do, however, have a baby tattoo and this stuff has been an absolute dream when it comes to keep it moisturised and healing properly. I would seriously recommend picking yourself some of this up if you’ve got a new tattoo.

Exercise 

This has been a tough one this month as I am back doing my usual 4 day split training programme with a 5th day of abs and cardio. I am loving it and it is certainly nice to be back into a routine, but there has been nothing particularly new/exciting to report. I am currently looking at joining some adventure holidays though. Ever since Crete I have been desperate to get back out on the water and go kayaking again. I absolutely loved it but sadly in Birmingham the opportunities are limited. I am therefore on the hunt for an adventure holiday where I can do this again. I’m thinking something where I can go kayaking, rock climbing and maybe try my hand at surfing so if you have any suggestions let me know!

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Get me back on those waves. 

One thing I have loved about switching up my exercise over the past few months has been how I no longer just love weights, I love being active. I have really opened my eyes to new sports and becoming willing to experiment with sports I never thought I would enjoy.

Entertainment (Books) 

This month it’s not a TV show that has been entertaining me. In fact, I have been struggling to find anything on Netflix that has been floating my boat. Instead I have been reading a hell of a lot. I love a good crime/mystery book and so I have been loving Peter Robinson’s DCI Banks novels. Nothing new here but they are really fantastic books that I would seriously recommend – my favourite is Cold Is The Grave.

If you’re fancying something a little less morbid, Everything I Know About Love is a fantastic read (you might remember it featured on my summer reading list a few weeks back) and I urge you to read it.

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So there you have it, some of my August favourites. As always, I want to know your thoughts! Up for trying out the Rimmel Stay Satin Lips or not up for braving grey lippy? Any August TV show band wagons I need to join? Let me know your thoughts and what you guys have been loving this month.

Jamie x 

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Since starting work I have found that I am a lot less active. Yes, I am still going to the gym and getting my 4-5 weekly work outs in (it does help that I work at Gymshark HQ, of course), but being active is not just about smashing a weights session or hitting up the cross trainer. When I was at home I was walking everywhere, I’d play in the garden with the puppies and I would consciously ensure I was getting in at least 10,000 steps a day. Working 9-5 in a office, however, makes this a lot more challenging. Whilst there are plenty of opportunities in the HQ to get up and about, the reality is I still spend a lot of time at my desk and working on the computer. I have recently being getting into some new habits to ensure that I am remaining healthy and taking care of my mind and body whilst at work and so I thought I would share we you guys some top tips I’ve picked up to beat the 9-5. 

Top Tips for (2)

 

Sort Out Your Set Up. 

No surprises here, but being sat on your computer all day everyday is not the best for your posture. Where your computer is in relation to your eyes is super important and can impact on your neck and back. If you’re looking too far down at your monitor it can cause strain on your back and neck resulting in problems in the long run. However, too far up and you’re likely to get dry eyes. When it comes to your set up, it’s kind of like the Goldilocks principle – not too high, not too low. A maximum 10 degree angle? Just right.

Also, remember you can be at your desk without being sat down all day! Apparently just 30 minutes less of sitting each day can have a hugely positive impact on your posture and long term health, so get yourself an adjustable desk and alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. Trust me, it will give you more energy and make you more productive and alert.

Clean It Up.

Remember it’s not all about your physical health – I’ve found that having a clean and organised desk really helps me to keep a clear mind! Keep it nice and tidy and get yourself some nice pictures and personal bits and bobs (I have a little plant on mine) so your desk is a pleasurable and enjoyable place to be.

Back It Up.

No, I’m not talking about that presentation you have on Monday morning (although I would definitely make sure you’ve got that backed up). I’m actually talking about your monitor. If you’re sitting too close to your monitor you’re at risk of a number of nagging eye problems including eye exhaustion, burning, dryness and muscle pains behind the eyes. You therefore want to make sure you’re about an arms length away.

I have a condition called optical near-sight conversion, which means it is even more important to ensure I am a good distance away from my screen and I am taking frequent breaks. Since starting work I have ensure I practise eye exercises at least once a day to strengthen the muscles and prevent aching and soreness.

If you fancy practising some eye exercises, you can get more information here.

Eyes On The Prize.

Another trick for protecting those eyes is to increase your font size. Sounds obvious but a bigger font size will stop you from having to squint and strain your eyes, which could result in strained muscles and headaches.

I’e also found that since starting work that is predominantly computer based that my out of work hobbies have changed. Rather that getting straight home from work and starting another Netflix series*, I like to do something that gives my eyes a bit of a break. If it’s nice weather I tend to go for a walk or I’ll do some baking and cooking for the house! Just find something to keep you occupied for a few hours that doesn’t mean staring at a screen and straining your eyes.

(*Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly still watching Netflix – how else I am supposed to binge watch old seasons of Love Island?!)

Stay Hydrated.

If I had a £1 for every time I had written ‘stay hydrated’ on this blog I would probably have enough to fund my excessive coffee habit. Probably… The sad news is, coffee is actually not helping! I try and limit my coffee intake each day and instead try different herbal teas – gross at first but I have actually found a couple that I really like and they are caffeine free so loads better than drinking coffee all day. I would recommend Pukka Organic Teas – they have loads of different flavours that are actually really lovely and don’t just taste like you’re drinking bits of grass – always good. 

I also always have a bottle of water at my desk. As you all will know, drinking water is essential to keeping healthy. It also will force you to get up every once in a while and refill your bottle, meaning you’re up and about – win win. 

Take A Pack Up

As well as making sure you have a bottle of water on you, I would also recommend taking yourself a pack up and enough snacks to get you through your shift. Not only does this save money, it also means you have control of what you’re eating and therefore it is likely to be a lot more balanced and nutritious.

I tend to make enough food in the evening to have some left over for lunch and then snack on chopped veggies and dried fruit. I also have been practising my baking skills and been making ‘healthy’ snacks, including muffins and granola – a lot better (and a lot cheaper) than snack bars from the vending machines. 

Work It Out

Last but not least, it’s the desk workout! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t carry a barbell on my back at all times ready to drop into a squat at any given moment, but I do try and do abs engaging exercises and focus on my posture. I also make sure than every hour I get up and about – whether that be just to go for a wee and fill up my bottle. Even just a little wander will keep your blood flowing – every step counts. 

If you struggle to get enough steps in, I’d recommend getting yourself a pedometer. Studies have shown that sedentary people who wear pedometers and set daily step goals (I go for at least 10,000)  become more active and therefore improve their overall wellbeing – both mental and physical.

So there you have it, some of my top tips for making sure that you’re staying healthy whilst working a desk job. Keeping mentally and physically healthy whilst at work is super important and something that is often neglected. I hope that these tips are useful! Let me know down below your top tips for staying healthy whilst working your 9-5. 

Jamie x 

 

Sources

https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/8-things-you-need-do-if-you-sit-computer-all-day

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13931/21-ways-to-stay-healthy-when-you-sit-at-a-desk-all-day.html

https://www.bustle.com/p/7-simple-ways-to-stay-healthy-when-you-sit-a-lot-37035

https://www.prevention.com/fitness/fitness-tips/a20444127/walking-pedometer-program-to-lose-weight/

https://www.bustle.com/articles/179775-11-ways-to-stay-healthy-at-the-office-because-your-habits-matter

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160323142345.htm

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-sitting-too-close-to-screen-making-you-blind/

 

I was talking to a friend a few weeks back who works a 9-5 5 days a week about how, despite training and eating relatively well and consistently, she was not seeing the same results as her Instagram idols. It’s a sad truth that whilst our #fitspos are making a career of looking like solid 10/10’s with booties that defy the laws of gravity, most of us have to head out to work. Whilst it is absolute #goals to see that these bloggers have been able to make careers out exercising and whipping up aesthetic meals, in reality can we translate this to our own lives? How do you fit in training with a 9-5?

Make Your Sessions Count 

I am fortunate to work in a HQ with a gym, which is very VERY handy and means I can go everyday either before or after work. However, if you can’t make it 5 days a week – don’t stress! It’s not always about being in the gym all the time but rather it is about what you’re doing in the gym when you’re there. There are a few ways you can do this. Firstly, if you have 2-3 days a week you know are less busy or have a larger window to play with then make that your gym time. It is better to not be rushed – quality over quantity when it comes to training.

It also matters what type of exercises you are choosing if you’re not able to train loads. I would suggest focusing on compound movements and ensuring you are getting balance in the muscles you are training. If you’re going 3 times a week you want 3 full body sessions with a different main focus on each. You want these to be dominated by movements such as deadlifts, squats and bench press. To be making optimum gains these are a lot better ways to use your time.

Meal Prep. 

Tupperware is your new nest friend.

I rave about this in pretty much every single post, but honestly I cannot recommend meal prepping enough. Training and achieving your goals is not all about hitting up the gym, it is also about how you are fuelling your body. If you’re cooking in the evening make enough for dinner tomorrow and even make your breakfast so you’re not rushing around the next morning (overnight oats are perfect for this!). That way you know exactly what you’re eating and you’re not tempted to grab something quick, easy and (let’s be honest) probably pizza, but what could be easier than taking the tupperware out of the fridge?

Work With What You’ve Got. 

You might not always be able to get to the gym (or you might absolutely hate the gym – the environment is not for everyone!) so work with what you’ve got. There are loads of apps that give you quick and effective home workouts focusing on body weight exercises and HIIT. These are really fast ways to stay fit and healthy.

You can also pick up some really good equipment from places like Home Bargains that are super affordable and can help to make your home workout a little more challenging. I would suggest getting yourself a resistance band at least as these are great for the booty burn and really versatile.

Remember you’re not a #fitspo superstar*. 

And that’s okay. 

You don’t have to be training all the time. You’re allowed a glass of wine after work. You’re probably not getting paid to go to the gym. Yes it would be nice, but you’re a superstar elsewhere and you’re smashing it.

You need time to relax and recover. Living a healthy lifestyle is as much about relaxing as it is resistance training. Get enough sleep and don’t be too harsh on yourself if you’re not up a 5AM sipping on a kale smoothie. Be proud of how hard you’re trying and just do the best you can – anything is better than nothing. 

*unless, you know, you are, then oh my god HI!

So there you have it, some of my top tips for fitting in fitness with a 9-5. I admit I am in a very privileged position due to where I work but that does not mean I am getting paid to deadlift. Training is something that now has to fit around my life, my life does not (and should not) fit around training. 

Jamie x 

 

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Sources 

http://www.menshealth.co.uk/building-muscle/workout-programmes/train-like-an-athlete-with-a-full-time-job

https://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/fitness/training-tips/how-to-work-a-95-and-still-be-fit-af/news-story/53ab1e54ee2f1d6b1ffbc457d465183a

https://www.myprotein.com/thezone/motivation/fitting-exercise-around-9-5/

High-end make up. If you’re anything like me owning a lot of the sort after make up products from high end brands is a bit of a pipe dream. As much as I would love to splash the cash on a fancy lippy or foundation, the reality is I cannot justify it – especially when a lot of drug store make up does a pretty god job (MUA I’m looking at you)! This doesn’t mean I don’t browse beautybay.com, drooling over the latest high end releases. I thought today I would share with you guys high end make up products I have recently been lusting over. You know, just in case anyone’s looking at buying me a gift or something… 
Primer
Let’s start at the very beginning, as Mary Poppins said, this is a very good place to start. So first things first; primer. I have been eyeing up the Becca Backlight Priming Filter for a while now. At $38, it’s a little steep but it has got some impressive reviews. Becca is one of my absolute favourite brands when it comes to give my skin a glow and this primer is supposed to do just that. I have pretty dull skin that tends to get a little dry around my nose and so I adore a dewy make up look. It is water-based and contains small, pearlescent filters that are supposed to leave your skin glowing and your flaws blurred – sounds good to me. 
Eyebrows 
Next up I’m going to go for eyebrows. The Tom Ford Brow Sculptor sounds right up my street and has been raved about by all the beauty mags this year. It has a rectangle pencil can be used to draw on singular hairs and a spoolie on the end to blend out the pigment, which would be perfect for my preferred, day time feathery finish. As if that was’t enough there’s even a sharpener to keep the tip nice and pointy – that makes it worth the £40, right? 
Images from selfridges.com
Eyeshadow
Now for the eye shadow palette I have been dreaming of having in my collection since the beginning of time. There are loads of high-end palettes I would adore, but this one always catches my eye and I have never seen a bad review yet. At £43, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette is a little steeper than my go to, trusty MUA collection. However, the colours are absolutely stunning and are supposed to have a creamy formula with great pigment. You’ve probably seen this palette before but if not it has a gorgeous selection of shadows ranging from cranberry/pink to brown toned hues and has a combination of both matte and shimmer finishes the shadows – an Instagrammers dream. 
Images from beautybay.com
Mascara
I find mascaras really touch and go. Usually I can make them work but it is hard to find a really good one. Rumour has it that the Better Than Sex Mascara from Too Faced can offer just that. It comes in at £23 and is the brands best selling mascara. Apparently just two coats of this magically stuff make you look like you’re wearing false lashes, which is handy as I am terrible at applying falsies. This mascara is supposed to give volume, length and colour, which is basically everything you could ever want from a mascara – whether it’s better than sex? I’ll get back to you on that one. 
Image from toofaced.com
Concealer
This one was easy! I adore YouTuber Kathleen Lights and she raves about the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer all the time – even calling it her favourite concealer ever, which is seriously saying something giving her huge make up collection! It comes in at £22, which when compared to everything else so far is positively cheap! It’s packed with shea butter so is meant to be super nourishing whilst offering full coverage that supposedly doesn’t flake or crack! All of that and it’s vegan – everyone’s a winner! 
Foundation
I don’t mind spending a little more on my foundation as I think it can make or break a make up look, even so £42 is a little steep. The Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation has been raved about in the world of beauty and is recommend by make up artists and beauty bloggers alike. It’s meant to be an illuminating foundation that doesn’t crease and stays looking natural for the whole day. As I’ve already mentioned, I love a natural, dewy make up look but I still want a medium-full coverage so this sounds absolutely perfect. If I had to pick only one product from this post it would probably be this!
Bronzer
I have a very pale skin tone and so bronzer is an absolute must! I tend to stick with the drug store brands for this as they tend to do the job just fine. However, I would certainly not say no to the Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna. Known for being a cult classic, this bronzer gives a semi-sheer natural finish, which would be perfect for both day and night make up looks. I have seen beauty bloggers rave about this as an all over bronzer (great for those no make up make up days) and as a contour. When something is this versatile you can justify spending £29 – right?
Blusher
If I had to sacrifice one of the make up items on the list it would probably be a blusher, however, I have recently started reaching for my blush collection more and more and I think the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour blush would make a lovely new addition to the ever-growing family. It’s £25, which is expensive, let’s be honest but the reviews are absolutely fab! It’s meant to last all day (clues in the name I suppose) and have a beautiful and easy to blend formula. After some serious consideration I think I would probably go for Risque as I adore a peachy blush and find this suits my yellow undertone better than a pink blush.
Highlighter
Now for one of my favourite make up products in the whole entire world – highlighter! I love highlight and so picking just one high end product to share with you guys was tough. I was really torn between 2 in particular but decided to go for the Dior Nude Air Luminizer that comes in at £39.50. I went for this one because the reviews are glowing (excuse the pun) and it promises everything that I look for in a highlight. Rather than looking ‘sparkly’, I prefer more of a glow that blends into my skin and this offers just that. The shimmers within in are meant to be some of the finest out there and that means it doesn’t pick up texture but just leaves that sexy, wet look – dreamy. 
Lipliner 
Nearly there, I promise! For lip liner I have chosen the NARS Velvet Lip Liner that comes in at £18. The product comes in loads of different shades so you’d have to stock up on a few (darn it!) if you want one for every lipstick in your collection. I’ve chosen this one as it is meant to keep your lips moist due to its creamy formula, which is perfect if you are applying a matte lipstick over the top as these can be a little drying, and it will keep your lippy looking good all day – pucker up people. 
Lipstick 
Last but not least it’s time for the lipstick. I decided to go for a nude that I would wear on a day to day basis in the form of the Matte Revolution Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in Pillow Talk, coming in at £24. Described as a colour to suit everyone, this lipstick is another cult favourite, plus it comes in super pretty packaging (always a bonus). It’s a more pinky/brown nude, which is perfect for my skin tone and although reviews aren’t all happy with the fact it might not be as matte as promised, this just makes me want it all the more! I tend to avoid matte lipsticks as I find them drying, but this is meant to have a slight sheen to it (sounds a bit like a satin finish) which makes it all the more appealing.

 

So that’s that. A full face of high-end make up products I am totally lusting over. If I was to get all of these products it would set me back a cool £343.50. I think I’ll probably be sticking to the drug store for a little while longer. A girl can dream though, right? Let me know if you have tried any of these and whether you think they’re worth then money. If not, what would make it on your list? Until next time. 

Jamie x